Nocturnal Lives

Musings from the mind of Amanda S. Green – Mother, Writer, Possessed by Cats

Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 8)

Update on Dagger of Elanna

It is coming. There has been a problem with the production of the print book. As soon as that is fixed and I have confirmed it by seeing the fix, I will hit the publish button on the e-book. Hopefully, we are talking just a couple of days.

In the meantime, check out my author page on Amazon.

And the winner is. . . .

Congrats to all the winners of the Dragon Awards!

Imagine, books and other media nominated by fans of the genre, voted on by fans of the genre and the winners decided upon only by who garnered the most votes. No weird counting gymnastics. No belief that the fans don’t know enough about the genre to nominate the right sort of work. A real fan award.

Best SF Game: “Fallout 4”
Best Mobile: “Fallout Shelter”
Best Board Game: “Pandemic Legacy”
Best RPG/CCG: “Call of Cthulhu”
Best TV: “Game of Thrones”
Best Movie: “The Martian”
Best Comic: “Ms Marvel”
Best Graphic Novel: “Sandman: Overture”
Best Horror Novel goes to “Soul Dancer” by Brian Near
Best Apocalyptic Novel goes to “Ctrl-Alt-Revolt” by Nick Cole
Best Alternative History up now. “League of Dragons” by Naomi Novik
Best MilSF: “Hell’s Foundations Quiver” by David Weber
Best YA Novel goes to “The Shepherd’s Crown” by Terry Pratchett.
Best Fantasy Novel: “Son of a Black Sword” by Larry Correia
Best SF Novel: “Somewhither” by John C. Wright

When you know it’s wrong

I’ve been struggling with the second short story in the Honor & Ashes universe for more than a week now. Oh, I have the very rough draft done but the final draft just wasn’t happening. Night before last, I woke and thought I had the answer. Heck, it even kept me up much of the night as I considered what my subconscious had been telling me. Unfortunately, that was just the first of two nights when my brain continued worked while my body slept.

The short version is that I finally realized what the problem was. The opening section — sections, actually — were great for a longer work. If I was going to make Battle Bound into a novel, or even a novella, the opening as I had it would work. But, for a short story, it didn’t deliver the bang soon enough. Now that I’ve figured that out, as well as how to work with it, I need to get back to work. So, I am digging out the earphones, turning on the music — and that was something else I needed to do: find the right music — and getting this story pounded out today.

Of course, real life being what it is, the writing will be interrupted from time to time. So I had best get to it. Back later!

Taking the Day Off

There’s not going to be a blog today. Sorry, guys. I need a day off. Yesterday was one of those days when everything I needed to accomplish got pushed to the side by contretemps and brush fires that had to be dealt with. By the end of the day, everything still sat on my desk where it had begun the day, So, to get back on track and try to catch up, the blog has to wait until tomorrow. If — and this is a big if — things move faster than I expect this morning, I’ll be back this afternoon with a post but I am not counting on it.

Everyone take care.

Post is coming

I promise, there will be a post today. But I’m running late. Myrtle the Muse kept me up last night, fighting me over what needed to be written.

Tuesday morning thoughts

Today is my day over at Mad Genius Club and I blog about e-book piracy. No, I’m not taking on the pirate sites but, instead, talk about the sense of entitlement some readers feel and how they see nothing wrong with pirating e-books simply because they want to read that book.

I will be starting snippets of Victory from Ashes later this week and will have the short story finished by week’s end. In the meantime, will someone please have a long talk with my muse? Myrtle, and that is the kindest thing I can call her today, decided overnight to screw with me. The plot for the next Nocturnal Lives book came full-blown to me. That could be viewed as a good thing. The problem is, I know Myrtle. She is going to try to sidetrack me from Victory with this. She loves trying to get me to play popcorn kittens. And if that isn’t bad enough, she is once again trying to tell me the NL book needs to be written in first person.

Help me.

I guess I’d better get back to work on Victory before Myrtle wakes and starts playing her games again. VBEG

Blogging at MGC today

I haven’t forgotten about the formatting posts. I promise to return to them Thursday. I’m taking the first of the week off to enjoy having my son home for a few days. In the meantime, I’ve a post about responsibility — as a reader and as a parent — up at Mad Genius Club.

Blogging at MGC and a bit more

I’ll be back later — after the brain decides to get out of bed. In the meantime, I am blogging over at Mad Genius Club this morning and asking what you, as a reader, want when you pick up a book. Oh, there’s more to it. I also discuss how one Puppy-kicker has decided he knows exactly how to deal with all those evil puppies. The Hugo Committee should look at all the ballots, decide which ones were made by Puppy supporters (of course he doesn’t say how the committee should determine if someone is a supporter or not) and then toss out all those votes. Better yet, those evil, evil puppies should never be allowed to buy a membership to WorldCon again. Way to be exclusionary and more than a bit ironic when his side has been screaming for years about how we want to exclude their voices.

Anyway, I’ll be back later. Hopefully today but definitely tomorrow. Until then!

Update

It has been three hours since I updated the file for Amazon. What I am starting to figure out is they pulled the wrong aisn from the legal page of Honor from Ashes (my fault. I didn’t get that changed) and somehow linked that to the Duty from Ashes file. That meant all those who pre-ordered the book got the right cover but the wrong book.

I have checked all versions for Honor from Ashes and cannot find a single one with the wrong text attached. I looked at the file I uploaded to Amazon and it has the correct text. So all I can figure out is they have some automated system that decided to grab the wrong aisn — again, my fault — and pair it with the wrong file — their fault since the correct file had been uploaded.

So, for those of you who pre-ordered the book, hang in and bear with me. I am simply waiting for them to take the new file live and to get back with me with more information about what happened.  Also, for those who did pre-order and downloaded the wrong file, I am trying to figure out a way to make it up to you. Maybe a free short story or novella in this universe. I’m not sure which but I will do my best to make it up to you.

 

Honor from Ashes — Snippet 1

(This originally appeared over on Mad Genius Club. I’m reposting it here and will follow up with the next snippet tomorrow morning. This is from the pre-final edited version, so there may be an occasional misspelled word or punctuation error. Also, as with everything, this is my work, copyright 2016. Honor from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 3) is available for pre-order and will go live April 18th.)

***

“Please have a seat, Colonel. The others will join you shortly.”

Before she could reply, the young lieutenant stepped back and the door slid shut. For a moment, Lt. Colonel Ashlyn Shaw stared at the door, her concern growing. It went beyond this unscheduled – and so far unexplained – summons to meet with General Helen Okafor, Commandant of the Fuerconese Marine Corps. It even went beyond the very bad memories she had of this particular conference room. Something was wrong, very wrong. She could feel it all the way down to her bones. She simply didn’t know what it might be.

A frown tugged at the corners of her mouth as she looked around. Memories washed over her. Two and a half years ago, she had stood in this very same conference room, unaware that her life was about to be turned into a living Hell. That day, the JAG officer in charge of prosecuting her and the surviving members of her squad had offered her a deal. If she pled guilty to all charges, he would recommend a sentence of twenty-five years – without parole – and would make sure her people served only ten years He assured her it was much better than she would get if she were found guilty of the charges that had been leveled against her. She had refused. How could she plead guilty, how could she ask her people to plead guilty, when they had done nothing wrong? Foolishly, she had believed her beloved Corps would not turn its back on her and her squad mates.

That decision had cost all of them two years in the military penal colony on Tarsus. Two long years when she believed the Corps, her family and her homeworld had turned their backs on her. She knew better now but the hurt and the distrust sometimes returned. She had no doubt it would continue until those responsible for framing her and her squad, not to mention being responsible for the deaths of their squadmates, were tried and found guilty.

But she had to put that behind her.

She had put it behind her.

Breathing deeply, she turned and made her way to the table in the center of the room. The only other person present watched her, his expression betraying a mixture of concern and curiosity. Seeing it, she guessed he had more idea why they had been sent for than did she. Unfortunately, that did nothing to reassure her. Experience had taught her bad things came all too often from such meetings.

“Stand easy, Ash,” Admiral Richard Collins said before she could brace to attention. “Have seat.”

“Thank you, sir.” She sat opposite him and smiled in appreciation as he poured her a mug of coffee the carafe someone had left.

“By any chance do you know what this is all about?”

“That’s a negative, sir. I was hoping you could tell me.”

She heard the uncertainty in her voice and silently cursed it. No, she cursed the reason for it. The nightmares that had plagued her might be coming with less frequency but they still lurked just beneath the surface of her self-control. They mingled with the ever-present doubt that the last few months had been nothing but a ruse and she would soon find herself back on Tarsus, once again a military prisoner. Intellectually, she knew that to be false but it was hard to put the betrayals of the past behind her.

“I guess we have to wait and see then.”

Ashlyn nodded again and produced her datapad. She might have to wait to find out why she’d been sent for but that didn’t mean she couldn’t work. There were always reports to review or write and assignments to be made. Even though the Devil Dogs had been groundside for almost a month, it was her job to keep them at combat readiness. Fuercon was at war and that meant they could be shipped out any time or, worse, the capital could once again come under attack.

The door once again slid open. Instantly, Ashlyn and Collins slid their chairs away from the table and stood. As they braced to attention, two others entered. They remained silent as they move to the table. Then, as the door closed and a low hum filled the room, signaling full security block had been put in place, Linden Klingsbury, Secretary of Defense, motioned for everyone to be seated.

“Thank you both for coming.” His deep voice might not betray his feelings but his eyes did. Ashlyn saw the worry and something else, anger maybe, reflected in them. “I apologize for not only the early hour but also for the lack of notice in getting you here. I assure you, it was necessary. The last thing General Okafor and I want is for certain parties to start asking questions we aren’t ready to answer.”

He broke off as a soft tone signaled someone at the door. A moment after the admiral lowered the security screen, the door slid open. The lieutenant who had shown Ash in earlier stepped inside, followed by an ensign carrying a tray with coffee and several covered dishes on it. They quickly served coffee to the newcomers and then topped off Ash’s and Collins’ mugs. After making sure nothing else was needed, they left the room. Klingsbury reactivated the security screen even as he motioned for everyone to help themselves.

“Admiral, Colonel, what you are about to see and hear cannot leave this room. The only reason you are being read in right now is because this information came to us through your actions as well as the actions of your people. Your last mission gave us a treasure trove of intel we are still examining. To be honest, even that isn’t reason enough to read you in. However, both of you have started asking questions that show you have started putting two and two together. These questions, while valid, are best left unasked for the moment. It is my hope you will understand before you leave here.”

Concern once again growing, Ashlyn reached for her mug. As she did, she thought back to that last mission. They had been lucky, probably luckier than they had any right to expect. For whatever reason, the enemy had moved out of the Cassius System, leaving only a minimal defensive presence. Whether they had been overconfident or there had been another motive, she didn’t know and, frankly, she didn’t care. That decision had meant First Fleet and the Devil Dogs had been able to liberate the system and rescue the POWs with minimal losses.

None of which explained what the admiral meant.

“Before we get started, I need you to confirm, on record, that none of what you are about to see or hear will leave this room without permission from either myself or General Okafor,” Klingsbury continued.

For a moment, neither Collins nor Ashlyn spoke. “A point of clarification, sir,” Collins said. “Does this apply to our XOs?”

“It does.”

Ash frowned. She did not like keeping her XO in the dark, no matter what the information might be. That was especially true if the information could help the Devil Dogs do their duty. “General, begging your pardon, but that could put our people at a serious disadvantage.”

“Ash, I understand your concerns,” General Helen Okafor said. “All we are asking is you don’t jump to conclusions until you have seen what we have to show you. If, after you have, you still want to discuss reading in your XOs, we will consider it.”

Knowing she could ask for nothing more, Ash nodded. “Then, with that proviso, I agree.”

“As do I,” Collins said.

“Thank you, both of you.” Klingsbury punched a code into the console in front of him and the holo display over the table came to life. The Fuerconese flag filled the display. “Admiral Collins, Colonel Shaw, the two of you, along with the men and women under your commands, have served Fuercon and its allies well. This information will help bring an end to the war, hopefully sooner rather than later. But it is not something we can move on just yet. Not without further confirmation of what it appears to represent. However, I believe that once you see this, you will understand its importance and the need for secrecy until we are ready to act.”

“Help yourselves to food and then we’ll get started. There is a lot for you to see and, unless I miss my guess, there will be even more to discuss,” Okafor said.

Ash cast a quick glance at Collins who shrugged. Like it or not, she would just have to wait to find out why she’d been summoned to this off-the-books meeting with the Commandant of the Fuerconese Marine Corps and Secretary of Defense.

 

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