Introducing... THE MIRROR OF BEASTS ✨🪞⚔️
Read on for upcoming events, release information for SILVER 2, and more!
You may have noticed that you’ve come on yet another journey with me, migrating from Squarespace’s newsletter system over to Substack! I’ve been thinking about making this change for a few months now, and I finally decided to go for it when I had to create a completely new author site/account to utilize Squarespace 7.1. It ended up being quite a bit of work to transfer everything over to the new site, but it was worth it—the new editing platform makes updating and designing pages a breeze, and there’s a lot more flexibility compared to 7.0.
One of the reasons I wanted to make the switch is that I already follow so many wonderful Substack-based newsletters, and I like that I can view them all on a central feed. It honestly reminds me a little of the Livejournal days, when so many authors were blogging regularly on that platform. 🥲 (Hard to believe that was over a decade ago!) My hope is that you’ll discover some wonderful new newsletters to follow (I’ll try to keep my recommendations up-to-date in the sidebar!), and this platform will give me a little more flexibility in sending out updates. I don’t plan on using the paid subscriber feature at this point, but many of my wonderful author friends do and offer exclusive writing and industry advice that I highly encourage you to check out!
Thanks for reading Author Alexandra Bracken! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Another thing I love about Substack is that it allows you to record an audio version of the newsletter. As you guys know, I’ve really been through it with my vision over the last year, and reading is still sometimes a struggle for me because I’m currently working with monovision. It’s really slowed down my reading speed and accuracy, so much so that I’ve started relying on the Voice Dream Reader app to help read my work aloud so I can better proofread it. For my fellow low vision friends, or really anyone who wants to listen on the go, I’m going to tinker around with this feature and start utilizing it with the next newsletter I send out.
I’ve had a very chill summer, which I’m grateful for, even if it doesn’t make for the most riveting newsletter content. 😂 I recently hosted two really fun events, though! The first was with Adalyn Grace, celebrating the release of FOXGLOVE, and the second was with J.Elle, for HOUSE OF MARIONNE! It was an absolute joy hanging out with them both!
One last thing before I dive into the rest of the newsletter: thank you so much to everyone who filled out the survey! It was really eye-opening to see what you guys are interested in, and I appreciate you all taking the time to answer my questions!
Introducing… The Mirror of Beasts
At long last, I can share the title and release date for SILVER IN THE BONE’s sequel!
THE MIRROR OF BEASTS is headed your way on May 28, 2024! ✨ Here’s the official synopsis for it:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken is back with the electrifying sequel to SILVER IN THE BONE, in which fresh betrayal ignites ancient magic to wake the dead, and a cursed girl with no magic of her own must put the past to rest.
With the mythical isle of Avalon in ruins, Tamsin and her friends are all that stands in the way of Lord Death's plans to unleash the horrors of Anwnn on the world of the living. As the Wild Hunt carves a bloody path across continents, Tamsin is mustering allies, tracking down powerful artifacts, and traversing into new otherlands in search of a way to stop him.
Legend tells of a “Mirror of Beasts,” powerful enough to trap even Lord Death in its accursed glass, but the mirror is not all that it seems. Tamsin must confront her own darkest secrets if she hopes to tap the mirror's strength to defeat her enemies.
Arthurian legend bleeds into contemporary action, and scars of the past are torn open anew by a starcrossed love that refuses to go quietly. This riveting conclusion to the Silver in the Bone duology will hold you in its thrall until the very last page.
This book y’all. It’s challenged me in the best possible way, pushing me to go deeper with the characters, level up the twists, and maximize the heartbreak. 😈 The last ten or so chapters of this book had me covering my face like this as I listened to the Voice Dream Reader app read them back to me.
It would mean the world to me if you’d consider pre-ordering the book! If you do, please hang onto your receipt as I think we’ll have a little gift you’ll want!
I should have a cover reveal for you guys soon! But in the meantime, how about a little sneak peek…?
This is a very early look at one of my favorite moments in the book—just keep in mind that it hasn’t been copyedited and may be tweaked for final publication. 🤗 Please don’t repost this excerpt, as it’s exclusive to newsletter subscribers.
A pack of wild, spectral dogs wove between the legs of [the] horses, foam dripping from their maws as they barked and yapped in wild anticipation, captives of their own bloodlust. The one at the front was larger than the others, its coat a silken black flecked with ice. It was real.
I would have lunged forward, screaming for him, had Emrys not grabbed me again.
“I swear to every god, if you don’t let me go—” I began, trembling with anger. Emrys had taken the one thing that would have helped me save Cabell from this fate, and now he was going to block me from reaching my brother?
Like hell he was.
I shoved against him, but his grip tightened, and this time, he forced me to look at him. Forced me to meet his bright eyes. The hail had receded, softening to a heavy curtain of snow that crusted in his dark hair.
Then he struck the fatal blow. “Would he even recognize you? Or would he just tear out your throat?”
He already knew the answer. He saw what had happened in Avalon, when Cabell’s curse was triggered. We’d barely survived it.
“You have to stay alive to keep hating me, Lark,” he reminded me, close my ear.
I poured every ounce of my fury into my gaze, even as his grip eased. Even as my body instinctively softened at his nearness, seeking comfort he’d never give. I gritted my teeth as I pulled back, catching Neve’s eye, and the unasked question there.
For all the storm’s wrath, for all the riotous exhilaration of the hunters, the world went suddenly silent around us.
The final rider had appeared.
