The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Kat and More

May 7, 2018 at 2:24 am (dark fantasy, Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

I recently completed 6th Turn: Kat, my latest read in Ren Garcia’s League of Elder series. I’m a big fan of his writing, and I enjoyed this book because it was a particularly dark story line but followed the action with a consistent thread of hope (I felt the same way Mentralysis, my previous read.)

This was another world-building win from Ren, and was definitely a favourite so far. The story ventures into the realm of the Black Hats – we get to see their creation process with all of its cruelty and suffering, and then follow four shadowtech females sent out on their first mission where success will mean new status. One stands out amongst the others, and when things take a turn for the worse, she manages to overcome adversity with the help of her “angels”. Her quest takes its own turn and she abandons her original mission for a completely new goal.

I loved following her transformation, the budding romance that matures into something stronger and how she deals with all of the obstacles she must face while trying to achieve her higher purpose as the Covus. She’s no fragile flower, fighting, even killing when necessary to protect the ones she cares about.

I liked some of the scenes so much I went back and reread them after I finished the book. I especially enjoyed their startling trip to Vain (with its air of a post-apocalyptic dystopia) and their encounters at Xandarr that ventured into the surreal.

This one was a big thumbs up for me. More like this one please.

I was happy to hear that Ren has now released an Omnibus collection. This is a great way of getting three of his books in one: The Dead Held Hands, The Machine, and The Temple of the Exploding Head, books that follow the adventures of Lord Kabyl, the lovely Sam and their companions.

His space operas, with their mixture of sci-fi, steampunk and strange, dark magic, maintain the high adventure flavour of old cliffhangers.  When you read them, you can count on masterful world-building, diverse characters and moving story lines. I enjoyed these books immensely individually, so its a great opportunity to be able to get them as a set.

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June News

June 27, 2017 at 12:39 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

June has been busy for me with new acceptances, contracts, cover reveals and releases. Add into the mix outdoor jugger and gardening and blogging gets reduced to one or two postings a month.

I’m happy to say that the e-book version of Tesseracts 20: Compostela is now available with the print version to follow in September (it contans my short story “Better” – I mentioned the pre-order last post) This one’s a thrill for me, due in part to the fact that Spider Robinson is one of the editors. I grew up reading his books (Night of Power was my favourite as a teen but I’m not sure which I’d give top place now,) and he actually lived in Nova Scotia for a time, so I hold him in high esteem.

Another new release is in Gathering Storm Issue #3. “Counting Crows” is my second appearance in this beautiful venue (their format is formidable and their artwork breathtaking, like the cover artwork here.) I’m submitted something for issue #4, so fingers crossed.

My story “Wrigglers” will make a reprint appearance in Gehenna and Hinnom’s Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology . You can find the ToC announcement here.

And to top it off, I just receive an acceptance and contract for an all Canadian horror anthology in the works. More news on that later.

I have a couple more things brewing but I can’t include them just yet. I’ll share when I can

As crazy as it may sound, I have decided to do Camp Nanowrimo this July. This will be my first time participating as part of a group (our cabin) but it should help me stay focused. I skipped the last couple of Nanowrimos because I haven’t felt all that motivated when it comes to novel writing (especially when the 20+ novels I already have completed could probably use another round of edits and then maybe a new shopping run.) But I’ve promising my hubby the one I have planned for camp for some time now, so it’s time to buckle down and get started. I just have to get a little research in before July 1 and work my writing in around overtime and family day trips.

See you in July!

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Catch-Up in June

June 2, 2017 at 12:52 am (dark fantasy, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

A post has been a long time in coming (sorry), but I have been well and truly busy. I’ve been working at setting a blog up for my pseudonym as well as prepping a couple of between blitz submissions, juggling proofing and marketing requests and participating in the voting process for one of my writer’s associations. It’s also gardening season, jugger season and I’ve been spending a lot of time with my daughter lately. So yeah – I’m busy.

That being said, the last few weeks have been pleasantly rife with story acceptances, payments, cover reveals and ToC announcements – so I have to play catch-up on those (or, at least the ones I’m allowed to talk about now.)

Compostela – Tesseracts 20 – containing my sci-fi short story “Better” is now available for pre-order here . Tesseracts is one of my “writer’s bucket list” achievements, so it’s a big deal for me. I’m sharing pages with some pretty impressive people.

Clockwork Canada, the Exile Editions steampunk anthology containing my short story “The Curlicue Seahorse” is on the ballot for the 2017 Aurora Awards, in the category of Best Related Work.

I have a new free read available too.  My flash fiction, Pure Mime, has been published by Body Parts Magazine.

And you can also find me listed on two ToC announcements. The first is from Digital Fiction Publishing. My short story “Octavia” will be included in their all-female writer horror reprint anthology, “Killing It Softly 2” .

