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Monday, August 31, 2015

Mission to Mars - review by Vijaya Schartz


Watched Mission to Mars on the Syfy channel Saturday, in preparation for the new Matt Damon movie coming out later this year titled The Martian. Mission to Mars was such an excellent movie, I'm not sure another movie on the same theme of rescuing a stranded astronaut on mars could pack more drama.

 Great acting with Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins as principal actors, and a very talented cast all around. Brian de Palma gives us not only drama, but accurate science, deep characters, and even women and romance.

This is not a romance by any means. Too much happens to allow for a happily ever after, but there is some dancing and necking in zero gravity, and there is a couple in love among the crew. Other characters have known love, lost their loved one, or have a family. Love is part of their lives. After working together for many months, they are also close friends.

There are some tense moments, and heroic, selfless acts, even self-sacrifice. These astronauts are definitely heroes. 
I particularly liked the Stanley Kubric feel, and the great reveal of the face on Mars, after it sheds the dirt and the dust. Cool alien.

The technology was believable, from the habitat pods to the greenhouse, to the orbiter.


As we speak of a space program again, this movie makes it look more possible and realistic, with its dangers and its possible rewards "Stepping on a new world and looking beyond to other worlds to explore."

In the meantime, you can read my space exploration novel NOAH'S ARK. This planet is much farther off, set in a farther future, with a far more sophisticated ship.


Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks - Smashwords - iBooks - Kobo

NOAH'S ARK by Vijaya Schartz

When Trixie's starfreighter, Noah's Ark, drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M-class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers aboard her ship.

Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn't believe in coincidences, and knows that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Everyone on this voyage to seed a new planet with life, is running from something, and harbors dangerous secrets... including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, he would get lynched on the spot if anyone suspected who he really is.

But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching, herding them for evil purposes... And when the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas will have to fight for survival, for freedom, and for the right to love...


"Schartz pens a suspenseful prequel to her futuristic series, 'Chronicles of Kassouk' with 'Noah's Ark.' Filled with action, adventure, greed, betrayal, and love... Having read the other books in the series, I was anxiously awaiting the prequel and Schartz delivers. She engages the reader right from the opening. Her writing style is crisp and easy to read. Schartz excels at world building as she layers the humans' discoveries starting with the citadel, then the Godds, and then tossing in the Zerkers. The dialogue adds a rich authenticity to the story. It's the little touches which bring the humanity into the story from Viking the cat to Tabor's horseback riding lessons."
Five stars - Sally Pink Reviews - Amazon

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks - Smashwords - iBooks - Kobo

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Free Reads by S. E. Smith

Free Reads
By S. E. Smith

If you are like me, you enjoy knowing a little about the author's writing style before you purchase their book. Why shouldn't you? After all, you are not only investing monetarily, but emotionally. I can justify the cost of a book even if it isn't that great. The one thing I can't justify is receiving a bad emotional experience from it. My hubby has finally given up on taking me to movies that don't have a happy ending. Give me a good action/adventure with a HEA any day. I saw Titanic exactly once. Why, because I was an emotional wreck when the hero died. Yes, it is corny. Yes, it is unrealistic. But, it is all me. So, if you enjoy some free reads, check out my newsletters at http://sesmithfl.com. I guarantee any story you read of mine will pull a few tears, a few laughs, but leave you with a smile on your face because I believe in HEA (Happily Ever After).



Our Dragonlings, Roam and Alice and their families are off to the beach celebrating the last days of summer, sea and surf.
The barbeque is ready, the umbrellas are up, now we just need you to come and join the fun! 
Sign up today!



This dragon doesn't know what to think when the intruder wants him instead of his treasure! 

The Sea King discovers that if he can't find a new mother for his sons, they are willing to take matters into their own hands. He will need all the help he can get when the Sea Witch threatens his family.

http://sesmithfl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/The-Sea-Kings-Lady.pdf
When her people are imprisoned by the Sea Witch, help comes unexpectedly from another world. Detective Mark Hallbrook is investigating the disappearance of two women when he finds himself suddenly pulled from home. Discover what happens when he experiences A Witch's Touch in this third installation of the Seven Kingdom series.

Coming in September! The Sea Witch's Redemption Part 1. These exclusive stories are available only for members of my newsletter.

Also, coming in September... Voyage of the Defiance: Breaking Free series


An act of defiance that will either kill her or change her forever…
 Sixteen year old Makayla Summerlin enjoyed one thing in her crazy, messed-up existence: hanging with her friends at school. Her life is uprooted when she suddenly finds herself having to live with the grandfather she barely remembers.
 Fear, anger, and finally desperation explode inside Makayla when she has trouble adjusting to her new home. One act of defiance changes her forever when she sets sail in her grandfather’sailboat in an attempt to return to the life she had before.

 In a voyage that threatens not only her life, but that of a surprising stowaway, Makayla discovers there is more to the world around her in a journey that will challenge everything she has ever believed about herself. It will take friendship, hope, and acceptance for her to survive her voyage of defiance. 



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. A prolific 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. She enjoys camping and traveling when she is not out on a date with her favorite romantic guy.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When Fiction Becomes Reality

What would you do if a fictional character turned up in your home? That's author Brandon Alexander Davis's dilemma in THE SWORD AND THE PEN.





