Featured

The Stealth Lovers will be published by Renaissance!

img_2471

I know, right? WHEEEE!!! I’m so excited that the folks who believed in Life in the ’Cosm have also agreed to take on The Stealth Lovers, which is the origin story of Xax and Viv.

We learned from ’Cosm that these two warriors were also known as a formidable duo called The Stealth, but how did it all begin for them? Why were they Dragal legends? What was their life like years before they landed on Cinneh? I mean, who the hay were Commanders Xaxall Dwyer Knightly and Vivoxx Nathan Tirowen anyway? (Other than flippin’ awesome!)

What’s so cool for me is that I wrote the first words for this book in October 2017. And now, one year later, the manuscript has been accepted. What a great manuscriptversary present!

A huge vat of thanks goes to Renaissance’s Acquisition Committee. I’m so grateful to you for choosing my story. (I kept whispering, “Pick me, pick me!”)

I’m really looking forward to working with Renaissance again. They really are an amazing team who makes their authors feel so involved in the process. I can’t wait to collaborate on the cover design with Nathan! We’re already discussing it!

In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated on the progress of where the book is at. Stay tuned, folks!

While you’re waiting for TSL, you can read Life in the ’Cosm first, if you like!

And many thanks to all the fans of Xax and Viv who got really excited to hear their story would be told. You people fueled me to complete the book. Readers are the best!

Wow. This is really happening.

SQUEE!


Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a story about a little green guy who’s on a quest to save half the person he loves. Her latest WIP, The Stealth Lovers, is a military space opera about legendary warriors Xaxall Dwyer Knightly and Vivoxx Nathan Tirowen. When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also working with Renaissance and co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (call for submissions are ongoing until Dec 31, 2018.)

Broom Chicka-Wow-Wow

I’m back after taking a short breather from writing. I was sad to miss two flash fiction challenges, but was happy to return for the last one in ’Nathan Burgoine’s 2018 monthly Flash Fiction Draw.

And thank goodness, the genre was Comedy. The setting is a poppy field and the mandatory object was a broom.

Here’s my entry, called Broom Chicka-Wow-Wow.

Broom-Chicka-Cover
ID: Dawn over a lush field of blooming red poppies. Text: Broom Chicka-Wow-Wow, Cait Gordon

 

As head gardener of Poppyfield Manor, Shelley Rutherford’s headspace was often cluttered with several brands of manure. When offered a frugal sum for her thoughts, she often replied with, “Oh, nothing more than shit.”

This invariably confused whomever asked the question, for it seemed Ms. Rutherford had indeed been focusing on something of great significance. However, a follow-up query was rarely asked.

Shelley felt more in charge of the county than the earl himself. Lord Hartley might have been competent in his own right, but she knew the land under her care had brought him further glory. And the pride of all her flora was the expanse that had given the manor its name.

While the scarlet flowers often reseeded well on their own, Shelley had made it a habit to harvest enough seeds to keep the field lush for the blooming season. Presently, the soil needed loosening. Several apprentice gardeners gathered ’round to help her till the area.

She liked the new team, mostly. She’d inherited one of them from a very distant cousin of the earl. Mortimer Figbottom, a third son with little prospects, flashed her a vacuous smile as he proudly held up the tool he brought for the day’s work.

Count to ten slowly, Shelley. One…two… three…

“Well, Ms. Ruthy? Isn’t she a vintage dream? Belonged to my grandmama. I’d wager there’s not another about in such condition,” said Mortimer, beaming.

The head gardener replied with teeth gritted in an unsuccessful attempt at returning the smile. “It’s Rutherford, Mr. Figbot—”

“Oh no-no, that won’t do at all. Call me Morty. Everyone does!”

She blinked. “Very well, erm, Morty. Now then, while I’m sure this was a fascinating piece for its time, it simply won’t do for the task at hand.”

Mortimer gasped and inspected his tool. No, not that; the thingie in his hand. Wait, he didn’t have his thingie in his hand—erm—let’s try this again. Mortimer held up the wooden handle.

“But you cahn’t be serious, Ms. Ruthy! Why, Grandmama always used this to loosen the soil.”

Shelley slid her fingers from the top of her forehead until they rested upon her lips. Her voice was a bit muffled as she muttered, “Your Granny used an old curling broom as a gardening tool.”

“Why, indeed! Just the sort of thing to do the trick.”

