Tomorrow is the American Thanksgiving. Every day the past week, my son has been going over with me what he's thankful for. Kittens are at the top of the list almost every time. That boy really wants a kitten!
I'm thankful for several things, and you're one of them. Every single one of you. Loyal readers and fellow writers, I wouldn't be here without you. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement.
As a little bird might've told you, I have a new series releasing in the new year. A hilarious and geeky trilogy called Dice & Debauchery. Here are the first lines from each of the books to tease you.
LOOSE CORSET (Book 1) Geek girl problem #31: Your flat-chested best friend is a cosplayer and tries to fit you
into her costumes when you're built like Rose Tyler from Doctor Who.
LAYERS OF LACE (Book 2) Geek girl problem #19: When the many layers of lace you carefully
hand-sewed for your cosplay costume come between you and hot sex.
A MASKED KISS (Book 3)
Geek boy problem #11: Girls ignore you, but when one does pay you
attention, it's usually to sell you something.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! And have a great week to everyone else!
A junction erupts between the worlds in Settler, Oregon, a rift from which horrors attack our world. The Rifters defend us.
To trust unquestioningly is the first lesson Daelin Long must learn
as the newest Initiate of the Rifters. Her first day is a disaster. She
stands on a deserted street in a town smaller than a city district,
courting killer rocks from another world with her ancestor from the
Revolutionary War. Normal no longer exists.
While she struggles, Earl Blacke grapples with atoning for his past
ill deeds, running far and fast from Settler, Oregon. The Shaman of the
Desert promises him redemption, and an old mine puts the possibility of a
gold strike in his grasp. His luck has changed for the better, but he
can’t have both.
You're never a hero until you are.
small Oregon town of Settler is more than just a pretty view. This is
where a rift between worlds opens and lets the monsters travel through.
Only a small, brave band called the Rifters protect Earth from it.
Daelin Long is the newest Initiate. After everything that's happened to
her in NYC and the disappearance of her sister, she doesn't trust
anyone. But that is exactly what she must do to rise in the ranks. Earl
Blacke remains a mystery to Daelin, and she believes he holds the
answers she needs. Yet Earl struggles with his past sins while their
enemies in the rift plot far worse things for Earth.
This is the
second book in the Rifters series, and it's even better than the first.
We still have our small western town and quirky townsfolk. They have no
idea what's looming over their heads, and it just makes it that much
more entertaining. I love that Settler is in the midst of its annual
festival, Swit Days, when this story takes place. Settler's personality
rings as loudly as all the other characters in the book.
still a big Daelin fan. She's unlike your typical heroine, and paired
along side the Rifters, they make the Scooby gang look dry and
suburbian. Daelin is challenged even further in this book, not just with
her sister's disappearance, but her own inner demons as she tries to
learn to trust again. Earl's journey to come to terms with his past is a
fun, bumpy ride. One of my new favorites that we're introduced to is
Silas. A brilliant and fascinating mind on that man.
One of the
aspects that stands out in this book is the enemy currently threatening
Settler's population. And threatening seems like too mild of a word for
it! I'll never look at red stones the same way again.
This is my favorite book by M. Pax so far. I'm hungry for more!
1. I'm so close to finishing my third and final D&D novella. I'll get some extra writing time this evening as my son is at a pajama party at preschool. I'll give it that ol' NaNoWriMo push. I have peanut butter cookies ready to be baked in celebration.
2. I had a few short story rejections recently. I have only one left out there in submission. I really need to write some new short fiction to submit. My first project: a Christmas flash piece for my local critique group meeting next month.
3. I don't know if it's old age, but I have developed a habit where I talk to the books I'm reading. Most of the time, I'm alone. I've never done this before. I surprise myself with it sometimes. I always imagined myself as the crazy old book lady. So I guess talking to books is a good start.
4. I ran out of chocolate this week. With all the writing I've been doing, my appetite has soared. My imagination must be getting a major work-out. I wish it translated into actual loss of calories.
