The Interconnectedness of all [book] things

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve recently finished the second, and sadly last, season of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

It’s weird, silly, irreverent, and absolutely wonderful. Warning that it is a little gory and there’s lots of death. It was everything I loved about the novel and a little more. I highly recommend it.

One of the main themes of Dirk Gently is that everything is connected. It means the show throws a whole lot of disjointed weirdness and then manages to put it all together in the end.


I got a great email from a reader this weekend and I have to say it made a particularly tough weekend so much better.

The email was praising Parasomnia (Available on Amazon and from Renaissance Press). I had mentioned to this reader that Parasomnia and A Study in Aether exist in the same world and they asked for clarification and if we’d see more of that in the future.

I have a plan to connect all my novels. It’s not going to be necessary to have read all of them to follow, but those that do will get an extra treat and information about certain characters.

It won’t be soon; it’ll come to fruition after years of novels but I have plans…. Mhuhahahaa!

Stay tuned and you’ll get all kinds of interconnectedness.


Later Days,


Night of the Sisters

This story takes place five years after the events in Parasomnia

The snow glittered in the moonlight as they travelled through the dark forests of New Albion. No matter how often they travelled this route, Michael still looked uncomfortable.

Putting her hand on his, even through heavy gloves she felt him tremble, Ashley said, “Sweetie. It’s okay.”

“I know, it’s just… I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this forest.”

And why would he, she thought. It wasn’t his world and he had bad memories of trolls in these forests. Even though they were in a carriage and not walking this time.

“Next year you’ll be too busy to worry about it.” She squeezed his hand and patted her belly, or where her belly would be under all the winter gear. She felt like a yurt; she was so big it was hard for her to walk too far or even stand.

He smiled and they both started talking about preparations for the baby.

As the forest started to thin, small cottages and farms peppered the landscape. People stood on the edge of the road and waved at them. For the first time in five years, the rulers of the six kingdoms of New Albion would be all together.

It was the Festival of Yule and that night was the Night of the Sisters. A night where the three Sisters who controlled the fates of everyone in the realms were reborn. It was celebrated by speeches, prayers to the Goddess, a small play, and a huge bonfire. During the bonfire they feasted and sang traditional songs until the sun rose.

Through the towns they went until they could see the great walls of New Apia. The last time they’d been here, the walls had been crumbling and the ivory fortress was cracked and disused.

“Kiri has done miracles for this place.” Ashley was amazed at how pristine it looked and how healthy the people were.

The gates to both the city and the castle were open, the guards looked more ceremonial than defensive in their finery.

Kiri was waiting for them when they arrived. She looked regal under multiple layers.

“Feels like being back in Northern Ontario, eh?” she asked and Ashley threw herself at her friend for a hug. “Hello Michael.”

“Are we the first to arrive?”

“Nope, Tara got here this afternoon. I think she ditched her retinue somewhere at the border.”

A tall woman in full armour walked out of the castle and responded with, “It’s not my fault they couldn’t keep up. I don’t need royal—” Tara was cut off by Ashley’s hug.

The four of them were the youngest of the monarchs and Ashley knew that Tara wasn’t looking forward to seeing her older brother who ruled her home kingdom.

Although the guards looked ornamental and they all joked about not needing them, they were essential. The Six Kingdoms were in political turmoil. The former High King had died shortly after his heir and despite multiple Moots, they had yet to unanimously choose a new high King or Queen.

Tara was declared regent of the former High King’s kingdom, Ansonrock, but the Moot had refused to declare her Queen.

Of the other two Kingdoms, both their monarchs had died during the Worldquake; one had gone through a bloody civil war and declared themselves a republic and the other had gone through eight monarchs in four years.

They had, per tradition, to wait for the other rulers before going into the warmth of the Castle. They had, thoughtfully, arranged a chair for Ashley. At thirty six weeks pregnant she wasn’t going to try and tough it out.  The next to arrive was King Matthew of New Zion.

“Sister,” he said spitting out the word as if it had a bad taste.

“King Matthew,” Tara replied tersely. The fact that he called her sister instead of brother was a good sign that he’d learned his lesson. His country was big on everyone being the same and Tara had been cast out when she came out as transgender.

The next two came and stood in line waiting. After a little while, Ashley leaned over to Tara and asked, “Who are we waiting for?” Tara shrugged.

In a flash of bright light and the sound of a TARDIS, four figures appeared. The cryer who’d been announcing everyone bellowed, “Myrdin of Earth and Aether.” He was a tall man with a long white beard and hair. He was dressed in an old robe, and despite looking ancient, he stood tall. His brown skin had long ago turned a little grey.

Before Ashley had a chance to say anything other than a squeak of happiness with the entrance, the cryer continued, “The Three Sisters.”

The crowd and the monarchs gasped in surprise. The three Sisters had never been to New Albion before. They had stayed in Everdome, another Realm or what Ashley liked to call alternate universe, for as long as anyone could remember.

The three women, one bald with metallic gold skin, one with snow white hair and skin, and the last with dark red hair and onyx coloured skin, raised their hands and spoke in eerie unison, “May the Goddess’s blessing drive out the dark and the cold. May your days grow long and warm. May your crops be plentiful and your loves without end.” It was the traditional Night of the Sisters blessing and was normally only performed by priests or the children who play the Sisters in the play.

After the blessing everyone walked into the castle for drinks and mingling. The main ballroom was open for everyone to speak with anyone. It was a tradition that Kiri had instituted for all major holidays. It allowed for people who would be too shy or didn’t think their problems big enough for a formal audience to speak with the Queen or other high level officials.

Myrdin, or as he’d been introduced to her before, Merlin, was standing on his own with a glass of nog. Most people seemed to avoid him. Ashley walked over to him and said, “Why do people always seem to avoid you?”

“I’m weird.” He shrugged as if that answered her question and continued with, “Hello Ashley, it’s nice to see you again. Or is this the first time for you?”

“We met last year.” She’d been told then that he was a little strange and had a tendency to live life out of order with the rest of the realms. “Although it’s been much longer for you hasn’t it?”

“A century to your year. Nothing much.”

She laughed and that made him smile. “Nice work with the TARDIS sound effects.”

“Thank you. I thought no one would notice and it’s nice and dramatic.”

“What’s going on? Why are the Sisters here?” She asked and felt a sharp pain. She mentally started counting to see if it was a full contraction.

“Do you really want me to tell you? You’ll find out soon enough.”

“So, spoilers?”

“Yep. Now why don’t you ask me the question you’re really worried about?” His eyes were kind with more than a hint of mischievousness.

“Is my baby going to be okay?” she said it quickly and fought back tears.

He pulled her into a hug and said, “Your delivery will go fine and the resulting offspring will be perfectly healthy.”

She squeezed him tightly and said, “Thank you!”

“Don’t mention it. I was a parent once too.” His voice was filled with sadness.

As midnight approached, they moved to the castle square where the bonfire was built and awaiting the midnight hour to be lit. There was food and drink and a lot of happy kids. A man dressed as Woden led the children in a wild hunt. There were chocolates hidden around the castle and as he charged the children had to find them and get back into the hunt in order to keep them.

In a few years, Ashley thought, her little one would join them and that made her feel warmer than the fire would have.

“Joyous Yule my beautiful wife.” Michael held a simple brown paper wrapped package.

“Thank you,” she said opening the package, feeling four years old again. Inside there was a book, brightly coloured with a hydra on the front, the title read Parasomnia and was written by S. M. Awdur and K. Price. Katherine Price was a friend who’d chosen earth over New Albion.

“It’s a graphic novel about what happened to us. Kitty wrote it with a famous author. Merlin promised to bring it back with him after we saw him last year.”

“It’s wonderful. Thank you.” Her contractions were starting to get closer together, but she still wasn’t sure it was labour. This had happened before and it had been fake labour. She still had four weeks to go.

If Michael was going to say something, it was cut off by the Sisters. Their voice was like a soft brook had met a Greek chorus and the two were trying to imitate each other.

They each stood around the large bonfire and said, “We have seen Realms be born and Realms die, but every ten thousand years we need to renew ourselves. Our physical bodies die and are reborn. What we are continues but what we were dies. Tonight we die and leave our blessing against the darkness. Tomorrow we are reborn. May your hearts always be warmed by the fires of love and hope.”

With that speech they burst into flames, lighting the bonfire. The crowd was stunned and after a few moments burst into applause.

“That was dramatic,” Michael said.

“Yeah,” Ashley said, and couldn’t help but grunt from the pain of another contraction.

“How far apart are they?” Michael said going into nurse mode.

“The baby is coming,” Ashley replied and groaned again. That’s when the Sisters’s words came back to her. “They said tomorrow they’ll be reborn… MERLIN!”

As if he’d expected her, he appeared. With a furrowed brow and twinkling eyes, Merlin said, “Don’t worry, I’ll help as much as I can. With all three—”


This story is part of the Renaissance holiday blog roll! Find out what it’s all about here! 

This Weekend is CAN-CON YAY!

JenEric Designs, JenEric Coffee, Blush, and Éric Desmarais will all be at CAN-CON: Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature this weekend.

The dealer’s room is open to the public all three days.

Both Jen and Éric will be available Saturday and Sunday in the dealer’s room. (We will be at a wedding on Friday.)

Dealers Room Hours

Friday: 17:00-19:00

Saturday: 10:00-17:00

Sunday: 10:00-15:00

Éric Desmarais’s Schedule

Saturday 2:00-2:30: Signing in the Dealer’s Room

Saturday 21:00-22:00: Panel Spam Meet Salon D

Sunday 10:00-10:50: Renaissance Press Readings Salon B


See you there!


Come see us this weekend at the Fall Flair Craft Fair

Hello Imaginary Friends,

JenEric Designs, JenEric Coffee, and Éric Desmarais (with Renaissance Press) will be at the Parkdale Fall Flair Craft Fair this Saturday.


We’ll have 12 coffee flavours, new Voltron crochet, and my new book Parasomnia.


Hope to see you there!


Renaissance Book Bash 2017


The celebration will be held at:
The 3 Brewers pub (240 Sparks St., Ottawa)
Sunday September 3rd, 2017, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
Join us for author readings, live drawing, exciting door prizes,
and of course, the opportunity to get your books signed!

Check out the event on Facebook!


Lust and Lemonade by Jamieson Wolf

LGBTQIA2+ / slice of life
In a world filled with one-night stands, glory hole blowjobs and weeklong romances, what does it take to find love? This is just what our protagonist Blaine worries about. Unlike his friends, he wants to settle down.
ISBN 978-1-987963-24-3 – Available now!


The Reluctant Barbarian by John Haas

Fantasy comedy
Arthur Jenkins would have been happy to live his life the way it was until he finally died, but the angel in his office has different ideas. He’s there to grant a wish Arthur made as a kid, and it’s a doozy. After all, what grown man would want to be a barbarian hero? Join Arthur, Dead Mike and Valeria the Paladin on a quest across the land, having unwanted adventures while looking for a comfy place to sit.
ISBN 978-1-987963-26-7 – Available September 3rd!


Daughters of Britain by S. M. Carriere

68 ad.
The Roman Empire has swallowed most of Europe.
There are pockets of resistance…
but nowhere, no one, is safe.
It’s life or death both in the arena and out for Mederei and Adalbern as they try to survive and save their people.
ISBN 978-1-987963-22-9 Available now!


Some Assembly Required by Caroline Fréchette

LGBT Graphic novel
Louis, Lily, and Laurent have been friends for most of their lives. When Lily and Laurent start dating, not only does Louis feel left behind, because of his unspoken love for Laurent, but Laurent also begins acting oddly, and it seems Louis may be in the best position to help…
ISBN 978-1-987963-28-1 – Available September 3rd!


Parasomnia by Éric Desmarais

Paranormal Mystery
At the Aux-Anges institute, nestled in the woods outside of North Bay, they study and treat parasomnias, or sleep disorders. When the patients and one of the counsellors discover the secret hideout of an old club called the Dreamers, they are shocked to find that the five of them are connected through more than just the Institute.
ISBN 978-1-987963-20-5 – Available September 3rd! 

Parasomnia Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

A lot of work goes into a book cover, especially if the author has input and is picky. This cover took a lot of work from the wonderful Caro at Renaissance Press and I think it looks great.

parasomnia ebook cover

At the Aux-Anges Institute, nestled in the woods outside of North Bay, they study and treat parasomnias, or sleep disorders. Ashley suffers from night terrors, Terrance sleepwalks, Kiri sleep-eats, and Paul sets fires; they are there for treatment. Adelaide took the job as a counselor to discover why she still has an imaginary friend.

When they discover the secret hideout of an old club called the Dreamers, they are shocked to find that the five of them are connected through more than just the Institute.

You can Pre-Order the book from Renaissance Press’s Website. 

The book will hopefully have a few early copies ready for Montreal’s Queer Between the Covers.

What do you think of the cover?

Later days,


The Main Characters from Parasomnia

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

My publisher and cover designer asked me to send an ideal cast for my characters from Parasomnia.

I figured if I was going to do the work I could cheat and make it into a post.

Disclaimer: Authors do not cast movies. If this were to become a movie, I’d have no say on who plays these roles. Also, most of these actors are now much to old for the characters.

Parasomnia is the story of a group of people in an Institute dedicated to sleep disorders and the fantasy world they go to in their dreams. It’s their journey to accepting themselves and realizing that sometimes, it’s OK to be broken.



Parasomnia: Imaginary Friend

Actor: A young Christina Hendricks

She’s dedicated her life to discovering why she has an imaginary friend and why that imaginary friend can see and experience things independently.

She’s actually a group counsellor and not a patient at the Institute.



Parasomnia: None

Actor: A young Christina Hendricks as a catgirl

Kitty is Adelaide’s imaginary friend. She looks exactly like Adelaide but more cat like. She’s curious and playful. (Also the reason fans of this blog are named Imaginary Friends.)



Parasomnia: Night Terrors

Actor: A young Vanessa Hudgens

She’s the queen of geeks and uses her fandoms as a way of both filtering the world and making it easier to deal with.


Auli'i Cravalho

Parasomnia: Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder

Actor: Auli’i Cravalho with a shaved head

Kiri suffers from two eating disorders. In her sleep she’ll eat anything, but awake she suffers from the reverse. She’s slowly trying to become her own person despite her mother.

I had pictured someone else while writing the book, but the moment I saw the actress I knew she was perfect.

Terrance / Tara

Parasomnia: Sleep Walking

Actors: Spencer and Abigail Breslin

Terrance has been verbally and physically abused by their hyper conservative family. They are terrified of who they are and it comes out as awkward machoism. In the dream world they are Tara, a strong and cable knight of the realm.

If I was really casting, I’d want this role to go to a Trans actor, but for visual reference I thought these two worked well.



Parasomnia: Pyrosomnia

Actor: Lucas Till

Paul is from a military family and wanted to serve, but due to his epilepsy, he couldn’t join the police. Instead, he trained and became a security officer. When his partner was killed in the line of action, he couldn’t forgive himself.

Bonus 1: Nurse Michael


Actor: Percy Daggs III

An extremely compassionate and hard working nurse, Michael takes care of the patients as if they were his own family.

Bonus 2: Prince Icelus


Actor: Nicholas Hoult

The mysterious and flirtatious prince in the dream world. He doesn’t seem to have an equivalent in the Institute.

EEP! Still Busy

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve made headway on my to-do list. It’s now… *Goes to check on list and adds three more things* less than ten items. I got a lot of stuff done yesterday, but it felt like I was walking through molasses. Everything took three times longer than it should.

My publisher is moving full speed ahead with Parasomnia. They sent me a mock-up of the cover and it looks great. I can’t wait to see this book in print! I’m going to send them back the edits soon.

I’m still fighting with this cold. Mostly it’s at night where I go from feeling OK to unable to stop coughing. I hate coughing!

I think I should probably go quality test the coffee I roasted on Tuesday. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it.

Cold Coffee

Later Days,




I’m not busy, I’m temporally deficient

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

When I told someone I was going to take paternity leave, they jokingly said, “Wow! A nine month vacation. Lucky you.” At least I think they were joking. This isn’t a vacation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the time I’m getting with Dragon. She makes me smile and ache with love every day, but she’s a lot of work. I have no idea how one parent handles a baby on their own.

It might be easier if Jen and I weren’t both freelancers. Working from home takes twice as long with a baby. All of which to say we’ve been really busy both with work and enjoying the little Dragon.

That means there are a few things that I haven’t told you, so it’s update time! WOO!

Darthdad from Vaders Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown. Click the image to go to the link.


I’ve been working hard on research and development for new flavours to join JenEric Coffee’s roster. I’ve settled on one flavour that will be debuted at Geek Market at the end of March.

I have another 4 flavours that I’m asking people to test. If you’re interested, check out our Coffee Testers Page.


I have unfortunately not been writing as much as I should have. Other then the blog, I’ve written half a story and a few thousand words in Copper Tarnish. It’s going to be shorter than my average book, but I’m still only a third of the way through.

I’ve talked to my publisher and they’re considering covers for Parasomnia. I’m really excited to get the next round of edits on this one.

A Study in Aether is eligible for both the Nebulas and the Auroras. Both are fan voted awards. If you feel like nominated it, I’d be very happy.

The Ed Greenwood Group

If you don’t know about TEGG, let me tell you. It’s a new publishing company for games, role playing games, genre novels, and general awesome.

If you’ve played the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons setting, you’re familiar with the breadth of creativity that Mr. Greenwood has shown over the past thirty years.

What he’s done is bring together many amazing creative types to create new games, settings, and stories.

I have the honour of working with them on the book formatting side of things. I’ve been given the title of Print Production Manager, fancy term for layout artist. It’s a freelance thing and I’m really excited to be working with such amazing people.

And Jen, whom I’ve often referred to as “the weditor”, has been given the title of Lead Editor for the Hellmaw line of novels. She is just as honoured and excited to be working with this awesome group.


I have two other pieces of news, but I don’t have permission to divulge one, and the other will be a surprise. You should know both next week.


Later Days


What’s Éric Been Up To?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a crazy few months. (Yeah I’ve said it before but it’s always true.) Since September, I’ve been posting a lot of pre-written posts, stories, and rants. Mostly what I haven’t been writing as much are updates. So here’s an update.

Baby Dragon

She’s been a joy. Face meltingly cute. I’m sure all parents say that, but I genuinely mean it. She’s also, so far, very mellow and loves to sleep. Recently she’s been babbling a lot, which is cute.

I’m off of my government job and being off work gives me the chance to hang out with her and watch her grow. It’ll be really hard to go back to work.


Speaking of being off work. I might be off for my day job but JenEric Coffee is still going strong. (Check out the new store and get yourself a little present.)

We’ll be at two different events in two weeks.

The always amazing

November 26 – Creative Ottawa Nerds Craft Fair



November 26-27 – Ottawa Comic Con Holiday Edition


We’ll have the following flavours at both events:

Yes, those are both on the same weekend.


Reminder that A Study In Aether is available from both Amazon and directly from the Publisher. There will be copies for sale at the two above events also.

I’ve been extremely busy editing during September and October; both Parasomnia and Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust have been sent to the publisher and we’ll start work on them in the new year.

In January, I’ll get started editing Everdome in order to send it to my beta-readers along with working on the edits on Elizabeth Investigates: A Case of Synchronicity.

Currently I’m writing a new novel for NaNoWriMo. It’s moving well but the writing is slow between the baby, freelance work, and coffee roasting. I’m hoping to be done by mid-December but who knows.

Next year is the year of sequels. I’m going to finally, after over three years, return to writing Elizabeth Investigates with the next novel in the series Elizabeth Investigates: The Hounds of Bakerville. If I get through that fast enough I might start work on Paracosm which would be an indirect sequel to both Everdome and Parasomnia.

Serial Story

Wargrave Island is coming to an end, which means we’ll be voting on a new Serial Story in January. Expect a few options to pop up in the next month and a half.


Well that’s all the excitement on my end.

Later Days,