We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Promo Post

*Irrelevant but interesting science-fictional note!
I have found proof of the Mandela effect. I come from a parallel world where FB never reverses its decisions. I was banned on Friday for seven days, and and am now free again! I mean of course I’d protested the ban, but I expected nothing to come of it.
This never happens where I come from, so obviously a parallel world. – SAH*

Sorry this is so late. The reason we’re traveling interfered.

This is not your regular promo post. I’ll probably do that come Wednesday.

This is the:

Looking for the lost promo post.

Photo by Valou _c on Unsplash

In other words, this is a very irregular promo post due to the fact that Amazon database seems to have had a… strange accident.

My man on the inside (not a man, not precisely on the inside, but with visibility inside) tells me that it’s stupidity not malice: to be exact the highly demanding form of stupidity that comes with computer programming.

This won’t completely mitigate it, but it will bring some visibility to books suddenly hard to get to. And I’ll link at insty tonight which should help more.

And so, for now, let’s look for the lost, shall we? Anything I miss, throw in comments, please.


FROM S. KIRK PIERZCHALA: Echoes Through Distant Glass: A Near Future Cyberpunk Drama

In a disturbingly familiar future, the use of technology and access to information is strictly monitored by local and federally trained specialists.

One of these agents, Officer Owen MacIntyre, is tasked with investigating a potential Chinese terror threat to the Pacific Northwest; undercover, he crosses paths with the unpredictable and tragic Tomás Chen-Diaz.

Despite being heir to an untouchable global chaebol that operates according to their own exclusive rules, Chen-Diaz exists as a hapless nomad living at the whim of Francisco Alejandro, his arrogant and conniving elder brother.

The paths of these three men intersect in deadly ways when MacIntyre rapidly finds himself drawn into a dark storm of international conspiracies, while uncovering the dangerous, long-hidden secrets of Tomás’ powerful family, secrets Francisco is desperate to keep hidden but which MacIntyre is determined to bring to light…no matter how heavy a professional and personal toll it will demand of him.

In this memorable cyberpunk techno thriller, timeless themes of humanity are deftly interwoven within a tapestry of relevant geo-political and bioethics issues. The vivid prose, haunting imagery and unforgettable characters will linger with the reader long after the thought-provoking and emotional climax.

FROM C. V. WALTER: The Alien’s Accidental Bride.

Molly was no stranger to life’s little detours. After the last upheaval, she left her family’s law firm to become a maintenance technician on the Space Station Bradbury 12. When an accident knocks her off her feet, she’s going to have to draw on all her resilience to get back up. First, though, she’s going to have to figure out how to talk to the big, blue alien trying to help her.

There wasn’t supposed to be a space station where Mintonar’s ship emerged from the galactic bridge. As far as they knew, there wasn’t supposed to be intelligent life on the planet, either. Proof of how wrong they were is laying in his Medical Bay and it’s his job to save her. When he touches her, his life turns upside down and his mission suddenly includes figuring out why everything inside him insists she’s his mate. And convincing her of the same thing, especially when they don’t even speak the same language.

ALSO FROM C. V. WALTER: Bound to the Alien Engineer.

Mindy’s best friend Molly was a maintenance technician on the Bradbury 12. When Molly went missing, Mindy started looking for answers but all she found were more questions. They were supposed to meet up at Geniuscon, a science fiction convention that attracts people from every walk of life, and she knows Molly’s son Aidan is going to be there. Determined to get in touch with her friend, Mindy tracks down Aidan and meets some of his new friends, the guys cosplaying as big, blue aliens.

The first time he heard her voice, Alvola knew Mindy was the one. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t understand the language or touch her skin, the sound of her voice made his body sing. Determined to meet his mate, Alvola volunteers for the mission to Earth to pick up Aidan and meet with the scientists and engineers that will be their first official contacts with humanity. When Alvola actually meets Mindy in person, his mission becomes to keep her by his side, no matter the cost.

FROM PAULA RICHEY: Penance: A Young Adult Superhero Novel (Teen Heroes Unleashed Book 1).

Penance Copper is tired of being a tool for evil.
She’s been working for Acid ever since she was small. She had no other choice, he owned her. Even with her superpowers, she’s never been able to escape. But at least he only has her steal. Never anything worse than that.

