Welcome New Subscribers! There’s a whole bunch of you who signed up at the Ghost Ship Markets over the summer, so you’re all fantastic people I’ve had lovely chats with. You’re joining a group of similarly fabulous people, and I’m so lucky to have a readership as cool as you all 🥰🥰

(The last newsletter had a newsletter-only outtakes reel, and for those who missed it last time and those who are new, here’s the link so you can laugh at/with me 😁)

If you follow me on FB/IG, you know that we have come to the painful decision that the second book in the series, Blood Sine Qua Non, has had abysmal sales (except from the dedicated fans—and I love all of you!) because so few people know what the Latin phrase “Sine Qua Non” means…and even fewer can pronounce it, to recommend it to their friends.

So, after an inordinate amount of workshopping (I always go into name-workshopping with such naïve enthusiasm, and by the end I disheartedly accept whatever name everyone objects to LEAST, just to make the torment stop 😥) we’re going with Blood Demands, which is short, sweet, and to the point—and entirely in English 🙄

(I’d like to take a moment here to make a special shout-out to those of you who have bought up the last copies of Blood Sine Qua Non so you can have it with it’s awesome Latin name. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity…or at least a wonderful little segment of it! 😍 )

We’re doing the same for Book III, but we’ve reached an impasse on the rename and are reaching out to you lot to help us…

Help! One of these is better…but which?!


This past Saturday was my last Ghost Ship Market at ManRay for the season. It was a perfect day, except for my sadness that I won’t be vending there again until October.

For those of you reading this who are not fellow authors, you should be aware that being an indie author absolutely sucks for the majority of the time. There are not really days off, and every day you have more on your to-do list (including items which you don’t actually really know how to do and are desperately trying to learn and not fuck up) than you can possibly do, and there is just massive stress/worry/overwhelmation.

But then you have a day like last Saturday, and it’s all worth it…

I had so many new people getting excited about the books, including a guy whose adorable dog is named Anushka and nicknamed “Noosh”! (He got a free tote bag, obviously.)

And I had one guy who, before I had gotten more than a few sentences into my patter, said, “I’ll take the Four Book Deal, please.” No fuss, no muss, the man just wanted his books! (I hope he loves them.)

And THEN, there was the wonderful fan who bought Blood Ex Libris at the last show, and came back this time to buy ALL THE REST. She got a huge hug and gushing appreciation (as well as a free tote bag!)

There is a second part to that greatness: I asked what her favorite aspect of BXL was, and she turned a fascinating shade of red and said, “The…romance…” 😳

Now, the amount of “spice” in my books has been a problem from the beginning, which was at first a complete shock and continues to be a thorn in my side. First off, vampires have been the ultimate “sex monsters” since the Victorian era. At a time when you could not write about sex, their seductive mesmerism and the whole “teeth penetrating skin” thang let authors be free to explore sexual fascination and fears of aspects like sexually transmitted disease. And from Anne Rice on, the sexual didn’t have to be implied anymore, it could be Right Up Front.

For me, writing vampires without sex would be like trying to sell “Reese’s Cups” that are just a spoonful of peanut butter.

But I think most of you who are reading this know about the hell I went through with my former publisher due to the sex scenes in my books. And then the complications of having that publisher list my book as a “romance” when they clearly do not fit with the requirements romance readers have for their preferred genre. (The worst reviews my books have gotten have been from angry romance readers who feel I have personally let them down. I never want a romance reader to pick my books up thinking they are romances ever again! I’ve also gotten reviews that my books are just “pure smut” when there are just five sex scenes in there, and then a whole lot of not-sex scenes. For a long time, I felt like I just couldn’t win.)

So, when I meet someone who thinks my books are just right, and in particular values those spicy bits which have caused me so much hair-tearing over the past years, that just brings me a healing sense of validation, that my vision for this series and my fighting to remain true to the characters has been worth all of the rejection letters, the atrocious treatment by my former publishers and going through getting my rights reverted to me, and the reviews of people who just don’t get it. Because when my books reach the people who get them, they bring them real enjoyment, real pleasure in reading, and feeling like someone is writing books for them. (Which, yes, that’s what I’m doing!)

