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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Downside of Sci-fi

Happy Friday, my Sci-fi friends!

I love reading and watching science fiction. The dreams and ambitions of humanity continue to amaze me with each new book I devour. I want to live in Star Trek world, exploring new frontiers. I want to have transporters, replicators, and holodecks. I want “Earl Grey, hot.”

The technology we have today, from smartphones, smartcars, and smarthouses is only beginning. Had I never read Orwell’s 1984, I could remain almost blissfully unaware or indifferent to Big Brother (and little brothers) collecting data on every aspect of my life. I could leave my location services turned on and fearlessly use Apple Pay.

But I can’t. Orwell ruined me.

Soon 3D printers will be as common as microwaves in our homes. We’ll be able to print out doodads and thingamajigs, and even dinner. Yes, 3D printed food is coming. How cool will it be to make intricate desserts, fancy hors d’oeuvres, and homemade ravioli at the touch of a button?

Because of Harry Harrison and Richard Fleischer, I’ll never know.

Extruded food.

From tubes.

Who do they think they’re kidding?

I’ve seen Soylent Green.

For those of you still brave enough to peek into possible futures, I invite you to read my new Utopian Fantasy, Pangaea, written as A.J. Questerly. Available for sale 1/24/2015 (By the way, the Kindle version is on sale for 99 cents January 24th and 25th so grab it this weekend!)

If you’d like to connect, I’ll be on Twitter (@AnnaQuesterly), Facebook (Anna Questerly Author),  and my website/blog www.annaquesterly.com.I'd love to give you a complimentary ebook of one of my short stories, email me at annaquesterly@gmail.com and request to be added to my monthly newsletter, and I'll send it right out. Let me know in your email if you’d prefer me to send The Book People or The Scribe’s Dilemma as your free gift.



(By signing up for my newsletter, you’ll receive early notice of new releases, sales, giveaways, author interviews and all kinds of fun stuff. I don’t spam and only send out newsletters twice a month. You can also rest assured, I will NEVER share your information.)
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Meeting up with Old Friends

I am currently writing my 5th book in my Syn-En series. I love my cyborgs (Synthetically-Enhanced humans), perhaps a bit too much.

You see, in this series we follow the main couple though all the adventures and toss in a little romance with the secondary characters to boot, so that's good. But I want my hero and heroine to be happy.

Which makes for a pretty boring book:(

Because books are all about the conflict and how that strife is the forge in which are characters are shaped and grow.

Oh boy have I tortured my characters. My human female Nell has become less human, and my cyborg Admiral has become more.

But now, it's war.

And you know what they say, all's fair in love and war.

But I don't want to hurt Bei or Nell. Partly because some of my fans will kill me, but also because they've earned their happily ever after.  So I find myself sitting down and saying, no, don't do that. That's mean. Leave them  alone. Ah, man. That's just not right.

But that makes a story. One that people will want to read. One that people will cheer and root for the characters to triumph over.

I'll admit it was an unexpected problem to encounter. But I too must overcome my fear of conflict. Especially as we have 3 more books to go before I can truly give them their HEA. Now I just have to find that happy distance so their conflict isn't the kind that is annoying.

Wish me luck!
Monday, January 19, 2015

THE IMPORTANCE OF NEW BOOK COVERS - by Vijaya Schartz

One of my publishers, BOOKS WE LOVE Ltd, surprised me this month. As I went to my amazon author page, I noticed unfamiliar books in the new display at the top. At first, I thought someone had hacked into my Amazon page and posted their books there, until I realized these were my titles... only with brand new fresh covers.  Six of them at one time. Here is the new look of the Archangel twin books:

http://amzn.com/B004HO69RS http://amzn.com/B004KKY6CY
Actually it was time for this change. Most of the old covers dated from 2010. Since eBooks never go out of print, after five years, the market has changed, the cover styles have changed as well. And covers are a very important marketing tools. Most readers will see the title and the cover and decide then and there to click or not to click on the link. Clicking on covers leads to the book page on Amazon, by the way.

As for ALIEN LOCKDOWN, I hardly recognized my book there. Given a chance, I would have told the publisher that the dress style was all wrong for prison guards in the Andromeda Galaxy, the heroine would not wear jewelry, and the hero would never wear sun glasses in a dark, underground penitentiary. But I do love her kick-butt attitude. You be the judge.
http://amzn.com/B00495XUT0

As for the ANCIENT ENEMY SERIES, I absolutely love these new covers. You can tell right away that it is a series, that these heroines do kick butts, and the action is "out of this world," as a reviewer once mentioned. Here they are:

http://amzn.com/B004A90FZM  http://amzn.com/B004NEW1HO  http://amzn.com/B004GNECGK
My only regret is that the lettering for the titles doesn't work as well with KICKING BOTS as it works for the other titles, ANAZ-VOOHRI and RELICS. You tell me.

