Friday, August 26, 2016

The Future of the Night Wars

I've seen the questions, I've answered some of them and I want to honest with all of you. Part of the reason my books haven't had the frequency they had earlier in my career is that I've had a couple years that haven't been so great. My health and I have been at odds, I changed day jobs, moved, moved again, changed jobs again... And then we lost my grandmother. All of that, however, doesn't fully explain it. I simply lost the drive to write the stories.

But, thankfully, my dear Sophia finally sorted out her part of the Night Wars series and I felt somewhat reinvigorated. I dusted off all the short stories, wrote some new ones and then we went over the timeline with fine tooth comb, worked through some of the issues and figured out where we're going next with the Night Wars universe.

The Spider's Web and it's untitled follow up are (in my timeline) the official beginning of a new era of Night Wars books. Evie Capelli is a part of this world. Her second book will follow directly after the events of The Hellfire Legacy and does take place in Chicago with Fynn and the gang. Sophia and I worked closely together to make this book work.

So what comes after that? Well, I'll tell you. What comes after that will most likely be The Smiling Man, a book about the New York Night Watch (yes, they have a different name), also with a female protagonist. Rebecca Driscoll's story will bring us forward to the next chapter of Fynn's story, or rather, Jack's story. The Evil Eye is all about Jack, for the most part.

After that? I think what will end up happening is a third Evie book (Because I know Sophia is writing one) that isn't really "connected" to the others. There are other stories I want to tell, but I think they're likely to turn into a second story collection(or three), rather than novels. There will likely be a collection entitled Ladies of the Night Shift (because they're are a bunch of them, and I love them).

Truthfully, my passion for modern fantasy is...not there anymore. I want to finish the stories I have planned, and I intend to.

The stories I want to tell? Historicals for the most part and also...not with male MC's. I want to write books for women, about women. I love my boys and I'll always love them, but I know where my heart is.

This is not goodbye. The Night Wars aren't over yet, I can promise you that.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Why Yes, I Did Have a New Release

https://www.amazon.com/Night-Wars-Collection-ebook/dp/B01IS7TKVG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471908989&sr=1-1&keywords=night+wars+collection
Click Me to Buy
With the help of the estimable Sophia Beaumont, I finally got this short story collection knocked out and it is now available for purchase! 

The Night Wars Short Story Collection gathers all of your favorite Night Wars shorts into one volume, with five never-before seen stories!

 In Devilry Done, when Lucas decides he wants Ambrose back, he needs a plan. Unfortunately, Lucas has never been very good at plans. By the time he’s gotten Ambrose’s attention, Lucas is in trouble with some dangerous people and broke to boot. Of course, he also gets into trouble with Ambrose, and if he’s very lucky, his former paramour will be in a forgiving mood. Followed by An Eye for Trouble, Lucas and Ambrose are back for another spot of trouble as an old friend asks Ambrose to come to Chicago. Too bad Lucas just got bit by… something and he’s not exactly sure how much help he’s going to be. Poisoned Spirits takes us to Chicago Special Police Officer Ian Mulhane, who has never been stood-up before, so when Billy doesn’t show up to the speakeasy, he’s not a happy camper. But anger quickly shifts to worry, and Ian soon discovers Billy is gravely ill, poisoned by magically tainted whiskey. Ian’s used to the paranormal, but witches might just be more than he can handle.

Fast forward to modern day Chicago in Happy Halloween, Jack’s past has always been something of a question mark, until now. On Halloween, an eighteen-year-old Jack found himself in a world of trouble, and headed straight toward the man who would take him from hustler to cop. In Foxtrot, Remy starts this year’s Masquerade miserable, but with help from an old flame, things start looking up. Across the ocean in Ame, Takashi Matsumoto has spent his entire life in Tokyo. He’s seen terrible things working for the yakuza, but when an encounter with something straight out of folklore leaves him nearly dead he has to revise everything he thought he knew. After he recovers, he runs into an old flame, Daisuke. Can Takashi have a relationship knowing what he does? Or will his past catch up to both of them?