There was also some fun with the other vendors at the event, including during tear-down, I was saying with mock-frustration that my new, gorgeous hand-painted scroll which says, “Vampire” in large letters did not in any way help people who were walking by to figure out what my series is about (people still walked up to my table and asked, “So what are these books about?” when I was hoping that this time the opening question might be, “So why are these vampire books different and something I need to buy?”) and so all the other vendors started shouting out what my books were clearly about: “You obviously write about werewolves, Raven!” “No, she’s writing about aliens!” “No, she’s writing about the faeries!” so I announced that the books were about were-hedgehogs, and the little sprites who ride them into battle and it suddenly got quiet and then it was agreed that everyone wanted to read that, actually, so I guess that’s my next series? 😉

Anyway, I had a day where I sold a whole lotta books and felt supported and valued by the local community, and oh, that did my soul good! 🥰

Raven in her happy place! 🥰

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

So, I’ll be going on vacation to The Pennsic War for two weeks shortly. Now, me being me, that means I’ll still be working on the short story I’ve been desperately trying to finish (not writer’s block, but so damn busy working on marketing and rebranding BSQN and the B3 launch and all the audiobook stuff) and then finally getting stuck back in to Book IV, which was going to be called Blood Ad Abyssum but now I need to come up with a just-English title. And I’ll still be doing the social media stuffs, because I’m finally seeing some nice growth there, and I do NOT want it to atrophy. But since I’ll hopefully be well stuck-in to writing, any emails or messages will be answered when I get around to them, not in any sort of timely manner.

The audiobook for Blood Triad will drop on August 13th ! Sorting out pre-sales for audiobooks is complicated as hell, so just mark your calendars—or wait to see it take over my social media 😉

Your music recs for today (I couldn’t choose just one!) are Work All Day by Andres Levin, Lisa Fischer, Meshell Ndegeocello, Telmary, and Sly Dunbar and Energy Gang by D Double E and Sir Spyro and I think you can see the common theme there 👩‍🏭

Stay cool, my friends, and be good or be good at it 😘

BLOOD TRIAD LAUNCH DAY ???? Bloopers reel just for newsletter members! ????

It’s so exciting that Blood Triad is now finally fully published. I know I’ve been selling copies at the Ghost Ship Market, but it’s not the same. If you have bought the book in person, pre-ordered it, or are just going to snag your copy now, please take a moment to leave a review (even a super short one is fine!) because Amazon partially rates my books on how many reviews are left, and this metric is absolutely vital to an independent author like me. The best place to leave reviews is the Amazon page (sadly) but also I would love if you have a moment and can repost your review over on The Storygraph

But let’s not pretend you didn’t open this for the Bloopers Reel ???? It was super hot yesterday, and it was melting my brain. (The reason I’m so “dewy” in the video!) So I took waaaaay more takes than usual to get a nice finished product (the Insta Reel/Tiktok.) I was in NO WAY a one-take-wonder ???? Which at least works out for you, because now you can laugh at me all the more… ????

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

The most recent Ghost Ship Market was AMAZEBALLS! It was a horribly hot and muggy day, but inside ManRay it was cool and dark and filled with the most talented artists and makers. I keep feeling really honored to be part of this wonderfully curated little market. I will be doing ONE FINAL ONE for the summer, July 20th from 2-7PM. So if you live in driving distance and haven’t gotten to any of them yet, this is the one to hit!

Can you see how much I love doing these?

We are working with an amazing company who hand-make leather the traditional way, and they are making us these gorgeous leather bookmarks. I’ve been giving them away free to everyone who buys a book, and since I’m only doing this at events (so far) that’s another reason to stop by!

If you feel like you must have one, email me and I’ll start selling them online, too!

I’ve got too many things to do to get ready for the Audiobook Release of Blood Triad, so I’m gonna drop in your music rec and then rush off to try and get more things crossed off the to-do list…

Superwoman by OneDa (one of the key MC’s at the forefront of the drum ‘n’ bass renaissance) may well be my song of the summer ????

Be good or be good at it, my dears ????

Blood Triad Audiobook Performers Announced! ????

