And with 50K, NaNoWriMo…hasn’t ended for me?

For probably the fifth or sixth time, the story hasn’t ended just because I cracked 50K–or, in the case of this year, the stories.  This year’s project, In The Beginning, is a collection of how key members of UNSETIC got their start in the United Nations Supernatural and Extraterrestrial Investigative Corps, including James McCullough and Bryn Knight, Timothy McConaway and Brigid O’Connell, AJ McConaway, Antony Bridger (brother of Lost Angel Chronicles character Hadrian Bridger and his wife, Ky), “Angel” Ridley Thys, and details the addition of the Portal Corps to UNSETIC’s banner.  The first story in the collection, Between Fang and Claw, is the story of how James McCullough got sucked in–and his first adventure with UNSETIC–and has clocked in at 35k itself and it’s not quite done (still have a chapter or two left to right, including a couple of climatic fight scenes).

Each story in the collection will be released on its own as an ebook once it is ready for sale.  They will later be collected into the In The Beginning collection for both e-sale and print sale.  I’m really excited about this collection, and while it’s not the direct sequel to What Angels Fear that some may have been waiting for, it is in the same universe and if you pay attention, you’ll see quite a few of the characters showing up–and end up with a deeper understanding of what’s going on with the Institute as well as what happens to some characters (such as Ridley Thys) in the future.

From the opening of Between Fang and Claw:

                “I don’t think I ever thanked you for coming down to help us out on that case.”  I watched as the Federal agent across from me dunked his sandwich in a little plastic cup of au jus.  “Not sure we could have cleared it without your expertise.”

                Agent Thatcher shrugged with one shoulder as he cradled the already soaking chunk of bread and meat in both hands.  “Worth it almost for the Italian beef.  You can’t get this up north.”

                “So I’m told,” I said, smiling humorlessly.  I leaned back, idly tapping a fork I wasn’t going to use against the edge of the table.  The sense of agitation I could feel coming off of him belied his calm exterior.  I shook my head slightly, trying to suppress a frown.  “Whatever you’re trying not to say you might as well let loose, Thatcher.  I know you’ve got something trapped behind your teeth.”

                He looked up from his plate, a brow quirking upward.  “How’s that?”

                I shrugged slightly.  “I just know.”

                Thatcher shook his head, glancing at the restaurant’s populace before relaxing a fraction.  “I’m beginning to see why you’re a rising star in the Bureau.  You’ve got a gift for reading people.”

                I didn’t say anything, just waited.  More was coming.

                He thinks it’s a dangerous gift.  Not dangerous to himself, though, or to anyone else.  Dangerous to me.

                I was hoping he was going to tell me why.

                Thatcher continued to stare at me for a moment longer before he shook his head slowly.  His voice was quiet.  “Body or mind?”

                I just smiled vaguely and he shook his head again.

                “They’d want you,” he murmured, almost to himself. “But with that article in the Tribune, they won’t be able to make you disappear.”

                My eyebrow arched of its own accord.  He smiled.

                “Your brother,” I said.  “Whatever we’re talking about now, it’s got something to do with your brother.”

                “Do you remember when Senator Monroe died?” he asked.

                “Why does someone from Detroit care about Illinois politics?” I countered, trying to hide how unsettling the question was.  What does that have to do with his brother?

                Thatcher nodded slowly.  “Then you remember.”

                “I was twelve and it was all over the news.  Big deal, state senator moving up to federal, then killed?  Every newspaper, every station carried the story.”  I’d have known without all that, though.  The senator’s wife had been a school friend of my mother.  It’d been nine years since the senator and his wife had been killed, though.  A car accident on I-80 killed them both.  Not everyone would remember.  I frowned.  “You know, they had a daughter.”

                “Seen her since then?”

                “No,” I said.  Not since the funeral, anyway.  What did end up happening to her?  Damn, that was a long time ago.  I could remember playing soccer in the yard with the senator’s dark-haired girl, but the memories of that were old, faint and fading.  She and Jade had been better friends anyway.

                I wonder if she knows.

                Thatcher nodded.  “Think about that.  She was like you.”

                “Like me,” I repeated.

                “Like you.  Gifted.  Special.”  Thatcher’s jaw tightened.  “Like my brother.”

                So that’s what this is about.  I caught a fleeting sense of anger and pain coming off of him.  “You think your parents were murdered.”

                “I know my parents were murdered,” Thatcher said.  “I think Senator Monroe and his wife were murdered.”  He met my gaze, eyes like a pair of flints, cold and hard.  “And I think the same people who did all that killing stole my brother and stole Kyle Anne Monroe, too.  I just can’t prove it.”

