Get a free copy of the humorous urban fantasy short fiction, “Ogres At Alcatraz Isle” on Amazon today through Friday, May 8th! This tale follows the adventures of Oakland Fae Enforcement Officer Cathy Pembroke, and her zany encounters with creatures invading the Bay Area. You can also get “Fairies At Fisherman’s Wharf” for just 99 cents!
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.
Sometimes I am struck by an idea that doesn’t fit the rest of my ideas, isn’t going to sell, but just wants to be written. I’ve published some of those stories as bonuses to my more “likeable” stories. But I have one that I’ve been wondering for some time what to do with. Maybe someday I’ll include it in an anthology. But today, I feel like sharing it. I may take it down in a week, like Kristine Kathryn Rusch likes to do. Or maybe I’ll leave it up.
In the mean time, enjoy a strange and haunting tale about a girl with feathered friends who are anything but friendly.
I find trends fascinating. I remember growing up in the 80’s and the fascination then with nuclear war, radiation, and another world war. In the nineties when the U.S.S.R. broke up and we became “friends” with Russia, it seemed other things became popular, like hackers, cyberspace, computers and artificial intelligence. (Remember Terminator?)
Nowadays it seems everywhere on television, the movies and in books, it’s all about the paranormal. Not ghosts so much–that already had its little heyday in the 2000’s with the ghost hunter shows and celebrity ghosts and The Ring and whatnot.
And lately it’s been all about vampires, werecreatures, demons, and the Fae.
Now I’ve heard psychologists say that what we fear holds a fascination for people, because something you fear is something that holds power over you, and the human psyche wants control over that. I’ve also read that we seek answers that are provable and reliant. We don’t have that with paranormal. You may watch that special about catching Bigfoot or the body that they found of a merman (the deep sea video was pretty creepy). But that’s not real proof that you can reach out and touch. You can’t trust it.
One other aspect is a fear of death. Many of the most popular paranormal forms are undead: vampires and zombies. Others are immortal or nearly impervious to damage: werecreatures, elves, demons, other Fae. So perhaps the current popularity of such creatures is our own discomfort with our own mortality.
What’s interesting is that these are all very old fables and legends, hundreds if not thousands of years old. You don’t see a ton of robot movies (Iron Man notwithstanding). So as a society, I think we’ve lost faith in modern medicine or technology to bring us immortality, or even invulnerability. Either that, or we’re feeling overburdened by all the trappings of modern civilization and we’re yearning for simpler times, more mystical times. What’s the most interesting, however, is the popularity of urban fantasy.
That way we get to have our ancient myths and our iPhones at the same time.
So it’s finally out! “Fairies at Fisherman’s Wharf”, the second Cathy Pembroke Tale, is now available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo. Cathy Pembroke is a stubborn but well-meaning Oakland cop placed into a special Task Force to deal with creatures crossing over from Fae. Scientists think the gates started to open between the worlds thanks to deforestation, but nobody knows for sure. All Cathy knows is the critters really make a mess of things when they hit major tourist attractions.
This time, it’s a fairy invasion down at Pier 39, the hottest shopping spot in San Francisco.
Each eBook comes with a bonus humor fantasy short story. These are quick reads suitable for all ages.
I’m now working on the third Cathy Pembroke Tale, “Ogres at Alcatraz Isle.” The worst thing about ogres? They’re not as dumb as trolls. When ogres take over the prison and hold the tourists as hostages, Cathy must take a team of police officers out to try and recapture the island. This will be her greatest challenge yet.
So yay, got my new illustration and new cover for the “Troll Under Golden Gate Bridge” tale, now in the same branding style as the next Cathy Pembroke tale, “Fairies At Fisherman’s Wharf.” I have some tiny tweaking to do, and then I’ll change the Troll cover and put up the fairy story for sale. Like my other short stories, it’ll be priced at $0.99 and be coupled with another short story to make it at least 7000 words long. (In this case it’ll be more like 12,000 words.)
The second tale, “Captured,” tells the story of a fairy who has been captured by human children, and her little plan to escape.
Walls surround me. I can see through the walls; they are transparent like water, but as solid as stone. I can’t escape to the sunny meadows and the sweet nectar-laden flowers. I look up at the dark shape of a human hand and plead, “Let me go!”
“Look, Martha, I caught one!” a great booming voice says. Standing tiptoe against a blade of grass, I can see the source–a human, a boy. He leans down and grins at me. I retreat to the back of my prison, wings fluttering, green hair falling into my eyes.
“Oh, do be careful, Michael. Don’t hurt it.” A second voice, a girl’s, rings out behind me. I turn to see lacy folds of a petticoat before she kneels to look at me.
The funny thing about this is I’m changing the cover of this to go along with the second Cathy Pembroke tale, which will be coming out next week. The artist is working on the final today, so I’ll be showcasing the new cover in a few days or so. I look at the old cover and cringe–it was one of my first, just pasting two images together that went along with the two short stories in the book.
Viva la Change! I’m just happy that my newer stuff is starting to look better.
I just have to announce that after a little break from technical writing during the Recession, I’m back! The last four years I had to get a job in education as as academic counselor–not a bad job, but also not one that pays much. Just yesterday I received a job offer that will pay me twice as much doing what I already love: writing. Yes, it’s technical writing, but it’s still something I love. I did it for years as a consultant before my government contracts ran dry with state budgets in crisis.
Meanwhile, I’m down to about 3000 words to go on my second novel, Journey to Landaran. I’m also about to publish the second Cathy Pembroke tale, “Fairies At Fisherman’s Wharf.” I have my draft cover here, thanks to an artist in Thailand who did the fairy, Pasunna Zacrifa:
I’ll also be commissioning a new cover for the first Cathy Pembroke story, “A Troll Under Golden Gate Bridge” using the same artist. I love DeviantArt–one of the best places to find artists from all over the world with really reasonable commission rates. I’ll probably wait until I have the new cover for “Trolls” to roll them both out at once.