Charity Update for Preorders

Serious post today, guys. This is a very important update for legal reasons.

Shard & Shield cover
I chose a charity relevant to the story, that I’d learned more about during research. Oops.

Sometimes you have good intentions, and yet it just doesn’t work out like you intended.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I do the occasional charity benefit. Cupcake the Dinosaur likes to appear at community events and raise money for, say, the local animal shelter or Needy Family Fund. I have sold books for charity fundraising before and participated in the Giftmas campaign each year for the Edmonton Food Bank. And most recently, I pledged to donate two dollars for every preorder sale of Shard & Shield to a specific charity organization.

Well, it turns out that was illegal.

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Books! Free Books!

I’m participating in a big book giveaway, which opens today! Take your choice of 100 free books, all fantasy, and also get a chance to win a $100 gift card.

Can you find 10 new books to try, for free? After all, you’ll need something to fill the countdown time to Shard & Shield! :D (I recommend Earthcore: Rotovegas by Grace Bridges, my GeyserCon con chair, if you like YA and geothermal superpowers. And who doesn’t like geothermal superpowers?)

Check out the giveaway here and happy reading!

Shard & Shield: Preorders & Loot & Charity

Today is the official start of Shard & Shield‘s preorder countdown, and I’ve got goodies to share!

Got a minute? Let me tell you about what’s available if you order your copy in advance. Bonus: You get the sadistic glee of watching me try to be all professional as cold rain intensifies. (It’s winter in New Zealand, where I recorded this just a couple weeks ago.)

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GeyserCon Report & Rotorua

After our backpacking trip, Jon and I traveled to Rotorua to get ready for GeyserCon, New Zealand’s 2019 national science fiction and fantasy convention.

We got into town a little early, so we stayed at a tourist cottage with Grace Bridges, con chair. Grace booked us into one of her regular favorite places, where we had hot pools and a hot beach and a steaming stream and warning signs all over the yard about the ground potentially burning your feet, be sure to wear shoes.

Rotorua is one of a very few (countable on one hand with fingers left over) communities in the world built on an active geothermal site.

Lake Rotorua, on whose shore our cottages sat, is a water-filled caldera, still active. You can walk along the beach and find little hot springs bubbling up through the sand and lake. This is a good place to wriggle your toes in — but be careful, because it’s easy to find one that’s too hot.

Note the bubbles coming up between my toes.

Remember those chilly wades we had in Abel Tasman? This was the opposite. Even though we were less than a week from the official start of winter, I waded into Lake Rotorua and, with chilly lake water biting at my legs, pushed my toes into the sand to find the heat. My ankles were cold, but my feet were warm.

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The Abel Tasman Track: A Great Walk of New Zealand

I’ve just completed a four-day trek through Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand, along the stunning Abel Tasman Track. I wasn’t going to go all the way to New Zealand for GeyserCon, where I was an author guest, and not fit in some tramping!

We flew into Auckland, sent our convention luggage (books, costumes, normal clothing, etc.) on to Rotorua, and immediately caught a flight for Nelson, where we stayed in a cozy studio (referral link to save $25 anywhere) hosted by the delightful Kate. It was just upon our arrival to Nelson that Jon informed me our cookstove, meant to give us hot food over our four days of late autumn hiking and chilly wading, had also gone on to Rotorua. Oops. Kate was kind enough to give us a 7 am ride to a local store to pick up a cheapo model before our trailhead pickup.

We got a ride into Marahau, a town at the southern edge of the national park, from Abel Tasman Aquataxi. We confirmed the time and location of our next pickup four days later and crossed the street to pick up a local walkway that would lead to the national park entrance.

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Cover Reveal: Grimm, Grit & Gasoline

“Magic mixes with grease and jazz in this fantastic new anthology that brims with strong heroines, diverse settings, and a heaping helping of Nazi-punching.”

—Nebula Award-nominated Beth Cato, author of Breath of Earth

That’s the early word on Grimm, Grit, & Gasoline, a dieselpunk fairy tale collection. And today we get to see the cover!

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