A reminder, a request and a contest

Good morning. It’s Saturday at the asylum, er, working offices of the Mad genius Club. We’re all busily working on our next books — butts in chair, fingers on keyboards and lots of coffee and chocolate at hand. So, let’s get down to business this morning.

First the reminder: tomorrow starts the workshop on pacing you requested. Sarah’s going to spearhead this workshop, although she’s threatening to bring some of the rest of the mad geniuses — genii? — in on it as well. So don’t forget to check back

Now the request — which will also include some free e-books for some of you. We’re looking for folks to do some honest reviews of some of our e-books. If anyone would be interested in getting a free e-book or two to read and then post reviews on Amazon, leave a note in the comments section below. Let us know what sorts of books you enjoy reading because we’ve got everything running the range from romantic suspense to mystery to fantasy to science fiction and stuff in between.

And now for the contest. I’m in need of some red shirts for several different projects. The first is for the book I have the privilege of working on with Sarah. It’s tentatively called Rye Crisp. It’s a mix of urban fantasy and mystery with some romance along the way. And yes, there is a Dyce-like character (good heart, willing to do anything to help, hasn’t quite accepted the fact he is dead — yes, he). The main character is an arson investigator who just happens to see things most other folks don’t.

The second is for Russian Nights, which is part alternate history-part historical fantasy. The only way the Romanovs can hold onto power — and keep Russia intact — is to find a way to tap into the magic of the land. This is a power their bloodline has been losing over the years. Enter Rasputin who has discovered a way to find those of the “old blood” who still have that power and to sacrifice them to help keep the tsarevich alive.  Of course you have the members of the old blood, the ancient royal lines, who are starting to suspect what is happening and who have to decide whether their loyalty lies with the tsar and a way of life they’d long known or with their families. Then there are those who will eventually become the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

Of course, there’s the next Nocturnal Lives novel to be written shortly as well. And we all know that where there are shifters, there must be at least one unexplained death or disappearance. That’s especially true when unnamed government agencies get involved.

So here’s the contest. If you want to be red shirted, write a paragraph that tells what book you want to be red shirted in and how you’d like to be killed. I’ll let Sarah and Kate, both of whom are familiar with what I’ve written so far, choose the winners. You’ll get to be red shirted and you will get a free copy of the e-book.

(Here’s where I go hide under the sink, afraid no one will want to be red shirted. Whimper0

The floor is now yours.


  1. Take me! Take me! I need a nice dumb death. Probably something to do with horses. In a barn fire trying to save some stupid critter, should you need an arsonist. Or taking a ride on the wrong horse should you need one of the equine shifter types. Or both. Maiden name McWhorter. Other family names, Modie, Rusk, and Hoff should one of my submissions irritate you into wanting to kill me nureous times.

  2. *shrug* Go ahead and use me Amanda. I don’t mind. Kate already has and does, so why should the rest of you be left out?

  3. What a unique way to be immortalized in print! If you’d like another ‘red shirt’, you could always use my maiden name of Allden, or my middle name, Joy, or any form of my first name – Susan, Sue, Suzanne, Suzy. You can always use me as dragon fodder, or I could be abducted by aliens! 🙂

  4. Redshirting could be fun, Either Rye Crisp or Russian Nights, and I’ve always wanted to be stabbed through, pinned to the wall or column or something behind me, so that I don’t fall down dead, but merely hang out until my last breath. (hey, writer, kinda strange to start, right?) Names I’ve run under are Paul (technical first name although I never use it anymore), Daniel, Ardal, Anthony, or any of the variations you might come up with on those. And naturally, if possible being on the wrong side of the equation is a good thing, dying as a good guy is silly, I’m more of a villain at heart.

  5. As for reading/reviewing, now that I’m out from under the exam guns, I could run a couple of reviews, time pending. Genre and focus are kinda broad, so anything works. B.Quick was fun, I’m in the middle of Impaler right now, and most all SF/fantasy works as well, I read just about anything. tag me at Daniel – dot- O -dot- Casey -at- gmail -dot- com. ( think it’s the e-mail address attached to this wordpress account, I think)

  6. Odd…multidimensional reality. Never noticed it before and now it’s everywhere. It can be used to explain EVERYTHING.

    Red Shirt. Any book, any time I’d take it as an honor. Situation. Doing something noble and gallant. I like to think I’m a good guy.

    Review? YES! I always like free books and if my poor, pathetic attempts at reviewing one are sufficeint to get me one I’m all for it. I like hard SF but have been wondering into the (see above) ‘beleivable’ fantasy lately.

  7. I would be honored to be redshirted, any time, any place. Names include Karen, Clem, or my almost-named-but-saved-from Winifred.

    I’ll be glad to review SF or Fantasy within reason, just tell me where you want the review posted (Amazon, ‘less I hear otherwise). I’ll need the same favor from someone in a few months, writing gods willing, for my first-born.

    email, if not obvious in the comment, Karen dot L dot Myers at USA dot Net.

