C. Litka

Biography

I write adventure romances. Romances in the old sense of novels that depict settings and events remote from everyday life. The fact that my stories are set in imaginary times and locales, mean that they can conventionality be considered science fiction. The heart of science fiction, however, is found in short stories, and in speculating on future society and technology, which is not my focus. I write character focused novels that use imaginary locales for that remoteness from everyday life that gives them the air of those old fashioned romances.

In my teen years I read hundreds of science fiction books. Since then I’ve read many other types of novels, detective and mystery stories, humor, adventure, military, and sea stories, most of them written in the first half of the last century. Having lived a perfectly ordinary and, thankfully, an uneventful life, it is my reading that has shaped the style and themes of my stories – old fashioned stories with modern sensibilities. I write first person narratives featuring likable, modern characters, lighthearted, realistic adventures, told with humor and a bit of that other type of romance as well.

I live in a small Wisconsin town. I’ve been married for as long as I can remember, with two grown children and a couple of grandchildren. Besides writing, I paint impressionist landscapes and put in an hour’s bike ride each day on the local bike trail when it’s warm and, during the long Wisconsin winters, inside, with the bike on a stand next to a window.

Smashwords Interview

How can readers get in touch with you?
I welcome emails from readers. I can be reached at cmlitka@gmail.com

For my paintings on Deviantart there is a way for people to leave comments, and it was always nice to hear form people and get to know them a bit. I miss that with writing, so please feel free to drop me a line. If you have any questions or comments, I would be glad to respond, and just for the record, I know that I can't please everyone, so if you have some complaints, I'd be glad to hear those too.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find C. Litka online

Series

Tales of the Tropic Sea
Adventure stories set in the islands of the Tropic Sea.
The Lost Star Stories
The adventures of Wil Litang, Captain of the tramp space ship Lost Star in the Nine Star Nebula and the Archipelago of the Tenth Star.

Books

The Girl on the Kerb
Price: Free! Words: 114,210. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2023. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
(5.00 from 1 review)
An exciting novel of espionage, adventure, and romance. Two agents, Henri Hardy and Jeanne Murat volunteer to investigate the crash of a mysterious flying machine in EuraEast tied to dangerous ambitions of the Duchess of Fauconcourt, the region’s ambitious administrator. Their mission quickly goes south, forcing them to overcome a series of perilous situations in to discover the unexpected secret.
The Aerie of a Pirate Prince
Price: Free! Words: 40,770. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2022. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Rafe d’Mere and his companion, the crow Kee find themselves volunteered into tracking down a shipping container hijacked by the local pirate prince. They succeed all too well, to the annoyance of that pirate prince. So once again d’Mere ends up looking down the barrel of a pirate prince’s darter in this new Nine Star Nebula Mystery Adventure story.
Shadows of an Iron Kingdom
Price: Free! Words: 71,860. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.00 from 1 review)
Vaun Di Ai and Rafe d’Mere return in this sequel to The Secrets of Valsummer House, a Nine Star Nebula Mystery/Adventure. This time around, they find themselves on a new planet, Ironlode, and in a Gothic inspired throw-back society of dark forests, ruined castles, and werewolves that are not merely stories. The stakes are high and their enemies are playing for keeps.
The Secrets of Valsummer House
Price: Free! Words: 71,500. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
In this mystery story sequel to The Secret of the Tzarista Moon Lt Di Ai returns to Pine Cove merely to tick off boxes in the case file of the pirate prince’s secret armory, to Rafe d’Mere’s delight and alarm. Pirate princes don’t take kindly to people who cross them, and she did. Add the arrival of a mysterious robot in a box and a mysterious lady, and who knows what danger Di Ai will stir up?
The Secret of the Tzaritsa Moon
Price: Free! Words: 64,790. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
Rafe d’Mere saved the Tzaritsa Moon, a spaceship that a pirate prince wanted destroyed. Rafe now had to save himself. He needed to get lost until things quieted down. But then, he met a Patrol agent investigating why the pirate prince wanted the ship destroyed. She had a pretty face, and Rafe soon found himself helping her uncover the secret of the Tzaritsa Moon. A SF mystery/adventure story.
Keiree
Price: Free! Words: 34,220. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.20 from 5 reviews)
Revived after 700 years years, Gy Mons, and his cat Molly, find themselves still on Mars. A plague devastated the solar system soon after they’d been put into suspended animation for the long interstellar expedition that had never sailed. Gy’s love, Keiree Tulla had signed on as well, but her stasis pod had been stored elsewhere, in an unknown facility, so Gy and Molly set out to find her.
Lines in the Lawn
Price: Free! Words: 4,520. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Family / General, Fiction » Children’s books » Short Stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
Lines in the Lawn is a short story with illustrations written to be read by a grownup to a child. Young Roy Williams dreams of the day when he is old, big, and strong enough to mow the lawn just like his dad. The day finally arrives, first just the little backyard, and as he grows older, the long, sloping front yard. But when his dream is realized, does he really want it anymore? A mystery.
The Prisoner of Cimlye
Series: Tales of the Tropic Sea. Price: Free! Words: 54,270. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » General
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
The Prisoner of Cimlye continues the adventures of Sella and Lessie Raah, and Taef Lang from the novel Sailing to Redoubt. Their story resumes six months later. It ties up loose ends and looks forward to their futures. But first, Taef and Sella must rescue Lessie, imprisoned by her angry grandfather, on a naval base on the remote island of Cimlye. A classic tale of adventure and romance.
Sailing to Redoubt
Series: Tales of the Tropic Sea. Price: Free! Words: 112,090. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
When Taef Lang agreed to hold a golden pendent for a sorceress of the Vente Islands he never dreamed of what lay in store for him. One soft, tropical night the Ventes came for him and he soon found himself on a danger filled quest in search of the legendary Last Redoubt of the world’s first people, the Founders. Sailing to Redoubt is a lighthearted adventure novel set in a lush, imaginary world.
Beneath the Lanterns
Price: Free! Words: 127,790. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Beneath the Lanterns is an adventure novel set in an imaginary land. When the son of the ruler of Azere, finds himself engaged to a daughter of the Empress of Jasmyne, his good friend, Kel Cam, offers his help in dealing with this unwanted bride. Kel soon finds himself entangled in the intrigues of empires, threatening not only his freedom, but his life – proving that no good deed goes unpunished.
The Lost Star's Sea
Series: The Lost Star Stories. Price: Free! Words: 351,320. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » Travel
(4.40 from 5 reviews)
The Lost Star's Sea is the complete sequel to The Bright Black Sea. Captain Wil Litang, shipwrecked on a floating island in the Archipelago of the Tenth Star, must survive its many perils -- storms, dragons, pirates, and the fabled Dragon Kings. Like the first volume of the Lost Star Stories, this is a rich, character-driven novel that celebrates and reinvents the classic planetary romance .
The Bright Black Sea
Series: The Lost Star Stories. Price: Free! Words: 328,600. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.58 from 19 reviews)
The tramp space ship Lost Star is a ship with a mysterious and very dangerous past. Its future is looking pretty iffy as well. Join the crew of the Lost Star as they cross orbits with cruel assassins, homicidal robots, deadly pirates, and the mythical dragons of space in this long, sweeping space opera which revisits, and reinvents, the golden age of science fiction space adventure.
Some Day Days
Price: Free! Words: 80,010. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
Be careful what you wish for – wishes can come true, as Hugh Gallagher discovers when the girl of his dreams, the incomparable Selina Beri, comes seeking his expertise on a piece of technology she needs to understand for her last final exam. Can Hugh, the classic shy, geeky, university student, avoid making a fool of himself with the girl he's loved from afar? A romance set in the near future.
A Summer in Amber
Price: Free! Words: 116,460. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
(4.11 from 9 reviews)
A young physicist is dispatched to a remote Scottish estate to secretly decipher the fragments of a manuscript that may hold the key to restoring the solar storm ravaged 21st century. Once there he finds whispers of a reincarnated wizard, strange forces linked to an eerie laboratory said to be a gate to the Otherworld, and a girl. A classic science fiction novel of adventure and romance.

