Sunday, June 30, 2013

New release: Nobility by Eva Caye

Eva Caye is a gifted sci-fi romance writer and a member of the SFR Brigade. Today is the release date for her new novel Nobility.

Presenting Nobility, the seventh novel in the To Be Sinclair series of science fiction romances!  The Heir Second thoroughly enjoys his privileges, but he must also teach and learn the responsibilities of authority.  Driven to be worthy of his political power, Matthieu nevertheless suffers unimaginable losses while performing his Imperial duties and trying to find a lady worthy of being his Empress someday....

Ever since he was six and witnessed the destruction of the old Palace, Prince Matthieu Sinclair has honed himself -- mind, body, and spirit -- until he is about as perfect a human being as has ever existed.  However, as second in line to the throne, his duties are so extensive that to find a lady worthy of being his Empress someday seems like a hopeless task.

His grandparents Emperor Victor and Empress Felice Sinclair recognize the depth and extent of his talents, asking him to establish the Imperial Protocol Academy for the numerous Imperial grandchildren.  He must also take space duty on the ultra-secret prototype courier vessel designed by the stargate scientists.  As the socialites circling him begin looking more and more like sharks, Matthieu and his brother Theo look for ways to find ladies who could help them with their demanding lives.

When complications involving the ongoing reparations strategy by the Attican Empire evolve, Matthieu must leave his ladies more than once to oversee critical developments in person.  Even Miriel Makov, the one lady he has found who could possibly take up the demanding position of Empress, abandons him in their darkest hour.  If he is too busy to find a wife now, how will he ever be able to do so when he is the Emperor?

Above all, when the going gets tough, the only two truths Matthieu can stand upon are that the Imperial Family's needs come before his own, and that no knowledge is worthless.  Using his vast array of skills, from piloting to matrixing to boxing off corners of his mind, a technique drilled into him for a deep-cover assignment, Matthieu has to face the dreaded opponent of his childhood:  the Attican Empire!

This science fiction romance is the seventh book of the eight-part To Be Sinclairseries. Several scenes describe sexually explicit behavior.

Projected publishing date:  June 30, 2013
Length: approx. 200,000 words

You can find Nobility on Amazon and on Smashwords

Author Bio:  


A health crisis inspired Eva Caye to become an obsessive writer, completing eight books in her To Be Sinclair series before she could afford an editor.  She published Dignity in August 2012, with the projected release of her 8th book Nobility in late June 2013.  She laughingly refers to Evan's Ladies as Book 6.5, an 'add-on' book to the series since it consists of four novellas.  The other seven books are full novels, though most have 'Easter egg' short stories as bonuses for the reader.


The To Be Sinclair series is set some 600 years in the future and covers the lives and loves of the greatest ruling family in the galaxy.  Her current works-in-progress are a finale to the series, and two prequels set in the TBS universe about 100 years in the future.

Eva lives with her incredibly supportive husband and two lovely mutts in a tiny, century-old farmhouse in Louisville, Kentucky.

Website: http://www.evacaye.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eva.caye

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EvaCaye

Blog: http://evacaye.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6523997.Eva_Caye

G+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/106270772543621634687/posts/p/pub

Eva Caye
Author of the To Be Sinclair series
amazon.com/author/evacaye

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My worst writing habits - by Eva Caye

Eva Caye is a gifted science fiction writer, and a member of the SFR Brigade. She has a new novel coming out any day now - it might even be published by the time this blog hits the Internet - called Nobility. Come back tomorrow to see the cover and read the blurb! Today, it is my absolute pleasure to present her post on "My Worst Writing Habits" 

Welcome Eva Caye!




To Be Sinclair by Eva Caye

We all have bad habits, yet you can only really change them if you admit to them.  As the author of 1.12 million words in the To Be Sinclair series, with seven books up on Amazon and Smashwords, one coming out June 30th, and 2/3 done with the finale to the series, I’d like to think I’ve isolated my bad habits and am changing them as best I can.  It’s not always easy to do, and sometimes not necessary, but my purpose is to whittle them down so they do not plague me and I can get more writing done.  Some of them may seem silly to you, but since they are a plague on my process, I need to work on them!


1.  My nails are too long.  Sure, go ahead and laugh; most people think women should have long, sexy nails, and most writers understand how hard it can be to work personal hygiene routines into the day, much less an ‘extra’ one.  Still, nail-clipping is one of my least favorite things to do, so it usually only happens when one of them breaks.

I suppose most people do not understand the obsessive nature of writers such that this issue appears unimportant, but it occasionally contributes a great deal to my stress.  Imagine, if you would, that you used to have the power to open up a newspaper, run your eyes across one side for two seconds, and any typo on the page jumps out at you.  I used to be like that, and since my superpower disappeared after a serious health crisis, I miss it sorely.

