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Friday, October 31, 2014

Twilight

There comes a time in the life of every book, where the rewriting is done and the only thing left to do is proofread and polish. This is one of my favorite phases of writing. I call it twilight time. Those precious moments before my new book will see the amber light of a reading lamp in a stranger’s living-room.

At this point, my analytic mind is put to task, hunting homonyms and corralling commas, leaving my creative side free to roam. It reminds me of the ring of the final bell in elementary school, and running through the doors, eager to explore the world unfettered.

This is when I get to discover my next book, meet its new characters, and figure out if I like them enough to want to play with them over the next couple of months or even years. I have a chance to explore different worlds, walk new streets and climb higher mountains, will I want to live in this place for a while? 

These are the treasured moments, before I've made a commitment, and not one word is on the page. So many ways I can go with this story, there are no limits. I feel like I’m flying.

Over the past two years, I've jotted down ideas for my next book, in my journals, on sticky notes, in my phone, and on napkins. Now, I get to have a little fun with all of them, listen as these strange characters tell me their problems, peer into their souls, and decide who I want to travel with on my next adventure. Like a teenager in a game store, so many possibilities, I want to write them all!

For the next few months, I’ll continue proofreading, formatting, and getting ready for the Big Day, when Pangaea is released. I know the terrifying thrill of sending a new book out into the big, bad world, and I intend to have a gripping new story in which to hide when that day arrives. Because as much as I enjoy twilight time, my absolute favorite part of writing is getting that first glimpse of story. It’s like seeing your new-born baby smile for the first time. 
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In Technology We Trust

I admit it. I love the latest gadgets and firmly believe that we live better than we used to because of technology. I would much rather go to the dentist today, then one 100 years ago.
And can you imagine washing clothes without a washing machine?
Ugh. No, thank you.
But for every yin, there's a yang. And technology has a dark side. Computers are a by-product of nuclear weapons. Advanced prostheses are the legacy of more efficient killing machines. Even the tractor gave rise to a dust bowl and cost America's heartland millions of tons of fertile topsoil.
And yet...
And yet, technology is so cool. Even when it's dangerous. Especially when it's dangerous. I have a picture of the hummingbird drone on my iPad. And one of a carbon fiber. And a photo of an operating room from the Great War.
Because humanity isn't the only thing on this planet constantly seeking to improve and adapt. All life on the plant changes over time. If it doesn't it goes extinct.
And extinction makes for great drama.
So as I get giddy reading about the latest scientific advances. There are real advances that could solve some major problems. And in the wrong  hands, they could destroy us.
But in a storyteller's hands they can entertain  us and cause us to look at our computer's differently.
Until next time, happy reading:D

Monday, October 27, 2014

NEW RELEASE: SNOW CHEETAH, Book 5 in the Chronicles of Kassouk by Vijaya Schartz

Get ready, SNOW CHEETAH is coming in November HERE.

This is the very last book in the Chronicles of Kassouk series (I swear). It nicely caps the series as after a thousand years, a vessel from Earth discovers unexpected humans on this far-flung planet.

On a mission to annex a planet for Earth, Captain Martial Terrien faces a culture with incredible psychic abilities, and falls for its lovely but forbidden queen.

Natalia, future queen of Kassouk, pressured into bonding with a power-hungry prince, yearns to improve her people's lives. She finds the handsome Earth captain a refreshing distraction, despite his five fingers and ridiculous claim of being human, like the lowly workers of her world.

Captain Martial Terrien, nano-enhanced Space Marine from Earth, is on a secret, desperate mission to find his people a new home. The unexpected population on the chosen planet complicates his task, especially since the ruling caste can read minds, levitate, and teleport at will. Furthermore, the lovely princess and her pet cheetah take a shine to him... and beautiful women always spelled disaster in his past.

Natalia's jilted suitor, determined to reign at any cost, vows to annihilate the Earthlings. When the conflict escalates, can Martial obey Earth Central Command, or will he jeopardize the future of his race to save Natalia and her people?

