Release Day

Sorry this is so late. I woke up to this picture making the rounds of facebook:


Followed by this:


Which I’m not even absolutely sure WHAT if anything it means.

Anyway, so yeah, it’s release day for this:

Monster Hunter Guardian (Monster Hunters International Book 7)




When Owen Pitt and the rest of the Monster Hunter International crew are called away to mount a month’s-long rescue mission in a monster-infested nightmare dimension, Julie Shackleford—Owen’s wife and descendant of MHI founder Bubba Shackleford—is left behind. Her task: hold down the fort and take care of her new baby son Ray. Julie’s devoted to the little guy, but the slow pace of office work and maternity leave are starting to get to her. But when a routine field call brings her face-to-face with an unspeakable evil calling itself Brother Death, she’ll get more excitement than she ever hoped for.

Julie is the Guardian of a powerful ancient artifact known as the Kamaresh Yar, and Brother Death wants it. In the wrong hands, it could destroy reality as we know it. Julie would die before giving it up.

Then Ray goes missing, taken by Brother Death. The price for his safe return: the Kamaresh Yar. If Julie doesn’t hand over the artifact it means death—or worse—for baby Ray. With no other choice left to her, Julie agrees to Brother Death’s demands. But when you’re dealing with an ancient evil, the devil is in the details.

To reclaim her son, Julie Shackleford will have to fight her way through necromantic death cults, child-stealing monsters, and worse. And she’ll have to do it all before Brother Death can unleash the Kamaresh Yar.

It’s one woman against an army of monsters. But Julie Shackleford is no ordinary woman—she’s one tough mother!

And for those who read that and want to read something of mine — many of whom are stumbling around in the dark and buying things like Ill Met by Moonlight then saying they don’t like my fiction.  If you liked Monster Hunter Guardian, you should probably check out

Darkship Thieves



Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don’t ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father’s space cruiser, knowing that there was a stranger in her room. In a short time, after taking out the stranger—who turned out to be one of her father’s bodyguards up to no good, she was hurtling away from the ship in a lifeboat to get help. But what she got instead would be the adventure of a lifetime—if she managed to survive . . . .

Yes, I know “but that’s science fiction.”  Yeah, but the touch-feel of it and the action and plotting is more like MHI than other stuff I’ve written.  (Not all of it, just the reverted novels that are up there.)

In fact, it was reading this book that led Bridget to recommend me to her husband as someone who could do Julie.  So… Probably a good bet.

Also, please be aware the series is five books.  For reasons known only to Baen, they have refused to add the last book to the series listing.  Amazon, after my losing months in this allowed me add it to the PRINT book series, but not to the kindle.  No, I have no idea why, in both cases. But, anyway, it’s a five book series. The last (missing) book is Darkship Revenge. You’ll find a link on the right side and up.

And now, hoping you guys forgive me the blatant promo, I have — when don’t I? — an overdue short story.  And I need to finish a novel, so I can put SOMETHING out this month.

Until then, I leave you with this imperative:


131 thoughts on “Release Day

  1. My pre-ordered hardback is “Out for Delivery” per my last update from Universally Sucktastic Package Shredders. Hopefully it’ll be waiting for me when I get home tonight.

    Remember how a few days ago, you told me that I needed to sleep? Yeah, sorry. Ain’t gonna happen tonight! 😉

    1. Just got another update: IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! Unfortunately, “here” means my apartment, and I’m at work (so technically “here” is actually there). Three more hours until I can leave the office…

  2. Just got notified by Baen that my monthly bundle is ready to download. Looking forward to it.

  3. Shhhhh … I’m trying to read this book that just arrived in today’s mail. It’s by Larry Correia and some libertarian chick* and looks really good.

    *Might be a white Mormon man, I’m not entirely sure, but – WOW! Great rack!

      1. “CONSUME!” Reminds me of a short story of post-scarcity where robots had produced so much that people had to work to consume all the products being made, until they realized the robots could do that, too.

        The POV character was trying to figure out what to do about this guy who was a compulsive consumer, to the point it was making him miserable.

  4. Whoa! A screenshot showing Sara A. Hoyt ranking above Jim Butcher and Larry Correia! Impressive.

      1. and some researcher in 2425 is going to be trying to discover why Usaians all collapse in gigglefits after shouting “eat toes” in a very squeaky cartoony voice…

      1. Picked up MHI along with Guardian. Spending my days weeks with the foot elevated is doing wonders for my reading. Just started A Few Good Men after finishing DS Renegades and Merchant and Empire. I’m getting a good chunk from members of the MGC.

        More MHI shortly. 🙂

        Stitches out Thursday, then 2-4ish weeks until the pins/wires come out. Yay!

            1. I’ll pick up the rest soon. Found a Kindle version of Podkayne of Mars w/the original ending. Last copy was paperback, lost a move or two ago. I wish there was a Kindle of Puppet Masters, but I’ve only seen an audiobook on the ‘Zon. The way I listen, music makes more sense than a book.

                1. Could not find it yesterday. Perhaps the WordPress hamsters are taking side jobs at Amazon?

                2. I had Puppet Masters direct from Baen as a DRM free .mobi from before they started selling on Amazon. But Baen no longer sells it electronically (although you can download it IFF you had purchased it), Neither does AMAZON have a kindle version nor new stock in dead tree versions. Everything looks to be used or at most unsold old stock. Wonder whats up? There was an extended version (might even have been in my been version) that had some other scenes that were too racy for Doubleday in the 50’s, though unremarkable by modern standards (or even by later Heinlein standards). Wonder whats up there, Ginny and RAH are long gone (like 15 years for Ginny) so I presume the rights are in a society or suchlike.

                  1. Amazon has an Audible version and (as well as old) mass-market paperbacks. The latter seem to be the new edition. No ebook versions.

            1. if i could figure out how to make wordpress use tiny tiny fonts…

              right here it would say

              EAT TOES

              in a font so small as to be barely readable.

      2. The series didn’t grab me the way it seems to most of its readers, but I might give it another try for this.

          1. As it appears no one else will say it, I shall: That was delightful, and I do not speak erroneously.

            1. I know, right?

              I found that years ago, the thread reminded me, and I thought “This must be shared…”.

            2. That soundtrack is one I’ll catch frequently. Good Mornin’!

              I’ve also mutilated the Broadway sequence while waiting on the dogs at night. Gotta pee!

        1. Cuddle Bunny made of stars!

          You know, that’s going to pop out my mouth one day when I need a “Battle Cry” sometime… and since a vast majority of my friends are either not readers or “Couldn’t get past the first chapter of MHI because it was too intense” (No really, that’s what they said.) None of my friends are going to get the reference.

          On the up side, they are used to me saying strange things they don’t understand, so they’ll probably just smile and nod.

  5. >> “I have — when don’t I? — an overdue short story. And I need to finish a novel, so I can put SOMETHING out this month.”

    [Greebo]Private Hoyt, drop and give me 20 lines of existentialist dialogue![/Greebo]


      1. Greebo probably would look at that, and promptly start scratching gravel o’er top of it. No, no existentialist. Good ol’ feline wa… I mean, human wave.

  6. A good day, indeed! Seeing Darkship Thieves’ cover again reminds me of my reactions when I saw that cover: Maybe it should be titled Darkship Thighs . . . Dunno if I mentioned that at the time, and maybe I should be shot for mentioning it again now . . .

      1. I like it, too. My first thought was “Naked in space? That makes no sense.”

        Then I read the book, and said “Ahhhhh!” 🙂

  7. Government text, or Guardian? Government text, or Guardian?
    *ducks a flying roll of quarters*
    Um, OK. Finish WIP, skim Government text, then enjoy Guardian.

  8. BTW – just sampled the Audible version and the reader seems tolerably good. She doesn’t even overdo the Deep South accent. While I think the producer/director might have worked with her on some of the line readings (she doesn’t seem to quite grasp the performative element of a reading), she’s much better than the reader on Darkship Thieves.

