Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Three StoryBundles!

That's right. I have stories in three different StoryBundles right now. 

First off the Epic Fantasy Bundle, which contains my debut novel, The Moonflower, is about to end. There's a little over a day left to get this great selection of DRM-free e-books. 15 books for $15.00 is an amazing deal! Hell, I've been known to pay that much for a Sanderson alone! You don't want to miss out on this one. Trust me! You can get the Epic Fantasy Bundle here.

Next up is the Light in the Dark YA bundle. This young adult bundle contains the Sparks volume of Fiction River which contains my short story, Moonshine. This is my historical YA story about two orphans during the Great Depression who turn to running Moonshine in order to survive. You get the Sparks anthology at the $5.00 level. There's 15 days to get this bundle. You can get this bundle here.

Finally, the Aliens Among Us bundle just launched today. It's available for another 22 days. At the $5.00 level you get the No Humans Allowed volume of Fiction River, which contains my short story, When A Good Fox Goes To War. This is my historical fantasy story about a kitsune who gets caught up in a war between two feuding Samurai. You can get the Aliens Among Us bundle here.

This is the cheapest all of these books have ever been! I highly recommend you snatch up these bargains!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Epic Fantasy StoryBundle!

My novel, The Moonflower is part of the new Epic Fantasy StoryBundle that Kevin J. Anderson put together! Squee!!! There are some amazing authors in this bundle like R.A. Salvatore, Michael Stackpole, Brandon Sanderson as well as a lot of great indie authors!

You can get the bundle here:

If you're not familiar with StoryBundle, it works like this:

The DRM-free e-book versions of each of these books are available for download and you get to decide what you pay for them. If you pay at least $5.00 you get:

Knight of Flame by Scott Eder
A Hero Born -- Realms of Chaos book 1 by Michael A. Stackpole
Joanna Crusader by Hilary Benford
The Fallen -- The Greatest Sin Book 1 by Lee French and Erik Kort
The Education of Brother Thaddius and Other Tales of DemonWars by R.A. Salvatore

Yeah, that's not a typo. You get a Salvatore, a Stackpole and two more great books for only $5.00! But here's the real kicker...if you pay at least $15.00 you get TEN MORE BOOKS! You get these great books in addition to the titles above:

Obstacles by Ryan English
Blood of Akhilles by R.M. Meluch
Blood Curse by Quincy J. Allen
Warrior of Light by William Heinzen
The Moonflower by Kim May (Yay!)
Shadowguard by Gama Ray Martinez
Sixth of the Dusk by Brandon Sanderson
Spearwielder's Tale -- The Woods Out Back by R.A. Salvatore
The Sword of Bedwyr -- The Crimson Shadow by R.A. Salvatore
Unwilling Souls by Gregory D. Little

As I mentioned earlier all of these ebooks are DRM-free. If you're not familiar with some of these books or some of these authors, that's okay. If you click on the book's picture on the site you can pull up a description of book as well as some reviews to help you decide. You get both the epub and mobi files so you can read them on any device. Plus, when you buy the bundle you also have the opportunity to donate a portion of the proceeds to The Challenger Center For Space Education. You can find out more about the Challenger Center here. Their work is so important so please consider donating to them.

This bundle is only available until September 20th so don't wait. Get it now!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Debut Novel!

The last time I posted an update I teased that I have a new book coming and would soon release the cover. Well, soon thereafter I was so swamped in copy edits, and other pre-release business that I completely forgot to do that. I am sorry for that but I have some news that might make up for that. My debut novel, The Moonflower, is now out!

Here's the publisher's description: 
"Getting into a Parisian art school was a dream come true for Ariana, but night terrors are disrupting her sleep, making it nearly impossible to complete her coursework, and now she faces expulsion.

When a mysterious woman gives her a pendant, promising it will solve her problems, Ariana is desperate enough to try it.

Instead of sweet dreams, it transports her to the Demos Oneiroi - the dream world of the ancient Greek gods - and thrusts her amidst a war between the gods.

Now Ariana must choose to let the gods fight amongst themselves, or risk everything to keep their feud from spilling into the real world."

And here's the cover I mercilessly teased about:
The gorgeous cover art is by Lee Moyer and I couldn't be happier with it! It's so amazing to finally see these characters on a cover and hold the book in my hands. This book is the first of five books in the Oneiroi War series. And because I know that someone will ask, yes, it will only be five books. I am not going to pull a GRRM or a Jordan on you by suddenly expanding the series and spending the next twenty years working on it. Right now the plan is to write and release a book a year in this series. I've already written about a third of book two and I'm loving it! It's so good!

It's available in ebook on AmazoniTunesNook, and Kobo.

There's also a paperback edition available on Amazon. The paperback will also be available at Reader's Guide and Powell's bookstores in Oregon but give it a few weeks before you rush in and buy it. Their warehouses haven't received their shipments yet but I've been assured that they will arrive.

Friday, April 28, 2017

New Releases!

There is so much happening at once that it's a bit overwhelming -- but entirely in a good way.

Book signing

Tomorrow is Independent Bookstore Day and I'll be signing books with a bunch of other authors at Reader's Guide Bookstore in Salem, OR from 11-4. If you're in the area I'd love to see you! You can find the full details on the Facebook page. It's going to be a really fun day!

If you don't live in the area but want to participate in the Indie love then at least go to your local independent bookstore. Independent Bookstore Day is a national celebration and you can find a map of participating stores here. If there isn't an indie bookstore near you then you, first off I feel very sorry for you, but second, you can still get my newest story.

New Short Story

I have a new short story out! It's in Fiction River: No Humans Allowed. As the title suggests, all of the stories are about non-human entities. My story, When A Good Fox Goes To War, is set in 16th century Japan and is about a kitsune that gets caught between two feuding Samurai. I adore this story and I hope you do too! Click on this link to buy the ebook. The print edition will be available on Amazon soon and Reader's Guide has it in stock for tomorrow's book signing.

Debut novel!!!

Yes, you read that right. My first novel, The Moonflower is coming out soon! The final touches are being put on it and it should be out in early June. Earlier today I saw the cover art that Lee Moyer created for it and it's Gorgeous!!! I'll post an official announcement with all the awesome details when I have them worked out. I know. It's cruel of me to share news like that without so much as pre-order link. That's because the the production schedule has been escalated a bit and now I'm scrambling to finish the line edits in time. But because I'm not a complete monster, here's the description:

"Getting into a Parisian art school was a dream come true for Ariana, but night terrors are disrupting her sleep, making it nearly impossible to complete her coursework, and now she faces expulsion.

When a mysterious woman gives her a pendant, promising it will solve her problems, Ariana is desperate enough to try it.

Instead of sweet dreams, it transports her to the Demos Oneiroi - the dream world of the ancient Greek gods - and thrusts her amidst a war between the gods.

Now Ariana must choose to let the gods fight amongst themselves, or risk everything to keep their feud from spilling into the real world."

The Moonflower is the first book in The Oneiroi War series and I can't wait for everyone to be able to read it!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fiction River: Tavern Tales is out now! My short story, Schrodinger's Bar, is in this volume. I'm very proud of this story. It was a lot of fun to work with Kerrie again! Schrodinger's is a dive bar on a space station where not all is as it seems. It's got a really neat twist at the end, and no, it's not a twist of lime.

You can buy it in print and ebook here:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Award Eligibility Post

It's that wonderful time of the year when authors feel like egotistical jerks for reminding readers of all the award eligible things they did last year. You can almost smell the anxiety. But it has to be done because memories are short and regrets are forever.

So...on to business!

This is my last year of eligibility for the Campbell Award. My short story, The Fukuda Cube, which appeared in the Eclipse Phase anthology is eligible for the best short story Hugo award.

This concludes the portion about me. Here's a list of everything I read and loved last year (that was also published last year):

The Fireman, by Joe Hill
        This book is really brilliant! It's really not horror either. If I had to re-classify it I'd call it dark contemporary fantasy. And you know what? I'm going to come right out and say it. I think this book establishes him as a better writer than his father.

Bands of Mourning, by Brandon Sanderson
        Another brilliant book. The previous book in this series left me heartbroken for the characters and this book was the perfect followup. Plus there's major Cosemere crossover stuff if you pay close attention to those kind of things.

Arcanum Unbounded, by Brandon Sanderson
         Yes, there's two of his on the list but I would be amiss not to put this fantastic collection of his shortish fiction on the list. It's gorgeous and there's so many excellent stories!

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge, by John Ringo and Larry Correia
         I normally don't like reflective first person viewpoints but this one is so good! Granted it helps that I love the Monster Hunter books anyway, but even if I didn't I still would have loved this book. It's that well done...until you get to the giant spiders at the end. I did skip that part. Oh, come on. Wouldn't you? They're giant spiders! Eek!

Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal
         This historical fantasy has all of the charm beautiful language we've come to expect from Mary in addition to being a really compelling thriller. It made me laugh and it made me cry.

Extreme Makeover, by Dan Wells
         When Dan said that this is the best book he's ever written, he wasn't kidding! It's brilliant! The concept is original and terrifying and there's just enough humor to keep me from having nightmares.

Graphic Novel:
Monstress vol. 1, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
        The art is gorgeous, the story is fascinating and original, and the Asian influence makes me feel right at home. I can't wait for the second collection to come out!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

One Less Rogue in Rogue One Please

Beware! This post is chock full of spoilers and contains some unpopular opinions. If you haven't seen it yet or don't want your love diminished, stop reading now.

This is your last chance to change your mind.

Alright, first off I want to say that I did like the film. I didn't love it. I wanted to love it. When I saw Wil Wheaton's tweet that the last time he loved a Star Wars movie that much, it was 1977 I was really excited. While there were parts and characters I loved, it wasn't enough to compensate for the film's many flaws.

First off, the parts I loved.

Like everyone, I loved Chirrut and K-2SO. Few things would make me happier than an origin film for Chirrut and Baze, and a ringtone of K-2 saying "you have a phone call. The captain said I had to tell you." Chirrut, while still being the stereotypical sage-like blind monk that kicks ass, has a lot of heart thanks to Donnie Yen's brilliant performance. It's hard (both mentally as well as requiring a lot of skill) to take a role that's clearly a stereotype and turn it into something genuine. Some day I hope I get to talk to him one on one when there aren't any cameras or PR people around so I can ask him about his process for that character.

K-2SO has some of the best one-liners in the film. To be honest it was hard at times to believe that this was a robot. How can a robot understand humor? But then he'd say something funny or snarky and I'd be amused enough to forget that question until the next lull in the plot. This should have bothered me more than it did. But I have to admit that the jokes were really well timed and it does take skill to place them just so...even if the placement is to distract from the proverbial man behind the curtain. I wasn't really surprised when K-2 died. I mean, of course he did. All of Alan Tudyk's best characters die at the end of the film. It's his curse.

Jyn Erso is a character I wish we'd spent more time with. While it was fascinating seeing her as a child and then jumping to her as an adult, I wanted to know more about her journey. How did she deal with the trauma of witnessing her mother's murder? How many times did she have to run from agents of the Empire who were hunting her? How did she become the crafty bad ass that we see for most of the film? Why was she okay with not having any agency in the events that transpired? Most importantly, was she really that bad of a character that she needed to be redeemed? More on that in a bit.

The little geeky inside jokes were awesome. "Pig Nose" and "Scott" from the cantina? I loved seeing them together, as usual, and grumpy, as usual. The storm troopers talking about the T-15 being marked obsolete? That made me laugh. Seeing Vader's bachelor pad/temple on Mustafar? It was like watching an episode of Lifestyles of the Sith and Famous.

The last part I loved was the last five minutes when everyone is doing a relay race with the transmitted plans. That was the only part of the film where I was on the edge of my seat, squeezing my mother's arm, squealing because what it WAS SO COOL!!!!! That was some quality plotting. It  lived up to my expectations of the film. 👏👏👏

Now the parts that I had serious problems with:

(Cue Imperial March)

The opening. Where's the fanfare and the scrolling prologue?! Seriously, Disney should have done their research. Starting a Star Wars movie with anything other than fanfare and scrolling prologue is the kiss of death. Why? Three reasons: The Ewok movies and Life Day. I don't care if this was a between-the-episodes film. I want to feel the goosebumps on my arms when the brass section plays that first note. That moment alone is worth the ticket price! Don't steal that moment from me!

The writers need to apologize to Forrest Whitaker for the awful job they did on Saw Gerrera. We were shown so many conflicting accounts of his character that it was impossible to know what kind of person he was. Was he the monster the torture of the defector led us to believe? Was he the extremist that Mon Mothma labeled him as? Was he the kind surrogate father that Rey claimed him to be? There are too many conflicting accounts that I have no idea which to believe. So when he accepts his fate during the destruction of Jedda City I have no idea if it's true to his character or a redeeming moment. Instead it just felt like a wasted moment for a wasted character. On that note...

I feel that the subtitle to this movie shouldn't have been "A Star Wars Story" it should have been "Redeem all the peoples!!!" Who thought it was a good idea to try to redeem the entire cast in a single film? It's ludicrous! I found it hard to believe that a bunch of misfits would all suddenly decide to do the right thing. Especially Jyn. She had no reason to take matters into her own hands. The rebellion treated her as badly as the Empire had. Why not enact vengeance on the organizations that were each responsible for the death of her parents? Why save the rebellion from themselves? Then there's Cassian. Why couldn't he continue being the rebellion's morally ambiguous agent of chaos? None of it made sense and they didn't bother to take the time to explain it. They just plowed on with the action hoping that we'd be so distracted we wouldn't notice. Well I noticed.

While I do want a Baze and Chirrut origin film, it's not for the reason you think. Well, okay. Yes, I want to see more Chirrut. Babe however I want to see more of in order to get to know what kind of character he was. On screen he wasn't anything more than a jar head with a big gun. Yes, it was a really cool gun but it may as well have been held by an ambulatory cactus. We know absolutely nothing about him except that Chirrut is his buddy and because of that I want to know more. I'm really sad that they didn't give him more of an identity. If they had his death would have had the impact they were going for. Instead it was just meh.

The Death Star design flaw is something that has bothered me for thirty years. How is it that no one noticed this glaring error? Why did no one just put a steel plate over the exterior port? With that many people involved in the project and with Krennic breathing down their necks, how were any of them, Galen most of all, able to hide that? It made no sense then and it makes less sense now. overall feeling? It was an okay movie. I liked it but mostly because of the good jokes, the digitally inserted found footage from episode 4, and the stellar ending. Was it up to par with the good Star Wars films? No. Was it better than the prequels? Yes, but that's not saying much. The visuals were great and the ending AMAZING but the rest was an entertaining hot mess.