Space Opera With a Twist

Category: Ghost Squadron (Page 1 of 2)

June Bugs

I can’t believe we’re four weeks away from 2021’s halfway point already. It seems like we were freezing and surrounded by deep snow only yesterday and here I am, in my daily summer getup of cargo shorts, t shirt and flip-flops, hair and beard trimmed to a warm weather buzz cut.

Progress on A Dark and Dirty War remains reasonably steady. I’m slowly creeping up on the 75% completion mark and during my downtime, I’ve been outlining the third Ghost Squadron adventure, Die Like the Rest.

In other news, my audiobook publisher, Tantor Media, will be issuing a boxed set of the first three Siobhan Dunmoore audiobooks at a considerable savings. If this boxed set sells well, they might even consider producing the remaining Dunmoore adventures in audiobook. Look for it on your favorite retailer’s website beginning June 29. Concurrently with this release and on the same day, I’ll be publishing the ebook version of those first three books as a virtual boxed set which will also sell at a discount compared to the cumulative price of the individual novels. Both audio and ebook boxed sets are up for pre-order on Kobo at the moment, with other retailers to follow. Find the ebook through this link:

And that’s the buzz around here on this third day of June, 2021. Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

Planning for 2021

Yes, I’m well aware that no plan survives contact with the enemy and that fate laughs at us puny humans planning for the future – nowadays more than ever. But here goes anyway.

The first item on the list is completing and publishing Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes. I’m past the one-third mark and progress is steady, but not as quick as I’d hoped, which means it’ll probably come out in February and not January. That always happens when I’m deep into world building and in this case, it’s intensive since the story concerns Lyonesse’s soon to be nemesis, the Wyvern Hegemony, which took a different path over the many generations since the empire’s collapse.

Then, I’m looking at the third Ghost Squadron and the third Constabulary Casefiles. I don’t know in which order I’ll work on them just yet but I have the high-level story concepts, and since I like playing with graphic design, I have the covers done up as well.

Finally, there might be a new Siobhan Dunmoore story fermenting in the back of my mind. I’m not sure yet, but there are stirrings. In any case, I have a cover idea already done up, though the title might change as the ideas take shape.

Four books in 2021? Not impossible, provided life doesn’t throw me any nasty surprises. After all, I managed three in 2020, and the first of those three took almost six months. And since we can’t travel to our usual destination over December and January, I’ll be here, at my desk, putting in productive writing time instead of pleading with underwater critters to pose for artistic photographs.

Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.


I just fired Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2) off to my editor. She’s cleared the decks for it, so I expect a quick turnaround. Perhaps I can give my Canadian readers a Thanksgiving treat. Or better yet, celebrate the sixth anniversary of my first book’s publication, which unleashed Zack Decker on an unsuspecting military scifi universe. That was October 9, 2014. I doubt my editor can turn Deadly Intent around fast enough for an October 9, 2020 publication date. She’s very meticulous and takes the time she needs to ensure a quality product. But just getting it out in October is enough for me. After all, Deadly Intent is Zack Decker and Hera Talyn’s ninth outing, even though they’re now supporting characters in a new ensemble cast rather than the leading stars.

With that, I will turn my attention on Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes tomorrow. I’ve already written half of the first chapter and I think I’ll enjoy this one. Writing about the Wyvern Hegemony’s twisted society, which fell into all the traps Lyonesse avoided, will make an interesting change. In humanity’s post-imperial era, they’re the bad guys, complete with pointy beards, assassinations, and a form of agonizer worse than any torture imaginable. And the Hegemony also plans on reuniting humanity. Fun, fun, fun.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy the riotous colors of our northern hemisphere autumn. Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

Another Ending

I just finished writing the last line of Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2) and I’m rather pleased with myself, although I suspect my editor might think that line a little too much. We’ll see. The story has a few surprises in store for Ghost Squadron and Decker’s War fans, and the action takes the Commonwealth one step closer to its demise. As a certain emperor once said, long ago in a galaxy far away, everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

My editor has cleared the decks for a first week of October start, so barring unforeseen circumstances, it’ll come out sometime after Canadian Thanksgiving (which, for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving at a time when it’s almost winter around here, is the second Monday in October.) Will I put it up for pre-order? Probably not. Stay tuned.

Peace, fellow humans.

A Day of Rest

Today is the first Monday of September, which means it’s the day when we celebrate work by not working. We Canadians call it, unironically, Labour Day. Our friends in the US celebrate it as well, although without the letter “u”. Around here, Labour Day is the unofficial end of summer, and considering how gray and windy it is today, we’ve reached autumn. Mind you, in recent days, I noticed that the quality of the sunlight was taking on that autumnal quality. I can’t quite explain what it looks like but the sky isn’t quite as deep blue and the sun isn’t quite as sunny as it was in early July.

But back to Labour Day. Those of us who scribble down random thoughts and form them into coherent adventures know no weekends, holidays, or idleness, so today isn’t any different for me. Finishing Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2) is within reach, as I well over the 90% mark. Four more chapters, that’s it. Which means I’m done by the end of this week. Heck, by pushing myself, I could theoretically finish by suppertime tomorrow. I already warned my editor she can expect the manuscript in early October, and then it’s on to the fourth Ashes of Empire story, which takes place in the dystopian, nightmarish remnants of the fallen empire, several generations after Imperial Night. As you’ll note when it comes out next year, the Wyvern Hegemony is Lyonesse’s dark and disturbing counterpart. I look forward to writing it.

Many readers have asked me whether there will be a new Siobhan Dunmoore adventure at some point. The possibility is there, since she still has a long career ahead of her, but I’ll need to come up with a good storyline, which isn’t obvious considering the war is over. Therefore I make no promises.

Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

Stand By

My editor has done her thing with A Colonial Murder (Constabulary Casefiles #2). It will now undergo proofreading, and should be ready to publish next week. The paperback cover, hardcover dust jacket and ebook cover are ready to go. I’ve not put it up for pre-order this time around because my schedule and my editor’s were a little more uncertain. But keep an eye on this space, or if you subscribe to my mailing list, your email inbox next week.

In other news, I’m two-thirds done writing Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2), meaning it’ll come out in October, and our new fence – very nice looking, by the way – is up. Since it’s made from PVC, that fence will outlast Mrs Thomson and me. The squirrels, on the other hand are finding its slick surface a pain after years of running along gently decaying wood. I’m not sure, but I think a few of them scolded me yesterday. I guess you can’t please all creatures great and small all the time.

Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

Welcome to August

The summer is already almost two-thirds over. And what a weird summer it’s been so far. Still, there’s more to come. Our twenty year old cedar fence, which remains standing mainly out of habit is coming down at the end of the month, replaced by a PVC fence that should outlast me. It’ll be an interesting week around the Casa de Thomson, followed by another interesting one 3-4 weeks later, when the house’s outside envelope finally gets replaced after almost fifty years – new siding, soffits, fascia, gutters and downspouts. That’s the upside of the travel ban: we can redirect our disposable funds to home renovations that were coming overdue.

Edited to add: Heh! No sooner did I publish this that the fencing company contacted me to see if we were ready for them tomorrow. That, friends, is 2020 in a nutshell: adapt and overcome. Our neighbours on one side are away on holidays. They’ll find the new fence in place when they return. Surprise, surprise!

In other news, my editor is still busily working on A Colonial Murder (Constabulary Casefiles #2). Initial feedback is good, which means I shouldn’t face much work in terms of finalizing it, so I think we’re still on track for a late August release date. In the meantime, Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2) is more than halfway written, so I think an October release date is feasible.

Finally, since humor is important, I leave this sign of the times for my fellow Army veterans, who’ll get the joke. Those who don’t can look up “Claymore Mine” on


Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans. Peace.


Happiness is a Warm Summer

And it’s finally here for us in the northern hemisphere. Happy summer solstice, everyone. And a happy winter solstice for those in the southern hemisphere.

I’ve just passed the halfway mark on the second Chief Superintendent Morrow case A Colonial Murder. It takes place shortly after events in We Dare (Ghost Squadron No. 1) on Mission Colony, which still suffers from the aftereffects of Decker and Talyn’s visit in Hard Strike. Of course, since this is Caelin Morrow, it’s not an ordinary internal affairs investigation, let alone a simple homicide. And since it takes place during the increasingly tumultuous years leading to the end of the Commonwealth and the rise of humanity’s first interstellar empire, you can be sure of darker motives and more violent players.

I’m also well advanced with the outline of the next Ashes of Empire story and am finalizing the story line for Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron No.2). It’ll be a busy summer here in the Casa de Thomson. At this point, I plan on writing Deadly Intent the moment A Colonial Murder is with my editor, simply because in the overall Commonwealth-Empire timeline, the events in the second Ghost Squadron adventure occur immediately after A Colonial Murder.

Stay healthy and stay safe, fellow humans. Peace.

Mid-Month, Mid-Book

It’s a windy, cold Saturday in February around here, with plenty of blowing snow, though thankfully not as cold as yesterday, when the house groaned and cracked as if possessed by poltergeists. Even my pickup truck, normally a stalwart machine, coughed a few times before starting. And if you’re wondering whether Mrs Thomson and I did something special for Valentine’s Day, the answer is no. We treat every day as Valentine’s Day. Yes, it sounds corny, but we’re like that.

I passed the 50% mark on “Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night” yesterday, and this morning, I finally added it to the Upcoming Books page on my official website:

If you want to see what perils are coming at Lyonesse, check it out. Or visit the Ashes of Empire page on this blog and scroll down. I’ve marked it as appearing in May 2020, but that could move up to late April. It’ll be available for pre-order a few weeks earlier on Amazon, Kobo, and Google Play.

I also designed the cover for “Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron No. 2)” and it’ll appear on the Upcoming Books page eventually. All in all, the last week was productive, though it’s about maintaining momentum. I know where Imperial Night is going. In fact, writing up the summary this morning cleared a few things in my mind, an ‘aha’ moment if you like. I always enjoy ‘aha’ moments, though Mrs Thomson doesn’t necessarily enjoy me going on about them non-stop.

And now to enjoy some time with my hobbies. I promised myself to take weekends off from writing, and so far, it’s been a struggle so I compromised. On Saturdays and Sundays, it’s a burst of model building in the basement, then while glue or paint dries, a burst of writing before going back to the model.

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