Thursday, September 29, 2022

New Release: ETRUSCA'S VOW. AFV Defender Book 3

 M'kar bit her tongue to keep from asking what "right on time" meant. The crazy old man would just say he had seen into the future, so he knew when she would be back in the suite.

Of course, he was waiting for her, so maybe he did have visions?

Her father would laugh and say that showed the old man’s cleverness, constantly playing mind-tricks on people. They were very good tricks, M'kar had to admit. Especially when his voice got hollow and his eyes rolled back so all she could see were the whites. Many people would say the Ancestors spoke through him when he talked like that.

"Tell your father, don't trust the one-eyed pilot, and don't trust the woman with the blue-tufted ahsnaq riding her shoulders. Trust the Ankuar," he finished on a whisper. "Wait until the Ankuar comes and then bargain with him for the ride up to the station."

M'kar wanted to ask, "What station?" but she was afraid to play games and pretend she didn't know what the old man was talking about.

How had Aquid figured out they were trying to find a shuttle ride up to the Alliance's orbital station, and from there arrange passage to Le'anka? Her mother had the best spy-killing equipment, straight from a friend in Fleet security. She regularly swept their suite for anything that would help the clan spy on them. There was no way her great-grandfather could have been spying on them, listening to their plans.

Yet he knew. How?

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wanna get your FRANKENSTEIN on?

 Ye Olde Dragon Books takes a classic movie monster and invites participating authors to turn the trope "on its ear."

Whether it's just the general idea, or particular details in the lore created by Hollywood, these stories will amaze and entertain, make you shiver and jump at shadows, and keep looking over your shoulder when no one is there -- and sometimes laugh aloud, as well as say, "Hmmm .... what if .....?"

What if the monster was a victim? What if the monster wasn't monstrous, but kind of cute and cuddly? What if the beauty was the beast? What if the werewolf was the hero? Etcetera .....

Join us every fall with a new monster, a new collection of fantastical imaginings.



A child saved from a car crash insists a scarred man pulled her out, earning the moniker Monster Girl. Was there a monster or did she imagine her savior?

A not-so-scary haunted house turns into a true house of horrors for three young people.

Step back in time to watch a man, a computer, and … a virus!

A young girl runs from an abusive father and finds a different kind of monster.

An enchanted castle is under attack from a patchwork monster and our heroes must find the elusive, ticked-off sorcerer who can stop his creation before it tears apart their home.

Inside, you’ll explore a wide assortment of mad scientists and their failed experiments – or successes, if you prefer to see it that way. Some will thrill, some will chill. A few will make you laugh or maybe shed a tear.

But who IS the Monster? You decide.

Even better: If you go to Ye Olde Dragon Books, between now and October 16, you can SAVE $$$ buying directly, both print and ebook!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New Release: ETRUSCA'S VOW. AFV Defender Book 3


Ashrock and Jeyn put their plan to leave Nisandros into action as soon as they got up the next morning. There were dozens of little details and messages to handle, material to collect, loose ends in research projects to tie up, promises to fulfill, and private farewells to perform with friends who could be trusted to keep their secret. The winter storms in the northern hemisphere would end in three decs, and that wasn’t nearly enough time to make all the arrangements to take the first shuttle that could go up to the Alliance’s orbital station. The formal announcement of their departure had to be made at the right time and the right place, with the right witnesses, or the uproar could justify their family being detained. Hurt feelings and insult claims had to be prevented at all costs.

M'kar had her part to play, running errands for her parents, returning borrowed items, retrieving items that had been loaned or taken without permission. She returned to their family suite with a handful of book chips that had been borrowed from her mother's library over the years. M'kar was grinning in triumph, until her cheeks hurt. She had retrieved the chips with as much sneaky stealth as they had originally been taken by various cousins and aunts and uncles. Considering how dusty some chips were, and how deeply they had been buried among personal possessions, she doubted anyone would realize the books had been reclaimed until luns or even years after she and her parents had left.

Then she saw the shriveled old man sitting on the bench by the fire pit in their common room, and her grin fell off her face. M'kar immediately looked around for Anguak. She sniffed hard, trying to find him by his dirty wet clothes stink, since she couldn't see him in the shadows. 

"Little Blade," Great-grandfather Aquid wheezed. "Right on time." He beckoned, holding out a bony, wrinkled arm covered in blurry red and black and green tattoos.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Off the Bookshelf: DESPERATION IN DEATH, by J.D. Robb


In Death Series

Intense story. Ripped from the headlines in a lot of ways. Kind of depressing to know that man's inhumanity to man will just continue and take on new faces, with more scum-of-the-earth considering it their right to dehumanize and profit from the misery of others, and then when their prisoners rebel and reduce their profit, label them "ungrateful."