    I realize you don’t get much say in who does the reading, son congratulations on luck of the draw.

    1. being better than the Darkship Thieves reader might simply mean “is alive and has functioning cortex.”
      The reader of AFGM is good, though he makes the characters about ten years younger than I envisioned.

      1. …makes the characters about ten years younger than I envisioned.

        I actually wondered about that. While waiting around for MHI Guardian to finally arrive, I listened through the Darkship audio books (got maybe half way through them.) The difference in feel of some of the characters between Renegades and AFGM was noticeable.

        I’ve been trying to get my Mother into audio books. I think she’d like them. BUT… the first one she got (and she was really looking forward to it) had a female MC, in first person… But the narrator was a man. Who’s attempt at female voicing was absolutely HORRID (think weird screechy falsetto). Having trouble getting her to try anything else.

        Oddly enough, one of my least favorite audio book readers so far is an older BBC reading of The Hobbit. Can’t put my finger on it, but that one just annoys me. Maybe it’s how he over-does the singing of the songs.

        For a favorite, Bronson Pinchot. Holy cow that guy can bring a story to life.

        1. Not wanting to get into a prolonged discussion of recommended audiobook readers, but Bronson Pinchot, David Tenant, Tony “Baldrick” Robinson* are all terrific. Lloyd James does some terrific work on Heinlein novels (he gives just,/I> the slightest bit of Sean Connery to Old Baslim in his reading of Citizen of the Galaxy) and I’ve found the readings of the Vorkosigan books excellent.

          For getting somebody started on audiobooks I recommend trying a favorite author/book of theirs, something with which they’re already familiar. It is also advisable (sadly) to avoid books such as Pride & Prejudice which feature a lot of similar characters — distinguishing which of the five sisters is talking is a reader’s nightmare.

          Oh yes – for some reason I find “Full Cast” readings terrible. Aside from it almost always including one clunker of a reader, the feel just is not right.

          I confess to having bought audiobooks simply because of the reader — although as good as Tom Hiddleston I am not entirely sure he was worth reading a J G Ballard story.

          One handy tip: if you can find a reading by an actor who’s played the role — e.g., David Suchet reading Poirot or Joan Hicks reading Miss Marple — it is a good bet you will find it enjoyable.

          *Robinson has done terrific, if abridged, readings of Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones. Worth seeking out, although many of them predate MP3 and will only be available on cassette tape.

      2. Hey, you could’ve gotten Snot Man, Sneerboy, or Whiny Girl.

        – TRX “consumes enough audiobooks to wonder why a small group of readers manages to get repeat business”

  9. Yay!!!

    Btw, your cover is not only recognizable as the character, but as the genre. If you want to shudder, go look at the current ebook covers for the Jaran series and every other book by Kate Elliott (courtesy of Open Road Media), and for The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold (courtesy of Spectrum Literary Agency).

    (Actually, I like the Vor Game cover, but it belongs to another book. From the Sixties or Seventies.)

  10. Hey, guys, a bunch of books that everyone thought were undercopyright– or at least that they knew they couldn’t risk, and it wasn’t possible to check== aren’t.

      1. There was a chunk of time where copyright was twenty…eight?… years, then you applied for an extension.

        Those that didn’t get extensions are now officially public domain, and there is a way to find out who didn’t apply, because the New York Public Library went and translated all the records into computer.

        1. Right originally it was 28 years with a renewal yielding another 28. There are some authors (e.g. Randall Garrett, Andre Norton) who had sold the rights to short stories to the publishing companies when the sold the stories. The publishers went out of business before the 28 years had passed (or forgot the had the copyright) so the renewal got missed. However, figuring this out was laborious as it required going to two different sets of records, rarely kept together. Sounds like NY public Library digitized this information using the aid of a bunch of volunteers over many years. with actual databases the verification is apparently now quite straightforward and a LOT of stuff is in the public domain. Please note this doesn’t JUST apply to written material but anything copyrighted (usually before 1964 when the roles changed). There are movies (e.g. Its A Wonderful Life) that screwed up the renewal too.

  11. Congrats on the new book release.
    Really need to do a mass order of books and then find some reading time.

  12. Already through the first paragraph. Had to take a break because of division secretary work. /sigh

  13. I know it’s off-topic (I really am glad the new book is out; I’ll get to it right after my other of your books I haven’t finished *sigh* ) but can I just say one thing about the gun debate?

    The number of pro-gun ignorati out in Twit-land is incredible. People stating that an AR-15 barrel would melt down if it fired 300 rounds per minute. People stating an AK-47 on full automatic would melt the barrel down in seconds. People that don’t know what “rate of fire” means.

    Just because you have shot firearms and like them does NOT mean you know what the heck you’re talking about! *sigh*
    Please STOP.

    Thank you. We now return to your regularly scheduled praise for a great writer more of whose books I need to buy.

    1. I have met -scientists- who thought the whole cartridge comes out of the gun. Brass and all, not just the bullet. The person was an MD and also a PhD doing bio-research.

      Didn’t believe me about just the bullet coming out until I took an assault rifle apart in front of them and showed them every little thing about how it worked. Pretty sure they didn’t believe me after either, just lied to be polite.

      Re: barrels melting. I’ve seen FN-C1 and C2 rifles have mag after mag of full auto fire put through them until they glowed. (Canadian Forces instructors for the militia when it was still an old-boys drinking club.) I’ve fired a full mag of .308 through a C2 with one pull. (They told me to.)

      They don’t melt. They do get hot enough to burn you through the hand guard. Plenty of stories of Tommy making tea with the Lewis Gun in WWI. Water cooled. They just fired a hundred rounds and boiled the water tank.

      1. Vickers.. man.. VICKERS! the VICKERS is watercooled!
        the Lewis gun is AIRcooled! (it’s the one with the big flat circular magazine in the top of the gun)

        *retreats into the WW1 pedantry bunker*

        1. I was thinking just the other day that Sarah has something with … what was it; dragons with Lewis guns fighting in the skies of WWI The Great War?

          What ever happened to that?

        2. Yes. I had to go look it up, you are correct sir. The Lewis gun was air cooled, with a big fat aluminum heat sink and a barrel shroud. The Vickers was water cooled. Robert Graves apparently was the source of the making tea story.

          1. the muzzle brake on the lewis is designed to force air to be drawn through the shroud across the fins and cool the barrel. pretty neat, imo.

          2. Nope. He’s wrong.
            I have seen both water cooled and air cooled Lewises in the gun museum in Portugal.
            I KNOW because, dad’s gun, so I cared about it.
            THEY MADE BOTH. The water one is prettier.

            1. I made the mistake because the shroud on the Lewis gun looks like the water jacket on the Vickers. But if you’re telling me water-cooled Lewis like I thought, then YES!!! I am RIGHT even though wrong! ~:D

      2. Most of the doctors against guns crowd are ignorant as f* about anything outside of medicine. And even in their fields, you have to watch out for the posers. And yes, I’m biased. I’ve seen way too many performance evaluations on physicians over the years.

        1. Once upon a time I was at a lecture by a very celebrated New York City surgeon, the occasion was the release of his new textbook on gunshot wound surgery. A massive tome, to be sure. It included a gun control paper by Arthur Kellerman, which I had read in some considerable detail.

          TLDR, the surgeon had no idea what was in the Kellerman paper and couldn’t have cared less. Some minion had stuck it in there, it wasn’t important. Got pretty red in the face when I pointed out some of the hilariously wrong study design, and places where Kellerman made shit up. (Dear learned Leftist PhD types reading this, when you claim something in a scientific paper without including evidence, that’s called “making shit up.”)

          Being an expert in one thing makes a lot of people think they are experts in everything. No doubt he was a world-class surgeon, but for public health study design he was out of his field.

          1. Being an expert in one thing makes a lot of people think they are experts in everything.

            I blame Doc Smith — with some spillage on Robert Heinlein. Their characters were experts on just about everything.

            Although Reed Richards takes a fair share of blame, too.

        2. Plato’s Apology of Socrates should be mandatory reading in the schools. Probably won’t sink it too much, but it would give them a chance.

        3. And even in their fields, you have to watch out for the posers.

          Actual pediatrician, recommended by acquaintances, on feeling my son’s four to six teeth depending on how you count and ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS:

          “In the next four to six months he should have teeth starting to erupt, give him cold packs and maybe ice cubes, avoid frozen treats.”

          1. That, more than trying to bill for a “psychological evaluation” for me, is why we changed.

            (They required that I answer the Baby Blues questionnaire. Then tried to charge $60 for that. They’re not psychologists…..)

        1. Mea culpa, I did. An FN-FAL is a battle rifle, because .308. Das sturmgewehr indicates poodle-shooter calibers like .223.

          My poodle is giving me a harsh look right now. ~:D

          1. When you get down to butt strokes pretty much all rifles are “assault” rifles. The distinction would be meaningful if there were a) a clearly definable difference* between sporting rifles and assault (I guess what they are trying to imply would be military) rifles and/or b) any indication of honest intent on the part of those railing against “assault” rifles.

            Absent the latter the former does not matter one whit.

            *There isn’t, nor can there be. But you already know that. “Assault” modifies rifle the way “Fascist” modifies anybody winning an argument with a Proglodyte.

            1. There is a clearly definable difference. an assault rifle is an intermediate-caliber select-fire rifle designed for military use. The anti-gunners are railing against ‘assault weapons’ a term they made up because it almost sounds like ‘assault rifle’ and they can scare mundanes with it.

              1. Yes. Let us never forget that the term “assault weapon” was MADE UP out of whole cloth by Mr. Josh Sugarmann of the perfidious Handgun control Inc. He picked black rifles because they looked mean.

                “Assault rifle” was coined by Adolph Hitler because “Sturmgewehr 44” sounded cooler than “Maschinenkarabiner 44.” Give old Adolph all due credit, it does sound cooler. That was the sum of his contribution, the propaganda name.

                But the bottom line is an “assault rifle” is a poodle gun shooting a little girlie cartridge, while a “battle rifle” is a Real Gun shooting a Real Man’s .30 cal cartridge.

                Having carried both, I know which one I prefer at the end of a long hot day. Although if there are going to be zombies, I’ll take the big one and put up with the extra weight.

              2. “Designed for military-use” is short hand for you can drop it repeatedly on rocks, drive over it with a truck, fill it with mud, and have a 9th grade drop out still able to shoot it accurately enough to hit somebody at 150 feet.

                Which is exactly what every sportsman wants too.

                1. naah, a lot of sportsmen want something that can be left in a container for 11 months a year, taken to the range once and have five rounds fired to check the sighting, and then fired a couple times at a few deer or ducks. 😛

                  1. Most of the weapons I used in the military WERE left in storage for most of the year. They rotated them out for use and basically the guys (and occasional gals) doing their re-qualifications acted as inspectors and testers, shot them, cleaned them all up, re-oiled everything and tossed them back in for another year.

                2. *points* This is why I bought a pistol that his horribly out of date, but survived being standard police issue for decades.

                  It can work after being an obnoxious paperweight for ages.

                  SIGN ME UP!

          2. I suspect most of y’all are aware of this, but just in case . . .

            The original Sturmgewehr was in 7.92mm Kurz, a reduced power development of the 7.92mm rifle/machine gun cartridge but still not exactly a ‘poodle shooter’. The Russians picked up on the idea with the 7.62 x 39mm round *much reduced in power from the standard 7.62 x 54mm rifle/machine gun round), used first in the SKS and then by Mikhail Kalashnikov for his initial assault rifle. Eugene Stoner modified his 7.62 x 51 mm NATO (a reduced size, if not much in power, development from the U.S. standard .30-06 caliber (7.62 x 63 mm, though we hadn’t gotten around to using the namby-pamby European designation for firearms ammunition yet) rifle/machine gun cartridge) AR-10 to use the 5.56 x 45mm round to produce the AR-15/M-16, and the (roughly .22 caliber) round was scoffed at as a ‘poodle shooter’ by veteran military folk who had weaned on .30 caliber weaponry. Kalashnikov eventually jumped on the ‘poodle shooter’ bandwagon with the AK-74 in 5.45 x 39mm.

            1. I’ve always liked the 8mm Mauser, 7.92×57. It packs a wallop similar to the .3006, .303 British and 7.62×54 NATO. A little bigger, a little heavier, impressive terminal ballistics with an appropriately constructed bullet.

              8mm Kurz was probably not what they really wanted for the job, just what they were stuck with because they had lots of 8mm bullets. Probably what they really were after was something like a 6.5 Swedish Mauser cut down to half the size. That’s what the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.5 Creedmore is, a compromise between the too big full power cartridges and the too-small .223
              .223 is great close-in, but it runs out of steam after about 500 yards. The 6.5 is a great compromise between hitting power and cross-sectional density for long range performance.

              So, in 2019 we have finally got the right bullet/cartridge combination for a gun that was rushed through development in 1943. Yay!

              1. 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t a short intermediate cartridge, there’s a reason it needs AR-10 length actions.

                1. The Creedmore is interesting. I was treated to a day at the range one time, a friend has a bolt action chambered for 6.5 Creedmore. It has very little recoil even from a bolt action, and was shooting under 1 minute of angle from a non-custom gun at 300 yards.

                  As we know (to our dismay,) that’s really good. Most production guns are >1 minute, AK-47s are generally >2 minutes. You have to do a lot of fiddling to get it down to under a minute.

                  Really what they wanted was something to shoot out of an AR-15 that would not beat up the shooter but still had some punch at 600 yards. Comparison to .308, the FN-FAL kicks hard. Not shotgun hard, but you know when it goes off, for sure. The 8mm Mauser that I love, she kicks like a shotgun. Wear your recoil pad. The Creedmore, a little kid could shoot it. It would be very controllable in full-auto fire as well. Full-auto .308, its an experience. It takes a lot of practice to keep it on target.

                    1. Yeah, when i was shopping for a bolt gun a couple years ago, the one i got (Ruger American) is tested to be about 1.5 MOA- for $300. there were several at the $500 level that are advertised as sub-MOA.

                      Most out of the box cheap ARs are ❤ MOA and you don't have to spend much more to get a 1 MOA AR-15 (or AR-10)

  14. What this “means” is time to raise a toast to our hostess! (Well, Larry and Jim, too, but they aren’t around right now.)

    Sorry, but it’s only a Real Sugar Pepsi on my end. Have to drive people around later this evening.

  15. I pre-ordered both “Guardian” and the Kratman Terra Nova anthology, and found both on my Kindle when I woke up this morning. I’ve also got Peter Grant’s “Taghri’s Prize” cued up to read as well. Now I just have to decide which of the three to start with . . .

  16. Huh? Darkship Series on the Baen website says…
    A Few Good Men
    Darkship Renegades
    Darkship Revenge
    Darkship Thieves
    Through Fire
    Are they missing something? Five books…

    1. Take a look at DS Renegades on Amazon; they only show a 4 book series. The listing for DS Revenge shows no link to the others.

    2. Amazon, hon. the link goes to amazon. Most people don’t GO to the Baen website. And the kindle version says, big as life “FOUR BOOK SERIES.”
      Yes, they’ve been told. By me, by fans. A fan assured me they were “taking care of it, see, nothing to worry about.”

  17. Woot! And that’s why we couldn’t squeak by even the lowest level of buy in to the Alt Hero movie. There are just too many great Indy book and comic book projects to support. Even with almost all the Establishment media out the door, it still adds up fast.

    On the bright side, it does mean I get to snag this as soon as I grab my first cup of copy and think “I wonder what Mrs. Hoyt is getting up to?”

    And in hard-cover, baby! What a nice surprise!

      1. EAT TOESSS!!!!

        (i haven’t made it clear how much that made me actually laugh out loud when i read it, have I? and at a time i really needed it….)

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