Archives for posts with tag: The Official Lisa Mason Website

2.25.19.BURGER_NEW

Monday is moon day, and we like to eat something round, like the moon, today. Husband Tom Robinson and I have long been students of symbols, use them often in his art and my art and writing. Burgers are round like the full moon, so it’s Burger Monday. Vegetarian spicy black bean burgers, that is.

I do eat fish and, every four months or so, turkey, but am otherwise vegetarian. Tom is completely vegetarian, though he does eat dairy and eggs so he isn’t vegan.

I highly recommend Morningstar Farm’s meat substitutes. We especially like the Spicy Black Bean Burgers, Vegetarian Sausage Patties, Vegetarian Sausage Links, and Vegetarian Bacon Strips. The Vegetarian Corn Dogs are good for a quick meal.

They’re “meaty” without trying to taste like meat. That is, the protein is solidly good, derived from soy protein, fat-free milk, and fat-free egg whites. They’re fortified with vitamin B-12, an essential nutrient you can only get from animal sources.

In another thread about another topic on Facebook, a friend remarked that she never understood meat substitutes. If you’ve decided not to eat meat, she asked, why eat some substitute that reminds of you meat?

As I stated, the MS products taste satisfyingly “meaty” without trying to be meat. I became a vegetarian when I went away to college at 18, left my mother’s meat-centric kitchen, and could choose my own food. I read Diet for a Small Planet, which was first published in (I think) 1971. In those days, Morningstar Farms wasn’t even around and, for protein, I was over-reliant on dairy, to which I have a slight allergy. So I’m really grateful for the MS products.

But I wanted to address the rest of the question.

Please note I’m not trying to preach to you or convert you. People especially resent lectures on diet. Go ahead and eat whatever you want. I’ve got a roundtable on my website discussing nutrition at Keep Fit, Keep Writing: A Roundtable with Kevin J. Anderson, Lisa Mason, and Linda Nagata (Part 2: Chow Down!) http://www.lisamason.com/fitnessblog2.html But I wanted to explicate my position on this issue.

Nutrition: MS meat subs generally have a third of the calories of the equivalent meat serving. Also, they have 70% less overall fat, just a trace of saturated fat (the rest is mono or poly) and zero cholesterol. That’s important to me.

Fiber: The MS meat subs have great fiber. Meat has none.

Protein: The MS meat subs have great protein. As Diet for a Small Planet points out, meat has less usable protein than people think. Using complementary combinations of plant foods, you can achieve usable protein equal to meat.

Ethics: I’m at peace with the fact that no cow (or pig or lamb or chicken) had to die for us to be nourished tonight. I’m not at peace with the butchering of animals.

Green: The raising and slaughtering of animals for human food is one of the most polluting businesses on the planet. Huge portions of the South American rainforest have been destroyed to raise cattle for the fast-food franchise beef burgers. If you want to be green (or more green), stop eating meat. Or cut way down.

Personal History: My father was addicted to beef. He also ate pork, lamb, veal, bacon, chicken and the like, but beef was his first choice virtually every day. He was a little pudgy around the middle, but by no means obese or even really fat. He still had color in his hair, hardly any gray. He was looking into joining a computer start-up in San Diego; he was a math genius and fascinated with computers. Since I’d become a vegetarian at 18, I begged him to cut down the beef, but he refused. The last I saw him, he and my mother had come to visit me in San Francisco. We went out to a traditional Japanese restaurant. Tom had a vegetarian dish, I had fish, my mother had chicken, and Dad had the only beef dish on the menu. It was my last dinner with him. He and Mom drove off to the airport to fly back to Cleveland. I never saw him again. He had his first and last cardiac arrest shortly after that. He was sixty, and the sunshine of my life. I was thirty. The autopsy indicated he had arteriosclerosis, a condition directly associated with too much consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. He’d also been exhibiting clear symptoms of colon cancer, a condition directly associated with eating too much red meat.

So there you have it. Happy Burger Monday!

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-of-love-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1104160569.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gilded-age-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1106038566.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-of-abracadabra-lisa-mason/1108093507

Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/198435602X or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arachne-lisa-mason/1000035633.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide 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 at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984356941 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cyberweb-lisa-mason/1001932064

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 world wide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-ladies-lisa-mason/1115861322.