Like the others, he was clad in armor, but it seemed to absorb all light, drinking it deep, rather than reflecting it. The animal pelts at his shoulders flowed behind him as his horse surged forward. Lighting flashed with every strike of its hoof against the cloud, their jagged shapes mirroring that of his horned crown.
My heart sped until I was sure it would burst. The next roll of thunder felt as if it had been torn from my own chest, the most powerful of screams.
The Bonecutter had claimed he wasn’t a true god, but he was a king of another world, and he wore the body of one who had ruled here, in ours. High on his terrifying mount, that regal bearing bore out. Here, with his host, he was at his most powerful. He was master and conqueror.
© Alexandra Bracken 2023
You know what I realized while I was pulling that excerpt? I don’t think I ever shared the playlist for SILVER IN THE BONE?? (Did I in the release date email? My brain is lately.) Click on the image below to enjoy some mystical Avalon vibes:
So, what have I been up to this summer? The biggest project has been editing THE MIRROR OF BEASTS. I’ve done two rounds of edits on it, and the book has grown from 140,000 words to 150,000. Whoops! In my defense, there’s a lot happening in this book, and a lot has to be wrapped up! One of the trickiest things to nail has been teasing out two really big reveals that I hope will catch you guys by surprise—I’m waiting to hear from my editor if I managed to pull them off! I should be getting line edits this week, then it’ll be off to copyedits!
I like to be very upfront with you guys about the amount of editing I’ve done on a book because I think it’s important to acknowledge that revisions are where stories really come together. I used to dread getting my edit letters because I saw them as a sign that I’d failed to deliver an amazing first draft, but now I’m grateful for each opportunity to dig deeper into the story. Some of my favorite story moments come out of revisions!
My other big piece of writing news is that I got my synopsis for a new project approved! This one isn’t connected to SILVER in any way, though I think it’s one you guys will DEFINITELY be interested in. 👀 I’ve been trying to come up with a codename for the book that doesn’t give the game away completely… maybe Night Book??
It’s still early to share more details about a project that won’t be out until 2025(!) but I forced myself to sit down and really plot it out last week and now have a six page outline for it. I’ve been trying to write more intuitively, but this is a really ambitious project for me, and I needed to see one potential path for the story laid out so I could wrap my head around the balance of mystery, action, and romance. After months of going back and forth between two projects, I’m feeling really energized about drafting it this autumn.
The first big thing I need to decide is what POV and tense to write it in—I initially thought third person POV, but I’ve been loving first person present…. decisions, decisions! Sometimes you just have to sit down and try writing a chapter to see what feels right.
Brooklyn Book Festival - October 1st
2:00 PM - Center for Brooklyn History, 128 Pierrepont St.
Panel: Romance for Every Reader
Fall in love with superstar authors Alexandra Bracken (Silver in the Bone), Melissa See (Love Letters for Joy), and Keah Brown (The Secret Summer Promise) as they dive deep into writing love stories across genres—from fantastical Arthurian fantasies to Cyrano retellings to contemporary summer romances—and how they infuse their pages with tension, love, and even heartbreak. Moderated by Camryn Garrett (Friday I’m in Love).
France - October 20th-28th
I am SO excited to share that I’m going on tour in France next month! You may remember that I was supposed to do events in the UK, France, and Germany last summer, but I ended up having to cancel the trip at the very last minute because my retina detached a second time (woe). I truly can’t wait to meet everyone, and I really hope you can join me at one of the stops!
I have a few recommendations for you this month!
Podcasts: I’m back to listening to podcasts after taking a bit of a breather this year! Two I’ve found myself very invested in are Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story TW: claims of child sex trafficking and profiting off a fake cancer diagnosis) and The Girlfriends (TW: murder)—both deal with very difficult subjects so please proceed with caution. For a lighter true crime listen, I’ve also been enjoying Infamous International: The Pink Panthers Story, about a syndicate of flashy jewelry thieves.
Music: I’ve been listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS non-stop for the last week (my favorites are: get him back!, love is embarrassing, and the grudge), but I also keep coming back to the divine album Hozier just released. Unreal Unearth was my most anticipated album of the year and it absolutely does not disappoint. The album is moving, aching, and absolutely gorgeous—I mean, the lyrics!! Hozier did a wonderful interview with Apple Music I highly recommend. The album is inspired in part by Dante’s Inferno and I can already tell it’s going to form the basis of my writing playlist for Night Book. My favorites on the album include the sublime Francesca (heaven is not fit to house a love like you and I), Unknown/Nth (So much of the living, love / Is the being unknown), and Damage Gets Done (I know being reckless and young / Is not how the damage gets done).
Watching: I was just saying on Instagram last night that I’ve been watching and loving Winning Time on HBO/Max… only to find out that they just canceled it. 😩 I’ve been looking forward to each new episode of Only Murders in the Building this season, and I’m so ready to see how it all wraps up!
Reading: Like I’ve mentioned above, I’ve been struggling to get back into the swing of reading because of my vision (and deadlines), so I’m extremely behind on my tbr list. 🙈 I’m currently reading my friend Valia’s swoony Snow White retelling The Poisoned Princess and then I’m on to The Scarlet Veil by Shelby Mahurin.
That’s it from me! Thanks so much for being a newsletter subscriber! I’ll be back soon with more on MIRROR, as well a return of the Clear the Shelves giveaways! ❤️
Thanks for reading Author Alexandra Bracken! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.