Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dreg City Five Update and Snippet

Looking at the calendar, I realized that today marks one year since WRONG SIDE OF DEAD came out, thus ending the official publication of the Dreg City books. But Evy's story isn't over. She has a few things to do yet, as do her expanding circle of friends and enemies. I've been slowly working on Book Five (which I've tentatively named, but may change, so for now, it's Book Five) this past year, and I'm inching close to the 2/3 finished mark.  I plan to self-publish it at some point this year, and I really hope that fans of the Dreg City books can gift me with your patience as I muddle my way through this.

As a treat (and proof that yes, more is coming), I'm posting a small bite of text from Book Five. It's the second scene in Chapter One. Evy and Wyatt have just broken into a morgue to examine the body of a teenager they believe was killed by goblins, and the scene begins just after.

Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy the bite!


After Wyatt took a few pictures of the carved name with his phone, we put the body back and then got the hell out of there.  I texted Milo and Marcus that we were leaving, so they'd meet us at the arranged location.

            They were already waiting when we got there, leaning against the metal barrier that protected one side of the sidewalk from a steep drop into the Anjean River, as  though they had every right to be loitering there at one in the morning.  The rush of the river below us was the only real sound as Wyatt and I made our way toward them.

            I was still a little shaky after our morgue trip, and had broken a sweat the instant we stepped outside into the humid late-summer air.  Usually I'm better at hiding my immediate need to vomit, but I must not have been doing a very good job on approach because Milo stood up straight as soon as he got a good look.
            "Evy?" he said.

            "I'm okay," I replied.

            "That bad?"

            "Worse, but it was definitely goblins."

            "They're growing bolder," Marcus said.  He hadn't moved from his casual lean against the rail, and the female in me appreciated the way he could make such a simple stance look sexy.  Marcus was tall and muscular (but not muscle bound), with tan skin and long, black hair he liked to wear in a ponytail at the nape of his neck.  A little bit of scruff—not quite a goatee, but more than a soul patch—on his chin gave him a look I could only describe as "pirate."

            Contrast to Milo Gant, who was about my height of five-foot-seven, and lean enough to occasionally appear scrawny, despite his speed and strength.  He had sandy brown hair and brown eyes that, once upon a time, I'd have described as kind.  Nowadays they were mostly cold.  Mostly, depending on the company he kept.  Lately Marcus was one of the only people who could make Milo smile.

            "There was more," Wyatt said and held out his phone.  "They're making this personal for Evy."

            Marcus studied the image, while Milo blanched and looked away—the photo did have an unfortunate angle of the dead man's mangled testicles.  "What's your assessment?" Marcus asked.

            "That whatever's happening isn't random," Wyatt replied.  "We know the goblin warriors can't plan for shit, so at least one of the Queens has been cooking this up for a while.  Maybe since Kelsa died."

            "Could it be tied to the Fey?"

            "Possibly.  They followed orders from an elf once, so it isn't outside of the realm of possibility for them to follow the orders of a sprite."

            My temper began a slow burn, as it always did when I thought about Amalie and how the Fey Council had betrayed and lied to us since first contact more than ten years ago.  The Triads had been duped and manipulated to serve their whims, and while the Fey were pacifists who couldn't attack us directly, they'd put a lot of other enemies directly into our path.  Sending the goblins against us was not beneath them.

            "It definitely gives them a more controllable way to hit us than with the Halfies," Milo said.  "Even the Halfies that are still partly sane."  He said the word "Halfies" like it was a vile taste in his mouth—the way he'd said it for the last five weeks.  Since Felix died.

            Instead of dropping off with the death of Walter Thackery and the loss of his Happy Serum—meant to make typically deranged half-Bloods act in a rational manner—the Halfie population had seemed to increase.  It was as if the handful of sane Halfies we hadn't managed to execute had gone forth and multiplied, and created more sane Halfies.  

            You might think sane Halfies would be preferable to crazy ones, but not to me.  Crazy means they don't plan ahead, and they almost always screw up in some way or another.  Sane means higher thought and the ability to formulate a plan of action.  Halfies with plans scared the hell out of me.

            "I just wish they'd man up and come at us head on," I said, referring to the Fey.  "All of this puppeteer bullshit is getting old."

            "Agreed," Marcus said.  "The Fey are irritating and cowardly.  Therians fight for what they want.  We don't have the luxury of living for millennia, as the Fey do."

            Milo glanced at Marcus, and the pair shared a look I couldn't quickly decipher.  They'd become good friends in the last few weeks, and they spent a lot of their free time sparring in the Watchtower gym.  Physically, Marcus looked like he was in his mid-thirties, but he was only ten calendar-years old—which put him at the halfway point of his life.  And even though I'd seen a were-osprey grow from newborn to toddler in only a few months, it wasn't an easy thing to remember on a daily basis.  

            "The Fey are cowards," Wyatt said in a deadly voice.  "Somehow we'll find a way to make Amalie accountable for the things she's done and the suffering she's caused."  Including his own.  Putting every betrayal of the Triads aside, Amalie had protected the Lupa pups who'd infected Wyatt, which made her responsible for his change.  Every time I saw Wyatt struggling to control his wolf, to maintain his humanity when the animal seemed stronger, I renewed my vow to be there the day Amalie paid her dues.

            Unless we all died before that happened, which was also entirely possible.

            "So we got what we needed on the body," Milo said after a moment of awkward silence.  "Assignment complete?"

            "Assignment complete," I said.  "Can we hit a drive-thru on the way back?  I need a burger."

            "It's one in the morning."

            "So?"  After inheriting a new, untrained body and then suffering three weeks of hideous torture (and a fifteen pound weight loss) less than two months after, I was now finally (finally!) at a healthy weight and had some pretty awesome muscle tone going on.  I deserved a big, greasy burger once in a while.

            "I could eat," Wyatt said.  "We'll swing by that place on Tenth.  It's open until two, I think."

            We split up for the walk back to the car, making two potential targets instead of one.  Wyatt and I went west up the block, toward the hospital, while Marcus and Milo went east.  We'd all turn north at the next respective street, go up a block and double back to where we'd parked.

            It was a short, quiet walk.  Wyatt and I had gotten to a place in our evolving relationship where we didn't need to fill silences with idle chatter.  He knew that if I wanted to talk about the body we'd seen tonight, I'd bring it up in my own time.  Forcing me to do anything only made me kick back in the opposite direction.  It was a fatal flaw that had gotten me in trouble almost as much as it had saved my life.

            We reached the car first, which set off internal alarms immediately.  Marcus and Milo should have at least been visible on this side street, with its random parked cars and overflowing trash cans waiting for an early morning dump.

            Somewhere down the block a large cat snarled.  Wyatt and I took off running.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Changeling: Get It While It's There

So this is an odd post to have to write, but somewhat in line with everything else that's been happening lately.  Therefore, it should surprise no one.

If you want to have a mass market paperback copy of CHANGELING for your shelf, like, ever, then you should snap it up from your local bookstore or online retailer right now. Sales are poor enough that the publisher has already decided that the book won't go back to print. So once all copies currently sitting in the Amazon and BN warehouses are gone, that's it.

Obviously, the book will remain available in ebook format, and it doesn't affect TEMPEST or CHIMERA, which were going to be ebook only, anyway.

On the plus side, only three more months until TEMPEST is unleashed!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Free Books Winners

In my previous post, I did a giveaway for three German editions of THREE DAYS TO DEAD, as well as another book of the winner's choice. Using's fabulous integer generator, I can reveal the identities of the winners.

Daniella Thamasa, who asked for AS LIE THE DEAD

Jessica@a GREAT read, who asked for WRONG SIDE OF DEAD

athlios, who asked for TRANCE

Congrats, you guys! Please send your mailing information to me at mail(at) so I can get those books out to you.

And thanks to everyone who stopped by for the giveaway!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Free Books!


