Archives for category: About Writing

10.18.17.3.ATHENA.IN.BOX_NEW

Crazy Chimera Lady
Athena’s Story
By Lisa Mason

“It’s now or never,” Thomas says as we breathe the scent of lavender perfuming our garden. “We should adopt another chimera. And soon.”

“Before we get too much older and have to worry about the chimera outliving you and me?” I sip my chilled chardonnay.

“Yes.” My husband contemplates his cabernet sauvignon. Thomas prefers red, I prefer white. In the two-hundred-forty-five chimera years of our marriage, we’ve never had a wine fight. We’ve both come to think about time in chimera years. It has made us feel closer to them. “And so? What do you think?”

Midnight after a productive day. I’ve woven half a tapestry commissioned by a wealthy coder. Thomas has carved a dozen gemstones for a day-trader who, despite her abrasive manners, always pays in full and on time.

“I don’t know.” I sigh. It’s been fifty-six long chimera years since Alana died at the age of a hundred-twenty-six. A good long life for an ivory-wing, a breed not known for longevity. Six chimera years earlier, Luna had died. We didn’t know Luna’s age when we adopted her from the animal shelter, but she was a blue-wing, which is a long-lived breed. She probably had been older than Alana.

After fourteen chimera years, the grief for my girls eventually subsided. Became a distant ache rather than tears streaming down my face while I slept. Now I’m not sure if I can watch another beloved chimera grow from clutchling to full-fledged to oldster and die. Which they do. Usually before we do.

“I’ve loved chimeras since I was a kid,” my husband argues. “My dad always had a clutch of seal-wings in the house. I want a chimera again, Susan, I really do.  Before it would be irresponsible of us to adopt.”

“We’re having this conversation now that we’re four-hundred-thirty-four chimera years old?” I joke. “Not when we were two-hundred-ten?”

“Yes.” Maybe Thomas is in such a serious mood because we’ve just executed our wills, powers of attorney, and all those other unfun documents that force you to contemplate your own mortality. That’s not something you do when you’re two-hundred-ten, either. “Now or never, for the rest of our lives.”

“Never, then,” I whisper.

He chooses to ignore that. “I wish you’d search the Web one more time.”

It’s not as if I haven’t. Though I’ve searched only for another ivory-wing like Alana—golden eyes, plumy white tail, white feathery wings. I’d found such an enchanted creature thirty-five chimera years ago. But she was—as her foster mom honestly admitted—a biter. My seal-wing, Sita, had been a biter. Blue-eyed and beautiful, with fawn-colored wings and paws, Sita had often made my life difficult. I was a university student at the time, then a graduate weaver looking for a husband. She’d left a scar on my left hand.

I couldn’t adopt a biter who looked just like my gentle Alana. That would have been too hard. I had to let that chimera go.

Going on Facebook hasn’t helped. Everyone, it seems, has a beloved domesticated chimera. Everyone posts adorable photos and videos. Chimeras snoozing in the sun. Chimeras leaping in and out of crates. Chimeras flapping happily in aviaries, fetching Frisbees. The big wild chimeras, in zoos and wildlife preserves, have their own photo opps, too. Frolicking with their clutchlings in grasslands. Soaring over mountaintops.

A Facebook friend, a lovely weaver in Australia, started posting photos of the silver-stripe clutchlings she’d rescued from a parking lot in Sidney, and I found myself straying into the pet supplies aisle at Whole Foods. Sure enough, the Whole Paws label offers high-quality canned chimera food and bagged kibbles with a low ash content. No soy, no corn, no grain, no dairy. Just whole ground rabbit fortified with B-6, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Rabbits—not fish, fowl, or deer—are a chimera’s food of choice in the wild. Rabbits are the reason farmers domesticated chimeras centuries ago and bred down their size. Which is fine with me. If you think rabbits are cute, you’ve never tried to grow vegetables. There’s nothing cute about ravenous lagomorphs gnawing your carrots and spinach into mulch.

I push back my patio chair, go inside to the computer. “If it’ll make you happy,” I tell Thomas, “I’ll search the Web now.”

“It’ll make me very happy,” my husband says and follows me.

I log on and navigate to the usual websites—Ebay, the Tri-County Society for the Protection of Chimeras, and Purebred Chimeras Rescue. Thomas stands behind my chair, leaning over the screen.

“Oh?” I click on an Ebay listing for a blue-eyed, blue-wing clutchling. “Damn! Her breeder is up in Redding. You must be kidding me.”

“What is that, a four-hour drive from Piedmont?”

“Try five, and that’s just one way. This won’t work. I can’t see ten hours on the freeway to adopt a chimera, no matter how sweet she looks.”

Thomas brings me my glass of wine. “Keep searching.”

Tri-County has hundreds of listings of the usual domesticated chimeras. Though they look appealing and desperately need homes, we can’t find a likely candidate. We’ve both spent our childhoods with seal-wings. For the last chimera we will probably ever own, we want an exotic.

I go to Purebred Chimeras Rescue. The website has three pages of promising exotics, but they’re all males. Ara, our flame-wing who died sixty-three chimera years ago, had been a wonderful male chimera, but he didn’t have that loving maternal instinct which, in my experience, all female chimeras possess. The last chimera we will ever own has to be a female.

Then there she is.

Baby Blue is a nine-month-old clutchling who was surrendered by an ailing, aging breeder to the San Jose SPOC. Purebred Chimeras Rescue took her from San Jose to their headquarters in Davis for registration, then to a vet in Salinas where she was de-wormed, given surgery under anesthetic to spay her, treated for fleas and lice, and given the full battery of vaccinations. From Salinas, PCR took her to Chimera Hill in Santa Cruz for adopting out.

“Born and bred in cages and carrying crates all her life,” Thomas says, “with a history like that.”

“Yes.” I frown. “They’re calling her a blue-wing mix, but look. She looks like a lilac-wing bred with an ivory-wing.”

“They must have named her Baby Blue on account of her eyes.”

Oh, her eyes! Her slanted, almond-shaped eyes are the color of a cloudless summer sky. Her description says she’s shy. Fearful of people. She struggles to escape when a human handles her. Possibly, the description says, she will be a problem chimera. A biter. A clawer. A potential killer.

You see that now and then on the Web. A chimera kills her human.

In the shelter’s four photos, Baby Blue looks shy and fearful and gorgeous. She looks like Luna and Alana miraculously combined into one chimera. A blue-eyed ivory-wing with a lilac face-mask, artistic patches of lilac on her silky white coat, silky white wings, and a plumy lilac tail.

My fingertips hesitate on the keyboard. “What do you think?”

“Fill out the application,” Thomas says. “Do it, Susan.”

“But a problem chimera?”

“She’s young. We can train her.” He adds, “She needs us.”

