27 September 2013

GEAR UP! It's another edition of SciFi Fantasy Saturday.

Posting from my WiP
TGfA II: The Machines of Bellatrix

The Girls From Alcyone is the continuing story of two very special young women who find themselves at the heart of a conflict spanning more than forty worlds.

THIS WEEK: I haven't posted in a while - I wanted to finish this last draft of Freelancer (now TMoB), but now that that's all done (except for the polishing and the editing, and the...well, you know), I'm back.

I don't think this scene needs a setup. You'll figure it out.

"I think you're rather enjoying this," Suko said. She stood with her arms held out while Sigrid coiled the last of the thermite strips around her midriff. Sigrid then began the meticulous task of stitching the hundreds of tiny pinhead grenades into the seam of her bra, more into the waistband of Suko's pants; a trick Chesna had taught her so long ago. "You sure it wouldn't be easier if I took this all off?"
Sigrid slapped her hand away; though she couldn't help but smile. "Hush! Now do keep your arms out. There, like that. This will go a lot faster if you stop moving."
"But not nearly as much fun."

Oh, and don't forget to check out snippets from other SFFS authors here: scififansat.blogspot.caSciFi Fantasy Saturday is a web-ring of fab SciFi & Fantasy writers and posters. All are welcome to join and participate. In fact, join and participate! Ten sentences every Saturday is all it takes.

Cheers, Cary!

13 September 2013

STRANGER SKIES: Cover Reveal & Contest Giveaway

Cover Reveal & Contest Giveaway!
Book One of The Borderlands Saga, by Katje Van Loon

Available October 4th. Pre-orders September 20, 2013


A goddess' fall from grace leaves her on an alien world, devoid of her followers, trapped in a mortal body. Should she strive to regain her godhood or accept her mortality and find love?

Silva, Queen of Wolves, Lady of the True Woods, seeks her only friend Etan, who, along with other deities of the Council of Divinity, has gone missing for reasons unknown. Her search traps her on a world where the wolves have lost faith in her; she becomes a mortal woman whose remaining powers could brand her as a witch.

Through the chaos of war and the turmoil in her own heart, Silva can't escape a persistent feeling: that her fall was not an accident. 


Heart’s Blood Tavern had indoor plumbing which, according to Scoas, made it a rare building in the town. The toilets were composting toilets, however, and so the scent of human waste combined with peat overwhelmed Silva’s sensitive nose. She entered the stall and did her business quickly, trying to ignore the pong of the room. There was one sink and a small mirror of that same polished stone — while she washed her hands, she noticed she was more fleshed out than she had been the day before. Minae food worked quickly.

She turned to leave, and then stopped dead, horror making her veins run ice cold. Above the door was another animal head as ‘decor’.

Its muzzle was posed open in a silent snarl, its ears were flat back on its head, and it was made to look vicious around the eye’s epicanthic folds — but this was all a lie. She reached her hand up to touch the soft fur, but it was too high up, and she couldn’t reach.

She’d found her first Minae wolf.

The scent of fear and death hit her then; it had been masked before, but now that she gazed upon the source it was so clear she reeled. She ran back into the stall and vomited what was left of that morning’s breakfast.

This wolf had died in fear and pain, and she hadn’t been here to help.

She hadn’t been able to help so many of her children on Terra, too. The mortal humans had shot them from planes, poisoned them, hunted them near to extinction. The only thing that had saved them from that fate had been constant fighting — from Silva herself, and her one or two human followers. Mortals who lived with wolf-hybrids and knew about her existence, and who wanted to help save her children. Silva had petitioned the Twins to save her cubs, and they had finally listened and moved all the wolves off-planet. She didn’t think they would have had it not been for the strengthening arguments of a few other gods who had a soft spot for wolves — the Morrigan, Hecate, and Odin were the big three who had argued on Silva’s side. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever properly expressed her gratitude to those deities.

On Tau Ceti, the wolves had been placed far enough away from human settlements so as to be relatively safe. But when humans expanded outwards, as they invariably did?

If she never got home, the Cetian wolves might meet the same fate. And this time she wouldn’t be around to stop them from going extinct completely.

She shook with helplessness and fear. There was nothing she could do. She was trapped here in mortal form, and her children might all die. The thought made her sick again.

When finally she exited the bathroom, after having rinsed her mouth thoroughly, she felt scrubbed out, hollowed, empty. A gourd left in the rain after All Hallows Eve; burned on the inside, destined for the compost heap to rot away in ignominy.

She tried to hide her distress when she got back to the table. Their food had arrived by that point, and a man she’d never seen before stood beside the table and chatted with Scoas and Natai, and occasionally giving Brinna a predatory smile. Brinna seemed less than pleased with the man’s attentions, but she was unfailingly polite.

Silva instantly disliked the man. He smelled wrong, and his bearing positively screamed his arrogance.

Scoas noticed Silva’s return, then, and made introductions before Silva could escape.

The man’s name was Kaz, and he gave Silva an exceptionally oily smile. He was a hunter — the best in Heartpin, apparently. “You must have seen my prize trophy,” he said to her, folding his arms over his chest. Silva politely raised her eyebrows even as her stomach churned with dread. “The wolf’s head hanging in the privy. Got that bastard over a year ago. Scoas bought the pelt.”

Silva felt like fainting. She barely heard what Scoas said: “It’s a very nice pelt, too; we simply love it.”

“There’s a secret to get the best pelts, Scoas my man,” Kaz said, winking at Scoas. “Would you like to know it?”

“Excuse me,” Silva said, brushing past Kaz and heading for the door. She knew the secret for the best pelts, and if she heard Kaz tell them exactly how he’d tortured the young wolf whose head hung in the bathroom, she might kill him right there in the tavern.

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11 September 2013


On October 5th, I'll be doing a Science-Fiction Writing workshop for the Fog Lit Festival in St. John, New Brunswick. This is a 'free to attend' sponsored event, so if you're in the area and want to talk Science-Fiction, by all means, come on down. Space is limited, so I urge you to sign up to guarantee a seat.

This workshop will focus on the pitfalls and challenges of writing genre fiction -- in this case Science-Fiction Adventure. Together, we'll discuss typical story elements, world building, and the challenges of dealing with real science in a fictional world.

Participants will be asked to bring in a synopsis or blurb of their current or planned project so that we can spend as much time talking about your characters and ideas as possible.

Ages: All Ages
Date: Saturday, October 5th
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Venue: Saint John Free Public Library
Author: Cary Caffrey (The Girls from Alcyone)Pre-Register Here

NOTE: Later that day (same location), I'll also be participating in the panel discussion on Indie vs. Traditional Publishing. On the panel with me will be Chad Pelley and Laurie Lewis. I'm really looking forward to this. Should be interesting and informative.

Date: October 5, 2013
Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: Saint John Free Public Library – Central Branch, Multi Purpose Room
Cost: Free

Pre-Register Here

1 September 2013


Interesting news? (Kinda. Maybe.) 

I woke up to realize that I'd sold my 10,000th book last night. I suppose whether or not this is 'big news' is a case of perspective. 10k in book-sales is hardly going to send a ripple through the publishing world. On the other hand, as someone who's doing this all by themselves, I'm pretty darn proud! I may even twerk - maybe (I'll post videos, I promise).

Ten-K is a bit of a milestone (for me). It's the sales goal I set for myself when I decided to try my hand at writing and publishing. Like anyone who's tried writing, I know I got a lot of funny looks from friends when I told them I was doing this - more so, when I announced how many I wanted to sell, so yes, hitting that mark is pretty cool.

The funny thing about targets though, is once you reach them (maybe even before you reach them), you're already thinking about the next target. What's my next goal? That's easy. Add a zero. I've marked my calendar: 100,000 books sold by 2018. People thought I was off my nut when I said 10k by 2014, so I'm sure a few more of you will think I'm crazy or half-baked, but that's my goal.

Is this goal possible? It's hard to say. The marketplace is changing week to week. There's more and more Indy-books out there crowding the web, and rumours abound that Amazon has changed the nature of its search-bots to draw attention away from Indy Books like mine, so who knows. I also haven't helped my cause by taking so long to get my second full-length novel out. Writers who sell produce lots (way more than me). But I'm still learning, and this experiment is definitely a work in progress.

Check back in 2018 and I'll let you know how it's all working out!