Posts Tagged ‘guest post’

(guest post) Cover Reveal: The Perils of Prague


That, my friends, is a gorgeous cover, and I really, really can’t wait for the book itself. I’ve seen snippets of it, and it’s so good, you guys. Doc Coleman is a good friend, and I’ve watched him work on this book. Here’s the important details:

Title: The Perils of Prague, The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, Book 1
Genre: Steampunk Adventure/Comedy
Release date: April 25, 2017
Formats: Kindle, and Paperback
Amazon Pre-order link:
Book Description:
Victoria, the Eternal Empress, has sat the throne of the British Empire for over 150 years. Her policies have brought peace to the world by suppressing the development of “dangerous technologies”, and where that has failed, her Imperial Troops, with their lightning rifles, have swiftly brought order. But there are still those who chafe at the yoke of peace.
When an evening’s entertainment in the British Protectorate of Bohemia unexpectedly leads to the destruction of the State Opera House of Prague, the eccentricity brilliant Professor Harmonious Crackle and his beautiful colleague Miss Titania Bang must team up with the Duke of Prague’s nephew and hunt down the evil genius responsible. Can they find him and stop him before he unleashes his new technology to terrorize the city and threaten the stability of the British Empire, and the Eternal Empress herself?
In a race against an unknown menace, this intrepid trio must search high and low and discover The Perils of Prague!
Author Bio:
Doc Coleman  began his writing career in 2010 with the Nifty Tech Blog, a tech review blog that demystifies technology by highlighting some of the best consumer products available. Doc soon moved on to writing fiction, with the short story “The Gift”, and stories for the online magazine Flagship and for The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ podcast Tales from the Archives. His latest work is the first book of his steampunk series The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, The Perils of Prague.
Doc is a computer geek, a motorcyclist, a homebrewer, a podcaster, a writer, and voice actor. Sometimes, he even finds some time to relax, too.
You can find more about Doc in the following places:
Twitter: @scaleslea

Actually, I’ll let you judge for yourselves how good this is going to be, since Doc was kind enough to give us a snippet:

“You’re serious!” Miss Bang’s brow was creased in ire. The hint of fire blazed behind her eyes.
He blinked at her. “Of course, I’m serious. Such a joke would be in very bad taste!”
“I don’t believe anyone ever accused my great-grandfather of having good taste,” I commented ruefully.
The professor turned to me. “Your great-grandfather was actually quite a thoughtful fellow in his youth. He did throw the most excellent parties. I never did find out what made him such a misanthrope as he got older. I’d often wondered… Wait! Wait, I was going to tell you something. Something I’d just discovered.” He looked down at the wing in his hand. “Yes! That was it! You remember the birds, the clockwork birds?”
I nodded. “Yes, Professor. It was just earlier this morning.” I wondered if it was still morning.
Professor Crackle nodded vigorously. “Yes, they’re a perfect recreation of the living creature. Or at least as best as I can tell, given the damage the sample sustained. If only I could examine an intact specimen.”
Miss Bang spoke up. “You’re drifting again, Harmonious.”
“No, no, no, no! This is important. Did you get a good look at the singers? The male and female leads?”
“At the opera?” I asked. I wasn’t quite sure where he was leading.
“Yes! Did you get a good look at them?” He seemed very agitated as he leaned toward me for my answer.
“Well, Professor, I am afraid I wasn’t really concentrating on them for most of the performance. And when things livened up at the end, my attention was, well… on other things.”
“And you, Titania?” He whirled to face Miss Bang.
“Other than the final song, they seemed quite capable, although somewhat uninspired performers.” She paused in thought for a moment, touching one finger to her lips. “I’m not sure how to describe the final performance.”
“Drat. I hoped one of you got a better look. Now we shall have to find what is left of them.” The professor moved back to his workbench and put down the wing and his loupe.
“You want to go find their bodies, Professor? Isn’t that a task better left to the police?” I did not fancy the idea of sifting through the rubble for pieces of the dead performers.
He turned to me. “Their remains, yes. But their bodies, I think not.” He lifted the wing again and shook it to illustrate his point. “I think they were clockwork.”
“A clockwork man? How is that possible?” I looked to Miss Bang, but she seemed fascinated by the idea.
“But such intricate detail, Harmonious… and such a complex series of actions to perform upon the stage. They were actually singing. It wasn’t a phonograph recording. Even with the latest equipment, one can tell the difference. I’ve never heard of an automaton that could truly sing.”
“Yes!” The professor looked like a child who had been promised a new pony. “Exactly! Such perfect duplication of the living form! When I went down on the stage and examined the woman, she looked otherwise normal except for the side of her face. The flesh sagged under a weight. I think a piece detached from the underlying support structure and dragged it out of shape. I believe the same person who made these birds constructed the opera singers as well. But I need more evidence. We need to find what is left of those performers.”
“So, we’re going back to the opera house?” Miss Bang asked.
“Yes! Well, no! We’re already there. I’m sorry about the little detour, my boy, but I’m certain your uncle is going to want to see whatever evidence we can find.”
“Surely he will be worried about my disappearance? Perhaps it would be best to just drop me off first and I can explain your theory to Uncle Randolph?” Much as I would like to avoid his wrath, putting off seeing my uncle could only make things worse.
“After losing a major landmark?” Professor Crackle asked. “Don’t be ridiculous! He may be worried, but he will have hardly a moment to think on it. No, trust me, even if you went back now you wouldn’t be able to get in to see him. But if we can find something to prove it wasn’t an accident, we’ll be able to get right in to see the duke.”
“And the police, Professor?” I asked, wondering what Inspector Janecek would think about the professor’s clockwork people theory.
“Yes, we must get there before they do! The last thing we need is for them to tromp all over everything and destroy the evidence we need.” He grabbed a pair of goggles off of a bench and strode through the door. “Come along!”
“But, but that’s not what I meant!” I sputtered and hurried to catch up to Miss Bang as she swept out of the room in the professor’s wake.