HAPPY READING.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
WEBSITE  -  AMAZON  -  B&N  -  SMASHWORDS 
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life and Love in the Atomic Age


In the 1950s, the Atomic Age came to a mushroom-clouded head and inspired the Space Race in the 60s, along with the mundane, in daily life. The boys were home from the war, and babies were booming right along with the economy. 

Atomic decor features stylized representations of the atom and were seen all through 1950s decor, from dishes...



to coffee tables...


...to lighting: 

...and everything in between. Even romance burned hotter in the glow of an atomic explosion.


Perhaps when circumstances are perceived as optimistic, love can really take root and bloom. Or at least look really cool in poodle skirts, cat-eyes sunglasses, and fedoras. 

And it's possible all that atomic business could have ripped a hole in the fabric of time, causing people to travel to other eras and experience romance in unexpected places.

It could happen. 

http://amzn.com/B00QNCBPOY

In my latest release, Mid-Century Mayhem (updated cover), the 1950s serve as a moment in time when two modern folk find out they have more in common than they think. 

Modern Day Nashville and 1950s Detroit clash worse than an IKEA futon and a plaid Barcalounger when a free-spirited interior designer and a strait-laced automotive engineer find themselves in another time. TOMS-wearing Olivia Haugen and Madras-shirted Kyle Daniels have no idea why they've ended up in 1954 Michigan, but it's probably not because of all the swank mid-century furnishings. Discovering the reason might have something to do with a wily salvage warehouse owner and her not-so-little shop of secrets. 

So get your retro on and experience a fun, time-travel romance, for the new low price of just 
!



Friday, January 9, 2015

Say Hello to the Darkwalker Lord, Nicodemus, in Chimera's Kiss - Now Available for Pre-Order

Meet Nicodemus, the Darkwalker Lord who is about to fall into one giant heap of trouble...

Coming March 12, 2015 – Available For Pre-Order
chimeras kiss
Timewalker Chronicles Book 6
Paranormal Romance / Time Travel
Purchase from: Amazon / Amazon UK 
     Forbidden son of Itara, Nicodemus, knows what it means to walk in darkness. For hundreds of years as a Triscani Lord, he led a small army of lost sons, always struggling to maintain some semblance of control over his warriors and their frightening power. Now Nicodemus and his army have been reborn as Darkwalkers, warriors sworn in service to protect three worlds. Their highest priority is to protect the human females, the Timewalker descendants on Earth, from the now dead Itaran Queen's vengeful daughter and the host of Immortal bounty killers she commands.
     When a Seer's forewarning leads him and his Darkwalker brothers to Colorado to save an innocent human female, all hell breaks loose. He's too late and suddenly the terror-inspiring dark power he wielded for centuries has deserted him. Without it, he's lost, weak, but determined to protect the Timewalker, Haley Miller. Unfortunately, the stubborn female won't cooperate and, no matter how much he tries to ignore the pull between them, she Marks him, claiming him. But Nicodemus is no mere human male. He's a full-blood Immortal son of Itara, and he will never again live in chains as a Marked Mate.
     Haley Miller is a free spirit, a part-time college student with nothing more on her mind than fun, friends, and graduation. That is, until the day the spaceship appeared over Denver and the unusual birthmark on her shoulder went crazy. The government lied and tried to cover up the sudden alien appearance with an interesting tale of a Hollywood prank. But Haley knows better. She can FEEL the aliens now, and so can her cousin. When Haley wakes up in the middle of the night with an alien bounty killer in the house, she will do anything to protect her family.
     Prepared to lie, cheat death, and steal the unimaginable power of an alien male who claims he was sent to save her, Haley is drawn into a dangerous world she never imagined existed. She must fight her own traitorous body every time she feels Nicodemus's touch, but she refuses to be a pawn in an alien war. She will stop at nothing to save her cousin and give her Marked Mate exactly what he needs...freedom. She's a Timewalker, after all. It should be a simple thing to travel back in time to prevent her cousin's death, even if that means the scarred warrior she's grown to love won't remember her at all.

     But in love, and in war, nothing ever goes according to plan...
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Year in Review by S. E. Smith

A Year in Review

By S. E. Smith

 
Looking back on 2014, I realized one thing right away… time flies when you are having fun. There were a lot of changes in my life last year so I’ve decided to take a look at it in review.
 In January 2014, I released Hunter’s Claim: The Alliance Book 1 (now available on Audiobook) at the beginning of the year. It quickly rose in the lists and made the USA TODAY, taking me by surprise. The surprise was not because of the story. No, I loved the story and woke my husband to tell him I was totally pumped about it. He promptly rolled over and told me that I’m pumped about all of my books… true. LOL.
 
Over the course of the year I wrote and published twelve additional stories. Almost one a month! In February, I wrote A Warrior’s Heart: Marastin Dow Warriors Book 1.1. It is now available as a perma-free on Amazon, BN, Smashwords, and more.
 
