oh, hai! I sort of forgot this was Saturday… I’ve had first weekend, you see, and now I’m working on second weekend. It’s blissful, and I was all focused on family and not thinking about writing at all. Well, except for Thanksgiving morning where a friend inadvertently gave me a story prompt and I had to sit down and write a little flash fiction before I could get on with making the feast from scratch. I really love to cook. Oddly, more than I love eating it. Don’t get me wrong, that was a lovely meal. But it was more about seeing my family sitting here at the table enjoying the food, laughing, and talking than it was about my own plate. Read more
I hope everyone is sufficiently recovered from all the food and football yesterday to do a bit of online shopping. So why not pick up some books for your early holiday shopping? Here are a few titles from some of the Mad Ones for your reading pleasure.
by Dave Freer
Orkise is loose. The snake-god of plague has been awakened by Lucia del Maino, the bastard daughter of the recently overthrown duke of Milan, Phillipo Visconti. With the venomous magic of Orkise at her command, Lucia plots to marry and then murder the usurper who now rules Milan, the condottiere Carlo Sforza—known to friend and foe alike as the Wolf the North.
Other trouble is brewing as well. Sforza has his own bastard, Benito Valdosta, who is returning to Venice after having conquered the Byzantine empire. Benito has a score to settle with his father, and he will have the help of his half-brother Marco, who is the embodiment of ancient Etruria’s mighty Winged Lion of St. Mark.
Adding further to Sforza’s predicament, yet another power has entered the fray. The terrifying sorcerer Count Mindaug has decided to settle in Milan. Will he ally with Sforza, or oppose him? Either will bring trouble, for if Mindaug aids the usurper he will arouse the fury of the Holy Roman Empire and the Knights of the Holy Trinity. Both of those great forces have sworn to destroy Mindaug and anyone who shelters him.
On his side, Sforza has only the skill and cunning of his physician, Francisco Turner—who is on good terms with the Valdosta brothers and may be able to neutralize Venetian hostility. But even if he can, will that be enough to save the Wolf of the North? For out there in the countryside of northern Italy, Orkise is uncoiling all the plagues of hell.
First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.
Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.
But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.
This new edition contains new material not included in the original release of this book. Also, each entry into the series has received new covers and new print editions (VfA print coming later today or tomorrow) as well as new editing.
In Avalon, where the world runs on magic, the king of Britannia appoints a witchfinder to rescue unfortunates with magical power from lands where magic is a capital crime. Or he did. But after the royal princess was kidnapped from her cradle twenty years ago, all travel to other universes has been forbidden, and the position of witchfinder abolished. Seraphim Ainsling, Duke of Darkwater, son of the last witchfinder, breaks the edict. He can’t simply let people die for lack of rescue. His stubborn compassion will bring him trouble and disgrace, turmoil and danger — and maybe, just maybe, the greatest reward of all.
A cottage by the sea, nestled in a respectable neighborhood. It should be a safe haven…
Elizabeth Markham has run away from school and seeks the house of her godmother, six miles outside of Portsmouth. Seavale Cottage is a place of peace, and Elizabeth will be safe under Mrs. Brownhurst’s care.
But she arrives at Seavale only to discover that Mrs. Brownhurst has gone away, leaving Elizabeth to fend for herself. She finds assistance in her servants and in her very obliging neighbor, Captain Randall, and all is well until Seavale is beset by strange nighttime happenings. Elizabeth is about to discover that her place of refuge holds more danger than she ever dreamed, and she must gather all of her courage and resources if she and her friends are to survive the secret of Seavale.
An old enemy, a new threat… When their son Aleksi is kidnapped, Thalia and Lensky are left wondering if the reason is ransom (bad) or revenge (worse). It’ll take all Thalia’s genius for applied topology (aka magic) to retrieve their baby – and meanwhile, the other topologists are turning into cats, getting jailed in the eighteenth century, and otherwise keeping life interesting.
The adventures of Ra’d, Paer, and Ebsa begins here . . .A collection of the first six stories in the series:Directorate SchoolA Tale of Three InternsTrouble in ParadiseFirst PostingSurveillanceFort DinosaurGenetic engineering lifted psychic powers above the random background of coincidence. Backlash and prejudice against ‘Magic’ and ‘Satanism’ resulted in the exile of all genetically engineered people to dangerous worlds; not-quite-parallel earths they weren’t expected to survive.Fourteen centuries of turbulent Earth history later the exiled magicians have been forgotten, rediscovered, clashed with . . .The Empire of the One grew from the accidental stranding of an early cross dimensional exploration party of the genetically engineered, two years before the Exile. They arrived in the middle of a war, where the three great powers, China, the Islamic Union, and Greater Argentina vied for possession of the no-longer-radioactive ruins of Europe and North America. The marooned explorers used their special talents, and a lot of flimflam and fast talk to place themselves on the top of the Islamic Union as the New Prophets of the One True God.Fourteen hundred years later, their descendants are still the elite of a united world with twelve cross-dimensional colonies. After several deadly clashes between Dimension Age civilizations, the newly fledged Department of Interdimensional Security and Cooperation is attempting, with fair success, to keep the peace among the growing number of worlds exploring the Multiverse. So a group of youngsters in the Empire of the One can concentrate on college, and training for the teams who explore new worlds. A bright future . . . if they survive the politics swirling around them.
Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth!
Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess is now paying close attention – too close! – to its new owner. Among the slaves he’s freed is a princess, formerly being held for ransom, who comes with political and personal intrigues all her own. Even if he survives the attention of both, there’s also a pirate lord out there, hell-bent on avenging the death of his son.
It’s going to take all of Taghri’s skill, experience and cunning to survive winning this prize!
Renowned for her witch hunting skills, Detective Amaya Lombard knew that being summoned from the coastal rainforest of Oregon to the backwoods hollers of Kentucky meant the case was something special. From the moment she arrived at the magic soaked scene in an abandoned farmhouse she knew how bad it was going to be. She had no idea just how complicated it was going to get, professionally and personally. Now she must catch a killer before they catch her. The roots of evil plunge deeply into the past, and the blood soaked history of Kentucky’s witch warded houses and barns may hold the key to keeping her alive in the present.
Never underestimate the power of a competent tech.
When Annika Danilova arrived at the edge of the colony’s crater to install a weather station, she knew the mission had been sabotaged from the start. The powers that be sent the wrong people, underequipped, and antagonized their supporting sometimes-allies. The mission was already slated for unmarked graves and an excuse for war…
But they hadn’t counted on Annika allying with the support staff, or the sheer determination of their leader, Captain Restin, to accomplish the mission. Together, they will overcome killing weather above and traitors within to fight for the control of the planet itself!
Something hunts the hunters . . .
Something waits in the shadows, watching. Lelia Chan and her Familiar, Tay, hear vague rumors of trouble among the shadow mages. Everyone’s heard rumors before, and keeping her boss happy is more important. Then a painting tries to capture her friend. When her mentor and good friend André and his Familiar Rodney both go missing, Lelia has to take charge.
She’s not ready. No shadow mage ever is. But she’ll find a way or die trying.
Things worse than than death hide in the shadows. And they LIKE meeting over-confident young mages
For our household, this is a day of negative thanks. Really, things could be a lot worse.
The Organizer and the grandkids could have waited to get sick until this afternoon, thereby ensuring that the First Reader and I had a chance to catch the really awful virus going the rounds in Hutto. Instead, she’s stuck up there dealing with projectile-vomiting pre-schoolers while herself feeling too miserable to consider anything more than crackers and ginger ale. So it’s good that they aren’t joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Really.
The Fashionista and her husband could have decided to fly in from Brooklyn, in which case I would even now be tiptoeing through the conversational minefields generated by a fervently politically correct couple, so it’s good that…
Naah. Scratch that. Restart. Read more
As I write this, it’s the evening before Thanksgiving Day in the USA, and I am exceedingly thankful. I am thankful the first vet visit for the Dread Kitty Westley and Midnight found nothing serious, and Her Royal Highness Princess Buttercup’s annual checkup went well. I am even more thankful the whole thing is over for a year, because getting two not-entirely-trustful kittens and one older cat who did not like the shenanigans into cat carriers was not something I want to repeat any time soon.
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and, frankly, I’ll be happy when this month is over. I have a lot of things to be thankful for, but they’re every-day things, like food to eat and a warm place to sleep. The sort of thing that gets overshadowed by all of the upheaval and sadness the universe has dealt out lately. Read more
Meet Interesting Strangers – Part two of the How to write a cozy series. Part one is here (And I just realized I don’t have links on the books at the bottom, which I will fix. Sorry, I’ve been battling a bug.) https://madgeniusclub.com/2019/11/20/writing-a-cozy-what-is-this-thing/#more-26979
Okay, the first thing you must realize is that the most important part of a cozy mystery are the “fascinating people” you meet while solving the mystery. This means you must create your characters with certain things in mind. Read more
I’m just battling a bug. Post is being written. Hold on.
Here, we go. It’s Tuesday, and the Wee Horde are on Thanksgiving Break as of this afternoon. I’m not enormously thrilled by this development. I just barely survived the last five day weekend, and I’ve developed some delightful upper respiratory crud recently. While I’m hitting it with a full court press (minus prescription antibiotics, which require a middleman) and actually feeling fairly decent, that still grinds on the ability to do, well, anything. Aaaaaand, we’re charging headlong into the holiday season. Plots are in motion, games are afoot (and sometime a-hand), and I’m not ready. I’m never ready. Can one be ready?
It should come as no surprise to any of us that one of the biggest problems facing traditional publishing is the declining number of bookstores, especially chain stores. Part of the reason is because publishers still cling to the old ways like a drowning sailor will cling to a life preserver. Unlike the sailor, however, publishers could change their retail chain with a little innovation and a desire to adapt to the changing market. Unfortunately, over the last several decades, we’ve seen little willingness from major publishers to do anything out of the norm. We’ve also seen the same from chain booksellers and that is one of the reasons why so many of those chains no longer exist. Barnes & Noble, facing extinction sooner rather than later, may finally be getting a clue thanks to new head, James Daunt.
Or is it? Read more
A post is coming but will be delayed due to circumstances beyond my control. (In other words, I have to go rescue a friend who has car trouble and has to get to work.) I’ll be back as quickly as I can with something. In the meantime, if there’s anything you’d like me to post about, leave a comment. Thanks!