Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Trailer: TABOR HEIGHTS SERIES, Year Two

Titles and cover art for Year Two of the Tabor Heights series, published by Desert Breeze Publishing


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The "To Infinity and Back Again" Giveaway at Desert Breeze Publishing

This week, you need to check out the Desert Breeze page on Facebook.

Because I'm doing a giveaway and you have homework to do all week, to earn points to win the "To Infinity and Back Again" summer fun tote.

See what you can win? (this picture does not feature the 2 books you can win -- your choice)

Part of your homework is to answer questions and then talk to me, right here in the comments section in the blog. I'll be monitoring what's going on and keeping track of who participates, and the winner will be announced to the people in charge at Desert Breeze. You'll get these goodies pictured here -- a tote bag, journal, travel mug, travel toiletries kit, pens, candy pen, 2 reading rubber duckies and 2 faerie bear finger puppets. PLUS your choice of 2 books. First, your choice of any Tabor Heights Year Two or Quarry Hall title, and second, your choice of either Starblue, Blue Fire, or Odessa Fremont.

My venture into steampunk starts with the prequel to the series, Guardians of the Time Stream: ODESSA FREMONT.

Ess at fourteen is not happy to be left behind at boarding school when her archaeologist grandparents
go to South America. Then she realizes her headmistress is up to no good when her grandparents are reported missing, presumed dead, and it looks like the evil woman is trying to confiscate Ess's inheritance. What does she do? Ess runs away, but not before turning the woman and her traitorous brother over to the Secret Service. The next couple years are full of adventure for her, including saving President Lincoln's life and joining the circus!

The next book -- actually Book 1 in the Guardians of the Time Stream, to be released in October -- starts up several years later. Ess is now a Pinkerton agent, and assigned to protect a traveling exhibition of Egyptian artifacts on loan from the Cairo Museum and the British Museum. A late-night encounter with alleged thieves lands her in the middle of the Blue Lotus Society -- and their leader claims to be not just friends with, but associates of her missing grandparents. Ess hesitates to claim her heritage and answer many questions she has had about her grandparents and their secretive lives, but hesitation just escalates the danger she faces when her heritage includes vicious enemies who have fought her family and their allies down through the centuries.

So, do you know what to do? Go check out the Desert Breeze Publishing page on Facebook, learn about the contest and the rules, and then start playing. Come back here to comment and ask me questions in the comments sections. Can't wait to see who wins this prize package!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: EMISSARY, by Thomas Locke

My pursuit of reading all fellow Realmies' books in my possession before arriving at Realm Makers takes me to our keynote speaker's book, EMISSARY, Legends of the Realm Book 1.

Thomas Locke turns out to write "other" books under another well-known name, but since it's not SF/Fantasy ... meh, not gonna mention it. You can find out for yourself!

Must admit, this one had me neglecting my writing so I could keep devouring the book. I just wanted to know: What happens NEXT? And considering this is Camp NaNoWriMo month, that's saying something! I mean, I have multiple deadlines and goals this month, but when you need to finish reading a story, it's better just not to resist.

Hyam is our hero, a farmer who has just lost his mother to illness. He goes to deliver a message to fulfill his mother's last request, and what he is told in return turns his world upside down. Hyam isn't who or even what he thought he was, and then he isn't even permitted time to consider all the ramifications, because big trouble is coming against his friends and the kingdom. The worst part is, the trouble originates from within the kingdom. What do you do when there's rot at the heart of the kingdom? Well, sometimes you have to break some laws.

Slowly and surely, Hyam does what he knows is right -- he makes some mistakes along the way -- and puts himself on the line for truth and life. He's the quintessential hero with an agonizing secret and shame. As he lets magic work through him, he is changed, and so are the unique and admirable cast of supporting characters who gather around him.

If this sounds like I'm holding back a lot of details, I am, because that would ruin the story. Doggone it, another series I'm going to be following. When am I going to have time to write?

Up next -- because I'll be reading and finishing it before Realm Makers, even though this report will come out afterward -- BLOOD FOR BLOOD, by Ben Wolf. Why I am reading a vampire novel, I have no idea!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


An overview of many of the storylines and series and covers in the Commonwealth Universe series from Writers Exchange.

Please note, some of the covers have been updated, while this trailer has not!!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: A STAR CURIOUSLY SINGING, Kerry Nietz

The next book in my quest to read all the books by fellow Realmies in my to-be-read queue  before this year's Realm Makers conference.

This first book in the Dark Trench Saga is mind-blowing -- which, in the case of the culture imagined here could be actual, literal, and pretty painful.

The hero, Sand, is a debugger -- one of a group of people who have brain implants that let them touch the Stream -- essentially, the Cloud, the worldwide Internet -- touch data, manipulate and service machines, do research, all in the comfort and iffy safety of their own heads. For the Abduls (a slang term used by debuggers to refer to the repressive culture that rules the world), control of everyone's lives, their attitudes, their bodies, their very thoughts, is a top priority. Debuggers are considered property, and are controlled by pain, tweaks" that punish them whenever their free-roaming thoughts (necessary in their line of work) stray too far in the wrong direction.

And you thought Big Brother was bad.

Dark Trench is also a revolutionary, super-advanced starship. Sand is sent up to an orbital station to deal with problems relating to the first voyage of the ship, and the strange behavior of one of the advanced 'bots that service the ship and crew. What he discovers as he investigates leads to encounters with the song of the title -- am I giving too much away when I call it the song of creation, the song of truth -- essentially "the heavens are telling the glories." Whose glories? Well, the deity everyone is required to worship is called simply A. But the defective 'bot speaks of "A not A cubed." To speak of, even to think of, this particular being, reaching out through song and changing the very implant in Sand's head is considered so heretical as to deserve death.

What happens when Sand understands the 'bot's strange words and dares to think freely -- essentially, to become a freehead? What's a freehead? Read this and find out. Guaranteed not to hurt one bit when your mind is blown.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

In the Spotlight: Excerpt, SOPHIE, Quarry Hall Book 9

"It suddenly strikes me, Sophie, that I don't say often enough how thankful I am that you're part of our family. If it weren't for you, your influence..." Carter shrugged. "Joan might still not be home, here, if you hadn't been working on her all those years when all I could do was pray. Even the Oracle has his limits."

"Yeah, well, Joan certainly stretched my limits sometimes. We kept each other alive and sane and fought each other's battles. There were a couple times I thought my nasty past was going to get both of us killed, just as sure as hers." She shuddered, flashing back to that moment when she fell, numb with the shock of that bullet in her back, men shouting and guns barking. Joan had come out of the darkness and threw her body across her, shielding her. Sophie never wanted to relive that moment, when her friend risked her life to shield her, and all she could think was that if Joan died, she was doomed for all eternity.

"Are you still..." Carter shrugged. "Searching? Not exactly looking over your shoulder, but watching
for signs of anyone coming close to your trail?"

"Which trail?" She managed to smile, shaking off that brief trip into the moment that changed her life so drastically. "The real trail to the real me, or all the false trails with poisoned breadcrumbs Joan and I had so much fun creating?"

"The Oligarch can never be fully defeated by poisoned breadcrumbs, as you so poetically put it."

"No." She tipped her head to one side and fluttered her eyelashes. "But we can sure as shootin' give him some massive indigestion."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


The covers and titles for Year One of the Tabor Heights series, from Desert Breeze Publishing.