Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Greta van der Rol

I'm pleased to have Greta van der Rol as my guest today. Like last week's guest, Greta is a member of the SFR Brigade and is included in the Nebula Nights boxed set. (I have my copy! It's only $0.99, people!) Greta is an Australian author who posts gorgeous photos of the lorikeets in her backyard on Facebook, which I am completely envious of. The most interesting birds we get around here are the occasional blue jay.

1. What flavor is your writing? (Contemporary? Historical? Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

Most of my books are action-packed space operas, but I've written two paranormal romances (Black Tiger and White Tiger) and a historical fiction novel which was actually the first of my books published.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Quest Episode 1-4 Recap: Battle Dome

"You saved the queen--my queen. And I thank you for that. The kingdom thanks you for that." --Sir Ansgar
And yet, nobody seems to be investigating who poisoned the queen. Someone call CSI.

Anyway, we open with the paladins earning xp for their trade skills again, and then an alarm goes up! Everyone grabs weapons and hops awkwardly into ill-fitting armor. Thankfully this was just a drill--and the paladins all failed! Sneaky, Sir Ansgar. Though really, if the enemy can breach your defenses that fast, Everealm is seriously screwed.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The SFR Brigade Presents: Morningstar Snippet 4

Welcome to this week's SFR Brigade Presents! For more of this week's excerpts please go here.

I believe that after this round the SFR Brigade Presents will be taking a few weeks off, but fear not, dear readers. More Morningstar snippets will be available for your reading pleasure during the Virtual Book Tour hosted by Goddess Fish promotions in September. And I'll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner during the tour, so you'll want to stick around for that. ;)

In this snippet Bryn enters the ship's mess hall and discovers Malcolm, an indexer (and former client) who was rescued from the jump station. Malcolm is featured in the third Cy'ren book, Sunsinger, and he's my favorite character in the trilogy. Absent-minded computer genius with glasses? Yes, please. ;)
“What are you working on?”

“Decrypting files for the captain. Slaver files. Something they found at their last stop. It’s not difficult, just time consuming. I can’t resume my search for the Lazarus data until we reach Cyprena.”

“Lazarus data?” she asked.

“It’s why the mercenaries were after me. I…oh, I probably shouldn’t say more. But Lieutenant Commander Harrow can tell you about it.” Malcolm yawned and rubbed his eyes, and then scratched at the high collar of his shirt as though his skin itched. He always seemed to be drowning in layers of mismatched clothing.

“When was the last time you slept?” Bryn asked.

He shrugged. “Been awhile. I don’t remember.”

“Okay. Here’s the deal. Put the work away. Eat your food, and then get some rest. You can start fresh after that.”

“Are you going to put me to bed?” he asked absently, and then winced. “Not like that. I mean…”

Bryn laughed. “I know what you meant. Alexi looked after you like I look after Sabine, didn’t he?”

“Yes.” He sighed with clear relief.

Bryn speared a mouthful of food. Bland, but hot. Better than most of the food she’d had the last few years. “Try it, it’s not bad,” she encouraged.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Veronica Scott

My guest today is Veronica Scott, best-selling author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog. She's very cool, and my inner NASA nerd was full of squee when I read in her bio that she received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. (Seriously people, whenever NASA would call the office looking for my professor/boss I would be all fangirl "OMG, NASA is on the phone!") I'm very excited to have Veronica here today. :)

1. What flavor is your writing? (Contemporary? Historical? Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

I write in two genres – science fiction romance and ancient Egyptian romance with a touch of paranormal. I put a lot of action and adventure into every book, no matter which universe I’m writing in. There will always be a strong, capable heroine and the man who loves her. My heroes tend to be military, and come from the Special Forces of their time, whether it be the far future, or a group I call Pharaoh’s Own Guards in the stories set in ancient Egypt. I don’t write straight historical romance because I like to include the gods and goddesses in the action, so I take a few other liberties as well. I take turns between writing SFR and the ancient Egyptian stories.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Quest Episode 1-3 Recap: Save the Queen

“I do not take orders from you.” Vizier, to Sir Ansgar.
Careful there, Ansgar. Pretty sure the Vizier outranks you in the chain of command.

When last we left our heroes, the Queen had been damseled! I mean poisoned. Same thing, really… Anyway, Paladin Adria was suspicious of the Vizier, because he lacked the knowledge to cure the queen. The Vizier is suspicious of the paladins. Personally, I agree with him. One of them is far more likely to be a mole than the Vizier is to be the poisoner. Come on, people. He’s the magic user. He has high INT, high Wisdom. He wouldn’t poison someone while standing next to them. That’s a rookie villain mistake.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The SFR Brigade Presents: Morningstar Snippet 3

Welcome to this week's SFR Brigade Presents! Want more sci-fi snippets? You can find this week's excerpts here.

When we last left Bryn and Jace, they were dueling. (Again, you can read more of this scene at the excerpt on the Samhain site.) Here we have the aftermath of the fight.
“Strip.” Bryn unbuckled her belt and set it aside, and Jace frowned, certain he had heard incorrectly.


“Get naked, Morningstar. I’m not letting you near Sabine when you’re this riled. You’ll hurt her, she’ll let you, and then I’ll have to kill you. Seems a bad way to start our relationship. So strip.”

Bryn walked away and sat on a bench to remove her boots as Jace blinked at her. The bluntness of her words stunned him for a moment, overriding the lust that fogged his brain.

“Now? Here?” Dueling in the armory was one thing, taking his new mate on the deck was another matter entirely.

“Yes. What’s wrong, Second Son? Need a pillow?” Bryn set her boots aside and rose, reaching for the zipper of her coverall.

“No.” At least he assumed he didn’t. “But—”

“You have done this before, right?” she teased with a smirk.

Jace hesitated, torn between the desire to be truthful versus the ease of repeating the lie. He had carefully cultivated his fa├žade—unlike the other male Cy’ren aboard the Talon, Jace didn’t indulge in the pleasures of females eager to show their gratefulness for their newfound freedom. He claimed that he had high standards in a lover, preferring quality over quantity, but the truth was that he had avoided taking a lover for the same reasons he hadn’t taken a mate. Any affection he showed for a female could be used against him by Wylarric, and he refused to endanger an innocent because of his brother’s paranoia.

Until now. Though considering the ease with which Bryn had dropped Jace, he was certain that his brother’s men wouldn’t stand a chance against her blade.

Bryn’s brow rose at his silence. “You have, haven’t you? Or are you a virgin?”

“Well, technically, yes, I am,” he admitted, deciding upon honesty. She was his mate, and deserved the truth. “Though I am familiar with the concepts involved.” Jace cleared his throat as his face heated with an embarrassed blush. “Please don’t repeat that. Commander Soth barely respects me as it is.”

“You’re serious?”


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Amanda Young

Today's guest is bestselling author Amanda Young! She writes in a variety of sub-genres and has excellent taste in music. (Seriously, you should check out her web site.) I'm glad to have her here today. :-)

1. What flavor is your writing? (Contemporary? Historical? Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

I mostly stick with contemporary, although I will write the odd paranormal title now and then when the mood strikes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Reasons You Should Watch The Quest

I love role-playing games--tabletop, live action, mmorpgs, PC games, console games. I’ve slain many pixelated dragons and been the hero of several fictional kingdoms. When I first heard about ABC’s new show The Quest, I was instantly filled with fangirl squee and the show hadn’t even premiered yet.

Imagine if you will a mashup of a Survivor-type reality competition where contestants compete in challenges to save themselves from elimination, but instead of taking place on a remote island the setting is a magical kingdom called Everealm. Not just any magical kingdom, but one that is threatened by the forces of evil, and the contestants are responsible for saving it.

This show had me at hello, and here are five reasons you should be watching it too:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lady Jane and the Virgin Reader

Last week I was a guest reader at Lady Jane's Salon - Naperville, along with authors Sarah M. Anderson and Shannyn Schroeder and special guest Bobbi Dumas. It was awesome and terrifying, and here are a few of the details of the evening.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The SFR Brigade Presents: Morningstar Snippet 2

It's SFR Brigade Presents time, yay! You can find more of this week's sci-fi romance snippets shared here.

