The Audie awards are coming, and some critics think I should win. :)

I love how “paranormal” is the division where they stick pretty much everything. So out of all of the thousands of audibooks out there, the final five for best paranormal are two of my books from two totally different series, two romances, and a supernatural thriller.

The Monster Hunters, in stores now


The Monster Hunter Legion eARC is out now!

Okay, I know. I posted this a couple of days ago, but lots of you weren’t on the internet this weekend, so this is to get it out there again.

Reviews so far are very good.  Sweet. The first couple of days after an eARC comes out always kind of freak me out a little bit. :)

OUT NOW! Monster Hunter Legion eARC is available!

I just found out that the Monster Hunter Legion eARC is now available.

Keep in mind that this is the Advanced Reader Copy. Which means that it will still have a few tweaks that need to be made, but this is pretty much it folks. You can now read MHL 4 months early. :)

Tell your friends!  And then let me know what you think.

I forgot how fun this story was

I’m working on the third Grimnoir novel, Warbound, so that means I need to go back and read through the previous stuff. That included the short story, Detroit Christmas.

I forgot how fun this little detective story was to write. It is Jake Sullivan PI, and my chance to play Raymond Chandler, only with more magic and demons, and it is free over on the Baen website if you haven’t seen it yet.

The Burning Throne, Episode 29: B Team Night

Continued from: 

These entries were from a B Team night. Our GM, Dan Wells, couldn’t make it at the last minute, so I threw together a quick game. Same timeline, same world, only the PCs were made up of characters that are usually supporting NPCs, and we came up with backstory for them on the fly. These are some of the same guys we used in the last B Team game.

Paul played Tamori Fubatsu, a cursed swordsman who is currently serving as Kuni Magatsu’s yojimbo. The backstory I came up with for him was that his first assignment was to serve as the bodyguard of a promising young shugenja girl. They secretly fell in love. However, she turned to blood magic, was corrupted, and Fubatsu had no choice but to kill her. But the fact that she brought it on her self, Fubatsu kept secret, and as far as anyone knows he simply failed as a yojimbo. Hence, why he wound up serving Magatsu. (who knows the truth, and is in fact the man that discovered Fubatsu’s original charge had been tainted by evil). 

During this game, Fubatsu had to go check on his old girlfriend’s father, to make sure he hadn’t been taken out during the Night of Assassins. Oh, the assassins had tried, only the hungry ghost that had moved in wasted them, and our guys wound up fighting their zombie ninja corpses. :)  (This game was near Halloween so I went for horror).

Nineteenth Entry

From the journal of Hida Makoto, Crab Clan.

This will be brief. There has been much activity since the attack upon Shiro Tamori by foul assassins. The Tamori house guard asked for some assistance concerning an internal matter. One of their local lords was believed to have been a potential target of assassins as well, and there had been no word from his isolated estate. It turned out that this was the family of the deceased shugenja that Tamori Fubatsu had once served as yojimbo for. So I ordered Kakita Fujo to gather some horses and accompany Fubatsu on this errand.

They returned this morning on foot, exhausted and wounded, but with another Lantern volunteer who had been stuck outside the city walls after the gates were sealed because of the attack. His name is Matsu Abiru, a spearman of the Lion Clan. They had also been accompanied by a suspicious Scorpion ruffian, who I have not yet met, named Hideyoshi (a likely story). It turned out that the estate of Tamori Nitobi had in fact been attacked by assassins, but the assassins had all been dispatched. During Fubatsu’s investigation it was discovered that a gaki, impersonating the deceased shugenja girl, had taken up residence in the estate and had been feeding upon the grief of her father.  Fubatsu was able to expose the creature for what it was by playing a song on his flute that only he and the shugenja had known. It flew into a rage and attacked.

I understand the solemn Tamori Fubatsu now. I believe he was in love with his charge. The dishonor of her death is what has brought him to the Paper Lanterns. So be it. He is a skilled swordsman.

The Lanterns were able to defeat the gaki, grown fat and powerful on grief, and its undead minions, but in the aftermath the estate was burned down and Tamori Nitobe committed seppuku. Fubatsu recorded Nitobe’s death poem.