  8. Put me in for Reshirt! Please! And you can even use my maiden name: Taylor (much more generic than my married name!) I’d offer to review, but my mental processes still ebb and flow with the amount of infection circulating 😦 (Sept 26 is the Great Removal Of The Traitorous Organ)

  9. Given the shortage of volunteers (well, it is a Saturday, ennit?) I suppose I will step forward and offer my all for art. As to which book, ah, there is glory for you! (Um, waitaminnit – glory means a good, knock-down argument … quandry, that’s the word I meant. Ah, there’s a quandry for you.) As my sense of humor (such as it is) pretends to be wry and aspires to be crackling, there is something to be said for dying in Rye Crisp. OTOH, being of Baltic ancestry and professionally morose there is an undeniable attraction to Russian Nights. Still, having permanently augered my sleeping habits through thirteen years on the night shift, I would not refuse to die in a Nocturnal Lives tale. So, like a loyal musketeer I will go and die where the King sends me. If it will help matters, I can offer the lives my Beloved Spouse and my Daughter in the name of art. (Mind, they seldom listen to me or take my advice on such matters and may therefore decline the honour.)

    As to the manner of death, I rather fancy heroic or insouciant but am realisticly forced to recognize whimpering, begging and crying as more likely. Stoic is probably the best I can achieve, although surprised is certainly attainable. Perhaps a diffident death? As it occurs that by “manner” you perhaps meant means rather than approach, I will allow as I am awfully fond of disembowlment. There is something rather charming about entrails when they’re your own. (For one thing, it offers opportunities to use such words as squelch.) But I prefer to not imfringe on the authors’ inventiveness, lest I die by typo.

  10. Well let’s see here. I’d love to volunteer to review, but will have to check on time constraints. I’ve just dug myself out from under a pile of catch up and would rather not be reburied quite immediately. However, if you are in dire need I will gladly fall upon my sword.

    As to red shirting:

    Micki volunteers to die in Nocturnal Origins should she be needed….preferred way of death? As is typical of Micki – in flagrante delicto shall we say. Micki is shortened for Michele, and Denise is a middle name. Hedden and Thorpe are both last names she has held. She’s also been known as Onyx.

    I am more than happy to volunteer for red shirt duty as well. Though I lean towards Russian Nights and Nocturnal Lives – I will give as many lives as are needed to as many causes as are required of me. 🙂 The only requests I make are that either the death is quick…or that I go down fighting and at least do a lot of damage while I’m at it. But if it doesn’t work for the story…that’s ok to. Court, Courtney, Courtney Ann, Juniper and Juniper Morgan are all names I have answered to…as well as the recent nickname of Doll. And of course you can see my last name in this post. Other names in my family however, include Bayley, Yardley, Kerr and Shaw

  11. I’m open to reviewing, and I read pretty much anything. Must warn that, although I like romantic stories, I do not properly understand the increasingly arcane genre demands of “romance”.

  12. Hi,
    If you still need a review or two I can give it a try. I mostly read sci-fi and fantasy.
    Rui Jorge

  13. I would be willing to review a book, especially a mystery or sf though I do read just about anything.

    I would volunteer to be a red shirt except that I look horrible in red. Seriously. Fuchsia is also out. I could do a salmon, or maybe a pink shirt. If you need something like that.

    email: r d d e 3 4 m e at h o t m a i l dot com

  14. Since I have friends who keep assuring me that it will happen… Make it the arson investigation. The method of death? Electrocuted by lightning through… my trackball, plugged into the USB port on my laptop, which in turn is plugged into the electrical system, and with a VGA interconnect to the flatscreen TV I use as a monitor at home. What my friends keep telling me is that lightning is going to strike something — telephone line? And run over the WiFi to my laptop? Or the TV antenna, and backlash through the VGA connector, across the USB and up the trackball? Or maybe just a surge through the electric lines, which will of course jump across the charging circuitry and again go up the USB connection? Or maybe it’s supposed to jump from the screen and fry me? Oh! You could even blame it on the keyboard — which I don’t touch if I can help it, using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Anyway — lightning! Clearly an accidental death. Or was it? Motivation? Probably one of my students upset with me, but I’ll leave the actual cause of death to you.
    Mike, Michael, Miguel, micky, whatever works for your book.

  15. *way* too busy to do any reviews right now; But I’d like to volunteer (?) to be a RedShirt – hey, there’s *got* to be a Scottish presence in there *somewhere*! ::VBEDG::
    Allan MacBain

  16. I’ve been redshirted so many times already by so many people that I don’t care. The most wild one was when Wen Spenser had me cut in half by a machine gun blast.

    On the other hand, as you know, I do reviews, so send me what you’d like.


  17. No desire here to be red-shirted, but I’ll do reviews. F/SF, romance, suspense.

  18. Ah, redshirting! Preferably being et by somethin’ in a Nocturnal Lives, but anything gory or bloody will do, or even heroic if nothing else is available ;), just so long as I don’t die peacefully in bed. I’m not real particular what book I die in, but my last name of Letteer (or mothers maiden name of Grubbs) probably wouldn’t fit well in Russia, for that matter my first name (Travis) wouldn’t either.

    As far as reviewing goes, I would be happy to, would probably be best if I steered clear of straight-up romance though. While I like a little romance twisting the plot, I prefer there to be a plot other than the romance.

  19. I’d be happy to be red-shirted, but you’re looking for a description of how, and I don’t have any ideas. I asked my son, and after describing shifters, he said he’d like me to be eaten by something. Heh.

    I’m not sure how good a reviewer I would be, but if you have too few offers, I’ll give it a whirl.

  20. Am I too late to volunteer to write a review? I read sci-fi, fantasy, and the occasional mystery.

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