Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! I saw a pleading call on Facebook, and couldn’t let it pass without promoting it. The original author passed away and Craig Martelle finished his series. This is John Hindmarsh’s Jack Foster Space Opera which reads like a superhero series, but as a space adventure. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last day for a great series at 10 bucks, so go check it and grab it ASAP!

From the brilliant mind of John Hindmarsh, a space adventure that transcends his death. The sixth and final book is now available! Join the thousands who have read and enjoy this series. These sales support John’s family and gives him a great sendoff. He finished books one through four while in the final stages of acute myeloid leukemia, and his friend Craig Martelle promised to finish the series for him. John passed away a year ago, but his legacy lives on. Craig has now finished writing John’s series with the final two books taking the series to its conclusion bringing in beloved characters and mortal enemies on a race to the finish.

From May 29 through June 4, Books 1 through 5 will all be 99 cents (US/UK only) with book 6 at full price of $4.99. All six books in the series can be had for less than $10 or read as part of your Kindle Unlimited membership at no extra cost to you.

From the first book in the series… Violent Graduation:

It’s easy to ignore dangerous issues while you’re studying at the Royal Space Navy’s academy, until a sniper attempts to assassinate you.

The scar across the side of Jack’s head is the visible price. The risk to his friends at the academy is the hidden price. His challenge is how to balance the risks.

The final stage of his training is a shakedown cruise on an old minesweeper, barely able to achieve FTL entry and exit.

Midway through their cruise, the minesweeper collides with an ancient alien wreck, ripping the sides off the starship. Jack’s team of bots help seal the combined wreck to prevent air loss. Ghost, a nanolife form from the alien wreck, provides assistance.

Jack and his girlfriend, Sofia, are the only survivors, and air, food, and supplies are critical.

The countdown of days to survive is ticking.

No wonder the Royal Family are angry.

And there’s still a price on Jack’s head.

The story continues… Pick up the entire series today.

US Store

UK Store



Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week, after a kick in the pants from the workshop I’m taking, I managed over 12K and finished whatever I was working on, despite not writing every day. This week I’ll try for a short story and then we’ll see. Maybe two short stories if I manage to keep the wordcount high! I mean, I do want to reach pulp speed (i.e.1million words per year), so I better start worning on it! 😉

I got the email from KDP that they’re raising the paperback prices. With hundreds of books to update, I will take advantage of their bulk update, but not until mid-June, so if you’re a paperback lover, go grab ’em now! Other authors who have already sent the bulk update mentioned it takes time, but just to be safe, order now.

I ordered some paperbacks myself for future comic con, since they will cost more for me as well! They’re mostly in Italian, since I don’t plan on going anywhere this year. Worldcon is in China, and since I didn’t make it to Chicago, which I love, imagine if I want to embark on a trip to China! 😉 Next year it’s in Glasgow, so we’ll see…

Speaking of Worldcons, I finally read a paperback that I got from the author at Loncon 2014… yeah, I’m ashamed to admit that’s how much it took me to get to reading it. And since he’s not on Bookbub, but he’s a Goodreads friend, here’s the link to his book (although I have a different cover).

Do I recommend it? Yes, if you like historical time travel! I read the short story back then, so I don’t remember it at all (it’s still on K.K. though), therefore it was totally new and rather interesting. I mean, historical time travel and alternate history, what’s not to love? Check it out!

I see he has written other books since, although we haven’t been in touch… but my TBR pile is still quite high, so I’ll have to postpone checking them! I might go back to reading on Kindle soon, still plenty of Kickstarter books to read, sigh!

Above it’s Peter&Barb at Loncon 2014, and yes, he’s holding the book he gave me (and I’m holding my copy of Star Minds the Trilogy)… While looking for that picture in the dashboard, I cleaned up the old posts – mostly of my own drawings, all the guest posts still have images – to get more space in the media library… And that’s all for today! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote almost 11K, then yesterday I took a break to go through the manuscript from the beginning, to make sure I tied up all the lose ends. No, it’s not done, but I needed to remind myself what I’d done. Also, it’s part of a series but standalone, and I haven’t decided yet if I should re-read the other books of the series or not.

