Category Archives: News

Cover Reveal: Branch & Root

A new anthology is coming from Shooting Star Press at the end of this month, and I’m very excited to have a story in it. And here is the spooky cover for Branch & Root: The Anthology of the Trees.

I love this eerie cover, full of mood and mystery, and I’m so excited to be sharing space in the Table of Contents with Shriya Bhagwat, Gillian Polack, Lee Murray, Jeff Clulow, Maura Pierlot, Pamela Freeman, Sharyn Lilley,  Carleton Chinner, Aaron Dries, KJ Taylor and Haralambi Markov! With an introduction by Kaaron Warren, I conclude this is Day, Made!

My story is called “The Marbletree Wood” and is set in Witches of Tyne universe. (It was SO MUCH FUN to play in there again) but set in the far future of that series.

More about Branch & Root: The Anthology of the Trees

The Blurb:

They are providers of shade, fuel and food; they can be poisonous or spiny; hold a hunter’s shelter or a hangman’s noose. Trees have always been at centre of human culture.

Trees represent many things, magical or mundane, and serve many different roles in both nature and human society. But are they more than they seem to be? Do we really know them the way they know us?

Timeless, ancient, seeing all, feeling all . . . Quietly being all.
What do they know that we might not?

A select group of premier horror and spec fic writers ponder the trees, and their places in our lives.

13 tales of trees gathered together in one volume and printed on the very bark and flesh of the forest. Horror, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, life and death are all here. Visit with the trees… if you dare…

Pre-order Branch & Root

Branch & Root will be released on 29th February 2020, but if you want to nail your name to one of the limited run, it’s AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER on the Shooting Star site – and you can pay in instalments through Afterpay!

I’ll add more buy sites later as they become available, but of course it’s always terrific to support small press by buying straight from the source!

Review: Life Minus Me by Sara Codair

I’ve been really enjoying some more diverse fiction, especially books with non-binary and trans characters – these are books which reflect much more of the world around me and the people I know! Among these beautifully written and fresh books are Alison Evans’ Euphoria Kids and Highway Bodies; Amanda Jette Knox’s Love Lives Here; and works by Mary Borsellino and Tom Cho.

This week I read Life Minus Me by Sara Codair, which features humans (including two people using ‘they/their’ pronouns, human-hybrids, some dogs with heaps of personality, and some folks with difficult mental health issues.

The novella begins appropriately with a warning about depictions of suicide, suicidal ideation and related issues. If these are triggering topics for you, do be mindful before starting this book.

Life Minus Me is a prequel in Sara Cordair’s Evanstar universe, which I haven’t read. This makes the somewhat complex backstory a bit tangled from time to time, and exposition a little heavy, but once that slight clunkiness is out of the way, you can get into the story.

We open with Mel, who is part human, part angel, part elf; she’s also a healer and a medical student. Her cousin Erin remains not thrilled with Mel, due to Mel’s intervention in saving their life after a suicide attempt. Erin also has paranormal gifts, about which they are unaware, and so their prophetic dreams about the death of Baily, part owner of the Barks and Bits pet store.

Baily is another person struggling with daily life and suicidal thoughts. When their uncle has a stroke, Baily’s barely-coping coping mechanisms break down. Mel, who can read thoughts, decides if she can’t help Erin, she might be able to help Baily. At the same time, Mel is clearly neglecting her own health in her drive to help others.

It’s a fairly dark world into which the reader steps, full of people finding life difficult to manage. It is, however, also a hopeful world, where solutions aren’t simple or easily gained, but there’s light on the path.

The characters read sympathetically,and of course the presence of Baily’s and Erin’s dogs perhaps embody that best.

Mel’s family business of being demon hunters is a background note which later and a bit suddenly becomes more foreground – I’d just about forgotten an earlier reference to it. That story element will clearly be more of a motif in the rest of the series.

Life Minus Me is dark at times, but it doesn’t wallow in the darkness. It’s a bit densely packed with backstory for a novella, but it certainly offers a solid foundation for the novels of the series: where I hope we might see more of Baily and their dog, of Erin and their secret abilities, and Mel getting a better grip on life.

Buy Life Minus Me

Cover Reveal: Duo Ex Machina – Kiss and Cry

I’m delighted to reveal the cover for my upcoming fourth Duo Ex Machina novella, Kiss and Cry.

Set in 2014, Kiss and Cry sees musicians and life partners Frank Capriano and Milo Bertolone facing new challenges. Milo is taking part in a celebrity ice dancing show for charity; Frank is a busy music producer. They’re both working too hard and losing touch with the love that has kept them strong for so long. At the same time, some odd things are going on with other participants in Icing It! What new and unlooked-for danger threatens them now, and is it worse than the miserable estrangement they’re going through?

Kiss and Cry is currently being serialised for my $3 supporters on Patreon. That will finish in February 2020, when all Patrons will get the book as one of their regular awards. Soon after, it will be available for general sale.

In the meantime, this is the lovely cover by Willsin Rowe, who has created all the new series covers to date.

Join my Patreon in August 2019 and get special rewards!

From 1 to 12 August 2019, I’m running a special offer for those joining my Patreon!

What is my Patreon?

At my Patreon, my supporters get sneak peeks of works in progress, cover reveals, research tips and writing tutorials! Some posts are provided a week ahead of my regular blog while others are exclusive to my supporters.

A key reward for my followers there are the Duo Ex Machina ebooks, but there are plenty more rewards depending on the support tier.

My supporters have already helped me to produce three novellas in the Duo Ex Machina series, with the fourth and fifth due for completion in 2020.

August Special Offers

  • Every new person who joins at the Class Act Level ($5/month) or above will get a free Scar Tissue and Other Stories ebook!
  • Everyone who joins at the Name that Tune Level ($10/month) and above will receive a cross-stitched bookmark, hand-made by me! Each bookmark is unique and relates to one of my stories.
  • Everyone who joins at the Booked Out Level ($20 in Australia; $25 everywhere else) will receive all current 2019 books, sent out over 2 months (ebooks by the end of September, paperbacks by the end of October).

New patrons will be charged up-front on the day you sign up – and have immediate access to three novellas to download and all the posts relevant to your tier!

Rewards will be fulfilled by the end of September 2019 (as I’ll be off in Dublin for WorldCon and travels in the UK from mid-August to early September).

For access to ebooks right through to tutorials, sneak peeks and other rewards – Become a Patron! from 1-12 August 2019.