Monday, June 1, 2015
And special thanks to the XO, CAPT McMullen for granting us permission to visit the ship, and to LT H.K. Mansell, AZC L.M. Carter, and LCPL Hector Colon for their patience and generosity in taking us all over the BHR, and answering all of my questions about life on an Wasp-class carrier.
My first takeaway from this visit: however big you think a carrier is, once you get on board, you soon realize it's much bigger. There are external elevators on either side of the ship to transport aircraft to and from the flight deck and the hangar deck. There are also interior ramps for transporting other really heavy things between decks, and for this purpose there are trucks that operate entirely within the ship.
And to all my anxious fans, I'm working hard to finish the book. My cover artist has produced a mock-up of the cover, and when we get a little closer to the release day, I'll reveal it, too. Until then, thank you all for your patience.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
New developments just keep rolling in. I just found out that I've been selected as a Featured Author on Indie Book Bargains. They're based in the UK, so my plans for world domination are moving forward apace. Thanks everyone, for your support, and especially all my new fans in the UK!
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The good folks at Spy Guys And Gals seem to have enjoyed the Emily Kane Adventures so far, and we're very glad to hear it. And with Book 6, Girl Rides The Wind, due out soon, we hope they enjoy that one too! We can only hope to complete Books 7 & 8 quickly enough to please all of Emily Kane's admirers. Wish us luck!
And don't forget to recommend Girl Fights Back to your friends.
And don't forget to recommend Girl Fights Back to your friends.
Monday, January 5, 2015
“I challenge,” the voice said, and Emily stopped at the edge of the ring, turning to look over her shoulder. “My choice of weapon is shinai.”
“There is no need,” she said, rushing to the center of the ring to kneel at Kano’s feet.
“Do not insult me,” he growled. “You will accept my challenge… unless you think it is beneath you.”
“I would rather be your student, Sensei, than your opponent.”
A moment later, she stood on the side of the ring, as Ishikawa and Lt Otani helped her strap on protective equipment. Shinai are practice swords, made of bamboo strips bound together in a single shaft, lighter than a bokken, and with no edge. But in the heat of competition, an errant blow can still do some damage… and Kano did not look like he meant to tap her lightly.
“You should never have entered the ring,” Lt Otani said. “This could have been avoided if you had just let Sgt Tsukino have his victory.”
“Nonsense,” Ishikawa roared. “Moon behaved like a donkey. He deserved what he got, and she fought brilliantly.”
“What are they saying?” Durant asked from behind Lt Otani.
“Dice thinks I’m a fool, and so does Kiku-san.”
“No, Durantu-san,” Ishikawa said, in the best English he could muster. “I think Tenno-san is awe-inspiring. But she is probably in for a beating.”
“I’m sorry for getting you in to this pickle, LT,” Durant said, after Emily glowered at him.
“Pic-kel-u?” Ishikawa said, with one raised eyebrow as he tried to fit his mouth around the word.
“Just like tsukemono,” Lt Otani proposed.
Emily offered an alternative translation: “He means this is a difficult situation.” When Ishikawa still didn’t understand, she said, “I’m screwed.”
“Yes, yes,” Ishikawa said with a big grin. “Screwed.”
A Distinguished Personage
In the hot and humid season, merely standing in formation while a party of dignitaries made speeches could be torture. Emily managed to peek over at Oleschenko and Durant, both of whom had begun to sweat through their fatigues. A bit further along the line, she caught a glimpse of Ishikawa in similar straits, but Tsukino and Kano managed to put a brave face on the whole situation, even as the beads formed on their faces. She felt one hanging from her own nose.
“Man, this is interminable,” she muttered. “Why can’t a breeze find us on this infernal base? Is that too much to ask?”
Durant couldn’t suppress a snort at her words, and Oleschenko glowered at the two of them. “Shut it, you two,” he hissed.
Eventually, the proceedings on the shaded podium drew to a close, and several well-dressed people made their way across the front of the formation, accompanied by Colonel Kamakura, commander of the first Airborne Brigade, and Admiral Crichton, Commander of Fleet Activities at the naval base in Sasebo, and the officer in charge of the US contingent of the operation. The command to stand “at ease” made its way around and Emily’s platoon assumed a slightly more comfortable posture, feet apart and hands behind their backs.
“The tall one is Mr. Saito,” Oleschenko whispered. “He’s the Deputy Minister of Defense.”
“Who are the other two?” Durant asked.
“I imagine we’ll find out in a moment,” Emily said. She could just make out what they said to Kano’s unit. Praise for their service in the recent evacuations after the typhoon up north, and encouragement for the tournament to be held later that day.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
“Gaijin kusai,” said Sergeant Hiroki Tsukino, who the rest of the platoon knew as Moon. With a sneer and a snort, he looked across the table for moral support.
Takeishi Kano, who occasionally let his sergeants call him Tak, glanced at Emily sitting a few seats away, hoping she hadn’t heard, since he knew she’d understand. The third time club-hopping with their American guests in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo had taken a toll on him, too. But he had other concerns.
“Shut it, Sergeant,” he growled in Japanese.
“C’mon, Captain. How many more hakujin bars do we have to take these guys to?”
“At least it’s not a karaoke bar this time,” Sgt Daisuke Ishikawa offered.
“Tenno, what are they going on about?” Captain Oleschenko asked.
“And do they have to call her that?” Moon said, loud enough to be heard the length of the table. “I mean, what the hell is she playing at with a name like that anyway?”
“Sergeant Tsukino thinks we smell bad, sir,” Emily said.
“We smell bad?” Sgt Durant chuckled. “What the hell does he think he smells like?”
“It’s an old prejudice, from the second world war,” she said. “Japanese didn’t eat much meat in those days, and they thought the GI’s smelled strange, you know, like old butter.”
Kano glowered at his men as she spoke. As irritating as he found her presence, having to guard against offending her made it so much worse. She wasn’t responsible for his father’s death, but she damn well reminded him of the infernal code of honor that propelled him to his end. His father had sacrificed himself to protect her, and he’d done it at the behest of the Crown Princess, even though it required accepting a pretended disgrace in order to go undercover… and even now, three years later, the Imperial Household still refused to acknowledge his sacrifice, or to restore his good name.
“Moon, you eat enough meat to smell like a slaughterhouse,” Sgt Ishikawa roared.
“What do you know about it, Dice?” Sgt Tsukino replied.
“Only what my nose tells me.”