UPRISING and balance

On the dedication page of Uprising (released today!), you’ll find a quote from Lanaril Satran, the Lead Templar of Blacksun Temple. Being a templar, Lanaril is of course speaking on several levels. “The body” can refer to an individual, a couple, a community—or an entire culture. Uprising 

The brain radio

Our brains do amazing things while we sleep: solve problems, sort out emotions, file memories, make non-linear associations that our conscious, more logical brains can’t manage. Mine also plays music. I wake up most mornings with a tune playing in my head. It happens to 

Alsea lovers: This is the one you’ve been waiting for

One of the best things about writing a series is the ability to have long-term story arcs running through multiple books. There are a number of those in the Chronicles of Alsea, one of which has been running since Book One.

And now we’re on Book Eight.

I’m delighted to announce that Uprising will be released on Friday, April 19, just in time for the Easter weekend. And it’s a barn burner, answering many questions and concluding several multi-book story arcs.


Here are just a few of the questions that will be answered in Uprising:

  • What happened to the Voloth soldiers?
  • Why did divine tyrees suddenly reappear after a thousand cycles?
  • How is Salomen adapting to the demands of being Bondlancer on top of her responsibilities as head of her family and holding?
  • Why did Tal act so out of character at the end of Outcaste? Can she resolve it?

Uprising takes us back to Alsea and gives a voice to two new main characters: Prime Builder Anjuli Eroles and Voloth spokesperson Rax Sestak. We’ve seen them before, of course, but as minor characters. Now they’re our guides to different parts of Alsean life: as a Voloth settler and as a political player who isn’t at the top of the heap.

Which is not to say we’ve lost our earlier guides. Tal and Salomen both get a great deal of time on stage, accompanied by all the others who have made such an impression on readers: Lanaril, Vellmar, Micah, Lhyn, Ekatya, and Rahel, not to mention Salomen’s family on Hol-Opah.

Uprising is a sweeping epic designed to immerse readers and not let them go. Here is the synopsis:

A caste Prime with a personal grudge that may bring down the government. A captured soldier seeking peace with his former enemies. A rural landowner thrust into the highest levels of political power.

As Alsea looks to the future, its foundations are cracked by the past. The peaceful coexistence of six castes was shaped by an ancient injustice, but when Bondlancer Salomen Opah commits a well-meaning act, she disrupts the careful balance. Now Alsea teeters on the brink of caste war.

Standing between past and future are three people whose lives have been sent on a collision course by events beyond their control. An avalanche has begun, and only great courage and sacrifice can stop it.

You’ll find it on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple Books, and several other platforms — I’ll post a universal link on release day. In the meantime, for those Alsea lovers who have been waiting for this: don’t plan on getting much sleep that Friday night.

The chicken church

This image came across my Facebook feed today and made me laugh: …and then I saw this comment: This is The Church By The Sea in Madeira Beach FL. The owl/chicken/bird…whatever you see was intentional. It was a fishing town and there was a tale 


All the DIY-ers out there will undoubtedly recognize aspects, if not all, of this story. It is the true-life account of our little chore last night: replacing a bare light bulb in the bathroom ceiling (made of plaster, brick, and cement) with a real light 



Once, while I worked at a public aquarium, I gathered eggs from one sea anemone and sperm from another and combined the two under a microscope. As I watched, one of the eggs divided into two cells, then four, then eight. That was as far as it got before dying from the heat of the scope’s light, but those few minutes were one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. Witnessing life creating itself…it’s pure magic.

This video takes that treasured memory and expands it about one-hundredfold. In six minutes, you will see the transformation of a single cell into a newly-hatched newt — magic.

(The embryonic folding is especially boggling. I was transfixed.)

I can’t embed the video, but you really, really should watch it.

On being happy

Two recent events have made me pause and ponder, so if you don’t mind a little philosophy… By now, pretty much the whole world has seen the video of gymnast Katelyn Ohashi scoring a perfect 10 at the Collegiate Challenge. If this somehow got past 

Winterfest! (for Mac users)

Every December, some of the best developers in the Mac community collect at Winterfest and offer their apps for 25% off. It’s a great time to pick up a program or two that you might have been thinking about but put off due to the 

We wants it!

Speaking as an observer of Brexit (from a healthy distance), I can only say in response to today’s news: what the hell?

It’s anybody’s guess as to what Theresa May thinks she can accomplish by putting off a Commons vote she knew she would lose. Certainly the EU negotiators and leaders are boggling at her claim that she is planning further negotiations on the Irish backstop. Twenty-seven nations have signed off on the current agreement. There is no more negotiation. This is the political equivalent of running after a taxi with its service light turned off — that taxi is not going to stop.

In the meantime, Andy Serkis — the actor who brought Gollum to life in the Lord of the Rings films — has just made his own political stance clear with a video that is black humor at its finest. My wife and I laughed so hard we were on the edge of tears.

Behold: Theresa Gollum May, caught on video in her parlor.

(The ticking clock was a brilliant touch — not only exemplifying the posh parlor but also literally counting down the seconds…)

Celebrating the return of rights!

It has been three years since I signed away the rights to the two Without A Front books — The Producer’s Challenge and its conclusion, The Warrior’s Challenge — and those rights have now returned to me. It’s a good, good feeling to have full