Award-winning author
Unusual times, remarkable places

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

31 July 2014

Stuff in my yard; news

I posted pictures of tarantulas on Facebook that were in and outside our garage the other day. Along the side I'm posting one tarantula picture as well as three shots, increasingly closer, of what I think is a tarantula nest. Afterward is a picture of our largest cactus showing how many tuna (fruit) it has this year.

I have several bits of news to share.

Can you spot the spider nest?
First, the Hadley Rille Books' Indiegogo ends in about 11 hours! If you've been meaning to support this great small press (which publishes great fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction), now's your last chance to get the great Indiegogo perks. (You can contribute to HRB at any time, but only now will you get signed books or a teeshirt for doing so.) To donate, go to

Also, I am offering additional perks; find out at my last blog post at what I'm offering to people who donate.

Second, the Goodreads giveaway for my new self-published novel, Claimed by the Enemy, ends in about 11 hours as well. Claimed by the Enemy is a historical novel with strong romantic elements set in ancient Mesopotamia. To enter for a chance to win a signed trade paperback, click on the button in the Goodreads ad at top right or go to

Do you agree it's a tarantula nest?
If you don't trust your luck, you can buy the novel outright at as a trade paperback and as a Kindle ebook; it's also available at Barnes and Noble online as a trade paperback.

Third, most of the data from my previous newsletter list was lost. I am collecting names again for a newsletter that would probably come out three or four times a year. Each would include news and a giveaway and possibly some photos as well. To sign up, type in your email address in the very pale form in the right column or go to

Fourth, if you like to listen to audiobooks, my 2009 historical novel Like Mayflies in a Stream and my 2012 sf novelette "The Hunt" are both now available as audiobooks. Find them at and at

Fifth, I have a new dark historical fantasy novelette coming out tomorrow or Saturday. It's entitled The Measure of a Man, and I will be self-publishing it as a Kindle book. The hook: zombies in paradise. I'll post the link when it is up. UPDATE: The ebook is up at

Thanks for reading, and please sign up for my newsletter. You can cancel at anytime, and because MailChimp is handling the newsletter, I won't even know you've unsubscribed!

21 July 2014

Extra perks for HRB Indiegogo

To encourage more people to support the Hadley Rille Books' Indiegogo project, I'm adding some additional perks for those who see this blog post and who live in the United States or Canada.

These are in addition to any perks you receive from Hadley Rille Books as described at Indiegogo. To receive your desired extra perk, (1) contribute to the Hadley Rille Book Indiegogo, (2) forward your acknowledgement or receipt to me by email at, (3) tell me which perk you would  like, and (4) give me your mailing address.

writer, reader, and journaler swag set
• one 8.5- x 5.5-inch Ice Magic, Fire Magic lined notebook
• one 8.5- x 5.5-inch Like Mayflies in a Stream lined notebook
• one 8- x 5-inch Claimed by the Enemy lined notebook
• one Ice Magic, Fire Magic pen
• one Like Mayflies in a Stream pen
• several bookmarks

Ice Magic, Fire Magic (Hadley Rille Books, 2015) swag set
You will receive:
• one 8.5- x 5.5-inch Ice Magic, Fire Magic lined notebook
• five pads of Ice Magic, Fire Magic Post-It pads
• one Ice Magic, Fire Magic pen
one Ice Magic, Fire Magic mousepad 
one Ice Magic, Fire Magic totebag
• one signed bookplate

Gilgamesh gift pack
You will receive:
• one signed trade paperback of Like Mayflies in a Stream (Hadley Rille Books, 2009)
• one trade paperback of  Gilgamesh by Stephen Mitchell
one trade paperback of The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh by David Damrosch
• one 8.5- x 5.5-inch Like Mayflies in a Stream lined notebook
• one Like Mayflies in a Stream pen
five Like Mayflies in a Stream bookmarks

Claimed by the Enemy (Nicobar Press, 2014) gift pack
You will receive:
one copy of Claimed by the Enemy in the format of your choice. (If you choose trade paperback format, it will be signed.)
• one 8- x 5-inch Claimed by the Enemy lined notebook
• five pads of Claimed by the Enemy Post-It pads
• one Claimed by the Enemy mousepad
• five Claimed by the Enemy bookmarks
• one Claimed by the Enemy 2014 calendar magnet

An HRB novel dedicated to you!
You will receive:
• I will dedicate my next book for Hadley Rille Books after Ice Magic, Fire Magic to you! (Note: No such novel is yet contracted.)
• Your choice of one copy of Like Mayflies in a Stream or Claimed by the Enemy now or a copy of Ice Magic, Fire Magic after its publication in 2015. If you choose trade paperback format, it will be signed.