I feverishly navigate through the website. “You know, it will be a lot of extra work, caring for a chimera again. Just when our businesses are doing so well. Our careers transitioning into Act Two.”

I can picture who will take care of the chimera. Clean her eyes, trim her talons, floss her fangs, brush her coat, comb her wing feathers, feed her rabbit meat, change her drinking water, clean her litter box, take her out into the aviary, toss around chimera toys, ooh and aah.

That will be me.

Thomas looks at me. “I’ll take care of her, too. I promise.”

“It’s till death do us part. When she dies, we’ll be a whole lot closer to our own deaths. Are you prepared for that?”

“Absolutely. I’ll work harder than ever on the gemstones. Please, Susan.”

I click on “Apply.”

The application asks a lot of nosy questions. Are we married? Do we rent or own our home? Do we have children living there? How about other animals? Are we financially secure? What is our estimate of an acceptable veterinarian bill for medical services? Do we have heirs or other arrangements for the chimera if anything happens to us? Do we know how to train a chimera? What is our position on neutering, de-taloning, de-fanging, wing-clipping?

Neutering, yes. Everything else, no.

The application requires that we provide two local personal references and their phone numbers. It’s sobering and saddening to realize that, at four-hundred-thirty-four chimera years old, Thomas and I don’t have a lot of local references. Both my parents were only children; I don’t have aunts or uncles or cousins. Thomas himself is an only child. Friends have died or moved away. We’ve each run our independent businesses for a hundred-seventy-five chimera years, dealt with gallery owners and clients and agents, but don’t have business partners or employees. Thomas’ parents and step-parents died many chimera years ago, as have mine.

Thomas and I are kind of alone.

I understand, I suppose, about the personal references. Purebred Chimeras Rescue is serious about adopting out chimeras to legitimate people. Not to people who would adopt an exotic chimera, then resell her for three times the price. Or de-talon and de-fang and clip her wings. Or sell her to a research laboratory. Or sacrifice her in some satanic ritual.

I shudder to think of it.

We’ve got Stuart as a local reference. Stuart is my tech guy at General Computer Store who replaced the motherboard on my aging Dell. And we’ve got Franklin, a recluse who’s lived in our neighborhood for two-hundred-and-one chimera years. Franklin owns a hundred-forty-year-old blue-eyed blue-wing. This last March, he asked us to feed, water, medicate, and fly her while he went off on his annual hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We gladly did.

I electronically sign and send the application to Chimera Hill. “When I was at the university,” I tell Thomas, “I saw an ad for Sita in the Ann Arbor Gazette. I drove to a farm outside of town, handed over ten bucks, and left with my clutchling, fleas and all. No questions asked.”

“It’s a different world,” Thomas agrees.

The next morning a woman emails me. She identifies herself as Gwyneth from Chimera Hill, asks for my phone number and when is a good time to call for an interview.

An interview? Yes. She informs me that twelve other people have applied for Baby Blue. That we shouldn’t be too disappointed if we don’t get her.

“What?” I shout at Thomas. “We finally find a chimera who could be our last and they’re playing games?”

“Send her another email,” Thomas says. “Insist. You’re good at insisting.”

I send Gwyneth another email reiterating how much we want this chimera. I beg and plead. I send the Web address of my weaver’s website, which features two pages of Luna and Alana, two pages of my husband’s carved gemstones, and twenty pages of my award-winning tapestries. A photo of Thomas and me on our wedding day. A photo of me holding Alana in our kitchen. Her furry white arms wrapped lovingly around my shoulders, her plumy white tail curled around my waist, her white wings fluttering. Thomas took it, one of those once-in-a-lifetime photos you cherish forever.

Gwyneth calls exactly at three in the afternoon.

“So you were this hot-shot industrial weaver and you left it all to make art?” she begins. For someone who wants to adopt out a chimera for a hefty fee—two thousand dollars, cash or check, no credit cards—her tone sounds  a bit belligerent.

My story is no secret. I’ve laid out my checkered life on my webpage. “Yep,” I say amiably. “I love the craft of weaving. I just didn’t fit into an industrial setting.”

If she thought that I was going to pull an attitude, apparently she doesn’t think so anymore. “I know exactly what you mean,” she replies. “I’m an architect myself, but I didn’t like dealing with clients. Now I run a boarding facility for chimeras. Go figure.”

“Which is amazing,” I say and mean it. I looked up Chimera Hill on Facebook. Found photos of a clapboard house beneath a giant avocado tree. Gwyneth is expanding the house, constructing aviaries adjacent to the cages so the chimeras can stretch their wings in the sunlight. “Really amazing.”

She gives a little chimera-like trill. Quizzes me about my previous chimeras. Had Sita, the biter, been de-taloned? Yes, she had. Vets did that in those unenlightened days. Now they won’t because it’s cruel.

“Oh, some vets still de-talon,” Gwyneth snaps. “That’s probably why Sita became a biter. Talons are a chimera’s first defense in the wild.”

“That’s a good point. Extract the talons, and the chimera has to resort to her fangs.”

“Exactly.” Gwyneth sounds pleased. “Do you understand about chimera nutrition? You and your husband look like New-Agey types.”

She’s baiting me. “I totally understand. Chimeras are obligate carnivores.” I recently stumbled upon this term in a chimera magazine. I’m happy to trot it out now.

“Obligate carnivores,” Gwyneth echoes as if she’s never heard the term before, either, but will use it to good advantage with some other hapless interviewee in the future. “How do you feel about adopting a female chimera? Some people think they’re inferior to males.”

“Oh, no! We definitely want a female.”

“Okay.” A rustle of papers on her end. ”Just so you know, we’re keeping Baby Blue in a cage with two males. When the vet spayed her two weeks ago, she wasn’t pregnant.”

I don’t like the sound of that. I don’t want our chimera staying in that cage one more night. “I’ll come and get Baby Blue tomorrow.”

“I’ll pencil you in for Saturday.” Gwyneth is paying for the long-distance call but that doesn’t mean she’s allowed to bully me.

“Gwyneth, Saturday is the Fourth of July. Traffic will be hellish up to Santa Cruz. Drunk drivers?”

“Yeah, but tomorrow’s not good.” More rustling of papers. “Our reference checker has to teach class tomorrow. How about Thursday?”

Reference checker? They’re actually going to call Stuart and Franklin? “Thursday, it is. I will be there for my chimera and I will see you then.” I’m not taking no for an answer.

“I’ll email you directions. Is Thomas coming with you?” Her tone turns coy. “His gemstones are beautiful.”

So she has given our website a going-over. How many of the other twelve applicants have a website with two pages of chimera pictures? “Nope. Thomas will be taking the chimera tree out of storage. And the water bowls and food bowls and chimera toys. And staking up the aviary in the backyard. Our new chimera will be the heiress to the bounty of our chimeras past.”

“Wonderful,” she trills. “But I do hope Thomas will come. I’d love to meet him. He’s really cute.”

I smile. “Yes, he is.”

*   *   *

Chimeras have acute hearing. They are highly sensitive to sounds. Scientists have long suspected, but not definitively proven, that chimeras are also keenly attuned to human thoughts.

It has long been circulated in chimera-fanciers’ circles that properly naming your chimera—the sound and the significance of the name—can mean the difference between a problem chimera, a biter or a clawer or worse, and a loving, human-bonded chimera.

Thomas and I had taken turns naming our chimeras. I’d named my college seal-wing Sita from the heroine in the epic Hindu poem, The Ramayana. My childhood chimera had been a regal blue-eyed seal-wing named Rama, the hero of the same poem, a name my mother had carefully chosen.

Thomas inherited Sita when we married so he didn’t participate in her naming. But twenty-one chimera years later, he was placing a display of his carved gemstones in a Pacific Heights shop when a woman walked in with a homemade crate. It was the autumnal equinox, a drizzly evening. In the crate crouched a very scared flame-wing clutchling with bright turquoise eyes. The woman, Marilyn, was desperate to adopt the chimera out and told Thomas, “Pretty girl chimera, fifteen dollars?”

He bought the chimera on the spot. Called me at my industrial loom. “You won’t believe what just happened,” he said in a voice filled with so much joy, I thought he’d won the lottery.

He brought the chimera home to our apartment on Telegraph Hill. When we put the chimera in the bathtub with warm water and a bar of flea soap, we discovered the chimera was not as advertised.

“He’s got balls,” Thomas observed.

“That’s not a girl,” I concurred.

I thought Sita was going to kill that little male chimera. But she took him under her wing, he grew to twice her size, and he became her best friend and faithful companion during the long hours both of us were working away from home.

Since I’d named Sita, Thomas wanted to name the male chimera. And since we’d adopted him on the autumnal equinox, Thomas consulted our astronomy books. He named him Ara for a constellation in the southern hemisphere. The name suited his creamy golden fur and white wings striped with bright golden feathers.

When I won the grand prize in a weaving competition, we moved from San Francisco. It was difficult keeping two chimeras in an urban apartment without letting them fly outside. We relocated to the East Bay where we bought a Mediterranean house. There, at a hundred-nineteen chimera years, Sita quietly died. I quit the industrial weaver to set up my own loom at home and I missed having a girl chimera around. Ara was depressed.

I told Thomas, “We’ve got to adopt a female.”

We wound up adopting two. Newspaper ads brought us to the East Bay Society for the Protection of Chimeras, a facility on Hegenberger Road out by the airport. Thomas named the ivory-wing Alana, which means “darling” in Gaelic. I named the blue-wing Luna because she was, with her blue wings, blue paws, and big blue eyes, indisputably a Luna.

Now it is Thomas’ turn to name our new chimera.

*   *   *

Thursday morning we both pull ourselves out of bed two hours early. Restless and edgy. We haul the Sherpa carrying crate out of the basement, wash and dry the fluffy blanket on the bottom. We bought the Sherpa for Alana after she’d bloodied her pink nose trying to bite her way out of a conventional crate with metal bars on the door. The Sherpa is constructed of a tough mesh—no metal bars—and is open on all sides so the chimera can look out.

I dress in ivory-colored jeans and a matching jeans jacket, a lilac T-shirt, and an eight-carat amethyst at my throat. Chimeras are also sensitive to color. If you know the colors of the chimera you’re about to adopt, it’s a good idea to dress in those colors for your first meeting.

I study a road map and Gwyneth’s emailed directions. Since I’ve been weaving at home for a hundred-seventy-five chimera years and we can walk to everything in our neighborhood, I seldom drive anymore. Let alone on freeways. I’m so nervous, my hands are shaking. I can’t even drink a cup of coffee.

“Her name,” I tell Thomas. “We’ve got to decide.”

Baby Blue is an acceptable chimera name, but reminds us too much of the Bob Dylan tune, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” We don’t like the negativity. Maybe that’s why the chimera has behavioral issues. Thomas pores over our mythology books. I take out the name books. I suggest Aurora, which means “dawn,” Paloma, which means “dove,” Anastasia, which means “she who is reborn.”

Thomas chooses Athena, the goddess of civilization, of the arts and crafts. Athena is the goddess, with her staff and scroll, on the Great Seal of the State of California. Athena has a beautiful sound. Has significance.

Athena, it is.

Thomas carries the crate to the garage. He opens the passenger door to the van, pushes back the passenger seat, sets and straps the crate inside.

I buckle into the driver’s seat and I’m off. I pull out of the driveway. Our reclusive neighbor whose blue-wing we chimera-sat approaches the van in his usual skinny jogging clothes, an unusual smile on his face. I power the window down.

“You’re adopting a clutchling!”

“I’m on my way to Santa Cruz right now.” I pause. “Sorry to impose on you, Franklin.”

“Oh, no problem.” Franklin actually beams. “Chimera Hill had a private investigator call me. Believe me, I made you guys look good.”

Private investigator? Never mind. “We really, really thank you.”

“Any time.” He waves goodbye, strides off to his house. This is the longest, friendliest, most involved conversation I’ve had with Franklin in two-hundred-ten chimera years.

I head for Interstate 880.

*  *  *

Santa Cruz is seventy-five miles south of Piedmont. I give myself an hour and a half. Heavy traffic on 880 travels at the speed limit, then I take the turn-off onto Route 17.

Route 17 is the only way you can drive to the coastal town of Santa Cruz. The four-lane highway winds up and up and up through the Santa Cruz Mountains and is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m glad I had the oil and coolant checked when I topped off the tank yesterday. Half a dozen cars have pulled over on the shoulder, hoods propped up to cool over-heated engines.

Route 17 abruptly spills out into downtown Santa Cruz. I turn right at the second light, drive past a truck dealership, turn left on Lake Street. Drive up the hill and into the driveway of Number 365. There’s no sign announcing “Chimera Hill.” From the hard, suspicious eyes of the men in the truck dealership, I can understand why.

For every ten chimera-lovers, there is likely to be one chimera-hater. The haters can’t tolerate chimeras’ independence, their aloofness, their beauty, their sensuality. Their supernatural grace. Their sensitivity to sound, their uncanny understanding of humans’ unspoken thoughts. The haters want an obedient animal. An obvious animal. A trainable animal like a dragon.

I forcibly push from my memory the stories I’ve heard of human cruelty toward chimeras.

I park beneath the avocado tree, unstrap the carrying crate, and take it out. I lug the crate to the front door, press the doorbell. I can’t hear a chime inside. I press the button again.

The door flips open. “Anxious, are we?” says Gwyneth and ushers me inside. “Where’s Thomas?”

