You’ve seen the cover. Now download Restoration for free!

Restoration title image

Download the Restoration ARC today!

I’m so excited about my new sci-fi thriller, Restoration, that I’m giving away Advance Reading Copies starting today. It’s a full-length preview of the fourth and final book in the Tales From A Warming Planet series. Consider it a sneak preview prior to the book’s official launch May 10, 2018.

It’s all about Junie Wye, a smart, sassy 17-year-old forced to move from San Francisco to an isolated desert town hostile to her father’s new job demolishing the last great dam on the Columbia River.

Download your free copy now in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats.

Want more free science fiction? Check out Forbidden Planets, the new Instafreebie giveaway. You’ll find 33 exciting stories, including Restoration. Offer ends soon, so don’t wait.

forbidden planets giveaway

The Forbidden Planets ebook giveaway features nearly three dozen books.

The Warming Planet series is complete! Check out Restoration’s new cover.

Restoration cover

What do you think of Restoration’s cover image?

It’s finally here! Artist Christian Bentulan has done another stellar job designing the new cover for Restoration, the fourth book in my series, Tales From A Warming Planet. With Restoration, the series is now complete.

You can pre-order Restoration today on Amazon. The official launch is May 10, 2018. Here’s the blurb from the back cover.

What if you fell in love with a man whose father hated your father? In a near-future wracked by climate change, Junie Wye is an urbane, sassy 17-year-old forced to move from her big city to a divided desert town. Her dad, Ed, has a difficult, dangerous job: removing an enormous hydroelectric dam blocking a beautiful river. Junie meets a young man, Don Rast, whose father, Covington, opposes taking down the dam. Though the government wants it taken away, others will do anything to keep it, including sabotage and threats. Meanwhile, a conspiracy brews that could mean the deaths of thousands downstream. Will Junie and Don overcome their parents’ hostility? Is the dam a million-ton bomb waiting to go off?

Amazon logo

It’s been so much fun writing and publishing the Warming Planet series. The other books, including The Mother Earth InsurgencyCarbon Run, and City of Ice and Dreams, are available today on Amazon. In addition to ebooks, you can purchase print versions for all, except Insurgency.

Thank you so much, and stay tuned for offers and other exciting news!

Have you read any of my books? Any thoughts to share?

City of Ice and Dreams is released! Download now for limited time intro price.

book cover

It’s release day for City of Ice and Dreams!

I’m thrilled to announce that City of Ice and Dreams, the third book in the Tales From A Warming Planet series, is now available on Amazon in print and digital formats. I’m so grateful for all the support from family, friends, and colleagues throughout this journey, including my editor John Paine, my cover artist Christian Bentulan, and my proofreader, Edith Follansbee. The Kindle ebook is available now for a limited-time price of 99¢.

City of Ice and Dreams is a dystopian thriller full of action and suspense. And don’t forget to check out the first two books, The Mother Earth Insurgency, winner of a Writers of the Future sci-fi award, and Carbon Run, the first full-length novel of the series.

One more book to go in the series! Look for announcements soon on Restoration, another full-length novel. What if you fell in love with a man whose father hated your father? Coming soon!

Have you read the Advance Reading Copy of City of Ice and Dreams? Please post a review on Amazon.

Are you on Goodreads? Win a copy of City of Ice and Dreams!

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Enter to win one of only 20 copies of City of Ice and Dreams.

Momentum is building for the release of City of Ice and Dreams, book three of my series, Tales From A Warming Planet. I’m so thrilled to let you know about a special ebook giveaway for Goodreads members. Not familiar with Goodreads? It’s the largest reader community on the planet, with more than 24 million members who love good books, just like you.

I’m only giving away 20 copies of the ebook in its Kindle format. To enter, go to the City of Ice and Dreams giveaway page and click “Enter.” That’s all there is to it! The offer ends February 12.

Win a free copy!

I can’t wait for the release of City of Ice and Dreams on February 15. The print version of the novel will be released on that day as well. If you’ve already purchased books one and two, The Mother Earth Insurgency and Carbon Run, thank you! Please consider writing a review on Amazon and Goodreads. These are critical to the success of independent authors, like myself.

More news: If you prefer Kobo, Nook, or another e-reader, The Mother Earth Insurgency is now available for those platforms. Go to my Books2Read link and pick your favorite online bookstore or subscription service.

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Find links to all online stores where you can buy The Mother Earth Insurgency.

Exciting news! City of Ice and Dreams is now available for pre-order on Amazon

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The ebook of City of Ice and Dreams is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

I’m excited to report that City of Ice and Dreams, the second full-length novel in the Tales From A Warming Planet series, is available now for pre-ordering on Amazon. The 292-page book has a special pre-release price of 99¢. The ebook and print book go on sale February 15. The print book will be priced at $14.99. Here’s the blurb.

