Drum roll please….LAUNCH!!! Nancy Northcott’s Renegade is HERE!!

Woooooohoooo!  Its a Launch Day in the LAIR!!  We get to celebrate one of our very own, NANCY NORTHCOTT!!! 

Today is the publication day for Renegade, Nancy’s first book in her mage Protectors series from Grand Central Forever Yours.  And guess what!!  The esteemed Library Journal’s Xpress Reviews gave Renegade a starred review!!  

Sven had a special drink – The Renegade – made up, which is absolutely fabulous!  He has a “breakfast version” with OJ, and a “Post Lunch” version that has (I think…) rum in it!  Hahaha!

NANCY!!!  Girlfriend, we are SO excited for you!  Tell us your call story!

Nancy:  Thanks, Jeanne.  I’m grateful for all the encouragement and support you and the other Banditas and our buddies have given me.  It’s a big day for me and a long time coming, so we’re going to party hearty in the Lair!  

Let’s see if I can focus after having Sven’s special drink.  Ahem!

As you know, my agent sent the manuscript around last fall and followed up by email around the first of the year.  In late January, she emailed me to tell me an editor who had Renegade was out of town but wanted to talk when she returned.  We figured this probably meant an offer was coming, but you never know for sure.   She closed the conversation with “Today, I heard ‘Renegade,’ by Styx, on the radio.  Maybe it’s a sign.”  I hoped so!

A couple of days later, I heard the same song on the radio while I was out running errands.  I stopped at a local business to browse and overheard the manager ask a guy at the desk, “So what’s your name?”

“Griff,” he replied, and a chill went down my spine.  The hero’s name is Griffin Dare.

My agent called a few days later with news of the offer.  She and the editor worked out the details, and now here we are!  Forever Yours is a digital-first line, so the book is now available only at e-book stores, but a print-on-demand version will be released December 18.

Jeanne: Woot!  Love that!  I’m a big believer in signs and omens and portents as you well know.    So, you have an agent you really like, what does she think about the Light Mages?  And why are they called that?

Nancy:  Thanks!  My agent liked the book immediately.  Though there have been occasional magic-based paranormals, those were far outnumbered by vamps and shifters in recent years.  She thought the time might be right for something different, and these are mages in the high fantasy sense, with a magical society distinct from our own.

I wanted them to have a fully developed culture, right down to their own code of laws, The Caudex Magi, and a magic system that would have clear rules and limits as well as room to expand.  I also liked the superhero groups and secret identities that hooked me in grade school, so keeping the mages secret from the Mundane, or nonmagical, world came naturally to me.  My agent liked all of that and gave me some good suggestions to help clarify the world for people who can’t see what’s in my head, only what’s on the page.

As for why they’re called Light Mages, that answer lies in their history.  They’ve protected humanity for millennia. Somewhere in the dark ages, they adopted this coat of arms, which also appears on my website’s Introduction to the Protectors page.  They battle the forces of darkness and so chose as their motto Servire Luci, which translates as “To Serve the Light.”  Hence the name Light Mages, though they usually call themselves, as I do, simply “mages,” because it’s easier and flows faster.

Jeanne: The art is amazing!  I love that coat of arms.  And I’m grinning over the motto being in Latin – that’s so “you”!  *ahem*  I guess I’d best get back to the story instead of oogling Griff on the cover.  *snicker*  Let’s talk heroine first, so I can keep a clear head.  Ha!  I know that your heroine, Val, is a Shire Reeve – kind of like a magical sheriff – tell us how you came up with that designation. 

Nancy:   Here you’re homing in on my love of trivia.  The modern term “sheriff” derives from “shire reeve.”  I chose the older term to give it the air of being slightly different and of tying into an old tradition.  Since I had the Canadian and US mages organize their territories by shires, also to tie into the old English tradition, “shire reeve” seemed a natural fit.  

Jeanne: Very cool!  And how did you come up with this fabulous plot with the ghouls?

Nancy:  Seeing as you were there, you should…what?  Oh, explain it for OTHER people!  Right.

Jeanne:  Snork!  Exactly!!

