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Let me start out by once again thanking everyone who submitted either short stories or novels to us in November.  We received quite a few submissions and it was difficult to choose exactly which ones to sign.  However, our editorial board was up to the task and contracts have been sent out and returned.  Now I have the pleasure of announcing the schedule for the first quarter of 2011 as well as some of the titles we will be publishing later this year.

January

The e-arc for Dave Freer’s YA novella, Without A Trace, is already available for purchase.

A Deeper Silence, a collection of short stories by Charles Edgar Quinn.

Legion, a short story by Dave Freer and Kate Paulk.

February

Lawyers of Mars by Pam Uphoff.

Short story collection by Dan Hoyt, title to be announced later.

Death of a Musketeer by Sarah D’Almeida.  This is the first of the Musketeer Mysteries and has never appeared in digital format.  We are very pleased to be able to add this title to our catalog and to announce that we will be offering later this year The Musketeer’s Confessor, a new book in the series.

We will also offer an as yet to be determined short story or two this month.

March

Impaler by Kate Paulk.  A mix of alternate history, historical mystery and a new take on the Dracula myth.  This is the follow-up novel to Kate’s novella, Born in Blood.

Hunter’s Moon by Ellie Ferguson is a mix of urban fantasy and romance.

Blood Ransom, a short story collection by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Last, but certainly not least, we will be offering our own irreverent take on St. Patrick’s Day, much in the vein of Robert Hoyt’s Christmas Campaign.

April

The Great Flying Saucer Conspiracy by Tom Easton.  Tom will be doing a guest blog for us later this month complete with information about the book and a giveaway.

An as yet to be titled short story collection by Dave Freer.

Want, a short story by Jay Caselberg that came to us during our November submission period.

Skipping Stones, a short story by Darwin Garrison that also came to us during the November submission period.

May

Revocare, a short story by Leslie Fish that was submitted to us during November.

Here There Be Faeries, a short story by Stephen Simmons that came to us also during the November submission period.

There will be at least one novel added to the lineup.  We’ll announce which title as soon as possible.

Summer/Fall/Winter

Among the titles we’ll be offering the second half of the year are the following:

The Musketeer’s Confessor by Sarah D’Almeida.  This is a new title in the Musketeers Mysteries and we are very excited to be able to offer it to you.

Firefight by Tom Easton will be published in August.

Tiltamouse is Hunger, a YA novella by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Vengeance Mine, a mystery by Jenny Schall that is also a product of the November submission period.

ConVent by Kate Paulk.

Robert A. Hoyt’s holiday collection which includes Christmas Campaign.

These are just a few of the titles we’ll be bringing you over the next year.  As new titles are added, we’ll let you know.

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A Touch of Night, by Sarah A. Hoyt and Sofie Skapski is today’s free offering.  It will remain free until 9 am CST tomorrow.  (Note:  this offer is good only through our web store).
Sarah A. Hoyt and Sofie Skapski have taken Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and adapted it to give us a rip-roaring tale of were-dragons, English drawing rooms and so much more.  This is an England where magic reigns and being a shape-shifter is the only crime that warrants immediate execution.


Netherfield is let at last!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man of clean lineage and respectable fortune must be in need of a wife.

Upon entering any country neighborhood, this man will be viewed as the rightful property of this or that daughter of the local families and each one will make haste to claim him by all means available within the bounds of propriety.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to this gentleman, over tea in the small blue parlor of the Longbourne house. “Have you heard that Netherfield is let at last?”

Ensconced in his comfortable chair by the fire, book grasped firmly in hands and gaze set on said book with equal firmness, the gentleman replied without looking up, “No, I have not.”

His second daughter, Elizabeth, recovering from a startled tremble thanked the heavens he’d missed her reaction. Doubtless his book was too engrossing to allow him to notice such insignificant creatures as people.

That her mother didn’t realize Elizabeth had shaken and spilled the best portion of her teacup all over her saucer did not surprise the girl. Dutiful daughter though she tried to be, she entertained no illusions about her mother, who was a woman of mean understanding and little education. Mrs. Bennet’s life work was the marriage of her five daughters, its solace visiting and gossip.