5. My son has next week off school and we'll be visiting my in-laws, so it will be a partial vacation from the interwebs for me. Pop on by for an awesome sci-fi book review on Monday and a few D&D teasers on Wednesday. Have a great weekend!
Do you remember that children's game? Everyone sat in a circle. The first child whispered something into the next person's ear and the next person whispered it to a third child. As the phrase or word was passed on, it became garbled. Usually the message the last child received was nothing like the original. It was a lot of fun.
Things like that happen in our every day adult lives too. A word is forgotten in a text or a bit of gossip is misunderstood. It's a perfect tool to twist your plot. Send your protagonist to the wrong address or cause an explosive fight because of a mixed up message.
It's also a great way to trick the reader. What did the protagonist's lover really mean by that note? If the protagonist thinks the worst, so will the reader.
Simple children's games are a huge part of our fictional worlds. Games we all played as kids like hide-and-seek. A lot of horror stories have someone hiding from the stalking bad guy. Piggy in the Middle will have characters keeping something valuable away from someone. What about Hot Potato? I don't want the cursed ring, you have it. No, I don't want it! You have it. It gets passed back and forth, round and round. When the time is up, poor bloke that has the cursed ring is cooked.
What children's games do you see adult versions of frequently in stories?
Did you hear the big news yet? The brilliant authors of Untethered Realms are releasing a boxed set next month!
A collection of nine fantastic, spine-tingling stories. Magic. Mystery.
Murder. Heartbreak and Hope. Defeat and Victory. The incredible and
Horrific. Fantasy Uprising delivers a heaping serving of the best in
Reborn by Cherie Reich: To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.
Fireseed One by Catherine Stine: On a devastated Earth in 2089,
the son of a famous marine biologist must travel to a lethal hotzone
with his worst enemy who helped destroy the world’s food source, to
search for Fireseed One, a mythical hybrid plant that may not even
Givin' Up the Ghost by Gwen Gardner: In the haunted modern day
medieval village of Sabrina shores, indigo eady must help a ghost solve
his murder before she And her gang become the next victims.
The Marquis by Christine Rains: A retired demon must become the beast he loathes to save the woman he loves.
The Alpha by Christine Rains: A werewolf hunted by her pack must find a way hide or fight a battle she believes she cannot win. The Rifters by M. Pax: In a strange wilderness town, a misplaced
city gal must deal with a secret organization, a man from 1888, and a
head-stealing phantom to save her missing sister.
Neverlove by Angela Brown: A tormented suicide survivor must find
the power in her pain or risk the Devourer robbing her of a second
chance to live, a first chance at love, and her very soul.
The Fall of Shaylar by River Fairchild: Magic is real. So is
betrayal. Rivalry, jealousy, a desperate attempt to grab the magic of
Shaylar—all converge to bring about the end of the precarious balance
between the Five Kingdoms.
Diamonds & Dust by River Fairchild: Magic is real. So is
betrayal. Two heirs. A Kingdom of dust on a troubled world. One might
resurrect it. One might destroy it all.
Blurb: The survival of a
once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of its young queen, Haleine
Coileáin, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her
A sadistic man with a talent for torture and a
taste for murder, he is determined to burn the land and all souls
within. Haleine is determined to save her kingdom and, after a chance
encounter, joins forces with the leader of the people’s rebellion. She
gives him her support, soon followed by her heart.
Loving him is
inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary as breathing. She lies
and steals on his behalf, doing anything she can to further their cause.
She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if
Her journey leads to a deceiving world of magic,
monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The
deeper she goes, the more her soul is stripped away, but she continues
on, desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to
ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price—even if it
means her life.
My review: Haleine
Coileain's hopes for a happy future are ripped to shreds by her
father's loyalty to their king. She's married to a sadistic prince and
only sees misery until her husband's greatest enemy, Dana, climbs
through her window. No matter how dangerous it is, Haleine cannot help
but love Dana, and she agrees to spy for him to help his cause to bring
down her evil husband. Yet there is something darker working within the
shadows, something eager for death and chaos. Can Haleine find a way to
save Dana and her people, or will she be sacrificed to the darkness
My little synopsis of this amazing epic fantasy cannot
convey the immensity of the tale. There are layers upon layers, each as
thick and tantalizing as the last. Myths, monsters, magic, and
mysteries. The world building is incredible. I was sucked into this vast
realm which holds great beauty and tremendous horrors.
of characters is large and marvelously diverse. Haleine is an admirable
heroine. Forced into a situation she detests, I found myself cheering
her on from the beginning even in her most miserable moments. Maddox is a
loathsome man, the perfect evil prince, but not quite so detestable as
his adviser, Omur. I couldn't stop myself from falling a little bit for
Dana, the rebel leader, myself. And then there's Faolan, the
wise-cracking mini pegasus. I adored him! There are so many other other
great characters to list. Each well written and unforgettable.
so much I'd like to say about EFFIGY, but I won't give away any
spoilers. There are so many twists and turns in this book, it will have
you on the edge of your seat unable to sleep for wanting to find out
what happens next. The journey is unlike none other. I highly recommend
this book not only to fantasy fans, but to every reader. It will hook
you so thoroughly, you won't be able to put it down.
Today be careful when you surprise this dunkee in his lair:
Al Diaz is our beloved Father Dragon. He's an artist, writer, and philosopher. He has dwarves guarding his cave, but I'm sure once you explain yourself, they'll be more than happy to help you soak Father Dragon with blog love!
Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week. We've been having lots of fun with my mom. Busy, busy, busy!
Did I mention I visited Milo James Fowler's blog this week? Click on over and tell us what you think about hybrid authors. No, we're not some weird science experiment. Don't forget Realms Faire is next week. Join me for the Drench-a-wench and Soak-a-bloke event and win really awesome prizes. I kid you not. Some wonderfully generous folks donated a lot to the Faire this year. Have some medieval fun and win yourself something fantastic! Have a great weekend!
Publishing is proud to announce the release of Milo James Fowler's
most recent science fiction novella Yakuza
a moment to discover what happens when a hardboiled detective story
is set in a science fiction world:
A detective with no way
A telepath with
something to prove...
World-weary detective Charlie Madison has seen
more than his share of war. When he stops by the 37th precinct late
one night to check on his old friend Sergeant Douglass, the place is
as quiet as a morgue. The last thing he expects to find: half a dozen
Russian gunmen with a score to settle.
What starts out as a vicious Alamo-style battle
soon evolves into something more sinister as Madison's past comes
into play. Will his ties to a branch of the Japanese mafia be a help
or a hindrance? And who is the strange man in holding? Why are the
Russians determined to break him out?
Struggling to survive the night, one private
eye must rely on his wits to solve a mystery where he's outnumbered,
outgunned, and trapped inside a police station with a soulless
When did you start seriously pursuing writing as a career?
been writing since I was a kid, but I started submitting my work for
publication in the summer of 2009. I'd always thought I would pursue
publication at some point—probably after I retired from teaching
or turned 40. My first story was published in January 2010, and
I've had another 96 accepted for publication since then. I won't turn
40 for a couple more years, and I'm still teaching full-time.
Doesn't look like I'll be retiring anytime soon!
How did you create the character Charlie Madison?
I was a kid, I learned to type on an old-school manual typewriter.
That's where I learned to write, too. My first novels were messy,
full of typos and plot holes. But they were fun. And at age 15,
that's what it was all about for me. Private eye Charlie Madison was
one of the first characters I created, based on Box
and Dixon Hill, and The
was his big debut. By the end of it, I had over a hundred pages of
snappy banter, mob hits, double-crossing dames, car chases, and even
some alligators on leashes. It was a horrible parody, and I knew it.
2011, I came up with the first Charlie Madison story I'd written in
of Great Price.
It wasn't anything like his original case, but he was the same
quick-witted, intrepid detective I'd known before. I
transplanted him into a more serious and gritty "future
noir" sci-fi setting, and once I'd envisioned that world, I knew
I'd be back. Immaterial
followed, and Yakuza
will be available from Musa Publishing on November 7th.
Are you working on more Charlie Madison stories?
outlining the follow-up to Yakuza
and it's going to be full of assassinations, kidnappings, killer
robots, and maybe even a mad scientist. The working title is The
and it follows the origins of the mysterious suprahumans who
have appeared in all three Charlie Madison detective stories so far.
Milo James Fowler
is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he's
not grading papers, he's imagining what the world might be like in a
dozen alternate realities. He is an active SFWA member, and his work
has appeared in more than 90 publications, including AE
and the Wastelands
The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.
It's that time of year again. Nope, not the holidays. Uh-uh, well, yeah, you have to winterize the house too. I meant it's time for NaNoWriMo!
I really love participating in the challenge, but I don't have time this year. My mom's visiting this week, and then we visit my in-laws the last week of the month. If only I could have a clone to take care of the family visits. (Psst, Alex! Help a gal out!)
I've done NaNo for ten years. I love it, and it agonizes me that I can't do it this year. But I must be realistic about my time management. The two novels I'm publishing next year started off as NaNo novels. Oh yes, they needed a lot of work, but this year has been a year of revising. They're going to shine.
Good luck to everyone who took up the challenge this month. I'm a little envious cheering for you!
Write, write, write!
I'm over at Milo James Fowler's blog talking about being a hybrid author. Click on over and let us know what you think about the various paths to publishing.
It's not easy being friends with rising rock stars - especially when you're the glue that holds them together.
Razes Hell has taken off in the charts, and Ellie can't believe her childhood friends, Drew and Jason Brooks, are on TV and drawing crowds after years spent playing in dodgy bars. From obscurity to overnight success, Ellie soon realises life in the public eye isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as dark secrets become headline news and old conflicts are re-ignited. When a fake feud meant to boost the band’s popularity threatens to rip the boys apart for real, Ellie finds herself torn – a position which only gets more uncomfortable when her loyalty to Jason collides with her blossoming relationship with Drew.
Nobody knows how deep their issues run; nobody but Ellie. With friendship, a music career and a new love on the line, can Ellie keep their tangled pasts from ruining their futures?
Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.
Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.
I'm very excited to have the marvelous Carol Kilgore on my blog today. I love her books, and I'm doing a happy dance that she's going to talk about how she writes such brilliant mysteries. Take it away, Carol!
so much for hosting me!
I asked Christine what she’d like for me to write, she gave me a
short list of possibilities but indicated she would most like to see
a post about how I write the mystery aspect of my novels, especially
whether I plot every detail or if I go back and add clues and red
I do is the process that works best with the way my brain functions.
I’ve tried to be a total pantser, and I’ve tried to plot all the
details. What happens is I get stuck, or something different happens
from what I’ve planned.
what I do is a mishmash. Before I ever begin to write, I learn as
much as possible about the beginning, the major plot points, and the
ending. I also find out as much as possible about my characters
without actually putting them together and writing their story.
I write, I use what I know and let their story develop around the
framework. The deeper I get into the story, the more I learn about
the characters, and the more they learn about each other.
more I know about the characters and the story, the better I can
mislead the reader.
on each successive pass, I add more details. As an example, in
SOLOMON’S COMPASS, one of the characters wears a bracelet. Never
takes it off. It’s just about the only positive means to identify
bracelet was an extremely late addition.
I leave an obvious clue, I try to bury it so it doesn’t stand out.
Many of my clues are subtle--too subtle sometimes, according to my
editor. But together we fix that. I hope! One of my favorite movies
is “The Sixth Sense.” All the clues are there, but most viewers
don’t put them together until near the end of the movie.
my goal when I write--have the clues come together and make sense
near the end of the book.
the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the
presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off
her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot.
Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely
sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top
priorities were so simple.
an operative for a covert agency buried
in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked
to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl
believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing
the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter
of her dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.
and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and
will require more than any of them bargained for.
kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter
of life or death will become more than a possibility.
Although Carol has
deep Texas roots, she’s lived up and down the eastern seaboard and
in other locations across the U.S. as a Coast Guard wife. She sees
mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good
love story—especially one with humor and mystery. Crime
gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery
and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.