One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Shaken (in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) 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 (in Fifth Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror) 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 (in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn) 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 (in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible) 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 (In Active Development at Universal Pictures) 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 (in Full Spectrum 5) 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 (Five Stars!) 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 would like to receive Lisa Mason’s quarterly newsletter, New Book News, please respond by email to lisasmason@aol.com, enter “Add Me” on the subject line, and it shall be done. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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!

Advertisements

12.27.17.JAN.FEB.FANDSF

Here we go, my interview with Stephen Mazur for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction regarding my story “Aurelia” in the January-February, 2018 issue. You can also find the interview online at http://www.lisamason.com/aureliainterview.html and at https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/blog/2018/01/22/interview-lisa-mason-on-aurelia// If you’re a SFWA member, the story should be on the website for your free download. And please consider the work for the Nebulas!

Tell us a bit about “Aurelia.”
I call “Aurelia” my Alfred Hitchcock story. Great wealth, a troubled marriage, a mysterious, possibly psychologically challenged wife, a fabulous but spooky mansion, a murder mystery. If Hitchcock’s film “Vertigo” had supernatural elements—and I wish it did!—that would approach my vision for the story.
I’ve always been fascinated by stories that present the supernatural from a psychological point of view. “My Dear Emily” by Joanna Russ springs to mind. I’m particularly fascinated by the chapter in The Unicorn Tapestry, by Suzy McKee Charnas, which is told from the point-of-view of a psychotherapist who has been asked to counsel Dr. Edward Weyland, a faculty member and professor at her college who has acquired a reputation for being mentally unsound. At first, Weyland resists her therapy, then he begins to describe what sounds like an extreme urban lifestyle. It is revealed, finally, that these are his hunting habits in New York City and he is a vampire.
I wanted Aurelia to be a mystery, perhaps psychological, perhaps not.

What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?
There is an incredible Mediterranean mansion in the Sausalito hills named Villa Aurelia, which I had an opportunity to tour at length. I was so inspired by the house that I looked up the name and discovered that “aurelia” derives from the Latin “aureus”, meaning golden. The word describes a chrysalis, deriving from the Greek for golden, the final pre-adult stage in the life cycle of a butterfly, in particular certain nymphalid butterflies. The chrysalis is decorated with fine gilt features.
Aurelia, in her human incarnation, is like a chrysalis before she manifests as a full-blown, supernatural, blood-drinking—plot spoiler omitted!
Robert refers to her villa as a golden cocoon. He senses that the house itself has supernatural power.
Coincidentally, I happened to be reading an anthology of vampire stories that included the E.T.A. Hoffman classic “Aurelia”. I’d never encountered the story before, which is not a typical vampire story. There, too, the Big Reveal of the wife’s true nature is the whole point of the story.

How do you view Robert, the protagonist of your story? Is he sympathetic or does he get his just desserts?
Oh, he’s an SOB. But he’s a charming and witty SOB with whom you’d like to go to your favorite Italian restaurant and drink a lot of merlot. At thirty, he’s totally cynical about love and marriage and already promiscuous. He’s hardworking but he carefully considers whether his conduct as an attorney is unethical, how he can avoid getting into trouble, and does it anyway.
He’s loyal to his best friend Trevor, to the law firm they work for. And he sincerely loves Aurelia and supports her “right to be different.”
However! Aurelia has bespelled Robert right from the start. She’s sensed him from afar, sought him out. He senses her presence watching him before he even meets her. She proceeds to make him her human servant.
Plenty of supernatural entities require human servants to negotiate their way in the human world, people the supernatural entity doesn’t kill or transform into their own kind. Dracula has a human servant, Renfield, who is driven mad.
So even though Aurelia seems as if she’s been taken advantage of by Robert, in fact she’s the one in control. His activities in the human world are of no interest to her. She needs him to take care of the house, of her, and provide her with progeny. Which he does.
So it feels as if he’s gotten his just desserts. But for me, Robert’s end is tragic, the inevitable, inexorable result of him discovering the truth about Aurelia.

What did you learn for this story that you did not already know, if anything?
I researched butterflies, how they undergo amazing physical transformations in their lifetimes, what they eat—not only pollen from blossoms! How they use scents to attract mates and repel enemies, and relentlessly pursue procreation. Some females mate with multiple males to ensure they conceive. Some lay multiple eggs, some species a single egg.
Aurelia chooses Robert because of his strong reproductive urge. As a human servant to a supernatural entity, he realizes he’s become a sex addict in the human world. He’s not happy about that. He senses that his addiction stems from Aurelia’s bespellment.
Aurelia doesn’t care—she needs his urge toward her in order to produce the daughter she needs to continue her supernatural line.
Also, in terms of research, I wasn’t that familiar with E.T.A. Hoffman’s body of dark Victorian fantasy beyond his story, “Aurelia.” I learned about his other classic story, “The Nutcracker.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
Riddle” in the September-October 2017 68th Anniversary issue of F&SF and now “Aurelia” in the January-February 2018 issue have started a mini-trend for me of dark modern fantasy. I mostly write science fiction and modern fantasy. In both of those F&SF stories, I plumbed some depth of darkness in myself—to my surprise.
Then I realized I’d written another dark modern fantasy, “Felicitas,” that fits right in with this mini-trend. The story also presents a supernatural female monster and her troubles with men and sex.
Felicitas” is written entirely from the supernatural entity’s point-of-view and was published in Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion (Carroll & Graf), edited by the late Janet Berliner, who was the president of Horror Writers of America at the time. I republished the story in Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, my collection of previously published short SFF fiction. You will find the ebook on all the retailers. As of December 2017, you will also find the book in print at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/. Enjoy!

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-of-love-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1104160569.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gilded-age-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1106038566.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-of-abracadabra-lisa-mason/1108093507

Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/198435602X or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arachne-lisa-mason/1000035633.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide 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 at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984356941 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cyberweb-lisa-mason/1001932064

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 world wide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-ladies-lisa-mason/1115861322.

One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Shaken (in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) 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 (in Fifth Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror) 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 (in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn) 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 (in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible) 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 (In Active Development at Universal Pictures) 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 (in Full Spectrum 5) 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 (Five Stars!) 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 would like to receive Lisa Mason’s quarterly newsletter, New Book News, please respond by email to lisasmason@aol.com, enter “Add Me” on the subject line, and it shall be done. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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!

4.29.18.MAY.FANDSF

Tell us a bit about “The Bicycle Whisperer.”

The title references the 1995 novel, The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans and the story’s plot evokes some of the novel’s essentials. A girl and her beloved horse are severely injured in an accident. The injuries aren’t just physical, but also emotional. In a desperate attempt to heal girl and horse, the girl’s mother takes her on an arduous cross-country trip in search of a man with an uncanny sympathy with horses, especially damaged horses. A horse whisperer. He helps heal both the girl and the horse and reconciles horse with rider.

Readers and reviewers have responded emotionally to “The Bicycle Whisperer”, some disturbed by the end, some finding the story sad, some believing the forgiveness. I’m just glad people are responding emotionally. Emotions are what fiction is all about, even science fiction.

What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

I was pushing a shopping cart out of the grocery store when I noticed a teenager wandering around the parking lot. He was hitting up shoppers for money. They ignored or shunned him. He had that confused, despondent look of someone who had just been kicked out of the house or fled from there, for his own reasons.

I put my groceries in the car and rummaged around in the glove compartment. I almost never carry cash these days! I found only a crumpled dollar, approached him, and offered it. I said, “Promise me you won’t spend this on drugs.” He gratefully took the dollar and said, “I promise.” I said, “Are you going to be okay?” He gave me a sunny smile and said, “Sure.” And it was like looking down into his soul.

When I drove away, imagining what his life was like, the Lone Rangerette stepped out of the shadows and said, “Forget about him, you are going to write about me!” “The Bicycle Whisperer” is as much her story as Shimano Stella’s and Simon’s. With luck and work, the Lone Rangerette, her sentient bicycle Scout Regalia, and her mobile AI Tekto may have their own YA novel in a year or so.

Was “The Bicycle Whisperer” personal to you in any way? If so, how?

I’m fascinated by people’s propensity to anthropomorphize everything. From the love we lavish on our pets (I’m a crazy cat lover myself) to attachments people form to inanimate objects. I had a college friend who was inordinately attached to his beat-up Chevy. He’d gone through several unhappy romantic relationships, but his car—he called her “Clementine”—stayed with him through thick and thin. Just the other day, a reader posted on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/lisa.mason.7393264), saying how much he appreciated the story and that he seriously loved his bicycle from 1974 when he was in college in Austin, Texas. And he referred to his bicycle as “she.”

I’ve enjoyed the sentient car stories recently published in F&SF so I was inspired to write about a sentient bicycle and her troubles. It’s not so far of a stretch to imagine how emotionally attached people could become to AI. Would AI have emotions, too? By definition not, but it’s fun to imagine that they would.

What are you working on now?

More stories, always! The YA mentioned above, set in a gritty near-future. A high-concept SF novel. And an urban fantasy. I’m even revisiting a concept I filed in the to-do box, involving a woman detective in 1960s San Francisco. The latter is not fantasy or science fiction, but I enjoy mysteries and should probably write at least one.

Anything else you’d like to add?

As always, people can visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for my newly reissued trade paperback books, ebooks, interviews, blogs, adorable cat pictures, and my husband Tom Robinson’s bespoke art, mobiles, and jewelry. My latest novella, published in trade paperback and as an ebook, is One Day in the Life of Alexa, and has been well received with five-star reviews.

So there you have it, my friends! The May-June issue will be on the newsstands for only two more weeks. Look for it!

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-of-love-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1104160569.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gilded-age-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1106038566.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-of-abracadabra-lisa-mason/1108093507

Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/198435602X or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arachne-lisa-mason/1000035633.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide 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 at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984356941 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cyberweb-lisa-mason/1001932064

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 world wide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-ladies-lisa-mason/1115861322.

One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598.

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 worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken (in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) 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 (in Fifth Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror) 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 (in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn) 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 (in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible) 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 (In Active Development at Universal Pictures) 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 (in Full Spectrum 5) 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 (Five Stars!) 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 would like to receive Lisa Mason’s quarterly newsletter, New Book News, please respond by email to lisasmason@aol.com, enter “Add Me” on the subject line, and it shall be done. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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!

 

Emma J for Joy Pearce is at her editorial offices on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco when the long-dreaded next Great Earthquake devastates the Bay area.

Amid horrific destruction, she rescues a man trapped in the rubble. In the heat of survival, she swiftly bonds with him, causing her to question her marriage to her long-time boyfriend.

But Jason Gibb is not the charming photojournalist he pretends to be. As Emma discovers his true identity, his mission in the city, and the dark secrets behind the catastrophe, she finds the choices she makes may mean the difference between her own life or death.

SHAKEN is an ebook adaptation (and major expansion into short novel form) of Deus Ex Machina, published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in the anthology Transcendental Tales From Asimov’s (Donning Press), and translated and republished in magazines worldwide.

A list of Sources is included in the ebook.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

SHAKEN, a sexy Thriller, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Shaken is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

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, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, 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, on Wikipedia, 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!

The Garden of Abracadabra

Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Abracadabra” is a real magical spell formulated by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago. Originally invoked to cure mortal diseases, the spell has since been employed as the enabling word to cause the result of a magical operation. The spell can only be used to create good results, never evil (see E.A. Wallis Budge, Lewis Spence, and others) and is so powerful everyone in the world has heard of the word.

A Bast Book

Copyright 2012–2014 by Lisa Mason.

Cover art, interior art, and logo copyright 2010–2012 by Tom Robinson.

All rights reserved.

Serial 9: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series Lisa Mason

4

Before I can take one step toward the great destiny I burn to claim as mine–wham!–the door bangs open and a funnel cloud whirls out.

I duck behind Hi-Ho Silver and peer through the windows. What the hell?

The eerie, greenish cloud twirls across the roundabout, a miniature twister the size of a child blasting dust, gravel, and dry leaves from its meandering path. Leafy streamers of the willow oaks sweep back like green hair on a bevy of tree ladies.

The blast tips my Mustang onto two wheels, fore and aft, nearly overturning twenty-five hundred pounds of aerodynamic style on my head. I shove my shoulder against the driver’s side door and push with all the strength weightlifting has buffed me up with. As if that’ll do any good. I clutch the side-view mirror with my right hand, shield my eyes from flying debris with my left.

Now a dog–a barrel-chested, long-limbed, smooth-coated black beast the size of a Shetland pony–lopes out and leaps at the funnel cloud, barking, snarling, snapping tyrannosaurus fangs.

I recognize the breed: Great Dane. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. I just don’t trust a leaping, snarling dog the size of a Shetland pony. I consider climbing in my Mustang, then dismiss that idea. What if Hi-Ho Silver overturns with me trapped inside?

Now a scowling woman strides out after dog and storm. She wears black jeans like a second skin, an embroidered peasant blouse, and high heels of a red patent-leather so shiny the shoes sparkle. A mane of silver-streaked sable spills to her waist. She brandishes a mason jar and the screw-top lid.

I recognize the label at once: 365 Organic Pasta Sauce. My sauce of choice. A sauce I’ve driven ten miles from Buckeye Heights to Oakley Falls for because Buckeye Heights, to its shame, has no Whole Foods.

Well, all right! We’ve got something in common, this fierce lady and me, and I’ve learned a vitally important statistic about my new neighborhood. Somewhere–closer than ten miles, I’m hoping–a Whole Foods eagerly awaits my swipe of Aunt MasterCard.

“Senor, get down,” the woman commands, but the beast keeps leaping and snarling and snapping. She shouts, “SENOR, GET DOWN. SIT! OR NO PARTY FOR YOU TONIGHT.”

The Great Dane meekly drops on his haunches, doggy adoration for his mistress shining in his big, brown eyes. A tongue the size of a dish towel lolls between the fangs. Senor wears a red cotton paisley kerchief and the hefty silver chain-links of a serious choke collar. Which, I’m guessing, is de rigueur canine attire in Berkeley.

The woman shakes her finger at the funnel cloud and holds up the jar. “Get back in there, you little shit.”

The funnel cloud playfully circles the roundabout, stirring up another blast of dust, gravel, and dry leaves.

The woman chases after it, tapping the jar with her long, scarlet fingernail. Tap tap, tappety, tap tap tap. “Dorothy Gale, don’t make me tell you twice.”

It’s a spell, has to be, the tapping of her fingernail. I want to jump in the jar myself.

The funnel cloud whirls up to the mouth of the jar and shudders, whirls away and whirls back. Then dives in, tornadic apex first.

Talk about a tempest in a teapot. I mean, a pasta sauce jar.

The woman claps on the lid and screws it tight. She shakes her finger at the imprisoned funnel cloud, which spits angry little bolts of lightning. “Now you behave.”

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments, beginning with The Garden of Abracadabra, 1: Life’s Journey.

Coming soon! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series.

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. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website, 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!

The Garden of Abracadabra

Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Abracadabra” is a real magical spell formulated by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago. Originally invoked to cure mortal diseases, the spell has since been employed as the enabling word to cause the result of a magical operation. The spell can only be used to create good results, never evil (see E.A. Wallis Budge, Lewis Spence, and others) and is so powerful everyone in the world has heard of the word.

A Bast Book

Copyright 2012–2014 by Lisa Mason.

Cover art, interior art, and logo copyright 2010–2012 by Tom Robinson.

All rights reserved.

Serial 8: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series Lisa Mason

3

University is a boulevard of eight hectic lanes, traversing the tiny town of Berkeley eastbound and west. A polyglot of enterprise holds court along the curbs. I spy Smokey’s Eatery featuring Bear and Waffles. Through the wide front window of Kali Copy Center, I glimpse a blue woman whirling, her dozen arms feeding doctoral theses into a dozen steaming copiers. Salaam’s Emporium purveys Carpets: Persian, Indian, Floating & Flying. Merlin’s of Berkeley offers alchemist’s supplies: Alembics, Catalytic Reformers, Orreries, Retorts, Homunculi Guaranteed or Your Money Back!

Tattooed skateboarders cruise by in the bike lane, baseball caps bill backwards and sweatshirts with the slogan: I DON’T KNOW AND NEITHER DO YOU.

Turning at University onto Oxford, mindful of a herd of Priuses stampeding silently up the eastbound lanes, I fetch from the glove box a printout of the ad I found on craigslist:

GREAT JOB IN BERKELEY   NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY

FLEXIBLE HOURS   APARTMENT PROVIDED   SALARY NEGOTIABLE

APPLY IN PERSON ANYTIME

Hmm. A job too good to be true? Perfect for a working student like me returning to college, facing her first course load?

So what’s the catch?

I scan the printout for directions: South on Oxford. Cross the intersection at Bancroft. Continue on to Fulton.

I hear bells as resonant as church chimes tolling the hour of six in the P.M. Above the soaring dark foliage of eucalyptus and pines, beyond the flat rooftop of Wheeler Auditorium, stands the source of the sound: the famous Campanile. At the top of the Venetian-style bell tower a soft golden beacon beams through the twilight stealing over the eastern hills.

Below the Campanile cluster turreted gothic buildings of luminous dark brick, and my heart leaps into my throat. The Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts! I recognize the distinctive profile of the towers from the web site. How I long to go and learn there! If only things work out!

A left on Dwight Way takes me up a block from quaint shops and mom-and-pop businesses to a residential neighborhood of well-worn houses and apartment buildings. A right on Hillegass, a left on Derby, then a sharp right onto Mirage Way.

It’s a slip of a street, an alley really, overgrown on either side with gnarled old oaks and spreading elms. Crooked sidewalks lead past the ragged rock gardens of vintage brown-shingled craftsman houses. The streetlights have yet to turn on, and shadows play hide-and-seek with sunset’s rosy glow.

The perfume of magic infuses the evening air: the scent of red roses and some sort of sweet spice. I hear the jangle of a wind chime, the mew of a cat.

Hi-Ho Silver and I cruise slowly now, searching for the address. There it is, the number stenciled on the curb in iridescent white paint: Seven Mirage Way.

A cobblestone driveway angles up from the street to an apartment building set back in a grove of willow oaks. I cruise through the welcoming wrought-iron arms of an ornate gate, pull onto a roundabout bordered by manicured boxwoods and lacy fan palms. A fountain drizzles water over marble angels poised above a pool. Amber lamps atop wrought-iron lampposts glow on, lighting the roundabout in gossamer gold.

I turn off the ignition, pull the parking brake, climb out and stretch, savoring the restorative crackle of my travel-weary joints. “Good car.” I pat the little chrome galloping mustang next to the door. The mustang tosses his tiny chrome head and snorts.

Then I catch my breath.

I’ve never seen any place like it!

Five stories of Mediterranean magnificence rise before my eyes. Andalusian windows punctuate peach stucco walls, the sills and the eaves meticulously trimmed in ivory and teal. Half-moons of terra-cotta tiles adorn the gambrel roof. A forest of stonework chimneys promises cosy fireplaces inside.

Two lions stand guard on either side of a glorious door, each with his paw raised up, his jaw agape in a silent marble roar. Inlaid in the cobblestones, a bronze plaque engraved with a cipher sets out a powerful spell conceived by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago:

A B R A C A D A B R A

A B R A C A D A B R

A B R A C A D A B

A B R A C A D A

A B R A C A D

A B R A C A

A B R A C

A B R A

A B R

A B

A

A richly ornamented arch soars over the carved oak of the door. As I gaze up in sunset’s last glow, I see chiseled deep in the arch the name of the place:

THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments, beginning with The Garden of Abracadabra, 1: Life’s Journey.

Coming soon! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series.

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. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website, 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!

No comment.

Seriously, if you have the time and inclination to follow this latest crisis in publishing, you only need to Google the title above to find ten thousand opinions and renditions of it.

One of the most absurd developments is multi-billion-dollar corporations soliciting the support of the people typically lowest and most powerless on their totem power—the Authors.

“What?” you say. “Aren’t writers the source of the content for both these corporations? Without authors, would they have any business to run?”

That’s right. But unless you as an author become like Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins, you are one of thousands to a traditional publisher. Meaning, as I’ve detailed in this Blog Series and in the Crunching the Numbers Blog Series, They Don’t Care.

And Amazon? Amazon—and Smashwords, less so Barnes and Noble—has always been pro-author, especially independent authors. I, among many, am grateful for the opportunity to revitalize my backlist, find new readers, and even develop new projects without the interference of literary agents and editors.

One positive development in the dispute? Sensitive to the charge that Amazon offers “pre-orders” to traditional publishers but not to independent publishers, Amazon has just this week introduced a “pre-order” functionality for independent publishers and authors. (That’s another topic. Smashwords offers pre-orders, too.  I haven’t had a new title since the strategy became available, so I don’t have experience with it yet. When I do, I’ll let you know how it works and whether it works.)

If Amazon engages in business practices that Hatchett and its authors disapprove of, we can all come to our judgment about that. I personally have no business with Hatchett at the moment.

One issue that Amazon has pursued in the litigation is that Hatchett charges too much for its e-books. Amazon has sounded a call for lower ebook prices from traditional publishers.

I strenuously object. That independent publishers and authors can offer ebooks at prices much lower than traditional publishers is our one main competitive advantage. I can offer you a quality acclaimed work like Summer of Love for $ 7.99 instead of $ 14.99. I applaud Hatchett charging $ 14.99 and up for its ebooks. Go for it.

I’ve been personally solicited to sign petitions by both corporations and have declined to participate in either.

So there you have it, my friends. What authors have to say will mostly likely amount to little, if nothing. Stay informed, but don’t lose any sleep over this dispute.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

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, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, 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, at Sony, 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!