The Winter Mysteries Bundle

Sick of the cold? The snow, sleet, freezing rain? Well, yeah.

To help us all cope, Bundle Rabbit has come up with a 10-book bundle of mysteries set in winter, curated by Michael Jasper. And I have a book in it! The Tuxedoed Man is part of the Mendenhall Mystery series.

Crimes committed in the heat of the moment, during the coldest time of the year…

This ebook bundle collects mystery novels set in the coldest season of the year, or mysteries containing a strong element of cold (in one sense of the word or another).

The full collection includes the following mysteries:

Two sleuths in the North Carolina mountains spend a snowy week in March searching for people who don’t want to be found…

A haunted author must spend the winter battling his addictions, and worse…

A shapeshifter battles ancient spirits, a covert government agency, and his own dark past in a race to solve a murder…

A desperate man gets a phone call that pulls him back into a world of violence and mystery that he tried to leave behind…

An accidental death, a train wreck and dark secrets in a deadly northern winter places a police chief and her niece in jeopardy…

A crime committed decades ago refuses to lie dormant under the black waters of a lake…

The daughter of the Prince of Polka travels to the polka heartland of New Krakow, Pennsylvania, to solve the mystery of her father’s murder…

A nature-loving woman and a mysterious photographer stand up to a shadowy lumber company that threatens their beloved swans at Turtle Pond…

Two retired detectives search for a friend near a remote Idaho lake, a search that could lead to the most dangerous serial killer in Las Vegas history…

Two brothers must unravel the weird and dangerous secrets of Salmon Run, Alaska: a place of wild animals, wild lands, and wild inhabitants…

Special, limited-time offer:
So stoke that fire against the chill in the air, put up your slippered feet, and start reading one!

Available only at BundleRabbit, until March 20: Pay a minimum of $3.99 and receive 5 of the 10 novels.

Or pay the minimum of $6.99 and receive all 10 ebooks. This option is also available at kobo, amazonbarnes and noble and itunes.

New bundle!

Backli’s Ford is being offered in another bundle: Out of this World, from Bundle Rabbit. For three weeks–Monday, August 15 to Monday, September 5–you can get six novels and anthologies for $3.99, or all 16 for $9.99 on Bundle Rabbit. Then the bundle will become available on all sales channels (Kobo, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, etc.) from September 5 to October 5 with a full bundle price of $9.99.

Out of This World Bundle

For the minimum price of $3.99, you get six fabulous titles:

Interlude Beyond by Rebecca M. Senese

The Science Officer (Science Officer Vol 1) by Blaze Ward

Of Myst and Folly by Leah Cutter

Grim Repo by Mark Fassett

The Cat’s Meow by Jamie Ferguson

Hydrogen Sleets by Michael Warren Lucas

But if you pay $9.99, you get all 16 titles, including:

Alien Influences by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Tales of Tomorrow by Debbie Mumford

Invasion by J.D. Brink

Scream Angel by Douglas Smith

Magician’s Choice by Stefon Mears

Backli’s Ford by Marcelle Dubé

The Dark Zone by Rita Schulz

The Crystal Courtesan by Karen L. Abrahamson

Mary Celeste Adrift by J.A. Marlow

Morning Song by Dean Wesley Smith

The Not Only Humans Bundle

My first bundle!

Alien_facebook-1200x628 (1)

My first A’lle novel, Backli’s Ford, is part of the Not Only Humans bundle from Bundle Rabbit, along with some pretty fabulous writers: Eric Kent Edstrom, J. Daniel Sawyer, Kim Antieau, Carl S. Plumer, Douglas Smith, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Anthea Sharp, Mindy Klasky, Leah Cutter and Blaze Ward.

The bundle is up at BundleRabbit for one week only: June 8 to 15, after which it becomes available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, from June 15 to July 20. Minimum cost: $4.99 for five titles but for $9.99 you can get all 12!

Here’s the information on the books:

12 THRILLING SUMMER READS

From galaxy-spanning alien cultures to the discovery of Bigfoot, these page-turning novels feature gripping stories where humans and non-humans work together, fight each other, and even fall in love.

Name your own price and save. List price if bought individually is over $70!

A dozen amazing fantasy and science fiction novels.

Donate 10% of your purchase to First Book and help transform the lives of children.

This bundle is jam-packed with stories …

… For every reader’s taste.

… Filled with robots and faeries. Demons and trolls and vampires. And aliens, aliens, and more aliens.

… Of unparalleled quality. Bestselling and award winning authors.

The dozen novels included are:

The Changeling Troll by Leah Cutter. Christine loves escaping into the make-believe world of her books. But when she meets her doppelganger she discovers there’s also magic in the real world.

