Browsing the Uncategorized category...

It’s literally been a full year since I blogged, which is a shameful thing. But it makes what I’m posting today more important! Right? Maybe. We’ll see.

You have less than a week left to take advantage of the LGBT scifi storybundle! There are a lot of reasons you should grab this while you can. First and foremost, you get a lot of great stories from some amazing authors for a small price. You’re giving money directly to the authors of the books you’re enjoying. That alone is worth it! But you can also decide to use part of your purchase to help fund the Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization which helps LGBT individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries.

With the state of the world right now, when a country which was once a bastion of hope and freedom is becoming more unrecognizable by the day, you need a chance to escape to a world where LGBT people are front and center fighting and saving the day. In the main bundle, you get my book THE REMNANT FLEET, which features Bauwerji Crow, a refugee from a planet where she lived as a second-class citizen until she decided to break free and found a new home on a space station among a vast community of other races. In the bonus bundle, you get my book RAILROAD SPINE, Dice Bodger is a bisexual woman who has everything taken away from her by a cruel government, and it leads her to joining a group of freedom fighters determined to find a better world.

Go here and check out the books, find out about the Rainbow Railroad, and get yourself an amazing bundle!

This isn’t the thing I want to blog about today. Hopefully that will happen later. But this is just an observation about something that I wanted to share to the world at large (or the world that wanders across my blog) and an attempt to increase the number of people who come across my blog. This is also in honor of Bowie’s death which was almost exactly one year ago. RIP Starman.

It involves two David Bowie songs written 30 years apart – neither particularly well known – which I believe are connected. It makes both songs a little sadder, but also enriches the experience. The first is “Conversation Piece,” written in 1969. I prefer the later version that was included as a bonus track on the Heathen album. The middle verse is:

“I live above the grocer’s store
Owned by an Austrian
He often calls me down to eat
And he jokes about his broken English
Tries to be a friend to me
But for all my years of reading conversation
I stand without a word to say.”

The song is about the narrator’s depression and melancholy (which is one reason I like the newer version better… Bowie just sounds like someone who has been through hell because… well, he has.

The other song is “Algeria Touchshriek,” from the 1995 album Outside. This is a weird album, and the songs all have connective tissue between them. But this one in particular feels like it ties back the “Conversation Piece” from the point of view of the Austrian who owns the grocer’s store.

“I’m thinking of leasing the room above my shop
To a Mr. Walloff Domburg
A reject from the world wide Internet
He’s a broken man
I’m also a broken man
It would be nice to have company
We could have great conversations!”

The re-use of the word ‘broken’ and ‘conversation,’ the idea that “Mr Walloff Domburg” is a “reject” fits with the original song’s narrator saying ‘my essays lying scattered on the floor/fulfill their needs just by being there.” No one thinks about him, no one knows him, no one will remember him. He’s a broken man. And the idea that his grocer is another broken man who is just trying to reach out and maybe give him some peace just makes it even sadder when the narrator just walks away.

Anyway! This has been a pointless exercise in analyzing two songs by one of the greatest songwriters ever. And if this makes you check out either album or just the songs, then I’ll consider it time well spent.

And that’s a year.

What happened this year… not a whole lot! I released the second Radiation Canary novel, “Greatest Hits.” Publisher’s Weekly liked Trafalgar & Boone’s second outing and called it “aggressively feminist,” which I took as a compliment (as one should). But the most important thing is that Riley Parra came to life in a BIG way! In February, I was introduced to the woman who would bring Riley to life: Marem Hassler. She is so good, and so dedicated to the character, and so eager to get it right. It’s like Ryan Reynolds with Deadpool. Just the absolute right person combined with the heart and determination to do justice to the character. And the rest of the cast? Maeve Quinlan was in 3Way, the first lesbian webseries I ever saw, and Liz Vassey! I’ve been a fan of Liz Vassey for a long, long time, and the idea of having her in something I wrote still needs to sink in. Correction: I’m still grappling with the fact she knows who I am, and she’s been following me on Twitter for a good while now. 😉 The Riley Parra crowdfunding went AMAZING, and gained me a lot of new readers who have fallen in love with the books.

In personal news, my father died earlier this month. He had cancer, and toward the end he needed hospice and a lot of round-the-clock care, so I was doing that instead of writing. Now that he’s passed on (and the memorial and everything has been taken care of) I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things with the new year.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy new year!

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Trafalgar & Boone yet, now is your chance! It’s part of a Storybundle along with books by some other authors, including a few who will be familiar to Stargate readers. Basically, pay a minimum of $5 to get five great books (including the first Trafalgar & Boone, named as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books of 2015). If you pay at least $15, you get six extra books, including an Underdogs tie-in Stag & Hound! That’s eleven books for $15!

Melissa says:
In this collection I’ve been able to bring together an extraordinary group of writers who draw their inspiration from Western history, in periods from Ancient Egypt through the Second World War. There are classics like the World Fantasy Award-nominated Lord of the Two Lands and the Nebula-nominated Death of the Necromancer, and newer novels like Daughter of Mystery and The Emperor’s Agent — and Stag and Hound, just released in April. What these novels have in common, across these very different periods, is a depth to and delight in their worlds, in the precise detail and pitch-perfect moment that not only propels the story, but makes it utterly, dazzlingly real.

