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Author Archive

It’s Only Make Believe

Here’s a new story about the Middle Ages, well, about the recreation of the Middle Ages, to be exact. While these events didn’t happen, they perhaps should have, as everything else in the story is accurate. The names of the participants have been changed, slightly, to protect the guilty…errrr…their identities. Though, if you’d been there, you’d know who this cast of characters is based on. 


We hope you enjoy this historical misadventure!

Blacksmith at forge

Image by Meromex



“Remember, it’s only make-believe,” I muttered through clenched teeth for the umpteenth time, as I pulled the guy wires tight. 

Why couldn’t the rest of them remember that? Today, for example, whoever arranged this mess completely disregarded common sense and helpful suggestions from those of us who really did know the way things worked best, and had—again—put merchants row in the back of beyond, in the dustiest, most remote, area of the campground.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to make the best of it. Like always.

Wiping my forehead on my tunic sleeve, I stood back to admire the crenelated awning across the front of my pavilion. I’d spent hours sewing the burgundy and cornflower sheets the previous week and it looked perfect.

Around me, the other merchants were setting up their own pavilions and wares, a lengthy task that, for some, wouldn’t be completed until way after dark, even on these long summer days.

Then the shouting began. I dashed out of my pavilion to see what all the fuss was about.


What? A New Book? Really?

Other Realms Brewpub Cover

Hey, everybody! We’re not dead! We’ve just been dealing with a lot this year and slooowly but surely (and don’t call us Shirley) working on completing the final edits on our newest anthology, the Other Realms Brewpub

We are happy to announce that as of last week, we’ve finished! That means that the ebook is up for pre-order right now and will be available this Friday, August 16th for purchase, with the physical book following a week or so later. (Kyros is getting married literally the day after the book comes out, so we need a little more time to get the wrap-around cover completed for the physical book.)

So, you wanna know what it’s about, right? Here’s the blurb we wrote for Amazon:  

The Other Realms Brewpub, a magical bar in the middle of nowhere Kansas, plays host to all kinds of fantastical beings. From leprechauns to wizards, pookas to Greek gods, witches to akaname, the bar’s staff and clientele run the gamut of fantasy creatures. Their stories detail what life is like for magical creatures in modern Midwestern America.

At this bar, you never know who might show up next. Just ask the poor, beleaguered banshee bartender who’s being relentlessly courted by Satan.

Remember, if you pick the book up, please leave us a review on Amazon. It helps other people find our books and puts smiles on our poor, tired author faces. :^)

How We Write – Not-So-Shiny Armor

Our prompts were: rusty armor and mysteries of the night. This immediately made Kyros think of the Night at the Museum movies. But that’s been done before, several times. So Kyros came up with the idea of one guy saving another from a bunch of homophobic bullies. In talking our way through the outline, we realized that it would work perfectly in our Third War universe. Once we figured that out, we knew exactly where the story was going. Checking our (extensive!) spreadsheet of characters from our Third War universe, we found one of Alex’s friends from college who perfectly fit the bill….

Writing the story required several Google searches, the main one being using Google Maps to zero in on the location for the story. Once we had that, we used Street View to fill in the details of the setting, like the placement of the storm sewer and the bench. Another source that we use pretty much any time we write is, a great place to find just the right words we need to tell the story. Also, we diagrammed the setting, just so we could get a feel for the street scene and where everyone was.



Whew, am I glad to be out of there, I thought, walking down Seventh toward Congress. It’s nice they still have live concerts, but the Iron Bear was standing-room-only tonight. I inhaled a deep lungful of the Austin night air. Ah, it tastes like fine champagne. God, Kevin, I giggled, when did you start to wax poetic?  

A set of keys skidded into my view.

Sprinting, I captured them before they ended up in the gutter.

“Hey, you dropped your….” (more…)

How We Write – The Doctor Will See You Now

This is probably the shortest piece we’ve ever written! And from only one prompt, too: Spring. While the other writers in the group went with the season of spring, we went elsewhere. Just a sweet old lady going to the doctor…


“The doctor will see you now, Mrs. Tobor.”

“Thank you, dear.” Eyes twinkling, she smiled at the nurse. “You’re always so helpful when I come in with a little problem.”

“Please wait here in exam room three. Dr. Stein will be right with you.”


How We Write – Far Out Vacation

This week, we had five prompts, more than our usual.  They were: Vacation, Mysterious note, I can see this one coming, Third chapter, A dip in the lake.

You wouldn’t think a short story would require much research, let alone scouring Google Maps. But that’s what we did when writing this story. We had to find just the right place for a perfect vacation destination.Then as the story progressed, we moved the location slightly so it was close to a three-star Michelin restaurant.

Usually, before we post a story to our blog, we do a quick edit, giving it a little polish. Sometimes an edit will cause the stories to evolve. This one evolved significantly. When we originally wrote this story, it came in around 550 words. Once we finished polishing? It was over a thousand. The story is much better for it. We hope you enjoy our little Far Out Vacation.


Miriam stretched in her chair.

“The French Riviera was exquisite.” She touched her companion’s hand. “Jack and I saved for three years to afford that vacation. But let me tell you, those last few days were brutal! All I could think about was how I wasn’t ready to go back to work and how I would give anything to stay another week. But we were out of money, so what could we do?

Her companion nodded, encouraging her to continue.


The (Bird) Brains of the Outfit

Orion and I have been writing together off and on for over twenty years. Ever since we started writing full time though, we’ve had another very opinionated, if uncredited, writing partner: my feathered companion, Abigail. Here’s her story….

I had just lost my job and had lost my fifteen-year-old kitty, Kalki, a few months beforehand. Depressed and killing time before a doctor’s appointment, I wandered into a pet store in Berkeley called Your Basic Bird. I’ve always wanted a companion bird but had never found one that I connected to. The birds were always pretty, but I never got that ‘click’ I’ve gotten with all my other pets. (more…)


Orion and Kyros had a great time at the GLAWS Speculative Fiction Genre Convention in January 2017 in Los Angeles. We met a lot of other writers of science fiction, some of them even famous. The panels were excellent, as usual. We even proposed hosting a panel of our own on long-distance collaborating. Hopefully, we get to present it at an upcoming convention.