What if the key to your past lay at the South Pole? In 2261, Sento, a beautiful, intelligent, tormented young woman, is obsessed by Isorropia, a city in Antarctica that is half-myth, half-legend. Surviving a shipwreck, Sento resolves to trek south with immigrants on a suicidal one-way journey across the melting ice. She leads the pilgrims across a raging river, weeps beneath a massive natural sculpture draped with blue ice, and defends an endangered fur seal. Meanwhile, in the secretive city, First Citizen Elita Soares watches the growing threat of the pilgrim train. She wants no more climate refugees within the city walls. When Elita learns her half-sister may be among the immigrants, she vows to stop the newcomers at all costs. Will the pilgrims reach the fabled city before Antarctica’s harsh climate kills them? And why is Elita afraid of her half-sister?

City of Ice and Dreams is a dystopian thriller full of action and suspense. It’s a stand-alone novel, meaning you don’t have to read the first book, The Mother Earth Insurgency, or the second book, Carbon Run, to follow along.  All three books take place in the same world ravaged by climate change.

Stay tuned for updates on City of Ice and Dreams. The third novel, Restoration, will come later this spring.

Have your read the first two books or the Advance Reading Copy for City of Ice and Dreams? Please leave a review on Amazon.

Here’s an early holiday gift! Check out these free thriller and mystery ebooks

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Today through January 7, you can download more than 150 free mystery and thriller ebooks for your Kindle and Kobo.

It’s time for another free ebook giveaway! I’ve partnered with dozens of authors to bring you more than 150 free, downloadable thrillers and mysteries for your Kindle, Kobo, or other favorite ereader. The choices include a free sneak preview of City of Ice and Dreams, the next novel in my series, Tales From A Warming Planet. You may already have read The Mother Earth Insurgency and Carbon Run. Both are getting rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Thank you!

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Download from Instafreebie

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Download from Bookfunnel

Thank you so much for your support of my work, and the work of independent writers everywhere. We love hearing from our readers. Tell me what you think in the comments area below.

Review: New novel tackles sexual assault on campus amid the #MeToo debate

Yes Means Yes cover image

Yes Means Yes is a new novel exploring the meaning of mutual consent in sexual relationships.

One of the most compelling scenes in the downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein was a secretly recorded dialog between him and a young model, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. In the audio, Weinstein pressures the young woman to follow him into his room. In a grotesque framing of the “Will she or won’t she?” trope, the dialog encapsulates the struggle of women against the power of men.

It’s a pattern as old as human history, and it repeated this week with the resignation of Sen. Al Franken.

Except this time, it’s different. After the New Yorker expose of Weinstein’s abuses, women by the millions—counting those who’ve used the #MeToo hashtag on social media—have lifted the veil of secrecy over their fear and shame. Americans are adjusting the power balance between men and women, though the road to a new landscape is far from straight and narrow. For one thing, the nation refuses to address Weinstein-like behavior by Donald Trump before he was elected President of the United States.

The novel is at once a seminar on the law concerning sexual assault on campus and the story of a young woman discovering its complexities at a personal level.

Since the early days of the feminist revolution, the cultural and legal issues around sexual harassment and sexual assault have clouded the never-crystal-clear relations between men and women. College campuses are often the crucible for change, as young men and women navigate a dynamic society’s mating rituals. The latest iteration stems from the meaning of mutual consent, that is, how do you know when it’s okay to move from mere attraction to a passionate kiss to a romp between the sheets?

Author Steven M. Wells explores the issues in a fictional narrative that is at once a seminar on the law concerning sexual assault on campus and the story of a young woman discovering its complexities at a personal level. The novel, Yes Means Yes, takes its title from a 2014 California law that defines sexual consent. The statute goes beyond the traditional “no means no” standard, which places the boundary of consent at the point when one of the partners says, in effect, “No further.” The California law says the partner must now explicitly says “yes” if the other partner wants sex, or else the initiating partner risks a charge of sexual assault.

In Yes Means Yes, new graduate student Katie Russell arrives on the campus of Colorado University ready to study philosophy. Facing a mountain of debt, she takes a job that makes her a kind of bounty hunter for sexual assault. The prize? $50,000. When her neighbor is raped, all evidence points to the all-star captain of the football team, who happens to be the worst kind of lout. In the meantime, Katie falls for a assistant professor who is the essence of the Western gentleman: thoughtful, handsome, ethical to a fault, and a rancher. Trouble, is, their relationship probably breaks the university’s code of conduct, threatening his career.

What follows are multiple Kafka-esque journeys that leave the reader wondering if fear of lawsuits will overwhelm the desire to mate. How could a man ever be sure that his lover really wanted him, if she happened to forget to say “Yes” during that romantic weekend alone? How could a woman be sure that her memory recalled “No” when a selfie turns up showing her and her partner apparently enjoying themselves? Suddenly, the rule is, there are no rules, as if there were ever rules in the first place.

Wells tells his story with the appropriate complexity, though it sometimes reads like a legal brief than the mystery it tries to be. That said, it’s a timely novel that gets underneath society’s confusion over the evolving roles of men and women in private and in public. A nation of laws expresses its values through its statutes and court decisions, and the country appears to be on its way toward another reset of the power balance between the sexes. Yes Means Yes is an excellent and well-written addition to the debate.

