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text 2014-08-29 04:32
The Travails of Promoting

See....I've been trying to write this post ALL week. Unsuccessfully.


Here I am finally telling you all about my first ever Kickstarter, Eternal Wanderings - The Continuing Journey of Kara O'Keefe, and instead of timing my post with it's launch, I'm managing to tell you about it when we are nearly fully funded! Yes...nearly already there. Now, does this mean there in no reason to tell you about it? Why no! That's not what it means at all.


See...funding to the goal means a bare bones campaign. Goal achieved, but no bells-and-whistles for anyone. Me? I LOVE bells and whisles. I'd like there to be lots of them not just for myself, but my backers as well.


First, let me tell you what it's all about. We are trying to fund a novella that continues the tale of Kara O'Keefe, the heroine from my Eternal Cycle trilogy, urban fantasy novels based on Irish mythology. These were my first novels and will always be special to me, meldings of magic, music, and myth. They've gathered quite a following among my fans and I regularly get requests for more stories featuring these beloved characters. Well...now's the time to make it happen! Like I said, the campaign at only four days in is nearly funded, and we still have 26 days to go. You know what that means, right?


Stretch Goals! (and the crowd roars!)

We have some great ones coming up once we fund:


First 20 backers – ACHIEVED! Receive an electronic copy of "Birth of the Tuatha de Danaan" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, the Eternal Cycle’s origin story for the Celtic elves.


First 50 backers – Receive three bonus short stories: “Forever and A Day”, “Travellin’ Show”, and “The Devil’s Own Luck”. These are the seed stories that will eventually become the novel Forever and A Day, written in the far future of the Eternal Cycle universe.


$1200 - All backers at $5 or more will receive a DRM-Free copy of Janine K. Spendlove’s novel War of Seasons: Human.


$1500 - All backers at $5 or more will receive a DRM-Free copy of Alma Alexander's story "Hourglass" featuring Aris the Gleeman.


$1800 - All backers at $5 or more will receive a digital download of Jonah Knight's Eternal Cycle songs, inspired by the novels.


$2100 - All backers at $5 or more will receive a DRM-free copy of L. Jagi Lamplighter's story Foot-Sore Angel


$2400 - All backers at $5 or more will receive a digital download of Danny Birt's original composition based on Eternal Wanderings


$2700 - To Be Announced


$3000 - A print version of Eternal Wanderings will be produced


And that's not all...these are just the confirmed goals. Those goals I'm confident we can reach. We are scheming for some other, really fantastic goals I'm still crossing my fingers on, like custom cover art and a possible audiobook version.


More on those later, though. Going to focus now on getting the deal in the bag, then I'll concentrate on sweetening it!


Keep dreaming!


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text 2014-01-02 00:35
Happy New Year! And One More Plea...

Hey, everyone!


Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and have lots of exciting things to look forward to in the coming year. 


And, speaking of exciting things, we are one week away from the end of our Athena's Daughters Kickstarter. It has already been a resounding success, but it can be even greater with just a little more help. 


Believe me, we aren’t being greedy. I know we have well exceeded our original goal so it may seem silly that we are still pestering you all for your support, but we want to do great things and thanks to so many of you we will get to do so, but you know…we want to do even more! We don’t have many stretch goals left but those we still have to reach are pretty fantastic:


  • - We are only about $650 away from $31,000, which will make it possible for us to have original cover art for our companion volume, Apollo’s Daughters (a collection by all men about strong female protagonists). Artwork from  artists known for their work with LucasArts and Star Wars!
  • - $32,000 and $34,000 gets everyone who contributed $5 or more THREE more stories on top of the bountiful loot you’re already getting.
  • -$35,000 adds two fantastic authors to the roster for Apollo’s Daughters - Joshua Palmatier and Donald J. Bingle.
  • $38,000 scores a hardcover edition for Apollo’s Daughters that will be the perfect complement to the hardcover edition of Athena’s Daughters, which we’ve already achieved thanks to resounding support for this project.
  • -And…last and most certainly not least…$44,000 will guarantee that Athena’s Daughters, Volume 2 will be FULLY funded from the get-go and…for all our writerly supporters out there…if that happens this will be an open submission volume!


So please, if you haven’t donated yet please consider doing so. Just a $5 donation right now gets you ALL the multitude of stretch goal rewards we have already achieved. That is a whole library’s worth of novels, short stories, and audiobooks. And if you feel motivated to donate more there are plenty of cool rewards left for the taking at all different donation levels, including four mentorships from experienced authors and editors, original artwork, prints, more books, and—if you want a super-special present for that most amazing woman in your life: the dedication for Apollo’s Daughters is still up for grabs.


