The Pixelvania Publishing Proclamation o’ Progress, February 2024 Edition

The Pixelvania Publishing Proclamation o’ Progress is a semiannual post detailing what’s going on around here, and what might show up in the future.

Cute kitty photos at the end.

Recap

Whoa, it’s been a minute, hasn’t it? When it came to posting these updates, 2023 got away from me, but I still manage to publish things!

…Seems they were all horror short stories!

Cover for BAD TIDINGS FROM QUEEN SOPHIE: An eerie cat's face emerges from the dark below the title text.

I love how this cover turned out.

The Accuser (cover) - A shadowy monster has its hands on a tough looking man in tattoos, seated in front of a bed. A cat sits besides the man.

Cover by GetCovers.com. The kitty’s name is Dozer.

Cover for Bona Ossuaria: A Home Renovation Horror Story. Two smiling women stand back to back, superimposed above a red house and a disturbingly off-colored sky. The tagline reads Good bones. Gone bad.

Cover by GetCovers.com They really captured the colors I wanted!

Looking back, I realize this batch of stories is full of firsts!

Queen Sophie was my first-ever short story sale. The amazing people over at the NoSleep Podcast turned it into an audio drama! Which is a big first I never imagined happening. Afterwards, I put it into print and ebook.

The Accuser: A Christian Horror Short Story is my first R-rated story. It contains some cussin’ and sexual themes/discussion, yet it’s ultimately an edifying Christian tale. So niener. (And it has a great cat!!!)

Finally, Bona Ossuaria: A Home Renovation Horror Story became my first Kickstarter project–and a very successful one, at that!

Horror fans got to enjoy this creepy tale before the general public, got discounts on some of my other horror ebooks, and received some free very classy-yet-sassy kitchen printables featuring vegetables that die (which are still for sale here on my shop).

Bona funded in under one week on Kickstarter, and people seemed pretty happy with their experience. It gave me the confidence I needed to finish my next Kickstarter project. Next slide!

Currently in Production

The Kickstarter for stormy science-fantasy novel The Guests of Crooked Neck is right around the corner!

Cover for THE GUESTS OF CROOKED NECK

The entire book is already completed in ebook and paperback format. If the funding goal is met before the deadline, Crooked Neck will release early to Kickstarter backers. Depending on your pledge level, you can also pick up some cool extra goodies, such as: 

  • Tropical wildlife digital wallpapers
  • Beautiful tropical-themed productivity printables
  • Discounts on the previous stories in the series

I hope you’ll sign up below so you can get updates. I just got the proof copies back the other day and I was shocked by what a heckkin’ chonker of a book it is. So if you’re a sci-fi/fantasy fan who likes a meaty read, keep your eye out!

Remind me about the launch!

While I’ve been working on that, I’ve been doggedly writing the sequel to Fashion Frenchies #1: Love Potion Commotion! It’s called Salute a Pooch! and it’s already longer than the first book. But it’s not done yet. If you’re a dog lover, you won’t want to miss it!

I’ve also been testing out covers for it (and have plans to revamp Love Potion Commotion’s cover at the same time), but I haven’t settled on anything yet. Stay tuned!

Future Plans, Plotting, and Scheming

Every year this list gets bigger.

The Crooked Neck Kickstarter’s been monopolizing my brainspace, but once it’s over, I have plans for:

  •  A Worlds of Everlush Christmas-type story
  • A third book in the Fashion Frenchies series (with a cat!)
  • Christmas with the Capramancer (’nuff said)
  • Plus I need to hop back on the Nosferatu Novel train…
  • Redo a couple covers that have been bugging me
  • Make paperbacks of a couple of my earliest published stories
  • Finish this one really old novel I have started around here.
  • Another 2 cat horror stories(!)

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know a few of these have been hanging onto this list for dear life. They’re all popcorn kittens, clamoring for my attention. I want to get to them all eventually!

That ends the news. Thanks for reading! Your reward is:

Kitty Photos!

Our mascot, Pixel J. Cat, on his favorite striped blankie. He just turned 17 this year!

Pixel’s intern, Barnaby Jones, chillaxin’ against the lavender-scented litter.

Until next release, I wish you good health and happy reading! – Danielle

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Favorites for February 2024: Things to keep you smiling through winter

“5 Favorites” is a new feature here at Pixelvania Publishing. On the last Friday of every month, I’ll be posting 5 FAVORITE THINGS I’ve recently (or not-so-recently) enjoyed, in case you’re looking for something neat to experience.

When the days get windy and cold, I prefer to stay in. But you gotta keep your brain busy! Here’s 5 things that have kept my mind occupied and happy during the season of brrrrrr!

