-Ruby Dust- Short Story available now!

Hi, all!

I wrote a “Wild West” short story except my version is set on Mars. 🙂  It has a Gargoyle in it and several other fun creatures! Here’s the blurb on it:

  • Ghirn, sheriff of Ruby Dust on Mars, catches an outlaw, saves a couple of humans from cannibalistic Dearndins and calms the ladies of The Pink House. All in a day’s work.

This story is close to my heart and I want to share, share, share!


The story can be found in the anthology Bent Horizons along with ten other talented authors. This is a book that my writers group puts out annually.

Check it out here!

xo Lis

Steampunk Writing Exercise

I have been reading some steampunk novels as of late (Colleen Gleason’s Stoker & Holmes series and Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Blood series) and so I was pleased when the mood struck me during writers exercises with my amazeballs writers group ISG (Ink Slingers Guild) and my own steampunk story came into fruition. I may never do anything with these exercises but then again, maybe I will give them more life later down the road. Either way, I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy!

(At every ISG meeting we undertake at least one writing exercise where three members each pick one word and we then have five minutes to compose a story that must include those words.)

#1 (The 3 words: Curly, Accomplished, Technology)

Solora stared at the curly metal wire hanging from the bottom of her steam bike. She had only recently learned to ride and hadn’t anticipated the silly thing would break down on her first ride out of the city. The sun beat down on her dark hair and her face shimmered, the sweat not quite beading up. Her goggles hung heavily around her neck as she stood. The road stretch before and behind her, the trees hanging overhead and only barely keeping the heat at bay.

Kicking the bronze metal of the rear engine, she cursed. Here she was an accomplished expert in food technologies, famous in her own right and she was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a stupid displaced curly wire.

She got on her knees again and looked beneath the bike.

“You look like you need some help,” a low drawl came from behind.

Solora’s head swung up, narrowly missing the heavy kickstand.

“Do you think so?,” she shot at the man who stood inappropriately just wearing just slacks and a tee. He lifted his muscled shoulders and his lips curled into a smile.

“Just thought I’d check, but if you don’t need me…”

Solora sighed. “Fine, yes, I seem to have broken down.”


#2 (The 3 words: Iris, Ink, Tube)

He was kneeling down now and she barely noticed the beautiful iris lining the road with that backside on display. He chuckled, bringing a frown to her smooth skin.

“What it is?” she asked?

“One of your steam tubes broke and the wire is supposed to be holding it up.”

“Do you know how to fix it? I can pay you.”

He stood, his blues eyes flashing in the bright sun.

“I can fix it but you won’t be going anywhere until we can order in another tube,”

“How long will that take? I’m in a terrible rush.”

“I should be able to have it by the end of the day…tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow! No. No that can’t be. Is there anyone available to drive me the remaining way to Augustine?”

The man leaned against a nearby oak tree, folding his arms across his chest and looking at her inquisitively. Solora went to speak again when a lock of her inky hair took that moment to fall directly into her mouth.


#3 (The 3 words: Eagles, Reflection, Campus)

Solora spat out the lock of hair that had blown into her mouth. The man’s irritating smile got slightly wider.

“I must get to the campus in Augustine. Do you have a car?”

His lips pierced as he seemed to muse over the questions. Solora thought she might burst at his casual demeanor when there was so much to be done. So many things to be prepared and she was still several hours from Augustine. She was about to speak again when she caught a fleeting reflection in the bronze of her steam bike. She glanced into the sky in time to see two Eagles flying overhead. Time slowed for a just a moment as she had the opportunity to admire their beauty before they disappeared behind a treetop. She turned back to the man who hadn’t moved but now had a long strip of grass hanging from his full lips.

“Please.” Solora said.

“Name’s Manny,” he said and held out a hand.

“Solora,” she said and took his hand. It wasn’t too hot and wasn’t too cold. And her small hand seemed to fit snuggly inside.

“I’d be pleased to give you a ride to Augustine, Miss Solora. But I insist you join me at the cottage for lunch. And of course, so I can change into something more appropriate.”


And because it seems appropriate, I give you a picture of my hubbie and I.


Steampunk couple

Steampunk couple

Writers Group Magic

Roughly every two weeks my writers group, The Ink Slingers Guild, get together and meet. At the meetings there are anywhere between 2 and twelve (ish) people that stop by my house to bask in each others writerly greatness. Sometimes we get scooped up from the concrete where a “friendly” relative has “accidentally” smashed us, sometimes we toot our horns at some amazingness that we were responsible for and other times we just rib each other to close to death.

However it ends up, there are certain elements that are at every meeting.

