Ambassador 5 is out!


The next Ambassador book went live!

Read about it and get buy links here.

With the previous book, Coming Home, I finished the arc that I started at the end of book 2, involving the ancient ship. Blue Diamond Sky is a complete story, but at the end you will see that it leads into a bigger arc that I will spend the next few books exploring. We are going back to Earth. There is an election looming and things are looking dicey.

I am really enjoying the series. The characters are like friends to me and I know them very well.

My favourite character? There are a couple, actually.

Veyada, because he talks no bullshit.

Sheydu, because she talks no bullshit either, and because she is an older woman with a penchant for explosives.

Thayu, because Cory does not quite know the depths of her previous experience. He doesn’t really know what she did before she came to his household. He knows she has upper level spy training, but he doesn’t know what she did with it.

Asha, because he leads the most powerful army in the galaxy, because he finds Cory curiously interesting and toys with him like a cat with a mouse, giving him scraps of information or positions not normally available to outsiders to see what he will do with it.

More news!

I’m auditioning Ambassador 1 for audio production!


What’s coming up, Christmas giveaway and news

Ambassador 4 will probably head off to the editor within 2-3 weeks. It may be out before Christmas. I hope so, because for Christmas, I’m going to give away a signed copy of the book with Tom Edward’s awesome cover, shipped to anywhere in the world. And I’ll add a Christmas card.

The trick? To enter, you need to be on my awesome “Beast” mailing list (self-evident in the window in the right-hand column of this page).

When I finish this book, I will start on the final book in the For Queen And Country series, The Necromancer’s Daughter. In this book we can expect some fireworks as all leaders of the countries come together at Johanna’s invitation, including the magician Kylian.

Coming Home signals a pause in the Ambassador series, where a good number of threads will be resolved, many of which have been kept hanging over the past two books. Book 5 in the Ambassador series will be Blue Diamond Sky.

As Cory takes a well-earned rest and finally submits to proper weapons training, he and a couple of people from his household take a hunting trip in the marshland between Barresh and the turquoise sea. A bad storm has come through recently and on the shore of a tiny uninhabited island, Cory finds something Earthly that doesn’t belong there: a message in a bottle. A piece of plastic with HELP scratched on it with a sharp object. In Isla.

Cory has a list of all humans in Barresh: it’s very short and no one is missing. A few days later, he receives a weird message through official channels, from a woman on Earth whose rich businessman husband went on a trip of a lifetime “in a place where you can surf with plesiosaurs in turquoise waves”.

Cory knows the guy advertising the trip. He’s a shady character. He also knows where the “plesiosaurs” are. They’re not particularly friendly. Not to mention that the area is on the land of a viciously territorial Pengali tribe.

It looks like he’ll be using his new weapons skills sooner than he expected.

What’s coming up, Christmas giveaway and news was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Ambassador 3 will be out soon and what is next?

Sahara conspiracy Ambassador3

Ambassador 3: Changing Fate

Status: edits have been completed. To be published very soon. Register here to be notified.

Fifty thousand years ago, a meteorite hit the planet Asto, giving its Aghyrian inhabitants mere days of notice. Three ships escaped the Armageddon. Two went to the neighbouring planet. The third, a massive generation ship, refused to take on refugees, and then vanished without a trace.

It’s coming back.

Its initial burst of communication caused the outage of the Exchange, the FTL network for transport and communication, but since then the ship has been silent. It jumps about at random, using wormholes it generates with a drive the likes of which no one has seen before.

Meanwhile at the gamra assembly, people jostle to be in the best positions when it inevitably turns up in inhabited space. What the ship wants or whether there is anyone on board no one knows, but diplomat Cory Wilson knows one thing: when it turns up, he must avoid a conflict at all cost.

If only gamra  presented a united viewpoint. If only Asto’s  army wasn’t keen to get involved. If only the Aghyrians at gamra didn’t do what they do best: manipulate and play games with everyone. While the ship approaches, the delegates bicker, and the time for negotiating and peace is fast running out.

For Queen And Country 4: Fire Wizard

Status: I’ve started writing this and it is my next priority. ETA March/April.

Johanna and Roald  and the others return to Saardam pretending to be peasants and farmers going to market. They find a town badly scarred and whatever citizens have survived are too scared to stand up to Alexandre  the fire wizard. It is thought that he burnt down the town because he wanted to eradicate the Church of the Triune  which forbids magic and denies that it exists. But things are not quite as simple as that.

The Sahara Conspiracy: an Ambassador story

Status: apparently, this is a thing, and I have written a few thousand words. I’ve always wanted to write a novella or short novel about things that happen on Earth after book 1 ends, during the election campaign. This will be one of the background projects that will simmer until I feel a strong urge to finish it.

Very rough blurb:

Two hundred years ago the planet Asto was highly overpopulated and the inhabitants, the Coldi people, planned a large colony in Earth’s Sahara Desert. The revelation of these plans nearly brought about a war.

Now, in the 23rd century, humans and Coldi have buried their disagreements. The plan for the colony is dead, isn’t it? Well, not quite, discovers diplomat Cory Wilson when he is urgently called into President Danziger’s office.

Someone has been using very similar designed facilities for training private militias in Ethiopia. While not in the Sahara, Ethiopia’s Afar region is the hottest place on Earth, and most people have fled the salt-ridden wasteland years ago. The troops are likely to be Coldi. They’re in the employ of the African war lords, and fight with off-world weaponry in many of the world’s nasty conflicts.

Danziger’s order to “get rid of these idiots” is every bit as dangerous as it sounds. And that is before Asto’s enormous and secretive military becomes involved.

Note: the cover is very rough, too.

And Their Ilk

Status: no pretty cover. Maybe mentioning it here will actually make me finish this urban fantasy tale. It’s a tale about contemporary Sydney, about corruption and murder and property developers, with some magical animals thrown in.

In the leafy and gentile suburbs of Sydney’s North Shore, a war is waged.

The Night Ilk, who are human at daytime and who change into creatures of the night–bats, possums, frogmouths–have fallen out with the Day Ilk–the ibises, the kookaburras, the magpies, the currawongs–who change into people at night.

Because the Day Ilk hold the den, the Night Ilk need to establish a new home. They have little money, but there is nothing Mr. Fixit Mikhail Andressan can’t bribe from councils. Until he makes a bad deal.

Freelance journalist Bindi Winslow stumbles by accident into the world of festering corruption, politics and crime when looking for her brother. Getting him out of that world is another matter, never mind getting him out of it alive.

Ambassador 4: Coming Home

I will start this after I finish Fire Wizard, and it will assume priority at that time.


Ambassador 3 will be out soon and what is next? was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Sale: novel Ambassador to Ticonderoga Publications

It is now official!

I can now announce that Ticonderoga Publications will publish my novel Ambassador in 2013. I’m very happy about this. It’s hands down the book I’ve had most fun writing, ever.

If you’ve read The Far Horizon, you will recognise the character of Cory Wilson, who is now an adult, and has just taken on a rubber stamp diplomatic job that suddenly takes on a huge importance after an act of terrorism. The story involves politics and intrigue, both alien and earthly, dangerous cultural differences and a young diplomat in the middle of an ugly dispute, doing his best to avoid an armed confrontation.

If someone would ask me to name a well-known similar title, I would say the Miles Vorkosigan series, except there are aliens. Ironically, I’d read none of the McMaster Bujold books before I finished this book.

Keep track of this by following my Facebook page

Blog tour and freebie

The open-ended blog tour I have planned for much of February has kicked off.

You can find me here:

Blog tour.

Day 1: At the blog of community activist Alan Kerlin, one of the very valuable people I met at the NASA Tweetup, about the relationship between SF and ‘real’ science

Day 2: At the blog of local writer/publisher/editor Monissa Whitely, about names in SFF

Also, a reminder that Watcher’s Web is still enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program and is free today

Tommorrow, I’ll be at the blog of NZ crime writer Cat Connor, and on Monday, I will feature on this blog and interview with Claire Corbett, the author of When We Had Wings. If you’d like to take part in this cross-pollination fest, leave a message here or elsewhere in cyberspace.