Nancy: I wanted a type of villain that hadn’t been used a lot, and I’m naturally drawn to things that go bump in the night, a category that seemed to include ghouls.  I wanted something that would set a dark tone and be menacing in different ways.  We kicked the idea around in our brainstorming group, with Donna and Cassondra and later with Joan, and the ghouls are what we came up with.  They’re sort of like vampires in that they can draw from their victims, but they draw life energy or magic instead of blood.  Usually.  Their talons can also inject potentially fatal venom or rip deep wounds in mage or Mundane flesh.  Or in ghoul flesh, for that matter.  They aren’t known for getting along with each other.

This might be a good place to pop in the trailer, which will go on the bandit site sometime this week.  The Members Only excerpt is up now.


Jeanne: I just LOVE that trailer!  Yum, yum, yum.   I’m going to switch gears here for a minute to your hot, hot (and did I mention hot?) hero, Griffin Dare.  He’s an outlaw when the story starts.  Tell us about that!  And I want to know, why a quarterstaff?

Nancy: Why, thank you, Jeanne!  The guy standing in for Griff on the cover, Mr. Anonymously Gorgeous, certainly is hot!  I don’t want to say too much about why Griff is an outlaw.  I think I’d rather let people discover that as they go.  But I will say that six years ago, he killed the head of the southeastern mages’ council and fought his way out of the Collegium, their headquarters.  He had been the shire reeve until that one act made him the mages’ most wanted fugitive.  But in this, as in so many things, the motive is critically important and the truth is not always as clear as it seems. 

I chose a quarterstaff because I wanted him to have something unique.  My research into medieval weapons convinced me the staff was both lethal and versatile, and I haven’t seen it used often in romance or even in fantasy.

Jeanne:  Why don’t you give us an excerpt!  I want every one to get a taste of the deliciousness that is Renegade!!

Nancy: Thanks.  While they read, the dh and I will have another one of Sven’s Protector drinks.  The boy, alas, could not join us tonight because he’s away at school, trying to finish up a project so he can enjoy his Thanksgiving break.

Excerpt:  This takes place shortly after Griff rescues Val.  Her eyes are bandaged, so she’s unable to see him.

The silence stretched between them until fear churned in Val’s gut. Had she made a mistake, pushed him too far?

“Assuming I’m this person,” he said in a flat, hard voice, “what does that make me to you? I already have an idea, but give me the whole picture.”

She raised her chin a notch, bracing herself for an outburst. “You’re a rogue mage, a murderer several times over, and possibly a ghoul ally.”

A creak alerted her as he shifted toward her, leaning so close she could feel his breath on her cheek. Her mouth went dry, but she held her position. She couldn’t let him intimidate her.

“If I’m such a bastard, why the hell aren’t you dead?”

“I asked you first.” Thank God, her voice held steady. She swallowed to ease her tight throat.

“If you believed everything in your precious annals, you wouldn’t risk challenging me. Yes, I’m Griffin Rhys Dare.”

Val’s heart thudded in her throat. He’d just confirmed her guess. Yet she was, for whatever reason, still alive.

“What do you want with me?”

“I want you to listen. To consider evidence you haven’t seen before.”

“So you’re going to tell me you’re innocent? I’d expected better of you.”

He let out a weary sigh. “I’m not in league with the ghouls, and I never killed anyone I didn’t have to.”

The first part, she’d believe. But the second…“You’ll never convince me the mages who tried to apprehend you were ghoul allies.”

“Of course not.” He sounded sad. 
If only she could believe he really was.
 “They were trying to capture me. I was defending myself—and those who rely on me for protection.”

“Such as?” Impatient, Val shook her head. “Regardless, you should’ve come in, made your case, not slaughtered—”

“We’re not going there. Not tonight.” His cold, hard voice warned her not to press. “I brought you here to talk to you. To show you things you can’t see well enough now to read.”

“So you do have a jailhouse alibi.” That seemed beneath him, and his thinking her fool enough to buy it stung.

“I have the truth. If you’re willing to see it.”

“Right. What do you really want?”
A slight sound, not quite a sigh, came from him, as if he were hurt. Like he cared whatshe thought. Oh, he knew just how to play her.

