New release! DEBUTS AND DRAGONS, a scaly fantasy romcom

Cover for DEBUTS AND DRAGONS, featuring a green dragon wearing sunglasses, earrings, and a necklace

Though she’s not much to look at, dragon Sellafield Terrormouth never worried about snagging a mate for herself. But now that her little sister is about to debut in dragon society, Sella’s got one night to go from drab to fab. If she fails, she’ll lose her entire dowry—and quite possibly doom herself to eternal spinsterhood!

Can this plain dragon get herself a date, or is her future about to go up in flames?

Contemporary fantasy fans won’t want to miss this lighthearted look at love, friendship, and inner beauty.


Prepare yourself for crazy awesome dragon names. This sunny comedy makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone stuck in the snow and cold this time of year!

Four Reasons to add KLAUS to your yearly Christmas movie rotation (or: A brief KLAUS review)

Being an animation enthusiast, Sergio Pablos’ movie KLAUS has been on my radar ever since I saw its original teaser trailer years ago. Fast-forward to 2019, and suddenly NETFLIX has an official trailer out…which changed the original, charming British voiceover to a David Spade soundalike. Eek, I thought. This character just went from charming to obnoxious. But since we’re ditching Netflix in December, I vowed to watch it before our subscription ran out.

BOY WAS I GLAD I DID. I’ve been jonesing for a new Christmas classic for years (hence why I wrote A Gingersnap Cat Christmas), and now I’ve found one! Here are four reasons why:

  1. Gorgeous 2D animation. Yes, folks, that’s 24 frames-per-second of hand-drawn love oozing into your eyeballs as you watch. Juicy lighting effects were added to give it more of that 3D glow Hollywood’s indulged us in for some time. But 2D is king of my heart, and it’s done beautifully here.
  2. The story doesn’t feel like a suit dictated it to the studio. You know how in animation, sometimes you get that poop joke or that current pop culture reference and it just doesn’t fit with the world? Like someone stuck it in there because some suit required them to? This movie is void of that feeling, save for three pop songs that…well, while they’re okay, *I* wouldn’t have used them. (Perhaps that’s why they stick out so much to me.) KLAUS feels like it’s in its own self-contained world, and I stonking LOVE that, especially for holiday movies.
  3. Genuine reactions. In the beginning, Jesper (the postman) reacts to the weirdo nowherestown* world the exact same way I reacted to seeing his world. Exclaming the same things, staring wide-eyed at the psycho Addams-Family-esque kids stabbing carrots into snowmen bodies in the exact same way I was. I hadn’t realized how often in other movies I’d been watching character reactions from a mental distance, watching their “antics”, unmoved…until this.
  4. It’s got positive messages…without being preachy about them. It’s easy for Christmas movies to get schmaltzy; all fluff and light and ignoring how real people feel about things. The pendulum (especially for live-action Christmas films for adults) has swung far the other way, with cynical stories all about how awful the holidays are because you’re stuck with crazy family or commercialism or whatever. I think KLAUS hits the sweet spot of having realistic character cynicism and wariness…but also having characters having their hearts softened–in realistic ways.

It’s a movie of such superior story and animation quality (especially when compared to other contemporary big-budget AAA-studio efforts *cough*FROZEN 2*cough*) that it reminds me of another dark horse animation classic from years ago: THE IRON GIANT (released the year as Disney’s TARZAN). I was angry for a sec that KLAUS didn’t get a wide release in theaters (because it’s worthy of it), but then realized…families with kids who see this will probably stream it over and over…and I think that’s great, because KLAUS has just the kind of uplifting message everyone of us needs in our story diets.

Don’t let this movie pass you by.

To everyone at The SPA Studios: congrats on making such a terrific movie!

To Netflix: you’d darn tootin’ well better release it on Blu-Ray because I want to own this movie SO BADLY YOU GUYS.

KLAUS is streaming on Netflix right now.

*Seriously, this is the most bizarre, Halloween-ic town I’ve seen in a Christmas movie since Nightmare Before Christmas. I mean this as a deep compliment.

New Release and a SALE!

Cover to THE WITCHING LICENSE. A green hand grabs a purple witch's hat against a whimsical night sky and blue moon.

Mavis Burnsides is on her deathbed when her best friend brings her a Witching License. Now she’s got magical powers—and one last night to make up for a lifetime of regrets.

