Found on amazon: “Missing”

Missing by Alice MarksBreak out the bubbly! Missing just became available on

I am positively giddy about this because the author, Alice Marks, is my mentor, dear friend, and a phenomenally talented writer.

What’s Missing about?

Rhonda Collins MD is a popular physician at a Corpus Christi family clinic. One day she leaves on her lunch break and never returns. Everyone in the city gets caught up in the mystery of what happened to a beautiful doctor.

I was honored to be asked to do a beta read on this so I know what happened to Rhonda, but I ain’t tellin’. You’ll have to buy the book and find out for yourself. You’ll enjoy trying to figure it out. I especially liked the two city detectives, veteran Sgt. Stan Belkin and newbie, Maria Gonzales.

Alice has had short works published in various Chicken Soup for the Soul collections and most recently in Masters of Time. Those like me who have enjoyed her short stories and poems will be delighted to have a longer work to read.

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Epic Wednesday

During the November FantasyCon, I’ll be staffing a booth on Epic Wednesday (Nov. 4, 2015) and featuring The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam.

You might wonder what makes these stories”epic,” aside from the fact that there’s 3 books in the series and a 4th in progress. It’s because this is essentially one man’s grand struggle in the setting of an imaginary world. This subgenre is also sometimes called “high fantasy.”

And yes, KBW (as his fans have come to refer to him) continues to find life bewildering. (Don’t we all?) Just when he thinks he’s got it all under control, WHAMMO—A DRAGON!

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Go where you’ve never gone before

Virtual FantasyConHave you ever thought it might be fun to attend a #SciFi or #Fantasy convention? Delight in people running around dressed as dragons or faeries, or StormTroopers? But it seemed kind of frivolous to go to one?

Well, don’t “go” anywhere but do plan to attend the Virtual FantasyCon, the first week in November. It’s virtual and online and you won’t have to “go” anywhere, except in your imagination.

This convention is coming together now and it’s going to be amazing. Many of your favorite scifi/fantasy authors (like ME!) will be hosting booths and serving on panels, and you’re sure to discover new favorites too.

There will be plenty of costumes, too. A cosplay booth will open on the morning of each event day and all entries will be placed in the comment section under the booth, in the form of a selfie image or a short video. The idea is for guests and any authors who wish to get involved to dress up in costume representing the sub-genre of the day. Each entry will to go into the running for a daily prize. At the end of the 8-day event there will be an overall prize for the best Cosplay costume.

So, clear your calendar, get your costume out of storage, and plan to attend. Keep watching this space for details as they develop.

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Give ’em a break

The Redoubt by Devorah FoxI’m about 75% of the way through writing the second draft of “The Redoubt” which will be Book Four of “The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam.”

One of the things I’ve been doing has been putting in chapter breaks. I wrote the first draft scene by scene but not every scene makes a chapter.

I found myself getting caught up in the story and forgetting to put in a break. I got to wondering, what would it be like if there were no chapters, if the book was just one continuous stream?

I’m sure that someone somewhere has done the definitive study on the psychology of the chapter break. I mean, readers can simply put down the book whenever they like, they don’t need “permission” or the command of a chapter break. In fact writers who want to craft a real page turner could simply leave out the chapter breaks.

I won’t in “The Redoubt” but it’s food for thought.


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It’ s just epic

Today’s topic on tweetspeak is epic poetry, with a short description of epic prose:

“An epic, specifically, is a genre of classical poetry which originated in Greece. The word comes from the ancient Greek word epos, which means “poetic utterance.”

As an extended narrative in verse form, the epic retells and explains the heroic journey of one person, or a group. Blending highly stylized, lyrical language with superhuman feats and fantastic adventures, the elements of the epic are formed. If you were to examine some of the oldest written narratives, you’d find many of them to be written in epic form. Some examples include: Gilgamesh, Mahâbhârata, Iliad, Odyssey, Beowulf, and Aeneid.

