Saturday, March 4, 2017

February - Short, Sweet, and BUSY!

Somehow, the shortest month of the year has turned out to be one of the busiest release months we've had in a while. As Steve posted at the end of January, we had a lot of stuff coming up, and now it's all out there for you to enjoy.

First release was HEART'S KISS, the new romance magazine from Arc Manor, edited by the truly amazing Denise Little. Denise knows romance publishing from every angle, and we are delighted to see her return to editing, where she rocks! She's included some of the best in romance for this premier issue. It's seriously Kermit-flail level of excitement when I think about the stellar company I'm in.

If you like romance and great story-telling check out this new magazine at the Heart's Kiss website!


The next new release was the Escapist Bundle. Another group of fantastic writers. The opportunity to help SMART, a children's literacy charity here in Oregon. And. last but not least, the chance to finally claim one of my long-hidden pen names.
This bundle contains Fiction River Volume 15: Recycled Pulp, which has my story "Swamp of the Prehistoric Clan." I'll come back to that story in a minute.
There is also my full-length novel HOT WATERS. It was one of my first books, and I am still quite pleased with it. However, it was pretty racy at the time I wrote it - the romance field has changed some in the years since - and there were members of my family who would have been quite upset by some of the content. For that reason, and to separate it from the young adult work I was doing, the book was released under the name Erica Lyon. Those family members are now gone, and I can publicly claim HOT WATERS without fear of upsetting their sensibilities.

Unfortunately, the publisher closed before Erica's second book was released, and HOT WATERS saw very limited release. Now it has a new, more contemporary cover, and I've included the sequel short story in the version done for this bundle. That short story was in a volume of short stories that never got distributed, so it's a bonus only available in this bundle. I will release the new edition after the bundle ends, but for now this is the only place you can read the sequel.

"But what about 'Swamp of the Prehistoric Clan?'" you ask. Well, there's a story behind that one, too. When I wrote the story for Fiction River, the editor was gave us the challenge of using a pulp title to write a story that was anything but a pulp story. The resulting volume has some truly inventive takes on what a given title might represent. Being me, I managed to take the title he gave me and turn it into a cozy mystery set in a troubled retirement community in the late 1970s.

Claire and Violet are two women who appear to have very little in common, besides being neighbors in the under-construction development north of San Diego. But everyone has secrets, and the secrets these two carry go all the way back to World War II. Then little more than teenagers, both women were part of the clandestine services-a history that's been a closely-guarded secret for forty years.
'Swamp of the Prehistoric Clan' is the story of how these two meet and join forces. Neither one is ready to give up her secrets just yet, but it's clear these women aren't ready to spend the rest of their lives playing bridge and going to Tupperware parties.
Besides 'Swamp' I wrote several short stories that explored the back stories of these two women. One of them, 'Cost and Conscience,' appeared in Fiction River Volume 12: Risk Takers. The other had not been published, so I took the short and sweet month of February to remedy that situation.

THE SPY GIRLS FILES contains all five stories, along with individual essays that puts each story into historical context. Read the stories, and if you want a little more background there's an essay to explain how each one fits into our real history.

And watch for Spy Girls novels, coming from Tsunami Ridge Publishing later this year!

Finally, we re-released the contemporary romance DORY COVE with an updated description, new cover, and a re-designed interior. It's available now as an ebook, and the print version should be along soon!
In the meantime, let me share these rules with you:

Davey's Life Rules
 1.  Love the ocean with all its beauty and danger
 2.  If your high school sweetheart leaves you no choice, see Rule #1
 3.  When the going gets tough, see Rule #1
 4.  Don't ever ask for help
When he's injured, Davey still can't break his own rules, especially #1.
Even for the woman he loves.
  
Penny's Life Rules
 1.  Never fall for a fisherman
 2.  If he's your high school sweetheart, see Rule #1
 3.  If you still love him see Rule #1
 4.  If he needs your help, give it, then see Rule #1
 But what happens when your heart overrules your head?
 Sometimes you have to break all the rules.  Even rule #1.

So that's our busy February! We hope you'll find something to love in this month's releases. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bundle Up and Escape! (With Bonus Short Story, and Author Outing at the End!)

We all need an escape now and then, and I am delighted to be able to offer my readers the opportunity to leave their daily stress behind and visit my characters and their fictional towns.
But right now I have an even better opportunity for you to find some new escapes, with the Escapist Bundle from StoryBundle!


Allyson Longueira of WMG Publishing gathered a bunch of great escapist fiction and it's available now. Rather than babble on about how wonderful these writers are (though they really are!) I'll let Allyson tell you in her own words:

THE ESCAPIST BUNDLE
 The Escapist Bundle - Curated by Allyson Longueira, WMG Publishing
Ever feel like you need to escape from reality for a while? A day, a week, four years—whatever it takes. It seems like many of us feel that way right now, so what better time for some escapist fiction?
Hence, this new Escapist Bundle for StoryBundle, an entertaining vacation of the written word and a bit of a new format for StoryBundle.
You see, the eleven fantastic books in this bundle come from authors tied together by, among other accolades, their inclusion in a single volume of Fiction River, in this case a volume called Recycled Pulp. For those of you unfamiliar with Fiction River, it's an original anthology series that Adventures Fantastic calls "one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today."
With 22 volumes published so far, Recycled Pulp proves one of the most creative volumes. Inspired by the fantastic, escapist pulp fiction of the last century, the amazing authors in this volume were tasked with creating modern escapist fiction from nothing but a pulp-inspired title. The results were fantastic, indeed.
Ten of those authors have provided books for the bundle. Like the diverse genre mix of stories Fiction River is famous for, this bundle also features a diverse genre mix of books. But they all have one very important thing in common—they are the perfect escape from everyday life.
Included in the bundle is, of course, Fiction River: Recycled Pulp, edited by John Helfers. We also have: Lisa Silverthorne's Isabel's Tears, a novel about a magical inn; Dayle A. Dermatis' Waking the Witch, a gothic mystery novel with some paranormal elements and a light romance; Kelly Washington's The Pale Waters, the first novella in a four-part epic journey; Erica Lyon's Hot Waters, a steamy sea adventure novel; and New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch's The War and After, five historical fantasy stories of magic and revenge.
As a bonus, we have Rebecca Senese's ten-story science fiction collection Tales of Possibilities; Thomas K. Carpenter's Revolutionary Magic, a historical fantasy and the first in the Dashkova Memoirs; Annie Reed's A Death in Cumberland, a moody police procedural; Nebula Award finalist Cat Rambo's Neither Here Nor There, a double collection of alt-world and real world fantasy stories; and last but not least, USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith's The Slots of Saturn, the origin story for his fan-favorite superhero Poker Boy.
As always, at StoryBundle, you name your own price—whatever you feel the books are worth, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity—in this case, SMART (Start Making a Reader Today). For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you'll get the basic bundle of six books in any eBook format—WORLDWIDE. If you pay $14 (or more, if you feel generous), you'll get the five bonus books as well.
The Escapist Bundle runs for three weeks only. This is cheaper than any vacation, and best of all, you get to enjoy it from wherever you are. Now, that's a true escape. – Allyson Longueira
The initial titles in the Escapist Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:
  • Waking the Witch by Dayle A. Dermatis
  • Hot Waters by Erica Lyon
  • Recycled Pulp by Fiction River
  • The Pale Waters by Kelly Washington
  • Isabel's Tears by Lisa Silverthorne
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus SIX more!
  • A Death in Cumberland by Annie Reed
  • Neither Here Nor There by Cat Rambo
  • The Slots of Saturn by Dean Wesley Smith
  • The War and After by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Revolutionary Magic by Thomas K. Carpenter
  • Tales of Possibilities by Rebecca M. Senese
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!
It's also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.
Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.
  • Get quality reads: We've chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that's fine! You'll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there's nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to SMART, a group that provides early reading support, access to books and community engagement to positively impact literacy outcomes and provide equitable opportunity for all kids!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you'll get the bonus books!
StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.
For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.





And for those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering why YorkWriters is posting about a bundle that doesn't have a York writer included?  Surprise! There is a York in there; she's just hiding behind the name Erica Lyon. (Oh, and there is a Christy Fifield story in Recycled Pulp, too.)


There's a longish story that goes with that name, but the bottom line is that Christina F. York was writing sweet romance and Erica wrote something a little, umm, spicier. Something Christina's grandmother would definitely not approve. Grandma is gone now, and although I miss her I no longer have to worry about upsetting her and thus Erica can come out into the open.
Bonus!! Along with the original Hot Waters novel, this volume contains a never-before-released sequel story!

So bundle up with this StoryBundle and escape to other places, and other times!

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Spy Girls, New Stories, Minions at Work, and Our House Blew Down Just a Little...

Steve here:

Yes, it's disgraceful how infrequently we update this site. We'll try to to better. (Yeah, we always say that.)

We've been pretty quiet lately. It's been a very distracting year for us, what with some major storm damage to our house in December of 2015 which resulted in the demolition of a garage and sun-porch, and a major (and troubled) construction project to replace that space with a new, two-story, multi-use building that will serve as shop, studio, storage building, and typing hide-away. It should have been done in July or August of 2016, but due to some snafus with the city, I am, as I type this, waiting for the inspector to come by and make the final structural inspection of the building. There's still a bit of work to do, but if we can pass that inspection, we'll be on the final lap to finishing it and moving in! Hurrah!

During the chaos, our writing and publishing projects mostly got back-burnered, but we're ramping back up, and we do have a smattering of news to announce.

Most exciting to me is that Chris (writing as Christy Fifield, as she will for most or all of her new work), is cranking up a new period mystery series called "Spy Girls."

It's set in an adults-only condo complex in southern California during the swinging 70s. The premise is that a pair of inconspicuous older ladies bond over shady goings on in their community, learning in the process that they share a history in intelligence work in WWII and the Cold War. People may take them for granted, but these two seniors have a very particular set of skills, and they aren't afraid to apply them to criminal activity, crooked condo-developers, and of course, murder! It should be great fun.

But while developing the novel series, Chris has been writing a series of stories featuring the individual adventures of her two protagonists while they were still spies. Be it bringing down Nazi saboteurs on the WWII home front or chasing spies in Monaco, these two have quite a history. Tsunami Ridge Publishing will be collecting the first five stories, along with all new essays by Chris putting the stories in historical context and filling in the background. Look for details soon (cover shown is preliminary).

Both of us also have short fiction publications coming up in a new bi-monthly romance magazine called "Heart's Kiss," edited by Denise Little. The first issue, with one of Chris' stories, is out now, and I have two stories in the pipeline for future issues.

Chris has published romance novels before, (See her books "Dream House" and "Loaves and Kisses," both written as Christina F. York) but this is a new experience for me. Certainly the stories I've sold them aren't typical romance (There are super-heroes, and magic cocktail monkeys!), but Denise, the editor, thinks they fit, so who am I to argue? In any case, I do have a tendency to write from the heart, so maybe it isn't as unlikely as it seems to me.

The first issue is available on Amazon in paper and ebook, so if you like love stories and romance, you really should check it out!

Finally, our most unusual project by far: My weekly web-comic, "Minions at Work," is currently in "cold open mode," with a big reboot storyline and full-on launch once this danged building is finished. I started doing "Minions at Work" cartoons on the web back in 2006, years before those annoying yellow guys came along. It's a comic about the work-a-day adventures of the Minions of Evil serving a rotating cast of incompetent Evil Overlords.

Sooner or later, we all end up working for the Forces of Evil, be it McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Volkswagen, the DMV, or an insecure lizard-man hatching his schemes in a hollow volcano.

Oh, and the comic is photo-illustrated using action figures with miniature sets and props, so we can be just exactly UNLIKE all the other web-comics! Our original comics, which ran 2006-2012 were rather modest single-panel offerings shots on a two-foot square space on my workbench, but our new cartoons are upping the ante, with bigger-multi-panel, and sometimes serialized, stories. With the full launch, I'm also planning bigger, better, sets, props, and photography.

Check out the new website at www.TheMinionsAtWork.com, where you'll find hundreds of cartoons, old and new, and can check out our weekly new adventures.

That's all I've got for now, but we've got multiple other projects moving again, so look for more announcements in the near future. (Seriously this time!)

                                               - Steve