Some of you may have seen the Press Release that IIP sent out last week—here it is if you want to read it in full—it was a really exciting press release to, well, uh, release ????

Bahni Turpin bringing Zoraida to life

I am just over the moon that such world-class talent as Bahni Turpin (if you haven’t yet listened to her read Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, you have a treat ahead of you and also OMG she was on Star Trek: Voyager, and how do you expect me to remain cool in the face of that?!) and Tavia Gilbert, who has been nominated for or won nearly every possible award in audiobooks. Tavia was kind enough to say this about Abyssinia:

Paul Rogan rocking every accent that crosses his path

And then Paul Rogan, who has done so much on-screen and behind the mic, brings the most brilliant accents to Blood Brothers, a story which absolutely needed someone of his myriad talents.

I am sooooo damn lucky to have this caliber of performers reading my work, and it’s all because we’re working with Punch Audio that this is happening. I really couldn’t have landed with a more perfect company, whose goals of quality and putting 110% into each book so exactly echo mine ????

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

My Final Two Final ????????️???? For The Summer

This coming Saturday, from 2-7 you can find me, and a big pile o’ books, at the Ghost Ship Market at ManRay. Reminder: it’s FREE ADMISSION, 19+, ice cold alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks are on offer, and it’s in the lovely cool darkness of the nightclub, away from the burning summer sun!

So get your asses down there (or up there, or over there!) and hang out with me, watch me sign copies of your books, and check out the other vendors, who I have to say are curated to be a really wonderful, talented group of makers, and I am deeply honored to be a part of this market.

Another rather big deal is the official announcement that Tiffany Trent is publishing her Bloodsword series through IIP. I’m so happy that she is a fellow author in IIP with me—I’m keeping very good company!

That’s all the news for this newsletter, because I’m cranking on about 5000 tasks at once, and am behind my schedule (which is not a good schedule to get behind on) because I got taken down by Strep throat last week. I’ll be having a bunch more Tiktoks and Insta reels up soon, so much sure you have followed me on those platforms. Oh, and Lore had an amazing time at the ALA conference, and I will try to convince her to do a write-up about it for the next newsletter.

My music rec for the week is The Last Dance by the Mysterines and I have to say it’s being a brilliant summer for good new goth music ????????????

My show rec for the week is Outlaws on Amazon Prime. It’s got Christopher Walken, which is good enough for me to watch anything, but it keeps me glued because the characters are compelling from the opening minutes, and the writing is just fricking gorgeous and it’s just pure pleasure to watch the actors fully embodying those roles and clearly having an amazing time on set.

OK all, go forth and be good, or be good at it! ????

Blood Triad AUDIOBOOK has just finished recording‼️

It’s been a crazy busy two weeks since the last newsletter! And there are even MORE audiobook platforms carrying Blood Ex Libris—the full list is at the bottom of this newsletter, if you haven’t snagged your copy already!

This past Saturday was a huge day for IIP. I was in Cambridge (NOT Boston, the locals will insist rather pointedly), at the Ghost Ship Market at ManRay Nightclub, selling signed copies of all the books, and our branded tote bag, which you can get for FREE if you buy books ????️

I totally did not stock these just so I could have one, totally not!

Meanwhile, in “Sunnydale” California, Lore was selling the books, etc.—plus some really sexy bookmarks I can’t wait to get my hands on!—on the very Hellmouth Itself, Sunnydale High, at Hellmouth Con 2024 .This year, the HellmouthCon continued its tradition of supporting:

Los Angeles LGBT Center: Since 1969, this center has been a force against bigotry, advocating for health, equality, and societal acceptance of LGBT individuals.

Ron Glass Memorial Scholarship Fund: Part of The Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center which fosters a safe, nurturing environment for academic excellence and good citizenship, preparing youths in grades 3-12 for college and career readiness.

And we at IIP were so glad to be a part of that! ????

And the Hellmouth will open in 5, 4, 3 …

Next up for us this whirlwind summer, Lore will be at the 2024 ALA Annual Conference in San Diego June 27 – July 2nd , so if you are heading there, find the IIP table and say “Hi!” We will have lots of yummy swag for you, including tote bags!