Cary Vaughn has found himself on the wrong side of a lot of people. When he ends up in Edinburgh hiding from one of those people he meets a tall Scotsman in a bar and goes home with him. He spies a small fortune on a bookshelf and takes a chance by stealing it—but he’s not the only one with an ulterior motive in Feumaidh Mi Ruith. In The Ten of Cups, Isaiah Cappelli is trying to overcome a broken heart and a cloudy future. Is it fate or only coincidence that leads him to a New Age shop and a handsome stranger? Christmas comes in This Time of Year and a dragon is loose in Chicago. Howl would be more concerned if the case didn’t keep interrupting his lunch reservations. Partnered up with the distractingly handsome Detective Reyes, Howl is going to have to pull himself out of his melancholy if he wants to solve the case and get back to his Christmas plans, getting drunk while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, alone. Well, not if Detective Reyes has anything to say about it.

In Fiends in Low Places, Simon Murphy, psychic and former thief is trying to rekindle the romance between himself and his FBI beau, Gabriel. Can a pizza date fix this mess? The Raven and the Wolf introduces Bran Morning, he owns an occult bookshop, has PTSD and doesn’t remember what happened exactly that gives him nightmares. Roped into attending the wedding of an old squad member, Bran is in for more than he bargained for and discovers that the body can remember things the mind forgets. Evie Cappelli has been with the Montreal Night Shift for a while now, but she’s about to get the surprise of her life—if a wedding dress and some rosary beads don’t kill her first in L’Île des Sœurs

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Items of Note


https://www.amazon.com/Good-Times-Ladies-Night-Shift/dp/1535402091/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471910234&sr=1-1&keywords=Let+the+Good+Times+roll+by+missouri+dalton

https://www.amazon.com/Station-House-Six-Night-Story/dp/153685848X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471910211&sr=1-1&keywords=Station+House+Six


You can now pick up Station House Six and Let the Good Times Roll in paperback!
Just click on the covers to go the Amazon page. Station House Six is still free as an ebook here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Night Shift International

Guest blogging this week is Sophia Beaumont, author of the latest Night Wars novel, The Spider's Web. 

-------------------------------------
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away two friends began writing. Separated by over five hundred miles, they exchanged daily missives about their writing and their very different lives. Swapping chapters, they discussed plot progression and character development, and why isn't this antagonist working?
It wasn't until they were well into their manuscripts that they realized something very important:
These books take place in the same world.
Though they had been written in two different countries, it was clear enough to both authors that their character existed on the same plane. Bringing them together, however, would be a challenge...

 You've seen Chicago. You've seen New Orleans. Now it's time to get out your passport and go a little further north.

Evie Cappelli might, at first, seem unrelated to the Night Shift team you've come to know and love, but she has quite a lot in common with Fynn and the others, and she has the psych ward discharge papers to prove it.

The Spider's Web is an origin story for the newest member of the Night Patrol--the Canadian form of the Night Shift. Instead of working with vampires and renegade witches, however, she'll be up against something a little more intimidating: a goddess. Or two. And maybe a cult. Or at least the cult's crazy leader.

Meanwhile, she has family problems coming out her ears, and medication can only do so much when ghostly spiders start coming out of the woodwork, literally. It might take more than her favorite coping mechanism--obsessive knitting--to get her through this one.

But there is good news. She's got some strong allies in the form of Micha, her spiritual companion, and Adam, a burgeoning empath. And then there's that strange red headed man who keeps showing up, who says his name is Adder...

