Men From the Horizon

Tall ship sailing against the sunrise - cover for Men from the Horizon
This was inspired by disability and steampunk. I thought about what it was like for the Hawaiians when the first missionaries came to the island and what they might have offered.

Men visit Rewa’s island with monstrous automatons and promises–and the ability to help her walk normally again.  They just want to farm the sugar cane fields for Rewa and her people.  If one farmer agrees, everyone will agree.  The decision hangs on what Rewa does.  And no matter what her decision Rewa makes, it will cost her.

A science fiction short story available from your favorite booksellers.

Science Fiction Books

After seeing Star Trek and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, I have a special love for adventuring out into space.  There weren’t many women in the science fiction books I read growing up, so I have lots of women having adventures.  Links to pages with blurbs coming soon.

GALCOM Universe Series

Spaceship orbiting a planet  Space station orbits planet. Shuttle heads for station  Cover of spaceship near planet as shuttle heads below





Science Fiction Short Stories

Back of man with digital code on his skin  Cover for 5 Futuristic Women Cover for Alien Traps




Cover for New Robot Smell A woman space soldier stretches. Tall ship sailing against the sunrise - cover for Men from the Horizon




A spaceship hovers above an alien landscape, a planet in the background  Cover for Sky Hair, a planet against a cliff backdropBrain with lightning




Cover art for Curseo of the Cat

Men From the Horizon

Tall ship sailing against the sunrise - cover for Men from the Horizon

Men visit Rewa’s island with monstrous automatons and promises–and the ability to help her walk normally again. They just want to farm the sugar cane fields for Rewa and her people. If one farmer agrees, everyone will agree. The decision hangs on what Rewa does. And no matter what her decision Rewa makes, it will cost her.

Available from your favorite booksellers or $1.99.  Amazon and Smashwords.

Publications for July

My short story The Stones Next Door is out in Tales of Talisman.Cover for Tales of the Talisman

This story was inspired by a rather odd historical site in my area, a graveyard .  The graveyard’s always been there, and is sealed off with a heavy duty iron fence.  The stones are probably limestone, and they’re eroded, broken, and falling over.

Developers built a house behind it.  Because of the way this is all laid out, the graveyard is what you see, not the house.  Can you imagine giving directions to your house — just look for the graveyard?

Also out for July:

Cover art for Curseo of the Cat

Curse of the Cat

Edward Wight still has dreams from a war twenty years past, but his new nightmare is a cursed painting. Everyone who comes in contact with this artist’s work dies. Edward’s only chance at a different fate lies with Maz, a widow who specializes in newfangled inventions, but she must act fast—he’s running out of time.

Cover - Layers2 - May 2015

Layers: A Desert Storm Veteran and September 11

On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever when four planes crashed, including one that struck the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Linda Maye Adams describes the events of the day in Washington DC from a Desert Storm veteran’s perspective. This story moves chronologically through what happened and how it impacted the people who lived in that area, capturing the emotion of an unforgettable day.




Publication Schedule — Books for Release

This is a list of my books coming out for the next few months.

June 2015

Writer's Guide to Military Culture

A Writer’s Guide to Military Culture

This was from an online class I did for Forward Motion in 2012.

July, 2015

Cover art for Curseo of the Cat

Curse of the Cat

A Steampunk fantasy short story

Cover - Layers2 - May 2015

Layers: A Desert Storm Veteran and September 11

It’s surprising to think that we aren’t that far away from the 20th anniversary.  This was originally published in a collection curated by Holly Lisle called Together We Stand in 2002.

August, 2015

Cover for Panters Guide to Writing You are Not BrokenPantser’s Guide to Writing: You are not broken!

There are only TWO other books for people who don’t outline by people who write that way.

The other two:

  • Story Trumps Structure by Steven James
  • Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith

Soldier, Storyteller: A Woman Soldier Goes to War

Soldier, Storyteller: A Woman Soldier Goes to War

This is a compilation of my blog posts from last year, but it also includes some additional entries and a poem that did not appear on the blog.

Covers, Covers, and More Covers

It’s a lot of fun putting together the covers.  I like hunting down the images and playing around with them.  The only danger is that I have to be careful not spending too much time working on them (like research disease, only graphics disease).

My first cover for June is for a steampunk short story called “Curse of the Cat” (coming out in July).  The was inspired by a very old story I ran across about a painting of a cat that caused men to commit suicide.

Cover art for Curseo of the CatA Writer’s Guide to Military Culture started life as a workshop I did on Forward Motion about three years ago (yes, I like color!).  That’s on tap for the next copy edit, so it’ll be out later in June.

Writer's Guide to Military Culture


New Covers: “Booby-Trap” and “Layers”

I’ve been working on my cover for my short story, “Booby-Trap,” which turned out to take longer than I thought it would.  The image itself was hard to find because most of the images of women in fantasy involve clothing that wouldn’t even count as a bikini.

I finally settled on an image that I thought would do the job for the setting.  However, when I started building the cover, I couldn’t sample any of the colors to do the titles.  Sampling is when you use a color already in the image.  In this case, I couldn’t get enough contrast on any of the colors.  The titles and my name were hard to read!

So back to the drawing board to find a different image.  Since the story is steampunk, I looked at a lot of images.  Most involved women in garter belts.  I finally flipped it to Photos only and found the one below.

And I still ended up with the same problem — getting enough of the contrast.  I finally expanded the picture bigger and then cloned the spots to a darker color where I was having the most trouble.

Cover is below, finally!