Fleeting is the lie

Corrupted, a father’s wish

fog on the mountain

The men were dismayed that they had been unable to retrieve Nitobe as ordered. I told them there was no shame, and they had done Nitobe a favor. The hungry dead can be very tricky. I know them well. They are never pleasant, but some are far worse than others, and all of them feed upon different things. Some feed upon death, others sadness, or pain. I’ve even heard rumors of some that feed upon positive things, such as courage. This beast of Nitobe’s sounded particularly foul.

My little sister, O-Hinku has her own personal gaki that has shadowed her since birth. Step-father is a master ghost hunter, and says that her particular gaki feeds upon violence, and where O-Hinku goes, violence is sure to follow. Since he was unable to banish it, and it only causes harm to O-Hinku’s enemies, we accepted its presence, and in time grew used to it. You could not actually see it, but you could feel when it was near. Waiting, always hungry for death… Many nights of my childhood, I would awake, knowing that it was in the darkest corner of our room, watching.

Reminder: I must send a letter to each of those bushi’s daimyos, telling them of the courage their warriors showed for battling the foul beast. Fujo earned a wonderful claw scar across his face. Only a few days with the Paper Lanterns, and he looks less like a Crane and more like a Crab already. Good for him. A warrior should not be so pretty.


To My Brother, Daidoji Arak,

I won’t lie to you, brother, I was frightened.

There is a terrifying quality to mist.  So often we describe the blood from those we slay in battle as a “spray” or a “mist” of blood as our weapons cleave through our foes.  I used to think it was just an expression, but now I wonder if it isn’t some sort of mental connection we have between the horrors of battle and our fears that hide in the mists.

I was only with the Paper Lanterns for a day, brother, when I was sent away on an errand.  Do not think poorly of me, as it was for a good cause.  Things go poorly here in Shiro Tamori.  The Daimyo lies dead and we have fought strange creatures thought to be myth—Goju.  They are no myth, and you know that I am not one to sully my honor with false proclamations.

I apologize.  I have strayed from the subject.

Fear, brother.  A good warrior embraces small amounts of fear.  It keeps the samurai wary and prepared.  A day’s ride from Shiro Tamori we entered the estate of Tamori Nitobe.  I could feel a wrongness right from the beginning.  I won’t bore you with the trivial details—though I know how you say it the little details that make all the difference when tracking—but a gaki was preying on the shugenja’s grief.  We first fought its undead minions, then the gaki itself.

I have been studying with a shugenja from the Crab Clan.  A Kuni.  He has given me the most basic teachings on the shadowlands.  The instant I felt the mist grow denser and the temperature drop unnaturally I knew we were dealing with pure evil.  I recognized the gaki for what it was and pushed myself to the forefront of the melee.  My sensei, as you know, always said I made for an imposing figure, and even the creature must have recognized it.  I took the best punishment it could deliver.  I guarded my companions with my life as I was taught.

We were victorious.  I don’t take pride in killing, but I couldn’t help but feel the roaring of the blood through my veins after vanquishing the monster and seeing all my traveling companions live through the danger.  We lived, but did not come through unscathed.  I was nearly blinding by the claws of the creature, and now wear the scars of the victory across my face.  The deluded shugenja Nitobe killed himself before we could take him to Shiro Tamori.  His dishonor harms us all.

Brother, I trust that you are well, and that this letter does not make you concerned for my well-being.  I will leave you with news to uplift your heart.

I have found my true love.  The Topaz Champion, Chiyoko, is here as the Lord of the Paper Lanterns’, Ide Todo, yojimbo.  We have heard of her beauty, but it is meaningless until seeing her in person.  She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.

You know my past.  You know I was removed from being a duelist.  I have dedicated myself to improving upon the art as an homage to her.  I will not shirk in the skills my sensei taught me, but I am taken by the woman and will do my utmost to gain her favor.  There is rumor that Ide Todo serves as a nakado…perhaps I will talk to him when I have earned more honor in his eyes.

What would she think of the fear I felt upon facing the gaki?  Would she be ashamed of my fright at the unnatural mist?  Will she feel I am weak upon seeing my marred face?  I will keep you apprised, brother, until we see each other again…I still owe you sake for that time in the woods hunting a boar.