The epic carried important cultural truths but, as M. I. Finley puts it,

‘Whatever else the epic may have been, it was not history. It was narrative, detailed and precise, with minute description of fighting and sailing, and feasting and burials and sacrifices, all very real and vivid; it may even contain, buried away, some kernels of historical fact—but it was not history.'”

The Lost King by Devorah FoxSounds like The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, no? Complete with fantastic adventures, fighting and sailing and feasting. You’ll be seeing that and more in my work in progress, Book 4, The Redoubt. While you wait, there’s plenty of all that in Books 1-3.

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Blue yonder

Here’s a blast from the past. A friend’s recent Cessna flight over Port Aransas made me remember my own small plane experience. So I thought I’d republish it here. From March, 2011 it’s “Hearkening to the Call of the Wild Blue Yonder:

My friend Randy who is retired from the airline industry tells this story: A boy and his father stand at the fence at the Mustang Island Airport watching the planes take off and land. Captivated, the boy says to his father, “Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a pilot!” His father replies, “Son, you can’t do both.”

Mike CarpentieroThat “never grow up” quality is perfectly personified by Major Mike Carpentiero who, like Peter Pan, can fly. He pilots “Stanley,” a 1929 New Standard biplane. Originally built by Ivan Gates of “Gates Flying Circus” and Charles Healy Day, the plane was designed for barnstorming — carrying passengers for fun — and that’s what Mike does. With his faithful canine companion Winston, Mike flies all around the country taking people up for “Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane” rides.

There are only six New Standards flying in the word today and Stanley is the only one flying west of the Mississippi. It’s made of wood and fabric, and Mike wonders how fighter pilots survived in similar craft that offered them little protection in air combat.

Mike has years of military and commercial flying experience. He has over 5,000 flying hours and 20 years of flying experience in everything from gliders to fighters. He started flying gliders in 1984 in California. After graduating college he entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1988 and completed Naval Aviator training in 1992. He was attached to Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard the USS America and participated in combat operations in Southwest Asia and Bosnia Herzegovina. Mike has over 150 carrier landings and is the recipient of multiple flying awards to include two Air Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal, NATO Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and Aerial Achievement Medal.

He left active duty service in 1997 and joined the Air Force Air National Guard as a full time A-10 pilot with the 104th Fighter Wing, 131st Fighter Squadron, out of Westfield, Massachusetts. In 1999 Mike began flying the Boeing 737 with US Airways but after three years decided he didn’t like it. He quit, bought a biplane, and started giving rides. He loves sharing his passion for aviation with others.

The plane isn’t the only thing that dates back to the Twenties. So does Mike’s flying ensemble including his wraparound aviator sunglasses and lace-up boots. He’ll provide you with a leather helmet, which not only helps to create that nostalgic vibe but also keeps your hair from getting irreparably tangled. Arriving for your biplane ride in full Amelia Earhart or Charles Lindbergh regalia is optional, although I would highly recommend it for heightening that vintage ambience. Do bring sunglasses and dress as you would to ride in a convertible. You will want a jacket if the weather is chilly.

Other pilots around the country offer biplane rides from fixed locations, but Mike is the only one who travels from place to place, following the weather. He attends air shows and festivals – wherever there’s a crowd. Spending a good part of the summer in the northwest, he visits Port Aransas a couple of times a year. He likes Texas and always meets new friends but could do without the Texas “mountains,” the tall TV transmitter towers that force him to fly higher than he’d like. He prefers to fly at 1,500 feet where the air is warm. Hard to say which part of the wild blue yonder Mike finds most attractive – the wild, the blue or the yonder.

Traveling at 55 to 60 mph, rides last “a lifetime.” (In clock hours, that’s about fifteen minutes.) The plane can fly for about three to three-and-a-half hours at a stretch. Mike can take as many as four passengers at a time while other biplanes can take only two. The morning that I flew, we filled the passenger compartment: Randy and me and two teenage girls who gave satisfying screams of delight for each bank and dive. I liked the hover, which gave me the sensation of hanging motionless in space.