Typing with long nails does not seem like it should bother a person.  Many women regularly get salon nail treatments, keep their nails long and have learned how to type with them.  You would think even people like me, with a tendency to painfully trim my nails down to the nail bed, would get used to longer nails simply by typing every day while they grow out.  Yet when they get too long, the traitorous typos creep in.

So staring at the screen, obsessively pounding out a scene while I’m actually visualizing it and have to get That Perfect Phrase down the instant I think it means I do not catch the typos until I re-read the scene.  With a sailor’s lifetime ration of curse-words springing from my lips, I spend gobs of precious time correcting the errors and bitching at myself in High Rant, swearing to clip them at the next opportunity, namely, when I finish correcting the scene.

But by then, I’ve also re-read the scene, noticed a word or phrase that was inadequate, and corrected it with one of the time-wasting methods I describe below.  By the time I get to the end, I’m ready to write the next scene, having completely forgotten my desire to rid myself of these treacherous, time-wasting spikes that love to get caught just long enough between my laptop’s keys to vomit extra letters on the page.  All told, it’s better than writing everything longhand, but not by much.


2.  My sentences are too long.  I can’t help it; I got a 4.0 GPA in my studies for a master’s degree in a subject that takes itself seriously, education.  I’m also a longtime reader of science fiction and write with a high-falutin’ vocabulary, which is why so many of the hicks I grew up with think I’m too ‘uppity’ for them or some such nonsense.  In academia, especially in education, the ability to write long sentences with long words means you sound like you know what you are saying.  If you doubt it, may I refer you to Robert A. Heinlein’s description of Zebediah Carter’s doctoral dissertation in The Number of the Beast.

I pride myself on knowing and saying exactly what I mean, but that doesn’t mean I need to victimize the reader with a deluge of precise words and phrases that consistently flow toward a complex thought which takes most people real effort to follow continuously, despite my overall goal to write with clarity and my sincere desire to accurately sum it up such that it need never be revisited again.  (See what I mean?)  So when I edit, I constantly find myself breaking up sentences into shorter sentences, and paragraphs into shorter paragraphs.


3.  I type too fast.  I feel like I must, to keep up with the images in the scene running through my mind.  I have often said I feel like my brain has a portal to a future parallel dimension, and I spy upon my characters’ lives, scribing them as best I can.  As a result, I find myself using the same catch-phrases, over and over.  Did the character pause or start an action, only to immediately abandon it?  “He laughed a bit.”  I am fascinated with reading facial expressions and notice just how much we communicate with our eyes.  “She looked alarmed at first.”  I write science fiction romances in which the characters do not remain chaste or clueless until the very end.  They offer each other support and comfort, so “He snuggled her close.”

Well, hell, I know I’m going to rewrite the damn scene fiftyleven times anyway, so when getting the initial actions and dialogue down the first time, I might as well just throw those bland phrases down to remind myself to flesh out the scene later, right?  It’s not like I don’t know I suffer cognitive dysfunctions now and can only edit for three significant features at a time, such as commas, dialogue tags, and ‘that’ vs ‘which’, so I’ll get to catch-phrases sometime or other, right?

All goes well until a beta reader says, “You use the word ‘then’ a lot.”  When my editor starts marking out character names, I realize I must go back and fill in with ‘he’ and ‘she’.  And when I’ve published a book and a purchaser emails me to say she was rather tired of everyone doing things ‘a bit’, but is glad I did not use the repetitive phrase ‘a little bit’ all the time because that is her total pet peeve, I growl in frustration as I pull up every final manuscript and replace every ‘a bit’ with some other phrase.  Anything that makes me re-upload to the digital platform also makes me re-download for another damn edit, and with seven published books at this point, the process never seems to be complete.  Arrrrrgh!


4.  I use the thesaurus too much.  I blame point 3 for that, but I also blame my education, particularly my self-education.  As an avid reader, I love the flavor of words, so much so that I have spent hours perusing thesaurus.com for just the right word.  Hell, I’ve even gotten so lost in chasing for the right flavor, I ended up writing my first blog post just to exemplify how freaky I get over understanding the essence of a word!  (See Geeking Out on the Thesaurus http://evacaye.blogspot.com/2012/09/geeking-out-on-thesaurus.html or on one of the blogs such as Digital Book Today that have reprinted it.)

This is the hard part about using the thesaurus: you look up a word and see a dozen offerings in the FIRST entry, and they all have different ‘emotional settings’.  So you wonder, “Do I even really know what ‘intrigue’ MEANS?”  You click on the dictionary button, find out that the meaning you originally wanted is considered obsolete (‘to entangle’), and go back to the thesaurus, taste-testing each entry with the wholeness of the scene you’re trying to write to see if it fills the gap in your sentence adequately.

