RELEASE DAY: Finder

That’s right, my lovelies! Today is the (long-awaited) day the sixth book in the Watchers series drops!


He’s not the only one watching her. . .

For years Jorie Camden has been quietly helping her police friends pursue cold cases, and she’s paid the price over and over again, her talent for Finding stretched to the limit. Now something different is stalking the streets, taking children–something old, and foul, and Dark. The cops won’t admit there’s a problem, so what can a Lightbringer do but solve the mystery on her own?

Caleb is a Watcher of Circle Lightfall, and his mission is simple: protect the witch he’s assigned to–the witch who just happens to be able to touch him without causing agonizing pain. It’s his one shot at redemption, and it’ll take every weapon he has, plus his willingness to play dirty. Even if his witch seems to be chasing something no one can see.

Yet something Dark is indeed in their city. And now that it’s aware of pursuit, it has plans for Jorie and her talent–plans not even Caleb might be able to stop. . .

NOW AVAILABLE AT AMAZONB&NKOBOGOOGLE, AND APPLE.


It’s been a long, long time. This book has had a particularly difficult road to publication (though nothing like Afterwar, thank every god there ever was or will be) and honestly I never thought it would see the light of day. But it has, it’s finally here, and I’m super glad. A big shout-out goes to Brenda Chin, editor extraordinaire, who didn’t give up on the book (or me!) when the going got tough, plus the crew at Belle/ImaJinn who didn’t either. And, as always, a special thank you to my lovely Patreon and Gumroad subscribers, who got to see little bits of the book and cheered me over the finish line; last but not least, thank you to all the fans who wrote to reassure me that yes, you would like to read another book about the Circle’s black-leather knights.

I have other news in the pipeline, but today is for performing my usual release day feat of sticking my head in a bucket of ice water and staying there until the performance anxiety abates a bit. Soon enough I’ll be back at work, as usual; it’s nice to reach a mountaintop and gaze at all the peaks yet to climb, breathing deep and knowing you’ve at least scaled one.

Some days, one is enough.

Proof Positive, For Me

Woke up with a few story ideas running around my head, which hasn’t happened for about a week and a half. For most of that time I was absorbed in finishing a (messy, oh so messy) zero draft of Moon’s Knight.

I don’t know why my mini nervous breakdown needed me to shred my hands producing around 10k words of a portal fantasy every day for over a week, but that’s what it demanded so that’s what I did. Now the story’s finished and I’m on a much more even keel. (Well, as even as my keel ever gets.) My hands hurt, but ice, stretching, and ibuprofen will take care of that; I feel oddly clear, like a just-washed window.

I suppose I needed to prove to myself I could still finish something. It feels like 2020 has lasted decades and I haven’t “finished” a single thing. Irrational, yes–but when the Muse gets an idea in her head, it’s almost impossible to dislodge. She is rather stubborn.

Anyway, the proof positive that I can, indeed, finish a whole-ass 100k portal fantasy (that will never be published, I’m pretty sure) has managed to paper over some bare nerves, and I’m ready to lunge through the last half of HOOD‘s Season Three, catch up with The Bloody Throne, and keep The Black God’s Heart at a low burn by poking at it after dinner and around the edges of the other two projects. It will do me no end of good to be working on actual paid projects instead of being possessed by something I know is necessary for my mental and emotional well-being but not quite salable.

Maybe I just needed something simply and solely for me, however janky, farfetched, or outlandish. It’s been a while since I wrote something purely for my own enjoyment, managing to turn off the inner critic for a substantial period of time. Or maybe the Muse just threw that into my pit because she needed a rest from the other three projects. Who knows?

Tomorrow there’s a new release; later today my newsletter and subscriber fiction drops go out with links to a brand-new giveaway. (Subscribers–either newsletter or Patreon/Gumroad–get first crack at giveaways; don’t worry, I’ll post the link here and on social media after the weekend.) I recovered from finishing the zero by prepping all that yesterday, so I should be good for a full day’s work.

One of the things I’ve learned after decades in this job is when to just simply let things arrange themselves. When taking a break will actually make me more productive in the long term, when to follow that tiny internal voice whispering this is what you need now, trust me. I used to think working myself into the ground was the only way to get anything done. Now that I’ve been around a while, I know a little better–or I’ve simply accumulated a large enough body of work to be able to rest once in a while while the gravity of that body slings me through orbit without needing much fuel.

…now there’s a metaphor.

Off I go to update a series page, since Finder releases tomorrow. I’m already feeling the anticipation and dread of release day. It’s a good thing my nerves are re-wrapped, at least a little.

See you around, beloveds.

Audio ROADTRIP, and FINDER!

Well, isn’t this a banner Tuesday?

I’m pleased and proud–as punch, as Lee would say–to announce that Roadtrip Z is now in audio! Narrated by the amazing Erin deWard, the adventures of Ginny, Lee, Juju, and the gang are now available in a silken voice, ready to slip into your ear-holes. Cotton Crossing and In the Ruins are both available now; Pocalypse Road and Atlanta Bound are forthcoming.

I don’t often go back to previous work, but last night I got down the omnibus. Paging through it, I just had to smile; Lee is just so Lee and Ginny is so damn Ginny, and Juju’s the absolute best. Of course I couldn’t tell a zombie story without a dog and a road trip, either.

I do have some free audiobook codes, and if I can scrape together the energy newsletter subscribers and other patrons will get a chance to win a few.

But that’s not all the news I have for you today, my beloveds. Oh, no indeed.


You guys have seen bits of Finder’s Watcher here and there; my subscribers have, of course, seen more. I am also pleased and proud to report that the latest Watchers book (my goodness, we’re up to six now) has a cover, and will release on August 21, 2020.

He’s not the only one watching her…

For years Jorie Camden has been quietly helping her police friends pursue cold cases, and she’s paid the price over and over again, her talent for Finding stretched to the limit. Now something different is stalking the streets, taking children—something old, and foul, and Dark. The cops won’t admit there’s a problem, so what can a Lightbringer do but solve the mystery on her own?

Caleb is a Watcher of Circle Lightfall, and his mission is simple: protect the witch he’s assigned to—the witch who just happens to be able to touch him without causing agonizing pain. It’s his one shot at redemption, and it’ll take every weapon he has, plus his willingness to play dirty. Even if his witch seems to be chasing something no one can see.

Yet something Dark is indeed in their city. And now that it’s aware of pursuit, it has plans for Jorie and her talent—plans not even Caleb might be able to stop…

The preorder links are coming up as I type this (Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Google, and Apple) and there will be a paperback release too. As soon as I have the links for the latter I’ll update the series page.

It’s been a long, difficult time getting this book to print; I couldn’t be happier that we’ve finally done it. Now, of course, I need to be thinking about the next one… but that’s for another day.


I woke up pretty down about the state of the world, but there are good things happening right now too. I have to keep telling stories or I’ll drown; hopefully, said stories will provide other people with a little relief.

And as usual, there’s dogs to walk and maybe a run to get in, though the latter might take a back seat to a nap. I don’t feel rested at all, and there’s miles yet to go today.

I suppose I’d best get started, then.

Release Day: HOOD’s Season Two

That’s right, friends and neighbors! HOOD‘s Season Two is now live in the wild!

HOOD: Season Two

All of Sharud is singing about a man in a hood. He could be a hero–if he wasn’t so determined to destroy himself. Robb Locke is doing his best to hit bottom, and even his childhood friends Ged Gizabón and Marah Madán can’t help.

Explosions, riots, political unrest, assassination, and the threat of starvation are still swirling through the entire system. And now the Parl Regent Jun Planetagen’s flagship has entered orbit for the First Harvest Fête. Jun has plans of his own, especially for Marah–and those plans are murderous indeed.

The war is over, but “peace” is always a relative term…

Season Two now available direct, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores.

I like calling my serials “seasons” because they’re structured as smaller arcs within the overarching arc of the whole story; we’re well into Season Three now and subscribers get weekly chapters fresh out of my brain as well as the unedited and edited ebooks–the latter, indeed, before the book goes on sale anywhere.

I’ve talked a little bit about the genesis of this series, and there’s also a soundtrack over on Spotify. A huge helping of thanks is due my beloved subscribers, since I wouldn’t be able to tell these vast, sprawling, interconnected stories without them. You guys are the best.

Now, since it’s a release day, I’m going to go hide my head in a bucket. It’s traditional, after all. And the hyperventilating makes it sound like the seashore. It’ll be almost like a vacation!

Almost.

Happier With Surfeit

So things are very strange right now–not to mention terrifying–but I can’t slow down work at all. Mostly, the idea that I might still be alive when “all this” is over means I have to plan for the eventuality, which means everyone in the house will still need me functioning and providing.

On the bright side, that means I’m working on Season Three of HOOD, which starts going out to subscribers this Thursday. I only have a few scenes loaded into the cannon for this season, despite knowing everything that happens and roughly where all the moving parts go. (When I say “only a few” I mean “only a month or two ahead of my readers”, so it’s not quite as bad as it sounds.)

My “sure, I’ll only work on one project at a time this year!” expired in March–somewhat of a record for such resolutions–and a few things in my professional life have changed very quickly over the past few weeks. So my production schedule has received rather a shattering knock, but in the right direction–I now have three paying projects to work on at once, an embarrassment of riches.

So it’s HOOD‘s Season Three, book three of Hostage to Empire, and The Black God’s Heart splitting my time now. Weekends I’m going to reserve for writing whatever the hell I want, which last time around was Moon Knight and next weekend will probably be The Calling Knife if I can figure out what happens when Amon of the Desert appears before the reunited lovers.

If you’re confused, don’t worry–it’s natural around here. I have so many stories boiling in my head that even I get mixed up and turned around sometimes.

Anyway, I’m excited for HOOD‘s Season Three to begin this week. I have so much planned for my dear subscribers, and of course Season Two is available for preorder and goes live April 14. (If you’d like to order it through an indie store, go here.)

You know me–I’m happier with a surfeit of work than with the reverse. I feel mind-numbingly guilty that I’m having good luck when the rest of the world is suffering so badly. It makes me long to work myself until I drop just to make up for it, though that’s hardly healthy.

