Obligatory holiday buy-my-books post

Hey, remember how I published three books this fall? If you’re looking for great reads for the science fiction or fantasy buff in your life, you should remember Tu’s go some great books! Here are some links for you in case you need them, or go down to your local bookseller. If they don’t have the books in stock (B&N has Tankborn and Wolf Mark, but sometimes an indie might not), ask them to order them in! The more a book gets bought in a local indie, for example, the more they take notice and think maybe it should be on their shelves.

Galaxy Games: The Challengers by Greg Fishbone

Indiebound: Find a copy at your local independent bookstore! Google e-book

Amazon: Hardcover  E-book

B&N: Hardcover and E-book

Ipad & Iphone: E-book

Things are looking up for Tyler Sato (literally!) as he and his friends scan the night sky for a star named for him by his Tokyo cousins in honor of his eleventh birthday. Ordinary stars tend to stay in one place, but Ty’s seems to be streaking directly toward Earth at an alarming rate. Soon the whole world is talking about TY SATO, the doomsday asteroid, and life is turned upside down for Ty Sato, the boy, who would rather be playing hoops in his best friend’s driveway.

Meanwhile, aboard a silver spaceship heading for Earth, M’Frozza, a girl with three eyes and five nose holes, is on a secret mission. M’Frozza is the captain of planet Mrendaria’s Galaxy Games team, and she is desperate to save her world from a dishonorable performance in the biggest sporting event in the universe.

What will happen when Ty meets M’Frozza? Get ready for the most important event in human history—it’ll be off the backboard, around the rim, and out of this world!

Tankborn by Karen Sandler

Indiebound: Find a copy at your local independent bookstore! Google e-book

Amazon: Hardcover  E-book

B&N: Hardcover and E-book

Ipad & Iphone: E-book

Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul’s great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.

After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan with their new friends to save the children who are disappearing. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face.


Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac

Indiebound: Find a copy at your local independent bookstore! Google e-book
Amazon: Hardcover  E-book

B&N: Hardcover and E-book

Ipad & Iphone: E-book

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much?

Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible—just as he wants.

But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.



And just a reminder that in the spring we’ll have two more great books for you to check out!

Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley

Never listen to a cat. That will only get you in trouble.

Actually, scratch that. Listening to cats is one thing, but really I should never listen to my best friend Oscar. It’s completely his fault (okay, and my aspiring actress friend Melly’s too) that I got caught up in this crazy celebrity-kidnapping mess.

If you had asked me, I would have thought it would be one of my super-Talented sisters who’d get caught up in crime fighting. I definitely never thought it would be me and my Talent trying to save the day. Usually, all you get out of conversations with cats is requests for tummy rubs and tuna.

Wait . . . I go back to what I said first: Never listen to a cat. Because when the trouble starts and the kitty litter hits the fan, trust me, you don’t want to be in the middle of it.


Vodnik by Bryce Moore

Teacups: great for tea. Really sucky as places-to-live-out-the-rest-of-your-eternal-existence. Very little elbow room, and the internet connection is notoriously slow. Plus, they’re a real pain in the butt to get out of, especially when you’ve gone non-corporeal.

When Tomas was six, someone—something—tried to drown him. And burn him to a crisp. Tomas survived, but whatever was trying to kill him freaked out his parents enough to convince them to move from Slovakia to the United States.

Now sixteen-year-old Tomas and his family are back in Slovakia, and that something still lurks somewhere. Nearby. Ready to drown him again and imprison his soul in a teacup.

Then there’s the fire víla, the water ghost, the pitchfork-happy city folk, and Death herself who are all after him.

All this sounds a bit comical, unless the one haunted by water ghosts and fire vílas or doing time in a cramped, internet-deprived teacup is you.

If Tomas wants to survive, he’ll have to embrace the meaning behind the Slovak proverb, So smrťou ešte nik zmluvu neurobil. With Death, nobody makes a pact.



Dragon books

I’ve been a bit busy with the day job (we’ve been trying to get 7 books out before leaving for Christmas break—we all get the week between Christmas and New Year’s off—and it’s been a scramble) and finishing up the very last of the critiques (I have a small handful left that I want to get back to authors on before Tu opens for submissions). So it’s been a little quiet around here, sorry! But perhaps it’s a relief after all those posts about the Kickstarter. 🙂

Today I break radio silence to build a book list. My sister reports that my five-year-old nephew is going through a dragon phase. He already has A Practical Guide to Dragons (how could he not? I think I gave a copy to every relative who wanted one, and then some), along with the one I edited, A Practical Guide to Monsters. My sister called while in the bookstore, looking for books to go with a Christmas present, and I could only think of the Dragon Codex books I edited. I didn’t even think of the Dragonology books off the top of my head, which would be perfect for him—some reading, but a lot of tactical exploring, as well. So now I’m putting together a list of books for her to look up at the library.

