A New Miranda Lorensen Adventure…

Some of my readers have asked about the next adventure of my psychic medium single mom, Miranda Lorensen. After all, it has been almost five years since my last novel, By Your Side.

The wait is nearly over. Like Mother, Like Daughters, a novella starring Miranda and her daughter, Andrea, is coming soon from Firebringer Press.

After Andrea Lorensen’s closest friend, Wendy, is found murdered during a paranormal investigation, Andrea is determined to find the killer—with some help from Wendy’s ghost. Meanwhile, Miranda is invited to speak at a paranormal conference in Salem, Massachusetts. While there, she reunites with a gentle spirit she has not seen in over thirty years. This time, however, the encounter reveals an astonishing truth about Miranda’s past life—a truth that could kill her. 

Below is the preliminary cover, subject to some tweaking. The image was created by the incredible Laura Inglis who also created the cover art for my first two novels (Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side), while credit for the title font goes to Chris Winner who also created the titles for By Your Side, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

To say I’m excited about it would be an understatement.  What’s more, Like Mother, Like Daughters will be paired up with a vampire novella by Steven H. Wilson and the entire book will be formatted exactly as the old ACE double books. Read one story, flip it over to read the other. I grew up reading those so the fact that Firebringer intends to release such a book has me over the moon!

Look for more updates in the near future!

Like Mother, Like Daughters Cover

Book Review: The Wizards of Odd edited by Peter Haining

How can you go wrong with a collection of 25 stories that includes heavyweights such as Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Douglas Adams, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, C.S. Lewis, Fritz Leiber, Phil K. Dick, Brian W. Aldiss, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, and more?

To be honest, I only enjoyed about half of them. My favorites include:

“The Twonky” by Henry Kuttner – When Kerry Westerfield’s brand new cabinet radio begins walking around the house dictating Kerry’s  every move, he calls in psychiatrist pal Mike Fitzgerald, but this radio is constructed like no other… and it defends itself against anyone who might pose a threat—with fatal results.

“A Great Deal of Power” by Eric Frank Russell – When military scientists create an android assassin to kill top officials and scientists in the enemy’s ranks, they program its mind with a pure hatred of power… but what will the android do when the enemy is eliminated and those giving the orders become the powerful?

“Doodad” by Ray Bradbury – Running from the mob, Gyp Crowell finds himself in a shop called Thingamabobs, Doodads, Whatchamacallits, Hinkies, Formodaldafrays, Hootenannies, Gadgets, and Doohingies. While there, Gyp finds a device that might help him out of his predicament… in ways he didn’t expect.

“Not By Its Cover” by Phil K. Dick – When a special, translated edition of an ancient Latin book is published with animal hide cover, it is quickly discovered that certain passages in the book have been translated differently that in the paperback version, which leads to an astonishing conclusion about the animal hide covers…

“A Good Knight’s Work” by Robert Bloch – Sir Pallagyn of the Black Keep is hurled forward in time by the legendary Merlin to find the Cappadocian Tabouret in a “house of the past.” First, however, he decides to help a new found friend defeat the local mob boss…

“The Rules of Names” by Ursula K. Le Guin – Mr. Underhill lives a reclusive life in the village, practicing his wizardry with often questionable results… until a pirate named Blackbeard arrives with certain suspicions and accusations against Underhill. In response, the old bumbling sorcerer shows his true colors…

“Mythological Beast” by Stephen Donaldson – Norman is a librarian in an age of ignorance when so many among the population can barely read. Norman has a problem when he notices a horn growing in the middle of his forehead. Shortly after, his entire body begins to change into the shape of a creature than cannot be allowed to exist in a controlled society…

“The Adventure of the Snowing Globe” by F. Antsey – A man stops into a toy shoppe to purchase a present and is drawn to a snow globe containing a miniature castle. After shaking the globe, the man is transported to the real castle, meets a real princess being held prisoner by her cruel, oppressive uncle, and finds himself face to face with a real dragon…

“Zaphod Plays It Safe” by Douglas Adams – Zaphod Beeblebrox is hired by the Safety and Reassurance Administration to retrieve items of secretive nature from a crashed ship in the depths of an alien ocean. Despite Zaphod’s increasing misgivings, the authorities assure him that “it’s all perfectly safe”…

“The Odd Old Bird” by Avram Davidson – When the frivolous Prince Vlox indicates to two royal scientists that his property has been frequently visited by a rare bird, the Emperor’s wizard Eszterhazy requests that the prince capture the bird and have it sent to him. However, there is some confusion on the part of the temporary help when the bird is delivered around the same time as the cook was expecting a chicken…

“The Gnurrs Come from the Voodwork Out” by Reginald Bretnor – Quack inventor Papa Schimmelhorn arrives at the local Secret Weapons Bureau determined to demonstrate how his new invention, which resembles a bassoon, will win the war… in the most unimaginable way!

