An Announcement for the Trinis

Hey! I’ve been a bit too tired this week to blog, but I thought I’d just make a little announcement.

LEX TALIONIS is currently available for sale at RIK Bookstores Limited in Trinidad. I’m in my local bookstores!

Nailed it amazed excited reaction gifs

 

I know right? Crazy!

Anyway, if you’re a Trini, or you plan to be in Trinidad any time soon, please feel free to head on down to your local RIK and pick up a copy of my science fiction mystery, LEX TALIONIS. It’s already sold out in some locations, but there are still copies to be had at Trincity, Price Plaza, Gulf City and Port-of-Spain.

If you go to a location and there aren’t any copies, please let the staff know you want a copy so that they will order more. I’d appreciate that simple act because it will help support a local author (me!) by making it more likely that RIK will bring in another shipment. Also, if you really want your copy now, you can ask the staff to tell you where copies are available so that you can purchase the book at another branch.

Thanks in advance for all the support, and if you do buy a copy, be sure to let me know in the comments. Who knows? I might just make arrangements to autograph it for you! Just drop me a line in the comments.

In Which We Meet The Heroine & Hero Of Our Tale

A bit from THE NIGHTWARD again, because I just wrote a nice section with Viyella and Dagen and thought you should all be introduced to each other. Most words of the week so far on the one day I really didn’t want to do anything. Woot for me!

He checked the rest of the balcony swiftly, but to no avail.  The Princess was not there.  He stood frowning at the top of the stairs, wondering if she’d somehow slipped past him.  No, that’s impossible.  The stairway is too narrow.  But where else could she be?   In his mind’s eye, for an endless, stomach twisting second, he saw a tiny body falling off the balcony.  He darted back to the stone ledge, warped with the cool, slick stems and slightly furry leaves of vines.  But only the faded abstract pattern of the courtyard cobbles looked up at him, red and yellow in the gathering dusk.

If she did not fall, then…     

Behind him, he heard a tiny sound–the silvery jangle of bracelets.  The little beast.  He turned, held out his right palm to the top of the stairway and circled it clockwise, muttering the counterspell Erwyn had taught him under his breath.  A thin mist filled the opening, pearl and coral strands wrapping around itself, coalescing into the tip-toeing form of the Princess.  Dagen grabbed her by the back of her vest and yanked her back, ignoring her gasp of shock.     

“The Princess will refrain from using her concealment spells in my vicinity from now on, or I will talk to the Dowager Mother about several unpleasant alternatives to her magic lessons.”     

Viyella made a little screech of disgust as he started down the stairs and clawed at his hand, kicking desperately.  “I only wanted to see the caravan!”     

“Be that as it may, you have inconvenienced the entire household, and using magic to evade your responsibilities is not something the Queen would look upon lightly.  Also, if you want to be put down any time soon, you had better stop kicking my legs.”

And now I’m off to dinner.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

In Which She Attempts to Write Five Days A Week, No Matter What

Yep, you heard me. For about a month or so now, I’ve been working hard to make sure I write Monday to Friday, no exceptions. This is a big departure for me. I’m an expert procrastinator and although I’ve finished about a dozen novels, I’ve never set myself a schedule. However, I take my writing seriously and I think if I want to get to the next level, I have to be a bit more regular when it comes to writing, so that’s what I’ve done.

My reward for this? The weekend off, so I can recharge and handle household duties like cleaning and grocery shopping. And possibly even sleep a little.

I don’t put pressure on myself to hit a wordcount, so I think that’s been the main reason I’ve been able to keep going. But I’m also going to start posting little snippets every week, to make sure I’m doing new words and to give myself a public push. Hope you don’t mind if I use you as guinea pigs for my Works In Progress.

Oh, who am I kidding. It’s not like you have a choice once you’re here, reading my blog. Am I right or am I right ;-)?

Anyway, here’s today’s snippet to prove that I am, in fact, still on track. I’m working on two WIPs at the moment. A science fantasy called THE NIGHTWARD (some of you may know it as the Hand of Gaia), and the sequel to LEX TALIONIS, the science fiction mystery I published in 2014. The working title is IACTA ALEA EST or The Die Is Cast.

The bit below is from the first chapter of the WIP I’m currently doing the most words on, THE NIGHTWARD. A royal bodyguard is watching the arrival of an emissary from a neighbouring Queendom.

Yes. I said Queendom. Did I mention this is a matriarchal world? No? Well that will come clearer in future posts I guess. Something to look forward to.