Yes, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly! Join Mike as he follows his bliss into the wild blue yonder. For more information, visit the Web site at Send an email to or call 760-641-7335.


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777 Writer’s Challenge—”The Redoubt”

The Redoubt by Devorah FoxH.M. Jones nominated me for the 7th page, 7th row, 7 lines writer’s challenge. My current project is The Redoubt, Book Four of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam.  You can find Books 1-3 on amazon. com and Here is the 7th page, 7th row and 7 lines from The Redoubt and this seems to be as good a time as any to give you a peek at the cover too.

Tall and slender with long mahogany hair, Princess Dale was not unattractive yet Robin could not help but see Zachary’s face under the powder, cheek and lip stain. Dale worked hard with the kingdom’s best tailors to craft flattering gowns which nevertheless failed to narrow a young man’s broad shoulders and back or widen narrow hips. Today’s robe of deep purple draped Dale’s form with all the elegance of a counterpane. Princess Dale’s feminine appearance put Robin off balance. He felt like leaving the hall and coming in again to reorient himself but it wouldn’t do any good. Prince Zachary would still be Princess Dale.

Look for a February, 2016 release of The Redoubt. Meanwhile, I nominate John Howell, Skoot Larson and Alice Marks to reveal the 7th page, 7th row and 7 lines of their current works in progress.

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Hiding in an isolated Newfoundland outport, Scarlett Winters is the living bearer of the secret of immortality. Sebastian Sinclair, vampire and stealer of souls, might be her only hope to escape a deadly power struggle. But can she trust him? Caught between
sacrificing her morals and betrayal by those she trusted, Scarlett will risk everything to escape…unless she dies trying.

Tina Traverse fell in love with writing at the age of eight when she wrote her version of the bible story, The Good Samaritan, for a homework assignment. This love grew into a passionate affair and has been ongoing for
thirty years; and there are no signs of it waning.
Though, she admits, when she was pregnant with her son Christian,
the affair cooled.
Tina’s desire to write came calling once again when she needed to
find a way to cope with heartbreaking news.
Christian was diagnosed with autism in 2010.
Her method of coping was to write a story about his journey called
Forever, Christian.
Tina likes to joke that a girl can only write about real life for
so long without jumping back into the world of make believe.
She loves to venture into the world of the supernatural; vampires
and witches are her favourite! 
Tina enjoys all sorts of vampires but admits that she is fascinated with the modern romantic vampire (think Twilight and The Vampire Diaries).
She is currently working on a vampire series based on her first published book, Destiny of The Vampire and has other projects in the works.
When Tina is not at the computer creating her exciting, magical worlds, she is kept on her toes by her two sons, Christian and Brandon.
Sometimes the author manages to curl up in her favourite chair with a good book.




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Dragonlove #DLBlast

For love that is tested in the crucible of fate must burn, or die…
Publication Date: August 15, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Dragonfriend #2

When a woman loves a Dragon, that love will change the world.

Six years have passed since Hualiama and Grandion defied the Island-World’s most sacred law. They burned the heavens together as Rider and Dragon. For his crime, Grandion the Tourmaline Dragon suffered exile and imprisonment. The Dragons forced Hualiama to forget her past.

Now, the suns must set upon the age of the Ancient Dragons. Amaryllion Fireborn, last of his kind, bequeaths Hualiama an astonishing legacy. She is the Dragonfriend. Raised by Dragons. Burned by Dragon fire. Oath-bound to a Dragon. Crossing the Island-World in search of her Dragonlove, she will forge an indelible mark upon history.

As war between Dragons and Humans engulfs the Islands, Hualiama must unravel the secrets of her tragic past in order to confront an evil that threatens the very existence of the Dragonkind. For love that is tested in the crucible of fate must burn, or die.