-------------------------------------

The Spider's Web by Sophia Beaumont, book 1 in the Evie Cappelli series, is now available from Torquere Press. Look for follow ups coming later this year!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Release



After being released from a Toronto psych ward, Evie decides that her life needs a drastic change. Moving 500 miles east to stay with her aunt in Montreal, however, is not turning out as expected. Though she loves the city, she can’t outrun the problems that drove her to the edge in the first place.
Recovery might be a little easier if not for Micha. Handsome, kind, always willing to help Evie or cheer her on–and completely invisible to everyone else. He seems to think he’s some kind of guardian angel, and she might need one now that things have gone from bad to just plain weird.
It started with the spiders–ghostly spiders that showed up out of nowhere, swarming over Evie while she was home alone. Then the owls started following her.
Her search of answers dredges up past lives, secret societies, and one very angry goddess. She’s going to need help from some very powerful friends if she wants to make it to her next birthday, but when one of those friends is the goddess of the underworld, she might need more help than a guardian angel can provide.

It's the newest book in the Night Wars series! The Spider's Web takes us to what happens after Sleeping on the Job. At first glance, Evie might not seem connected to the folks in Chicago, but looks can be deceiving.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Heads Up

I have been working on updating the blog. As such, you may have noticed the new look, though the buttons and such are still in the same places. The WIP tab has been updated to reflect current statuses and I have also updated the Night Wars tab to include all current short stories, novels and ephemera with links!

The news as of now. There is a new Night Wars novel under contract. It was written (with my blessings) by Sophia Beaumont and takes place in Canada, following the adventures of Evie Cappelli, a young lady with strange gifts and stranger family.

Her books directly tie into some of the events of The Hellfire Legacy, so I'm really excited to see those coming to publication. In other news, The Night Wars Anthology, or Collection, is almost ready for submission. Sophia contributed a couple stories, and I'm working on one more so you'll get four new stories and then the rest will be a compilation of all the Night Wars stories currently out, those out of print and such like. Basically, it's my goal to get them all together in one place to make it more convenient for people to read them.

Also, I've added a rough timeline to the Night Wars tab, so each story now includes a year and place at least. I'm hoping this will help clear up any questions folks might have about when individual stories take place. Of course, I have a rather thorough timeline that Sophia and I hashed out between us but it is...spoilery. Incredibly so.

I'm hoping to finish either The Hellfire Boys or The Smiling Man this winter/spring as well as The Kindom's Compendium this summer and possibly The Evil Eye. It really depends on where Sophia is on her next book, to ensure timeline cohesiveness. I'm going to do my best to keep everyone apprised this year as things go along.

Thanks for sticking with me, and as always thank you for reading!

Cheers,

Missouri

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Here's a bit of holiday cheer for all of you, Fynn and Jack meeting Thomas for the very first time.


Mr. Smoky 


Ah, Christmas, the time of year when trees are trimmed, lights are hung and pixies are infesting your holly bushes. This year, however, was a bit different. We were half-settled into my parent’s old house, they were half-settled in their new place in Columbus near Da’s brother, and I was in the O’Hare Airport with a sign, waiting for the arrival of a seven-year-old boy.

His name was Thomas and—he was my son. You can imagine my surprise when I got the letter, His mother and I had had a one-night stand during the days I had been drinking most of my meals. She was, to date, the only woman I’d ever been with and I had to admit, those odds were pretty long and my luck wasn’t the best. But the DNA test came through, though I hadn’t really had any doubts after seeing the kid’s photo, and Thomas was my son.

And his mother was dead so I was now supposed to take charge of him. There’d been some legal shenanigans and some decidedly less than legal shenanigans involved to get the process of bringing my Russian born son to the states. I didn’t want him living in a state home or anything. Better he was brought over quickly so he could start the transition process. I think. I’d also, sort of, promised him to a leprechaun but that was before I knew about him, so I don’t know that it’s totally my fault. Ian was sorting it out. Ian always sorted things out.

The terminal was a hive of activity, not that I was particularly surprised. I clutched the overstuffed teddy bear I’d bought in my hands, sighing. Jack squeezed my shoulder.

“It’s going to be fine,” he said. “Baby steps, remember?”

