Thursday, February 27, 2014

Meet Country and His Buddies

Welcome Sharon Willett! She's brought some of her characters over for a chat about the first two books in the series: COUNTRY AND THE ROCK and COUNTRY CAPTURED.

Marva, so nice of you to ask me to visit with you and your friends. You mentioned that I could bring the guys from my trilogy. I could only talk three of them into joining me, but these three are in every book.

First I should tell you a little about the first book, Country and The Rock. Earth boys meet a young alien (Clicker) that wants to know what it’s like to be a kid on Earth. They’re plagued by some bad aliens (Venaticians) that are stealing from Earth. Clicker is a good alien. He and his group are trying to stop the Venaticians.

Oh, here’s Country the star of all three books.

Hi, Ms. Dasef. I’m glad to be back on Earth. Ms. Willett here, had me in another galaxy. I hope I’m back to stay for a while. I live in Michigan on a small farm. My dad works nights and the farm during the day. I help out, but he’s a pain to work with. Everything has to be perfect; I’m only twelve. I hope I’m not telling secrets because the last book isn’t even completely written, but we found out how much we really do care about each other.

Thanks, Country, it was fun sending you on that adventure. Stick around there may be questions you’ll need to answer. I’ll go on and give a summary of book two, Country Captured. The Venaticians take Country to the planet Sory trying to make a deal. Country escapes when they land and ends up saving the subterranean Sorians.

Clicker, step over here please. You’re next for introductions. I hope none of you will stare at his forehead. Yes, it does look like the inside of a fish’s gill and you might notice a change in the color now and then, but he wouldn’t hurt anyone. His real name is Moave and he’s from the planet Sory in the Whirlpool Galaxy.

Squeak, Squeak, Squeak. Hello and thanks, Marva Dasef, for the hot chocolate. If anyone has questions about me or my planet I’d be happy to answer them. Ms. Willett has an explanation of what my clicking and squeaks mean on her website. www.swillett.com  Is it all right if I sit down now?

By all means, Clicker, have a seat while I fill them in on the last book in the trilogy. The working title is Country Unleashed. Country and Miguel are stranded on the planet Sory for a short time before coming back to Earth to free our planet from the thieves that are stealing our fossils and tearing down the Rocky Mountains.  Excuse me, it’s sometimes hard to keep these boys in line.  Miguel, what are you doing?

I’m practicing swagger so maybe I can impress everyone. I talked to the other guys. Brady’s off in Europe with his parents, Colt had a race today and Mason said only sissy boys would come to a place like this. I tried to tell him it’s almost as good as being on TV. I’m here to tell you book three is my favorite because I get to wear this cool bracelet that takes you wherever you think. I found out you can’t let your mind wander.

Thank you, Miguel. That did get you into some trouble. I see the bite has healed.

For buy links and other information, visit Sharon on her website at http://www.swillett.com/

Buy Country and the Rock at MuseItUp Publishing or Amazon
Buy Country Captured at MuseItUp Publishing (coming soon to other stores)

We’re prepared to answer questions, so maybe we should move on to that portion of the program.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tall Redheaded Kick-Ass Heroines

Yes, they do. But mostly only in fantasy and science fiction. When I wrote a redheaded heroine in my books "First Duty" and "Ultimate Duty," I used as my model a real-life person I had known years ago. She was a natural redhead, close to 6' tall (and more in her Frye boots), and she kicked every single ass while barely moving a muscle.

I hung out with Dawn a few years of my college life. Her brother was a temporary boyfriend of mine (also a redhead and quite tall). When that relationship ended, I kept his sister. One excellent reason for doing so beyond her being a funny and witty woman, was her ability to attract men. They flocked to her, growling at each other like the wolves they thought themselves to be. Dawn would laugh.

She flat out told me she could get any guy (who was looking for a hook up, and some that weren't) just by standing up in a room. As that magnificent mane of red hair rose above the crowd, it was as if somebody threw a bucket of chum in the ocean. The sharks circled for a few moments then moved in for the kill.

Dawn would laugh. Place her ringed index finger gently on the chest of the closest and give the guy a tiny push. She had just kicked his ass...big time.

I miss Dawn. She went off to Alaska, then on to places unknown. She's still out there and, even at our age, she's probably still kicking ass even with a few gray hairs peeking through the red.

When I released "Ultimate Duty" after it ran for more than three years under the Eternal Press banner, I found another kick-ass redhead to adorn the cover. She looks a lot like Dawn. Dawn would laugh.

So all you other SF/F writers with your tall, redheaded kick-ass heroines, find yourself a real live one like my friend. I have the rights to her (whether she knows it or not), while you all are probably just thinking how cool a tall redheaded kick-ass heroine would be. Have you actually met one? I thought not. Dawn would laugh.

If you have modeled your tall redheaded kick-ass heroine after a real person, tell us about her in the comments. I'll give you a copy of my tall redheaded kick-ass heroine book, "Ultimate Duty."

In honor of my friend Dawn, wherever she may be, I've lowered the price on Ultimate Duty from $3.99 to $2.99 on Amazon and Smashwords.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

FREE Sunday and Monday on Amazon

Pop over to Amazon to pick up your free copy of "Fish Tales Plus," a sampler of three of my short stories.


Comment on this blog post, and I'll send you the full collection of my shorts, "Mixed Bag: Supersized," which has 20+ previously published shorts all in a single volume.


Friday, February 21, 2014

RELEASE DAY: A New Fantasy by Sue Perkins

CLOUD KINGDOMS BOOK ONE: CAISHEL
New from Desert Breeze Publishing

Leave a comment to enter to win a free copy of Caishel.

Today Sue Perkins has brought along Caishel, the heroine of the first book in the Cloud Kingdoms series. Good morning ladies. Caishel, I understand you lived your teenage years as a street urchin. Can you tell us about this?

C: My parents died in an epidemic when I was twelve. I had no other family and had nowhere to live, so I took to the streets.

M: You dressed as a boy. Is that correct?

C: Yes, my father always said women didn't survive in Ardville without a male protector. Now I'm older I know what he meant.

M: How did you manage to conceal your body as you grew up?

C: Binding chest and a poor diet kept me looking boyish.

M: How did you meet Sire Ailan?

C: I ran into him, literally. I'd stolen a fruge, that's a sort of apple, and the stallholder chased me. Sire Ailan blocked my way and I didn't see him until it was too late. Later the same day I met him again and he offered me a job as his page up in the castle in the clouds.

M: Did he know you were female?

C: Not right away, but he soon found out. He didn't tell me he knew though. He wanted to keep me safe and letting me continue as his page was the best way to do this.

M: What was life as a page like?

C: I managed. The other pages didn't like me. They were all sons of Sires or minor nobles so they went out of their way to trip me up, get me into trouble with tutors and lots of other things. I soon sorted them out though. To be quite honest I enjoyed getting the better of them.

M: What was the best thing about being a page?

C: The best thing about being Sire Ailan's page was his nahar. Garlon is such a beautiful animal and gentle, yet fiery when necessary. I got to ride him when the groom was too busy.

M: Now things have changed for the better for you? Would you tell us how?

C: I don't think I should (glances at Sue who shakes her head). No, I'll just say my life now is wonderful, but I can't tell you or I'll spoil the book for you.

M: I see. Well thank you Caishel and Sue for visiting today.

Excerpt

A white, wispy figure flitted through the edge of the trees. The spirits seldom spoke directly to her, but their goodwill came across when they met. Caishel slipped into the forest and headed for the clearing where the Eos were normally found. This would be her last chance to say goodbye. Patiently sitting on a tree stump, she waited until the misty, insubstantial creatures appeared. Their large dark eyes looked depthless against the pure white of their clothes, skin, and hair. Silently they surrounded her, waiting for her to speak.

"I'm going away, so I've come to say goodbye."

In an uncharacteristic gesture, one of the spirits reached toward her and her hand moved in response, but the other's arm quickly withdrew.

"I'm going to live up in the castle," Caishel paused. It could be dangerous to ask about the one who'd pushed the urn, but they might know what had happened. "Have any of you been into the town today?"

The spirits looked at one another and then back at her, slowly one of them shook its head and Caishel sighed.

"Someone who looked like an Eos pushed a heavy urn onto a noble. It appeared out of nowhere, pushed the urn off the overhead bridge, and disappeared as quickly as it had come."

Her words produced an unusual response in the spirits. They looked quickly from one to the other in silent communication, and Caishel guessed they were talking telepathically. The one who had offered her its hand approached her again. Carefully, it placed a hand on her shoulder and Caishel looked up into the beautiful dark eyes.

Please tell us exactly what you saw. No sound came from the creature; the words were in her head.

"I guess it's okay if I speak out loud?" The creature nodded. "I saw a flash of white and looked up in time to see a figure appear on the bridge. It turned solid, pushed the urn off the bridge then disappeared again."

We believe this to be a member of a long lost sister tribe and would like to re-establish contact with them. Would you be able to communicate should you see this being again?

"I'm not sure, but I doubt if I'll have the chance. It's not likely to come up to the castle." A glance through the leaves overhead showed the sun's position and Caishel knew the time had come to leave. "I have to go now, but I'll try and do as you ask."

Bio

Sue Perkins and her family emigrated to New Zealand many years ago. She lives with her husband live on a three acre property at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Her interests include writing, reading, genealogy, going to the gym and aqua aerobics. Sue’s first writing love is fantasy, and this is for adults, young adults and children. She also writes contemporary romance books. Her aim is to write a full length epic fantasy novel. The outline is complete, and Sue's hope to finish the first draft in 2013 failed, so she is going to try for the end of 2014.

Visit Sue's website for more about her wonderful fantasy books.

Leave a comment to enter to win a copy of Caishel.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Visiting the Multiverse Blog: Using ACX for Audio Books

I'm visiting Liza O'Connors Multiverse Blog today talking about how authors can get their own audio books made and not have to pay thousands of dollars to do it. I have two books in audio format now.

Click Here to Read My Article

Leave a comment at Multiverse to win an Audible.com coupon for a free copy of either of my audio books. You can even give the coupons to someone else if you want!




CURIOUS CHAT WINNERS!

The winners from the Dual Blog Curious Chat Post are:

Penny Ehrenkranz
Fairday Morrow

Renee Duke and I are contacting the winners to find out what books they would like of their very own.

To read the Curious Chat post (you should since it's really cute), just click here (my blog) or here (Renee's blog).