What’s even worse is when you are trying to write in a particular culture and run across expressions you cannot use, but you have a vague, niggling doubt if the one phrase you think you understand is indeed what you mean, yet cannot find any precise definition that meets the lexicon of your characters!  If your character must ‘batten upon’ a relative out of need, but she’s High Royal, I certainly cannot call her a ‘freeloader’, ‘bum’, ‘sponge’, ‘lounge lizard’ or ‘mooch’, especially when she is a hard-working, determined student, fiercely independent and really making something of herself, though she has a sudden, temporary need of a residence.  Since your readers might not know the archaic phrase ‘batten upon’, you try to find a new word.

But, lo and behold!  The thesaurus entries for ‘batten’ are: fasten securely; bar; black out; blossom; flourish; flower; prosper; tether; thrive.  What the hell?  You are POSITIVE that to ‘batten upon someone out of need’ is the right phrase, yet if one of your readers has never heard it before and tries to look it up, is s/he going to think you’re off your rocker?  Hours, people.  I spent hours trying to find a better phrase to show the delicacy of the situation, and Rosita ended up battening upon her boyfriend anyway.  I rationalized it to myself by saying readers expand their vocabulary through context anyway (thank you, Literacy Education course!), and they should appreciate learning a genteel way of expressing such a common occurrence without completely denigrating those who have temporary housing problems.

Still, the question remains:  must I use ‘desultorily’ when ‘casually’ will do?  Must I defend myself to my editor, arguing that ‘essayed’ instead of ‘asked’ is needed because saying ‘he asked tentatively/hesitantly and with a clear tone of doubt’ would affect the flow of the dialogue?  Face it, I’m a word junkie, and this is one time-wasting habit I doubt I will ever break.  I hope my readers appreciate that, at least.


5.  I wrestle with other people’s demons.  For example, I use a lot of adverbs that end in –ly.  When I read an article on why that’s such a bad thing, I spent two weeks editing my entire body of published works in desperate attempts to replace as many –ly adverbs as possible.  There’s no way you can get them all, and as I uploaded my manuscripts to Amazon and Smashwords, I felt I had improved upon them.  Yet how many readers will be so very grateful that my character no longer sighed joyfully, but has now evolved to having ‘emitted a joyful sigh’?

After reading three different style manuals’ rules on spelling out numbers, I wrote up my own rules and sent them to my editor, deciding unhyphenated ones or those beginning a sentence should be spelled out, though numbers expressing ‘pure data’ in context should be left as digits.  After reading all the arguments why one should no longer use two spaces at the end of a period, I decided older readers who prefer double spaces as visual cues are a more important demographic to me than anyone snarking about how wasteful or margin-warping those extra spaces are, though if my books ever go to print I will delete them just so the reader doesn’t have to pay for an extra 40 pages.

What matters to me is the literature, not the ‘industry standards’, a phrase I have come to loathe.  Yes, I still tweak my book covers, upload and republish new versions of my manuscripts regularly, and read everyone’s opinions on What You Must Do, as if their 10 Most Important Writing Tips article establishes them as an expert in the field.  When my beta readers tell me of a problem, I fix it, but at this point I have little desire to read one more article about what I should be doing.  I’ve got a story to write and edit a thousand times, so I look for those writing tips that improve the reader’s internal experience, not a publisher’s or an editor’s or a grammar nazi’s I-am-an-authority-you-must-change-this experience, because the readers are the ones who matter.  Still, to spend so much time reading advice articles over hundreds of literary pet peeves saps my time and energy.  I simply wonder how many people really care about those issues, and recognize it as one of my worst time-wasting habits.


6.  I forget to eat.  When I’m in the zone and the scenes start flowing before my eyes, I pound away until the visions stop.  The usual way I discover I haven’t eaten in 16 hours is when the hubby hands me a plate of food.  It’s rather disconcerting to realize my other-mind has actually spoken to him about food, even discussed what he should cook for dinner, while my focus-mind has been plotting, researching, and typing all along.

Naturally, when you own a laptop eating implies editing, so I go to my start-point for the session and begin.  Being so hungry and distracted by editing means a lot of food spills, crumbs working their way under the keys, splashes across the screen, and near-complete ignorance of how much food I consume.  Especially when the adorable husband leaves a bag of pretzels or chips on the couch, and my other-mind finds them.

When I am about to pass out but realize I will never get to sleep through my ravenous hunger, I scrounge for something healthy to gnaw on before going to bed.  But otherwise, unless we actually go out for a meal at a restaurant, I can rarely tell you what I’ve eaten of a day.  Hubby will occasionally cook something so awesome I must post about it on Facebook, but those days are rare.

This habit is so bad for me on so many levels, but especially because my other-mind now equates ‘not-writing’ to ‘eating’ or ‘sleeping’.  As a result, when I have time on my hands, I also usually have snacks or am thinking about how to acquire food.  I am making inroads on changing this habit, but it’s extremely difficult because everyone needs to eat of a day; you cannot replace it with other habits, you cannot go cold-turkey, and you cannot ignore the effects upon your body.


