New short story: “The Invasion Came In Waves”

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.

State of the Author

The author at Churchill Downs, recently. Isn’t he, er, fascinating? (Don’t worry, he’s happily married — to a stunningly beautiful woman, but not the one who lent him this hat.  She did, however, take the picture.)

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 Darkness and 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.

Requiescat in pace to my little writing buddy

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.

Frankie, a couple of weeks ago, enjoying the high life.

Rest in peace, little buddy.  Your remembrance shall be for a blessing.

An Omnibus of Seasons paperback-only release

Because I am almost fatally writer’s-blocked at the moment, I put together something I’ve wanted to do for a while — a paperback release of the three Seasons stories I’ve written since 2020.

(Sorry, since this isn’t an e-book, the “preview” button doesn’t actually work.)

This edition contains no new material; it’s basically a vanity paperback release for myself, a couple of my friends, and anyone else who would like to have those stories in paperback.  I think at $6.99* it’s pretty doggone cheap for an Amazon KDP POD release.  Anyway, the cover is The Queen of Spring, and the back cover (not shown here) is The Queen of Autumn, whom we know as Joelle and Sarah, respectively.

The direct Amazon link is .

* Sorry, it was originally $5.99, it’s now $6.99, which is STILL cheap for a POD release.  And I fixed the cover because it was misaligned.

LibertyCon and books

I will be at LibertyCon 35 in Chattanooga this coming weekend.  I don’t have a table and I’m not a guest, but I will have paperback books (in the new covers) if anyone wants them.  See the price list below.  However, I will have only a LIMITED number of copies, and these prices are good until I run out of them.  The four “short story” book special at the bottom is good only until I don’t have all four in hand anymore.

Also, note that the four “shorts” are priced at Amazon with a minimal royalty to me.  So yeah, I charge a little more for them than Amazon.  Sorry about that.

I’ll also have a few of the books in their original covers — same prices.  Though in those covers all I have are The Lion of God, The Lion and The Lizard, and The Cross-Time Kamaitachi.  (Left over from last year before I finished the others.)

Autographs are always free, whether it’s a copy I sold you or a copy you bought from Amazon.

Major credit cards accepted with Square.  Or cash money of the United States is always good…until suddenly it isn’t, but that’s a government problem, not a personal problem.

Price list Amazon Price
My Price
The Lion of God $15.22 $8.00
The Lion and The Lizard $15.22 $8.00
The Lion in Paradise $18.22 $10.00
The Cross-Time Kamaitachi $22.24 $12.00
The Tale of the Crane Princess $15.22 $8.00
The Reason* $4.75 $5.00
A Fox in the Henhouse* $4.75 $5.00
A Dragon in the Foie Gras* $5.75 $5.00
A Huntress on the Rocks* $4.75 $5.00
Set of the four shorts (books marked with *) $20.00 $15.00

Just look for the old fat guy in an aloha shirt who looks like that guy with an HBO series who can’t finish the books.  Yeah, cruel, but I am a curmudgeon.

Note about new covers and Kindle for iPad/iPhone (and maybe others)

Something I’ve noticed for a while is that Amazon doesn’t automatically update your already-owned books if a small change is made (like typo fixes).  The same is true of cover updates.  You can get the covers to update inside the books themselves if you tap and hold the book cover in the library to get the menu, then “Remove Download”, then tap and hold again for the menu and hit “Download”.  This shouldn’t break your notes or set you back to the beginning of the book, but it will pull down the latest version of the book, which should have the new cover at the beginning.

Unfortunately this does not update the cover shown in your library.

The only way to update the library listing covers is apparently to clear the Kindle app’s cache.  This can’t be done by simply terminating the application and restarting it.  And at least in current (16.x) iPadOS or iPhoneOS, there is no method provided in the Kindle app’s settings to clear the app’s cache, neither in the app itself or in the iOS settings app (Settings/General/i(Pad or Phone) Storage).  (Couldn’t tell you about Android.  Don’t use Android.  Google is evil.)

No, to get the new covers to appear in the app’s library listings, you must remove the app from the phone or pad (which deletes all of its cached data) and then reinstall it.  Which works and doesn’t seem to break anything since most of the data concerning which books you read last and where you were in those books is kept in the Whispersync cloud.

But it’s a pain in the ass to have to delete the app and reinstall it to do something that ought to be handled with a button in the app’s settings to clear the cache on demand.

I did find, at least for the Kindle Oasis (which I own), you can get the library covers to update by removing the download, re-downloading the book, and then opening the book.  This apparently convinces the Kindle device to re-cache the cover.  Which begs the question of why the same isn’t true of the iThing Kindle apps.

New covers for the Timelines Universe shorts

I have been busy with Midjourney and have updated covers for the four Timelines Universe shorts:

All of them should be reflected on Amazon at this point, though The Reason may take a little longer since I just uploaded it about an hour ago.  There are also 5″x8″ paperbacks available for anyone interested in a complete set to go along with the novels.

At some point, I’ll update the thumbnails on the sidebar and elsewhere on the site.

Working on: The Dragon’s Sister

The Dragon’s Sister will be a little story about the Chinese “direct action” agent rescued from a failing stasis chamber in my previous short novel in the Timelines Universe series, A Dragon In The Foie Gras. It’s got a way to go yet, so look for it sometime in May-ish.