Close of my 7th Year as a Star Guide
The last week of September we had a lot of rain in Central Oregon, well by high desert standards it was a lot. We didn’t see any sun for a whole day. It was cold, too. We barely reached 60 degrees that last Friday. Was I intimated? Yes. I know how cold it can get at 6200 feet in the height of summer. Yet I hadn’t been star guiding much this summer, and I wanted to hang out with my astronomy boyfriends. Plus, I had to pick up Orson Bradbury.
Clouds threatened to spoil the last night of the 2014 season along with the cold. About fifteen minutes after the sky became fully dark, magic happened. The sky cleared and all the stars sat up there in their stellar glory. Awesome!
It’s nice to freeze for a good reason. We only had about 12 guests. They were enthusiastic, curious, and chatty. Our favorite type of crowd. We had four telescopes going to keep them well entertained – Gary and I outside in the cold, Alton on the 15 inch in the small dome, and Eric on the 24 inch in the white dome.
I filled my eyes with enough stars to fuel my dreams until next summer. Orson Bradbury is now back in the garage.
The 24″ dome and the top of the 15″ dome with fall color ala high desert style. The bushes are yellow. That’s our fall color.
It was raining all around us. Rain to the southwest with the 32″ dome.
A faint crescent moon in the center of the photo.
Saturn thru the 24″ telescope. The weird bands of color appear because I darkened the background to make Saturn stand out better. It was still pretty light outside, barely dusk. After this, Saturn set for the night.
Sliver of Moon with clouds. The dark smudges are clouds. Looks like some lint got on my eyepiece, too. This was taken through my telescope. After this, the moon disappeared into the clouds then set.
Twisted Earths is HERE!
Nine twisted stories from nine twisted worlds.
Only 99 cents for a collection of fantastic stories!
Twisted Earths is a collection of tales from Untethered Realms, a group of speculative fiction authors. The stories are as varied and rich as the types of soil on this and other planets—sandy loam, clay, knotted with roots and vines, dreaded paths through unexplored planets, and in enchanted forests, lit by candlelight and two moons.
M. Pax, author of the series, The Backworlds and The Rifters spins a tale called Patchworker 2.0. Specialists with digital interfaces are the only ones who can distinguish between biological energy and mechanical pulses, and “patch” AIs, which hold the world together. Patchworker Evalyn Shore meets up with an AI with deadly intent.
Cherie Reich, known for her epic fantasy series The Fate Challenges and The Foxwick Chronicles, presents Lady Death. Umbria, a beautiful and powerful swordsmith, is given an impossible task by her brother Leon when he asks, “You are the assassin. Are you scared to destroy Death when you are up to your elbows in it?”
Angela Brown is the author of the paranormal Shadow Jumpers and NEO Chronicles series. In her story, In The Know, Jacob, a loyal family man is struggling to stay out of debt when he’s hired to report on big plans for a future Detroit. He’s given a mysterious manila envelope with instructions to “open it alone” or pay the price. With switchback twists you won’t see coming, a debt of a much steeper cost is what he just might end up paying for his involvement.
Catherine Stine, author of the futuristic thrillers, Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire, offers The Day of The Flying Dogs, a sinister tale of brilliant, troubled NYC high-school student, Theo. He experiences a day at Coney Island that includes drugs, delusions, a lonely capybara, Nathan’s hotdogs and a mind-bending lesson in our very twisted universe.
Christine Rains, known best for her paranormal series The Thirteenth Floor, gives us The Ole Saint, a story at once sweet, horrific and heartrending. Ezra longs to fit in and have boys stop calling him witch and freak, yet his unique supernatural skill sets him apart, and the last gift from The Ole Saint cinches the deal.
Graeme Ing, known for his young adult fantasy, Ocean of Dust presents The Malachite Mine, a gripping, scream-inducing ride. Whatever was Mary thinking when she accepted her husband’s gift of a most terrifying twenty-first birthday celebration in an abandoned Russian mine?
River Fairchild, author of her Jewels of Chandra series, presents A Grand Purpose. Rosaya and her cousin, Drianna are soon to be married off, but Rosaya is unhappy with her assigned match. She’s much more intoxicated by the older Firrandor, a wizard she hardly knows. When Rosaya is accused of killing an oracle boy, all bets are off, not only for her love, but her freedom.
Gwen Gardner, who pens the cozy paranormal mystery series, Indigo Eady, adds to her collection with Ghostly Guardian. Indigo and her rib-tickling ghost-busters must travel to a dangerous pirate-laden past in order to unearth a curmudgeonly eighteenth century spirit that is plaguing the Blind Badger Pub.
Misha Gerrick, whose War of Six Crowns series is forthcoming, gives us a story called Red Earth and White Light. Emily, a young ghost bride has long haunted a house. She longs to cross over into the afterlife, but she’s trapped in memories of lilies and betrayal.
The Soulless are coming.
Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.
And risk losing everything.
Kiren sprinted faster, glancing up. The hollow loomed just ahead. Wind whipped in his ears, the rich scent of grain masking his own perspiration. Hisses whispered through the frosted breeze, nearing.
Searing heat raked across his back. He whirled and slammed a fist into the creature’s jaw. It flew off to the side.
He kept moving and reached back to examine the flesh, still intact, but his jacket was shorn. Midnight writhed toward him from all directions. His heart sank.
Reaching down, he found a dead tree branch and hefted it. If they wanted to take him, they were going to see a fight like they’d never known!
He turned at the crunch of stalks, swinging the branch upward. It rammed a creature’s chin and threw it back into a mass of blackness. Creatures toppled like wooden dolls.
Kiren lumbered past them, toward the pitiful copse of trees. Twenty feet more.
The enemy circled in, cutting him off. He bit down. His muscles tightened. His knuckles popped.
Two bodies thudded to the ground. Weight slammed into the back of his legs. His knees crunched into the earth. Pain shot up his legs. He couldn’t move, weighed down by multiple enemies. He flailed around, swinging blindly. The wood connected again and again, but he couldn’t free his legs. The branch was yanked out of his grasp, raking a trail of splinters across his palm.
Bodies crashed down.
Blackness consumed the world.
Calling All Authors and Writers
I could use your help in getting the word out about this year’s Realms Faire. The faire is about you and helping you gain some visibility for your work. It has several opportunities to help you do that.
Be a sponsor and donate prizes. This gets you listed on the Realms Faire scrolly and pages. The events giving away your swag will mention you. It’s easy. All you do is tell me what you want to give, then send it out when the winner is selected. You need do nothing else
Test your mettle in the joust. People will be cheering for you for five days straight. You will get a spotlight on one of the five days. You get a nifty badge. Limited to 10 knights. Plus, it’s almost effortless. You send people to my site to cheer for you. The rest of the work is mine.
Duel with words in Dueling Bards. You and your work are spotlighted on one day. Limited to 10 bards. Again, very simple. You write up the duel ahead of time, then send people to cheer.
Last chance to get Rifters Book 2, The Initiate, for 99 cents. Preorder special ends October 2o, 2014!
The Rifters is a FREE download until 12/31/14. The Initiate is 99 cents on preorder until October 20, 2014!
Download The Rifters from: Amazon / AmazonUK / B&N/Smashwords /Googleplay /
Preorder The Initiate from:
Where’s the Beast? Untethered Realms