Monday, July 21, 2014

Simply Inspirational

Apparently, I'm inspirational.... No, seriously. I've been nominated for one of the most inspirational blogs on the net.

Normally, I'd say "Wow, that's awesome," but I'm still at the point in my life where I find it strange when people actually read anything I have to say.

Anyway, it's time for an announcement.... okay, technically, I've already announced it, so it's more of a reminder... I'm going to be in Chicago next week, for the Catholic Writer's Guild conference.

Yes, I know that Chicago is a haven for lawless violence and mass murder, and 20 people murdered each day, but I won't be in that part of the city. I have no intention of being near a gun....

Okay, I will be visiting a shooting range on the way back. I've been told that my gun fu can be better.

Enjoy the next two weeks. I'll see you all in August, when I return.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ten Rules I want Writers to follow

I was recently asked what rules, as I reader, I wish writers would follow. I came up with a few.

Rule #1: Don't preach at me. Tell the damn story... I think this is self explanatory.

Rule #2: Don't make up your own history, claim that you've done your research, and then NOT share your research. You are not Dan Brown, I don't tolerate it FROM Dan Brown, and I will waterboard the next schmuck who does that. Anyone want to test that threat? I'm a freaking historian. I know when you're lying you morons!!!!!

Rule #3: If you have an action sequence, HAVE an action sequence. I don't need blow-by-blow, but if your concept of a "fight" is "they fell to the roof and struggled with each other until they fell off," I will hurt you. Jack Higgins did that, and after that, I knew Sean Dillion series was doomed. I was writing like that when I was 16.

Rule #4: If you have a chapter, it has to be more than a paragraph long. If you only have snippets from a mad serial killer, we might forgive you if it's a handful of chapters. If it's your entire novel, you should be beaten to death with the hard copy.... I'm looking at you, James Patterson.

Rule #5: Vampires only sparkle IF THEY'RE ON FIRE.

Rule #6: Fantasy authors, please, for the love of God, if you're going to have a system of magic set in a modern environment, please explain where magic comes from. [Ahem: Dear Madam Rowling, where do wizards get their powers FROM? Why do they actually need wands? Why can some spells not require any wands?  A paragraph over your 7 novels would have been fine to explain any of this]

Rule #7: Stop giving me stupid villains. Just stop. Please.
Rule #7b: Stop giving me insipid heroes. Just ... don't.
Rule #7c: In fact, Stephen King, just stop writing entirely.

Rule #8: While we're at it, SOMEONE HAVE AN ORIGINAL IDEA. I don't care if you've been a bestseller for 20 years, stop pumping out books like they're an obligation. I'm looking at you King ... Higgins ... Patterson ... Pat Cornwell ... Nora Roberts does consistently better and original ideas than you twits, and she's a ROMANCE NOVELIST.  Gah.

Rule #9: Stop with the utterly dark nonsense. I'm tired of the same dystopian universes, the same miserable outlooks on humanity, and the same anti-heroes. Snake Plisskin only works once. Twice if you make him into a Metal Gear character. After that I'M BORED. You can give me an anti-hero if he's well-developed, likable, smart. You can stop giving me the same depressing, dark, amoral character who actually HAS no character development.  Even the book Codename: Winterborn, which has been compared to Escape from New York, went out of its way to describe how society works, how people life, how there's an economy. I never want to see another Escape from New York or Terminator universe unless they're in Escape from New York or the Terminator universe

Rule #10: Stop, stop STOP making professional soldiers into sociopathic Redshirt canon fodder while the plucky hero WITH ZERO COMBAT EXPERIENCE gets out alive.  Thank you

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review: The Watson Chronicles.

For those of you who are suffering from a deficit of Sherlock, wondering why Robert Downy Jr. hasn't made another Sherlock Holmes film already, and the okay-Elementary isn't really cutting it, have we got something for you.