And I will be at the Ghost Ship Market at ManRay TWICE in July, the first and third Saturdays, signing books and chatting and having a brilliant time. I cannot express how much I love the Ghost Ship Market. All the vendors are such fantastic people, with handmade and unique wares. And the customers have all been so great to talk to, asking fantastic questions about the series and getting really excited about Noosh and her world. It’s just the best chill vibe on a hot summer’s day, so if you haven’t been, I really recommend getting your ass to ManRay on the first or third Saturday from 2-7PM to check the market out.

Unexpected corsetry whilst selling books!

This past Saturday, I had the real pleasure to be beside Eclipse Costumes & Corsetry, who became immediate friends. I spent the day being a living mannequin for their corsets! If you need any custom cos-play garb or a new gothylicious corset, they make very high quality clothing and are happy to work with you to get it just right.

Next up is getting ready for Blood Triad to drop on July 9th . As you have seen, both Publisher’s Weekly Booklife and Kirkus have reviewed it very highly, which has totally put me on Cloud Nine (I had to stop in the middle of writing this and look up the derivation of “cloud nine” and this is it)

Also, I have the extreme pleasure to announce that the Blood Triad audiobook has just wrapped up recording (I’m now doing the QC pass and enjoying every second of it). I’ll do a whole proper introduction of the narrators in an upcoming newsletter, but for now, all three (one for each story) are brilliant performers, top of their profession, and I am so lucky to get to work with all three of them.

Kwasi is reworking the cover to be square as I type, so I cannot show the audiobook cover just yet…but anyways, there is still lots of excitement over Blood Triad in paperback and ebook form dropping on JUNE 9TH .  Have you pre-ordered your copy, yet? If not, here is a list of options:

Direct from me



However, if you are looking for a FREE COPY, and you can post a review of the book on Amazon ON JULY 9th , we are still looking for reviewers! Pop over to Book Sirens and get Blood Triad for free, before everyone else! Oh, and they have just made it part of their “Action / Adventure ARCs You’ll Love – June 2024 Batch” so if you want all your summer reading sorted in one go, just click that link and you’ll have a summer of thrills!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

I feel like that is enough news for now! Today’s music rec is Something New by Principe Valiente, which, while it is indeed a fresh new tune, is also proper Old School Goth, and is making me a VERY HAPPY BAT ????

Finally, as promised:

Everywhere you can buy the Blood Ex Libris Audiobook:









???? And if you want to get it from your local library, it’s on Libby and 

Stay cool … and be good or be good at it! ????

????BXL AUDIOBOOK ROLLOUT CONTINUES, plus Amber Benson video footage ????

If you have been waiting for a different platform than Audible or directly from me, you now have the choice of:

Libro FM




And, for my Aussies, Booktopia

You can also request your library to carry it, as it is on Overdrive and ready to deliver to your local library!

If there is an audiobook platform you prefer, hit reply and tell me to get my ass in gear getting it listed there!

So now the fun can really begin! My partner Lore was in the recording studio for the whole process, and got some incredible video footage of Amber Benson taking Blood Ex Libris up to the next level!

Here is the first taste of it:


This week I’m getting ready for another Ghost Ship Market. The last one was so much fun that I’m seriously looking forward to this one. The other vendors are all so much fun to hang out with, and the quality of customer who comes to this event is just top-tier: all freaks and geeks, nerds and kinksters, queer folk and just generally fabulous folk!  

If you are in New England this weekend, swing down for this sweet lil market, which runs from 2-7pm. There are excellent restaurants all around the area. And then of course, you can come back to ManRay at 9PM for Heroes New Wave and Post-Punk night, where you can put on your red shoes and dance the blues ????????

Oh, and while you cannot yet buy your copy of Blood Triad online, I will have advance copies at the event, and at a special Ghost Ship Market Price! So if none of the above details swayed you to visit, this one definitely should!

Come get a signed copy in person!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

That’s about it for this newsletter. My life has mostly been composed of working on IIP various projects, prepping for this coming Ghost Ship Market, and trying to find enough time to finish writing that lesbian gangsta pirate story (which is, I’m afraid, become its working title ????) for you all.

