Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Freebies

The SpecFic Collective boys are at it again, bringing you a selection of free eBooks just in time for Christmas to stock that shiny new Kindle (or your old one or your cloud reader, we're not picky.) Choose from the following, or better yet, download all of them. They're free for a limited time.
Soul Thief

James is home alone, having once again turned down an invitation from his family to share in an evening out. He's about to come face to face with a thief of a distinctly unnatural kind. Soul Thief is free December 25 through 29.

The Genehunter #2: The Zombies of Death

A Sci Fi cyberpunk novella set on an Earth slowly going to hell. The Zombies of Death is the second of five science fiction stories following the adventures of Simms, genetic detective and all-round nice guy. Free December 25 through 29.

1 Dozen  Short Tales of the Strange and Spectacular

1 Dozen collects 12 flash-sized tales in the slipstream, horror, and science fiction genres. Eleven thousand words of weird, creepy goodness. Free from December 25 through 28.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


After a long dry spell--haven't had an acceptance since April--I finally received some good news from a publisher in my email box. MuseItUp Publishing has accepted my long (11,000+ words) short story "Highway 24." I wrote this story a couple years ago and put it aside as it was too long to submit anywhere. I took it out in November and spent a couple weeks rewriting it to make MuseItUp's fall deadline. Just made it, if you use Pacific Time. "Highway 24" is a ghost story about an accident on a lonely highway that brings a young travelling salesman face-to-face with a dark secret from his father’s past. The tentative release date is June.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Word of the Week: Tawdry

What do you picture when you hear the word tawdry? You probably think of something cheap or gaudy: maybe some loud shirt that people wore to discos in the '70s; maybe a woman's bright yellow silk necktie with purple and green stripes; or an Anglo-Saxon abbess with a throat tumor. If you knew about the last one, pat yourself on the back.

In modern English, tawdry is an adjective for gaudy items which are cheap in appearance or quality. This usage has been around since the late seventeenth century. In the early seventeenth century, tawdry was used as a noun for a woman's silk necktie. The noun is a shortened form of tawdry lace, a term from the mid-sixteenth century, which is an altered form of Saint Audrey's lace.

Saint Audrey (circa 636-679)—also known as Æthelthryth, Etheldreda, or Awdrey—was an East Anglian princess who became a Northumbrian queen and later founded a double monastery in 673 at Ely in present-day Cambridgeshire. She served as the Abbess of Ely until her death. Her personal life was colorful and complicated. She convinced her first husband, Tondberct of the South Gyrwe, to honor her vow of perpetual virginity. Her second husband, Ecgfrith of Northumbria, initially agreed to honor her vow but later changed his mind. Audrey refused his advances and fled from York to Ely. Legend says that a miraculous, rising tide aided her escape. Audrey died of a tumor on her neck. Tradition says that she considered the tumor divine retribution for her youthful fondness for necklaces. Saint Audrey's Fair was held in Ely on her feast day, June 23, throughout the Middle Ages. Neckties and ribbons of shoddy quality were sold at the fair.