We ALWAYS set a “conquest” that we plan on going for before the next meeting. At the beginning of each meeting we cover the conquests and high five each other for those who made it and give empathetic nods to those who don’t. We NEVER beat up each other for not hitting a target. We are here to hold each other up and anything that detracts from that is not welcome.

One or more of us will often bring a quote or a story that is built to raise your outlook, pump you up or help the writer in some fashion. So we read those out loud and than look at each other with slitted eyes, ready to pounce on anyone who tries to put themselves down. Go ahead. Try it. We will take you down and then throw you right back up again. [Please do try this at home – works miracles.]

Then we do writing exercises. These are so friggin fun I can hardly stand it. If you take a looky over here, you’ll see we have pages of them.

We end off each meeting by filling out our Conquests for the next meeting. The only thing I think I left out is that goodies to eat are always welcome. One of our members (DragonBeck!) bakes creations that we can only wonder what elfin creature she apprenticed under as the result is like the Fae version of crack.

Oh, and I always make tea. Tea is our friend. I currently have the group addicted to Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasoning. Which by the way if you’re a Chai tea fan, you will taste Bengal Spice and be ruined since it is about 100 times better. [wink]

All of that said, I have the absolute best, most productive and most uplifting writers group and I am extremely thankful to call them my friends and colleagues.

Yes, I mentioned most productive. Our group has put out three books since 2012 and have two scheduled this year. We HAVE SO MUCH FUN. Yeah, we rock.


P.S. In my next post I intend to put up some of my most favoritist writing exercises in case you want to check ’em out.

Publishing and writing and stuff

I am glad that I am able to say that I have been writing and publishing recently and that is why I haven’t posted lately which is much better than the alternative of being a lazy fuck. No – I have actually done a few things recently and I can honestly say I’m pretty happy about it.

Because of my passion to write, publish, help others with that and basically have fun with anything having to do with books whether they be digital or something I press to my nose and smell that lovely scent of paper and ink…sorry got lost in the moment there. Um. Right okay, so as I was saying because of that passion, I started Witching Hour Publishing a while back. It started out as a way to publish the anthologies that my writers group, the Ink Slingers Guild (ISG), decided to make in 2012. Then we did another book last year and this year we have two already lined up. One is our third anthology coming out in November and the other is a super fun book called ‘The Death of Jimmy’. It is a book of really short stories and in every story there is a guy named Jimmy and he dies. You can read more about it here if you like. That one will come out in 2-3 weeks.

I also published my first book in the Gargoyles Den series called The Guardians. I love the characters and have a ball writing them so that was of course a ton of fun and book two is halfway there.

Three of my friends from the ISG and I have started a round robin story where we each write a paragraph or five minutes worth and pass it on to the next person who has a week to do the same and pass it on etc. So far it’s pretty fun so I am expecting something epic as an end result there.

I have also started a fantasy novel collaboration with my good friend Rhiannon and we have had a ball setting the stage for it. The first book is mostly set on Earth but part of it is on another, more advanced world and a good chunk of book two will likely end up there too. The characters are coming together nicely and the first chapter that Rhiannon laid down is awesome. Sooooo having fun with this one.

I also have been working on another friend’s book release, designing her book covers and helping to figure out her online presence. Nicole DragonBeck will be coming out with her first published novel pretty soon here and look out because NO ONE at my writers group wants to read their stuff after Nicole. She’s really talented and I am really looking forward to helping others find that out too.

So there you go! That’s been my world for the last many weeks. Somehow I have managed to fit the reading of quite a few books in there as well and I am long overdue for some well deserved kudos so that too is coming soon.

To a wonderful 2014! <clink>

That said,

The Ink Slingers Guild presents our new book!!

Hi, all!

The anthology (book of short stories) that my writers group, the Ink Slingers Guild, has been slaving over for months is now released!! It’s called The Ink Slingers Guild presents INTO THE ABYSS!

Here’s the cover:


Here’s the description:

The Ink Slingers Guild is a group of like-minded individuals who come together for support and encouragement. Since its inception the Ink Slingers have continued to expand membership, filling their ranks with some of the best and brightest up and coming authors of our time.

This, the Ink Slinger’s second anthology, is aptly named Into the Abyss. As with the first anthology, Beyond the Threshold, this collection of short stories is based on one of the writing exercises done at every ISG meeting. The exercise is to have three members each pick one word. Members have five minutes to compose a story with the chosen words. As with any creative outlet, members take each other into new worlds the way only writers can.

The words that were chosen this year were: Gravity, Innocuous & Perilous.

Each story is a journey created just for you, so sit back and enjoy as the Ink Slingers welcome you Into the Abyss!

And you can get a copy by clicking here!

Buy it, Buy it, Buy it!! Help support these eleven writers (including moi!) and after you enjoy visiting our worlds, please post a review on Amazon! Thank you and cheers!!