The Sorceress and her Lovers for nook

The Sorceress and her LoversIt’s been three years since the Kingdom of Greater Brechalon, with the help of Zurfina the Magnificent, defeated their hereditary enemies, the Freedonians. The world has changed. Port Dechantagne, once a distant outpost of civilization, has grown to be a large city, the center of prosperous Birmisia Colony. Steam-powered carriages share the streets with triceratops-pulled trolleys, fine ladies in their most fashionable bustle dresses lead their lizardmen servants through the shopping districts, and an endless stream of immigrants pours into the region.

The young ladies of the colony are busy with fashion, coming out parties, and securing partners among the smaller male population. Eleven-year-old Iolana Staff, daughter of the colonial governor, has more important things on her mind—the mysterious machine known as the Result Mechanism, and her relationship to the machine’s creator.

Meanwhile, sorceress Senta Bly returns from the continent with a new male companion, an illegitimate daughter, and a long lost brother. Hated and feared for her magic, she must face wizards, assassins, and an old enemy from another reality.

The Sorceress and her Lovers continues the story of Senta and the Steel Dragon, taking up where The Two Dragons left off. It is a story of magic and power, fear and revenge, and love.

The Sorceress and her Lovers is available for nook for just $2.99.  Find it on your nook menu, or by following this link.

Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Spaceplane : Chapter One

Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space PlaneChapter One: The Future

Astrid Maxxim stepped out of the time machine and looked around. The Main Street of Maxxim City didn’t look very different twenty-five years in the future, at least at first. Then she noticed gigantic buildings off in the distance, so high they reached up into the clouds. Hearing a thunderous noise to the west, she turned to see a huge spacecraft, spherical and the size of a football stadium, rise up into the sky. As her eyes followed the vapor trail from the sky to the ground, she saw the monorail station, looking just as it always had. In front of it though was a four story tall video screen. A close up of a woman’s face filled the image. She was talking but Astrid couldn’t hear what she was saying, and from this angle she couldn’t make out the woman’s features.

“Must be a soft drink add,” she mused.

It suddenly occurred to Astrid that at mid-day there should have been shoppers going in and out of the stores and cars moving up and down the street. There were neither. The storefronts across the street from her should have been The Bagel Nook and Dickens and Co. Books. Now however, neither building was labeled. They didn’t even seem to have front doors. There was a kind of a slot about five feet wide and three feet tall just above where the door would have been. As she watched, a flying drone, held aloft by four Maxxim hoverdisks, just like those in her hoverbike, zipped over her head and into the slot in what had been The Bagel Nook.

“Maybe they have drones pick up things for them at the store,” she thought aloud.

Turning around, she saw that the Malt Shop didn’t look all that different. It appeared to be open so she started toward it. It wasn’t until she was right in front of the door though that she noticed the sign. Instead of Maxxim City Malt Shop, it read Startopia Malt Shop. The door whooshed open, kind of like on Star Trek, as she passed through. Inside though, it was exactly the same—the same barstools and counter, the same tables and chairs, and the same menu board. There were no customers though.           “Just a minute,” she heard someone call out.

A minute later, a man who looked to be in his thirties stepped out of the back room and walked out to the counter as she sat down on one of the round stools. Dressed in white pants and shirt, and with an apron tied around his waist, he was pretty normal looking. He was a little chubby around the middle and his hair was thinning. Astrid looked at the nametag above his shirt pocket.

“Irving?” she said. “Irving Witzel?”

“Yup, that’s me. Do I know you? You look familiar.”

“Um, my name is Gloria.” Astrid didn’t think she had to worry about changing anything here in the future the way she would have if she was in the past, but if she admitted who she was it might cause complications. “My parents used to live here in Maxxim City and they told me you worked here.”

“Oh yeah? Well, they must have lived here quite a while ago if they still called it… if they still used the old name.”

“You’re good friends with Dennis Brown, right?”

“We were best friends,” he smiled sadly. “He was killed in the war.”

“What war?”

“The Last War, the only war.”

“How about his sister?”

“Her name was Denise,” said Irving. “She became a writer—a pretty good one from what I hear. She might be working for the news agency or she might be in prison.”

“Prison?”

“Yeah, well you know how writers are. Are you going to order something?”

“Um, yes. Let me have a chocolate soda, please.”

Irving’s eyes lit up.

“You’re parents must have told you about chocolate sodas. I used to be the best soda jerk in North America.” He pulled a large glass from beneath the counter and began mixing chocolate sauce and soda water together. Then he plopped two scoops of chocolate ice cream into the mixture. “Sorry. No whipped cream. I haven’t made one of these in years.”

He slid the glass toward Astrid, and she took a straw and stuck it into the confection, taking a long sip.

“Delicious.” She took another sip. “Say, Denise Brown used to have a friend named Valerie.”

Irving’s face scrunched up as if he’d bitten into a lemon.

“Governor Diaz. I don’t talk about politics. Say, why are you asking all these questions?”

“Um, I’m doing a report for school… um, it’s about my mother growing up.”

“Oh yeah?” suspicious dripped from Irving’s words. “Just who is your mother?”

“Oh, you probably never heard of her,” said Astrid, struggling to think of someone whom she could name. “Her name was… Océane Feuillée.”

Irving’s face broke into a grin. “I know you!”

“You do?”

“Sure. You’re Gloria Bundersmith! Your dad was a good friend of mine. Boy-oh-boy, I remember when he married Océane and moved to Europe. That was the last big party we had around these parts. How is your dad?”

“Fine last time I saw him,” Astrid’s voice came out as a squeak.

“Is he still friends with Christopher Harris. We all expected Toby to move to Europe, marrying a French girl and all, but it was a surprise when Christopher and Alicia went with them.”

