Thursday, January 13, 2022


Something neat is happening for my novel JOURNEY TO WHERE. Third Street Press and its publisher Christiana Miller have secured an ad for a special 99 cent sale for the ebook of JTW this coming Monday on BookBub.

What’s so neat about that? Well, my friends—and you are my friends—BookBub is the #1, leading, Big Kahuna of ebook promotion sites. Especially for indie digital authors, such as myself. And – IT IS DAMN HARD TO GET INTO!!! So 1000x1,000,000 thanks to Christiana and Third Street Press. AND JTW will be featured both internationally and in the U.S. You don’t have to be a BookBub subscriber to get the deal, you just have to go to your local Amazon and to the “Journey to Where by Steven Paul Leiva” page and click on BUY NOW.

That right! To celebrate breaking into BookBub, all the ebook editions of all my novels will be on sale until January 24 for only 99 Cents each. Or the equivalent in other currencies. Which I mention because this sale covers covers all international Amazon sites, as well as here in the United States. There's something here for everyone -- fantastic fiction, Hollywood satiric thrillers, contemporary fiction looking at love and the pursuit of happiness.





"A deftly crafted, inherently interesting, and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, Journey to Where impressively showcases author Steven Paul Leiva's genuine flair for originality and a distinctive, reader-engaging narrative storytelling style. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of SciFi fans that Journey to Where is also available in a digital book format." — Midwest Book Review

"The author’s true strength is in storytelling. The attention to detail is spot on, providing just enough visual imagery to fill the reader’s perception without diluting the setting with unnecessary clutter. Throw this in with a strong cast and a nicely paced plot, and Journey to Where by Steven Paul Leiva is a fun read sure to entertain fans of the classics."  Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories Magazine

Science fiction can be a lot of different things: science-y, thinky, adventurous, fun, philosophical, bizarre, allegorical, and laden with commentary on current affairs, but rarely does one volume provide a dollop of all of these things while at the same time featuring realistic characters and realistic sentient dinosaurs. Recommended. — Donald J. Bingle, Author of the Dick Thornby Thrillers

EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGES - A Novella, Short Story plus

Praise for Made on the Moon: A Novella

"With just enough satirical elements to emphasize the blurred line between logic and insanity, true fans of Science Fiction will find a kindred attachment with the Stanley Lewis character. It is a hero's journey, a relentless determination to dream the impossible. Made on the Moon by Steven Paul Leiva shows us that reaching for the stars is not just a dream, for some, it is a way of life." — Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories Magazine

“Leiva has crafted a satire – perhaps a self-satire – with a very warm heart. If you’ve ever dreamed of flying in space or walking on the Moon, you’ll get the point of this story and you’ll love every page.” Russell Blackford, author of Science Fiction and the Moral Imagination.

“This brisk and touching comic novel has mysterious and profound things to say about the price of freedom, and it is not without relevance to the way new, and disturbingly pernicious, myths about freedom are being propagated every day in Trump's America.   Highly recommended!— John Billingsley, “Dr. Phlox” on Star Trek Enterprise and a voracious reader.

“Leiva brings his delightful wit and facility with language to a tale that feels personal and honest. It unravels in the most unexpected ways, and, as is so often the case in his work, I found both my curiosity and my funny bone tickled. A great read. — Jeff Cannata, host of the We Have Concerns and /Filmcast podcasts.

Cyrano De Bergerac and Baron Munchausen Go to Mars: A Short Story

"Steven Paul Leiva teaches a master class in 'what if.' What if Baron Von Munchausen and Cyrano de Bergerac went to Mars? What if, indeed! What if and what if and what if. Marvelous." — Jean Rabe, USA Today Bestselling Author 



“VIVA, Vivacia!  CREATURE FEATURE is a treat for everyone who grew up watching vintage sci-if and monster movies on late-night TV, presented by your favorite local horror host.  This book tickled my funny bone while gnawing on it with razor-sharp fangs.  As the Vampire Queen might say, it’s ghoul-tastic!” —Greg Cox, New York Times Bestselling author

“CREATURE FEATURE is a weird, funny, twisty romp through the creepier parts of the American landscape. Highly entertaining and highly recommended.”— Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of ROT & RUIN and V-WARS


Creature Feature reads like a comedy, has the weirdness of a Twilight Zone episode, and just enough monsters and mayhem to keep the readers on their toes and eager to turn the page. Where the author truly shines is in the comfortable dialog between both primary and secondary characters. Often flirting with but never breaking the fourth wall, it is a joy to see characters who seem to recognize the silliness of their own archetypal roles but shrug it off and encourage the reader to tag along for the fun. So, curl up on the sofa, and dim the lights and pull the blanket up close because it’s going to be a chilling ride. Steven Paul Leiva’s fast-paced Creature Feature: A Horrid Comedy will take you back to those late-night fright fests with just enough humor to appreciate the writing while remaining loyal to the horrors we grew up with and expect.” — Ricky L. Brown, Amazing Stories Magazine

"Leiva has such a vivid imagination -- not to mention a vast knowledge of the baby boomer world -- and it shows up on every page of this book. Inspired by all those movies, comic books and late shows, Leiva gives the reader such a roller coaster ride of a read that would certainly belong in pages of Amazing Stories magazine but taken to a whole new level. And even the scenes with the proliferation of the creatures on the streets of Placidville has a tinge of timeliness to today's headlines that it will have you guessing what the parallels are."— Stuart Nulman, Montreal Times 

"Leiva is witty and engaging, stylistically striking an immediate generational middle ground. At face value, the novel would seem nothing more than a boomer’s nostalgic wet dream, but Leiva imbues the novel with an accessible comedic edge...Leiva, somewhat of a polyglot of entertainment mediums, employs that mastery as he moves the novel forward in an incredibly charming way. A perfect mix of dynamic action and dry dialogue keep readers turning the pages...“Creature Feature” holds enough rich nostalgia for all of us. It’s a tender ode to Cold War-era technological anxiety and is a delightful read for a less than delightful time. It’s escapism for the gentle masochist, leaving a real-world of trauma for a fictional one of catastrophe." — Areyon Jolivette, The Daily Californian 

“Creature Feature by Steven Paul Leiva is a perfect story for those who love horror B-movies. It’s complete with ugly and slimy creatures, wild adventures, a little comedy, and an unaware beautiful damsel in distress. I hung on to Steven Paul Leiva’s every word as Kathy and an unlikely local nerd hero try to save Placidville’s townspeople from fire-breathing dragons, a demon with an ego this big, and slimy blobs of nastiness. Creature Feature is action-packed and loaded with monsters galore, gadgets out of this world (Leiva really needs to patent his Interdimensional TV idea!), and an exciting climax worthy of any 5-star B-movie midnight horror-comedy flick. I’m looking forward to reading more from Steven Paul Leiva.” — Joanie Chevalierm, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews

"CreatureFeature: A Horrid Comedy by Steven Paul Leiva. By the way, this guy has supercreds. I advise you to look this book up and the author because he's got RayBradbury praising his prose...this is such a fun book. As a kid, I would have loved this just for the prose and the situations alone. As an adult, I love the nostalgia part of it. I thought it was a ton of fun. If you like Elvira, if you like Invasion of the Body Snatchers if you like Slither you're going to dig this book. It is so much fun." — Hunter Shea, Monster Men video podcast

Creature Feature " a thoughtful and caring homage to old school monster movies and creature feature fans with brilliant and hilarious zingers thrown at you from the narrator throughout. I couldn't put it down...Do yourself a favor and put it on your reading list." — Ryan Parks, Dark Parks Bookstore

"I really liked the writing style of the author; I found it really witty...I giggled every time they referred to the most monstrous behaviors as "Politics as Usual". The comical and zany parts are really on point and rarely failed to make me laugh...the absurdity of some of the turns of events makes them really unexpected." Raven Nest Blog.

"I found (Creature Feature) a very fun book to read. It was quite funny and had the feel of being curled up and watching an old monster movie on television in the wee hours of the morning. It even had me wanting to argue with the characters just as I did back when watching those old creature feature movies when I was younger... Recommended." -- Mom Kat Reads Blog


"Traveling in Space's humor and refreshing perspective are thoroughly enjoyable" — Diane Ackerman, New York Times bestselling author of The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses.

"Superbly entertaining and unique...thought-provoking." The Mindquest Review of Books

"Many of the aliens' encounters with human beings are downright funny...much to think about and I'm sure that Traveling in Space will play on my mind for some time to come" Russell Blackford, Neworld Review.
"A deadpan, laugh-out-loud look at first-contact told from the alien POV (with aliens that are as messed-up as the rest of us). Recommended!" Stephen Webb, Physicist, Author of "If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Seventy-Five Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life."

"A unique spin of science fiction... With much humor and much to think about...not to be overlooked" -- Midwest Book Review.                                                                                             
In Traveling In Space, we have a book of three parts. It starts with the humorous meeting of two civilizations followed by the contemplation of the rights and wrongs of each one...I'm not going to divulge too much more here as I'm running the risk of revealing spoilers. What I will say is that it's a good ending. A satisfying ending, in fact...It's well worth a read. — Andy Whitaker, SFcrowsnest


"Steven Paul Leiva is a very bad man. His version of U.S. politics 'Trumps' anything the real world has to offer. Hell, you thought the orange one was the only homunculus America had to worry about? You thought wrong. There's always the nuclear option.” — Steven Savile, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

“Perfectly sincere Thomas P. Powell’s proper life melts when he encounters a homunculus. Powell, the not-ready-to-be-president president, transforms into a character I wish I had written, and one I’d like to know personally. Steven Paul Leiva is a master wordsmith able to take on any genre or blend them as in the case of IMP, A Political Fantasia. Once started, I couldn’t stop reading. The tale was just long enough, yet had me longing to read more of Leiva’s prose.” Zoommmmbizzt! I highly recommend this novel. USA Today Bestselling author Jean Rabe

"Anyone who is able to produce such a book as this has an innate ability and considerable talent. This isn't something you can learn and as an author, I wish I had the ability to wield the written word so effectively. The book is a mix of genres, comedy, supernatural, suspense and drama, with a U.S. presidential setting. Comedy is the overarching content however and I was left chuckling along at the behavior and attitude of the main protagonist. It's a strong story and a very entertaining read. Well done Mr. Levia." 
— 5-Star Amazon review by PsychicSnail



"Steve Leiva not only promises but delivers. Beautifully written. Bravo!" — Ray Bradbury.

"Blood is Pretty is a wonderful read, a highly entertaining and impressive debut novel." — Richard D. Zanuck, Academy Award-winning Producer of Jaws, Cocoon & Driving Miss Daisy.
"Steven Paul Leiva takes a dash of James Bond, the ghost of noir, a splash of Hollywood and stirs it into Blood is Pretty, an adventurous, fast-paced first novel." — Melodie Johnson Howe, Edgar-nominated author of The Mother Shadow
"The Fixxer has the mystery of the Shadow, the sophistication of James Bond and the street smarts of Sam Spade." — Stuart Nulman, Book Banter/CJAD, Montreal
"Fixxer is a fascinating character. Intrigue; murder; mayhem in a fast-paced action-filled adventure." A truly great first novel. — E. V. Le Roux, Silver Moon Magazine
"Blood is Pretty is set in Hollywood, it's funny, it's kind of dark, and has a lot of biting things to say about Hollywood. I urge people to check it out." — Jeff Cannata, DLC Podcast


“Leiva’s immense gifts for mystery and suspense are matched only by his wry, biting wit in skewering the Hollywood he clearly knows so well.” Paul Provenza; author of ¡Satiristas!, director of The Aristocrats, host of Showtime's The Green Room with Paul Provenza

“At last, Steven Paul Leiva has given us a second Fixxer adventure. Ever since I read Blood Is Pretty a few years ago I’ve been eagerly anticipating more fun, exciting, and riotously entertaining travels with Leiva’s Bond-like character. This time Leiva mines his firsthand knowledge of the community he has toiled in for much of his life, Hollywood. And he does it with the same wry humor, intellectual insight, and terrific storytelling that are the consistent signatures of his work. Once you start this novel you won’t put it down.” — Ken Kragen, legendary Hollywood producer/manager