7.  I write all night.  It has a lot of advantages, like no phone calls or visitors, but it makes it hell on relationships with regular people.  The worst part of this habit is finishing a very romantic or hot sex scene at 4 a.m., desperately desiring a good, ah, bonding experience with the hubby I cannot wake up because he needs those last two hours of sleep before work.

 So I start a new scene, or go online to distract myself, and curse myself for being a night owl.  I sometimes manage to work a marathon session all day and get to bed at a decent time, living like a ‘normal’ person for a few days, but when I’m bustin’ ass to get a project done, I usually end up doing another marathon session all night long, and I’m hooked again.  I have no idea how I’m going to change this habit!


8.  I check my book stats too often.  Indie authors, being responsible for our own marketing, have an obsession to find the perfect place to display our books to readers.  After working up a promotion, I tell myself I need a break, so I go online to chat with friends, catch up on email or reading blogs, look up some topics I need for my next scenes, and find myself checking for sales every fifteen minutes.  That leads to sobs or shouts of joy or wondering whether to promo there again because it has not given me The Big Break That I Need to Go Mainstream.  Yep.  Big waste of time.


9.  I ask my hubby’s opinion.  We met at a science fiction convention in 1990, and our combined library of science fiction books is somewhere in the 700’s.  Although I’ve been a writer for over 30 years, I have only been a serious one for four.  Despite knowing my hubby prefers gaming, anime, and ‘mind candy’ novels, I insist he do his husbandly duty and beta-read my books.  I do listen to what he says, and I do edit with his opinions in mind, but I simply have to recognize that my heavy literary symbolism and exposition of deep, emotional complexities are completely lost on him.

What can I say?  He prefers movies with big, bright explosions, and I rarely write war scenes.  He likes superheroes and silly spoofs (we own the DVD of all episodes of The Tick) and I write high milieu, high drama, high science with as much realism as possible.  He’s perfect for me in a thousand ways, but he just doesn’t dig deep literary metaphors or fighting wars with propaganda and political ploys.  He wants a blatant Good vs. Evil battle that rages on and on, with cool tech gadgets the characters wield against each other.  And my sociological, psychological, medical, political, philosophical, and even spiritual battles and thorough explanations of science just don’t thrill him.  He likes my dedication to knightly virtues (the major themes of my books), but he prefers straight-up, gritty bad guys instead of conflicts between cultural perceptions, where all characters think of themselves as good and doing their best in bad situations.

Still, I value his opinion but need to break myself of the need for it.  Sometimes I think he feeds me to keep me writing just so I won’t ask him for another opinion, because he fears to break my heart with his honesty.  Since he grills a mean ribeye and makes to-die-for pizza from scratch, this will probably be my easiest habit to break.



What are your bad writing habits?  I don't really want to discover I have another one, but if you have one and know how to conquer it, I would be grateful for anything that keeps me working instead of bleeding away my time and energy.  I have dozens of entries in my Books to Write file, and I want to get them all written before I die.  The only reason conquering them all might be a bad thing is if I receive a manuscript back from its first round with my editor with not one comment or change to be made; I might die of surprise, with all those books unwritten!


◊ ◊ ◊

Author Bio: 


A health crisis inspired Eva Caye to become an obsessive writer, completing eight books in her To Be Sinclair series before she could afford an editor.  She published Dignity in August 2012, with the projected release of her 8th book Nobility in late June 2013.  She laughingly refers to Evan's Ladies as Book 6.5, an 'add-on' book to the series since it consists of four novellas.  The other seven books are full novels, though most have 'Easter egg' short stories as bonuses for the reader.

The To Be Sinclair series is set some 600 years in the future and covers the lives and loves of the greatest ruling family in the galaxy.  Her current works-in-progress are a finale to the series, and two prequels set in the TBS universe about 100 years in the future.

Eva lives with her incredibly supportive husband and two lovely mutts in a tiny, century-old farmhouse in Louisville, Kentucky.


Website: http://www.evacaye.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eva.caye

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EvaCaye

Blog: http://evacaye.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6523997.Eva_Caye

G+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/106270772543621634687/posts/p/pub


Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Friday!

It is Friday! I have a lot of work to do this weekend, 
but it's still Happy Friday! Do you have plans?


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Amongst the adventures of the week...

In this week's adventures, I've needed an electrician. To begin with, I had some interesting discussions with both Florida Power and Light and Manatee County. Note, I'm not being sarcastic. I had interesting discussions in a good way, and people have been going far beyond the lines of duty to help me out.

Anyway, in the end it boiled down to getting an electrician to perform repairs. The electrician has to get a permit from the county for the job, and when it's done the county will have to inspect it. (All this is still in the future - hopefully happening tomorrow - and we're keeping fingers, toes, and paws crossed for everything turning out okay.)

One of hubby's friends is an electrician, and he recommended United Electric, the company he works for. I contacted them and e-mailed with a guy who didn't seem too bad. He went out to look at the job, and was really rude when he called back. I thought, "I'm trying to pay you to do a job, why are you yelling at me?"

