New Release: Enjoy Christmas in Space with “Jingle Stars” PLUS A Bonanza of Book Promos

This is a bumper edition of my newsletter as I get ready for Christmas, so keep scrolling and enjoy! You’ll find a ton of books to snap up either free or at deep discounts.

Jingle Stars!

Grab your copy of my just released Christmas science fiction novella, Jingle Stars, and discover what happens when a starship decides to play Santa Claus.

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When a starship decides to play Santa Claus…

Ahab is a mLa’an artificial intelligence embedded in the starship, Orion.

The campaign for AIs to be recognized as full citizens of Galaxy Proper is within reach of its extraordinary goal. The only thing that could stop it now is if an AI did something foolish…like take a space station hostage to save eight orphaned children.

And this is the letter to Santa that starts it all:

Dear Santa

I don’t know if your reindeers work in space. But if you have room in your sleigh after you finish delivering presents to the lucky kids with parents and homes, can you come and get me and my friends? Please?

We’ve been good. Well,we haven’t been really bad. We’re on Station Elphame, in the junkyard, and Zoe is sick. She’s bad sick. I think she’d be better on a planet. We don’t need presents. We just need a way out of here. Ollie tried to sneak onto a trampship…he died.

Please, Santa, I don’twant any more of my friends to die.


Buy link:

science fiction, jenny schwartz, kindle unlimited,To celebrate the release of Jingle Stars, I’m putting the first book in my Shamans & Shifters Space Opera series FREE for the first time ever! Her Robot Wolf is available exclusively on Amazon. Download it here:

Her Robot Wolf is FREE December 4-8, 2017.


December Super Sale – Science Fiction & Fantasy – 99c or FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Dominion Rising presents the December Super Sale. More great books than you can shake a light sabre at 😉

Promo link: 

Holiday Romance

Are you in the mood for romance? Christmas can be an emotional time of year. Why not choose a book with a guaranteed happy ending?(that’s a big part of why I like reading and writing romance) The Holiday Romance promotion runs throughout December. Promo link:

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Christmas Gifts

If you’re about to embark on an epic Christmas gift buying spree (good luck!) Maria Zannini has put together an awesome list of ideas. You can find it at her blog:

Have you heard of Iceland’s Christmas Book Flood this time of year? They give each other books on Christmas Eve, then curl up snug and warm to read them through the night. Lovely. A book for Christmas is a joy all year 🙂

Thanks for reading this bumper edition of my newsletter. I hope you’re now all stocked up with books for the holiday season, and especially Christmas Eve 🙂

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Somewhat Random – I have a new release in a week!

I forgot to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Being Aussie, it’s not a holiday I grew up with, but I like the idea of celebrating how much we have to be thankful for – it’s okay, I’m not going to start a list 😉 but I do want to say that you all make writing a lot less of an alone-in-an-attic activity than it traditionally was. Thank you for your comments and support!

November Roundup of SciFi Books

Since starting the Facebook page, Always Another Great Book, to help people find great books in Kindle Unlimited, I’ve been reading a lot more science fiction. I’ve also discovered how hard it can be to find great books that haven’t caught the Amazon algorithm love. In other words, the books that aren’t on the best-seller lists or on popular books’ also-boughts. So promotions like the November Roundup of SciFi Books helps to discover these gems.

Plus, Amy J Murphy has a box set of her Allies and Enemies trilogy for US$5.99.

Featuring the two-time Dragon Award Finalist for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel, the Allies and Enemies Trilogy Box Set has all the ingredients for a thrilling space opera page-turner.

With a vivid cast of characters—kick-ass heroines, gnarly space pirates, powered armor and vicious cybernetically enhanced assassins— this series pulls you into a ruined galactic empire filled with undiscovered dangers. Firefly and Star Wars fans alike are sure to enjoy this fast-paced military science fiction adventure.

Buy link:

Wandering Around the Net

I am a gold star procrastinator, and sometimes I call it research! I thought I’d share some of my discoveries with you.

Urban Fantasy’s Unique Female Hero (I’ve actually read a lot of urban fantasy with male leads, but the feminist analysis remains interesting).

The World of Art Trafficking

The Piri Reis Map (I love way-out theories and mysterious objects and places).

And finally, because in writing The Ceph Sector I’m obsessed with all things octopus) the story of an octopus’s gratitude.

Jingle Stars

My Christmas novella, Jingle Stars, is out next Monday. When I originally thought of writing a Christmas novella with Ahab, the artificial intelligence from the Orion starship, as the hero, I imagined it would be light and funny. Instead, as I wrote, the story grew quite surprisingly tough. I channelled something of Charles Dickens into a space opera: the idea of street children (or in this case, space station junkyard kids) having no one to help them, but being there for one another. I guess, as Dickens knew, the reward of a happy ending is that sweeter when you’ve endured the characters’ struggles with them.

You can pre-order Jingle Stars

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New Release! Shattered Earth – Shamans & Shifters

Shattered Earth is out! This is Kohia and Nairo’s story, and what an exciting story it is!

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The scum of the galaxy are using Earth as a nuclear winter death camp. It outrages pirate captain Kohia Jekyll’s sense of justice. No one deserves to die agonizingly of radiation poisoning, especially not on the planet humanity had to evacuate seven generations ago. So Kohia intends to close the prison camp down.

She didn’t count on an infuriating shaman healer hitching a ride aboard her starship.

Nairo Bloodstone isn’t going to Earth to be a hero. He learned the hard way that when you’re a healer, doing your best for people is never enough. One miracle leads them to demand another and another. Heroes die exhausted and alone, and the galaxy continues with billions of people still clamoring for a miracle-worker to save them.

No, Nairo isn’t going to Earth to be a hero. He intends to change what it means to be human.

Shattered Earth is a stand-alone novella in the Shamans & Shifters Space Opera series.

Buy link:

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In Other News

I’ve refreshed the covers for the Shamans & Shifters series. The biggest change is to Her Robot Wolf.

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If you haven’t already read Her Robot Wolf, you might want to wait till December 4 to pick up a copy. Her Robot Wolf will be FREE (yes, free) on Amazon December 4-8. Of course, it’s always free to read if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

Speaking of which, I’ve read some interesting books in Kindle Unlimited recently. You can find my snippet reviews on my Facebook page, Always Another Great Book.

Happy reading!

(Now, where’s the emergency stash of chocolate to survive Release Day?)

Anticipation is a Terrible Excitement

There’s only one week to go before Shattered Earth releases. I’ve been wanting to share Kohia’s story with you for so long that the tension, now, on how you’ll receive it is MASSIVE. I hope you’ll love her and Nairo. I hope the future for Earth that I describe in the novella never happens!

Book releases don’t really get easier, emotionally. There is so much hope wrapped up in each one. I used to describe how I felt as nervous or stressed or overwhelmed, but you know, anticipation is a much better word – and not just for book releases.

Anticipation catches that positive and negative excitement. Like when you were a kid and you’d practically get sick with excitement when a big event loomed. It’s not simply dread. I think that waiting for something huge and happy imposes its own kind of stress. Which isn’t to say I don’t want huge, happy things to happen every day (I’m greedy, that way).

Anticipation is also the emotion that a good novel should evoke with every page. Good or bad, wonderful or scary, when a reader has to read on, that’s the power of anticipation. We’re hooked on the feeling 😉

There’s an excerpt from Shattered Earth, below, but first I’d like to say a quick “thank you” to Arcadia Shield for helping get the news out about Cosmic Catalyst‘s release a couple of weeks ago. She has the wonderful Ember Quest science fiction romance series in Kindle Unlimited at the moment – a free read for us KU subscribers. Yay!

Even if you’re not a KU subscriber, Heath is only 99c! Woohoo!

Buy link:


“My tiger,” Kohia said, too accustomed to being with other shifters to censor her words. “She wants a cuddle, from you.”

“Uh.” His mouth opened, but no coherent words came out. He closed it. Then he very carefully laid aside his tablet and stylus, his gaze remaining locked on Kohia.

The intensity of his focus puzzled her. Nor did a subdued snicker from those at the table help matters. “What?”

“If your tiger needs a cuddle, from me…”

Now, why did he have to add that “from me” in his deliciously low voice?

“Then come here.” He actually patted his knee.

Kohia would have ignored him on principle, just for that patronizing knee pat, except that her tiger had other ideas. Kohia’s powerful leg muscles launched her up, and the next instant she was falling into Nairo’s lap.

He caught her with surprising deftness. Even more surprising was how the blank remoteness had vanished from his face. His eyes positively blazed with emotion.

Shocked to see such raw need in him, Kohia failed to protest his brazen arrangement of her body until she rested comfortably within his embrace. And by then it was too late. Her tiger had been right, the hussy. Cuddling with Nairo soothed the tension that had been making Kohia scratchy. For the sake of the mission and its smooth running, she snuggled closer. Yeah, that was her excuse, and she’d fight anyone who called her on it.

You can pre-order Shattered Earth today! Buy link:

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How Are You Going, Getting Ready for Christmas?

I’m curious. Are you ready for Christmas? I’ve heard there are some super-people who already have all their presents bought! Please, tell me they’re not also already gift-wrapped!

Me, I’m not even thinking about Christmas yet – other than to plan out some book promotion around that time – and yes, I think I will be able to sneak Raid in just after Christmas. And I’ll make it FREE for five days! So watch out for this Kidnapped Brides in space adventure around Boxing Day – a perfect addition to a new kindle!

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On the homefront, the local birds have had an early Christmas present: a shallow birdbath so that they can have fresh water through the long, hot summer. They’re already using it, although I haven’t managed a photograph yet.

The Scent of the Season

Do you think Christmas has a scent? For me, it does. It smells of plastic!

As a kid, our Christmas tree was a plastic one that got dismantled every January, popped in its old cardboard box and pushed on top of a wardrobe for the next ten months. But every year when it was taken down, and the box opened, the lovely smell of stale plastic meant Christmas was coming. The tree is long gone, but the memory remains.

What particular scents stand out in your memory?

I use scent when I write a scene to try and evoke emotion directly. Scent seems to bypass logic and simply grab us by the … well, by the nose. 😉 We often know a place, even people, by scent. Hospitals are a powerful example. That smell of disinfectant, medicines and cooked cabbage makes me want to retreat every time.  If you can’t work out what has triggered a sudden emotion, concentrate for a second on what you’re smelling.

Do You Have Anything Left to Check Off Your To-Do List for 2017?

Apart from my writing and the standing to-do list item of “win Lotto” (difficult, since I seldom buy a ticket), I think I’m pretty much on track for 2017.

It’s been a beast of a year. The news is so full of horrors – and I’m not just talking about what passes for political governance these days – but the terrible things people do to each other and the tragedies of natural disasters. I actually stopped buying The Guardian Weekly partly because it was too depressing.

However, never doubt that even the littlest thing can bring change.

Last year, I scattered gypsophila (baby’s breath) seeds in the garden. Not one came up. I was disappointed, but resigned. Things happen. Gardening teaches you to accept your losses. But this year … guess what burst out of the ground and into flower? Yes, beautiful gypsophila. (Sorry, I missed taking a photo – my stupid ankle injury hobbled me). I guess the message of the baby’s breath is to hold onto hope, because life will surprise us with joy.