“You say baby steps, I say the kid is probably going to be so overwhelmed he starts crying the minute he sees me and I’m labelled the worst parent ever.”

“You’re being ridiculous.”

“What if he doesn’t like me? What if he doesn’t like you? What if he doesn’t like Tara?” Tara, who had declared rather adamantly that she would have preferred a puppy.

“He’s not even here yet, Fynn, chill.”

I eyed the arrivals board for the hundredth time. “But he will be here...look, that’s his flight.” My stomach was doing somersaults and I was practically shaking from nerves. Not the most put together picture, I’m sure, but I couldn’t help it. Jack pulled one of my hands free of the bear and held it tight. I glanced back at him and managed a smile. “It’s just—a kid, you know? Another kid, I mean. It’s just…”

“I know.”

And my parents were going to be here for Christmas to meet him.

I felt like we were waiting for hours, but I know it couldn’t have been all that long before I saw a tall, leggy woman in a suit wearing an airport security badge walking toward us, hand in hand with a small blond boy with wide blue eyes. He was wearing a puffy blue coat and had his papers pinned to the front of it. He looked so small and pale. I felt like my heart was going to stop beating.

As they drew closer, I knelt down, unwilling to tower over him like a giant. The security woman smiled at me.

“Mr. Adder?”

“Yeah, that’s me,” I replied. I looked at Thomas, taking a deep breath. I’d learned a little Russian, as Thomas knew only a bit of English. I was hoping to get better as I went. I’m sure my pronunciation was awful, but we had to start somewhere. “Zdrastvooyte,” I waved. “Meenya zavoot Fynn. Ya plokha gavaryoo pa rooskee.”

Thomas managed a very small smile.

“This is for you,” I held out the bear.

After a pause, Thomas took the bear and stuffed his face into it, mumbling, “Spaseeba.”

“This is, Jack,” I pointed up.

Thomas managed to wave from behind the bear.

Zdrastvooyte,” Jack said. “Kak pazhivayesh?” He knelt down next to me and smiled gently.

Jack was a bit further along in the Russian than me, but I think that was some kind of witchcraft, the man could pick up languages like a pint of milk.

Thomas bit on his lip. “Scared,” he said.

“That’s okay,” Jack said. “The airport is noisy.”

Thomas nodded.

“Why don’t we go to the restaurant and wrap up the paperwork and then you can take Thomas home?” the woman said.

“Of course,” I said. I looked back to Thomas. “Hungry?”

He nodded eagerly.

Okay, Fynn—you can do this. You can do this. You can do this. I stood up and held out a hand to Thomas, uncertain if he would take it or continue to cling to the woman. After a long silent pause, he tucked his hand into mine. I exhaled the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, and followed Jack and the woman to the nearby hamburger place.

Thomas seemed pretty excited at the prospect of a kid’s meal, I mean, it had a toy after all. While he was occupied introducing his bear to the small ninja, or whatever it was that came with his meal, Jack and wrapped up the paperwork. The faster we got this done, the sooner we could get Thomas settled. I mean, he’d just finished a fifteen-hour trip. I could tell he was a bit tired, but right then he was probably too on edge to fall asleep. I couldn’t blame him.

I’d wanted to fly out to Moscow, spend a couple weeks there getting Thomas to like me, and then fly back with him but that just wasn’t in the cards. The division was still in construction mode after the attacks and, though I hated to think it, they actually needed me around.

We’d managed to get Thomas’ room sorted out though, after some back and forth with a Russian social worker I’d learned he liked bears and trains. The room wasn’t themed per say, but I hoped having some familiar things around would make him feel safe. His belongings had been shipped over, and arrived yesterday in time for me and Jack to get everything put away.

We’d just wrapped up the paperwork when I heard a thunk of something falling on the floor and glanced over at Thomas, who had dropped the ninja—which had somehow lost its head in the crash. He sniffed loudly.

“It’s okay,” I said quickly, scooping up the toy’s pieces. “I can fix it.”

