Gods of music and madness book one (Orpheum)

Yesterday I finished Orpheum. Part one was published previously and ends on a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, even though people like it, I’ve been getting some negative reviews about how frustrating it is to wait for more.

I worked on this book through the winter, and we spent another month in Bulgaria doing research and visiting some of the geographical and historical locations in the book. I continued working on the book in Edinburgh over New Year’s… and was stuck on the last chapter for two weeks as we moved to Taipei.

But finally, I got to THE END and it’s pretty great. The full book also ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. I may leave it as it is, or I may add in an epilogue for at least a partial sense of completion, since it will probably be awhile until there’s another book in this series (I think it’s good – but I also have better projects mapped out and I want to be working on my best ideas, not the ideas I started years ago).

The original cover looked like this:

If you haven’t read part one yet, you can get the first several chapters for free in my starter library.

I like to update covers when I significantly change a book, so I’ve been working on a new cover, which will look something like this:

In a day or two, I’ll have a limited number of ARC copies to give out, so make sure you’re on my email list if you want one (these advanced copies are for fans who don’t mind helping me spot the inevitable handful of typos, and who can also post a review of the finished book on Amazon – if you’d prefer waiting for a clean copy, the full thing will be on Amazon next week).

Here’s an excerpt:

The world was my weapon, and I felt more powerful than I ever had before. Blood dripped from my fingertips, as the recent scabs reopened against the sharp strings of my violin. My eyes blackened as music filled my body, a rushing song, the voice of a god pumping in my veins. I hear his voice and I am destruction.

Here are a couple videos I made about the book… the second one is on-location in Bulgaria.


I’m also running a giveaway where you can WIN a paperback version of the full book, and one of these cool miniature violin pendants with a working case.





Europe was great, but we’ve just flown back to Taiwan for Chinese New Year and will be in Asia for the next several months. Here’s a picture of our street. I’m working on TASTE next and I can’t wait to share the full book!


I’m working on TASTE for the rest of this month – my vampire dystopia – you can still get the free sample on Amazon for a limited time here:

Get the first 5 chapters now.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Carol Potter February 11, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Derek, I know you are called a YA Fiction Author. But I am over 50 years old and love your books! From the first book that I read….I was hooked! I am an avid reader. I read different kinds of books….mystery, thrillers, biographies, history and really just about any subject.
    As long as they are well written. I would have never thought that I would have enjoyed reading this type of fiction. But thank you for your talent!
    P.S. I will be watching for your upcoming update because I would love to win your copy of your new book and the lovely violin pin! I have two granddaughters who play the violin!

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