“Captain Wyxtpthll’s Flying Saucer” by Arthur C. Clarke – A pair of hapless aliens land in England on a mission to find and retrieve an intelligent human specimen only to end up incarcerated by the local police as mental patients… until the town drunk helps them escape!

“There’s A Wolf in My Time Machine” by Larry Niven – A time traveller finds himself in a parallel dimension where mankind evolved from wolves instead of apes.

“2BRO2B” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – In order for newborns to be permitted to live in a dystopian future under strict population control, someone must volunteer to die. What happens when a married couple is expecting triplets, but could locate only one volunteer?

The Wizards of Odd

 

 

 

After Action Report: Chiller Theatre

The interminable rain did nothing to dampen our spirits at the semi-annual Chiller Theatre convention in Parsippany, NJ today. I drove to the con with long time friend, Kevin Miles.

As usual, nearly 100 celebrities turned out, but there were only three on my list and one (Ed Begley, Jr.) cancelled just two days prior. Still, my main reason for attending was Michael Des Barres, perhaps best known as Murdoc, the charismatic, eccentric assassin on the original MacGyver, and Lou Diamond Phillips who requires no introduction, but is currently starring in the hit  TV series Longmire.

I also managed to snag up two more Star Wars figures I’d been looking to add to my collection. We finished the day with lunch at the Clinton Station Diner on the way home.

Phil with Lou Diamond Phillips at Chiller Theatre

Phil with Michael Des Barres at Chiller Theatre

Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Des Barres

Star Wars Black Box Lando Calrissian and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker

After Action Report: Philly Non-Sport Card Show

Some excellent finds at the Philly Non-Sports Card Show at the Merchants Square Mall in Allentown today. Two ADPAC Star Wars stickers from 1977 as found in General Mills cereals in Canada at the time, a three-sticker strip from Superman III as found in boxes of Ziploc bags in 1982, and a new 12×18 poster from Topps of the bounty hunters from Star Wars.

Always great to see super talented artist pal Laura Inglis whose art graces the covers of my novels Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side. Laura also recently completed the cover art for my upcoming novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters.

Star Wars Bounty Hunter Poster by Topps Trading Cards

Star Wars ADPAC Stickers

Superman III Ziploc Stickers

If You Have No Respect For Me, I Have No Time For You

Since I’m already fired up about other bullshit today, I thought this would be an apropos time to discuss this topic.

I’m about to make a request, one that I have never found necessary to make among any other group of people I spend time with. I find it disheartening that I need to even need to broach this subject in fandom, a group that was once renowned for its welcoming, accepting attitude.

Wherever I go in life, I consistently treat the people around me with respect, courtesy, and kindness. I can’t imagine doing anything less. It’s not even about making an effort to do this, it is simply how well-adjusted human beings get along.

In the case of the Maryland con scene as of late, I have not always received such treatment in return. This was the main reason why, in February, I walked out of Farpoint on Sunday morning without a word to anyone and stopped attending conventions so early in the year. To be frank, I was sick of putting up with assholes and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You know what you said and you know how you behaved, not just at Farpoint, but at previous cons.

I’ve tolerated it long enough. No more.

So permit me to make a simple and polite request. If the thought even crosses your mind to walk up to me, or yell across a room, with a disparaging, dismissive comment about me, my books, and/or most especially my wife, SAVE IT for someone else who might not be so readily inclined to rip your face off in the middle of a room. Believe me, at my age, I have no inhibitions about doing so. I don’t give a shit anymore.

To put it bluntly, don’t fucking speak to me if you’re going to be a disrespectful douche bag. Go away. Fuck off. Get back in the wind and get out of my face. I have no time or tolerance for you. I don’t give a fuck that everyone else who knows you keeps excusing your behavior as a joke or tolerates it because of your “status.” I don’t care how arrogant and self-important you are. Fuck you. Don’t talk to me.

I hope I made my point clear. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, don’t hesitate to send an email, a Facebook PM, or see me at the next con.

Thank you.

After Action Report: River Reads 2017

Gloomy skies and humid summer temperatures did little to diminish our spirits at the second annual River Reads Book Fair at Prallsville Mill in Stockton, NJ this past Sunday.

Over 40 writers were on hand, selling and singing copies of their books including organizer Brandi Megan Granett and returning participants Kathryn Craft, Kelly Simmons, Kerry Gans, and others. Among the new faces this year were Aaron Rosenberg and Russ Colchamiro from Crazy 8 Press, Heather Hutsell, Carol L. Wright from the Bethlehem Writers Group, and fellow Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group member, Christopher Ochs.

While the crowd was a bit thinner than the previous year’s event—and I sold only one book—the time spent with friends and fellow writers was absolutely worth the trip!

My Table at River Reads

Russ, Aaron, and Heather at River Reads 2017

Carol L. Wright & Christopher Ochs at River Reads 2017

Russ, Aaron, Phil, and Heather at River Reads 2017

Russ Colchamiro & Aaron Rosenberg at River Reads 2017