Fandom Guest Post: Hauntingly Entertaining!

With Halloween right around the corner, is there a better way to get in the spirit of ghosts and ghouls than The Haunted Walk of Ottawa? Grab your lantern – let’s go for a walk.

You may not know it, but we live in city which offers amazingly rich history filled with scandal, scariness, and intrigue! We are even more fortunate that there is a business to tell these stories in such an engaging and vivid way. The Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa is a 90 minute tour, led by lantern light to some of Ottawa’s well known haunted spots, including: the Bytown Museum, the Fairmont Château Laurier and Ottawa’s haunted high school.

Since this was our first time taking one of their tours, we opted for the ‘Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa’. Louie, our tour guide, was fantastic; he related the tales with confidence and flair and kept the entire ninety minutes intriguing. I’m fairly used to ghostly tales and can be somewhat jaded, however, with the combination of the locations and the stories, the story telling was truly goose bump inducing. A few of the younger participants even seemed genuinely creeped out. The tour was not all serious the entire time; the walk was spiced up with occasional stabs at humour which also kept things interesting. The outing was a great way to share some history, campfire tales and get a wonderful tour of a truly beautiful city.

Image result for haunted walk of ottawa
Image from The Haunted Walk of Ottawa.

I will admit, before we started I was unsure if this tour really was for me. I’m not particularly superstitious and paranormal stories had never previously caught my full attention. The Haunted Walk has now changed that for me. The combined atmosphere of being on location and the expertise of the tour guide make it an exciting experience for anyone involved.

If you are looking for something to bring you straight into the Halloween spirit or you have never experienced The Haunted Walk – we highly recommend that you enjoy one of their tours (before it gets too cold!).

Dylan McEvoy is a writer for Ottawa’s very own The Nerd is the Word (website, Facebook, Twitter). The Nerd is the Word is a fantastic place to catch up on nerdy news, indie spotlights, reviews, and local events! Follow them and bookmark their website for more awesome content.

Wargrave Island (Serial Story) Part 10

List of Characters | Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

A cold wind blew into the kitchen, waking up Riko who’d tried hard to stay awake but failed. It was no surprise she’d been exhausted and working on adrenaline, which wasn’t sustainable. Sandrine, Blane, Zane, and Kate were all unconscious on the floor, the bottles of tequila laying empty between them.

The breeze carried the scent of fresh air that comes the day after a rain storm. The breeze reminded Riko of her summers camping. Wait… where was the breeze coming from?

Pulling out her gun, Riko stood, looking over the metal island they’d overturned the night before. The door to the dining room was open and two large barrels had been placed in the middle of the dining room. There was something with wires on top of it.

“Guys wake up!” Riko yelled. The others drowsily started to wake. “BOMB!”

The other four woke up quickly after that. “What? Really?” Sandrine sounded annoyed more than worried as she lifted Kate into her wheelchair.

They left by the kitchen’s back door, and starting running over the smooth field towards the forest that was behind the hotel. They almost made it to the treeline when their cellphones rang. As they rang, an explosion rocked the hotel. Gouts of flame erupted from the roof in multiple places.

It took a few seconds for the shock wave of heat and debris to reach them. Riko turned to look at the explosion and barely had time to see a piece of glass, the size of a butter knife, flying towards her. She tried to move out of its way, but it embedded itself into her right forearm.

It took all her self control to not rip it out of the arm.

“Holy shit,” Zane turned white then green as he rushed to a bush to puke.

Blane was much calmer and came up to her saying, “Don’t touch it. Let me look.” He held her arm still and looked at it.

Shooting flames of pain raced up her arm as he poked and prodded at it.

“Can you flex your hand?” She could but it hurt like crazy. “I don’t think it hit an artery. We should get it out but without bandages or antiseptic I really don’t want to.” He ripped a piece of his shirt off and wrapped it around the glass and her arm. She knew it was to prevent it from moving and causing more damage. “There was a first aid kit in the boathouse.”