Monday, February 17, 2014

New Edition, New Cover, New Book Trailer

I edited, formatted, and made a new cover for my SFR, Ultimate Duty. It is still being sold under the Eternal Press label, and bless 'em, as long as I get any royalties I'm due. But, it was time to move on (since the contract has long expired) and to see if I can induce new readers to try it out with a new, reduced price.

Ultimate Duty
A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I59IL4A $3.99
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/403811 - Leave a comment to get a coupon for a free copy.

Remy Belieux, a woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her ultimate duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

Here's the new, improved book trailer.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Curious Chat

See A Curious Chat on Renee Duke's Blog.

Through some type of eerie, time-jumping technical cross-up, it appears a Victorian street urchin from my novel The Mud Rose, has come in contact with 1930s era boy named Eddie, who relates his real-life exploits in Marva Dasef’s Tales Of A Texas Boy. Neither Hetty nor Eddie seemed aware that anything too strange had occurred, but Renee and I thought it was worth recording. Their conversation is being posted on both our blogs, and we’re offering free copies of our respective books to two randomly picked commenters who indicate they’ve visited both blogs (Details at the end.)
* * *
Eddie Perkins, age twelve, Hereford, Texas, 1933.
I wanted ta talk with Uncle Harley ‛bout comin’ ta visit in the Spring. Since we didn’t have a telephone out at the farm, I had to use the phone here at the mercantile. I asked Mr. Brown, and he said it was okay longs I ask the oper...the lady what answers how much it costs. I picked up the earpiece, spun the hand crank to ring up, and talked into the horn. I said I wanted Mr. Harley Granger in Linden. She says fine, and I wait awhile. Pretty soon, I hear a some scratchy sounds and I yell, “Hello, hello. Is anybody there?”
Hetty Styles, age ten, London, England, 1888.
I was in the front hall when that telephone thing went off. It’s some new-fangled contraption what Mrs. Granger says Paige, Dane, and Jack’s Uncle Clive had put it a month or two back. I let it ring a few times thinking she’d come to answer it, but she didn’t, so I figured I’d better. I picked it up a bit ginger-like, and said, “Uh, um, London 2-1-6.” Think that’s what Mrs. Granger says. I’d never talked into one of them things before, so I figured they’d have to excuse me if that weren’t right. “Who’s calling, please?” That’s the other thing what she says.
Eddie:
This is Eddie. I’m tryin’ to talk to my Uncle Harley Granger in Linden, Texas, but I don’t think I’m talking to who I want. You don’t sound like a Texas gal. Do you know my Uncle Harley? He don’t have any young girls and you don’t sound like you’re any older than my sister. If you don’t mind, would you tell me yer name?
Hetty:
Hi-ya, Eddie. I’m Hetty, and I’m coming on for ten. I’m in London, England. And there in’t no Mr. Granger here, just a Mrs. You say you’re in Texas? That’s in the United States of America, innit? Hard to believe I can be talking to someone that far off. But then, lots of things has been happening lately that’s kinda hard to believe. Until recent, me and our Pip – that’s me brother, he’s six – was dossing down in a shed of a night, and going hungry more often than not, but now we’s staying at a toff’s house with lotsa grub, and feather beds, and everything.
Eddie:
Well, I was tryin’ to reach Linden, not London, but it’s okay if this is a Granger’s place. I don’t know any Toff’s, though I think it’s nice you got a feather bed. If ya can tell me who you are, maybe I can figger out how I got to talkin’ to ya.
Hetty:
Not Toff like in a name. Toff’s just a fancy word for rich people. Me and Pip’s staying here ’til we goes to Canada. The Barnardo folks is arranging for that. My Canadian mates say it’s freezing cold in Canada in winter, and blistering hot in summer. It like that where you live?

Eddie:
Well, Canada is pretty far away from our Texas farm, so it’s maybe not as hot. It surely is hot here in the summer. We can get frost and occasional snow though. I recall a midnight ride crossin' the prairie in moonlight when the frost was on the ground. I thought it a mite perty, even if boys aren't supposed to think about such things. Worst part was findin' our neighbor lady dead in her kitchen.

Hetty:
Pip and me’s seen a few dead folk lying in the street. You kinda gets used to it. It’s how things is in a big city like London. Not likely to be in a city once we gets to Canada though. We’s probably gonna be on a farm or summut. You like living on a farm?

Eddie:
Oh, yeah! A farm is a great place to live. You shouldn't fear that at all. Mosta my good times have to do with the farm animals. We got horses, naturally, and pigs, chickens, a coupla milk cows. Our big money comes from our jackass, Beau. He's a frisky fella and all the folks round here like to use him for a stud. Mules are very important to farmin'.

Hetty:
Our Pip’s mad for horses, so if we gets on a farm what’s got them, he’ll be over the moon. I knows about chickens, and pigs, and cows, even though I’ve not had much to do with ’em. Dunno that I’ve ever seen a mule. What’s a mule? You said jackass, too, like they was the same. Is they?
Eddie:
Well, a jackass is a like a male donkey, but lots bigger, and they breed with mares, that’s female horses. When the foal is born, it ain’t a horse nor a jackass, but a crossbreed what’s called a mule. We’re pretty busy what with all the animals to tend.
Hetty:
How’s about school? I didn’t take to it right off, but I can see where it has its advantages. We learns about reading and writing, and doing sums, and all the countries in the Empire. Them the kind of things you learns about too?

Eddie:
School's okay. We gotta ride the horses to school every day. We learn all the stuff you do, I 'spect. Readin', writing', and 'rithmatic. I would like to know about that Empire thing. We live in what's called a deemocracy.

Hetty:
Your school must be quite a ways off if you has to ride horses. We walks to ours. An empire’s all the countries what belongs to England, and has the queen on their dosh. Canada belongs to the Empire, but I don’t think America does. Our queen’s Victoria. Who’s yours?

Eddie:
We don't have no queens and kings. We got a President. Right now, that’s Mr. Franklin Roosevelt. He's kind of like royalty. His cousin, Teddy, was President, too, but we elect presidents every four years. Things are hard right now. Pa says the ee-com-onee got busted. Then the Dustbowl happened. Made a lot of people have to leave their farms to find work elsewhere. Some came down our way from Oklahoma. Pa hired some of 'em on, even though things are tough all over.

Hetty:
Guess your president’s kind of like our prime minister. They changes at elections, too. Can’t say as I knows too much about ’em. Don’t think they comes down the East End. The queen don’t, neither, but she do go out and about a bit now more’n she used to. Lots of people saw her during her Jubilee procession. You ever seen your president?

Eddie:
I ain't had the privilege of meeting President Roosevelt, but I would surely like to and shake his hand. Pa says he's doing good things to get the country back on its feet.
Hetty:
England’s supposed to be doing real well at the moment, since we’ve got the Empire and all, though I don’t knows too many people what’s flush. It’s pretty hard graft for most of us. Up ’til we had the Barnardo folk looking after us, me and Pip had to go out larking.
Eddie:
What’s larking?
Hetty:
Mudlarking. Picking stuff out of the mud down by the river and selling it on.
Eddie:
I don't quite understand that. We got mudflats around here, but there ain't usually much in those dried up arroyos worth havin'. Sometimes I can find a dried up frog, but that's about all. What kind of stuff do you find?
Hetty:
Coal, nails, rope, old dishes, buttons, and the like, anything what a rag and bottle shop might buy. Wouldn’t have no use for frogs, though Nolly once told me that French people eats ’em, but no one round here do.

Eddie:
My Pa told me about the French folks eatin' frogs and even snails! He was in France durin' the Great War.
Hetty:
What war was that?
Eddie:
Supposed to be the war to end all wars. I know Americans, French folk, and Germans were fightin’, but I’m not sure who else.
Hetty:
England’s been in a lot of wars. Last one I remembers hearing about was some place called the Transvaal. Don’t make sense, do it, people going all over the place just to kill each other. Not that they don’t do that right here, too. You heard about that nutter, Jack the Ripper, doing in poor working girls?
Eddie:
Yeah, I heard about that Jack the Ripper feller. Right gives me shivers thinkin' about it. Did they ever figure out who he was?
Hetty:
Not yet. Me and Pip think we might have seen him. Can’t get anyone to believe us, though. ’Cept our mates, of course. And him. Think he believes us all right. One of the reasons we’s going to Canada is to get away from him. Long ways from home though, so we doesn’t quite know what to expect. Your Texas sounds a bit similar, so talking to you’s been a help in that regard. Anything else go on round your way that we might find of interest?
Eddie:
Well, ain't nothin’ too exciting, lessen you think a tame bear, a pig which can fly, a chicken what won't stay out of the kitchen, or finding mammoth bones on the prairie are interestin'. Me, my best time was when I got to go on a real cattle drive.

Hetty:
Our Pip’d probably like that too, if he got to ride a horse. The rest sounds pretty good and all. Better’n what we was doing here, anyway.

Eddie:
Yer brother’d be right at home here. We always ride our horses everywhere. I could let him ride Sam if’n he wanted.
Considerin' the hard life you lived, seems like you wouldn't have much fun, but there musta been sumthing excitin'. What's the most fun things you got to do in London?

Hetty:
Oh, we has our good times, like the queen’s jubilee, and the Lord Mayor’s procession, though that were better last year than this. An even on ordinary days, there’s organ grinders with monkeys what does tricks, and Punch & Judy shows and such. Day or two ago we even went to the zoo and saw all manner of funny-looking beasties. Actually, I think we’s just about to go off somewheres again, ’cos I hears Mrs. Granger calling, S’pose I’d best get off this thing. Nice talking to you.
Eddie:
Nice talkin’ with you too, Hetty. When ya’ll get to Canada, maybe you and Pip can come on down ta visit sometime.
* * *

They hung up at that point, thus breaking their most unusual connection, but if you’d like to read about Hetty and Pip’s adventures in Victorian London, The Mud Rose is available at:



http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/the-mud-rose

Eddie’s Depression-era adventures are recounted in, Tales Of A Texas Boy, available at:





If you’d like the chance to win FREE copies of Mud Rose and Tales of a Texas Boy just mosey (as Eddie would say) over to Renee Duke’s blog Time Travelling With Kids at http://www.reneeduke.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/a-curious-chat and leave a comment containing an indication that you’ve come over from my Cellophane Queen blog. A randomly selected commenter from each blog will each receive copies of both books.

Winners will be announced February 18th. Good luck!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Interview with a Unicorn Known as Smith

Bryan Fields entertains us today with a recording of an interview with a unicorn featured in his novel, "Life with a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend." If that title doesn't pique your interest, may I suggest you check if you're still breathing. More on the book following the interview.

* * *

…real unicorn is such a privilege. Alright, going in three, two, one…

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your background. Your name, where you’re from, what your childhood was like.

Why do you people keep asking my name? I’m the only one of my kind on your world. Call and I will hear you, rest assured. That point being made, Mr. Fraser chose to call me Smith. Among my kind, the concept which expresses my self-image is the squeaking made by river otter kits at play. I am not from a ‘where’, nor am I ‘from’ it. I carry the moment of primal causation within me. Nor did I have a childhood. In the first instant of my being, I was as I am now.

I do not like the word ‘Unicorn’; it lacks meaning. I am a Caretaker. It is my nature and the definition of my purpose. I do not defecate cookies, sparkling or otherwise, nor has any portion of my anatomy ever emitted a rainbow. If I come across a virgin maiden in the forest, I am no more likely to place my head in her lap than I am to tear her heart from her chest and eat it. I might infect her with a plague and send her to the nearest village if I needed to create an epidemic, but as a rule her existence would not be of any interest to me.

What are your day-to-day duties as a Caretaker?

Smith's Favorite Portrait
The Tribe was created to maintain the order and control required for the correct operation of our world. We attend to the larger systems required for life to exist. The survival or well-being of individuals is not our concern. We do heal people and cure diseases, but only as a matter of keeping things running smoothly and stopping trouble before it starts.

In my time I’ve relocated a colony of beavers for interfering with water distribution over half a continent, administered fifty-one plagues or epidemics, managed the evolution and emergence of three distinct subspecies of the weasel family, and corrected the magma flow to an undersea volcano to allow creation of an island chain. If I may be said to hate anything, it would be entropy.

Why do you want to destroy Earth?

I do not wish to destroy your world at all; in fact, I promised Mr. Fraser I would leave at least a few thousand of you alive to rebuild your civilization. I find your world reasonably attractive, if a trifle monochromatic at times. I simply cannot get used to green grass. It’s a vulgar overuse of a fine color.
It shames me to say it, but the Tribe committed a spiritual error when we allowed the Humans to rebel against the Sky-Riders. Our passivity allowed a war to devastate both races and plunge our world into chaos. This miasma of error still clouds the minds of my brethren. They would not accept the truth when I confronted them with our failure. Their pride and willfulness has left me no option. I will rectify the error and restore my world to the path it was created to follow.

I will need to collect the life-energy of several billion people before I can restore my brethren to righteousness. At the same time, I must render this world unusable to the Sky-riders. A global nuclear exchange is an elegant solution to both problems.

Why do you hate humans so much? Bad breath, politics, inferior quality of virgin maidens?

I love Humans, just as I love Elves, Dwarves, Northern Grey midden rats, and pine ticks. I don’t love *you*, because you are not Human. The only true Humans are the Humans of my world. You are an alien species I was not created to value. Hate requires value, and you have none to me.

Your race does not have balance. You are erratic, and poorly designed. You have no limits or satisfaction boundaries. The Humans of my world are stable and predictable, as they should be.

My world has many sentient races, all required to co-exist despite the differences in culture, religion and biology. All of them have a specific purpose in the overall design. Humans were created to be an expendable labor force cared for by the more advanced races, with the bulk of these duties falling to the Sky-Riders. In addition to providing protection, the Sky-Riders were to be teachers and advisors to the Human settlements assigned to them. Humans and Dragons were intended to need each other, with the Sky-Riders gathering energy from Human adoration and using it to make their own reproductive process functional.

Sky-Riders can live over a thousand centuries, and reproduce perhaps once in a millennium if they are guarding a large town with very good energy output. Humans – proper Humans – know their place and are satisfied with it. They do not aspire, or innovate, or dream. It takes a village of them a millennia to generate the energy for a Dragoness to clutch once. That is balance and stability in design.

I do not know why the Humans chose to reject the Sky-Riders as teachers and defenders, but it scarcely matters now. On Earth, it takes only three years for a Dragoness to absorb enough energy to be able to reproduce, and she gets it from one of you. Not only that, her eggs will be stronger and more numerous than normal. The situation is not acceptable. It will be rectified.

Is there anything about Earth you do like, or will regret destroying?

Ice cream. Naked mole rats – the absurdity of their design lifts my spirits. Overnight package delivery. Fascinating process I would enjoy studying in depth. I also regret being unable to find out how your culture will progress. The sheer volume of changes your race has made to this world since learning to make fire is astounding. I would have enjoyed discovering if your species survived to maturity or if you will be remembered only as a self-correcting error.

You’ve mentioned yourself and your world being created. What can you tell us about your creator, or creators?

Nothing. Nor can I comment on your creator or creators. If you wish to know something, ask them yourself. Next question.

Hey, come on, we just…

Next question.

It’s just a question. There’s no need to be a dick about it. How about… Can you tell us how your world was created? Did it just spring into being, or was it produced through the gradual accumulation of matter, according to current models of astrophysics?
I said you would need to ask your creator such questions. Allow me to make introduction.

SHI---


I will add one more piece of information to this interview: my people are omnivores, and I am ready for lunch. Take your equipment and go. I prefer lean meat, and you weigh at least one hundred pounds less than this fool.

Run. Now.

* * *

LIFE WITH A FIRE-BREATHING GIRLFRIEND
If you can’t stand the heat, don’t tickle the Dragon.

A lot of guys claim to have hot girlfriends. David Fraser has one who actually breathes fire.

Rose Drake is a Dragoness in Human form, come to Earth for three years to soak up the local energy and increase her chances of having happy, healthy, baby hatchlings when she goes home. In exchange for his time and energy, David’s body and love life both undergo extreme makeovers. It sounds like the deal of a lifetime.

Fate doesn’t let David and Rose off so easily. A friend of theirs is murdered, their homeowner’s association starts harassing them, and they have to complete a quest for an Elven sage in order to stop a genocidal Unicorn from turning Earth into a radioactive wasteland.

After all, when you’re dating a Dragon, you’re already a hero. It says so in the fine print.

Buy at:

Bio: By day, I’m a mild-mannered IT tech; by night, a writer who spends too much time in online games.  I grew up reading classical authors such as Verne, Burroughs, Wells, Haggard, and Lovecraft, often in conjunction with large doses of Monty Python, Wild Wild West, and Hee-Haw.  My current influences include Doctor Who, Girl Genius, and An Idiot Abroad.

I began writing professionally as a member of the content design team for the MMORPG Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted.  My first published short stories appeared in the anthologies The Mystical Cat and Gears and Levers III in 2012.

I live in Denver with my wife Noelle and daughter Alissa.  The three of us can often be found prowling around Istaria, Wizard City, and the wilds of Azeroth.  I also make occasional side jaunts to scavenge bits of ancient technology in the radioactive ruins of the Grand Canyon Province.

Learn more about me by following my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/BryanFieldsAuthor or my blog: http://laughingotterslair.blogspot.com/


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Christina Weigan Presents SANCTUARY OF NINE DRAGONS

SANCTUARY OF NINE DRAGONS
Book Three of the Twelve Pillars Series
Brandan missing, Airyn kidnapped, Joachim in a sea of despair, the country at war; can Maeve save them from catastrophe.

Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.

With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.

Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?

Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?

Excerpt:

“I have sent one who can save them, but he can also bring about their final destruction.

“You, my Guardians, must seek him out. Protect him and ensure he is guided on the right paths.”

Alorn lifted his great ruby-red head. “Tell us who is he, Lord, that we may fulfill Your wishes.”

“I cannot reveal his identity…yet. Just know there are three who need you now. My power will be seen in all, but only one will be the savior in the end. However, all are needed to bring My Will about, and they must all be protected and nurtured.”

“How will we know them?” Stefano leaned forward.

“All will be children of Brandan or Joachim, and they will blend the lineage of the three races.”

“We know of Joachim’s children, but Brandan has none.”

“He has one, a half Mantion-half human child. Gorou is the third, and he will be the hardest to protect and nurture.”

“Why a child of Brandan?” Cielo asked. “Brandan has already chosen the path of evil time and again. Would not a child of his be exposed to that same evil?”

“Although, he fathered the child, Brandan knows not of his existence.

* * *

MuseItUp Publishing bookstore: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/new-releases/sanctuary-of-the-nine-dragons-detail
Amazon Kindle Link http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Dragons-Palace-Twelve-Pillars-ebook/dp/B00IA4UWK6
Barnes & Nobles Nook Link http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sanctuary-of-the-nine-dragons-christina-weigand/1118475269?ean=2940148302995
Smashwords Link https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/403084

BIO: Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania, returning there after a short sabbatical in Washington. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter’s school helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.

Find Chris at:
Blog:http://www.weigandchris.com
Twitter: @CAWeigand
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/caweigand
Email: palaceofthetwelvepillars@gmail.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/chris_weigand
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/christinaweigand

Friday, February 07, 2014

From the Diary of Jake - The Akasha Chronicles

The Akasha Chronicles, in the third book, Emily’s Heart, Jake is a first-person narrator (in addition to the main protagonist, Emily). This bit is from Jake’s “private” diary and it’s from the period of time before the book begins.

From the Private Diary of Jake Stevens:

Sterling Beaumon as "Jake"
I used to be a pretty happy-go-lucky guy. So long as I had books to read and a frig full of Coke (regular, not that diet crap), I was happy. Well, and I guess I needed one more thing.

To be near her. The spicy, citrusy scent of her hair in my nostrils. The sound of her throaty laugh in my ears. The way her green eyes got bright and twinkly when she smiled. And her smile. When she smiled at me, it filled me with a joy I’ve never felt with anyone else.

Her smile. That was all I needed. Oh, I wanted more of course. But I’m a patient guy. I was content to wait. I figured if I treated her well enough long enough, she’d come around. She’d see the truth of it. She’d see that I loved her and I’d always loved her.

And I thought I always would love her.

But that was before. Before she loved someone else. Before she went and messed it all up.

Now? I don’t love her. I wish I never had.

The world is blanketed in a cover of darkness and it’s all her fault. My little brother and sister are always scared. My mom is filled with terror. We’re afraid all the time. And it’s all her doing.

And she loved him and not me. Now my heart is a torn up mess. And that’s all her fault too.

I wish I’d never loved her. I wish I didn’t still love her.

* * *

Emily's Heart (Book 3 of the Akasha Chronicles)

Seventeen-year-old Emily Adams unintentionally unleashed a shadow god's dark energy power into the world and started an Apocalypse. But Emily is also the only one that can end the dark god's reign. Though the powerful faerie magic of the golden torc is still coiled around her arm, self-doubt threatens to undo her. Emily wants nothing more than to feel the soft kiss of her one true love, but he won't even speak to her. Her first crush is still quite dead and her best friend remains a prisoner in the dark god's house of nightmares. A growing legion of black-eyed shadow people, devoid of conscience, roam the streets. Emily needs help now more than ever, but redemption seems far off indeed as she faces the expanding darkness alone.

Emily will need an army of her own if she is to save the world from being taken over by pure evil. But will a small band of Lucent geeks and freaks be enough to send the dark god packing?

Amidst chaos and ruin, will love blossom in Emily's Heart?

Excerpt:

We had a few minutes until class – or longer if our prof never showed up. We were shootin’ the shit about sports when I felt my phone, tucked inside my bag, wedged between the pages of my notebook, vibrate.

I dug the phone out and checked the caller ID. ‘Gabriella Hoffman.’ I didn’t know any Gabriella. But Hoffman. Could it be?

“You going to answer that?” Tristan asked.

“I’m not sure who it is.”

“They can’t beat you up over the phone, man. Answer it.”

I hesitated another second, but when it rang again, I hit the answer button.

“Hello?”

“Jake?”

“Yeah. Who’s this?”

“It’s Greta.”

Silence.

“Greta Hoffman.”

* * * 

Series Boxed Set: an Amazon Exclusive: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HY474BS


Author Bio:

Natalie is the author of The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult paranormal fantasy trilogy. When not writing, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Wattpadding or eating chocolate, Natalie nurtures her young daughter, plays with her two young cats, and feeds her dog too many treats.

Natalie enjoys walking in the high desert, snorkeling in warm waters, travel, and excellent food shared with family and friends. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, now lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a big city high rise.

Natalie enjoys chatting with readers, so stop by and say hi:

Blog: http://www.NatalieWrightsYA.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com.NatalieWright_
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com.NatalieWright.Author
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468945.Natalie_Wright
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/WritesKidsBooks
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/NatalieWright_
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/natwrites/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon U.S.:
e-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I2U3DWW
Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Emilys-Heart-Natalie-Wright/dp/1493697587/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Available at all Amazon stores world-wide.

Barnes & Noble:
e-book:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emilys-heart-natalie-wright/1117529273?ean=2940045480314 
Paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emilys-heart-natalie-wright/1117529273?ean=9781493697588

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/emilys-heart/id775369037?mt=11&uo=4

Smashwords: *Please use discount code WX85L for 25% off Cover Price!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/384756

The Akasha Chronicles Boxed Set – You SAVE 30% off the Cover Price for All 3 books!
An Amazon Exclusive: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HY474BS

Win a signed paperback using the Rafflecopter entry form! Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Breaking My Own Rules

I don't have many rules for this blog, but since it's mainly a vehicle for middle-grade and young adult books, I ask my visitors to keep their excerpts no hotter than PG-13. I only have one book which ranges into R-rated territory. That book is "Ultimate Duty."

Why are there sex scenes in this book? I added these specifically to test the waters of the science fiction romance (SFR) genre. In the plot's original form (a YA book titled "First Duty"), my main character is attracted to a couple of the men in the story, but nothing goes any further than a kiss.

In checking through the genre, I realized that readers of SFR were rarely young adults. The kids who like SF, wanted hard SF, which had nothing whatsoever to do with sexual organs, but with a lot good ol' science stuff.

While I have read and loved science fiction since my teens, I was an English major--specifically, documentation mixed with computer science classes. I knew about black holes, warp drives, alien worlds via my SF reading, not through taking classes in the sciences. Yes, I did the usual required courses, but beyond that I can tell you a lot about Shakespeare, Henry James, Mark Twain, John Updike, and even a mix of beat poets like Lawrence Ferlinghetti or Alan Ginsberg (if you don't know about "Howl," just look him up).

I know just enough science to be a menace writing science fiction. Without that solid science background presented by the likes of Robert Heinlein, Isacc Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, and the passel of more contemporary science fiction writers, I had nothing to offer that couldn't be picked apart by any decently nerdy SF reader.

That left sex as my only possible value add-on to attract readers. Hey, I've been having sex for longer than most of you have been alive, so I must know something, right? First: research. Did I really know enough about sex to write it? Apparently not, but I could probably fake it.

Ten books under my belt and only one has semi-explicit sex scenes. I think that was enough for me. After that, I'd certainly be repeating myself.

Check out ULTIMATE DUTY on Amazon for $3.99. If you wanted a free copy, you missed your chance by not commenting on the Giveaway post on Feb. 1st. You could comment on this one, and I might give away a copy or two.

Now here's a sex scene excerpt. I won't even warn off children. They need to learn about it somewhere.

Excerpt

A tender hand with rough calluses stroked Remy’s side from shoulder to hip. Her eyes fluttered open as she rolled to face her lover. She purred deep in her throat when Kiru pulled her close and kissed her neck. She felt her carotid artery pulsing under his touch. He whispered, “The smallest pressure here, if held a few seconds, will render your opponent unconscious.”

“Yes, Sensei, but I hope that’s not your intent,” Remy replied with a wink.

He smoothed her still-damp red hair. “Not at all, chan. It is difficult to leave my teaching self outside the bedroom door.”

Remy inhaled his scent, musky with a hint of cinnamon. “My student self appreciates all the education you are willing to give.” Remy touched her forehead to his. “Whether the art be battle or love.”

Kiru enfolded Remy in his arms, pulled her close, then lifted her in one smooth motion on top of his body. He entered her, and she snapped upright, throwing her head back with a gasp. She reveled in his delicate touch, as he caressed her breasts, belly, thighs. Sighing, she leaned down to kiss him.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Ultimate Duty - Space Opera, Exploding Ships, Hot Sex

Re-edited and formatted properly, ULTIMATE DUTY is now available on Amazon re-issued by me. I think the $3.99 price point is much more reasonable than the out-of-contract but still being sold edition from Eternal Press. Giving fair warning you'll be seeing some promo stuff on this new edition.

Ultimate Duty
A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties.

Remy Belieux, a woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her ultimate duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

Available only on Amazon at present.

AND RIGHT HERE IF YOU LEAVE A COMMENT. I'VE GOT EPUB, MOBI, AND PDF. IF I LIKE THE CUT OF YOUR JIB (MUST SHOW JIB TO ENTER), I'LL SEND YOU A FREEBIE. OKAY, YOU DON'T REALLY HAVE TO SHOW ME YOUR JIB.

Excerpt

One day, Remy spotted a small ship where it had no good reason to be. “Sir, we have a blip heading toward the planet. Its course isn’t on the prescribed jump route within this planetary system.”

Captain Micah glanced at Remy, then spoke to the communications officer. “Hail the ship.” The radioman worked for a few seconds. “I can’t locate their frequency, sir.”

The Captain stared through the view screen at the rapidly receding ship. “Try a broad-range hail. Tell them to stand down.” He glanced toward the communications station. “Any luck?”

“No, sir. I don’t think they have their ears on, at least in the usual frequencies.”

The ship shot away from the Excalibur and Remy tracked its course. “It’s heading for that planet. It’s not classified as habitable.”

Captain Micah opened ship-wide communications. “Captain Micah here. Crew, go to battle stations. This is not a drill.” He looked at the pilot who punched in coordinates for a wide turn toward the fleeing ship.

Remy’s stomach tightened as the klaxon alarms alerted the entire ship to ready for attack. Disappointment replaced tension as she watched the ship reach the small planet and circle behind the lifeless orb. We’ve lost it!

“Coward should stay and fight,” grumbled an ensign near Remy. She glanced his way and hushed him, tilting her head toward the captain. “Pay attention.” The ensign’s cheeks flared in embarrassment.
“Ahead slow,” the captain ordered. “This could be a trap. Put us into high orbit and extend all scanners to maximum range and power.” Excalibur edged its way slowly around the airless planet thousands of kilometers below.

“I’ve got him, sir!” a crewman reported. “A single blip on the short-range scanner.”

Remy added the short-range display to a corner of her own screen and saw the flickering dot representing the fleeing ship. She grinned. “Gotcha!” But nothing else appeared in range. She hoped they might get some action now, even if only the capture of a small ship.

“All right. Take us in slow,” the captain replied. The pilot cut back power and brought the ship around to the planet’s far side. The small ship came into view, hovering in a stationary orbit.

“Hail them.” Again, the ship didn’t respond, and the captain gestured to the pilot to move in. Remy turned her scanners toward the planet surface, searching for any activity. Seeing nothing, she switched to thermal scan. Out of nowhere a red-hot dot appeared on the screen, then another. “Captain, I’m getting heat signatures moving near the surface.”

Captain Micah glanced her way, not expecting to hear from the long-range scanning console. “What do you have, Lieutenant?”

“Ten, no, twelve, maybe more heat signatures. Nothing bigger than a cutter, and they’re all in motion. It looks like they’re coming out of a fissure. I don’t detect any structures.”

Remy feared her warning came too late to do any good. Excalibur was fast, once it got moving but, like most ships its size, not very maneuverable this close to a planet.

The smaller ships exploded from the surface. Too fast for normal takeoff velocity, the tiny vessels clearly had a lot of extra power. It was a dangerous move since it’d be easy to lose control traveling way over the limits for the small ships. But it worked.

Some attackers split to flank the cruiser on both sides. Two of them took station above and two below the ship, while two more moved to the stern, effectively surrounding the cruiser. The engineers had designed Excalibur, like most ships in its class, as a pursuit ship, with most of its weapons aimed forward. They could only fire on the ships facing them until the gunners brought the smaller, less effective peripheral weaponry to bear.

Captain Micah glanced at his display. “Weapons, recalibrate for port and starboard, max angle. Fire at will.”

The bridge crew cheered when a burst of laser fire destroyed one of the ships. Metallic fragments drifted outward from the single brief flash of the exploding drive.