Posted in Writing

Turn to Dust and Ashes Cover Reveal and Publication Date

Above is the cover for the second and final book in the Fall Far from the Tree duology, which I can now announce is publishing September 5th! That means I have a lot of work ahead of me in the meantime, but I can’t wait to share the rest of these characters’ journeys with you. Below is the blurb (spoilers for Book One), too:

Turn to Dust and Ashes (Fall Far from the Tree #2)

Coming September 5th, 2017 from Patchwork Press

Impassive. Devious. Besieged. Naive. In the ashes of their parents’ cruel sovereignty, four teenagers are left holding the reins with no idea how to lead their peoples to peace and prosperity.

Rohesia, told she is the true heir to Hanaobi, must choose between ruling the duchy in her father’s place and returning with her cousin to seek the throne that is more rightfully hers. Without her father figure, she has little interest in either, but there is no escape from the infamous legacy of her parents on both sides of the sea.

Fastello, left to lead both his father’s people and to seek the rule of the entire duchy, has never had so much responsibility in his life. Grappling with heartbreak the likes of which he’s never experienced, he doesn’t know if he has it in him to try to fill the hole so many people so desperately want him to fill.

Kojiro, adrift in a strange land and emboldened by the actions of the people he met there, is determined to find his courage and free his people from the tyranny of his mother’s reign. However, with her number one foe defeated, the empress of Hanaobi is more unstoppable than ever.

Tomiko, the perfect daughter to the strict and controlling empress, is sheltered from the reality of the world but eager to discover the truth. Before the war is over, she must decide between fealty to her mother and loyalty to her brother, knowing full well that either way, her family will never be whole again.

The goals of each of these four young adults are bound to clash—but there’s no escaping their destinies, no matter the destruction left in their paths.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34862530-turn-to-dust-and-ashes

Amazon Pre-order Link Coming Soon

Catch up with Fall Far from the Tree, Book One in the series!

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27048456-fall-far-from-the-tree
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IMGGAFM
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fall-far-from-the-tree-amy-mcnulty/1124435001?ean=9781927940587

Posted in News, Writing

JOSIE’S COAT’s Book (Novelette) Birthday!

It seems like I just had a book birthday. (I did, actually. FALL FAR FROM THE TREE came out this past Tuesday!) Today, JOSIE’S COAT, my YA sci-fi novelette, releases!

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Read for free on Kindle Unlimited or buy for only 99 cents!

A woman with shoulder bones as sharp as an eagle’s talons—bones almost protruding from her skin—opens her mouth as wide as it’ll go, impossibly wide, consuming the pill that takes both of her arms to cradle. The nourishment makes her thin stomach pop out like she’s pregnant with a child so large it’ll burst through her stomach. She swallows slowly and licks her lips. Her eyes search around hungrily for more.

That dream again.
Josie is skilled at her job as an “unfortunate” who inhabits the bodies of her clients to perform their work while they sleep, but her coworkers’ cruel jealousy over her success leads to her enslavement and the loss of her dream-worker status. A YA sci-fi reimagining of the tale of Jacob’s favorite son Joseph, his dreams, and his famous coat.

A novelette by the author of The Never Veil Series and Fall Far from the Tree.

It’s a short read, but I hope you’ll find it interesting! It was inspired by my love for the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

 

Posted in News, Writing

FALL FAR FROM THE TREE’s Book Birthday!

It’s September 6th already, which means it’s the book birthday for my new YA dark fantasy, FALL FAR FROM THE TREE!

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Terror. Callousness. Denial. Rebellion. How the four teenage children of leaders in the duchy and the neighboring empire of Hanaobi choose to adapt to their nefarious parents’ whims is a matter of survival.

Rohesia, daughter of the duke, spends her days hunting “outsiders,” fugitives who’ve snuck onto her father’s island duchy. That she lives when even children who resemble her are subject to death hardens her heart to tackle the task.

Fastello is the son of the “king” of the raiders who steal from the rich and share with the poor. When aristocrats die in the raids, Fastello questions what his peoples’ increasingly wicked methods of survival have cost them.

