Weekly Update – January 19, 2021

After a necessary hiatus for the holidays and to recharge my brain, I’m back at it, and work on the sixth Strongarm & Lightfoot book has begun!

I hit the 10,000 word mark over the past week, which I consider a strong start after so many weeks of writing nothing. Taking these breaks, I’ve learned over the years, is necessary, but I hate taking them — especially during the pandemic.

Let me ‘splain.

Due to precautionary lockdowns and restrictions (all of which I support wholeheartedly, by the way), our lives have been disrupted in a big way — which I know is painfully obvious to everyone, but I’ve noticed that it’s hit my creative friends and colleagues especially hard. I know a lot of performers, and being unable to indulge their craft for so long has taken a toll. They’ve fallen into a creative, emotional, and mental stupor that’s deadened their creative spirit.

The problem within this problem, I’m very familiar with. Creative souls need to create, and when they don’t (or can’t) for too long, they can fall into emotional funks — which do nothing to spark creativity, so they continue to not create, which strengthens their depression, which continues to smother their creative energy…it’s an awful cycle to get stuck in, and can be very hard to break.

I experienced this cycle years ago, after an agent rejected what eventually became the first Action Figures novel. My high hopes for a career breakthrough had been thoroughly crushed, which caused me to stop writing for several months — the first such major dry spell I’d ever experienced. I eventually climbed back on my creative horse, but it was an imposing challenge. I’d become too comfortable not writing and had to force myself to get back to work — which did not result in quality material, which threatened to push me right back into my pit of artistic despair.

Obviously, I eventually got my creative life back on an even keel, but ever since, I’ve resisted taking any kind of planned, extended break from writing for fear I’d fall back into those old habits and mindsets. I know on a conscious level that I need to rest my brain every so often (The Oatmeal discussed this in its own inimitably, delightfully crass and goofy way) but subconsciously, I worry I’ll stop writing and never start back up again.

If I might end with some advice for those who might be dealing with this problem right now: stay creative. Force yourself, gently, to get back to doing what you do, in some form, even if that form is imperfect and far from ideal. Rest is good, resting necessary, but indefinite inertia is NOT resting; it’s slowly dying inside.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 12, 2021

Looks like we have an official release date for Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology, and it is, appropriately, Valentine’s Day!

There’s been no word yet on the full lineup of authors and stories, but I’ll throw all that your way as soon as I know, along with a preorder link so you can grab this collection when it drops and maybe help us score a number one position on Amazon’s best-seller list? It’d be a nice way to start off 2021 after what’s been — to put it very mildly — a rocky start.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: The current draft is off to my editor Julie so she can do her thing, and cover art notes have been sent to Tricia so she can do hers. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And I’ll be appearing on the Muppets: Most Wanted! virtual panel on Monday, January 18 at 11:30 AM.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 5, 2021

Welcome back, everyone! Hope you all had a fun but safe New Year’s Eve!

I took the last couple of weeks of 2020 off to rest and recharge my creative batteries a little, and think about the year ahead for me as a writer, and one of my goals is to ease off the throttle a little. I tend to push myself when working on a project and try to cram in as much writing as possible, and this year that led me to burn out a bit.

It also led me to neglect an important part of indie authorship, and that’s the business end of things. While sales this year were up overall, especially on the entire Action Figures series, I really didn’t do as much as I should have to promote my work, so I want to focus more there in 2021.

I’d also like to find time to work on some other ideas I’ve had knocking around in my head, but I’m not going to force that for the sake of my creative health.

And to get that particular ball rolling, let me first remind everyone that my short story Action Figures – An Adventure in Babysitting is part of The Superhero Mega Anthology, a massive collection of superhero short stories and comics now available for free! And each contributor is offering up additional bonuses, perks, and free giveaways, so download it now and check it out.

If that’s not enough, in a few months Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology will be available. That one will feature Like a Knife in the Heart, a new original pulp hero-style short story featuring my new character, the Sapphire Silhouette. Check back for release date announcements there!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is complete. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And I’ll be appearing on the Muppets: Most Wanted! virtual panel on Monday, January 18 at 11:30 AM.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 15, 2020

Folks, this is going to be my last blog post for 2020. I plan to spend the rest of the month relaxing and getting ready to have a quiet holiday with my wife and our fuzzies and not worrying about business stuff. See you in January!

In the meantime, please remember that all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is complete. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And they’re now getting the panels assigned, so hopefully I’ll have news on that before the end of the year.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 8, 2020

Good news, everyone! A story I wrote has been accepted into “Beneath the Mask: A Superhero Romance Anthology,” which is set for a first quarter 2021 release.

The story, “Like a Knife in the Heart,” is a pulp-inspired short featuring a brand-new character, the Sapphire Silhouette, as she hunts a spree killer whose next target may be her ally (and love interest) Dr. Evelyn Baldwin, an ambitious pathologist who may know the killer’s identity.

The full lineup of authors and stories is TBA, but knowing the curators and the writers we all know, there should be a goodly amount of queer representation in the collection.

In the meantime, please remember that all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is complete. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And they’re now getting the panels assigned, so hopefully I’ll have news on that before the end of the year.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 1, 2020

So much news this week, starting with a new release alert!

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: Stepping Up collects the first three books in the series, revised and updated, and adds a new introduction by me and a new foreward by fellow indie author and Patrick Hodges. This collection is now available for the Kindle at the bargain price of $6.99 — a $5 savings over buying Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect separately!

Of course, you can always buy Secret Origins separately for 99 cents through the end of the day today. Head on over to the Superhero Fiction writers website to browse all the titles that will be available for 99 cents during the sale.

You can also grab The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich and Well-Behaved Women – Awakening for the Kindle for 99 cents today.

If you’re in the market for signed print editions, you can still take advantage of my inventory clearance sale — but act fast, because quantities are limited and you want to leave extra time for shipping!

As the saying goes: BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Beginning today and running all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five undergoing beta-reading.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room. Hopefully there will be some news on the panel schedule soon, too!

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – November 24, 2020

Here’s your final pre-Black Friday reminder that the members of the Superhero Fiction authors group are teaming up for a big 99 cent sale. Head on over to the website to browse all the titles that will be available for 99 cents during the sale, which runs through the end of November.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five undergoing beta-reading.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – November 17, 2020

Once again, the members of the Superhero Fiction authors group are teaming up for a big 99 cent sale. Head on over to the website to browse all the titles that will be available for 99 cents during the sale, which runs through the end of November.

One a more serious note, I’m putting out a call to action to audiobook fans, which relates to some recent issues with ACX, Amazon’s audiobook production platform. This will get a little dense, so bear with me.
Because creators have been stuck at home for so long, there’s been a surge in audiobook submissions to ACX, which has resulted in a major slowdown on their end when it comes to conducting their audio quality reviews. Reviews used to take 10 business days, give or take, but now they’re taking 30 business days or more — a LOT more. My last audiobook submission took over two months to review, which resulted in lost revenue for both myself and my narrator.
To atone for this, Audible is giving creators a slight increase in their royalty payments. Anytime you redeem a credit on Audible throughout the month of December, creators will get a 5 percent bonus — which isn’t much in and of itself, but it can add up.
So, call to action #1 is this: if you use Audible, use December to catch up on audiobooks by your favorite indie authors and give them a little financial boost.
The other item is a little more involved.
Audible allows listeners to return credits on audiobooks, even if they’ve listened to an entire audiobook, and use them on something else — which is great for customers, but there’s a negative impact on creators you may be unaware of: when a credit is returned, the royalty payment on that audiobook is revoked.
Yes, we actually lose money if an Audible customer returns a credit on an audiobook they listened to in its entirety, even if we’ve already collected that payment. It’s taken out of the next month’s royalty payment.
A lot of indie authors were unaware of this until recently, and have lobbied Audible to change the practice so we aren’t penalized. A recent ACX newsletter said the company was “looking at” the issue, but we’d love it if you supported us.
All you have to do is tag ACX and Audible on social media and ask them to end their practice of taking away authors’ royalty payments when customers return their credits.
Thanks, everyone!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five undergoing beta-reading.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

The Innsmouth Look Publishing 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

I’m fortunate to know a LOT of talented, creative people, many of whom rely on their art to make their living, so I wanted to do something to share the love for the upcoming holiday season and maybe drive a little business their way.

Remember, if you’re going to order a physical product that requires shipping, you might want to do so now because the US Postal Service is going to get slammed soon enough!

Since this is my website, I’m going to kick things off with an announcement that the first books in my three series — Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich, and Well-Behaved Women – Awakening — will all be available for the Kindle for 99 cents starting Black Friday, November 27, through Friday, December 4.

And remember, I still have hard copies of everything available directly from me, and you get free books with every order. This post has all the details.

BOOKS

Children’s Books

Gnome for the Holidays by Jess MacLean – It’s December and Jarle is ready to dive into his favorite holiday eats and treats. Follow him as he shares his adventures with you through the power of social media on InstaYam. Will he try the Christmas delight you like best? Let’s find out. Merry Christmas!

Welcome to Chanu-Con! by Beth Rodgers and Howard Fridson – Join Max and his sister Lila as they navigate their synagogue’s Chanukah extravaganza, “Chanu-Con!” Their day’s highlights include making a human menorah, dipping Chanukah candles, tasting latkes and Chanukah treats, and dancing to festive music. 

Fantasy – Misc.

Swarmed by Renee Mallett – “The first bee she found was dead . . . “

And so begins the illustrated story of a young woman who, inexplicably, one day wakes up to find herself the Queen of a wayward hive of bees. Invoking scientific data, current events, memories, mythology, bad jokes, history and figures as diverse as Albert Einstein and King Solomon author Renee Mallett blurs the lines between the inner and outer worlds of her characters while exploring the confines of narrative, plot, and form.

Horror

Friends in High Places by Rob Smales –

HE ONLY WANTED SOME FRIENDS

He pestered them day after day to be considered one of the guys, but they didn’t want anything to do with him. They ignored and made fun of him, ditching him at every opportunity, but Tommy wouldn’t take the hint. So, they came up with a plan to drive him away.

IT WAS ONLY A HARMLESS PRANK

The House on Smithen Street – Or, From Out the Cellar by R.C. Mulhare – Fionagh Cuneen has recently joined the Montague household as a chambermaid. But the strange events in the cellar of the New England mansion keep her awake at night. Avril, her employer’s young bride, seeks to discover what lurks in the shadows, and the master of the house will stop at nothing to protect his secrets. And Fionagh will do anything to protect her mistress.

Trailer Trash by Scott T. Goudsward – Until the night his parents are murdered, Elvis Taggard’s world doesn’t extend far beyond the Starry Night Trailer Park. He never suspects there’s a secret society of bloodsuckers lurking in the shadows of the main streets and back roads of modern-day America. All that changes one fateful night come dinnertime after a sexy succubus satisfies her hunger by gorging on second helpings of the boy’s momma and daddy. 

Paranormal

Tall TalesVol. One by Tim McLaughlin – Tall Tales follows an amateur paranormal investigator with an immunity to magic, a witch seeking to better understand the paranormal, a priest hunting down a cult that threatens mankind, and a narrator tying their world together as they all move toward a shared fate.

Science Fiction

Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse by Lyn Worthen – It’s time to turn the “man and his dog wandering through a dystopian world” trope on its head, and tell the stories about cats and their women – their badass women! Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse wanders through broken worlds with stories of survival, technology, magic, and sheer determination. But – like their cats – the authors frequently slipped out the upstairs window or knocked things off of countertops, and their stories are stronger for it.

