Guest Post: Lisa Burton Talks about Grinders

Happy Monday, everyone! No mystery today because I’m welcoming back a very special guest, Lisa Burton.

Lisa the Robot Girl is the personal assistant to my friend and fellow writer, C. S. Boyack. He’s got a brand new release and Lisa is here to talk about it. So, without further ado, let’s welcome her!

Oh my gosh, Joan, I’m so happy to be back. It gets kind of lonely at the writing cabin, and this girl likes to get out of the house once in a while.

Anyhoo, I’m here to promote Craig’s newest book, Grinders. This one is pretty fun because it’s a return to science fiction. Robot girls are all about science fiction. Specifically, Grinders is a cyberpunk story.

In this story, there are a lot of colorful characters, and Brandi the moth girl is one of them. She’s way fun, and reluctantly, helpful to the main plot, too.

Grinders are kind of backyard scientists, mad scientists even. They modify their bodies with little bits and pieces of technology. This happens even today, but in this story, it’s kind of rampant. They’re like unlicensed tattoo parlors or nail techs, only these guys are performing surgery in basements, garages, and such. You can see the problem.

Brandi works at this cop bar called Omars. There used to be two servers there, but her friend left. Before the other girl moved away, they saved up their money and did some business with one of these grind shops. Brandi had these feathery antennae implanted into her skull— Moth girl, get it? They look super cute, and that’s what she was going for.

The antennae also function, so Brandi is a super-taster. She can taste things out of the air, like cologne, what sushi isn’t quite fresh, that kind of thing.

The main plot is about a cop named Jimi who wants to bust a grind shop. Grinder squad is the worst duty a cop can get. She wants to earn her way out by doing a good job and drawing attention.

Brandi works at a cop bar. Jimi, and her partner Lou, are cops. Grinder squad meets girl with grinder tech. Jimi asked her about the installations, and the two of them really hit it off. They become friends.

The problem is that Brandi can’t remember anything about getting her installations. This particular grind shop had tight security, wore masks, and used anesthesia. It also went out of business.

Jimi has a lot of work to do that involves catching rat trappers who sell the rats for underground experiments, and working through a world of cyber-currency transactions before she even gets close to one of these grinders. The hinge point for her involves a rare form of cyber-currency being used to purchase an odd kind of pharmaceutical.

One night, while the girls are out on the town, Brandi is telling Jimi who is on drugs and what kind they’re on. Super-taster, remember. Jimi has one of those lightbulb moments, and a high-tech manhunt is on.

I’m not going to dive too much deeper into the story, because we want people to read it. This is only one angle on the story, and like I said, there are a lot of colorful characters to meet as you explore futuristic San Francisco with Jimi and Lou.

I always bring a poster to my hosts, so you can share it with your readers. This is me in the holographic forest, posing as Brandi the moth girl.

I hope your readers will check out grinders. It’s a rich world, filled with colorful characters, and an interesting plot to carry it all.

Lisa, thanks for taking the time to stop by today. I know Craig has been keeping you busy with all the writing and new releases he’s had over the past few months. It’s always fun to have you visit.


Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use backroom surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with a veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

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Cover Reveal: Grinders by C. S. Boyack

Hey everyone! No mystery today, but I’m happy to welcome back a special guest. Friend and fellow author C. S. Boyack is back. He’s planning to release a new book soon and today is the cover reveal!

I’m impressed with this one and I’m sure you will be also. Welcome, Craig!

I’m here to reveal my newest cover and talk a bit about Grinders. This time, I’m tackling a cyberpunk world. It’s one of those worlds where the Internet and being connected too much controls our lives.

One of the things I like about science fiction is the ability to project current events into the future. I call this, “Poking things with a stick.”

I poked a lot of things in this book, but most of them are in passing. Some of them show up in advertisements, which are invasive in this world. Others might just be a news blurb. There are times when I dive a bit deeper, and not everything is negative. Here is a small list of things that show up in the story:

  • Global warming
  • Plastic pollution
  • Helicopter moms
  • Cyber shut-ins
  • The energy crisis
  • New ways for package thieves to operate
  • Police who can’t carry guns until they are five-year veterans
  • Homeowner associations

There are a lot more, and most of them are pretty subtle. Cyberpunk is not known for deep plots, but I wanted one anyway.

Grinders is set about a hundred years in the future, in San Francisco. The main characters are cops assigned to the Grinder Squad. This is the duty nobody wants, and you almost have to screw up to get this assignment.

Grinders exist today, but I ramped them up for this story. These are people who surgically modify themselves, or each other, in basement surgeries, beauty salons, and tattoo parlors. Real world examples are those who implant chips under their skin to allow themselves to unlock doors or start cars without a key. There has even been one who injected dye into his eyeballs in an attempt to see in the dark. In that example, it actually worked but the results were temporary.

My story involves the downside of these modifications, why they’re illegal, and most of them are a bit more extreme than the real world versions. For example, you’ll meet Brandi, who has moth-like antennae implanted into her forehead. They aren’t just cute, they allow her to taste virtually everything. She’s almost like a bloodhound, only using the sense of taste.

Grinder Squad rarely ever does anything, but the new girl on the squad, Jimi, wants to bust a grind shop in the worst way. She feels like it could be her ticket off this crap detail and on to better duty.

One of my silly goals was to release the book in time for Chinese New Year. I’m not going to make it. I still need to finish my final pass, send it to the formatter, and get my promotional posters. It’s going to need a blurb, too.

I targeted this date because in the story, it’s the Year of the Rat. An important part of the story takes place at San Francisco’s annual parade. There are even a couple of rats in the story that play a pivotal role. Aside from that, I was born in the Year of the Rat.

Readers won’t actually care about my silly target date, and it’s more important to give everything the final polish. What I did get in time was cover art. So Gong Hei Fot Choi, everyone, and enjoy the cover. The story will be available before you know it, and I’ll announce that on my blog.