The Nightward:

The tail end of a caravan passed beneath the archway.  Twelve fair-skinned men, dressed only in flowing white pantaloons, marched in lockstep beside a massive klaxon bird that had to bend its long-necked head to pass under the Gate.  On its back it carried one of the traveling houses of royalty; pale blue cloth embroidered with gold fluttered as it swayed, but never revealed the occupants.  

The klaxon, prompted by the subtle twist of its gold-tasseled rein by one of the men, threw back its crested head and sounded a loud note, sweet and pure as a harp.  Blue green feathers rustled before the trailing tail rose and fanned open behind the house, the pattern resembling nothing so much as dozens of eyes.  

Through the mindtouch, Dagen felt his cat Farain awaken.  The howl that followed–taken up briefly by other cats–was no surprise.  Dagen cats were very jealous of their territory and had no love of birds.  He took in the arrivals for a moment, aware that with the appearance of the Emissary from the Queen of Kadoomun, Queen Elise’s anniversary party was complete.  And if I don’t find the Princess soon, the Dowager Mother will have my ears for adding to her troubles this evening.

I’ll leave it there for now. My sister has warned me I go on too long.

Feel free to drop bits of your WIPs in the comments too. I’d love to see what you’re working on.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

In Which There Is Shameless Self-Promotion

Hello there!

Most of you know me well enough by now that you’re aware I come here to natter to myself every once in a while. However, some of you may be coming by for the first time, so I’ll just take this moment to let you know that this is also where I talk about my book.

As in my science fiction mystery, LEX TALIONIS, which was published last year by Dragonwell Publishing.

I was pretty jazzed when it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. And since then, some good people have said some nice things about it on Goodreads and Amazon.

So just in case you’re one of those people who are looking for something to read that you might have missed in 2014, or even someone who likes to support small presses and indie authors, feel free to have a look at LEX TALIONIS. For those willing to post an honest review, I even have a few electronic copies available. Just use my ‘Say Hello’ form to contact me.

Also, if you are planning to vote for books published in 2014 in any upcoming awards for genre novels, particularly the Hugos etc., please consider that LEX TALIONIS is eligible for the 2014 award season.

O rly really you dont say reaction gifs

I’m telling you this because although it literally gives me hives to draw attention to myself, sadly, I’m quite sure that if I don’t do it I won’t be on anyone’s radar. You probably haven’t heard of my book and have no idea of its eligibility, so I have no choice but to put up my hand and remind everyone I’m here.

And that’s all I’m doing. Reminding everyone I’m here.

Thanks for listening and please, if you have a book that was published recently, feel free to drop the name in the comments section. I’m always looking for new stuff to read.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Because We Are Awesome

Recently I’ve been reading some great, eye-opening pieces about women and our astounding contributions to society. Sometimes women and the great things they do have been acknowledged, sometimes not, but always, we have been here.

Here is a really great piece by Kameron Hurley about how women have always been a living, breathing part of history, whether you knew about it or not.

Here’s an article about astounding women who did not care what others thought about them, and achieved a lot because of it. Yes, it’s got a lot of blue language, but that’s really not the point. The point is, how many of them have you heard of before?

And in case you think these were just exceptions to the rule, take a gander at this brief list of women warriors from ancient history. I saw a much better list a while ago, but can’t remember where. Got to find that one again. It was really comprehensive and included all women of note, warriors or not. And it went on and on and on.

I’ve been interested in this topic for a while, as I grew up in a matriarchal family, so when I started my current WIP, The Nightward (Hand of Gaia), I knew exactly how the society was going to evolve. This little article I found only after I’d come up with the female warrior magicians that play a big part in The Nightward–the Amazores.

I had even come up with the name Amazores before reading this because I wanted to bring to mind the ancient tale of the Amazons. Talk about serendipity. It helped inspire and solidify the idea I’d already been playing around with.

Here is a little glimpse of the Amazores in action from my manuscript:

Darkness gathered at the base of the wall, pooling there and setting off bright red flashes.     

“Ready yourselves, Amazores!” Annan called. 

The archers moved to the front of the walls and drew their arrows.  Wraithlight glowed fire against the Dark that pressed down from above now, making the sky glow red above them.  The hissing had become a steady dissonance that was almost painful to the ears.  Minutes stretched into years as all light turned crimson.       

Light flared into a flash.  Amazores raised their hands to their eyes.  There was a muffled boom and air rushed past them.  Silence followed, like that found in the Dead Woods in the Queendom of Jaleel.  The Amazores blinked and scrubbed at their eyes.     

The hissing began again.  Soft and satisfied.     

“Archers! Fire!” Annan cried.     

Shafts of flame whistled downward. 

The Dark rose up, wave climbing upon wave to meet them.         

Tyra Damn

I know, Tyra, I know.

So what’s my point? My point is, if you’re a woman, if you’re a girl, if you’re sitting out there telling yourself that you can only be this, or that a women can only be that…you’re lying to yourself.

We can be anything we want to be. We have always been anything we want to be.

We are awesome.

We will continue to be awesome.

And we should let absolutely nothing convince us otherwise.

 

Luc – An Excerpt From The Sequel To LEX TALIONIS

Yeah, you read that right. I’m in a good mood because the writing is flowing these days, so you get another little peek.

Luc is a small but important character in IACTA ALEA EST (The Die is Cast). Here’s the introduction to him. Extra points if you can guess who he’s waiting for.

The man who had sold his name and his life stood against the wall of the spaceport terminal and watched streams of people and aliens move past in front of him.  No-one looked in his direction.  Not because he could not be seen, but because he did not wish to be seen. 

Even in the bright light of the busy terminal, even with the main doors on his right placing him near the path of all the comings and goings, the simple dark wrap he wore seemed to pull all regard into the black hole of its existence.  He stood within the concealing layers of his hood and cloak, motionless but for the never-ceasing movement of his eyes.  They were amber as a cat’s, startling in the harsh, unapologetic angles of his coffee-brown face. 

His hands folded across his chest, his fingers thrust into the soft warmth of his sleeves, he watched the row of disposable comm patch booths along the terminal wall opposite him.  Above the white half-dome booths and chairs, the transperiwall rose to a ceiling that showed a darkness deep enough to touch.  Tiny lights sparkled and winked within it like stars.

Below this, the spaceport bustled and resonated with hundreds of voices from hundreds of organs.  Grey, flat-headed Algarans lumbered through the crowd, swinging powerful arms.  A group of Kaag mercenaries, cocking their ears at each other in an animated fashion, brushed through the door, snapping at passersby stupid enough to touch them.  Environmental protection suits–most tinted to keep stares out–rolled or floated past, an array of exotic shapes and colors.  

Seconds after a clutch of Wensts females passed him, so well hidden by their clothing they looked like moving bundles of sparkling cloth, he spotted her.

She strode through the main doors, hands buried in the pockets of a grey jumpsuit, and headed for the comm booths. She looked neither left nor right, but he knew she had seen him.

Dark hair hung loose to her shoulders, obscuring her profile.  She forded the constant movement of those around her with practiced ease as she moved across the main terminal floor, never giving the roving security duos of blue clad Troopers so much as a wary glance. 

When she reached the booths, she took up a position next to the last one on his left.  As soon as the user–a human male–exited, she entered, closed the door and activated the tint.

He gave her ten minutes, made sure they had not been noticed, then leaned away from the wall and headed toward a booth in the middle of the row. 

Hope you liked it. Drop some lines from your latest work in the comments, if you like, and join in the fun.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Good Quotes– A Brief Guide To Extempo Calypso And Some Epic Insults

I have always been addicted to quotes and a good insult. Must be the Trini in me. We love to end an argument by just shutting it down. We even have a form of improv calypso that we call Extempo. It’s two contestants getting on stage with no idea what the topic will be. The only know the tune. When they get the topic, they have to rapsodize on it better than the other guy. Extra points for skewering your opponent’s answers in an insulting way in the ensuing back and forth. As you can imagine, it requires you to be very smart, very aware of current events, and very quick-minded. When you get two good contestants, whoa, watch out.

When I started studying European history for A levels, I found myself admiring Disraeli, Churchill and the like. Once upon a time, people really knew how to debate in Parliament without giving an inch, I tell you.

So when I found this I just had to share it. I’m giving you the gift of truly great insults for your New Year.

You’re welcome.

Quotes I Love

Happy New Year! Time to Start Writing Now.

Yep. We had a great time eating the food and drinking the drink. Marathon watching TV shows on Netflix and going to the cinema to cheer for the final chapter of The Hobbit. So we are all refreshed now and should be ready for what comes next.

A year of great storytelling.

We will be writing until we are done, my friends. So get a good chair, crack your knuckles and be sure to check back here three times a week to see how you and I have done. Feel free to leave your word count, page count or sentence count when you visit. I’ll be happy to know I’m not the only one down in the salt mines. I’m giving you today off because it’s New Year’s Day and we know what you did last night. But no mercy tomorrow.

And weekends count for extra. Or you can just leave them for your family and fun, as I plan too. I have to recharge often, and weekends do that for me. I have too much to do in those two days, so I’d rather use my spare time to get ready for the rest of the week.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, lots of writing and plenty of online friends (me included!) to share your trials and tribulations, successes and achievements with.

Welcome to 2015!!

And just for fun, here’s how a writer’s mind works most of the times…

Still Here and Still Working

I know I’ve been gone forever. I have a great excuse. At the end of October, I came down with Chik V. This was just before a very important week of meetings at my job during the month of November. I managed to get my work done, but I was lucky enough to be one of those people who suffer from the chronic stage of the disease, which means even now I still have lingering pain, numbness and other symptoms. I’m not alone, of course. Lots of Trinis have the same problem. The virus has spread like wildfire here. And let me tell you, this virus is the sickest I’ve been since I was a child.

November and December then became consumed with catching up on the work I had to drop for two weeks, trying to write every day, cleaning the house and generally getting ready for Christmas. Christmas turned out great and I’m finally enjoying my vacation. But the plan for the new year is to get back to working out and writing every day again. The fatigue has let up enough for me to return to my regular schedule, I think.

I want to thank all of you who came by, followed me, or just commented. Sorry I haven’t been around, and I will be by all of your blogs before the end of the year to remedy my absence.

I’m currently cleaning up the first part of the sequel to LEX TALIONIS, which I’m calling IACTA ALEA EST (The Die is Cast) for now, so I can get some more forward movement on it. I’m pushing on with THE NIGHTWARD (also known as the ‘Hand of Gaia’) because it’s in my head right now. But if you read LEX TALIONIS you’re probably wondering what the sequel looks like. It’s rough right now, and there’s stuff that needs to be edited, but have a sneak peek at the opening below:

The C.S.S. Invincible

The technician screamed, the smoking stump of his hand smearing his lab coat as he held it to his chest. Through watering eyes, he looked up at the two soldiers standing over him, their faces hidden behind the wavering diamond reflection of distortion masks. The ship’s flashing emergency lights limned their black armour, turning the figure-hugging contours scarlet, then black, then scarlet again.

He could smell his own flesh cooking, and vomit scratched at the back of his throat even as pain tore his nerves to shreds. If he turned around, he knew he would see what was left of his hand lying on the floor of the corridor behind him. But there was no point in turning around. His hand was gone for good. And he was a dead man.

The one on his left lowered the massive lasrifle to his waist, still keeping it at the ready. The soldier on the right held his weapon with the business end pointed at the floor. The soldier was silent for a moment longer, apparently studying the tech, though it was hard to tell through the distortion masks.

“Are you ready to speak to me now?” he intoned, his voice flat and expressionless through the mask.

“I told you, I don’t…”

The rifle came up again, sighting on him. He screamed and felt warm piss trickle down his leg.

“You waste our time,” the soldier continued. “If you will not help us, there are others. Doubtless they will want to live more than you.”

The tech heard the soft whine and click of the lasrifle and could not stop his tears. Above him, the computer informed them that Decks Five through Ten had been breached by intruders and that the Fire Squad should report to a blaze in progress in the Dining Hall. It was a detached report on a dying ship and he knew that if he did not do as they said, he would only suffer more pain.

He was a tech, a lowly tech, not crew and certainly not one of the fearsome security personnel who–inexplicable as it seemed–were dying in droves at the hands of these relentless attackers. Soldiers, really. Soldiers who were better than the best that Conway Enterprises had to offer. Better than men genetically bred to protect and kill. It was unthinkable.

As unthinkable as what he was about to do. Because the only thing he wanted as much as a way off the ship right now was no more pain.

“Shoot him in the–”

“Wait!” He felt every breath that left him as if for the first time.

“I…know where it is. I know where the room is. I can take you there. Please…let me take you there.”

The solider did not move for a moment, then he raised his rifle.

“Lead the way. But be warned–-if you attempt to mislead us, you will die. Slowly and in great pain. Get up.”

That’s all for now. I’ll post more from both books as I go along.

Have a great season and see you again soon!

MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE podcast!

RSAGARCIA:

Beautiful reading of a friend’s novel!

Originally posted on Anna Kashina:

This story in itself is amazing. At the 2014 World Fantasy Convention earlier in November, I attended a book release party held by my friend Sally Wiener Grotta for her new novel “Winter Boy”. It was held opposite the art show reception, which means there was actually a possibility to talk to people in the room without having to squeeze through dense crowds.

This is how I met Laurel Anne Hill. We chatted, and the conversation eventually drifted to my books. I had a copy of “Mistress of the Solstice” in my purse, and after Laurel told me she is interested in Russian folklore-based literature, I showed it to her. She opened the book and started reading.

To my amazement, she kept on, beyond the polite first glance one expects on such occasions. When she finally looked up at me, she was smiling.

“I love your prose,” she said. “This…

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