🍿 Good Night Oppy

(Movie: PG, Prime Video. IMDB)
A fascinating and strangely touching documentary about the Mars Rovers “Opportunity” (AKA “Oppy”) and “Spirit”, whose missions were only expected to last 90 days…but the ‘bots themselves lasted for YEARS. CGI by ILM mix with interviews with team members to create a mind-expanding watch.

🎮 Tiny Island

(Game: Free browser game on Itch.io)
Simple to pick up, difficult to master…and by master, I mean, “get a high score.” I recommend loading up on trees and houses. Hate sailboats.

🎮 Cursed Treasure 2 Remastered

(Game: Steam or free browser game on Kongregate) One of the most satisfying tower defense games ever made. Great sounds, graphics, gameplay, kinda funny. I…have sunk many an hour into this game.

📺 King of the Hill

(TV Series: TV-14, Hulu)
The OG. One of my all-time favorite TV shows. Like, when I talk about these characters, I talk about them as though they were my real neighbors. A great watch on Hulu. (P.S. Dale Gribble was right!)

📱 Weather Kitty

(Phone app) I’m not one for paying apps, but my hubby decided to go for it and it was some of the best money we ever spent. Cute kitties help you check the weather!! Pay for the app, and you can pick themes per season (the Halloween set was a big hoot last year!).

5 Favorites for January 2024

5 Favorites is a new feature here at Pixelvania Publishing. On the last Friday of every month, I’ll be posting 5 FAVORITE THINGS I’ve recently (or not-so-recently) enjoyed, in case you’re looking for something neat to experience.

The Proclamations of Progress will still be posted Februaries and Septembers. 🙂

With that, here’s my latest 5 Favorites!

📻 MANHATTAN SKYLINE by A-Ha

First, I saw this meme about Aphex Twin (which is another artist I like)

Which is originally from THIS meme

Which is referencing this song and it’s a TRUE BANGER!!!! I didn’t know A-HA went this hard!

🎮 TUNIC (Game: Switch, Steam, and other systems)

I ADORE this game. To give you an idea of how much I adore it, I had it for exactly two weeks in 2023 and it became my Game of the Year. GOTY. Yes.

Don’t be fooled by the isometric perspective: It’s the spiritual successor to HOLLOW KNIGHT, rewarding you for nosing around every nook and cranny, rocking your face off with an amazing chill soundtrack, exploring a world full of light and darkness…It’s absolutely terrific. I went in blind and was glad I did, so I don’t want to say much more–except I love that the game rewards you for using items…with more items! Otherwise I would just hoard bombs until the end sceen.

📖 Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

A really magical book full of great characters, based around racing dangerous monsters, but about way more than that.  It’s the kind of book I’d love to write some day, and I’m super glad I got to read it!!! I give this MY VERY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION, if you’re an epic fantasy fan.

▶️ ONE HIT WONDERLAND: “Macarena” by Los del Rio

A twenty-five minute documentary about the Macarena. You’re welcome.

🍿 Jerry and Marge Go Large (Movie, Paramount+)

A heartwarming, feel-good movie starring Bryan Cranston, based on a true story of a retired couple who found a loophole in the lottery and helped out their town. Don’t know if you need to know much more than that!

A musical short story turns 5

On this day five years ago, I released dreamy short story Day of Silence, Day of Sound. In this story, a woman living in a post-apocalyptic outpost discovers that sound is disappearing from the world. There is also a white shepherd dog, which is kinda neat.

I’d like to redo the cover sometime, but I’m not entirely sure what to put on it, to be honest with you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Cover for DAY OF SILENCE, DAY OF SOUND: An old-fashioned radio sits alone on a vintage chair in a blurry field of tall grasses, in hues ofwhite and icy blue.

Find out more

A stellar sci-fi book turns 4 today (Plus: a thrilling announcement!)

Wow! Today is the 4th birthday of my epic sci-fi novel Steel City, Veiled Kingdom! (Better known round these parts by its nickname, SCVK.) Hoo, BOY that went fast. Seems like I just released it yesterday!

This is one of my most popular books. If you like your sci-fi novels heavy on the wonder with a little horror stirred in and peppered with humor, you might like it, too! Click the cover to find out more.

Cover for STEEL CITY, VEILED KINGDOM: THE COMPLETE EDITION - A man in a labcoat holding a rabbit on a strange device, with a monster in the background.

Find out more about SCVK

But what’s even MORE exciting is that this book’s little brother is on the way! That’s right, SCVK’s sequel is launching soon! It’s a stormy sci-fi drama called The Guests of Crooked Neck. It’ll be releasing first to Kickstarter in 2024. Check out the cover!

