Category Archives: ebook

Ogres at Alcatraz Isle has gone wide!

Today I’d like to announce that the urban fantasy short fiction “Ogres at Alcatraz Isle” is now available for wide distribution! That means you can now find it at Barnes and Noble, Google Books, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo and more.

New Ogres2014 small

Some links to share:

Google Play:

Barnes and Noble:





The Fae are at it again! All over the world, deforestation has caused the barriers between world to breakdown. Now monsters are invading the city. Cathy Pembroke, a member of the Bay Area’s new Fae Enforcement Division, must deal with everything from trolls to fairies to goblins knocking up the local Circle K. Only this time, it’s much worse.  Ogres have taken over the popular tourist attraction at Alcatraz Isle, and worse, they’ve taken hostages. Cathy and her team must find a way to rescue the humans and the landmark. It’s their greatest challenge yet.


Release Day! Ogres At Alcatraz Isle

Today’s the day!  My short story, “Ogres At Alcatraz Isle,” sequel to “Fairies At Fisherman’s Wharf” is available on Amazon. It will be available exclusively on Amazon for the next 90 days (free to Amazon Prime members). Then I’ll publish it everywhere else.  This is a fun urban fantasy suitable for ages 12 and up.


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The Fae are at it again! All over the world, deforestation has caused the barriers between world to breakdown. Now monsters are invading the city. Cathy Pembroke, a member of the Bay Area’s new Fae Enforcement Division, must deal with everything from trolls to fairies to goblins knocking up the local Circle K. Only this time, it’s much worse.

Ogres have taken over the popular tourist attraction at Alcatraz Isle, and worse, they’ve taken hostages. Cathy and her team must find a way to rescue the humans and the landmark. It’s their greatest challenge yet.


“One, two, three—Go!” Cathy ordered, holding her end of the garbage bin as they charged the door. The smell of rotten apple, cigarettes, and something indescribable assailed her nostrils but she plowed forward, until the front of the bin struck the door. They managed to force whatever was holding it back a foot or so, but no more. Grimacing, Cathy set down the bin and wiped sticky soda off her hands. She studied the opening. “I can get through that.”

The sound of gunfire echoed from inside the prison. No time to waste.

Cathy turned herself sideways to squeeze through, even as Ortega, Roscoe and Denton shoved at the door, trying to get it just a little more open. She managed to get her top half through but her butt told her she’d been eating too many Krispy Kremes lately. She screamed in frustration.

As she tried to wiggle and squirm her way in, Cathy saw beyond the table blocking the door the main sally port and the entrance to the cell blocks. She blinked as a large figure appeared behind the gated area and opened the cell block door, slamming it behind. The ogre! She wiggled harder, huffing and puffing. Fine thing for him to slice off her head while she was stuck here!

He noticed her and grinned, drawing his blade again. “Push!” she yelled at her teammates, and with a terrific shove, she managed to squeeze through. The sound of buttons popping alerted her that she’d probably have a few items of clothing to replace. As soon as she was clear of the table she drew her sword, just in time to deflect a mighty swing. The blade clanged off the wall, sending off sparks. Fegruk grinned at her, flashing his fangs.

Top 100 Free on Amazon!

Witch cover ebook 2014 250

Just a quick shout out as we head into the weekend. Heart of the Witch, my epic fantasy being offered free now until June 30, has hit the Top 100 Free on Amazon list!!  Currently it sits at #87, but hey, that’s higher than I’ve ever seen it before.

And thanks to EreaderNewsToday, Kindle Book Reviews, BKnights on Fiver, and EbookDaily for your postings! I know that effective promotional sites and/or vendors are the key to having a good free promotion.

(okay and I’m chuckling because it seems to be particularly hot with young readers. Didn’t write it for a younger audience, but cool!  It’s clean fantasy, which I guess is a rarity these days).

Have a good weekend, all!

