Motel Pool locations 4: Las Vegas

Motel. Pool. releases today! I’m really proud of this book and I hope you’ll give it a try. Also, let’s all admire Paul Richmond’s beautiful cover, shall we?


And guess what? Now through May 17, Motel. Pool. is 30% off at Dreamspinner! In fact, all my books are currently discounted, so it’s time to stock up!

I’ve been posting about some of the locations featured in my new novel, Motel. Pool. Today is the fourth stop: the Las Vegas.

I’m not a big fan of Vegas. It’s like a city built by Walt Disney’s evil twin. Still, even I have to admit it’s unique in all the world.

My husband loves the place. Of course, this is the same guy who taught our then 8-year-old to play Blackjack, claiming he was only helping her with her math skills.
When we visited Vegas last year, my daughters went on the rides atop the Stratosphere. Um, no thanks! The girls had a good time, though.

In case you were wondering, these rides are on a platform 900 feet high, and that third ride shoots you up to nearly 1100 feet. Nope. No way.

Nausea, gambling, and tackiness aside, what does Las Vegas have to offer? Well, a lot of stories. And I got to wondering about the people who stay at the residential motels–the places that rent by the week. What were they looking for when they came to Vegas?

Tag Manning ends up at one of those motels–right next to the Stratosphere, in fact. Vegas isn’t exactly known as a place to find salvation, though, and Tag’s going to face some major losses there too.

Motel Pool locations 3: Hoover Dam

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about some of the locations featured in my new novel, Motel. Pool. Today is the third stop: the Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam was built in the early 1930s. Take a look at this photo for a moment as you let that sink in.

The dam is damn enormous. And it was built well before computers and lasers and whatever other things modern engineers use to do their magic. Even through modern eyes, it’s damn impressive. (Okay. I’ll stop.)

It took a lot of people to build the dam, and although I suppose most of them were glad to find work during the Depression, it was a dangerous job.

I’m not too fond of heights, so just looking at the photos makes me a little dizzy. Also, that guy on the left looks like he’s in danger of losing his pants any second, and this doesn’t strike me as a good location for nudity. In all seriousness, though, it’s important to know that around 100 men lost their lives building the dam. They probably came from all over the US, hoping for decent wages, and I wonder what it must have been like for them to die so far from home. That thought helped inspire a scene in Motel. Pool., which takes place right here:

Nowadays, the dam’s a pretty safe place, I guess. Although my phone received this alert when we were literally atop the dam:

Does tend to make one uneasy, no?

In Motel. Pool., Tag stops at Hoover Dam on his way to Las Vegas. He gets more than a good view, though–while he’s at the dam, he makes a couple damn important discoveries. (Sorry. Can’t help it.)

Motel Pool locations 2: Grand Canyon

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about some of the locations featured in my new novel, Motel. Pool. Today is the second stop: the Grand Canyon.

Until last year, the only time I’d seen the Grand Canyon was from a jet airplane. It’s pretty impressive even from thousands of feet in the air, but when you stand at the rim, it’s breathtaking.

It’s astonishing to me to look out and realize all of that was sculpted by water, and that I’m seeing layers of minerals that were laid down while our ancestors were still single-celled creatures floating around in the ocean.
Of course, the sunsets at the Canyon are stunning.
And even when there’s mist and clouds, the Canyon is beautiful.
Heck, even the restaurants give you a view.
In Motel. Pool., Tag Manning runs from another bad decision in hopes of finding something worth living for. He comes to the Grand Canyon–he even has lunch at the restaurant in the photo above–but the stunning views fail to make his heart beat. But shortly after he leaves the park, as he drives down a dark highway, he discovers he’s not alone in his car. And then… well, then things get interesting.

Motel Pool locations 1: Hollywood

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about some of the locations featured in my new novel, Motel. Pool. Today is the first stop: Hollywood.
The mall where I took this pic is right on Hollywood Boulevard, and was the setting for one of my very first stories, “Act One.” Yes, there’s the famous Hollywood sign and the famous smog.
To be honest, Los Angeles is not my favorite city. But I don’t mind an occasional visit there, and I have to admit I’m a little drawn by the simultaneous glamour and seediness of Hollywood.

I mean–Cary Grant, right?
The opening chapter of Motel. Pool. take place in Hollywood in the mid-1950s, when Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe might have been hanging around. And when, I imagine, a lot of young men showed up hoping to be the next James Dean. Young men like Jack Dayton–a meatpacker’s son from Omaha, who learns the hard way that the casting couch won’t lead to fame.

The photo above is actually from a little way down Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s West Hollywood, which today has its own interesting sights. Like pet stores with intriguing advertisements:

Do you have a favorite Hollywood icon from the 1950s?

Heating up already?

Okay, so it’s barely May and aleady it’s in the upper 90s around here. I am stubbornly refusing to turn on the air conditioning–despite having a cold. I will suffer.

The temptation in weather like this is to turn to something light and frothy. A beach read, right? Preferably one that actually occurs at the beach. If you’re looking for that, I offer my novella Treasure, which you can download for free here. Or maybe you want a road trip story, like my soon-to-be-released Motel. Pool. Or a vacation tale like Venetian Masks.

But you know what? I think you ought to be contrary. As those temps climb and the days grow longer, I think you should curl up with something a little dark. Something with monsters. Like our new anthology, Stitch, of course. It contains novellas by Sue Brown, Eli Easton, Jamie Fessenden, and me, each of which will make you think about what it really means to be human. Maybe you’ll even be cooled a bit with a chill up your spine–or else heated up with some steamy lovin’.

The four of us will be joined by B.G. Thomas for a second book in the Gothika series; this book will contain voodoo stories. Mine’s called “The Dance” and was submitted today. That book should release in time for Halloween.

In the meantime, pour yourself something cold and admire this cover:

I love my husband

My husband is wonderful.

There. I’ve stated it publicly in writing. Now he has proof.

We’ve been married since dinosaurs roamed the earth, and during those millenia he has managed to completely surprise me four times. First time was when he proposed to me (in an Italian restaurant, between the minestrone and the main course). Second time was when he bought me my beloved Mini Cooper (and even decorated it for me). Third time was when a Thanksgiving weekend with his family in Palm Desert actually turned out to be us dumping the kids with the grandparents while we took a cruise to Catalina and Mexico. And the fourth time was this past August. It was supposed to be a family road trip to Vegas. But when we got to Barstow, he turned right instead of left, and kept on driving us all the way to the Grand Canyon. We had a hotel room right on the rim. After a night there, we headed to Hoover Dam, then spent a couple days in Vegas.

That surprise trip to Arizona was fantastic. It was the first time I’d seen the Canyon, apart from inside an airplane. The kids had never seen it at all. Definitely worth the drive.

But that trip also inspired my newest novel, Motel. Pool. It releases May 12 and you can preorder it now.  Tag Manning visits the Grand Canyon too. But first he takes a nap along a lonely stretch of the old Route 66–and picks up a very peculiar hitchhiker. Better that than two occasionally surly children.

Over the next couple weeks I’ll post some photos from the places Tag and Jack visit in the book.

Upcoming stories. Cover reveals!!

If you’re in a Kim Fielding mood, I have lots of stories on the way. Here’s what to look for in the next several months. And I have cover reveals too!

First up–on May 12–is my next novel, Motel. Pool. I’m really excited about this one. You can preorder it now. It was inspired by a trip to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Paul Richmond made that beautiful cover. Here’s the blurb:
In the mid-1950s, Jack Dayton flees his working-class prospects in Omaha and heads to Hollywood, convinced he’ll be the next James Dean. But sleazy casting couches don’t earn him stardom, and despair leads to a series of poor decisions that ultimately find him at a cheap motel off Route 66, lifeless at the bottom of the pool.
Sixty years later, Tag Manning, feeling hopeless and empty, flees his most recent relationship mistake and takes to the open road. On a roundabout route to Las Vegas, he pulls over to rest at an isolated spot on Route 66. There’s no longer a motel or pool, but when Tag resumes his journey to Vegas, he finds he’s transporting a hitchhiking ghost. Jack and Tag come to find much-needed friends in each other, but one man is a phantom and the other is strangely cursed. Time is running out for each of them, and they must face the fact that a future together may not only be a gamble… it may not be in the cards.