By turns sassy and touching, The Witching License is a gentle tale of regret, romance, and righting wrongs.


Just in time for Halloween, a feel-good. fountain-of-youth story with a senior citizen heroine discovering her inner girl power. Fans of Cocoon will get a big smile out of this one. And it’s available in LARGE PRINT!

Read an excerpt here at this book’s Pixelvania Publishing page.

Buy the ebook from your favorite retailer here (includes Amazon).

Buy the paperback from Amazon.


In other news, one of my midlength stories got a cover makeover for its print debut! Here’s the before and after:

Out Where the Sun Always Shines (Cover) - A man facing the mountains during a rosy sunset. Out Where the Sun Always Shines (Cover) - A man in the shadows smokes a cigarette, whose smoke swirls around a woman looking wistfully off into the sunset.

Tres noir, non?

To celebrate this makeover AND four other Pixelvania ebooks debuting in paperback, the following ebooks are discounted to just 99 cents from October 1st through October 7th, 2019:

What story of mine would you like to see in paperback next? Let me know!

Happy reading!

State of the Pixelvania, August 2019

Introduction

Like a lot of entertainment, much of story writing is an invisible process to the end audience. While I’m hard at work on projects, y’all see nothing but a silent website. I want to change that.

At the same time, I don’t want to post for the sake of posting—that would just add to the tsunami of digital clutter that’s already got us addicted to checking our devices (read: miniature slot machines). With that in mind, I’ve decide to start a semiannual post, tentatively titled “The State of the Pixelvania” where you can get a picture of what’s going on around here and what might be showing up in the future.

This semiannual post was inspired by a recent video by Christopher Barnatt at ExplainingComputers.

What I’ve Been Working On: New Stories

Last year I realized I had a fair amount of stories under Horror and Humor but not even a scant handful in Wonder. Yet here I am on a purple website, calling myself a scifi/fantasy author! So I set out this year to fill out the Wonder section of my works, starting with a one-story-a-week challenge in Feburary! It…didn’t go so well.

This was also the first year I’ve tried submitting to the magazines. It’s been a good experience, though I haven’t had any stories accepted yet! Let’s look at this year’s crop o’ stories so far. Read More …

Valentine’s eBook Sale

Winking French BulldogDid you know I wrote a feel-good Valentine’s Day book? Don’t worry, it’s not too mushy. It’s called LOVE POTION COMMOTION and it’s got talking French Bulldogs. If you’re still jonesin’ for Hallmark movies, you’ll probably get a kick out of this. It’s normally $4.99 but it’s on discount for $1.99 ’til the 19th. Get it at: http://books2read.com/frenchies1

Sale price is active at Amazon right now, but the other stores are soon to follow!

New Year, New Story!

Cover for DAY OF SILENCE, DAY OF SOUND: An old-fashioned radio sits alone on a vintage chair in a blurry field of tall grasses, in hues ofwhite and icy blue.

Johanna Reinhardt is alone at the outpost when it happens. The Machines have shut down, her husband is gone, and—imperceptibly, but surely—sound is disappearing from the world.

What might disappear next?

A dreamlike tale from the post-apocalypse.


Here’s an oldie-but-goodie short story to celebrate the new year.

Read an excerpt here at this book’s Pixelvania Publishing page.

Buy the eBook from your favorite retailer here (includes Amazon).

Happy reading!

The perfect last-minute (digital) stocking stuffer – MIDWINTER MAGIC

Cover for MIDWINTER MAGIC: A stylized glowing reindeer leaps against the blue Northern Lights

Once upon a time, magic left the world for a night. It sighed back in through the scullery door in the morning with the cat, but by then, the Queen of the Northern Elves had fallen into a deep sleep, and, greatly diminished, the returned magic could not wake her.

From the author who brought you The Purrfect Christmas and A Gingersnap Cat Christmas comes an enchanting collection of three original yuletide fairy tales, written in the tradition of Jane Yolen and Ursula Vernon.


A little Christmas present from me to you. If you like reindeer, Santa Claus, elves, and mythic origin stories, you’re probably gonna dig this.

Buy from your favorite eBook retailer here (includes Amazon)

More info and excerpt here on MIDWINTER MAGIC’s Pixelvania Publishing page.