“Um, yes,” said Astrid. “They’re still best friends. Why wouldn’t they be?”

In a daze, she turned her attention to her soda, sipping all the liquid out and then taking a bite of the leftover ice cream with a spoon. Irving took out a white towel and began polishing some glassware. Her mind abuzz, the girl inventor watched him. Finally she noticed that every so often he looked up toward the back wall. Back in the present, or the past, or the past present, or whatever, a large mirror had hung there. Now a white tablecloth thumbtacked to the wall covered the space. Finally Irving turned back to her.

“Um, I don’t know if my money is still good,” she said.

“Not if it’s Euros,” replied Irving. “Don’t worry though, kid. This one’s on the house.”

“Thanks,” said Astrid. “Say Irving, I mean Mr. Witzel, do you remember Astrid Maxxim?”

“I wondered if you would ask about her.” He looked around the room and then leaned across the counter to look out the front window. “I bet people still show up to some town in Austria and ask what Hitler was like when he was a boy.”

“Hitler!”

Irving laughed nervously. “Not really a fair comparison.”

“I should think not,” Astrid blurted out.

“After all,” said Irving. “I hear Hitler loved music and was kind to dogs.”

Suddenly the door burst inward, sending shattered glass across the room, and a dozen bluish silver figures marched in. Irving turned as if looking for an escape, only to see six more of the invaders marching out of the back room and into the space behind the counter. As one, all eighteen figures raised their right arms, which transformed into some kind of weapon. Red laser targeting dots appeared on Irving’s chest, and Astrid’s too!

“Irving Witzel!” said the foremost figure. “By the Authority of Valerie Diaz, Governor of District Three, you are ordered to stand in judgment!”

Astrid gasped. The voice was that of her friend Valerie, only she sounded grown up. Even more shocking though was that the eighteen bluish silver figures all looked like grown-up versions of Robot Valerie!

“Why is your reminder covered?” demanded the closest Robot Valerie, pointing to the spot where the large mirror used to hang.

“Uh… I was painting.” Irving’s voice shook. “I didn’t want to get paint on it.”

“Covering the reminder is a class six crime, punishable by no less than 100 hours in the reeducation booth.”

Irving collapsed, sobbing. The Robot Valerie closest to him reached up and yanked the cloth down, exposing a video screen. Though she hadn’t been able to see any real details before, Astrid could tell that this was the same face that was on the giant screen by the monorail station. Only the head and shoulders of the woman, who was wearing a stiff-collared military style uniform was visible. Her strawberry blond hair was cut short, like a boy’s and parted on the side. Though pretty, in a hard sort of way, and wearing a modest amount of makeup, a scar ran from her forehead down her left cheek to her chin, marring her face. Whatever had caused that scar had obviously cost her an eye, because while her right eye was large and bright blue, a glowing red robotic eye replaced her left one.

“She looks a little like my mother,” thought Astrid.

And then the woman on the screen spoke.

“I am Supreme Ruler Astrid Maxxim. All will bow before me!”

“What?” yelled Astrid.

“She said to bow down!” growled one of the robots, grabbing the girl inventor by the shoulders and pushing her down.

Astrid screamed as she hit the floor.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue for the nook

PatienceIt is the year 2037, when men are men and robots are cute. Patience, the robot wife, is back, this time mentoring her new friend– Wanda. But even Patience isn’t prepared for what happens when they take a joint vacation cruise to Antarctica. His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is a science fiction story in a world where technology is more than just a pretty face.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is available for just $2.99 for the nook tablet and nook reading app.  Find it in your nook menu or by following this link.

What I’m Writing

I feel a little wary lately of talking about what I’m working on, because I’ve started so many different pieces and then stopped along the way.  I’ve got three pieces that I’ve mentioned in this blog about halfway done and I’ve gotten inquiries about all of them, and when they’ll be done.  I’ve got a horror story Love and the Darkness, the first volume of a sic-fi epic 82 Eridani: Journey, and a pulp-style adventure Kanana: The Jungle Girl.  I plan to get back to all of them, and would expect at least one of them next year.

The last several months, I’ve been feeling my way along– writing whatever I felt like I needed to write.  I’ve been pretty consistent about finishing things for the past six months. I wrote The Sorceress and her Lovers and then Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic Expedition, which had been sitting in outline form for years.  I kept right on with Astrid, finishing Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Spaceplane and even the first three chapters of the next one.

I felt like I needed to write something more adult though.  I suppose I should have jumped back on 82 Eridani, but I just couldn’t get my mind into the dark place that it needed to be.  Instead, I started a new robot book.  I am about 2/3 of the way through at this point.  I don’t want to give out too many details until I finish the first draft, but…  It’s not quite a sequel to Patience is a Virtue, though it does take place two years later and has some of the same characters.  The main character and the robot are both new characters however.  So, watch this space for more information.

Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Spaceplane available 10-24

Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space PlaneEveryone’s favorite girl inventor is back. The Maxxim space program is in full swing, ferrying supplies to the International Space Station, as Astrid perfects her ground-launched rocket plane. To finish it, she must first deal with Maxxim’s new automotive division, a terrifying vision of the future, and an English class essay, and her cousin Gloria coming for Thanksgiving.

Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Spaceplane is available for preorder for just 99 cents wherever fine ebooks are sold!

Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic Expedition – for nook

Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic ExpeditionTeen inventor Astrid Maxxim is back in her third adventure as she makes a journey to the bottom of the planet to uncover the secrets of a mysterious lost expedition. Meanwhile, troubles plague her friends and family as a hostile takeover threatens Maxxim Industries. Join Astrid and her friends as she faces the frozen dangers of the Antarctic, wild animals, mad bombers, and corporate high finance.

Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic Expedition is available for nook for just 99 cents.  Find it on your nook reading device or follow this link.