“Mr. Fig—Morty—”

“And not only is this implement far superior to a hoe or tiller,” he added, “it also makes the earth feel, well, sexy.”

The other gardeners sniggered. Shelley willed her eyes to stay in their neutral positions.

“I’m going to regret asking this, Morty, but, what the actual—”

“I understand your scepticism, Ms. Ruthy—”

“Rutherford.”

“But Grandmama said her rather virile ginger Scottish beau at the time… or was he Irish? I can never tell those people apart.” Morty scratched his head. “No, I think he definitely said he liked tatties and neeps. So, Scottish. Or perhaps he said titties and nips. You know, I really can’t recall with absolute certainty.”

“Morty—”

“Anyway, he told Grandmama he could broom her field until it felt ‘ded sexeh.’ I do remember overhearing that phrase for sure!”

Shelly closed her eyes and resumed counting to ten. Nepotism could really be the worst at times. But it wouldn’t do to blow her stack at this ridiculous human. No matter how hard he was trying to help.

“Morty, I hate to break this to you, but I think that expression has more to do with, erm, well, particular…acts…ah, between partners, than any sort of horticultural pursuits.”

He stared at her with the innocence of a child. “Whatever do you mean?”

Might as well rip the plaster off before the morning gets away from us. “Sex, Morty. The man wanted to ‘plow’ your granny, not her field.”

The man with the curling broom burst into a hearty guffaw. “Oh, that! Well, of course. That was the process, you see? Broom the soil, then drop right down and have it away. The ‘magik’ of the broom encouraged amorous activities. Worked every year, too. You should have seen the blossoms!”

Shelley gave up. There was no convincing this man otherwise. “Fine. Use the broom. Don’t wreck my poppies.” She turned to the woman on her left. “Freda, supervise Morty.”

“Sure, boss!”

#

The earl had called her in after receiving a complaint from his steward about having to constantly chase away couples—who’d heard about Morty’s broom—from the poppy field. The steward had never seen the like in all his years.

Shelley shrugged her shoulders when asked if she had any insight into why these copulations were occurring in this specific location.

The earl studied her face, but eventually decided to assign staff to patrol the area. There would be no way he would allow Poppyfield Manor’s famous field to be defiled and even worse, devoid of blooms.

Shelley nodded and took her leave.

#

June arrived. How many times had she come to this exact spot to stare and stare until she finally assured herself she wasn’t hallucinating?

But there it was, like a lush scarlet carpet, thick with perfect red blossoms covering the expanse. Shelley shook her head in disbelief for maybe the hundredth time.

“Ah, another triumph!” exclaimed a voice teeming with pride.

She looked over her shoulder. “Morty.”

He stood akimbo, surveying his handiwork. “See? The wonders of Celtic mysticism!”

“I… just can’t believe it.”

“In your profession you’ve never heard of making the ground fertile?”

“Not through osmosis, Morty!!!”

“You must have a little faith, my dear woman.”

She scowled.

He smiled at her. “Of course, the spurts of liquid fertilizer I intermittently pumped through the hollow broom handle might have aided matters somewhat.”

Shelley’s jaw dropped.

Morty laughed. “Angus MacKenzie’s formula.”

“What?!”

“But look how we’ve made the field more popular than ever with the locals!”

Shelley snickered. “You bloody trickster.”

He winked.

They spent the next hour admiring the view in a comfortable silence.


Broom Chicka-Wow-Wow © 2018 Cait Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For more information, contact Cait Gordon.


img_2172
Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm (Renaissance) and The Stealth Lovers (Renaissance 2019). When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also teamed up with co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (call for submissions are ongoing until Dec 31, 2018.)

My 2018 List of “You-Gotta-Read Them” Books

Note: Not all the books were published in 2018. I just wanted to share with you eight titles I’ve read this year and have really liked.

Okay, here we go, in no particular order!

Pride and Prometheus—John Kessel

Derek Newman-Stille, eight-time winner of the Aurora Award for Speculating Canada, is also the editor of the We Shall Be Monsters anthology about Frankenstein. (Yours truly will have a story featured in it.) Derek was not only responsible for my falling in love with Mary Shelley’s novel, but also for introducing me to this gem from John Kessel. Taking place years after the Austen tale, we discover the Bennet at the forefront is Mary. (Nice coincidence in the name, eh?) Mary encounters Victor Frankenstein and becomes very much drawn to him but has no idea that the grim Victor is trying to figure out how to construct a bride for his creation. She eventually finds herself face-to-face with the Monster and risks her own reputation to get to the bottom of Victor’s plans, which affect her own family. Like a master tailor, Kessel seamlessly joins the two worlds of Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein together, and the ending left me so satisfied.

pride-and-prometheus-9781481481472_hr
ID of book cover: A glum surf-tossed moor on a grey day. Two figures with their backs to us—a tall scruffy masculine being, slouching, and a woman in a blue Victorian-style dress with her hand in the crook of his arm. You can buy the book here!

Of Echoes Born—’Nathan Burgoine

Never, ever, ever, ever in my life have I come across a compilation like this. Of Echoes Born is a collection of short stories that reads like the camera is simply shifting to different scenes of a local queer community. What knits these stories together is the intensely creative use of colour, representing emotions, but not always in the clichéd way we’ve imagined. There’s great diversity within the community as well.

I’ve been a fan of this author for a while now; however, in my opinion, he topped himself with this work. Even if you “don’t like short stories,” put that feeling aside and grab this one. It all comes together like one cohesive novel. Masterfully done, in my awestruck opinion.

of-echoes-born
ID of book cover: Blue glass background with man’s face. One eye is green and the other blue. You can buy the book here!

Moonshadow’s Guardian—Dianna Gunn

I find an occupational hazard of being an editor is becoming a fangirl of my authors. When Dianna Gun, author of Keeper of the Dawn, asked me to be one of the editors of Moonshadow’s Guardian, I jumped at the chance. Fantasy readers, you’ll want this book in your TBR pile, but maybe move it close to the top. In fact, just read it right after you finish this article. Moonshadow’s Guardian has so many of the elements of the genre—demons, the undead, telepaths, sorcerers, and a quest while flying an endearing dragon—but it’s all done in such a fresh and kinda badass way. It was really hard for me to slow down to edit it because I wanted to rush ahead and find out what came next! And adding the god Loki into the mix was fantastic.

It’s the first of a duology, and I’m really looking forward to the next book!

MG-cover
ID of book cover: Moonlight evening, everything in shades of purple. Young warrior woman with long dark hair and carrying a sword on her back sits on a furry dragon, petting the side of his face. You can get buy the book here!

Human Remains—Melissa Yi

Okay, so this is book 5 in her Hope Sze Medical Crime series, but I still really loved Human Remains, and even though it had some spoilers from a previous book, it still read like a standalone to me. It’s about a doctor who accidentally stumbles upon the murder of a scientist who works in a stem-cell lab where she’s just been assigned, but we soon find out there are tie-ins to deadly viruses (or life-altering ones like Ziska). It’s not always easy to guess who the good guys are, too. There’s great character development and rhythm in this story. Even though I’m no scientist or doctor, I found the medical language easy to follow. Also, as a human who suffers from panic attacks, I felt Hope’s moments of breeeeeathing were so relatable. I’m intrigued by her two boyfriends as well. Must dive into the other novels to find out more.

human-remains-cover
ID of book cover: Black background with a profile of a human skull, neck, and shoulders, in blue. You can get buy the book here!

Life and Lemonade—Jamieson Wolf

I’m a close friend of the author and one of the editors of this book. But really, who cares? If I had never met Jamieson, I would still have loved the second book of the Lemonade series. In this sequel to Lust and Lemonade, we again enjoy the sassy wit of the gang, especially Nancy, but there’s so much more to this story. Along with the squishy sweet romance that makes us melt, much darker themes are explored in Life and Lemonade. Wolf takes us through the blatant ugliness of abuse and does so with such realism, I found myself holding my breath. At one point I even gasped with an “Oh, no! No!”

I defy you to be able to put this book down. Wolf’s episodic chapters will make it hard for you to stop reading. Third book, please!

LandL2
ID of book cover: Orange background. Five people looking extremely concerned while sitting on chairs in a hallway. You can get the book here!

Tremontaine—created by Ellen Kushner and written by a band of awesome authors

The final season of Tremontaine is upon us. At the time of publishing this, I’ve read 10 out of 13 episodes. I love this world of intrigue so much that I tell everyone to read it and have dubbed myself a TremontainEvangelist. What’s not to love? In this sorta kinda 18th century world that’s not Earth but has recognizable cultures, there’s a deliciously conniving and beautiful duchess, the desire to dominate the chocolate-trade, savoury romances and dalliances, a lot of twisty-turny plots, “battles” between rich and poor, and excellent diversity. I particularly love how the writers crafted one girl’s neurodiversity as part of who she is, and how her friends accept and respect her. You can get all the seasons on Serial Box, which I highly recommend, because they have the most excellent audio versions of the episodes as well. Warning: you’ll get hooked. I just know it.