So, Lizzy set about cleaning her saucer, while listening to her mother.

“Do you not want to know who has taken it?” Mrs. Bennet asked her husband, impatiently.

“You wish to tell me and I have no objection to hearing it.”

This was invitation enough.

“Why, my dear. Mrs. Long says it has been taken by a young man of large fortune from the North of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four and was so much delighted with the place that he settled on the price immediately. He’s taking possession immediately and his servants have been busy about the place for a week.”

“The North of England,” Mr. Bennet said, looking over his book with such a grave expression only the daughter who understood him best could discern the impish twinkling in his eyes. “A well known place for blood lines that throw out a were every other generation.”

“A were!” Mrs. Bennet said in startled alarm. “I hope not. Our neighborhood has never had any of the foul fiends, and I swear my nerves will carry me off if a were-beast were to settle within easy distance of us!”

“I daresay,” Mr. Bennet said, his expression graver and the twinkle in his eyes more pronounced. “That they have to live somewhere.”

“Oh, no, Mr. Bennet, they must not,” his wife said. “For you know the law says they are to be killed at once.”

“Only if caught, Mrs. Bennet, only if caught.” . . . .

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I should be repairing the ceiling in the garage.  But, as you can see, I’m not.  Instead, I’ve been reviewing a couple of contracts — announcements soon — and reading slush — more announcements soon — and pondering the holiday season.

Like a lot of folks, I hate to shop.  It isn’t that I don’t like to give.  I do.  But I don’t like crowds.  So I do my best to avoid malls, especially this time of year.  This is when the internet can be my friend.  I say “can” because a lot of it depends on how reliable the product information and shipping times happen to be when you purchase online.   Then there’s the whole thing of making sure someone is home to accept the packages when they’re delivered, etc.  Now, if only I could find a way to have everything gift wrapped, without having to pay more for it….oh well, that, too, will happen one day.

Over at Mad Genius Club today, I posted links and cover images to some of the books and short story collections the other mad ones have for sale.   Three of them — Dave Freer, Sarah A. Hoyt and Kate Paulk — already have titles out with NRP.  A fourth, Chris McMahon — a wonderful Australian author — will have a short story in our upcoming Angels and Demons themed anthology, due out later this month.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we’ll have something to offer from Rowena Cory Daniells as well.

What I’d like you to consider, if you have books — or e-books — to purchase for friends or loved ones this holiday season, is buying something from one of these wonderful authors.  Dragon’s Ring by Dave Freer is probably the best fantasy I read this year, and that’s saying a lot.  Darkship Thieves is the best space opera I’ve read in a long time.  Both definitely make my top ten list in books I’ve read this year.  Rowena’s King Rolen’s Kin trilogy is in my tbr pile as are Chris’ books.  (See the MGC post for links to all their books I mentioned today.)

Give the gift of a book, or an e-book, to someone you care about.  Share an author you love.

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First of all, apologies for the delay between posts.  Real life kicked several of us in the teeth this past week and we’re just now digging out.  However, beginning this week, there will be at least four posts every week — God willing and the creek don’t rise.

Since my last post, we’ve published two more short stories and the Halloween collection.  The first short story is Hell of a Job by Kate Paulk.  It should appear on Amazon, B&N and other “store” sites in the next few days.  Here’s a short excerpt:

Elizabeth Antonia Harrisfield snuggled into the cushions on the obsidian throne and sighed. Being a Dark Lord, Supreme Ruler of the Southwestern Corner of the Mappe and loyal minion of the Dread Lord of Hell Himself wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

There was the throne, for a start. Carved from a single block of flawless obsidian, massive and foreboding, emphasising the Dark Lord’s power to all who saw it, it was also hellishly uncomfortable and froze the Dark Lord’s backside. Which helped to explain the previous incumbent’s fondness for incinerating his underlings.

That latter was also partially explained by the Dread Lord’s habit of watching the Dark Lords and occasionally popping in to offer advice. Her predecessor’s predecessor had resigned after one such visit. It wasn’t that unlike board meetings back home, except that forced resignations usually didn’t involve the luckless victim devolving into a screaming lump. Elizabeth hadn’t been graced with any such visits yet, but once she’d learned they happened she’d set about finding out what they involved.