“I want safety for our people,” he said, “and for the Mundanes, whether you believe me or not. Listening won’t cost you anything but a couple of days for your eyes to heal. What if I’m telling the truth, Valeria? What if there’s something rotten in the Collegium’s heart? Can you shrug off that possibility so easily?”

What was or wasn’t happening in the Collegium was her business, not his, but listening might help her better understand his angle. “I’ll hear you out, but you’ll have to explain right now.”

Jeanne:  Sigh.  I love Griff.  Grins.  Tell us what’s next for you and the mages?

Nancy:  There’s a novella, Protector, scheduled for March 2013, and the second novel, Guardian, should be out in May.  I’m also blogging on Fresh Fiction today.  There’s a list of upcoming guest appearances on my website.  I’m also going down to the Okefenokee Swamp again soon, to do research for the third book, which has the working title Warrior.

Because I’m so happy about launching Renegade, I’m running the Everyday Magic contest for my newsletter subscribers and a separate contest on Fresh Fiction.  Each of these prize packages includes a handmade glass goblet with a dragon in the stem.  There are no dragons in Renegade, but I happen to like them, so I figured, why not? 

So, Banditas and Buddies…who’s your favorite outlaw hero?  

Nancy’s giving away a Keeper Kase with a signed Renegade cover card as well as one from my upcoming release, Deadly Charms, and an assortment of others.  She’s also giving away a handmade glass goblet with a green glass dragon in the stem.  The winner will be chosen from the commenters on this blog post and on Nancy’s post November 26.


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  • Fedora says:

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!!! Huge congrats, Nancy! Can’t wait to read this one and obviously, look forward to the rest of the series!!

    I’m not sure I have one favorite outlaw hero, but Han Solo is a pretty good one 😉

    • Fedora says:

      Oh, and I love the premise of this series and story, Nancy! I’m really looking forward to these!!! Thanks for the great intro to Griff and Val today!

    • Hi, Fedora–Han Solo works for me. And he’s cuter than the GR, who’s mooching off you today. Don’t let him take over the kitchen.

      Thanks for your enthusiasm. I hope you enjoy Renegade.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Fedora!! Congrats – I think! – on catching the chook. Nancy’s right, he’s a total Bad Boy. Ha!

      But Han Solo is MUCH better looking! (Don’t tell the GR)

  • Mary Preston says:


    RENEGADE looks absolutely fabulous.

    I love trivia. I did not know that about “shire reeve” before.

    I’m reading the series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George RR Martin. I seriously have too many favorite outlaw heroes to name just one.

    • Thank you, Mary. I hope you’ll enjoy Renegade.

      People keeping telling me I need to read Game of Thrones, and I will, but I can’t do it until I have time to risk getting sucked into it.

      The late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga concludes in January, I think, with Brandon Sanderson writing the last volume. I know I’m going to have to catch up on that one, too.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Mary! Evidently, George Martin LIKES Renegades in his books. Ha! Like Nancy, I’ve been holding off on that one, as I know I’ll be sucked into that universe and not come out for days. My boys might get a bit perterbed if they don’t get meals. Snork!!

      Nancy, I never could get into Jordan, although my DH loves him. I was always, “Isn’t Rand to the mountain YET?”


  • Minna says:

    Favorite outlaw hero? Robin Hood, of course.

  • Helen says:


    Whoo Hoo I am soo happy for you and soo looking forward to reading this can’t wait till I am allowed to buy it here in Australia I have tried a few times at Amazon and it is not availabel here :(.

    My favourite outlaw hero would have to be Robin Hood as well and has been for many years.

    I will have one of Sven’s drinks as well it is evening over here I had a very busy day at work it was Melbourne Cup day the horse race that stops a nation LOL.

    Have Fun

    • Hi, Helen–Thanks for trying! I hope it will turn up there soon and that it will live up to your expectations.

      I saw it at some online place in Australia, not Amazon. If I can find that again, I’ll send you the link. I’d never heard of this place, but of course, I’m not in Australia! You may know it, but I don’t know that I’d buy an ebook from an unfamiliar vendor.

      I hope your favorite horse won the race!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Helen! I was going to look on Book Depository and see if it was available there. :>

      How was Melbourne Day?

  • Wow, Nancy, I’m so excited about this. Jeanne, thank you for being our master (mistress?) of ceremonies! You’ve worked so hard and stuck to your guns and you deserve every moment of your success, my friend. I hope RENEGADE sells a million! The cabana boys are so emotional about your wonderful book coming up that they’re tearing up. No, not tearing up the lair. Getting weepy! Yay, you!!!!

    • Thank you, Anna C. I appreciate the good wishes and certainly would love to sell a million copies. You and the other bandits and our buddies have been invaluable support along the way. I just hope you all actually like the actual book once you see it.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Why thank you Anna…I have worked hard and…OH, you mean NANCY! Heeheehee.

      Hey Nancy, how are the book launch jitters coming along? Did Sven’s morning breakfast cocktail soothe them away?

      Trust me, the great reveiws are going to come rolling in on this one!!

    • jo robertson says:

      LOL, Anna! With our cabana boys it could easily be ripping the Lair to pieces. Seriously, we cannot have too many eyes on those guys.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    WOOOHOOOO!!! Amazon just downloaded my pre-ordered copy to my iPad!!! Renegade is live!!

    So excited for you, Nancy – this is a fabulous book. Griff is a delicious hero and Val is my kind of heroine!

    I’ve always been a fan of the outlaw hero – from Hans Solo to Butch and Sundance or the boys of The Sting to my bad boy hockey players *g*. Perhaps it’s my rebel soul seeking out the rebel hero LOL. My faves have to be Alias Smith and Jones.

    • Thank you, Anna S.! You’ve actually read part of the book. I hope you like the rest.

      Of course, Butch and Sundance rate, especially as portrayed by Newman and Redford! I remember Alias Smith and Jones–Peter Duel was sooo cute. It’s too bad about him.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh, Butch and Sundance….sigh. Now I have to go look up Peter Duel though, as I have no idea what happened that was “too bad.” Grins. Curiousity and all that…

      Han is going to make EVERYONE’s list today!

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    Been waiting a while on this one! Congratulations Nancy, can’t wait to read it.

  • Deb Marlowe says:

    So excited that this day is here! Congrats Nancy!
    Someone tell Sven that I’m holding out for the rum. I want to raise a toast!

    I’m off to order Renegades, but my favorite outlaw? Hmm…there are so many…but I am enjoying Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time lately!

    • Thanks, Deb.

      Sven, more rum for Deb!

      I’m so behind on TV. I haven’t seen that Captain Hook yet. Burn Notice comes back with a 2-hour episode Thursday. I’m just hoping I have time to see it.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Deb!! Isn’t this exciting? And I’m holding out for rum this afternoon too. I’ll need it after the voting lines!! Ha!

    • jo robertson says:

      Oh, Deb, isn’t that Captain Hook the most handsome thing you’ve seen in a long time? I wonder if there’s going to be something hanky panky going on b/t him and Emma Swan.

      Do you know the actor? This is the first thing I’ve seen him in and it’s a fairly recent arc.

  • Heathercm2001 says:

    Amazing achievement! Hot cover! Great story! Congratulations Nancy! I’m on my way to the e-book store now 🙂

    • Heathercm2001 says:

      Oh and for the question. I love all the guys from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series, especially Darling. Those guys are serious outlaws! I love it!

    • Thank you, Heather! I hope you like Renegade.

      The League guys are great, yes. Outlaw heroes in spaceships–way cool!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Well, Han would fit in – in his “I won’t fit in” way – with the League guys. Ha!

      That reminds me of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, rebels all. Alan Quartermain, Capt. Nemo, etc. Love them.

  • Eilis Flynn says:

    Congratulations, Nancy! Enjoy your first release day as we enjoy your work!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Congratulations, Nancy! So excited to be celebrating this launch with you! I (finally) have a day off work, already voted and am now curled up on the couch with my e-reader and a copy of RENEGADE. It’s going to be a very good day! 🙂

  • Hey Nancy,

    I just ordered my copy of RENEGADE. I can’t wait to read it. I know it will rock. Congratulations!