THE SWORD AND THE PEN


Blurb:
It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D'Lar, his fictional creation, complete with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his study.

Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?

This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew--that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.

Reviews:
"Once I started "The Sword and the Pen", I could not lay it down! It is so good! "The Sword And The Pen" is a BLAST! It is a very fun, and entertaining fantasy romance. This story is different and fresh. We all need to have these fresh idea's PENNED" for us. Thank the heavens for the Author's great imagination! Highly recommended! Goes on the keeper shelf! Enjoy!"
Ace Reader

"The Sword and the Pen carries readers on a fantastic journey, hopping point of view and dimensions beautifully. Anchoring you to the unpredictable plot are the two main characters, Brandon and Seri, who both captured my attention and affection at once. Strong and confident, Seri stands apart from more standard waif-like heroines. And I'm not sure I've ever met a hero more believable than Brandon. More than merely scrumptious, Brandon is stubborn, silly, and even a little frightened at turns. In a genre often dominated by flawless, broad-shouldered leads that seem more closely related to statues than men, Brandon is wholly and deliciously human. The characters bring a solidness to the story and by bringing them to life, Ms. Hendricks makes you believe in the impossible."
Natalie Richards

"Though the concept of a fictional character coming to life has been done before and recently cleverly twisted in the Thompson-Ferrell movie Stranger than Fiction, Elysa Hendricks refreshes it with her lead pairing. Serilda understands what is going on by simply believing writer Brandon is a powerful wizard; Brandon believes that one or both is crazy. Told mostly in a first person viewpoint from the lead couple, fans will enjoy this super romantic fantasy as the heroine knows the pen is mightier than the sword but the hero believes the heart is mightier than THE SWORD AND THE PEN."
Harriet Klausner

Happy Reading!
Elysa Hendricks
http://www.elysahendricks.com
Facebook 
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Release—Hadean 2: Survivor Road

I just released the second part of my apocalyptic series. This one based on a GMO trigger, but somewhere in the back of my mind I kept making a big deal of the rain. Sure, I live in the desert and I love the rain, but really was there a hidden meaning in it.

And then it clicked, no company would admit to the liability of bringing a nation to the brink of extinction, so there had to be a scapegoat somewhere about. Something that occurred naturally, something that could cause people to go crazy.

Rabies fit the bill.

And many would have bought it, except for one thing—the rain. You see another name for rabies is hydrophobia. Because of the effect on the muscles involved in swallowing those infected with rabies are afraid of the water.

In the words of the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.

Insanity is tearing America apart.
Mobs of crazies own the streets and club anyone who provokes their wrath.
Government officials are dead or are being hunted to extinction.
The National Guard is killing everyone in sight
The Air Force is bombing anything that moves.
Is this the legacy of genetic tampering or a terrorist attack with weaponized rabies?
As madness consumes the Vally of the Sun, a group of family and friends will run the gauntlet to escape the city.
They will depend on each other for safety and comfort.
They will trust in each other’s sanity.
Unaware their worst enemy is already among them, waiting to strike.
Monday, August 3, 2015

SELF/LESS - A futuristic story of sacrifice and redemption - Review by Vijaya Schartz

In the near future, a few wealthy and powerful men can cheat death by transferring their consciousness into a brand new, young, healthy body grown in a lab... at least, that's what they're told.

Waking up in a new, young body, can be exhilarating, especially after being plagued by old age and terminal cancer. With plenty of money aside, a new identity, and perfect health, the possibilities are limitless. Fast cars, gorgeous women, a fun, carefree life... in New Orleans.

Only one small caveat, you have to take daily pills to prevent some kind of rejection side effects. And the lab will only give you a week's worth at a time.

Like every powerful and wealthy man, our hero is no saint. Yet, when strange memories of love and family, with a woman he never met flood his consciousness, he knows something doesn't add up. The shrewd businessman in him wants answers and what he finds horrifies him.
 
In order to save time and money, the lab is using shortcuts. Growing a body in a lab is still years away, so they harvest bodies from people desperate enough to give up their lives to provide for their loved ones.

The lab cannot afford any whistle blower spoiling their money-making enterprise, and they don't mind killing to protect their secrets. In fact, the lab director and his goons are also customers, and do switch bodies on a regular basis as needed.
This makes for a very entertaining thrill ride, as our hero is torn between living forever and doing the right thing.

So many twists and turns and dangerous situations for all involved kept me on the edge of my seat, until the conclusion. It was an unexpected, but very rewarding and satisfying ending.

All in all, a pleasant surprise of a summer movie. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

REDEMPTION and ethical choices in the face of injustice are also the themes of AKIRA'S CHOICE, a Borealis Space Station Novella.

AKIRA'S CHOICE
Borealis IX novella
by Vijaya Schartz

When bounty hunter Akira Karyudo accepted her assignment, something didn't add up. Why would the TPP 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 kidnapper is not what she expects.

Markku, a decorated rebel soldier, stole his nephew from the authorities, who performed painful experiments on the boy. Stuck on Borealis, he protects 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

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