Gathering Beta Readers


For any who are interested, I’m gathering a list of beta readers for my upcoming fantasy novel, Journey to Landaran. (YA/New Adult fantasy for ages 14+)Editing has been going well and I’ll be through the second round by the end of the week. Copies will be available in pdf, epub, and mobi versions.

I’m giving beta readers one month to read the book and return to me with feedback, so basically the month of November. (Yes, I know it’s Nanowrimo month. If you’re participating and need more time, let me know. I can be flexible.) I should have copies ready by Friday to send out.

Beta readers are an important part of the writing process, whether you are self-publishing or even submitting  your book to a traditional publisher. Stephen King himself uses one (his wife and a few others) and has said it has helped him immensely. Without a beta reader, Carrie would have ended up in the trash.

Pointing out typos, awkward sentences, etc. is fine, but know that a beta reader is NOT an editor. They help just to make sure the story works as a whole, to point out plot holes big enough to drive my Camry through, to help find continuity errors, and just to give me general reader feedback. How did you like the story?  The characters? What didn’t you like? And so on.

The blurb:

Twins born of a magical heritage.

The power to read minds. To possess bodies. To travel inside dreams. In the world of Ernid, Spirit is the ultimate power.

Aidah and her brother Tavish have grown up hidden away from the political maneuverings of mages born and bred to rule. That is about to change. They say Spirit Mages are either angels or devils, and Firestarters are ruled by emotion.

Nations will go to war over them.

Just to give a little teaser, here’s the Prologue.


Journey to Landaran

Prologue:  New Life

Night fell over the city of Landaran as Korva Liam dragged her aged body up the tower to her magic-working room.  Long velvet skirts hampered her way on the steep stone steps, and she had to pause to disentangle her cane from the folds, uttering a curse as the movement sent a stab of pain through her arthritic hands.  Upon reaching the top, she rested to regain her breath. Muttering, she struggled to get the key to turn in the heavy iron lock, then pushed the door open on groaning hinges.

The room was small and circular, with a desk to the right, a small bed to the left, and a book stand on side opposite the door with a large volume opened to a detailed genealogy chart that spanned several generations.  She crossed to the book and ran her finger down the page, halting as she came upon a name:  Arlene Dell.  Beside the name was a tiny scribbled note, written in the same flowing script as the rest of the page, “Married to Darrant Dernholt, expecting baby by Mid-December.”

Late November, more like it, Korva thought, shivering.  And here she was up in this damn drafty tower with no fire and a window whose shutters could never seem to close properly.  She was crazy to be trying this tonight, when there was chance of snow.  But she had to see the birth.  Only then, at the first moment of life, would she be able to See the magic potential with accuracy.  After that she would have to wait until puberty.

Korva tapped a finger on the Book of the Magic Line, a book she herself had created over the span of her life, nearly two hundred thirty years long now, which listed the names and relationships of her descendants.  She tried to bring to mind the face of Arlene Dernholt, a great-seven-times-over granddaughter who, as she recalled, lived with a sheep herder in the Morgaine Highlands of the Doane, far to the north and west.

The picture came to her mind with difficulty–the last time she had visited Arlene, the woman had been fourteen, and sadly, while rich in potential, no Talent had materialized in her.  Hopefully her child would carry the Life Talent.  Korva was tired, so very tired of being the only one of her line able to defend; named the so-called ‘Great Protector’.  Death called to her, but she could not go just yet.  She would have to continue taking her yearly sacrifice to extend her life until her replacement could be found.

“Arlene, Arlene . . .” Muttering the name helped; into her mind came the vision of a young woman with straight dark brown hair framing a tiny heart-shaped face and large green eyes.  She was a diminutive woman, like many in Korva’s line, and had seemed a bit timid in Korva’s view, but then, her own ornery traits couldn’t breed true every time.

