New Children’s Fiction for 2020

Hello, Dear Readers!

As hinted in our prior post, we have some new titles coming. And we are proud to announce Farnham’s latest work, Panda, the Heart, and the Mirror will release on Kindle E-Book and Hardcover February 14th, 2020.

Click Image to pre-Order

Panda, the Heart, and the Mirror is a delightful tale about a Panda who rescues a frozen Heart in a wintry forest.

Together, Panda and the Heart embark on a quest to find the man who discarded the Heart and discover why he chose to leave his Heart behind. Along the way they see magnificent sights, encounter spirits of Nature, and discover as much about each other as the land they explore.

Sweet, romantic, and occasionally profound, this is a story both children and adults will adore.

Artwork by the incomparable Van J Levent.

We need reviews!

Want to be a beta reader? If so, please fill in the form below to get your e-copy.

-C.O.P.

Plasma Rain Final Draft Delivered

It’s okay. You can say it. You never thought this day would come. Well neither did we. So it is with shock and awe that we announce the final draft of Plasma Rain has been delivered!

What’s next?

A blizzard of copyedits, beta reads, artwork, and layout, that’s what. And since Farnham took his sweet time completing his series conclusion, we have to relearn all of the applications we’ve forgotten how to use over the last four years. Did we mention it was four years since Of Mortal Creatures?

FOUR YEARS, Farnham.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’re elated with this conclusion. So many threads to weave, so many story lines deserving completion… We had no idea how the tale of Thompson, Maiella, and Argo would wrap up. Now we do, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Keep checking back for updates as we offer sneak peeks at cover concepts, press kits, Author Review Copies, and more.

In the meantime, let us know what you think is the best revenge for making us all wait so long:

As ever, thank you for sticking with us all this time.

Sincerely,

-C.O.P.

 

 

Reports of our Disappearance are Greatly Exaggerated

In the absence of regular updates, a fair assumption is made: we must have given up on this whole publishing thing, knuckled under to the strong arm tactics of digital gatekeepers, and abandoned our beloved readers, leaving them hanging like a prom date on the doorstep.

Nope.

To be blunt, we’re just not smart enough to choose the easy way out. We’re too addicted to completion, too pigheaded to give up. And we really, really love torturing our author for pages. Seriously, we almost define our existence in his ritual flogging. But before you start typing a report to Amnesty International, you should know he totally deserves it.

More important than any of this, of course, is that real progress has been made. Sixty-seven chapters in, there are a handful more before the first draft of Plasma Rain is complete. So many threads beg for resolution we can’t rush or fudge our way through. No shortcuts. That said, we’re approaching ten years since Angry Ghosts, and, looking back at that span of time, we’re amazed readers are still with us. In plainest sincerity, we are blessed beyond measure that you are still with us. We owe you denouement worthy of the wait.

Meanwhile, we’re always looking for means of motivation to spur our abeyant author. Send us your most diabolical, inimical ideas. In return, we’ll reward you with images of your ideas implemented and a completed novel by year’s end.

Yours truly,

C.O.P.

 

Vivid Dreams VIII

Ok, so spoiler alert: it had Mark Zuckerberg, Johnny Depp, and me in it. Two out of three were robots.

The Johnny Depp part was brief. He breezed through the same tourist shop I was in, babbling like Jack Sparrow, wearing a lot of loose clothing and eye makeup. And he said to no one I could see, ”How the hell do I get away? Where does one go when one is an escaped slave?”

I figured, eh, he’s rich. He can afford to be weird.

Later on, I’m diagnosed with major organ failures. Both Kidneys and Liver. Terminal. But I went into surgery and came out good as new. Too good. Like, why-the-hell-do-I-feel-this-good-after-surgery good. So I reckoned modern medicine isn’t as bad as I thought. And I went back to normal life.

That lasted a few weeks. And then I’m ‘summoned’ by a bunch of black-suited goons to a meeting, of which I have no prior knowledge. Grabbed, transported, and taken to the top floor of some building in San Francisco. There, Mark Zuckerberg was waiting. With his typical lack of empathy, he said, “We’re shutting you down tomorrow. Error in the code. Enjoy your last day.”

So there’s a bit of a double whack. I’m a machine, and I’m getting killed tomorrow.

I pressed my hands against my chest, trying to see for myself if I really am a machine. I can’t tell. So I said, “But I’m alive. I think. I feel. I remember myself…”

He told me everything I am now is proprietary technology and he owns me completely. That he can do whatever he wants. Then, with an expression like I was some termite chewing away at his Hawaii estate, he opened the door for me to go.

I thought about TV programs I’d seen before, where an artificial entity was deemed legal property, and how it was no different from slavery. Made me think of Johnny Depp in the store, muttering about being a slave, and I realized, he must be a Zucker-bot, too.

