RespectAbility Summer Lab

I’m in! The 2021 RespectAbility Summer Lab with some awesome people! And there’s a Hollywood Reporter article about it HERE.

Headshots of 30 participants in RespectAbility's 2021 Summer Lab. RespectAbility logo. Text: Summer Lab 2021.

RespectAbility– the non-profit that seeks to combat stigmas for people with disabilities— has announced the participants for its third annual Lab for Entertainment Professionals with Disabilities.

The eight-week lab, which takes place from June 22 to August 12, will be offered in a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic (the 2020 lab was also held virtually) and consists of two tracks: Emerging and mid-career. Participants include people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health, and other disabilities.

Participants in the mid-career track are Amanda Upson, Anna Marr, Bella Cosper, Cashmere Jasmine, Courtney Wold, Diane J. Wright, Jennifer Valdes, Julia Skikavic, Juliet Romeo, Justin Sloan, Sam Zapiain, Sarah Granger and Tameka Citchen-Spruce.

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Ascension Gate Book 5

I’m excited to announce that book 5 in the ASCENSION GATE series is coming soon (late May 2021). To get you ready for STAR EMPIRES, read on for a sample! #MilitaryScienceFiction #SpaceOpera

Ascension Gate Book 5: Star Empires

Colonel Amy Pfeiffer knelt at the side of the glowing stone, one of several her team had recently discovered in the tunnels of Krastian. Orange soil and stone surrounded her in the dim tunnels, and she was on alert in case the vibrations started, which would signal an approaching sand snake. Mostly those were taken care of these days, but not when out on expeditions beyond their colony’s borders.

She ran her tongue along her top teeth, wondering if the stories she’d heard were true. Could they have really found a new sort of stone that held more power than the others, one that could be harnessed in ways yet to become comprehensible.

“Think it’ll do the trick?” Master Sergeant Espinoza asked.

She turned to look at  him, and nodded. The idea of having his kind in her command was only starting to feel normal, but she had a feeling it would always be a bit out there. Vampires, they were called, in spite of their origination being a factor of genetic engineering to create super soldiers. It had gone wrong, leading to the uprising on Earth and so many other conflicts, at least, until the vampires had learned to control themselves and both sides had learned to work together. While Pfeiffer had been in the military, she had been junior at the time and only involved in the Earth conflicts. Her trip through the gateway to the stars and her command here on Krastian had come much later.

“Take it in for testing,” she said, giving Espinoza a nod. She stood, taking in this massive cavern, and couldn’t help but wonder if the carvings had been a result of the Goldies or the Apophians. Considering the Goldies and those they served had once been slaves to essentially mine this planet for the Apophians, he had to imagine this had been at least done by the latter group, or by the slaves for them.

What her intel work led her to believe, though, was that regardless of the origin, this was a factor of the traveling system they’d once had in place. The Apophians had used portals fueled by the energy in these rocks to travel, at least until the Goldies had first fought them off. When later the one known as Apophis had woken, thanks to the poking around of those on Earth—related to the genetic engineering efforts—Earther warriors had helped close it all back up again. Unfortunately, Pfeiffer hadn’t arrived until after that war had ended. Years later, they were still working to make this place habitable. Those former slaves had stayed clear at first, but within a year of the Apophians being defeated and pushed back through the gates before closing them, the fighting was back on.

Goldies were, once again, on the offensive. For several years now the fighting had dragged on, especially as Earth Command had issued orders for expansion. In general, they stayed clear of the Outer Wars, but recent rumor had it they’d made efforts to colonize three other planets, and were having issues with them.

Pfeiffer stepped in, eyes roaming across the team, and then to what was clearly metal walls, partly covered by collapsed stone and soil. It looked like someone had tried to hide it, to bury it. Then again, on a planet like this, the sand snakes or any number of battles could have caused the cave in.

“What is this place?” Pfeiffer asked.

