May Day Appliance Wizard

Season 4 of ROADTRIP Z just started, so if you want to get in on it, now’s the time. This is the very last season, and after it ends (probably sometime in October) I’ll be doing another serial. I’m not entirely sure, but I think it’ll be Robin Hood in Space, otherwise known as HOOD. (I have this thing for capitalizing serial titles, I guess.) I just have to figure out if that one’s a long standalone or broken up into seasons, too.

Good morning! It’s Beltane, which is lovely. It’s also (supposedly) the day we finally get the new dishwasher (still sitting in our garage) installed and can stop calling service people and the home warranty folks. After a bumpy start, the latter have been more than kind. The only problem is having to call them each time because I hate the phone…

*time passes*

Well, just as I was typing that, the doorbell rang, the dogs went nuts, and it was the installer. Several hours early, in fact. And despite one small snag (the water hose wasn’t long enough, so he popped out and grabbed a new one) everything went smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that the NEW DISHWASHER is currently WASHING. I mean, there wasn’t much to put in there for its inaugural load, but dammit, I made do. I FOUND things to put in there.

A big shout out to: Trevonte, Renee, Samantha, and Kinetha at AHS for their patience and kindness, another big shout-out to the original installers who had a helluva day before they got to us, yet another to Mr Gates of Gates Plumbing who was kind, professional, and thoroughly courteous, and to finish it off, thank you, Tri-County, for coming through bigtime.

I’ve got to say the last installer–the Tri-County fellow–was a wizard. The dogs calmed down while he worked, he hummed to the dishwasher while installing, and he had the nicest, sleepiest, most genuinely pleased smile I’ve seen in a while. The May Day Appliance Wizard, I’ll call him, and dear gods above but this was a pleasant way to start a brand-new month. April was horrid, but the luck has changed now.

It takes a village to get a damn dishwasher in. The thing is running now, and I can’t hear it. The old one used to be audible even outside the front door. I’ve had to walk down the hall and check that it’s still running each paragraph.

*checks again* Yep, still running. Man, it’s nice to have that back.

Now I’m going to go for a run. No rest for the wicked, and my joy will probably float me for a few blocks until my heart, lungs, and legs figure out I’m making them work again.

Over and out.

RELEASE DAY: Pocalypse Road

That’s right, my hoopy froods! Season 3 of Roadtrip Z is now out in the world.

Winter has arrived, the walking dead are hungry, and Ginny and Lee’s small group of survivors is making its way towards New York. Other survivors, shaking off the daze of catastrophe, are moving as well. In a wasteland of snow and failing power, of course the zombies are dangerous…

…but it’s the other people you really have to watch out for.

Season 3: Pocalypse Road is now available direct, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at independent bookstores.

I had a lot of fun with this season. Things just had to keep going wrong, and more wrong, and more-more wrong, in the grand tradition of every zombie apocalypse tale. Be on the lookout for Tuckerized readers, callbacks to old zombie movies, how to haul ammo in a snowbound wasteland, and finally, finally, Lee Quartine getting a break or two, as well as the mystery of just what was in Colonel Grandon’s case from Season 1.

And now, since it’s a release day, I’m gonna go stick my head in a bucket and hope the anxiety dies down. Enjoy!

Book Synchronicity, Again

Spring Break is over. The Little Prince is back in school, and the Princess tells me her fellow retail workers are kind of thrilled there won’t be kids racing the mobility scooters in the aisles anymore.1 Consequently, the house is very quiet.

Too quiet.

We’ve had a couple days of houseguests to close out the holiday as well, which means the dogs were all excited over the regular routine being broken. So excited, in fact, that Odd Trundles is seriously behind on his napping, and eschewed most of his brekkie today in favor of trundling back to the office and his Super Fancy Dog Bed. Miss B is tired but also a bit frazzled from Constantly Supervising New People, so she’ll accompany me for a gentle half-hour run to work all her fidgets out and wind her down so she can sleep. It’s lovely to have people over, but it’s also lovely to have the house back afterward.

I’m also waiting with various stages of patience for the home warranty company to get in touch with me about NEW DISHWASHER. I fidget whenever I think about it, especially since I did a lot of cooking this past week. The pasta pot needs scrubbing, and so does the giant crock pot. I am willing to make cookies for whoever delivers and installs a new goddamn dishwasher, then shoo them out the door and test-drive said new dishwasher.

In other news, Season 3 of Roadtrip Z releases on April 17, and yes, there will be a paperback, it’s just not dropping until my faithful subscribers get their free ebooks. (Serial subscribers get free ebooks of the unedited AND edited seasons. I try to make it a good deal for my peeps.) And we’re coming up on the release of Afterwar in May, which…you know, I typed “finis” at the end of that zero draft over a year ago, and that book has had such a hard road to publication I’m expecting AWFUL NEWS ABOUT IT every day from now until it actually goes on sale. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, there was just a perfect storm of Things Going Wrong Outside Everyone’s Control, but dear God I have only just recovered from it.

…as I was writing this, my new editor at Orbit tweeted a picture of a stack of Afterwar, so synchronicity is alive and well, AND the printers didn’t burst into flame and sink into a swamp2 which is ALL TO THE GOOD and maybe the book will go out without any further disaster.

I just winced, typing that. I’m sure the gods of publishing are laughing at me. Loudly.

I had other plans for this blog post, but it kind of derailed, and I’ve got to get out for a run. I also got our last houseguest loaded into his car during the writing of this, so any train of thought I had is well and truly derailed. Maybe I’ll do like the dogs and take a nap?

Maybe. But only after I run.

Over and out.

Release Day: BEAST OF WONDER

That’s right–the novella that’s been eating my head for a while is now out in the world!

A blonde stewardess, her hairspray-teased head cocked at an impossible, lolling angle, smiled with blood-threaded teeth as a pilot’s disembodied voice floated through an aluminum tube. Ladies and gentlemen…ladies and gentlemen…

Outside small thick windows, hungry grey air screamed. Light and dark revolved, crunch-thumping as carryons, magazines, purses, and other daily objects became missiles tumbling through space, flickering through eyelid-flutter strobes. Right and left changed places, and a woman in the red skirt and brown coat held her seat arms with white knuckles, staring at the stewardess in the jumpseat. Trim, uniformed arms and legs flopped like a doll’s; the blond stewardess gazed with wide, horrified, glazed blue eyes and that crimson-laced, jolly rictus.

One last terrific jolt raced through a winged tube that had been meant to carry three hundred people to Cincinnati. Then the windows cracked, and the roaring swallowed every soul on board.

It was over.

But that was just the beginning.

Note: This is a novella, approximately 20K words.

Now available direct, through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or your favorite ebook platform.

RELEASE DAY! In the Ruins

That’s right! Today, In the Ruins is in the wild. The ebook edition is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly; the paperback can be found here.

I’m pleased as punch to bring you the second season of Roadtrip Z. Special thanks goes to my faithful Patreon subscribers, who are bankrolling this project and already reading Season 3; I’m hard at work on the fourth and final season. I will be bringing out an omnibus once it’s all done, definitely in ebook but I’m not sure about paper.

I hope you enjoy the continuing adventures of Ginny, Lee, and the gang. Now I’m going to go deal with my release day nerves with gallons of tea and yet more of that thing I do whether I’m nervous or calm, happy or sad, tired or energetic–writing more tales for you to read.

Over and out.

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…

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.