Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book of the Week: KHYBORS: IN THE BEGINNING


A Commonwealth Universe novel
A Khybors story


Go far back in Commonwealth history, before the Downfall of First Civ, when the galaxy-spanning civilization called itself the Central Allied Worlds. 


Three novellas in one volume explore the birth of the Khybors, whose descendants will impact the Downfall, the rebirth of civilization, the return to the stars, and the Commonwealth far into the future.

Kerin survived a brutal lab accident and discovered the benefits and dangers of
khrystal, which fused with her genetics and made her the first Khybor.

Her twins should never have been born, and broke new ground in understanding khrystal.

Her great-great-granddaughter led the way in battling for the survival of the new race.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: SOMETHING BORROWED, Jim Butcher

I needed a Harry Dresden fix.

I read the first Dresden Files book a while ago, STORM FRONT, by Jim Butcher, and I've been trying to find the next book, FOOL MOON. (without paying full price -- I want to get it used, because that's the only way I can justify buying a book when I have about 90-some sitting in my to-be-read bookrack) I have 2 Dresden books that I found in hardback for the unbelievable price of $2 each (see my previous parenthetical), but doggone it, they're both about 10 books further along in the series. I like to read books in the order they're written, so I can follow the character development.

So ... I cheated a little. SOMETHING BORROWED is actually a short story, in an anthology called MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL WEDDING. If it sounds like a movie by a similar title, you're right. Can you guess the themes tying all the stories together? I thought you could!

I'm learning the joys of borrowing books from the library in e-book version. Especially when I can download an anthology, read just the story I want to read -- although I must go back someday and read the stories by other favorite authors -- and then "return" the book within half an hour.

Fun stuff. Harry Dresden standard fare, dealing with the unfriendly supernatural with some uncomfortable, slightly messy/disgusting, "I can't believe this stuff always happens to me" tone of narrative voice that I came to love in the first book. Harry has to pinch hit as best man at the wedding of two werewolf friends. The stepmother of the bride has a bridezilla attitude -- and the bride is missing. Seems there's this really nasty faerie with a grudge against the werewolves, and a wedding is the perfect time to get some revenge. Enter: one wizard, aided by a tough lady cop, and the chorus of "Get me to the church on time" silently playing at the back of his mind.

Fun. Of course.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fan Fiction: FLAME FROM ANOTHER FIRE, Phoenix fan fiction

Now available on Wattpad, a trip very far back in my writing roots in fan fiction: The Phoenix.


FLAME FROM ANOTHER FIRE is another story where I test-drove characters that would someday appear in my own published books.


The knock on the door came a few minutes after the shower stopped running. Frazier smiled at the good timing and got up to answer the door. He dug in his pocket for his wallet, to tip room service, as he opened the door.

"Hello, Doctor," Preminger said, his voice more dry than usual, in contrast to the renewed showers. Two agents with drawn guns stood behind him. "May we come in?" the man said, when Frazier could only stand and stare open-mouthed at him.

"Bennu isn't here." Frazier winced as the bathroom door creaked.

"We know that." He stepped around the doctor and into the cabin. "My men saw him come in, but didn't see him leave -- but what they did see was very interesting."

Frazier felt the blood leave his face. Someone saw Rhea start the fire.


"Rhea," he called, trying to keep his voice steady. "We have company." Frazier managed a grin when Preminger's eyes blazed with anger.

"What's going --" Rhea stepped out of the bathroom. She had toweled her hair dry and was barefoot, dressed in threadbare, gray sweats. "Who are you?"

"Agent Justin Preminger." He smiled, a hungry look. "I'm very pleased to meet you -- Mira."

"Who?" She met Frazier's eyes, then looked over the three agents again. "My name is Rhea, not Mira."

"Giving her an alias was a good try." Preminger drew his gun out of his coat. "Why don't we just forget the charades and get going?"

"The heck I will." Rhea backed up a step and pivoted on one leg for a roundhouse kick to the agent who leaped at her. She dodged and rolled out of the grasp of the other man and managed to swing an arm around and punch Preminger in the back, just above his kidneys.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book of the Week: STARBLUE

"By the void," Danil snarled.

Blue turned to look where he and Keegan were both staring.

Neona knelt on a softly undulating, murky black surface, surrounded by a swirling cloud of that same odd blue-but-not-blue. She smiled, looking perfectly at ease. As Keegan continued to shout, struggling to move forward, reaching for her, Neona tipped her head back, looking up at the sky, and laughed. The not-blue cloud thickened. A thin stream of sparks tinged blackish green, the color that Blue had always imagined pain would be, shot out from the center of that cloud.

Keegan choked and went to his knees. The sparks became a semi-transparent cable. As it rippled, struggling like a live thing, it grew more opaque, filling with sparks of that blackish green, and stretched out... to attach to Keegan.

"Danil, do you see--"

"It's their bond." Danil shifted his grip on Keegan and pushed him forward, toward the cloud enfolding Neona. She continued to laugh, her mouth open and shoulders shaking, though now they couldn't hear her.

Blue saw the cord between the twins growing thinner, even as the blackish green sparks thickened, turning almost completely black. She joined in pushing Keegan toward his sister. Maybe if he touched the cloud surrounding Neona, he could break through to her.

"Neona!" Keegan convulsed as the cord vanished in an explosion of black sparks that shot through Blue's chest like a fishing spear.

She grabbed hold of him, even as he twisted and fell, and for a moment they were almost nose-to-nose. Keegan's eyes widened and she knew he saw her. Blue sparks wrapped around them, then he convulsed again and vanished from her grip.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book of the Week: STARBLUE

Excerpt:

"How long a delay?" Keegan asked. He glanced at Blue before meeting Loris' gaze.

"No telling until they start mop-up operations."

"Then I say we evacuate." His voice was calm, thin, almost unfeeling.

Blue caught her breath. Not from the shock of hearing him so easily decide to abandon his sister -- because it wasn't easy. The force of the pain and fury that swept through him hit her in the chest with near-physical intensity. She reached for Keegan's hand under the table. His fingers wrapped around hers tight enough to make her bones ache.

"Fifteen of them -- but fifteen Shades controlling them, possibly accessing all their knowledge of Rover weaponry and equipment and tactics." Loris sighed and nodded slowly. "And security codes. Communication codes. Everything they need to infiltrate... but if we abandon them, set up an interdiction so no one can land and give them a way off the planet, maybe keep their creators from coming back for them, what can they do? Both ships have been running full-array sensor scans of the planet's surface and surrounding space, and there is nothing anywhere within hailing distance, nothing hidden underground. The Shades are effectively stranded here, once we leave."

"What happens to our people when the Shades realize they're stuck here?" Katha said.

"Do they even want to get off the planet?" Aryl said.

"Wouldn't you?" Keegan's voice said he didn't care. Blue could feel how much he cared, the battle in his heart, just through his tight grip on her hand.

"It makes sense that their next step after taking over our people is to get off this planet, move through the galaxy... but they haven't done anything yet."

"Everything changed when Danil and his team left," Blue said. "They were all resistant to whatever the Shades might have been trying to do to them. It took the arrival of less experienced Rovers, younger minds, and..." She shivered, feeling she had come close to understanding, but unable to put it into words

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The War Room

Today, it's all about Odessa.

Odessa Fremont, that is.

As in Book 1 of the Guardians of the Time Stream series.


First, you have 2 weeks left to get a free ebook download of the The Blue Lotus Society, Sanctuary, and -- coming out in October -- the fourth and final book, Music in the Night.
book.

WHY would I be giving away a free copy? Well, in hopes you'll write a review, and yeah, the totally mercenary hope you'll want to know what happens next to Odessa and the friends and allies she picks up along the way in this Steampunk adventure, and you'll look for the other books:

If this sounds like a tip of the hat to Phantom of the Opera ... hmm, you might be right.

How do you get the book? Go to Story Cartel, and they'll take it from there.

Second ... my incredible cover artist, Gwen Phifer at Desert Breeze Publishing is up for a Rone Award, presented by In D'Tales magazine, for doing such an incredible job with the cover art for Odessa Fremont.

In fact, Gwen is up for TWO Rone Awards -- for my book, and for my friend, Tamera Kraft's novel, Resurrection of Hope. Doesn't she do incredible work?

Here's hoping you get your well-deserved recognition, Gwen!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book of the Week: STARBLUE, SF Romance

This week's Book of the Week is the sequel to last week's: BLUE FIRE.

It's the story of Rhianni and Petroc's daughter, Starblue, who helped to save their starspanning civilization from aliens long before she was born. So she has a lot of expectations to live up to.

STARBLUE

Published by Desert Breeze Publishing.

Starblue Ash swore never to do two things: join the Rovers and
leave Mallachrom. Commander Day of the Rover Corps didn't care -- she was the last of their family and her heritage was the Rovers. 

When Rover Pilot Neona Creed needed rescuing from creatures that mimicked the Shadows of Mallachrom, Blue's psionic bond with Neona and her twin brother, Keegan, was their best chance of breaking her free. Blue teamed with Keegan and a ship full of Rovers to chase the kidnappers across the galaxy. 

The long journey deepened their bonds and changed their friendship to love. If they survived this crisis, they might change the universe.