Please welcome Aidee Ladnier–plus a giveaway

Klockwerk Kraken

The KlockWerk Kraken cover (1)

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When the right space pilot walks into his bar, a desperate bartender uses all his wiles (and tentacles) to talk the man into business and his bed–but the spacer is still enslaved by his past and isn’t sure he can deal with a two-handed lover, much less one with six.

As the supply shipments stop coming, Teo Houdin needs all his tentacles to keep his waystation bar open. Facing a riot by thirsty miners stranded in the backwater of the galaxy, Teo helps a greenie space pilot buy a ship in return for a regular haul of liquor. But he longs for the courage to invite the enigmatic spacer to fill his lonely bed as well.

Still smarting from his newly implanted navigational ports, Jimenez knows owning his own ship will prevent him from ever being bought and sold again. For a former slave, transporting cargo through the emptiness of space sounds like paradise, but after meeting the compassionate and sexy Teo, his heart feels empty, too.

At the edge of the galaxy’s spiral arm, can Teo convince Jimenez that the heart has its own tentacles and theirs should be entwined forever?


Jimenez opened the bar’s airlock and the urge to run out again washed over him like a splash of cold water. He commanded his frozen legs to shuffle forward and inside. This could turn ugly if he lost his concentration for even a moment. But he wouldn’t. He’d been practicing, becoming accustomed to groups larger than this for revs now.

He could be just like everyone else.

None of them would see the scars on his back or the brand of his tattoo that had marked him since puberty.

Men and women filled half the tables and booths, some laughing and drinking, a few puffing blue smoke. The gaming tables on the side were empty, while a lone player at the billiard table opposite pocketed ball after ball. The room rang with loud voices, clinking glasses, and raucous music.

Jimenez slid into an empty spot at the pale stone bar and caught sight of the clearest, happiest eyes he’d ever seen, a shade lighter than the man’s tousled brown mop above. A dimple quirked at the side of his full lips, mesmerizing Jimenez. The loud voices behind him slid away and for a moment, it was quiet in his mind. Jimenez flinched when his shoulder was jostled and the spell broke.

“Hey, you okay, buddy? First time? What can I pour for you?”

Jimenez blinked, realizing the tall bartender was speaking to him. The man’s smiling eyes crinkled at the corners of his bronzed face. Jimenez swallowed, and he ducked his chin, trying not to stare again, trying to hide his hot cheeks. He’d never been so close to such a handsome man.

“Did you want a drink?” The bartender quirked an eyebrow.

“Yeah… I mean yes. Whiskey neat.” His voice came out gruffer than he expected.

“Bourbon, Scotch, Rye…?”

“Surprise me.” It was a game Jimenez played. He’d order whiskey and discover what the bartender served. If he reached for the rail bottle closest to hand, it meant he would pour either the cheapest or the local favorite. If he pulled something from the top shelf, the bartender angled for a bigger tip. But if he grabbed a decanter off to the side or behind another bottle, he’d score the bartender’s personal pick.

“Coming right up.”

The bartender raised a tentacle in greeting, calling out to another patron.

Oh, God. The man was a Pod.

Of course he was.

In a joint named the Klockwerk Kraken, who better to tend the bar than a tentacled man?

guy with tentacles


AideeNOH8About the Author

Aidee Ladnier began writing fiction at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

You can find her on her blog at or on her favorite social media sites:



Coloring Contest

Aidee is holding a Coloring Contest!! Visit the link below and download one of her coloring sheets and upload it once you have finished coloring for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus a signed LIMITED EDITION of the Klockwerk Kraken. So get some crayons and grab the kids because the more you enter the more chances you have to win.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Aidee is giving away a prize pack filled with gift cards and lots of Kraken style goodies!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


So why Tentacles?

By Aidee Ladnier


pic 1By now everyone is probably aware of my fondness for tentacled science fiction heroes. I even have one, a bartender named Teo whose extra appendages come in mighty handy on a busy Friday night. He debuted in my book The Klockwerk Kraken.

But when I mention my hero, I generally get one of three reactions:

  1. Ewwww!
  2. Cool.
  3. Why?

Let’s address the first one. The Ewww! Factor probably arises from the visceral reaction to a creature so alien to oneself. After all, octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish have no bones; they live at the bottom of the ocean; and they have lots of arms–like spiders (another phobia-inducing critter).  On top of that, octopuses are really smart—way too smart for something with a squishy body. These animals are problem solvers. But a lot of people focus on the tentacles. They must be slimy since they’re under water. They can reach out and grab you. They have suckers on them that attach to you and don’t let go. But think about the hugs all those arms can give! There’s nothing Ewww! about hugs, right?

The second reaction I usually get is—Cool! I like that one. I’m partial to the coolness of tentacles myself. 😉 Really, when you think about it, wouldn’t a few extra arms come in handy when you’re say, carrying in groceries? Imagine being able to reach all those things on the top shelf that are just out of reach of your regular arms! Or being able to squeeze a tentacle into that pesky too small water bottle to wash it.

pic2And then the last one, why? Well, for this story, it really comes down to a panel I attended at RainbowCon 2014. The panel was on the subject of taboo. And tentacles are at the forefront of taboo subjects due to the resurgence of Japanese anime and something called “tentacleporn”. Really, the Japanese have been interested in tentacles since the 1800s when a book of erotic art included the image named “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife.” It is precisely because of the alieness of the Eww! factor that many people are intrigued by tentacles in a sexual manner. The panelists encouraged writers to step outside their normal prose and write something a little different, a little out of the ordinary. So I chose tentacles. I don’t think they are necessarily the sexiest thing about my hero, but even he admits that intimacy with him is adventure–it’s sex outside the normal two arms and two legs.

So my challenge to you is to step outside your comfort zone as well. Try reading my story The Klockwerk Kraken and see if you might be intrigued by a few tentacles.

New Release Questionnaire and Contest

With four new releases to choose from this month, perhaps you’re having problems deciding which of my stories to read first. This questionnaire will help you decide. Or maybe not. You should probably read them all anyway. But we have a contest too!

  • 1. Form of transportation
    • a. magic carpet
    • b. feet
    • c. 1939 Chevy pickup
    • d. RV
  • 2. Mythical creature
    • a. phoenix
    • b. demon
    • c. winged demon (yes, demon again; it’s a theme this month)
    • d. alien
  • 3. Location
    • a. desert
    • b. forest
    • c. American Midwest
    • d. American West Coast
  • 4. Food & beverage
    • a. groundnut stew and tea
    • b. dragonfish and water
    • c. pie and coffee
    • d. s’mores and whiskey
  • 5. Literary style/author
    • a. Arabian nights
    • b. Stephen King
    • c. Ray Bradbury or Dashiell Hammett
    • d. George RR Martin
  • 6. Classic movie actor
    • a. Yul Brenner
    • b. Boris Karloff
    • c. Robert Mitchum
    • d. Tab Hunter
  • 7. Color
    • a. orange
    • b. green
    • c. gray
    • d. sparkles
  • 8. Bad thoughts
    • a. homophobia
    • b. vengeance
    • c. corruption
    • d. despair
  • 9. Hobby
    • a. alchemy
    • b. fishing
    • c. swimming
    • d. writing
  • 10. Entertainment venue
    • a. park
    • b. dance club
    • c. carnival
    • d. bookstore
  • 11. Occupation
    • a. diplomat
    • b. healer
    • c. detective
    • d. editor
  • 12. Accessory
    • a. hair ribbon
    • b. sword
    • c. fedora
    • d. raincoat
  • 13. Cause of current predicament
    • a. state funeral
    • b. patricide
    • c. boss
    • d. drunken letter-writing
  • 14. Investment
    • a. feathers
    • b. weapons
    • c. silver
    • d. public utilities
  • 15. Myers Briggs personality type
    • a. ISTJ
    • b. ESTP
    • c. ISTP
    • d. INTJ
  • 16. Home’s best feature
    • a. lab space
    • b. sturdy door
    • c. near the beach
    • d. walking distance to bar
  • 17. Favorite urban area
    • a. Kokoto
    • b. city by the Reach
    • c. Kansas City or LA
    • d. Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco
  • 18. Sport
    • a. wrestling
    • b. fencing
    • c. swimming
    • d. running
  • 19. Body part
    • a. tongue
    • b. hands
    • c. horns
    • d. hair
  • 20. kink
    • a. sex on the floor
    • b. blindfolds
    • c. BDSM
    • d. electrosex

If your answers were mostly A: read Phoenix first PHOENIX_FBprofile_OptizimedForFeed

If your answers were mostly B: read The Downs first cover5

If your answers were mostly C: read Corruption first OHAH-1000x1595

If your answers were mostly D: read Astounding! first AstoundingFS

And when you’re done with your first choice? Read the others!


  • I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win.
  • Contest ends June 21 at noon PDT
  • Winner gets $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate and an e-copy of Grown-up
  • In your comment, tell us which June release the questionnaire picked for you–and anything else you want to add. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win!


Growing Up

Today is my birthday. Yes, first day of spring–a good day to be born, I think. If you’re into astrological signs, you should know I’m an Aries and was born in the Chinese year of the ram, which probably means I’m stubborn. Just a bit.


Anyway, since I’m another year older–if not wiser–and since my novella Grown-up came out this week too, I’ve asked some people to share their thoughts on growing up. Share yours by commenting here. I’ll randomly choose one commenter on March 28, and that lucky person will win a signed print copy of Brute (which I’ll ship anywhere) plus a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate.


For me, I think I finally felt like a ‘true’ grown-up the day the nurse handed me my daughter. I probably should have been more scared than I was, but I just wanted to hold and get to know her. Since that day, I realized what being a parent meant, the responsibilities that go with the fun and joy. That was when I realized, I’d finally made the leap to being a grown-up.

–Andrew Q. Gordon;, author of The Last Grand Master

I just hope I’ll never grow up completely. Sometimes one is in need of the inner child sooooo much.

–Kirsten H.

