The Lion and the Darkness is now an e-book!

Three years in the writing, it’s finally done, and it’s up for purchase, or read free on KU.  Paperback and hardback editions are coming soon live as of 7 June.

The Long-Awaited Sequel to The Lion in Paradise

At long last, Ariela Rivers Wolff begins her mission to the Simulated Worlds.

As the Martyr of Sardristra, she finds herself in the position of a Joan of Arc, burned at the stake for preaching a sermon of love to a very violent race of . . . blue, four-legged, four-armed, sort-of-horse analogs. Five hundred years later in their history, she finds a totally-reversed welcome as “Saint Ardreyelya” in the country in which she first appeared. Will she be able to prevent the rest of the world from destroying “her” people before she can convert them, too?

As the Goddess of Mahoukai, she finds herself the deity of a world religion in a world governed by magic. And like all worlds with magic, inevitably there is a Demon Lord. She’ll have to deal with that Demon Lord before the world of Mahoukai can be realized into the True Universe . . . but in the event, the Demon Lord is an infiltrated agent of the very enemies she is sworn to fight in the real world. Can The Lion of God take on a Darkness, single-handed? If not, it may spell doom for the inhabitants of Mahoukai – and for herself.

[updated 7 Jun 2024]

State of the Author


No, seriously…sigh.

Way back in September I published one of these “State of the Author” things in which I bemoaned the fact that I had five projects running through my head.  This is something in the way of an update on that post.

1. The Lion and The Darkness — this is the next novel in the mainstream Timelines series.  Got unstuck a while back, have 16 chapters finished and four or five to go.  I hope to finish and publish before LibertyCon 36 in June 2024.  (Actually I hope to finish and publish by the end of May, but I’m hedging.)

2. The Dragon’s SisterFinished and published, e-book and soft cover.  October 10, 2023.

3. An American in Iya (working title) — this is a novel that follows The Tale of the Crane Princess in the Timelines Universe track.  It’s foreshadowed in Tale, at the very end.  This book is 10+ chapters in, and will likely be first of two following the exploits of (currently) 16-year-old Saori Rin Sumisu.  I do not intend to write yet another doorstop like The Cross-Time Kamaitachi (which really should have been two books), if I can help it.

4. The isekai light novel “Help! Truck-kun Won’t Leave Me Alone, No Matter What World I’m In!” hasn’t been touched in months; I don’t know if I’m actually going to complete it or not.

5. The novella/light novel All Precious Stones and Peoples is on hold until after the novel AFTER The Lion and The Darkness, which is supposed to be The Lion and The Logic.

So, bottom line, there’s one novel almost finished that’s been hanging fire since 2022, a novella/light novel finished last October, and another novel that might see the light of day by the end of 2024.  One light novel that may or may not be written, and another novella/light novel in the future to follow The Lion and The Logic.  *whew*

AI is Love is now a Kindle book

I have released AI is Love as a Kindle book.  It took a while to figure out how I was going to do that, but in the end, it was possible to format it like a comic book or manga and upload it that way.  (This involved the use of Kindle Create, which is an application I am not fond of, though admittedly the copy I had installed was from 2020 and was way out of date.)

The Kindle book is priced at a much more modest $15.00 (half the price of the softcover edition).  I still make money off of that, but the paperback publishing cost is gone.

I will add the following caveats:

  • If you do not have a tablet, or can’t use something like Kindle for PC, I don’t recommend buying the Kindle version.  It won’t look good on a classic Kindle (like a Paperwhite) because you won’t get color, and it probably will end up too small.
  • If you do buy the Kindle version to read on a tablet, I recommend opening the “AA” menu at top right, clicking into the Layout tab, and turning off “Vertical Scroll (Landscape).”  If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to turn the tablet to Landscape mode and view two pages at a time, which sort of breaks the way the book is formatted (description on the left, picture on the right).  This isn’t necessary if you are reading it in Kindle for PC or Kindle on the Web.  (I assume it wouldn’t be a problem for the Mac Kindle app either, but I don’t own a Mac, so there you have it.)

If the e-book version still interests you, well, just click on the gorgeous picture of my wife…I mean, the image of the cover, above.

Free Kindle book (limited time) – Saving The Spring

From Friday, 12/29/2023, through Tuesday, 1/2/2024, my novella Saving The Spring will be available FREE on Kindle.  (This isn’t a KDP “read for free”, this is FREE as in “you get to keep the book.”)

Jack Randall knew immediately something was off when he pulled up to the old roadhouse. Little did he know that crossing paths that night with the establishment’s beautiful bartender and her handsomely-rugged boyfriend/cook would lead to him recalling his former life as a god – or fighting a rematch with the god who had stolen his memories.

“Fans of Alma T.C. Boykin and Tom Rogneby will love this short story. It begins as a road trip with a couple of middle-aged snowbirds (well-armed ones) and turns into a fight for life, honor, and the immortal love of a lady as old as time. The plot is delightfully clever, the action fast and furious and you will love the main characters as they forge a new destiny.” — Amazon review by L. Paul

Timelines Universe Novel Sale — 99 Cents Each!