However, there has been some evening chilling out and I’m so excited because my favorite TV show of all time is in the middle of a brand spanking new Season 4, so that’s my recommendation to you all, this newsletter. Watch EVIL on Paramount+

EVIL. Paramount+. Watch it and then chat about how amazing it is with me!

OK, I’m off to dive into my to-do list. Until next time, Be Good or Be Good At It! ????

P.S. — my amazing outfit in the ManRay video above is from The House of Foxy — and they totally need to give me a sponsorship deal, because I can’t help but keep promoting their gorgeous, beautifully sewn clothing ????


Blood Ex Libris AUDIOBOOK for sale ???? buy from me at the Ghost Ship Market

Today is the day that I get to say that the AUDIOBOOK of Blood Ex Libris narrated by Amber Muthfuckin’ Benson is available for sale!

Here is the list of places you can get it right now:

Buy directly from me


There will be more options for buying it in the next newsletter, as Libro FM and Libby are taking their sweet time in putting up the listing. Buy yay, FINALLY this moment is here, and I can share it with you. It’s been a long time coming ????

If you want to buy the audiobook on some other platform, reply to this email and let me know, please.

REMINDER: If you signed up to get a copy of the free short story and you haven’t received it yet, please reply to this email and let me know so I can get you your copy!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

In case you missed it on Wednesday, I had an amazing conversation with Dr. Ligia Buzan about her friend Professor Radu Florescu, foremost Dracula scholar and author of In Search of Dracula. We discussed the vampire myth in Romania, how Americans asked Ligia to “bite them” and teach them “vampire language,” and about the real versus fictional Dracula. Vampire scholars, fans of the Blood & Ancient Scrolls series, and anyone interested in myth and history will enjoy this.



Or over on Facebook:

Buy books from me here!

I’m going to be selling the series IN PERSON this Saturday at ManRay, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139. I’m doing the Ghost Ship Market the first and third Saturdays of June and July, 2-7 PM. Mark your calendars, and please come in and say hi, buy a signed copy for yourself or a friend. I will also be selling the audiobooks on my snazzy new card reader! So get fancied up and come check out the Ghost Ship Market, and those of us who sail in her ????????????

The music rec today is some summer-perfect chill UK hiphop: Beat Delay by James G & Fusa 

I gotta rush and finish my vending set up, so remember: Be good, or be good at it! ????

????Amber Benson to narrate Blood Ex Libris ????

Well, welcome all you Gorgeous People who signed up for my newsletter! ???? I hope you enjoy the world of the am’r! ????????????????????????????????????????????????

I see that some of you signed up directly, and not through the BookFunnel link. That means you didn’t automagically get sent your FREE COPY of Interview with the Vagabond King, which would suck, because you probably signed up for that precise reason

If you go to, and do the sign up again, you will automagically be sent the story (and there won’t be any weirdness with you being signed up twice!) If you don’t want to do that, then email and I’ll make sure you get sent a copy ????

So, last week, some, I dunno, mildly exciting news dropped in the form of a press release:


Boston, Massachusetts May 1, 2024 ( – Immoral Influence Publications (IIP) kicks off its summer publication season with a bang by releasing its first audiobook on May 26 (World Dracula Day) 2024. The BLOOD EX LIBRIS audiobook by Raven Belasco will be narrated by Amber Benson and produced by Punch Audio.

Amber Benson is best known for her role as Tara Maclay on the iconic TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has directed, produced, and starred in myriad films and television shows since then. Benson has also written numerous books including Death’s Daughter and has narrated books for authors including John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow.

 When asked about narrating the story, Amber Benson spoke about a connection with the protagonist. “One of the things that I love best about Anushka is that she always maintains her sense of humor. Even when stuff gets totally batshit bananas, she finds something to keep her hope up and to keep moving forward, and I appreciate that. In my life, whenever weird stuff happens, it’s like the weird dumb joke and puns and silly things just pop right into my head. I think it is a survival mechanism. I also love how tough she is, and something that I think maybe we forget about when we’re reading about it, because of all the fun sexy blood vampire stuff: she’s also a librarian. She’s such a badass, she loves books, and I also love books—so bibliophiles unite!”