Being a grown-up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t be in a hurry to get there because once you do, you will spend the rest of your life trying to recapture the joy and fun of being a child again.
Don’t spend more money than you make. It’s a simple, time-tested piece of advice, and yet something you tend to forget when you’re young. Credit cards are for emergencies, not to live off of. The things you buy because you think you absolutely cannot live without them take on new meaning when it takes years to pay them off.
People (including the furry kind) are more important and valuable than things. Never forget that.
There comes a point in your life when you’ve forgotten what it was like to be daring and take chances. Sometimes, that is the time to forget all the wise, sage advice about living within your means. Take a trip to a foreign country. Experience something outside your comfort zone. Take a risk. Because the truth of the matter is the older you get the faster time flies, and we only get one shot at life. Working to pay bills is not living, not to the fullest. If you’re going to go into debt, make it for experiences, not things.
There you have it: what I wish I could go back and tell my 20 year old self. 🙂
   –Sarah Madison,, author of Walk a Mile
I don’t have any children as you know, and I think I am less grown up than friends who have because I haven’t had to set an example/worry for them etc etc. 🙂 As for the best birthday present, without a doubt it was my mare, Mabel, giving me a beautiful filly foal unannounced on my birthday. Florence (registered name Dreamspinner) wasn’t due for another ten days, but when I went to see to Mabel on the morning of my birthday there she was up and having a drink of milk. I doubt I will ever top that for a present.
It’s hard growing up. I’m only a sophomore in high school and already people are making me think about college and after college and life (Mom). I don’t know if I’m going to get into the college of my choice. I don’t know what I’m going to major in. I don’t know what kind of job I want. Plus I’ll probably lose my friends (and possibly my boyfriend) when I go off to college. I don’t know how I’m going to support myself financially when I’m out of college. I don’t like growing up. I want to go back to elementary school, when life was easy and I didn’t constantly worry about my grades or my future.
–My older daughter, currently 15 years old
I remember looking down at my newborn daughter and having this “oh shit!” moment when I realized that I was the one responsible for her. I was the one she would look up to, to keep her safe, and take care of her. I wasn’t a kid anymore. I was the mom who would be taking care of the kid.

That said, I do my best to embrace the kid in me. She’s a geek who loves Japanese anime and manga, loves to wear costumes (Kim can tell you about my mermaid costume for GRL!), and writes stories she wants to read (angsty romances) about mermen, vampires, or just hot men. She’s got Star Trek Barbie and a purring tribble in her office, and collects mermen ornaments (so freaking cool). She’s also got a collection of genga (the artwork used to create computer-generated cells for animated shows) from Japanese anime.
  –Shira Anthony,, author of Blood and Rain

I think I first felt grown up when on my 18th birthday, I ordered my very first legal alcoholic drink (a Bloody Mary) at a bar and the bartender didn’t even bother to card me! I was very disappointed but I did feel pretty grown up to pass as 18. We could drink at that age back in the dinosaur days, and fortunately I was already 21 when they changed the law.

My very best birthday present was the official confirmation of my pregnancy on my 37th birthday! Emily was born 8 months later.

And my advice to someone is don’t rush to be grown up! Enjoy yourself while you don’t have many responsibilities because it all gets a little harder later. Of course, no one will listen to that if they’re over 12, but hey, gotta try!  🙂

  –Jon Treadway,

I believe you never stop growing up. With some family members in their 90s, the rest of us (even those in their 60s!) are often advised that we still have a lot of living to do. Each and every day, we’re learning and growing, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. It is an intense truth that you’re only as young as you feel. The trick is to never forget the core being of yourself, even as you stretch and grow. And to believe you’re never as old as you fear you are.

–Tray Ellis,, author of How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings


To Mortgage or Not to Mortgage… That’s When You Know

When did I first feel like a grown up? Oh, I remember the day clearly. It’s kind of hard to forget when you sign your life away, lol. In my middle twenties the hubby and I bought our first house. We’d been saving for a while and been looking even longer. Then he found the “one”. It was outside of the city limits and had a acre with a pond in the backyard. There were neighbors near us, but not so close you could reach out and touch them from your window. It was also in the last stages of being built, so we’d be the first to ever live there. It was a dream come true. The night before we went in to sign the papers we both suddenly looked at one another… and panicked, lol. Mortgage! Responsibility! OMG, when had we grown up, lol? That’s my first memory of being grown. 🙂

–M.A. Church, Decadent Delights, author of Trouble Comes in Threes

These days, I teach physiology and I love watching the annoyed faces when I explain to my students that technically twenty-five years is the mark of adulthood for most bodily systems. Who didn’t think they were already an adult at eighteen? Now many years later, I look on my eighteen year old self and laugh. For me, though, knowing I was an adult wasn’t the moment I realized how much of a foolish youth I’d been, it was the moment in my medical residency when I was told to come up with a limb salvage plan for a patient. It fell to me to decide a plan of action that would allow this person to save their limb and potentially their life and I would be the one leading the surgery. In that moment I knew I was an adult and boy, I didn’t want to be. I wanted someone to hold my hand and carry me through that moment. We both made it through fine, but there are still many days I would want to give up my adulthood if only for  a few hours.

–Jana Denardo,, author of Kept Tears

I went away to college at the age of eighteen. Eight hours away. Probably one of the best decisions I ever made. Within a few days of arrival, I already had a fledgling group of friends and we decided to go to the movies. I had the only car so I would be driving. When we got ready to leave, it struck me. I didn’t have to tell anyone where I was going, how long I would be gone, when I would be back, and even better, I didn’t have to ASK anyone. Massive wakeup call. I was a grown up. It was both exhilarating and terrifying. I’ve never looked back since!

