Speculative Fiction: CattlePunk. Is There Gangsta Cow in That?

I had never heard of cattlepunk, but I write it. A lot of us love it without knowing what it is.

What is it? It’s western meets speculative fiction. There’s the steampunk variety which usually involves alternative history (movie: Wild Wild West). 

There’s the space western, where Firefly is the superlative example. Here’s a deleted scene:

Also Cowboys versus Aliens.

Then there’s Weird West where the western goes supernatural. Stephen King’s the Dark Tower is a prime example, and a story by the uber talented, Christine Rains.



It’s not to be confused with cowpunk, which is a kind a music mixing punk and country.


Chances are, if you’re writing/reading speculative fiction, you’re writing/reading a punk of some kind.





Have you seen Angela Brown’s new covers for NeverLove and They All Fall Down. Rumor has it #3 in the series is coming. Awesomesauce!

Duty or love…there can be only one.
A love worth fighting for…


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Geek Woman Problems with Christine Rains (Loose Corset Tour), #SpecFicChat is Here, The Return of Mistress Snark

Christine Rains is here for a visit today. You’ll be well entertained. Promise.



By Christine Rains

I’m a geek through and through, but sometimes when I read those geek girl problems, I can’t relate. They’re young geek problems. When you get older, you’ll discover a whole new mess of nerd troubles.

So I present to you: Geek Woman Problems!

Geek Woman Problem #19: You find a few gray hairs and wonder if you could pull off the Lily Munster look. 


Geek Woman Problem #33: Your kid doesn’t want you to pick him up at school anymore because you might embarrass him. But you only wore your Star Trek uniform that one time!

Geek Woman Problem: #48: You can’t find Wonder Woman underwear with the slimming control top band.

Geek Woman Problem #60: The clerk at the comic book store asks if you’re looking for your child.

Geek Woman Problem #73: The neighborhood kids call you a witch because your wardrobe consists of mostly black clothing.

Geek Woman Problem #79: When asked who your favorite Batman is, you’re met with confused expressions when you say Adam West.


Share with us some of your geek problems!

Loose Corset

by Christine Rains

LooseCorset_MSR (2)

Dice and Debauchery, Book 1

A weekend away at a convention is exactly what overworked student Morgan needs. Dressed as her character from her favorite online game, Morgan is braced—seriously, could her corset be tighter?—to meet the other players. As Lady Gyrfalcon, she’s ready for everything—except her intense attraction to Dean. A clandestine meeting in the hallway of the hotel and Morgan’s corset is looser but now she can’t breathe for entirely different reasons. 

Utterly charmed, Morgan decides to roll the dice and indulge in a fantasy-worthy weekend of sexy roleplaying, scorching sex and life-altering orgasms. Still, through it all Morgan is too smart to believe the chemistry constantly stripping her of costumes and control can last more than the length of the convention. But if she wants to keep a relationship so intense she thought it only existed in fiction, she’s going to have to let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall far and fast for the perfect guy.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Amazon / B&N / Ellora’s Cave / Kobo

About Christine: Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She’s married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents’ own good and loves to pretend he’s Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She’s a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published. The Dice & Debauchery series is her first contemporary erotic romance.

Website / Blog

** I will add in a note Loose Corset is a hilariously fun read and sexay. Another great work from Christine.


#SpecFicChat is Here!

Talking about all things speculative fiction, Fridays on Twitter.


Next chat begins January 23, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. GMT/1:00 p.m. EST. I’m starting it off. @mpax1 in case you’re not following yet.

Topic: Punking it up. What’s the attraction of Steampunk?

Use #SpecFicChat to join the conversation any time. The chat is ongoing, which means you can join in anytime that’s convenient to you, including a day after this Friday.


The Return of Mistress Snark’s Tea


Mistress Snark has emerged from the secret chambers beyond her parlor to grace us with her wit, punch, and tea once more. The third Tuesday of every month, you’ll find her and her guests on theUntethered Realms blog.

I’m her first vic- um, guest. Come by and visit.


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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Movie Review #SciFi and Sudden Secrets by C. Lee McKenzie

Dinner and a Bad Movie

Husband Unit and I watch these movies so you don’t have to.

Dinner: spicy eggplant with basil. 1 eggplant, handful of basil, olive oil, rough chopped onion, can diced tomatoes no salt added, thai chili paste, red chili flakes, coriander seeds, rice. Since I live in the sticks, the Asian eggplant isn’t available to me, so I use regular. Other ingredients aren’t available to me and Husband Unit doesn’t like certain spice combos, so I got creative in recreating this Asian dish.

I cut up the eggplant into cubes removing most of the skin and put it in a hot pan with oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add onion. Let it all sit and cook without fussing. I use a nonstick pan. When the eggplant is cooked, I add the coriander seeds and let them pop. Then the tomatoes, chili paste, and torn basil. Let it all heat through. Serve over hot rice. Sometimes I add chicken, pounded thin and diced up. Easy, tasty, spicy, and healthy. My favorite kind of dinner.

