RELEASE DAY: HOOD Omnibus

Today is a frabjous day, calloo callay, because the omnibus of HOOD–all three seasons in one place–is now available!


Anglene is smoldering. The galactic insurrection is supposed to be crushed. Robbhan Locke, a Second Echelon soldier, has returned to his birth planet along with other veterans, finding Sharl Notheim holding all of Sagittarius in his mailed fist for Parl Jun the Regent.

If the Gran Parl Riccar can be found, he could save all of Anglene. In the meantime, Robb, Marah, and their friends are going to have to do it themselves–if they survive.

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

Available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and direct at Gumroad. Paper edition available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Note: Due to Amazon’s policies, the ebook will not be listed there, but don’t despair–if you’re a Kindle reader, we’ve got you covered! If you order through Gumroad, you’ll automatically get access to a .mobi you can add to said Kindle or Paperwhite.


Big, epic thanks are due to my beloved subscribers, without whom this series would never have seen light of day. (A surprising number of publishers didn’t want Robin Hood IN SPACE, but that’s their loss, I think.) Several subscribers are also Tuckerized, which always gives me a happy feeling when I reread.

Special thanks must also be given to the veterans who answered my questions about what “coming home” was like for them; I did my best to tell the truth, as you told it to me.

If you’d like to listen to the music that fueled the serial, you can find the playlist here.

In other news, every roof in the neighborhood has a thick white layer of frost on it, and the fog has also furred branches with soft white. As the sun mounts things will start to drip, and there will be brief gilding on every surface. Everything is oddly still since we’re still under some kind of inversion; this weather is odd indeed. It raises the hackles.

Still, coffee must be had, the dogs must be walked, and I’m hard at work on other stories. January’s turned out to be a busy bee of a month indeed.

See you around…

Frost, Fog, Head

There’s a thick layer of frost on every roof–well, it is still January–and a heavy fog is closing over the neighborhood at eerie speed. We’re having some sort of weird weather event to match the summer’s many record-breakers; there’s a stagnation warning that bodes ill for running and the fog is coming in waves as the air thickens, clotting like cream.

It’s not rain, and I can already feel some heaviness in my lungs. I’m unamused.

My weekend started out well enough, but halfway through Saturday I was struck with the worst headache I’ve had in literal decades. It might’ve been a migraine, though I haven’t had those since before the Princess was born. It certainly had the pre-strike aura and associated vision problems, which of course irrationally convinced me I had caught the plague and micro-clotting had stolen my eyesight. I crawled hopefully into bed with a posset of self-medication, which seems to have worked.

Despite that, much of the housework was accomplished Sunday while I was still weak and shaky, and this morning I’m at about eighty percent fighting trim. Better than nothing, and enough to get me started on the day. I am no longer deadly convinced I have the plague, which is a blessing since there are no tests to be found for love or money and the pittance of them coming from state and federal authorities, even if they had arrived (three years into the pandemic, wow), would need to be reserved for a greater emergency–like one of the children coming down with something impersonating a bad head cold.

I can still smell everything, and could during the maybe-migraine, which was a mixed blessing indeed. I am hesitating to call it an actual migraine, because the gods know the last thing I need is those coming back. I’m going to choose to call it just a really severe stress reaction, like the burnout I had last year which sent me to bed for eighteen hours a day, sleeping as if I was being paid to be unconscious.

The mist is still attempting to smother the world, thickening as I type. The dogs don’t really care for it; Boxnoggin walks as close to me as possible when it’s foggy, and B is only restrained from circling us by the leash, which makes for fun times.

Once they’re walked they’ll settle, and I can go back to Hell’s Acre. There’s a foundry fire and a burgling of the villain’s house to write, then a rooftop battle and perhaps a trap to spring. The Muse is being cagey about the latter, but soon it’ll reach the point where she has to pony up or simply live with the decisions I make on my lonesome, and heaven knows she doesn’t like that.

I did watch the new Tragedy of Macbeth, and it was very good. No surprise there–Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are always worth the price of admission. I am not a giant Coen brothers fan–I find them very hit and miss, though when they hit it’s a resounding one indeed–so I was surprised and relieved that the staging was so simple, direct, and such a love song to silent film. The many Bergman, Artaud, and Fellini callbacks tickled me positively pink as well. All in all, I found it thrilling, and very much worth the time. The first half held me during the ramp-up of the terrible headache, and that is an achievement.

So it’s off to the races on a foggy Monday. Every once in a while a crow calls through the gloom. Probably Carl, keeping track of Sandra and Jerry. If the dogs and I get out the door before ten-thirty or so they’ll no doubt shepherd us, fearing we might lose our way as dumb earthbound things often do.

Be gentle with yourselves today, my beloveds. And treat the fog with caution. We’ve all watched the horror movies, you know…

Broken Hook

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Broken, yes. Still good?

We have a set of large red cappuccino cups the kids have used as cereal bowls for decades. They’re huge, chipped, and incredibly useful. They’re also showing their age, like any beloved long-term item.