Not just that. In his eyes, the scope of the job had grown exponentially to what everyone else said.

He said, "And you'll have to move the power meter. It can't be on the lanai like this. It's probably built without a permit and this will cost a fortune."

I stood my ground. "But, the people from the county said nothing about that."

"They probably don't know the lanai is there."

"But, their inspector was there four hours ago."

"Yeah, well, then he doesn't know what he's talking about. Getting this approved will cost $2,700."

Whoa!

I went back to work and whined. The company owner said, "You know what, I'll call Brink's electric, the guy who does all the work around here. I bet he can help you out."

So, we talked to Dan Brink, and he went out to look. He took the time to come see me at work to talk about it, and looked embarrassed when he said, "You know, this job will take some time and need a lot of parts. I'll try to make it as a repair, but I have to..." I kind of zoned out when he told me everything that would be needed. Then, he said, "It might be as much as $600. I can go down to the office and apply for the permit in the morning."

$600 is a lot of money and I can't really afford it, but it's only 22% of $2,700. I said, "I talked to this other guy, and he said I'd have to move the meter."

"No, that shouldn't be necessary. I mean, it depends on who you get for inspector, it's really up to them, but it shouldn't be necessary. It's just a repair."

There are still a million things that can go wrong with this, but I'm hoping for the best. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Great reviews for Flashback!

The first reviews for Flashback are ticking in, and thus far it has received warm words. Happy Joy Joy! =D


Cindi from the website Mommasez writes:


"A two part story, Flashback first explores the very gritty reality of war, alcohol, PTSD, and lonely people. The second part is pure, non-stop action. The common thread, however, that holds the two parts together is the deep love of Anna and Steve. Flashback tells the story of ex-CIA operative, Steve, who has spent the past year recuperating from incredibly traumatic torture in Afghanistan. His girlfriend has left him and the bottle is now his only friend. He meets widowed Anna one Autumn afternoon in a bar and she immediately adopts him as her ‘next cause’. She patiently puts up with his daily terrors and flashbacks and his constant state of drunkenness. Eventually, her patience and never-ending love and encouragement help Steve get off the bottle and pills. And THAT’S when life gets interesting. I don’t do spoilers so here are some keywords for the second part of Flashback: greed, kidnapping, a yellow bikini with red flowers, rescue, cannibalism, baby Daddy, gunfights.
 
The story was absolutely realistic, even down to the symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal, which makes for a more enjoyable read to me. The kidnapping, rescue, and escape were exciting and tense – believe me, I had my fingers crossed several times! Military camaraderie, post-battle life, and the women who love these men is always a sad story but author Maria Hammarblad imbues her book with optimism and courage, hope for a better tomorrow. We could all use a little hope, right?"

Paula Bush McElwee also read Flashback, and said:


"I just finished Flashback and stayed up way too late and even skipped some of the things I should have done because I couldn't put it down. Maria Hammarblad has written another great story full of wonderful characters, dramatic plot twists, moments of true terror, and a love that grows and fills the story and makes getting through the scary times possible. Great book!"

Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite also had kind words:


"Flashback" is an insight into the life of a soldier. Steve was a soldier who came "home" after being gruesomely tortured at the hand of the enemy. His past continued to haunt him all the time. He tried to escape the memories by drowning himself in alcohol and drugs but they seemed to be making it more difficult ... then Anna came. Suddenly, his life was better. He had the urge to do things for her, to make her happy. She made him feel human again and he was ready to change everything for her. Then calamity struck; Anna was kidnapped right after they got married and were living in their dream house. Steve would have to go back to live his nightmare if he wanted his wife back. Would he be able to go back to the place that ruined his life? Would he be able to overcome his demons and fight for his love?

"Flashback" starts with a very powerful beginning that hooks the attention of the reader. Once you start you cannot stop until you have read the last page. And once you are done with that, you will want to read it all over again. A delightful reading for those people who are mature readers and who do not shy away from mild violence and expressive language. If you are one of them then this book will be a definite keeper for you." 




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Excerpt from Flashback

I've had some blog posts lately, but I haven't blogged much. There's a difference between posting other people's stuff and actually writing something...

The house hunt has me pretty exhausted. I have a contract now, but getting everything together with the loan inspection and the selling bank is nothing short of insane. My bank requires an inspection. In order to make that happen, the inspector requires that power and water be on. The selling bank refuses to turn on the utilities, and they refuse to let me turn on the utilities even though I offer to pay for it. Finally, they would let me turn on the power, but not the water.

The power company say they require an inspection to turn on the power, but the inspection can't take place without power. Seems like a good time to bang one's head against the wall, right?