Two girls manage to escape a "school" where they are trained to be toys for the rich and perverted. One of them dies. The other is unwilling to trust anyone, especially the authorities, because the System has let her down so many times. Enter Eve Dallas, who knows what these girls have gone through, personally. The hunt for clues, to find the witness, to find those responsible, and the horror and righteous wrath as Eve and her allies put the picture together and realize just what is being done as a business, the cold cruelty inflicted on the young and innocent ... enthralling as always.

Read this one in two days, when I had lots of deadlines to meet and a book launch of my own to somehow stumble through. The Dallas and Roarke books are my treats to myself. Thanks, muchly, for an intense escape, just for a little while -- and the certainty that justice will triumph after all.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

New Release: ETRUSCA'S VOW. AFV Defender Book 3

 If they crashed into Etrusca’s Wall, they might vanish forever.

They were going to die.

"You have to turn back before we get killed, that's what it means!" M’kar shouted, as the alarms resumed their ear-splitting shrieks.

The craft tipped. Ke’Jor slid out of his seat, hitting the floor with a thud. Ke’Niq and M'kar slid sideways, he on his knees on the deck of the craft, and her falling sideways along the bench seat. Ke’Niq caught hold of her wrist with one hand and with the other hand caught a cleat in the deck used for tying off cargo nets.

"Get your hands off her!" Ke’Jor lunged at his cousin. "She's mine. Grandfather says so."

M'kar twisted around to kick Ke’Jor in the face. He shrieked like a goosigah, threatening to go so high no Human ears could hear.

The craft kept tipping, and the engines shrieked loud enough to cover up Ke’Jor's cursing and spitting and the slapping of his hands on the deck plating as he tried to climb the steep angle. M'kar got her own grip on a cleat in the deck. She stayed a good meter out of Ke’Jor's waving, slapping hands.

The craft tipped over on its roof, hard enough to knock them loose. They hit the ceiling. M'kar yelped. Ke’Niq swore. Ke’Jor shrieked for Ke’Niq to make the air-car behave.

Then the craft hit hard, bouncing all of them up to the floor, now the ceiling. M'kar's head hit. She saw stars and bit the inside of her cheek. Her neck snapped. She fought to hold onto consciousness as the craft tipped and slid, then hit and flipped up in the air, then turned over.

For a few heartbeats there was nothing but tumbling and trying to grab onto something. Ke’Jor shrieked for Ke’Niq not to tell their grandfather he crashed another craft.

Then blackness.

Good. She was tired of hearing Ke’Jor shriek.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

New Release: ETRUSCA'S VOW. AFV Defender Book 3


The air-car jolted, dropping suddenly. M'kar thought about trying to crawl across the deck and reaching Ke’Jor before they crashed. If they were going to die, she wanted to hit him as hard as she could, first, as many times as she could.

The air-car jolted. She grunted. Ke’Jor cursed. The bouncing as they plummeted downward broke his curses into fragments and threatened to slam her into the roof. Shrieking alarms filled the air, deafening. Through the wail of the engine and the blatts and squeals of the alarms, the wind’s howl grew stronger, and soon drowned them out.

"Alert," a mechanical voice said, while the alarms silenced for a few seconds. "Approaching Etrusca's Wall. Change course. Continuing on this course violates a blood edict of the Council of Clans."

"What does that mean?" Ke’Jor shouted, as the voice repeated the message.

How could he not know? Etrusca's Wall was the surbda crater on the dividing line between Ba'e'do'stra and Rissor clan lands. Didn't they teach them anything in the Rissor Clan? 

This was the largest surbda crater, with a wall of rubble ten meters high surrounding it. Legends said the warrior Etrusca had pulled it up from the netherworld during one of her many resurrections from the dead. Navigation equipment and sensors refused to work within ten meters of most surbda craters, but that trouble zone reached fifty meters out from Etrusca's Wall. All transportation equipment refused to work. Animals refused to go into it. There were nine total surbda craters, scattered across the planet. All were forbidden, by ritual and common sense. All equipment, whether transportation, probes or drones vanished once they crossed into a crater. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Off the Bookshelf: SILVERSWIFT, by Natalie Lloyd


Audiobook, Audible exclusive

Narrated by Holly Palance and Imani Parks

Two stories are told, Eliza and her grandmother Mora, and the siren Silverswift. Appropriately told through two voices as narrators.

Nice worldbuilding for the Sirens, their traditions and struggles. A quiet sort of story with suspense and heartache and sacrifices, and the struggles that mirror between cultures and times as young girls grow up and learn what and who they are.

Eliza loves the island where her grandmother lives, and when she gets a summons from her grandmother, asking for her help during winter holidays break, she is glad to go, despite the rigors of winter on an island. The quest isn't easy, when her grandmother is losing her sight and a storm is battering the island -- and the map they're using might not be reliable. But they are determined to find the mysterious cove where the Sirens come to sing at winter solstice, no matter what.