Once she’d managed to make a clear image of the one she wanted to visit, Korva stretched herself across the little bed, and pulled the thick fur coverlet over herself to make sure she was comfortable.  She despised coming back to herself to find a crick in her neck or a limb fallen asleep.  Just as she got herself perfectly settled, a gust of icy wind blew open the shutters of the room’s only window, sending them slamming against the gray stone walls.  Korva groaned.

“I’m not closing you now that I’m finally warm and comfortable.  You’ll just have to go close yourself,” she said with a growl at the shutters, and amazingly they did close, with a bang.

Must be life in them yet! She thought, chuckling.  Life forces within wood rarely responded to her Talent, and in a piece that old–well, at least she wouldn’t freeze now.  Time to trance.

She closed her eyes, focusing on her life energy, her whole consciousness. Carefully she separated it from her physical body, disconnecting each energy point:  eye, ear, brain, heart, gut, womanhood.  When she felt each point was detached, she thought upwards, and soon shed the cumbersome weight of her decrepit body.

Sensing the conical roof just above her, Korva opened her “eyes.”  She floated over her body, her ethereal form a sinuous ghost, glowing softly in the dark room.  So tiny, she thought, looking at the frail thing below her: pale skin covered with wrinkles, flesh sagging off the bones and white hair falling like a river down the shoulders and across the covers.  That hair had once been a glorious gold, but now, well, there wasn’t much left of her former beauty.

Concentrating on her destination, she rose through the roof and flew out over the walled city, heading north towards the peaks of the MorgaineRange.  To the east stretched the foreboding red waters of the CrimeanSea, the main barrier between her people and the Enemy–her father.  May he die and rot in the Underworld.

She could not stand looking in that direction, so she turned away and passed over the city and up the rocky foothills, up to the higher peaks, already covered in a thick blanket of snow.  Faster than any bird, she flew over the range, noting settlements here and there nestled in the valleys and along the rivers and lakes, heading northwest.  In a mountain valley before a towering crooked peak, she found her destination, a village of perhaps fifty low buildings, many of them with large pastures of sheep.  Hamstead.

She swept downwards, checking for a house whose lights were still burning at this wee hour.  One cottage on the outskirts of the village was lit, resting beside an old thatched roof barn.  Memory stirred.  She remembered this humble abode–it was the same Arlene had grown up in, her grandfather’s house.  Poor dear Bevan; he’d been such a crusader, but he was dead now.  So many descendants, dead and buried.  It was frightening to dwell too long on it.

She landed at the front door and drew near the window, just to make sure it was the right house.  It would never do to spy on strangers.  She recognized Bevan’s son–Arlene’s father, Ethan Dell. He paced the small bedroom as a midwife bent over to wipe the forehead of a woman in the bed, her knees drawn up under the blankets.

She looks like she’s going to pop!  Korva thought, noting the size of Arlene’s belly.  After seeing several generations of births, Korva knew an unusual birth when she saw one.  She hoped all would go well, but if it was required, she would use her Life magic to aid.  She dared not help, however, unless she absolutely had to.  Her father would be watching for any unusual use of her Talent.  And she would let a Talented child die before she let it fall into his hands.

Korva used one of Arlene’s contractions as a diversion to slip inside where she didn’t have to put up with gusts of wind going through her body.  Since she had no body she couldn’t really feel heat or cold, but the mind didn’t always remember that.  She tried to keep in the background.  Arlene’s potential for the Life Talent was high enough that she could sometimes see magic at work, including those traveling out of body.

Once Korva had found a comfortable spot, she waited.  The labor drew on and Ethan left to pace outside while the father-to-be took up a place by the fire, nervously untwining a bit of rope.  The midwife stayed by Arlene’s side, mopping her brow and soothing her when the pains came.  She did not seem overly concerned.  Korva looked around for Arlene’s mother, then remembered the woman had died a year earlier–she remembered writing the entry into her book.  So many dead.  But life went on.  New life came to replace those lost, as it was doing now.