–Katherine Halle,, author of Fixing the Hole

I’m not entirely sure I’ve admitted to myself I’m a grown-up yet. I think I prefer to imagine I’ll keep growing up until the day I die. There’s always going to be a part of me that is all kid. It definitely comes through in my writing in places, where many of my characters are gamers or just like to play. In the end, I think I’ll take Jimmy Buffett’s approach:

–Grace Duncan,, author of Healing

I knew I was a grown-up when, some time ago, I met the guy who bullied me mercilessly when I was in high school and I saw that time had not been kind to him, that I was more elegant, more cultivated, smarter, and that had been true forever, only that I couldn’t see it when I was a teenager. I think that as a grown-up we only get more perspective, but what makes us special is always there, and some people just can’t stand it.

–Emanuela Piasentini

Growing up, for me, seems like a great ball of confusion. I can sort out quite a number of memories about tough times, but only a few that shine in my mind as really precious. Like body surfing in the warm Pacific with a full summer moon shining down from a cloudless sky—for once feeling that the group of other teens around me were truly friends. Or walking every day from the family campsite to the stable in town all by myself, and working so I could be with the horses and ride. But the first time I felt the weight of being grown up came out of a bad situation. I’m not going to describe that situation—too much of a bummer—but the result was I had to hitchhike from St. Joseph, Missouri “home” to Long Beach, California, in a tee shirt and jeans, barefoot, with 87 cents to my name. It was crazy, and I learned lots of things about people. For one most of them are good-hearted and will go out of their way to help a girl in need. I’ve never forgotten the kindnesses I received. But neither hitch-hiking solo or learning that people are better than we’re often led to believe gave me that. “yeah, this is what it means to be grown up” feeling. I experienced that the first time I ran into someone not so selfless, and I learned that sometimes a person has to say no—even if it’s scary as hell.

–Lou Sylvre,, author of A Shot of J & B

I’m not the person to ask about this. I am not sure anyone in my family has ever acted like a grown up, so I don’t know what that actually means. If looking outside yourself and doing things for other people is a sign of growing up, they did do that. Some of them. At times. But others didn’t – wouldn’t more than couldn’t – and it was just a mess. My ex-step-father, who is now in his 70’s, is the least grown up person I’ve ever known. And if you haven’t grown up by 70 you’re never going to. He hates responsibility and avoids it at all costs, and somehow this has worked out for him. It helped that his parents died and left him money, otherwise I have no idea how he’d get along. All I can say is try to be kind to other people (which he has never done). It’s the least you can do, and can be considered some sign of maturity.

–Andrea Speed,, author of Paris

I was one of those kids that seemed to grow up fast because I developed early. Grown men hit on me before I was even a teen. But it was years before I felt like an adult. I grew up a lot when my daughter was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit minutes after she was born; she spent the next two months there and even longer in the pediatric intensive care after that. I grew up more when I saw my mom—my hero—struggle to walk. That was eye opening and inspired many of my recently written words. I’ll be an orphan when she’s gone, which means I need to recue myself from all or learn how to say, “Help me.” And that’s the most recent moment of maturity, when I said, “I can’t handle this anymore.” I ended up quitting my teaching job and changing my life, taking responsibility for all my failures and successes. Isn’t that what growing up is all about?

–Posy Roberts,, author of Tangled Mind

The thing I look forward to when I grow up is having a phone that actually has internet connection and being on electronics when I want for as long as I want. And having a pet. Or several.

–My younger daughter, currently 12 years old

I figured I was finally a grown up when my younger brother got married. Actually, he eloped with his girlfriend and then got secretly married.
He was six years my junior and his girlfriend was about four years younger than him.
And they were both legal.  Made me realise I was old enough to do all those things. It was depressing.
–Sandra Bard, author of Divided Within

Growing up wasn’t a one-time realisation for me. There were a series of milestones that I then looked back on and understood that I had been growing up for some time. Regardless of whether or not I felt it.

I think the first milestone was when my mother left home. I was seven and suddenly thrust into the ‘family machine’, part of the processes that kept everyone fed, clean and clothed. Until then, I hadn’t taken any notice of how things got done or by whom. I’d just done my chores when asked and didn’t think any further about it. Suddenly, being responsible became a real thing. (btw, Mum leaving home was a good thing.)

The second milestone was when I met my first boyfriend. I was fifteen, he was twenty, and I suddenly became capable of making my own life decisions. Of course, most of the time, my decision was to let him decide how I was to live my life, but it was still a decision.

After that the milestones came thick and fast: choosing to pursue an education, just in case I really had to rely only on myself at some stage; having a child, someone who relied on me totally; living through abuse, stalking and depression; being adrift; finding my inner strength, my purpose. There was no time to think about growing up or what it meant during that tense and troubled twenty years.

Then I was through it, out the other side. Independent. Self-sufficient. Balanced. For the first time in my life I’d achieved a state of calm and contentment. That’s when I realised—at forty—that I was a grown-up. It’s not a bad place to be. 🙂

–E. E. Montgomery,

Grow up? Wait! What? Why???? NOOOO! Never! I hope I won’t grow up. In my head I’m 13 but I tell the boys I’m 16.  I don’t think anyone has to grow up or grow old we create our own realities… we write our own stories. Of course I deal in the grown up world and take care of my responsibilities but for the most part I stay in the role of playful teen. I focus on making everything fun (cleaning the house is a race, running errands is an adventure). I dance through activities like pumping gas if they didn’t want to dance they wouldn’t play music right? I practice random acts of kindness whenever I can even if it’s just to notice and admire something about a person’s appearance or to make them smile. I love the Black Veil Brides, Tokio Hotel and Adam Lambert.