Amber in the studio narrating Blood Ex Libris!

Speaking about the project, Raven said, “Amber is simply the best person to bring Noosh to life, and she brings equal energy and dedication to all the characters, which took a lot of skill. Her reading Blood Ex Libris makes me feel like I’m listening to something that’s really happening, not a story that came out of my head.”

 The book will drop on May 26th, but of course I will get the pre-sale link out to you before that! So stay tuned to this channel!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

I would normally put the Archie Report here, but I don’t know how many of you actually want to read it. If you value it as part of the newsletter, reply and let me know, otherwise I can make these newsletters shorter! ✂️

Music rec for this week is the always-glorious Sofi Tukker who wants us to dance through the pain this summer and offers Throw Some Ass to ass-ist that vital goal ????

I am hoping the audiobook pre-sale link will be in the next newsletter! Until then, be good or be good at it! ????

???? FREE NEW AM’R STORY FOR YOU, New Anthology News, Giveaway Winners ????

???? Finally, as promised, YOUR FREE STORY ????

The purpose of this free story is to get people to sign up for this newsletter. But you, Superior Being, have already made the excellent choice of signing up, so you get it automagically! Watch out for an email from Bookfunnel to confirm that you would like to receive the free story????

If you have anyone you want to share the story with, this link will send them the story once they sign up for this newsletter ????

The cover is very special. It’s the first cover done by the 13-year-old in my life, Miss Fierce. She’s got mad talent, and this was her first paid commission. I am of course bursting with pride ????

Other Big News ????

Immoral Influence Publications, the publishing company I’m doing with two amazing women, has a call out for a new anthology raising money for reproductive justice. (Yes, again; my last anthology was put out by Aqueduct Press, and my co-publishers in IIP feel just as passionately and want to add their own efforts to the cause. And I see no reason not to keep helping that particular cause, considering what is happening in Arizona, Utah, Nebraska, Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas, nevermind the states where abortion has already been near-totally banned: Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, and North and South Dakota.)

A liminal space in myth and legend, The Crossroads are where spirits are contacted in many cultural beliefs. Full of life and dark secrets, it is a place where one can lose or gain control in new ways.

In this charity anthology for reproductive freedom, Immoral Influence Publications is looking for stories where deals take place across many possible borders, both physical and mental. Stories that inhabit that midnight hour of uncertainty and transition. Where journeys are interrupted, and characters stand on the precipice.

This anthology will be inclusive of many cultures, perspectives, and orientations. In Ancient Greece and Rome, rituals of change and protection were done at crossroads, as the crossroads represented the ability to “cross over” or move between life and death. In Britain, crossroads were often the sites of executions and where criminals were buried. Most recently, in American history, it’s where the great blues guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil.

What spirits will your characters encounter? What deals will they make? What will they give up and what will they gain?

We can’t wait to find out!

Where to submit: submissions may be sent to

Please name files in this format: title-authors last name

Reprints are accepted, please note if your work is a reprint in the submission

Word limit: 7,500

Due by August 1st 2024

Payment: All proceeds from this Anthology will go to abortion access and reproductive freedom. A number of recipient funds are being considered, and when they are chosen they will be announced

Follow IIP to keep up with news about this anthology and other projects:

IIP Insta

IIP Facebook

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

If you remember the giveaway we did on The StoryGraph, the winners were chosen! We gave away 2 Advance Review Copies of Blood Triad, and 10 ebooks of Blood Ex Libris.

The two Blood Triad ARCs going to their winners at the Post Office

I cannot express enough how much I adore The StoryGraph. If you, like me, are dismayed by how GoodReads was ruined by Amazon buying it, then The StoryGraph is your solution. You can migrate all your reviews over from GR, and then settle into a wonderful new reading community with honest reviews. Go sign up and add me as a friend!

???? The Archie Report ????

Arch enjoying the springtime

Archibald is feeling much better thanks to ElleVet CBD Chews. Ever since we got him, he’s had digestion issues, leading to me spending the day at the emergency vet with him a few weeks ago. (Which was super traumatic for me, considering how much time I’d spent their with Cairngorm at the end of his lifeI was not ready to be back there!)

