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Friday, August 30, 2013

Time-Space Continuum and Hooped Skirts



Sometimes the time-space continuum isn't just for science-fiction.

Time travel borrows the basic aspects in fourth dimension style. And since romance transcends all dimensions, well, that leaves readers with a fun story.

My brand new Kindle release, book two of the Tennessee Waltz series, KISS ME, I'M YOURS, explores this theme via time travel and unseen realms with plenty of romance...and hooped skirts.

When jilted Sophie Bowen stumbles into a stone circle filled with fireflies, she wakes up in a very different place—and time. 

Beaten down by Lincoln's War and personal tragedy, Gabriel Merritt feels his life has become a lost cause. 

In a post-war South still licking its wounds, Sophie and Gabriel struggle to understand the place they each find themselves in, while fighting a war of attraction.

And a mysterious twelve-year-old girl just might hold the key to it all

The first book in the Tennessee Waltz series is Kiss Me, I'm Irish.

So get your Einstein on, and explore the twists and turns of time travel romance!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Did it All for the Wookie

I was going to post a sort of random update on all things my writing, but had a tiny light bulb go off over my head while I was taking a shower a few minutes ago.  Dangerous stuff, that electricity and water combo. Good thing it was Christmas light small. Anyway, I was thinking about the show Futurama for some reason, and it occurred to me that it's my kind of sci-fi.  It's humorous, has romantic elements, adventure, world-hopping, time travel, and an insolent, alcoholic robot.

Plenty of sci-fi authors got their roots in TV and film favorites like Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly. I've enjoyed them all. But how about some Futurama fan fic, for Pete's sake?  

Well, in this age of internet accessibility, I simply wave my magic mouse and VIOLA!

http://www.fanfiction.net/cartoon/Futurama/

I found myself wondering if any shades of Futurama have or will ever make it into my writing. I don't write fan fic, but I'd be okay with a nod to one of my all-time favorite shows here or there in an original piece. I don't always take everything so seriously, not even my sci-fi (shut my mouth!).  Sure, I'd still insist on a firm scientific background, but a bad ass, cyclops, female pilot? Or the token wily old genius with horrible vision? Good news, everyone! I'd totally do that.

And if anyone complains, I'll just tell them I did it all for the Wookie.

Oh, wait. Wrong cult classic.


I did it all for the snoo-snoo, that is. ;-)


-Kimber Vale
www.kimbervale.com

Monday, August 26, 2013

An Admission

Well, it's no secret that I'm one of the writers here who doesn't write sci-fi. Not real sci-fi anyway. Steampunk has held me captive for years, although I'm such a huge fan of Firefly, I'd love to write a sci-fi like that someday, with romance, of course!

I've been eyeballs deep in galley edits for my historical romance that's coming out in February and dabbling with a Gothic romance while half-heartedly working on edits for the last steampunk book in Legends & Lover series, which I keep thinking I'll pick up and publish this fall *cross your fingers*. And then I got all distracted. Again.

My new best friend is Memory Alpha, an encyclopedia of Star Trek. It feeds my love of all things Trek and it's my go-to for...fan fiction boosters. You see, I've recently started a Star Trek Into Darkness fan fic. I played around with some fan fic when I was a teenager, but I never really managed to get inside someone else's characters' heads.

I've been reading so much STID fan fic on Fanfiction.net (there are some really wonderful authors there) and I kept getting this little nagging feeling that I needed to get a story out. So I figured I'd play at it and probably abandon it because I should really be working on other things. I wrote a chapter and posted it and then I started getting comments. Readers would say, well where's the rest?

I'm about 12,000 words deep on this now. And it's been a lot more fun than I imagined, even if it's distracting me. Fortunately, I'm nearing the end of it. Maybe I can get back on track, but I don't regret for a second taking on Mr. Roddenberry's characters.

You can see my Star Trek Into Darkness fan fic here. There are spoilers for the movie, so if you haven't seen it, you might not want to view. So, my first foray into real sci-fi feels successful and maybe it'll gear me up for writing some original space stories of my own.

When I'm not nerding up the Interwebz, I blog at Have Novel, Will Edit, hanging on Facebook, Twitter, and G+.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Blue Abyss: (Coming Soon!)

Chapter One

Challenger Bank, Island of Bermuda, Northern Tip of the Bermuda Triangle.
 

Something urged her on, calling to her…something she couldn’t explain and had given up fighting.  Mari released more spool line and kept swimming, leaving the mercenary she’d hired behind her in the dark silence of the underwater caves they explored. 