The second can be found on the blog for Mackenzie Publishing . Their “Two Eyes Open” horror anthology will include my period horror short, “Soul Cakes.” I’ve shared the lovely and intriguing cover above.

I’ll have more announcements coming soon as my last submission blitz proved to be quite successful. And I just finished a horror short for a themed anthology invite that I can’t discuss just yet. We’ll see how that goes.

I hope everybody’s year has been as exciting as mine has been so far. Now its off to work on some edits…

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December and Dark Corners

December 3, 2016 at 12:28 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

darkcornersI know this has been my first blog post in some time and it’s not because I participated in Nanowrimo this year (I didn’t). Rather, real life had me busy. An issue with my well/running water that had to be resolved before the ground froze for the winter had me (and to a larger extent, my husband) occupied on the home front for over a week.

Meanwhile, having to move offices (for a third time since I started my current job) meant numerous missed breaks and lunch hours and just a general sense of feeling burnt out at the end of the work day – so any blog posts got put on hold for sometime.

December won’t be much better, time wise. Commitments for the holidays, Christmas shopping and trying to fulfill the act from my daily act of kindness advent calendar doesn’t leave much wiggle room for writing or blogging, but I’ll do my best to squeeze some in.

On a happy note, I did keep up with my short fiction writing in November. One of my blitz acceptances (from a rejection the publisher retracted the day after it was sent – a first for me) came with a request for a sequel short, so I completed that. I hope they like it. I added a bit of plot and character complexity that they might appreciate, or it may put them off. I’ll wait and see.

I also worked on a sci-fi story for a selective call for submissions (a call extension by invitation only) with an impending deadline. Writing to a requested theme can be tricky – I have a tendency to skirt the edges of the topic to avoid being boxed in, which doesn’t always work in my favour. The story ended up nice and tight though, so I’m hopeful it has a chance.

And in other news, November saw a new story release. My horror short story, “On the Tip of her Tongue” is now available in the latest Dark Corners anthology, dedicated to the original editor, who sadly passed away before the anthology saw the light. Thanks to his wife and others committed to seeing the anthology’s completion, his efforts won’t go to waste.

I’ll try to get in a few updates in December, but if blog posts are limited, I’ll make up for it in January with my first annual winter submission blitz. I’m aiming for 100 submissions next year. Let’s see if I can make it happen.

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WiH Local Spotlight – Tiffany Morris

February 28, 2016 at 12:03 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

Screenshot 2016-02-27 at 7.21.06 PMMy next spotlight shines on Tiffany Morris, an emerging Mi’kmaq writer from Nova Scotia. She describes herself as a “horror and sci-fi enthusiast.”  In addition to writing fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, she is also a regular contributor to the geek culture website  A practicing witch, she says she is “a sucker for folklore, Gothic romanticism and all things 90s.”

Tiffany’s short story “What Lurks Among the Trees” appeared in Devolution Z Magazine.  She has also had works published in Wax and Wane, Siren’s Call eZine and Hocus Pocus & Co.’s Halloween Night anthology.

Find out more about her at .


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October Submission Blitz – Demonic Dolls and Dummies

October 6, 2013 at 3:06 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , , , )

So “Better” got the thumbs up from the hubby, therefore I sent it on its way. It’s a pro-rate venue that is already mostly filled with better-known names, so my chances are exceedingly slim (although, my chances certainly are better if I do submit than if I don’t.) Sci-fi is not my usual thing either, so I think that means acceptance will be even less likely, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Speaking of slim chances, finding a home for “On the Tip of her Tongue” is proving to be a challenge. It’s weirder than my typical fare and quite vulgar too, so I wasn’t surprised when Drabblecast came back with a quick rejection. I’ll put it back on the “to be submitted” pile. Maybe I’ll find a place it’ll fit someday.

Today’s trope is demonic dolls and dummy. I think the most recognizable of these is Chucky, although they are popular in horror short stories in general. Dolls can be creepy, even when they aren’t possessed by the supernatural. My daughter made me shelve a china doll that was given to her as a gift because it creeped her out. I guess it was just the way it would stare with its beady little eyes and its leering stony smile.

Back to “Laying on Hands” and more submissions tomorrow.

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Submission Blitz – Day 12

April 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm (writing) (, , , , , , , , )

Today I sent off a tweaked and prepped “Sanae’s Garden” and I was almost sad to see it go. It was one of those stories that just write themselves, as if by magic. You have no idea where it came from and it doesn’t resemble anything else you’ve written, but there it is. I also got two more confirmations of receipts. So far, out of twelve submissions, only one did not offer a return response right away. This has come as quite a surprise, because only about half of the small presses I regularly submit to bother sending receipt confirmations. It makes for a nice change.