EXCERPT:

When her arm weakened and her steps grew shaky, he did a somersault over her head, leaving her confused. Then he shoved her sideways, and tackled her. He pinned her to the soft mat, face up, while he held her sword arm to the floor.
He had her.
Her hair came undone around her head, like a bright halo on the soft gray mat, and her luminous green gaze locked with his. Her lips opened slightly, and he couldn't help but stare. She looked so helpless, her chest heaving. Her eyes unfocused and her pupils dilated. She was not playing the game anymore... neither was he.
Her breath hitched. He lowered his face to hers and hovered closer to marvel at her beauty. She kept staring at him. He couldn't resist the temptation to probe her mind. A mistake. She was calling to him, wanting him to kiss her. He lowered his gaze to her mouth and she licked her slightly open lips. How could he possibly resist her sensual call?
Slowly, deliberately, he brushed her pliant lips, enjoying the soft contact. When she tasted him with a lick, he held his fire, afraid she would balk at a fierce response. She had to be a virgin. Then she let go of the sword. He relaxed his hold, and she caressed his hair.
The sensation of her six-fingered hand on his head awakened shored up needs he could no longer contain. Cupping her fiery mane, he claimed her mouth and ravished it with the fervor of a starving man.
She moaned softly and arched under him, as if seeking body contact. Flashes of all the disastrous consequences their relationship could bring barely cooled his lust, but he must stop this now.
He steeled himself against the separation and rose slowly, with great reluctance.
She sat up on the mat, staring at him.
"I'm so sorry." He turned away. He couldn't watch her like that. "It won't happen again. I promise."
"Why not?" The disappointment in her voice and in her mind sliced him deeper than a sword.
"You are promised to another man." As good an excuse as any. The truth was too ugly to tell. His mission might require him to annihilate her entire race.
"I do not intend to become Kaylar's mate." The indignant tone told much about her dislike for the man.
Martial stiffened, closing his fists, then he faced her again. "I hope we can still be friends."
"Friends?" Tears welled in her beautiful green eyes.
"Or colleagues... diplomat and future queen." Martial still needed more information on the Starlings.
She swallowed a sob, quickly wiped a tear, then composed her face. "Maybe when you see more of our culture, you will understand that although our females often take a submissive role, we do have a choice in the matter. We are civilized."
"Of course, you are." He certainly felt like the Neanderthal here.
She rose from the floor and tossed her long wavy hair behind the shoulders of her impeccable white body suit. "Then shall we meet again tomorrow?" Hope softened her face. "I planned to show you our hydroponic installations."
"I accept, but I must bring my team." For his own protection. He didn't want to repeat past mistakes. And mistakes would certainly be made if he spent too much time alone with her.


READ THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sci Fi Romance Titles In My Book Pile

I haven't been reading as much as I'd like, but many of my offerings have included Science Fiction Romance. 

From my reading pile:

WOOL by Hugh Howey



While the romance herein is more of a tease than a plot point, this book probably tops my SF list. It was absolutely spell-binding. 



In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.



His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.



THE SYNCHRONICITY WAR PART 1 by Dietmar Wehr



This book is technically on on TBR pile, but oh, baby, does it look good!


After almost a century of peaceful exploration and colonization of space, the United Earth Space Force stumbles across a shockingly xenophobic alien race that has more and better armed ships and refuses all attempts at contact. As the outgunned Space Force is driven back in battle after battle in what appears to be a war of extermination, one officer experiences precognitive visions that help him blunt the enemy onslaught but he can't control or predict when they occur. 


With the Senior Brass convinced that he's a tactical genius, he's given more and more responsibility and is terrified by the belief that Humanity's Fate will be determined by a battle with himself in overall command. This is Volume 1 of a military SF series about desperate space battles and the men, women and Artificial Intelligences, who fight and die in them. 



UNDER DIFFERENT STARS by Amy Bartol





This is bona fide science fiction romance, and extremely enjoyable to boot!

All she wants is a home, but can she find one...UNDER DIFFERENT STARS 




Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home


Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go. 

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own. 

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars? 



SAVING YESTERDAY by Jessica Keller



Time travel is technically science fiction, but this title also has some paranormal elements. And it's fantastic. 



Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed. 



Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time. 




Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her. 




It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.



APOCALYPSE BABES by Bella Street





Speaking of time travel...oh, hey, by the way, I wrote a series like that!




Amazon certified #1 BESTSELLER in Time Travel Romance 


No mad skillz, no sacred destiny, just a pink tracksuit that will take her places she never wanted to go... 

In this Gothic science-fiction novel series, a stylish group of twenty-something friends are torn from the Babylonian arms of 2006 West Hollywood and flung nearly thirty years into the past, setting off a chain of events more disturbing than a roller skating conga line. They wake up in an apocalyptic but strangely familiar landscape, complete with a hidden mountain compound and retro survivalists, hinting at hidden and retro secrets they must face if they want to survive. 