Marc is a South African-born author who lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.

When he’s not writing about Africa Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

Read an excerpt

Dragon-thunder shook the palace.

Hualiama kicked off her soft slippers. Picking up her formal lace skirts, she began to run, but the long train snagged immediately on the curved claws of a stylised jade Dragon. Dagger in hand, she hacked wildly at the priceless fabric restricting her stride. Bleeding–Dragon fire take it! She stumbled up endless stairs designed by an architect enamoured with galleries sized to house ridiculous mountains of royal artefacts. Entering a long corridor, her woefully short legs stretched into a sprint. Ranks of larger-than-life paintings of tall, pointy-eared ancestors blurred to either side. All of her attention was focussed on the altercation on the Receiving Balcony, atop Fra’anior’s Royal Palace.

A Dragon’s voice boomed, “This means war, King Chalcion!”

She had to stop them. Now.

Slewing around a corner, Lia deliberately cannoned off a man-high ornamental vase. She caught her balance, agile as any dragonet, and picked up her knees. Head down, she pumped her arms, accelerating to the speed of a warrior and dancer who trained for five hours daily. Twisting between two thickset marble columns to shortcut her route, Lia used a stone pot-plant as a springboard to leap upward at full stretch, flying briefly over a yawning drop to the palace gardens below. Snagging the crenulations atop the wall with her fingertips, she wriggled upward with the facility of a lizard scaling a wall and vaulted smoothly onto the balcony beyond. One more level.

She heard querulous voices, and the swish of Dragons’ wings. They were leaving.

Her heart could not sink, because it was thrashing about in her throat. But it should. This was just the incident to ignite the simmering relations between Dragons and Humans. She should know. That very morning, Lia had witnessed a Dragonwing immolating a Human village.

Bounding up the final staircase, she raced out onto the balcony, screaming, “Stop!”

Lia caught her foot in the wreck of her dress, slipped, and skidded across the rough flagstones all the way to the edge of her father’s robes.

“Stop them!”

Stooping, the King seized her arm. “This is an outrage, Hualiama! How dare you barge–”

She tore herself free, hurled herself to the balcony’s edge, and screamed again, “Stop! By the Spirits of the Ancient Dragons, please!”

Hualiama gazed out over her beloved Island. Sweet, haunting harmonies of birdsong and dragonet-song saluted the gathering evening, the ever-song, some called it, the unique melody of Fra’anior, which was an Island-Cluster of twenty-seven Islands precariously perched on the rim-wall of the greatest volcano in the Island-World. The late afternoon light streamed in so thick and golden, she feared the King might pass a law to store it in the royal treasury. But she had eyes only for the Dragons.

Four Dragons winged over the vast bowl of Fra’anior’s volcanic caldera, their scales gleaming like glorious jewels in the resplendent light. Two were hundred-foot Reds, as perfect as matched rubies, called Zulior and Qualiana, and the third a vast emerald-green named Andarraz. Sapphurion, the Dragon Elder himself, led their Dragonwing. His scales evoked the turquoise hue of a clear lake. All were breathtaking, but Sapphurion was the greatest of all, the leader of the Island-World’s Dragons.

The four Dragons banked with supreme grace, angling back toward the Receiving Balcony. Hualiama’s heart stood still.


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Party like there’s no tomorrow

Party like there’s no tomorrow. Because, well, time is just a construct so maybe there is no tomorrow, or yesterday.

Masters of TimeThat said, join me in this timeline on Friday, Aug. 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Port Aransas Art Center, 323 N. Alister St. It’s First Friday so there will be refreshments and live music and I’ll be there with copies of Masters of Time: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Time Travel AnthologySee what I and five other best-selling authors do with Time when we get a hold of it.

I’ll bring my Precision Warp Dissection Shears just in case we hit a bad time travel snag that needs unraveling so you don’t need to worry. We can party like it’s 1999.

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