Getting back to work…

So this last month has kind of sucked in terms of my health, which has in turn, led to quite a low level of productivity (for me. I understand that even sick I’m more productive than some, while looking like a slacker even when I’m well compared to others. I can only do what I can do.)

I feel as though I’m exactly where I was a month ago, wanting to focus on the writing and increase my word count from now until the end of the year, doing 3000 words/day instead of merely 2000. (Mind you, this last month my average was much closer to merely 800 words/day.)

A part of me is concerned about making this announcement again, considering what happened the last time I did. Tempting fate, as it were.

Fuck that.

There’s always a part of my consciousness that’s tuned into every time I say “I’m afraid/scared/concerned with X.” Because the only way I let my fears drive me is give me a list of what’s next. If I hear myself say, “I’m scared to do X” then that becomes the next thing on my list to do.

So while I’m concerned that I won’t be healthy enough to focus on my writing how I want to, I’m still stating the declaration that I’m willing to try again. To give fate the finger, as it were.

Wish me luck!

Remember, if you’re interested in learning how to make beautiful interiors for print books, I’m teaching a workshop about it starting October 12.

Go to for more details.

ION, I have a new novel coming out next week. (Horrific lack of pre-release advertising can be blamed on being sick for most of the last month.)

I have a magnificent cover for this novel, and am in the process of rebranding the previous three novels in the series as well.

So here’s the cover, as well as the blurb. It will be generally available as of October 4th.



Cassie cannot turn away her most recent client. She needs the money. Though honestly, trying to find the woman’s damned cat turns her stomach.

But the client also carries a rose with her. It represents…something. Something destructive. Something apocalyptic.

Something Cassie can’t defend herself from. Not even with sarcasm.

“Spoiled Harvest”—the third novel in this fast-paced urban fantasy series—pits Cassie against an order of monks who follow Zarathustra, more gods, and even more corporate machinations.

Be sure to read the first two kickass Cassie novels: “Poisoned Pearls” and “Tainted Waters”.

FINISHED – The Desert Heart

I’m kind of in shock. I finished the current novel today! I had thought I had a few more chapters to write, but no, this was the last chapter. I’m really, really pleased with how this novel turned out, though.

This is the second novel of a dark fantasy trilogy. I finished the first novel, “The Glass Magician” last year. The second novel, the one I finished today, is called “The Desert Heart.” I’ll write the last novel sometime next year—”The Ghost Dog.”

After I finish writing the third novel, I’ll publish all three, one after another, probably one a month over the course of three months.

It’s all one big long story. That’s not what I usually write. It’s part of why I’m publishing them together. There’s an end to each novel, but the story continues.

But there is no rest for this writer.

By October first, I must finish three stories. Minimum lengths: 3000 words, 6000 words, and 10,000 words. All of them can be longer, of course. And knowing my brain, they probably will be. Luckily, I have ideas for all of them.

So, Yay! Finished a novel! Yay! Go write more!


As some of you may or may not know, I’ve had some issues with chronic migraines that FINALLY seem to be resolving. (The short version: have had migraines since I was 18. Went from 0-3 migraines a month to 12-15, suddenly and without warning. After 13 months, have managed to get my migraines back down to 3-4/month. Now am working on having fewer headaches as well.)

As you can imagine, this threw my writing schedule for a loop.

When I’d had a day job, I’d still managed to write 3000 words a day. When I first went “full time” with writing, I was doing 4-5000 words a day.

This last year, I’ve been struggling to get 2000 words a day done. Or rather, my goal has been 10,000 words a week, so only 2000 words 5 days a week.

I’ve frequently missed this goal (see migraines, above.) But I’m more stubborn than most, and I’ve kept writing regardless.

As of the end of August, it will have been two months with many fewer migraines. And I’m having fewer headaches as well.

I’d made the decision that starting this morning, and going until the end of the year, I was going to up that goal to 15,000 words a week, or 3000 words a day, 5 days a week.

I felt good about this. I was doing so much better physically. I figured this would be a breeze.

Then Sunday morning—I came down with a cold.

It hit me really hard emotionally. Here I was, all set to make a serious run at the writing again, only to get derailed.

I know it’s only for a few days. Maybe I’ll be able to start September 1st. I’m just disappointed.