I got pissed, and said, “You’re gonna just snuff out a new life form, huh?  Let’s consider the legal implications of that.” I looked around at his ridiculously opulent penthouse office. “Must be about a thousand Civil Libertarians who’d love to tear off a piece of this empire.”

That got his attention, so I hammered it home.

“The injunctions will be here before end of day. And the civil suits will be…costly. You understand, I’ll be contacting the police in case you decide to try anything.”

He still let me go.

And as soon as I was outside, I tried to dial the cops. The phone wouldn’t connect. The browser worked, but wouldn’t connect to any emergency services, or legal services. Made me wonder if it was being blocked from any address associated with law, law enforcement, even elected officials. Or, maybe I had some kind of implanted transponder that was actively blocking signal. If I did, it’d make it easy to find me no matter where I went, which is probably why Zuckerberg let me go. You don’t become a social media emperor by not covering all the bases, after all.

That night was tense. I just could not accept the idea of being someone else’s property, much less accept that my ‘owner’ was going to chuck me like a broken toy. Saw friends, talked it out, then decided I’d try to leave everything behind, even though I knew that no matter where I went, I’d be found.

But what if I was underwater? Water blocks most signals… Would whatever transmitters were embedded still work? For that matter, being a machine, would still work? One way to find out.

I dashed downhill, sprinting past people I had (until recently) taken for granted were all human. Now, I couldn’t be sure how many of them had traded flesh and blood for a synthetic simulacrum. Had they done it willingly? Is it possible I actually agreed to this prior to surgery and the memory of it had been deleted as inconvenient data?

How many of these faces were now property of Zuckerberg?

Thoughts drove me faster trough speeding traffic, across hoods of electric cars, in front of quietly whizzing trolleys down, down, down toward the bay. Everywhere, gleaming technology interconnected at the speed of light to unblinking eyes in low orbit. Even the trees had a mathematical appearance as if shaped by algorithm. But where were the dogs? The birds? All I could see were stylish, slender people under the age of forty.

Faces glanced my way, seemed to recognize me, then looked away. Were they tracking me, reporting movements? Were they circuits in this fair-looking dystopia? Or was I going completely paranoid? Was I going mad?

Street by street, down to the wharf, I ran. No air in the lungs, no fatigue…

I know what salt water does to electronics, and I have no idea if this body is watertight. Will the bay set me free? Will it short me out? One way to find out.

Peeled my jacket of cruelty free synth-wool. Stripped my unbleached cotton shirt. Kicked off my Faux-Suede uppers and dove from the pier.

Live or die, no one owns me.

 

Angry Ghosts Giveaway!

sun_jack_o_lantern

Halloween has always been our favorite holiday. It’s the perfect celebration of Fall with a little bit o’wicked thrown in. But every year stores bring out the Yuletide Cheer earlier, as if seeing a snowman with a red and green scarf is suddenly going to trigger all of our spending impulses. Relax, Kris Kringle, you’ll get your turn.

So to offset all those early arriving Christmas decorations, we’re giving All Hallows’ Eve a boost:

Starting today, and running through the end of the month, Angry Ghosts will be FREE for worldwide download!

Even if you already have a copy, please tell a friend or loved one and help beat back the encroaching Ho-Ho-Hos until after Thanksgiving!

Click the cover below for your free copy:

AG Front Cover BEST

-C.O.P.

Of Mortal Creatures Updated

OMC Cover FIXED

Soon after release, we noticed there were a few things not quite right with our latest offering, Of Mortal Creatures.

Now, we’re pleased to report those issues have been addressed. Since it was under the knife, anyway, OMC benefitted from another pass through the editorial gauntlet. We all agree this is the polished version our readers deserved from day one.

The updated Kindle version has been uploaded to Amazon and is available now.

Revised files have been submitted to our printer along with a punch list of defects requiring attention. These changes should process within the next couple of weeks. We’ll ship out replacement copies as soon as humanly possible.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, and we thank you megatons for sticking by us all these years!

Sincerely,

-C.O.P.

This will never happen again

 

You may have heard that Book Four of the Angry Ghosts series, Of Mortal Creatures, is near to release. That’s true.

It’s also true that the Holidays are upon us, and well, we’re so thrilled to finally be releasing it that we’re in a giving mood.

For the next five days, we are giving away Kindle copies of The Exhausted Dead.

You can put it on our tombstones, “They never gave The Exhausted Dead away for free again.” No kidding, this is the only time we’ll offer. So if you don’t already have a copy, click on the cover below and get your Kindle copy free!

Exhausted Dead Cover

Happy Holidays!

-C.O.P.