In June, my short story “The Border” will be available. You can get it as part of the Daily Dose anthology (which has a hurt-comfort theme–yay!), or you can buy it separately. The blurb:

Injured in a war that has stretched on for years, Sergeant John Peterson guards a lonely border. Aside from passing contact with railship captains, the only person he sees is the enemy: the man who guards the other side of the border. A bad fall places John’s life in the other soldier’s hands. He’s wary of his rescuer, First Lieutenant Thomas Fellowes, but over time he finds himself drawn to his new companion. Both soldiers carry the war in their souls, but they might find peace in each other.

I don’t have a release date yet, but sometime this summer my novella Guarded will be available for free. It’s part of the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s Don’t Read In the Closet event. Here’s the prompt:—claimed-by-kim-fielding (you might have to be a group member to access the page). We’ve got a guard with a crush on a prince–but the prince hates him. But when disaster befalls the prince, only the guard can save him. I made the cover myself. 🙂

Later this summer, my novella The Pillar will be released by Dreamspinner. It takes place in 15th century Bosnia. Then the third book in the Bones series, Bone Dry, comes out this fall. I have such fun with that series! And also this fall, I’ll have a vodou novella in an anthology.

So that’ll keep us busy for a while, right?


Do you know about golems? They originated in Jewish folklore several hundred years ago. The stories vary, but essentially a golem is a creature created out of clay by a man.

The most famous golem, I think, was the one created by Rabbi Loew of Prague to protect the Jewish community from attacks. According to the story, the golem’s dust is still hidden in the attic of one of Prague’s synagogues. Nobody’s ever been able to find the golem, but Rabbi Loew was a real man, and people still pay respect at his grave:

And when you visit Prague you can buy souvenir golems of your own. Here’s a tiny one I brought my parents several years ago:

That the golem legend has endured for so long means there must be something inherently appealing about him. Maybe for the Jews, who’ve had such a long history of persecution, the idea of a protector is comforting. And maybe all of us like the idea of being able–godlike–to create.

I’ve always wondered what the golem felt like. Is he content with his role? Is he lonely? In Issac Bashevis Singer’s version of the story, the golem falls in love with a woman. But what if he fell in love with a man instead?

That’s the question in The Golem of Mala Lubovnya, my new novella in the Stitch anthology, which you can preorder now. It releases April 21st.

Christmas in April?

As some of you may know, Silver Publishing has gone out of business. This is sad news for many people, including many authors who, I understand, were owed quite  a bit of money by the publisher. I published only one story with Silver, a holiday short called “Joys R Us.” Now that Silver has gone under, the rights to the story have reverted to me.

I’ve decided to republish it–with a new cover and cheaper price. You can get it now at Amazon for 99 cents (or the equivalent if you’re outside the US). And the good news is that, as with my self-published Ennek trilogy, I’ll donate 100% of my proceeds to Doctors Without Borders.

 So if you’ve already own the story, no need to buy it again. But itf it’s new to you, and if you’re in the mood for a little Christmas in April, the royalties are going to a good cause. You can buy it here.


One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the living room with my father on a Sunday afternoon–back in the days when there were only five TV channels–and watching a black and white version of Frankenstein. I’ve always assumed it was the Boris Karloff version, but I distinctly remember the monster crying over dead Victor and then wandering off to die in the ice. This happens in the books but not the Karloff version, so it must have been another one that I saw that day. Anyway, I also clearly remember feeling really sorry for the poor monster–even when he accidentally drowns the little girl.

I’ve always tended to empathize with villains and monsters, but perhaps none more so than Frankenstein’s monster. Maybe that’s because I always felt a little different and socially awkward myself. And it’s not the poor monster’s fault when people are so repulsed by his looks that they won’t even try to understand the sensitive creature.

I think Frankenstein’s monster was one of the things that influenced one of my own creations–Brute. Luckily, things work out considerably better in the end for my guy than they did for Shelley’s.

Frankenstein’s monster was also the inspiration for the anthology Stitch, which releases April 21 and is available now for preorder. The book contains four stories–by me, Sue Brown, Eli Easton, and Jamie Fessenden–about created men. I think you’ll really enjoy them. My story is about a very particular sort of created man: a golem. I’ll tell you about golems next week.

Do you empathize with monsters and villians too? Which ones?