(guest post) Carrying On

black cats

Please welcome my awesome friend Katie Bryski to the blog! She’s releasing a new podcast that I’m LOVING! The image at the top is how I imagine us together. I’m not saying who the evil one is, though.- Val

Carrying On

Hi everyone! I’m so glad that Val invited me onto her blog today! I’ve just released an audio drama—Six Stories, Told at Night—which is very exciting. But today, I’m here to talk about tenacity in the writing process.

Sometimes writing is hard. Not just the actual, sitting down and writing part. I mean, sure, that can be hard too, but I’m talking about a different kind of hardness—the hardness that comes when you suddenly look up and think, What on Earth am I doing?

Who wants to read this?

Who am I kidding?

Everything I do is awful and I should just stop right now.

Such crises happen to all artists, whether they admit it or not. So what can you do, when such doubts strike?

I’d like to share a story.

Part of my dayjob involves giving brewery tours. Each tour concludes by leading a tasting of three different beers. One night, I was giving a special after-hours tour. The rain was pounding down outside, thunder rumbling on top of us.

Now, the brewery itself is in a basement, and said basement is prone to flooding. I was handing out Sample No. 2 when I glanced towards the back of the brewery. A trickle of water dribbled between two of the panels in our ventilation system. As I watched, the panels gave way completely, and that trickle became Niagara Falls.

Everyone spun around. Water gushed onto the floor, but it was mostly staying on the other side of the room. My brain went into overdrive. Due to licensing issues, we couldn’t drink the beer outside the brewery. We only had one more sample to get through. What to do?

We kept going, gosh darn it.

I’ve given this tour so many times that I have literally done it in my sleep (gotta love work dreams). At this point, it’s practically muscle memory—my mouth knew what to say, and half my brain attended to the tour while the other half monitored the advancing flood.

There’s a lot of reasons that I could give for continuing the tour. But what it comes down to is this: it’s what I’ve been trained to do. When that tour begins, we get through it, come hell or high water…literally, in this case. I kept talking because—well, because I couldn’t not. The instinct is too strong.

That’s an instinct several years in the making. It’s like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. A similar instinct can save us when the vents burst in your writing life, too.

My theory is this. You build your writing muscle. You reinforce that instinct. You lay down a foundation of discipline until you can’t not write. And then—when the crisis of faith hits, when the rejections come, when someone you respect criticizes you harshly—you can have that moment of thinking, “What do I do?” But really, you already know.