                “Not yet,” I said softly.  The bare trace of relief that flitted across his face told me I was right in my assertion.

                He nodded slowly.  “Not yet.  Someday.  Could be that I could use some help.  Think about that.”

                I nodded, not quite certain what he was really asking for, or what it all really meant.  “Yeah, sure,” I said.  “I’ll do that.”

                He smiled briefly and went back to his sandwich.  I stared at my hot dog.


                Does Dad know anything about this?

                I frowned to myself and realized that whatever appetite I’d had when we sat down, it’d evaporated when I pried Thatcher’s secret loose.  Not for the last time, I regretted talking it out him.  It was for the best, though.

                Now at least someone else knows the truth.  Something.  My gaze flicked back toward Thatcher.

                If they’d killed a senator, his wife, and two FBI agents to get to their children, what lengths would they go to in trying to silence anyone who even suspected the truth.

                I smiled grimly to myself.  He’s got to know something.  I’m just going to have to find out what it is.

Spot a What Angels Fear character in there?  Fantastic.  Figure out why McCullough is familiar yet?

Stay tuned for more updates!

What’s in the works…

I had intended to mostly update folks on the couple of editions of things that are in the works, but that seems silly because there’s so much that’s in the works right now.  We’ll just break it down by title and universe and work from there.

The Lost Angel Chronicles / UNSETIC Files

  • When All’s Said and Done (Lost Angel Chronicles) – This is the story of how Kyle, Ridley, and a motley crew including Julia, Kyle’s roommate Reece, FBI Agent Matthew Thatcher, and company try to rescue some of the other “angels” and bring down the Institute.  Will they succeed?  Will Kyle and Ridley end up in the clutches of the organization that once held them captive?  Only time will tell…
    Word Count: 29076 as of this writing (goaled for 85k+)
  • Girl from a Brigadoon (UNSETIC Files) – In 2027, a town that vanished more than ten years ago reappears in the wilds of Alberta, Canada.  Within that lost town is a New York woman who’s been missing for as much time–a woman who might hold the key to why the town vanished and why it reappeared.  New York regional lead for the United Nations Supernatural and Extraterrestrial Investigative Corps, Brigid O’Connell, is starting to realize exactly how much her organization doesn’t know about the “supernatural” angle of their investigations…
    Currently reassessing goaling.
  • Untitled project (UNSETIC Files) – After witnessing a friend’s miraculous healing ability aboard the USS Daedalus, Brigid O’Connell volunteers to join a new, secret division of the United Nations – UNSETIC, dedicated to investigating the unexplained and, in some cases, defending humanity from it.  She’s assigned to work with Timothy McConaway, a figure from her past that’s as much ghost as he is man.  When they’re sent to the Bering Sea to look into reports of a strange creature hassling a research team, O’Connell has to wonder if she’s cut out for the job–and if her partner is as crazy as she fears.
    Word Count: 9,814 as of this writing (Goaled for 35K+)
  • Two additional projects in this universe are in the works, both crossover pieces between the Lost Angel Chronicles and the UNSETIC Files.


  • Epsilon: Redeemer – Lucas Ross has made a promise to an Alliance spy: he’ll find a way to restore Ren Flannery’s memory come hell or high water.  The floodwaters are rising for the Resistance, though, as word of their success at Castion begins to make the Imperium believe that maybe, just maybe, the disorganized rabble they through the Resistance was is more dangerous than they originally believed…
    Word Count: 21,788 as of this writing (goaled for 90K+)
  • Epsilon: Spades over Kings – Working title for a little side project in the universe.
  • Another side project is planned but not in production, dealing with the investigation by Alliance Intelligence of Daniel Taylor’s disappearance when his son was eight years old.


  • War Drums – This is Book Two of the Awakenings series and looks to be on track to finish by Christmas…but we’ll see where the story takes me.
    Word Count: Over 100K as of this writing – another monster, probably longer than its predecessor.
  • Book One – Print edition is currently in final editing (when I pulled it from Word into InDesign and started to fix stylesheets, I lost a lot of italics, so I’m having to go back and make sure that there are italics where I want them).

Legacies of the Lost Earth

  • The Last Colony – This one is actually getting really close to finish; probably only a few more chapters until done.
    Word Count: Over 80K as of this writing (which makes it just about as long as Broken Stars).
  • Ashes to Ashes – Book two of Legacies of the Lost Earth will pick up very soon after the ending of The Last Colony — but when I begin to post it is another question entirely!
  • Untitled third installment – I do intend for Legacies of the Lost Earth to be a trilogy, but that may change depending on where the words take me.