“That’s on the other side of the flaming building,” Kate said sounding exasperated and winded. “It might be a flat field but it’s not exactly easy.”

“I know this is what people say in horror movies when I stop watching, but we should split up,” Blane said.

“She needs to be patched up,” Zane agreed, after wiping his mouth.

“I’ll stay with Kate,” Sandrine offered.

“Me too,” added Zane. “We’ll head to the garage and look for gas to burn the rest of this place down.”

Blane looked like he was going to argue but instead he leaned over and pecked Zane on the lips. He said, “Don’t die,” and turned around towards the burning house.

“Are you sure?” asked Riko as they walked towards the path that would lead them by the burning house and to the boathouse. “I could get the kit and bring it back.”

“No. I’m not letting you go alone when there’s a psycho out there.” Seeing her raised eyebrow, he continued, “I wouldn’t let anyone go alone and I won’t let anyone else die.”

They walked in paranoid silence expecting every breeze or rustle to be the killer. “You really don’t think it’s Ethan do you?” asked Blane.

“No. I’ve worked with him for years and he’s been fair, almost to a fault. He wouldn’t just start to kill people.” She didn’t sound convinced even to herself.

“At this point I really don’t care who. I mostly want to know why.”

“I don’t know. It must have something to do with high school.”

“Do you think it’s something to do with the grad party? It keeps coming back up,” Blane sighed.

The two of them stopped and at the same time said, “Kingsley.”

Riko continued with, “She hated us for that night and not inviting her. This seems a little excessive.”

“Unless we wiped out their entire family, any motive would seem excessive.”

The boathouse was filled with gardening tools and boat paraphernalia. An old motor was on a cart in the corner with its propellers in the air.

The first aid kit was on the wall and Blane pulled it off, quickly taking things out. Riko turned her head away, not wanting to see what he did.

When he said, “This will hurt.” She braced herself and tried not to clench her arm. The pain was blinding and caused a roaring in her ears.

Her vision cleared but the roaring didn’t. The engine across the boathouse had turned on and was slowly moving towards them. She reached, with her good arm, for the gun, but she jarred her bad one and dropped the gun.

Blane finished wrapping her arm, took a rake and pushed the engine into the water. It sputtered and sunk.

“Where did you get a gun?” Blane asked.

“It was Ethan’s,” she replied and told him about where she’d found it.

“Seriously? What if he tinkered with it or something?”

“He wouldn’t,” she started, but remembered that he’d been the one to teach her how to cause a gun to backfire. He’d done it to teach her how to make sure her weapon was safe and she hadn’t checked this one.

She picked up the gun and looked it over. It seemed clean. “It’s fine. Lets get back to the others.” She tried to put it back in her belt and flinched.

“I’ll take it,” he said forcibly. She didn’t argue. With her arm now in a sling and bandage, she was useless with a gun.

As they walked back, the fire had started to smoke and with almost no wind to blow it away, it was impossible to see more than a few feet away.

They were nearly next to the house when a dark shadow ran towards them in the smoke. Blane gestured towards the left to avoid the figure just as they heard a loud clicking noise. He’d stepped on a landmine. He gestured for her to leave.

“I’m not leaving you,” she said. The person in the smoke seemed to be holding a bat or something else similar.

“I’m already dead. Get out of here.” He lifted the gun and aimed it at the shadow.

Riko kissed him on the cheek and ran the other way. As she ran, she heard multiple gunshots followed shortly by yet another explosion. She raced back to where the others had been. They weren’t there and she made her way to the garage. Standing outside the garage were Sandrine and Kate.

When she came close enough, Kate asked, “Where’s Blane?”

“He stepped on a landmine…” Riko cried quietly, she was tired of crying for her friends.

“And where’s Zane? When we heard a boat motor, he went out to find you.” Riko started to sob when she saw that they were both holding baseball bats like the shadow in the smoke.

Éric Desmarais


At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Éric Desmarais (FacebookTwitter, website) is one of those. He is a young adult urban fantasy/mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet him at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.


Dear Dragon – 1 Month



Dear Dragon,

You’ve been home for a month now. You have a name, a decorated room, and more clothes than you’ll ever wear.

Your routine is pretty much to sleep in the mornings, giggle/gurgle in the afternoons, fuss in the evenings, and fall asleep by 11. A routine you’ll likely return to in post-secondary.

We still occasionally forget you exist or have waves of panic that someone was foolish enough to leave us with a child. The feeling is getting less and less common.

If I had to sum up the past month, I’d say it would be fatigue and love, punctuated by small bouts of panic and helplessness. I suppose that applies to you as much as to us.

At a month, you’ve already mastered smiling, puppy dog eyes, and a heart-wrenching whimper.

I both can’t wait and dread you growing up. I’m trying to enjoy the little moments.

By the way, you’re a fantastic cuddler and I really hope that doesn’t change.

You’ve had a constant parade of people who want to meet you. Everyone loves you and wants to be near you. You’re going to grow up loved by so many people. You have your family (Me, Mum, Grannie, Grand-dad, Great-Grand-dad, Oncle Dan, Aunt Amy, Aunt Lindsay, and Modryb Sonia), your massive list of extended family and family friends, the ever-growing geeky community in Ottawa, and Ottawa’s wonderful speculative fiction family.

As loved as I hope you feel, your mother and I feel it just as much. Our families and friends are great. We’re lucky to have found so many awesome people to surround ourselves with.

This is a little disjointed, but it reflects the past month. It’s been interesting, terrifying, and absolutely wonderful. You fill me with love and wonder every time I see you or hear your little noises.

Your tired and loving Papa

Blush Guest Post: Sexy and disabled. Yes, you can be both.


Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ‘Cosm, a comedy sci-fi with love, adventure, and an unusual amount of dessert. You can find her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter, and can meet her at the Massive Mega Multi Author Launch on October 29, 2016. Both her book Life in the ‘Cosm and Blush will be officially launched on that day, so come out (in costume if you wish!) and enjoy the party!

A shout-out to Jen Desmarais for asking me to contribute as a guest blogger. Thank you so much for including me in the discussion. It’s really important for non-disabled folks to remember that people with disabilities can and want to get it on, too. (Cue the slow jam of choice.)

Drawing by Cait Gordon.

I have a disability that causes widespread nerve pain, chronic fatigue, and mobility impairment. My turn-ons include fresh sheets, kisses during walks in the sunset, and cupcakes. Like a shocking amount of people I enjoy having sex, and I don’t mind saying so. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Well, according to an article I read on the Disabled World website: “Sex and disability tends to be a taboo area for many abled bodied persons and is rarely discussed in the same sentence. As a result more than 50% of disabled people do not have any form of a regular sex life.” (Disability Sexuality: Information on Sex & Disabled Sexual Issues, Disabled Word)

I reckon that just because half of people with disabilities aren’t having sex, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their preferred choice. They are mostly-likely the victims of incorrect assumptions and ignorance.

At Can*Con 2016, I attended a candid panel about sex led by Canadian author Angela S. Stone. In my opinion the panellists created a safe space for us not only to talk about how we can write about sex as authors, but also to discuss how we have sex in real life. When Angela spoke about there being ways other than the missionary position, I agreed wholeheartedly. My hand shot up and I said, “I have a disability. That’s why my husband and I created the Gordon Sutra.” I meant no disrespect to the actual Kama Sutra, but it was my way of describing how as a married couple, we figured out there was more than one way to do the magical it. I also added, addressing the other authors, “Please make sure to write about disabled people having sex, because we have sex, too!” We really do, you know.

