I’m Asking for Votes

Best Novella

Best Novella


I have become a finalist for Best Novella of 2014 – however – in order to 'win' I need at least 20 votes. Your vote would go a long way to helping put 'The Emissary' in the top spot.

This is the link where you can vote: e-Festival of Words – Best Novella

You must register in order to vote. It’s free and I’ve never had any spam from this site.

“The Emissary: Journey” the first book of “Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse.” I’m getting ready to send the second installment of the series to the copy editor.

“The Emissary” is a horse story as well as an adventure tale. The McLeod sisters use their horses to fight, as the Roman’s did, and as sentries with a keen sense of smell. I have always thought that horses were a better choice for the Zombie Apocalypse because of their instincts and the fact they eat grass not gasoline. The bow is the weapon of choice for the McLeod sisters because bows are quiet and arrows are reusable. The McLeods prefer stealth and agility over loud engines and bullets.

“The Emissary” is about how women could survive the Zombie Apocalypse – without the sterotypical roles of helpless-female or heartless Amazon. It’s my way of exploring the Apocalypse from a completely female point of view – cooperation, team work, empowering the weak and protecting the helpless, with a touch of humor.

The McLeod sisters are down-to-earth girls who have complete confidence in their training, their horses and each other. The Davidson clansmen who think they’re superior with their trucks and machine guns are in for a surprise.

Please feel free to get the e-book here:

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse it is free on Smashwords.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon US The e-book is $0.99 here.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon UK The e-book is 0.99 here.

In a world where the dead walk the land, Bethany McLeod must leave the safety of her fortress home to take her sisters Alexis, Dani and Julie cross-country to Fort Chatten, Kentucky. Alexis McLeod is a healer, nurse and pharmacist, eager to prove herself at Fort Chatten. Led by Bethany, the four sisters risk their lives to help the struggling Davidson clan.

It’s just three years since the Zombie Apocalypse. The McLeod and Davidson’s clans survive in a world where the muerto viviente – walking dead – infest the cities and towns. Armed to the teeth, the sisters are horse archers, a light cavalry quiet enough to avoid the muerto, or fast enough to outrun them. Militia, marauders and mad-men abound, the stinking dead walk the land, eating everything in their path.

Can four women and six horses make a hundred mile journey through the Zombie Apocalypse and arrive alive? What will they find if they get to Fort Chatten?

This story is suitable for all ages.

Don’t go change that channel!


Finalist! Best Novella of 2014



“The Emissary: Journey” which is the first book of “Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse” has made the finals for Best Novella of 2014.

Now, it needs your votes.

However, the site is now DOWN.


I guess I’m not the only person who is broadcasting their good fortune…and begging for votes.

I wil post the links as soon as the site is back up.

Don’t go change that channel!

The Emissary – Deleted Scene

If you know me from authonomy, then you know that I’m a POV (Point of View) Nazi. I don’t allow myself to headhop – or add a POV character that will only have one scene, or maybe two at most.

So I’ve got some scenes I deleted because they don’t fit.

This is one of them:

The Emissary – Part III

Liz walked through the gate between the sections. She almost locked the gate behind her, but remembered that Candy was still with the travelers.
Candy would be sure to lock it behind her.
She had to tell Rob and the other men about the alliance with the clans. They had to agree. They would starve otherwise.
Erica stirred the soup pot. Rabbit skin and guts lay in a bucket on the ground next to her. Candy’s daughter Missy cried as she seared the meat in a frying pan.
“I boiled the beans first, now I’m cooking them in fresh water.” Erica looked at Missy with compassion. “She did it herself, poor baby. She’s so brave.”
They’d been living on the razor’s edge of starvation for so long that a couple of pounds of beans was a treasure. There were three quart jars of beans on the picnic table, next to a bunch of spring onions.
“Save some to plant,” Liz suggested. “We can have our own beans in the fall.” They’d raked gravel, made beds, used rabbit manure and leaves to make mulch. The plants were sprouting, but had only produced greens. Salads didn’t fill the bellies of hungry children, or adults, but salads kept them alive.
The bunnies thrived on a diet of weeds. The doe just produced her second litter of six. The meat searing was the largest of the first litter. There were only five bunnies left.
Liz mentally counted her supplies. Five rabbits, three pounds of beans, twenty cans of vegetables and five of soup, that was it. She longed for bread, thick, crusty French bread smothered in butter.
She found her husband in the far corner of the garden, where he was least likely to be overheard, talking to Orlando, Bryan and Chris. It was even worse than she feared – they were plotting to kill the travelers.
“One horse will feed us for a month,” Chris said. “We can keep them alive until we need the meat.”
“You can’t!” Liz trotted up to them. “You can’t – they’ll help us.”
“Their supplies will feed everyone.”
“No – don’t! Listen to me!” Liz grabbed Rob and made him look at her. “They want an alliance.”
“Don’t be a fool.” Chris scoffed. “We don’t have shit they need.”
“These are clans! We don’t know how many of them there are.” Liz tried another tack. “If we kill them, the others will attack us.”
“Clans, clams – it’s all bullshit.” Bryan rolled his eyes. “They’re nobody and nothing without their horses.”
“Listen to me – please?”
“Okay, guys give her a chance to speak.” Rob hushed the other men.
“Beth is an emissary from the McLeod’s to the Davidson’s Clan. She said they’d give us beans and rice if we agree to let them stay here again.”
“Come here? Why?” Bryan gave her disgusted look.
“They’ll help us! Please, Rob, think of our boys!” Liz could see that Rob had already made up his mind. She was going to have to warn the travelers – tell them to get away.
“Nobody said a word to me about it,” Rob sounded petulant.
“I just spoke to Beth not five minutes ago. She wants an alliance.”
“What is this, ‘Survivor’ in the Zombie Apocalypse?” Chris sneered.
“Rob, please!” Liz forced him to make eye contact again. “Think about more than tomorrow, think about the rest of this year. Think about next year.”
They all looked at her blankly – making the transition was difficult for all of them. Just as difficult as it had been for her.
“This place is safer than any place we’ve been in three years. We can make it here. We just need some help – they’ll help us if we give them a safe place to stay. Look around – we’ve got more junk than we know what to do with. We can trade some of that for food, seeds and medicine.” Her voice cracked. “We can stop living from hand to mouth and start over.”
“Start what over?” Orlando asked.
“Civilization,” Liz said, near tears with the force of her feelings. Just the thought of civilization, of bread and whole clothing, was enough to make her cry. “We can’t do it alone. But with an alliance, with the two clans, we have a chance.”
“It sounds good,” Rob said in his ‘keep the peace’ voice. “But one of those horses will feed us for weeks, and give us leather for shoes. They’ve got seven horses, more food than we’ve seen in months.”
“At least talk to Beth.”
“Honey, we’ve got kids to feed.”
Liz looked at her husband for a moment. He’d made up his mind. She looked Orlando, Bryan and Chris, thugs who were always pushing at Rob. He’d have to do this just to save face. The other wouldn’t let him change his mind.
Candy had it right. Men had destroyed the old world, now it was up to women to make it right. She spun on her heel, her keys jangled with each step.
When she got to the gate, she locked it behind her. She had the only key.
They could stay in the garden until they saw reason.
Until they saw things her way.


Drumroll – Please!

TheEmissaryFinal - part 1

I started uploading ‘The Emissary’ to e-book vendors last night.

I feel its premature to sound the horns and all that. I’ve no idea how long Pubit will take to process the e-book. However, sometime after midnight – I uploaded ‘The Emissary’ to Barnes & Noble’s Pubit.

The reason I’m not crowing: it can take 2 months to get an e-book actually available on B&N.

That’s right – TWO MONTHS.

So there would be, IMHO no more foolish action than to start plugging the poor book before it was actually available.

The last e-book I uploaded to Kobo took 3 weeks to process. Another place where you don’t want to upload at the last minute before you start advertising.

Smashwords, while painfully slow to pay – is usually good about getting the e-books available all but instantly – if you can get passed the AutoVetter of Meatgrinder.

Amazon – well – yes, it’s faster, however there are SO many e-books this one may never make a splash.

So I’m doing this a small step at a time. See if I can get the turtle-slow vendors in place first.

You DO know that I want to shout this from the rooftops, right?

I’m being SO restrained – it’s like a scene from 50 Shades of Tie Me Up and Spank Me.

No, really!

‘The Emissary” on Nook book.

“The Emissary” on Kobo Books

Tick-tock, Tick-tock – Waiting to Publish


Happy Easter

Shades of ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ – I sit in my den, banging away at the laptop, listening to the clock tick and getting antsier by the moment.

Maybe it’s the coffee?

I want to publish ‘The Emissary’ right this very moment. I was up until two A.M.  working on the prologue and the blurb. I’ve handed it off for a final read-through to some trusted readers – and the copy editor – for one-last-look-before-I-pull-the-trigger.

I tried to clean stalls yesterday – didn’t get very far. However, it was progress. Top it all off – I’ve got a freaking cold – on Easter Sunday, AND I’m out of chocoate!

Not that I’m whining (whinging for my UK friends) mind you.

There always seems to be those last-minute tweaks: A bit of this, a dash of that, a missed word, a comma misplaced. And for dyslexics like myself, the possibility that I didn’t catch a correction. (Maybe it’s old age and blindness, not dyslexia?)

I’m excited to have this little action-adventure story out into the world. It’s a fun read, very ‘Girl-Power’ for horsewomen and the guys will like it too. (No mushy stuff…in Part 1). I think the understory, the difference between our ‘techno-dependent’ culture and a the ‘Earth-first’ application of that technology, will come out without sounding preachy. The women of Dunvegan have embraced the need to turn back the clock – while the men of Fort Chatten cling to technology that will quickly wear out.

One might be able to recycle bullet casings, but the technology that created the refined gunpowder is gone, along with 80% of the population. One might be able to distill alcohol to fuel a truck, but the parts will wear out. There is always a more successful scavenger up the food chain – so things like gas, tires, bullets and food become instantly scarse – and get more expensive with every day that passes. Meanwhile, currency has lost it’s value, credit cards are useless and without fuel and fertilizer – where does food come from?

Not long ago – I expressed the opinion that Dystopian has a hold on us because there is an inner ‘wild beast’ that wants to shed the trappings of civilization and roam free once again. We each have a wild side – one that wants to hunt, gather and howl at the moon. That’s why we grow restless in spring – it’s time to pack up and migrate to fresh grass and new places.

Well, this spring is late – someone needs to shoot the groundhog.

Meanwhile, the clock ticks and I’m chomping at the bit.

New Book Cover!

TheEmissary3dThis is the link to the new book cover.

Katie Stewart has been darling while I’ve been a fusspot.

I know my audience of horse lover’s is SO picky about being able to identify a breed. So I’ve been driving the poor dear to distraction with details of the horse’s head. However, I haven’t had to say a word about color and compostion.

I recommend her as a stylistic cover artist any time.


Trouble With a Title

ImageI’m good with one-liners and smart-ass remarks, so I don’t often have trouble making up titles.


But this one is kicking my butt.

The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words had better be right. Otherwiser, I’m going to have a crap-load of explaining to do.

I don’t want to explain the book, so I’m working with a cover artist.

I trust the book cover is going to do for me what will take a couple hundred words to do otherwise.

Some writers, okay, KKR* and DWS** say all covers should look the same for a writer. Building a brand. If that’s true, I’m in deep do-do (or don’t-don’t) because I’m using one pen name for a covers of a different genre. It may not work. But I can’t imagine having my WIP cover look like ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ – any more than it could look like ‘Swallow the Moon’.

<<< Sigh >>>

Anyways – this is my next attempt at a title for my Zombie Apocalypse story.

Wait until you get to see the cover – it will blow your mind!