Considering that I’m making some kind of progress on my TBR list (although I keep adding to it by backing Kickstarters, sigh!), I’m not too keen on going back to older stories, mostly because every time I do, I find typos and groan. Maybe I should just grab those paperbacks, go throught them and re-upload the corrected version.

I used to go through the paperbacks (when I could order proofs through Createspace) since on paper typos jump out better than on Kindle, but I haven’t done it since I was forcefully moved to KDPpring. I’m a slow reader, and I’m trying to take down my TBR pile (especially on Kindle, it’s invisible, but it’s still a two-column A4 sheet of titles, and then some), so if I use some of that limited reading time to re-read my old books, I’ll never get the reading done!

Anyhow, I’m still writing and still tinkering with cover art, even though I might end up not using them. They’re good for inspiration, though, so I’ll keep doing those mock covers until I get a new laptop and have to learn to use the new one with the digital pen and tablet!

That’s all for today! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote around 5K, a very short story (almost a flash fiction around 1K), a short story and the start of a third, then the weekend hit and I had no time to go back to it. I won’t send more than 12 stories to my partner in crime/fellow challenge mate, but I will probably send them before the end of March, when the challenge ends. I have 2 and a half more to go.

Did I come up with a few ideas for the next projects? Yes. Will I be starting something completely new? Probably not. But even “sequels” are going to be different from the original series, that’s for sure. I haven’d decided which project I’m tackling next, though, and I’m thinking of preparing a couple of booklets of strips for next year’s comic cons in Italy, since everything seems to have resumed like before the lockdown.

Also, I’m hoping to do some traveling to find insipiration for another project. Going to the actual places instead of researching on the internet is going to be exciting and a new way of writing! Maybe I won’t even need those description generators anymore, LOL! I look forward to adding pages to my travel diary (started in India in 2016 and sorely empty since – except for the short trip to Cornwall last year).

I’m currently reading Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will Travel and since I have a story in the antho, I guess I won’t be able to review it on Bookbub, but it’s definitely another recommended reader. I don’t have favorites yet, because I’m not done, but check it out! 🙂

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote over 13K, which means by now I have reached 500K, yay! I wasn’t hoping to reach the goal this year, honestly, so I’m glad I did. Anything I write in the next four week it’s bonus words! 🙂

Not as good as past years, but I’m not complaining. And here’s a picture of all the books published this year in English (and yes, all have the paperback version)!

I don’t have plans for the new year yet. I hope to wrap up the current project this week, then we’ll see. I’m waiting for feedback on a story that I submitted, if it’s rejected, I’m going to write the novel for that one. Or maybe I’ll write a batch of shorts so that in 2024 I can do a Make 100 Kickstarter. I don’t have enough stories to do it in January 2023 yet.

Yes, I have a lot of shorts, but I wanted to do a volume of original, never-published-before stories, and I don’t have enough of those yet. So I’m going to write a few more, and see if I can fill those gaps. I also still have a couple of stories under consideration at traditional mags, and won’t hear about them until the end of January, so it’s definitely not for this year.

I have almost finished the shorter works on the New Kindle (which I won’t bother review or recommend), so I will start a new novel soon. I still have to pick a genre, though (yes, they’re mostly SFF, but it varies from space opera to urban fantasy to paranormal to whatever, so I’ll have to decide what to read next).

Hope the digital TBR list goes down by half at the end of the year, but I doubt I can do it! 😉 Here’s to wishing you happy reading, writing and mostly, have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

So, between videos about Ukraine and Russia, funny pets and Karens put in their place, I stumbled upong a Zoomer explaining TikTok algorithms and how the social media works… I guess I won’t get anywhere with my account (especially since they keep silencing my videos if I put the soundtrack from my phone), but I’ll keep posting until I have fun.

