Friday, August 16, 2019

Barry Hughart

Today, it was announced that fantasy novelist Barry Hughart died on August 1. He only published three books, but the first one, Bridge Of Birds, won the World Fantasy Award.

His novels were set in “an ancient China that never was.” The main characters were the naive farm boy Number Ten Ox and Master Li, “a sage with a slight flaw in [his] character.” They traversed China, unraveling ancient mysteries and often leaving chaos in their wake.

Bridge Of Birds was a wonderful book, blending Chinese myth and folklore with moments of comedy, tragedy, suspense, horror and beauty. It’s not a perfect book, and I can see some problematic elements in it now, but it was my favorite novel ever at one time, and it may still be.

Barry Hughart’s writing was a big influence on mine when I started writing novels, possibly one of the biggest. The fourth Monkey Queen book, A Tiding Of Magpies, tried to pull the same trick Hughart did with reworking the Qi Xi/Tanabata legend, and I suspect you could feel his style in my words and ideas. I dedicated the book to him. I tried to track him down, so I could thank him and send him a copy of the book, but his last publisher had lost touch with him. I suspect that he valued his privacy...but I deeply regret not having a chance to tell him how much I appreciated his work.

These are the final words from Bridge Of Birds (spoiler free). I wanted to end this by sharing them with you:

“I shall clap my hands together and bow to the corners of the world.

“May your villages remain ignorant of tax collectors, and may your sons be many and ugly and strong and willing workers,  and may your daughters be few and beautiful and excellent providers of love gifts from eminent families that live very far away, and may your lives be blessed by the beauty that has touched mine.

“Farewell.”

Farewell, Barry Hughart, and thank you.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Peavley Manor Novelettes: An Update

I thought I'd take a break from incessantly promoting my upcoming  novel Peavley Manor (Or, Introducing Macalley) (Coming August 27! Preorder today at Amazon and other sites!) to make this announcement:

The individual Peavley Manor novelettes (Book Fair Frenzy, The Thorn Harbour Road Rally, The Missing Mallard, and The Rebellious Rooster) will be removed from sale at all ebook sites this Sunday, August 18.

Tales Of Peavley Manor (Or, Macalley Gets It Together), which collects these four stories in one ebook (and in paperback), will still be available, and should be for years to come.

I'm doing this to avoid confusion among readers. Instead of having to figure out which of six titles they need to buy then giving up and going out for a cuppa, now they'll know that they have to just get two books, the novel and the collection of novelettes.

If you still want to buy the individual novelettes, you have until Saturday to do so. However, if you haven't bought any of those, I'd urge you to buy the Tales Of Peavley Manor (Or, Macalley Gets It Together) collection instead. Due to Amazon's pricing and royalty structure, it'll be cheaper for you, AND it makes me more money than buying the single volumes! Wins all around!

Do let me know if you have any questions. Thank you, as always, for your time and your support!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Peavley Manor (Or, Introducing Macalley) - coming August 27!

Hello. It's been a while, hasn't it? I owe everyone an explanation at some point for going quiet here, but I'm back with good news: After over a year and a half of work, the first Peavley Manor novel is finally on its way! Peavley Manor (Or, Introducing Macalley) is coming August 27, and you can preorder the ebook now on Amazon! It should be up soon on iTunes, Kobo and other stores, and there will be a paperback edition as well.

Read Chapters One and Two after the cut!



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Catchup: September 23, 2018

Time for a quick Sunday catchup! First: If you somehow missed the news, I had two releases earlier this month. The new edition of Skyblade's Gambit is out, and is now available worldwide, on Amazon and elsewhere! (Search for the book title or my name at your favorite e-book retailer!) Take to the skies!


And the fourth Peavley Manor novelette, "The Rebellious Rooster (Or, Macalley Gets Cocky)", is out! Alice's plan to assist a friend backfires in hilarious ways! Get it on Amazon and other sites!


More after the cut...including a hint at what's next!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Skyblade's Gambit - new edition out today!

Time to take to the skies...again! The new edition of Skyblade’s Gambit is now available! Get it on Amazon! This version has been expanded and rewritten, and is the definitive edition. (Due to last-minute production issues, Skyblade’s Gambit will only be available immediately on Amazon. It should be up on other platforms, including Kobo and iTunes, by the end of the month.) (Also, Skyblade's Gambit is not suitable for most younger readers.)


Captain Annabel Skyblade commands the Peregrine, the most feared pirate airship to sail the skies of Aldarre, plundering the rich and powerful. The rulers of the great sky realms have had enough of her, and Victorie Brassfeld, Cerindel's top Navy intelligence agent, has a plan to capture the pirate, using a lure too strong to resist—a valuable, beautiful sapphire amulet. But the amulet hides a great secret, and when it is stolen by sinister forces, Annabel and Victorie must join together to retrieve it. And as they face danger and adventure, they also have to face their feelings for each other, feelings they have never had before, when they discover... Hearts can be stolen too.

You can read a sample of the new edition of Skyblade’s Gambit on Amazon, including an expanded scene with Annabel in action. After the cut, you can read an excerpt from a new scene, featuring Victorie on the job. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Rebellious Rooster: Out Today!

It's here! The new Peavley Manor novelette, "The Rebellious Rooster (Or, Macalley Gets Cocky)" is now available at Amazon and other ebook retailers! (Search "Rebellious Rooster" or my name to find it!)


When heiress Alice Peavley runs into her old friend Maia, the last thing she expects is the string of chaotic events that follows. There’s the loud and cranky chicken to contend with. And Reg, the playful but well-meaning pooka. Not to mention the impending moa race, and the characters it’s attracting. Can Alice, with the help of her trusty gnome valet Macalley, keep her wits and come out on top? Grab a scone, some snarkleberry jam, and a cup of tea, and find out!

And there's an extended preview after the cut! Enjoy!