Tag Archive for: aliens

Dickens, Aliens, and Me


My first ambition was to be an astronaut. My dream was to make first contact with aliens who could take me on a private tour of the galaxy. I
would check out the window every night to see if a UFO had landed in my back
yard. (Surely, they could sense that I was waiting for them. . . ! ) For various
reasons, it never did, and I didn’t get a chance to go looking for them, but
that has now changed.


You might know that most of Charles Dickens’ novels were
published in monthly or weekly installments. He pioneered the serial format of
narrative fiction, which became the dominant mode during the Victorian period for
novel publication and still exists in some magazine formats. 


The advent of print-on-demand technology in the 1960s turned
the publishing industry on its head. It spawned the giant, Amazon, but it also wrested
the ability to publish out of the hands of a few big publishing companies and into
the hands of indie (independent) presses or even the authors themselves. This
has had positive and negative side effects (a story for another day).


A couple of weeks ago, Amazon launched a new platform using
serialization called “Kindle Vella.” The author can publish an episode
(chapter) at a time and leave comments for the reader.  Readers can give a heads up for the chapters
they like.  In that sense, technology is bringing
the readers and authors closer together.


Also, it puts more power in the readers’ hands.  Instead of taking a chance on an entire book
that you might end up hating or bored with, you can read at least three episodes
for free. (As a special Amazon is now giving you 200 free tokens, which means
you can really read about 15 chapters first.) Then you purchase tokens (at a reasonable
price; the total book is about what a new release e-book would be) to “spend”
on chapter-episodes of books that you really like. You start at Amazon.com and
can read it there or (after you read your first episodes and purchase tokens)
it will also be available to download onto Apple devices (Kindle Reader app or Kindle device)
or you can keep reading right on Amazon.com.


Back to meeting aliens and venturing into a new space . . .


Motes (short for Mozart) is an extraordinary young girl born
on Mars. When a boy is found dead in her dorm room, the private Martian school
for gifted students expels her. Motes has nowhere to go besides the remote
planet of Veld where her estranged father is studying mmerl, the native
sentient species, some of whom are mysteriously disappearing.




This is a story close to my heart. I rewrote it during the Covid
pandemic, and I’m really excited to be able to share it directly with readers
this way!


You can check out SNOWDANCERS (the entire novel is uploaded)
at “Kindle Vella” on Amazon.com at  


Hope you enjoy Mote’s amazing adventure!


T.K. is a retired police captain who writes Books, which, like this blog, go wherever her interest and imagination take her.  More at TKThorne.com



I Will Survive Alien

What? you’re muttering to yourself, that title makes no sense.  Ah, but it must to someone (or rather, a couple of someones) as it’s one of the search phrases used to find The Stiletto Gang.  My best guess is that there’s a post somewhere in the archives mentioning that classic disco tune, “I Will Survive.”  Not so sure about the “alien” part.  Unless the searcher wants to know how he or she will survive an alien visit, or perhaps they’re feeling feisty, like they want to tell the galaxy, “I will survive, alien!”  Okay, I give up.  Your guess is as good as mine.
Another search phrase that had me reminiscing was “hissing garter snake.”  It brought back memories of several springs ago when I was cleaning leaves out of a window well by the patio.  A tiny garter snake reared its pinky-sized head to hiss at me.  Yes, I screamed, but then I took the dustpan, scooped it in, and flung it into the ivy.  Ah, good times.

How about this one:  “obese belly dancer.”  Hmm.  I don’t remember anyone writing a post on the subject.  Maybe I was on vacation (wait, I don’t take vacations). 

A handful of curious people found Stiletto by looking for “caramelized hair color,” which intrigues me.  I’ve always thought I’d love to have caramel-colored highlights in my tresses.  From the looks of things, I’m not the only one.
Then there’s the seeker of “outdoor ground cover w/ 7 leaves and flowers.”  Ah, how fortuitous that such a search led them here!  Because we’re all about, um, ground cover.  And what ground cover is better than that with seven leaves and flowers?  Although if you need to know the right type of mulch to use, I’m guessing a blog about plants might have more answers.

And last but surely not least, there were over 30 interested parties seeking information about being “naked at the mall.”  I do, in fact, recall writing a post called “Walking Naked at the Mall,” after Maggie and I had a discussion about dreams that mean you’re feeling vulnerable.  There were no photos of naked mall walkers inserted nor any physical descriptions, which I’ll bet left most of those interested parties feeling a wee bit let down.  What this tells me is that using “naked” in your title will draw readers who normally wouldn’t visit a book blog.  (I know, you’re thinking, brilliant theory, Einstein.)
Now I’m wondering, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever searched for online?  Or if you have a blog, what are the strangest search terms that have led someone to it?  Inquiring minds want to know!
P.S.  Little Black Dress is out next Tuesday, August 23…squeeeee!  You can pre-order online from booksellers and e-booksellers now!  Here’s a helpful link.  Or you can Google “book with magic black dress” and see if that’ll lead you to it.  Seek and ye shall find…something.