A while back, Ann Margaret Lewis wrote Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, in which she had the venerable detective come face to face with Pope Leo XIII, with a guest cleric named Father Brown. Holmes solved mysteries that Arthur Conan Doyle only hinted at in his books -- Sherlock fans will recognize the title of the short story "The Vatican Cameos."

And now, Madam Lewis tackles the next great task in filling the Sherlockian mysteries -- namely, giving Dr. Watson a personal life.

The premise: this book takes place in the latter years of Sherlock Holmes' career.  He is about to move to Sussex and raise bees (a retirement he had been threatening for years), and Watson decides to go back into private practice (since he had given up his last practice to live off of his stories published in The Strand). Watson has a nervous landlord, a sickly partner, and a lovely upstairs neighbor. But, as with Jessica Fletcher, the bodies are soon hitting the floor, and Watson is drawn into international intrigue and murder, and requires the aid of not one but two Holmes brothers.

And that's just the first part of The Watson Chronicles: A Sherlock Holmes Novel in Stories.  True, it's broken down into short story format, but it's a novel, plain and simple, written in such a fashion as to mirror the writing style and structure as Arthur Conan Doyle.  And if you don't believe that she writes in his style, I tell you that even the paragraph structure reads like Arthur Conan Doyle.

A good chunk of this book is a romance. No, not written porn, in the modern sense.  There are some elements of romantic comedy, mixed with some solid drama (real drama, not forced conflict for sake of drawing it out). We have a good, strong female romantic lead in the upstairs neighbor, Lucyna Modjeska -- Lucy, for short (and if you quibble with me because she doesn't throw a single punch or kick in the book, I will answer that it takes more strength to deal with both Holmes brothers than could be managed by Xena: Warrior Princess). Lucy is a bit of a saint, with all the flaws that implies.  And if you don't think a saint can be flawed, read some of the lives of the saints sometimes; there is a reason the church says that saints are to be admired, not necessarily imitated. It becomes an interesting time having a Polish-American Catholic working with two British Anglicans. She is a great addition to this established cast of characters, and works well with all the moving parts involved.

Great line: "One way to impress a Catholic girl is to tell her that you met the pope."

One of the fun parts of this book -- and there are so many, it's hard to count -- is the way Lewis has the stories interact with "reality." Basically, Watson's a writer, and writers get feedback, whether they like it or not.  There are some stories that are published years apart, and why is that? How does Watson deal with his own fans? That sort of thing. Lewis also addresses the little feature of how it was ten years between Holmes' death and resurrection in print, but only 3 years in the Holmes universe, leading to lines like "I'm so glad to know you're not dead."

And Mycroft Holmes gets his own murder mystery to solve. It's fun.  Then again, Mycroft and Sherlock actually act like brothers, at one point one-upping each other.  (Great line #2: "Holmes, you do not like women. Well, I don't like people.")   And then there's the story of his time in Montenegro, which makes for an interesting nod to another overweight genius in detective fiction.

I'm trying to put into words just how much I like this book, and it's hard. It truly is.  Especially since I don't want to come off as a fanboy.  This book is so good, I'm almost sad that there is no sequel already planned and penned; though the ending makes for such a good conclusion to Lewis' Sherlock works, as well as the entire Holmes canon. I'm not exaggerating.  With with Murder in the Vatican, I want to go back and reread all of these stories in order with the original Arthur Conan Doyle works, but I'm afraid that he will come out the worst for it.  But if I do, The Watson Chronicles will be the last thing I read, just so I can end it all on a high note.

Okay, let's skip to the interesting part. Buy this book.  Buy this book now.  If you didn't buy Murder in the Vatican, what are you waiting for? Buy that too.  While you're at it, buy a dozen other copies for your friends and family.

You want more reasons?  Because Ann Lewis has taken every single hole left by Arthur Conan Doyle and filled it.  Did you know that Watson had three wives because Doyle couldn't keep track of the names or who he had killed? Ann Lewis filled all of that in. Did you know that ACD couldn't remember if Watson had been shot in the leg or the shoulder? Lewis addresses that too.

