Free Fiction Friday: SFF Book Bonanza

Head on over to SFF Book Bonanza for many, many free fantasy and science fiction books. Even if you miss the dates, many of the books will be available and free for the rest of August–click early, click often.

Happy reading!

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Weekly writing check-in: 99 cent Geek Girl

So, I made a discovery this week that the e-book version of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading is at 99 cents in all the US stores. That was a surprise. I think it started around Wednesday, based on the rank shift over on Amazon.

As I said on Friday, now’s the time to grab a copy if you don’t already have one.

Kindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Google Play

Edited to add: looks like the price is going up on various retailers (Kobo, Google). Well, it was fun while it lasted.

In revision news, I’ve added ~8,000 words to the second draft. This is moving a little slower than I’d like. Or rather, I think I should be moving faster through the manuscript, but on reflection, I suspect this pace is just right. I’ve rearranged events and moved scenes around, and I simply can’t drop a scene into the manuscript as is. There’s emotional context to consider, story threads to weave in or tug out.

So, while part of me wants to zoom through this revision, another part of me is pleased with my progress so far.

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(Almost) Free Fiction Friday: The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading

So, I was working on something else when I discovered that The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading is currently at 99 cents at all major e-retailers.

Why or when, exactly, this happened, I don’t know. I also don’t know how long it will remain at 99 cents. In fact, I fear it may no longer be at 99 cents by the time this post goes live.

So if you ever wanted a copy, now’s the time to grab one. Buy early. Buy often.

Kindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Google Play

A YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback pick in the Get Your Geek On category!

When self-proclaimed geek girl Bethany Reynolds becomes the newest member of the varsity cheerleading squad, she realizes that there’s one thing worse than blending into the lockers: getting noticed. Who knew cheerleading was so hard? Well, at least there’s a manual, The Prairie Stone High Varsity Cheerleading Guide. Too bad it doesn’t cover any of the really tough questions. Like:

  • How do you maintain some semblance of dignity while wearing an insanely short skirt?
  • What do you do when the head cheerleader spills her beer on you at your first in-crowd party?
  • And how do you protect your best friend from the biggest player in the senior class?

Bethany is going to need all her geek brainpower just to survive the season!

Kindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo

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Weekly writing check-in: a series without a name

Kitty has no suggestions for a series name

I’m 30,000 words into the revision. That’s almost halfway, or at least, it’s almost halfway through the original draft word count.

I’m still pondering not only a title for this particular book, but a name for the entire series as well. And I’m almost at my wit’s end and seriously considering Tea & Witches (as a complement to Coffee & Ghosts).

But, of course, Coffee & Ghosts started out as simply a shorthand way of referring to the stories I was writing. Then the whole thing bloomed into a serial/series, and by that time, the name was set. Because of this, I’ve had to explain what the heck Coffee and Ghosts actually is, with an essay here on my website and in all the books.

This is not a road I wish to travel with this series, even if it’s a spin-off. That being said, it would be very, very on brand. If you enjoy brainstorming, feel free to read the book’s description here and offer up suggestions.

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Free Fiction Friday: Straying from the Path

First published in Flash Fiction Online, Cicada Magazine, and in audio at The Centropic Oracle.

It was a wolf, rather than an ailing grandmother, that tempted Red into the woods. All day his cries echoed, small, plaintive-sounding things that filled the forest. By the time she found him, night had fallen and the blood on the snow looked black.

By moonlight, she pried his paw from the rusted jaws of the trap. He ran from her. And why wouldn’t he? It was her kind that set the trap to begin with. The wolf limped through the underbrush, tail between his legs. Later, if you asked her at what point she fell in love, she would’ve said that night. At the time, all she knew was how his injured gait made her heart lurch.

Later that night, Red spied his yellow eyes from well beyond the woodpile at the edge of the forest. The next evening, she left a meat pie on the lowest stack of wood. By morning, the tin had been licked clean.

And so went the winter. As the days grew colder and her supplies dwindled, she cut back on her own portion of meat. She could go without, but the wolf was still healing. Now, when she walked in the forest, she never feared brigands or the overly friendly woodcutters. When men called on her, they found the howl of a single male wolf so unnerving that they left their teacups half full, crumb cake uneaten.