It seemed that being a Dark Lord and Loyal Minion was a high risk, high turnover position. . . .

In the next short story, Zebbie by Sarah A. Hoyt, a young cat’s antics leads his family into a dangerous world where reality and fable merge.  Here’s an excerpt:

. . .Zebbie froze by my side, his paw raised like a pointer dog in an English hunting print. I looked down, surprised at this unnatural pose, then froze in my turn. My heart hammered somewhere between my mouth and my ears. Above and in front of Zebbie’s paw, floated something that looked like a giant, shimmering soap bubble. Only it wasn’t a bubble, just a shimmering of the air and a faint suggestion of rainbow color. Inside this, suspended, flew… I can only describe it as a human, if a human were about a palm long, with a golden exoskeleton and dragon-fly wings.

I don’t remember screaming. I didn’t even throw the flowers over my head, nor let go of the sharp knife. Funny how, when the impossible happens, one acts in a perfectly reasonable way. Instead, I turned my back. “Come on, Zebbie,” I said, and started walking towards the back door. Then looked back to see if he followed.

Zebbie darted me a reluctant look, then made a half-movement, as though to pounce on the thing.

“No,” I told him. “Don’t you touch that.” Just as rational as you please, as though restraining Zebbie from playing with a squirrel or a mouse.

I made it all the way to the phone, dialed Glen’s office phone and found myself telling him, “I just saw a fairy in the garden.” . . . .

Both of these stories are available for individual purchase or as part of the collection of stories we did for Halloween.  The collection, Night Whispers, is available here.  As with the stories, it will also be available through Amazon and other outlets within the next few days.   The collection includes Jack by Dave Freer, Till Your Proud Heart Break by Sarah A. Hoyt, Gooble, Gobble, One of Us by Charles Edgar Quinn, Predator or Prey by Ellie Ferguson, Bite One, Get One Free by Robert A. Hoyt as well as Hell of a Job by Kate Paulk and Zebbie by Sarah A. Hoyt.

As far as observations go, I’m not a big TV watcher.  When I do watch, it’s usually something on the History Channel, BBCA, one of the Discover Channels or an old movie.  But the other day I decided to take a look at AMC’s new series, The Walking Dead.  I’ll admit right now that I’ve never seen the graphic novel it’s based on.  Nor am I that big of a fan of zombie movies.  My opinion has been that zombie movies have gone the way of slasher flicks — after the first couple of really good ones, they’ve become nothing but parodies of themselves.  But The Walking Dead changed my mind — at least so far.

Don’t get me wrong.  There isn’t a lot of new material here.  The sheriff waking up alone in the hospital after being in a coma reminded me a lot of Howard Keel awakening in the hospital and ripping the bandages off his eyes in Day of the Triffids.  (Oh no, now I’m going to have the opening theme of Rocky Horror Picture Show playing in my head — “And I really got hot when I saw Janette Scott fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills”.  Okay, it’s been one of those days.  What else can I say?)

Okay, back to business here.  Before getting hijacked by RHPS, I was going to say that I found myself enjoying the pilot of The Walking Dead more than I’d expected.  I haven’t had a chance to see the second episode yet, but it’s on the dvr waiting for me.  Maybe tonight.

I also want to let you know that we are having a few issues with our store right now.  It’s nothing major — unless you happen to be one of our IT guys and they are pulling their hair out right now.  For some reason, on the pages where our new short stories and novels are listed, some of the images have decided to appear one moment and then disappear the next.  We aren’t having that problem on the individual product pages, nor does it impact your ability to purchase and download the items.  It’s just frustrating and I’ve got a tech or two threatening to commit violence if they can’t find the problem and fix it soon.

Finally, tomorrow we’ll be publishing Darwin Garrison’s first anime/manga review.  His column will appear twice a month.  Beginning December, it will be the first and third Wednesday of the month.  So be sure to stop by and take a look tomorrow.

Until tomorrow, I’m going to go see if I can’t calm the techies and keep them from throwing a computer across the room.  They never clean up the mess when they do ;-p

 

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