Yes, he offers a free guide, but he wants my phone# besides my email… er, no, thanks, hon, I hate the phone and I definitely don’t want you to call me or message me or whatever you need my phone for. I’m not even American! 😦 Besides, I don’t have the energy to do what he says I should do at this time.

Last week was mostly editing, so not much writing done (a little over 5K), but I still feel sort of burned out, or at least my creativity is sleeping. I mean, I’m still writing, so everything is okay, right? Not! I have mentioned I’m unhappy with whatever I wrote in the past two years, and maybe my esteemed colleague Ron Collins is right when he says:

I was not “blocked” after all. I could still throw down words. But it was like I was a potter at the wheel. I could drop clay down, but that clay wasn’t forming. Life was so intense, you know. So undecided. On the one hand I felt “safe” in that so few of us needed to brave the pandemic (and “safe” in that I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I and my family can survive with my trickle of writing income), but that just served to make me feel guilty for being overwhelmed (when I knew so many had things worse). Looking back, I can see that while everything was stagnant, nothing was stable. If I looked forward a few months, I could not make any certain statements about what life was going to be like.

I might have kept writing and publishing, but wasn’t really happy with the results. So I might be even slower from now on, especially in publishing. I might keep those stories on file until I’m sure I can make them better, or keep writing them, or whatever it is I can do with them.

Yes, of course, I’m still writing, but you probably won’t see many results after I publish the Otherside books and a couple of other collections I have already written, and only need to be sent to Mighty Editor. I don’t know what my next project will be because I’m improvising.

Maybe I’ll go back to drawing for a while, or watch more movies or anything else that might boost my creativity (a suggestion I got from the post above, hence I suggest you read it all, so I’m re-linking to it).

I got some Kickstarter rewards, and since they’re not on Bookbub, I’m giving the Goodreads link. It’s comic books of fables and fairy tales from all over the world, with different artists and writers involved. The first I read is Tamamo the Fox Maiden and Other Asian Stories (mostly from China, Japan and India, but also a few more). There’s even a short version of Mulan, and a kitsune – and lots of tigers in the Indian stories! 😉

Then there’s The Girl Who Married a Skull: and Other African Stories – some drawings I didn’t like at all, and one of the stories was very similar to one of the Indian ones, but it was nice. There’s three more, but I’ll review them next week.

And then there’s another 20 or so ebooks of fiction (and one non-fiction) I still have to read, but I need to put them on the new kindle and I haven’t done that yet. I started on a big paperback of short stories, so it will probably take me some time to get to them. And I also have half-a-dozen or so in PDF that I want to print out (but maybe, eventually, I’ll just put the mobi file on my TBR list) and a few bundles as well… hopefully this is the year my TBR pile goes down! 😉

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you might want to check this IASFA bundle (no, I’m not in it, but I know some of those names!)!

Talented authors. Remarkable stories. One incredible science fiction collection. IASFA brings you a massive science fiction book bundle!

Bestselling and debut authors have created worlds where invasions are apocalyptic and space empires are in peril. The universe is beyond our understanding…and sometimes, what we don’t know can kill us.

Aliens, warships, royalty, intrigue, and battle, sometimes fought only within one’s mind, other times with railguns, plasma beams, and blasters. Never a dull a moment as you choose from fifteen full-length books. When we discover we’re not alone in the universe, will you be prepared?

IASFA’s Science Fiction Book Bundle, available now.

And that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Happy Holidays (because from 1 November to 15 January there are approx.29 holidays observed by 7 of the world's major religions)Last week I wrote 8700words and completed another short story for submission, then I’ll probably call it a year! There are a couple more with themes that intrigue me, but there is no hurry to write and send them out. To reach 600K, I should write 38K in the coming 3 weeks, which might happen, since I started a new project. If it doesn’t, well, I already reached my yearly wordcount! 😉

As of December 2020, Lisa’s Odyssey is available on Kindle Unlimited for 99c (link to This is the first story included in the Future Earth Chronicles Shorts, and it’s practically a standalone, since it’s so much earlier than the others (22nd century instead of 25th)! And it will be FREE for four days – from Dec.19 to Dec.21.

Also, I’m enrolling books in the Smashwords End of Year sale starting on the 18th, since they added that nifty feature of gifting ebooks. So if you already have my books and would like to gift them to your friends, now is a good time, they’ll be discounted for the sale. Everything 50% off unless the book is at 99c.

Digital gifting will be up this year due to the global pandemic. Your best fans have already purchased your ebooks, but have they purchased your ebooks for their friends yet? Now that we’re opening the sale before Christmas, it’s a great opportunity for your most loyal readers to purchase your books for friends and family. Learn more about the ebook gifting feature here –

And since it’s still before Christmas, I’m going to give my recommended reading list for this year, just in case you don’t know which books to ask for Christmas! 😉 The list is in the order I read them, and if I found them on Bookbub, I probably recommended them there as well.

I’m giving the Goodreads link so you can then choose where to buy them. Although I’ve given up on Goodreads long ago, and probably soon so will you. I’m not sure what API access is for, but Goodreads definitely looks obsolete. Export your data & reviews while you can, import it to a place like or readng. I’m no longer doing this, so I won’t bother.

Anyway, here’s my 2020 5-star books, highly recommended! 🙂

A Sudden Outbreak of Magic by Michael Jasper

Utterly Charming, Throughly Kissed, Completely Smitten by Kristine Grayson

Snow Truer Love by A.J Tipton (warning, adult content)

Into the Forest Shadows by J.A. Marlow

Sword & Blood: The Vampire Musketeers (The Vampire Musketeers #1) by Sarah A. Hoyt, Sarah Marques

Glamour of the God-Touched by Ron Collins

On the Edge of Faerie by Stefon Mears

Drinking Heavy Water by Michael Warren Lucas

A special mention goes to The Phantom Games – it’s a mix of essays and short stories, and the short stories are all top notch! 🙂

I also have a lot of Did Not Finish this year, but life’s too short to waste time with books that don’t hold you. So I’m not giving a total count, and as usual, I’m not mentioning the non-fiction books I read. But for the first time, I’m going to list the samples of books I’m going to get next year when K.K. goes away or something – meaning I was intrigued and will love to continue reading!

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Lion’s Blood by Steve Barnes

The Salvage Crew by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Shadow Messenger by T.A. White

Zero Sum Game by Cody L. Martin

ARC: Titanic in Space by Dirk Walvoord

Leveled Up Love – a gamelit romance comedy by Tao Wong and A.G. Marshall

Automatic Reload by Ferret Steinmetz

And last but not least, don’t forget to check out the collaboration anthologies, the curated anthologies and the bundle Nightly Bites – the latter will be gone soon! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote only 5K, but I consider it mid-projects. Besides, I spent most of the weekend trying to decide what to write next for an anthology, so I’ll be working on short stories this week. Next week, if I write all the stories for the anthos I have eyed, I’ll get back to FEC 11, otherwise, November! 🙂

And as NaNoWriMo approaches, here’s some good advice. You know I don’t participate, because I write all year round, so I never did it.

And if you want a real challenge, write the 50,000 word novel in the month and publish it in the same month, meaning you have to have it done ahead of time enough to get the typos fixed and to do a cover. Now that’s a real challenge. Write and publish a book in the same month.

And that won’t happen either, since my editor (who fixes typos because I don’t have a native speaker first reader who can do it, unlike him) is already booked. So even if I actually write FEC11 in November (which I probably will, even if I start late, I’ll finish it, but since those are around 40K, I’ll have to add stuff to reach 50K), it’s booked for proofreading in January.

But I usually write 10K/week, and I’ve almost reached my yearly wordcount goal, so I’m not going to bother with that challenge, not this year (probably never. I know I can write a novel in a month, a clean first draft). I’ve done it in the past and can do it again whenever I need to.