Derelict (Book One – The Halcyon Space series) by L.J. Cohen – When Rosalen Maldonado tinkers with the derelict freighter, she’s just hoping to prove she deserves a scholarship to University. She certainly doesn’t count on waking the ship’s damaged AI or having three stowaways, Micah Rotherwood and brothers Jem and Barre Durbin, along for the ride.

The Wielders of Arantha by Patrick Hodges – The future of the human race hangs in the balance. A powerful alien race called the Jegg has invaded Earth, wiping out half of the Terran Confederation.

Superheroes

Age of Heroes (The Pantheon Saga – Book One) by C.C. Ekeke – Every hero has a beginning. So does every villain. Titan, the world’s greatest superhero, has been murdered by his longtime archenemy Lord Borealis. And from the ashes rises a new generation. Gifted with powers on the night of Titan’s death, fifteen-year-old Hugo awakes to the strange world of superheroes. A world he isn’t prepared for. But with godlike powers and a history of tragedy, will Hugo become a guardian of justice…or agent of chaos?

Ashley Jason and the Superhero Academy by Lucas Flint – She doesn’t want to be a superhero. But she has no choice. Sixteen-year-old Ashley ‘Crafter’ Jason has trust issues. Especially with supers, despite being a super and daughter of two famous superheroes herself.

Axiom Man: Tenth Anniversary Special Edition by A.P. Fuchs – One night, Gabriel Garrison was visited by a nameless messenger who bestowed upon him great power, a power intended for good. Once discovering what this power was and what it enabled him to do, Gabriel became Axiom-man, a symbol of hope in a city that had none.

Baron Steele by Rhett C. Bruno & Jaime Castle (audiobook) – Paul Steele, known to the world as Baron Steele, isn’t your average masked crimefighter. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t even wear a mask. And he doesn’t even fight crime anymore. That’s for the guys with too much brawn and not enough brain.

Becoming Hero by Jen Finelli – Skye is the storm-tossed comic character out for revenge on the author who murdered his family. Jace is the math-loving #blerd trying to escape his father’s deadly legacy. When their worlds collide, Jace must choose between the real world he’s always hated, and the comic book world he’s always loved–and Skye must decide if killing his author will save his world, or damn his soul.

Blood Surfer (Book One, the Thunder City series) by Debra Jess – Hannah Quinn believed she could live a normal life despite her ability to heal people. When her mother murders her stepfather to ensure Hannah continues to do her bidding, Hannah runs away from her exclusive academy into the heart of Star Haven, a city where police arrest supers if not outright murder them. She vows to do whatever it takes to cross Mystic Bay to Thunder City, a superhero sanctuary city.

The Hero Beat (The Conway Report – Book One) by Nick Svolos – Now, one question is on everyone’s mind: How did local reporter Reuben Conway know to be on the scene? On the run from supervillains, the cops and a mysterious assassin, Reuben forms an unlikely alliance with the superhero Herculene as he races against time to learn who was really behind the attack. As they draw closer to unraveling the mystery and the villain’s plan nears completion, one final question comes to the fore. Can they thwart the scheme before it’s too late?

Karma (Silke’s Strike Force – Book One) by Cynthia Vespa – Silke Butters lived within the glamour bubble of the modeling world, until the day that bubble burst. Upon her father’s sudden death, Silke finds out that she is not who she thinks but rather is the product of genetic tampering giving her extraordinary abilities. The revelation puts Silke in the cross-hairs of a ruthless, terrorist organization known as The Sin Squad, endowed with powers of their own.

Menopausal Superheros by Samantha Bryant – “The Change” is difficult for everyone, but for these four women, the transformation is bigger than they ever imagined!

