7 Things You Can Get Your Author For Christmas

Have an author in your life you want to get something for? This is a list of things you can get before time runs out:

Review their book –
Word of mouth sells books. If you’ve already got their book and are willing to spare 5 minutes of your time, reviewing it could be the way to make their day! It’s a free gesture that can mean the world to us.

Buy their book (and then review it) –
If you don’t have their book, consider buying it. You like them, don’t you? If you want to show them that, grab a copy of their book, read it, and talk to them about it. I love this more than I’d ever appreciate a box of chocolates (and I LOVE chocolate).

Buy them other people's books as distractions –
Most of the authors I know are in this business because they LOVE books. They read as constantly as they write. And this is a good thing. Believe me, anyone who loves books always wants more books, no matter how many they have stacked in a to-be-read pile.
Don’t know what to get them? Buy a gift card to…

7 Ways to Die in Space

Alien Slug Suffocation
Imagine it for a moment. Cold, gelatinous slime covering over your face. Goop drips down your neck. You hold your breath as long as you can, but… the slug has latched on. The suction is so strong, your skin starts to burn,
Then you gasp. But there’s no air between you and the slug. The slime fills your mouth. Fills your lungs.
Struggling only brings the black oblivion of death closer.

Gravity Reversal (Crushed)
We don’t set foot on hostile alien ships anymore. It’s been decades since they figured out how susceptible we are to gravity shifts… how easy it is to kill us with a simple adjustment of a slider on a console.
But sometimes, you don’t know they’re hostile. You don’t know that your alien boyfriend has discovered proof you’ve been cheating on him (Ignore the fact that the person in those pictures is definitely not you--jealousy doesn’t care about things like that). So a candlelight dinner turns from hot and heavy, to just plain heavy.
He watches you with pai…

IWSG: Some Tips for Surviving (and Winning) NaNoWriMo

Happy first Wednesday of the month fellow IWSGers, and happy National Novel Writing Month!

I’ve done NaNoWriMo several times at this point. I’ve won, I’ve lost, I’ve deleted all of my progress on day 15 and had to HUSTLE to get to 50k before the deadline.

As someone who has written ~120k in a February, 50k spread out over 30 days isn’t as daunting of a task for me as it may feel to other people.

The thing I, personally, struggle with when it comes to that 50k is having the focus to make sure they’re all from the same book.

1. Take it seriously… but not too seriously.

Writing fiction can be a special kind of torture. Writing on a deadline is it’s own beast. So the most important thing, when it comes to NaNo is that you take it seriously. There are some people who can throw out 50k on a whim. And there are others who get tangled up in their work and spend a lot of time staring at a blank page.

I will point out that staring at a blank page is a completely valid part of writing. Thinking…

7 Things Writers Should Do on Halloween

Hand out Books instead of Candy There are a lot of allergies out there anymore so navigating the peanut infested candy bowls of Halloween can be downright scary for some kids and their parents. Make it easy for everyone, hand out books instead!

Dress up like your favorite character Emphasis on YOUR character. Make sure it’s someone you’ve created, that way, when anyone asks who you are, you get to tell them about your book. Bonus points if you dress up as your book. Put your crafting skills to use with cardboard, duct tape and high resolution print outs from your local office supply store!

Eat so much candy you get a massive sugar high (not so much you go into a coma) and write your magnum opus in one night I can’t guarantee that you won’t wake up to a notebook full of indecipherable scribbles in the morning, but it’s worth a try!

Bathe in the blood of your enemies or just add food coloring to your bath… I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being pink for the next few days or a week. I mea…

Why are we so obsessed with eyes?

Can you tell me what color your coworkers’ eyes are? How about your cousin Andrew’s? What about Matt, the guy you went to high school with that you had a crush on?

Reading a book (that will go unnamed) a while back, I was struck--and not for the first time--by the many ways eyes were described. More so that the description almost always focused on color… and not much else.

I went back to my earliest manuscripts (those first, terrible drafts from when I was a baby author and which should be buried deep in tombs sealed with ancient, cursed glyphs) and found that I had done this too. Eyes like ice, eyes that inexplicably darkened from moss to emerald, eyes so chocolaty… I might have been hungry when I was writing that bit.

Eye color is one of the last things I pay attention to in real life interactions.

I know what color my husband’s eyes are, I know what color my own are. Those have some very specific descriptors (but I wouldn’t wax lyrical about them for a whole paragraph).

I know t…

Cover Reveal: The Boundary Zone

It's finally here, a new book.
Feels like ages since I've had one of those.
(Over two years. Yikes!)

I won’t bore you with all the gritty details of what went on in those two years. Not in this post anyway.

Instead, let’s talk about the book!
Like almost all of my other books, this one takes place in another galaxy, long after Earth is gone and everyone's stopped talking about it except when they want to mis-remember how great it was at the end.
It is the first book that has used my day-job as the inspiration for my main character's job and daily interactions with technology inside the plot.

And, as always, it's got a dose of alien in there with the rest.
The Boundary Zone - Mackenzie Flack plays with live wires for a living--both on and off book. For the last six months, she’s spent her downtime stealing decommissioned parts from a space station in the midst of tear-down. There’s no quicker way to acquire an excess of cash. And cash is what she needs to get her h…


~ A century and a half before I was born, a Kindiran woman warned her race of their coming doom. Her pleas for caution were met with ridicule.
She offered hope for salvation, but like all legends, interpretation of truth is often impossible until a foretelling comes to fruition. A two-headed chameleon, born of a false mother…. Those who listened thought her mad.
Electricity crackled through Kindiran veins, igniting a pride the likes of which the universe has never since seen. They bought her silence with a blade slicked in blood. And within a year, their less evolved cousins hunted them to extinction.
But that’s what humans have always been good at.

Mackenzie Flack had been electrocuted more times than she’d been kissed. And she’d enjoyed more of the zaps. She slapped a magnetic light strip against the crumpled bulkhead. The cicada-like device glowed a steady yellow as it clicked to life and she peered into the compartment laid open like a cadaver’s chest cavity. Clotted with splintered wi…