“My guess,” Espinoza said, “it’s an old command center.”

“Buried,” another voice said, and they turned to see Shrina in silhouette at the entrance. Shrina wasn’t a Marine or soldier, and she wasn’t a vampire, exactly. She was something else—with powers more directly related to Apophis, her transformation had been one of death and rebirth. At least, that’s what the stories said. And when she’d woken, it was with new powers, fangs and whatnot like the vamps, but also with wings. Leathery wings with curved hooks on the end. Gray, almost purple skin. And scales, not all over, but in some places. Claws instead of fingernails. It was indeed a transformation, to the extent that when Pfeiffer had first laid eyes on the woman, she’d wondered if she was wrong about religion and had found herself staring at a demon. In fact, since then she’d learned that Shrina was about as far from a demon as one could be, having proved her friendship and loyalty over and over.

Pfeiffer raised an eyebrow as their new arrival knelt to fit in, then joined them. “I’d love to have seen this place in action back in the day.”

“And I’d love to know who buried it,” Shrina said, confirming what Pfeiffer had been thinking about the place.

“This was beyond the capabilities of the Goldies,” Espinoza said. “My guess, Apophians before they were kicked out by them.”

Pfeiffer strolled over to their visitor, voice low so the others couldn’t listen in.

 “Shrina, may I ask what you’re doing here?” Not that Pfeiffer didn’t appreciate the help, but Shrina had proven herself an invaluable part of the fighting forces, off scouting new locations for expansion more often than not, lately.

Having taken a moment to inspect the stone, Shrina finally answered, “My sister… sensed something.” She was referring to Alicia. At the frown Pfeiffer gave her, Shrina continued, “She’s been… changing, lately. Finding that the stones she’s been experimenting with help her to understand this planet better than anyone. If she says there’s something down here, I listen. Looks like she was right.”

The how didn’t need to make sense, because so much of this place didn’t. So Pfeiffer nodded, further assessing the area. Along one wall was a series of small, colored stones with lines connecting them. Maybe artwork, or possibly some sort of war table, but on the wall? She frowned, trying to make sense of it and the runes carved along the top and bottom.

“You know what we’re looking at, right?” Shrina asked.

Pfeiffer shook her head. “No, what’s that?”

“Travel plans.”

Pfeiffer frowned, assessing the carving and the bits of precious stones along the various lines. Only a few were lit, but as she analyzed them, she noticed patterns.

“You seeing this?” she asked, turning to Espinoza. He already had out a small screen, which took on a larger form, projected, when he ran his hand across it.

“Good eye,” he said, and expanded the screen further to overlay against part of the carvings. Not only did the stones line up with some of the planets on the map, most notably some newer discoveries, but one of the lit-up stones lined up with the new colonies. Which planets, exactly, she wasn’t sure.

“They’re somehow making contact with the new colonies,” Shrina said, shaking her head with worry.

Pfeiffer nodded, then noticed something else. Another stone was starting to glow, just barely, but there was definitely a light there that she was fairly certain hadn’t been moments before. It was Earth.

“We have to warn Earth command,” Pfeiffer said.

They all stared at that stone, watching its glow intensify, knowing that this was undoubtedly a symbol of dark times ahead. When Pfeiffer finally looked up, it was to see Shrina already exiting, wings folded back to fit through the narrow opening.

“Where’ you going?” Pfeiffer asked.

“While you brief Earth command, I’m going to ensure our army is ready,” Shrina replied. “Seems we have a fight to prepare for.”

She was gone from sight then, leaving Pfeiffer and Espinoza to share a worried look.

“Go with her,” Pfeiffer said, stepping back to get a recording of this room. “The troops will need your experience.”

“Roger that,” he replied, and then jogged off to catch up with Shrina.

Pfeiffer was the only one of them who hadn’t been here for the last fight with the Apophians. She’d seen her fair share of action elsewhere, but had a feeling that wasn’t good enough preparation for this. If the glowing stones in any way signified the return of the Apophians, they were going to need all the fighters they could muster.

