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.

Shoes Tied, Dog Waiting

I managed to get my shoes tied this morning without Boxnoggin’s “help,” for which I am eternally grateful. He absolutely loves being useful, and longs to mouth at my shoelaces in order to taste where I’ve been and get himself under my hands, which means the prospect of a chest-rub or two.

I can’t really help myself. If a dog’s throwing themselves at my feet wanting to be petted, who on earth am I to say no?

Yesterday was a Monday in all senses of the word. It wasn’t bad, it was just… there were so many things I had to get done, and none of them were pleasant. None were actively bad, either, just time-consuming, stealing minutes away from the writing I’d rather be doing.

I would absolutely love to get back to zany squirrel stories and typing tales of gore, heartache, and redemption. Unfortunately, the world has other ideas, both in pandemic and fascist coup.


Because oh yeah, that’s still going on. That orange blivet and his criminal cabal are still squatting in the White House, still ramming through federal judgeships, still doing their best to maim, destroy, kill, and line their own pockets to the max. Even massive protests aren’t slipping their bony fingers from our throats.

I’m just so tired.


Despite all that, the dogs need walking, and I need a run. I’m slightly sunburnt from yesterday’s run, and glad that I didn’t actually get heatsick. I suppose the time spent inside air-conditioning while catching up with correspondence and other admininstrivia was actually a good thing. Go figure.

Days when I don’t run, the sharp annoyance cresting under my skin is ever so much worse. It’s not exercise anymore, it’s a bare necessity for keeping me from exploding with frustration. Today is going to require a virtual bath of sunscreen; the marine layer that normally keeps me safe is burning off earlier and earlier.

Summer is definitely not my most productive time–not enough rain–but it’ll do. There is a squirrel very upset about something in the backyard, and since Boxnoggin has been denied the pleasure of chewing my shoelaces while I try desperately to tie them, he is now in the kitchen, supervising whoever’s making their breakfast out there and hoping, I suspect, for a snack. Someone is cooing, telling him what a good boy he is. Every room he enters now, if it has a human in it, is full of pats and praise, and occasionally a treat or two, and he utterly glories in it.

As well he should, being a Very Good Boy. Miss B accepts the pets and praise as her absolute due, befitting the fuzzy little queen of our hearts, but Boxnoggin is constantly amazed. You mean it’s ME? You mean I am the prophesied Good Boy? Why, that’s GREAT! And he wriggles with the deepest possible glee each time, throwing himself on his back and combing the air with paws no longer too huge for his limbs.

He’s grown, the little weirdo. I can’t help but laugh, which pushes the frustration down and away like nothing else. I suppose I should finish the last of this rapidly cooling coffee and get out the door. They won’t wait for walkies forever.

At least swallowing several toads yesterday means there’s far fewer croaking at me today. I might even get some work done despite the load of pain and terror swirling in every corner. There’s the copyedits on Finder (which long-time Readers will know as Finder’s Watcher, inching its way towards publication) and wordcount waiting to be done, as well as paperwork from the accountant to sort and prep for its final destination.

Aye, no rest for the weary or wicked, as my writing partner would intone with a twinkle in her eye. As long as I’m breathing there’s work to be done.

Best to get started.

Mad March Scheduling

Well. It’s March, it’s a Monday. There is a pea-soup fog; even the cedars across the back yard are hazy and indistinct. I meant to get up early and start my spring-forward on the right foot, but… the dogs were heavy, I was dreaming about a glass labyrinth, and the enormity of a few professional steps I’ve taken lately has come crashing down.

I have to write an agent query letter. I have never had to write an agent query letter, so this should be fun. (Yes, there are a lot of things in publishing I don’t know about. Always learning is the name of the game.)

This week, Serial Time and Nest Egg subscribers get the unedited ebook of HOOD‘s Season Two, and next week they get the edited one–well before it goes on sale anywhere, I might add, though I do need to update the buy links on the book page. I’m hard at work on Season Three, where all the characters come together–the double-crosses are revealed, Ged Gizabón commits murder, Robb Locke commits even more, Parl Jun makes his bid for absolute power, Marah decides to hell with deportment and responsibility because all of Anglene needs to be saved, Bookman Trick finds out he’s not a coward after all, and Alladal finally gets a few things she wants.

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? And then there’s breaking an embargo, a deadly speeder chase, not one but two jailbreaks, and a whole lot else planned.

I mean, I knew writing Robin Hood IN SPACE was going to be fun, but I didn’t know it would be this fun. I’m eyeing what I have to pull off and rubbing my hands together with glee.

There’s also a podcast I want to listen to, which doesn’t happen often. I should have cued it up yesterday while I was doing housework, but I was busily dancing to the book soundtrack for The Calling Knife. (That’s what the trunk novel is calling itself now.)

So the work schedule looks like: HOOD‘s Season Three, The Bloody Throne (third and final Hostage book), The Black God’s Heart (which is American Gods meets John Wick meets Conan the Destroyer), and The Highlands War (which is the last Steelflower book for a while; I probably won’t write her and D’ri’s return to G’maihallan). And there’s revisions on Finder’s Watcher to get done, as well as line edits on The Poison Prince–that’s book two of Hostage to Empire. Plus Sons of Ymre and Damage both need another draft, since both are somewhere between zero and first draft status.

I also need to write that damn query letter, and it would be super great if I could also make The Calling Knife leave me alone for a little while. Basically I’m running in circles screaming with my hair afire, but you know I prefer too much work to too little, indeed. And some gardening this month wouldn’t be amiss either.

Right now, though, I should focus on finishing my coffee and getting the dogs walked. The rest of it will happen in due time. Breaking tasks into bite-size pieces is the name of adulthood’s game, and I’ve had all the rest I’m allowed–or want.

Plus, I’ve got this machete handy. Monday had better behave, and March had better straighten up.

*wanders away muttering, slurping at coffee*

A Teaser, For Reasons

Already this morning I’ve cut a PDF teaser for Finder’s Watcher. The full book’s been sent to the publisher and I’m hoping to hear back from them once the holiday crunch is over. There’s no reason why subscribers–both newsletter and otherwise–shouldn’t have something nice for the holidays as well, though, so I decided to do a up a little taste for you. Every subscriber–newsletter, Patreon, or Gumroad–will get the teaser. I’ll do my best to make sure they all drop at the same time, too.

And don’t worry. The book is finished, so if the publisher doesn’t want it (for whatever reason) it can be edited, cover art can be found, and it can be released otherwise. I just wanted all the Watcher books to look the same, especially if I want to write another one.

Just to keep my hand in, I suppose.

It was a chilly night. Sir Boxnoggin did his level best to wriggle under the covers with me. It’s hard out there for a slick-coated dog, I guess. Miss B, of course, has enough of a coat that she gets up several times a night to lie on the cool tile of the loo floor, but poor Lord van der Sploot has to make do with cuddling the human. He’s also very terrier, which means he likes enclosed spaces. He’s somewhat catlike–if there’s a box, he’s checking it for fit, and whether or not it fits, he sits.

I awoke in a very specific mood, one that can only be served by coffee and listening to Florence + the Machine. She’s like Jandek, I have to be in just the right space to listen, but when I am, absolutely nothing else will do. So it’s the Ceremonials album this morning, after which the itch should be scratched enough to draw blood and let it recede.

I have coffee, and drinking it means I get to cross an easy item off my to-do list. Today’s the day I make some decisions about Haggard Feathers, too. I think, going into the New Year, I’m going to hive off some writing about writing and let there be a subscription. I might even set up a dedicated mailbox for that, but I haven’t decided yet. God knows I get enough mail otherwise. Going through old writing posts for the second volume of Quill & Crow is a good idea, too.

In all my copious spare time, of course. I should also get together a book of collected short stories.

ANYWAY. I’ll invent all sorts of things to keep myself out of revision today, it seems. Which is why I must make a list, check it a few times, and settle into working through.

It’s Tuesday. Let’s punch the day in the throat together, my friends.

On the Holidays

I hate the holidays. Publishing shuts down, you can’t get an answer out of anyone–unless it’s “I’m salaried and clearing my desk before I get a vacation, but you can work right through because you’re freelance, can’t you?” Also, the shops are full of overstimulated children with misbehaving parents clamping down quite unreasonably upon them, both stressed because they can’t service the TV-fueled expectations of gross consumerism. And let’s not even talk about the racists at the dinner table that nobody will challenge because “holidays” and “let’s all get along.”

Fuck getting along. Racists deserve to be challenged wherever we find them, kids shouldn’t be dragged through holiday crowds, no parent should be tormented into stress-related breakdown because they can’t afford whatever toy is hot this year for their spawn, and I won’t repeat what I think should be done about publishing.

You can tell I’m in it today. I’m pushing to get the zero of Finder’s Watcher done, or at least hit the 50k mark for NaNo that will give the book enough critical mass to drag me across the finish line, then it’s straight into bloody revisions for that epic fantasy. Which means I’ll be producing a novella’s worth of text in just under two weeks; tell me again why I do this to myself?

Oh. That’s right. It’s my job, and if I don’t write, we don’t eat. Simple!

I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m simply remarking upon suboptimal conditions.

At least the dogs let me sleep in a wee bit today. Though I have to leave the house to pick up last-minute supplies for Thursday I can do so at my own pace, and–thanks be to all the gods–it’s raining. Which means the dogs will be miserable during walks and hurrying to get home, but at least I’m in a good mood.

What’s that? Good mood? Oh, yes. This is just a particularly sharp-edged good mood. I’m not upset, I’m just testing my sword’s keenness and eyeing the battlefield. And I don’t have to spend my holidays with racist fucks because I stopped speaking to those “family” members long ago. Not only that, but I did finish a zero lately, so I can use that fact to batter at imposter syndrome.

You can tell it’s the last week of NaNo; my Week Four guide will go up around 2pm PST. You can sign up to get it on my Substack, Haggard Feathers; I’ll be taking next week off while I recover and choke up a steaming lump of revisions. I’m thisclose to writing “Rocks fall, everyone dies,” and throwing up my hands.

We all know I won’t, but threatening it makes a book behave most of the time, so one works with what one has.

It’s Tuesday. If I buckle down now, I won’t have to leave the house again until next week. Wish me luck, dear ones, and I hope your day goes smoothly.

Me? I’m buckled in my armor, my sword is sharp enough, my charger is ready. Onwards and upwards, indeed.