Yes, there had been a time in her life when all things made perfect sense.  It felt a lifetime ago, when she’d been sure of herself, safe in her understanding of the world around her.  But that was before, before the long nights studying, the lonely hours staring at images and searching the internet for something, anything, that could explain her bizarre dreams and help her discover the truth.

She’d spent hours searching Roswell on foot, looking for evidence and inspiration in equal measure.  She’d found nothing to help her there, had been forced to widen her net beyond the infamous ‘hot spots’ of alien activity.  Roswell?  Nothing.  Area 51?  Total bust.  She’d chased them all.  Atlantis.  The northern lights.  Mayan ruins.  The pyramids.

Anything unusual, suspicious, or even remotely possible had her hopping on a jet armed with her laptop, a biology degree, a paranoid religious upbringing that often spoke of “demons”…which sounded a lot like very nasty inter-dimensional beings to her…and her dreams, the never-ending nightmares that no one else in the world could ever hope to comprehend.

What was hell anyway, if not another dimension?  One she feared and chased with identical fervor.

She was now a laughingstock in her extended family, a college drop-out, a rumor chasing freak, and a joke of monumental proportions in her home town of Santa Fe. She had lost her brother to drugs, her parents to an eighteen-wheeler four years later, and her inheritance chasing answers.

Strange beings. Secret languages. Travelers who left their mark on our world?  According to the masses, it was all nonsense, the stuff of wild conspiracy theorists.  Her mother, God rest her soul, would cross herself and spend hours bent over the rosary every night that young Mari had woken screaming.  Her father, the surgeon, was plagued with guilt that he couldn’t heal his own daughter.  So, he would sit her down with a homemade croissant, still warm from the oven and drizzled with chocolate sauce.  She’d nibble the confection while he read stories to her through all hours of the night.  Neither prayer nor chocolate had helped stop the dreams, nor provided any answers.  Nothing had.

Until now...

Join Mari, her sexy-as-hell man, and the Timewalkers in this third book of the Timewalker Chronicles, Blue Abyss.  Raiden is a half-Immortal who's lived through over a century of war.  He comes to Earth on a suicide mission to save all humanity.  Betrayed and left to die a slowly in a dark ocean cave, Raiden is Earth's only hope...and Mari is his.

Haven't read the first two tales in the Timewalker Chronicles?  Catch up now!

Red Night (Book 1)
       Silver Storm (Book 2)
 
Link for Red:  http://amzn.to/16jiGtX
Link for Silver:  http://amzn.to/186yJg5

 
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Makes Great Fantasy

As I've been focused on schoolwork in a very analytical discipline this summer, I've mourned my lack of time to read and write in my favorite genre. But as I think about it, I have to revisit the literature class in fantasy I took during my undergraduate years.

I bet you didn't think there could be such a thing. It wasn't even controversial. We read things like Michael Ende's Neverending Story, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude. I learned that there's a difference between high fantasy (a completely made-up world) and low fantasy (where readers recognize the world in which the story is set). The literary device of a frame story is particularly useful in fantasy--and very easy to discern in Ende's Neverending Story.

While these may seem like academic distinctions, they are worth knowing and understanding as a true fan of the genre. The difference between what Katherine Kurtz created in her Deryni series (high fantasy) and Adept series (low fantasy) is particularly instructive. One author can have the range to address both something completely made-up and a magical take on the world we know.

It also means that the rules of great writing still apply. To my mind, this may include some of Safire's injunctions, or Orwell's, mixed in with a generous dose of Strunk & White, but ultimately boils down to two measures of success: Were you able to transport your reader into your world seamlessly and intensively? Were you able to leave the reader with a visceral image of what you created, such that they can continue to live in that world long after they've closed the book?

Within those questions are the nuggets about strong voice and imaginative portrayal that catapulted J.K. Rowling so firmly into the public mind that Muggles are now understood in common parlance.

I'm still not able to spend as much time reading and writing as I'd prefer, but I'll never get tired of talking about this genre. Here's hoping you've had a chance to read some of what I've listed here. Or, share in comments a fantasy you've read that meets the criteria above for being considered great.
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop Starts August 15th!

Like to read? Like a little variety? Like to win prizes and discover new authors? This is the hop for you! Over 60 authors and bloggers from the 15th to the 18th have joined the Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop and are giving away tons of prizes, included books, gift cards and book swag. The grand prize is a $71 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice) as of this writing.

Caris Roane, myself and Bella Media Management are sponsoring the hop. To see the list of participating blogs, you can visit my author site at www.hdthomson.com.

Hop to see you there!
Friday, August 9, 2013

The Book on the Book



When I first started writing, I used notecards for my research. Hey, it was a legitimate way to keep organized. And while you may say, that's so last century. It, um, was last century. 1997 to be exact.

Gradually, I managed to move onto loose leaf paper and sticky notes.

Yeah, I'm sure many of you can see the problem

Things got lost. A character that started with blue eyes had brown at the end. Er, I needed to work on a new system.

Actually, I needed a system that worked.

At the time, I worked as the Laboratory Coordinator at a small university, and at the end of every year, all these lab notebooks were left behind.

Being one of many children, I knew better than to waste my newfound horde of writing stock, so I carefully cut out the used pages and jotted my notes in on nicely bound book. Except... I usually only had 25 pages available so many of my novels spanned two or three books, and since I write in series...

Yep, I ended up juggling 9 of the suckers to keep things straight.

Finally, I found nice clean composition notebooks available during the back to school sales usually at 2/3 per dollar. Score!

Alas, I also jotted down new ideas as they came to me in these books so they too began to fill rather quickly.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Don't you write on a computer? Um, yeah, but for me that dragging of a colored pen across a page opens the floodgates to my creativity and helps focus my writing. So doing the sane thing such as files on a computer, just wouldn't cut it.

I have a shelf of notebooks in my office. Four are blank. Twenty are full of my books before they were books. But now I'm shifting from the composition notebooks to lab notebooks. Mostly because they're bigger and have more pages.

I still find the old notecards. Some fall out of the composition notebooks. As for the sticky notes, they're used as tabs for setting, medical, society make up and other random thoughts that make sense at the time.

So what about  you? How do you organize your books before they become books?
Monday, August 5, 2013

Win a copy of AKIRA'S CHOICE

Less than a month left to the release of AKIRA'S CHOICE, the 9th novella in the BOREALIS space station series. I'm starting a contest on my website. Easy peasy. Just click on the email link and send me your name, and I'll enter you in the contest to win a pdf copy of this new space adventure, set on the Borealis Space Station, at the fringe of conquered space.

This is a sweet series (a few kisses, but no love scenes). My previous contribution to this series was BLACK DRAGON, the story of a handsome rebel and a feisty law enforcer. You can find all the books in the series at all major eBook retailers if you want to catch up, although each novella can be read separately. Since this is a publisher series by Desert Breeze, not the books are from different authors. The first two are anthologies comprising three novellas each. Black Dragon was novella #7, published separately. Akira's Choice will be Novella #9.

Here is the link to all these novellas in kindle on AMAZON and in nook at B&N 


BLACK DRAGON: 
http://amzn.com/B005QUQV6Q
 
A gambler is cheating in a den of the Borealis space station, and Lieutenant Zara  Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle.

Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, on the Borealis space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow TPP enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been used by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself.

AKIRA'S CHOICE: (Expect a similar cover)

Bounty hunter Akira Karyudo knew something didn't add up when she accepted her assignment. Why would the Trans Planetary Protectorate want a kidnapped orphan dead or alive?

She will get to the truth once she finds the boy, and the no good SOB who snatched him from a psychiatric hospital. With her cheetah, Freckles, a genetically enhanced feline retriever, Akira sets out to flush them out of the bowels of the BOREALIS space station. But when she finds her fugitives, the man is not what she expects.

Markku, a decorated rebel soldier, only protects his nephew from the authorities, who performed painful experiments on the boy. Stuck on Borealis, he hides the child. But how can he shield him from the horribly dangerous conditions in the lawless sublevels of the decrepit space station?

Akira faces the worst moral dilemma of her career. Law or justice, duty or love. She can't have it both ways.


HAPPY READING!


Vijaya Schartz

Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/vijaya-schartz
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Friday, August 2, 2013

Time-Travel, Robots...and A Little Love

In the detritus of Hollywood tent-pole films cramming our multi-plexes these days, a couple of smaller films have caught my eye in the Sci-Fi genre...although the romance side of the equation might be a stretch. Even so they are worth a mention.

First we go back in time (2009) to Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel. As a HUGE (read: memorized the script) Shaun of the Dead fan, this spin-off about schlubby pub crawlers looks adorable.


 
Heading into the future a bit, World's End (not yet released) features many of those who appeared in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz...and looks hilarious. 


 
And with Pride & Prejudice's Rosamund Pike, there just might be a hint of--or attempt at--romance.

At least there will be giant ants, space aliens, and time-travel...and there's a kind of romance in that...

Honest.

--Bella Street (author of Apocalypse Babes--for shizzle sci-fi romance)

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