Until then, know that I am in good hands.  I bring honor to our clan.  I also am learning to respect our neighbors.  The Crab, while brutish, continue to impress me.  One day I will stand on the wall with their revered Defenders.  Ide Todo is, as we have been led to believe, a most honorable man.  He makes the hard decisions and battles well with his words…he even asked for defensive training from a Crab.  A smart man.

You taught me to always learn from my surroundings.  Seeing as I am surrounded by people of other clans, I apply your wisdom to them.

Be well, brother,

Kakita Fujo

PS – If you desire, I will tell you of what I learn from the Kuni.  You once mentioned your desire to understand more of the shadowlands.  Do you still wish this?


To be continued next week, when the Paper Lanterns get to watch a god die.

Hey, Mini Painters and War Gamers

As most of you know, I’m a complete geek and sucker for miniatures. Especially Samurai themed ones that I can use for L5R. (as seen in the Friday serial glorified fan fiction from Writer Nerd Game Night).

So I jumped onto this kickstarter (indiegogo, whatever, it works like kickstarter) to fund a bunch of new minis from Bushido. They’ve already hit their funding goal, and now they are just adding more free units.

So I’m spreading the word because $4k more and I get more free stuff. :)

BTW, their models are awesome.  I got their Savage Wave, because you can never have enough oni.


And on a totally unrelated spoiler free note, I’m fascinated by things like kickstarter and indiegogo. I’ve had a few creator friends fund some nifty projects with it. (like Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary boardgame). It is a great way to get oddball artistic projects off the ground that you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to. It has sort of become the standard for the game industry for everyone other than the biggest companies. It gives creators a chance to go right to the fans, fund a project, and give the hardcore fans extra perks. I love it.

Let’s just say that there is a very good chance that you will be seeing a project on there from me sometime in the future. :)

EDIT: No. I didn’t buy the $750 package that let you have input on your own mini. No matter how much Jordo Sanderson tried to talk me into it, I behaved myself… (because the lovely Mrs. Correia would murder me) Though an official Makoto miniature would be ten kinds of awesome… Big dude, tetsubo, heavy armor, and Death’s hat. (oh, you haven’t read about Death’s big straw hat yet? Well, that’s why it is a serial fiction) :)

Ripped from the Totally Unbiased Headlines!

There is so much political stuff going on right now, that I figured I would just do a quick rundown of the totally unbiased news.

First off, Barack Obama has had three close primary races over the last few weeks, which is amazing because he’s the incumbent, nobody you’ve ever heard of is running against him, in one he nearly lost to a prisoner, and he lost 40% of Kentucky to Uncommitted.

However, this can’t be because he’s been such a crappy president that sane registered democrats have a hard time pulling the lever for him. No. Obviously it is because Americans are racist.

This is an awesome article, because the headline suggests that if you are against Obama it is only because you are racist, and the intro to the article says it is because you are racist, but then it says: The problem with that theory is that it’s almost entirely unprovable because it relies on assuming knowledge about voter motivations that — without being a mindreader — no one can know. Before going on for 19 more paragraphs trying to prove that it has to be because of racism.

You know, I heard a really good analogy the other day, but I can’t remember who said it.

The charge that if you don’t like Obama it has to be racism is sort of like how if you hate Italian food, and you never eat Italian food, and one day a black person invites you to Olive Garden, and you say no, it must be because you are racist.

This article was from the Washington Post, the same awesome newspaper that recently managed to correlate Mitt Romney to a massacre that occurred in 1857.

Yes… Because that isn’t biased at all.

Remember, talking about Barack Obama’s 20 years of hanging out with a racist conspiracy theorist preacher doesn’t matter. It so doesn’t matter that even when it was alleged last week by that same preacher that the president’s campaign tried to bribe him to shut up doesn’t really make the main stream news.

However, something that some Mormons did 155 years ago is totally a legitimate topic to link to Romney because he’s a Mormo-republican. I’m not sure if the national media ever felt the need to analyze the sins of Mormons past and relate it to democrat majority leader, Harry Reid.