–Z. Allora,,, author of Illusions & Dreams


Ooh, That’s Interesting!: Interview with K.C. Kelly

If you’ve listened to the audio versions of Brute or Housekeeping, you already know how wonderful K.C. Kelly is, because he narrated them. Or maybe you’ve heard him read some other fantastic books, like Mary Calmes’ Frog, Ryan Loveless’s Ethan, Who Loved Carter, or Rowan Speedwell’s Love, Like Water. You can also hear him as Mark Twain. If you’ve listened to any of these, you know why I’m such a huge fan. So I’m really thrilled that K.C. agreed to answer my questions about his work! Please enjoy the interview, and I have a giveaway at the end.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

An actor since my twenties (I’m now in my sixties), I’ve done more stage than anything else. I also taught acting for Long Island University, Victoria University, and the National Drama School of New Zealand: Toi Whakaari. Because I trained first in England (at the now defunct Webber-Douglas) and then moved to New York to study with Michael Howard, I’ve got a bit of trans-Atlantic “thing” going on.

How did you start doing book narration?

A very good friend who went from actor to lawyer to actor told me of his “conversion” to audiobooks. It got me thinking, why not moi? Andrew (he’s really been nice) at Dreamspinner Press listened to an audition and pointed me toward Love, Like Water. The rest is well…out there.

I’d love to learn a little more about your process for narrating. Do you begin by reading the entire book to yourself before you start narrating? How long does an average novel take you?

Reading the book is step one. That’s usually a one-day sit down and do it thing. Brute happened that way…I had to find out where Brute and Grey would go. When I’ve got the story down, then I underline (in different inks) the major character voices. While that percolates…I start to “think” voices. Read time – the actual time in front of the mic – is, for me, no more than two hours a day. Then come the edits and re-dos.

How do you choose what kind of voice a particular character will have?

A character’s history and their attitude/dialogue with others—they’re the signposts—they point in the direction to go for. Everybody I know—good and bad—gets a look in. And then there’s me, too. Obnoxious people draw on my reservoir of bile; nice folks get a friendlier version, but there’s always of bit of K.C. in there.

You’ve done a wide variety of accents and dialects. Do you use particular models for these? Are there some you especially enjoy doing—and are there some you dread?

Accents I’m familiar with come easily and “suggest” themselves. Accents I’m not good at—e.g. South African, Boston, New Orleans Patois, really mess my head. I’d love to “do” Australian, for example, but any native Ozzie would cringe.

Stuttering. You seem to end up doing a lot of it, and you do it so well. Is it something you like doing or is it a pain? How do you manage to so effectively convey the meaning and the emotion even for characters who have difficulty speaking?

They’re just people wanting to “talk.” When you understand some of the problems of the stutterer, you give them a voice. For most actors, they’re fun. It’s the Dustin Hoffmann Rain Man or Sean Penn in Sam, I Am.

What are some of the biggest challenges to doing narration work?

Separating lots of voices. When four or more people are in the same room—each needing a different way of talking—things get sticky for me. In “film speak” you seldom have a conversation where characters talk over one another (even if you would, normally)—you wait for your cue and get your line in clean. And that’s not easy, especially if there’s a party or an argument going on. It’s a bit like working with a band you haven’t played with. One or two characters, no sweat; throw in a narrative voice, still cooking. But in a “crowd” you can lose the groove and that can get messy. You’re paying attention to tone, pace, and plot—but a number of voices, playing different things require careful orchestration.

When you’re not narrating, you’re working with a theatre troupe. Can you tell us a little about that?

EnsembleImpact was created to bring New Zealand plays to New Zealand high schools. I co-founded the company and, for the first five years, was chief cook and bottle-washer. As the company caught on, I relinquished one job after another, concentrating on dramaturgy and direction.

What do you like to read for fun?

I’m big on non-fiction. Just about any war Antony Beevor touches on are favourites. Barbara Ehrenreich and Malcom Gladwell have spent a lot of time here along with David Sedaris. I enjoyed Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, too. “Fictionally,” I loved (and wanted to be the old guy in) Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and was fascinated by Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone.

Is New Zealand as gorgeous in person as it looks on film?

It truly is. It’s a very small country—4 ½ million—but the scenery between the mountains and both shorelines is wondrous. From north to south (think Miami to Boston) you encounter alpine mountains, fiords, volcanoes, beech forests, semi-tropical wetlands, hundreds of beaches, rushing rivers, etc. The U.S. has it all—it just takes days to get from place to place—but in NZ you can, literally, ski in the morning and drive to a beach for a swim by afternoon.

Do you have a dream project?

