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Jul. 27th, 2016

agatha primping

I've got a girlfriend with bows in her hair, and nothing is better than that. . .is it?

As I write this, there are 132 reader reviews on Amazon for Alliance of Equals.  Only 68 more to hit our goal of 200!  You guys are awesome.

Also, I see that Dragon in Exile has picked up a few reviews, too, as a sort of overflow\proximity event. Thanks to everyone who took the time.

Here in Central Maine today, it was hot, for values of "hot" above 90F/33C.  Which is plenty hot enough.  I was on at the hospital, where the inside temp was nice and coolish; Steve turned on the A/C here at the house, and the cats have taken up strategic positions in puddles of coolth.

By virtue of arriving at the nice, cool hospital early today, I actually had ten minutes of peace and quiet in which I Realized several important things about the novel-in-progress.  It would perhaps have helped if I'd realized them earlier, but better late than never, I guess.

Maybe I need to go to the hospital at lunchtime every day, and just sit at a table for ten minutes, with my notebook open and pen in hand.  Or not.  It's possible that the various thought fragmentation nodules have at least been quietened, if not completely silenced.  We very much hope that this is the case.

Later this week, we're to meet with the photographer for to have our heads shot, and, while we're at it, have some PR shots taken that will reflect the reality of this century, purple hair and all.

Tomorrow, there is nothing scheduled (except, yanno, taking the trash out).  I believe that is my cue to take the laptop and lay claim to the couch in the living room, with my notes and new insights.  So that?  Is what I will do.

Everybody stay cool.  Here, let Belle show you how:

Belle staying cool July 25 2016

Today's blog title is brought to you by Talking Heads, "Girlfriend is Better." Here's your link.

Jul. 26th, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

Speaking of bad news. . .

Steve and I are very sorry, indeed, to announce that we will NOT be attending the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, MidAmeriCon II, to be held in Kansas City, August 17-21.

A direct casualty of this is the signing we were to do at the Bradley Fair Barnes and Noble, in Wichita, Kansas, on August 14.

We apologize to everyone who thought they'd have a chance to meet us, or to renew our acquaintance.  And we especially apologize for the lateness of the hour.  Up until this past Saturday, we were certain that we'd be attending.

So, here's what we'd like you to do -- go to the con, and have a terrific time.  Raise a glass of whatever it is you're having, and share the toast with friends:  "To Plan B!" which is our own most-used salute.  Drop us a note, if you can, and tell us about the con. We'd like that.

So that's the bad news.

Again, we apologize, but -- necessity is.

Jul. 22nd, 2016

Marvin's not happy

In which work goes forward, sort of

I have not been able to reliably get into sharonleewriter.com or pinbeambooks.com for the last, oh, day and a half.  I'm told other people can see the public pages -- which I can't see, either -- and Down For Everyone assures me that they're up.  I just can't see them, or do any work inside the sites.

Hopefully, this will resolve itself. . .soon.

*glares at internet*

As I write this, six eChapbooks have been converted and submitted to various vendors via Draft2Digital.  They should be appearing soon at Kobo, the iStore, and other vendors.  As already stated -- all Pinbeam Book titles are now, and have been since Forever, available from BN and Amazon.

Moving on -- Alliance of Equals currently has 103! reader reviews on Amazon.  Ladies and gentlemen, we are over the hump; the hard part is done.  We need a measly 97! more reviews to hit our goal of 200.

I'm really impressed with you guys -- thank you all.

Also!  If you're looking for suggestions for good reads (and who isn't?), an astute reader pointed out this list, which!  In addition to some titles that look positively yummy for my own personal reading -- includes Alliance of Equalshttp://www.tor.com/2016/07/18/favorite-books-of-2016-so-far/  (Thanks to Mike Barker for providing the link)

The comments are also worth mining.

One expected check arrived today, which was a Good Thing, also a check that I hadn't been expecting.  This leaves three outstanding checks, and I very much hope that today's delivery has broken the streak.

I really do think that's all the news that's fit to print.  This blog will be the main blog until we can get back into sharonleewriter.com. Also -- yes, I am aware that the Pinbeam Books catalog page has not been update, and I'm just as frustrated by that as you are.  We'll all just have to practice patience.

A reminder about this blog -- you must be a member of LJ, signed in to LJ to comment.  The settings are inconvenient, I know (and no, I don't expect you to open an LJ account just so you can comment here) but they are also necessary to cut down on the Really Incredible Amount of spam that was coming through.

Everybody have a good weekend.

Jul. 21st, 2016

Surprise!

I wish I had a chance here holding your hand

So, today, I took all of our titles on Smashwords off-sale.  They say it will take between one and three weeks for their various channels to catch up with this action.  In the meantime, all Lee-and-Miller, and Lee, self-pubbed titles remain available from BN and Amazon.

In the spirit of progress, I have converted three ebooks, so they'll be ready to go up into the sales channels through Draft2Digital when Time has Become.

Other than that, I went to the gym, and the grocery store, and was grumpy because outstanding checks have yet to arrive.  Yes, I know you're tired of hearing about outstanding checks not arriving.  I am, too.

Today, it was hot; tomorrow is going to be hot, too, which will be good for the beach, but perhaps not for the residents of the Cat Farm, who were rather melty today, even with the windows open and a nice breeze running through.  Tomorrow, we may have to condition the air.  *sigh*

And! Today's Off the Wall Question is:  Has anyone who reads here been to a performance by Hatsune Miku?  I'd like to hear about your experience and impressions.

Edited to Add:  I am remiss!  As of right now, Alliance of Equals has 98 reader reviews on Amazon!  Only 102 more to reach our goal of 200!  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time, and expended the energy!

. . .I fear that's all I have today.

Hope y'all are having positively brilliant days, wherever you are.


Belle and Trooper July 14 2016

Today's blog post is brought to you by Abney Park, "Breathe."  Here's your link.

Jul. 20th, 2016

greeneyes

Liaden Universe® InfoDump No. 116

I think we managed to publish two different InfoDumps number 114, so I'm setting this one at 116 on the dial.

NEW ECHAPBOOK AVAILABLE

Sleeping with the Enemy, Adventures in the Liaden Universe(R) Number 22, has been published at Amazon, BN, ibooks, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Tolino, 24Symbols.  Sleeping contains two stories -- "Chimera," which was originally published on Baen.com, and "Friend of a Friend," which is new to this chapbook.  The chapbook also includes an author's introduction.

HOW DO YOU SAY IT?

The long-promised podcast demonstrating the authors' pronunciation of some key words and names in the Liaden Universe(R) is now live!  Well.  At least one of the authors, and the first of what looks to be several podcasts.  You can listen here:  http://splinteruniverse.com/?page_id=1266

STILL NEED A SIGNED COPY OF ALLIANCE OF EQUALS?

Uncle Hugo has mailed out all pre-ordered, signed and/or personalized copies of Alliance of Equals. While it *is* too late to get a personalized copy, you can still score a *signed* copy, just by placing an order here:http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/ah-lee-miller.php

THE AMAZON READER REVIEW CHALLENGE

We are trying to reach at least 200 reader reviews for Alliance of Equals on Amazon.  As of this writing, there are 93 reviews posted, leaving a mere 107 reviews between us and victory.

If you'd like to participate in the challenge, here are the rules:
1.  You must have read Alliance of Equals, in any edition -- eARC, eBook, hardcover, or audiobook
2.  You must write a REAL review, not just a "Love this book," but a short discussion of why you liked, or didn't like it, who your favorite characters are, and so on.
2a.  Please do *not* say, "but don't start with this book."  Here's why:  http://sharonleewriter.com/2016/07/buy-my-book/

3.  If you abhor writing reader reviews, consider recommending the book to a friend or coworker.  Thank you!

LIADEN GEAR AVAILABLE AT OFFWORLD DESIGNS

What's the well-dressed Liaden reader wearing this year?  A denim shirt or polo from Offworld Designs, often while sipping tea, coffee, or Other Beverage from their Liaden Universe mug.  Go here for the full catalog -- yes!  They do offer ladies tees. http://www.offworlddesigns.com/liaden-universe/

ONE MORE STOP COMING UP ON THE ALLIANCE OF EQUALS BOOK TOUR!
August 14, 2 pm: Barnes and Noble, 1920 N. Rock Road, Wichita, KS  http://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2319?view=

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE LEE AND MILLER?
MidAmeriCon II (https://midamericon2.org/), the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, August 17-21, Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City, MO.  Guests of Honor Kinuko Y. Craft, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Tamora Pierce, and Michael Swanwick; Toastmaster Pat Cadigan.Rhode Island Comic Con (http://www.ricomiccon.com/), November 11 – 13, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI.

Blogs and Other Webly Things of Note
Sharon Lee’s blog, Eagles over the Kennebec: http://rolanni.livejournal.com/
Sharon Lee’s “Professional” blog: http://sharonleewriter.com
Splinter Universe Discussion List: http://splinterverse.livejournal.com

Lee and Miller Patreon Support Page: https://www.patreon.com/leeandmiller?ty=h

Facebook Connections — please feel free to add us!
http://facebook.com/kinzel — Steve Miller
http://facebook.com/rolanni — Sharon Lee

Pinbeam Books: http://www.pinbeambooks.com an online catalog, with vendor links, to all Lee-and-Miller eChapbooks
Splinter Universe: http://www.splinteruniverse.com features outtakes, splinters, oddities from the Lee&Miller writing career,currently changes irregularly.
Welcome to Liad — The official homepage for Liaden Universe® news — http://www.korval.com

Liaden tshirts, polos, denims, and mugs from Offworld Designs: http://www.offworlddesigns.com/search.php?search_query=Liaden

Liaden Interest Groups on Facebook
Clan Korval: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38719490864&ref=ts
Friends of Liad: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=16280839259&ref=ts
Flaran chamenthi: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=2213414696&ref=ts
Twitter
Steve’s on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bechimo
Sharon’s on Twitter, too: http://twitter.com/ClanKorvalPinterest: http://pinterest.com/rolanni/

Disclaimer Stuff
This InfoDump is a product of the Liaden Universe®, accept no imitations. You have received this message because you asked for it. If you wish to subscribe to the Liaden Universe® email list, to unsubscribe from the Liaden Universe® email list, or to change your delivery email address, go here: http://www.fireopal.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/liadenuniversenews

Tags:
Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

Jul. 19th, 2016

storm at sea by rainbow graphics

Where the wind's like a whetted knife

So, yesterday, Steve and I drove down to Old Orchard Beach, and took a walk through the shallows before the ozone levels (seen as a pink haze prowling in from beyond Wood Island Light, eating the shoreline as it came) got too high.  The beach was super crowded with people having a good time, which was nice to see. Also, I got sunburned, so it was all good.

In the way of such things, once we were out of the house, we had very little inclination to speed back to the house, so we turned left instead of right, taking Routes 9 and 1 down to Wells, which was likewise crowded, and eventually turned right on a road wending northward.  We did stop at Borealis Breads in Wells to take on, well -- bread; and at the Bull and Claw to partake of really excellent fish 'n chips, before getting serious about the trip back home.

While we were at the ocean, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch came across the phones (we live in Maine; we have Weather here, not climate, so you've gotta kind of keep an eye on it).  We debated staying down ocean-side a few hours longer to watch the storm in, but eventually decided against, and continued the northward journey.

One of the things that struck me forcibly downcoast was the number of businesses advertising for help.  Not just seasonal businesses -- though there were plenty of them needing help -- but grocery stores, and pharmacies, hardware stores, year-round bakeries, and such.  It's tempting to move south, just for the work.  Mind you, none of those jobs would cover the rent in-or-near a resort town, and you'd spend more in gas than the job's worth, if you came in from any distance.

Ah, well.  Guess I'll stay right here.

We arrived home, alert to the need to leap up at any moment to Batten the Hatches -- the Waterville-Winslow megapolis also being on the watch for Severe Thunderstorms, and possible tornadoes (!)  We heard thunder; we saw (a lot) of lightning; the wind came up in a satisfactory manner, but --

The storm passed us by.  A glance at the interactive weather map showed that it had dumped rain half-a-mile away, but our house had, like, a little weather-repellent dome over it, and we were dry.

Half-an-hour later another cell passed over, announcing its presence by striking and exploding a tree somewhere in the Very Near Vicinity of the Cat Farm.  The wind screamed, rain came down in sheets. . .

Five minutes later, it was all done, gone, and on its way to Skowhegan, where it apparently did wreak some mischief.  And, yes, there was at least one tornado briefly on the ground, in Caribou, 'way up in The County.

Today, it is much cooler, and the air is clean.  We're enjoying it while we can.  Tomorrow, they same, Summer's Back.

# # #

To the Very Best of My Knowledge, Sleeping with the Enemy, Adventures in the Liaden Universe Number 22, has now been published to all of the usual subjects, including BN, Kobo, the iStore, and Amazon.

No, I am afraid we will not be producing a paper chapbook, like in the "old days."  These days are demonstrably, and perhaps sadly, not the "old days;" postage rates have gone crazy, our very reliable printer of many years has retired, and his son has merged the business with another out of Portland, and closed the shop up here.  Also, Steve is not able anymore to do the physical lifting and schlepping and whatnot, and I never could.  So -- no paper edition.  Possibly, the stories in Sleeping will be collected in a Liaden Constellation sometime in the next couple years.

Thank you for your understanding.

# # #

As I type, Alliance of Equals rejoices in 90! reader reviews on Amazon.  That's. . .terrific.  Only 110 more to reach our 200-review milestone.  You guys rock.

# # #

I don't know if I reported here that, earlier in the season, the Cat Garden was the victim of an error produced by one of our lawn guy's guys.  The error took out one whole corner of flowers, with the exception of some coneflowers, which have valiantly bloomed over the killing field in memory of better days.  I was out inspecting just a little while ago and, honestly?  It looks like next year -- or the year after, at most -- the whole garden will be taken over by the dragon flowers (snapdragons to you folks down south).

Which is good.  Hummingbirds and butterflies both like the dragon flowers, though they bloom late in the season, rather than early.  So, if the garden is not now According to Plan, at least it is staying true to its raison de'etre.

Though I do kinda miss the yarrow and (most of) the coneflowers.

Well.  I think that catches us all up.

Everybody stay cool.

Today's blog title is courtesy of John Masefield, "Sea Fever," known to children everywhere as, "I must go down to the sea again."  Here's your link.

Jul. 17th, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

In which it has been a day of parts

. . .too many parts, in fact, running in all directions at once.

Those who do not partake of the joys of Facebook may have missed the announcement that Sleeping with the Enemy, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 22, is now on sale (as an ebook only) at Amazon, Kobo, ibooks, Page Foundry, and Tolino.  We are told that it will be published RealSoonNow at BN/Noon, Scribd, and 24Symbols.

As I write this, Alliance of Equals has garnered 86! reader reviews on Amazon.  Only 114 short of 200!  You guys are going gang-busters!

. . .as we used to say.

Steve and I have declared tomorrow an electron-free day, so we will be scarce-to-invisible.  If you have an urgent matter to resolve, you can try emailing the cats, but, well -- good luck with that.

# # #

Progress on Book the Next
40,459/100,000 OR 40.46% complete

"Ah, but any system is subject to manipulation. For instance, one who stands in a position of strength may decide that one whose position is. . .less strong has not paid fully enough, and demand additional consideration." She paused, head to one side. "It is rarely said, I think, that one has paid too fully, but we must be alert to the possibility."

Childrens Book Cellar Steve and Sharon photo by Ellen Richmond

Jul. 16th, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

In which busy writers are busy

Woke up early because the power went out (and came back on before the generator could engage).  Guess everybody was running their A/C and fans against yesterday's heat wave.

Steve made omelettes for breakfast, after which we moved on to working on the chapbook until it was time to head out to Children's Book Cellar and our signing.

Driving in, we realized that the event could very easily go until 4:00 and we had neglected to eat lunch, which was -- as nearly everything can be made to be -- an excuse to stop at Dairy Queen on the way in to Waterville, in order to purchase milkshakes to sustain us in our Time of Fame.

This involved some unanticipated delay, since there appeared to be a hazing going on at the College Avenue Dairy Queen, which left one newbie on duty at a very busy counter, while four of his colleagues lounged in the back room.

Still, milkshakes were achieved, and we arrived Exactly on Time at Children's Book Cellar, to find a Mighty Crowd awaiting us, including Carolyn Smith and her husband, from Stoneham, Massachusetts, and our own James Hetley, down from Bangor, as well as some local folk.  We had a blast, and hoping our audience had the same.  Thanks to everyone who came to see us, and for Ellen Richmond and the Children's Book Cellar for hosting us!

After our event, we hit the grocery store, returned home, and got with the ebook one! more! time!

On that front, I am pleased to report that Sleeping with the Enemy is now "publishing" at Amazon, and BN.  Expect to see the title on sale somewhere in the next 24 to 48 hours.

EDITED TO ADD:  The book is on sale NOW at Amazon.  Here's your link.

Draft2Digital will be uploading the book to its vendors (Kobo, iBooks, Inktera, Scribd, 24Symbols, and Tolino) on its usual schedule.  Remember!  You will not be able to purchase this title through Smashwords.

Tomorrow, it's back to the manuscript.  Monday may possibly be an Ocean Day.  We shall see.

In the meanwhile, it's still hot, though not so much as yesterday.  We hold out some hope of rain tomorrow, which will be, so they (They) say, cooler than today.  Monday, however, we're right back into the frying pan, and looking to stay there awhile.

As of this writing, there are 77 reader reviews of Alliance of Equals on Amazon!  Go, you guys!  Only 123 'til we hit 200!

Speaking of Alliance -- if you've read the book and want to talk about it, there is a spoiler thread here.  Please do feel free to make use of it.

And now?  I believe I see the cabana boy in the distance, bearing a bottle and a corkscrew.

Everybody stay happy.

Sleeping cover

Jul. 15th, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

Today, at the Cat Farm. . .

. . .it was hot.  All four cats were in my office, because Ceiling Fan, but -- it was still hot.  More hot coming tomorrow.  Yay, summer.

We have a title for the upcoming chapbook.  Here it is:

Sleeping with the Enemy
Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 22
© 2016 by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

For those coming in late, this chapbook will contain two stories:  "Chimera," which was published at Baen.com in May 2015 (I may have said April last night; we turned it in in April; it was published in May in support of Dragon in Exile, which was a June book.  Ta-da!), and "Friend of a Friend," a brand-new story, also set on Surebleak.  The book will include an author's foreword.

Distant early warning!  We will be increasing the price of this chapbook, and all/any future chapbooks, from $2.99 to $3.99.  Thank you for your understanding.

I had hoped to get Sleeping. . . uploaded at least to Amazon tonight, but -- it ain't gonna happen.  Possibly tomorrow night (more likely Sunday afternoon, though, because Book Signing tomorrow).  In any case -- soon.

As of right now, Alliance of Equals has 61 reader reviews on Amazon.  Only 139 more until we hit the goal of 200!

As alluded to above, tomorrow, Steve and I will be signing book and talking trash at our local indie bookstore -- Children's Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville -- at 2 pm.  Drop by and see us if you can!

And I think that's all the news.

Everybody stay cool.

Scrabble holds the high ground July 14 2016

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Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

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