Now for some more paperback beauties, here’s the two anthologies I mentioned last week. As soon as I finish the current beta-reading, I’ll dive into them.

By the way, this is the second book from this author, in another series, so I’m going to name him. Check out Michael Warren Lucas’s novels! They suck you in and won’t let go! The previous one is a new series, so I can’t say much about it yet, but this one is in the Montague Portal series, so check it out! 🙂

Kris Rusch on the future of entertainment in the 21st century. The sad news is the closure of Cineworlds all over the UK and US. I’m not sure about the US, but I definitely went to Cineworld O2 Greenwich and Cineworld Wembley (for Kaabil and War), so I’ll miss them. I wonder where I’ll be able to watch another movie in a theater – I stopped going in Rome because they closed all the theaters that showed original versions except a couple, now I’ll have to stop going to London too? Sigh.

Anyhow, this pairs quite well with this other article on how 5G and big data are ushering in a wider technological revolution. So more changes a-coming.

The 20th century is dead. The way we communicate, the way we learn and work, the way we are governed. We’re on a sharp trajectory into the new age of technology and communications. Current and past methods of working are quickly becoming obsolete, and it’s evident that this rapid change is in part due to the huge strides we’re making in mobile technologies and data.

I won’t miss the 20th century, mind you, but I kind of dread the inevitable change to a new technological dawn. Anyhow, we’ll see. After years of DayJob nightmares, I had my first CreativeJob nightmare about rights and copyright and contracts other messes. Might be because I had read the latest Writer Beware post, or because my family is as unsupportive as ever… Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote a little over 10K and wrapped the Future Earth Chronicles Prequel. Then I added a short story to complete it, although I finished it on Monday. I didn’t write much during the weekend because it was a creative weekend with my friend Cristina, so I concentrated on other things – namely the next strip, since Star Minds Kids and Teens ends in September.

And it was also time for another title up, my first with an F2M protagonist. When Azur revealed in Himalayas he’d been born Anna, it shocked even me, and I had to tell his story! So go check it out! 🙂

I also started preparing the new paperbacks – new covers and corrected interiors for the first five books, then this week I’m formatting the new ones, including the one that will come out in October, so it will be ready and come out at the same time as the ebook, haha!

While prepping the new paperback covers, I noticed Book 4 had a missing graphic and a white dot where there shouldn’t have been one, so I also had to update the ebook cover and all the banners on Facebook and the publisher’s page. Sigh. It used to go so smoothly, but this year I keep messing up! 😦

So I’ll probably postpone the Curated Antho I had in mind to next year, since most of the authors are Americans and they have enough trouble at the moment. After the elections maybe they’ll listen to me, and I can even send out a reprint – again I don’t think now is the right time.

But there will be my vampire story in that anthology coming out October 10, so you won’t be completely abandoned after FEC 10 comes out! And November 1st, as is tradition, another vampire novel, about the apocalypse and beyond. The story starts five years after the end of Kristine the Youngest, which means… 2020!

Unlike the previous novels, this is a multiple points-of-view story, seen through the eyes of Rajveer, Kris, Ingolf, Miyako and Claire, whom you’ll meet in FEC 10… but she gets the cover on this one! 😉

This week I’m off Day Job, so I’m working on those paperbacks and beta-reading for an author I love (as soon as he publishes this series, I’ll let you all know, it’s wonderful). Which is good after abandoning a couple of novels found in bundles – one because it didn’t grab me, the other because oh boy! It badly needed an editor/copyeditor/proofreader whatever it’s called.

Even in the reviews they mention it badly needs editing (or possibly just someone going through it before the author hit that publish button!), so I won’t name it, but I’m considering more and more to offer beta-reading/proofreading services to fellow authors. Spellcheck won’t see the right words in the wrong place, the missing words, the extraneous words and all that stuff that makes the prose unreadable.

