It’s coming up hard on the end of the year & naturally I’m freaking out about everything I haven’t gotten done, WHICH IS WHY I’VE BEEN KEEPING A LIST OF WHAT I *HAVE* GOTTEN DONE

I wrote most of DEATH ON THE GREEN and all of DEATH OF AN IRISH MUMMY, the second two books of the Dublin Driver series (launching in January)!

DEAD IN DUBLIN
Book One of The Dublin Driver Mysteries
American-in-Ireland Megan Malone has always enjoyed her job driving limousines…until one of her clients ends up DEAD IN DUBLIN.

A friend who fears she’s culpable for the death begs Megan to look into it, and between her irate boss and a handsome Garda who’s both amused and annoyed by her persistence, Megan has her hands full. But if cockles and mussels aren’t to blame, can Megan find the real culprit . . .before another fishy death occurs?

Preorder Now!
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I also wrote a chunk of SUNMASTER, the fourth (and hopefully final) book of my YA epic fantasy Guildmaster Saga (here is a link to book two, released this year!):

STONEMASTER
Book Two of the Guildmaster Saga
It’s good luck to earn the king’s regard…isn’t it?

Seamaster journeyman Rasim’s quick wits have helped to save his beloved home city and earned him the dubious honor of studying with the diplomatic Sunmasters. But not everyone is happy that magical knowledge is being shared, and when the king orders the guilds back to the Northlands on a sensitive political mission, it may well cost Rasim his life.Seamaster-born, Sunmaster-trained, Rasim now faces a fight that can only be won by a Stonemaster…

Available now!
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…and wrote a NEW UPCOMING PARANORMAL ROMANCE which will be out early next year!

So that’s about the equivalent of 3 books written in 2019.

But wait! There’s more! I wrote a novella set in the Heartstrike world. That, too, will be out relatively early next year, and wrote 10+ words of fic for my Patreon.

I wrote two short stories, one in the afore-mentioned Guildmaster Saga world & the other, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale, set in, um, the future.

“Siryn”
a fairy tale of The Rising
Cities have drowned and the future has changed beyond recognition. But something new has been born–or perhaps something impossibly old has been released.

She does not know how she came to be, only that the oceans are her favored home…until a man from the world above nearly dies in her domain, and she is drawn toward the soft and easy life he seems to possess. But there is a price to pay for love, and in the end…

…you will never be part of her world…

Available Now!
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I ALSO *majorly* revised the first book of the Strongbox Chronicles and minorly revised the second one.

THE CARDINAL RULE
Book One of The Strongbox Chronicles
When CIA Agent Alisha MacAleer’s cover is blown by ex-lover Frank Reichart, she’s forced into a spy game that draws a curtain back on a world she never even suspected existed. No matter which way Alisha turns, she faces new dangers and heartbreaking betrayals. In the end, she has no choice but to adhere to the cardinal rule…

Trust no one but yourself.

Now Available
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THE FIREBIRD DECEPTION
Book Two of The Strongbox Chronicles
Agent Alisha MacAleer has put the past behind her as best she can, but when a mission goes sideways, she is left with an impossible choice. She can follow orders, or she can strike out on her own to discover the hidden mastermind behind the game she’s been drawn into—a mastermind whose identity she suspects, but could never guess.

With no support, no resources, and no safety net, Alisha must believe that honor can survive a trial by fire….

Available now!
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and revised the paranormal romance due out next year. I revised about a third of a science fiction novel. I ran a crowdfunding campaign & wrote 4 more pages of comic script for it due to its success!

I *released* 5 books and 2 short stories; here are the ones I didn’t link to above. :)

 

“From Coffin to Grave”
a Heartstrike Short
Saoirse O’Cathain should have died on the coffin ship that took her from famine-torn Ireland to the dubious safety of the Canadian coast, but an ancient immortal–a man who claims he doesn’t care–saved her by Awakening the Timeless immortality she harbored within. Perhaps it was a gift: Saoirse might have all of eternity to watch the world change, now…

…unless she has been Awakened only to travel from coffin to grave…

Available Now!
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THE QUEEN’S BASTARD
Book One of The Inheritors’ Cycle
Belinda Primrose is the unacknowledged daughter the unwed queen of Aulun. She is a spy, an assassin…and a danger to her mother, should she ever be discovered. As she infiltrates the glamorous royal palaces where her mother’s rivals scheme, a new power awakens in Belinda. The witchlight she commands could bring down everything she’s worked for when she finds a teacher in Javier, whose claim to the Aulunian throne ranks him highly among Belinda’s enemies.

