RELEASE DAY: Steelflower at Sea

After pitched battle, betrayal, and escape, Kaia Steelflower has enough gold to feed her troupe of outcasts through the winter. She can settle them in a small villa in Antai, that queen of maritime cities, and look forward to welcome boredom.

Unfortunately, there’s a pirate-infested sea to cross, her difficult new talents to corral, her traveling companions’ problems to solve, a princeling’s attentions to manage, and once in Antai, people keep trying to kill her. Or, more precisely, assassinate the barbarian Redfist, and Kaia keeps getting in the way.

Even the Steelflower can’t kill every assassin in the city. It’s going to take all her sharp wits—and sharper blades—to even try…

Now available at Amazon. Will be available at Barnes & Noble and indie bookstores as soon as the distribution propagates.

That’s right, my darling Readers! Kaia’s further adventures are now available. It’s been a long hard road to get here, indeed.

Please note that Steelflower at Sea will not be released in ebook for the foreseeable future. And yes, there’s a teaser for Book 3 at the end of this edition. I don’t have a projected date for Book 3–Steelflower in Snow–just yet, but I’m thinking maybe late 2018.

And now I’ll go soak my head in a bucket to calm the release day nerves…

Three Words Count

Some things need to be written by hand. Rattlesnake Wind was that way, and parts of Khir’s Honour are proving so as well. Then there’s nighttime, when I crawl into bed with a grateful sigh, rescue my zibaldone from the bedside table, and fish out a pen.

Sometimes I have plenty to record. Things I’ve thought about during the day, sometimes the weather, often I log reading and wordcount. Looking back over those entries, I see just how many days are obstacle courses. Just getting through can take all one’s finesse, skill, energy, courage, and restraint.

Conversely, I’m surprised by how often I note what’s turned out to be a pretty good day. Each time I haven’t been completely drained to transparency by the business of getting through daylight hours, it’s a gift. Maybe it’s bad that my bar for “good day” is so low, but I’ll take it.

Other things go into the zibaldone–dreams that don’t make it into the separate dream journal, memories, complaints, passages from books read during the day, words I want to look up, quotations I’m not sure of the provenance of, lists of things to remember, reminders to pick up this or that, political musings.

And yet, there come those days when I uncap the pen, stare at the page and the date, and finally write: Tired. No entry. I log the usual three-card tarot spread, think about it for a while, and close the journal. I rescue the bedside book from the pile I keep meaning to stack neatly, sigh, and read because I can’t sleep without doing so. Eventually the meds kick in, the light turns off, and I’m ready for night’s restorative journey.

Yes, handwriting is good. Wordcount is good. But even those three words–tired, no entry–count. They keep me in the habit of distilling each day into the journals, old ones ranged neatly on a shelf in my office because I no longer have to hide them.

Certain days might be a slog to get through. But even those three small words count, and keep me on the right track. Don’t ever discount small, incremental actions. They can keep you alive through the secret hollows of the night, when otherwise your grip might slip.

photo by:

Frustration Saturation

Quiet intersection
© | Dreamstime Stock Photos
October hath arrived, that most blessed of months, wherein I can finally buy house decorations and candy comes in reasonable bite-size pieces BY THE BAG LOAD. Also, pumpkin spice. I love me some pumpkin spice. Not the chemical syrups, no, but ground nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, all in a handy shaker. It’s like crack, I put it in my coffee, in my morning gruel, in pies and other baked goods. PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYWHERE.

The world is burning, but Samhain approaches, the turn of the witch’s year. I have a lot to think about since the last time the Wheel reached this particular spot.

I took some time off in September to luxuriate in the aftermath of a creative frenzy. Now I’m itching, and I long to get back to work. The pressure behind my eyeballs has reached its normal level, so to speak. There’s the zero of Roadtrip Z’s Season 3 to finish, edits on Steelflower at Sea, and I’m sure now that Afterwar is up for preorder I’ll be getting copyedits and proof pages soon. That’s apart from the epic fantasy I’m currently being consumed by, and now that the weather is cooler I really want to finish the zero of Dog Days.

There’s no shortage of work, and forcing myself to take two weeks of 200-word days, as wearing on my nerves as that was, means I’ll be able to do it more effectively now.

I’d talk about the current fascist mess, but I just can’t. I’ve hit frustration saturation. My resistance today is self-care. And working. It feels wrong to be joyous about Samhain, candy, and work, but I need that joy to get through to bedtime, now more than ever.

I hope you have some joy to get you through your day too, dear Readers.

RELEASE DAY: Cotton Crossing

That’s right, my friends, the re-edited, shiny Season 1 of Roadtrip Z, my Patreon serial, is now available!

Cotton Crossing was a dead end, but not for Ginny Mills. She’s just marking time, getting experience in the county library system, before moving back to a decent urban environment. Then the phones stop working.

