Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Trailer: QUARRY HALL

Special shout out today to the people participating in the giveaway at Desert Breeze Publishing. This is for those who are sticking around long enough to try to win my "To Infinity and Back Again" travel bag full of goodies for summertime reading!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"To Infinity and Back Again" giveaway .... continued!

How about some SF Romance?

Have you read any of my SFR titles? BLUE FIRE, STARBLUE -- novels -- and the novella that is part of the Borealis universe, THAT SYNCING FEELING?

They’re a series, which is always fun for me. I like knowing what happens to other people I’ve met in a book, and what happens to their children.

In BLUE FIRE, Captain Rhianni Day returns to her homeworld, a colony that was invaded during a terrible war with alien hive-mind creatures. Her job is to investigate what really happened when most of the adults were killed, and a group of children were rescued by the native canines called Shadows. Her childhood best friend, Petroc Ash, is the leader of the rescued children -- now adults -- called the Taken. Rhianni needs to investigate all the secrets and lies and uncover a terrible conspiracy that threatens the fate of the Human race, before time runs out.

In THAT SYNCING FEELING, Rhianni’s friend, Nureen, is a
hotshot pilot in a bad mood. She wants to help Rhianni on her assignment, but her ship has been sent to the other side of the galaxy. When she gets pulled through a vortex into the Borealis universe, Nureen is forced to team up with a shapeshifting creature and a man who claims to be a missing war hero, Tedrin Creed -- but Creed supposedly died fifty years before, and this man definitely does not look like he’s in his eighties! The three have to break free of the Borealis and get back through the vortex before it closes.

STARBLUE explores the sacrifices friends will make for each other. Starblue Ash is the daughter of Rhianni and Petroc. Her best friends, Neona and Keegan, are the twin son and daughter of Nureen and Creed.  Blue has vowed never to leave her homeworld, but when Neona is captured by aliens that pretend to be the friendly Shadows of her homeworld, Blue willingly teams up with Keegan to rescue his twin, and they head off across the galaxy.

Now remember, this is all part of the "To Infinity and Back Again" giveaway that is going on at Desert Breeze Publishing this week. You need to go to the Facebook page for Desert Breeze and find out what the rules are, and what questions you need to answer, then come back here and respond in the comments section. You can also ask me questions -- in fact, extra points toward the prize package if you ask me questions!


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.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: SPACE DRIFTERS, The Emerald Enigma, by Paul Regnier

I know I said the next book would be A STAR CURIOUSLY SINGING, by Kerry Neitz, but I've been working on this one for a while -- it's my book for reading on my iPhone in line or waiting somewhere.

To be honest, I don't know if Paul Regnier is a Realmie, and/or if he's coming to this year's Realm Makers conference. However, this one qualifies because I heard about it at last year's conference. When the publisher himself takes the time during your pitch session to tell you about the book, that's a good recommendation. So officially this is another book in my trying-to-read-before-Realm-Makers queue.

Wanna snicker? Wanna catch a lot of SF geek/fandom/series inside jokes? Wanna laugh at cliches and stereotypes? This is the book. I mean, you gotta love a book where the 1st person hero's name is Glint Starcrost, and after a really close call with death, he talks about something being "severely ouchy."

It's your classic quest SF adventure, with evil nemeses and menacing cyborgs and over-the-top space weapons and stations and a beautiful, deadly space princess (who happens to be a lot smarter and a lot tougher than the captain) and weird creatures and great names for things, like the captain's beloved gun is called a DEMOTER -- yeah, all caps.

What's the Emerald Enigma? Well, it's a green stone that everybody wants, supposed to give lots of luck -- and fortune, and revenge, and healing, and protection and whatever you want -- and grant wishes. There's a major problem with the kind of  luck given and the wishes granted, and I'm going to leave you to discover what that is.

It's guaranteed snarky, snickery, groaning, I-can't-believe-how-stupid-he-is-and-that-I'm-still-reading-this! fun. Whether it's your reading-while-waiting-in-line book or sitting on your nightstand or for reading between innings, (Go, Tribe!) Read It! You'll be glad you did. Next up -- I promise! -- is Kerry Neitz's book. Followed by a book by Tosca Lee.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

In the Spotlight: SOPHIE, Quarry Hall Book 9

Now available at Desert Breeze Publishing: SOPHIE, Quarry Hall Book 9: 

Women's fiction, adventure, danger, mystery.

When her magazine suffers cyber-invasion, possibly related to an encounter with Quarry Hall and its enemies, reporter Jenni Doran and Sophie team up. They dig through the network, uncovering plots and traitors, and Sophie recognizes a program she designed when she was young and naive.

The man who possesses the program wants to possess Sophie, and is willing to destroy everyone she
loves to accomplish that. Sophie and Joan have worked for years to dismantle his empire. The emotional shock and paralysis are as bad as the bullets that put Sophie in her wheelchair. 

Where is her faith? Where is the security she has fought so long to win? As Sophie unravels the coding attacking the magazine, she faces the pain and fear of her past and the unpleasant fact that healing and freedom might mean facing her tormenter one more time. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: FINDING ANGEL, by Kat Heckenbach

My next book in my quest to read all the books in my to-be-read pile by fellow Realm Maker alumni is the first book in the Toch Island series,

by Kat Heckenbach

The slugline says "Where magic and science collide."

How? Well, they've got a university, and there are scientists, and the threat to the welfare of this hidden magical island comes from man-made things, from applying scientific principles to overcome some very necessary rules of magic -- such as those who kill lose their magic ...

Angel is a foster child, found seven years ago, injured and lost, with no identification and no memory of her life before waking in the forest. Odd things happen to her, such as something always interferes when her foster parents try to adopt her, and whenever one of her foster brothers torments her by stealing things from her, she's always able to find it.

Then an odd boy, too warmly dressed for Florida, shows up in her life at the start of summer vacation. Gregor talks of magical creatures and magical things as if they were real -- ordinary parts of his life. Then when he saves Angel's life, things really get strange. She's willing to risk anything, though, when Gregor admits that he knows who she is and how she got lost in the forest, and who her parents are. He takes her to the island, and prophecy starts to unfold.

Do I need to say it? I gotta read the rest of the books in the series! Angel is too real not to wonder what's going to happen to her next.

Next up: A Star Curiously Singing, by Kerry Nietz

Saturday, July 2, 2016

In the Spotlight: RESURRECTION OF HOPE, Excerpt, by Tamera Kraft

Vivian tried to hide how startled she was at Henry's proposal. Of course she remembered the quiet boy who she and James had been best friends with since childhood. He was always tall and skinny, but with all the weight he'd lost, he looked like a scarecrow. She wasn't sure she liked his short army haircut. It didn't seem like Henry for him not to have an unruly mop of dark, curly hair falling in his eyes.

"You're talking crazy. Why would you want to do a foolish thing like marry me?"

Henry's hazel gaze became intense as he started to reach out to touch her then drew back. "I was with James when he died. His last words to me were, 'Take care of Vivian.' I've always been fond of you." He bit his lip and looked away.

Vivian touched his arm. "It's not fair to saddle you with a wife because of this promise you made."

"I don't have anyone left. I want a wife and a family. I promised James. Say yes."

He made it sound so easy, and his pleading eyes compelled her to agree, but they didn't love each other. "I can't, Henry. It wouldn't be right."

"I don't know how you could say that." Henry tipped back on his heels and gave her a slight grin. "People have been getting married for centuries without love entering into it. We are friends. Isn't that a good start?"

"I don't know what to say. I'm not ready to even think about caring for anyone else. I'm still grieving James."

"If you give me a chance, we can make this work." This time Henry did hold her hand. "We'll marry, and you can move into my place. I'll provide for you, but we'll have separate bedrooms. I'll give you the time you need. When you're ready to be my wife…" He blushed. "I'll give you the time you need."

Vivian touched her chest. Her breathing shallowed until she'd become lightheaded. "Can you give me time to think on it?"

Henry grinned. "I'll be back tomorrow." He descended the stairs and turned down the hallway until he ebbed out of her sight.

His footsteps clacked against the wooden floor, the sound of hope shuffling back into her life. She wiped the tears from her face. She didn't even know why she was considering this. He didn't love her, and she didn't love him. Henry was always in the background, not the kind of man you considered marrying. Maybe she could learn to care for him that way.

When he came back tomorrow, she would say yes.

Resurrection of Hope is not available until July 11th but will be available in the following stores:

Tamera Lynn Kraft
Faith Filled Historicals For the Adventurous Heart
Coming Soon: Resurrection of Hope