A fast-paced thriller with more twists than a box of Rotini pasta. Leiva ratchets up the action to a nuclear level, following his first Fixxer novel, Blood is Pretty. — L. Dean Murphy, The Big Thrill Magazine



"Steven Paul Leiva has written an engaging, thoughtful, and kind book. In this era of unlikeable characters and the idea that a "good" book is one in which horrible things happen to horrible people, Leiva has turned that entirely on its head. Even when people act badly, he has told their story with sympathy and grace, with a complete kindness for even the most outwardly difficult characters. By the Sea is long, but it's not fat. It's all muscle. And what a satisfying book it is! Leiva has built his small world perfectly, and each character is so complete and well thought out that what at first seem disparate pieces fit together perfectly by the end. It's a hat trick in perfect proportions!" -- Jo Graham, author of Black Ships, Hand of Isis, and Stealing Fire.

"Leiva writes the story with a great deal of depth and perception as he explores the lives, thoughts, and ambitions of each main character...the book's ending plays upon the they-all-lived-happily-ever-after angle in a quite satisfying but not wholly exaggerated manner. Oh, and by the way, the book is filled with plenty of salty language and sex scenes that are blushingly frank and explicit." -- Stuart Nulman, Montreal Times

By the Sea is a delightfully engaging story about an eccentric community that resides in the foggy environs of Leech Beach...Leiva deftly interweaves characters' past and present to create a vibrant ensemble that is immediately appealing comic treatise on small-town politics where sexual liaisons abound, on a collection of individuals who live cheek-by-jowl but find to hysterical effect, that they know each other not at all. By the Sea is a light-hearted, clever read-- Literary Fiction Book Review


"Bully 4 Love is definitely not your typical romance novel. And that's the best part about it. There's nothing schmaltzy within these pages. In fact, Leiva tears out the wires of the romance genre and scrambles all the circuits, which leaves the reader with some tears, but mainly tears of laughter. It has a sort of Mel Brooks tone to it that will first make you utter 'Huh?' and then switch to 'Ha Ha'. So if you want a rom-com story that breaks all the rules (stucco face-shredding and all), then ditch the Harlequin Romances! Bully 4 Love is the beach and balcony read for you. — Stuart Nulman, Montreal Times.

"I am envious. This isn't a book I would have picked up off a shelf. It's "literary," and has romance in it. I am more of a blows-up-real-good kind of gal. But I have loved everything I've read from this author, and so I read this, too. And now I am envious. It so sooooooo well written. There are pages I went back and re-read just because they were that good. It has twists and turns and excellent dialog and I am envious that I cannot write something like this. So naturally, I am recommending it, as I like to recommend good books. If you're a writer, it's good for study, too, as Leiva's technique is exquisite. You'll be envious, too." -- Jean Rabe, USA TODAY Bestselling Author.

"I really enjoyed reading this story. It brings you through the full range of human relationships. This book at times made me laugh and at other times made me cry. This is a contemporary tale that you really won't want to miss. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading deeply personal stories about how the simplest of things can be the catalyst to forever alter the course of someone's life." -- Mom Kat Reads Blog.

"I will say this definitely lived up to the title - it's odd. Not bad odd, and definitely interesting. I was captured from the first page, and the unique style kept me turning pages until the end. Above all, this story is about connections. Connections to each other, romantic, platonic, professional. I'm not sure if I'd call it a romance necessarily, and if you're looking for your typical romance story, you'll be sorely disappointed. If, however, you want something that is off the beaten path, and a bit unique, then this is exactly what you're looking for. A must-read." — Liliyana Shadowlyn, The Faeire Review

"Bully 4 Love: A Rather Odd Love Story by Steven Paul Leiva—a deftly crafted contemporary romantic comedy that showcases the author's genuine flair for originality and a distinctive kind of narrative storytelling that quickly captures the reader's total attention and holds it firmly from cover to cover...unreservedly recommended." — Midwest Book Review 

Monday, November 29, 2021



Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Since the death of Stephen Sondheim last Friday, I have posted and shared on Facebook a lot of the outpouring of sadness and expressions of love that followed. Despite having lived a long life, those of us who revered the man and his talent thought he would go on forever. Thus the shock over his death. Of course, Sondheim’s music and lyrics will last many more lifetimes; we will always have that. But the man himself, known by some personally, known by fans via documentaries, books, and many interviews, will be greatly missed. I wish I had been of the former instead of (or, rather as well as) the latter. Still, I once wrote him a letter, having somehow gotten his home address, and was fortunate enough to have received an answer. 