Note: Use the leftover basil to make a basil dressing and Holly Sinclair’s Minestrone Salad.

HU: Before we start, show me that baklava you promised.

Thanks to having lunch with my local writing gal pals earlier in the day, I had a plateful of bribes to offer. Thanks to Marie Harte for the baklava. It was the bribe that tipped things in my favor, or in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’ favor.


Info from IMDB:


The Martians kidnap Santa because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

Director: Nicholas Webster

Writers: Glenville Mareth (screenplay), Paul L. Jacobson(based on a story by)

Stars: John Call, Leonard Hicks, Vincent Beck

Hooray for Santy Claus, yay yay for Santy Claus! This movie starts out with a great snazzy tune. You won’t be able to resist singing along. No worries, they’ll feed you all the words at the end of the movie so that you can. The words aren’t all that complicated, though, so you’ll probably catch on before the opening credits end.


ME: They get bonus points for the snazzy song.

HU: Pass the baklava.

There’s a very young Pia Zadora in this movie playing one of the Martian children.



Basically, the children on Mars are sad. They won’t sleep anymore without sleep spray and they only want to watch Earth programs on the video. Our Martian hero decides the answer is to travel to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus. Of course, that’s the answer.

ME: More bonus points for costumes and the sets on Mars.

HU: Ooo, a robot!



OK, the only costume that really was sub par was the polar bear. You see what I mean…


Anyway, two Earth children help the Martians find the real Santa Claus, because the Martians are confused by all the Santas ringing bells on the street corners. The children and Santa get kidnapped and taken to Mars. Santa teaches lessons of Christmas and Santa-isms on the way. There’s a silly joke that went something like: whats plump, sweet and green, and best when roasted? A Martianmallow.

There’s a lot packed in this movie. It’s awful and cheesy and wonderful. We were quite surprised at how wonderfully entertained we were through the whole movie. There was nothing not to like about it. Hooray for Santy Claus! You can bet we’ll be watching this again next Christmas.

HU: Bonus points for no dance numbers.

This gets the coveted, beer is optional rating… however, baklava might be needed for bribery.



A chat with Cleo, Star of Sudden Secrets

by C. Lee McKenzie

Where would Cleo go in a time machine? Hard question to answer.  Tick Tock.  Tick Tock.  Thinking.  Okay, so here’s what I’ve come up with: She’d go back in time to change the bad stuff that happened, say three years. No. Wait! She’d go back in time to the 60’s and meet the Flower Children. No that’s not right. She’d wait outside the time machine and dither like I’m doing. 

Where does Cleo stand on hats? Yes? No? What kind would she wear? Oh, Cleo would never stand on hats. She’s really well behaved for a teen. But if she had a chance to wear one, I say she’d choose a baseball hat or maybe a beret. She’s kind of into stylin’. . . sometimes. Now if you’d asked me about shoes I would have had your answer in a snap. Tennis shoes. And she’d stand on those for sure.

You versus Cleo – what’s your favorite season? Me? I love fall because it has Halloween. When I checked with Cleo, she said, “I thought you knew everything about me.” Then she rolled her eyes (I really hate that in her) and said, “Summer, duh!” So she’ll take summer because she runs a lot. Of course, I had running in the rain and she never complained. Well, a little, but, as I pointed out to her, “Too late, honey. You’re published.” And there went those eyes again. 


Visit C. Lee on her BLOG to find out more


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Believe in Good Things, Fantasy Uprising by Untethered Realms, Vitamins & Death by Medeia Sharif #Giveaway

Happy 2015! Wishes for your best year yet!


New Year's and Christmas background from snow

I Will Believe in Good Things

We’ve all heard the dire news: discoverability is tougher, sales are down across the board, there are more books than readers. Ingredients to forecast a gloomy 2015 for the weary author.

The only constant is constant change. I’ll repeat what I said last month, there’s no point in whining about what was. We have to deal with what is and what will be. Closing our eyes and sticking our heads in the sand will do us no good.

Despite all the gloom and the sky falling, I’m going to persist in a belief good things will happen in my writing career, that my hard work, determination, dedication, and pure tenacity will serve me well over the long haul. If I believe it, it will happen.

OK, so my mantra of making $100K this October didn’t happen, but I didn’t truly believe it would. I believe it will at some point. Maybe this year. Why not? Certainly if I don’t believe it, it will never happen.

Instant success and fortune rarely happen in any field or career, so why do we expect it in publishing? We shouldn’t. We should expect hard work and more hard work. And most definitely for things to roll, we have to put ourselves out there, publishing however and wherever we can. Relying on tricks and gimmicks won’t work. 

This is my January IWSG post.


Fantasy Uprising is HERE!

A boxed set from Untethered Realms



A collection of nine fantastic, spine-tingling stories. Magic. Mystery. Murder. Heartbreak and Hope. Defeat and Victory. The incredible and Horrific. Fantasy Uprising delivers a heaping serving of the best in fantasy.