The author provided a copy to me in exchange for an honest review.

Carbon Run small image

My new dystopian thriller, Carbon Run, is on sale now!

What do you think of the cover for City of Ice and Dreams?

I’m so excited to show you the brand new cover for City of Ice and Dreams, the second full-length novel in my dystopian thriller series, Tales From A Warming Planet. I’d also like to offer you an Advance Reading Copy of the novel, available free and securely through Instafreebie and Bookfunnel. Download now!

book cover

Here’s the new cover for my next novel, City of Ice and Dreams.

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Download from Instafreebie

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Download from Bookfunnel

City of Ice and Dreams is scheduled for release February 1, 2018. Here’s the blurb for the novel:

What if the key to your past lay at the South Pole? In 2261, Sento, a beautiful, intelligent, tormented young woman, is obsessed by Isorropia, a city in Antarctica that is half-myth, half-legend. Surviving a shipwreck, Sento resolves to trek south with immigrants on a suicidal one-way journey across the melting ice. She leads the pilgrims across a raging river, weeps beneath a massive natural sculpture draped with blue ice, and defends an endangered fur seal. Meanwhile, in the secretive city, First Citizen Elita Soares watches the growing threat of the pilgrim train. She wants no more climate refugees within the city walls. When Elita learns her half-sister may be among the immigrants, she vows to stop the newcomers at all costs. Will the pilgrims reach the fabled city before Antarctica’s harsh climate kills them? And why is Elita afraid of her half-sister?

I’d like to thank my designer Christian Bentulan for his wonderful work. He also designed the covers for the first and second books in the series, The Mother Earth Insurgency, and Carbon Run. Check out the great reviews for both books on Goodreads and Amazon.

Thank you so much for all your support of my series. Look for more announcements soon on City of Ice and Dreams, as well as deals and giveaways for my other work. And there’s still another novel to come in the spring of 2018. Whew!

Comment on my book covers below.

Know your rights! Sign up now to check your eligibility for health insurance help

Not sure if should buy health insurance, or go bankrupt if I get sick.

You have until Dec. 15 to check your eligibility for health insurance subsidies.

Every fall, the federal government opens the enrollment period for individuals to buy health insurance. By going online to your state insurance site, such as my state’s HealthPlanFinder, or to HealthCare.gov, you can learn whether you are eligible for a subsidy to purchase health insurance for yourself or your family.

President Trump did not repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Despite what you may have heard, President Trump did not repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Only Congress can repeal a law, and it failed to do so last summer. However, Trump has made it difficult for individuals to benefit from the law. For example, he has shortened the enrollment period to just 45 days. The last day for enrollment is December 15.

I am one of millions of individuals who purchase health insurance on the open market. My employer does not offer a health plan for me, and I earn some of my income through free-lance work. I’m also a full-time student. Obamacare is a lifeline to me and many writers, artists, and other low-income individuals, who otherwise couldn’t afford or access quality health insurance.

It’s important that you sharpen your patience skills. The Trump Administration has slashed the support budget for the ACA. It’s possible your state may balance this with more support. However, be ready to spend extra time online or on the phone. It will be worth it, especially if you qualify for a tax subsidy that will reduce your premium cost.

According to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United States has signed, every person has a right to decent health care. In our country, this means you have the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance, which protects you and your family from economic catastrophe if you get sick, and provides benefits that help you live a longer, more productive life.

Don’t wait. Enroll today!

You’d better start reading Chinese science fiction right now

The Three-Body Problem cover

Chinese science fiction, including the Hugo Award-winning novel, The Three-Body Problem, is breaking through in the West.

China is a rising power. China’s economy is the second largest in the world, after the United States’, as measured by gross domestic product. China is the most populous nation the world. The power of its leader, Xi Jinping, is now compared to Mao Zedong, the emperor-like founder of the modern Chinese state.

If you want to understand the Chinese mind, read its science fiction. It’s probably already in your Kindle, if not on your bookshelf.

Carbon Run cover

For a limited time, Carbon Run is available on Amazon Kindle for 99¢.

In 2015, Chinese writer Liu Cixin won the Hugo Award, the most prestigious award in science fiction literature. I read his novel The Three-Body Problem in translation by Ken Liu, himself a Hugo Award-winning author. The word “ambitious” does not begin to describe the novel, which opens with the Cultural Revolution, a bloody civil conflict of the 1960s defined by deadly purges of intellectuals and teenage Red Guards waving copies of Mao’s sayings. Thirty million people died.

In the midst of the paroxysm, astrophysicist Ye Wenjie loses her father to murderous radicals intent on eliminating Western ideas from China. She finds herself exiled internally after a Kalfka-esque charge, but her unique expertise gets her a job at a top secret communications base run by the People’s Liberation Army. She sends a message to an alien intelligence inviting them to Earth, because she knows they will destroy her species to save themselves. It’s an act of revenge. Continue reading