C. Litka's tag cloud

adventure    adventure novel    adventure story    cats    child 5 to 8    classic science fiction    dad and son story    dragons    edgar rice burroughs    epic science fiction    espionage novel    fantasy    fantasy adventure    fiction science fiction adventure romance    free adventure novel    free espionage story    free fantasy adventure    free gothic science fiction    free mars story    free near future sf    free planetary adventure    free planetary romance    free post apocalyptic novel    free science fiction novel    free sea story    free sf adventure novel    free sf crime novel    free sf mystery    free sf novel    free sf romance    free space adventure    free space opera    free steampunk novel    golden age science fiction    imaginary worlds    lawn mowing    lighthearted adventure    mars    mystery adventure    mystery cozy    mystery sci fi    nautical fiction    near future sf    novel    oxford university    planetary romance    post apocalypse novels    post apocalyptic no zombies    read to kids story    romance    romance in college    romance scifi    sailing adventure    sci fi mystery    science fiction    science fiction adventure    science fiction adventure novel    science fiction mystery    science fiction mystery novel    scifi fiction    sea adventure    sf adventure    sf adventure novel    sf cozy mystery    sf crime story    sf gothic novel    sf mystery    sf new adult novel    sf series    short story    space adventure    space agents    space mystery    space opera    space pirates    steam punk    story for kids    time travel   

Smashwords book reviews by C. Litka

  • Saving Grace on May 12, 2022

    Saving Grace by Michael Graeme The narrator of this novel, Mike Garrat, is a 60ish year old bachelor, a salesman who was laid off in his late 50’s. Too old to start over, and with enough of a pension and savings to see him through to the age of 75, if he lives frugally, he spends his time volunteering at a charity bookshop, seeking comfort in old books while he muses on his life, his loves, and the dystopian nature of modern life in Britain. That is, until one day, as it says on the tin, when a beautiful woman walks in and ruins his life. He is then forced to rebuild a new life from the ruins, which he does, with the help of Lesley, a homeless young woman, and his boss at the bookshop, Maggs, a woman trapped in an abusive marriage. This is literary mystery of sorts novel with a slow burn romance, a leisurely mystery, that is liberally peppered with observations about contemporary society and British life – as viewed by a man alienated from it. You know the tune – everything is going to hell in a handcart, as it has been since we left the trees, though in this story those observations are leavened with wit and humor. In addition the story is graced with richly drawn, likable characters that you come to care about. I usually enjoy light fiction, this story takes a dark turn early on, but you have to hit bottom before you can start back up. As the story progresses, and Mike slowly finds a new life for himself and his friends, it grows more hopeful. In addition to his struggles, he slowly unravels the mystery surround the of the beautiful young lady who initiates both the destruction of his old and lonesome life and sparks a new and more hopeful one. Michael Graeme is a very good, thoughtful writer. And while this is not my usual fare in reading – I honestly enjoyed this book.
  • A Lone Tree Falls on May 18, 2023

    Michael Graeme’s A Lone Tree Falls concerns itself with many things. Set in the rather dystopian world of present day England – at least in the eyes of the story’s narrator – it is a mystery novel, a British spy novel, a mundane fantasy, a dark warning of things to come that speculates on the mystery of life, all woven together in a literate style. If it is not literary fiction, it walks close to the line, interweaving thoughtful commentary on life, change, aging, and metaphysics together with black pebble eyed mobsters, with posh corrupt millionaires, ruthless professional spies, half mad magicians, if you believe in such stuff, and ordinary, everyday, people trying to make a go of life. The first person narrator of this novel is one George Swift. George who is a retired spook. An analyst for the British Secret service. A backroom fellow who shot only one adversary between the eyes – in self defense – during his 30 year career which he served mostly abroad. By exchanging hotel rooms with a diplomat, a common precaution, he gets bombarded with microwave energy – or some such thing – meant for the diplomat that inflicts the foggy brain symptoms known as the infamous Havana Syndrome. No longer sharp enough to do his job, he’s retired early. Having lived largely on his per diem, he has a large bank account to see him through his retirement years, and files to keep him, hopefully, safe. We get to know George Swift, if not Michael Graeme, pretty well in the course of the novel. W. Somerset Maugham once wrote about first person singular stories, “As we grow older, we become more conscious of the complexity, incoherence and unreasonableness of human beings; this indeed is the only excuse that offers for the middle-aged or elderly writer, whose thoughts should more properly be turned to graver matters, occupying himself with the trivial concerns of imaginary people. For if the proper study of mankind is man it is evidently more sensible to occupy yourself with the coherent, substantial and significant creatures of fiction than the irrational and shadowy figures of real life. Sometimes the novelist feels himself like God and is prepared to tell you everything about his characters; sometimes, however, he does not; and then he tells you not everything that is to be known about them, but the little he knows himself; and since as we grow older we feel ourselves less and less like God I should not be surprised to learn that with advancing years the novelist grows less and less inclined to describe more than his own experience has given him. The first person singular is a very useful device for this limited purpose.” But I digress. You're reviewing a book, Charlie. I can’t say if Graeme’s George Swift is much like himself, but George has a lot to say about himself, and the world he finds himself back in, after so many years abroad. Less so, about some of his other characters, as befitting a novel concerning the secret service, and indeed, the even more secret world of mystics and magicians who have explored the universe we live in and have found ways to tap it, and, at the risk of madness, manipulate it. In this shadowy world where magic, or the knowledge of the universe exists that allows for its manipulation, George Swift is merely a mystic. He understands it, a little, and gains insight but does not manipulate it. Though foggy-brained and pushing 60, if not beyond, George is a deceptively dangerous man. He still knows how to play the game, and plays it well, if cautiously. The story opens with George returning to the midlands town of his youth to settle the estate of his recently deceased father. He finds himself a stranger in a strange land. The England of his golden youth is now uglier, poorer, and far more corrupt than the land he remembered, as we all find when we return, after a long time, to the land of our own golden youth. He has much to say about this dystopian England that he sees around him, and in the first 50 or 60 pages of this novel, the plot thread hangs, almost unseen, on a meadow with an ancient tree decked with ribbons with cryptic runes in cipher, a faceless company trying to buy that meadow in order to turn it to more cheap houses, a black pebble eyed gangster with two vicious dogs who now lives behind his childhood home playing loud music at all hours, and nice girl that serves him coffee. I mention this only because the deeper plot is slow to get started. It starts with a trickle. Patience must be had. And indeed, even as the plot turns into a steam, it still winds and weaves its way through many thoughtful observations, inner thoughts, and conversations with you, dear reader. At any rate, the secret service, or elements of it, are interested in that meadow, or rather the girl connected to the meadow – who seems to be a rather special girl, a girl with special talents – who George met at the coffee shop and again at the garden shop. She opposes the sale of the meadow, wrote the runes hanging on the tree, and is in some sort of danger. By chance, George’s presence in this part of England, his rambles through his old haunts, including the tree and meadow, are observed by his old employer, tying him to this girl, sparking the interest of his old secret service boss. George is summoned, questioned, and then assigned the task of keeping this girl safe from someone or something unknown. And that, I think is as far as I will go into the plot. I hate spoilers and reviews that summarize the entire story. All I will say about the plot, is that while this novel serves up much more than just the plot – from speculation about how climate change will alter the very fabric of Britain to how the universe works – do we create it in our own minds, so that a lone tree that falls makes no sound if we don’t hear it, or are we products of a dreaming universe – that there is, in fact, a strong, well constructed plot that leads to a satisfying conclusion. In short, however much this river winds, it finds the sea at last. That said, I suppose that if you stopped reading this review some time back, you probably would find Graeme’s The Lone Tree Falls not to your taste. But if you happen to find yourself still here, I think I can safely say that you will enjoy this novel. I highly recommend it.