Vampires in This Corner of the Universe?

I had occasion to re-read the first book in the This Corner of the Universe series recently, as it was selected as the monthly (June) indie read in a Goodreads group I follow to discover new books. About two-thirds through the book, it occurred to me I should probably cite the military reference to vampires used in the book. Here’s an example:

Fifteen seconds after Heskan’s caution, the call came. Time lag had worked against Anelace, allowing the first pair of missiles to cover over half the distance between them and come within 41ls before her crew was even aware of their launch. “Vampires!” cried Truesworth, using the archaic warning for incoming missiles. “They’re second-gen Interceptor-B types judging by the emissions and flight characteristics.” The stress in Truesworth’s voice was apparent.

In the military, a call of “VAMPIRE” is a shortcut used for any hostile anti-ship missile.

It’s one of many multiservice tactical brevity codes, meant to convey critical information quickly. “Vampire” doesn’t designate the specific type of missile (e.g., it can be coming from an air, submarine or surface launch). It’s just a fast way to get everyone on the bridge (and beyond) to focus on an immediate threat.

Posted in Military History | Tagged , , ,

The Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale is On (with 2 TCOTU books too!)

Smashwords is a distribution platform used by many independent authors to spread their works, myself included.  Every July the site holds a “Summer/Winter Sale” that is not to miss.  For a full month, thousands of Smashwords authors and publishers will offer readers exclusive deep discounts on tens of thousands of ebooks. Discount levels are 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (FREE).

This year I’ve enrolled two of my books, which happen to be the earliest and latest books I’ve written.  Below are the links to This Corner of the Universe and Chasing Blue Dots on the Smashwords site.  Happy Reading!

A mysterious woman throws an intense space traffic controller off balance, but it just may be what he needs to get to happily ever after.

50% off with coupon code for July on Smashwords!



Alone in the Skathi system with an unseen enemy, Captain Heskan’s first command could be his last.

FREE with coupon code for July on Smashwords!


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Soundtracks to Scenes and Books

Perhaps a lot of writers do this, but there are some scenes that as I write them or rewrite them, a song pops in my head. From that point forward, every time I hear that song, I think of the corresponding scene. Occasionally, a song will just remind me of a whole book, either matching in tone or forever tied to a memorable lyric. If I’m lucky, in the middle of edits I’ve got a song I can play for inspiration that invariably makes the scene better.

For example, I can’t hear Linkin Park’s “What I’ve Done” without thinking of Scorched. The lead character in that book, call her Missy or Kallista or Kat, has quite a past. The tone of What I’ve Done and the lyrics fit her predicament perfectly:

I’ll face myself to cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

I also think the song has a bit of a dystopian or darkly urban vibe, which also fits the book.

On the other hand, many of the songs I associate with specific scenes in my military scifi books are instrumental. If you watch TV, you’ve probably heard music by Two Steps From Hell. Their work has been featured in ads for blockbuster movies as well as commercials. They are a great source of inspiration for starship battle scenes or poignant life-or-death situations.

Even their titles fit: Victory, Heart of Courage,… there’s even a track called “Blackheart,” a name that might mean something to those who have read This Corner of the Universe.

Posted in Just For Fun | Tagged , , , ,