All this has me pretty stuck. I'm sure it will all turn out for the best in the end, but right now, my mind is blank. Since I don't have anything else to say, I'm going to share an excerpt from Flashback.
Enjoy. =)

*****

Steve took a good swig from the fresh drink and turned towards the woman perched next to him. She drifted in and out of focus, and he needed to squint to see her properly.

She was pretty. Maybe not beautiful, but certainly pretty, and the old him wouldn't have hesitated to make a move on her. Hell, the old him would already be trying to kiss her; that nice curvy body would be impossible to resist. She had an attractive face, beautiful dark eyes, and a gorgeous smile. If she wasn’t everything any man would wish for, he didn’t know who would be.

This, however, wasn't the old him. It was the new and improved him, and normal people shouldn't be anywhere near.

Glancing over at Mae, he lifted an eyebrow to ask if this was really a good idea. She nodded, so he returned his attention to Anna.

"Okay... A year ago I almost strangled my fiancée. I thought she was an Al-Qaida soldier who just wouldn't die. During the year since she left me, I've, amongst other things, crashed two cars, accidentally put a friend in the hospital, cut myself up, and shot my house to pieces. This is Mae, she used to date my buddy. Eddie, but he is almost as crazy as I am, so I think it was doomed from the start. Happy?"

He didn't have to look to know Mae slapped her forehead. This little speech would be enough to make anyone disappear, so he returned his attention to his drink. Thus far, booze hadn't filled the void inside, but it might if he kept on trying.

"Whoa, you've got bigger problems than I do."

Why did she sound amused? She should be scared, moving to the other side of the room. Besides, living in hell on earth didn't seem funny at all to him.

He had to raise his head to look at the women, and saw them exchange a glance. Mae shrugged and made a face stating it was all true. The woman next to him didn't scream or run away; she smiled.

"Tell you what, I'm not asking you to move in with me, I just want some company because it's been a really shitty couple of weeks. I promise if you start strangling me, I'll hit you over the head with this bottle. Deal?"

She grabbed an empty bottle from the counter and waved it in the air to demonstrate. As much as he wanted to maintain the grumpy attitude, he couldn't help but laugh. This chick was funny. She seemed to be so alive, much more than anyone else he had met for a long time, and certainly much more than he was. He wanted people around him, didn't he? Wasn't that why he left the safety of the shack he called home?

The thought of that little woman hitting him with a bottle made him chuckle.

"Alright, but promise to keep that thing near just in case you have to hurt me. I'm Steve."

He held out his hand, glancing at her from under the hair that stubbornly fell into his eyes. She shook it without hesitation, and touching another human was wonderful. He wanted to hold on.

"I'm Anna. It's nice to meet you Steve."

"Yeah, you say that now."

*****

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cover Reveal for Greenshift by Heidi Ruby Miller

To celebrate the cover reveal for Greenshift, the e-book will be temporarily 99 cents at Amazon!
 

 
A tale set within the world of Ambasadora.
 
 Mari's rare eye color makes her a pariah within Upper Caste society,
which is why she prefers plants to people...except David,
the former Armadan captain who shuttles
scientists around on a refurbished pleasure cruiser.

But someone else is interested in Mari and her distinctive look --
an obsessed psychopath who tortures and murders women for pleasure.

When the killer chooses Mari as his next victim,
the soldier inside David comes alive,
but it is Mari who must fight for her own life
and prove she isn't as fragile as the flowers she nurtures.

Greenshift by Heidi Ruby Miller
Cover Art by Bradley Sharp
Foreword by Dana Marton

Space Opera/Science Fiction Romance paperback coming from Dog Star Books in August 2013


LINKS:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Don't miss Bewitching Book Tours Sizzling Summer Giveaway!

Right now, Bewitching Book Tours has a Sizzling Summer Giveaway! Entering is easy and the prize packages awesome.

Check this one out, for instance. Win a Kindle Fire and some awesome book swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter this one to win a package of print books!

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If young adult is your thing, win a book package here!

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Enter here to win an awesome package of e-books!

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cover reveal for Operation Earth

Happy day, I can finally show the cover for my upcoming release Operation Earth. I think it's gorgeous. The cover artists at Desert Breeze Publishing are amazing!

Blurb:

Seven billion people on Earth go about their daily lives, and no one is prepared when a global EMP slows the world to a crawl. With all our technology incapacitated, everything changes. Within days alien soldiers line the streets, and life will never be the same. In the midst of chaos, Rachael Hill struggles to adapt to the new order, doing her best to keep herself and her cat alive.

On a ship far above the planet surface, Peter just got his new Earth name, and can’t even remember his identity from the last world he visited. It’s another day on the job, one more planet on a never-ending list. That is, until Rachael bumps into him, dropping exotic objects all around his feet. His culture taught him females should be obeyed and protected, but he never had an urge to leave himself at a woman’s mercy until now.

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/operation-earth-epub/


Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Midsummer! Contests and release day!

There's so much fun stuff going on today I don't know what to talk about first. Let's start with: Happy Midsummer! This is what I would be doing today if I were in Sweden:




What else is happening today? Lots and lots of fun stuff!