Until he orders her to use her powers to kill the superhero Justice for investigating trafficked girls.

Penance doesn’t want to be a murderer. She uses the opportunity to run away from Acid and make a new life. One where she can make up for everything she did on Acid’s orders.

But events larger than Penance are spinning into action, and soon she is embroiled in an intergalactic encounter with an alien boy named Kail, who is perhaps as lonely and broken as she is. Even if he is infuriatingly arrogant.

The first young adult series in the shared Heroes Unleashed universe launches with the Teen Heroes Unleashed series. Readers will love hardworking, sassy Penance as she tries to learn to use her superpowers to save the world instead of to steal.

Can Penance and Kail find the missing girls and save the Earth from an alien invasion? Or will Acid find her again and punish her for running away?

Read Penance today to find out!

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN: Wolf of the World: The Elect: Story the First.

One searches for oil. The other searches for revenge.

Gregor watches Americans searching for oil in Carpathian Poland. As the Americans grow frustrated by their lack of success, Gregor grows fascinated by Linda, the petrogeologist. His master, Lord Ivan Bethlán, shares that fascination, and demands that Gregor bring Linda to him.

Linda just wants to find oil and get home to Houston. She does not care for being watched – or stalked – and confronts the large black dog haunting the woods near the survey team’s camp. Taken by his politeness and excellent German, Linda starts to wonder. Why is he so well-spoken? And who is the master who Gregor will not name?

A geologist and a Calvinist werewolf must join forces to stop a monster.

A dark fantasy with romance elements.

FROM C. CHANCY: Gateway to Fiction.

Do the Research, Keep the Shiny! A writer’s guide. Want a good story? Choking on yet another sparkly cinematic production that has all the flash and explosions yet no real people in it? If you want stories done right, sometimes you’ve just got to do it yourself. But how? Roll up your sleeves, we’re going to cover it all. No preaching; no “but thou must follow steps X, Y, Z”. Just, here’s some ideas, and some examples, of how it can work. From getting over that first hump of pen to page, through getting ideas and characters from point A to point B, all the way to how to keep breathing when the whole world’s crumbling in. There are links. There are tropes. And there’s a sober explanation of why fanfic has always mattered. In your mind’s eye there’s a world no one else has seen. Here’s some tools. Worldbuild away!

FROM MARY CATELLI: Sword and Shadow.

A short story of magic and reunions.

At long, long last. . . .

For five long years, Sanchia has held the lands of her husband alone, while he fought in the desperate war against malign shades. Much will change when he returns.

Especially because he brings the magical sword, found in the mountains, with him. And, it turns out, other things follow.

ALSO FROM MARY CATELLI: Through A Mirror, Darkly.

Powers have filled the world with both heroes and villains. Helen, despite her own powers, had acquired the name Sanddollar but stayed out of the fights.

When the enigmatic chess masters create a mirrored world reflecting her own home and the world about it, it’s not so easy to escape. All the more in that the people of that world are a dark reflection of all those she knows.

FROM JERRY BOYD (WHO ALERTED ME TO ALL THIS): Bob and Nikki (16 book series).

From Book 1: Bob thought he was doing fine on his own. Then the love of his life fell out of the sky. Can he get her back in the air with auto parts and a cutting torch? If he does, will she ever come back?
Nikki took a job before she saw the equipment. Can she keep her passengers alive on a strange planet?
Are the natives friendly?”
John is doing well with his underground medical practice, when his sometime partner Bob calls him with a job. A job that changes everything.

Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7, Book 8, Book 9, Book 10, Book 11, Book 12, Book 13, Book 14, Book 15, Book 16

FROM DOROTHY GRANT: Shattered Under Midnight

Raina escaped to Freeport with a tour booked under a stolen ID, and a plan to lose herself in the city. Instead, she found a city in revolt, and now both sides are after her to control the alien gifts engineered into her DNA.

Her only ally is an offworld investigator trying to get to the bottom of the explosive mix of on-planet and alien politics… but his secrets are even deadlier than her own.

From the back alleys of the souk to the depths of alien ruins, they’re now in a desperate fight to stop the revolution before everything is lost!

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER: The Long Voyage of the Little Fleet.

In the first book of this series “Family Law”, Lee’s parents and their business partner Gordon found a class A habitable planet. They thought their quest as explorers was over and they’d live a life of ease. But before they could return and register their claim Lee’s parents died doing a survey of the surface. That left Lee two-thirds owner of the claim and their partner Gordon obligated by his word with her parents to raise Lee. She had grown up aboard ship with her uncle Gordon and he was the only family she’d ever known. Him adopting her was an obvious arrangement – to them. Other people didn’t see it so clearly over the picky little fact Gordon wasn’t human.
After finding prejudice and hostility on several worlds Lee was of the opinion planets might be nice to visit, but terrible places to live. She wanted back in space exploring. Fortunately Gordon was agreeable and the income from their discovery made outfitting an expedition possible. Lee wanted to go DEEP – out where it was entirely unknown and the potential prizes huge. After all, if they kept exploring tentatively they might run up against the border of some bold star faring race who had gobbled up all the best real estate. It wasn’t hard to find others of a like mind for a really long voyage. This sequel to “Family Law” is the story of their incredible voyage.

FROM MONALISA FOSTER: Ravages of Honor: Conquest.

The war for humanity’s freedom is just beginning.

Syteria is a survivor. She survived being kidnapped by the Matriarchy. She survived being turned into one of their slave soldiers. But even she didn’t think she’d survive saving her brother’s life, an act of treason.

After the ship taking her to her execution crashes, she finds herself a stranger in a strange land.

Syteria’s very existence threatens the donai—a race of genetically engineered warriors who overthrew the humans who created and enslaved them. Only one person stands between life and death, between freedom and slavery—Darien, a half-breed donai prince who defied his emperor to rescue her, a derelict spaceship’s only survivor.

His motives are suspect, especially when turning her over to the tender mercies of the Imperium would cost him nothing and redeem him in the eyes of the emperor.

To save their societies Darien and Syteria must risk everything—even falling in love—to forge an alliance that will change everything.

FROM LEIGH KIMMEL: Grandmaster’s Gambit.

The disastrous war of 1913 is over, and young journalist Isaak Babel has used his fame as a war correspondent to win a peacetime job covering an international chess tournament in New York City. However, trouble is aboard the airship Grossdeuschland, in the form of the notorious Bolshevik terrorist Koba and his henchmen. Men with a dark plan, and New York City will not welcome their visit.

ALSO FROM LEIGH KIMMEL: The Secret of Pad 34.

Who would put a ceiling on humanity’s expansion into space?

That’s what Gus Grissom wants to know. While fishing offshore from Cape Canaveral, he glimpses a mysterious undersea city of unearthly geometries, marked with a strange three-armed cross symbol.

His efforts to research it bring him veiled threats from strangers at his door. Trouble blights an exemplary career. However, Gus refuses to be cowed into silence, and pursues every lead he can find.

HP Lovecraft wrote that we live on a placid island of ignorance and were not meant to travel far. This is the Space Race in a world where the Soviet Union is not our only adversary.

FROM WILLIAM LEHMAN: Keeping The Faith: The John Fisher Chronicles.

it was supposed to be a simple poaching case. An “easy way to get back on the horse, after your injuries”. Oh yeah, it involves lycanthropes, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The trouble is, NOTHING is ever simple when John Fisher, Federal Park police, and retired Navy SEAL is assigned to the case… When they found the dead Marine, that’s when things really went south. John and his partner have to solve poaching, the murder of an active duty Marine Lycanthrope and several other crimes, but it seems the Government isn’t exactly happy to help. This is the second in the John Fisher Chronicles, which started with Harvest of Evil, and will continue…

FROM ROBERT M. LEGER: The Word of the Bedlamite.

Harrison’s team of smugglers is thrown in Bethlehem Prison where they meet a strange prophet-like man, who calls himself Woodman. He will help them, he says, take down the Unit, the ever-more-powerful device whose inventors want to use to control people’s lives, and soon, their thoughts.The crazy man guides them via airship, steamship and train past robot-encased cops – Robbies – to remote places where the imprisoned and tortured have no hope. Steampunk-inspired, The Word of the Bedlamite tells of a battle against creeping mind-control and the power of free thought in a world surrendering itself unknowingly to chains of the mind.



The Galactic Empire is in a century-long period of decline. Emperor Augustus VI knows it. Ninety years old, he’s seen it happen during his lifetime. He wants to stop it. His problem: none of his advisers sees it, and every measure he takes to stop it fails.

Historian James Ardmore sees it, too. Researching it has been his life’s work. He submits his three-volume analysis for publication, but it’s banned by Imperial censors.

Gail Burke sees it up close and personal. An Imperial Marine officer, she’s been court-martialed for following Imperial regulations. Now she awaits the outcome of an appeal on the charges.

Together can they rescue the Empire from collapse?


When does this story occur? The blurb says the Empire is in a century-long decline.

EMPIRE: Renewal takes place in the middle of the fourth century of the Galactic Era, about three hundred years after Emperor Trajan died. EMPIRE: Succession left the Empire in good shape, with a good ruler, and measures in place to protect the Throne. Three centuries later, the wheels have started to come off.

So what happened?

As will often happen in good times, people forgot what got them there. Why some traditions were the way they were. They forgot the lessons of the past and stopped doing the things that had made them successful. The end result of that is decline.

Sounds depressing.

Oh, it is. Which is why I didn’t write a book about the decline. I pick up the story when an Emperor who sees what’s going on decides to do something about it. To stop the decline. That’s where we pick up our story for this trilogy.

The blurb mentions the Emperor, the Historian, and the Marine. I take it that’s the Marine on the cover?

Yes. Captain Gail Anne Burke. She’s one of the main characters of the story. Young, beautiful, intelligent, and devoted to the Empire. She plays a critical role.

It looks like you have another new cover artist.

Yes, Rotwang Studio, which is Luca Oleastri and his partner. They’re based in Italy. I’ve got him doing all three covers for the Renewal Trilogy.

And that’s a scene from the book?

Oh, yes. Captain Burke ends up being in the right place at the right time to cause a little mayhem.



The Empire has won the war against the Alliance. But at the close of that war, an invasion fleet from the Democracy of Planets sought to annex Jasmine. So Jasmine annexed to Sintar, and Sintar destroyed that fleet, causing resentment that is driving the Democracy of Planets to go to war with Sintar.

The Democracy of Planets is a much more deadly enemy than the Alliance. They have a new navy, too, with powerful new warships, and are much more of a military challenge. The Emperor’s strategy from the Sintar-Alliance war won’t work on the DP.

Will the Emperor’s new strategy work? And if he wins the war, how will he ever win the peace?



It sounds like the Democracy of Planets government gets sucked into a war they don’t want in EMPIRE: Conqueror.

That’s right. The leadership doesn’t want a war, but they’ve been manipulating public opinion against Sintar for years. When the fleet sent to annex Jasmine is destroyed in EMPIRE: Warlord, it inflames their public opinion, and they have no choice but to proceed to war.

This sounds like a tougher war than the one in EMPIRE: Warlord.

Yes and no. The Alliance was a real threat to Sintar. Their strategy was good — to occupy portions of the Empire and force a peace on their terms — but their tactics were bad. In particular, they didn’t know the Empire could see their forces mustering and already knew about the war vote.

The Democracy of Planets is a different challenge. They have some structural weaknesses in their military posture. But it won’t be enough to win the war. The Emperor has to fight the war in such a way as to win the peace. That’s actually a tougher challenge.

The Empress and the Co-Consul are there to help, though.

Yes, and so is Saaret’s wife Suzanne. She’s the ‘everyman’ inserted into their councils. She has given me, since EMPIRE: Tyrant, a touchstone for the Emperor’s policies, as well as a person for the reader to use to learn what was going on.

I see the new ideas group is back as well.

They’ve been there all along, together with the business ideas group and the new ideas review group, as the Consulting function in Imperial administration. But you’re right, they’re explicitly back in EMPIRE: Conqueror, to research how to win the peace long term. They’re critical in advising the Emperor how to ensure the peace.

What is the cover scene this time?

It’s one of the confrontations between a main Sintar formation of thirty-two thousand ships and a main DP formation of twenty thousand ships. It’s more of a tactical display because the ships wouldn’t be anywhere near that close in a real confrontation. But the perspective did allow James Lewis-Vines, the artist, to showcase the difference between the new-design Sintaran warships and the new-design DP warships.

How long did EMPIRE: Conqueror take to write?

Thirty-seven days, so five to six weeks, pretty par for the course for an EMPIRE book. More interesting is that I finished the day before the first anniversary of starting EMPIRE: Reformer, so I wrote all six books in a single year.

You have an Author’s Afterword at the end of EMPIRE: Conqueror.

Yes, I wanted to talk to the reader a bit about the story, about how I write, and about my themes. In particular, I wanted to tell the reader the starting premise of the whole series. There’s a big reveal there.

28 thoughts on “We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Promo Post

  1. Kudos on the plausible starship designs on the Weyand novels. Atomic Rockets would approve.

  2. Seeing as there’s no key word for tonight, nor 50 word limit, I just decided to throw half a first page out there. And no, I haven’t a clue where it wants to go, which at this point, could be anywhere.

    Pulling up saplings with a tractor and chain is an exhausting job and I’d been doing it all day, with a short sandwich break at noon.

    Seeing as it was about 5, and I was hot, tired, and filthy, I rolled up the chain and headed back to the house. After parking the tractor behind the garage; I refueled it and checked the oil levels so it would be ready to go again in the morning.

    As usual, my boots were full of dirt. The only reason why my wife never complained about my white socks being brown is I did all the laundry. I also did all the sweeping and mopping of the floors, and so to make things easier on myself, I usually took my boots and socks off out on the porch before going inside.

    I must have poured a cup of sand out of my first boot. But it was as I was pouring the dirt out of the second one that a small piece of metal fell out of it and slid to the bottom of the mound.

    “What the heck is that?” I wondered as I picked it off the floor. A small spark, like static electricity, snapped when I grasped it. It looked like a coin, a bit smaller than a dime; but it was heavy, and looked like gold. I brushed it off and although still dirty, could see markings on both sides. I stuck it in my pocket and then padded inside in my bare feet.

    1. Random vignettes!

      (I suppose we could use the picture, but my muse is already frolicking.)

    2. >> “Seeing as there’s no key word for tonight, nor 50 word limit,”

      Like anyone ever respected the 50-word limit in the first place. I don’t even know why Sarah bothers with that rule.

      1. I thought I read somewhere that she put the word limit in to encourage more concise writing as a way to reduce editing out overly verbose, unnecessary passages.

  3. I’ve had books disappear from my author page, but they appear to still be on Amazon, if you already have the link. Hopefully they won’t do any worse damage.

    1. Yeah, that’s the situation. Some of them also disappeared from search.

      Who knows? Could be fixed at any time.

  4. She knelt on grass, terrified, her hand on her bleeding shoulder, trying to hold her shirt to the wound. Charcoal dark clouds billowed in the sky over the lawn, and the trees that lined it in the distance. Julian stood before her, all grown up. Some corner of her mind noticed she was grown up, too, but the rage on his face and the flickering lightning in his hands caught her and held her fast.

  5. Cool. I’ll have to go post chunks of the thing I’m working on. Already drafted an opening set piece, but looking at it again, I think I should cut it in half. Tonight’s project!

    1. Contex: Mega Man X fan game, opening sequence. Basically, for anyone not familiar with the series, everyone are robots. These are written in a play format, since they’d be turning into cut scenes.

      Open scene 1
      Cold open
      Setting is lab. Multiple lab benches with electronics and mechanisms all over them. A large gray box (about knee high, cubish) with a blinking instrument panel on the top is under the nearest lab bench.

      Character, Alia: female robot, blond, lab coat. She is leaning against the door out the lab, and has a buster (arm gun)

      Alia: […] under attack. Don’t know who.

      Sounds of explosions. Dust and debris falls from the ceiling.

      Alia looks away from the door, and at the box.

      X (over the radio): Hunters scrambling now.

      She darts to the box, punching buttons rapidly
      Alia: X, get here now!
      She hits a large red button, flips a cover of the control panel, then forcibly slides the box to the far side of the room.

      Cut to jet bike hanger. Focus on X (blue robot with black hair. Not wearing his trademark helmet. )
      Alia (over radio): Shit!
      Over radio: sounds of energy blast/explosion then static.

      X (into radio earpiece): Alia? Alia! Damn it!

      Multiple robots are mounting bikes and jetting out of the hanger. X runs towards the bikes.

      Unnamed robot: Boss, here!
      Unnamed robot grabs X’s hand and vaults him onto the back seat of the jet bike. Jet bike rockets out of the hanger.

      Cut to opening game level.
      Radio chatter during mission shows this is happening all over the city

      Extro starts once player reaches Alia’s lab.

      Scene: Same lab seen before, now destroyed. Large holes in walls, burns. Rubble, broken equipment is everywhere.
      Alia is curled up half beneath a bench. She has a horrible blast burn on her back; gears and mechanisms are clearly visible in the wound, some still moving, slowly.

      X: Alia!
      X rushes to her side, and she rolls over onto her back
      X (holding her hand): Alia, don’t…

      Alia interrupts: (weakly) They took…
      Alia sees X, then, suddenly forcefully grabs him, pulling herself towards him
      Alia: Get it back! Promise me! Put… statis… Promise…

      X (bewildered): Ok, yes. We’ll find it, ok?

      Alia (weaving in and out): heh… promises… s’good… (she smiles) shame… tell….
      Alia goes limp. X catching her head before it falls.

      X: Tell them what? Who? Alia? Alia! Alia…

      X stares at her for a moment, stunned, then hugs her tightly, his body shaking.
      After a brief time, he gently lays her down, and closes her eyes.
      Camera changes to view from the entrance towards X. His expression is grim. He stands up and begins walking towards the camera, talking on the radio thought the words are obscured to the player, moving faster with each step, until he is running full clip.

      Camera pans to side profile as he exits the building. Brief gestures with robot at entrance, then X just on jet bike and takes off.

      Camera locks on side view, jet bike heading towards the left side. Begin title music. Begin opening splash and title credits.

      Scene end, transition to Save Screen.

      (Yes, this is the shorter version… I also realized my initial version of X’s reaction didn’t quite fit the character. He has not been how to direct anything outwards, and would more likely turn it all inwards instead.)

  6. Drusilla sipped her wine. This one was more amusing than most, who assumed that her chambers being in a cave, and all its paraphernalia down to the red wine, was part of her craft.
    This one assumed it was all stagecraft.
    That was also wrong, but at least more amusing.

  7. My breath rushed out. I supposed, with hindsight, I could have just approached one of the gawking crowd, but someone who was looking for me was probably the best.
    “Over here, Ross! She’s completely new!”
    I turned toward the voices. A man strode down the street. He carried a sword.

  8. April and Rose had already gotten their drinks and their pastries, and staked out a table next to the planter with the red roses. They waved to her, but did not get up. Hope nodded and went to get her own. Much to talk about, but nothing so urgent that she could not eat as well.

  9. They, at least, realized she was a newcomer. Perhaps because of the way she looked at them.
    She walked into the room and up to the table. “Is there anyone who explains what the place does? Or are we on our own?”
    Her voice sounded flat and muted in her ears.

  10. No one spoke as they crossed the floor to the doorway. Not when they had left the lamplight for the street’s cool gloom. Not even when they walked down the way.
    Rosine sighed. She could not know whether they started to talk after the company could no longer hear them.

  11. Then she smiled. “It’s not like glowering at me or repeating that I must will give me the habit if the years of study have not. We should go to bed. We will travel the better if we are well rested.”
    “Parrot,” muttered Carrigiana, but none of them could argue.

  12. Jerry Boyd’s series is up to 20 books now! The only problem I have with them is each is nothing but a straight stream of thought. I can’t find a convenient stopping place before the end!

    I love ALL of Alma Boykin’s books, and can’t wait to read her new series. I also hope she continues the “Shikari” series.

    I’m totally addicted to Mackey Chandler’s two series, “April” and “Family Law”. I just finished “Another Word for Magic” a week ago. April #14 (?) should be coming out soon.

    I’ve read C V Walter’s two books, and found them very enjoyable — a bit strange, but that’s what I love about science fiction! Can hardly wait for the next one, to see who gets hooked up to an alien next.

    I read an average of three books a week — about 150 books a year. My favorite authors don’t write that many. 8^(

  13. Just wanted to say thanks. I’ve put up a link on my LiveJournal and sent the link in a newsletter to my mailing list, so I’m trying to get the word out.

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