From Aurora Award winning Douglas Smith, The Wolf at the End of the World. A shapeshifter hero battles ancient spirits, a covert government agency, and his own dark past in a race to solve a murder that could mean the end of the world.

In Imposters by Blaze Ward aliens masquerade as humans to protect the human race, but when a protector goes rogue he must be stopped while keeping the alien’s terrible secret from becoming known.

Queendom: Feast of the Saints by Kim Antieau is a seductive tale of love and betrayal. Aided by soothsayer androids, Queen Reina, monarch and CEO of Queendom, struggles against court intrigue and emotional confrontations to save her country.

In Fright Court by USA Today bestselling author Mindy Klasky, Sarah lands her dream job as court clerk for the District of Columbia Night Court. But after she’s attacked by a vampire defendant, Sarah wonders if she can ever bring order to the supernatural court!

Set in 2035, Demon Days by Carl S. Plumer is a darkly humorous look at a future filled with helpful robots but plagued by demons from outer space.

Winner of the 2015 Book Buyer’s Best Award, Royal by USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp. Faerie Brea Cairgead is forced to masquerade as a human in a mortal high school to carry out her mission for the Dark Queen. But when Brea falls in love with Royal Lassiter, a flawed human boy, her heart – and the future of the mortal world – are put in grave danger.

Set in 1911, Backli’s Ford by Marcelle Dubé follows Constance, the first A’lle investigator for Lower Canada, as she faces danger inside and outside her constabulary and uncovers a terrible secret that risks destroying the delicate balance that has endured for two centuries between the alien A’lle and the humans.

Undermountain by Eric Kent Edstrom is perfect for fans of YA adventure and science fiction. When a group of teens are backpacking deep in the Canadian Rockies they meet Bigfoot. And it speaks to them! Soon they’re caught up in a war between two alien races where the fate of the Earth hangs in balance.

Silent Victor: A Clarke Lantham Mystery by J. Daniel Sawyer. When a commando team of Gray aliens steals a Mars rock with microbial alien life in full view of the cameras, the victim turns to Clarke Lantham to solve the crime.

Arthur C. Clark Award Finalist Alien Influences by Hugo Award winning Kristine Kathryn Rusch. On the sun-scorched planet Bountiful, human colonists live peacefully alongside natives known as Dancers until an unspeakable disaster devastates the colony.

Star Rain: A Seeders Universe Novel by USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith. The fight against the genetically engineered aliens seems impossible. Benny and Gina, both Seeders, stand on the bridge of their massive mother ship knowing they need a miracle to win.

This bundle is available ONLY FOR A LIMITED TIME

Get your copy today, before it’s gone.

Fiction River: A subscription drive for a new era

It’s a Brave New World out there. In the old days, publishers would pepper us with requests to subscribe to their magazines, including email reminders, return address cards, etc.

WMG Publishing, the folks who publish the Fiction River Anthology Series among other wonderful books, have decided on another route for their subscription drive. Since they went with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the debut of the series, they’re going back to Kickstarter for their subscription drive. The incentives they’re offering are enticing–everything from a free e-copy of one of the first ten volumes to the right to choose the theme of an upcoming anthology and the opportunity to co-edit it with Dean Wesley Smith who, with Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is the series editor. In between those extremes is a wonderful array of workshops, subscriptions and books by almost all of the contributors to Fiction River anthologies.

As for the connection to moi, two of my print novels are being offered as incentives: Kirwan’s Son and Backli’s Ford, as well as one of my e-books.

Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/403649867/fiction-river-subscription-drive?ref=discovery

FR Moonscapes ebook cover webKirwan's Son front coverBackli cover-POD-Dube name-REV

Let them dig a wider hole

child at streamOn the wall above my writing desk, I have three foot-square cork tiles. On these tiles are pinned postcards, greeting cards, covers, cards that accompanied flowers, images, framed artwork—anything and everything that provides inspiration anytime I lift my gaze from the writing computer.

Prominent among this collage are a bunch of sayings. One of my favourites is “DARE TO BE BAD,” which is something Dean Wesley Smith and Nina Kiriki Hoffman would say to encourage each other to write and finish a story a week. Dean explains it better here.

That’s not why I put it up on my inspiration board, however. I read “DARE TO BE BAD” as permission to take risks rather than the safe route in my writing. So what if I risk writing something bad? It could also turn out to be wonderful and I wouldn’t know if I didn’t take the chance.

Another writer I admire, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, encourages writers to “WRITE LIKE A TWO-YEAR-OLD,” by which she means we should write as if we don’t care what polite society says. A two-year-old doesn’t care that society says you must go around clothed. She’ll take her clothes off if she feels like it. Or wear a tutu if she wants to. She doesn’t care about “appropriate.” A two-year-old doesn’t give two hoots about what adults want. She hasn’t figured out that she has to play nice in order to be liked. There’s no filter. All of that comes as she grows up. Writers have to be like that two-year-old and not even take into consideration what society wants. We have to write what’s in us to write and to hell with the rest. We have to be fearless.