The handle broke off one of them while the kids were doing dishes. The Prince made an amazing catch, trapping the bowl between his hip and the counter with enough force to arrest its fall, but not enough to dent or chip it.

Bowl’s still in use, and I think I’m going to hot-glue magnets to either end of the handle. I can use it to hang things on the fridge, or it might go on the space above the cupboards where I daubed magnetic primer and then chalkboard paint. We’ll see.

I keep making new things out of broken bits. Some of them work, some…well, at least I gave it a try.

Have a good weekend, beloveds.

Damp and Dry

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Thursday has dawned misty-rainy. All day yesterday we had thickening fog-drizzle, the kind that penetrates every layer of clothing within fifteen minutes though you could swear it’s just a bit of cloud. The cloud, however, comes right down to earth and lingers, turning even treebark slick and wet.

I love this part of the world. Climate change will probably wreak terrifying havoc upon it, so I’m enjoying while I can. Really, the Pacific Northwest is perfect–moss on the trees every winter, rainy grey for most of the year so you can hear yourself think, nice even temperatures only rarely freezing or frying, trees everywhere, a relative lack of bite-y venomous things. It’s like it was made for me.

I’m told that statistically the PNW leads in coffee shops and serial killers too–on that last point, maybe we’re just good at catching them? I dunno. But certainly the entire area is awash with caffeine, which suits me right down to the (soggy) ground as well.

So far the area under the kitchen sink remains dry, though I am still irked at the home warranty company’s Very Bad Behavior, especially during a pandemic. I’m weighing my options on that front, putting off a decision until my irritation leaves the cold, quiet stage. If there is a single drip more…but let’s not think about that, it’s such lovely weather.

Very early Wednesday morning I woke up knowing how to solve the blockage in Hell’s Acre. True to form, the Muse, who did the original planning, is now unsatisfied with said original planning and wants to toss everything out and redo the last half of the book. Fine. It will end on a cliffhanger if it goes the way she wants–again, fine. I am not sure I’ll write the second book resolving said cliffhanger, though, for a collage of reasons. Which may or may not be fine, but we’ll see.

At least the realization meant I could get actual work done yesterday, which I haven’t been able to do for days. Between the stress of needing strangers to visit the house (the workmen masked up, we all obeyed precautions, but still, it’s bloody nerve-wracking) and dealing with the home warranty company’s petulant, money-grubbing refusal to live up to their responsibilities, I didn’t have the bloody energy. Plus there’s been an uptick in harassment, and that takes energy to deal with even if one has mitigation in place.

It also looks like that One Viral Thread has been taken over to the cesspit that is Facebook, so I’m sure I’ll be getting a flood through the contact form on that front. Harassers’ IPs and linguistic oddities are logged automatically, though, and retained for safety reasons.

There’s also been a rise in the incidence of Well Actuallys, Reply Guys, Debate Mes, and the like, especially on my funny little threads. (Like the recent Dracula in Sears bit.) Apparently Banana Truthers, Sears Truthers, the Historical Denim Brigade, and all that cohort are all very angry with me. It’s nice of them to show themselves in such unambiguous terms; my Block Party queue has been getting quite a workout.

Go figure, my contribution to the zeitgeist will be squirrel tales and the enragement of Banana Truthers. The amount of amusement I get from contemplating this outcome is immense, and borders upon deep satisfaction. Laughing at the absurdity is better than a number of other coping mechanisms, so I suppose I should thank them, just to be polite.

I get to run in the rain today, and the dogs will get walkies–yesterday they were obstreperous brats, and I didn’t feel like dragging them through the mist to get over it. Of course they’ll be doubly bratty today; I only put off the inevitable. But some days, that’s all one can do.

Then I get to come home, do the last-minute brushing-and-folding on the week’s subscription drop, and the rest of the day is mine to do with as I will. Which will be banging my head upon Hell’s Acre, with a bonus few hours spent on Sons of Ymre #2. Still no word on when #1 will drop, I’m just told “soon.” Everyone is having scheduling difficulties these days; patience is the watchword.

And all day there will be the grey outside my window, the dripping branches, the rain-slick rhododendrons and bubble-wet moss. It is soothing, and wonderful, and I love every moment of it.

It’ll do, my friends. It’ll do.

Temporal Slip

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I was convinced for most of yesterday that although the day was definitely named Monday, it was Tuesday in all else. Which should surprise nobody, pandemic time being what it is, but it means it was near noon when I realized, “no, the plumbers aren’t coming today, it’s a federal holiday and FURTHERMORE not the day they scheduled,” so…yeah.

That rhythmic thudding you heard? That was the sound of me banging my head on my desk. It’s highly therapeutic, though painful.

I had all sorts of work planned, but nothing happened. Sitting and staring at paying projects is not producing any appreciable wordcount. (The book keeps refusing to write itself, so rude.) The fanfic proceeds better, but I don’t want even that now. I’m pretty sure I’m just in the incubation period for a spate of furious activity once the dam breaks, and this is just a necessary frustration before the iceberg calves.