Release Day


Today is the release day of Flashback. Another great reason to be happy! The heroine Anna has her own interview today, and this is the first stop on the Flashback book tour.

Free Book


To celebrate the holiday, I'm also giving away free Kindle downloads of Touch of the Goddess.

Summer Giveaway!


Other events I think you might enjoy include the Bewitching Book Tours Sizzling Summer Giveaway! Prizes include a Kindle Fire and awesome book bundles!

Blog Hop!


Can the day get even better? Yes! Check out the SFR Brigade's Midsummer Blog Hop! The theme is Out Of This World, and besides meeting a large number of fantastic writers, the blog hop has a contest with Amazon gift cards, book bundles, and more! My stop on the hop can be found right here.

That's a lot of links in one post, but I want to make sure no one is bored and everyone has something fun to do. ;-)

Enjoy your day, everyone! Happy Midsummer!


SFR Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop - Out Of This World!

Welcome to my stop on the SFR Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop

I love Midsummer. In my part of Sweden, the summer solstice is a Big Deal. This day and night is filled with lore and mystique, and the veil between our world and the unknown is thinner than ever.

My imagination loves this time a year. Growing up, I always imagined fairies dancing in the meadows, and I could almost hear Näcken play in any water nearby.

What? You haven't heard of Näcken? He sits on a rock in any flowing water, playing his violin to lure fair maidens to wade over to him. Then, he kills them and steals their souls.

Young me would keep an eye on the sky as well.

At Midsummer, anything might happen, and maybe this would be the night when the aliens finally arrived. I was clearly in the wrong place, on the wrong planet, with the wrong species. Horrible mixup, that. Surely, my real family would arrive from the stars at any time and bring me home!

Adult me still waits for the aliens and wonders what they will be like. By now I'm biased enough by Hollywood to think the good guys might not be the first ones to reach us, but I still hope.

The heroine of my upcoming sci-fi romance Operation Earth (TBR Aug 11) certainly doesn't expect any aliens to arrive. In her world, rain is the only thing that might ever fall from the sky. Boy is she in for a surprise. Check this out:

*****


Rachael's mind couldn't shut the approaching noise out anymore. Something was falling through the air, something heavy, coming fast. The sound caught the attention of the people by their cars as well. She saw someone raise a hand to point, and she followed the man's gaze to the sky.

"What's an EMP?" Melissa asked, and Rachael barely heard her own voice answer, "Electromagnetic Pulse. It destroys anything electronic. A really old car might work, like 1970s vintage and before, but nothing modern."

Anything electronic, such as an airplane, such as the one falling from the sky over their heads.

The woman over by the cars screamed, and the man who had yelled and thrown his phone put his hands on her shoulders in a gesture of comfort.

Strange how people come together in a time of crisis.

"Why doesn't he try to glide?" Ryan's question made sense, but if her theory was right, the poor pilots had no rudder control whatsoever. The plane fell like a stone and hit the ground a few blocks away with an impact that made windows rattle.

Melissa asked, "Should we... go over? See if we can help?"

He shook his head.

"There's no helping them. We should be happy if it doesn't explode and burn the city to the ground."
Melissa tucked her hand into her husband's.

At a time like this, it would be nice to be two. I guess Mom was right. It is the end of the world. Oh boy, she's probably terrified, I hope she's okay.

There was no time to mentally digest the plane crash and its implications. A new sound made itself heard; a deep, low humming.

"What's that?" Melissa whimpered.

Where's my cat? Focus on the big picture. Bonbon can take care of herself, probably better than you. Whoever did this isn't through yet.

Ryan’s voice pulled her back to the present.

"It's the whole friggin' house!"

She turned around to see him hold a palm against a wall. Down the street the little group of people backed away from their cars. Rachael swallowed.

"Maybe... Maybe you shouldn't touch it."

Before she could even finish the sentence, a female voice emanated from the structures around them, from the very ground under their feet. It echoed crystal clear, and in a moment of near hysteria, Rachael wondered if the same thing happened all over the world.

"Rejoice, people of Theta Y. My name is June, and I'm happy to declare the time has come to reunite."

*****
Before you go off to visit all the other participants in the blog hop, we have a contest with some really sweet prizes. It is open internationally, and definitely worth entering. 
You can win:

1st prize: $150 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice) and an ebook bundle consisting of Alien Adoration, Dementional, Wytchfire, Ghost Planet, The Iron Admiral, Games of Command, The Key, Once Upon a Time in Space, Winter Fusion, Wither, Clash, Bayne, Maven, Ghost in the Machine, The Telomere Trilogy, Interface, Keir, Terms & Conditions Apply, Stark, The Plan, and Starburst.