    Big Hugs,


  • A shout out to Miz Nancy and the awesomeness that is RENEGADE (I gots me an advanced copy and it ranks!)

    Favorite outlaw hero … Hm … I see Anna (hey Anna!) beat me to Han Solo, so I’m going to go with Sagan from Margaret Weis’s STAR OF THE GUARDIAN series, which is an oldie but goodie. Not specifically a romance, though it’s romantic as heck, imo.

    As I recall, she wrote it because she always wanted to know what would’ve happened in Star Wars (the earlier, non-sucky ones) if Vader had been the romantic lead. Ergo, outlaw hero!

    • Hi, Jessica–thanks for the shootout and the cover blurb!

      Oooh, I haven’t read Star of the Guardian. Must check it out.

      Congrats to you on the release of Spellfire, which I’m looking forward to reading. I hate that it’s the last Nightkeepers book, but I’m eager to see how things turn out.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jessica! WOOT!!! So excited that you popped on, given that it’s a release day for YOU too! :>

      I’m with Nancy, I’ve not read that Margaret Weis series. Must change THAT!

      Like Nancy, I’m sorry that this is the last Nightkeeper book. *sniffle*

      However, it’s fun to gloat with someone who’s also read Renegade – isn’t it faboo!?! Love me some Griff!!

  • Just a reminder for everyone–Jessica Andersen will be here Thursday as we celebrate the release of Spellfire, the Nightkeepers finale!

    • Thanks, Nancy. Looking forward to it!

      I can’t think of a better lady (or book) to share a release day with, especially since your series is launching just as mine finishes up. One door closing, another door opening for paranormal fans!

      Wishing you an awesome launch!

  • Minna says:

    By the way, there is an interesting documentary about Robin Hood by Tony Robinson (you might remember Tony from Black Adder). Did you know Robin Hood was actually from Yorkshire?

  • Linda says:

    Love the excerpt and trailer, =) can´t wait for my chance to read more. Not sure he´s an Outlaw, but he do live on the fringes of the law, Criminy Stain from Wicked as they come, he´s the director/owner of the Caravan Circus. (Steampunk + there´s Bludbunnies! )

    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Tuesday,

    PS i hope it´s OK that i´m International

  • Dianna Love says:

    CONGRATULATIONS Nancy!!!! So glad this book is finally available for readers. I was reading down the blog and got stuck at the “play” arrow that is right in the middle of those beautiful abs on your cover art. 🙂 You really need to make posters of that cover.

    Cassondra and I will toast you this evening once she gets down here. I’m sure she’ll jump on once she gets to a computer. 🙂

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Congratulations on the launch, Nancy! I am a big fan of mages and wizards in fantasy, and this series sounds fabulous! You sound like you’ve done a great job on the worldbuilding, too, with lots of detail. This is definitely on my to-buy and don’t-miss lists!!

  • WOOHOOOOOO! Nancy, I’m so incredibly happy for you. I downloaded Renegade last night. So looking forward to reading it.

    Favorite outlaws:

    1. Will Turner and Captain Jack from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies
    2. the entire crew of the Serenity in Firefly/Serenity
    3. Like Deb, Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time is hotness personified! Slurp.
    4. the ultimate classic, Han Solo

    • Thanks, Trish!

      I guess Will Turner was an outlaw part of the time, wasn’t he? I thought of Captain Jack, but how could I forget the Firefly crew?

      I gotta check out this Captain Hook. And yes, Han Solo is great!

  • Oh Wow – Someone must have knocked me silly. I’d been focused on this being election day and forgot it was also Renegade’s debut.

    Somehow it’s apropos that Renegade debut on a day devoted to government and justice and so forth.

    Mega, mega congratulations on this long overdue release – and on the fabbo book trailer. I feel honored to be involved in the book’s conception. I know it was a winner from the moment you talked about the mages.

    Wishing you great success with this, Nancy – and I hope you’re frantically writing because once readers get a taste of Renegade – they’re going to be demanding more. Just sayiing.

  • catslady says:

    A big congratulations – so exciting! I enjoyed the excerpt and the cover gods were working overtime – gorgeous cover!!!

  • Janga says:

    I’m running late with everything today, and since I voted last week, I can’t use that as an excuse. So slightly tardy congratulations on your debut, Nancy! Renegade is an exciting story with great characters. I loved Val and Griff, but I also loved the secondary characters. I’m looking forward to Guardian.

    I posted my review of Renegade today. Here’s hoping it brings you a few more readers.

  • jo robertson says:

    Whooo hoooo, Nancy! This much-deserved debut is very exciting; mine ebook downloaded last night and I’ve already begun.

    You must be as giddy as a kid with a new toy!

  • jo robertson says:

    Outlaw heroes — that’s what initially attracted me to RENEGADE, Nancy. I especcially love the Robin Hood type, breaking the law or rules for the greater good.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Nancy, I would just like to say that I’m very happy I don’t have to work tomorrow morning. I’m on page 89 of RENEGADE and I can already tell I won’t be going to bed tonight until I finish this story. So good!!!

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Congratulations, Nancy, on your Renegade
    launch day! Love the excerpt and the
    trailer! And the cover – WOW!

    Favorite Outlaws:
    1. The “Foxy” Robin Hood (animated)
    2. Butch and Sundance
    3. Han Solo

    Pat C.

    • Thank you, Pat! You know, pretty much everybody reacts that way to the cover. I think the cover fairy was in a good mood when she came up with that one. 🙂

      I’d forgotten the foxy Robin Hood! I think you’re the first person to mention him. Butch and Sundance were great, at least with Newman and Redford portraying them, and I do like Han Solo.

  • Pissenlit says:

    Happy launch day! Woo!

    Favourite outlaw hero? Captain Malcolm Reynolds! Shiny!!

  • Speaking of Mal Reynolds, as Pissenlit and I just were and others have today, the Science channel is running a Firefly retrospective Sunday night. Check your listings for times.

  • gamistress66 says:

    Congrats on your release Nancy! Renagade sounds quite interesting & I rather like the idea of a quarterstaff for a change 😉 Robin Hood comes to mind as the hero outlaw (must be the quarterstaff which helps bring him to mind since didn’t he & some of his men use it as a weapon in addition to the bow & arrow).

    • Thanks, Gamistress. 🙂

      The Errol Flynn Robin Hood features the quarterstaff battle in the middle of the stream. I think that’s part of the legend. The Sherwood Forest museum has a statue of Robin and Little John fighting with quarterstaffs.

      I’ve always had a weakness for Robin Hood.

  • Cassondra says:

    I’m so sorry I’m late!

    I was traveling today and just got to a place with internet.


    I’m so thrilled that RENEGADE is out in the world!

    Okay I’ll gloat a little…I’ve read it and it’s fantastic.
    I love the magic system and the fresh world Nancy has built. And Griffin is the best hero EVER.

    I warn you all…I don’t cry over books, but this one took me there. I laughed. I cried. And these characters are so real to me they’re unforgettable.

    Y’all will love this book.

    Congrats again Nancy!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Yep. What you said!!

    • Thank you, Cassondra. I’m thrilled, too. I sat here and looked at it on my iPad. In trying to figure out how to send one as a gift, I accidentally bought the Kindle version, but that’s okay.

      I take a certain pride in having made you cry. 🙂 But don’t forget you also played a role in the development of this world and its magic system.

      Thank you for the shout-out and the good wishes.

  • Caren Crane says:

    HOORAY! I’m so excited Launch Day is finally here! I’ve been distracted by election nonsense so I’m late to the party, but I’m so thrilled to have made it! Even if the Swedish meatballs are all gone. 🙁

    I can’t wait to read it, Nancy. Congrats on all the kudos and hoopla and awesome reviews!

  • Nancy, I am terrifically pleased for you — this is such a red letter day for us all in the lair. I can’t wait to read Renegade and I’m going to be recommending it to everyone I meet. Best of luck with the launch, Bandita!!

  • Diane Sallans says:

    enjoyed that trailer – got my heart rate up – looks very exciting!