Several years ago a young person in my life, who understood how acute my chronic pain was, asked me, “So, sex. Do you still have it?” I replied, “Yup, it’s my anti-inflammatory medicine!” For me—and I am talking about my personal experience only—having sex increased my circulation and loosened my overly-stiff connective tissues. The endorphins reduced my awareness of pain, and the orgasm relaxed me all over. This special connection with my spouse did many things I cannot even explain scientifically. It was a natural therapy while remaining a delicious way of expressing love with my partner.

Things went merrily along with my sex life until I developed chronic severe nerve pain in my pelvis. It lasted four years and was so acute, it even hurt to sit down on a firm chair. Intercourse was mind-numbingly painful. Eventually, everything came to a full-stop in the bedroom. Gone were the lovely anti-inflammatory benefits, replaced with the fear of having sex. I sought medical help for years, without finding a solution. In fact, my pain became much worse and debilitating. Even though my spouse remained remarkably understanding and extremely affectionate, I missed being with him in that way.

Finally, a gynecologist who I’ll name Doctor Awesomesauce explained that my nerve pain was preventing her from examining me. She said it was the equivalent to being poked in the eye. Yowch! Doctor Awesomesauce diagnosed me with pelvic myalgia, which had been triggered by extremely weakened pelvic floor muscles. The prognosis showed I had a good chance that pelvic-floor physiotherapy would work for me. I tried it. Even after the first two weeks, I noticed some pain reduction. I couldn’t wait to have sex again!

It was still difficult to do right away, though. Then it hit me—the heck with intercourse for now. Let’s try outercourse!

Why do we underplay sexual touching? Or am I the only one who thinks we do? I nickname it, “Going to the Petting Zoo.” It’s so sexy all by itself and I wish I had thought of it earlier. Happy sighs were emitted and regular love-making was back in our lives again. After several more sessions the pelvic-floor physiotherapy was successful and now I have a whole arsenal of options to choose from whenever we bring sexy back in our homestead.

You see, lovely non-disabled peeps, I never once thought for even a fleeting moment to accept my disability as a reason for not having sex. As with everything in my life, I just try to find a workaround that makes sense for my body. My libido is quite healthy, so I have the desire to nurture it like anyone else does, and often. Woof!

To readers with disabilities, I salute you, and hope you find the best solution that works for you, medical help with listening ears, and a partner who is enthusiastic to help you in your quest. I even wish you a method that does the job you when you’re all by yourself! It can sometimes be a bit of a maze to discover the how-to’s, but it’s well worth the journey.

May your sexy days be too numerous to count!

Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 6 (Conclusion)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

I ran with the crowd of gladiators towards the weapons cache in the middle of the arena. A quick flash of the future hit me and I started running faster.

When I was almost at the weapons I yelled out, “Bomb!” as loud as I could. My voice echoed as all the combatants stopped and looked at me. “There’s a bomb in the centre of the weapons.” I could see the damage the liquid fire contained in the bomb would do to the combatants. It was a perfect surprise for them. Thankfully I ruined it.

“How do we know he’s telling the truth?” a large man asked.

I answered by running towards the bomb. The gladiators had known me for a month or more now and those who knew something was going to happen ran the other way.

Tripping the bomb released a wave of fire that went far enough to burn eyebrows but no one was seriously hurt. It once again left me naked but fire didn’t hurt me, thank Sol.

Standing on the pile of melted weapons, surrounded by flames and completely naked, I launched into my prepared speech, “Friends, Romans, Spectators;” it’s a classic for a reason, “I am not a false prophet and I’ve had enough of these games. It’s time for them to end.”

The crowd laughed uncomfortably but I continued, “In the name of Sol, I declare this ship an independent colony.” I was using my angry voice and the crowd didn’t make a sound, “Those who wish to remain on my ship place your hands on the back of your heads. The rest of you will be leaving.”

“This is preposterous!” yelled my owner. Turning to him I gave him an angry look and he took a step back before gesturing and yelling, “KILL HIM!” Two snipers were supposed to shoot at me but only one got off a shot, he was part of my army and shot the other sniper.