When at last the snow melted and the sun heated the earth, Red took to bathing in the stream behind the house. No one dared disturb her. Every night, she set out a meat pie. Every morning, she collected the empty tin.

Except for the morning she didn’t. Flies buzzed around the soggy crust, the filling, chewed and pilfered by tiny mouths and claws. She threw on her cape and ventured into the forest—alone.

The trail was easy enough to follow. Drops of blood, tufts of gray fur. The farther into the forest she walked, the slower her steps became. What was done was done. All she could do was delay her own knowledge of it, spend a few more minutes free of a world where, every time she closed her eyes, all she saw was matted fur and severed paws—far too many to count.

That night, for the first time in months, she did not bake a meat pie.

The scratching came when the coals in the fireplace were mere embers. There, at the door, sat her wolf, bloodied but no weaker for his fight. He cocked his head as if to say: Where’s my meat pie?

She threw her arms around him, buried her face against his neck, and cried until the dirt in his fur became streams of mud.

When the townsfolk came, bearing axes and ropes, she threw open the door for them.

Why, no, she hadn’t seen any wolves at all lately. In fact, she’d stopped her treks through the forest for fear of them. Instead, she now cared for her grandmother here, in her very own cottage.

The men tiptoed from the room, not wishing to wake the old lady. The women rubbed their chins, hoping old age would not bring such a crop of whiskers.

After that, suitors stopped visiting. Although Red always sent them on their way with a meat pie, they found her grandmother’s beady eyes unsettling.

People forgot about Red and her grandmother who, while always ailing, never departed this world for the next. But on moonlit nights, townsfolk stumbling from the tavern swore they heard a woman’s laughter mixed in with the howls echoing in the night air.

If you liked Straying from the Path, consider the fairy tale compilation of the same name. Straying from the Path contains two novellas and four short stories in my Sour Magic fantasy world. Available in e-book and print.

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Weekly writing check-in: family reunions and revisions

So, I took last week off and traveled all the way to North Carolina for a family reunion! It was fun, exhausting, and thankfully, I did not have to perform in the talent show (a reunion tradition). I didn’t get much writing done, but I lounged by the pool and did a lot of reading.

I was back at it this week, and I’m closing in on 25,000 words of revised, revamped, new words in the manuscript. I’m pleased with my progress, but I suspect it will need another (fairly quick–or so I hope) revision before I send it off to an editor.

In other news, the results are now official over on the Easy Street Magazine’s website for the Portal Prize.

I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that I’ll make even more progress on the revision this week. The first third needed … help. The next two thirds? Maybe not as much. I don’t know. We’ll see.

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Free Fiction Friday: I Bring the Fire

Looking for a new series to binge-read this summer?

Consider C. Gockel’s series I Bring the Fire.

Part of the USA Today Bestselling Series

In the middle of America, Amy Lewis is on her way to her grandma’s house. She’s being chased by a very bad wolf. Galaxies away Loki is waking up in a prison cell, strangely without a hangover, and with no idea what he’s done wrong — this time anyway. But he does know Thor is hiding something, Odin is up to something wicked, and there seems to be something he’s forgotten…

In this urban fantasy tale that is equal parts “Dresden Files” and “American Gods,” a very nice midwestern girl and a jaded, mischievous Loki must join forces to outwit gods, elves, magic sniffing cats, and nosy neighbors.

If Loki can remember exactly what he’s forgotten and Amy can convince him not to be too distracted by Earthly gadgets, Earthly pleasures, or three day benders, they just might pull it off…

This first installment of “I Bring the Fire” is for anyone who suspects chaos and mischief makers might have their own redeeming qualities, and anyone who just wants a good fantasy romp through modern Earth, ancient Asgard, and beyond!

This is a fun take on Norse mythology. I have a soft spot for Loki, and Wolves is a fantastic start to a satisfying series.

The first book, Wolves, is free on all major retailers. Download a copy today!

Amazon  Nook  Kobo  iTunes  Google Play  All territories/vendors

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