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A Sample of Darkship Thieves

*I know I've done this before, but now that DST is actually shipping from Amazon, here is the opening. And happy New Year, everyone.*

One



I never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in discovering the truth about the darkships. You always get what you don’t ask for.

Which was why I woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in my father’s space cruiser.

Before full consciousness, I knew there was an intruder in my cabin. Once awake, I couldn’t figure out how I knew it. The air smelled as it always did on shipboard, as it had for the week I’d spent here – stale, with the odd tang given by the recycling.

The engines, below me, hummed steadily. We had just detached from Circum Terra – a maneuver that involved some effort, to avoid accidentally ramming the station or the ship. Shortly we’d be Earth bound, though slowing down and reentry let alone landing, for a ship this size, would take close to a week.

My head felt a little light, my stomach a little queasy, from the artificial grav. Yes, I know. Scientists say that’s impossible. They say artificial gravity is just like true gravity to the senses. You don’t feel a thing. They are wrong. Artificial grav always made me feel a little out of balance, like a couple of shots of whiskey on an empty stomach.

Even before waking fully, I’d tallied all this. There was nothing out of the ordinary. And yet there was a stranger in my cabin.

Years in reformatories, boarding schools and mental hospitals, had taught me that the feeling I woke up with was often the right one. Something had awakened me – a door closing, a step on the polished floor. Read more...Collapse )Read more...Collapse )

Naming the names -- D'Artagnan Hoyt

A post by D'Artagnan Hoyt, the bestest cat in the world (Mommy says so.)

She doesn't like it when I call her mommy. Says she'd remember if she'd given birth to me, which is silly, because I don't remember being born, so no reason why she should. The thing is, I'm probably adopted, because I'm handsome and fuzzy and not a pink blob on two legs, like Mommy and Daddy and the sad, deformed bigger-kittens they have. But, you know, they're still the only family I gots. And they feed me and pet me and younger deformed-giant-kitten lets me sleep in his bed at night, which is really warm.

So... to make a long story short, mommy says that no one even knows all the name she writes under, which comes prettilly from a woman who calls me D'Artagnan, Tagnan, Little Cat (which I'm not!) Pickle Jar, Sausage, Bah-Lamb and a dozen other things and expects me to remember them.

Anyway, her names so far are Sarah Hoyt and Sarah D'Almeida and Elise Hyatt and apparently for only one book (Plain Jane) a house name (Whatever that is) Laurien Gardner.

And, she says I should tell you about the books, so here goes:

My favorite is the shifter series (I read them after they go to bed. I mean, geesh, if Mommy found out I can read and write, she'd start dictating to me.)

Draw One In The Dark -- adventures of a dragon boy and a cat girl, though what she wants with a lizard, is beyond me. There's also a pearl. It's very educational.

Gentleman Takes a Chance -- more cat girl and dragon boy. Kyrie, the cat girl is really hot, though Mommy would probably glare at me for saying so.

Then is the Musketeer's Mysteries series. These are out of print, Mommy says, which is not fair, since it's all about the adventures of D'Artagnan who was named after me, and who solves mysteries with his three friends, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. I'd like to meet the cats they're named after.

Then there's Darkship Thieves, hopefully the first of a series, only I read this in manuscript form, since it only comes out January 5. It's about this girl who goes to space and meets a guy with cat eyes. Two paws up. Recommended reading. Go buy it. I want to read more of these.

Then there is the Magical British Empire -- Heart of light, Soul of Fire and Heart and Soul, only of course they don't have any cats. They do however have dragons. I wonder what mommy thought she was doing there? No clue.

And then there's Dipped, Stripped and Dead under Elise Hyatt. It's about Fluffy. The second book will be about the cat Pythagoras. Comes out in April.

Also in April comes out No Other Will But His, which is about Kathryn Howard, wife of Henry VIII, but mom says there's no cats in it, though Kathryn behaved a lot like a cat whatever that means.

And that's it, and now I'm going to make Mommy give me kibble and pet me. This was exhausting.



(A guest post by Euclid Hoyt, the patriarch of the Hoyts' tame pride and known in the family as Neurotalon.)


Hi to everyone out there. My human, Sarah, says that there are many many people you can reach through this computer thing. I don't know what she means, because I've walked up behind this computer thing -- and coughed a hairball or two on top of it, and let me tell you, it's not touching anyone. But then humans are weird that way. I mean, it's like the whole thing with water. what sane species keeps water in their lair, ready to dump on them at a moment's notice. They could just lick themselves clean like normal people, or have their friends lick them, at least. I mean, it's fun and no sudden water on head.

But Sarah-human is looking over my shoulder, and anyway, I didn't mean to make this a post about humans. You know, I'm not complaining. Oh, well, okay, I'm complaining, but it's not that bad. They give us food twice and a day and everything, even if Havey eats most of it. Of course, I can't figure what they put into those cans. I've never seen animals that shape running around. Perhaps they just press squirrels really well? Sometimes I have nightmares where those wheel shaped things are spying on me with beady little eyes. They have purple fur, and they hate me, becaus ethey know I'm going to eat them some day. But then my tail... Uh... no, Sarah, I don't need to see the vet for more valium. Whatever gave you that idea?

Sarahhuman says if I'm going to blog -- like it was my idea! -- I might as well promote her stuff, so look, Sarahhuman has books out this month. And last month and things. Only she doesn't write as Sarahhuman -- apparently there's a lot of them, though I've never met another one -- but as Sarah Hoyt, where she has this great book called Gentleman Takes A Chance. It's all about this cat called Not Dinner and how brave he is and the adventures he has, though there's some boring parts about a guy who changes into a dragon and a girl who changes into a panther some ancient canine trying to kill them or something and this whole courtship thing humans do, but they don't yowl or anything, so it's boring. Then there's one called Dipped, Stripped And Dead about this cat named Fluffy, though Sarahhuman says it's really about some girl who refinishes furniture and dates this hot policeman and solves mysteries. Whatever. It's written under Elise Hyatt, because Sarahhuman was asked to have another name, like when you go to the humane society and they give you a name. Let me tell you about that.

They called me Tootsie. TOOTSIE! As if it weren't obvious that my name was Euclid. And they were going to put me down till Sarahhuman and Danhuman and their two cubs came and rescued me at the last minute. My tail was so scared that it's never been the same since. I can't sleep without its sneaking up on me and trying to strangle me, and then Sarahhuman makes me swallow valium, which only makes the tail take advantage of my confused state and it just isn't fair.

But Sarahhuman is coming again, and if she reads this she'll say I need to see the vet, so let's keep that between us. Buy her books, because then she buys us kibble and toys and stuff, and is too busy to think I need valium.

Till next time.

Euclid Hoyt

Tags:

When the Chickens Roamed The Earth

I won't even go into how I got into this, but it started with talking about a chicken's eyes.  Then looking at chickens online.  (Hey, like you don't look at stuff on line.  First stone, buddy, first stone.)  Of course, I didn't need to look at chickens.  I grew up with them (around.  I mean, I wasn't literally in the hen house.)  But the kids didn't and I wanted to show them the expression in chicken's eyes.

Why, you ask?  Oh, surely you can understand.  If you've ever looked into a chicken's eyes, you surely have a clue what is happening there.  It's as though every t-rex in the world is being reincarnated as a chicken over and over again.

In my head, this is what happens when one of us looks into a chicken's eyes:

H (for human):  mmmm fryer!
C (for chicken): Hey, hey, something is very wrong here!
H: Chicken soup!
C: I used to be much larger than your puny ancestors.  They got caught in my teeth.
H: Chicken casserole!
C:In my dreams I still am.  I stalk the world and your kind cowers.
H:Roast chicken.
C: Do you mind just lying down and letting me peck you to death?  Shouldn't take more than two hours, and it would do wonders for my self esteem.
H: What?
C: Not even for therapy?  You mean, evil, cold b*stard.  In my dreams I'm crunching you right now...
H:Chicken soup will make you feel better.

Sarah Book Comes Out And Various

Various first -- I have posted the winners of the last giveaway and I haven't familed the previous one, yet, because I was traveling.  Workshop in Texas was lots of fun, but why didn't anyone tell me teaching took it out of you.  I mean teaching writing.  I've taught other stuff and it's not THAT bad.  Anyway, more or less recovered now and back to work.

Came back to my contributor copies of Dipped, Stripped and Dead under nom de guerre (feels like it) of Elise Hyatt.  In case no one remembers, Dipped starts like this:

One Woman’s Trash

 

When I was little, I was going to be a ballerina. This was a strange ambition for a five year old who could trip over both feet at the same time while standing still. As soon as that tragic fact dawned on me, I settled on the more attainable ambition of becoming a lion tamer. This, at least, seemed perfectly within my reach, since my cat always did exactly what I wanted her to – well, except when she balked at jumping through the lighted hoop. Which is just as well, since Mom didn’t exactly approve of my setting fire to her quilting frame. With the quilt in it.

In the aftermath of the fire-in-the-living-room incident and subsequent grounding, I’d regretfully dropped the lion taming ambition – probably good, since Fluffy wouldn’t come near me any more, though her fur did grow back – and with it all my hopes of a career in the performing arts.

A failure at the age of six, my ego crushed, I’d actually been weak enough to consider dad’s life-long ambition of having me grow up to become a private eye. Except that I wasn’t absolutely sure what a private eye was – it seemed to me you’d have to go around with your hands over your eyes to prevent anyone seeing them and...

Well, that also didn’t go well. And My Little Investigator’s Kit which Dad bought me, didn’t provide me with many clues. I spread the fingerprint powder over the cat, finger painted with the inking pad and used the magnifying lens to start a fire in the leaf pile in the backyard.

After the fire department had been by and we’d found Fluffy cowering under the azalea bushes at the far end, I thought that this private eye thing was by far too hazardous.

And this is how I never quite figured out what to be when I grew up.

Which probably explained why, at twenty nine years of age, I had parked at the edge of Goldport college campus and was rummaging through a dumpster.

Okay, it wasn’t exactly as dire as Mom had always said it would be. I wasn’t living on the streets. I still had all my teeth – even if there had been some doubt about that when I went flying from my bike at the age of eight, after riding down suicide hill with no hands – and I wasn’t looking for food.

Well, at least I wasn’t exactly looking for food, only for the stuff that allowed me to make a living. Because, after waffling through two years as an English major – until the words post modernism could put me to sleep like hypnotic suggestion – and a year as a teaching major – before I remembered another name for hell was school room full of kids – and a year in pre law, before I realized I just didn’t have the required forked tongue, I’d left college with a Mrs. degree.

And when that exploded in my face – worse than the quilting frame – I’d found myself as at a loss for what I wanted to do with my life as I had been at six, when my hopes of lion taming had been so cruelly dashed.

Only it no longer was a career a matter of keeping myself amused, or even of feeling I was a productive member of a society. No. My marriage with Alex – All-ex, completely ex, he couldn’t be more ex if I killed him, something I was tempted to do twice a week and four times on Sundays or whenever we had any interaction – Mahr while otherwise completely unproductive, had left me with a child.

Enoch – his father had chosen the name because he thought it sounded solid. I called him E because I hoped to save on therapy bills when he grew up -- had been one when his father and I got divorced. His primary interests in life had been attempting to stuff all his fingers in his mouth at once and finding ever more interesting bugs to eat.

He was still interested in gastronomic entomology at two and a half. But he didn’t look at all like All-ex – or like me, though he had the blond hair and blue eyes I’d had till three, before both had turned pitch black – and he showed some signs of, through some amazing genetic mutation, growing up to be someone worthwhile. Which would be thwarted if I let him starve to death or even – forbid the thought – if I allowed his father full custody.

My working retail would have supported us – sort of – but I’d have had to leave E with someone. Mom and Dad weren’t an option. They worked all day in Remembered Murder, the mystery bookstore they owned and where Fluffy – whom I believed remained alive on the hopes I’d die first – was store cat. And Fluffy started twitching whenever she saw me, or E.

This left me with the one skill I’d more or less inadvertently picked up while furnishing my first home. I’d taken a course in furniture restoration and refinishing at the community college. Back then I’d done it to fit furnishing a house within the scant budget All-ex would allot to it.

On my own -- after some experimentation -- I found that picking up old, beat up and abused furniture, refinishing it or fixing it or giving it a total make over, and selling it – under the business name of Daring Finds -- made just about enough money to keep me and E in three meals a day and a roof over our heads.

Said roof was rented and in an area of town that made my friend Ben cringe and the meals might run to pancakes a lot, but it beat the alternative. Homeless shelters struck me as a terrible place to take a kid who liked to sample bugs.

And so I was at the corner of the college, on a bright Saturday in late May, looking at a bulky green dumpster.

Read more...Collapse )

And Sarah gives away yet more stuff

Come one, come all -- going to the one who amuses me most with his/her description of the need for this book, the Writers' Digest "Twenty Master Plots and how to build them."

You have a week or till someone strikes my funny bone.

I have about twenty books on plot and most of them repeat themselves.  Partly because when I first got published I couldn't find a plot with two hands, a cane and a seeing eye dog!

Okay -- leans back -- amuse me.

Wherein Sarah Gives Away Stuff

Remember sometime back I told you I'd be giving away some of the writers' books cluttering my shelf?

The first up is Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella.

Tell me why you'd deserve it and amuse me.  I'll notify the winner via LJ message, and he/she can then send me address and postage. 

Going once, going twice...

(I must clear the bookshelves.)

So You Want GOOD e-reads?

Well, one of them at least is very good.  Go to http://savethedragons.nu/   where my friend Dave Freer is posting chapter by chapter of his novel Save the Dragons.  The impetus for doing it right now is that he's moving from South Africa to Australia and needs money to take his several animalia along.  Those of you who have pets, think how it would feel to abandon them as you face a totally strange country.  And besides the novel is worth it.

Then there is this: 

Order Now
http://www.webscription.net/p-1112-darkship-thieves-arc.aspx

Baen is selling the earc of my Space Opera Darkship Thieves.  I don't know if it's very good, (lousy evaluator of my own stuff) but I had more fun writing it than just about anything else, and the next one is already in my head and demanding I type as fast as I can...