“Thomas is setting up our aviary in the backyard.”

“Oh, that’s right. Too bad. He’s so cute.”

I look around. The foyer is a shrine to the image of chimera. Posters and photos and line drawings. Mobiles and macramé plant hangers and pot holders. Dolls and puppets and statuettes. A huge fat black chimera—a live one—with cynical yellow eyes and black wings strolls over and sniffs my boots. Looks up at me and roars.

“That’s Fred,” Gwyneth says. “He works here. Come on in.”

I carry the crate into an office with a sturdy desk, computers, file cabinets, and a floor-to-ceiling shelf neatly filled with hundreds of cans of chimera food. A ten-gallon tub holds kibbles. A kitchen countertop and sink line the back wall, along with a GE fridge. A woman sits at the desk, typing. Another woman stands at the sink, sipping from a coffee cup. A third woman waits at a door with a frosted glass pane, as if standing guard. All three women wear the heavy suede long-sleeved shirts of chimera-handlers, heavy suede gloves, jeans, and thick knee-boots.

I hear the muffled roaring of chimeras behind the glass-paned door.

The woman at the desk looks up. Says wistfully, “Ah, Baby Blue. She’ll never be a lap chimera, but she’ll be all right.”

“Such a big heart,” the woman at the sink says. “Such a lovely life force.”

“We’re very glad you want to adopt her,” the woman at the glass door says.

I try not to read any sinister meaning in their comments. Set the crate down. I take out an envelope with the cash fee, hand it to Gwyneth. “That’s for you.”

She deliberately places the envelope on the desk, unopened. “First, let’s go meet Baby Blue.”

She speaks with a lisp I hadn’t noticed on the phone. Freckles dapple her face like the coat of a bengal-wing. Her curly auburn hair looks newly coiffed. She wears gold chimera earrings, a sleeveless black shift with a white chimera-print billowing over her belly. Her meaty arms are surprisingly well-muscled. She wears a gold chimera ring on the fourth finger of her left hand. Her long, manicured fingernails are polished hot pink. I can’t help but notice the top joint of her left little finger is missing. She’s shod her feet in low-heeled, black leather ankle boots. Her prosthetic Cheetah leg, her left leg, is bare beneath the shift.

It occurs to me she’s dressed up for me. Or maybe for Thomas.

She opens the glass-paned door and I step into a hall perhaps a quarter mile long lined on both sides with cages. Each cage, about the size of a walk-in master closet, has a floor-to-ceiling scratching post, nesting platforms at intervals up to the ten-foot ceiling, a bench and cushions below, food and water bowls, and a litter box. Torches light the hall with hospital-bright illumination. A spotless white linoleum floor reflects the glare. Architectural touches abound, clever little windows overlooking bird feeders outside and interior spaces with visual interest.

Each cage is inhabited by a chimera, sometimes two. I’ve never seen so many exotics in one place outside of a chimera show. Blue-wings, seal-wings, flame-wings, ivory-wings, silver stripes, golden stripes. Hundreds of jewel-bright eyes turn to me, shades of blue, orange, golden, and gimlet green.

As spacious and well-furnished as the cages are, far larger and more luxurious than the cages at the SPOC, a cage is still a cage. Chimeras despise confinement. Hundreds of eyes and raucous roars plead, “Let me out, let me out, let me out!”

Gwyneth hands me a stick with a plush-toy rabbit dangling off the end. Casually picks up a cattle prod, a shepherd’s crook, a stun gun, and a whip. She says with a wry smile, “Go and find her, honey.” She has a way of speaking to me without actually looking at me. For a moment, I wonder if she’s cross-eyed.

We walk down the hall. Gwyneth rattles off the names of every chimera. “That’s Raja, Joaquin, Sunny, Timothy, Whiska, Munchie, Harry, Pookster, Tiny, Sanchez, Pharaoh.”

I peer in the cages to the left and to the right. Some chimeras are curled up and sleeping on their nesting platforms. Others stretch their paws through the bars of the cages and bat at me, talons unsheathed. But I don’t see Baby Blue. I walk to the very end of the hall, examine the last cage to my right.

Then there she is.

That lilac face-mask, pink nose, slanted blue eyes. Her eyes meet mine the moment I see her. Meet and hold. I feel the same way I felt when I met Alana’s golden gaze from across the crowded habitat at the SPOC. Lightheaded. Flushed. Destined.

“There she is!” I reach through the cage bars, heedless of any danger.

Gwyneth unlatches the lock, swings the door open. “Go on in, honey.”

I step inside, sit on the bench. Whisper, “Are you my chimera?”

Baby Blue trills, bumps her head on my shoulder. She kneads her paws on my thighs in that mommy milk-dance clutchlings do, digging her talons in my jeans hard enough to draw blood.

“Problem chimera?” Gwyneth laughs. “Well, we’re happy to be wrong. Gloria,” she calls, “bring me the camera, honey. This is a Facebook moment.”

Gloria trots in and hands Gwyneth a camera and a file folder.

“You’re both so photogenic,” Gwyneth says, and shows me the digital picture.

A huge male flame-wing lazes on the nesting platform above me. Gwyneth reaches up with the shepherd’s crook and yanks his neck. He flaps out of the cage with a hiss. A second flame-wing with haughty sapphire eyes rouses himself from another nesting platform, blinks at the open door, and thumps down, scampering into the hall.

Gwyneth lashes the whip at the sapphire-eyed flame-wing, and he swipes at her and roars, fangs bared. I sit in the cage, stroking Baby Blue, semi-paralyzed with fear. Gwyneth leaves the cage door open and says, “Come with me, honey. We’ve got some things to go over.”

Baby Blue winds around my legs as I dutifully trail after Gwyneth back down the hall. She reads aloud three pages of information about my chimera. All the examinations and vaccinations she’s been given, her spaying and the anesthetic used, the antibiotic applied to her watery right eye. Then Gwyneth reads three more pages of legal disclosures, terms and conditions to which I must officially agree. No de-taloning, no de-fanging, no wing-clipping. No reselling for a profit or to a laboratory. Till death do us part.

While she drones on, I dangle the rabbit-on-a-stick and my chimera stands up full length on her hind legs, batting at it. She has startling spots of purple on her wrists and thighs. Thomas will be thrilled.

Gwyneth hands me a pen, I sign and date the contract, and she does the same. She tears off the top sheet and keeps it, slips the copy and the medical records in the folder, and hands everything to me.

“Gloria, honey,” she calls again, “you and Sharon need to come and give Baby Blue her last vaccination. It’s a two-person job,” she tells me with a tight smile.

Gloria and Sharon stride purposefully into the hall, seize my chimera, and carry her off to a clinic at the end of the hall. My chimera kicks and bites and screams. I suddenly understand why she doesn’t like to be handled. She’s learned that bad things happen to her when a human intervenes.