But it’s so goddamn annoying. And with all the other stress, my nerves are on their very last fibre.

I am hopeful today’s plumber visit will be the very last. They’re very nice fellows and I like them, but strangers visiting in the midst of a pandemic is bad for all of us. If this work could possibly be put off I would–but at the same time, our country is being held hostage by antimaskers and antivaxxers, so this isn’t going to be finished anytime soon. We’re on the third year of this bullshit, so the things I’ve put off “until it’s safer” have now grown several heads and become critically pressing.

“Safer.” What a word. I am beginning to expect that will never happen, and it disturbs me mightily. It’s also becoming harder and harder to keep the pandemic out of my fiction, though publishing lead times means that things I wrote well before are beginning to see the end of the pipeline now.

The lag is fascinating and I’m sure historians will have great fun dissecting it. Enduring it as an artist is much less amusing. Not quite prepared to put this massive trauma into fiction yet, thanks, especially as I am extremely uncertain our household will survive either its primary OR its knock-on effects. And isn’t that a lovely thought for a Tuesday morning?

At least we still have absurdity. The world is mad, might as well laugh in bleak wonder at its manifestations. Fiction has to “make sense,” while Real Life is unendingly fuckered-up and divorced from any such requirement.

Anyway, I’d best walk the dogs. The trio of local crows depending on Boxnoggin for amusement tend to fly away around ten-thirty, having other business in the neighbourhood, and they (plus Boxnoggin) will probably be sad if they don’t get their daily interaction.

See? Absurdity. It’s all absurdity, all the time. Might as well laugh, because screaming takes too much energy and I’m bloody exhausted.

See you around.

Busy January

Selene

Monday is upon us again. Boxnoggin is having difficulty settling even though we’ve had nothing but the usual daily routine; I think he senses the plumbers are due out today–again, for the fourth time–to get the pipes under the sink right. I long to be able to put everything back in its home and further long to free up the very large bowl that’s been catching the drips.

In the plumbers’ defense, the leak has moved–as soon as one thing is replaced, the thing adjacent decides to start being troublesome. Which is a function and feature of many a complex system, let alone a simple one. So it’s not their fault, they are fabulous fellows, and at the same time I really would like this Finished, Thank You.

Miss B could not care less; to her, this is just another day and all she’s concerned about is keeping herself firmly in my vicinity. I cannot be allowed to roam anywhere, even inside the house, without her close supervision. Heaven knows what trouble I might get into, after all. Especially in these benighted times.

I should get her a soft plush toy to exercise all her maternal and supervisory urges on, but Boxnoggin would likely disembowel it. None of us can handle that particular bullshit right now.

The Dark Watcher sale is over, but I decided the last half of January needed something nice too so Selene is on sale for $2.99 across ebook formats until the end of the month. I’ll probably take February off, since the HOOD omnibus also drops the 25th of this month. The paper edition seems to already be out, thank goodness; for Kindle readers, the omnibus won’t be listed on Amazon but you can get a .mobi edition from Gumroad.

So January is very busy, and I’m going to take February off of sales and the like. Come March I should have some more good news.

I am trying to pull myself, hand over hand, out of the abyss. It’s difficult, to say the least, with successive daily retraumatizations. The rate of daily bad-news bludgeoning has slowed down since Papaya Pol Pot no longer has access to the nuclear button and the news cycle has in consequence somewhat slowed, but the massive institutional failure on every level is difficult to live with. There’s no chance to mourn or even catch one’s breath. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

There’s coffee to finish, some breakfast to choke down, the dogs to walk–Miss B is already restlessly eager for that part of the daily ritual–and getting the workspace cleared for the re-advent of the plumbers. (I just want that last thing sorted with, for gods’ sake. Four visits, while natural when dealing with plumbing issues, still seems a bit excessive.) In between all that, wordcount has to be made. Hell’s Acre needs some attention, since I think I’ve finally figured out what Avery’s plan is; the second Sons of Ymre also needs another pass at that damn first chapter to weed out repetitions and up the tension.

If I just put my head down and work, maybe I can get through the day without worry-induced nausea or panic attacks. Maybe.

We’ll see how it works out.

SELENE, On Sale!

Selene

The Dark Watcher sale ended January 15, but I’m having fun.

So I’ve decided Selene will be on sale for $2.99 across ebook retailers until the end of January. Selene is set in the same universe as the Valentine series; it was, in fact, written well before Danny’s adventures, though I knew they were heavily interconnected. This means it’s also in the same universe as the Watchers and the Society; it occurs well after those two but before our Necromance’s timeline.

Selene’s relationship with Nikolai does reach a sort of equilibrium in the (included) short story Just Ask, and I always thought of writing a novel dealing with her carving out a territory of her own in the Putchkin. Alas, that will have to wait, but in the meantime the adventures of our favorite tantraiiken are available for a song.

Available direct (use the code “SAINTCITY” at Gumroad checkout), and through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or Kobo.