There’s also the dogs to walk and bread to bake, so I’d best get started. I like to have at least six months’ work put aside for the current serial; a mere month is nothing. I suppose I’d best get Robb out of jail, Giz further involved with Parl Jun’s plans, Marah even more determined to make some trouble, and Alladal doing what she loves most next to singing–planning mischief. (And that’s just in one book–for Hostage I need Yala married, Takshin briefly happy, Kai heartbroken and savage on a battlefield, Daoyan dragged back to Khir, the Tabrak sending more messengers, and Kiron of Shan having a very bad day.)

But at least I don’t have to do it all at once. I can break it up in little bites, and as long as I just concentrate on the next bite, and the next, I won’t worry so much about the rest of the world.

At least, that’s the plan.


I’m treating this week and the next as the first week in April, which means those Haggard Feathers posts will be free. We’ll be finishing up our marketing month; April will be all about self-care for the working writer.

We could all use it, frankly.

Sharing Good Things

The wind is up today, the Columbia Gorge inhaling for the deep dive into winter. There was stuff hitting the roof all night, but once the dogs are settled on my bed nothing fazes them.1

Of course, that could also have been because the wind chill manages to make the house a trifle chilly at night, so sleeping in a pile mitigates the shivers. I was actually a little too warm, what with flannel sheets and down comforter, not to mention two hairy little stoves to my left.

I do have something awesome for you today, chickadees. My writing partner has a new story out, Voice of the Knife, which centers on woodpeckers, terror, and the legend of Jenny Greenteeth. I consider it one of the five perfect stories I’ve ever read, which is saying a lot. There’s not an ounce wasted in it, and the ending is simply marvelous. I highly recommend taking a gander, not only at it but at her other stuff. Especially Shots in the Dark.2

I am thrilled absolutely to the gills to be able to shout about Voice, since I love the story so much. I’m pretty sure my enthusiasm is both terrifying and amusing for said writing partner, but I don’t do halfway friendships. I am like an octopus on your face UNTIL WE BOTH DIE.

Uh, so to speak.

Anyway, it’s a windy day, the dogs need walking, and the Damage revision is going to be a knotty problem. Yesterday was a 1k net word gain, and I only got two chapters revised. I knew the zero was extremely lean, but this is kind of ridiculous. To be fair, I finished it under acid-test conditions, and I won’t let it out of my hands until it’s a respectable length.3

On the bright side, I got a lot of work done even though I had to leave the house for errands4, so I can look forward to being super productive today because I won’t be interrupted…

…that’s right, go ahead and laugh, I am tempting fate in the extreme. I will be interrupted, but whoever (or whatever) does so will have to deal with Very Direct Problem Solving so I can go back to revisions. I want this draft done and resting with my agent before NaNoWriMo.

But more about that later. For now, it’s time to walk the dogs–though B will have her nose in the air to read the wind the entire time, which will make her trip, and Lord van der Sploot will hop lively every time the invisible hand of moving air brushes his hind end. Fun times will be had by all. (Can you see me rolling my eyes? I’ll bet you can.)

Enjoy Tuesday, chickadees. It’s our only hope.

RELEASE DAY: Throne of the Five Winds

Did you ever want to do something really, really different? So different, indeed, nobody would guess it was you?

I did. And my publisher was willing. And now you can read it.


The warlord Garan Tamuron and his general Zakkar Kai have unified Zhaon. The crown to their conquest is the neighboring country of Khir, a dagger pointed at Zhaon’s heart—now bled white and dulled, forced to send tribute to the conqueror.

Two queens, two concubines, six princes—the palace complex is full of jostling, sly gossip, and danger. A hostage for Khir’s good behavior, the lady Komor Yala has only her wits and her hidden maiden’s blade to protect herself… and her childhood friend Princess Mahara, sacrificed in marriage to bring a tenuous peace.

The Emperor is aging, and only one of his many sons may take the throne. Whether they wish to or not, all six princes are locked in a deadly battle, and a Khir princess and lady-in-waiting are merely pawns to be used. Still, it will only take a single spark to ignite fresh rebellion in Khir. If that spark is the mistreating of their cherished princess, Yala’s beloved lady, war may be closer than a maiden’s blade itself.

And then, the Emperor becomes ill, and a far more deadly game begins…

Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores.

I’ve seen a few people saying the book takes a long time to get underway. That’s true; it’s like every first book in an epic fantasy trilogy that way. Just sit back and settle in, my friends, there’s two books left and enough heartbreak, intrigue, dazzlement, tea, and gore to suit you all. Sip your drink and let me tell you a story of an emperor, six princes, three lands, a barbarian horde, and a lady-in-waiting with secrets sharper than her blade.

Originally titled The Maiden’s Blade (which some of you will remember pieces of for my dear subscribers) this first book has had a long hard road to publication. I sort of didn’t want to tell anyone, but it’s too good a secret to keep–especially according to my publisher.

So, my dears. Enjoy. I’ll be out for most of the day, trying to take deep breaths. Even a quasi-unannounced release day is enough to give me nerves.