I finished “Relief,” the humorous sci-fi flash fiction I plan on submitting for an anthology tomorrow and I’ve been tossing around a flash fiction time travel idea for tomorrow’s crafting. “Relief” is being submitted to the second volume in an anthology series that I originally wrote “Turbulence” for (which was rejected. My first submission may not have made the cut, but I’m not about to let that deter me from submitting to the current volume. I love a challenge, and if they reject it – oh well. There are lots of speculative flash fiction venues out there. I have an odd sense of humour – I like dark humour and bathroom jokes – but someone may see merit in it.

I’m thinking about switching my focus to editing next month. I have a lot of first drafts and first edits needing extra work that have gone neglected…but we’ll see where things take me.

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August 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm (writing) (, , , , , )

I’ve always believed that as a writer, it is important for me to push myself and stretch my boundaries. That means writing things outside of my usual genres and my comfort zone. My latest experiment was a bit of a failure and I have to admit, try as I might, science fiction is not my thing. Nevertheless, several of my test-readers did enjoy my latest flash fiction piece that got a thumbs down from both one of my regulars and the publisher for whom I wrote it. It isn’t really something I’d consider submitting elsewhere, so I thought it would make a good blog post. Have a read, and feel free to comment…


“Entering orbit, Captain.”

Captain Virginia Bendall reclined slightly and glanced out the window. This was only the third time she had ever visited New-Terra V, but the same could not be said for Chief Pilot Roberta Hadley, who had been born and raised on the planet. Hadley had learned how to pilot a small ship on New-Terra V as well, training to fly transport vessels in its particularly tricky convective weather patterns.

“Must be nice to be back in your home terrain, Chief Pilot,” Bendall said.

“Certainly, Captain.” Hadley grinned. “Familiar territory is always a treat.” Captain Bendall thought she sensed a hint of a laugh in the younger woman’s response – somewhat surprising coming from someone as straight-laced as Chief Pilot Hadley. Hadley was normally about as rigid as they made them. She even made her rather stiff captain look somewhat relaxed. “Descending into atmosphere, then we’ll be proceeding to the landing base at Ferrell.”

Because of the unusual weather patterns on the planet, it was far too risky to descend directly to Ferrell in the transporter, but the city was the only location on planet that could properly accommodate a space marine freighter crew on shore leave. Bendall had promised her crew a break after their last serious skirmish with their enemies, the kulpreets ,where they had had twenty percent casualties and five percent fatalities, heavy losses for a freighter. New-Terra V was their first opportunity for that break.

“I’m just glad we finally made it, Chief Pilot. Everyone here’s wound so tight somebody’s liable to snap. We all need a chance to loosen up a little. Since this is your home turf, the helm is yours. Take us in to Ferrell.”

Bendall was expecting Hadley to head southeast on the Delta Plains and circle around to Ferrell from there. It was the customary ride, long but smooth and easy, with nothing to look at along the trip other than fields and more fields of grain. But instead, after muttering “Loosen up, eh,” with a mischievous smile, the Chief Pilot swung a hard left towards the mountainous terrain to the southwest. It definitely was not the standard route to Ferrell.

“I don’t think I know this route,” Bendall remarked, gripping her seat tightly in response to the sudden change of direction. “Is it a short cut…a scenic route?”

Hadley answered only with a wicked little laugh and more acceleration.

The landing transporter swooped and dipped around rocky outcrops and spindly mesas, a couple of close calls giving Bendall a jolt of adrenaline. Then, as they reached a point just past a stretch of mountain range, the vessel dropped very suddenly, leaving Bendall’s heart in her throat. The transporter began to jostle and shake, a response to the powerful air currents whipping past them.

“Strong winds here,” the captain commented. “What are those?” She gestured toward a collection of lens-shaped clouds.

“Lenticular clouds,” Hadley replied. “We’re heading into the wave. Hang on tight!”

Bendall was about to ask why, but did not get the chance. The transporter began to shimmy so hard she thought it was going to shake the teeth right out of her mouth. She clamped onto her vibrating chair with such force she wouldn’t have been surprised if her fingernails had left grooves in the metal there. She expected to see Hadley do the same, but instead the chief pilot appeared to be taking in the full experience of the ride, tossing her hair and making quiet sounds of surprise.

The captain held her breath and clenched her jaw together, closing her eyes until the worst was over. She could hear Hadley panting and squirming in her seat, no doubt finding the ride equally disturbing as she did. When the shuddering of their ship finally stopped, Captain Bendall opened her eyes again. She was sure now that she had never flown this trajectory to Ferrell. A ride like that she absolutely would have remembered.

“Wow,” she exclaimed, still mostly breathless, as they arrived sooner than expected at Ferrell. Her extremities were numb from the vibrations and her knuckles still white with tension. She hadn’t exactly appreciated this short cut. “I’m sure of it. I’ve definitely never come this way before.”

Chief Pilot Hadley glanced back at her with eyes gleaming and cheeks flushed, her expression filled with delight. There appeared to be something of a glow to her. She slumped back in her seat with a satisfied sigh.

“I know,” she said. “It’s the turbulence…”

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