OK, first the sad part: My K9 friend and companion of the last dozen years, Sadie, passed away the Wednesday before Easter. Old age. At twelve. Well, that’s 84 in dog years, but still. Sadie was my dog, the first pup I’ve had who didn’t tend to favor my wife, Jeannie. That makes this doubly hard. I really miss her.

But, this past weekend, Jeannie and I picked up a couple of rescue dogs who have set the entire household on end. There’s more energy within our four walls today than there’s been in several decades.

The causes are somewhere around 15 pounds each and named Cisco and Cindy. They’re a bonded pair of miniature poodles (bonded, not mated; they’re correctly spayed/neutered) who are clearly inseparable whatever they’re doing: Walking me, eating dinner from the same bowl, or getting cuddled (one on each side of me). They share the same Costco dog bed/pillow at night — well, they are small.

But wow! Are they ever full of life. When I first got Sadie, back in 2005, I thought she was fast when she put on the afterburners to chase a squirrel. Well, these little guys could give her a run for her money, despite being a fifth her size! Fast. And apparently, no ability to downshift. Walking them is … interesting.

Very different personalities, too. Cisco is normally a shy little boy, but this morning he thought nothing of accepting an ear scratch from a stranger on the walking path. Meanwhile, Cindy, who’s usually Mama-in-charge, hung back. Sensible, but weird.

And they’re both apparently afraid of the rain. Wouldn’t go out this afternoon to save their lives. I’m sure there’s some deep, psychological reason for this, but given the length of Seattle’s Rain Festival (365 days) it could be a problem soon. Guess we’ll have to take it as it comes.

So where am I going with this? Nowhere. Just sharing that I have a pair of new friends who are running me ragged. I already love them dearly (even though I will miss Sadie forever and a day … or until I get to the Rainbow Bridge) and thank heaven they were saved from their high-kill California shelter.

Oh, and they’re not puppies, the title of this piece notwithstanding; Cindy is 6 and Cisco is 4. Hopefully, they’ll be with me well past their 84th birthdays.


Read about how Sydney’s meteoric career all began in the new novella, SYDNEY CHAMBERS: CADET MIDSHIPWOMAN, now LIVE on Amazon! The Kindle edition is available for pre-order for only .99 (and it will be FREE on Kindle Unlimited once it releases May 30!). If you can’t wait, or you love the feel of paper in your hands, A PAPERBACK VERSION IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW! The PB is only $5.99.

Join Sydney on her senior year Middie cruise – an honor only the top six TSM Academy grads receive – and thrill when things go terribly wrong, and the ship crashes on an unexplored planet. The law says only commissioned officers can be captain of a TSM ship . . . but circumstances leave Sydney as the senior cadet on board, so she has no choice but to sit in the captain’s chair . . . because they’re trapped in the middle of a temporal anomaly, a place so dangerous even military ships are warned to keep away!

Cadet Midshipman 4 25pct

This is our first shot at Kindle Unlimited. Since this is a novella rather than a full novel, it seems reasonable to limit availability to just Amazon, which you have to do to participate in KU. Full novels will continue to be available at multiple retailers; we’re not about to put ALL our eggs in one basket! On the other hand, all novellas – and we have four more coming in the Sydney series, plus some in other series as well – will be limited to Amazon and KU … though they will also be collected in Omnibus form, which WILL be available everywhere.

Meanwhile, the paperback version of Cadet Midshipwoman is available for anyone without a Kindle!

Next weekend, November 5-6, RELICS will be available for less than a buck at all major retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes). It’s a part of the indie author promo sponsored each month by indie author Patty Jansen (her website is here: http://pattyjansen.com/, check her out!


Relics, of course, was Tim’s and my first book, and as such is special to us. Besides, the hero of Relics, Christina Amies, is one of my favorite people and someone I really wish I could meet someday! Seriously kick-ass.  If you haven’t yet sampled our Keepers universe, this is your low-cost chance. And who knows? You might get hooked and move right on to SHADOWS. And RUINS, the third book of the trilogy, is scheduled for this winter! Check it out!

This coming weekend, something new and special is happening: “The Summer Apprentice” will be available for FREE! Well … if Amazon cooperates. Fact is, the price is already lowered to $0.00 at Smashwords, Kobo.com, and iTunes. Barnes and Noble should join in shortly. But Amazon …

Well, Amazon doesn’t ALLOW authors to charge nothing; 99 cents is the bottom line, according to their rules, UNLESS THEY PRICE MATCH TO ZERO THEMSELVES. Oof. Yeah, I get that we’re in this to make money; but on a promotional basis, shouldn’t I have the right to give my work away if I want? And this is a purely two-day promotion:


The price will go back up on October 3 (or as soon after that as the retailers cooperate). So what’s the problem?

Amazon’s rules.

Amazon.com is, overall, a great friend and staunch ally to independent authors; heck, without Amazon, self-publishing would likely not exist. But the fact is, Amazon has also become the ten-ton gorilla in the room. Their way or the highway. Their way says, ‘Thou shalt only give books away as a part of Kindle Select’ – but to join Select you must sign away the right to sell/give away your book at other retailers such as Barnes & Noble or iTunes.

While it’s true that over 90 percent of my sales are thru Amazon, I don’t like being strong-armed into giving up other venues. B&N, Kobo, and iTunes MATTER.

So I await Amazon’s price-match to zero. Hopefully it will come in time for the weekend promotion … but that’s not guaranteed. And, I’m told, getting the price raised back to a charge following the promotion can be hit-and-miss as well.

Enough griping. This is still your chance to grab a copy of “SA” for free; check out iTunes or Kobo  or Smashwords right now, or wait for Amazon to get in line. Either way, And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of “The Fall of Magic” right now for $1.99 – that price goes up to $3.99 on November 1.

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I Love My Kindle

I updated a Kindle Paperwhite…and it broke it…and then I found a workaround!


I recently wrote about a

Big new update coming to current Kindle EBRs in February

The Kindle Paperwhite I use is an older generation, and wasn’t eligible for this update.

My Significant Other had a 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite which was eligible.

My SO hadn’t used it in some time. I think unexpectedly, my SO now reads on a now discontinue Kindle Fire HDX…which is also a daily device of mine (and one I like very much).

So, I found it, charged it up, went to

February 2016 EBR Update Amazon page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

double-checked that I was getting the right download version for the device, and manually updadoted it (following Amazon’s directions precisely…I generally do that, in part to test how clear their directions are for…

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“The Fall of Magic: The Second Season of Elsewhen” is now live for pre-order on Amazon! It’s also live in the Smashwords store and will appear in other retailers over the next few days (Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and others). ONLY $1.99 IF YOU PRE-ORDER: the price will double (to $3.99) following general release on October 31, so if you want a great deal, jump NOW and pre-order from your favorite retail site!

Oh, and if you haven’t had a chance to grab “The Summer Apprentice” (the First Season of Elsewhen), watch this blog or at www.PsiWriters.info … you just might be able to grab a FREE copy one weekend in October! (Details aren’t firm yet, but it’s a good bet. Keep watching!)

Lastly, this is the cover you’ll be looking for to pre-order FOM:

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We’re participating in a 100+ book sale this weekend! Grab yourself a copy of Sydney Chambers: Captain for just 99c September 3-4 at all our retail partners! (Heck, the price is already lowered at some, like Amazon, so go for it.) This is a part of a national, monthly promotional project:


and we’ll have more books available through this promotion as time goes by. (Hint: with The Fall of Magic heading for pre-order in September and full availability in October, you might watch for a promotion on The Summer Apprentice in the October national sale. Just sayin’….)