Kim Fielding's Blog

April 1, 2019

Between journeys

I had an amazing three weeks in Europe. I got to see some of you in Paris and Leipzig, and also got to hang out with some wonderful authors and my favorite publishers. Shira Anthony and I spent almost a week in the Loire Valley, where we stayed in a luxurious cave, visited chateaux, and came up with a great idea for a new book! I had the chance to visit Ghent for a couple of days and fell in love. And I also had the treat of spending a couple of days in Munich. It was wonderful, despite some minor snafus with my luggage and, later, with trains.









I’ll be leaving again in less than two weeks. This time I’m off to LA for the LA Times Festival of Books. I hope to see some of you there! After that I’ll take Amtrak up to Portland to visit with family.





As I travel, I’m busy with a bunch of projects. Two books are on the way this spring–visit this page for details and preorder links. And Dreamspinner has just offered me contracts for two new books! Drawing the Prince is scheduled for October 2019 (it’s book 3 in the Stars from Peril series). Love Has No Direction is due out in early 2020 (it’s book 3 in the Love Can’t series).





What’s new in your world?


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Published on April 01, 2019 20:47

March 3, 2019

Antici…… pation

I am bad, bad, bad at waiting for things. I’m old enough now to have developed patience, but I have not. So what’s killing me now? I have four complete books right now–three novels and a novella–none of which I can share with you yet. Four!





One of them, Redesigning Landry Bishop, will release on May 21. You can preorder it now. Chained is the fourth book in the Bureau series. We’re editing it now, and I hope to have it ready for you in April. I just submitted the third Love Can’t book to the publisher. And I recently finished the first draft of the third Stars from Peril book; we’re polishing it up now.





Luckily, I’ll be distracted somewhat from my impatience by my travels. This week I’m heading out for three weeks in France, Belgium, and Germany. I hope to see some of you there. I’ll be sure to post lots of photos, so make sure you’re following me on social media.






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Published on March 03, 2019 14:47

February 19, 2019

Ithani by J. Scott Coatsworth

IthaniThe final MM sci fi book in J. Scott Coatsworth’s “Oberon Cycle” trilogy is out – “Ithani”!

Time is running out.

After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani–the aliens who broke the world–have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.

The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.

Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise…

Oberon Cycle Trilogy

Ithani Buy Links

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | Amazon eBook | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Book 1: Skythane:

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Amazon paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Book Two: Lander:

Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and ten copies of “The Stark Divide,” the first book in his other trilogy, his other trilogy, “Liminal Sky,” with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4753/?

Excerpt

Venin stood under the dome of the chapel, the waters of the Orn rushing past the small island to crash over the edge of the crater rim, where they fell a thousand meters to the broken city of Errian below.

The Erriani chapel was different from what he was used to back home. The Gaelani chapel in Gaelan had sat at the top of a tall pillar of stone, open to the night sky, a wide space of grass and trees that intertwined in a natural dome through which moonlight filtered down to make dappled shadows on the ground.

This chapel, instead, was a wonder of streaming sunlight, the columns a polished eggshell marble with glimmering seams of gold. Red creeper vines climbed up the columns, festooned with clusters of yellow flowers that gave off a sweet scent.

Both were bright and airy, but the Erriani chapel lay under a dome supported by fluted marble columns, a painted arch of daytime sky and the rose-colored sun blazing overhead.

The last time he’d gone to chapel had been with Tazim, before his untimely death.

Long before the troubles that roiled the world now.

Something drew him back. A need to reconnect with his past. To bridge the gap between then and now, between who he was and who he had become. Taz would have liked this place.

The chapel here had survived the attack, while much of Errian had not. The city below was a jumble of broken corrinder, the multistory plants that were the main building stock for the city. They would grow again, but the sight of the city’s beautiful white towers laid low struck him to the core.

So had Gaelan looked, after the flood.

Venin turned back to the chapel and unlaced his boots, baring his muscular calves before he approached the fountain that splashed at its center. The cool flagstone beneath his feet sent a shiver up his spine, and green moss filled the gaps between the stones.

Some builder whose name was lost to time had tapped into the river itself to make the fountain run, and the water leapt into the air with a manic energy around the golden statue of Erro, before falling back down to the pool.

Venin knelt at the fountain’s edge on one of the well-worn pads, laid his hands in the shallow water, and let his wings rest over himself, making a private place to pray.

Erro and Gael, spare us from danger and lift us up into the sky with your powerful wings. He gave Erro deference, being that this was his chapel, but he hoped Gael would hear him too. The god of his own people had been known to intervene in mortal affairs before, and if what Quince had told them about these ithaniwas true, they would need all the help they could get.

Venin’s wings warmed.

He looked up in astonishment to see the statue of Erro giving off an intense golden glow. His mouth dropped open, and he stood and stared at its beautiful male curves and muscles. Maybe the gods were answering him.

Venin reached up and touched the statue’s outstretched hand. The shock knocked him backward onto his ass, and he hit the ground hard, slamming into one of the marble columns.

Venin groaned, stunned, and reached back to feel his wings and spine. He seemed to be in one piece.

Taz would have laughed his ass off at the whole thing.

After a moment he sat up cautiously. He wrapped his arms around his legs and stared up at the statue, his chin on his knees.

The glow was gone.

Did I imagine it? He stood and felt the back of his head. A lump was already forming there. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Something had changed. Venin didn’t know what yet, but he was sure of that much.

He pulled his boots back on and laced them up. With one last suspicious glare at the statue, he turned and stepped out of the chapel, taking a deep breath of the moisture-laden air.

Then he leapt into the sky to soar down to the broken city.

Author Bio

Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.

He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.

After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.

Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.

His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.

Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.

You can find him at Dreamspinner here, Goodreads here, on Amazon here, on QueeRomance Ink here, and on Facebook here.

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

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Published on February 19, 2019 09:00

January 23, 2019

New year, new chaos!

January’s nearly over already. How did that happen?





As always, I have about a zillion things going on, so I thought I’d give you things in bullet points. I look almost organized that way! These are all confirmed dates–look for additions as the year progresses.





January 29: Liebe ist nicht allmächtig (Love Can’t Conquer in German) releasesJanuary 31-February 2: I’ll be at the San Diego State Writers’ ConferenceFebruary 19: La scatola di latta (The Tin Box in Italian) and Blyd & Pearce (French translation) releaseFebruary 28: The Spy’s Love Song releases on audioMarch 15-17: I’ll be at Livre ParisMarch 22-24: I’ll be at Leipzig Book FairMarch: Chained (book 4 in Bureau series) releasesApril 13-14: I’ll be at LA Times Festival of BooksMay 21: Redesigning Landry Bishop releases



That’s pretty good so far, huh? I’m also currently polishing up Book 3 in the Love Can’t series, and I’m about to begin a new book in the Stars from Peril series. I think that should keep us busy for a little while, but more will be on the way!


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Published on January 23, 2019 13:54

December 29, 2018

Happy holidays!

I hope your holiday season is going well!


I’m posting here mainly to thank you. As you might know, I donate the royalties from my self-published books (including audiobooks) to Doctors Without Borders. I just made this year’s donation, and do you want to know how much it was?


$9800.


Just… wow.


It’s your support that allowed me to do this, so thank you so much! Take a bow!


I spent this week in Vegas. We did a lot of fun things and ate wonderful food, but my favorite part was a trip to Valley of Fire State Park. It’s a gorgeous place with lots of petroglyphs–and some bighorn sheep that allowed us to get amazingly close.



Our New Years plans are as thrilling as always. The older kid will be home from college. She and her younger sister are having friends sleep over. We’ll watch movies, drink sparkling cider, and make cinnamon rolls. Woohoo!


Here’s wishing you a joyous 2019!


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Published on December 29, 2018 17:49

December 9, 2018

Summerfield’s Angel notes—chapter 7 through epilogue

Notes for Chapter 6


Links to the entire set of notes


Page numbers refer to the page in the PDF and print versions.


 


95—he was in a gang.  Alby’s childhood neighborhoods were infamous for their gangs as early as the 1820s, when an Irish gang called the Forty Thieves was active in Five Points. There are some good photos here and lots more good stuff here. I didn’t specify in the story, but Charley was most likely a member of the Whyos.


96—He’s in a town called Port Townsend. The town of Port Townsend was founded in the Pacific Northwest in 1852. It lies at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, right atop Puget Sound. At one point, people predicted it would be the West Coast’s largest port. That didn’t happen due to a depression and unfavorable railroad lines, but it remained a viable town. Today it’s a wonderful place to visit, but during its heyday it was a fairly rough-and-tumble place. It’s still home to a major ship repair yard.


96—My sister, Aspasia. Aspasia was an influential woman in Athens during the 5th century BC.


103—There’s increasing demand for goods from Asia. Japan opened to  trade with the West in 1868, and Japanese imports became very popular in the U.S. Chinese exports such as porcelain were also in demand here. In London, fondness for blue-and-white porcelain amounted to Chinamania in the 1870s. Goods coming to the US from Asia landed at West Coast ports such as Port Townsend.


104—Port Angeles. This is another town on the Olympic Peninsula, about 45 miles west of Port Townsend. It was just beginning its growth during Alby’s time. Logging was a major industry, and the town is also conveniently located directly south of Victoria, Canada, across the Strait of Juan De Fuca.


106—this was the Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic Peninsula lies across Puget Sound from Seattle; if Washington were a mitten, the OP would be the thumb. The Olympic Mountains run down the center of the peninsula, and the peninsula rain forests get over 12 feet of rain a year. Port Angeles is considerably drier than that, however, with only about 2 feet of rainfall yearly. But a lot of that rain comes in a light drizzly mist, and it rains an average of 230 days per year.


107—Did I tell you Father sent a telegraph yesterday? Commercial telegraphy was available by the mid 19th century. In 1890, Marconi was still a few years away from perfecting wireless communication, but a transcontinental telegraph wire had been in place since 1861. By Alby’s time, Western Union was the major player, and it would have been fairly simple and relatively inexpensive for someone to send a message from New York to Washington State. Western Union handled over 55 million messages in 1890.


 


I hope you’ve enjoyed these notes! I’d truly appreciate your feedback so I can assess whether to publish notes for future stories!


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Published on December 09, 2018 08:33

December 8, 2018

Summerfield’s Angel notes—chapter 6

Notes for Chapter 5


Links to the entire set of notes


Page numbers refer to the page in the PDF and print versions.


 


64—a professor talking about dinosaur bones he’d dug up. Scientists discovered dinosaurs in the 1840s, and paleontology became a hot enough topic to lead to the Bone Wars of the 1870s-80s. Public lectures were also popular in this era, so naturally dinosaurs were one of the things people lectured about. Even small towns sponsored lectures, and New York City might host hundreds per year.


65—We have some cattle. Believe it or not, NYC did have cattle in 1888. In Alby’s time, in fact, parts of Manhattan were still farmland, although that was rapidly changing. There were slaughterhouses right in the center of the city. This article has some interesting information too, plus pictures.


66—The New York Central freight yard. This yard sat between 10th and 12th Avenues and 30th and 33rd Streets and during Alby’s time was part of the Vanderbilt empire. It was a major source of food and goods entering the city, which was great. What wasn’t so great was the rail line that went up and down 10th and 11th, right at street level, on streets crowded with pedestrians and other traffic. So many people got run over by the trains that the area was called Death Avenue. Enter the West Side Cowboys—and my next note.


67—What’s the job, sir? I’d never heard of the West Side Cowboys before and was delighted to discover them. These were men who were hired by the railroad to ride in front of the freight trains carrying a red flag (or a red lantern at night). The goal was to keep people from being run over. Shockingly, West Side Cowboys continued to ride in Manhattan until 1941, when the High Line replaced the street-level tracks. You can read about the cowboys herehere, here, and here (all with photos) or watch a film of one in action here.


70—An accompanying illustration showed Santa. By Alby’s time, Santa had been used in Christmas ads for several decades already. In 1881, Thomas Nast drew a Santa illustration that provided the modern conception of what he looks like.


77—“Vaseline.” This is another thing that sent me down the research hole for a while—no pun intended. People have been improvising for lube probably since prehistoric times. By Alby’s time, an easy, practical solution was available because Vaseline had been invented in 1872.


 


Comments? Questions? Thoughts? Additional links? Are you finding these useful and interesting? Please comment!


And stay tuned for additional notes!


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Published on December 08, 2018 08:30

December 7, 2018

Summerfield’s Angel notes—chapter 5

Notes for Chapter 4


Links to the entire set of notes


Page numbers refer to the page in the PDF and print versions.


43—stripped down to his union suit. I did a fair amount of research on period-appropriate underwear. In Alby’s time, a one-piece union suit would have been most likely. The two-piece version is called long johns, possibly after a boxer named John L. Sullivan. Long johns eventually became more popular than union suits. Incidentally, women wore union suits as well.


49—a pale stone church with a tall copper-roofed steeple. I modeled this after the Church of the Transfiguration, built in 1801 on Mott Street. Interestingly, from the 1890s until 1902, the Irish parish leaders made Italians worship in the basement rather than the main sanctuary. One of the church leaders also tried to get Chinese immigrants forcibly removed from the neighborhood.


50—In one of those Fifth Avenue mansions. If you were a Gilded Age millionaire, Fifth Avenue was the place to live. Your neighbors would have been folks like the Vanderbilts and the Astors. Only one of these mansions survives intact today (it sold for $50 million last year), but you can see some period photos here and here.


54—He dropped the bundle into a brown paper shopping bag with thin rope handles. I spent far too much time researching how people transported purchases in 1888. Turns out paper bags were first mass-produced in 1852. If you want to be picky, the kind with the cord handles wasn’t patented until 1912, but we’ll allow me a bit of artistic license on that bit.


56—Have you never been in an elevator before? Elisha Otis invented the safety elevator in 1852. Before that, elevators were used to move goods; Otis’s invention made them safe for human transport. New York City saw its first office building with a passenger elevator in 1870. And of course it was the elevator that allowed high-rises to be practical. Early elevators were run by an operator. Although fully automated ones were available as early as 1900, they didn’t become widely used until the 40s.


57—I saw it in a mail-order catalog. Mail-order catalogs were born in the mid 19th century. They were a convenience to consumers, and they allowed sellers to increase their profits by bypassing middlemen. Here’s a nice article on their history. This article discusses mail-order catalogs in the Wild West. What I think is cool is the range of stuff you could order. I once lived in a little house in Nebraska that was built in 1888 and was quite possibly ordered from a catalog.


58—Do you remember a few years ago when roller skating was all the rage? Roller skates were invented in the mid-1700s. Skating became a fad in the 1880s, when the skates were first mass-produced. Here’s a fun little article about it. And although Xeno assumes the craze didn’t hit Nebraska, according to this fun article, the West was not immune. Roller-skating cowboys!


Comments? Questions? Thoughts? Additional links? Are you finding these useful and interesting? Please comment!


And stay tuned for additional notes!


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Published on December 07, 2018 08:13

December 6, 2018

Summerfield’s Angel notes—chapter 4

Notes for Chapter 3


Links to the entire set of notes


Page numbers refer to the page in the PDF and print versions.


26—Now many of them spoke in Italian. Although Italians landed in New York City as early as the 1600s, it was the late 1800s and early 1900s that saw huge waves arrive. They were among the largest groups of immigrants to the US in these years. One area in which a lot of them settled was Mulberry Street, which is a block from Baxter. Mulberry Bend was one of the most notorious sections of the Five Points neighborhood. This article has some photos of the neighborhood then and now.


29snow, burning cow chips, sickness. Trees are rare in the Sandhills, and the winters are bitterly cold. So how did the settlers and ranchers keep warm? By burning dried cow dung. Of course, prior to whites settling in the area, native people burned buffalo chips. The smell might not have been ideal, but it kept you alive.


29—He eventually found himself in Central Park. Central Park was designed in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as a place for urbanites to get some peace and for rich people to see and be seen. People who already lived on the land—Irish immigrants and African Americans—were forced to relocate. During Alby’s time, the park was in somewhat of a decline, which continued until the 1930s.


32Earlier this year I attended a presentation by Mr. Jacob Riis. Riis was a photojournalist, most famous for his book How the Other Half Lives, which documented the lives of New York City’s poor (you can read the whole thing here). Riis also gave lectures on his work, often using lantern slides to project his photos so attendees could see them. His work is credited with sparking city-wide and national reforms to improve working and living conditions for the poor.


35—My mother died of consumption too. Tuberculosis (TB) was called consumption due to the way patients wasted away; it was the leading cause of death in the US during Alby’s time. Although the disease was more common among the poor due to difficult living conditions, anyone could get it, and the mortality rate was something like 50%. Also around Alby’s time, scientists discovered the cause of TB. Milk pasteurization, vaccinations, and antibiotics greatly reduced the rates of TB in the US, but it remains a serious disease elsewhere in the world—and even sometimes in the US, due to treatment-resistant strains of the disease.


35—The judge packed me up and put me on a train. Alby was sent west on an orphan train. In the days before cities had much in the way of social services, and before the juvenile justice system existed, the westbound trains were an option for orphaned, homeless, abused, and delinquent children. The idea was that placing them with a family in the Midwest would get them away from adverse influences in the city and give them a chance for a new life. While some children may have benefited from the experience, most were separated from their families and some were undoubtedly abused. Here’s a contemporary account of children being placed out, and this site provides some information. Here’s a man talking about his childhood experience being placed out.


38—More money in beeves than corn, they reckoned. Both in the 19th century and now, Nebraska has had a primarily agricultural economy. In the eastern part of the state, which has richer soil and gets more rainfall, crops like corn and soy are grown. The state also grows a fair amount of grain, such as wheat and sorghum. In the drier, sandier parts of the state, beef is the biggest industry.


39—We had a terrible blizzard in March. On March 12, 1888, a blizzard began in New York City. It dumped about 40 inches of snow in two days, bringing the city to a standstill; over 200 people died. There are details and some great photos here. This page has more images and a detailed contemporary account. And this page has more newspaper accounts from the event.


Comments? Questions? Thoughts? Additional links? Are you finding these useful and interesting? Please comment!


And stay tuned for additional notes!


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Published on December 06, 2018 08:14

December 5, 2018

Summerfield’s Angel notes—chapter 3

Notes for Chapter 2


Links to the entire set of notes


Page numbers refer to the page in the PDF and print versions.


21—Alby was smitten almost at once. Americans in the 1880s were surprisingly tolerant of same-sex relationships, as long as they were conducted discreetly. This was especially true in the West, where there were proportionately fewer women and where men worked and lived together in very close quarters. This article provides some background. But what about the cities of the East? By 1890, New York City had a thriving gay scene with a variety of clubs—including drag clubs—in the Bowery and Greenwich Village. People could and did face persecution, but at least in some social circles, same sex relationships were accepted. And regardless of sexual orientation, men were generally more comfortable showing affection and physical contact with each other than they are today. Here are some lovely photos.


22—a shallow wash between rolling hills. Alby lived on a ranch in Nebraska’s Sandhills, a large area of sand dune prairie. People began cattle ranching there in the 1870s, and even today, cattle are the major contributor to the economy. The Sandhills have always been sparsely populated, and winters can be extremely harsh, but it’s an important ecosystem. I think it has its own unique beauty as well. [Fun fact! I’m in the middle of a series with Dreamspinner, each book featuring a man originally from Peril, Nebraska—the fictional town near Alby’s ranch. The Stars from Peril books are contemporaries, and The Spy’s Love Song is the first. Redesigning Landry Bishop is due out in May, and I’m about to begin the third book.]


22cattle were driven to the train. During the time Alby was in Nebraska, cattle would have been kept on open rangeland. Every year, ranchers would round up the cattle intended for slaughter and cowboys would move these herds to the rail lines for transport east. In Nebraska, drives would have involved not just local cattle, but also herds driven up from Texas to the Union Pacific line. After the late 1880s, the decline of open range—caused by weather and overgrazing—reduced the number of drives. But a few people are doing it still, mostly to move animals from one pasture to another. This wonderful article includes great photos.


22or a cattle drive or errands took him to Ogallala or Cheyenne. Suppose you’re a cowboy who’s just finished a long, hard drive. You got the cattle on the train and you have a few dollars in your pocket. Wouldn’t you want a little recreation before getting back on your horse? That’s how cattle towns came to be. As you might imagine, these towns could be pretty wild places. Ogallala was one of the primary Nebraska cattle towns and Cheyenne was a major one in Wyoming. You can see some old photos of Ogallala.


Comments? Questions? Thoughts? Additional links? Are you finding these useful and interesting? Please comment!


And stay tuned for additional notes!


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Published on December 05, 2018 08:30