In the meanwhile, I have the best husband in the world. He made my bacon, got me orange juice and Prosecco. I have coffee, tea, kleenex, and lots of meds.

There’s client work that I must do today. Before and after that, I’ll be napping.

And plotting to write fiction later. When I can.

PS. Though the migraines could be considered a chronic illness, and this cold sucks, I also realized that the last time I was actually sick with something like a cold was March 2015. I used to get sick ALL THE TIME. I’m still kind of amazed that it’s been so long since I was last sick.

Trust Writer Brain

One of the pieces of advice that I’ve heard over the years is “Trust the Process.”

For me, that also means, “Trust writer brain. She knows what she’s doing.”

I still fight with her occasionally when I’m creating and putting a lot of new words down on a page. I don’t know why. She’s always right, and she always wins. (She’s kind of a bitch that way.) However, instead of fighting her for a week or a month, now it’s more like an hour, or sometimes if I’m really being stubborn, half a day.

I can’t write when I’m fighting her, when I’m trying to do something other than what she wants. Can’t create. Can’t do anything. It’s pretty obvious to me, now, when I’m fighting her. Plus, as soon as I admit defeat, the words just flow again.

Currently, I’m going through first reader comments for the latest novel. A couple of really interesting things have come up.

I had two first readers. One of the fascinating things for me is how often they agree on awkward sentences or paragraphs. Possibly as much as 90% of the time, if one marks a paragraph as awkward, the other will have touched on it as well, offering suggested rewrites or just marking it as awkward.

It’s taught me that when this book flows, it flows. It’s really obvious when it doesn’t. Or at least to both of my first readers.

The other thing has been my conscious choice to trust writer brain.

When one or the other of my first readers makes a comment, such as, “This needs more foreshadowing”, I listen to writer brain’s response.

Sometimes she says, “Oh! Right! You need to add more here, and here, and here, and here!”

It was really easy and obvious. That comment spoke to inner writer. It didn’t matter the amount of work that single comment caused. Writer brain was happy to do it.

Or when one of the first readers wanted a scene rewritten to be more visceral. Writer brain happily wrote an extended scene. Boom.

It has worked the other way as well. One of the first readers wanted a different large change. However, writer brain merely shrugged and said, “Meh.”

I’ve gone back to that other comment more than once. Writer brain continues not to be enthusiastic about it.

Though I trust that reader, and I’ve taken almost all of that reader’s comments, I choose to trust writer brain on this one.

Again, it isn’t about the amount of work that comment would cause. I’m happy to do the work. However, writer brain doesn’t feel as though that comment needs to be addressed.

I really like this novel. I think that it will be a much stronger novel once I finish incorporating all the first reader comments.

But it will still be my novel. My choices. My words.

For better or worse, I’ve learned to trust my inner writer.

How about you? Do you trust your process, your inner writer? Or do you fight?

No reserves

Spent the weekend at WorldCon in Kansas City, MO. Saw lots of old friends, made some new ones. Networked a little, possibly picked up a little business.

(BUSINESS PLUG: Next cover workshop starts September 7th:

Though my doctor tells me that according to my blood work, I’ve been getting younger every year for the last three years, I still take more time than I used to in order to recover from something like flying and attending a huge con with OMG so many people. (Was smart this con and took serious downtime every day. Think that’s the only way I survived, and why though I’m tired, I’m not exhausted or sick.)

There’s just no juice in the battery today. I can do what I need to do, like cleaning the vacation rental, then I need to sit down and rest. Plus, not many words.

It’s another sign that I’m getting older.

One of the other signs that I’m getting older is that I’m pretty much out of fucks to give. WorldCon isn’t what it used to be. It’s declining. The fans are older, aging out, dying off. It can’t keep up with any of the comic cons, or the other cons that have diversified and are more inclusive.

I wish WorldCon well.

I may or may not attend another one. I’m much more likely to attend Convergence or ECCC. Places where the audience is younger. Where I’m more likely to connect with my readers. If money were suddenly no longer an issue, I probably would go–but it would be for connecting with friends, not readers.

In addition, I’m really not the intended audience of WorldCon. I’m an indie writer. I’m not looking for an agent or a publisher. And WorldCon is very much still focused on trad pub. (One of the main reasons we went to WorldCon was to visit my sweetie’s family, who live near KC.)

So as I said, I wish WorldCon well. I realize that it’s me, not them.

And though I have other thoughts about agents, people practicing law and advising on legal matters  (like contracts) without being licensed and such, it’s time for another cup of coffee and possibly some words.

New novel available!



It’s new novel day!

I’m actually kinda thrilled about this book coming out.

You see, I had some issues with “The Changeling Troll” – the first in this series. Couldn’t really wrap my head around just how different the voice seemed. The fact that it’s more new adult/young adult than most of what I write.

But then I gave it some time. Let the story rest. Wrote some other things.

Came back, and OMG did I love the first novel! I had to write the second one. NOW.

So, I did. And I kinda love the second novel just as much. Possibly just a wee bit more (because, you know, new!shiny!novel!).

And I’m looking forward to finishing off the trilogy sometime in 2017 with “The Fairy Bridge Troll”.

But that’s a post for another time.

For now – here’s the blurb for “The Princess Troll”.

Most trolls have no natural magical ability. However, Christine does. Enchanted powders swirl up when she walks by. Charms glow.

What happens when Christine tries to direct her magical powers?

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Something blocks Christine from reaching her full magical potential.

But what?

“The Princess Troll”—the second novel in The Seattle Trolls trilogy and the delightful continuation “The Changeling Troll—follows Christine on her journeys through a skewed Seattle and her encounters with outrageous and whimsical characters. A coming of age tale for all ages!

Available at your favorite retailers:

So seriously – go and pick up your copy today. Or buy one and give it to your favorite niece or nephew. It is very much a new adult/young adult piece (as you can probably tell from the cover).


And MORE Bundles!



I’m in a new bundle! The OUT OF THIS WORLD bundle.

Explore the future and the universe with this exciting bundle of science fiction & fantasy short stories, novellas, and novels. Discover how people will survive, and thrive, as they encounter challenges in outer space or deal with struggles here on Earth.

Mystery and adventure, drama and fear, technology and magic, all have their place in these exciting speculative stories.

Blast away with these fantastical tales to parts unknown and out of this world!

This bundle will only be available until September 4th. So get yours today!


The Fantasy in the City bundle is currently available at distributors for a limited time. 20 short tales of magic and wonder. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So get yours today!

Available at:




Barnes & Noble:


The Not Only Humans bundle is also available at distributors currently.

From galaxy-spanning alien cultures to the discovery of Bigfoot, these page-turning novels feature gripping stories where humans and non-humans work together, fight each other, and even fall in love.

List price if bought individually is over $70.

But for you–just $9.99.

A dozen amazing fantasy and science fiction novels.

This bundle is jam-packed with stories …

* For every reader’s taste.
* Filled with robots and faeries. Demons and trolls and vampires. And aliens, aliens, and more aliens.
* Of unparalleled quality. Bestselling and award winning authors.

This bundle will only be available at distributors for a limited time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So get yours today!

Available at:
Kobo Books
Barnes and Noble

New short story available!


YAY! I have a new short story out that’s part of the Uncollected Anthology series!

Pearl’s greatest magical gift? Knowing exactly what someone needs before they do. Opening up a magic shop seemed like the perfect way to help her use her gift.

The problem? The beautiful smartly-dressed woman who just walked in.

This woman wants something. Something only Pearl can provide.

Pearl’s fear? Figuring out exactly what this woman needs. And what the cost may be…

Available at your favorite retailers!

UA Bug

anthology: a collection of selected literary pieces

uncollected: not collected or gathered together

oxymoron: a combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings

The Uncollected Anthology series is indeed an oxymoron. Sprung from the minds of seven fabulous authors who love fantasy, short stories, and each other’s writing, the series’ main goal is to bring you quality urban fantasy fiction.

Every three months, the authors pick a theme and write a short story for that theme. But instead of bundling the stories together, they each sell their own stories. No muss, no fuss—you can buy one story, or you can buy them all. (We’ll be honest: we hope you buy them all!)

Uncollected Anthology: When you can’t get enough of the stories you love.

Never Miss A Release!

If you’d like to be notified of new releases for the Uncollected Anthology, sign up for the newsletter!

We only send out newsletters once a quarter, will never spam you, or use your email for nefarious purposes. You can also unsubscribe at any time.

Click here!

Check out the other fabulous authors!

You’ll find all their work here:

A Future Song


First, our FABULOUS guest writer, Stephanie Writt!

