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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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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Let’s Blitz Again – Review Edition

October 20, 2016 at 1:52 am (fantasy, horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

screenshot-2016-10-19-at-10-48-31-pm-editedTwo more submissions have been sent to magazine markets, both new to me.  They are both stories I’ve only submitted once or twice before, so I’m still not sure how they’ll be received.

At the same time, I received an e-mail regarding the upcoming release for one of my two acceptances this blitz.  I should have more details to share here soon, when we get closer to the print release.

Since I finished the story I was working on yesterday, I decided to work today on a review of a book I just finished reading.  Here are my thoughts:

Review – Ren Garcia’s The House of Bloodstein

I’ve always enjoyed Ren’s space opera books for their high adventure and detailed world building, with added elements of fantasy and steampunk, quite dark in some places thanks to shadowtech.  But this new addition to his series leans even more into my favourite genre, horror, which made the read more enjoyable for me.  This particular novel continues the story of his second generation of characters – the first generation appearing in the original League of Elders series.  Kay, Sam, Phillip, and Sarah are offered the opportunity to participate in a game, not as players, but as collectors of some highly sought after game pieces.  There is a twist to the invitation that inevitably leads into dangerous terrain, facing off with dastardly villains, a crazy gun-toting revenant and space zombies far scarier than your average zombie fare.  Joined by King, an artifact creature crafted to assist and defend them and Thomasina/Rose, Phillip’s romantic interest, the characters encounter everything thrown at them with their usual bold flair, making for a wild ride with some incredible fight scenes.  Overall it was a wonderfully fun read.

My only advice is that this book wouldn’t read very well as a stand-alone novel, so if you haven’t read the rest of Ren’s series – start at the beginning and work your way up to this.  His series is definitely one of my favourites.

Time to start a new story – more from my blitz later.

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April Blitz 2016 – Submission#1 and a Friend’s Sneak Peek

April 1, 2016 at 10:44 pm (dark fantasy, fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , , )

HeliodorThis year’s spring blitz has begun – a story that has been waiting for a response from a charity anthology for over a year. I’ve withdrawn that submission and resubmitted to a new anthology. Fingers crossed.

And while this blitz is going on, I’m waiting on not one, or two, but six anthology releases.  One is scheduled to come out at the beginning of May, but the other five don’t have set release dates yet.  All I know is “soon”.  I’ll keep you up to date as I know more.

Also, to share some info on a friend’s release, here is a sneak peek from Shannon Wendtland ( Website/ Blog:

Shannon is a wife, mother, writer, database administrator and general pot-stirrer-turned-mystic.  Her latest release is called Heliodor and considering my venture into steampunk, I thought it would be fun to share:

“The captain placed a kid-gloved hand over Malfric’s. “Walk a bit with me while I fill you in.”

Malfric got to his feet, leaving the barrel-stool behind and looped his left hand through the crook of the captain’s arm. As the captain led him towards the bow of the ship, Malfric tasted currant jam and warm biscuits on the salty sea air. His favorite.

He stopped the captain before he could take another step. “There’s no point in buttering me up, Finch. Just give me the details. If I agree, we can proceed straight to the repast you have set up in your quarters. Otherwise, just hand me your purse and we’ll call it even.”

Finch muttered beneath his breath. “Your infernal nose ruins everything. Fine then, have it your way. A job has come up ― not our usual fare, but the bounty was too good to resist. So I booked it. But I need a voyeur to get it done. Naturally, I thought of you.”

Naturally. “What’s the catch?”

“No catch.” Shifting floorboards belied the captain’s response.

Malfric frowned. “You wouldn’t have laid out my favorite tea if it were an easy job with no strings. In fact, you wouldn’t have sent for me at all…any novice voyeur would have done.”

A snicker came from his right. Ah, Quantex had followed them.

The captain’s arm tensed beneath Malfric’s hand. Though he said nothing, Malfric detected the shift and rustle of his silk coat as he turned to glare at his first mate.

“There’s an artifact. We were not the only ones hired to find it,” Finch said with a disgruntled sigh. “The other crew has a day’s head start.” His voice softened to a conspiratorial whisper, “but we have an advantage they do not.”

Oh? “And what, pray tell, is that?”

A sharp intake of breath, a faint whistle through his nose, and the captain answered. “A body.”


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And Some of the Waiting is Over

December 18, 2015 at 2:37 am (Links, writing) (, , , , )

Clockwork_CanadaI can now happily share the cover for the steampunk anthology that will contain my story “The Curlicue Seahorse,” scheduled to come out in May. Thanks to today’s cover release at Black Gate, everyone can get a good look at it, and I think it’s pretty spectacular.

I also signed and sent back two contracts today so I’m expecting to be given the go ahead to share some news on one of those (the other has already been shared.) But for the sunshine there must be a little rain – I also received a couple of rejections. They were nice rejections, complimenting my writing, but rejections are never all that welcome, even if they are nice about it.

I still have some more waiting to do for other things in the works, and a new story to work on, but this was a happy pre-Christmas surprise.

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After a Long Pause

August 14, 2015 at 4:21 pm (dark fantasy, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

This year involved a lengthy summer hiatus from blogging for multiple reasons. Summer is always busy for me. The kids are home from school. I work overtime at my day job. Some of my focus is on gardening. This year also included double weekly doses of jugger, a trip to France with my daughter, and new puppy. All of these things proved to be time sucks, albeit positive ones. In summer, the things at the bottom of my priority list get bumped off by the things at the top and because I want to keep writing my fiction, blogging is often one of the things that goes.

And off it went

But I’ve been wanting/meaning to set aside some time to announce some of the good things that have happened over the last few months. I received an acceptance for another pro-rate (per HWA standards but not those of the SFWA) venue, this time for my first stab at steampunk. You can find out more about it here:

This spring/summer has also been one of multiple releases including short stories in the anthologies Strangely Funny 2 ½ (Dead to Write) and My Favourite Apocalypse (Gaia’s Gift) and some non-fiction pieces in the Horror Addicts Guide to Life. I have other acceptances brewing for release I the near future, including a YA cyberpunk/fairy tale mash up, but those announcements will come later.



No news on the novel front. My series remain in limbo and no new acceptances for the yet-to-be-published, but I’m still writing and still hopeful. I have a test-reader working away at some of them, so we’ll see where that goes.

Until then, I hope to get back on the blogging track when my overtime is up, likely in time for my submission blitz in October.

Until then – if you need me, you may want to hunt me out in the jungle that is my garden this year. You’ll like find me digging up something for supper, pickling or freezing.

Turnip anyone?

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April Blitz – The End

May 1, 2015 at 1:54 am (writing) (, , , , , )

I finally dug deep and completed the rewrite of my lone steampunk story. It has now been resubmitted…fingers crossed.

I also wrote up, tweaked and sent out a dark humour SF flash piece. I was aiming for a Fredric Brown approach – one of my favourite writers. I’m at least hoping to squeak through to round two. I’ll just have to wait and see.

So that’s it – this year’s spring blitz is over. I’ve had limited responses so far, so now I have to brace myself for the many rejections that will eventually head my way.

On to figuring out what project to start next.

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Women in Horror – Spotlight: Vivian Caethe

February 20, 2014 at 3:31 am (fantasy, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Today’s spotlight highlights the author of The Grotesquerie short story “Cryptomycology.” Vivian writes speculative fiction of varying sorts with a penchant for flash fiction and she also is a knitter, a stitcher and a gamer. Her published works include stories in her sizable collection, Handwritten, that displays her genre versatility. She also has SF, fantasy and steampunk stories available in several anthologies.

Her fans describe her as “adept” and her work as “evocative.”

Find out more about Vivian at or take a look at her Amazon author page.

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Women in Horror – Spotlight: Lilliana Rose

February 17, 2014 at 1:57 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

I turn my spotlight today to the author of the short story “Hide and Seek” in The Grotesquerie. An Australian with a Masters in Creative Writing, she says that spending a day without writing makes her grumpy. While she does write fiction of various sorts, most of her published work to date has been poetry. You can find some of her steampunk horror, Chimera of Death and Dream Collector , published online.

Find out more about Lilliana at her website:

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Women in Horror – Spotlight: Rie Sheridan Rose

February 6, 2014 at 12:47 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

My next spotlight author contributed the short story “House Call” to The Grotesquerie. Rie is a versatile lady with an adventurous spirit – in addition to a fiction writer she is a lyricist and a poet with a love of things steampunk and fantasy as well as horror. She and I share pages in Dream Walkers and Midnight Stalkers from Horrified Press along with the lycanthropic charity anthology, Shifters, from Hazardous Press (and the non-fiction Zombie Writing from Rymfire Books.) She has many other published works to show for her decade spent as a professional writer, a display of her dogged efforts and obvious talent.

Rie says she has always wanted to be a writer (along with a range of alternating secondary professions) and is pleased to be living her dream.

Her fans describe her work as “amazing,” “incredible,” and “excellent” – high praise for her spooky and action-filled writing.

She has a fabulous website at and you can find her work at her Amazon author page.

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