Belinda has never wavered in her mission, but love and loyalty will collide as her secrets are revealed…

Available Now!
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THE PRETENDER’S CROWN
Book Two of The Inheritors’ Cycle
Belinda Primrose has lied, murdered, and seduced her way through the deadly courts of Echon, and now she has come into the strength of her witchpower, a magic she shares with Prince Javier, pretender to her mother’s throne. Their craft has been used to manipulate, shape, and evolve the future of Echon…but even a power from beyond the stars cannot break the will of a daughter betrayed by everything she has ever known.

After a lifetime of service, Belinda will finally shape a future of her own…and change the destiny of a world with her choices.

Available Now!
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and also wrote an actually ridiculous number of book proposals, like, five or six of them. One is the paranormal romance coming out next year, the rest didn’t stick. But I did write ’em, and that’s a lot of proposals to do. And I did about 20 pages of a screenplay, too.

I also read 35 books, went to Disneyland, to Dublin Worldcon, was sick for 3 months, and have made a truly prodigious amount of fudge. :)

It’s been a really busy year. I WANTED to get at least one other book finished, and two more revisions finished. But I’m trying to look at everything I HAVE done, and be impressed with that, instead of dismayed that I didn’t get Literally All The Things done.

I have a post-Thanksgiving plan. It does not involve eating sensibly, because let’s face it, we’re heading into the time of year where I basically survive on fudge and Christmas oranges, and that doesn’t seem super likely to change. o.o

It does involve pilates and yoga. My goal is just to gain more core strength than I currently have. That shouldn’t be hard, because at the moment I possess the approximate core strength of an un-set bowl of Jello. I have a whole set of Exercises (wow, it took me literally a dozen tries to spell that correctly) For Jello People. They work. I know they do, because I’ve used most of them in the past. My CRAZY GOAL is to NOT GET SICK & do them more or less daily from Monday thru the end of the year.

Some of it is not actually core-strengthening, per se. It’s “attempt to loosen my hips and spine up”-ening. My massage therapist friend made many horrified noises while she was trying to change me from a log back into a human being earlier this week, which does impress upon one one’s log-like-ness…

I have a 5-minute yoga routine which makes a Noticeable Difference within 3 days of doing it daily. (Every time I do this, usually at night, when she says “this is probably your first downward dog of the day” I think “You’re not wrong.” :))

There’s also this set of stretches, which, o my sweet purple potatoes, I have done once and
1. they are good stretches
2. i am far too fat and far too stiff to do them with ANY kind of grace or comfort but i guess that’s the point of doing them, isn’t it the stretches that I have not done yet but CLEARLY need to incorporate into my day at least once, ideally 2-3 times, but DEFINITELY once

And for thingy stuff, like, impacty stuff, this body-weight only workout from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s website is very, very good. I strongly recommend not starting with 4 reps of the whole set unless you’re already in reasonable condition, bc otherwise YOU’LL BE RUINT FOR DAYS!

I can’t currently find my “pilates for people who are too weenie to do beginner pilates” list/post right now but I’ll post it when I do. It’s also actually quite good and if done regularly strengthens weenie people up to being able to do beginner pilates. :)

On the one hand I’m probably in no danger of doing all four of these on any given day. OTOH it wouldn’t take more than half an hour to DO all four of them, so…I should work toward that, probably. But especially just…stretching and core strength, because oi.

Picoreview: Terminator: Dark Fate: This is the sequel I’ve been waiting for since I was eighteen years old.

Look. I’ve got a lot invested in Linda Hamilton, okay? She and Ron Perlman taught me to love both poetry and my name. She remains the single physical icon I would emulate if I…had a personal trainer and an unlimited budget and a massive feature film promoting me…;) I love her. I’ve thought for a long time that I love her more than her acting skills are worth, but actually, having watched Dark Fate, I’m not at all sure about that anymore. She’s better in this than anything I’ve ever seen her in, and that’s partly because the role is well written, partly because she’s old enough to be out of fucks, and partly because, tbf, she’s been in a fair amount of awful stuff. :)

But Dark Fate is straight-up the movie I’ve been waiting for since 1991. It’s the first Terminator film since T2 that understands who the hero of these stories is, and honestly, to me, that’s everything. I was trying VERY HARD not to go in with high expectations, because it’s been 28 years and a lot of bad movies (and one pretty decent tv show, even if I’m an outlier who does not care for the actress who played Sarah Connor in that show), and really there was absolutely no way Dark Fate could live up to my hopes.