An orphan raised by a convent of mothers, Cateline can think of no higher aim in life than to serve her religion, even if it means turning a blind eye to the suffering of other orphans under the mothers’ care.

Kojiro, new heir to the Hanaobi empire, must avenge his people against the “barbarians” who live in the duchy, terrified the empress, his own mother, might rather see him die than succeed.

When the paths of these four young adults cross, they must rely on one another for survival—but the love of even a malevolent guardian is hard to leave behind.

Advance praise:

“An original story, with vivid details told in alternating chapters… There was drama, action, intense moments and soul searching and new friendships born.” ~Sheri W., Juniper Grove

“Intense and brutal and just a whirlwind of a ride… Watching them slowly come to terms with the fact that their own morals might not actually align with those of the people who raised them makes for a wonderfully compelling story.” ~Daiz

“It is so easy to read that this book can be read in one sitting. It’s impossible not to like this book after reading it.” ~Alex the Shadow Girl

Big Announcement!

My newsletter readers got this news a little early, but I’m excited to announce that FALL FAR FROM THE TREE is getting an audiobook with narration from the talented Viva Becker! I was worried a book with 4 POVs wouldn’t work as a single-narrator audiobook, but she does such an amazing job breathing life into each character. We’re aiming for a December or January release. I’ll keep you posted!

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Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 28

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 67,323 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first revisions done, off to beta, some subsequent revisions done.

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 67,664 words, 28 chapters + epilogue–post-beta copyedits done (I didn’t add another chapter–she discovered I named two chapters the same number, ha)

WIP Issues This Month: I barely, barely worked on editing/fiction writing. My life kind of blew up in a dozen different ways and it’s been difficult for me to accomplish anything.

What I learned this month in writing: Publishing is a wild ride of highs and lows.

What distracted me this month while writing: My life. I don’t want to get into too many details, but I have literally half a dozen extremely stressful things going on right now. But it could always be worse. (It could always be worse, it could always be worse…)

In good news, I had a great time at BookCon! And I got to meet Ifeoma! 😀 She was so sweet and supportive and I signed TWO books for her. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Next month, I’m signing at a WI Barnes & Noble for B-Fest! That’ll be an interesting experience.

Goal for next month: I need to do another read-through of the fairy tale story and probably a big chapter one rewrite. I don’t know if I’ll have time, but that’s the goal I’m setting.

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 27

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 65,273 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first draft complete, about 15% through first revisions.

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 67,323 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first revisions done, off to beta, some subsequent revisions done.

WIP Issues This Month: I didn’t start my new project, but I’ve decided I’m going to focus solely on polishing this (and getting ready to query!) before I do anyway.

What I learned this month in writing: It’s weird to read something you wrote years ago and be like, “Yeah, I wrote that one word at a time….”

What distracted me this month while writing: Excuse the rambling of distractions this month… Nobody’s Lady (The Never Veil Book Two) released April 12th, and I’ve been happy to see so many readers enjoyed it. It was both my boyfriend’s and my birthday this month, and we had a nice time celebrating. Something’s been going on in my life that’s kind of extra stressful, but I’m coping. I’ve been busy with work and I finished reading/giving feedback for my best friend from 5th grade’s 150,000-word novel! I also started edits for my best friend/beta’s latest. My Wattpad novel (eventually releasing through Patchwork Press), Fall Far From the Tree, is going to be featured as of May 19th, yay! Also, I’m off to Book Con in Chicago next month! Anyone else going?

 

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Plus, NOBODY’S GODDESS is only 99¢ for a limited time! It’s available on Kindle, Nook and Kobo at that price through the end of May (I think). This is the first time my book has been on sale.

Goal for next month: I want to start querying! I am so excited to query, you don’t even know! 😉 But I know I then have to go *quiet* now and not actually mention if/when I start querying. Plus, I have to finish polishing the book first. I’m not sure I’ll have time to start the new project with everything going on in my life, but maybe…

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 26

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 52,517 words, 20 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 65,273 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first draft complete, yay! About 15% through first revisions.

WIP Issues This Month: I managed to finish my draft a couple of weeks into March and then… I could not find time to write or edit at all for almost two weeks. I know you’re supposed to let a draft sit anyway, but there were some changes I wanted to make ASAP and I wouldn’t have minded starting on the next project. But taking a break wasn’t terrible.

What I learned this month in writing: I can finish a manuscript again! (Seriously, I haven’t done that since late 2014. I tried in late 2015 and shelved that one and before that I was mostly burnt out.)

What distracted me this month while writing: I was really busy with work. I also had a dozen or so interviews and guest posts to write for my upcoming blog tour. (NOBODY’S LADY is out April 12th!) I went to C2E2 for a day, which was nice, even if it was crowded. Normal stresses, etc.

Also, from March 29th through April 3rd, I’m going to be part of YASH again!

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Goal for next month: I want to finish revising my fairy tale prequel and get it off to my beta! I might also start writing my next project, a NA romance I plotted a few months ago. I’ll try not to get distracted by book release fun! 😉 It feels a little different this time around, though, as only the people who really liked the first book would even care about its sequel, you know? I’m still working on trying to get people to read the first one!

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 25

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 36,153 words, 14 1/2 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 52,517 words, 20 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: I got really busy with work and had a cold, so there were multiple days in which I didn’t work on the manuscript at all. I really wanted to get further than this, but I’m getting close to the end at least.

What I learned this month in writing: (I decided not to do “four” things because I’m learning a lot of the same things each month at this point!) Juggling everything is hard. (But we all already knew that.)

What distracted me this month while writing: My cold, a client manuscript edit, lots of work writing… My boyfriend’s been sick as well (both from my cold and other issues). I got to look over the NOBODY’S LADY proofs, and it should be off to the printer soon! Other stresses….

But also, the NOBODY’S LADY cover reveal! And the blog tour sign-ups/e-ARC info! Click here for more information!

Nobody's Lady

Goal for next month: I would love to finish this manuscript, but I said that last month. I really want to finish it, though!

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 24

Has it really been two years since we started these monthly updates for the WIP Marathon group?

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 10,704 words, 4 chapters

NOBODY’S LADY: 70,746 words, 28 chapters (waiting to get final edits)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 36,153 words, 14 1/2 chapters

NOBODY’S LADY: 70,881 words, 28 chapters (revisions turned in)

WIP Issues This Month: I was doing really well with the new WIP toward the beginning of the month. I managed to write at least 1000 words a day for a while. Then I got caught up with a lot of work and kind of hit a “meh” part of my manuscript and I stopped working on it every single day, or only wrote a few hundred words a day. I had revisions to do as well. Still, I wish I could write faster. I know it’s not a race (no deadline for this), but I hate drafting. I love everything else about writing (revising, marketing, even querying) much more.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. You can run out of steam on a book even when you don’t think you will at first.

2. Pushing through and working on the manuscript anyway is painful, but every writing session takes you closer to the end.

3. After stepping away from a manuscript for a long time (NOBODY’S LADY), some of it can seem brand new when you read it.

4. Reading your work a year and a half after you initially wrote it is a strange experience.

What distracted me this month while writing: It’s been cold, so I’ve mostly stayed home this month. I’ve been busy and stressed with work and life, but I do have some news to share. The short story that I wrote back in April (I reported the word count on these updates) can finally be announced! It’s going to appear in a charity anthology later this year. I was also allowed to reveal the blurb for NOBODY’S LADY and you can pre-order the paperback. (The e-book will be available but isn’t up for pre-order yet.) My cover reveal is scheduled for February 26th, and you can sign up here if you want to participate!

Goal for next month: I might have NOBODY’S LADY proofs to look over and then it’s probably ready to go to the printer! *-* Meanwhile, I want to keep working on my YA FAIRY TALE. I’d love to finish it in February, but I’ll try not to set the goal only to be disappointed.

Posted in Writing

Announcing My New Short Story in a Charity Anthology

My new forthcoming short story, JOSIE’S COAT, will appear in Month9Books’ charity anthology, IN THE BEGINNING, out October 25, 2016. Some of the anthology proceeds will be donated to WriteGirl, a Los Angeles-based non-profit agency that empowers young women writers through mentorships, workshops and classes. The anthology consists of YA speculative fiction retellings of Bible stories. I was a huge fan of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a middle schooler, so that was the story that sparked my imagination:

Author Amy McNulty’s story, Josie’s Coat, reimagines the tale of Jacob’s favorite son Joseph, his dreams, and his famous coat (Genesis 37). Josie, a dream-worker, is great at her job and her coworkers’ cruel jealousy leads to her enslavement and the loss of her dream-worker job—but even that can’t stop her terrifying visions of what’s to come.