Hadley, a 27-year-old golf ball diver (by day) and electronic DJ (by night), travels over a hundred miles on two hours of sleep to save her younger (by 37 seconds) brother’s rear on a school field trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. He’s the teacher, not a student. Punk hadn’t reached out to her in over a year, but figured it was the new dad thing that had distracted him. Their playful reunion turns murky when a run-through a humpback whale exhibit flips Hadley’s world upside down. Visions. She sees visions in the whale’s music. Under water visions of past disasters. Or are they the future? Thousands of lives depend on Hadley. To save them, will she have to sacrifice the love of her brother?

Fight or Flight

Fortune Tales - Fight or Flight

Leslie Claire Walker

Time travel. Love. Magic.

Little Charlie Nobody fights to survive on dangerous streets. No one cares whether he lives or dies—and he comes close to dying more than once. Each time he hovers between life and death, he not only sees the future, he enters it. He doesn’t understand how it happens, only that it feels real. And that it must be some kind of magic that makes it possible.

He falls in love with the wonders he sees, the people he meets, and even the trouble he finds. No one captures his heart more than Sunday Sloan, who wields the kind of magic that others would kill to possess.

He wants nothing more than to become part of her world. Will magic allow him to leave his own time and remain in hers?

If you enjoy urban fantasy filled with wonder and darkness, you’ll love Fight or Flight.

Fight or Flight is a stand-alone story set in the SOUL FORGE series and is a prequel to the novel NIGHT AWAKENS. For more SOUL FORGE magic, visit

Fortune’s Cookie

Fortune's Cookie ebook cover

Rebecca M. Senese

The summer before university, Nola works the cash at Chen’s Fabulous Chinese Take-Out. When an irate customer complains about an empty fortune cookie, Nola discovers the entire supply is empty.

To avoid disaster, Nola comes up with a plan: home-made fortune cookies. Mr. Chen will bake the cookies and Nola will write the fortunes.

Just one problem: Nola has no idea what to write.

The Most Recent Madame Fortuna

UA cover Fortune Tales KKR web

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Carol grew up with the carnival and its attractions. Like the fortune teller: Madame Fortuna. Now Carol runs carnivals and their employees, including Madame Fortuna.

When the screaming begins, Carol doesn’t need a fortune teller to predict trouble. She can do that all on her own. Fixing the problem, however, might take a magic touch.

Tramps & Thieves


Annie Reed

She tells fortunes for a living like her mother before her. She’s just another working stiff, but don’t mistake her for a con artist. Her magic is real.

She’ll read your tea leaves or your aura, or predict your future from a deck of cards. Just don’t insult her, and above all else, don’t threaten her.

Because remember – her magic is real, and she knows how to use it.



And the writer is BUSY!!!

Honestly, I don’t think this is unusual for me. Summers are generally very busy for me. Partly that’s because of the vacation rental. I have lots of yard maintenance that I do during the summers, in part, because of the vacation rental. I want my guests to think I have an awesome yard. And that takes work.

Plus, I have MANY THINGS going on.

For example, WORKSHOPS.

Yes, I teach workshops. Two of them, in fact. I just finished the first Covers workshop. I’ll be teaching the Print Interiors workshop next. It starts August 10th.

To learn more, go here:

Another example of things going on: BOOKS

At the end of August, “The Princess Troll” comes out.

The Princess Troll

I also hope to publish the Island Sampler.

At the end of September, “Spoiled Harvest” comes out. This is the sequel to “Poisoned Pearls” and “Tainted Waters”. I’m updating all the covers, so I don’t have links available for it yet.

At the end of December, “The Immortals’ War” comes out. This is a standalone novel, composed of three already published stories as well as three new ones. (“Dancing with Tong Yi”, “War On All Fronts” and “The Sweet Shop”)

In January, I hope to have a new Business for Breakfast book available.

February/March I should have a new novella available.

Then…I don’t know what.

Blaze will have a bunch of things that I’m publishing as well between now and then. And other writers. Stay tuned!

Other things–Am going to Worldcon in a few weeks. Hope to see some of you there. Am starting a new novel tomorrow–VERY EXCITING. I’m not impressed with how hot it has been in Seattle recently. And other NEWS that I’m still sitting on, at least for now.

How is your summer going?