Coming Soon: Primal Link

Our new Scifi book, Primal Link, is almost here!

Here’s the book description on Amazon/KU:

Missions to alien planets have resulted in interactions with strange beings in the past, but never on this level.

When Marine Corporal Goshawk becomes part of the search team tasked with locating some missing SEALs, he expected action and plenty of it. After all, they had to send in Marines to rescue SEALs. What he didn’t expect was that the mission would completely transform him, body and spirit.

As new threats from strange beings continually challenge the team and their mission rapidly spirals out of control, odd allies emerge in unexpected places. It’s no joyride for Corporal Goshawk and his small fire team, though, because those allies—the very thing that could help them—are driving a wedge between his team and his commanding officer, along with the rest of the Marines.

Will the Corporal and his team find the SEALs and complete the mission? Can they overcome the strange beings that threaten to take over? Or will they go down in flames?

PRIMAL LINK blends the excitement of Starship Troopers and the mystery and exploration of Horizon Zero Dawn to create a space adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Grab it on Amazon during preorder, or KU May 28, 2020

Prime Evil – Snippet 1

Prime EvilCheck out my book PRIME EVIL, on preorder for May 14, 2020

All the bugs in the world couldn’t keep Chief Petty Officer Bryant from reaching Petty Officer Moldoon, the man who knelt with one of those damn creature’s slicers tearing through his armor. Armor that shouldn’t have been penetrable, originally made for the Marines but upgraded and enhanced for the SEALs.

Dark caverns in all directions echoed with the shouts and gunfire of the fighting. Shrill screeches from the bugs sounded on frequencies that threatened to drive the Earther forces mad.

The SEALs were there to infiltrate, while the Marines went toe-to-toe aboveground. Another day for the most clandestine section of the Interagency Intrusion Task Force, or the IITF, to get to work. Chief Petty Officer Bryant found this label humorous for the simple fact that their team was made up almost entirely of SEALs. He was a former Marine, true, and had risen to the rank of Staff Sergeant before switching over to the Navy and to go SEAL. Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training wasn’t easy, but with all the space exploration and threat from intergalactic enemies, he hadn’t expected anything less.

And now his team had the mission of taking out the mother of all bugs. By God, he would see it through, but first he had to get to his man. He charged through the enemy ranks, sending green and black goo from dead bugs spraying around him with his assault. A leap with his augments sent him over the head of one that reminded him of a mixture of praying-mantis-meets-scorpion, almost forgetting about the double tails until one sliced into the armor on his forearm.

Wound be damned, he’d made it. Other SEALs came behind to deal with the tails. Petty Officer Green sliced off the first while Petty Officer Robinson pumped the creature’s chest full of lead. Moldoon’s scream of pain reminded Bryant that he didn’t have time to linger and watch it go down.

Three shots hit the bug’s curved carapace armor, creating small dents but nothing more. (more…)

Blood Runners Trilogy

Blood RunnersThe first two books in the Blood Runners trilogy are live, the last coming in less than two weeks! So far, readers are loving the books. How about you?

Check out these Blood Runners reviews:

★★★★★ I liked the cover and the blurb. It’s lite GameLit that’s heavy on the story. Absolution has something I’ve been missing in LitRPG and GameLit that I used to have in tabletop games that I used to GM: Characters running for their lives. Dodging disasters. Getting knocked down, beaten up and then running like hell to reach the next breather. They are surrounded by overpowering enemies, jumping at shadows and entering the zone to thread the needle where they are alive at the end. I loved that about this book. Great word building. Gaming stuff that stays in the background but never forgotten, XP gains during fights where it doesn’t break the flow but a natural part of the world. It looks seamless for me.
Reminds me of Logan’s run, Running Man, Escape from New York and oddly Ready Player One.
Including my favorite quote with permission from one of the author’s because I thought it was cool:

Longman hated leather straps. They just didn’t wear as well as synthetic materials and the inner fibers, when splashed with blood, seemed to somehow separate and pull apart. The straps holding Moses O’Shea to the wooden chair were double-strength nylon. The kind used back in the glorious days of enhanced interrogation. They would hold.