They put Arch on a fancy new probiotic, but I had been suspecting that he’d been in some real discomfort from it, because on his bad days he didn’t want to play, just laid on the sofa or bed looking sad. Also, after our trainer Al’s last visit, I knew how bad his anxiety really was, so a product that would deal with both pain and anxiety seemed like a good thing.

Well, since he’s been on the chews, his energy levels and bounciness are through the roof, so I think they have taken care of any discomfort he was having. Also, while he usual triggers are still there, he is much more relaxed on walkies, and not sweating the small stuff anymore. I am really happy with those results!

For my review portion of things, I’m gonna let NPR tell you about Shōgun, which you totally should be watching

For your song this week, The Lincoln Lawyer (which is also a damn fine show) hipped me to Mattiel’s Count Your Blessings, which I’m now addicted to ????

OK, I’ve got a million other tasks for today, so go be goodor be good at it!

Presale link for Blood Triad ???? Immoral Influence Publications is Influencin’ ????

???? Great news to start! You can now pre-order Blood Triad in ebook on Amazon! ????

The official Blood Triad pub date has been moved to July 9th , because Big Exciting Reasons that I will soon finally be able to talk about! But get ready for the Blood & Ancient Scrolls series to go to the next level in May…

AND, The next newsletter will include a link to a FREE STORY set in the B&AS universe, and will introduce a character whom you will see in action in Blood Ad Abyssum (Book IV) ????????‍☠️

Also, my fellow IIP-er, Tiffany Trent, has some exciting news over on her end. Tiffany and Terri Windling will be chatting April 18th on FB Live about her beautiful paean to the Arizona desert, The Wood Wife. I’ll be part of the excited viewers, and you should be too

And for those of you not over on the ‘Gram, IIP soft-launched the new Instagram Account

PRETTY PLEASE FOLLOW Not just because, in weeks and months to come, it’s going to have some really exciting news and content, but also because Lor, Lady of Marketing, would have great happiness in her heart to see the followers count go up. She’s been working her ass off not just on IIP, but in doing all sorts of nasty business grunt work, so that I can write. So please send her love in the form of follows!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

A sadly limp and wilted feather Raven writes to you today. The Thirteen Year Old passed along a horrid little virus that makes you feel exhausted, achy, and brain-foggy, but not actually bad enough to stay in bed and rest. (At least if you are a pro at working through all the above symptoms because of a chronic illness ) Still, it’s slowed down my productivity and made everything just a thousand times harder, so caw, grumble, caw, cough.

I can’t take a day to stay in bed. There is simply too much that needs doing. Yesterday I took a business call while standing outside for the eclipse ???????????? I was setting up the business phone account with T-Mobile. Yes, Immoral Influence Publications has business lines, now! Today I’m keeping it “light” and just doing this newsletter and accompanying social media, then going back to bed and doing a meeting from bed, and then reading a book from a fellow author to blurb it. That’s as light as it can get for me right now.

???? The Archie Report ????

All Archie’s indoor training has gone really smoothly, but he still has massive issues pulling on the leash. Now, mind you, three months ago, he’d basically never worn one, and so we’ve done massive forward momentum in that time. But the pulling has to be a thing of the past before I will feel OK putting a “Service Animal In Training” patch on his harness, so Al, our amazing trainer, suggested a head-collar.

For those of you who have never used them, it does not hurt him. (And he can also eat treats while wearing it, etc.) But it absolutely keeps him from pulling. On the first walk out, his behavior was just completely different, because having the leash pressure coming from the front of him instead of his back makes him not want to pull. He mostly walked along right beside me, which was honestly even more than I had expected! The picture below is from the first walk—there will be a new harness arriving soon with a proper clip on the front. But he is already growing used to it and not letting it get in the way of enjoying sniffing and peeing on things.

With pulling being less of an all-consuming issue, we can get to other important steps in training. I am so proud of him—have I mentioned before how quick, clever, silly, and sweet he is? Cairngorm really found a perfect lil guy to take on the McWomble legacy ????

