This series follows the adventures of Marla Mason, an ass-kicking sorcerer who doesn’t wear a leather catsuit, doesn’t suffer from low self-esteem, doesn’t wallow in angst, and is almost always absolutely certain she’s right… even when she’s dead wrong.
It’s got monsters. It’s got sarcasm. It’s got death, destruction, sex parties, ancient gods, wisecracks, artifacts, oracles, dark alleys, and magical daggers. Come and see.
You may order the books using the links to the left. Some of the later novels are available to read for free, as noted below.
Each novel tells a complete standalone story — though consequences from the events of one book are often seen in the following volume, and it’s probably most satisfying to read them in order.
(Be advised: the descriptions below inevitably contain minor spoilers. If you wish to have your mind entirely unsullied by foreknowledge, don’t read.)
Blood Engines introduces Marla as she travels to San Francisco in search of powerful magic necessary to save her home city of Felport, which she’s sworn to protect. When she arrives, she discovers an old friend has been murdered in Golden Gate Park. She decides to investigate (and/or seek vengeance), and uncovers a dark plot to raise an ancient god in a ritual fueled by the blood of San Francisco’s greatest sorcerers. Also, there are lots and lots of poisonous frogs.
Poison Sleep begins when a dangerous psychic escapes from the Blackwing Institute for mentally ill sorcerers — people who are dangers to themselves, others, and the fabric of reality — and threatens Marla’s beloved Felport. Marla has to face off against a king of nightmares… and contend with the romantic interest of a man who is supernaturally attractive and not necessarily to be trusted.
Dead Reign pits Marla against her greatest foe yet: the god of Death. Marla owns a precious artifact that Death wants for himself, and he’s not above holding her entire city hostage until Marla agrees to hand it over. Anyone sensible would just give in… but Marla’s got a stubborn streak and a fundamental refusal to quit. The book features trains to the underworld and the revivified mummy of John Wilkes Booth, among other things.
Spell Games introduces Marla’s brother Jason, a charismatic con man with a major scam in mind. He just needs Marla to do him a little favor, and he’ll be set for life. How can a sister refuse? Includes weird mushroom magic.
In Broken Mirrors (free to read at the link) Marla takes desperate steps to bring a beloved friend back from the dead. As a consequence, she fractures the structure of reality itself, and is forced to confront her counterpart from a parallel universe: an implacable tyrant known as The Mason, corrupted by a cursed magical cloak and devoted to the elimination of all life in general… and Marla in particular.
In Grim Tides (free to read at the link), Marla is on a vacation of sorts in the Hawai’ian islands, recovering from her ordeal in the previous volume. But her enemies have been waiting for a moment of weakness, and they assemble a team of assassins and villains led by the notorious chaos witch Elsie Jarrow to get rid of Marla once and for all.
Bride of Death finished a successful Kickstarter fundraiser in March 2013, and will be published by the end of the year (ideally in the fall). Marla comes to grips with some major changes in her life, and decides to go on a road trip and kill a lot of monsters. Except nothing’s ever quite that simple.
Bone Shop (free to read at the link) is a prequel short novel about Marla’s origins and her rise to power in Felport. While it can be read any time, it is particularly effective when read after Dead Reign, as it sheds new light on some events in that novel.
There are various short stories available for 99 cents in e-book formats too, with story notes included with each one. (If you live overseas where these are more expensive, or just don’t want to use Amazon or B&N, you can send me $1 via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what story you want, and whether you want .epub or .mobi format, and I’ll send you the file.)
“Haruspex,” the first Marla story I ever wrote. It’s rather more brutal and humorless than later stories, and not quiet canon, but I’m still fond of it.
Amazon.com | BN.com link to come
“Shark’s Teeth,” the latest Marla story (chronologically speaking), which takes place after the events of Broken Mirrors. Marla meets a shark god in Hawai’i and agrees to help him get back his stolen teeth.
Amazon.com | BN.com link to come