If you aren’t able to donate, please consider helping us spread the word. This is an amazing project and all we want is to see how far we can take it and what amazing things we can accomplish. Thanks for listening and please do Share!


To donate, find out more specifics about the weath of rewards that come with even a $5 donation, or to share the news: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/103879051/athenas-daughters-women-in-science-fiction-and-fan


Thank you!


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text 2013-12-13 12:50



So hard to believe that we are only weeks away from a new year.


I've accomplished a lot in this one, but I never do seem to get caught up.


What I've done in 2013 (so far):


1) Wrote and launched my fifth novel: The Redcaps' Queen: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale, companion volume to The Halfling's Court and Three Chords of Chaos




These are novels based on stories from the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries series.


2) Helped put together and launch three anthologies: Best Laid Plans and Dogs of War, both in the Defending the Future series, and Clockwork Chaos, a steampunk collection.




3) And I've typeset over 30 books this year for Dark Quest Books, my primary pubisher.

4) I've sold stories to:

        ~R. Allen Leider for the anthology Hellfire Lounge 4: Mirror, Mirror (my story Skippy)

        ~Janine K. Spendlove for the antology Athena's Daughters (my story Looking Back)

        ~Edward McFadden III for the anthology Lucky 13 (my story The Devil's Own Luck)


And everything I haven't yet finished :

1) my steampunk novel, Ali Baba and the Shah's Treasure, written with Day Al-Mohamad

2) my pirate collection, Consigned to the Sea, a collection of new and reprinted fiction

3) my fantasy collection, On Darkness and Light, also a collection of new and reprinted fiction

4) final selections for the next Bad-Ass Faeries anthology, It's Elemental (95% complete)

5) story reviews for the upcoming anthology Gaslight and Grimm: Steampunk Faerie Tales

6) my audio book Flash in the Can, readings of my flash fiction, one of the stretch-goal rewards for the Athena's Daughters kickstarter at the $14,500 level...a goal we are rapidly approaching after only three days!.


Okay...not everything, but more than enough! And three of those six have to be completed no later than the beginning of January! EEEEK!


It has been quite the creative journey this year and I thank everyone who has made it possible, either by enabling me or by making the projects viable by wanting more.


Here is another excerpt from Looking Back as a thank you.




            Stepping from the entryway, Lady Clara grabbed her full-length, stained leather duster—cousin to the one Langstrom wore—from its customary hook by the door. As she slipped it on over her dress and secured it, making sure the coat fully covered the finer fabric, she moved across the room to the massive worktable that now dominated the space. Not once did she glance away from Fritz Langstrom or the contraption before which he stood, and yet she managed to navigate her way past massive coils of copper wire and bundles of brass, copper, and glass tubes, sacks full of coal and iron gears, and barrels of dark, rank oil which lubricated the inner workings of the device.

            The inventor gave a start at her voice, all but for his hands, which remain absolutely steady as they made adjustments to the plethora of connectors. “You’re here!”

            She presumed he beamed at her, as was his usual habit, but it was difficult to tell as the goggles that had been perched atop his head were now drawn down, a small, magnifying lens swung into place over his right eye. Clara pursed her lips disapprovingly. Langstrom was like an ill-disciplined hound, yapping and clambering and familiar, without restraint. She was not at all comfortable with that aspect of their interaction. Carefully he set the delicate watchmaker’s tools with which he currently worked upon the table and hurried to her side, pushing the goggles up until they again perched atop his head.

            A subtle change in his demeanor unsettled her further. Her back went rigid and her chin lifted. “Well?” she said as she arched a delicate brow toward the device he had been working on.

            “Yes…of course,” he said, his eyes widening ever so slightly. “I have not yet tested it, per your instructions, but it is ready, and now that you are present…. Please, if you will join me over here, by the Futuraositor.” A muscle in her cheek twitched faintly as he uttered that infernal name with which he had christened her machine. She spoke not a word, her eyes alone revealed her displeasure. Instead she watched as he ran a lightly oiled rag over the invention, wiping away any dirt or dust that might interfere with the process. It took more than a few minutes as his so-called Futuraositor took up three quarters of the rather large worktable. Clara waited impatiently, tapping the toe of her pearl-buttoned boot against the worn boards of the floor. She watched as he adjusted dials, opening some valves, while closing others, and precisely positioned various levers. When all was set, he used an ironmonger’s gauntlet to slide a brazier filled with lit coals into the belly of the beast, beneath where she knew a rather costly copper boiler had recently been installed. Within moments she heard the hiss of steam and tasted hot iron with each breath. Water began to boil in an array of hollow, glass tubes mapping the surface of the…Futuraositor…like veins. Those delicate tubes continued across a few inches of empty air to connect with a narrow brass box framing two sheets of the most perfect glass she had ever seen. Her breath caught in a gasp as the space between those sheets slowly filled with a swirling fog that behaved rather different than the steam she’d expected.