In March, I released the second book in the Zion Warriors series. Krac’s Firebrand turned out to be a huge surprise for me as it gave me a glimpse into the larger battle that is forming. I’m looking forward to see how the story unfolds. It will contain some old characters and new ones as we follow the journey of the Confederation.
 
 
In April, I introduced our light-hearted Dragonlings in A Dragonlings' Easter: Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.1. The little dragons were a delight to write about and gave a bit more insight into the lives and customs that the woman from Earth brought with them. It is exciting to see how the ‘guys’ handle learning a few new things from Earth.
May passed by in a blur of activity. Did I mention that I was still working full time as a Technology Specialist for the School Board? The year was winding down and I had given my notice that June would be my last day after seventeen years. I wanted to make sure I had everything done, of course.
 
In June, I released Razor’s Traitorous Heart: The Alliance Book 2 and hit the road to Denver for RomCon. In Denver, I had the pleasure of meeting my very first authors, including Michele Callahan who reached out to me earlier in the year. I was both excited and terrified. I learned a lot at the convention and came home with the 2014 RomCon Readers Crown Award for Ha’ven’s Song: Curizan Warrior Book 1.
 
Note: Razor's Traitorous Heart will be out in audiobook soon!
 

 
 
In July, I wrote my first children’s book. The Troll King of Wildland: The Adventures of Julianna was an action/adventure/fantasy tale. I fell in love with the characters and the wonderful lesson they learned. In August, I was getting ready for my next convention in Lebanon, Tennessee. I also wrote a story, Touch of Frost: Magic, New Mexico (Now available on Audiobook). The story helped raise money for a local animal shelter. It also gave me an exciting and usual new world to explore… one where the alien was the normal one!
 
 
In September, I wrote and released Twin Dragons: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 7. This story was unusual in it dealt with two alpha males/dragons and the young human woman who would become their mate. The story was sensitive and touched me in the strength and determination of all the characters involved. Twin Dragons also became a New York Times Bestseller and a USA TODAY Bestseller! This was a dream come true for any author!
 
In October, I release a Dragonlings’ Haunted Halloween: Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.2. This story was so much fun and sealed the need to write more Dragonlings stories that the Easter one had started. Yes, I am working on A Dragonlings’ Magical Christmas: Dragonlings of Valdier Book 1.3. No, it is not completed… More as to why when I get to December!
 
In November, I published Spirit Warrior: Spirit Pass Book 2. This one had a touch of surprise as there was a little bit of controversy around it. For me, life does not run in series where one event ends and the other starts, but in parallel with intersections, just as real life does. In Spirit Warrior, this story was told from Allie and Jacob’s point of view and many of the issues that influenced them. While many of my stories have external factors acting on the characters, this one had internal ones. I think it took a few of my readers by surprise. It still had the same strong heroine and hero.
 
In December, some very wonderful things happened, and one not so wonderful thing. I had a very special friend come visit with me. She brightened my days and listened as I bent her ear for hours about writing, as well as, lived through me singing a very off-key version of Jingle Bells at one in the morning (a wine cooler might have been involved). Sally Hudd, thank you for being there. She also nursed me through almost two weeks of being sick (that was the bad thing). It was not a pretty sight and I admit I’m not the best of patients.  
I also became a Nana again for the second time. I have a handsome grandson, Roman, who was born December 12th. This is one of the reasons, along with being sick, that A Dragonlings’ Magical Christmas didn’t get finished as I hoped. I’m looking for a Christmas in July release.
I did finish out the year with another release. Merrick’s Maiden: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 5 was released on December 30th. I love the story of Merrick and Addie. I dedicated the story to my father, who became deaf at the age of twelve after being ill. Addie’s character suffered the same illness and her spirit and determination were modeled after my dad.
 
So, in 2014 I wrote thirteen stories in twelve months while working full time more than half the year. It will be exciting to see what 2015 has to offer. I am already working on Ristéard’s Unwilling Empress: Lords of Kassis Book 4 which will be released either the end of January or first part of February. The year has started with a blast and I look forward to sharing the marvelous worlds I see with you. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year! Thank you to all that made 2014 so awesome!
 
Website:         http://sesmithfl.com
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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 Abducting Abby, 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’s Cowboys or Indiana Wild...
About S. E. Smith
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 evenings 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.
 
 
 
Friday, January 2, 2015

New paperback: SNOW CHEETAH - by Vijaya Schartz

NEW RELEASE: SNOW CHEETAH is now also in PAPERBACK!

The last installment in the Chronicles of Kassouk series, SNOW CHEETAH, is now also available in paperback. Yay! You can find it at Amazon and at B&N, as well as at all major eBook distributors.
AMAZON B&N ARE - ITUNE - KOBO - etc.

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

Like all the other books in this series, SNOW CHETAH can be read independently, as each book features different characters, at different times, in the same world.

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz
 Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
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