I just loved that attention to detail. It reminded me of Dexter making sure his tools were in order. So I loved this book. The book was exciting and absorbing all the way through (the authors are both pros at this). I very much recommend this one.

  • Ian Mitchell, Amazon Reviewer

Shadow Corps Gamelit

Shadow Corps GamelitI’ve been listening back through the Shadow Corps books as I outline book four, and it’s funny how, when I wrote them, I didn’t think of them as Gamelit. I was just writing what I thought would be fun. Then I got reviews saying they were LitRGP, and I was confused. Anyway, reading this now… I see why. Check it out.

A SciFI Gamelit Snippet:

She threw herself at the bastards, quickly destroying them, then stepped back and looked down. The sword glowed to its full potential, and her last blue circle filled in.

A rush of energy filled her, tingling up from the suit. She felt it growing thicker, stronger… better.

As if she had just leveled up. Holy shit. This was too much fun. She checked, and sure enough, the lights had reset back at zero.

With a new zest for the fight, she charged into the cavern, her battle cry piercing the darkness. Now the creatures were falling left and right, but she noticed that the blue lights weren’t filling up quite as fast as before. When she came to a fork in the tunnels, a light appeared inches from her face and she nearly stumbled back, not expecting that. (more…)

Sloan New Releases

Sloan New Release

 

Here is the plan for my next few releases. I hope to stick to it, but consider it more of an “I hope to…” style plan than anything concrete. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget to FOLLOW ME on Amazon to ensure you don’t miss a release.

 

 

 

Great eBook for SciFi Readers

Project Destiny Free eBookSciFi readers only: check out my book and join the new group I set up for readers on FB!
 
 
PROJECT DESTINY

Stealth is an elite among elites. This Marine wanted to be on the front line of expansion into space, and now he is. Only the hacker organization known as The Looking Glass stands against them, trying to pull apart all of his team’s progress, all they believe in.

Alice was told that her husband was dead, a month after he went up to space. Now she’s formed a team of technical assassins dedicated to taking down New Origins, the corporation in charge of the station, if she doesn’t get answers. Someone has to hold them accountable–even if it means going up against an army of genetically engineered super soldiers.

Neither will stop until they have justice. 

Read Will Wight

Read Will Wight

 

 

Have you read Will Wight yet? 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Everyone should be reading Will Wight. Here’s why I’m so adamant: For me, it was Will’s books that got me into self-publishing.

I was a snob, kind of, having been through the Johns Hopkins MA in writing program and then working at Telltale as a writer. At the time, I’d go to writing conferences and submit to traditional agents, thinking that was the only way to go. Asking my friends for great books to read while waiting for the next Game of Thrones, someone recommended a Will Wight book, and I was blown away. Not only was it amazing, super fun, and one of the most well-thought out fantasy books I had read in a long time, it was self-published!

That book was the first in the Traveler’s Gate trilogy, and I’ve loved all of his books since then. He even got on the phone with me a couple times back then, before I’d published anything, and been super supportive. He inspired me, and his books continue to make me smile, to help me through tough times. Not that my life is tough — it’s amazing, because of readers like you… and that’s, as I said, in large part thanks to Will. One big happy circle.

All that said, he recently published the 6th book in his Cradle series, and it has been kicking major butt on Amazon. Up to number two in the whole store, I hear. WOWSERS! Apparently, everyone else agrees with me that Will Wight is one of the top authors out there. Not just in fantasy, but overall.

So if you haven’t yet, give his books a chance. You’ll love them!

Grab Will’s books on Amazon HERE.