Disasters aren't always sudden and extreme -- sometimes they creep up on you slowly, like the water rising along the steps of the plaiz one at a time. Sometimes disasters consist of tedious waiting as the news dribbles in from those who are harder hit. Sometimes disasters are mere inconveniences to be avoided until they ebb away again. Floodtide in Rotenek has always shown different faces to different people. In the previous Alpennia books, we've mostly seen the "inconvenience" side. Floodtide as a holiday excuse to leave the city.
Knowing the shape of what was to come after the events of Mother of Souls, it was important to me to show the other side. The people who had no where to go. Who had to carry on with their lives, no matter whether the river only left a mess or carried away lives and livelihoods. The people who watch the aristocracy and monied classes hurry out of town in their fine carriages and resent that ability to escape.
Even the upper crust of Rotenek can't always pick up and leave with no warning and no preparation. An unexpected floodtide can democratize disaster. But for a little while yet, the two cities continue their separate ways...
* * *
At Tiporsel House, they talked about floodtide like it was a holiday. The maisetra was always down at her school, making a place for the families of her students who’d been flooded out. Mesner and Maisetra Pertinek left town to go visiting. They wanted to take Maisetra Iulien with them, “to be safe from fever” she told me after she’d refused to go.
“I can’t think that the fever would be worse than sitting around in a parlor listening to all the Pertinek cousins reminiscing about things I don’t know anything about,” she said. “I wish Cousin Margerit would let me go down to Urmai. I want to do something.”
There was plenty to do in the flooded parts of the city, but that wasn’t work for a proper young lady. There wasn’t anything for a proper young lady to do with no parties or visiting. That meant no one asked why I was still giving half-days to Mefro Dominique, when anyone with sense would know we couldn’t be dressmaking right now. I came home bone-tired every afternoon and it was all I could do to keep awake after supper until I saw her tucked into bed. For now I kept going back and forth between worlds—the one where floodtide was a holiday and the one where it was a disaster.
* * *
We're now two months out from the Floodtide release date. I've just plunged into the whirlwind of setting up publicity, arranging for review copies, and making sure the book gets the best launch possible. Just as a reminder, here's some key information about pre-orders, availability, and whatnot.
Pre-orders: Currently you can pre-order the hard copy at Amazon (possibly other online retailers but I haven't checked them all), but pre-orders of both the hard copy and the ebook won't be available from the publisher (Bella Books) until one month before release, i.e., mid-October. If you like buying hard copies from a bookstore, now is the time to check with them and ask if they've ordered it.
Ebooks: Bella Books has a policy of restricting ebook sales to their own site for the first month after release. (I have no control over this.) But if you buy from Bella and especially if you set up an account with them, you get access to all formats (epub, mobi, pdf) in DRM-free format with the ability to re-download anything you've bought in the past if something happens to the file. Otherwise, ebooks should be available through other venues in mid December.
Review copies: Bella is now using NetGalley for review copies. I haven't learned all the details yet, so I don't know whether reviewers have to be individually authorized or simply have accounts in good standing with the right book preferences. NetGalley should have the book a month in advance, so around mid-October. If you're on the list of reviewers I'm putting together, I'll be sending out a notification when I've confirmed it's available there. Bella does not provide hard-copy ARCs (Advance Reading Copies).
Release Party: It looks like I'll be doing a virtual release party in November, given that Chessiecon (my usual November convention) has been cancelled this year, and given that I don't know of any local bookstores that will be stocking the book. So expect to see me doing some serious online blow-out activities, including a few giveaways. So keep an eye out and join the celebrations!