After the longest run of writer’s block I’ve ever experienced, Hearts & Minds, the sixth book in my Crown of Blood series, is finally here.
I’ve always had a simple explanation for writer’s block. In my mind, it should be called plotter’s block. . . a simple failure to see where the plot threads lead. And that is exactly what happened with me and Hearts & Minds. To me, it had always been the final book in the series.
The words didn’t agree and they showed their disapproval by refusing to flow. . . for almost six months.
In desperation, I told my reader group that the final book would be ready by January 2018 to force myself to get it written. I even did a cover reveal for them. (Nicholas was in prime spot on that cover and the book went by the title of Siege & Surrender).
That promise made zero difference to those pesky words.
Next, I put up an Amazon pre-order for 30 January 2018, hoping that some real pressure would get things moving. Amazon’s punishment for failure to meet a pre-order deadline is swift and harsh,
The added pressure did nothing more than give me sleepless nights.
It was only a couple of days before Christmas when I finally accepted that this wasn’t the final book. Only then did the words start flowing. And boy, did they come out in a rush. Just as well. I had less than a month to get the book written and edited, and a new cover made before I had to upload to Amazon.
I worked through the night to get it completed in time—and loved every second of it. Nothing beats the exhilaration that comes from writing while the family sleeps and then seeing the sun come up before they stir. (I will admit that it took its toll on my puny mortal frame. I was shaky and seeing double after writing non-stop for almost eighteen hours. A total adrenalin-rush. And I did that twice.) But finally, we have the penultimate book.
Ta-ran-ta-ra! I give you Hearts & Minds…
That is Meka and Grigor on the cover. Given how much they’ve suffered, it’s time they basked in some limelight.
So what is the book about?
All odds are against the Light-Bearer fulfilling the Dmitri Curse.
Axel’s attempt to rally an army to march against Emperor Lukan Avanov has failed. His only hope is to smuggle Nicholas into the palace undetected. No easy task when the palace is crawling with guardsmen programmed to die protecting their emperor. But Axel has come too far and sacrificed too much to let Lukan and his empire win.
Although Nicholas has finally been reunited with his family, he has never been more alone. An ice crystal monitors his every thought. High risk, he is left in the dark as plans are made for the final attack on his father, Lukan. Yet it is up to him to kill Lukan if the world is ever to know peace. And now the one ally he has trusted to help him in his grisly task is called into question.
Was the Dmitri Curse truly to bring down the Avanov family and to restore peace to the world? Or has Nicholas the Light Bearer been nothing more than a pawn in a high-stakes game of revenge?
Find the answer in the action-packed, heart-wrenching pages of Hearts & Minds, the penultimate book in the steampunk fantasy series Crown of Blood by New York Times bestselling author Gwynn White. If you love The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks and Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin you will devour this epic adventure.
You can download Hearts & Minds here:
If you’d like me to include you in a few inside secrets about Hearts & Minds that the characters don’t want you to know, you can sign up for my reader group and I will send you an exclusive booklet of behind-the-scenes treats.