He’s only five, so picture books are welcome for the list. I’m just not as well-versed in them, so I don’t have a great lot of suggestions in that category. I’d love early readers and chapter books, because he can work on those on his own (though he might need help for some of the more advanced ones). They also read aloud a lot together, so suggestions for middle grade novels are definitely welcome.

Dragon Codex books by R.D. Henham (Red, Bronze, Black, Brass, Green, Silver, and Gold)—full disclosure: I edited these. They’re GOOD. And so of course they go at the top of the list. 😀
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
How to Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell
Dragonology (& all related books)
Kenny & the Dragon, Tony DiTerlizzi
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville
Puff the Magic Dragon (picture book—we loved the song as kids)
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (I *knew* she had a dragon book!)
Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull—fun of all sorts, dragon doesn’t come in until most recent book
St. George & the Dragon by Margaret Hodges & Trina Schart Hyman
Magic Treehouse #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn (they love Magic Treehouse in their house–my nephew’s older brother devoured practically the whole series)

I know there are more out there. Suggest away!
Also, happy holidays! Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah (late), happy Kwanzaa (is it over yet? I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with it), and happy new year to you all.

Kickstart Tu with holiday gift-giving

I came down with bronchitis over the weekend (even had to go the hospital—yikes!) and haven’t been able to post the way I intended to. Now that I’m home, I am still recovering, but wanted to remind everyone that we’ve only got about 2 weeks left on our Kickstarter campaign. If you’ve been thinking about donating, and you’re starting to think about holiday gifts, consider the Kickstart Tu auction, especially for the writer or book lover in your life. They’ve got all sorts of great stuff, including handcrafted mugs, made-to-order crocheted Alice in Wonderland dolls, a FULL YEAR of advertising on YA (& Kids!) Books Central, out-of-print children’s books and a folklore pack, and writing critiques and line edits. Oh, and don’t forget the giant box of manga for that manga and anime lover in your life! I plan to add some D&D and Star Wars minis later this week, and if you’re a Brandon Sanderson, Jim Hines, or Howard Tayler fan, you’ve got the chance to get a Garden Ninja Studios customized mini from the Mistborn, Goblin Quest, or Schlock Mercenary worlds.

In addition to winning an auction, you’ll also get the rewards from the Kickstarter level at which you donate—for more on how the auction works, check out the rules here.

The auction ends Dec. 9th, to make sure that the donations to the Kickstarter have enough time to go through.

If you don’t have money, but do have something you’d like to donate to the auction, please feel free. And either way, please spread the word among your friends and family—we’ve only got a few days left, and a long way to go!

Thanks for all your support! With your help, we’ll be able to get up and running!

Ramblings when I should be off reading the Maze Runner ARC or sleeping

Not really much to post about. I had a great time at Conduit seeing friends and talking books. Very nice Schlock Mercenary launch party, for which I dropped in and took some pictures. I’ll be downloading those straight to Sandra, who will probably post them on her LJ or Howard’s blog or both. I’m not terribly satisfied with the pictures–it was pretty dark in that room and I had to use flash, which always flattens the subject–but hopefully the Taylers and Schlock fans will enjoy them.

Went on my first bike ride of the year and it was nice, but I probably should have started with a jaunt closer to home, because while the outbound trip was awesome, I realized just why that was on the way home when the wind hit me squarely in the face. Between the wind (it was pretty blustery), my sore behind from not being in the saddle for six months, and being tired from the ride out, I ended up getting off and walking at least twice. I’m thinking I’ll take a rest day tomorrow and try again on Wednesday, but not try a total of about 7-8 miles round trip. Perhaps 2-3 total for a few days, to get back in the swing of things!