In addition to everything listed above, I have a full-time day job, a boyfriend, and a few projects currently in production that I’m not at liberty to discuss.

Stay tuned for more updates–and excerpts–in the future!

I am, indeed, still alive…

What few normal visitors I have to this site will be gratified to learn that I am, in fact, still alive despite rumors to the contrary.  It’s been a busy summer so far and it’s not over yet.

Just to recap what’s been going on lately…

  • In April, I quit my job of six years at a major retailer of womens’ clothing sizes 14-28.  It was more than time for a change.
  • At the end of April/beginning of May, I started a new job, one with normal 8-5 hours (or 10-7 hours, but  more on that later), an hour for lunch, and good stuff like that.  One of the best parts about this job?  I don’t work weekends.  One of the worst parts about this job?  I generally get up at 6:30 to be at my desk by ten minutes to eight every morning.  Because I’m getting to be an old fart (stop laughing) it’s become increasingly difficult for me to function on anything less than six (or eight…) hours sleep, but I’m working on it.
  • I ate through my backlogs of both Awakenings and The Last Colony, so that eats up a chunk of writing time four days a week.
  • I’m working on the edits for print editions of Epsilon: Broken Stars and Awakenings Book One.  The unfortunate part of converting the files from Word to InDesign and then attempting to fix all of the errors in stylesheets (have I mentioned that I hate those styles sometimes?) was that I lost massive chunks of italics, so the process is taking longer than it should be.
  • I’ve discovered that I actually like to read again.  In order to wind down at night before I try to sleep, I end up reading for a couple hours.  This understandably cuts into writing time but is probably good for my sanity.
    • None of what I said above is helped by the fact that many of the series that I was waiting on the next books of have been released since May.  There’s one more coming in August (Caitlin Kittredge’s Soul Trade) that I’m eagerly awaiting, then it looks like things might settle down a little bit…unless I discover that the next Lightbringer book is out, or the next Graveyard Queen book.  I think I’m safe on Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices…for now.
  • Got rolling on a second draft of Epsilon: Redeemer.  It will be interesting.  Of course, then I got distracted because….
  • I had to get back to working on the sequel to What Angels Fear.  Especially because my aunt said her “friend” read it and is now demanding that I write a sequel (and wants to know when it’s coming out).  Coincidentally, this is the aunt that said she wasn’t going to read anything before I wrote my memoirs (she’s an English teacher).  So as I got to working on the immediate sequel to What Angels Fear, other things began to rear their fair heads and demand to at least in part be committed to paper.  These include:
    • A currently untitled Lost Angels/UNSETIC crossover involving Hadrian Bridger (Ky Thatcher’s main squeeze and Ridley’s former roommate at the Institute), Ridley, and Commander Brigid O’Connell (UNSETIC universe).
    • A currently untitled stand-alone piece about a girl named Caitlin and a boy named Thaddeus using virtual reality tech developed for an MMO to predict threats to life, limb, and national security.  This is also set in the Lost Angels/UNSETIC universe, like many of my works in the modern/near future.
  • Also continued some work on what may or may not be the first UNSETIC piece released (Girl from a Brigadoon is becoming more complex than I anticipated, but what do you expect from one’s first psuedo-mystery?), which is the story of Brigid O’Connell and Timothy McConaway’s first mission together with UNSETIC.

So, in a word, I’ve been busy.  I am hoping to be less busy at some point, but the date of that remains to be seen.  I’m attempting WebSeWriMo again this year, and I’ve set a somewhat ambtious goal for myself in hoping I can get twenty installments for Awakenings written in the month of August (which is just about one a day, with ten days off to work on other stuff) with secondary goals to finish the edits to Awakenings Book One for print and a tertiary goal of finishing Awakenings Book Two.

It strikes me that Book Two should have an actual title, but titles are hard.  I’ll have to think about that.

Schedule updates – scrapping the schedule

I’m scrapping the schedule–again.  We’ve been without a full time manager at the store, which meant that the other part time and I have been picking up a lot of slack (it’s a lot of store to run on three managers, let me tell you that much).  Instead of a full-on schedule, I have some deadlines roughed out, which now include some print versions of some already-released work.

Currently on tap:

  • Print version of What Angels Fear (including a brief essay on writing the work) – hopefully by the end of March.
  • Finishing up Epsilon: Redeemer, Girl from a Brigadoon, and When All’s Said and Done.
    • Tentative release time frames (all of these are subject to change and are for the ebook release; trade paper/print versions are a little later than the ebook release):
      • April – Girl from a Brigadoon
      • May – Epsilon: Redeemer
      • June – The Last Colony

I’ve got a couple of projects kicking around that will be released under a psuedonym that (for the moment) shall remain unrevealed.

