The Guardian Cats of New York City: The Watcher On The Shore Is Available For Free Now Through Thursday!

The second story of the Guardian Cats series is available for free download now through Thursday!  In this installment, we catch a glimpse of the relationship between the Guardian Cats and human mystics.

They are still among us, hidden here and there; the cats who remember the Old Compact: you provide a home for us, feed us, take care of us in our illness, and we will protect you from the dangers of the night. They operate below the sight lines of humanity, dealing with dangers that we would never notice until it was too late. They remember the old magics of Freya, Bast and Hecate. They are the Guardian Cats.

Nar-Tali the Gull Hunter is the guardian of Coney Island. He walks the boardwalk after dark, protecting humans at play from the things that hunt the night. But tonight, something is coming out of the ocean. Something huge. And Nar-Tali may need a bit of help to handle it.

Head on over to Amazon and download yourself a free copy of The Watcher On The Shore.  And as always, while you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the library!

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An Excerpt from The Guardian Cats of New York City: Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood

The Guardian Cats of New York City: Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood is still available for free download through Thursday! If you haven’t downloaded a copy yet, here’s a taste of what you’re missing:

Something was coming. Something that raised the fur along her spine and made her claws twitch involuntarily in their sheaths.

“AllEEEEE!”

Closer and louder now. Close and loud enough so that even a two-legs could have heard it. If any two-legs did hear, they would have been disturbed, even frightened, but they wouldn’t know why. Shin-Nephura knew. Whatever was coming was…wrong. It had come from the river – it squished and dripped and splashed with every step, and Shin-Nephura could smell the tidal muds – but it was no right part of the world of cats, birds, mice and two-legs.

It drew closer, and Shin-Nephura finally caught a whiff of something other than the muds.

Rotten meat.

Not like the food the two-legs so wastefully threw away, the meat just moldy or spoiled enough to be flavorful, but the smell of something long dead and decayed.

“aaAAallEEEeee!”

As the dead thing came around the corner and into view, Shin-Nephura’s hackles went all the way up and her claws scraped on the sidewalk.

A two-legs. The dead, lurching, half-rotten thing was a two-legs.

No wise cat wishes to face a two-legs in a straight fight. Slow, clumsy, half-deaf, night-blind, nose-numb, so often strange and silly in their behavior…it was easy to underestimate them. But yet, they were giants. Their strength was immense and their clever forepaws could create horrors. Once a cat was in a solid grip, there was little hope of wriggling free. The best one could hope for was to make the price too high.

“AAAaalleeee”

Still. She had a duty. The ancient compact.

The dead thing was shambling toward the iron gates that led into the courtyard. They were locked, but Shin-Nephura doubted that would be any obstacle. Locks and gates were little use against something like this.

“AAAA—”

“You are not welcome in my territory, dead thing.”

Hurry on over and pick up a free copy before it’s too late!  And as always, while you’re there, check out the rest of the library!

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The Guardian Cats of New York City: Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood Is Available For Free Now Through Thursday!

In honor of the recent publication of the fourth Guardian Cats story, I’m going to be holding a free giveaway for each of Guardian Cats stories over each of the next four weeks.  This week, we’re going back to where it all began, at Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood:

They are still among us, hidden here and there; the cats who remember the Old Compact: you provide a home for us, feed us, take care of us in our illness, and we will protect you from the dangers of the night. They operate below the sight lines of humanity, dealing with dangers that we would never notice until it was too late. They remember the old magics of Freya, Bast and Hecate. They are the Guardian Cats.

Shin-Nephura is the Guardian Cat of the neighborhood of Inwood, at the northern point of Manhattan. And tonight, something terrible has crawled out of the Hudson River to prey on sleeping two-legs of the neighborhood she protects. Something that may be too much for her to handle.

You want to know something crazy?  The neighborhood in question has changed enormously in the few short years since this story was first published.  The bodega on the cover is gone now, replaced by a trendy restaurant.

Anyway, if that sounds good to you, head on over to Amazon and download yourself a free copy of Shin-Nephura’s Neighborhood.  And as always, while you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the library!

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The Guardian Cats of New York City: Kodama’s Courage Is Now Available on Amazon!

The fourth story in the Guardian Cats cycle is complete, and this one honors a cat I used to know:

They are still among us, hidden here and there; the cats who remember the Old Compact: you provide a home for us, feed us, take care of us in our illness, and we will protect you from the dangers of the night. They operate below the sight lines of humanity, dealing with dangers that we would never notice until it was too late. They remember the old magics of Freya, Bast and Hecate. They are the Guardian Cats.

Kodama is a young cat who lives in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. He has heard the stories of the guardian cats and he dreams of becoming one of them, but first he must face a threat that strikes much closer to home. Something terrible has entered his quiet neighborhood, and it threatens his humans, the kindly giants who took him off the streets and gave him his name.

