Seeing with Other Eyes

One of the intriguing things about reviews is the opportunity to see your work as a stranger would. I’ve been living with my books for so long by the time my readers see them I’ve lost all sense of distance and perspective. Then I’ll come along and read a review that makes me think “Hmm. Never really thought about that, but I suppose that’s true!” The most recent exemplar of this being a very nice review for Scent of Metal. (I didn’t *plan* to do “new things with genre”, it just sort of …happened. And I’ll probably do it again.)

And it’s not just the nice reviews that do this. Even the puzzled, bewildered, disappointed, or unhappy reviews can have gleaming insights. One recent reviewer, stating a preference for romance-genre books of varying types, was understandably not satisfied with my science fiction (same book as above). BUT! They read the entire book! To have enticed a hard-core (cough) romance reader to finish a moderately hard-core science fiction book is a triumph indeed….

Matchbook is live

The Amazon Matchbook program is up and running, and I’ve even had one person use it!

In brief, if you have purchased any of my books in print form, you can now get a discounted ebook version of the same novel. Yes, it is retroactive. I plan to put all future books in the same program, too. I don’t like having the high paper prices — it’s the cost of doing business with distributors — but this way I can add value to the purchase. And with the gift-giving holidays approaching, you can get the bundle to give Aunt Ethel the paper book and give the cheep ebook for yourself! Win-win!

The Bureau of Substandards: Audiobook, narrated by ME!

Now available at

This was quite the learning experience. While I have a smidgen of stage experience and voice/breath technique, I’ve never narrated anything before. I’ve also never done any audio processing, so a great deal of headscratching and plaintive questions to musical acquaintances went on. It was a LOT of work, so I think I will leave it to the professionals to do my full book-length audiobooks.

So if you are curious what I sound like, here’s your chance!

Update: fixed borked link. Sigh. Thanks Michael!

Amazon MatchBook

For those of my readers who have purchased print versions of my books, you might be interested to know that I have signed up *all* my books with the new MatchBook program–which lets the reader get the digital version for a discounted price. Furthermore, it is retroactive–if you purchased the print book *before* this announcement, you can still (somehow) get the discounted ebook. The program isn’t active yet, but will be soon (weeks, not months I am told). All of my “extra” ebooks are set $1.99 or lower (Bureau of Substandards is FREE!).

I hope this will take some of the sting out of the extended distribution price raise…

Book Fort!

All the cool kids are doing it. Unlike some people, I do not have Vast Quantities of gaming figurines, but I made do. Quality has a quantity all its own. And Commanding Officer Jane Austen is most definitely Quality.


Those are NOT sloppy piles of books! It’s a glacis! Miss Austen clearly has studied her Vauban, and prefers trace italienne defenses for her (alas!) single cannon, fortunately crewed by a very strong (and deaf) Sandcreature. The Chinese golem is held in reserve.


I tried to come up with a compelling narrative for this vignette, but the beta readers complained that it was too much of a felis ex machina, so I trudge back to rewrite. Literary combat is hard.


Yeah, what’s my motivation, anyway? Nothing here tastes like chicken.

(The part of Giant Space Amoeba played by Senior Ranking Cat Opal, who would like to be fed now, thank you.)

The Human Wave Garage Sale!

cover for The Long Way Home AnnualReportCover

Have we got deals for you! Behind the time machine with a few dents and a missing “back” button, and the stuffed T Rex head, rummage through a delightful assortment of wonderful ebooks, reduced in price for just this week for your summer reading enjoyment…


the first book of the Seqyoyah trilogy,The Long Way Home, $1.99! Space adventure, accidents with time dilation, mysterious aliens, and exploring the frontier! (B&N)

Currently a mere $1.99, after August 8 Bureau of Substandards Annual Report will be $2.99, so now’s your chance to get it cheap! Trans-dimensional bureaucracy, cute baby krakens, and zombie tuna sandwiches! (B&N)

And please take a look at my fellow Human Wave authors, who also have fine wares at a (temporary) bargain price!

What Is Human Wave?

When did it become fashionable for published fiction to be full of self-loathing for qualities most intelligent humans value? Where’s the adventure, the courage, the fun? We suppose it was about the same time that Literature Majors because the arbiters of what was good and right in publishing.

Fortunately their reign of terror grey goo and boredom is at an end.  Having gone Indie, authors can choose to write humans as they wish.  And since most authors are (allegedly) human they can even write heroic humans who fight for things that have meaning.

The ennui of the cognoscenti no longer holds sway. The new bad boys on the block are Human Wave authors, whose characters might sometimes be trapped in dystopia but never helpless. And if they must go down fighting, they do so gloriously and for principles bigger than themselves.

Be daring.  Be creative.  Be revolutionary.  Read (and write) Human Wave.

Sarah Hoyt

Ill Met By Moonlight – Young Will Shakespeare is a humble school master who arrives home to find his wife and infant daughter, Susannah are missing, kidnapped by the fairies of Arden Woods, the children of Titania and Oberon. His attempts at rescue are interrupted and complicated by a feud over throne of fairyland, between Sylvanus, king regnant, and his younger brother Quicksilver who is both more and less than he seems. Amid treachery, murder, duel and seduction, Shakespeare discovers the enchantment of fairyland, which will always remain with him, for good and ill. Free from the 1st to the 5th of August.