Today’s music recommendation is Love’s Graveyard by Aiyana-Lee—what they call a “powerhouse vocalist,” and granddaughter of the legendary Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin.

I’m going back to bed now! Can’t wait to send you that next newsletter! Until then, be good or be good at it!

Busy Raven, DMARC Nonsense, & New TikTok Energy

OK, to be honest, I really love doing this newsletter. It gives me an excuse to take some time for a little nonfiction writing every other week (this newsletter really is like a journal, for me as a writer and indie publisher, recording all the little triumphs and the hard work of the learning process, the fight to make it as a writer in a world already full of writers and very few people willing to give a hand to those on the way up.)

I’ve done a metric fuckton in the last two weeks. Some of which I can’t tell you about just yet, but other bits, like getting the DMARC nonsense for this newsletter sorted out (along with a huge bunch of web-related stuff), with help from my amazing Web Guru. (You do NOT want to know about the DMARC nonsense, but if you really think you do)

Heh. So, I went to send this newsletter in its normal Tuesday time…and even after all that work, the DMARC wasn’t playing nicely with me. THAT’S how complicated and annoying it all is. You all are lucky I love writing this, or I would use the DMARC nonsense as an excuse to give up doing it. ???? Anyway, my wonderful Web Guru went in and forced it to behave, so now you actually have a newsletter in your device of choice, and I never have to do a “first time DMARC setup” ever again!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add to your email system’s address book or contacts.

I’ve been forcing myself to actually start taking TikTok seriously. I’m putting out more videos up there, with little snippets about the books. And I mean little —that whole thing where TikTok recommends the clips be no longer than 30 seconds? Yeah, if you follow that, turns out a lot more people see your videos.

This is of course painful for me, because I’m a long-form person, in any media. Call me a size queen, but I like things loooooong. Or at least, longer than 30 damn seconds. But I’m finding my groove with that length, I think. What do you think?

 Now for the part of the email you’re actually here for:

????The Archie Report????

“Duck weather” is not terrier weather!

To add to the chaos of the past few weeks, I had to have a lot of ends tied up before last Friday, because Cairngorm’s trainer-and now Archie’s trainer as well – was coming out that day for a weekend intensive. Her name is Al Werger, by the by, and you should absolutely follow her 

Al had taught me so much with Cairngorm that, with just the occasional phone support, I’ve been able to get him through the first three weeks pretty well. But Arch has some issues that Cairngorm never had, and I don’t know what to do for those, not having gone through them the hard way – yet ????

Archie was out on the streets, and of all the ways to survive, he chose “fawning” (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn). It was absolutely the right choice for him, as a cute little dog. But now it needs to be gotten under control.

It was a very educational weekend. The best part was it being very clear what a good job I had managed to do with him in those formative first three months. And that was wonderful. But when we took him for his first “in town” walkies, I was more than proved right that I couldn’t have dealt with it properly on my own. Arch had even more anxiety than we anticipated, and a great deal more work is going to need to be put into helping him become a dog who can happily trot at my heel through a public area, unfazed by people or noise or other dogs.

That happy future is a lot of work, for both him and me, ahead of us. But we’ll get there!

Before I could get this newsletter out, we were “overcome by events.” and Arch and I spent the day in the emergency vet. He now has a tentative diagnosis of IBD, and he and I will be back there next week for a gastroenterologist appointment. But for those of you who have been worrying, he’s doing a lot better!

For music recs this week, I have a video of the song Damn Gloves by the amazing serpentwithfeet. Get ready for some gorgeous homoerotic hiphop

If that’s not your speed, how about a sweet French chanteuse?

Also, I’m late to this party, and I never thought I’d like anything to do with Michael Connelly in any way, shape, or form, but The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix is so entirely bingeable, and I’ve had to mostly be resting since Al left, and this show has absolutely distracted me from how exhausted I am. The acting is fantastic, the characters are so real, the cast is diverse, and it’s just a damn fine show. Also, one of those actors is Neve Campbell, and she is always a true pleasure to watch.

OK I’m off to do some research for the next story in the Blood & Ancient Scrolls series. I hope you all are being good, or being good at it!