You carry on. You keep writing. You do your thing, despite the rising waters. Why? Because this is what you do. This is what you’ve been trained to do, and what you’ve done every day, and what you know so well that you can hear your own words over the storm.


KT Bryski is a Canadian author and podcaster. She has short fiction in Daily Science Fiction, and stories forthcoming from Strange Horizons and Apex. Her audio dramas “Six Stories, Told at Night” and “Coxwood History Fun Park” are available wherever fine podcasts are found, and she is currently at work on her next novel. KT is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing. As you may have guessed, she also has a mild caffeine addiction. Visit her at

(blog tour) So I’m a little behind…

But in my defense, I was sick. The last week before my Remicade treatment is always rough for me, and since I’m preparing for a con and a book launch at the same time, well…yeah.


But the blog tour marched on without me! Monday, I was over at KT Bryski’s blog talking about music.


 Yesterday, I was at Gypsy Laura’s blog, talking about making time to write.


And today, we have the Gypsy herself, Laura Nicole, interviewing the main character of her new novella Bad Alchemy, Beatrix Stonebriar, CSI.


An Interview with Beatrix Stonebriar CSI

Before I started writing Stonebriar Casefiles, I needed to get to know my subject, Beatrix Stonebriar. She is a three inch tall fae who has distinguished herself as a top investigator and has earn the position of Lead Crime Scene Investigator in her local precinct.

LN: So Magicks have been part of the human world now for a few years. Do you know how the integration started.

SB: Yes, that was my fault. There was an unseasonable October snow storm a few years back. Long story short, I got very confused during said storm and thought what I now know is a flashlight was another fairy, then I got knocked out by a falling tree branch. When I woke up, a couple of humans had rescued me, but not before taking my picture and putting it on the internet.

LN: As a fairy how do you manage being in a world that is so disproportionate to your size?

SB: There’s an adjustment period for sure, but I was working with taller races for hundreds of years before that. The elves and centaurs are the tallest that I’ve worked with personally, but I have always wondered what it would be like to work with giants.

I think it is mostly about the bulk of things. Fae can actually carry more that 300 times their weight, similar to ants. Our magical abilities allow for it. But things that are flimsy like paper, are difficult to manage because they just fold under and around you and you can’t see where you are going.

LN: What about outside of work. What do you do for fun?

SB: Touring breweries is a good time. I’m a bit of a beer snob though. My friend Ehtyk of the Bard’s Rest has been brewing for ages, literally, and knows his craft. Some of his experiments can be a little dangerous, but all and all he is the best around.

Oh, and I love to watch karaoke. My roommate Liza and I go every Thursday. Sometimes she sings, she’s pretty good at it, but the rest of them are mediocre at best and it is fun to see just how bad people can get after a few drinks. But they are having a great time, so I do as well.

LN: What makes you different from the other Fae?

SB: I suppose part of it is my willingness to be among the big folk. I couldn’t grow anything worth a damn like most fae, so I found other ways to be useful. I have the gift of the gab, as they say, and can talk to any species. That ended up making me a negotiator between races, when it was needed. I’ve always loved doing puzzle and solving problems, so working in a crime lab suited me just fine.

Most fae who came with me out of the woods ended up working on farms and the like, replenishing nutrients in the soil in exchange for food and shelter. Seems like a rough gig to most, but for the fae, we don’t have currency in our society. We barter based on good and services, so getting room and board for something that comes naturally to most fae is a real deal for both sides.

Stonebriar Casefiles 182: Bad Alchemy can be found at and additional content is available for our Patreon subscribers.

Thanks to Val Griswold-Ford, our editor and friend for hosting this little chat.

See you on the other side!

(writing) Updates and a blog tour

(above image from The Daily Tea)

It’s about two and a half weeks before I leave for Balticon and ConCarolinas, and I’m starting to get a little (okay, a lot) panicky. I’m busy writing blog posts for the upcoming blog tour for Winter’s Secret, which starts on May 16th! Since that’s about a week away, I realized I should probably let you guys know where I’ll be.