Spinning Away — In a world where the ability to pick what news will interest most people is very real power, Layna Smythe strives to stay ahead of her rivals and alive. She often forgets that she’s also lonely, until an attack reminds her of the man she left behind. Free from the 1st to the 5th of August.

Crawling Between Heaven and Earth — Sarah A. Hoyt’s first short story collection, initially published by Dark Regions Press in 2003.  Contains most of Sarah’s early published work. Free

Wings — Second short story collection. $2.99

Michael Hooten

Cricket’s Song, Book 1: The Cricket Learns to Sing — Cricket is a young orphan growing up on an obscure farm in the country of Glencairck.  He wants to be just like Harper, who plays for the people through the winter, but Harper is not content to let him just learn how to harp.  He teaches him the ancient traditions of the Bards of Glencairck, a noble order that is responsible for not just entertaining the people, but for providing impartial judgement to their disputes.  When Cricket is old enough, he enters the wide world  and finds that not everyone knows the old rules, or follows them.  He has to decide for himself what is right–and how far he is willing to go to defend his beliefs. Free for Kindle August 1-5

 Rawle Nyanzi

Alien Frontier — Fifteen-year-old Norma Teague must avoid getting drafted into an alien army. However, her home village demands that she go since she has a magic belt that lets her destroy any armor made of matter. $1.99

 Thomas Sewell

Hitchhiking Killer For Hire — A border gang beats Ex-Special Forces soldier Sam Harper and leaves him for dead in the desert. Sam must discover “Why?” in this story of government corruption and human smuggling in the near future west. Dedicated to Louis L’Amour. Free for Kindle August 1st through 5th

 Elizabeth Bruner

Flash of Fire — A collection of super short stories (1000 words or less) on the subject of fire. Ranging from the love of a volcano goddess to natural phenomena encountered as humans explore a distant planet, these stories evoke a sense of wonder and awe at the nature and power of fire. $.99 for Kindle August 1 through 5th

 Zachary Ricks

Battlehymn — (Also Barnes & Noble) It’s a story of giant robots, forbidden love, princesses in danger, and the power of rock ‘n roll. If you’re a fan of Macross, you might enjoy Battlehymn. $1.99

 Cedar Sanderson

Snow Angel — When a child’s imagination leads his mother to a startling discovery, she must then protect him and his guardian from unknown danger. A human mother is fiercer than angels! Free July 31 to August 4

Little Red and the Wolf-Man — Little Red wears a red cloak, and keeps her shotgun hidden under it. But Grandmother has the biggest secret in the forest, and she is dying… can Little Red help the forest dwellers? $1.49

 Mike Weatherford

Cynthia — (Also Barnes & Noble) Cynthia was a nice girl from a prestigious family, with a “nice-girl” education.  That didn’t help much when she found herself chased by an organized criminal element, captured by pirates, and stranded on a planet that was so deadly human government had declared it forbidden.  Luck, in the form of Rat – a trained survivalist – can help, but will it enable her to survive? $0.99

 Kiti Lappi –Novels:

Fourth Sword — A portal fantasy: woman from our world gets transported to one with an ongoing generations long war and working magic, and finds out, after some adventures and to her chagrin, that she was taken there for a purpose. $ 1.49

The Demons of Khemas — A tavern wench has fallen for a barbarian swordsman (not that she admits it). When he disappears she needs to find out what happened. $ 1.49

 Short stories:

Nights of the Wampyrs — A small town has problems with a couple of vampires, and the only people who figure out what is going on realize they have to become vampire hunters. Old school vampires, based more on the European folk tales than the later fictionalized versions. First story tells of the birth of one vampire, the two others concentrate on the hunters.

    Raven’s Night $0.99

    After Night Descends $0.99

    Night Work  free from 1st of August to 5th, $ 0.99 after that

 Dealing with Elves — A young woman is drawn to a forest where elves live. Urban fantasy, mostly a mood piece. Free from 1st of August to 5th., $ 0.99 after that.

The Task — A ghost story set in a traditional fantasy world, a peasant girls shelters for a night in an abandoned castle. $ 0.99

Watch This Space

Want a whole bunch of good stuff to read, but don’t have much free cash? Check back here Thursday, August 1, for a very useful announcement! I and some fellow writers will be discounting books for a WHOLE WEEK! Some are even free!

And your humble scribe will be guest posting at the inimitable J. A. Konrath’s blog on that day! (Yes, money changed hands but it was for a good cause.)

Saving the World, One Memo At A Time

AnnualReportCoverIt’s done! And for sale! (Still waiting for the print proof approval, but…soon). At all the usual outlets, for the low, low introductory price of $1.99 (Good until August 8). Five silly stories of bureaucratic adventure, dimensional hijinks, and the importance of proper filing. One story, “The Correct Way to Fill Out Form PCR-103-u” has been previously published as a standalone short, but the rest are brand new!


Barnes & Noble

And of course, available at my online store (points helpfully to right sidebar…)

UPDATE: print version now available!

Clarion West:Achievement unlocked!

As the Write-a-thon chugs along, I have already met my original goal. The collection of short stories is complete and final edits are underway. It should be online very shortly!

Er, so I need another goal, right?

Fine. I am now working on Dragonhunters, the sequel to The Last Mage Guardian. I will attempt to write two new chapters in the remaining four weeks of the Write-a-thon. So there!