The initial titles in The Historical Fantasy Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

• The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells
• The Emperor’s Agent by Jo Graham
• Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
• The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boon e by Geonn Cannon
• The Orffyreus Wheel by David Niall Wilson

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus six more:

• The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett
• Steel Blues by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham
• Between Worlds by Martha Wells
• PIllar of Fire by Judith Tarr
• Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr
• Stag and Hound by Geonn Cannon

The bundle is available only for a limited time via It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

• Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
• Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
• Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
• Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to Mighty Writers and Girls Write now.
• Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

Since 2007, I’ve been writing stories about a small group of women who live in Squire’s Isle, Washington. It started with my novel “On the Air” and just exploded from there. In addition to other novels set on or featuring the island (Gemini, World on Fire, The Following Sea, etc), I’ve also written over 130 short stories following the residents of the island. Since the first story, there have been marriages, break-ups, mayor elections, a baby, and so much more. There were events planned well in advance (the baby) and surprises even I didn’t see coming (one couple becoming polyamorous). Now every story has been collected in chronological order, and you can get them for free! Two volumes, over 300 pages each, and both are available fo/r download right now.

So if you’ve missed any and want to catch up, or if you want to start from the beginning, or if you just want to have a copy of the stories living on your e-reader, this is your chance! Stories feature Nadine and Miranda Powell, Jill and Patricia Hood-Colby, Alex Crawford, Rachel Tom, Amy and Kate and Nicole, Molly, Shane, Cheryl, Kira… far too many to name them all. Get your copy here and, while you’re on the site, take a look around and see what else is going on. It’s been a busy few years in the real world, too. <g>

It’s a great little town, and I hope you enjoy visiting.


Spank or Treat 2014 is officially over! Visit Governing Ana for information on the anthology, including when it will be released in print and ebook! On Friday, October 31st Ana will announce the lucky winners there. Will it be you? We will also announce prizes on the Spank or Treat Facebook page.

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog.

Like Spank or Treat on Facebook!

Tweet #SpankOrTreat on Twitter!

Join the exclusive chat with Spank or Treat authors! Message Anastasia Vitsky on Facebook or any of the authors to receive an invitation

For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.

Today I’m going to talk about scifi. I’ve watched a lot of science-fiction in my life (I quoted Stargate SG-1 in the first paragraph, for crying out loud), but I’ve barely written any. Want to know why? Because it’s HARD. Right now I’m almost 40,000 words into a story called Cryptography of the Leaves. It takes place on an alien planet, and the main characters are from two different races. They speak English, but I’m trying to be as accurately alien as possible. I’m trying to shy away from anything that sounds “too human.” I came up with a few rules about the alien languages they’re speaking so that when I write their dialogue – even though it’s in English – there will be a kind of cadence that gives away the fact that they’re being translated.

I have a new respect for authors who do world-building well. Max Gladstone is one of the best I’ve read recently. He created a vast and complex world that I know will only become more incredible as he continues writing. I’m struggling with mine. It’s fun! I really like what I’ve come up with so far. But geez, getting the words on the page is like pulling teeth. So if you’re one of the people who has been reading/enjoying the story, the updates might be a little more sparse from here on out. I think the story is drawing quickly to a close, and maybe that’s why my muse has stumbled a little bit, but I didn’t want people to see me posting other stuff and thinking CotL was abandoned. I would never do that to you folks!

Now, back to bumping my head against the wall of this story. I got 800 words yesterday and hopefully I can double that today.

In 2008, Claire Lance was accused of a heinous crime that she didn’t commit. Rather than taking the blame for something so horrible, Lance ran. Aimlessly wandering the country, Lance is content to just keep her head down and keep moving so she can’t be found. Everything changes one fatal afternoon in a Texas bar when Lance is forced to choose between her anonymity and witnessing another crime she couldn’t bear to have on her conscience. With a particularly dedicated FBI agent hot on her trail, Lance is forced to give up hiding in order to save someone’s life.

And that begins the five-book saga of Claire Lance in the novel Tilting at Windmills, first released by PD Publishing in 2009. The last four books in the series have been unavailable in any format until now! Supposed Crimes has released another two-fer today: Tilting at Windmills introduces Lance to new readers, while Only Flame and Air picks up where the first novel left off and sets Lance on a new course. The last three novels in the series will be released in a timely manner. Keep your eyes on this space for updates! And keep your eye on the website’s store for links!

…if you like my writing, keep your fingers crossed! There are two things I’m investigating right now, and I could use any spare good vibes floating around out there in the ether.

This is me, trying my best to keep my promise to update this thing more often!

For a long time, I’ve been a big anti-Kindle/Nook person. I like the feel of a book. I’ll pay extra for a certain edition of a book just because I prefer the cover. I like turning pages, I like holding it in my hand, and I like being able to thumb through the pages to see how far I have to go for the next chapter break. I’m very much a traditionalist when it comes to that.

That said, since I’ve started reviewing books more frequently for Geek Speak Magazine, I’ve found myself considering an e-reader. Probably a Nook. I’ve heard more good (and that would be a higher frequency of good things, not a grammatical-fail way of saying “better”) things about Nooks than Kindles. And there ARE  books out there that are a fraction of the cost in e-book version.

Also, sometimes shipping cost/time is just overwhelming. I ordered a book from England this month (Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, VERY worth everything I’m about to complain about) and waited eleven days for shipping. Not only that, the shipping cost about the same as the book itself. All because I wanted to get it with the right cover/title (Rivers of London, much more evocative than Midnight Riot, am I right?). I could have paid half the price and started reading it that night if I had a Nook.

So I’m not making a permanent shift to ebooks. I’ll probably still read 80% REAL books, with the ink and the paper and that satisfying moment when you finish the book and slap it shut. But for Geek Speak, which only sends epub copies of books for review, and for other things like advance copies of books from my friends (I’m still giddy I got to read Lost Things before anyone else)… yeah. I’m probably going to end up with a Nook before Christmas.

And if you thought I read a lot of books before… watch out.