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Redeemer” goal=”80000″ current=”65201″ label=”words”]

[progpress title=”When All’s Said and Done (a Lost Angel Chronicle)” goal=”85000″ current=”20018″ label=”words”]

[progpress title=”UNSETIC Files: Girl from a Brigadoon” goal=”45000″ current=”23642″ lable=”words”]

For anyone following the word count meters, they’ve probably noticed that I’ve been making good progress largely on Girl from a Brigadoon, though this past week I’ve put in some work on When All’s Said and Done and Epsilon: Redeemer.  The latter is probably going to significantly eclipse its word count goal and be longer than Epsilon: Broken Stars.

Speaking of Broken Stars, stay tuned later this week for a post revealing what my sales have looked like the past few months since I started releasing ebooks.  I’m still waiting on some numbers (Kobo, etc.) from some of the Smashwords distribution channels, but I can show off some preliminaries.  They’re not that impressive, but they’re “whole dollars!” as my brother puts it.

You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ And on Smashwords @

And Amazon @

She offers two free fiction serials @ and  Stop on by and check it out.


When projects attack…

Anyone who follows me in any social media venue knows that I’ve got a new project chewing on my synapses lately.  I’m one of those unfortunates who can’t shove ideas away because they just keep coming back again.  They become relentless and won’t let me work on anything else, regardless of how much I may need to.  This was the case a few weeks ago, when I started working on an UNSETIC short.

At least, it was supposed to be a a short.  It was also supposed to be freewriting, something to just get the tale out of my system so I could get back to work on Redeemer, When All’s Said and Done, and other various projects.  Instead, it’s become all-consuming.

It all began with this:

            “There are places in the world, Doctor, that we leave off maps because no one can get inside in the first place,” the Canadian G-man shouted over the sound of the wind.  “You try to drive into them and suddenly pop out on the other side.  We don’t understand how it works, we just know it happens.”

            “I’m aware of the phenomenon,” El Stone yelled back over the sound of the rotors.  The former crime scene investigator held on to one of the oh-shit bars as she peered out the helicopter’s window at the trees below.  “But that doesn’t tell me why I’m here.”  Here was the ass-end of Alberta, somewhere up in forests so damned thick that no one would’ve noticed if they’d missed a twenty-mile stretch even if they’d been looking for the gap.  The sort of places they were discussing were rarely that large–mostly, the places omitted from the maps were two to five square mile areas, tops.  In the business, they called them Brigadoons when they reappeared, for the musical.  She knew that because she’d read the files on the flight up to Edmonton from the States.  There had been little else to do on the flight.

            The G-man pointed to a clearing that hosted a small village and a narrow roadway that spiraled out of the forest.  It hadn’t been on the maps she’d seen before they’d left the RCAF base.  Her heart began to beat a little faster.

            “One of them just opened up.”

Now, let’s be honest, I’ve tweaked it a touch since I wrote that first bit, but that’s literally how it began.  The dialogue and the images caught me in the side of the head, much like the idea for What Angels Fear did a couple years ago.  Unlike What Angels Fear, however, I knew fairly quickly who the story was actually about.  It took me until this past weekend to come up with a title, however, and the title is Girl from a Brigadoon.

The story, of course, is about the titular girl–a woman, actually–who’s been missing for fifteen years.  It’s a paranormal yarn, a mix of mystery, fantasy, and suspense.  In other words, it’s something that I’m a bit out of my depth trying to write, since mysteries have never been my bag.  I don’t tend to read them and I’m feeling a bit beyond my ken trying to write one.  But the idea has been persistent and it won’t let me not write it.

I keep having to revise my word count goal upward as the ideas trickle in, because there’s no way it’s going to be anything under 40k words at this point.  I’m already nearing 14k words, and it’s only chapter three.  It’s going to be some hard work, but it feels right.

For people who have known me for a long time–as a writer and as a gamer both–there will be some familiar faces in the text.  Brigid O’Connell figures prominently in the story as one of the investigators and AJ McConaway is playing quirky, perky sidekick every so often, thanks to an (annoying) absence of her twin brother Tim.  Then of course, there’s Rebecca Reid, who the story really belongs to.

She is, after all, the girl from the Brigadoon.

Keep an eye on Twitter and such for ranting, whining, and occasional progress updates.

You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ And on Smashwords @

And Amazon @

She offers two free fiction serials @ and  Stop on by and check it out.