2nd prize: $50 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice)

3rd prize: three lucky entries get a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card each
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Visit the other participants:


Thursday, June 20, 2013

News and the house hunt

I've been quiet this last week. Sorry 'bout that. Truth is, I'm exhausted. I've been meaning to write a blog post and talk about it, but I haven't had the energy. Ironically funny, right! I think stress is getting to me. It'll be better once we're settled in a new place, I'm sure.

Who knew finding a new place to live could be so difficult? I have my eyes on a lovely house that would be perfect for us. It has everything I want: a yard big enough for my doggies, a nice kitchen, and the house itself is large enough for both my books and hubby's hobbies. We'll see what happens.

I think my husband secretly hopes we won't get it, because he feels comfortable in the area of town we're in. I don't, I really don't. I'm sure this was a nice area in the past, and in his mind it still is. It's close to work and close to stores, but it also has high crime, some very peculiar people, and at night cars drive by playing rap music so loud it wakes me up inside the house.

In my book - no pun intended - an area where people regularly drive down the street at three in the morning, playing music loud enough for me to heart the lyrics inside my bedroom, isn't really nice and quiet.

He doesn't see the area as I do - he drives past it in his car - but I walk along it with the doggies. Some yards have grass tall enough to reach above my knees. Wildlife loves that, of course, and at the evening walks I encounter both snakes and spiders the size of tape rolls. We are in Florida. Anything creepy crawly you can think of, we have it. During the evening walks, I also get to know much too much about the neighbors...

To be fair, many of the residents work hard to keep it nice. They paint their houses, re-do their roofs, and work diligently on their yards. It's just swallowed up so quickly by the ones who don't care. Maybe I'm wrong to want to leave the neighborhood, but honestly, it's not our house and we can't stay in it once the lease runs out. We have to go somewhere. Might as well upgrade, right?

Anyway, enough of the house talk. Every time I feel about to give up, something happens that makes everything worthwhile.  Today, I got a message saying, "I just finished two of your ebooks. They are just what I've been looking for for a long time." Yay! This person just made my day! She'll probably never know how much those sentences mean to me, but to me, it's a message to keep writing, and to keep pushing forward!

What else? Well, some exciting things are coming up in the near future. IE, tomorrow. It's the summer solstice, and to me as a Swede, this is the second biggest holiday of the year. I've taken a day off work, and will most likely sit in the yard with my feet up, celebrating the day through typing. Haha!

June 21 is also:

  • The release day for my next novel, Flashback.
  • The start of the Flashback blog tour. Coming soon to a blog near you!



  • Aaand *drumroll* it's the start of the SFR Brigade's summer blog hop! I'll post more information about this tomorrow morning!



Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Siah-dhu calls your name! Post and giveaway by Pippa Jay!


The Siah-dhu

We are the darkness in the far reaches of space. We are the shadow on the edge of your vision, the nightmare you cannot quite remember but that leaves you shaking. We are the Siah-dhu, and we want your mind and soul…

Excerpt:

Gethyon.

Not quite a voice, not quite any sound he had ever heard, the Siah-dhu called his name. The roiling mass drew closer. A chill gale blasted over him and snatched all the breath and warmth away, sucking the life out of him.

“No.” The single word snatched him back from the edge. He hadn’t come so far or lost so much to surrender. As the Siah-dhu pulsed toward him intent on his consumption, he forced himself up again and turned his back on the shadows. It was the hardest thing he had ever done, to resist that pull into oblivion. The edges of the black cloud twined around him, incorporeal fingers striving to grasp him, seething forward to swallow him…

The world disappeared.
***

The ultimate villain in Gethyon is the Siah-dhu – a dark, amorphous entity like a black cloud, a hive mind made up of many parts in a single mass. It can travel across space with ease and appears to have no weaknesses. Its origin is unknown. Unlike a human, it cannot be bargained or reasoned with. Money, power – physical things have no allure for it. The Siah-dhu seeks just one thing – Gethyon. And once it has him, all that is human about him will cease to exist. Can he escape it? You’ll only know if you read the story.


To celebrate the release of Gethyon, I’m offering this green crystal charm to one lucky person. Enter via the rafflecopter form below, and tell me what you’re most scared of in the comments.












GETHYON

A YA Science Fiction Novel
Released by Champagne Books 3rd June 2013
His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.

Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.

When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?

Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?


BUY LINKS:

BURST - http://burstbooks.ca/product.php?id_product=99
Kobo - http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gethyon/book-PBNMPmlj7E-LpAed79fkDQ/page1.html?s=Cgke5CRKHESGZxG7MmccQQ&r=1
Amazon UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
Omnilit - https://www.omnilit.com/product-gethyon-1216049-245.html?oid=










Pippa Jay biography: 

A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave.

Between torturing her characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Her works have won a SFR Galaxy Award, and finaled in the Readers Favorite Award Contest and the Gulf Coast RWA Chapter Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award.


LINKS:
To celebrate the release of Gethyon, I’m offering this pretty little green crystal charm, open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway