Catessa is an assassin living in the capital of Kaloris. When trade between Kaloris and the mines of the distant Rashan comes to a halt, she is chosen to find out why—but she sees no reason the mission should be assigned to her.
Still, the bard who chose her has information she wants. So she finds herself on an arduous journey to the harsh region of Kor-Baen, accompanied by a naïve fisherman and a ranger who won’t protect himself.
In Kor-Baen, the unlikely trio finds issues that run deeper than trade. It falls to them to prevent a mysterious war between the Rashan and their docile neighbor, Adrelia. Failure could mean the destruction of Kor-Baen and every Rashan in it.
Who is really fueling this conflict?
Catessa hesitated on the roof of one of the tallest buildings in the city and shot a quick glance over her shoulder. She was still alone. Muffled laughter erupted from the building she crouched on as she crept to the gutter. The metal pole was cool beneath her fingers as she slid down and landed on a pile of trash in the alleyway, mud splashing onto her boots.
She strolled to the front of the tavern and stepped inside, savoring the raucous atmosphere and the sickly sweet smell of alcohol. This place was almost like home.
She made her way to the counter and saw that someone was occupying her usual seat. His face was turned away from her, but the light from the nearby fireplace gave his hair a familiar reddish tint.
“You’re in my seat,” Catessa said.
“I know.” Roth spun to face her with a smirk, resting his elbows on the counter behind him.
“I knew it was you.”
“Well of course. I’d be disappointed otherwise.”
Roth moved to the next stool over and Catessa took her seat, now warm. “How long did you wait?” Catessa waved down the barmaid.
The barmaid shuffled over.
“I’ll have my usual,” Catessa said. The barmaid left again.
Catessa slid Roth’s mug down the bar to him and he caught it, lifted it to his lips, and took a swig.
“What’d you get?” he asked.
“I got what I went for. It was my job, not yours.”
He shrugged. “Just curious.”
The barmaid set a mug in front of Catessa and left. Catessa sipped her ale before setting down the mug and turning toward Roth. “You know I’m not going to tell you anything I don’t want to, so why are you still here?”
“Maybe I want to see if I can make you want to.” He leaned closer to her and she smirked, turning to face the main room.
She watched him out the corner of her eye. “Nice try.”
Roth leaned back and shrugged. “It was worth that much.”
“Why? Do you have some secret business to deal with? A dead body you need help hiding?”
Catessa chuckled. “No.”
Roth drained his mug and set it on the counter with a handful of copper coins. “I’ll see you back at the temple.”
Welcome to my Kickstarter campaign. If you're here, that means you're considering backing my campaign and helping me to publish my YA fantasy novella. But before you commit, I'm sure you'll want to know what you're supporting and what's in it for you.
Slander & Steel is a novella I've been working on since March 2017. It's been through three full drafts and I've begun a fourth, but I haven't been able to finish it yet. Due to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this month, I won't be aiming to finish it until December, but the plan is to get it done in the first half of December and have it ready to send to professionals in January.
This book is also the prequel to a trilogy I've been working on since July 2017, which I'm super excited to share with all of you. I'm not sure how much longer they're going to take to write and edit, but I'll hopefully be able to publish them in 2020. In a way, Slander & Steel is a doorway for the trilogy to go through when it's ready.
I am a 16-year-old homeschooled author. I've been writing for nine years and earlier this year I published a set of short stories, one of which I also released as a standalone. I primarily write fantasy and dystopian sci-fi, but I've also experimented in post-apocalyptic and contemporary.
As a young adult myself, I've seen a marked lack of YA fiction that handles serious issues tactfully. While my books may include romance and violence, I try to always handle it in a tactful manner and avoid unnecessarily graphic descriptions.
What sort of content is in Slander & Steel?
Recommended reader age: 12+
Romance: A few scenes contain kissing.
Violence: There's a fair amount of violence, but it's not described in gory detail.
Swearing: There's one instance of a fictional swear.
When I'm finished with my fourth draft, I'll send Slander & Steel to two professional editors (one at a time) and order cover art. After the professional editors are done and I've applied their suggestions, I'll send the book to a team of beta-readers for review and make sure it's appealing to the average reader. After editing once more with their suggestions in mind, I'll format the book for print and order a proof copy to make sure everything is as it should be. (This is the place where I freak out because my book is an actual printed book that I can hold in my hands.)
Assuming everything is okay with the formatting, the next step is to print out copies for my advance reviewers and my $20+ backers, and I'll send out all of your awesome rewards. Another month after that, I'll officially launch the book and release it to the public.
Self-publishing is expensive. While traditionally-published authors have publishers to take care of editors and cover designers, self-publishers pay everything out-of-pocket. This is why I'm coming to you; I get to publish my book, and you get early access and cool bonuses.
Here's the overall plan for the funds:
As you can see above, I have a stretch goal. If I could raise an additional $1,050 (a total of $2,350) I could order the cover art for my trilogy along with Slander & Steel's cover. I'm getting all four covers from the same artist and I expect it would be easier for her if I could order them all at the same time instead of piecemeal. Each additional cover is $350.
Once the main goal is reached, I'll reopen the Willing Guide discount for those who want to contribute to the stretch goal.
You can get a reward for a pledge of anything from $1 to $50+. Computer wallpaper, bookmarks, acknowledgements, and physical copies of the book. For the first week of November ONLY, you can get an autographed copy of the book for a $5 discount of $20 instead of $25. Pledge early to take advantage of the discount!
Rachelle Rea Cobb
Rachelle is an author, blogger, and editor at rachellereacobb.com. She has a degree in Communications/English, 5+ years of editing experience, and she's edited for authors like Jill Williamson, Stephanie Morrill, Livy Jarmusch, and Joanne Bischoff.
Jane is an author, blogger, and editor at janemareeauthor.com. She's edited for authors like Hope Ann, J.A. Penrose, and Savannah Grace.
ThreeLeaves is an artist on DeviantArt. She does gorgeous watercolor paintings, which is exactly what I've imagined for these books. You can find her art here.
Risks and challenges
I'll be working with editors, cover designers, printers, and the companies I'm ordering rewards from. I can't ensure that their parts of the process will get done on the timeline that I've put together here. There could always be delays. If things come up, I'll let you know as soon as possible and give you a new time estimate as soon as I have one.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)