Gold Embers – Book 3 of the Chronicles of the Donner trilogy – release date set

Gold-Embers-original

Gold Embers, book three of The Chronicles of the Donner is due for release on September 2nd

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Marooned on planet Ludelle, Matti-Jay and the survivors of the Donner struggle every single day. Threats hang over them nonstop.

When a giant craft appears over the forest, it looks like it might hold the key to their escape.

Or maybe things just got a whole lot harder.And Matti-Jay finds herself making some of the hardest choices.

Ever.

 

There’s a nice Universal Book Link to select your favorite store. $5.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback.

cropped-chronicles-of-the-donner.jpg

 

The weeks ahead – publishing plans

The Cly front cover thumbRight now I’m busily preparing three books for publication. I’d like to have them all out by the end of May.

The first, my new novel, continues to trip me up. First, the title was not my working title, but that title doesn’t work. Titles trouble me (sometimes, more on that below). It seems the best one here is the name of the alien species (following Jack Vance’s novels The Dirdir and The Pnume, and doubtless many others.

Also the tag line (another thing that always trips me). “Earth on the verge of annihilation”. Sheesh, really. Well, that’s kind of what it’s about. Kind of.

And then, putting “Aurealis Award Finalist” on the cover by my name. Hmmm. It’s true, I have been a finalist for the award (lost out to Garth Nix there, so that’s okay). But is it okay to put it there when it wasn’t for this story? I guess I’ve kept it by my name, rather than by the title. And many authors do have all sorts all over their covers. Am I bragging too much there? Or in the right way? Should it say “Aurealis Award Finalist Author”? But then I’ve got “Author of Gretel” right underneath and doesn’t “author” twice in tags look silly?

Despite doing this for a few years now, I’m still second-guessing and learning and trying new things. I do like the cover – courtesy of Luca Oleastri/Innovari.

The other two books are stories, one a small collection and one a big collection. The first is titled “Celeste Without Gravity” and the other “Listen, You!”. I do like Celeste’s title (following on from above), not sure about the other.

Anyway, The Cly will be out by the end of this week, Celeste sometime next week and, all going to plan, Listen, You! the following week.

All in time and out of the way to get the next novel Athena Setting (my darling, see previous posts) out in early June.

On writing Athena Setting

Athena Setting (1)Back in mid-April I commented on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog post about choices. I realized that actually my comment fitted with my own blog and, in fact, could stand expanding.

When I was a teenager and wanting to be a writer and writing lots, I also drew covers for novels I would write someday.

It was kind of self-encouragement: in those days I had no idea how to write a novel. But it was cool to have a pretend cover with my name on it. In the intervening years I might have learned a couple of things about how to write a novel and I’ve practised plenty by writing a fair number of them.

So in January of this year, wondering what to write next, I remembered about that teenage dream. You know what? I sat down and wrote one of those novels. Now I have a book for my cover. Athena Setting. About a space mission gone wrong, a trapped crew about to plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere while the would-be rescuers struggle to come up with a workable plan.

I will, of course, write a more attractive blurb for the release.

Naturally, I also have a new cover for my book (that pencil scratching would look out of place, and it seems is in fact long gone). A wonderful image by Mik3812345 sourced from Dreamstime.com. I’ve tinkered with that a little. I think it helps tell the story. I do think I’ll update that tagline too – maybe “One hundred hours till rescue, ninety hours till impact” which kind of sums it up a little better.

The novel should be out around the end of May (maybe early June) as both an ebook and in print.

But after saying all that, let me tell you, I had such a fun time with the writing of the story. I got to be that kid again. It might not be my best novel, but I hope my sense of fun and adventure comes through. The kid in me can’t wait to hold the book in his hand. And try out writing another one.

 

To Take a Breath – new Triple V/Self-pub story out.

to take a breath cover

A while ago I wrote a longish short story (8400 words), science fiction, set well into the future and sent it off to all the appropriate pro markets. It came back each time, sometimes with a form rejection, sometimes with a little personal note but still a rejection. So I’m putting it up through my own Triple V imprint with some trepidation.

You see, it’s about an astronaut running out of air. I haven’t seen Gravity yet, but the previews seem to have given the game away a bit too much (I’m going over the weekend so I’ll know more by Monday). I know my story’s very different from the movie (near-future vs. far future, international space station vs. space wreck, near-Earth-orbit vs. light years away, George Clooney vs. minor character, etc.), but still kind of feel like I’m ripping off the trope a bit, even though I wrote this before I’d even heard about Gravity.

Still, to assuage that guilt a fraction, for readers of this blog/facebook post, here’s a code to get it free. (I know there aren’t many of you, but feel free to pass the code on… it expires in a month anyway: Gravity will be fading from the theatres and I will feel less guilty).

Go to the ebook at Smashwords and enter the code FY77L. You have to be a member of Smashwords, but I think most of you are already. Let me know if not – I’ll send you the epub or mobi or whatever. You can preview 20% anyway with or without joining.

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: FY77L
Expires: November 24, 2013

It’s also on Kindle, and will show up on Nook, Sony, etc. soon.

Here’s the opening:

Clare Benjamin knew she had three minutes to live. The suit’s oxygen gauge read eighteen liters, atmospheric effective. Fifty breaths. She was already on the emergency tank.

She gave the strobe a flash and saw the way ahead. Conduits and wires. Some of them were damaged, pointing stiff and sharp edges into the narrow passages.
Behind the conduits the pressure walls might be intact. Probably were. She’d felt a thrumming in the hull when she’d pulled herself along through the evacuated hold. Somewhere inside there was an engine running. It might just be some automatic function, but it might also be a converter sustaining atmosphere to some sections of the wrecked ship. If she could get inside an atmospheric room, then she could buy some time to figure out her next move.

“You find it yet?” Suz said through the comms.

Clare pulled herself along another meter in the darkness. She fired the strobe again. The gap looked even more vicious up close. Like the serrated jaw of a deep sea monster ready to ingest her.

“Clare? You got an exit yet?”

“I’m here. No. I didn’t find it.” Suzanne Memphis was waiting outside the liner in their eighty ton tender, the Mercy Me.

“You need to move, girl.”

“Oh? Thanks for the reminder.” Two months ago, they’d been salvaging from The New Jersey, a station at Cannon’s Star, busted and orbiting Cooltown, the system’s biggest gas giant. The station had been shut down by its owners. Suz and Clare’s clients had lost all their personal property being shipped through. Suz had gotten herself lost. The memory still made Clare blanch.

continue reading at Smashwords