You're going to read this book for every little character touch between Holmes, Watson, Lucy and Mycroft -- Mycroft, who is a major player in this book that he never was in actual Sherlock canon, and he has some of the best lines in this book, even when he's not recreating natural law. You're going to read this book for Dr. Watson's wedding being presided over by the "inscrutable" Father Brown, and to see almost every single case Sherlock Holmes has ever solved come back to him in one of the most tightly written, canon-filled and canon-filling books put on paper.

And you're going to read this book because it is one of the best, most touching, hilarious, heart warming, tear-jerking Sherlock Holmes novels ever written.

Stop reading this review, click on the link, and start reading. Go. Now. Don't just stare at the page, go.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Music blog: Amaranth, by Nightwish

The Fury Clock, by Christopher Bunn

The Fury Clock, by Christopher Bunn

...Yeah, I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started this one, but I'm fairly certain it wasn't this.

The flap copy:
MAYHEM, MAGIC AND MANIAC DWARVES
Malix Shandy, the best-looking scoundrel in the kingdom, sets off on a hopeless quest to find the dreaded Fury Clock. If he doesn’t find it in seven days, he’ll suffer a fate worse than death. Teamed up with an enormous ogre and a psychotic dwarf, Shandy starts to think maybe death would be restful after a week in such company. But he doesn't have time to die, not with all the necromancers, vampires, and dragons out to get him.

Brimming with romance, monsters, magic, and deceptive wenches, The Fury Clock is a humorous and rollicking adventure in the tradition of Terry Pratchett and Terry Brooks.

I made the mistake of not seeing the book's full title before I read it, and that probably threw me for the beginning.  What's the full title? The Fury Clock (The Infinite Wheel of Endless Chronicles Book 1).  I think someone might -- just might, mind you -- be making fun of Robert Jordan.  Just a little.

Bunn's style for this book feels like a little of column A, a little of column B, and a pinch of What The Hell Is This?  The vast majority of the book *does* feel like Terry Pratchett writing The Princess Bride, and in the middle, we wander into the Xanth books of Piers Anthony .... sometimes, not in a good way, but, overall, the book works.

I'll unpack that statement for those who aren't complete and total nerds.  We've got our hero, Malix, described as a "man in black" (at least he wasn't a dread pirate) on trial for treason, set free to do the work of a shadowy figure who runs the country from behind the scenes (at least the malevolent shadow was not a tyrant who asked him about angels, a la Pratchett's Going Postal).

Along the way, instead of footnotes, we get little treatises on various and sundry subjects, much like Prachett's novels, or perhaps the The Hitchhiker's Guide. As one of the major scenes in the books take place in the Tavern at the center of the Earth instead of the restaurant at the other end of the galaxy, you can see why it might come to mind.

There are some conversations, like with Anthony, that drag on, and makes you wonder "Where is this going?"  However, unlike Anthony, never, not once, is a page or chapter merely a buildup to one bad pun. For that alone, Bunn should be given tons of awards and dollars.

The casual use of soul gems and describing a princess as "a peach" makes me think "Hmm, a gamer wrote this," but I could be reading into things.

After the 20% mark, the book tends to wander a bit (see: Piers Anthony, cited above). Our hero picks up some companions for some odd reasons, but they do make the journey interesting. By 30%, we're solidly back on track and full speed ahead. So if you get stuck around that point, and can get past it, you're golden.

Did I like the book? Sure. It was fun.  The ease of casual lines like dwarves hankering for a good GLT (goat lettuce and tomato) and platform shoes.  The hippie Charon was fun. There was a dragon that should have been voiced by Stephen Fry. And how can one forget the outlaws with bylaws .... oh, sorry, they were "redistributionists," can't forget that.