What's on YOUR SFR reading list?
Friday, October 17, 2014

Sword Wielding, Kick Ass Word Killer...aka My Editor by Michele Callahan

Today I feel like my eyeballs are being sucked from their sockets, my back is being beaten with a baseball bat, and my heart is struggling to beat. I'm confused. Tired. Angry. Resistant.  And why?  Why all the melodramatic whining?

I have to cut thousands of words from a book I am editing. Not one. Not a hundred. Thousands.

Just kill me now.

Like most writers that I know, I love words. My words, your words, the words on the side of a fast food soda cup or the words that completely distract me as they tick along the bottom of a news cast I actually wanted to listen to. Words are my kryptonite, and giving them up?  Well, I'd rather give blood.

Writing is a solitary endeavor 99% of the time. The people on the pages of our stories are, at times, more real, more alive in our heads than the people we see on the street, in the grocery store, at school. Why? Because we know everything about them. What they're afraid of, what they dream about, what makes them mad and what makes them fall in love. We know about their parents and their best friends. Their first love and their first fight. We know them better than we know just about every human being actually walking around on this lovely blue planet. So, taking away the words that created them is painful, even when those words are boring, repetitive, or just slow down the story.

Enter the sword wielding, kick ass heroine of this tale...my editor. She's fearless and bold, killing those pesky extra words with bloody strikes to the heart of the story. She has no mercy. She give no quarter...and I PAY her to be mean. She's like the coach screaming at you to do another ten push-ups when you just *know* your arms are about to fall off. The pain is excruciating ...but then? What happens at game time?

You win. And your biceps are strong enough to lift a giant, word killing broadsword.

*high fives all around*

Thanks Mary!

Michele Callahan

Red Night, Timewalker Chronicles Book 1 (Free Everywhere!)
Silver Storm, Timewalker Chronicles Book 2
Blue Abyss, Timewalker Chronicles Book 3 (Oct 21 - PreOrder Today)
Black Gate, Timewalker Chronicles Book 4  (Nov 4 - PreOrder today)
Chimera Born, Timewalker Chronicles Book 4.5 (in Alphas Unleashed Anthology)
White Fire, Timewalker Chronicles Book 5 (Nov 11)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween


A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween


Dragonling: A young or juvenile dragon.

One of my best series is the Dragon Lords of Valdier. I currently have seven full-length stories in that series and two additional full-length stories that go along with it for the Sarafin and Curizan species that live in the same star system. There are also several short stories, For the Love of Tia, A Dragonlings’ Easter, and A Warrior’s Heart with additional stories to come. The DLOV started with Abducting Abby and has since grown into a vast and unique world filled with amazing characters, some of those include the Dragonlings.

The Dragonlings are the children of the characters. When I first introduced them, I had no idea they would have such lively and interesting personalities. This past March, I had a dream about them having a good, old-fashion Easter egg hunt like we used to have.

The holidays are always a fun-filled time in my house with loads of laughter and fun. I couldn’t help, but wonder what it would be like to experience the fun of dyeing eggs and hiding them from the point-of-view from someone who had never experienced it. I remember the guys being as excited as the kids as they searched high and low and competed to see who could find the most eggs. That dream led to A Dragonlings’ Easter.

For me, the holidays are about fun, laughter and family and friends. I brought that fun into the story and was amazed at how much love there was to share. I wanted to show what it would be like for Dragonlings to experience the same fun that my children had.
 
Now, as Halloween draws closer, I am writing another Dragonlings’ story. This one will follow the fun, excitement and laughs of discovering some of the things that make Halloween so much fun. I love Halloween. I love the Haunted House rides, the costumes, the Trick-or-Treators, the crazy pumpkins and dancing witches and goblins and the decorations. There really isn’t much about Halloween I don’t like except the mosquitoes when it has been rainy and hot out. LOL.

In A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween, the men decide to find out what the women have been up to. They have never seen anything like the wonderful Haunted Halloween town and ride that Cara, Abby, Trisha, Ariel, and Carmen have created along with some of the engineers from the repair room.

It was supposed to be a surprise for both the men and the Dragonlings. Everyone has heard that ‘Curiosity killed the Cat’, but what happens when some grown Dragons get a dose of Halloween for the first time? With the help of some mischievous Goddesses, the Dragonlings, and their golden Symbiot nannies, the men are in for a Spooktacular experience as they discover the magic of a haunted Halloween… Cara style.
 
A Dragonlings' Haunted Halloween: Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.2 will be out October 21, 2014.

Cara Truman has no idea that her new project would create a sense of panic, wonder, or hilarious consequences in the palace when she unveils it.
During one of her many excursions exploring the palace, she discovers a vast underground chamber that turns out to be the perfect place for her next invention. Soon, her dream of building the ultimate playground for the Dragonlings is a reality.
When Abby laughingly mentions the new ‘playground’ looked like the perfect place to have a Halloween party, Cara goes into high gear to create the perfect Haunted House adventure for the babies. The fun kicks into high gear when the men discover what Cara has been up to and decide to ‘test’ the playground first!
Discover what happens when another Earth holiday is unveiled, with the help from a couple of mischievous Goddesses, the symbiots, and Dragonlings in A Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween.


S. E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY and #1 International Amazon Bestselling author who has always been a romantic and a dreamer. An avid writer, she has spent years writing, although it has usually been technical papers for college. Now, she spends her days and weekends writing and her nights dreaming up new stories. An affirmed “geek,” she spends her days working on computers and other peripherals. She enjoys camping and traveling when she is not out on a date with her favorite romantic guy.

For additional books and to sign up for my newsletter go to http://sesmithfl.com. You can hear about my latest releases or keep in touch using the following links:

Website:               http://sesmithfl.com

Twitter:          https://twitter.com/sesmithfl
Pinterest:       http://www.pinterest.com/sesmithfl/
Blog:               http://sesmithfl.com/blog/
Forum:           http://www.sesmithromance.com/forum/
Additional Books by S. E. Smith
Paranormal and Science Fiction short stories and novellas
For the Love of Tia (Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 4.1)
A Dragonlings’ Easter (Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1)
A Warrior’s Heart (Marastin Dow Warriors Book 1.1)
Rescuing Mattie (Lords of Kassis: Book 3.1)
Science Fiction/Paranormal Novels
Tink’s Neverland (Cosmo’s Gateway: Book 1)
Hannah’s Warrior (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 2)
Tansy’s Titan (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 3)
Cosmos’ Promise (Cosmos’ Gateway: Book 4)
Ha’ven’s Song (Curizan Warrior: Book 1)
Abducting Abby (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 1)
Capturing Cara (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 2)
Tracking Trisha (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 3)
Ambushing Ariel (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 4)
Cornering Carmen (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 5)
Paul’s Pursuit (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 6)
Twin Dragons (Dragon Lords of Valdier: Book 7)
River’s Run (Lords of Kassis: Book 1)
Star’s Storm (Lords of Kassis: Book 2)
Jo’s Journey (Lords of Kassis: Book 3)
Touch of Frost (Magic, New Mexico Book 1)
Choosing Riley (Sarafin Warriors: Book 1)
Hunter’s Claim (The Alliance: Book 1)
Razor’s Traitorous Heart (The Alliance: Book 2)
Gracie’s Touch (Zion Warriors: Book 1)
Krac’s Firebrand (Zion Warriors: Book 2)
Paranormal and Time Travel Novels
Indiana Wild (Spirit Pass: Book 1)
Lily’s Cowboys (Heaven Sent: Book 1)
Touching Rune (Heaven Sent: Book 2)

            Excerpts of S. E. Smith Books

If you would like to read more S. E. Smith stories, she recommends AbductingAbby, the first in her Dragon Lords of Valdier Series

Or if you prefer a Paranormal or Time Travel with a twist, you can check out Lily’sCowboys or IndianaWild...

 
 
 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

REAL LIFE IS DISTRACTING

About eighteen months ago my husband decided to retire, so we sold our home in Ohio and relocated down to Florida to be closer to my 90 year old parents and disabled brother. Still, during 2013 I managed to find the time and energy to write and publish three short stories, as well as finish up and publish three novels. Since then I've accomplished nothing, at least with my writing.

I've come to the conclusion that I can only focus on one aspect of my life at a time. Due to circumstances - some beyond my control and others of my own making - writing has decided to ride the back of the bus for the time being.

This leads me to the question - what do you do when "real life" rears its ugly head and sucks away all your physical, emotional, mental, and creative energy? I'm thinking I may try what the little girl in CHRISTMAS WINDOWS does.



CHRISTMAS WINDOWS
A Short Holiday Story.
Approximately 2772 Words.
On Thanksgiving Day a sad and lonely little girl discovers a way 
to make all her dreams of home and family come true.

From Wednesday, October 22nd through Sunday October 26th CHRISTMAS WINDOWS will be available for FREE on Amazon.

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