All posts by blair

Writer, educator, speaker, karateka, and proud single parent. Actively wondering every day.

Forthcoming Release from L. Blankenship!

One of my fellow Viable Paradise graduates, L. Blankenship, is gearing up for the release of her first novel!

From the back cover:

The saints favor her, else-wise a peasant girl like Kate Carpenter would never be apprenticed to the kingdom’s master healer. But her patron saint also marks her ready for the duty of tending to a mission that must cross the ice-bound mountains. Their little kingdom faces invasion by a vast empire and desperately needs allies; across the snow-filled pass, through the deathly thin air, is a country that’s held off the empire and may be willing to lend an army.

Kate knows about frostbite and the everyday injuries of wilderness travel.  She can heal those.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though.

And she isn’t ready for the monsters that harry them night and day, picking off their archers first, wearing the party to exhaustion, pushing Kate beyond the limits her healing abilities.

She must keep them alive, or her blood will be on the snow too.

And she’s running a giveaway for an advance copy of the ebook!  All you have to do is go here to enter.  You’ll also be able to scope out a sample of the novel and find out about the author.  If you’re looking for interesting chat about her writing process, check out Notes from the Jovian Frontier.


Available now: The Key

Years ago, I wanted to play sincerely with some standard fantasy tropes–quests and prophecies and such–while giving a nudge-wink to the expectations.  It was intended to be a short story, but like most other of my intended short stories, it ended up much longer.

The Key earned first place in the quarterly Writers of the Future Contest, and originally appeared in the contest anthology.  The prize for winning included an incredible week in Los Angeles where we writers attended a workshop taught by Tim Powers and KD Wentworth.  While there, I had to write a short story that included the green lighter Tim gave me for “inspiration,” and I learned from KD that short stories had to “mutilate the cows on the first page.”

Now The Key is available as an ebook–and it includes a preview to the upcoming novel, Sword and Chant.

“For Benjas, a mercenary mage, finding the next Key is an important contract with great consequences.  For Cassandra, a fanatical warrior, it’s the quest of a zealot.  Secrets and fears pile up between them until success becomes more dangerous than failure, and only the Key can separate victors from victims.”

Available from:

Barnes and Noble – Nook

Amazon – Kindle

Smashwords – All formats



Now and Soonly

Now, I’m polishing The Key, originally published in the Writers of the Future XX anthology, for re-release as an independent story.  Reviewing the text stirred up old ideas for more characters and plot set in its worlds.  A stand-alone novel, The Slaughterer, has thus been added to the publication schedule.  It’s far in the future because other works are already on the calendar, but can be moved up if conditions are right.

Soonly, I’ll be moving on to the final polish of Sword and Chant, the first novel in The Conquering series, for its release near the end of August.  Its sequel is set for release in March 2013.