I

One

 

I never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in discovering the truth about the darkships. You always get what you don’t ask for.

Which was why I woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in my father’s space cruiser.

Before full consciousness, I knew there was an intruder in my cabin. Once awake, I couldn’t figure out how I knew it. The air smelled as it always did on shipboard, as it had for the week I’d spent here – stale, with the odd tang given by the recycling.

The engines, below me, hummed steadily. We had just detached from Circum Terra – a maneuver that involved some effort, to avoid accidentally ramming the station or the ship. Shortly we’d be Earth bound, though slowing down and reentry let alone landing, for a ship this size, would take close to a week.

My head felt a little light, my stomach a little queasy, from the artificial grav. Yes, I know. Scientists say that’s impossible. They say artificial gravity is just like true gravity to the senses. You don’t feel a thing. They are wrong. Artificial grav always made me feel a little out of balance, like a couple of shots of whiskey on an empty stomach.

Even before waking fully, I’d tallied all this. There was nothing out of the ordinary. And yet there was a stranger in my cabin.

Years in reformatories, boarding schools and mental hospitals, had taught me that the feeling I woke up with was often the right one. Something had awakened me – a door closing, a step on the polished floor.

Now, why? Knowing the why determined how I dealt with it.

Three reasons that came to mind immediately. Theft, rape, murder.




 

Father’s Daughter

You Might Be A Writer If

*This was the work of a post meeting party for my writers' group round about 2000.  Because people came and went from the group I don't remember the quorum that afternoon, though I can swear to my husband, Dan Hoyt and to Rebecca and Alan Lickiss, as well as Jennifer Roberts and Barbara Nickless.  I'd forgotten all about this till I found it in my hard drive while looking for something else.*



You Might Be A Writer If...

...you have knock-down, drag-out arguments with your significant other over verb tenses.

 

...you pay big bucks for a babysitter so you can go out on a date ... in order to have some time to plot a story.

 

...revelatory conversations that start with "That's it; I know exactly what to do with Lord Raven!" don't mean you're having an affair.

 

...you find nothing wrong with foregoing food, sleep and sanitary facilities for three days running in order to get those last three chapters done.

 

...you talk to walls on a regular basis, but only because your characters refuse to come out into the middle of the big, unprotected room where their enemies might make an attempt on their lives.

 

...you talk to yourself. Do not! Do too! Do not! Don't listen to him; he doesn't even know how to hold a sword properly!

... conversations that start, "Have you decided how to kill him yet?" don't indicate that you are about to become a felon.

 

... hearing that you have no clue isn't necessarily a personal remark.

 

... if a story isn’t accepted, happiness is a detailed personal rejection.

 

... and then you brag to all your friends about being rejected.

 

... your computer is three generations old, but your printer is a top of the line, twenty pages per minute model.

 

... you have to think to remember which of your friends are real, and which are characters in your stories.

... your characters have definite opinions about your friends, hairdos and sex life.

 

... while plotting a novel you drive your car across a median, barely avoid a stream of oncoming traffic, climb the berm, cross a parking lot, stop against a small tree, and don’t realize you’ve done anything out of the ordinary.

... You ever pumped a total stranger for details of his last illness, so you could use it in a book.

... Often have trouble remembering what day, week, month, year or century you live in.

... Are afraid to park a large car but routinely discuss the mechanics of space travel.

... you have definite opinions about the merits of historical personages so obscure no one else ever heard of them.

... Read Machiavelli’s The Prince on an interstate flight.

... Your four-year-old thinks "editor" is a bad swear word.

... in highschool you used to wander off from parties to research a plot point in the nearest library.

... your writing has ruined more than two serious relationships.

... Your prayers often involve a critique of the divine plot.

... Cleaning is what you do while suffering from the block. And only then.

... Some of the leftovers in your refrigerator have acquired life and are on the verge of sentience. You can’t wait to write about it.

... you have to be a writer, otherwise someone would realize you’re insane.

... you think coffee, donuts and pizza are a complete diet.

... when you were little, your main contribution to the playgroup was making up the "scripts" for playtime.

... your kids talk in hushed tones about your "coming down with a novel."

... Don’t know what the nearest crossroad to your house is, but can tell with certainty what type of carriage was used in 1456 in Wales.

... When a friend asks "what’s new" you give him a synopsis of your latest book.

... Have one or more times scared a late-night diner waitress with a conversation that started with: "now I need to figure out where to hide the body."

... A social life is another name for getting together with other writers and discussing plots.

... While being administered the last rites you think, "dang, I’m too woozy to remember this, and I need it for my mystery novel."

... Love to write, but hate every minute of the writing business.

And yet more kitten

my husband with little Valeria.  Her training as a writer's cat continues!

Valeria sitting on my husband.  As you see her training as a writer's cat continues. :)  Advanced shoulder sitting while writer reads, in this case.

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