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Welcome, new folks!

Hi, there. I've had a number of people join the mailing list recently. I want to make sure everybody gets their free Frosthelm book, Traitors Unseen. If you haven't gotten it, you can get it free here (the site will ask you to sign up for this newsletter, which you're already getting) or here from Smashwords. It's also on Apple BooksKobo, and Barnes & Noble. Please, enjoy with my compliments.

Everything's in play

I mentioned in an earlier newsletter that I got cast recently in a play, and I've been spending about 3-4 hours a night at rehearsals (plus a few more hours each day) learning lines and practicing parts. The play is The 39 Steps, a comedy based on the Alfred Hitchcock movie (which itself is based on a novel). It's a spy story set in 1935, but it's done in a very silly way, for laughs. There are only four actors, with two of them the leads, and the other two (including me) playing all the other parts (which is a lot of other parts - I'm four different people in my final scene alone, one of them three different times, which makes for a lot of costume changes). The Little Theater of Winston-Salem is producing the play, and I've had a blast working with everybody involved, including my wonderful and talented fellow actors. They just released a promo picture, which is here (I'm on the left in one of my many, many costumes).

I've been doing improv comedy since 2006 at The Idiot Box, a local comedy club, so I'm not exactly a stranger to goofing around on stage, but this is my first part in a play since about 1987. All this acting has put a dent in my writing time, but I'm having so much fun I don't mind if it sets the writing back a little. Just for fun, here's the Scottish crofter wig and beard I got to try on tonight - it's not the full costume, just the hat and hair.

Writing update
As I said, I've been neck-deep in my script for the last couple weeks, but I did get some more done on my new sci fi novel, which follows a former space marine with a bit of a checkered past on a contract mission to a mysterious new world. I like how that's shaping up.

I also took some time to write something new for me - a mermaid story. I saw an invitation for a short fiction anthology that's looking for "dark mermaid" stories, and I thought that sounded fun, so I gave it a try. I don't know if it will be selected for the book, but even if it is, I will still retain the rights, so I can share it with you newsletter subscribers afterwards. It's finished, and I'm revising it now with some good help from a bunch of sailor friends. It takes place on a trading schooner maybe sometime in the 18th or 19th century, and as a non-sailing Iowan, I needed some help getting the details right. I'll let you know when it's ready for readers, which will probably be November depending on whether it makes the cut. I've never written anything close to horror before, and this is not exactly that, but it definitely has a horror-ish vibe.
Just for kicks, here's an AI-assisted illustration of a scary mermaid I made (thought maybe not as scary as the picture of bearded me above).

Some stories to try

I'm part of several author collectives, and we share each other's work to try to help all of us reach more readers. In many cases, the books we share are are free or discounted. Sometimes, they ask that you sign up for a newsletter like this one. I have a lot of options for you to try this month - three books to try, and three group promotions each with a ton of stories to explore.

The first book is Empire Reborn by Amy DuBoff. This is epic science fiction, with adventure, ancient aliens, treachery, and a whole lot more. It's also *FREE* until September 5th, so be sure to go grab a copy. If you enjoy it, there is a whole series to read afterwards.

Second, I have Dark Alliance by Edita Petrick. It's another sci fi story, this one a harrowing mission into enemy-controlled space. It's also part of a series, so you can check the whole set out. I really like the cover here.

The third book I have is A Dance of Light and Dark: Queen Inaria, by the prolific author David Wind. This is book eight in a well-regarded series, so have a look at the whole set here too. The first in the series has over 1200 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.5, which is a whole lot of happy readers.

Then I have three group promotions, each with lots of books.

First, there's a set of 40 sword and sorcery fantasy books, all of which are free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Lots of good stuff in here - many of these authors are active in the author groups I hang out in.

Second, here's a set of 92 different sci-fi and fantasy stories, all on sale and priced between $0.99 and $4.99. There is a ton of great stuff here, and some really cool covers. Have a look and see if there's anything that strikes your fancy.

Finally, here's a set of 39 space adventure books (and whole series). So much to like here, including one whose title I really liked, Loved Mars Hated the Food. Have a look at these cool stories.


Thanks so much for signing up for my newsletter. I hope you're having fun with my books, and I'm really grateful to you for giving them a try. I'm looking forward to sharing my mermaid story soon, and if you happen to be in the Winston-Salem area and want to see a fun play, by all means, come to The 39 Steps.

May the Bloodmother watch over you - 


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