Music, Bugs, Books, Travel and Cat Pix

I am writing this In a Costa Rican jungle where monkeys, scarlet macaws, and toucans are more plentiful than Internet signals.

 

This post will be a mix of travel blog and book news. I will tell you about one fabulous anthology that’s coming out and a prize-winning novel as well as a bit about bugs, bats and bromeliads.image.png.jpg

I end with some travel tips and the secret to happiness.

As always, click for links- books here

Costa Rica is a tropical wet dream. Last night the scarlet macaws were having a party. They flew across the sky in twos, fours, and sixes, (they mate for life and are monogamous) with an occasional lonely five, a tag-along, winging laboriously across the sky. Macaws and Toucans don’t fly for fun They ’re like the weekend pilot who starts flying for an airline. It’s all about the destination.

It’s magic here!  Eco Tico tourists play in warm seas, we swim past rivers of mating red dragonflies and giant trees linger in the slow, deadly embrace of strangler figs.

 

We stayed in Drake’s Bay a fairly remote mangrove and tropical forest edging a blue sea.

We took The Night Tour-, hands down the best tour anywhere. Tracy and her husband, Gian are both extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic biologists. I was amazed by how much personal attention they gave each and every guest, considering they do two tours a night. Whether you are a novice or an expert, I guarantee you will see and learn new things.

Gian showed us a velvet worm, a creature so unique it has its own phylum!  I attach a picture of it here, but it’s not very impressive, so I will also include a picture of a cat reading a book.

 

 

Velvet worms arimages (1)e kind of like very tiny politicians. They spend most of their time under rocks and use slime as a weapon.

 

I have decided that I want my own phylum too and plan to start a petition to that effect. #ELIZABETHISHEROWNPHYLUM.

 

In addition, Tracie and Gian have a lot of cool devices, like a “bat locator,” where you can actually see the echolocation of bats!

It’s an interesting coincidence that I wrote a story about a week before my visit with Tracie and Gian about a machine that creates false echoes, causing bats to hallucinate.

I could claim ESP, but in fact, I had the story in my head for a while and it has less to do with nature and more to do with manipulation.

 

 

I’ve been meaning to work on my new book which I’m quite excited about. It’s a tale of possession. A woman who is denied recognition of her scientific work returns from the grave for vengeance but finds love. But short stories keep coming into my brain so I’m writing those instead, and basking in the great tropical wilderness filled with creatures too colorful and loud to exist outside of dreams.

Now- onto my newest anthology and my newest novel. The novel, The Hollywood Portal

51O+BZ8RSTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgis a sequel to Electric Detective.

41kbOBoAp+L.jpgIt’s the bastard love child of Raymond Chandler or and Philip K. Dick. If you enjoy Chandler I really do think you will like it. I hope you read it or at least buy it. I could really use the cash. And if you like it, please write a review.

The Whodunit Award judges a novel on its first three pages.  Here is the beginning of The Hollywood Portal :

“LA is a desert in a party dress. Despite miles of green lawn and chlorine oasis, the air is full of sand, grit, and hope so tangible you can feel it in the wind. Perhaps it is our thirst that makes us so isolated. Even the LA River is a highway. A drop of rain falling onto the paved thoroughfare in the San Gabriel Mountains ten thousand feet above the City can reach the sea faster than a speeding car. We are a city of twelve hundred thousand gold diggers prospecting on concrete banks.

It was unusually muggy, the air warm and heavy with moisture, the sky low and white. There was no horizon. In the Midwest, weather like this might mean tornados; in the mountains, a sky so pale signaled snow, but here, the blurring of perspective felt like a premonition.”

It was on The AAE Books, Editors’ 2018 Book Picks For Christmas

“I picked E.E. King’s The Hollywood Portal, this year’s first prize winner in the Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. That in itself says a lot about this book. You can be sure that the words will pull you into the story like a starship’s tractor beam. A terrific read by a talented voice!

The judges were unanimous in their praise. E.E. King paints a colorful picture of the City of Angeles, peopled with odd denizens and surreal circumstance. Having lost his family, Ed Evers gets drawn into a case being investigated by his old FBI boss – thirty or so A-list people radiated to crispy critters inside an old fallout shelter at the former home of a Grade-B movie star. Can Eddy solve the crime? After all, he has an extraordinary vision, the result of a lightning strike that turned him into ‘a human voltmeter.’ You can’t put the book down as you go on an electric kaleidoscopic sci-fi journey in the guise of a nail-biting murder mystery.” – Shirrel Rhoades, Publisher

I am also in this amazing new anthology, Cosy Crime Short Stories, Cosy-Crime-Short-Stories.0.jpgpublished by Flametree.  Not only do they produce incredibly beautiful books, they also do something exciting and unique. They mix new works with classics. Thus, I got to be in a collection with Arthur Conan Doyle, and  G.K. Chesterton! Their books are lavishly illustrated, truly books for bibliophiles to cherish!

“Following the great success of the Gothic Fantasy deluxe edition short story compilations, this latest is packed with armchair detectives, murders in the vicarage, family secrets unraveling in gossipy ears, and the ingredients of a genteel bloodbath in an otherwise delightful village. Contains a fabulous mix of classic and brand-new writing, with contemporary authors from the US, Canada, and the UK.

Contributions by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Joshua Boyce, Sarah Holly Bryant, Jeffrey B. Burton, C.B. Channell, Gregory Von Dare, Amanda C. Davis, Michael Martin Garrett, Philip Brian Hall, Tom Mead, Trixie Nisbet, Annette Siketa, B. David Spicer, Nancy Sweetland, Louise Taylor, Elise Warner and ME – E.E. King.

And now… the moment you’ve been waiting for

TRAVEL TIPS:

If you are in Costa Rica near Uvita or Ojochal, go to The Bamboo Room for some amazingly great music! Eat at Citrus for a world-class dinner. And if you’re in Drake’s Bay sure to take The Night Tour   – it just might just change your life! It will open your eyes to new ways of seeing and make you consider all the wonders and tiny secret lives we usually ignore.

I’m leaving today and heading toward Montverde Cloud Forest where new adventures and stories await. I leave you with more cat pictures and wish you all a good beginning to what I hope will be a wonderful year.

 

I also leave you with these secrets for happiness:

Be kind whenever possible.

Remember to look at all the beauty around.

Don’t read the news.

Stay away from social media and most importantly

 Buy my Books –  Click Buy my Books for my website and here for my Amazon Author Page.

to quote  writer Gini Koch, “The meds aren’t free, ya know!”

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Feral Cats are the best

BUBBLE OFF PLUMB

What do stories about ephemeral Martian settlers, fascinating dimensional rifts, Spanish-speaking hummingbirds, Loki’s children, WWII twins, hitchhiking swamp cats, a steam-punk octopus, Arkham card-games, using bad luck for fun and profit, demon home security systems, alternative criminal justice, workplace time travel, marketing to body-snatchers, alien attraction, and way too many barns all have in common? Simple: in one way or another they are all Bubble Off Plumb.

This genre-busting collection is meant for readers who prefer an odd story with their tea and biscuits. So sit back and let these tales delight, confuse, and surprise you!

Featuring original stories by Marie BrennanDavid TallermanE.E. King, Art Weil, Sarah M. Lewis, Pepper Hume, Karen Ovér, Liz Schriftsteller, Mariah Southworth, Mickey Kulp, Robert Millet, Valerie ManwillBeth Winokur, Simone LW Mounsamy, Buzz DixonTurner Campbell, Frank Kozusko, Ellen Denton, Jill Hand, Veronica Brush, and Tim Jeffreys. Joining this stellar group are in-house authors KG FinfrockSarah Kalin, and Dan M. Kalin.

 

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Cats READ – the best Anthologies of 2018

Oh, it’s been too long! Too long since I wrote about all the fabulous anthologies and onlines I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in!

One of the best parts of being a writer is receiving and reading all these great anthologies- I want to write about each tale and every author – but better you should read these stories yourself. If I write about every story I’ll never finish my new book.

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I’m going to put a list with links and a bit about each publication – I hope you check them out because the writing is amazing! You’ll discover new ideas and ways of seeing, which is almost like discovering a new color or tasting a new kind of chocolate.

Please forgive me for listing just my pieces, but I can’t list everyone’s work or this blog would be an encyclopedia.

I am truly honored to be included in these publications!

Marigolds & Monarchs – Artpost– 2018

ARTPOST magazine was created in 2018 with one simple goal in mind: to find and publish creative works of fiction, poetry, photography and artwork from independent authors and artists around the world and pay them fairly for their work.

24/7- Alluvian-2018

Alluvi-what?
Alluvian is a group of thinkers, science students, and writers examining the human condition in relation to the natural world. — anything intended to provoke thought on environmental science, global sustainability, and human engagement with nature, the environment, and climate change.

For Sale- Flame Tree, Cosy Crime Short Story Anthology, 201

Cosy Crime Short Stories is packed with armchair detectives, murders in the vicarage, family secrets unraveling in gossipy ears, and the ingredients of a genteel bloodbath in an otherwise delightful village. Contains a fabulous mix of classic and brand new writing, with contemporary authors from the US, Canada, and the UK.

The Time Before dreams- Bubble off -Feral Cat 2018

This isn’t out yet but I was thrilled to have one of my favorite tales find a home-! images (1)

I’m Dreaming of a Red Xmas- the War against Xmas 2018

This won’t be out till next year, but Neil Gaiman is in here – So I get to be in two anthologies with Neil Gaiman this year!!! And as usual, the publishers are wonderful.

war on xmas

The Faithless Angel- Alternative Theologies

This book will remind you that no matter what you believe, we make this journey together.
There are poems by some wonderful modern thinkers including Gwyndyn T. Alexander and Jane Yolen, that will explore the nature of our world.  So honored to be in this – I love Bob and B cubed Press – they are our alternative to hate!

God’s Gifts- The Gathering Storm – 2018

For great, short, thoughtful modern fables check out The Storm.Cover Image 2-9.jpg

Ghost Island- Clarksworld- 2018

Clarksworld is on every science fiction writer’s top 5 list  -it’s a thrill- they did a fabulous podcast of my story too, read by the wonderful Kate Baker. Thank you, Kate!

 

Estevan of the Children- Eldritch roots and Cosmic Shores- 

My day of the dead story, digital illustration by Fran Eisemann in this lovely publication!

Both Estevan and Ghost Island were reviewed in the thoughtful Tangent

Tangent was resurrected in July of 1993 with the purpose (crazy and impossible some said) of reviewing as much of the professional short fiction venues in the fields of science-fiction and fantasy as possible.  It also features insightful articles and essays by some of science fiction’s most well-known names.

Special thanks to reviewers Geoff Houghton and Jeffrey Steven Abrams, and Dave Truesdale Founder, Managing Editor and Eric James Stone Webmaster

The Grammarian’s Grimoire – Re-Enchant –

Wander the dim-lit paths of enchantment conjured by 18 tales from an international roster of authors.

Re-Enchant takes readers down twisted walkways to discover strange and magical places, people, and creatures. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

I was also nominated For the Rhysling poetry award and lost to Neil Gaiman! That’s a losing thrill. Thanks to amazing poet Linda D. Addison, who chairs the organization.2018 Rhysling Anthology cover

The Rhysling Awards are named for the blind poet Rhysling in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” In real life, Apollo 15 astronauts named a crater near their landing site “Rhysling.” Nominees for each year’s Rhysling Awards are selected by the membership of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

And as Jenred X  I/we had some poems accepted!

Jered X. is a name Jenny, Richard, Dev, Charles and I created by taking a letter from each of our names.
As Jered X. we write poems collectively.
Each person contributes a line on a theme and then I mold them into a collective piece.

The writers in our group are:
Charles Christian, an English barrister turned writer, sometime werewolf hunter, and internet radio host. 

christian.uncut@icloud.com
www.UrbanFantasist.com
@ChristianUncut

DEVORAH CUTLER-RUBENSTEIN, A stand-up, a poet, an author, a studio exec, a painter, and a dedicated educator.  Check out http://www.datingyourcharacter.com

Richard D. Weaver, an Illustrator of things biological and writer of things fantastic.

Jenny Brundage an actress and writer, known for Clarity, which she wrote, and produced.

They let me twist and cut their lines, making poems from their fabulous thoughts and ideas. I am honored they let me.

We have Eight poems in Anti- Valentine anthology  – coming out in February by Azoth Khem Publishing

and

Too Much To Dream-  in Wild Musette

Thank you, Tyler Johnson, Executive Editor, Wild Musette Press

Anesthesia in Rock & Sling is  coming soon

 

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The Hamthology

 

My story The Ham & Cheddar Coast is in The Hamthology!
The Hamthology is a  Hamcentric anthology – 
I’m a vegetarian, and I originally wrote the tale as The Cheddar Coast for Sally Short’s fabulous New Short Fiction series all about summer and sand.

My piece.  The Cheddar Coast was about how a sandwich can take over your kitchen and change your life.Image
When I saw the notice for the Hamthology I thought,  what a fun idea. It made me smile. It made me laugh. I told my friends and they laughed too,  anything that does that is a good thing.
So, quick as a fast food chef, I added a slice of ham to my sandwich and submit it. (The cheddar version was never in print, so no one will get a Hamthology and feel cheated.)
If you think it’s a fun idea too, please share the sandwich!
Project Image

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Alternative Theologies, Wars on Christmas, A Reading in Oakland & Cats

see my storyI am so thrilled to be in this fabulous anthology with, among others, Mike Resnick ( the man’s been nominated for 37 Hugo Awards—a record for writers—and won five times!)  and one of my heroines, Jane Yolen. I’ve been a fan ever since reading Briar Rose.

Maybe I’ll meet them- and all the other wonderful authors, amazing editors, and everyone who had a part of  this anthology

Cube B Press, the publisher is,” A small press dedicated to raising the words of truth, unbound by ideology. Here’s their Facebook page.bob

This is Bob, he is the founder, you can tell he’s liberal because of the rainbow unicorn.  Screaming Yam’s face. It is one way to tell the Pussy grabbers from the pussycats.

i vomited

“B Cubed Press was founded in the throes of desperation, as, like so many Americans in 2016, I searched for an outlet for the anger and frustration that came from seeing the America I grew up with torn from my heart.
As an unapologetic liberal, I asked myself what could I do.”

So Bob began Cube B Press.

I am grateful for so many reasons, especially because it makes me feel like my voice can be heard. It makes me feel part of a greater good, it prevents me from sinking into despair. I hope you buy it because it’s fabulous.  Also, I can use the money. Cat toys aren’t free.democat Also, it’s currently the #1 New Release in Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy

Also- I’m in the War on Christmas wwar on xmasith, among others

Neil Gaiman

Poor Neil, he’ll never know the thrill of being in an anthology with him.

 

It’s a cynical, funny take on the holiday.
_____
And I’ll be doing a reading with  Zoetic Press.
(I’m in one of their great Non-Binary Reviews
ISSUE #13: URBAN LEGENDS FROM SNOPES.COM)
NBR_UrbanLegends_printready
PRESS READING EXTRAVAGANZA
  • Octopus Literary Salon2101 Webster St., #170Oakland, CA 94612USA (map)

Join Zoetic Press for a fun evening of readings, audience participation, and more!

They nominated my poem, Signs that the World might be Ending for a Rhysling Award.

Neil Gaiman won – so I’m in another book with him.

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Also- Please check out – Enter The Rebirth    –   It’s a great anthology.

“,”width”:”460″}” data-action=”a-modal”>Ad feedback 

Enter the Rebirth (Enter the... Book 3) by [Gondolfi, Thomas]
Hope you all are having a great, not too hot summer, and watch out for fake gnus

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News on Books, Birds, Audio & Resistance

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Big news! Pandora’s Card Game will soon be available on audio. It’s read by the fabulous voice artist and actress Genevieve Sibayan

Blood Prism, read by the inestimable Emily Emerson already is.images

So is Electric Detective, read by the very noir Christopher Graybill.

And The Truth of Fiction by me,  E. E. King narrated by the wonderous Miranda Reading-Spring.

In fact, you can find all my audiobooks here !catr

or check below:

As for resistance, I’m very pleased to announce that my piece:

I’m Dreaming of a Red Xmas–  is part of  The War on Christmas  Anthology

and

The Faithless AngelAlternative Theologies– this is part of the More Alternative Truths: Stories from the Resistance (Alternatives)   series

In still other news, I’m raising  baby birds with the help of my kitties and trying to survive the heat and the news

Happy summer!

The cat with the collar is wearing a Bird be safe collar.

They really work and have the added benefit of making your cat look ridiculous.

Best Sellers

 

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Blood Prism Audio

Blood Prism is now available on audible –
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actually, almost all my books are.
And all done by amazing narrators…
They all give fabulous readings and I am so fortunate to have had their talents put to work enhancing my fiction.
But, having said that- I have never fallen so in love with a reading as with that of Emily Emerson’s performance of Blood Prism.
The Cat Writes A Declaration Of  Love On A Paper

The Cat Writes A Declaration Of Love On A Paper

She made theimages (4) odd, twisted world of sinister orchids,
crows,download
old Gods, Indian legends, and an ill-timed timeless love so alive and real, I forgot it was my own creation!
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If you listen to just one of my books, I hope you will try this one.
I love it.
Thank you, Emily!IMG_0234
Excerpts from Blood Prism:
“Neil feels protected in the redwoods’ shadow. They are love without argument, relationship without compromise. They climb up toward heaven reaching the stars, straight and unafraid. Under their boughs, he is part of the earth. He likes the constant evening, feeling most comfortable at the vespertine hour when dawn kisses night. He loves the rich damp moss, the mushrooms lurking in shadows, stained with lurid colors, a warning to hungry mouths that they might be deadly.”
*
“But my undoing was not in missing the beauty of a blossom…it was that I wanted beauty and perfection in everything — permanently.  I should have realized that nothing, not even eternity, lasts forever. I wish I’d known that happiness is seeing the water lily you’ve been watching for a week blossom, even though it lasts only a day.”
*

With such beauty all around, it is easy to believe that the future will be bright. Surely under such skies, only happiness will come.

Young lovers pause beneath the gold and purple arch as if under mistletoe. Teenagers ditching school look at the tarot cards certain that they predict wealth and success. It is clear that they are headed in the right direction; all they need to do is to follow their hearts, even the dust on the windows glisten like stardust and hope. Old ladies, backs bent, hobbling along the twisted streets feel expectation, as if various outcomes might be possible, as if all roads did not lead to the same end.

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