Cover - Booby-Trap - May 2015

The second one was more difficult simply because of the topic, September 11.  The original article was published by Holly Lisle in Together We Stand on the first year anniversary. I was in Washington, DC when the plane crashed into the Pentagon, and Iived close enough to see the smoke from the fires.  So I wasn’t sure when the call was put out that I could actually write it, and yet, it just came out.

It’s time now that it be resurrected.

For the cover, I started by looking at other 911 books.  Most featured the New York skyline or the twin towers.  Since mine was about Washington, DC, NY skyline was out.  I also didn’t like a lot of the options when I searched for 911 and September 11.  All of those choices were clearly NY, and I didn’t want to put a rose on the cover.  So I went with a Washington DC skyline.

Those are getting ready to go to the copy editor as soon as they come up for air from the holiday.

Cover - Layers2 - May 2015


Old Writing Habits Die Hard

I’ve been working on a steampunk fantasy short story this week. Steampunk is kind of like what Wild, Wild West or The Adventures of Briscoe County was. It’s set in the age of invention, where inventions could be fun and creative, all with a bit of rebellion wrapped in.

However, I don’t play well with historical. I’ve never enjoyed research.

Part of the problem is how history and research was taught in school. It was a list of facts that could be put on a test. I’m better at big picture than details, so I never did well with remembering obscure facts. The other part of the problem is how writers sometimes treat it: as if they were being graded. They have to research every single detail to make sure that the 1% of the audience who might know that fact won’t call them out as being wrong.

But I was reading Lessons of a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell, and he said the following:

“The point is, research should be considered a reward and not a penance that you have to go through before you start writing.”

That made me think about if I could feel like it was less of homework in school. The truth is that it may always be something that I may never enjoy much.

But that’s how the steampunk story came in. I’ve been having a terrible time getting setting into the story at all, and that’s something that separates the pro writers from the beginners.

Steampunk fantasy is all about setting, so it would really push my learning curve.

The idea came out of a book I was reading on the construction of the Washington Monument. I’ve been exploring books to see what era or type of books will interest me, since it will help my writing overall.

Wasn’t thinking about the story at all when I was reading.

Then I saw an anthology call and thought it might work.

The story is called Stain of Ghost.

My approach was to take a single historical event and keep it in one place. That way I can focus on just a small piece of the time and work at getting the setting and the story to work together.

But took a lot longer than expected. I felt like was remapping myself. I kept looking at the random parts of the story and thinking:

“It’s not coming together. It’s nothing coming together.”

There were six scenes. I tried writing the first two scenes, and it was all over the place while I tried to figure out how to get the historical setting in without getting me overwhelmed by the history.   Then I wrote Scene 4, where I needed setting, not history, and something went “Click.”

I tossed about 1K for the first scenes and started those scenes over again. This time, I had gone out to Fort Washington that Saturday, and it was foggy out on the river. So I started with fog on the Potomac as well as something a coworker said to me about March (“She’s a cranky month.”). Suddenly I had three scenes done, looked at the fourth.

Wait? Was I almost done?

It sneaked up on me and was done.

Week 4 of 10 Weeks of 10 Stories

Woman in dress from the Civil War
I took this at a Civil War fashion show a few years ago. The woman hand-made this costume herself.

Story #4’s idea started with a book on cats published in the 1920s.  There was a short blurb about a painting of a cat with eyes that followed you.  Those eyes supposedly drove the owners to commit suicide.  I tried to do it as a story, but I couldn’t figure out really how to resolve it.

So I put it back on the plate for the 10 Stories in 10 Weeks.  I was going to ignore the earlier attempts and start fresh.  I was in critique group, and one of the members mentioned a story that gave me a perfect idea for part of the execution.  Then it hit me: “Crap.  I’ll have to do research.”

A story in a week doesn’t allow much time for research, and this new bit would have required a lot of it.  Could I change it so I didn’t need to the research?  The story became steampunk, using a technology solution.

But it was still stubborn and didn’t come together.  My travel to Balticon, and then to Virginia Beach might not have helped … It was sort of like I had all these different pieces, but not the story itself.  I couldn’t figure out how to open it, and I wasn’t entirely happy just having a technology solution.

One of the problems was that I needed to establish the setting.  I got too focused on establishing the problem and not on the other parts  necessary to resolve it.  Once I got the setting into the story, it started to come together.  I did have to do some research, but only small stuff:

Women’s Fashion in the 1880s – I was looking for a picture I could describe, and I wanted something with a more unusual color.  In cons, the Steampunk costumes are usually brown and white and not the glorious colors the Victorian period is known for.

Historical Fashion – More pictures!  The blue dress is what inspired my female character’s clothes.

Women’s Hairstyles in the 1880s – I was glad I looked this up.  I was thinking a more severe hairstyle than the one described here.

By the way, the male main character is a war veteran, and disabled, and has post traumatic stress syndrome.

Now I have to figure out where to send it …

For more of 10 Weeks of 10 Stories:

Week 2: 10 Weeks of 10 Stories

A meadow that was used for a Civil War Battle.
It’s hard to believe this was the site of a Civil War battle. Yet, it’s where the Battle of First Manassas was.

10 Weeks of 10 Stories

Story #2 is off to a magazine for their May 31 deadline.  It was a steampunk story, set in an alternate universe for the Civil War. I made use of a trip to the Manassas National Battlefield Park a few years ago, plus some research for a shelved Civil War novel.  In it, women have been recruited into the army because too many men were killed, and they were going to lose without the extra people.

It was a lot of fun to write, though I’ll admit the first day of it was in panic, thinking, “This story is never going to work.”  Day 2 was only slightly better, and then Day 3, it began to work.

Not sure what the next story will be yet.  I have two ideas, but once isn’t due until October, and the other I can’t send until June.

See also: