Volume 2 of the Something in the Water series arrives Tuesday, January 30!

Chapter I: Into the Woods [Foxtrot]

Chapter I: Into the Woods [Foxtrot]


For as long as there have been people, there have been legends. And as long as there have been legends, there have been rumors of demons and gods, of places where these creatures reside. Oh, you might say they are fictions, they are lies, but it is not so.

Why have we not found these places, then, you ask? Well, you see, the problem with these places is that we do not know where they are exactly. This is because they are anywhere and everywhere. If you listen to the voices of every land, then you will know that all people speak of these places, and you will know, then, that Demon Country must truly be everywhere.

One people tell of most often is the kitsune, the huli, the zorro, the renard—the fox demon. Oh, a tricksy, crafty beast, for certain. For as long as there have been foxes, there have been people to tell of these foxes and believe in their demonic forms.

Here, not far out of this sleepy little town, there is a great, deep woods. The road is desolate; it is not paved, but bumpy and rutted. People rarely travel on it, perhaps from town to town.

The countryfolk are like the folk in any other land; they speak of the lore. They say that deep in the woods, where men and women fear to tread, lies the land of the Kitsune no Youkai—the demon foxes. At night, travelers say that along this road you can hear the foxes barking, loudly, creeping closer and closer to your tent. They are not afraid.

Words Mean Things: “Erotica” vs. “Porn”

Words Mean Things: “Erotica” vs. “Porn”

I’m not really one for euphemisms. All too often, euphemisms lose people. You’re better to just be blunt about things. After all, the purpose of communication is to be clear and concise. If someone loses my meaning because I put it in a pretty package with a neat little bow on top, I’m not doing my job effectively.


Like what does this even mean?

So I don’t like the fact almost every sexually explicit book written for a primarily female audience gets billed as “erotica.” A lot of the works involved are essentially straight-up word-porn.
Why does it happen? Well, there’s a little bit of politics involved.
WordBird Tips: Nauseous vs. Nauseate

WordBird Tips: Nauseous vs. Nauseate

I’ll be upfront and honest: I’m not a grammar traditionalist in the slightest. I believe you should use commas and colons correctly, sure, but I’m not the kind of editor or writer who believes in artificial constructions like ensuring you never break an infinitive or rearranging a sentence so it doesn’t end with a preposition.


I definitely do not abide by the divide between “nauseate” and “nauseous.” The people who do are the people who read Strunk & White and take it as gospel, including all that nonsense about passive voice.

A nauseated pumpkin.

This pumpkin is nauseated, according to the photographer.

Most people these days use “nauseous” to describe a feeling. You might go to your doctor if you’ve been experiencing nausea and tell the good doctor you’re “nauseous.”


If your GP is a grammar purist, they will laugh. And laugh. And laugh.



Epilogue [Bad Spirits]

Epilogue [Bad Spirits]

Marina stood knee-deep in the snow, watching Ilya’s ghost brush the snow from his corpse. She watched the look of shock come over the apparition’s face. She’d hoped that, with Timmo gone, she’d been done dealing with monsters and spirits.

But Ilya had apparently followed them home. It had taken weeks for her to realize that the strange force knocking things over, occasionally blocking her doorway or even trapping her places, was actually a thing. It had taken her longer to see Ilya’s face, and longer still to hear the spirit speak – a whisper that she could only hear because she was listening for it.