My favorite part of being a publisher is all of the parts. I mean, I get to read books before anyone else on the planet, I get to select incredibly talented artists to design covers for those books, and I get to help authors bring their story to audiences everywhere. It’s a damn fine gig. But it’s that first bit that I like the most. It makes me a sort of treasure hunter. I get to discover wonderful stories and help bring them to audiences. This week, I’d like to talk about one of those stories, COURT OF TWILIGHT by Mareth Griffith.
We released COURT OF TWILIGHT last week and I couldn’t be happier to see this gem of a story finding an audience. It’s a contemporary fantasy with a heaping side of sci-fi and notes of mystery running throughout. I’d like to tell you what I love about COURT OF TWILIGHT and why we selected it to be our second release.
COURT is, on the surface, a story about a young woman, Ivy, who’s roommate has gone missing and her ensuing quest to unravel the mystery of the disappearance. At its heart, it’s a book about questions. It asks great ones all throughout the story. Questions about identity and morality, family and friendship. The book opens by giving you questions, in fact. The opening scene features a not-quite human who is apparently experiencing time out of order. He is only around for a short while in this opening but, for me, that was the first question that Mareth planted in my head. What was that creature? Why did it look the way it did? And why did he seem to be in a twisted-up timeline?
That bit of strangeness, introduced right at the opening, had me on guard for other indications of things-aren’t-as-they-seem, so I was primed when I caught a bit of a weird description of Ivy’s relationship to her mother. Throughout the novel, whenever something seems a touch strange, I knew that it was by choice and skill; and that there would be a payoff in the end. Mareth is a gifted writer and she strung me through the book with one mystery after another.
COURT OF TWILIGHT is a beautiful read for a rainy day when you want to dip into some speculative mystery and explore a world where questions lay around every turn. It’s available now on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2zAvV04), iBooks/Kobo/BN (https://www.books2read.com/u/bzapL2), and your favorite indie bookstore (https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780997661330).
When we started Parvus back in January 2016, I set a few goals for our first releases. These were checkpoints to tell me that Parvus was on the right track and that we were learning what we needed to be successful in this publishing venture. I kept those goals within the company. They were in the hundreds of copies sold.
We got a few things right early on, but the biggest thing we got right was selecting Scott Warren’s Vick’s Vultures to be our debut title. When we made smart marketing choices, readers loved Vick’s Vultures and the book sold. When we made stupid marketing choices, readers loved Vick’s Vultures and the book sold. When we made absolute bone-head marketing choices that were the equivalent of lighting a pile of money on fire, dancing around it, and calling upon the spirit world to drive sales… readers loved Vick’s Vultures (and To Fall Among Vultures) and the books sold.
Scott’s first book exceeded my expectations in its first quarter and blew past my stretch goals in its first six months. To Fall Among Vultures has exceeded our wildest expectations inside of its first month of release.
I am proud today to announce that the Union Earth Privateers series has sold 10,000 copies. TEN THOUSAND copies. And there are no signs of stopping.
Congratulations, Scott Warren, and thank you for trusting us with your books. We can’t wait to see what adventures you and the Vultures take us on next.
Ten thousand copies.
Thanks, also, to all the readers who have discovered Scott’s amazing series and made this possible.
(PS – If you haven’t read The Union Earth Privateers yet and you want some of the best military science fiction around, head on over and start with either Vick’s Vultures http://amzn.to/2xZYWpT or To Fall Among Vultures http://amzn.to/2zkOztx. Both books stand on their own, though I recommend reading them in order)
One of the best things about being a publisher is that I get to find books that I love and then… publish them! We here at Parvus are a small operation, so there isn’t a book that we release that isn’t one that I personally finished, said, “I loved that book”, and then got to work on. I want to take a few minutes and talk about what I loved about our new military SF title, TO FALL AMONG VULTURES by Scott Warren.
But before we dig in, here’s the premise of the book: Humanity made our way into the stars and found a crowded galaxy full of species far more advanced than we are. Quickly realizing that drawing attention to ourselves was going to end up with humanity crushed like cockroaches, we decided to stay on the fringes of intergalactic civilization. Rather than take on our neighbors with military might, Earth founded a privateer corps to follow behind the battles of advanced alien species and scavenge their wreckage for tech we could reverse engineer. In TO FALL AMONG VULTURES, Vick Marin, the Captain of the Privateer ship Condor, finally sees an opportunity to cement a trading and military alliance for humanity and grant some security to our species. But to win that alliance, she’s going to have to choose sides in a war that ultimately means extinction for the loser.
TO FALL AMONG VULTURES is the second book of Scott Warren’s Union Earth Privateers series (Though it stands on its own as a self-contained story). Like its older brother, VICK’S VULTURES, this is a tight novel. At 270 pages, it’s a book you can knock through in an evening or on a rainy Saturday. But it never feels rushed. Scott gives you just enough detail to know that you are in a richly imagined world full of complex relationships and politics, but without diving into the weeds with naval-gazing side plots. The book moves at a good clip with a healthy balance of action and character development throughout.
Like the best military SF novels, it shows our heroes wrestling with what’s right and wrong in the midst of the complex mess of war. There are no easy or clear answers to be had in the world of the Union Earth Privateers, which fits the gritty setting Scott has built for his characters. While this is a story of war between advanced alien species, political machinations on a galactic scale, and the survival of the human race; it is ultimately and most importantly the story of Vick Marin, her crew, and their struggle to uphold their honor while serving humanity as best they know how.
This book asks some big questions of its characters and sets the stage wonderfully for the future of the Union Earth Privateers series. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have. Share your reviews on your favorite retailer’s website or Goodreads and feel free to reach out directly and let me know how you liked TO FALL AMONG VULTURES. My email’s right in the back of the book.
Thanks, as always, for being Parvus People.