So, Mitt Romney being mean to somebody in high school? Legitimate news. Barack Obama doing coke in college? Not legitimate. Barack being a party animal, womanizing, jerk ass prick to the Mexican cleaning ladies while lying in pools of his own vomit? Not news. (and the fact that this is a shocking revelation just goes to prove that our media watchdogs didn’t even read Obama’s stupid book back in ’07 like they all said they did).

The media was super excited for the republicans to run a Mormon, because then they could bring out the history of polygamy. Why did you know that Mitt Romney’s great-great-grandfather that died in 1904 was a polygamist? Shocking! Outrageous! Oh wait… Barack Obama’s dad who died in 1984 was a polygamist? Let’s not run with that one. We don’t want another ate the dog moment.

And for the record, Obama’s biography is so full of crap. Properly cooked snake is not chewy. But then again, I’ve never had Indonesian snake. Californian rattlesnake is delicious (and easy to catch with a shovel!)

Speaking of Obama’s many biographies, this one used by his literary agent is hilarious.

No. I don’t think he was born in Kenya. I think he was born in Hawaii. The NYT and WaPo immediately went into full damage control with this one, saying “look at those crazy birthers, at it again!” When that wasn’t the point at all, and they know it.

What I find interesting is that the literary agent didn’t just pull this factoid out of her butt. Somebody told her that, and since this is pre-Google who else would have told her other than the client himself? And then we’re supposed to believe that Obama, who strikes me as a supremely egotistical narcissist, never bothered to read the bio his literary agent used for him for a decade? What was he too busy with all of his community organizing to look?

Hell, I’m also a bestselling writer, and I still check all of my bios put out in various things. No. He knew, and he left it there in the hopes that it would make him sound exotic so he would sell more books. But then this leads to the bigger question of if he lied there for personal gain, what box did he check in order to go to all of his various Ivy League colleges, that he then partied through (as admitted in his own book)? Would we put it past him to have lied about his place of birth in order to get some of sweet foreign student scholarship money? But we don’t know, because Obama’s college records are more secret than Eric Holder’s Fast & Furious emails.

(But the most interesting thing from that link is that Obama was agented by the same person that represented New Kids on the Block!)

Just remember everyone, since we are talking about the media, if it is negative about somebody on the right, anything is totally okay. If it is negative about anyone on the left, it is horrible hate speech hatemonger racist hatey-hate-hate.

For example, if Rush Limbaugh calls a liberal female political activist a slut on the radio, then it is horrible, absolutely horrible, and the media outrage will be so thick you can cut it with a knife. It will be so absolutely traumatic that the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama himself will call you on the phone to make sure you are doing okay.

However, if it is a right wing political activist, then you can totally just photo shop her giving some dude a blowjob.

Yes. I know it is Hustler and it is trash. However it will be interesting to see if the president calls to console S.E. Cupp or if the media will convene an Outrage Day over it. Sure, you can just dismiss this and say, oh, it’s only Hustler… Okay… Now imagine with me for a moment what the media reaction would be if it was a liberal female commentator or a liberal female politician photo shopped in exactly the same way.

Don’t worry. I’m sure we will see that media outrage anytime now. You know, they’re all about that “war on women”. You know it is totally unacceptable to be all violent and degrade women. Like beating a piñata of a woman would be totally uncool.

Oh, wait… Republican… Being beaten by a union leader… Crap. Never mind.

Because imagine what would happen if a republican beat a piñata of a MINORITY FEMALE with a bat? The outrage! THE OUTRAGE! Hell, if an elected republican wishes happy birthday to an old racist democrat the media freaks out until they have to retire in shame.

Let’s see… If you are against abortion or you are a Catholic who doesn’t want to pay for somebody’s contraception because of your religious beliefs, it is a war on women. If you call a teenage girl that screwed up and got pregnant an ignorant slut on national TV, or say that the republican VP nominee should get gang raped by “big black brothers”, then that’s just legitimate political commentary. Because those right wing chicks totally deserve it.

If you are a liberal comedian, you can call a religion with 13 million members a cult, that’s totally cool, because most of them are right wingers. However, you should never say anything negative about a group led by a messianic figure that tolerates no dissension, and lives in their own reality completely oblivious to history or facts. Because those are liberals, so that would be hate speech.

Book release tomorrow (in France)

Coming next week

Autographed copies here:


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