A love letter to Berlin, the process, the series…and a whole lot of gratitude!

I’m back from Berlin and Long Gone Witch is out in the world, so I wanted to take the time to share some of the things I’ve experienced, not just during this trip, but the entire ICRA Files: Berlin process.

I legit got the Long Gone Witch manuscript back HOURS before Boris and I left for our trip. Which meant I had to go through the proofreads, format the ebook, and upload everything on Amazon within the three hours (three hours that shared space with taking care of the dogs and getting myself ready to leave, too). Wild, wild shit, I tell you.

I swear, it feels as if the entire ICRA Files: Berlin series had some sort of delay curse on it!

When I was gearing up to publish Rock This Wolf back in January, there was a moment when I was terrified my whole release plan would crumble because my then editor delayed for over two months past the deadline before returning the manuscript. But somehow, I managed to actually squeeze in proofreads, ARCs, and all the other numerous tiny steps that are necessary before a book is ready to see the light of day, even though I’m still not entirely sure how it was possible to get everything done with so little time to spare.

Down With Vamps had a somewhat better track record, but because of all the earlier delays (it wasn’t just RTW that had suffered that fate, but Shadow Reign as well), I had to work like a damn DB train to reach all the stations on time.

And then came Long Gone Witch. The ONE book I actually believed would have a super smooth release. I had everything ready waaaay in advance. Plus, I was so thrilled when I realized Boris and I would be in Germany at the time, because it felt so fitting to really celebrate the end of the series there, just relax and take it easy…

Honestly, I still have no idea what happened with my proofreads that were supposed to come to me a whole lot sooner than the day of our departure, but I figure that, maybe, I was meant to wrap up the whole Gina journey with one last “oh, shit” party 😉

Because one thing’s for certain: not only have I practiced a hell of a lot of patience and refused to let stress get to me, but flying to Germany after that morning, knowing I, in some way, did get everything done on time…

It made spending time in Hamburg and Berlin all the more special.

I got to visit the exact spots where scenes in my books take place (which is something I’ve never done post publication). Got to celebrate the release in motherfucking Berlin! Yaaaaas! I even went live on Instagram for the first time ever (which you can check out here) for some Berlin + LGW talk 🙂

Overall, for all the chaos the past two years, especially the last year and a half, have brought in regards to ICRA Files: Berlin, the ending was absolutely MAGICAL!

I’m grateful for all the experiences. So, so fucking grateful for this trip. And I’m grateful for Berlin’s absolutely chill vibe that truly was the cherry on the top of this whole journey.

Want to read my heart’s baby?

ICRA: Files Berlin is now complete, and you can get all three books by clicking this link or on the graphic below!

Review: Bright Ruin (Vic James)

51H+Nan8LZLBlurb:

A shattered country
A world-changing magic

Magically gifted aristocrats rule Britain, and the people must serve them. But rebellion now strikes at the heart of the old order. Abi has escaped public execution, thanks to an unexpected ally. Her brother Luke is on the run with Silyen Jardine, the most mysterious aristocrat of all. And as political and magical conflicts escalate, each must decide how far they’ll go for their beliefs.

Dragons clash in the skies, as two powerful women duel for the soul of Britain. A symbol of government will blaze as it dies, and doors between worlds will open – and close forever. But the battle within human hearts will be the fiercest of all.

Review:

Do you have a series that you consider perfect? Like whoah-how-is-this-even-possible-perfect?

That’s the Dark Gifts trilogy for me.

Let me start off this review with a brief anecdote. When my pre-ordered copy of Bright Ruin arrived on Monday, I literally dropped what I was doing (sorry, Shadow World edits), snatched up the book, and said “Screw work.”

I read it from start to finish that day.

Then needed a full day and a half to recover.

Yes, it was that good.

It’s a sad fact that, more often than not, I’m let down by the series finales. Usually it’s either the storyline itself or the very ending that just isn’t quite on par with the previous books or (which I know is utterly personal) doesn’t meet my own (probably too high) expectations. That wasn’t the case here.

Vic James downright excels with Bright Ruin.

By the time I was done with it (or it was done with me), the book left me a massive fangirling mess.

I honestly can’t review BR without commenting on the trilogy as a whole, because that’s precisely what it is. An impeccable story broken into three utterly fulfilling parts. James never drops the ball, never wavers. Her characters are distinct and true to themselves even as they grow or change paths/views, the writing flawless, and the world opening up (as well as bringing to light more details) with every passing page.

The way James weaves politics and social issues into a modern fantasy world that resonates ours, yet is undoubtedly its own entity, is a feat all on its own. Coming from someone who isn’t big on politics in real life or fiction, I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this aspect right from the very start. It’s rich, well-developed, and inexplicably tied to the individual storylines. Organic, without once becoming overwhelming or dry. I devoured the politics with the same enthusiasm as I cared for the characters’ fates.

Perhaps to sum everything up before my love goes out of hand:

Bright Ruin is the pinnacle where everything, every little crumb we had been given throughout the story, converges. A spectacular, fulfilling ending that crowns the brilliance that is James’s world.

From the first page to the very last, the Dark Gifts trilogy is an exceptional work of fiction that I hope will inspire, entertain, and touch readers for decades (better yet, centuries) to come.