This was in 1980 when I was starting a career in film animation. I hoped to convince Sondheim of the viability of making an animated feature based on his musical Company, a play about the ups and downs, the good and bad about marriage. And about the need not to be lonely in life. Some of you might think that was weird of me. Certainly, a lot of people back then did. But I didn’t care. I wanted to see American Animation grow the hell up and stop making just “kiddie flicks,” as some perceived them to be. So I wrote a rather lengthy letter to Sondheim extolling the aesthetic benefits of animation and my vision for a film.

As you can read in the letter below, Sondheim rejected the idea. 

I have had more than a few rejections in my life. They are never pleasant. But this one I cherish. Simply because it exists. Simply because Sondheim was a gentleman. Because he, at least, listened. And because he was Sondheim.

To prove that I was serious about my idea for an animated Sondheim, I include below a caricature of me by Brad Bird. We were partnered at the time with Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz in a proposed animated feature based on Will Eisner’s great comic book, The Spirit. Which also would not have been a “kiddie flick.” And indeed, Hollywood refused to get behind it. But that’s another story. Brad and I were flying home from New York after meeting with Eisner to secure the animation rights to The Spirit (which we did) when Brad drew my caricature in The Spirit’s iconic clothes. But what is really telling is what he has me saying -- “On a whole, I would rather be doing Sondheim.” So I must have been bending Brad’s ears on the subject.

Brad was wrong. Of course, I would not have “rather” but “as well as.” I was excited about The Spirit project and still regret that we could not get it made. Coming out in the early 80s, as was the plan, The Spirit would have started the animation revolution that had to wait for a little mermaid. And it would have been a whole different kind of revolution.

Oh, well, on the whole, these days, I’d rather be writing my novels. And so I do.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021



People who follow me on Facebook and this blog will know that I am a fan of Jean Rabe’s. She's a generous and wise person and a good and caring friend. But she is also, at her core, a damn fine writer of popular fiction with a well-honed power of description of both people and places that elevates her work above the crowded field of stories on offer out there. Right now she is on a blog tour touting the audiobooks of three of her four (so far) Piper Blackwell Mysteries. So I asked her to drop by and offer her thoughts on discovering the thrill of an author hearing her work beautifully narrated. 

So...ladies and gentlemen...Jean Rabe. 


Spencer County’s Fancy Frosting

by Jean Rabe

I hadn’t thought much about it, having an audiobook, when I wrote my first mystery, The Dead of Winter. A freelance editor approached me with the notion, said he’d handle it, and that he had a narrator in mind. Okay, I said, let’s go with it.

The narrator was the most magnificent Catherine Wenglowski. 

I watch The Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network. I am AMAZED at what a group of talented bakers can make … works of art, really. (I am also amazed that they would put that much time and effort into something that would be cut up and eaten … seems like a waste, eh?) Anyway, to my point: sometimes they frost their concoctions with this stuff called “mirror glaze.” It’s bright, shiny, smooth, and pours over a cake or cookies seamlessly.

Catherine’s voice is mirror glaze—bright, shiny, perfect, smooth.

When some of my friends heard my first audiobook, they looked up other things Catherine had recorded so they could buy more. To them, it wasn’t about the story …it was about her voice.

Apparently, Catherine liked Sheriff Piper Blackwell enough to record the next two books in the series: The Dead of Night and The Dead of Summer. All three are featured as part of this blog tour. Yeah, I read the books over and over as I was writing them. And now I’ve listened to them multiple times because she brings Spencer County to vivid, shiny life.

