What I’ve Been Reading

This year I stopped rating books on Goodreads for a couple reasons. One, it felt hypocritical, even though, intellectually, I know it’s not. What writer isn’t also a reader? And why shouldn’t I express my opinion of what I’ve read? Even if I haven’t enjoyed a book, I still internalize a lot of elements such as character, plot structure and pace, either as “things not to do” or “things to explore.” Every book is useful in some way.

More, though, I found that reading with a score sheet hanging in the forefront of my mind placed too much pressure on every book to perform. I was more easily disappointed and less often delighted. I was reading too analytically.

The sense of freedom that comes with deciding not to quantify a book, or qualify the experience of reading it lightened my perspective. The other upside, of course, is that if I’m reading a book inside my genre, I no longer have to wrestle with the “should I or shouldn’t I?” question. Finally, without a score, any comments I leave can be left open to interpretation. Continue reading

A piece of Chaos Station for collectors’ bookshelves

We have a new book for you! Actually, it’s not entirely new. Zed and Felix have their happy ever after and we don’t want to mess with that. If we ever do revisit the world of Chaos Station, it will be with a different story with a new couple. Yes, we have plans! For now, however, we’ve been busy putting together a piece of Chaos Station for collector’s bookshelves. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading

After a bit of a slump where I tossed a few and flipped through a few more somewhat forgettable books, I’ve recently hit a patch of really good reads. So of course I’m going to share them.

18774964A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This book. Oh my goodness. What a lovely surprise. Nearly the entire time I was listening to it, I either wished I’d written it or wanted to write my own version. Ove is exactly the sort of character I like. Gruff, rude, apparently selfish and not at all charming. Yeah, I sure know how to pick ‘em. Thing is, when a character like that is the star of a book, you can pretty much read on with two assumptions. One, he’s not as he appears. There will be hidden depths. Two, finding out why he’s like this is going to be your reward. Continue reading

The Apocalypse Interview with Jody Wallace

Jody Wallace has a new book out called Prodigal. It’s the third title in her Maelstrom Chronicles. Because it features an apocalypse and aliens, I wanted to read it. They’re…kinda my thing. Spoiler alert: It’s a very entertaining book! It’s a great blend of apocalypse and aliens, plus action, a sexy romance and a hint of the paranormal with the way the shades and daemons operate.You can read my review here. Then I decided to ask Jody a few questions and that turned into us talking apocalypses. Apparently they’re her thing too. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading

27875367Red Envelope by Atom Yang

Holidays are moments in time. Atom Yang has taken these moments and used them to capture the essence of a love story, giving us what matters most: the beginning, the middle and the end. Layered with humour, pathos, culture and philosophy, Red Envelope delivers more than many novels—mostly due to the skillful way Atom voices his characters. They feel like someone you’ve met, someone you know. They’re real people, even those who don’t get a point of view.

I wanted to read more, but found the Happy Ever After immensely satisfying. Not only had I been invited to share the holidays with Clint’s family, but came away feeling replete—just as one should after a dose of good company and cheer.

Continue reading

Honeymoon: A Chaos Station story

Zander Anatolius and Felix Ingesson are two of the hardest working men in the galaxy. They really need a break. So, we’ve sent them on a honeymoon—and managed to do so without bringing them to further harm.

(Readers of the Chaos Station series are likely breathing a huge sigh of relief here, as they’re more used to people dying. Or at the very least losing limbs. This holiday has been a long time coming.)

We didn’t just write this story for the Zed and Felix, though. We wrote it for our readers, the fans who have followed the adventures of Zed and Felix from the very start. For those who have mourned their losses, and cheered their successes. For all the folks who sent us little messages saying: “I cannot believe you did that!” Or: “Hasn’t Zed been through enough?” Or, popularly: “OMG, Felix!”

In particular, I wrote my part of this story for Eileen Griffin who finished every book with the plea: “Zed and Felix, deserted island, one week. All sex, all the time.”

Felix doesn’t do planets, so we put the guys on a cruise ship instead. 😉

Jenn and I also wrote this one for ourselves. We’d said goodbye to Zed and Felix with the last edit round of Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5), and it was hard to let go. Many of our blog posts for the release of Phase Shift reflected on how hard it was to say goodbye to characters we’d given life to through five novels and a small collection of short stories. So “Honeymoon” is our last hurrah—a chance for us to just play with the guys, our dear fictional friends; to enjoy their love and everlasting happiness; to share their last adventure with our readers.

Thank you for taking this journey with us! We hope you enjoy this last story.

Visit our website at: http://chaosstation.com for more short stories, excerpts and deleted scenes.

HoneymoonHoneymoon

A Chaos Station story

Zander can’t quite believe a galactic emergency didn’t interrupt their wedding. Felix can’t quite believe he’s married. One thing is for sure, though, these guys need a holiday! So they book a cruise aboard the drift ship Biswas.

There is no death or dismemberment in this story. No hull breaches, no marauding aliens. This is Zed and Felix, though, so not everything is going to go according to plan.

Honeymoon is available to read now!

MOBI | EPUBPDF

Therapy

It’s been a month since the release of Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5). We miss our guys, but we’re working on new stories with new characters we hope you’ll come to love just as much as Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew.

In the meantime, enjoy this cut scene and a sneak peek at the cover of our last Chaos Station short, “Honeymoon”.

Therapy

If you thought the guys were in desperate need of therapy by the end of Skip Trace, you’re weren’t alone!

Skip Trace (Chaos Station #3) was probably the most heavily edited of the five books. We had to rearrange a few things and cut a few scenes we really loved. One of the cut scenes was a therapy session with Zander, Felix and Dr. McMann – who gets several mentions in the later books!

While we understood therapy would be an important element in the journey of both men, the following scene slowed the pace of the ending too much, so we ended up taking some of the relevant parts out (such as how Felix broke his hand) and using them in other scenes. As a whole, this scene remains one of our favourites, however, and we like to imagine this session did actually happen as written, shortly after the events of Skip Trace.

Read “Therapy” here

HoneymoonHoneymoon

Zander and Felix deserve a break! Downtime is difficult for these former soldiers; no doubt they’ll find an adventure or two aboard the drift cruiser Biswas. There will be no severed limbs, near death experiences or kidnappings in this story! But this is Zed and Flick, so not everything is going to go exactly as planned.

Coming at the end of June!

For more cut scenes, excerpts and short stories, visit the Chaos Station website!