I gestured at Aly and the two Samanthas, the cybernetic one and the human one. When they were close, I said, “Samantha um…” I pointed at the cybernetic one, “Would you like to become a ship?” She smiled and nodded eagerly. I took the sticky I’d used to talk with Hey Sunny and placed it on her forehead. “When I tell you, reboot the anti-teleportation devices.”

My owner was getting redder and redder as he tried to fight his way down to the arena despite his guards’ protests. He kept yelling that he’d kill me.

“Last chance,” I projected, knowing the whole ship was listening. “Hands behind head if you wish to stay.”

I put my hands behind my head as an example and counted down from ten. At one I winked towards cybernetic Samantha, I lied about never winking again I look too good doing it, she reset the anti-teleportation devices. The reset triggered the new software and it scanned for all life that did not have its arms behind its head and teleported it.

“Where they’d go?” asked Aly from beside me.

“They were teleported to the nearest Jupiter Protectorate ship.” I paused before adding, “Along with the wolves and other animals.”

“Samantha can you take over the ship?” I asked.

There was no answer from the metal body. I thought maybe it had been too much for her but the ship replied in her voice, “Yes Hal, we have complete control of the ship.”

“Put me ship wide please,” there was a beep and I knew I was speaking to the entire ship, “This is Hal. I may no longer be the Sun-Speaker but I still serve Sol and he believes that life should be preserved when possible. We have taken the ship. If you wish to leave you can take an escape pod or one of the private ships in the doc. We will be heading to Venus to pick up refugees with a stop at Mars and Earth to drop off those of you who wish to go home.”

A cheer rose up all around me. I turned to the human Samantha and said, “Both of you need to be better than you were or I’ll come back.” She nodded.

We brought Aly back to Mars and they will start talks with her people to try and unite Mars.

At Earth we dropped off Henrick. He would meet up with the future emperor of Mars who was freshly out of diapers.

The ship was well armed enough and large enough to defend and house the refugees. They’d have to  elect a government and sign a treaty with the big governments to be accepted as an independent colony but I knew the Samantha’s were up to the task.

There was something scary coming and my dreams were getting worse. My last day on the Mederei, I woke to the horrifying realization that whatever was coming didn’t just scare me, it scared Sol himself.

If you liked this story, why not read the rest of the stories in the Sun Speaker Universe ?

Jen Desmarais


At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Jen Desmarais (website) is…well, me. (This is incredibly weird to write.) I am a card game designer for the sexual education/communication game Blush, published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website)! You can meet me at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.


Geek Market and other things

Not final artwork

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a wild three weeks with Baby Dragon. Here’s a short update to let you know what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

Geek Market

Geek Market logo

This weekend is Geek Market, I’ll be there selling my book with Renaissance Press and selling coffee with JenEric-Coffee. So come by and I’ll chat your ear off about my two favourite things.

Baby Dragon

Keladry is absolutely adorable and sleeping better than most little babies. I’m still really tired but that’s okay since I’m home from work.



Early this year I received a contract for A Study in Aether, my debut novel. Less then a month later I got another contract for Parasomnia.

It’s a story of five people who are in an institute for dream related disorders, and the fantasy dreamworld they share.

I’ve received comments from some amazing and decorated editors and passed them to my publisher. I’m now working on the edits. I’m hoping to get them done by end of the month.

The Sign of Faust

This is the second novel in the Elizabeth Investigates / Baker City Mystery series. I’m mid way through editing it and I’m hoping to have it ready to send at the end of the year.


Another novel that I’ll be editing and hopefully have ready for beta readers by January.


I’ve decided to write my next novel as a NaNoWriMo novel.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. A month that people from all over the planet decide to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’m going to be trying to write a classic monster movie style book. I’m calling it The Copper Tarnish. It’ll be the first book that I’ve written that doesn’t connect with the Baker City universe.

Wish me luck. If you’d like to follow my progress or add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy check out my profile.

Not final artwork
Not final artwork

That’s it for now. Later Days!