            This was new. “What…?” she managed.

            Langstrom anticipated her query: “Aether,” he said, his response distracted as he reached over and adjusted the settings on an object that looked like an ornate astrolabe centrally placed atop the mechanism.

            “This,” he said in hushed, reverent tones, “is what has brought us to this moment. This is the guarantor of our success….”

            Clara found it maddening the way he went on. “And this is…?”




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text 2013-12-11 12:26
A Project of Athenian Proportions

I am a part of an amazing project exemplifying the varied strengths of women in fiction.


There is so much support for this volume that in just over 24 hours we are less than $1000 away from being fully funded. Curious? You should be.

Check out the kickstarter for Athena's Daughters, an anthology being produced by Silence in the Library Press. This is their fourth successful literary Kickstarter and there are some powerful names behind the project. Let's see how high we can take this because we are already out of the ballpark!



 Some of those involved with the project, among others, are: Mary Robinette Kowal, Gail Z. Martin, Jean Rabe, Sherwood Smith, Jean Marie Ward, and--if we hit the right stretch goal, Dark Quest Authors Jennifer Brozek and Alma Alexander.


My story is a rather fun Steampunk tale about a woman determined and dedicated to finding her missing cousin, Rockford, so that he can assume the management of his inheritance, her father's estate. I like to think you will be amazed at the perdicament she and American inventor Fritz Langstrom get into ;)


I posted an excerpt of this on Monday, which you can find here:




And here are some excerpts from other stories in the collection:






More to come later!

Thanks for hanging out with me a while, and if you don't mind, please spread the word!



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text 2013-12-10 13:19
EXCERPT - LOOKING BACK by Danielle Ackley-McPhail - Athena's Daughters

           “Lady Clara! Lady Clara!” a voice called out.

           The Right Honorable Claramina Evangelista Pemberton, Countess Chadsworth—the very image of propriety in her dainty hat, rose velvet walking gown, white gloves, and pearl-buttoned boots—stopped very still, took a deep, imperious breath that was warning in itself, and slowly pivoted on one heel. Her already alabaster skin paled further until it bore the aspect of shaved ice as her brown eyes darkened to the hard luster of anthracite. The gentry swarmed the park this afternoon, impeccable in their finery, quite eager to see and be seen. All around her she heard their murmurs and gasps, and not a few sly titters from those glad to witness her touched by even this slight scandal. The rumormongers were in bliss. Though she careful schooled her expression to display nothing of the sort, within she was mortified.

            Seemingly unaware, Fritz Langstrom, wearing a leather duster marred by oil and dirt and scorch marks, hurried toward her, a battered set of goggles perched atop his head. The man was coarse…American…brilliant. And, it would seem, completely ignorant of the conventions of polite society. Stepping quite above his station, he reached out, ready to clasp her arm in a most unseemly manner. Beside her, Lionel, Lord Barrington, a distant cousin and her escort of the afternoon, drew a sharp breath and stepped forward, deflecting the commoner’s touch.

            Langstrom barely blinked as he went on. “Lady Clara, wait ’til you see…I dare say…we have success!” His words came out in something of a pant, hurried, urgent, but certain enough to cool her anger. In the barest of touches, Clara laid her gloved fingertips on Lionel’s sleeve but kept her attention full upon the inventor’s words. “You instructed me to inform you immediately….”

            “Cousin,” Clara said to her companion, cutting off the interloper before he could say too much. “Might I impose upon you to summon the carriage?”

            The gentleman stared at her with shock and affront clearly visible in his gaze, if not his expression, but he did not argue and went to do as she bade. Clara allowed him a slight, encouraging smile before he looked away. That smile quite disappeared as she turned to the inventor upon whom she bestowed her patronage. “You,” she said in quiet, clipped tones that carried no further than from her lips to Langstrom’s ears, “will return yourself to your laboratory by whatever means took you from it, and you will never again accost me so, am I understood?”

            “But you will come?”

            “I shall, and may God or the Devil help you if your achievement does not out-strip your offense, for no mere man will be able to. Now go!” The man hurried away as she instructed, clearly content to know that she would follow, and obviously overeager to return to whatever breakthrough had inspired such unacceptable behavior. Drawing her proud demeanor firmly about her, Clara remained straight and proper where she stood and waited for her escort to return. Deep within, however, excitement akin to that which Langstrom openly displayed coursed through her noble veins. Outwardly, a spark of satisfaction glittering in her eyes betrayed the only sign she felt anything at all.

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