As he faces one of the hatchlings of the Serpent of Darkness, Kodama must decide what price he is willing to pay to protect the humans who have opened their home to him.

So go check out Kodama’s page at my author website, or just go straight to Amazon.  Available to download from Kindle or to read for free in Kindle Unlimited.  And as always, while you’re there, check out the rest of the library!  If you like what you see, please leave a review.

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Check Out My New Goodreads Page!

Hey, all!

Check out my page at Goodreads!  Of course, my books have been up there for a long time, but I’ve only recently taken control of my profile and promotions there.

It’s a shame that it’s taken this long, really.  I feel like if I’d done my due diligence, I would have discovered their Author Program long ago (My fellow authors!  Check it out here!).  Ah, well.  I’m there now.  Head on over for news, upcoming events, see what I’m reading (and what I think of it), and ask questions of the author!

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This About Sums It Up

Fred Clark sums up America’s real problem with government programs in this Twitter thread.

If you don’t want get into the morass that is Twitter, here’s what he says:

Progressive agenda — labor, education, health care for all — is very popular in U.S. but only up until the moment POC also have access.  Public schools & universities? America loved ’em … until Brown v. Board, after which public was happy to let them collapse.  Labor unions? Americans wanted them good and strong … until they had to be integrated, at which point U.S. let them wither away.  Go through the whole list of New Deal and Great Society efforts to improve our standard of living — the pattern repeats.  This was what started the Tea Party, which furiously opposed assisting struggling homeowners & thus re-channeled the rescue to banks.  White Americans want Nice Things, but not if “those people” get them too. In that case, they’d rather let their own house burn down.  Want single-payer Medicare for all? Me too. Getting there means figuring out how to change this pattern.

It reminds me very much of a quote attributed to the commenter Deus X. Machina in a thread from Balloon Juice:

The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.

White America would rather not have good things at all than have to share them with those they deem undeserving.

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Don’t Tell Me That I Live In A Bubble

Don’t tell me that I live in a bubble.

 

If I lived in a bubble, I might believe that Muslims were some terrifying alien Other that I see on Fox TV, coming to blow up my family and put the bits under Sharia Law, instead of being the co-workers who shared their Friday night Ramadan meal; or the man with the Halal cart, immigrant entrepreneur with a small business, living the American dream, taking a break to bow toward Mecca; or the neighbor walking her daughter to practice, with a soccer ball and a hijab.

 

If I lived in a bubble, I might believe that all blacks and Hispanics are like those rampaging animals I see on Fox News: welfare queens, young bucks, living in the cities, smashing windows, looting stores, selling drugs, living off the hard work of people like me.  Except for the ones who live in my town, dress exactly like I do, act exactly like I do, agree with everything I say.  They’re One Of The Good Ones, and they’re how I know I’m not racist.

 

If I lived in a bubble I might believe that there’s only one way to be a man, and that it’s been the same way since forever.

 

Or that 97% of the scientists in the world are just pretending to be terrified by climate change as part of a Chinese conspiracy.

 

I might believe that it infringes on my freedom of religion for an old woman to have the right to be at the side of the love of her life as the last few minutes of fifty years count down to the beeping of a heart monitor.  I might believe that I’m being persecuted if the law requires me to serve gay customers at my bakery or florist shop, and doesn’t allow me to turn them away like my grandparents turned black people away from the lunch counter; or that them damn queers have special rights if they can’t be fired or evicted just for what they are.  I might believe that The Gay is a thing that can be cured – or that needs to be.

 

I might think that three children, siblings, adopted out of foster care as a group so the family could stay together, should be taken away from the men they call “Daddy and Papa” because all gays are child molesters.

 

I might believe that impoverished, dying small towns (but hardworking and white!) whose industry left a generation ago were paying the bills for the vast and thriving cities, instead of the other way around.

 

I might even believe that whites, straights, Christians, and men are the only people still oppressed in America, because I have no perspective on pain.

 

I could live in a bubble if I wanted to.  I’m white, straight, male, middle-aged and middle-class.

 

I could collect my white-collar paycheck, enjoy my white-collar tax cut, cash in on my stock options while the market is high.  I could go to Broadway shows and movies at Alamo Drafthouse, eat meals at fine steakhouses during Restaurant Week, go to little places in Chinatown where the locals go, and not give a shit about the wider world unless and until it came for me.
Do I live in a bubble?  I don’t live in the neighborhoods where poverty and despair fill the air like the smell of garbage.  Where the criminals are the only ones with any money, and the City lets the streets crumble.  No, I follow close on the leading edge of gentrification, and when people like me move into a neighborhood, the City starts to care.

 

That’s the bubble I live in.  But it’s a bigger bubble than the one you live in, with a lot more people in it who are not like me.  So don’t tell me that I live in a bubble just because my bubble  isn’t the same as yours.

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