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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
99 cents on Amazon. It’s only about 1,100 words, so don’t complain about the length, please. If it doesn’t sell, I’ll do what I planned to do in the first place and publish it here for free. The problem with Amazon is, 99 cents is the least they’ll allow you to charge. Pisses me off.
Not available for KU because I’d only make about a penny a read.
Not connected with either of my existing series. Just a story.
As I have been known to dad-joke before, “Indiana.”
Anyway. I am in a position where I have four (“Five, sir!”) five things on the burners and none of them in a state of readiness for publication. Why? Because work is driving me crazy, and I’m getting older and don’t have the stamina I used to have. (Which means, by 8PM or so I’m getting sleepy and want to go to bed rather than stare at a computer and write. Sucks to be me, but now I understand why Dad started taking mid-afternoon naps after about 60.)
Fun bit: We recently traveled to Louisville for the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction’s Supreme Council session. Four days and nights with 1500 or so of our closest friends. Got home, got an email a day or so later saying several folks had come down with COVID, including a friend I’d been in close contact with. Luckily, neither my unvaxxed self nor my vaxxed wife managed to contract it — or we had no symptoms. (The whole COVID thing is a massive cock-up at this point, don’t believe a word you hear from the guv’mint about it going forward. Yes, they are going to try to lock us down again before November 2024. Become ungovernable and tell them to fuck right the hell off.)
As stated, I have four, no, five projects in train. None of them are close to publication. Well, maybe one is, but not the one I’d prefer.
1. The Lion and The Darkness — this is the next novel in the mainstream Timelines series. I’m almost done with Chapter 6. Which sounds good, but it isn’t; this book needs to be 20 chapters or so, maybe more. 22,320 words as of the moment, and it needs to be 75K or 80K. I got really stuck on it because it started to move in a direction I wasn’t prepared for, and I’ve barely touched it for the past year.
2. The Dragon’s Sister — this is a short or novella-length Timelines Universe story that examines what happens when the two Mei-Lin Lais — one from Timeline One and one from Timeline Zero — have an encounter on Mars. It’s just been sort of exhausting to write because normally I write either about planets I made up out of whole cloth, or I write about Earth, where I can use Google Maps and that sort of thing to plot with. Mars is mapped in Google Earth, but that doesn’t help as much as you might think. Anyway, this book is just starting Chapter 5 and is 16,663 words. It needs to be somewhere between 20K and 24K. I think I have it figured out now, though, so it may well be the next thing I publish.
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. I’ve barely started it (it’s only two pages and about a thousand words in) and the only reason I’m working on it is to get ideas on paper before they disappear.
4. In a complete departure from everything else (and unrelated…unless it’s related…and I haven’t figured that out yet), “Help! Truck-kun Won’t Leave Me Alone, No Matter What World I’m In!”. Projected as a 50K word “light novel,” yes, it’s a fucking isekai piece that I’m writing mostly as humor relief. The premise is, a party of adventurers is being targeted by someone with an isekai truck that takes them out as they complete tasks in various fantasy worlds. Ultimately, there are five in the party, and they finally get together to compare notes and realize something is NOT RIGHT, starting with, where do Japanese kei trucks come from in medieval fantasy worlds? The fault for this story can be chalked up to a fellow SF writer; my mind just started working after I read a Facebook post he wrote, conjecturing as follows:Thomas Doscher is, of course, the author of the popular The Vixen War Bride series which can be found on Amazon. If you have not read it, and you’re into military science fiction, I highly recommend it. He’s five books in and there’s a sixth coming.
Finally, there’s another book percolating, a Timelines Universe novella, called All Precious Stones and Peoples. I can’t really talk about it without giving away spoilers for both The Lion and the Darknessand the book that will likely follow it, called The Lion and the Logic. But it’s something of a bridge between those two novels.
So there’s a lot going through my brain lately. Unfortunately I don’t know when any of these projects will see the light of day. But I don’t intend to be another George RR Martin, even if people do mistake me for him when they see me, and even if it takes till I retire for my production to really ramp up, I’m absolutely planning on finishing the Timelines series.
Your thoughts and prayers in this endeavor are, of course, welcome…as are your book purchases, page reads in KU, and reviews on Amazon.
This morning, about 5AM, we were awakened by a yowl from our 14-year old Lynx Point Siamese cat, Frankie. Those who know, know that he was affectionately known as the Lord High Preventer of Work, or LHPoW for short. He’s the cat sitting on my desk in my current author picture on Amazon and at the back of my books. And he spent a lot of time on that desk, “helping” me write.
As it turns out, he had a bad case of congestive heart failure and had thrown a blood clot that cut off circulation to his legs. Though we got him to the emergency vet very quickly (we were there within 30 minutes), there really wasn’t anything they could do for him. They gave him methadone to kill the pain and get him back to a comfort level where they could examine him better, but the conclusion was simply that his time had come, so we authorized euthanasia at around 6AM.
Needless to say, my wife and I are both in shock. Frankie was fine last night when we went to bed; he jumped up and lay down on the pillow above my wife’s head as he has done for months. And there was no indication after that of any problem until he started yowling several hours later and woke us up.
Frankie was something of a feral rescue. I won’t say he was entirely feral but his mother was more or less feral and of course daddy cat was a traveling salesman. We got him in 2009, when he was five weeks old, and our older cat, Tiggr (RIP) sort of became a mommy to him. They were great friends until Tiggr passed away in 2015. At any rate we always spoil our cats and Frankie was no exception to that rule. And now he has left a paw-shaped hole in our hearts that will, eventually heal…but there will always be a scar there, just as there is for our other cats, Snoopy and Tiggr.
So the mantle of Lord High Preventer of Work now falls to its fourth holder, our void cat Tux. The LHPoW is dead; long live the LHPoW.
Rest in peace, little buddy. Your remembrance shall be for a blessing.