I turn, and the two huge flame-wings are stalking down the hall, wiggling their butts the way chimeras do when they’re after prey. Heading for me and Gwyneth with icy predators’ eyes. The rest of the chimeras are roaring and snarling, swiping paws with talons unsheathed through the bars of their cages.

“Get behind me, honey,” Gwyneth says.

I don’t get behind her, I cower. I glance around for a weapon, find a cattle prod. Better than nothing. I grip the prod in my fist.

“Hey, hey, ho!” Gwyneth shouts, snapping her whip, the stun gun gripped in her fist. As she edges down the hall, she limps on the prosthetic Cheetah leg. “Reginald, Leonardo, get back in your cage.” Little by little, she drives the flame-wings down the hall, clangs the cage door shut, latches the lock. Reginald snaps at her wrist, drawing blood.

Gwyneth turns to me, smiling. “You can take the chimera out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the chimera.”

“No kidding.” I show her the scar on my left hand.

“Why do you suppose,” I say, my voice a little shaky, “we humans want to keep creatures with one paw in the jungle in our homes?”

Gwyneth shrugs, sucks blood off her wrist. “Puts us in touch with some deep primeval need to nurture. To tame. To love unconditionally.”

“That’s love,” I say.

I take one last look at the gorgeous chimeras.

They roar at me, pleading, “Take me home, take me home, take me home!”

“We’re done here, honey.” Gwyneth lets me through the glass door into the office.

Gloria has taken the cash out of the envelope, proudly displays it on the desk. She and Sharon have wrestled my chimera into my carrying crate.

“Came in a plywood crate,” Sharon says approvingly, “leaving in a Sherpa. Nice.”

Fred strolls by and looks in, and Baby Blue gives him an outraged hiss.

“Wait, honey,” Gwyneth says, “I’ll give you some food to get her started.” She scoops kibbles from the bin into a zip-lock bag, writes the brand on a slip of paper.

I tuck the bag and the file folder in the storage pouch on the crate. I take her hands, gaze into her eyes. “Thank you for everything, Gwyneth.”

She isn’t cross-eyed, after all. She has beautiful emerald-green eyes like a silver-stripe. Eyes that hold a feral gleam. A passion. An obsession. “Here’s to our love of chimeras,” she says and squeezes my hands. “Come, I’ll help you to your van.”

Together we carry the crate outside. She holds the door open while I strap it into the front passenger seat. I shut the door, climb into the driver’s seat, power down the windows. The sun has risen to high noon since I’ve entered Chimera Hill. The air in my van is like the inside of an oven. I peel off my jacket.

“Have you got a towel to cover the crate?” she asks anxiously. “Chimeras don’t like strange sights. Close the windows when you go, honey, and turn on the air-conditioner. Chimeras don’t like strange smells.” She runs inside and out again with a frayed white towel, which she lays over the top of the crate. “Call Thomas and tell him to put her litter box and water bowl in a bathroom. You should keep her confined for a week until she feels safe. Chimeras need to feel safe.”

“Okay, Gwyneth. Bye-bye, Gwyneth.” I start the engine and my chimera starts roaring. That she’s in a luxury Sherpa crate doesn’t help. She desperately thrashes around and beats her wings.

My chimera screams her lungs out on the crawl-and-go down treacherous Route 17 from Santa Cruz. The fear and panic in her voice are hard to listen to. I hunch over the steering wheel, concentrating with every fiber of my being on staying alive and keeping the van safe. I sing “Hush, little baby, don’t you cry,” till I’m hoarse. The van is sweltering in spite of the air conditioning. Sweat pours down my face, stinging my eyes. My chimera pants in between roars, her pink tongue curling out from between her fangs.

Accidents litter the road—car hoods crumpled in half, jackknifed trucks, ambulance attendants loading bloodied people on gurneys. I remember the days when freeways were fast and fun. This is a nightmare.

After two and a half hours, I approach the exit to Piedmont. I’m so relieved, tears stream from my eyes. My chimera calms down. I pull into our driveway and Thomas strides out. He unstraps the crate, pulls it from the van. Together we carry the chimera inside.

“Gwyneth says we should confine her in a bathroom, but I don’t want to do that. Not after what she’s been through.”

“Absolutely not,” says Thomas and opens the crate. “Welcome home.”

The chimera climbs out. Her baby blue eyes meet mine, then she meets Thomas’ eyes. We open every door and she explores our whole house from the basement to the second floor, telling us the story of her life. She gallops down the halls, checks out our bedroom and the library, finds her food and water bowls, finds her litter box. She discovers the chimera door in the kitchen leading out to her aviary and flies back and forth, roaring with her new freedom.

“She’s gorgeous,” Thomas says. “You did good, Susan. I love her. And you.”

“I never want to drive on Route 17 again. I never want to drive on freeways again.”

“Go relax in the living room. I’ll pour you a glass of chardonnay.”

I kick off my boots, change my sweaty T-shirt and jeans for something clean. I pad bare-footed to the living room. Collapse on the couch.

The chimera leaps up beside me, sits warily on the cushions. Tail twitching. Talons unsheathed. Predator’s eyes glinting. A growl in her throat. Lips pulled back. Fangs bared.

Thomas sets down the wine glass. Grabs the whip, the cattle prod, the stun gun. But he waits.

The landline on the side table rings.

“I just wanted to make sure you and Baby Blue made it safely home, honey,” Gwyneth says on the phone. “The radio says there are accidents on 880 all the way from San Jose to Oakland.”

“We made it. Oh, and Gwyneth? We’re naming her Athena. You know, like the goddess of civilization?”

“That’s a beautiful name. It suits her. She’ll love it.” Gwyneth sighs. “It was meant to be.”

“Yep, that’s the bond of destiny.”

I turn to the chimera crouched beside me and whisper her name. The significant name. The special name we’ve chosen just for her. “Are you Athena?”

Fluttering her lilac wings, Athena climbs onto my lap and trills.

THE END

Copyright 2017 by Lisa Mason.
An independent enterprise and free-lance writer since 2001.
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From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

The Garden of Abracadabra (So refreshing….Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.” “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. SOON IN PRINT!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

 

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On July 2, 2015, I drove to Santa Cruz to adopt a nine-month-old Siamese-Angora kitten from Kitty Hill. Husband Tom Robinson and I had been catless since the death of our beloved Angora cat, Alana, in 2007. July 2015 was a life-changing experience in many ways, great and small. My decades-long relationship with a reclusive neighbor, for example, has forever changed for the better.

We now live with Athena, who is so beautiful, loving, super-smart, and funny, so much a part of our lives, that I can’t imagine not adopting her. But three years ago, I seriously questioned whether I wanted a cat again.

On Facebook, I set out the true-life experience of searching for a kitten, encountering several false starts and roadblocks, going to adopt her, my experience at Kitty Hill (a real boarding facility for cats in Santa Cruz), and the harrowing journey to and from Santa Cruz.

I was even influenced by Facebook friends who share my love of cats to make the decision to adopt a cat again..

My Friends on Facebook responded to the true-life story. As I set out the twists and turns of the true-life story, people were concerned. When I reached the story’s conclusion, people responded with, “Wow, what a story!” “What a beautiful story!” “I’m so glad things ended well, I was worried.” It was one of the most popular posts, in terms of people responding and commenting, I’ve ever had on Facebook.

With a genuine response like that, I was inspired to write the experience as a short fiction, notched a gentle fantasy level up. I wanted to expand on some issues.

Such as the decision to adopt a kitten (or a puppy) when you yourself are forty or older. Cats often live to be twenty years old these days. Will you be there for your beloved pet when he or she dies twenty years from now? Or will you die first? What then? Will your pet be put in a pound and euthanized because no one is there to take care of him or her?

For me, in true life, that was a heartfelt and heartrending question.

Next, I wanted to expand on the naming of our cat. Husband Tom, as an artist, and I, as a writer, are deeply interested in symbolism. We researched and discussed the naming of our kitten, and I covered that, too, in the short fiction.

Then there was the amazing experience I had at Kitty Hill and the amazing people who work there. I’ve never seen anything like it. There was the freeway drive. And my neighbor.

Life-changing.

I wrote the story and sent it around to half a dozen magazine markets that accept a piece of this length. But, though I’ve sold four stories so far in 2017, this story just didn’t connect with the editors, even though several are avowed cat lovers. One editor scolded me that nothing “horrific” happened and, worse, that the ending was a Happily Ever After.

The story is on submission to yet another magazine, but you know what? I’m weary of waiting.

So please accept this, my Thanksgiving gift to you. I’m pleased to present “Crazy Chimera Lady” by Lisa Mason. I hope you enjoy the story and welcome your comments. The story will be included in my forthcoming second story collection, Oddities.

No, nothing horrific happens. Yes, there is a Happily Ever After ending. There has to be. It’s Athena’s Story.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

The Garden of Abracadabra (So refreshing….Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.” “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. SOON IN PRINT!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

 

F&SF-9-17-small

Here is my interview with The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction regarding the story, “Riddle,” that appears in the September-October 2017 68th Anniversary issue. You may also view this online on the F&SF blog at https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/blog/2017/10/10/interview-lisa-mason-on-riddle/

Tell us a bit about “Riddle.”
As a writer and a reader, I’m much more interested in inner space than outer space. In stories about people living on society’s fringe than in starship captains or kings. In tales exploring consciousness, gender, and identity than in tales of derring-do, fisticuffs, and gun battles. (Though there are some fisticuffs in “Riddle.”)
I prefer tight, bold prose and try to achieve that effect in “Riddle.”

What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?
I have no idea—for once. This is one of the darkest stories I’ve ever written. I will say I wanted to set a supernatural story in my fascinating old neighborhood of North Beach in San Francisco.
“Riddle” is what bubbled out of my subconscious mind.

Was “Riddle” personal to you in any way? If so, how?
Oh, yes! I lived for some years in North Beach with my husband, Tom Robinson. Tom has degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute, the Academy of Art University, and the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. He’s a working artist, jeweler, and sculptor and at the time, he’d gotten the lease on a dream art studio.
The place was an entire flat above a belly dancing club in a Stick-Eastlake Victorian building on Broadway between Montgomery Street and Columbus Avenue. Twenty-foot ceilings, an entire wall of exposed brick, another of floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves.
Half a block west on Broadway is Enrico’s with its broad patio where, at three in the morning, we would see U2, Diana Ross, and Bill Cosby (yes, he was a foul-mouthed jerk even then). Two blocks down to Columbus and half a block up to the intersection of Grant Avenue and Vallejo Street is the Caffé Trieste, a coffeehouse situated at that location since 1956. The Beat poets congregated there—Philip Lamantia, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bob Kaufman, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs. Burroughs published science fiction in F&SF! Or at least his novel, Nova Express, was reviewed in F&SF in the 1960s.
I took Bruce Sterling to the Trieste when he was in town for the premier issue of Wired Magazine. Bruce was on the cover and a number of people were reading Wired when we walked in. Surreal!
[I neglected the add that Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay for “The Godfather” on a portable typewriter at a back table in the Trieste. I myself never saw him there, so that may be an urban legend, but husband Tom swears it is true.]
Around the corner was the Roma Caffé. I took Robert Silverberg there for pizza and Ellen Datlow for omelets on the back patio.
When you head two blocks down on Columbus Avenue, you’ll find Vesuvio, another gathering place for nearly sixty years. My favorite spot is the John Wilkes Booth on the mezzanine.
So North Beach is a very cool neighborhood. Coolness isn’t enough to drive a story, though. I needed a high concept. A supernatural high concept. I found that in “Riddle.”

Can you tell us about any of the research you may have done for this story?
Once I had my supernatural hook, I researched (plot spoiler alert!) sphinxes.
The classic legend tells of the sphinx in the desert who waylays travelers and poses a riddle. If a traveler can’t produce the answer, she kills and devours them.
Then Ulysses on his travels encountered the sphinx. She asked, “What walks on four legs at sunrise, two legs at noon, and three legs at sunset? When he correctly answered, “Man. As a baby he crawls on hands and knees. As an adult he walks on his own two legs. And as elderly, he walks with a cane.” Infuriated, the sphinx turned to stone and that’s what we see before the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
Greek and ancient Egyptian iconography portray the sphinx as a male animal—a man’s head and chest atop a lion’s body like the Great Sphinx at Giza. French sphinxes from the Louis the Fourteenth era, however, depict sphinxes as voluptuously female. (Leave it to the French!)
I knew I wanted my sphinx to be voluptuously, wickedly female.

What would you want a reader to take away from “Riddle?”
That love is complicated. Human consciousness is complicated. And life…you can’t be too sure about life. Fiction is meant to provide structure for our chaotic reality. I strove to make that point in “Anything For You,” published in the September-October 2016 F&SF. But sometimes fiction needs to point out the chaos.
I deliberately left an ambiguity at the story’s end, which I hope readers will ponder. If any reader wants to discuss this with me, I’ve got a Facebook Author Page and I’m on Goodreads. Come visit and we’ll talk!
What are you working on now?

I’ve just published a short novel, One Day in the Life of Alexa, with my ebook publisher, Bast Books, for the purpose of placing it in an international fiction competition with a 20,000 pound prize. So now the title is available as a brand-new beautiful trade paperback and as an ebook worldwide on Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The first review, on Goodreads, says, “Incorporates lively prose, past/present time jumps, and the consequences of longevity technology…An absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.” Another five star review on Amazon just got posted
Also, I’ve just re-released in print Summer of Love, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist, and The Gilded Age (originally titled The Golden Nineties), a New York Times Notable Book. This is an Author’s Preferred Edition set, with Tom Robinson’s beautiful covers. Both are feminist historical novels as well as extrapolations into the far future when women’s issues—and humanity’s issues—have taken a different turn. Those two books are as timely as ever and I’m very glad to republish them in print and as ebooks worldwide on all the retailers.

[IN PRINT UPDATE: My urban fantasy, The Garden of Abracadabra, has just been released in Print. That book is also an ebook on all the retailers worldwide.]
More of my backlist books will be forthcoming in print in the next several months. And another dark modern fantasy, “Aurelia,” is forthcoming in F&SF in 2018.
I’ve got an SF novel in the works and, always, more stories!
For more news about upcoming projects, print books, ebooks, stories, interviews, blogs, cute cat pictures, Tom’s bespoke art and jewelry, and more, please visit me at www.lisamason.com.

So there you have it, my friends.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon in Print at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! ORDER at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

It turns out that writing can be tricky business. You would think not, in these days of push-button churning out of words and push-button editing. But perhaps it is trickier than ever, now that we are wedded to a keyboard and not writing by hand in pen or pencil. Some writers—Jennifer Egan springs to mind—say they write first drafts by hand, then transfer the words to a computer. Others swear by read-throughs, which is always a good idea since then you can hear the sound of the language. When you are speaking spontaneously—not a rehearsed speech—you seldom think about your word choices. The words just flow. But when you write for publication, suddenly word choices become significant. And oddly, sometimes difficult to control.

You want to have a voice. You want to have a distinctive sound in your written work. See? That was a repetition. A deliberate repetition.

I’m talking about inadvertent, unconscious repetitions of words, usually distinctive words beyond the usual “but” and “and” that are only too easy to write and detract from the bold, precise language you want to use. A writer in a workshop I once participated in called it “writer’s echolalia.” I see it frequently in published fiction that has been analyzed by several pairs of professional eyes—the writer herself, an editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader.

Writer’s echolalia is tough! I have a wonderful copy editor at The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction who catches my inadvertent repetitions.  She is terrific! And often surprises me. Working with her on my stories to be published in that magazine has newly raised my consciousness about this issue.

[In 2015, I published two well-received stories in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, “Teardrop” in the May-June 2015 issue and “Tomorrow Is A Lovely Day,” in the November-December 2015 issue. These were both chosen by Gordon Van Gelder. I published “Anything For You,” in the September-October 2016 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This story was chosen by the new editor, C.C. Finlay. “Riddle” has been published in the September-October 2017 68th anniversary issue of F&SF, and “Aurelia,” will be published in the January-February 2018 issue. “Dangerous” will appear in Welcome to Dystopia, an anthology to be published by OR Books in early 2018.]

But even a lot of the pros can’t catch it.

The longer the manuscript, the more difficult it is to catch this stuff. It is often only when you boil things down for print publication, are down to the wire, need to blow through 130,000 words in a few days, not a few years—when you see those clean, shiny proofs ready to go off to the printer—that you can spot writer’s echolalia.

I recently had that privileged and unique experience preparing The Garden of Abracadabra for print publication. As I was up, burning the midnight oil, I noticed I had used the word “still” repeatedly.

I like bold, precise words, preferably monosyllabic, that get the job done. But it turns out that the word “still” has several different meanings and I had used it in all those meanings.

Still can mean “motionless”: “She stood in the darkness, silent and still.”

When I checked Webster’s Tenth, I discovered that “still” in this context can also mean “silent.” So that sentence has a redundancy. But to me, “still” connotes “motionless.” In the spooky library of The Garden of Abracadabra, the suit of armor stands “silent and still.” He’s quiet and also motionless—until he unexpectedly moves.

Still can also mean “nevertheless.” As in, “I was angry with him. Still, I wanted to talk to him.”

And “still” can mean that which remains the same. As in, “I loved him still.”

A good thing I hadn’t dreamed up a subplot with a demon at the apartment building brewing illegal moonshine in a distillery! I would have had yet a fourth use for “still.”

I globally searched for “still”—thank you, Microsoft Word for this invaluable function! Twenty percent of the usages of “still” were exactly as I wanted them. And got the job done boldly and precisely. But eighty percent of the “still” sentences could be rewritten to better effect. Which I did.

So there you have it, my friends. Watch out for writer’s echolalia when you’re polishing a manuscript!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! ORDER at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

6.20.17.SOL.BOOK.2.NEW

Why was I interested in writing about the 1960s in America?

The 1960s marked a huge, transitional time in American culture when lingering Victorian values finally yielded to the modern culture we know today. As such, it was a fascinating, dynamic historical period. Women were empowered in their reproductive rights as never before in all history by the technological advance of highly effective birth control pills, a development even more significant than women getting the vote in 1920. Patriarchy, bigotry, racism, homophobia, and misogyny were challenged as never before. This fundamental change in values brought many positive developments in people’s lives but, as with any far-reaching change, there were also negative ramifications. As a student of history, I wanted to explore these fascinating contradictions in fiction.

I took nearly three years to research and write Summer of Love. I set out to capture the sights, sounds, attitudes, and culture from the inside out. I started out with The Haight-Ashbury, A History by Charles Perry, a book he worked on for eight years. From there, I read every day of the San Francisco Chronicle from June 21, 1967 to September 4, 1967 on microfiche at the Santa Rosa Public Library (the only place in the Bay area where I could find such an archive). I acquired the gorgeous facsimile edition of The Oracle published by Regent Press and found a complete archive of The Berkeley Barb at the Berkeley Public Library. At Walden Pond Books, Bibliomania, and the now-vanished Holmes Book Company (all in Oakland) and Shakespeare & Company and Moe’s (both in Berkeley), I found rare books such as Lenore Kandel’s infamous Beat poem, Love Needs Care by Dr. David E. Smith who founded the Free Clinic, and Notes From Underground. I borrowed people’s home movies, studied Making Sense of the Sixties, which featured the famous Harry Reasoner clip (and yes, that is Starbright standing behind his right shoulder), and watched Star Trek episodes (no, I’m not a Trekkie, but that research was fun). I acquired Life and Time magazines for June through September, 1967 from online bookstores, as well as a privately published corporate history of Marinship for details on Ruby Maverick’s mother’s experience as a war worker (found that gem at a military books specialist in St. Louis). I spoke with, met, or corresponded with Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Katharine Kerr, Allen Ginsberg, and Allan Cohen. I even spoke by phone with the late Lenore Kandel, who graciously agreed to read the manuscript. She told me that the bus fare in 1967 was fifteen cents (not a quarter, as I’d thought) and that there was no Sausalito ferry operating in 1967. We shared a laugh over the fact that her brother wrote scripts for Star Trek (she  loved the Star Trek riffs). And, of course, since I live in the San Francisco Bay area, I visited locations. I visited the Haight-Ashbury, which remains remarkably unchanged (kind of like traveling back in time), and walked through the Portals of the Past in Golden Gate Park.

People assume I was THERE at the age of fourteen. That I’m Starbright. Nope, that didn’t happen. It’s all research and heartfelt imagination.

So happy this book is back in print! And as timely as ever!

What readers say:
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”
“My favourite SF book of all time, beautiful, cynical and completely involving….Unmissable!”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a wise and feisty half-black, half-white hip entrepreneur, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in American history.

The cover, hand-drawn by Tom Robinson, is styled to look like a 1960s psychedelic poster.

What the professional book reviewers say:

“Captures the moment perfectly and offers a tantalizing glimpse of its wonderful and terrible consequences.” San Francisco Chronicle

“A fine novel packed with vivid detail, colorful characters, and genuine insight.” Washington Post Book World

“Remarkable. . . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” Locus Magazine

“Mason has an astonishing gift. Her chief characters almost walk off the page. And the story is as significant as anyone could wish. This book will surely be on the prize ballots.” Analog

“A priority purchase.” Library Journal

5 stars From the Readers

Calling All Fans
Amazon Verified Purchase
‘Summer of Love is an important American literary contribution that may very well have a strong and viable fan base. Where are you? Join us!
This novel is loads of fun to read. The majority of the characters are hippies from the 1960s who meet a stranger from the future who’s looking to save his world. This fellow, Chiron, needs to find a troubled adolescent teen named Susan (a.k.a. Starbright) for a very compelling reason. The book has a great deal to offer: swift action, lovable characters, spiritual insight, and well-chosen primary documents such as essays, poems, and news articles which round out the reader’s understanding of the worldview of the novel.
I think Summer of Love has excellent potential for a wider audience. I hope it continues to enjoy a healthy amount of sales in the used books market on this site. I wish even more for it to be in wider circulation. Some books talk about the sixties. This novel IS the sixties, thanks to the spirit and scholarship of its author. And, as one reader aptly put it, ‘the sci-fi stuff is just plain off the hook.’ Get a copy. Most people who have read it seem to respect it and enjoy it every bit as much as I do.’

New Reader Review! “Just checked to see if this book was on Kindle. It has been many years since I’ve read it but I remember it as one of my very favorite books. Time to go back and re-read it!”

In 2010, the ebook revolution took the publishing business by storm, and I was able to get Summer of Love before new and long-time readers alike as an ebook.

Now, seven years later in 2017, the print book revolution is happening. You will find the PRINT BOOK today at https://www.createspace.com/7257603. The print book is listed on Amazon Print at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

So there you have it, my friends! Whether you’re a longtime reader or new, I hope you enjoy this classic!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Back in Print at https://www.createspace.com/7511748 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon in Print at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print Soon!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print Soon!.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. In Print in September

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. In Print in September

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. In Print in August or September.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. In Print in September.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

 

9.6.17.TGA.1

To research The Gilded Age, I found an entire library of books about the world during the 1890s, the United States, and San Francisco in particular. Several journalists in the 1930s and 1940s published detailed and lively accounts of the City before the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire all but demolished San Francisco. These accounts included such classics as The Barbary Coast, The Madams of San Francisco, and The Tongs of Chinatown. Accounts abound of the amazing Donaldina Cameron, who rescued slave girls from the tongs and who plays a pivotal role in my book. Fin de siècle San Francisco was already a tourist attraction in the 1890s, and I found an actual guidebook published in 1899.

But what about those telling details that make historical fiction come alive?

Novels of the period (by authors such as Frank Norris and Jack London) reveal much about personal attitudes. At the late, great The Holmes Book Company in Oakland I discovered recipe books by the famous chefs of 1890s San Francisco with delicious details about food and drink. I think my favorite resources are the facsimile editions of the Montgomery Ward and Sears & Roebuck catalogs. There I discovered a wealth of detail about clothing, popular books, harnesses and carriages, guns, sewing implements, patent medicines, wigs, smoking accoutrements, makeup, children’s toys, and more. Pure heaven for the historical researcher!

The biggest, juiciest treasure trove for The Gilded Age came in a bound volume of a newspaper, The Argonaut, for the entire years of 1896 and 1897. There I discovered such eye-openers as lady bicyclists and the scandals surrounding their attire (bloomers!) and how much the Spreckels sugar baron spent a year on cut flowers ($50,000). It’s hard to find that kind of delightful everyday detail in history books.

This just in from an Amazon.com reader
Buy It
By Uke Enthusiast
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of my favorite books. I am delighted it is back in print. A thoroughly entertaining time travel story supported by vivid characterizations and settings.

The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.

Zhu Wong, a prisoner in twenty-fifth century China, is given a choice–stand trial for murder or go on a risky time-travel project to the San Francisco of 1895 to rescue a slave girl and take her to safety. Charmed by the city’s opulent glamour, Zhu will discover the city’s darkest secrets. A fervent population control activist in a world of twelve billion people, she will become an indentured servant to the city’s most notorious madam. Fiercely disciplined, she will fall desperately in love with the troubled self-destructive heir to a fading fortune.

And when the careful plans of the Gilded Age Project start unraveling, Zhu will discover that her choices not only affect the future but mean the difference between her own life or death.

“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” The New York Times Book Review

“Graceful prose. . . .A complex and satisfying plot.” Library Journal

“Rollicking. . . .Dazzling.” Locus Magazine

“Should both leave the reader wanting more and solidify Mason’s position as one of the most interesting writers in science fiction.” Publisher’s Weekly

The cover, by San Francisco artist Tom Robinson, is styled to look like an 1890s billboard.

Now The Gilded Age is BACK IN PRINT! Order the beautiful trade paperback directly from the Printer at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

So there you have it, my friends. Bantam published this as The Golden Nineties. Yes, I changed the title. I think the new title is better. (Wish I’d thought of it in the first place….) This is the Author’s Preferred Print Edition.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon in Print at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

The Garden of Abracadabra (So refreshing….Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.” “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. IN PRINT THIS WEEK, IF ALL GOES WELL!

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. SOON IN PRINT!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

A Friend on Facebook posted a question: “How do you write a science fiction story?”

Dozens of people responded with things like, “After a shot of whiskey,” “After crying a lot,” “Slowly and painfully.”

I added my proverbial two cents, “They write themselves, of course.” But then I went on to describe how certain stories did come to be–and get published in magazines.

While the subject is on my mind, I’ll draft some blogs about the topic in the next week or so. I’m actually always curious how writers got inspired. And what research they did…..

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon in Print at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. SOON IN PRINT!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!