Friday, October 17, 2014

Story Time

Caveat Scriptor
a silly fable about dark times

Once upon a time there was a wise woman in the woods who claimed she knew how to raise any child to become a prince or princess. No muss. No fuss. Just give her your baby and come back in a few years and viola! You could have a royal child. The local villagers loved this idea and eagerly turned their children over to the wise woman. All of the children. They even promised away their unborn ones. Even the ones yet to be conceived. Contracts signed and hearts overflowing with promise, the parents went away and left their kids in the hands of the generous wise woman.

Trouble started brewing when the proud parents returned to check up on their Little Lord Fauntleroys, but found their kids had grown up to become swineherds and millers and barmaids instead. Not a prince or princess among them.

“What is this?” the parents asked. “Where are our royal children?”

“I never said I would make your children royal,” the wise woman said. “I said I had the means to make them royal. But if they wanna become real royals they gotta earn it.”

The wise woman pointed out that their contracts didn’t stipulate instant royalty, just that she would raise them as best she could to achieve possible royalty. She would raise them in a manner befitting her budget and resources. Sure, some of them might have real royal potential, but she wasn’t just going to hand it over willy-nilly. The kids were going to have to earn that prince hood, buddy.

When they asked for their children back, the wise woman showed them the contract once more and explained that the kids were hers now. The parents could visit, but the kids could never go home again. Unless, of course, they would like to reimburse her for raising their screaming brats for so many years.

“Nuts to that!” the villagers cried, and tried to shove her into an oven.

They set her hut on fire, with her inside, which in turn caught the woods ablaze and eventually burned down the entire village. The villagers had nothing but ashes left when it was over. But the dead wise woman still had their children, thanks to an airtight contract.

The moral of the story is simple. Instead of putting all of your princes in one basket, have a whole bunch of babies and send them out to wise women all over the world. Hell, keep a few at home and raise them yourself. The chances that one will reach that royal status will be far greater if you spread out your seed a little bit.

That and you can never trust a wise woman armed with legalese. 

Read and understand before you sign on the dotted line.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AWW-MAD KESTREL by Misty Massey

Today on Another Writer’s Work we are joined by Misty Massey, the author of Mad Kestrel from Tor. This awesome book is about an awesome female pirate doing awesome things. I am so jealous I didn’t write this one. So much awesome. Misty is one of those women I wished I could be like when I grow up. She's an amazing writer with a sparkling personality. I've met her once or twice at cons. She talked to me. In person.

I think I have a girl crush on her.

Oh! Onto the book. Yes. The book. Tee hee!


Mad Kestrel, proud captain of the pirate vessel Thanos and secret wielder of wild magics, is back!  Kestrel's Voyages is a compilation of four short stories featuring the swashbuckling Kestrel, captain of the pirate vessel Thanos and wielder of mysterious magic even she doesn't quite understand.  In between assignments as the Privateer for the King of the Nine Islands, Kestrel and her crew have thrilling adventures all their own. Mermaids and magic springs, dead men walking and mages drinking, enchanted gateways and horrible monsters...the thrills never stop! Come on board and ride the waves in these four stories of derring-do and the marvelous tingle of magic.
You can find the book here:
Kestrel's Voyages:
Mad Kestrel:

Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel (Tor), a rollicking fantasy adventure of magic on the high seas, and the just-released Kestrel’s Voyages. Misty is one of the featured writers on Magical Words ( When she’s not writing, she studies Middle Eastern dance. You can see more of what Misty’s up to at her website, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

AWW & A (sub)Standard Word with Stephen Kozeniewski

Today I have a word of prayer with Stephen "How in the hell do you pronounce that" Kozeniewski. He is the awesome author of BRAINEATER JONES and other novels. I have found Stephen to be one of those sons of bitches you wished lived in your town so you could go hang and have a beer and stuff. Ah well...
Before we get to the short (sub)standard interview, let's talk about his novel. BRAINEATER JONES is a humor-noir of epic proportions. It's pretty damned hilarious. It's also one of those books I wished I wrote.

 Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder.
But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all walking corpses, he discovers that only a stiff drink can soothe his cravings. Unfortunately, finding liquor during Prohibition is costly and dangerous. From his Mason jar, the cantankerous Old Man rules the only speakeasy in the city that caters to the postmortem crowd.

As the booze, blood, and clues coagulate, Jones gets closer to discovering the identity of his killer and the secrets behind the city’s stranglehold on liquid spirits. Death couldn’t stop him, but if the liquor dries up, the entire city will be plunged into an orgy of cannibalism.

Cracking this case is a tall order. Braineater Jones won’t get out alive, but if he plays his cards right, he might manage to salvage the last scraps of his humanity.

You can find the book here:


Kozeniewski. Wow, that is one hell of a name. I couldn't make a surname like that up. Believe me, I've tried. Betty's surname in the gnome was just me banging random keys on the keyboard, and Stephen's name still outdoes hers. Kozeniewski. Kozeniewski. Nice!

*face palm* Aw, man. I really gotta stop typing everything that comes into my head. Geesh, Tonia, way to make fun of your guest. Sorry, Stephen. I like your name. I really do. I am a fan of unusual names. 

Anyways, here is the interview. Enjoy!

1)  So, what are you wearing right now?

My gingerbread man boxers, socks, and not much else.  :)  Except loafers, slacks, a buttondown, a tie, my security card lanyard, spectacles, and a belt.

2 ) If a chicken and a half took a day and a half to lay an egg and a half, how long would it take a one legged cricket to kick all of the seeds out of a dill pickle?