One saying has been up on my wall for a while now, and I kept staring at it, wondering why I had put it up. It reads:

LET THEM DIG A WIDER HOLE

I know it meant something when I put it up there. I had a vague recollection that it had to do with graves and being overweight, but really, that wasn’t much of a clue. Finally, the other day, I googled it and found the article I’d read that inspired me to put it up in a prominent position.

In 2002, Jennifer Crusie wrote a column for Romance Writers Report entitled “A Writer without a Publisher is Like a Fish without a Bicycle: Writer’s Liberation and You.”

In the article (you should read it; it’s very good) she refers to a novel by… oh, what the heck, I’ll just quote directly from her article:

“This was beautifully illustrated in a Gail Parent novel from the seventies called Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York. As Parent chronicles her heroine’s increasingly manic attempts to attract a husband, whiny Sheila becomes more and more unattractive to both men and the reader. Then something wonderful happens: Sheila decides to kill herself. In exactly one year, she vows, she’s going to commit suicide. In the meantime, she’s going to live life her way. She’s going to stop dressing uncomfortably and laughing inanely and just be herself. In fact, since she’s going to die anyway, she’s even going to stop dieting: the hell with it, Sheila says, “Let them dig a wider hole.” And ironically and inevitably, men flock to her. I can’t promise that publishers will flock to us if we stop trying to get published, but I can testify that making “Let them dig a wider hole” my mantra has paid off well for me.”

The point Crusie is making in her article is that writers should abandon writing for publication as a goal, and just write for themselves.

I love the line “let them dig a wider hole.” Don’t you? I can’t stop thinking about it. It encapsulates everything I wish for myself as a writer. I want to be bigger than the sum of my upbringing and my hang ups. I want to transcend my fears (oh, I can’t write that—what if my mother/boss/neighbours read it?) and dare to be bad. I want to let my inner two-year-old writer out.

So here’s to being fearless and getting out of our own way. May we become better writers for it.

Originally published on Not Your Usual Suspects, July 21, 2014.

 

WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION

From the Not Your Usual Suspects blog post August 7, 2013:

Most people take vacations to rest. They go to the cottage, a resort or the beach to unwind and relax.

On my vacations, I go to writers’ workshops in Lincoln City on the beautiful Oregon coast. And there’s nothing restful or relaxing about ‘em.

I’ve just returned from the latest one. It was an eight-day “Advanced Master Writing and Business Seminar” and it was—bar none—the most mind-blowing business experience I’ve had as a professional writer. Some of the topics we covered included:

  • Selling to traditional publishers in the new world
  • Copyright law and contract law for fiction writers
  • Cash streams and cash flow for writers
  • Accounting for writers
  • Advanced audio training for audio books
  • How to sell short fiction to traditional publishers
  • Advanced cover design

The main instructors were Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Scott William Carter. They were aided by Christina F. York, accountant by day and mystery novelist by night (writing as Christy Fifield and Christy Evans); Jane Kennedy, writer and audiobook producer for WMG Publishing; Allyson Longuiera, publisher of WMG Publishing and professional graphic designer; Lee Allred, writer and all-around cool guy; Matt Buchman, who writes fabulous military romances and was a Project Manager in a previous life; and a surprise guest speaker, Mark Lefebvre, who writes fiction under the name Mark Leslie and whose day job is Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations, Kobo Inc. I mean, how cool is that?

Weeping Woman We had the wonderful Sheldon Mcarthur, owner of North by Northwest Books in Lincoln City, who not only submitted to an interview with Dean Smith about how a bookstore owner does business with an independent publisher (including writers who publish their own books), but who also hosted a group book signing at his store, which included me and my two books, The Tuxedoed Man and The Weeping Woman.

Not only did we learn a lot from the formal presenters, we learned a lot from each other, too. We were over 30 participants from all over the U.S. and Canada, not to mention the United Kingdom and Germany. I was seated between two fabulous writers, Karen Abrahamson and Annie Reed, both of whom are well published, experienced and very generous with their knowledge.

Can you see why this was exhausting? I filled two notebooks and by the end of the week, I felt like information had to be shoehorned into my brain because it was already so full.

And to top it all off, the participants were invited to submit two short stories for consideration for two Fiction River anthologies edited by Dean Wesley Smith, and he bought my story for the Moonscapes one!

I left Oregon buzzing with ideas, information and plans. And in spite of the fact that it was very tiring and that no lying about on the beach took place, the writer in me is refreshed and recharged, ready to roar!

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