The real labor pains hit, and the birth began in earnest, the midwife removing the covers to check for the head.  Sure enough, it was visible.  She ordered the two men into action to ready the hot water.  Korva slowly came forward as Arlene grunted and groaned, allowing the young woman to see her, to know she was with family; if not her mother, then at least a greater-than-great grandmother.

“Grandess!,” Arlene whispered, reaching out a hand to her, amazed.  Korva felt the hand pass through her.  Arlene’s eyes widened as she realized she was gazing at a spirit.  “Are you dead?” she gasped.

“No, I’m perfectly alive, just too old to travel in body here.  Now push, child.  It’s almost finished.  Push hard for me,” Korva softly urged, smiling down on the woman with a tenderness she rarely let show.  Arlene screwed shut her eyes and did push, on and on, for nearly a candlemark, before at last the baby came out, howling with indignity.

Korva leaned over the midwife’s shoulder as the woman cleaned the babe, frowning as she determined its sex.  A boy.  Boys were dangerous, she had learned; too often she had lost her Talented boys to the call of her father.  And this one would definitely be Talented, of that she was certain.  The glow of magical ability surrounded him in a hearty orange glow to her Sense, showing great strength, though in which of the three spheres, Life, Fire, or Storm, Korva could not determine.  Amazing that such a glow should come from such a small infant–this one was quite tiny, perhaps only five pounds, with a head full of dark hair and a turned up little nose.  It looked healthy, thankfully, very healthy.  And loud.

After the umbilical was cut, the baby was shown to its proud father, still crying lustily.  Korva chuckled to herself.  With vocals like that, the child promised to be a lifetime of trouble for his parents.  She wished him all the luck in the world.

Things seemed to be settling down now as the first light of day broke through the room’s only window, throwing beams of light across Arlene’s happy face.  Korva prepared to leave, to make arrangements for when the child’s powers appeared in truth, some eight to fourteen years from now.  Then Arlene doubled over in pain.

The afterbirth, Korva thought at first, as did the midwife, until she went over to check.  From her vantage point, Korva could see little, but the midwife gasped and began frantically waving Arlene’s father over to help.  “Twins!”  She said breathlessly by way of explanation.

Korva returned to Arlene’s side and they began the whole ordeal again, Korva urging Arlene to be strong, don’t think about the pain, push, push.  But Arlene was tired, and this baby did not seem as eager to leave the womb.  After a couple of hours when Arlene moaned that she did not have the strength to push any more, Korva resorted to her Talent.  With a wave of dizziness, she sent strength from herself into Arlene’s battered body.

Korva could feel her thoughts grow sluggish as the energy left her, threatening to dissolve her ties of spirit holding her together. She fought to stay focused.  The gods grant that she had not given too much of herself to be able to return to her body, that this effort not be in vain for the sake of the child and Arlene.  And that this interference had not been noticed from afar.

With renewed vigor, Arlene sat up in the bed, screaming in pain and frustration, pushing with all of her might.  Finally the head appeared, and the birth came swiftly after.  This second child was even smaller than the first, and all too fragile-looking.  Korva immediately noticed that it was a girl, light-haired and silent.  That changed after the midwife gave it a smart slap on the back and it began to wail, but even its wail sounded weak.  A faint glow, violet, surrounded it, suggesting magic potential, but nothing definite.  Korva swallowed with disappointment.  This one looked too weak to be of any help to her.

And Korva was exhausted now, and frightened, expecting the touch of her father’s eyes on her at any second.  After giving a swift kiss to Arlene along with her blessings, Korva limped out of the cottage and drifted up to a safe altitude, flying back as quickly as her tired spirit could manage.

Over the mountains, back to the tower she floated.  As she passed over the city she felt something foul which could have been her father’s probings, or perhaps only the whiff of a late sleeper’s nightmare. There was always such a thin line between reality and the dreamworld while in spirit form, it was difficult to tell.  But she was not challenged, and managed to make it back to her body, settling down into it to open her real eyes and feel the ache in her legs as well as the beginnings of a shock fever from having used too much power.  She had enough energy to send a mental call to her aides to come fetch her.  Then she sank into exhausted slumber.