I feel incredibly fortunate that the editor suggested I take The Dead of Winter to audiobook form. I wouldn’t have done it without that nudge … and I wouldn’t have gotten to hear the most magnificent Catherine Wenglowski narrate the adventures of Piper Blackwell.

Before this experience, I’d only listened to two other audiobooks. One a Robert Crais novel (have to love Elvis and Joe), and the other one of my Rogue Angel adventures. Neither were as good … oh, the books might have been. But they didn’t sound as good. I hadn’t purchased more audiobooks because those two hadn’t been TERRIFIC. Once in a while I have Alexa play something Patrick Stewart narrated … but that’s not the same thing as an entire audiobook.

If I’d had heard a book earlier by Catherine or someone as talented, I certainly would not have stopped with Roger Crais and Rogue Angel. It’s nice to sit back and have someone tell you a story. I finally ‘get’ why people appreciate audiobooks.

Steven Paul Levia, who is graciously hosting this blog post, was fortunate with his audiobook, Creature Feature, which was narrated by actors Seamus Dever and Juliana Dever, who were on the Castle television series. I’ve listened to that one twice, and will again during the Thanksgiving weekend.

I’ll also listen to my Dead books again, hearing Spencer County, Sheriff Piper Blackwell, and Deputy Oren Rosenberg reflected in the mirror glaze.

It’ll be grand to curl up next to the fireplace with a few dogs, a blanket, and listen to Catherine pour the fancy frosting over Spencer County, Indiana. 


Piper Blackwell is the newly appointed sheriff in this intense mystery-thriller series set in a small town in Indiana from Faust Lifetime Achievement winner, Jean Rabe. Narrator Catherine Wenglowski lends her voice to this series of books that will keep you up at night...              

About the Books

BUT FIRST! I hasten to remind you that on Amazon if you buy the ebook you can get the audiobook for around half off. What a deal! Sometimes it's fun to read and hear the words simultaneously. I recommend it. So check out the PIPER BLACKWELL MYSTERY SERIES! I bet you won't hate me for suggesting it.


In a deceptively peaceful county, a murderer hides in plain sight.

Fifty-eight minutes into her first day on the job, 23-year-old Sheriff Piper Blackwell is faced with a grisly murder, the victim artfully posed amid decorations on his lawn. Drawing on former military training, Piper must prove herself worthy of the sheriff's badge, and that won't be easy.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Length: 8 hr 47 min

Language: English


As Sheriff Piper Blackwell rushes to a clandestine meeting with an aging, paranoid veteran who believes spies are trailing his every move, she is caught in a fierce thunderstorm. Pounding rain drums against the bluff, washing away the earth and revealing a grisly secret someone tried to bury a long time ago.

Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff, and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings, sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.

Accompanied by Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, Piper seeks to expose a truth someone wants to remain forever hidden. The investigation may have started with a thunderstorm, but Piper aims to finish it and find justice. Uncovering fragments of Spencer County’s history could prove more dangerous - and deadlier - than she ever expected.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Length: 8 hr 32 min

Language: English


Shouts of delight turn to screams of terror when a carnival ride goes berserk at the Spencer County Fair. Sheriff Piper Blackwell must contain the chaos and investigate the possible sabotage, even as she tries to solve a local businessman’s horrific murder.

But managing two investigations with at least one killer on the loose pushes the young officer and her tiny staff to their limits. Can Piper catch the murderer, or will the summer’s body count continue to rise?

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Length: 8hr 19 min



About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author, Jean Rabe's impressive writing career spans decades, starting as a newspaper reporter and bureau chief.

From there she went on to become the director of RPGA, a co-editor with Martin H. Greenberg for DAW books, and, most notably, Rabe is an award-winning author of more than forty science fiction/fantasy and murder-mystery thrillers.

She writes mysteries and fantasies because life is too short to be limited to one genre--and she does it with dogs tangled at her feet because life is too short not to be covered in fur.

Find out more about her at

About the Narrator

Catherine Wenglowski is a New York City-based audiobook narrator. With a background in theater and as a classically trained singer, combined with her lifelong love of reading, Catherine uses her trained ear and creativity to add breath and life to characters and to connect with her audience. Visit her website at: