Wednesday, November 25, 2015

News! Gate of Souls has a new audio book release!

Greetings & Happy Holidays,

Sky Warrior Books has just released an audio book of Gate of Souls, narrated by Mary  Allwright, just in time for the holidays! I am very excited about this. This is the link I found on Amazon for the audio:

Also, my new editions of Gate of Souls on Kindle & paperback  are available too. the Kindle is a wonderful 2.99!

My paperback edition is at this link for 17.95:

Please remember when shopping that the new cover (pasted above) is what you need to look for. Please buy with the newest cover through my current publisher. Thanks! More news to come soon.


Verna McKinnon

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Check out my new release focus in Goodebooks for Gate of Souls!

My new Gate of Souls edition is featured in the new releases at
Check me out. Lovely spread! Thank you Goodebooks!

Paperback of Gate of Souls on Amazon!

Great News! Well, great but there is some stuff I am trying to work out.

It turns out my new paperback edition of Gate of Souls has been available on Amazon, however, for some reason it does not pop up so easily as a choice.  it will bring up links to Kindle edition and old versions. So here is the actual link to new paperback:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Gate of Souls newest edition and "older" editions

Hello Familiar's Tale friends!

I just want to clear up any confusion about editions on my Gate of Souls novel.
Below is the current book cover with my new and current publisher, Sky Warrior Books.
This cover is not only for my new Kindle edition, and it's available at wonderful Amazon through this link:
Now my publisher Sky Warrior books is releasing the print and audio version that will have this cover. Anything with this cover is good, because this is where the current royalties will be coming from. If you want a print edition, be patient, it has been sent to Amazon and other outlets by Sky Warrior. I will announce it when they are available.

There are older editions of my book being sold on many sites. They have this cover below, but these do not benefit myself or my previous publisher. We do not receive royalties anymore with any book that has this cover art, because my publisher cleared out his inventory a year ago.  I do adore this old cover, but I will never get a penny from this version now.  Neither will my former publisher. Most  of these editions are used, but some are being sold as new on some sites. Perhaps folks have inventory to clear. I understand. But please tell folks to buy an edition with the new cover. It is the only way to pay the writer. Thank you.

Until then, read more fantasy!

Verna McKinnon

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gate of Souls Kindle now released!!!!

Hello Familiar Friends:

My new publisher, Sky Warrior Books, has just released Gate of Souls on Kindle. The print edition will be coming soon. You can purchase this Kindle edition for only $2.99 at Amazon at this link:

I love the new cover and will keep you updated on the print release and the future books in the trilogy of A Familiar's Tale. More later. Now, read more fantasy!


Verna McKinnon

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gate of Souls E-Book Release

Hello Familiar Friends!

The release of my Gate of Souls novel on E-Book through Sky Warrior Books is scheduled for August 3, 2015! (loud cheers). Will keep you updated on the release of the print edition. Below is the last sample of the new book cover art! Am so excited!

Friday, June 12, 2015

New "Gate of Souls" cover art for Sky Warrior Books release!

Hello Familiar Friends!

Okay, I have a sample of the new bookcover for my re-release of Gate of Souls by my new publisher, Sky Warrior Books! Check it out! Isn't it beautiful!  I love it.

I will be updating you about the release date as soon as I have confirmation from Sky Warrior Books!

More later.

Verna McKinnon

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My blog has become a series of tributes and mourning to beloved artists that have passed to the otherworld.  Today is very sad. I just learned that on June 7, Christopher Lee passed away at 93. He was amazing. I grew up watching him in movies. Handsome in the classical sense, he was towering in every way( 6 feet, 5 inches) with the voice of a god and a powerful presence. He was a scholar, horror movie icon,  character actor, descendant of Charlemagne, and heavy metal performer who still rocked on. We will miss you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Science fiction and fantasy great,Tanith Lee, passes away.

Sadly, I learned that one of my favorite authors and a strong influence on my writing has passed away. Tanith Lee died on May 24, at age 67.  She was a great writer and I loved her work.  She wrote over 300 short stories and 90 novels. She won the World Fantasy Award, and many others throughout her prolific career. Her books were unique and imaginative.

If you have not read her, I suggest you do.  Tales of the Flat Earth series, Silver Metal Lover, The Claidi Journals, plus many many more.

Farewell, Tanith. You will be missed. Another literary loss to the science fiction and fantasy world.


Friday, February 27, 2015

A Farewell to Leonard Nimoy


This is a farewell to someone I have admired since childhood.  I just read that Leonard Nimoy has passed away at 83.  I am sad, because I grew up watching Star Trek.  My love of science fiction was nurtured by that show, and Spock was always my favorite character.  I had the opportunity to meet him when he kindly donated a couple hours to lecture at our drama department.  He was a prince.  No ego or attitude, just a good, generous person talking to this tiny group of students for nothing, because he was that kind of guy.   He was a nice man sharing wisdom.  I am glad I had that opportunity.  A memory to treasure, along with his wonderful acting.  The void  left with his passing will never be filled.   Goodbye. 

Verna McKinnon

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Heroic Women of Speculative Fiction-Ellen Ripley of Alien film series

Ellen Ripley-heroine and kick-ass!
When the film Alien first appeared in Theaters in 1979, the heroines were still evolving on film and TV.   The male-empowered film industry were slowly allowing women to do more than stand there and look pretty.   One must be well-groomed to be eaten by a monster, I guess.  Or scream.  Yeah, that's helpful.  Let's bring the monsters closer.
The masterful direction of Ridley Scott was also a gift.  Fantasy and Science Fiction on film can be high class with the right people to helm the story.  The cast was also a wonder of folks with not only film credits, but a theater background.  I mean, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, to name a few.  This strong crop of actors was the cream.  They always have a special touch on film.
Ripley was a heroine who fights on her own, despite the odds.  A dark tower would have been a haven compared to the shadowy corridors of the Nostromo.  A dragon a snap to tame.  This alien was terrifying.  Pure instinct and evil with an intelligent slant to trap its prey.  Ellen Ripley was not a screamer.  Though she had every right to be on the claustrophobic space vessel. 
Ripley employs common sense in this movie, even when out voted by her crew mates and corporate greed and the corporation's secret plans endanger her and the crew.  Ripley used her brain and instincts to survive.  She did not put anyone at risk.  She tried to save people.  Even when terrified as one of the most terrifying alien monsters ever created is about to pounce on her., she kept her smarts.  The alien they made for that film is the stuff of nightmares that extends beyond anything imagined mythology or religion.
Ellen Ripley, portrayed by the  beautiful. fabulous, and mega- talented actress, Sigourney Weaver, introduced a new type of heroine to film lovers.  Not a princess or a chosen maiden fated to face the beast in some tower.  Not a supernatural woman with super powers and magical weapons.  Not a padded up chick with perfect lipstick and a skintight spacesuit.  Not a fluffy girl.  She was a woman and an officer who had to rescue herself. 
Not that Sigourney Weaver is not beautiful, but the film was not about that.  They  way the character was written. a male or female could have played Ripley.  That was great.   It was a new type of film, a Gothic horror in space that was stark and unglamourous.  The body count was high, but one thing I adore about this film is something never done before. 
She saved the cat!  God bless you forever, Ripley, and the writers, for not making yet another animal on film in a horror tale a victim. Ripley risked her life to safe the kitty and was a success. In fact,
I also want to remark that years ago, when Aliens was released (another fab fav), some toady reviewer commented that at least this time Ripley saved something worthwhile (Newt, a  little girl) and not a stupid cat.  What a jerk.  I can say other things about such nasty toady people, but I am too much of a lady.  May nightmares of Aliens haunt them in their sleep.
Plus, everyone on the Nostromo was not exactly acting smartly.  The robot was willing to sacrifice them all to bring the alien back for the weapons division.  Ripley and that even that poor cat did not trust was what happening.  The crew tried to get away, but fell victim to the alien.   Ripley managed to save herself and the poor cat before blowing up the ship.  When the alien had hidden within the shuttle, once again Ripley called on her smarts to save herself and opened the door and the alien was sucked into the oblivion of space.   Ripley and kitty were safe at last and ready for a much deserved nap.  That leads us to Aliens. 
I loved the film, Aliens.  Ripley was back and he second movie was more action sci-adventure.  The horror was still there, but in high octane form, a James Cameron specialty.  Ripley dealt with her nightmares and multiple aliens, she got tough and survived.  Ripley did not like being there, but she did it.  Even though she was surrounded by bureaucracy, stupidity, and lies.  She alone was able to take down the mother Alien.  She saved the day.   
We will not discuss Alien 3-it does not exist.
Alien Resurrection was a great film, but it is not, technically, the same character.  A clone with scary alien DNA.  But a great film.  And even clone Ripley rocked.
So all hail Sigourney Weaver!  She created a truly new and iconic heroine we will always love.
More later.
Verna McKinnon