Available in ebook from:

Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Googleplay / iTunes / B&N / Kobo

AmazonCA / AmazonAUAmazonDE / AmazonFR / AmazonES / AmazonIT / AmazonJP / AmazonBR / AmazonMX /AmazonIN

Find it on Goodreads

Reborn by Cherie Reich: To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

Fireseed One by Catherine Stine: On a devastated Earth in 2089, the son of a famous marine biologist must travel to a lethal hotzone with his worst enemy who helped destroy the world’s food source, to search for Fireseed One, a mythical hybrid plant that may not even exist. 

Givin’ Up the Ghost by Gwen Gardner: In the haunted modern day medieval village of Sabrina shores, indigo eady must help a ghost solve his murder before she And her gang become the next victims.

The Marquis by Christine Rains: A retired demon must become the beast he loathes to save the woman he loves.

The Alpha by Christine Rains: A werewolf hunted by her pack must find a way hide or fight a battle she believes she cannot win.

The Rifters by M. Pax: In a strange wilderness town, a misplaced city gal must deal with a secret organization, a man from 1888, and a head-stealing phantom to save her missing sister.

Neverlove by Angela Brown: A tormented suicide survivor must find the power in her pain or risk the Devourer robbing her of a second chance to live, a first chance at love, and her very soul.

The Fall of Shaylar by River Fairchild: Magic is real. So is betrayal. Rivalry, jealousy, a desperate attempt to grab the magic of Shaylar—all converge to bring about the end of the precarious balance between the Five Kingdoms.

Diamonds & Dust by River Fairchild: Magic is real. So is betrayal. Two heirs. A Kingdom of dust on a troubled world. One might resurrect it. One might destroy it all.




 Graphic Artist Erin Dameron-Hill


A Brief Chat with Deidra Battle, Star of Vitamins and Death

by Medeia Sharif


What’s your MC’s favorite holiday? Memorial Day, because it’s right at the end of the school year. She’s dying for the school year to end. 

What is the perfect ending to the day for your MC? Reading a book so she can escape from reality. 

Thoughts on fingernail art – you versus your MC. Definitely a no on both. We’re both nail minimalists. 

vitaminsanddeath medium

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High. Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, she thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed Deidra’s life. Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Purchase from Prizm, Amazon


Find Medeia, Multi-published YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Instagram   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Trailers from Star Wars and Jurassic World, Pulp O Mizer, Claudia Must Die by T. B. Markinson

My last post for the year. No worries, there’ll be more bad movie reviews, discovering of Oregon, and fun stuff in 2015. 

Here’s a bit of fun…

Jurassic World, Coming this summer:

Woo hoo! Dinosaurs eating people! My favorite kind of movie!

And the park is open! Visit it for yourself!



Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Coming December 2015 – groaning about a whole year.


Black Friday Trailer:


Let’s Go Retro!

For a bit of fun, visit Pulp-O-Mizer and create old time science fiction magazines. Here’s one I did:




and now for something a bit more cultural, some time with T. B. Markinson…

Claudia Must Die

Let’s learn a little more about Claudia. Shall we?

Your main character Claudia is sucked into a vortex and finds him/herself in a computer game. Is he/she the hero or the villain? What is his/her objective in the game?

Oh, this is a tough one, since Claudia thinks she’s innocent, even when she is guilty as hell. Everything is about Claudia. However, to answer this question honestly, I would have to say she’s a villain. Claudia’s objective is to kill her doppelganger and take over her life.

You versus Claudia – favorite movie.

My favorite movie is Bringing Up Baby, a 1938 classic starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Claudia will tell you, not to waste your time with my movie. Who cares about black and white films? Pa-lease!

Her favorite film is Pretty Woman. She thought she found her Prince Charming when she married a rich man, but her fairytale ending turned out to be a nightmare. She still hopes for a happy ending, though, no matter what the cost.

What band/song would Claudia obsess over?

Claudia obsesses over two songs. When she’s feeling down, she listens to ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus. Her favorite line is “All you ever did was break me.” However, when she’s feeling powerful she loves to blast Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ and oh boy does she love to roar right along with the song.


Claudia doesn’t feel like herself anymore—she feels like prey. Her husband’s hired goons have stalked her all the way to Boston and will only stop their pursuit once she is dead.

Divorce is not an option. Instead, she has stolen a bunch of her man’s money to disappear into another life.

In order for Claudia to live, someone else must die. A lookalike college student becomes the target capable of freeing her from an awful marriage. 

The plan goes horribly awry. Instead of murdering Claudia’s double, the assassins shoot the woman’s lover who is the cousin of a powerful Irish mobster. Claudia becomes hunted by all involved. Can she survive? Should she?

Available from: Amazon (US)  / Amazon (UK)


T. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. T. B. has published A Woman Lost, Marionette, and Confessions From A Coffee Shop.

Twitter        Facebook        Blog        Goodreads     Amazon Author Page



From M. Pax

Wishing you and those you love all the delights of the season




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