12/2/2023 NOTE:  PLEASE CHECK THE PRICE BEFORE YOU BUY!  Amazon apparently has a bug in their database and this promotion has not yet started as of 9AM December 2.  I will update when the promotion actually starts.  Sorry for the trouble. — ncb  This is fixed now.  Carry on!

Thank you to all who purchased my three Timelines novels while they were on sale for the past week!  And now…the next promotion!

From 5AM EST Saturday December 2 till 5AM EST Saturday December 9, the two Timelines Universe novels will be on sale (in ebook format) for 99 cents apiece.

Link to The Cross-Time Kamaitachi

Link to The Tale of the Crane Princess

Timelines Novel Sale — 99 Cents Each!

From 5AM EST Saturday November 25 till 5AM EST Saturday December 2, all three of the Timelines novels will be on sale (in ebook format) for 99 cents apiece.

Link to full series:

And — good news — I’m finally working on Book 4,  The Lion and The Darkness, again!

AI 愛 is Love is up for purchase

After a very long time in “in review” purdah, AI 愛 is Love is finally up for purchase on Amazon.  The list price is $29.99, but for whatever reason Amazon has it available at a discount — $17.67.  (Sorry, after the first couple of sales, the price got bumped back up to $27.40, but that’s still a 9% savings off the list price…)

Hopefully I get my full royalties at that price, since I didn’t ask for it to be discounted.  I put a lot of work into this book.

The direct Amazon link is .  Or, click the pretty picture below 🙂

Working on something a little different

I’ve been working on a picture book!

No, really.  It’s a book called AI 愛 is Love.

The blurb:

AI 愛 is Love is a collection of 65 images made using Artificial Intelligence tools and methods. Each image is the author’s loving reimagination of his wife at various stages of her life, using old photographs and digital models and post-processing software, not to mention plain old-fashioned skull sweat coming up with prompts to feed the MidJourney AI in the first place. While the author cautions his readers that his wife actually doesn’t look entirely like the lovely ladies depicted (mostly because they all have long straight or wavy hair), he does wish to make clear that all of his love for his beautiful lady wife has been poured into the book which you now hold in your hands.

The wraparound cover:

Because this is the first time I’ve done something like this, I’m waiting for a proof copy to be printed and sent to me, which is supposed to be here by Wednesday.

In case you are scratching your head at the title, it’s because when I was discussing this project with some folks on Discord, the obvious title came to me:

“Oh, I figured out a title for the possible book. ‘AI is Love’. Because 愛 (ai) is ‘love’.”

Yeah, it just happens that “AI” (the initials of Artificial Intelligence) can be twisted back to “ai” (which is the Japanese noun meaning “love”).

As anyone who’s read my writing knows, I love a good pun.

So this book, for anyone who just MUST have a copy of it, will be available in paperback only, via Amazon, and it will be $30.  Believe me — most of that is Amazon’s share.

I’ll put up another post when the book is available.

10/27/2023:  I effed up in counting; there are only 65 images, not 75.  Mea culpa.  Post has been updated with corrections.

The Dragon’s Sister is released!

At long last, I conquered writer’s block and finished The Dragon’s Sister.  This is something of a follow-on to A Dragon in the Foie Gras, 20 years later, when the girl found in the stasis chamber in Chicago has re-entered society and wishes to become a US Space Force Marine.

This is a Timelines Universe story, and like most of the books in that category, it’s fairly short; about 22K words, 114 pages.  In terms of where it fits in the Timelines oeuvre, it would be just before the opening of The Lion in Paradise.

Two Sisters, Separated By A Timeline

When most people find out they have a long-lost twin sibling they never dreamed existed, reactions can range from happiness to anger.

In the case of US Space Force Marines Brigadier General Mei-Lin Lai, her “twin” is her timeline analog she was told did not exist.  And because of that reassurance, the expatriate Chinese taikonaut migrated to Timeline Zero from Timeline One Right, to take command of United States Space Force Base Terra Meridiani, on Mars.

But her analog did exist.  And was pulled out of a cold-stasis chamber in Chicago eighty years after she’d been recruited into a failed plot to disrupt an American presidential election.

Now Mei-Lin must grapple with a woman who is her genetic twin and wishes to join the Space Force Marines as a medic — and will go through Basic Training on the planet where Mei-Lin is the boss Marine.

Will the two women, identical but different, be able to form a sisterly bond?  And will Mei-Lin finally come to grips with the very existence of her other-timeline twin?

The e-book is $2.99 or read for free on Kindle Unlimited.  A 5×8 paperback version for you tactile folks who have plenty of room for bookcases is also available for $5.45.

The direct Amazon link is .

The Invasion Came In Waves – free download

I didn’t figure the short would sell, so as noted in my previous post, it is made available here for free download.  (You can still buy it from Amazon for 99 cents if you want an “official” copy that won’t show up as a DOC file in your Kindle.)

The story is copyrighted and I reserve all rights.  You may not post it on another download site, but you can post these links to the files anywhere you’d like.  Or just post the post URL.

ePub version

Mobi version

The files are in .zip format so you’ll have to unzip them before uploading to your device.