Had my own personal Bones marathon today, watching all the episodes from this season that I’d missed and had been recording on the DVR. Maybe if I clear out the DVR I won’t feel so bad about dropping the cable, which I’m really going to have to do. Also went to a barbecue at a friend’s, and thought about all my family members and others who have served in the military. I come from a long line of farmers, salt of the earth kind of people, and as you can imagine those are the type that tend to get drafted. (I also descend from one draft-dodger, and I’m grateful he did, or I wouldn’t have been born a Whitman, I suppose–he stowed away on a cattle boat to avoid the draft of William the First and Bismarck, the Second Reich that killed off a great number of Prussian peasants, and came to the US, to Illinois, and became my great-great-grandfather.) I have ancestors who served on both sides of the Civil War, including one who was on Sherman’s March to the sea, several vets of the War of 1812 (another reason I’m an Illinoisan–western Illinois was veteran pension land-grant land for War of 1812 vets), vets of several minor skirmishs, two grandfathers and a great-uncle who served in the army and air force, respectively, during WWII, and an uncle who fought in Vietnam.

More recently, I have an uncle who served in the Marines during peacetime (during the 70s) and an uncle who just retired from the Air Force as a navigator a few years ago. That same Uncle Kevin served two or three tours post-September 11th as a translator. My brother and several cousins have served in the reserves wherever needed. I have several friends who have done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and several friends whose husbands are currently or who have been deployed.

I wouldn’t consider my family a “military” family. Far from it. We’re just average working Americans, and each of these people served when they were called to do so, or even just to find a better life through the GI Bill. But it makes me proud of them to know that they served when they were needed, even if they occasionally did so a bit cantankerously. The cantankerousness–that’s just a Whitman family trait. 🙂

Back to real life tomorrow, catching up again on those short pieces I didn’t get to yet last week, and two manuscripts that I have waiting in the queue as well. I’ve got a few other things going on this week that I’m excited about but can’t talk about yet, so when I can, well, I guess I’ll drop the mystery and post it. 🙂 Off to sleep!


Had a great Christmas Eve with a friend watching the extended edition of The Two Towers, then slept in Christmas morning, opened the presents my grandma and sister had sent me (vintage Whitman’s candy tin! It’s so fun–my grandma’s been collecting them for years and decided to start giving them out to grandkids who might like them), then spent the rest of the day with friends. Christmas in my family is big–well, my family is big, so Christmas tends to be big: everyone goes to Grandma’s, goes to church with her for the midnight service, stays up late to stuff stockings and play Santa, and then gets up early to watch the little kids open their presents. It’s been changing over the last few years as travel becomes more expensive, but I’ve always loved being able to go to my hometown and spend it with family. Since I couldn’t make it home this year, it was nice to be able to spend it with friends.

Yesterday afternoon I came up to Salt Lake to visit another friend, and ended up staying the night because the blizzard moved in and there was no way I should be driving in that wind and snow and ice. So I crashed on the couch, and I’m hoping to get home today. I knew it was a possibility that I might not be able to drive home, so I brought a change of clothes and loaded the kitties up on dry food and water, so they’re fine, but I want to be able to get back home in time for anime night! I have more Wolf’s Rain… I think. It might not be coming until tomorrow. And I need to put my office back to rights and finish painting the last corner. It looks so nice! I think I’m going to run out of paint, so I’m trying to go thick on the visible parts and hey, if it’s white behind the ceiling-height bookshelves, well, I have to repaint when I move out anyway, right?


Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that as Kwanzaa begins, Hanukkah ends, etc. that you’ve all had a good time with family and friends. Looking forward to the new year!


Getting some very nice Christmas cards in the mail today reminded me that I have mine halfway done. I just need to address them–they’re labeled, stuffed, and everything.

I also got a cover of Red Dragon Codex drawn by a reader. It’s awesome, and I’d show a picture if I had a working camera.

The snow is really coming down here. Glad I don’t have to drive anywhere! I am planning on going up to Salt Lake tonight to go with some friends to a Living Nativity, so here’s hoping the roads clear by then–I’m looking forward to spending time with the friends.

Despite not having to leave the house to go to work, it feels like a snow day, so I have declared a holiday. I am watching Northanger Abbey bundled up in a cozy blanket, sitting next to my cat who is fascinated by all the snow coming down. And of course the song "Snow" from White Christmas is going through my head: "Snow… snow…
snow… snow… snow! It won’t be long before we’re there with snoooo-ooooow! I wanna wash my face, my hands, my hair in snow. What is Christmas with nooooo snooooow?" etc. There’s no replacing it, I’m afraid.

Looks like the snow is lightening up a little, at least.

Oh! And something I forgot to mention when it went up on the website, which announces something I’ve been holding off on announcing that I’m going to have to announce now–I’ll post it in a new dedicated post.