The Winter’s Secret Blog Tour

Monday, May 16 – I’ll be at KT Bryski’s blog, talking about music and what I’m currently listening to. Considering how much music is at the heart of Winter’s Secrets, it’s a good post to start off with.


Thursday, May 19th – I’ll be at Laura Nicole’s blog, talking about finding time to write. She’ll be blogging here the same day, but she hasn’t disclosed about what – I’m hoping it’s some about The Stonebriar Casefiles, which is her current podcasting project!


Friday, May 20th – Schrodinger hijacks Necia Phoenix’s blog to answer some interview questions. (Her poor interviewer now needs therapy, really)


Saturday, May 21st – I’m over at Lai Zhao’s blog talking about how I ended up writing an Advent story rather than ghosts. She’ll be over here at the same time, talking about depression and creativity, I think.


Monday, May 23rd – I’m going to be at The Geek Girl Project, talking about growing up a geek girl with a very supportive geek family.


Thursday, May 26th – I’m going to be at Clara Robertson’s blog, talking about inserting science fiction and horror into a fantasy world. If you’re interested about the Gates in the Carter’s Cove world, that’s what this one will be focusing a lot on.


Wednesday, June 1st – Over at Sarah Wagner’s blog, you’ll finally get the story of how Molly and Schrodinger met!


Friday, June 3rd – I’ll be at Angela Meadon’s blog, talking about the importance of darkness, even in a light fantasy world, and how to do it. Meanwhile, she’ll be here, talking about her new book Strong Medicine.


Monday, June 6th – I’ll be at Katharina Bordet’s blog, talking about food and kitchen witches! (Hint: this is the Katharina and Mick from Carter’s Cove’s coffee shop!)


Wednesday, June 8th – I’ll be at LJ Cohen’s blog, talking about evoking emotions in writing, and how much I can’t do poetry.


Thursday, June 9th – I’ll be at Mitchell Plested’s blog, talking about how Carter’s Cove came to be, while he’s going to be over here, talking about his newest release!


Monday, June 13th – I’ll be at Connie Cockerell’s blog, talking about how my love of tea and Christmas ended up producing a minor celebrity. I’m sure Schrodinger will make an appearance!


Whew! That’s quite a bit of travel, and if you follow me and comment on all the blogs, you’ll be entered to win a special prize – a tin of your favorite tea from Adagio Teas, plus a tea cup from Molly’s collection!


Now, I’d best get to writing. I owe my Patreon folk some more Shanna.

(books) Cover reveal of Killing Honor by SM Butler

One of the cool things about being an author is getting to know other authors, and getting to help get the word out about their projects.  Last week it was JC Hutchins.  This week, my friend SM Butler is showing off the cover of her newest project, Killing Honor.  It looks awesome, so check it out!


Title: Killing Honor
Series: Lucky Thirteen, #1
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date:  March 24, 2014
Length: Novel
eISBN: 978-1-938927-12-6
Print ISBN: 978-1-938927-13-3


Killing Honor’s Blurb:

Only she ignites the passion within him…

Navy SEAL Brody Battles’ last mission ended with him shot twice. He’s made enemies he’d like to forget ever existed all over the world. He’s more than ready to go home to the family he left behind, but when he returns, he faces sleepless nights, a possible security breach and the fear that his family has moved on without him.

Only he fills the void left in her heart…

Marrying her childhood sweetheart sounds like a fairy tale dream come true, but not for Devyn. Thanks to his job, her husband has been off on a secret mission for so long, he’s never even seen his daughters in person. But now he’s back, and the fairy tale life is in sight, but Devyn’s not sure the man that returned is the same man who left.

…and only death quenches their enemy’s thirst for revenge.

Stitching their broken family back together proves difficult when nightmares and secrets build a wall between them. And while they’re adjusting to being a family again, an enemy waits in the shadows, salivating for the sweet taste of revenge.

This New Adult title includes adult situations and language and may not be suitable for readers under 18 years.

Add this book on Goodreads


Author Bio

S.M. Butler is a new adult romantic suspense and military romance author with a penchant for Dr. Pepper, ice hockey, and world domination, not necessarily in that order. She lives in Texas under a not-so-secret identity (Suzan Butler, who writes adult romance) with two monsters of her own while she works on her next step in her evil plans to take over the world. She loves to hear from readers.

Connect with her online: Website |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

(personal/to-do/writing) Sunday is a recharge day.

Yesterday, I will admit, I did very little.  I fed my parents’ cats.  I wrote about 690 words on Forgotten.  I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo.  And I watched the Red Sox lose again. *sigh*  But today, I have more I want to do.

Before we get into that, though, I wanted to let you know two things. I have a guest post up over at Mitchell Plested’s blog about the books that inspired me (Irreverent Muse). And Spells and Swashbucklers is out in both Kindle and paperback formats! *It will be coming to other e-formats soon. So go and get a copy!

I need to get ready for the week, and everything I have to do.  Balticon is a little over 3 weeks away and I’m SO not ready.  But we aren’t prepping for Balticon today.

So this post, really, is just a to-do list for myself.

– Daily Pages

– Make bbq sauce

– Dinner tonight: bbq chicken, sweet potato fries, biscuits

– Marinate pork chops for Tuesday

– Finish listening to digital recorder

– Return digital recorder to Dianne (pushed to tomorrow)

– Buy bucket for cat food

– Fold laundry and put it away

– Clean out dish drainer

– Clean out sink

– Food plan for tomorrow

– Make lunch/dinner for tomorrow

– Send beta letter

– 500 words on Forgotten Summary

– Email

Damn, I’d better get moving!

(guest post) A great guest post by JA Marlow on resolutions

What a treat I have for you guys today!  JA Marlow, a good friend of mine, has agreed to join us and talk about resolutions.  What better for January?  So read her post, and then go check out her stuff!

2012 Resolutions – Be Brave

With the start of a new year it is common to hear about new year
resolutions. I’ve seen many talk about setting resolutions to battle
fears. “Fear” is the big keyword everywhere. Tackling fear that is
keeping one from accomplishing life-goals, to job-related changes,
right down to fear keeping writers from finishing or submitting or
publishing their work.

Turning attention to deep-seated fears, confronting them, and dealing
with them are good things. However, that’s not what I wanted to talk
about in this post.

I want to talk about something that is needed to help combat fear: bravery.

I’ve been thinking about bravery a lot as I’m working on the next book
in “The String Weavers” series. The main character of Kelsey Hale
needs and displays a lot of bravery. She has to in order to survive as
she’s been ripped away from the only home she’s known, her father is
missing, and she’s discovered she might not even be the species she
thought she was.

When confronting fears, there are several ways to do it. 1. The small
steps that get you out of the path fear before it mows you down. 2.
Jumping to the side and to another path, although this can mean the
fear can follow you in a new way. OR 3. Confronting the fear full
head-on, determined to eradicate it or die trying.

As a writer, I’ve learned many things from the characters I write.
From Kelsey, I’ve learned to turn around and confront whenever
possible, all while keeping the eyes open to the possibilities.

With that in mind, I’m going into 2012 with the goal of tackling the
fears by being brave. To turn around and face the fears and wrestle
them to the ground. In doing so, I’m hoping to turn 2012 into the year
where my personal and business life take a turn for the positive.

This all started by acknowledging the fears existed. This took some
time to pin down, and meant honest self-reflection. When I came to a
realization, I wrote it down. By the end, I had a list of three
primary fears that I know affected my life in 2011.

With the list I made small goals of ways to confront each to make the
process more manageable. Not to step out of the way, not to go down
another path, but to try to confront the fears and learn new ways of
dealing with each.

I don’t expect it to be easy or pleasant most of the time. It will
likely take a lot longer than a year to do. That’s okay. I know by
being brave to face those fears I will be positively impacting 2012
and the life-lessons will help me through the rest of my life. It will
impact everything, from personal life to professional.

That’s a worthwhile new year’s resolution: Be brave in confronting fears.

I hope as each of you march off into 2012 you will look at a few of
your fears and display the bravery needed to begin subduing them. Your
future-you will thank you for it.

J.A. Marlow is a science fiction writer of “The String Weavers” series
and many others, and can be found at “The String
Weavers” Book 1 can be found at

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