I mean, we all deal with those darn typo faeries, but in some cases it really looks as if the author hit “publish” a little too fast. If you have a spouse or significant other or best friend who loves to read, please give them your manuscript. Or pay someone like I do because I’m ESL writer and I don’t have friends who read English in a timely manner, therefore I pay Mighty Editor Zoe to go through my manuscripts.

Does that make them perfect? Hell no! When I go through them, especially printed out, I still find mistakes. And even if it’s a hassle to re-upload the manuscript to all retailers, I try to do it as often as possible (I think I re-uploaded the first 5 FEC books 6 or 7 times already…).

It might definitely take me longer to update the paperbacks, but since they don’t sell that much… 😉 Now I better go back to working on those new paperbacks and writing a few more stories before the end of the month. Gotta submit something while I wait for the replies on the current submissions… Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote less than 9K again, but I had trouble with one story (I gave it up) and went very slowly with the rest. I’m trying to wrap up the Star Minds Universe, but some stories are not meant to be written at this time. I have finished writing the strip “Star Minds Kids and Teens”, though, but I still need to draw some strips. And do the prose version as well.

And we now have new covers on the contemporary titles, aaaand! A brand new title! Yes, some of the stories were already in Relationships, but there’s a new short story and the novella of the title, for which I thank Barbara “Abby” Palmer and Victoria “Tori” Zigler, without whom it would have never left my hard drive! 🙂

I did mention more Kickstarters and things to support, right? Well, check out this Cave Creek Kickstarter. I might be in those anthologies, if things go well, if not, it’s still a cool new world to discover. And it’s funded, so lots of goodies coming our way… I hear there are free stories along with the other free stuff! The first stretch goal is reached, let’s aim for the second! 😀

There’s also this friend of mine who launched a Kickstarter to fund his audiobooks. That”s something I might do too in the future, so I urge you to check it out! 🙂

And hey, psst… there’s an excerpt of my story, Olympia Nights, on Patreon… I know, you must be a patron to see it, but well… I thought I’d mention it anyway! You can see how it begins! 😉 I’ll also be interviewed on there, so stay tuned…

Disruption by Kris Rusch on how to deal with what’s going on this year. And more disruption with the sale of Simon&Schuster. Yeah, I know, shaky ground. But we’ll survive. And since we’re all more or less grounded, we should catch up on some reading or watching stuff.

As you might know by now, Italy is on lock down. I had to print out a declaration on where I work, in case they stop me and ask me wny I’m out and about. Snort.

Buses are empty and I won’t go to the supermarket until Saturday, but apparently people are panicking and stockpiling on toilet paper…

I can’t go to the cinema, because they’re off-limits, but I have a few codes for RakutenTV, so I might watch a couple of things on my computer soon.

I have finished the book on Medieval Africa, but I’ve been busy checking old Star Minds Universe novels to complete the series… and I’ve put a new Kindle in my Amazon shopping cart, although I’ll probably manage to finish reading the bundles I have on KK before it completely dies on me. I mean, it does charge, I just don’t have access to it anymore.

So, since I had to buy a couple of books for research purpose, I thought I might as well get a new Kindle. I could have stolen Mom’s unused Kobo eReader, but I never really understood how it worked, and could never see the books on it even if I attached it to my laptop with a USB cable. That’s what I can no longer do with KK, cause it’s invisible to laptop. Sigh.

So for the new title, I checked it looked all right on my Kindle 4PC app only. Just like I check ePubs on Adobe Digital Editions. Worse for my eyes, but still works.

The stuff will arrive at the end of the month – maybe, since COVID-19 is slowing down evev Amazon.

It almost feels like the Holidays, when everybody is busy with family business, to me. And of course I’m happy there aren’t many people around, since I’m so crowd-averse! 😀

I keep going to work by bus and I’m not particularly worried. This too shall pass.

Meanwhile, happy reading, writing, watching entertainment and have a great week! 🙂

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