Fantasy Westerns, Book Predictions

Urban Fantasy Sale

urban fantasy

There are some absolute gems in the Giant Urban Fantasy Sale that includes free and 99c novels. It runs August 15-17. Browsing link:

Weird Westerns

When I wrote Desert Devil I knew it wasn’t a weird western even if it had magic and was set in Arizona, and I was a bit sad about that because I’d LOVE to write a weird western, if only I had the time.

weird westerns, kindle unlimited,Weird westerns have been around for a few years, but I think they’re set to really resurge. Kind of like space opera. The quest element combined with the strong imagery of the setting just draws people in.

I love the quirkiness that results that mashing together genres. Weird westerns often have a bit of steampunk in them (re-imagining the past, often with clockwork or other alternative technology) which I adore. But there are other options, like adding magic!

Elven gunslingers. If I could clone myself I’d write a series about a female elf who becomes a gunslinger but never actually shoots anyone. She gets out of trouble via ingenuity, like the original Macgyver! There would be a bookish dragon and an opinionated unicorn and I would have an absolute blast writing the series.

Simply based on how much I want to read books like this, I have to imagine that fantasy westerns have a huge unmet readership, which is what is needed for this subgenre of fantasy to explode. So when it does, you heard it hear first – and if you hear of a way for me to clone myself, please tell me!

Vintage Romance

Contemporary romance is a huge and popular genre. I think some of that readership could very easily be convinced to devour books set just a few decades ago. Think of the TV show Mad Men. When you mix nostalgia and glamour with strong storylines, people are hooked.

Look out for books from the 1960s to 1990s. People are starting to call this vintage romance – written now, about then.

If there’s a way to give a nod toward the classic TV shows without breaking copyright, I think that will be a real winner. A genie and an astronaut in the 1960s (I Dream of Jeannie), a blended family (The Brady Bunch), Bewitched, etc. This is a goldmine for authors, and I think they’ll be mining it soon.

Would you read vintage romance?

Heads Up!

On August 19 I’m setting Desert Devil full price, so if you don’t already have your copy for 99c, pick it up in the next day or so. [It will remain free to read in Kindle Unlimited].

Buy link:


Update on Shifting Stars

I’ve been sharing snippets from Shifting Stars, the sequel to Her Robot Wolf, on Twitter and my Facebook page. This is one of my favourites. I’m having a wonderful time with Jaya and Vulf’s ongoing adventures.


Desert Devil Release Day! Woohoo! and Other Things

Desert Devil is out today!

paranormal romance, kindle unlimited,Legendary magic. A desert hideout. Thrilling suspense! And for release week, I’m extending the pre-order price of 99c.

Buy link:

Donna Keats is a seer. But when she defies fate to save her estranged foster brother she becomes fate’s victim.

As one of only three couriers alive, Forrest “Rest” Castillo can travel anywhere on Earth in seconds. However, the price of his rare talent is to be forever alone. Anyone who gets close to him becomes a potential hostage for the powerful people that seek to own him.

Two years ago, Rest retreated to the isolated beauty of the Arizona desert to save those who have his loyalty and love, but it was the wrong strategy. It’s not his life that should be sacrificed for peace. Nor will it be Donna’s.

Rest’s enemies are about to learn that this former Army Ranger is not as alone as they believed, and that no conspiracy can be buried forever.

The time has come for Rest to walk the Path for justice, and Donna will match him step for step.


Desert Devil is a stand-alone paranormal romance in the Old School series.

Portal Travel

Nobody laugh! I only just realised where my idea for portal travel (which is what Rest, the hero of Desert Devil, has a talent for – opening portals and walking the Path) came from. Wormholes!

Without meaning to, I borrowed from science fiction, but rather than explaining near-instantaneous travel, I’ve left it as magic. Magic is so much cozier!

If only portals, or wormholes, were real. I loathe travel. Living in Australia means it’s a long flight to most places in the world and I hate being stuck in a seat and – because I’m petite (so much nicer than saying “a short ass”) – other passengers tend to encroach on my space. Or it feels that way. I’m big on respecting personal space.

If you could open a portal to one place in the world, where would it be?

My first response to that question was embarrassing. I chose a yummy French bakery. Mmm.

Would you choose family, friends, an isolated beach, a busy city, a mountaintop?

Other New Releases

If you love science fiction and fantasy, especially with a touch of romance, then new release Dominion Rising looks fab! What amazing value. Box sets are a great way to try new authors.

Release Day Celebrations

I tend to keep release day celebrations low key, mostly because I’m already like a hyperactive toddler on a day like this and the last thing anyone needs is for me to get even more excited. You know how that ends… in tears and a tantrum  😉

So I’ll clink virtual coffee/tea/hot chocolate mugs with you instead. Thanks for your “happy release day” vibes. I appreciate them!

One final thing – and please note, this freebie is not available until TOMORROW. (Sorry for the All Caps shouting. I don’t want you or your friends inadvertently one-clicking and paying for Demon Hunter today). I’m adding it to today’s newsletter because I don’t want to bombard you with newsletters!

Demon Hunter, the first book in my paranormal romance series, The Collegium, is free tomorrow (August 11) for Freebie Friday fun. You’ve probably already got a copy, but if you have friends who you think might like it, I’d love for you to let them know about it going free for Friday 🙂

Demon Hunter is exclusive to Amazon. Here’s the link:

Storytelling is about Making Connections

First up, I have a gorgeous new box set, just out today, to share, and then, there’s a personal story that illustrates how I think stories come together: with bits and pieces attracted like iron filings to the original inspiration magnet.

Shattered Worlds

23 EXCLUSIVE Fantasy, PNR and Dystopian novels.
ONLY 99 cents for a limited time!

Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.

From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you’ve been dying to get your hands on!

This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today’s New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!

Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can’t be found anywhere else.

Rembember, it’s only 99c for a short time.


Local History

On Sunday I visited the Art Gallery of Western Australia. I’ve loved that place since I was a kid. Walking up and down its central circular staircase is part of the ritual, spiral your way to the art! Anyways, while I was there I checked out a couple of Indigenous art exhibitions.

I stopped and just chilled with artworks by Alick Tipoti and Sandra Hill. Both were powerful in different ways, telling a story of culture and existence.

But the work that really affected me was by an unnamed artist, a painting on paperbark in a corner of the room by the entrance. There was a bit of background provided on the painting. The gallery had purchased the artwork from a woman who remembered being with her dad when he bought it from a Noongar artist at the Naval Base Hotel in the 1930s or 1940s.

I grew up (in the 1970/80s) in Naval Base, which was renamed Hope Valley, before being flattened to become an industrial park. It’s in the southern metropolitan section of Western Australia’s capital city, Perth.

The background on the painting’s provenance added that the unnamed local indigenous artist had lived with his family by Bibra Lake (which is a large and swampy lake a few miles from Naval Base where generations of kids remember playing – and watching out for snakes!).

I was talking with Mum about the painting and that it had been sold at the Naval Base Hotel, at which point (she grew up in Naval Base in the 1950/60s) she said, “no, it wouldn’t have been sold at the Naval Base Pub.” Which was where I’d mistakenly assumed the sale had taken place. It’s the only pub that I knew was there, although it’s gone now.

“There was a hotel before that,” Mum said. “Where the Alcoa refinery stands now. There was a shop there and a post office.” And she went on about how she’d loved the houses that used to stand near it, along the main road.

While we talked, I remembered how her mum had mentioned an older man recalling that Noongar people had camped at a swamp near where our home had been. Mum and I discussed how it would have been close enough that the artist could have strolled from his camp to the hotel and shops. There would have been a small community, too small to be called a township, but still… We were talking about a forgotten history.

I tried to find a photo of Naval Base. This was my family’s half acre, about 1979

I guess I wanted to share with you how a story falls into place with pieces from here and there collecting around an initial inspiration (in this case, the painting and its recorded accompanying history).

P.S. Remember Desert Devil is out on Thursday!


5 Free Short Stories, A Quick Halloween Question & A Walk in the Park!

Five Free Short Romances

If you haven’t already read these five of my short romances, hurry to grab them today! They’re only free on Freebie Friday.

Midnight Kiss, a Regency romance
Denying the Dragon, a paranormal romance
The Crocodile Virgin, a paranormal romance
Kiss Me, Quick, a sweet cowboy romance
Beauty Conquers the Beast, a fairy tale romance

Halloween Help!

I need your help. I’m thinking of writing a short story for Halloween set in my Shamans & Shifters Space Opera world. I want to make sure I include your favourite things about Halloween, so what are they?

Is it the food? Which foods?

The costumes?

Has anyone played a fun (not infuriating) trick as part of the “trick or treat” element?

Are there Halloween games you love?

Any superstitions?

Anything at all! Tell me, please.

Testing a New Cover for Her Robot Wolf

I’ve given Her Robot Wolf a new look as I work on its sequel – which has also had a name change from Stargirl & Her Wolf to Shifting Stars. I really liked the original cover, but the title was hard to read in thumbnail.

Strolling in the Park

I haven’t shared any photos recently. These are from some local parks. I wasn’t the only one strolling along 😉

Out for a stroll
After the rain, it was still perfect weather for ducks!
The wildflowers are already out! They’re anticipating spring. Although this was in a planted garden, not bushland.

What If the Apple from the Garden of Eden Survived?

garden of eden legend, paradise fruit,The legend of the Paradise fruit is only briefly mentioned in my novel, Desert Devil. It’s not explored in the book, but the tale fascinates me. I can imagine it being told for millennia over campfires in the desert wilderness, in isolated military outposts, and in bustling bazaars between sips of sweet mint tea.

A good story never grows old, and it raises as many questions as it answers.

How did Eve smuggle three fruits from the Garden of Eden? How small were the apples if she wove them into her hair, as one tale has it?

To whom did Eve give the fruits of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Were they the reason Cain and Abel fought, and Abel died?

Did Solomon really eat one of the fruits, and then, command the army of the djinn? Did Alexander the Great die in trying to eat one of the fruits?

And finally, is it true that the wizard who created the hidden valley of Shangri-la planted one pip from a Paradise fruit, and the tree that grew from it hides the entrance to the valley to this day?

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the legend of the Paradise fruits being smuggled out of Eden is one I made up. So, the good and bad bit of that is that we’re free to make up our own answers to these questions.

Making up legends is one of my favourite parts of writing speculative fiction. I start with a real world topic that fascinates me – like the history of the Silk Roads – then I start imagining the possibilities.

Do you have a favourite legend or fairytale? Is there a legend that you think ought to exist?

Desert Devil is out August 10, 2017