TremS4_cover_wide_2
ID: Grey cobblestone background. Two figures sword-fighting. Text reads: Tremontaine, The Final Season, a Serial Box Original. You can get all four seasons here!

Skylark—S.M. Carrière

It’s Canada, in the future. We made alien contact years ago and they kicked the snot out of us. We call them the Daemons. They conquered much of our land and live in their territory and we do, too, but our land might be full of diseased humans who come out at night and want to kill us. Enter a third enemy, another alien force that’s capturing our people stationed in space and literally stripping them to the bone. Worse yet, these bad aliens are getting closer to Earth. Okay, this is not good. Might be a time to join forces with the Daemons. They don’t want to eat us, at least, and seem to be warriors with beyootchin’ skills.

I had reviewed this book in 2017, but it hadn’t come out yet. Skylark is now available, and space opera fans will gobble it up. (Yes, I’m one of the editors, but like I said, I’m a major fangirl, too.) The characters are endearing, funny, bitchinly cool, and I want to be their friends. The adventure of Skylark will keep you glued to the last page. A great story that is still my favourite of all her works.

Skylark-cover
ID of book cover: Split scenes with sword divider—alien ship against a starry sky, a man in a dark space uniform staring at us with piercing blue eyes. You can buy the book here!

Gatecrasher—Stephen Graham King

I don’t know what it is, but I have a fondness for wormhole stories. They usually are pretty awesome, but as usual, Stephen Graham King’s imagination and gorgeously crafted technological settings take this space opera all to a new level. But why is this revolutionary space travel system being constructed in secret, on the fringes? Welp, you know our beloved Maverick Heart team just has to find out, right?

It was also so great to be reunited with the crew and the sentient ship (’Vrick) in this sequel to Soul’s Blood. And as much as I adore the original “meat” duo of Keene and Lexa-Blue, I also love the addition of Ember. I can’t wait to see how he fits in with the team going forward. Fantastic world building, great story. The Maverick Heart Cycle will definitely be a favourite series of mine and I can’t wait for the next book.

gatecrasher
ID of book cover: Black background with circular ring and bright light. You can buy the book here!

That’s all for this year!

Oh, and if you read these books, don’t forget to leave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I thank you on their behalf! (Because it’s super nice to get reviews.)


img_2172
Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm (Renaissance) and The Stealth Lovers (Renaissance 2019). When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also teamed up with co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (call for submissions are ongoing until Dec 31, 2018.)

The Space Opera Libretti call for submissions got me writing again!

Hey, there! I discovered a thing about myself that I find kinda cool. Because I’ve only a few years under my belt as an author, I’m still learning what my process is after finishing a novel. And guess what? It seems I really like writing short stories in between larger projects.

I had to ditch NaNo this month because I felt totally burnt out on wording. Smart decision for me, too. I’m glad I made that call. With The Stealth Lovers awaiting editing with the Renaissance folks, I can heave a massive sigh at having the heavy lifting done for that book.

But my short hiatus was even shorter than I expected. I saw a writing prompt for a pretty awesome looking anthology called Space Opera Librettiand I got inspired. Their submission deadline is Dec 31, 2018. Here’s their Kickstarter page, too.

I thought, I could write a space opera about an opera company. That would make it a space opera space opera. And so, The Silken Eclipse was born. And am I ever having a blast with this one. It’s so great to go back into my comfort zone of absurdist humour—and aliens, of course. And true-to-form, there is dessert in this story. Except in an Easter egg sort of way. One of my characters has a last name that’s actually a Russian pastry (spelled differently of course). It’s amazing how I keep this running gag going after I realized I mentioned dessert too much the first few jotted chapters of Life in the ’Cosm, then decided to exploit that to the full instead of deleting it. (There are aliens enjoying desserts in The Stealth Lovers as well.)

Whether The Silken Eclipse will make it into the anthology is anyone’s guess. But I’m grateful that there are people out there who love silly sci-fi, and that they woke up my desire to use words again.

I’ll keep you posted! And check out the anthology if you want to have fun with words, too!


img_2172
Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm (Renaissance) and The Stealth Lovers (Renaissance 2019). When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also teamed up with co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (call for submissions are ongoing until Dec 31, 2018.)