Happy Spring

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on

I hope everyone is having a good spring and enjoying the warmer weather and maneuvering vaccine appointments without too much difficulty. It’s been hard to snag appointments here in Minnesota but I did just get the first dose of the vaccine yesterday. I’m looking forward to getting back to traveling this summer and doing normal things like regular haircuts and teeth cleanings and time spent at the outdoor swimming pool. It’s been a strange fourteen months or so, to say the least.

On the book front, All the Whys of Delilah’s Demise is now available in paperback, after a delay because the print proof got lost in the mail for a bit. You can find it on Amazon and on Barnes & Noble. If you’re interested in ordering the paperback through your local library, the book is listed via IngramSpark. You’ll need this number, the ISBN: 978-1-7366979-1-7

My thanks to everyone who’s bought it so far and left reviews! For some reason, this time around, the reviews have mostly gone to Goodreads rather than Amazon and I have no idea to what to attribute the pattern. Maybe posting thoughts about a book on Goodreads feels like less pressure — plus the site does let you leave a star rating only, no text needed. Either way, the reviews have been much appreciated!

Also, I’ve done a couple of guest posts this week. On Thursday, Mary Robinette Kowal kindly lent me a corner of her blog — My Favorite Bit — where I got to talk about the fun I had choosing brands for my cast of characters.

In keeping with the theme, a few days before that I was guest on PersephoneKnits, Julie Reeser’s blog, where I mused about coming to terms with my author brand…

…or, A Story Best Told in Four 19th Century Owl Illustrations.

The seasonal photo at the top is from – our yard is still mostly brown!


Launch Day: All the Whys of Delilah’s Demise

Hello, everyone! It’s here, the launch day for the eBook of All the Whys of Delilah’s Demise, a speculative whodunit set in a Seattle of the future. Now available for Kindle and on Kindle apps for iPad and iPhone.

An early review on Goodreads had these kind words to say about the book:

“Delilah’s Demise is a delightful surprise… An intriguing dystopian future blended with a murder mystery.”

I’ve had a couple of people ask whether there’ll be a print book. The answer is yes, a print book is in the works and should be out by early April — stay tuned!

Looking back on writing this, it reminds me a lot of Regarding Ducks and Universes, although they are very different! Part of it is that they’re both standalones and about the same length: 90,000 words. They also both look into the near future, whereas my other books (in the time travel Incident series) turn a lens into the past. Then there’s the fact that they both ended up with looong titles… They were the right titles, but still, it makes it a challenge to write a tweet referencing the books or any kind of character-limited description!

I’d like to report that spring weather is accompanying the book launch but as I’m writing this it is in fact snowing here in Minnesota. At least it’s a spring-like snow, large melty flakes that won’t stick around for long.

Finally, if you do pick up the book and would like to help spread the word about it, an Amazon or Goodreads review is, as always, much appreciated!


Launch Day: The Bellbottom Incident

The Bellbottom Incident is now available both in paperback and on Kindle! You can find the book here in the US Kindle store, here in the UK store, and here in Canada. I’ve started to get some sales in Australia (*waves hello to Australians*) so I’m going to add that link as well.

Launch days tend to be somewhat of a bittersweet occasion. You’ve done all you can for the book and it’s now time to send it into the world and hope it finds its wings. That’s not quite true, of course, as there is still plenty that can be done and that needs to be done for the book — working on promotions, arranging giveaways, perhaps a book signing, and so forth. But mostly you’ve said good-bye to the characters, to the story.

That’s even more the case when it’s the last one in a series, as The Bellbottom Incident is; while there may be at least one short story to go along with the series, the three full length novels are done and it is time to clear the board and get cracking on that next idea.

So here’s hoping The Bellbottom Incident finds its wings. There’s already a nice 5-star review on Amazon to greet the book, and a giveaway happening on Goodreads. More to come!


The Runestone Incident Release Day!

It’s finally here — release day for The Runestone Incident! This is the second book in the Incident series (and my third book in all). You might think that the long wait between the final proofs (mid-October) and release day (today!) would get easier with each successive book… but it doesn’t.
It’s always the same mix of nervous anticipation and itchy impatience. But that’s now over and Book 2 is out and available in these formats: trade paperback, ebook for your Kindle, tablet, or iPad, and audio book, as read by the immensely talented, Hugo-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal. (On a side note, I thought I’d throw Mary a curveball this time around by including a few Old Norse words in Book 2, but no — it turns out she speaks Icelandic, so Old Norse was right up her alley!)

In celebration of the release, 47North is doing a giveaway on Goodreads. Enter by February 24 for a chance to win one of 20 complimentary print copies.

The book has also gone up on NetGalley, where professional reviewers can request a digital copy. Near as I can tell (since I’m not really involved in the process), that includes book bloggers and also readers who regularly post Goodreads reviews, so if you fall into one of those two categories, it might be worth looking into.



I’m a Writer, not a Critic

Some people give out book ratings like they’re candy. I’m not one of them. A hundred or so books sit on my virtual shelves on Goodreads. I’ve written a handful of one-sentence reviews, but so far I’ve only given a single rating — for an audio book. Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter books. Phenomenal. Five stars. Easy-peasy to give it a rating. Same with movies — I’ve rated dozens and dozens of movies on Netflix, four stars, two stars, five stars, not interested, whatever. No problem.

Books not so much. It’s worked for me so far.

But the other morning I awoke to this on my Goodreads author dashboard:

It’s the new recommendations feature. In the large gray square it points out that I’ve rated only one book (the Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter audio set; Goodreads treats books and audio books the same), and to the right it tells me that I need to rate at least 19 more (twenty being apparently the minimum threshold) to get personalized recommendations from the site.

Maybe it would be different if I’d grown up with the everyone’s-opinion-counts-equally-and-should-be-heard system, but I didn’t. The hundred books on my virtual shelf are only a sample, a sliver of my reading life, the books I happened to catch sight of on my (real-life) bookcases in the past few months and thought, that’s a good book, I should it to my Goodreads shelf. If I added all my P.G. Wodehouses, that be, like, another hundred books right there.

Besides, how do you rate a book you read years ago and remember fondly but suspect that rereading it now that you’re an (ahem) older, wiser adult might change your view of it?

How do you rate books by fellow authors?

For that matter, how do you rate a book in the first place? I think I’m too close to them. I rate movies easily because I’m not in the movie industry. Does anyone expect George Lucas to rate films? (Actually, I have no idea. For all I know, he might.)

By the way, I like all the books on my Goodreads shelf. Why go to the effort of adding them otherwise?

Goodreads recommendations are a welcome feature, but I don’t think that in itself will nudge me into assigning ratings. One thing might, however. It’s not that “1” that sits in the large gray square above. It’s the unintended grammar gaffe in it: “You’ve rated 1 books so far.” That will drive me nuts in about a week, and I’ll have to rate at least one book to change the “1” into a “2”. Once I’ve done that, well…