When everything in a story is right.
For the Murder (The Murder, #1) by Gabrielle Ash released last week in the Adult, Urban Fantasy genre.
A lone crow is a dead crow.
That’s what Diana Van Doren, exiled crow shifter, has always believed. The last murder of crow shifters known to exist wouldn’t accept her into the flock, leaving her vulnerable. Worse, her kleptomaniacal father’s schemes put them in a demon’s crosshairs. Without the support of the murder, Diana fears death will come all too quickly. So when an opportunity to steal a rare blade that can kill anything—even demons—crosses their path, she decides to play her father’s games one last time.
However, she isn’t the only one hoping to take the blade. Sasha Sokolov, a clairvoyant, has been forced from childhood to serve the very demon hunting Diana and her family. After two decades of service, his boss finally offers him what he can’t refuse: freedom. All he has to do is bring in the knife and the Van Dorens, and his bloodline will be free from serving the demon forever.
When Diana and Sasha meet at the auction, they strike an uneasy alliance. Diana sees a way to finally be welcomed into the murder. Sasha sees an opportunity to get his freedom. To get what they want, only one of them can walk away with the blade. But when their magic inexplicably links as they reluctantly work together to steal the knife, betraying each other for their own ends may no longer be an option.
Gabrielle Ash is an author and perpetually tired mom of four from the great state of Texas. Born into a family of mischievous storytellers, she grew up listening to tales of the chupacabra, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night, never entirely confident that she wouldn’t get eaten if she went out to the creek after sunset.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, which ultimately landed her in a high school classroom to teach writing and coach the debate team. Dismayed at her inability to wear sweatpants to work, she left the classroom and now dedicates her brain power to books and taking care of her daughters.
When not writing, she spends time with her husband, four daughters, and their dog. The Family Cross is her debut novel.
Silencing Your Inner Critic
By: Gabrielle Ash
Writing is oftentimes a solitary endeavor. Not only do you have to find the time to actually do it with other things tugging on your attention, like work, family, and other ‘real life’ obligations, but when you do find the time, it often ends with you staring at a blank document. Depending on where you are in your writing journey, that blank document can spur a litany of responses, all of which have a particular edge that could keep you from putting words on the page:
Can I write a book? My family says I can’t.
Will this book get me an agent or a publishing deal? My last book didn’t get a single request.
My debut bombed and got lukewarm trade reviews. Will this one be any better?
I sold my last book to a Big 4 imprint and earned out my advance. Was it a fluke? Will I be able to mimic that success?
Thoughts like this can be debilitating to the process. It’s almost like your brain is setting you up to fail, and the more you know about the journey a book must take from first draft to publication day, the more opportunities you see to stumble. Or, at least, that’s what happened to me. All I could see was everything I did “wrong” the first time, and I was worried I would make those “mistakes” again.
I suppose this post is timely in that the last half of 2021 was the most challenging time for me creatively. The ‘sophomore slump’ is a very real thing, it turns out, and I wondered if I would be able to create a product that could live up to my first book, The Family Cross. There were expectations now, both good and bad, and it was up to me to either meet those expectations (or not), and it was tough to silence that part of my brain while I wrote.
The answer to the problem of my inner critic came in two forms: my support network and…writing.
I leaned hard into my support network during this time. They reminded me of why I got into this business, of the people who loved my voice and style, and of the subjectiveness of publishing. Without these people, I’m not sure I could’ve seen past my fears enough to write anything worth reading. If you’re reading this now and find yourself at the mercy of your inner critic, find yourself some writing peers. They’ll know exactly what you’re going through.
And, believe it or not, writing helped me to…well, write. Except I don’t mean writing the book I couldn’t see a way out of. I wrote something just for me. I wrote something so self-indulgent and unmarketable and fun that it made me forget about my inner critic. Once I wrote enough of it that I felt happy about the process again, I moved back to my contracted manuscripts. The boost I got from the fun helped me bust through the wall of fear between me and the books I couldn’t find the words for.
Overcoming the doubts sired by one’s inner critic is hard. But, remember, this too shall pass.
This post is part of a tour. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2021/12/14/tour-sign-up-for-the-murder-by-gabrielle-ash/).
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
- $20 Amazon Gift Card