Empty Spiral

Leaving home behind.

Boxnoggin and I found this on wet pavement; he gave it merely a token sniff since it isn’t a small furry thing to savage or a pile of something highly fragrant. I was struck into immobility for a few moments, watching the play of light. I almost picked the shell up…then I thought it was probably left there for a reason. A picture harms nothing.

Of course when I crouched to take a snap Boxnoggin was suddenly interested again, because if Mum is examining something it’s suddenly high-value. Nevertheless, I managed to get his big wet snoot out of the shot, and it turned out better than I hoped.

I feel very much as if I’m growing out of a shell or two myself these days. I know whoever made this lovely spiral was most likely pried free and tossed down a bird’s gullet…and yet.

Tonight’s Friday Night Writes, my beloveds, and I hope you have a grand weekend. See you next week.

Lunch With a Prince

He’s a tramp, but they love him…

Reading The Tale of Genji, all I can hear is Peggy Lee crooning about breaking a new heart every day. I mean, I know Genji is the shining one and a paragon, but he’s more a Beowulf paragon than a knight parfait y gentil, if you know what I mean.

All the same, it’s nice to have lunch with him. It’s also nice to lie in bed, rain tapping the roof, and tell Boxnoggin all about what that sonofagun Genji’s doing now. (Lord van der Sploot has no idea what I’m talking about, but he likes being included.) I have zero idea where this book is taking me and the cultural divide means I’m probably missing most of the landmarks, but I wouldn’t miss this journey. Not for anything, no sir and ma’am.

It feels like this week has seen a sea change, doesn’t it? Still…I’m not relaxing yet. Here’s hoping the weekend is tranquil or exciting, in whatever measure you personally prefer. (And don’t forget, tonight is Friday Night Writes.)

See you around, my beloveds.

Ides, Madness, and Sales

It’s that time again–there are March sales going on, and I’ll be listing them in this post when they’re scheduled or as they go live.

My love song to Baba Yaga and Wyoming, Rattlesnake Wind, is $1.99USD in ebook on March 3. This is a one-day sale.

Another one-day sale is on March 22; She-Wolf and Cub is $1.99USD in ebook.

From March 1-15, the second book of the Society seriesHunter, Healer–is on sale for $.99 in ebook at AmazonBarnes & NobleApple, and Kobo.

I do often get asked if I’ll ever return to that series; I don’t really plan to since the next story is Cath’s and I like Zeke a great deal. The stories go on inside my head, including what eventually happens to Del and Rowan, but I often keep such things entirely to myself. It’s part of the joy, and bitter curse, of a writer’s life.

From March 14-16, my portal fantasy written at white heat during the worst of lockdown–Moon’s Knight–will be on sale for $2.99USD in ebook.

From March 21-23, the ebook of the collected, the complete Roadtrip Z (all four seasons!) will be $7.99USD–almost half price–through certain retailers.

From March 16-27, the Complete HOOD omnibus ebook (all three seasons) will be 30% off at Kobo.

From March 16-28, Harmony (folk horror, with bonus cult!) and The Marked (living tattoos, granting superpowers) will be 30% off at Kobo.

On March 20, Throne of the Five Winds is a Kindle Daily Deal, for $2.99USD.

Many of my ebooks are 50% off during the Smashwords Read an Ebook Week, from March 5-11.

There may be more sales listed soon, so stay tuned…

Fine, Some February Sales

I know I said I wouldn’t do a sale post for February…but here we are.

She-Wolf and Cub is back as a BookBub deal! I’m not sure how long it will be on sale ($1.99USD from several different retailers), so I’ll keep checking. You can also follow me on BookBub, if that’s your jam.

In other news, both The Complete Hood and The Complete Roadtrip Z are part of the Kobo February 25% of Boxset Sale. Just enter the promo code “FEB25” at checkout for the discount, from now until Feb 28th.

It’s not quite a sale, but you can catch a free excerpt of the upcoming Spring’s Arcana (releasing in May) on the TorForge blog. Just click and read!

There will be a few more sales, I think, and when they hit I’ll post ’em right here. But for now, I’ve got to get back to work…

Soundtrack Monday: Whispering

It’s another Soundtrack Monday! I spent the morning in bed reading, which was the right choice. There are a lot of libraries in my work–the magical nod to Robin McKinley’s Beauty in Rose & Thunder springs to mind, as well as The Demon’s Librarian, naturally.

The one I’m thinking of now is the self-healing one in Moon’s Knight, with its orrery that owes a great deal to Aughra’s (of Dark Crystal fame). The red sun in that book is partly Darkover, partly Dark Crystal, and partly Krypton, I think, with a heavy dose of my own tiredness during lockdown.

Moon’s Knight burned through me during the worst of that uncertainty. I needed an escape, and what better than a portal fantasy? I wasn’t even planning on publishing it; I just sent the first draft to beta readers hoping to provide them with a little relief from the crushing terror and agony. I don’t like thinking about that time, but thankfully the book itself doesn’t give me the willies. The response from the betas was a howl of “no, this book helped, what do you mean you’re not gonna publish it?”

So…I had to. And I’m glad I did, if only for the amusement of that one “reviewer” who didn’t like that the main character has a bone to pick with the god who would kill her best friend.

Ahem. But amusement aside, the full soundtrack is here, starting with Gin’s feelings at the funeral and ending with…well, you’d have to read to find out.

Of course the song that gave me the key to the prince in black was Alex Clare’s Whispering, which expresses him very well. He doesn’t show a lot of what he’s actually feeling–probably a function of his age–and his motivations aren’t the best in the world. And yet, the story is what the story is. Since I was writing only for myself, I didn’t have to coax him into being anything else. He is as he is, and so is Ginevra and the rest of that world.

Anyway, Boxnoggin needs his walkies, and since I spent a few hours later in bed the rest of today’s work will no doubt be a boondoggle. But I regret nothing. Sometimes one just has to say “fuck it” and refuse to let the piddly little fact of dawn interfere with one’s plans. It’s been a while since I wrote solely to please myself, and I think I will soonish, once I get a few other things cleared.

I’m looking forward to it.

A Very Short (Rattlesnake) Sale

I don’t often post on Wednesdays, but I had a few minutes and there’s a one-day sale going on. Today (February 1, 2023) only, Rattlesnake Wind–my “Baba Yaga in Wyoming” book–is $1.99USD in ebook through certain retailers.

Rattlesnake Wind

The first night we spent in that ancient mobile home, the wind mouthed its corners with a low whispering almost like words from another room.

Desiree Sarpe and her family–minus their domineering, abusive patriarch–have settled on the Wyoming plains, where the wind speaks, the grass whispers, and power comes in the strangest, most ordinary of forms. Unfortunately, the past and its terrors can’t be easily shaken, and Dez is about to find out how brutal, bloody, and costly magic really is…

Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google, and Kobo.

The soundtrack for the book is available here, too.

The book has a teenage protagonist, but it is definitely not a YA novel. (I should be very clear about that.)

And now I have an elvish city to sack, and hopefully enough caffeine to get me there. See you tomorrow…

Bryophyta Courage

Moss. Mycelium. Maybe some lichen too.

I’ve been obsessed with moss lately. I mean, I already liked it, but then there happened along the #Mosstodon tag on the fedi. (There’s also the #LichenSubscribe tag, which pleases me deeply, and let’s not even talk about the donkeys.) So I’ve been happily taking pictures of winter velvet, no doubt also pleasing a few botanists and biologists curious about such things.

Heaven knows there’s never any shortage of moss around here even in summer, though it does tend to get a bit dry and crackly. I won’t run out of subjects to point the cell phone at, that’s for sure.

I finally wrote the river race that’s been knocking around in my head for over a year, and today I get to set up the destruction of an entire elvish city. The elementalist does need to have a chat with the king about his parenting methods before then, perhaps; I’ll get there as the story–and the Muse–wills.

One of the things I love about moss is that it grows in places no other self-respecting plant would find even remotely acceptable. It creeps into cracks, feeds on detritus, covers the garbage left behind. Hell, it’ll even grow on bare rock, especially if its best bud lichen is around. Moss takes adversity as a challenge, like Bugs Bunny takes a thrown gauntlet.

Anyway, this crop is merrily growing on a creosote-soaked railroad tie repurposed to hold back perhaps-contaminated topsoil. It fries in summer and drowns autumn through spring. The locale is terrible for any living thing, but there’s the moss, happily soaking its wee roots, lifting its many green fingers. Some has spread to the rocks and small chunks of concrete below, because even stone is friable when you’ve got the sort of time moss does.

One can learn a lot from dear old Bryophyta. And with that happy thought, I wish you a pleasant weekend.