The Persistence of Memory – Book Four: W.I.S.E. Men by Karen Janowski – One man shouldn’t be alive. One man shouldn’t be in love. One man shouldn’t exist. None of them wanted to be a superhero. U.S. Army Lieutenant Kevin Rye is the sole survivor of a missile attack on his helicopter in Somalia. His old friend, Rob Fisher, has created a suit that allows him to function. It gives him superpowers and chronic pain. (Preorder)

Sensation – A Superhero Novel (Kid Sensation – Book One) by Kevin Hardman – Like millions of other kids, Jim grew up wanting to be a superhero. Unlike most of his contemporaries, however, Jim actually had the goods: a plethora of super powers that would have been the envy of any meta on the planet. But when his tryout with the Alpha League – the world’s premier group of supers – goes disastrously wrong, Jim basically becomes an outcast.

Serpent’s Return (The Rise of Heroes – Book One) by T.L. Heinrich – Find her aunt’s killer. Become a powerful vigilante. Release a super villain on the unsuspecting populace. Fall in love with her childhood best friend.

…Yeah, those last two definitely weren’t part of the plan. But in a city of masks, nothing is as it seems. Not love. Not vengeance. And Alice is about to learn that lesson the hard way.

Shadowfox: Dawn of Shadows by Kevin Sorrell – A fledgling superhero faces her toughest challenge yet. Bayou City is a bustling technological mecca—but it’s also drowning in crime. The BCPD has done everything they can to keep things from spiraling into all-out lawlessness, but the appearance of new criminals with strange and unusual abilities threatens to tip the scales in favor of chaos. Enter fifteen-year-old Kysha Jenkins…

Super Starella (Secret Supers – Book One) by Aurora Springer Teen superhero, Starrella, and her flying horse combat vicious villains in the skies of Atalanta. The quiet summer before her freshman year turns frighteningly weird after Estelle Wright trespasses onto an Army base. Blown into the air and knocked unconscious, she wakes with a nascent superpower. Not to mention a winged horse with a snarky attitude and a mind of her own.

Urban Fantasy

Blood Descent by T.L. McDonald – Secrets can’t stay buried forever I’m Indiana Bellamy, your average seventeen-year-old girl living an ordinary life. Or at least I thought I was until the supernatural world reared its ugly head and bit me. Literally.

MISCELLANEOUS GIFTS

Beauty

Fanservice Nails

Handmade beauty for chic geeks

Costuming & Accessories

Eldritch Arts

Handmade screen-accurate costumes, props, weapons, armor, and accessories.

Fabric Art & Clothing

Illora Chelsea

Original designs available on Redbubble.

Shez Glyphs

Unusual clothing and accessories.

Storied Threads

Made-to-order geeky patches and bookmarks, including this year’s best-selling design, the Plague Survivor Geek Merit Badge!

Gaming

MacPherson’s Minis

Custom hand-painted 3-D printed miniatures.

Jewelry

A Bone to Pick

Handmade bone jewelry.

Geeky Gaea Designs

Wild jewelry for untamed spirits – chainmail and gemstone jewelry with a geeky flair.

Miscellaneous

Fallen Craftz

Handmade tumblers and misc. gift items.

Tentsmiths

Historically accurate period tents and accessories.

Weekly Update – November 3, 2020

We’re officially past Halloween and rocketing toward the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, which means it’s time to start thinking about your holiday shopping.

In all seriousness, you might want to focus on getting your shopping done ASAP. With the pandemic ramping up again, brick-and-mortar stores might be impacted — or at least, highly undesirable places to be — which means folks will be turning to mail-order again, and the US Postal Service has been experiencing slowdowns in service for a few months now. That’s only going to get worse as the holidays draw nearer.

A further recommendation: do as much shopping as you can with small businesses and independent artists. Major chain stores are better able to endure lean times than local mom-and-pop businesses, and I include indie artists in that category. Every sale is someone’s rent or grocery money, so make sure to spend some of your holiday budget on them.

And remember: throughout the pandemic, you’ve been relying heavily on the arts to keep you going, so perhaps it’s time to pay that back a little.

To that end, next week I’ll be posting a holiday gift guide filled with items created by independent artists, so give that a look and think about picking up a few things for your loved ones. Thanks!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: On hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five undergoing beta-reading.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

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