However, if you're looking for deep character studies, richly drawn characters with their own personal biography, or Lord of the Rings, then do not approach. This is pure entertainment, and somewhat deranged entertainment at that -- this is a compliment, coming from me.  If you're looking for a rock-solid, fun ride that's Piers Anthony without the terrible, terrible puns, or an American Terry Pratchett, then The Fury Clock is for you.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Music Blog: Immortal

Just because I like the sound of this one. I tripped over it in my wanderings for new music. Enjoy.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Scenes from Codename: Unsub.

This is the first time I've done something like this, assuming you don't count those short stories that became extras in A Pius Man.  This is actually from my current novel in progress, entitled Codename: Unsub.  It will probably come out after A Pius Stand, especially since A Pius Stand is damn near done.

If you don't know the plot of Codename: Winterborn, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

However, that being said, please read the book already.

Anyway, the prologue to the next Finn and Yoskowitz novel, Codename: Unsub, is below the break. Let me know what you think. While I have no problem with you pointing out errors (crowdsource editing ... works for me), and if you decide to lynch me for a few errors, well, I'm writing three books at the same time, doing most of the copy editing, line editing, proofing, while also being the primary marketer, and maintaining a blog that posts once if not three times a week. When you do the same, let me know.

Editing help, good. Heckling? Bad.

More below the break.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: Night Wolves.

Last year, I was asked to review something at the Catholic Writer's Guild. The story was called Night Wolves, part of a collection called Continuum: Fables of the Fallen.

The premise?

Fables of the Fallen is the first installment of the Continuum Series. Published by a college writer's group, these six Fantasy/ Sci-fi stories explore the depth of true fallen heroes. Join a Legend Slayer, Mind Reader, Ghostwalker, Mage, and a Medieval Soldier with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in these truly fantastical tales. There is no triumph without the fall.
Let's start at the beginning. The beginning is that I hate short story collections. Never could get into them. Most of the time they're written by authors who can't leave their own universe long enough to create an original character -- so that means unless you've read everything else the author has written, you're SOL.

And then there was Night Wolves.

Night Wolves, by Kathleen Gulo, starts as a rather painless coming of age tale (COAT), with what appears to be werewolves thrown in (when the word "silver" is used to describe teeth and eyes, I think "werewolf").

And then Aragorn showed up. Long story... okay, a short story, but you get the idea.

Keep in mind, "painless" coming of age tale is a compliment. Most COAT trend to 90s Disney movies, and I can't stand them. This was far superior, and makes you keep reading.

This is apparently the prequel to another novel. And I'm glad, because I do want more, and I look forward to it, when it arrives. And it better be soon, because I want to see what happens next. This is the best story of its kind I've read since Peter David.

I look forward to Gulo's next story. Preferably the next novel, because I'd rather not just have one potato chip.

Prominent Catholic Writers to Speak at Catholic Writers Conference in Chicago Area

Dang it, this was supposed to post earlier today. Instead, it went to "Draft."

Maybe Chicago doesn't suck quite as bad as one might think. The Catholic Writers Conference is going to be there this year. July, in fact.

However, while it's not mentioned, there's going to be one more person there.

Me.  I'm going to be on an action/adventure panel with Ann Margaret Lewis, John Desjarlais and Gene Wolfe. 

See, they have no taste at all.

Prominent Catholic Writers to Speak at Catholic Writers Conference in Chicago Area
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 2, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Several prominent Catholic writers will speak at the sixth annual Catholic Writers' Conference LIVE taking place July 30-August 1, 2014, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel in Schaumburg, IL. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer's Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN's annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic writers with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe. The theme of this year's conference is "Perseverance."

Speakers at this year's conference include authors Lisa Hendey (BOOK OF SAINTS FOR CATHOLIC MOMS), award-winning science fiction/fantasy author Gene Wolfe (THE NEW BOOK OF THE SUN), Inspirational Speaker Lizzie Velasquez, Gary Zimak (FROM FEAR TO FAITH), Claudia Volkman (Editor, Servant Books), Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle (EWTN, CATHOLIC PRAYER BOOK FOR MOTHERS), Ellen Gable Hrkach (STEALING JENNY), author Declan Finn (A PIUS MAN: A HOLY THRILLER) and many others.

The conference will give authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Ave Maria Press, and Servant Books. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for fiction critique workshop with award-wining short fiction writer Arthur Powers, a non-fiction critique group with Nancy Cook Ward and attend a writing workshop with novelist John Desjarlais. Information for these events can be found on the conference website.

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, sponsors this conference in July, an online conference in March, and a writers' retreat in October to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. "With members all over North America, these events bring our diverse membership together for fellowship and networking to promote our mission of creating a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters," says CWG President and award-winning novelist Ellen Gable Hrkach.
Registration costs $80 for CWG members, $85 for non-members and $45 for students. There's also a discounted combined membership. To register or for more information, go to www.catholicwritersconference.com.
The contact information for this event is Ann Lewis, at 317-755-2693.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

E3 2014 Day 1, part 2

Yeah, you didn't think that yesterday's post was EVERYTHING at E3 that looked cool, did you?

No such luck.

First, a few things.  One, there's a new Call of Duty game that I commented on over at The American Journal.  Then there's the Year of Being the Villain, as well as another look at yet another postmortem Tom Clancy property (I swear, his postmortem career is almost as bad as Ludlum's. Maybe worse.)

Oh, and Halo is back.

And then there's this. I want this game. I want it now.... and I'm still playing the first one. Dang it.



Then there's a book-inspired video game that makes me want to read the books and  play the game.




And there's another Assassin's Creed game, if you care.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

E3 2014, Day 1

I hate E3. It makes me want to buy systems and games I probably can't afford. Damn them.

Far Cry 4 looks like a lot of fun. In fact, I'm going to link to the two videos and the commentary I have over at American Journal.  Enjoy.

There's also a look at the new Battlefield, Cops and Robbers. That's not the title, but it should be, darn it.

As for the games here, first....

Because he's BATMAN.



Bayonetta 2 ...... I loved the first one. It was just plain FUN.




Uncharted 4



Oh, and.... oooo, shiny.



E3 Meets its Destiny.



This was just hilarious. Zombies go into self parody.

Updates, and E3

So, you're wondering....

John, Declan, whatever alias you're using this week, what the hell has been going on with you? You don't really deliver on blogs, and you're mostly just slapping together a post filled with links to other things you're doing. What the hell?  What happened to A Pius Stand? What happened to that thing with the vampires? What's going on?

Well, a few things. A Pius Stand should be done by July. Yes. July.  The beta readers are going through it now, including the lovely Ann Margaret Lewis. Yes, a real, honest-to-God author is reading my stuff. I've already gotten one good review from a beta reader.  The comment, well...
"durn you. now i had to go and buy the 1st two. Liked it that much."
And he did, I saw the sale numbers.

So, that's good.

Right now, Honor At Stake, "that vampire novel" is with the publisher. Haven't heard back from them ... well, that's not true. I've heard back from the owner of the company, and I've heard from the art department. I got the impression my book was a few down in the stack. I have time ... and I'm already working on the sequels. All three of them.

While I'm doing that, I'm working on the sequel to Codename: Winterborn, and I'm waiting for my coauthor to do something.

By the way, E3 is out, and I'm covering it for American Journal. Enjoy.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Music, Lists, Arrow, and Agents of SHIELD

I've been doing a lot of writing lately, though not here.  I've got Codename: Unsub to work on (the sequel to Codename: Winterborn), A Pius Stand to finish when the beta readers get back, and I'm working on Murphy's Law of Vampires, while I'm waiting for Damnation to get back to me on Honor At Stakes.

To start with, there is the list of Arrow vs. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  And, damn, there were a lot of reasons.

There is also what we're not going to miss from the Star Wars expanded universe, courtesy of The Mouse.

You can check out any of my articles on The American Journal, if you feel like looking at me being cranky with the news, politics, politicians, life, that sort of thing, as I do my impersonation of a right-wing fringe lunatic.... or maybe just a lunatic.

If that's not enough, I've got a fun bit of music for you today.

Now, pardon me, I have to keep working. I hear that DC did something else stupid over the weekend that I have to rant and rage against.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My radio career has begun!!!

In case you were wondering what the bloody Hell I was doing for the last week, well...

I was getting ready to host a radio program.

I explain below.

Check Out Writing Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, May 19, 2014

TV Review Roundup. The Season Finale

After having done the mid-season review, I figured I should have some follow-up.

Walk with me through my television viewing one more time..

Arrow:I think I've gushed about this show often enough.  Between my review, and my post on American Journal about it, I think we all know where I stand. And my opinion hasn't changed. It was an amazing season from start to finish, and they only got better with each successive episode, ramping up the stakes and the threat with each new twist. And the final fight scene, which involved inter-cutting the battle of the past with the one of the present, was a great bit of business.  Oh, and the final setup for the Season 3 flashback storyline? Oliver Queen, Agent of ARGUS, I have a few associates who can testify to the fact that, yes, I did call that one.  And damn if it isn't going to be absolutely frigging awesome by the end of the day. MUAHAHAHAHAHAH
Ahem .... anyway, as I was saying....

[more below the break]

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fall TV? Already?

This must have been an interesting season of television in order for things to have gone so very, very strange. Usually, I don't get commercials for the new fall shows kicking around until August. That includes the mid-season replacements.

And while I liked more than a few shows this season -- and I'll review those a little later -- some of these look like fun. And between Arrow, Flash, Gotham, and Constantine, DC looks like it's going to go toe-to-toe with Marvel on television. You want to place money on who's going to win?

Coming this Fall.

THE FLASH  (The CW)


Oh, all right. Then there's the extended version.




GOTHAM (Fox)

This makes up for the poor, Smallville marketing Fox has subjected us to, lately.


GRACEPOINT (Fox)

It seems that Fox has decided to follow up on limited run series, after the 13-episode run of Sleepy Hollow. I'm only in it for David Tenant.


TRANSPORTER

I could never get into the series. And while I like Statham well enough, I was never his biggest fan. The tv show looks like fun though.



THE LIBRARIANS
This is a "Winter" release.... Yes, I liked the original tv films.  Yes, I'm such a nerd.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Suffer, Jim Butcher, Suffer

Author Jim Butcher, creator of The Dresden Files, is a fan of making his characters suffer.  His hero, Harry Dresden, is usually being beaten up, or having his home / office / car destroyed, and we won't even touch his love life. In fact, when a panel he was on at DragonCon was asked about making characters suffer, he leapt for the microphone, he was so eager to answer that.

When The Dresden Files was turned into a half-assed tv show starring Paul Blackthorne, it was a train wreck -- casting issues, scripting issues, money issues, and the issue that it looked nothing like the novels.

When something similar happened with author Clive Cussler's book Raise the Titanic! when it had been turned into a film, he later went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, and wept, because that's what his movie should have been like.

And then this happened.



Somewhere, I think Jim Butcher might be crying a little inside....or going into complete homicidal rage. Either one....

Monday, May 12, 2014

The American Journal and Radio Interviews

I was a little lazy last week, in that I didn't post....anything, really.

Okay, I kinda did, just not here.  I was recruited for a news site that wanted people who had no problem taking news columns and commenting on them. The commentary includes sarcasm set to kill, and common sense.

It's also the part where I reveal either my inner nerd, or my inner radical.

I've discussed my politics on this site before. I'm either right-wing or left-wing depending on who you ask, and where the jury is sitting. A Pius Man was such that I've had good reviews on both sides, so the book came off as being fairly neutral. It may help that I'm sort of libertarian....in that I really don't give a crap as to what you do, believe, think or say, as long as you're not screwing around with anyone else. I really don't. I'm too freaking tired to play politics.

