It took a week longer than anticipated, but I have finally finished the first draft of All-the-Way House, the fourth volume in the Systema Paradoxa series of novellas about cryptids that’s being released by the NeoParadoxa imprint of eSpec Books, in association with Cryptid Crate.

I’m gonna let it sit for a day while I write Monday’s Voyager Rewatch and an article on WandaVision, both for, and then and then look it over tomorrow before sending it to my editorial goddesses, GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido (a.k.a. The Mom) and Wrenn Simms (a.k.a. The Wife), both professional editors, and both invaluable helpmeets in my writing.

All-the-Way House is, as you might gather from the cover, about the Jersey Devil, and it was a lot of fun to dig into the various legends about the creature also known as the Leeds Devil in general, and the mass hysteria regarding the Devil during a weird winter week in January 1909. The novella takes place in three different time periods — the origin of the Leeds Devil in 1735, the aforementioned week in 1909, and in the present day. It takes place in central New Jersey (Camden, the Pine Barrens, Atlantic City, etc.) and eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Chester). It takes place in the same milieu as the Adventures of Bram Gold (A Furnace Sealed, the upcoming Feat of Clay, “Under the King’s Bridge”) and the Yolanda Rodriguez short stories (“Materfamilias” in Bad Ass Moms and “Unguarded” in the upcoming Devilish and Divine).

It’s not up for preorder yet, but hopefully soon…..



After writing 12,234 words, the first draft of “The Gorvangin Rampages: A Dragon Precinct Story” — which I crowdfunded on Indie GoGo, and which you can still support — is done!

I’m gonna let the story marinate for a day and then read it over, then send it to both The Mom and The Wife (professional editors, both) for the Mighty Red Pen Of Doom, then again to The Wife for formatting, and then it will go off to supporters.

Next up is to write the second story in that crowdfund, “Ragnarok and a Hard Place: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet.”

Cha cha cha….




When this whole quarantine/social distancing/shelter in place/back the fuck up started seventeen years ago in mid-March, I was having a serious inability to write fiction. Since this is part of what I do for a living, this was a bit of a problem. Luckily, two of the other parts of what I do for a living, editing and writing nonfiction, were things I could (and did) still do, so that was a relief, but given that I’m horribly late on so many deadlines, I really needed to get the fiction train rolling again.

The dam finally broke, he says mixing his metaphors, last Thursday, when I finally finished Chapter 23 of my collaboration with David Sherman, To Hell and Regroup, and over the weekend through to today (around writing two Voyager Rewatches) I wrote “Materfamilias,” my contribution to Bad Ass Moms, which is off to editor Mary Fan shortly.

(If you click on that link, you won’t see my name — my story was a stretch goal for the anthology’s Kickstarter, which it obviously reached…..)

Now it’s on to Chapter 24 of THAR……




At 52,000 words, Mermaid Precinct is, at last, a completed book. It’s been five years since the last novel in the series (Gryphon Precinct), it’s been a year and a half since I ran the Kickstarter to support this book, as it was kinda between publishers, it’s been three months since I started it, but now it’s a completed book! Go me!

Next step is for me and my editors (my wife and my mother, and before you snort, both women are excellent professional editors of many years’ standing) to read it over and make sure it all hangs together. Then it goes into production. Hoping to have it be an actual book by the new year.

Here once again is the back cover copy for the book:

Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff’s End, to say nothing of the tourists and travelers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure—or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can.

As Cliff’s End struggles to deal with a massive influx of refugees following a devastating fire in the neighboring city-state of Barlin, the docklands are rocked by a stunning tragedy: the legendary Pirate Queen has been murdered! Long the scourge of the Garamin Sea, the Pirate Queen’s death has ripple effects beyond Cliff’s End. Even as Lieutenants Danthres Tresyllione and Torin ban Wyvald investigate her murder, they find themselves embroiled in conspiracies, politics, and the arcane law of the sea—and of the land!

An all-new adventure of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard!


As a bonus for y’all, here’s the opening two paragraphs of the novel:

The early-autumn breeze blew through Lieutenant Danthres Tresyllione’s blonde hair as she stood impatiently on Albin Way wishing Lord Doval would hurry up and finish his speech.

As he’d only just started talking, Danthres was less than optimistic that its end would come any time soon.


The plans going forward for the “Precinct” series are simple. I’ve got two more novels under contract, Phoenix Precinct and Manticore Precinct, the creation of which are established in Chapter 1 of Mermaid Precinct (which takes place a year after Gryphon Precinct). In addition, there’s a bunch of stories still to be told, both from the past — Danthres and Torin’s taking down of the crimelord Quanto, as mentioned at the end of “Baker’s Dozen” — and from the one-year gap between Gryphon and Mermaid — which are mentioned in the latter novel. Those stories will likely be supported via Kickstarter, as that model has worked well for “When the Magick Goes Away,” “Baker’s Dozen,” “Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty,” and “The Fall of Iaron.” Those stories (along with “The Midwinter of Our Discontent” in the upcoming Release the Virgins!)will eventually be collected in More Tales from Dragon Precinct.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a bunch of other things to take care of……………………………………….




Many many years after I started it, and after being forced to go away from it for other work multiple times, and after being stuck in the mud on the latter stages of it for a long time, I have FINALLY gotten to the end of the first draft of A Furnace Sealed, the first book in the Adventures of Bram Gold, a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who hunts monsters.

Now to make sure it doesn’t suck…………..