Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Updates and Notices

If you haven't read the current Free Short Story, you have until midnight EST tonight before it comes down. If you want your own copy, The Trickster Priestess and the Demon will be released on August 15th. You can pre-order it on Amazon, and pre-orders will be set up on other retailers soon.

Also, Blood Magick will be free until the midnight on January 1st. If you liked it, please recommend it to your friends.

Holiday stories abound!

The Yule Switch was released on November 15th. It's available at all major retailers.

Amazon, all countries
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

And A Very Hero New Year will be released tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A Very Hero New Year - Chapter 4

Like it's predecessor A Very Hero Christmas, the characters are rather insistant that A Very Hero New Year be longer than the light, humorous novella I'd originally planned.

Here's your last taste before the whatever-length-this-book-ends-being comes out on December 1st!

Steve’s gut twisted as he touched down on the law school’s roof patio with Mariah in his arms. All the other students stared at him. A few even had out their phones, no doubt taking both still pictures as well as video.

At the forefront of the crowd stood his friends. Bethany and Nick stared at him with open mouths. Carter, however, scowled at him.

“Mariah,” Steve whispered. “We’re back on the roof. Do you think you can stand?”

Her eyes were still squeezed tight, and she shook her head vigorously against his chest.

Carter charged toward him. “What the fuck, man? All the crap you give me about being rich, and you’re a super?”

“I do not give you crap,” Steve growled through clenched teeth. “And now is definitely not the time for this discussion.”

“Get me out of here.” Mariah’s words were followed by a sob.

Dammit, he couldn’t leave her alone. And he couldn’t do a thing about all the witnesses either. So, he did what he usually did when faced with a major problem. He plowed forward.

The other students parted to let Mariah and him pass.

“Steve, wait.” Bethany caught up with them. “You’re going to need some help tonight.” He hated to admitted, she was right. Mariah need more help than he knew how to give, and Aisha would be chewing him a new one for displaying his powers in public the minute she found out. He just hoped he’d be the one to tell her.

He gave Bethany a curt nod. “Come on.”

She rushed ahead of him and Mariah and opened the stairwell door. Pounding footsteps and gasping breath announced Nick’s presence.

“I’m coming with you guys,” he said.

“Is that okay, Mariah?” Steve murmured.

She clutched his shirt and whimpered, “Just don’t let me go.”

Steve glanced over his shoulder. The other students continued to stare at him, and no one spoke a word, even among themselves. That settled any indecision he had. He headed down the stairs.

“I’ll drive your truck,” Nick said as he and Bethany jogged after Steve. “You need to focus on her.”

“Are you saying girls can’t drive trucks?” Bethany bit out.

“I know damn well you can’t drive a manual transmission,” Nick shot back. “I can. You take my car and follow us.”

Once they were out of the building and in the parking lot, Bethany dug into Steve’s pocket for his keys and traded them for Nick’s set. Bethany whirled and raced for Nick’s car two rows over from the truck. Nick made sure Steve and Mariah were settled in the passenger seat of the pickup before he carefully shut the door, ran around to the driver side and slid into the seat.

“Wait,” Steve said right before Nick turned the ignition. “How much have you had to drink? Last thing either of us need is to get picked up for DUI.”

“Only a couple of swallows from my cup before you arrived.” Nick started the truck and shot Steve a look. “I am not Carter.”

“Never said you were.” Steve reached behind the seat and grabbed the emergency blanket. Mariah shivered so hard her teeth chattered. However, the city retained so much of the day’s heat, the temperatures were still in the high seventies. Which meant she was going into shock.

Steve wrapped Mariah in the blanket and held her tight in his right arm while he tugged his phone out of his pocket with his left hand. He scrolled through his contacts and tapped Serena’s number.

The line rang three times before Serena mumbled, “This better be good, Connors.”

He quickly explained the situation with Mariah’s threat to jump and how he talked her off the ledge.

Ese, you need to take her to the ER,” she said. “I don’t do mental health issues.”

Crap. He wanted to avoid the rest of the truth, but Serena wouldn’t be as ticked off as Aisha.

“I can’t,” he said through gritted teeth. “She started to climb back onto the roof and slipped. I had to use my powers to save her, and she’s so freaked by the partial fall I think she’s going into shock, which a physical issue.”

“Oh, my god,” Serena whispered. “Did anyone see you?”

“Yes,” he bit out. “Make a left on MLK,” he said to Nick. Thankfully, his fellow student focused on the streets and traffic, and he didn’t ask questions.

Yet, anyway. Steve knew Nick and Bethany would demand answers later.

“Who’s with you?” Serena demanded.

“A friend I trust to keep his mouth shut,” Steve barked. “Can you help this girl or not?”

“I’ll meet you at Lechuza,” Serena snapped back. The line went dead.

“She’s intense,” Nick commented.

“Not as intense as my girlfriend.” Despite the quip, Steve could visualize Qiang’s reaction. She was a fiercely private person. When the story got out about his rescue of Mariah, she wouldn’t just chew him out like Aisha would.

No, Qiang would electrocute him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A Very Hero New Year - Chapter 3

Here's the unedited Chapter 3 of A Very Hero New Year. I don't know about the rest of you, but I needed to write lots of things with a happy ending this year.


Aisha Franklin’s phone vibrated on the side table. She sighed and hit the pause button on the remote. Dang it. Her son went down without a fuss, and she and Rey were cuddled on the couch, watching a sci-fi movie, after a horrible interview with a potential associate.

“It’s late. You could let it go to voicemail,” her husband said.

She picked up the phone and checked the caller ID. “It’s Harri, and she’s not pounding on the door and waking Mitch. So I will be civil and answer her.”

She flicked the answer icon on her smart phone. “What’s wrong, girl? You still pissed about the interview.”

“This isn’t about the jackass. Turn on the Action 12! News twenty-four-hour channel.” Harri sighed. “Your brother-in-law is on camera doing something he shouldn’t be doing in public.”

“Please be drunk, Steve,” Aisha whispered as she switched from the movie streaming service to the news channel. “Please be drunk.”

Sure enough, Ted Meadowfield’s voice spoke over the amateur video onscreen. “…unknown super rescued a jumper. We haven’t been able to reach anyone at Canyon Pointe University for comment, but according to the law school’s website, the student council scheduled a post-finals party tonight at the Margaret Jackson Patio on the roof of the Hardwick Building which houses the law school. Ted Meadowfield. Action 12! News.”

The camera switched back to Brian Mason, the backup evening anchor, at the studio. “Thank you, Ted. We’ll be updating this story throughout the night as more information comes in. We’ll be back with this week’s weather report after these short messages from our sponsors.”

Rey mumbled a few choice obscenities as he scowled at the screen.

“Have you spoken with Steve yet?” Aisha asked her law partner.

“No,” Harri answered. “What do I tell him? Especially after Rey saved my ass in the same manner before he registered? That Steve should have let the kid splatter on the concrete?”

“Put it on speaker.” Rey gestured at Aisha’s phone. She tapped the appropriate icon. “Harri, do you want me to head down to the school and pick up Steve?”

“We do not need Black Falcon pulled into this mess,” Harri snapped.

“I was going to take the minivan,” Rey said dryly. “We registered it in Aisha’s name only for a reason. It’s not going to raise as many questions if an attorney picks up a client who accidentally outed himself.”

“If we’re going that route, I should be the one who goes to retrieve him,” Aisha murmured.

“What about Steve’s truck?” Tim’s voice crackled through the speaker.

Aisha exchanged a look with her husband. When Miguel Esperanza, their building manager replaced his work truck, Steve had bought the ancient red pickup because he didn’t want to stand out among the students at the law school. She knew exactly how the other students regarded the trust-fund babies, even though Steve’s adoptive parents were new money, not old like Harri and Tim’s families.

“I’ll grab Emilio,” Rey said. “I’ve got Steve’s spare keys.”

“Then go,” Harri said. “Aisha and I will brainstorm some damage control.”

“Can you please come over here?” Aisha asked.

“I wasn’t going to make you wake Mitch and bring him across the hall,” Harri grumbled. “Come over to our loft and bring the baby monitor with you so I don’t wake him.”

Aisha chuckled. “You plan on getting loud?”

“Not on purpose.”

“I’ll be over in a minute.” Aisha tapped the icon to end the call.

Rey kissed her before he rose from the couch. “I’ll go get my shoes and keys. We’ll finish our movie tomorrow night.”

But something deep inside said Aisha would never see the end of the movie until she and Rey returned from Paris next December.

Monday, November 15, 2021

New Release Day! - The Yule Switch

That's right! A brand-new holiday short story drops today!

Lonely craftshop owner Finlay Brewster has already lost her family. Can she save a homeless woman from a motorcycle club leader on the Winter Solstice? Or will she lose her soul to her mysterious guests?

P.S. Deputy, now Sheriff Jimmy Birkheimer from the Bloodlines series and the Millersburg Magick Mysteries makes a special guest appearance!

Amazon, all countries
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

New Release - Halloween Harvest: A Holiday Anthology

It's official! My very first sci-fi story (that wasn't fanfic) "A Place at the Table" was published in Halloween Harvest. If you like Alien or Pitch Black, this story might be up your alley.

The rest of the stories are pretty awesome, too. *grin*

You can purchase it at the following places:

Amazon, all countries
Barnes & Noble
WMG Publishing

Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Very Hero New Year - Chapter 2

I'm three days into National Novel Writing Month, and it's already kicking my ass. Sorry, I'm late again with the unedited next chapter. I'll try to do better next week.


Still in her suit, Harri Winters flopped on her mattress, bouncing her fiancĂ© Tim Canyon as he read on his tablet. Despite the cleaning she’d done to their loft last weekend, the entire place was still tainted with hints of sage, onions, and pumpkin spice.

Or maybe the last one was the cinnamon and vanilla-scented bath products their building manager’s sons had gifted her with for her birthday.

Tim looked at her over his reading glasses. “How did the interview go?”

“Urgh, argh.”

“That good, huh?” He snickered.

“Steve and Patty cannot get licensed fast enough,” she muttered.

“So what was the problem with this prospective associate?”

“Other than mansplaining superhero law to three of the attorneys who helped write the book on it?” She groaned. “I wasn’t sure if Susan was going to tase him or Aisha would punch him through the wall.”

“Have you had any problems with Travis?” Tim asked.

“Surprisingly, no.” She rolled over on her side and propped her cheek on her fist. “Even Aisha admits he knows his stuff. We haven’t had any issues with him not doing his work or the actual quality of his products. Plus, he’s been very careful to walk the fine line between being too deferential and acting like a know-it-all.”

Neither of Harri’s partners had been happy when she first suggested bringing Travis Beckham on board as an associate. Aisha more so than Susan because Travis had been promoted over her at Dewey and Cheatham, their previous employer. Between Travis busting his ass to prove himself and a couple of former colleagues confirming Travis’s story about him protecting his paralegal and secretary from the predatory excesses of the Dewey and Cheatham senior partners, Aisha’s attitude had lightened up quite a bit.

“Were there any other former Dewey and Cheatham associates of the same caliber as Travis?” Tim asked.

“By the time the bankruptcy trustee laid off the remaining attorneys, there weren’t that many left.” She rolled onto her back and stared at the exposed beams of the loft. “Any quality ones resigned and either got a job or got the hell out of the state once Howard was arrested.”

“What about someone you knew in law school like Susan?” Tim asked.

“They all want a bigger piece of the pie than we’re willing to give them, or they’re too scared of the targets we all have on our backs.” She kick off the sensible heels she’d worn to the interview dinner. They landed on the area rug with soft thunks. “It didn’t help when we declined to represent Captain Mojave.”

“I don’t know.” Tim chuckled. “Sourpuss seems to be having a great time on the talk show circuit, dishing about how he abandoned her and her sister after he knocked up their mother.”

“Don’t say that in front of Aisha,” Harri chided. “None of this revenge tour is sitting well with her.”

“Really? Wasn’t she and Jeremy the ones who destroyed Quantum Commander’s reputation?” Tim cocked his head. “How is that different than Captain Mojave getting punished for running around bad-mouthing the firm?”

“Quantum Commander’s children weren’t our clients,” Harri said.

“Kerry’s petty revenge stunt has nothing to do with needing an extra attorney,” Tim pointed out.

“Unfortunately, we still have the same original problem,” Harri said. “More billable work than four attorneys can reasonably do. Especially since the introduction campaign for Eagle Rising is about to start. Not to mention Aisha leaving in a month.”

Despite Aisha laying out everything Harri would need to do for Paul Inunza’s debut as a superhero, she still wished her best friend would stay in the U.S. long enough to hold her hand. The last thing Harri wanted to do was ruin the kid’s chances of being a positive influence in the city. Especially with his mom currently in prison and his dad losing his job.

“Are you planning to go apeshit on me when she and Rey head to France?” Tim asked.

“Yep, but I’m limiting myself to one day of crying, gnashing my teeth, and rending my clothes.” She grinned up at him. “Then I expect you to keep the freezer full of ice cream for the following week.”

“I can think of a good way to work off the calories and keep you distracted,” Tim said.

“I am not doing any extra workouts,” she snapped.

“Let me amend my statement, counselor.” Tim unbuttoned her blouse. “I can think of a much better way to work off the calories and keep you distracted.” And he did until the intercom by the front door of the loft buzzed.

Harri gently pressed her hands against his chest. “Wait. That may be important.”

“Steve was going to a law school party tonight,” Tim murmured. “He’s probably drunk and hit the wrong button.”

She frowned. “While I’m glad you’re taking your superhero retirement seriously, I did go to law school, and it’s way too early for him to be home.” The obnoxious buzz filled their loft again. “We’d better check.”

Her phone started warbling the Dolly Parton tune, “Nine to Five”.

“That’s not a drunk Steve.” She yanked the phone out of her jacket pocket and tapped the answer icon. “What’s wrong, Patty?”

Patty Ames, their legal assistant and all-around Girl Friday, sounded terribly worried. “Turn on Channel 12. There’s a special report. One of our twins got busted for flying in his civvies at Canyon Pointe University.”

Harri’s fingers tightened around her phone as she launched herself from the bed and charged into the living room. It was a good thing she hadn’t turned off the lamp on the end table. She grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. Tim had programmed the channel into the quick buttons after Aisha became the station’s on-air legal commentator during the summer.

Shaky video appeared to show a Christmas party at the Madison Hotel’s rooftop restaurant, but it was the action in the background that worried Harri. A person in a hoodie and jeans stood on the exterior ledge of the roof for the Hardwick Building which housed the Canyon Pointe University Law School. Harri’s heart lodged in her throat.

A jumper.

Someone with dark hair leaned on the retaining wall near the jumper. The attention of the partiers at the hotel were drawn to the drama by someone pointing it out. The figure in the hoodie started to turn toward the person with them.

The jumper jerked as if startled, then they were falling. And the second person literally dived over the roof. The folks at the hotel party screamed. A fraction of a second later, both people from the law school reappeared in the video. The dark-haired person obviously flew as he carried the jumper back to the roof.

Harri looked up at Tim. “I told you Steve wasn’t home this early.”