Granted, my general attitude is that the gene pool needs a good healthy dose of chlorine. Heck I've got a friend who agrees with my every belief in politics, and I still want to deck him every time he opens his mouth about it.

But, yeah, if you really to see my general frustration with politics, politicians, and the stupidity of the universe, go check out The American Journal.  Today I should have a whole list article on Arrow vs. Agents of SHIELD.

Also, last week included an interview with Daria Anne DiGiovanni, which you can tune into below. You might remember her from previous interviews.

Just to clear up any confusion, the atheist I refer to in the interview is not Matt, the artist who has contributed to the blog. I come across a  lot of people. Train wrecks happen a lot in my life.


Online Writing Radio at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, April 28, 2014

Honor At Stake, and publishing

Cedar Sanderson

Last week, I announced the news: I've been picked up by a real, honest-to-God publisher. Notice I didn't say much about it. I'm not exactly excited about it. I'm not gushing about it.

Imagine if you just finished moving furniture for a whole day.  Are you going to go out to a party to celebrate by dancing, and getting more sweaty, or are you going to plop down on the couch and take a nap?

I've been moving this particular piece of furniture for ten years. And I tripped over it. That was it. Dumb luck, and an acquisition editor with a high reading speed and an empty in-box.

Do I regret the self publishing? Hell no. In fact, if I weren't trying to be social online, I wouldn't have tripped over this, so, saying that God works in mysterious ways isn't exactly true. Mildly annoying ways, sometimes, but not much on the mystery.

The book is a vampire novel entitled Honor At Stake, and it's going to be include all the usual vulnerabilities you ever read in a copy of Dracula, because removing the religious defenses against vampires is just bull. It allows vampires to be your standard overpowered enemies, and we only survive based on their good graces.

And, second, REAL VAMPIRES DON'T SPARKLE. Period.

Now that I'm going to be working with a "real publisher," who will help me market my book, pay for an artist to cover my book, get me into actual bookstores, what does that mean for The Pius Trilogy?

Well, the publisher, Damnation Books, part of Eternal Press .... yes, I now work for Eternal Damnation, Inc ... will not touch self published novels with a ten-foot pole. They might take the sequel to Codename: Winterborn, mostly because it won't be so tied to the sequel that you can't read one without the other.

If you've read A Pius Legacy, you realize that book three, A Pius Stand, isn't going to be that easy to read without the other two books.  So, yes, A Pius Stand will come to an Amazon shelf in short order.

Will I party that day? No. But I'll flop on the couch and take a nap.

But Declan, you ask, what does that have to do with the cute redhead on your page?

The cute redhead is Cedar Sanderson, a fellow author. This coming Saturday, her book, Trickster Noir, is coming out as a freebie on e-book

Cedar Sanderson is interesting. She's half-way through a degree in microbiology, "just getting to the interesting bits." A former military brat, she grew up in Alaska (when the family became nailed down to one place). She grew up learning to hunt, fish, trap, garden, forage wild edibles, prospect for gold and gems, survive in the wilderness, camp, can, butcher, cook, bake, paint, research, and blow stuff up along the way. After Alaska, her adult life, was spent in New Hampshire, before moving to Ohio.
So, she's got a colorful little background....AND she's a cute redhead.  Yes, I have a thing for smart women. And cute redheads. Shut up.

The book is described as follows.
Book two in the Pixie for Hire series, Trickster Noir picks up where Pixie Noir ended. Lom, the little pixie with the tough-guy mentality, has proposed to Bella. All should be well, but their happily-ever-after is in grave danger. Threats from both Underhill and the human realms are closing in on them, and the fairy princess raised Alaskan redneck has to learn on the job, and fast!   

So, while you're waiting on A Pius Stand, you might want to check out her stuff.  Seriously, you can't beat free, now can you?