In an effort to organize myself, I'm cleaning out some extra books and things that are lounging around my office and taking up space.  First things to go are these:

These are the German print editions of THREE DAYS TO DEAD, published by Droemer in 2009. I thought Dreg City fans might get a kick out of having this in their collection, so I'm giving away three copies to three different winners.

In addition to the German translation, each winner can select another print book in my current backlist.  Which means you can ask for a signed copy of THREE DAYS TO DEAD, AS LIE THE DEAD, ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, or WRONG SIDE OF DEAD from the Dreg City series.  If you prefer, you can have TRANCE or CHANGELING from the MetaWars series.

To win, simply leave a comment below, along with which other book you'd like.  I'll randomly select three winners on January 13th.  Giveaway is open internationally.

So spread the word! Who doesn't like free books?

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Tempest: Second Snippet

We're down to about three and a half months until TEMPEST releases from Pocket Star, and even though I still don't have a cover to show off, I want to throw out another snippet for your reading pleasure.

This is from Chapter Six. Ethan Swift and Aaron Scott have returned to Simon Hewitt's apartment from their first day visiting the Manhattan Island prison, and Ethan is reporting to Teresa via phone.



The apartment door opened and Aaron stepped inside with two small plates. Something fluffy and vaguely dessert-like was piled on each. The moment he closed the door behind him, he dropped “Scott” completely in favor of his own face. He held up one plate. I nodded, then pointed at the floor. He put a plate down next to my chair, and I got a whiff of sweetness and berries. It looked like some kind of pudding or pie or something. Aaron sank into the other chair and scooped up a big mouthful from his own plate.

            “So how’s Aaron? Behaving?” Teresa asked.

            I caught my laugh and it turned into an abbreviated snort. Speak of the devil, he’s already appeared. “So far,” I said. “The only person who questioned his disguise was Caleb.”

            Teresa laughed softly. Aaron flashed me a curious look over a mouthful of dessert, and I chose not to tell him he had whipped cream on his nose.

            “Leave it to Caleb,” she said. “How’s he?”

            “Something gives me the impression that he’ll be the leader of us all in twenty years. That kid’s too smart for his own good.”

            “Leader of all Metas?”

            “I was thinking the country.”

            “Interesting premonition. Where’d this psychic streak come from?”

            “Maybe Simon’s rubbing off on me.”

            Aaron choked on his food, and I shot him a dirty look.

            “What was that?” Teresa asked.

            “Someone who needs to learn to chew properly,” I said. 

            “Uh- huh.” Her voice changed when she asked, “Tell me the truth, Ethan?”

            “About what?”

            “How are you? After going back to Central Park?”

            A flood of emotion filled my chest and I pressed a hand over my heart, like that could stop it. Blood roared in my ears. I didn’t want to relive everything I’d felt stepping off the copter for the first time. Looking Keene in the eyes and knowing what he’d done. Finding a small piece of paradise in a ruined, rotting city.

            Aaron, the nosy bastard, had stopped eating and was staring at me like I might spontaneously combust. I waved him off, then stood. Crossed to the apartment’s barred window and looked out over a silent street. 

            “Ethan?” Teresa asked.

            “Can I get back to you on that?” I said.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

I have to admit, I'm kind of glad to see 2013 arrive. 2012 was a weird (and somewhat frustrating) year for me, and the Mayans can have it. Although 2012 did give us "The Avengers," so there were a few bright spots.

Looking into 2013, I have two digital releases coming up.  TEMPEST (MetaWars 3) releases April 22, and I hope to have some cover art soon. CHIMERA (MetaWars 4) follows in November (and if you ever wondered what it was like in Renee "Flex" Duvall's mind, it's a scary, scary place). I also have two short stories in anthologies.  First is the CARNIEPUNK anthology that releases from Pocket in print and digital on July 30. The second is part of a shared-world called ReDeus, and the anthology will be out sometime in the spring.

As for upcoming projects, I have no real news. I'm still plugging away at the fifth Dreg City book, and I still hope to self-publish it this year.  I have other proposals out, so keep your fingers crossed.

Other than that, here's a shout-out to my best friend who's GETTING MARRIED THIS YEAR! Woot!