Three of your “Earth minutes.”

3)  Who’s that girl?

It’s Brandy.  She’s a fine girl.  What a good wife she would be.  But my life, my love and my lady…is the sea.

4) Seriously, what are you wearing? You look gorgeous!

Chanel #9.

532) Tell us your favorite celebrity story.

There was a lady on Jeopardy once who raised chickens, one of whom was named Kim Kardash-chicken.  True story.

6) There is no rule six!

Then presumably one can conclude that the cake is a lie?

7) If you could hear in one color, which color would it be?

Yellow.  Get it?  Yell…ow? 

8) Mr. Wiggums says hello! Say hello to Mr. Wiggums!

Your cat’s breath smells like cat food.

9) Number nine. Number Nine. Number Nine.

Would that be Nine the Fellini movie or 9 the animated Elijah Wood vehicle?

10) Boxers, briefs or commando?

Didn’t I answer that already?  Twice, in fact?

Stephen Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key") lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. He was born to the soothing strains of “Boogie With Stu” even though The Who are far superior to Zep, for reasons that he doesn’t even really want to get into right now.
During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. The depiction of addiction in his fiction is strongly informed by the three years he spent working at a substance abuse clinic, an experience which also ensures that he employs strict moderation when enjoying the occasional highball of Old Crow.

He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s degree is in German.

You can find him at:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

AWW-SEDICH by R. Ann Humphries

Today in our Another Writer’s Work series we have SEDICH from R. Ann Humphries. Sci-fi has always been a fave of mine, and this one sounds like a winner. Winner, winner, space chicken dinner!

Speaking of winners, R. Ann Humphries is also running a raffle giveaway from August 30th - September 6th. Visit her blog at for details. Who knows? Maybe you'll win something? Probably not a chicken dinner though. Still, good luck!
Rilan Crendu is a slave. Laboring alongside the rest of his conquered race, he lives his life at the whims of his Regiment overlords. But when a secret society captures him and leads him to touch the sedich – a centuries-old stone imbued with the power of the Creator – Rilan becomes not only a rebel, but the rebel leader.

Able to control fire with his hands, Rilan attracts the attention of the Sovereign - the bloodthirsty leader of the Regiment - whose sole focus is bringing Rilan down. Joined by soliders, civilians, and slaves from across Lusiartha, Rilan must learn how to command and lead those he once had to obey, and he must do so quickly. For if the Sovereign succeeds and Rilan falls, Lusiartha’s last chance for freedom falls with him.

R. Ann Humphries is a lifelong science fiction and fantasy addict. Unable to find a portal to Narnia in her closet, she started inventing her own fantasy worlds and storylines.  She graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a BA in Creative Writing.  She lives in western North Carolina with her two weenie dogs, Smith and Wesson.

Humphries was introduced to the world of science fiction and fantasy by her father, who made her sit down and watch every episode of the original Star Trek series at a young, impressionable age. Hopelessly hooked from that point on, she moved through dozens of sci-fi/fantasy television shows, books, movies, and video games like a true addict. While the entertaining, escapist side of such stories is obvious, Humphries believes there’s a truly valuable side to far fetched and whimsical stories, one that allows readers to examine themselves and humanity through nontraditional and unfamiliar lenses.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A (sub)Standard Word with Author Dana Fredsti

Today I have invited the ever awesome Dana Fredsti, author of Plague World and other amazing stuffs, over for a standard interview. Of course, you know good and well that everything around here is substandard. So here is Dana, answering my substandard interview.

 1) So, what are you wearing right now?

Black leggings, a long royal blue tunic, over-the-knee brown boots (very military chic), and a wide brass and leather Moroccan belt.  Normally the answer to this question is either yoga pants and a T-shirt, or flannel jammies and a thermal.  You picked a good day to ask! 

2 ) If a chicken and a half took a day and a half to lay an egg and a half, how long would it take a one legged cricket to kick all of the seeds out of a dill pickle?

You didn’t specify the size of the dill pickle. How am I supposed to answer this question if you don’t supply me with all the relevant information?  And what kind of chicken and a half are we talking?  Jeez… 

3)Who’s that girl?

That would be Pogeen, my dog.  Or possibly one of my cats.  I really have no idea.  

4)Seriously, what are you wearing? You look gorgeous!

I swear upon the heads of my twelve felines that I told the truth when answering question number 1. 

5) Tell us your favorite celebrity story.

I was visiting my then boyfriend on location for Star Trek V, they were filming at night, it was butt-ass cold and I had to pee.  DeForest Kelley graciously offered to let me use the bathroom in his motor home and hang out there while he and the rest of the cast were filming. Gotta love a celebrity who’ll extend that kind of hospitality! 

6) There is no rule six!

And I am not a number!  Points to whoever gets that relatively obscure reference… 

7) If you could hear in one color, which color would it be?

Red. I think that would cover flamenco music and the Russian composers, all passionate and stuff. 

8) Mr. Wiggums says hello! Say hello to Mr. Wiggums!

WHUZZZY WHUZZY Mr. WIGGUMS CUTIE BABY!!! I want to hug him and stroke him and make him my friend!

9) Number nine. Number Nine. Number Nine.

I told you, I am not a number.  I am a human being.

10) Boxers, briefs or commando?

For men?  Briefs.  Unless he’s wearing a kilt and then definitely commando.  

Thanks for talking with us.
Be seeing you, Dana. 
*insert maniacal laughter here*