More movies and more Shakespeare. I’ve had the good fortune to do Lear, Shylock, and MacDuff for one theatre or another and would love to add Prospero and Claudius to the mix. (Too late for Hamlet!) Screen wise—I’m connected to a pair of film-makers Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader from Torchlight Films. We shot Hook, Line and Sinker a couple of years ago and are just finishing The Great Maiden’s Blush early next month. In Sinker I played a truck driver; in Blush a Croatian opera singer.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I was very ill about eight years ago with an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) which led to a craniotomy and several years of post-surgical rehabilitation. Reading and being read to were wondrous things in my recovery. In “reading” a book, you want to be true to the author’s voice and, like a good storyteller, lead the listener through the tale. I like storytelling and I’m fortunate to work with several authors who really have good stories to tell.


How about a giveaway? All you have to do to enter is sign up for my (very occasional and guaranteed non-spammy) newsletter. Go here to sign up: (or use the form on the sidebar to the right—->) . Then comment on this post, leaving the email address or name you used to sign up. One randomly chosen winner will receive:

  • The wonderful audiobook version of Brute
  • A $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate
  • An autographed set of Travis and Drew trading cards
  • The ebook version of Motel. Pool.

Contest ends Wednesday, February 11, at 5pm PST.



When the Writing Gets Angsty

Jamie Fessenden just posted about how he’s having a tough time writing an emotionally difficult but essential scene. And I know just how he feels, because I just gave my MC an unexpected case of the flu, I think partly to delay getting to one of those hard scenes. There have been a couple of books where writing particular scenes just about devastated me (I’m talking about you, Tin Box and Motel. Pool.). But we still have to write them.

And yes, I know even as I’m writing that most of the characters will eventually get a happy ending. Readers realize that too, because these are romance books, after all. But we’ve come to love these guys over the course of the story, and their pain feels real.

So now I’m wondering. If you’re a writer, do you share this problem? How do you face it? If you’re a reader, how do you feel about reading these scenes? Do you have a strategy for getting through them (besides keeping Kleenex close at hand)?

And now’s where we can all put on our psychology hats. Why do we like the angst? We must, because even though it hurts, I keep writing it (as do many of my favorite authors), and we keep reading it.

And finally, what are some of the difficult scenes–in any book–that have touched you the most?

It’s the holidays, so to encourage you to be chatty, I’m doing a little giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fieldingpalooza Quiz & Contest

I hope you enjoyed the Fieldingpalooza blog tour and the new releases. October was quite a month!

festivus2I want to highlight the last of my new releases, which is available today. The Festivus Miracle is a sweet, romantic holiday story. And here’s the cool thing: I’m donating 100% of my royalties to Doctors Without Borders. (I actually donate all my self-published royalties to DWB, in fact.) I’d love to give them a big chunk of money, so please consider buying a copy and spreading the word.




And now there’s a quiz. I’m a university professor. I love giving quizzes. But unlike my students, you will have the answers available to you.

001You can find the answers by reading my guest blogs from the Fieldingpalooza tour. The complete list is here. Once you have your answers, send them to me using the contact form at the bottom of this post. The quiz ends at noon Pacific time November 10. The contestant with the most correct answers wins one of those bones swag bags, which includes a matching t-shirt and lots of goodies. I’ll also include the entire Ennek trilogy in print, plus a $10 gift certificate for Dreamspinner Press and a $10 gift certificate for Wayward Ink Publishing, and I’ll ship anywhere. If there’s a tie for high score, I’ll randomly choose one winner.

Good luck!

  1. Who makes a cameo appearance in Bone Dry?
  2. Where was Kim’s mother born?
  3. What song did Starbucks stick in Kim’s head?
  4. What author did Kim’s daughter just fall in love with?
  5. What’s the name of Ery Phillips’s car?
  6. Back in the day, how did Kim spend her Thursday nights?
  7. Which actresses does Kim’s muse resemble?
  8. A stranding at which airport inspired Kim’s story “Standby”?
  9. What language will Brute be translated into next year?
  10. The Festivus Miracle is set in which city where Kim once lived?
  11. How long has Kim been married?
  12. What did Kim’s older daughter dress as for Halloween?
  13. Kim is a licensed member of what?
  14. Which of Kim’s new releases has a character whose boyfriend recently died?
  15. Which mythology appears in Bone Dry?
  16. What comic book did Kim get in the mail?
  17. The royalties from The Festivus Miracle are going to which organization?
  18. Where does Kim do most of her writing?
  19. What’s the weirdest werecreature Kim can think of?
  20. What was Kim wearing around her neck in the recorded interview from GRL?
  21. What did Kim’s older daughter organize while Kim was in Chicago?
  22. What neighborhood in Paris did Kim stay in?



[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Quiz answers’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

New Releases!

October 10 is a very special day for my new releases.

Exactly 15 years ago today, this was my new release:


9 months in the draft stage. She’s been in editing ever since.


When she was 2, she insisted on wearing those Snow White shoes everywhere. And this my is my first release today (please ignore the very ratty couch. Also, the kid on the left is a newer edition):

006 010

She’s a few inches taller than me and has way more attitude. She’s a great kid.

So today would be special to me anyway. (And hey, shouldn’t I be the one getting cake and presents? Twelve hours of back labor say yes.) But to top things off I have two new books out today!

One of them is Bone Dry, the third in the Bones series. If you’ve read the first two, I hope you’re excited to read more about Dylan and Chris’s strange little farm. This time we’ll pay particular attention to their friend, Ery Phillips. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, you can jump in now and you’ll do fine.

BoneDry_postcard_front_DSP Bone Dry is available now at Dreamspinner, Amazon, ARe, and everywhere else.







In addition, my short story “Standby” comes out today in the Stranded anthology. This story has a touch of magical realism and takes place in an airport. I’ve always felt that if there’s such a thing as purgatory, it’s very much like an airport.

STRANDED-Final Cover Stranded is available at Wayward Ink Press, Amazon, and all the usual suspects.







A new book or two might not be quite as exciting as a new baby, but there’s less pain involved.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this special day!

Also, don’t forget the Fieldingpalooza blog tour and contests, going on right now!

October Fieldingpalooza Contests and Tour

It’s a busy time around here! October means FOUR new releases, and then a fifth release on November 1. To celebrate, a contest! Or really, multiple contests. Now, pay attention, because there’s a test at the end.

First off, we have three Rafflecopter giveaways. You can enter all three. If you comment, please specify which contest you’re commenting for. You can comment once for each if you like. 001This is one of the prizes: a tote bag filled with a T-shirt, swag, a surprise book of mine, and a bunch of bone-themed goodies. I’ll sign the bag if the winner wants me to, and I’ll ship anywhere.



Winners will be notified on November 1. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway

What are the new releases?

Brute in French on October 7


Bone Dry on October 10


“Standby” in the Stranded anthology on October 10

STRANDED-Final Cover

“The Dance” in the Bones anthology on October 27


The Festivus Miracle on November 1


And I’m doing a huge blog tour, so come visit these sites for interviews, trivia, and lots more. There’s another contest at the end!

On November 1, I will post a quiz. The answers to the quiz questions will be in all those guest posts–so it’s sort of a scavenger hunt. You’ll have one week to find the answers. Whoever gets the most answers correct wins one of those lovely bones swag bags, complete with t-shirt and goodies, plus a complete set of the Ennek trilogy in print (signed if you like), plus a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate and a $10 Wayward Ink Publishing gift certificate. If there’s a tie, I’ll randomly choose a winner. So read all those guest posts–each one is different!–and keep an eye out for the end of tour quiz.

Please welcome Lex Chase!

 Americana Fairy Tale 
(Fairy Tales of the Open Road #1)
Lex Chase

Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: He’s a guy. Two: His perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.
When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.
Available to purchase 