The “dream-worker” part was also influenced by an idea I’ve had when I’m tired from a day of working: How I wish I could get my work done while I slept and save my working hours for something fun! This is what happens in Josie’s world, but only a select few can benefit from this arrangement.

Add IN THE BEGINNING to your to-read list on Goodreads!

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 23: End of Year

I already did an end-of-the-year and goals-for-next-year writing update here, if you’re interested.

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA SUSPENSE:  53,965 words,  16 1/2 chapters

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: Not even thought of yet

NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Thought of, but not outlined at all yet

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE:  58,546 words,  17 1/2 chapters  — SHELVED

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: Outlined completely; 10,704 words,  4 chapters

NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Outlined completely

WIP Issues This Month: Coming off NaNoWriMo “failing” (even with 25,000 words) and just not feeling the love at all for my YA SUSPENSE, I struggled in early December. I wrote every day (until I FINALLY took one day off), but it was often just 100 words. I’d been off-outline for a while with this book, but I just wasn’t loving it at all. But at the same time, it was already my second take at this (having thrown out the vast majority of the 50,000-word draft from 2012!), and I was worried I’d never finish it if I didn’t keep moving forward. (Also, I didn’t finish a single manuscript this year.) Plus, I’d worked on it EVERY DAY since early September, forcing myself to write even on insanely busy, tiring and stressful days.

But I just got.tired.of.it. I knew it might mean I’ll never finish it, or maybe I will come back to it someday. (It’s near the end and I have a vague idea of where it’s going, but it probably needs another 10-20k I’m not up for.) I wondered if I should give it up and work on my next project, which I pictured as the first of four books in a NA contemporary romance series I intended to straight-to-self-pub, but at the same time, I did want some finished YA manuscript to try to get an agent with again. (Coming up on two years without one soon!) Then I got a shiny new idea–finally a fairy tale retelling like I’ve always wanted to do that I think hasn’t been done before. (The fairy tale has been, but not this aspect of it–it’s more of a prequel with some of the same elements. Also, it’s not even one of the more popular fairy tales among YA retellings.)

So I got my love for writing back by telling myself it was okay to give up on the YA suspense. I outlined the new idea for a week while I tried to keep going with the YA suspense and finally decided to turn my attention to the new idea instead. And I’ve written a lot more per day so far, so I’m hopeful… I just hate being back at square one with a manuscript practically. ;-; Oh, but I also outlined the entire first book in the NA contemporary romance series in my downtime when on this writer’s high, so I feel like this had been a good decision for me.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Shelving a manuscript might sometimes be the best thing. (I’m just hoping I don’t get to 58k with this new one and think the same thing…)

2. It’s hard to tell the difference between the “this really should be shelved” and the “this is just you struggling and you really should finish it” feelings.

3. Writing is just… always hard!

4. Ideas hit you during the strangest most unexpected moments.

What distracted me this month while writing: I haven’t gone on any day trips this month, but I’ve been busy with work. (And Christmas! Yay!) Oh, and of course I saw Star Wars and felt like a kid again, and I’ve seen a few other movies.

Oh, fellow WIP Marathoner Suzanne van Rooyen and I have our books I HEART Robot and NOBODY’S GODDESS up for a Month9Books Readers Choice Award until December 31st! Throw either of us some love and vote or comment?

Goal for next month: I’m hoping I’ll finally get the edits for the second round (perhaps final instead of expected three rounds?) of NOBODY’S LADY revisions for real in January. There was a hiccup and I expected them back in October and each month since, but… I think now they’re for sure on their way. I’d love to get a lot more done in the YA fairy tale retelling. I don’t think I’ll want or need to start the NA until I finish the YA. I could start outlining the other books in that series, but I’ll probably wait until I’m focusing on that manuscript.