And I would be lying if I said it met my expectations. The truth is that it exploded my expectations immediately and left me wide open for just seeing what the hell happened next. I had a tension headache at the end of it, okay? I was all in.

The opening night audience applauded when Hamilton made her entrance. (The second time I saw it, the woman beside me fist-pumped violently.) At the end credits, the woman I was with on opening night seized my arm when Mackenzie Davis’s name came up on screen and she blurted, “Is that her? Is that the name of my future girlfriend?” (I assured her it was. :)) She and Hamilton played off each other like oil and water, they were great. The third woman in the film, Natalia Reyes, whose journey parallels Sarah’s in T1, probably did a better job than Hamilton did in the role 35 years ago. They were all terrific, but Hamilton holds the film together and I was there for it.

Gabriel Luna, as the new Terminator, actually has a chance to act, and dear stars up above that man is charismatic. Holy moly. HOOOLEEEE MOOOOLEEE. And Arnie, who is actually a very funny man, gets to be deadpan funny in this, which is honestly all I could ask for from him.

But it’s Hamilton’s show, and she knocks it out of the park. I’ve seen it twice and hope to see it at least two more times before it’s out of the theatre. It kills me that it’s not doing well at the box office, because I really, truly think it’s the best Terminator film in decades, but being good doesn’t necessarily mean able to overcome, what, three other sequels? and a tv show? At the box office. Yeah. I’m really hoping positive word of mouth will give it legs, though.

(There appears to be two kinds of responses to it. John Scalzi and me are on the “holy shit YEAH” side and other people are…not. :))

I dunno. Because of the polarized responses, I feel like it’s hard to say OMG GO SEE IT to everybody. But at the same time…OMG, GO SEE IT! :) :) :)

A big ol’ galaxy. A whole load of aliens. One unlucky human, thrust into the middle of their war…

I’m running a crowdfund to do an 8 page comic book (unless we hit our next stretch goals, which might make it a 12 or 16 page comic book)!

Starshot is what happens when I want to write a space adventure like Farscape or Guardians of the Galaxy, and what happens when a friend points me at the AMAZING Katie Longua, whose bright, delightful style is exactly right for this all-ages comic!

We’ve just hit our THIRD stretch goal, which includes cover art prints for everybody who gets a physical copy of the comic, and now we’re aiming for the stars with a mega-goal of another €1000 for 4 more pages, or €2000 for EIGHT more pages of story!

Wanna meet the characters? OF COURSE YOU DO!

So this is what the script says, for the character design:

Beth is crouched on the floor, looking up at four very angry aliens: a MONSTER, a PLANT, an ANIMAL and a HUMANOID.

KLIC is obviously the kind of creature that would prefer to eat your face first and ask questions second. It hisses a lot.

Meet Klic! Klic thinks Klic is a Slytherin.
Klic is wrong.

MAG is a Quite Small plant-based life-form who could look as human as Zhaan or as plant-like as Groot, or anywhere in between. They have a very large club to hit you with.

Meet Mag! Mag thinks they’re a Hufflepuff.
They are wrong.

TRAFF is an exceptionally dashing creature: Disney’s Robin Hood, except not a fox. Girls want to date him. Men don’t understand why. He have a very large laser-shooting sword to slice you with.

Meet Traff! Traff thinks he’s a Gryffindor.
He is wrong.

XENDRA looks essentially human, perhaps with pointy ears and suspiciously excellent hair. And a very large gun to shoot you with.

Meet Xendra! Xendra thinks she’s a Slytherin.
Xendra…is correct.

aaaaaaaaaand finally, OUR HEROINE, BETH!

Meet Beth! Beth is the only one who would understand sorting the crew by Hogwarts houses, but she thinks she’s Han Solo.
She’s not wrong.

I’m really excited about this project, which is going to be GREAT FUN! Artist Katie Longua will be working on it in November, and we expect to deliver the print editions by March 2020! Come join the fun! #TheStarsAreOurs

The Starshot crowdfund campaign is here!