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Monday, February 17, 2014

Etta Jean and the Pirate Cat

What's it like to be a cat on a pirate ship? Find out from author Etta Jean. While you're at it, check out her new book 'Chronicle of Summer'! ~ James

Daven Anderson

Captain's Log, 08 November 2014

The Admiral brought home a new crew member. He's a small thing. Spotted on the belly and dashed on the side. Dark Smudge jokingly called him Morse Code for a bit, but the Admiral was having none 'o that. The kid's name is Bastian. I didn't mind the kid much when he was brought onboard. Long as he kept to his own, that was fine with me. Black Hawk, being the quiet sort he is, just took the kid in stride. Dark Smudge took a sniff and then kept his distance. The Admiral has Bastian in the loo for the time being to make sure we don't fight. Ha. She should be more worried for herself. She got a nick or two from transporting him to this strange place.

Captain's Log, 09 November 2014

Bastian is still in solitary confinement but getting curious. I saw him peeking under the door. I sat and talked to him a bit to see if he was warming up. He's a kit, to be sure. I like the kits. So much easier to train. He's not a bad sort, just frightened. He'll have to buck up to be on me crew.

Captain's Log, 12 November 2014

Bastian has emerged from solitary and is beginning to mingle among the crew. I showed him around our base and introduced him to the galley. Tch. Bottomless pit, he is! Well, he's a growing boy. Ugh, and sooo skittish! The littlest noises spook him and sending him running to the Admiral to hide. I'm going to call him Yello' Bastian if that boy keeps this up! I got no room on me ship for a 'fraidy cat.

Captain's Log, 25 November 2014

Well, give me a beak and call me Polly. Bastian might be yello' but that kit has him some strong claws. The Admiral has but one true weakness, and she hates them flying, stinging, yellow and black bugs. She can't speak or breathe when she confronts them. Not much I can do for her except try to comfort. Black Hawk and Dark Smudge have tried to catch 'em, but it always comes down to the Admiral and an impromptu weapon. I thought that was where we were going this time, what with the way I could see the Admiral on the verge of tears. Ole Yello' Bastian wasn't having none of that! He crept into the galley like spotted death, crouched, and leapt. Shut my mouth, he snatched that little stinger from the air and splatted it flat on the ground! He got extra treats for his efforts, and he sure earned them! That boy can hide from all the vacuum cleaners he wants if he can get rid of our enemies that fast!


Etta Jean was born in Sacramento, California and destined from birth to be a bard. She told tall tales while devouring the creative worlds of others until she finally had to create her own. She has seen both good and evil in her life, and her stories, like life, have no half measures. Her happy endings never come without cost, though, for she truly believes we can't appreciate the good and the joy without the bad and the pain along the way. Her current haunt is a comfy house in her beloved hometown where she wrangles three feline fur-kids while constantly overbooking her calendar. If she's not chained to her desk, she's stomping through the scenery in search of equally fantastical photographs.


CHRONICLE OF SUMMER is now available at for Kindle or for paperback. Etta's Summer Fest blog tour continues through February, and there are prizes to be won by commenting on the stops along the way.

CHRONICLE OF DESTINY, the original Chronicle tale, can be purchased from Amazon here:
@ettajeanfantasy on Twitter

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Encounter by Alana Lorens

New Mexico---a land of wonders beyond freak snowstorms. One of the New Mexico sightseeing trips the Harmonics trainers want to take while they're working with their law firm clients in the suspense novel ENCOUNTER is to see the nearby Earthships.

What's an Earthship?

An Earthship is a new sustainable form of housing springing up around the world. (attribution from Flickr, shot by Marvin's Dad, creative commons license granted)

They come in many shapes and sizes, as demonstrated by this video <>, and also in this article <> recently on the webzine High Existence, which sold me before I could even get to the scientific stuff. These recycled and sustainable houses are just amazing!

The main headquarters and launching pad for many of the new Earthships is at Earthship Biotecture ( in Taos, New Mexico. The Visitor's center introduces people to the form of house building, using recycled materials, solar panels, a cistern for water---and even has nightly rentals so you can experience the idea for yourself!

Here's another look at something a little different. (attribution from Flickr, shot by Little More Sunshine, creative commons license granted)

These things come in all shapes and sizes, using the recycled materials, especially old tires, as building blocks and sometimes as décor. So it's easy to see why these enthusiastic young outdoorsmen want to check them out! If only it didn't snow so soon...

Teo Haroun and the other lawyers in his firm look forward in varying degrees to the retreat at the Sherman Ranch in northern New Mexico. The boss has laid down some rules---no phones, no computers, no communication with the outside world---that makes them uneasy. But the
corporate team-building exercises are necessary for this firm to survive its inner sniping and turmoil---and to protect the secrets they hold.

Inez Suela and thirty other Mexicans have paid a coyote hundreds of pesos to take them across the border into the United States, where they hope to make a better life. The crowded truck heads north into New Mexico to meet their local driver, the occupants unaware that a freak March snowstorm is waiting in its path.

Jake Patrin, the caretaker of the Ranch, fights demons of his own as he struggles daily with addiction. Working far from the city on the lonely Ranch, hosting those who rent the facility, is his protection and solace. But he's about to lose the only peace he's been able to grasp.

Davi Pilar needs to make some fast money to appease a couple of St. Louis loan sharks, so he agrees to pick up a truckload of illegals and take them to St. Louis. He drives to New Mexico, not knowing that Inez, the woman who rejected him years before, is one of those on that truck.

The intersection of these people, the collision of their cultures, the revelation of their secrets---all these things lead to violence, death, and even redemption in their New Mexico ENCOUNTER.

Now available at
in ebook and paperback, and at 3 Fates Press