Cover for THE GUESTS OF CROOKED NECK

The Guests Of Crooked Neck is a moving science fantasy about grief, pride, and being seen. This standalone novel set in the Worlds of Everlush universe takes place soon after the events of Steel City, Veiled Kingdom–but you can read it as a standalone novel just fine.

As a story, Crooked Neck is the inverse of SCVK: where SCVK was an epic adventure spanning a few in-story years, exploring all corners of the galaxy through the eyes of a single character, Crooked Neck is an intimate drama switching between three main characters that stays put in one small town for a single weekend. But both books contain colorful characters and engrossing worlds.

If that sounds like it’s up your alley, I hope you’ll click the button below and join me on the journey of launching the second Worlds of Everlush novel!

Click here to be notified when The Guests of Crooked Neck launches!

New dragon art for a smokin’ book birthday!

Book birthday image - a stack of books topped by a party hat. Photo generously provided by by massonstock.myportfolio.com

Happy book birthday to DEBUTS AND DRAGONS (2019), a fun underdog story about a drab dragon! Here’s some art I’m working on of one of the characters, Pinnacle Smokebelcher:

 

Digitally colored sketch of a lantern-jawed red dragon with blue spikes. Work in progress.

He’s not a major character or anything, but with that name I couldn’t resist doodling him! Read DEBUTS AND DRAGONS today and see a ton more weird dragon names!

Get DEBUTS AND DRAGONS

HGTV fans who read horror fiction will love my new release!

After a wildly successful Kickstarter (over 200% funded), I’m happy to announce that BONA OSSUARIA: A HOME RENOVATION HORROR STORY is now available to the general public AND available for the first time in PAPERBACK! Just in time for spooky season! 🎃

Cover for Bona Ossuaria: A Home Renovation Horror Story. Two smiling women stand back to back, superimposed above a red house and a disturbingly off-colored sky. The tagline reads Good bones. Gone bad.

They thought they were making changes to the house. But the house was making changes to them.

When their construction team discovers a hidden shaft while renovating a clients’ home, mother-daughter design duo Evelyn and Erika Ellsworth need an idea, quick.

But to Erika’s dismay, her flighty mom doesn’t just turn the shaft into her pet project: she refuses to let anyone else in on what she’s doing.

This isn’t the first time her mom’s gotten obsessive over a reno. And clients always love what she comes up with. So Erika decides to humor her.

That decision will prove fatal.

BONA OSSUARIA is a slow-burning morsel of surreal, psychological horror.

* * *

I got the idea for Bona Ossuaria after a watching a certain HGTV program for a few seasons. The show has a fun and wholesome vibe–and I still love it–but my writer brain couldn’t help but see things going…let’s say, darkly wrong with the hosts.

After reading it, my proofreader said she was never able to watch that program the same way ever again. Which delights me to no end!

The Kickstarter for this story funded in under a week, so that was also really cool (and educational, as my first–but definitely not my last–Kickstarter). I got to design some darkly funny printable posters for the Kickstarter that are now available for sale, go check them out.

Buy ebook direct from me!

Buy ebook everywhere else!

Buy paperback from Amazon!

Download printable wall art inspired by the story!

One day, 2 POLAR OPPOSITE book birthdays

Today we celebrate 2 book birthdays. Yes, somehow I wound up publishing two stories on the same day (but different years). They’re also entirely different in tone.

From 2017, we have THE BUREAUCRAT, which is like something Kafka would have written if he had ever had the nasty misfortune of encountering a phone tree. It’s had two covers so far and I’m thinking it needs a third. Here’s the original cover (by me, when I was first learning how to photobash things) and the most recent cover (art by Christian Bunyan)

The Bureaucrat (Cover)
Cover to THE BUREAUCRAT - A creepy office worker stands grinning with blank eyes in front of a wall of spooky blank eyes.

Get your copy of THE BUREAUCRAT

Next, we have THE CAPRAMANCER NEXT DOOR, from 2020. This one’s become one of my favorites–I think it’s because it has a lot of things I like in it (adventure, magic, talking animals, male and female co-leads, an optimistic ending). Also, people keep sending me smiling photos of themselves with the cover, which makes me happy, and not just because I illustrated he cover myself. 🙂

I hope to revisit these characters someday in a Christmas adventure! Ah, so much to write, so little time!

Cover for THE CAPRAMANCER NEXT DOOR: A laughing woman wields a glowing shepherd's crook while a goat leaps through a portal overhead

Celebrate with your own copy of THE CAPRAMANCER NEXT DOOR.