Lee Quartine knows there’s no way the pretty girl at the library will even look at him. Especially since he can’t open his mouth. He knows he’s a hick, but when the power starts going out and the woods are full of strange creatures, it’s good to have someone around who can build a fire. And kill.

Ginny, Lee, and their small band of survivors can’t stay put, and moving is dangerous. The infected are shambling in the hills and the concrete canyons of cities.

It’s gonna be a long trip…

Season 1: Cotton Crossing is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or direct!

We’re now deep in Season 2. Subscribe here to read, chapter by chapter, as the serial is written.

Release Day: DESIRES, KNOWN

Remember that accountant-and-genie book I told you guys about? Well, now it’s out in the world!

A ring. A man. A centuries-old secret.

To accountant Emily Spencer, the junky thrift-store ring is perfect for her Halloween costume. A few too many drinks, a slip of the tongue, and all of a sudden, there’s a guy calling her mistress and demanding to know her desires. If she just ignores the weirdness, it’ll go away, right?

Wrong. Hal is a creature of almost limitless power, eternally bound to serve the owner of the ring. Though modern technology is puzzling, he has no difficulty deciding he likes being out in the world again. Even if he has to train a reluctant but undeniably attractive new mistress.

Unfortunately, the man who lost Hal’s ring so long ago is still around—rich, unscrupulous, and more than a little insane. He’ll try anything—deceit, treachery, torture—to regain control of Hal.

Anything at all.

Now available at Amazon (Kindle version here), Barnes & Noble, and indie bookstores, or buy direct!

Shiny New Stuff

Six months of furious activity is beginning to surface, much like a whale rising to breathe. (Yeah, I finished Moby Dick, more about that later. Poor Queequeg.) So the last half of 2017 has some Really Cool Stuff coming for my readers.

Like the story about the genie and the accountant! It’s finally seeing the light of day! Preorders are up, the print version is wending its way through distribution networks, and oh my goodness release day (August 22) is right around the corner.

Also up for preorder is Season One of Roadtrip Z. My faithful Patreon patrons, of course, are well into Season 2 by now, and get the season ebooks for FREE. (They’ve earned it.)

There’s also a Rowan Casey book written by Yours Truly coming soon. I can’t quite talk about it yet, but you may want to read a couple of those before mine drops. *is mysterious*

November will also bring a very cool new release. *is doubly mysterious*

For right now, though, I’ve got to get a run in before the heat makes it dangerous. There’s a thick veil of smoke wending its way southward from all the forest forest in BC, and I’m sure I’ll end up coughing before I get three kilometers alone. Big fun to be had by all. At least inside we have the ionizers to clean some of the particles away.

You can probably tell I’m excited. It’s pretty cool to see book babies take their first blinking, unsteady steps into the light. I’m hoping they’ll be able to run on their own.

Over and out.

Roll for Adulting

I finished Kenneth Stampp’s The Peculiar Institution yesterday, during a break from the Sekrit Projekt. I had to take the book in small chunks, because so much of it is sickening. If one wishes to understand America, one must look unflinchingly at chattel slavery. It’s that simple.

It took a little while, sitting on the deck with my eyes closed, for the nausea to go down. Part of it was that Stampp’s attempt at “balance”–Christ knows he probably wouldn’t have gotten the book published without it–delved into the “moral quandaries” of slavery for the owners. I have long been, and remain, completely unimpressed by the idea that whites were somehow forced to enslave others, and unsympathetic to their moaning about how haaaaard it was to do so. The sheer number of mental contortions they had to perform to convince themselves what they were doing was somehow acceptable is astonishing. It’s akin to the just-as-breathtaking contortions conservatives perform today, both in number and in kind.

Next up: Harrison Salisbury’s The 900 Days. Which is a terrifying book already, since I’m familiar with the Siege of Leningrad from other books on the Eastern Front. I’m only about a hundred pages in, and I can’t look away, the suspense is awful.

In other news, I got 3K words in on the Sekrit Projekt, did an hour of yoga (my hips felt weird afterward) and almost forgot about the new short story up for preorder. It’s one I wrote a while ago, when I was first thinking about doing a werewolf novella. Unfortunately, the narrator had other ideas. It’s not often a short story comes out in a whole, bloody chunk, but this one did on a very cold winter afternoon. Funny how I tend to write winter stories in summer, and vice versa.

Anyway, I’ve a 6km run today, and another push to get the bulk of the Sekrit Projekt done before I have to shift to revisions. The revisions are for a book I doubt the publisher will take anyway, but when professionalism demands, the writer performs. I mean, I’ll certainly bitch about it to my writing partner, but I’ll do it to the very utmost best of my ability. Roll for adulting, +3.

Over and out.