Nope. That wasn’t helping. He started to cry, eyes screwed up, bear clutched tight to his chest. Well, I couldn’t blame him for that either. He was as stressed as I was.

“It’s okay, Thomas.” I wanted to—I don’t know. Hug him? I wasn’t sure what to do. He was my son but...I don’t know if I’d want some person I’d just met hugging me when I was stressed and tired.

I’d almost made up my mind to try and pat him on the shoulder when the bear caught fire.

Jack reacted quickly, pulling the top off his drink and tossing it over the fire. Thank god for that man’s quick reflexes. The bear, however, had lost half his face and an arm much faster than I thought it should have. Clearly, the toy was not as fire-resistant as it should have been.

Thomas stopped crying.

My hesitation vanished in an instant as I checked him over for burns—but there weren’t any. His shirt was a bit sooty and he was soaked in Coke, but he wasn’t hurt.

I glanced back at Jack who had a rather significant sort of look on his face.

A restaurant employee bustled over with napkins and a very concerned expression and I took it as a sign to get the hell out of Dodge. We settled things with the woman, I picked up Thomas, charred teddy bear, broken toy and backpack and we got out of there as quickly as I was able.

I sat in the back of the car with Thomas, who was still sniffling and clutching the ruined bear. “It’s okay, sweetheart,” I said, pulling wet naps from the backseat pocket to get the soda off his face before it dried into a sticky mess. “It’s okay. We’re going home.”

Jack said something I couldn’t follow in Russian and Thomas seemed a bit more reassured.

You can do this, Fynn. He’s just a kid. A small, fragile kid that might have set a toy on fire with his mind.

Everything was going to be fine. Totally fine.

***

Jack called Ian while I got Thomas cleaned up. Tara was spending the night at a friend’s house just to give Thomas a bit more space. Same with Simon, who was currently on Ian’s couch—I think. We’d introduce them after Thomas had gotten some sleep. Poor conked out pretty fast after putting on his PJ’s. I had to pick him up off the floor and put him to bed. I used to be like that as a kid, Mom always said so. I sat next to the bed, uncertain as he slept. Language barriers, unfamiliar people, new places—that was all going to be difficult to navigate.

“Fynn,” Jack whispered from the doorway.

I looked over. “Yeah?”

He held out his phone, “Ian.”

I nodded and stood, creeping over to him and taking the phone out into the hall. “Hey, Ian.”

“How is he?”

“Great. He’s sleeping now.” I took a breath. “I don’t suppose, maybe, my son can set fires with his mind or anything?”

“Well…”

“Ian!” I whispered harshly.

“I wasn’t a hundred percent certain he’d inherited his Russian bloodline. I mean, there was a chance he’d be normal, a chance he’d have Sight and a chance he’d set fires.”

“Gee, thanks Ian.”

“Did he set a fire?”

“Why else would we be having this conversation?”

“Fair enough. Look, it’ll be fine. Most pyrokinetics that age just need to be kept calm and happy.”

“He’s seven years old, Ian. He’s half a world from the home he knew, his mother is dead and my Russian is terrible.”

“It’s going to be okay, Fynn. You can do this.”

I groaned.

“You can,” he repeated. “I’ll stop by in a couple days and we’ll evaluate Thomas’ power then. For now, just be his dad. I know you can do that.”

“Okay. Thanks, Ian.”

“No problem.”

I hung up and handed Jack back his phone. He tucked it into his pocket and pulled me to his side with one arm around my waist.

“He’s going to be okay,” Jack whispered. “He’s an Adder. They’re a tough breed.”

Looking in on my sleeping son, who had refused to give up the charred bear and had it pressed to his chest as he slept, I felt some of the nervous tension disappear. I’d been nervous with Tara too, of course, but there was something different about this. I guess, maybe, knowing that the kid was genetically mine meant there was more to worry about. What if he got my bad habits? Poor thing.

But just like Tara, I felt that warm certainty in my chest. I had Jack to help me and no shortage of family. More importantly, I loved him. This was never something I’d expected to have. A husband. Children. A few years ago that sort of life would have been nothing but a pipe dream but now it was my life. I had people counting on me. I had Jack and Tara and now—I had a son.

“I just don’t want to disappoint him. Ever.” I looked at Jack. “You know?”

“I know.” He kissed my cheek.

“I’m also just a little bit afraid he might set the house on fire.”

Jack laughed softly. “You don’t worry about that with Tara? I do.”

I made a face. “Fair enough.”

“Come on, we have to call your parents and Shannon. He’s dead to the world for a while.”

“Okay.” I slipped out of Jack’s embrace and padded over to Thomas, pushing some hair out of his face. “I love you,” I whispered. “I’ll keep you safe. I promise. Jack too.” I pressed a kiss to the top of his head and padded back out of the room.

Jack smiled at me. “It’s going to be okay, Fynn.”

“Okay.” I took a breath. “I just—I don’t want to leave him alone. You know? I don’t want him to wake up alone.”

“I’ll get some pillows.” He kissed me.  

I settled against the door frame, content to watch Thomas sleep. With everything that had had happened, I couldn’t help thinking that Thomas might have been better off with someone else, anyone else. I was kind of a human disaster. At the same time, I couldn’t imagine him being with anyone else now that he was here.

He was muttering in his sleep, I used to do that when I was a kid. Hell, according to Jack, sometimes I still did. Usually about giant socks or something. I padded over, crouching next to the bed to listen. I didn’t want to leave him in a nightmare, if that’s what this was. I couldn’t really make it out, my Russian was terrible, but it didn’t seem to be bad. He wasn’t scared at least.

I heard Jack come back, and he handed me the pillows and afghan he’d retrieved with a soft smile. I settled onto the floor next to the bed, not really certain if I would get any sleep, and let out a small huff of surprise when Jack joined me.

“I don’t want to be alone either,” he whispered. “Go to sleep.”

Contrary to popular belief, I can follow orders—particularly when those orders came from Jack’s lips. I closed my eyes, half listening to Thomas’ soft murmurs, and drifted off to sleep.

***

I woke up to light in my face and a gentle shaking of my shoulder. I managed to pry my eyes open and looked up to see Thomas standing over me, holding the bear.

“Hey, Thomas. Hungry?”

He nodded.

I sat up, wiping my eyes and glancing around. I could smell something—pancakes, which meant Jack was in the kitchen. Thomas got my attention again with a soft tap on my shoulder.

“Yes?”

Thomas held out the bear. “Popka fix?” He bit his lip. “Fix Mr. Smoky?”

He’d named the bear Mr. Smoky. Dear god that was the cutest fucking thing. Do not swear in front of child.

I nodded. “I can fix him.”

He smiled brightly.

I smiled back and got to my feet. “Pancakes first, okay?”

“O-kay!” He took my hand when I offered and we headed downstairs to join Jack in the kitchen. My back hurt, but hey, my son was smiling. And, I realized a few beats after seating Thomas at the kitchen table, what he had called me.

“Popka?” I prompted Thomas.

He nodded. “You. Popka.”

“That’s Dad,” Jack said.

I swallowed. “Okay.” I grabbed the bottle of syrup from the counter as Jack put a plate in front of Thomas. “You want?” I asked.

Thomas nodded emphatically. I poured syrup for him and glanced back at Jack. He was smiling at me in a dopey sort of way I’d never seen before.

“You’re doing fine,” he mouthed.

We had breakfast together and between us, Jack and I told Thomas about his new big sister, his cousin Simon and Popka’s twin brother Michael. It was going to be weird for a while, but I think it was going to be okay—at least Thomas didn’t seem to have any notion of the ghosts hovering about us, Adders from the past welcoming my son to Chicago. Small blessings. I’d take every one I could get. I had a feeling I was going to need them. I always did.