“I’m getting a shower,” Taylor said and quickly shuffled into the
bathroom. In the silence, Taylor pressed his back to the door and slid to the
floor. He clamped both hands around the crotch of his shorts and hissed through
clenched teeth, “Stop, stop, stop, please, stop.”
He had to stop thinking
about his dream. And thinking about Corentin in that way. Corentin wasn’t even
his type! And Corentin’s type was clearly
not a raging homo-sheckshual. By all of Taylor’s understanding, Corentin’s breed
of redneck was of the misogynistic racist variety. Taylor paused. Was he just
telling himself that? Taylor mentally felt around the edges of the dream. He
flinched with the dirty feeling.
Shower. He needed a shower. Now.
He picked himself up off the floor, then staggered to the tub. The
enamel had seen better days, with that lovely rusty ring around it. The shower
curtain seemed to be a repository for all assorted natures of DNA. Taylor
gingerly touched it in an effort to move it just out of the way enough to turn
the faucet. Scuffed up and mottled with rust, even the faucet made him wince.
He ripped off a sheaf of cheap toilet paper to use to turn the faucet on. First
the water belched into the tub, then after a few rude bubbling gurgles, ran in
a steady stream. It wasn’t particularly warm, however. Taylor surmised he
didn’t really need a hot shower anyway.
He disrobed, dropping his clothes in a heap on the floor. But on
second consideration, he didn’t have anything else to change into. What he had
on his back was it. Like his cum-stained cargo shorts. Yuck. He scooped his clothes off the floor and hung up his shirt on
the towel rack. He’d have to do something about his shorts, because they’d
smell and get uncomfortably crusty. He chuckled. He would never have predicted
how contentious he’d become about cleanliness until he only had one change of
clothes for the foreseeable future.
As the tub faucet ran to get some marginable level of lukewarm, he
cranked the faucet in the sink. He let the water run over the crotch of his new
shorts and scrubbed them as best he could with the questionable cracked soap
Corentin knocked once on the door. “Come on, man. Gotta pee.”
“Hold your horses,” Taylor huffed. “Let me get in the shower first.
Great Storyteller Almighty.”
Taylor hustled and wrung out his shorts. He hung them also on the
towel rack and finally hopped into the shower before poor pitiful Corentin
could have an accident on the floor. Some self-reliant huntsman he was.
Couldn’t he go out back and take a piss on a tree? Of course, there would
likely need to be some nature of tree on the premises.
Taylor jerked the curtain across the tub for privacy and instantly
regretted taking a fistful of it in such haste. “Okay! It’s safe.”
“I heard princesses were prissy, but I didn’t think it applied to
male princesses,” Corentin said as he walked in.
Taylor could see the outline of his body through the haze of the
shower curtain. He pushed himself back against the far wall to gain some
distance. A small gap remained between the curtain and the shower wall, and he
carefully peeked. With a familiar clanking of a belt buckle followed by a
zipper, Taylor instead sent his gaze upward to Corentin’s face and his bare
shoulders. Corentin had done away with his shirt, and Taylor’s face heated with
the view. Corentin was lean, like a panther, his tattooed skin pulled tight
over his biceps and hard abs. He finished, flushed, and turned away to zip his
pants. Taylor pressed his fingers to his lips at the sight of the rise of Corentin’s
tight rear as he shifted to the sink and washed his hands.
He studied himself in the mirror while Taylor stared through the
shower curtain.
Corentin swung open the door and called behind him, “Don’t use all
the hot water.”
“O-oh-okay,” Taylor croaked, his face hot from gawking.
The door shut with a click, and Taylor sighed with the relief. He looked down at himself in
disappointment. Taylor was filthy from dirt, sweat, and whatever else was
lurking in Corentin’s disgusting truck. He turned, reaching for the cracked
soap bar. The blacked grooves in the soap made him reconsider. He reached for
the mini Johnson & Johnson shampoo bottle and uncapped it. After a careful
sniff, he tried to make sure it wasn’t rancid and questioned if it was possible
for shampoo to go rancid. Figuring he would chance it, he scrubbed himself down
with the terrible No More Tears formula.
He breathed one more time, trying to cope with the lukewarm water,
and then decided it was time to face the reality of a nasty motel room with a
man he didn’t trust who made him blush. He shut off the water and carefully
maneuvered out of the shower without touching the petri dish that served as a
Taylor considered his clothes. His shirt could use airing out, and
his shorts were a definite no. His only option was a towel around the waist. He
didn’t even like that option in high
, let alone in the middle of nowhere with the current company. Ringo
was there, though. That made it better. Ringo would save him.
Covering himself, Taylor took a breath. On a mental count of three,
he turned the doorknob.
And the chill of the overworked window unit hit him square in the
bare chest.
Fuck,” Taylor gasped and
scuttled to the bed. He immediately wrapped himself in the threadbare blanket,
which didn’t help at all. He had a string of curses on his tongue when he
finally glanced up and saw Corentin.
More specifically, saw Corentin’s tattooed torso.
Corentin, on the other hand, busied himself with making notes in
his monstrosity of a book. His brow would furrow every time he underlined
something with a determined gesture across the page. He seemed not to notice
Taylor’s open staring at the intricate black ink of an oak tree drawn in the
style of Gustave Doré. The trunk of the tree was a full sleeve with the roots
growing from Corentin’s left wrist, and at his shoulder, the branches twisted
in a windblown manner across his collarbone, shoulder blade, and a few branches
even curled at the base of his neck.
Taylor swallowed. At least it explained why Corentin was so covered
up for June weather. But something was strange about the tattoo. There were
seven boughs, but only one had leaves.
Corentin kept making notes and didn’t look up. His brow furrowed
into an even angrier contortion, and he wrote faster. When he apparently ran
out of space, he flipped his book to sit horizontally and wrote in tiny print
in the margins. He hesitated, tapping his pen on the paper.
Taylor pulled the blanket higher on his shoulders. The steam from
his body captured under the blanket helped in making the chill of the room
Corentin scribbled again in his book. He frowned and scribbled in a
repeated gesture. He shook his pen with a flick of the wrist and tried again.
He grunted and threw the pen. “Fuck,” he said and went fishing in his messenger
bag. He feverishly reached around, looked in, and then reached around again. He
puffed a sigh and upturned the bag onto the carpet.
A palm sized bottle of liquid bounced across the floor and Corentin
scrambled to snatch it midtumble. He glanced at Taylor and offered a smile.
“Hand sanitizer. Can’t go anywhere without it.” He quickly shoved the bottle
into a side pocket of his bag.
Taylor said nothing, merely watching the bizarre display as
Corentin poked through the crumpled receipts, hair ties, old cracker wrappers,
and various unidentifiable crumbs and wadded-up trash. He also flipped through a
collection of condoms in shiny magenta wrappers and printed with hearts and
lips. Taylor tightened his grip on the comforter and his face heated. Well, at
least they were cherry flavored or something?
Corentin shook the bag again, and Taylor remained silent.
As a roll of duct tape tumbled out.
And then zip ties.
Taylor’s eyes snapped wide. Corentin had fucking huntsman death
tools on him at all times. He shivered and scooted back on the bed. He judged
the distance from the bed to the door in case he needed to run at a moment’s
notice. Obviously a naked guy running down the interstate would get some
attention. But he hadn’t seen any cars on the interstate since they ended up
here. He nibbled at his lip. Maybe if he stole Corentin’s truck? That seemed
like a good idea.
“Ah!” Corentin said, clearly relieved he apparently found a pen,
and ignored the zip ties and duct tape. He resumed his furious scribbling.

About the Author

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too. 

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love. 

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending. 

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle. 

She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find Lex at



Presented By

Pillar flash fiction contest winner

There were some really fantastic entries in the flash fiction contest. Look in the comments here to see them. All the authors should be congratulated, because it’s hard to write a story in 140 characters!

After a tough decision, the judges have chosen this beauty by Suki Fleet as the winner:

Sometimes he whispers “I love you, I adore you” down the phone before I sleep but most of the time we sleep together—his arms around my chest, his lips to my ear.

Congratulations, Suki! And thank you to everyone who entered. I hope you enjoyed playing.

Special thanks to Andrea Speed, Charley Descoteaux, and Bru Baker, our wonderful judges!