A story written just for you!
You will receive:
• A short story of 5000 words or less written for you by me with your choice of genre, setting, characters, etc. You can be the hero! Or the villain!

Choose your own perk!
Don't see what you want? Do I have it, or am I able to produce it? Write to me at with your idea for a perk and what you will donate to Hadley Rille Books to get it. I will agree to all reasonable requests.

Remember, contribute to the Hadley Rille Books Indiegogo at the Indiegogo site; don't send your contribution to me. I'll just buy chocolate with it. Also, these extra perks are for people with U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses; sorry, everyone else.

Thanks for helping Hadley Rille Press survive and thrive.

10 July 2014

In praise of small presses

The Publisher's Stroke
In February, Eric T. Reynolds, publisher and owner of small sf/f press Hadley Rille Books, had a stroke that landed him in intensive care, then a regular hospital ward, and then a rehab facility for almost five months. He is now continuing recuperation at home.

After Eric's stroke, HRB authors immediately pitched in—in ways big and small—to help keep the press going. We  kept the audiobook program alive and producing audiobooks of past releases; we released one novel and will release another this fall; we started a planned Indiegogo to raise money to raise the profile of HRB and its books.

I say "we" because like other HRB authors, I offered to help. But my schedule and health allowed me to help out only in a small way. The weight of the work fell on the shoulders of Terri-Lynne DeFino, author of several fantastic fantasy books, who is temporarily running HRB at the expense of her own writing and personal life. Authors Karin Gastreich, Julia Dvorin, and Kim Vandervort also have sacrificed greatly for HRB.

What is more remarkable is what didn't happen. To my knowledge, no one pulled a pending book, and no one went looking for a new publisher.

Like many small presses, HRB runs on love, and the HRB authors consider ourselves a family. Eric  treated his authors fairly and with respect, and it was only natural to help him out when he needed us.

Reasons I Love Being a Small-Press Author

In the continuing debates between those who favor traditional publishing and those who favor independent publishing, the small press often gets left out. It's a shame, given that being with a small press can offer the best of both worlds. Here are some of the reasons I'm a HRB author.

* HRB has high production values, and its covers are increasingly beautiful. (See some of my favorite HRB covers at right.)

* The authors have input into their cover art.

* Books go from manuscript to printed book in one-third the time a New York publisher takes.

* Small presses can specialize in niche audiences. One of HRB's specialties is archaeologically and/or historically accurate historical fiction by people with degrees in the field who know their stuff.

* HRB is not rooted in the past or in passing trends; the future of publishing is already here at HRB. The books feature characters of various ages and ethnicities and do not hide that fact. The women are realistic and varied, true strong heroines with believable motives and backgrounds. The big publishers still struggle with the concept of a "strong woman" and publish books whose women demonstrate their strength by swearing a lot, beating people up, or being rude.

* HRB contracts do not require the author give up all rights forever or to not write books for anyone else. Big publishers increasingly are squeezing authors with restrictive clauses.

* The HRB royalty rate is several times as high as my friends at large publishers receive.

* HRB books stay in print forever, and HRB continues to promote them. The typical large publisher gives a book a brief time, sometimes only a month, to sink or swim. Increasingly, big publishers drop authors whose books sell consistently but never are best sellers.

HRB's IndieGogo

HRB is currently raising money to help it become a bigger press. Our financial goal is $12,500. With the help of the funds raised, we hope to hire a professional publicist, go to more conferences, get on the shelves of more brick-and-mortar bookstores, and otherwise increase awareness of HRB's books and sell more.

If you agree that readers of fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction need the innovative books put out by small presses I urge you to check out HRB's Indiegogo at You can contribute as little as $5; larger donations get you increasingly cool perks: signed books, an exclusive teeshirt, a walk-on role in a future novel, a chat with an author, a fifty-page manuscript critique, and more.