At the edge of unconsciousness, she thought she heard her father chuckle.

New Fantasy Novella: Dreams and Constellations


Out today!  Only $1.99 for a decent length Novella with elements of paranormal romance and fantasy.

When dreams and reality collide, Iona must discover whether the universe is sending her a message . . . or she’s going crazy.

Mayan temples. Psychology classes. And an annoying young man who won’t leave her alone.

As her dreams plummet into darkness, Iona must make a choice, whether to trust another or not.

Her life just might be in the balance.

By day, Iona Mendoza is a college student at the University of Arizona, studying psychology and trying to avoid Justin Tabers, an annoying fellow student. By night, however, she is the daughter of a Mayan priest, being forced to marry against her will before the neighboring kingdom attacks her city. As the danger escalates, Iona begins to encounter issues in her real life–or are the dreams more real?

She must figure out the mystery before war comes to her dreams and possibly takes away both her futures.

On Amazon:


Author Interview: Michael Brookes


As the first installment of my new feature interviewing indie authors, I have Michael Brookes with me today, to talk about himself and his latest projects. You can find his profile here on Goodreads:

  1. So how did you start write stories?
    I’ve written short stories since a very young age, although it’s only recently that I’ve made the effort to share them with people. In fairness if it hadn’t been for the support of a few other writer’s who told me that my writing was worth developing I wouldn’t have progressed beyond that stage.2. Where do you get your inspiration for your fiction?
    My inspiration comes from things I’ve read, for example ‘Paradise Lost’ has been a huge influence on my current trilogy. I also like trying to answer questions that I have about the world around me. And I have great fun with bad characters doing good things for the wrong reasons.3. You seem to enjoy a dark tone to several of your works. Why do you think that is?
    In many ways I think the darker side of life is more fun to explore. That’s partly to do with the taboo of it, many people shy away from looking too closely at the darkness around us.

    To an extent it’s also coloured by my understanding of the world and on more than a few occasions I have been in very dark places. Being able to explore that in the relative safety of writing is fun.

    4. Tell me about your latest novel.
    My latest novel is due for release in the next couple of weeks. It’s called Faust 2.0 and concerns the birth of a new entity on the Internet. Is it an emergent AI? Or is it a more ancient evil discovering a new domain.

    It’s also the first book in a new series that I’m looking forward to developing.

    5. Your book “The Cult of Me” includes discussions of religion and good vs. evil. Tell me more about that.
    I’m not a religious person, but the concept of religion, or rather theological structures and explanations fascinates me.

    The Cult of Me (and the sequels) is insipired by ‘Paradise Lost’. With it I wanted to create a world where God as an entity exists and fits in with our understanding of the universe. I also wanted to explore why he would create a universe and then leave it to its own devices.

    6. What are you working on next?
    I’ve just started a science fiction novel tentatively called Sun Dragon. It’s a bout the first manned mission to Mars and things go downhill from there.

    7. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
    A tough question! My favourite author is probably Ian M Banks, his book Excession is my favourite book ever written. It epitomises everything that is great about science fiction. Terry Pratchett and Clive Barker would also get honourable mentions.

    8. What kind of a writer are you? Outlines or write the story blind?
    For novels I am a planner. I like to know where the story is going and a rough idea of the characters. Of course it evolves once I start writing. For shorter works I tend to just dive in.

You can find Michael Brookes at his author page on and

Second day of Freebies! Fantasy Novel “Heart of the Witch,”, more

Well it’s day number two of my three day giveaway on Amazon for Heart of the Witch. The book is currently #18 in free epic fantasy, so that’s quite good. Grab it before it’s too late!

Witch cover ebook 2013 website

Also, I have another friend offering her book for free today also. It’s a a coming of age tale for YA, I believe:  Check it out!