Last week I shared a snippet from Morningstar where Bryn meets Captain Hawke (a heroine in Nightfall). And then I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, and I thought you might enjoy something a little more action-packed. Do you like epic space battles and blue aliens with swords and laser pistols kicking all available butt? Then I suspect that you'll enjoy the Cy'ren Rising trilogy. ;)

Here we have Lieutenant Brynnaren Viera about to beat the snot out of Morningstar's hero, Lieutenant Commander Najacen Harrow. (You can read more of this scene in the excerpt at the Samhain site.)
Lieutenant Viera stood in the center of the armory, calmly checking the edge of her blade. A trickle of blood went ignored as it slid down the side of her neck from a scratch at her throat. The enticing scents of blood and phase pheromones mixed in the air and Jace growled low. How was he supposed to fight when he couldn’t think straight?

“Ready?” Bryn set her stance and raised her blade.

Jace drew his sword. “What are your victory conditions?”

“You yield or I knock you unconscious. Or I kill you, though I’d rather not. I don’t think Captain Hawke would appreciate that.”

“She might. She threatens it often enough.”

“So you have a problem with women in authority?”

“No.” Jace slowly circled right, and she moved left, matching him step for step. “I have a problem with authority.”

He lunged, and she parried and came at him. His eyes widened as she rained a flurry of blows that drove him back—she was strong and damn fast. That must have been where Soth went wrong. Soth probably assumed he could overpower her, and she struck at him with the speed of a viper. Thankfully Jace was also fast, and he defended himself before going on an offensive of his own. He had to be fast to compete among his brethren, as the other shadow swords tended to be broader and burlier, like Soth. Most of them were born to fight for their house, but Jace had been born to lead it.

Bryn hissed as his blade sliced through the sleeve of her coverall, and she retaliated with a kick to his shin that staggered him. Off-balanced, he fell flat on his back as she connected with another kick, and she leapt on him and pinned him to the floor.

“Did you buy that pretty sword of yours? Doesn’t seem like you earned it,” Bryn taunted.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Sarah M. Anderson

Today's guest is the always fabulous Sarah M. Anderson. I had the good fortune to share a table with her at the Spring Fling book signing, where we pounced on people like promo sharks. Sarah was one of the readers at the August Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville (along with Shannyn Schroeder and special guest Bobbi Dumas) (and me) (I'm going to post about that next week). Sarah had puppets. You're all sad that you weren't there, because it was awesome.

1. What flavor is your writing? (Contemporary? Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

Oh, it’d be fun to write contemporary spicy space ninjas! But I’m more than happy to settle for contemporary, sexy, snarky Cowboys and Indians. It’s not a great book until you’ve got a shirtless cowboy (who can also be the Indian) riding on horseback, in my opinion. My Harlequin Desires may not have as many Cowboys or Indians (although I work them in when I can), but they’re still full of strong men who live by their own moral code, which is what I find most sexy about a cowboy in the first place!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The SFR Brigade Presents: Morningstar, Cy'ren Rising Book 2

Greetings! As part of this week's SFR Brigade Presents I'm sharing a snippet from my second Cy'ren Rising book, Morningstar. The Cy'ren Rising trilogy is a spicy space opera filled with epic space battles, laser gunfights, and steamy romance. Here's a bit from the scene where Morningstar's heroine Bryn meets Captain Carmen Hawke, a heroine from Nightfall.
The doors to the med bay opened as the doctor treated her, and Bryn tensed as a human woman entered.

“I’m Captain Hawke. Don’t worry, I ordered the males to stay away.” Like Bryn she was tall for a female, but she had a human’s bland skin tone—a sort of bronzed beige. The captain’s face was marred by an old burn scar, but Bryn was most interested in the Cy’ren markings inked in black on the side of her throat. No slave marks, and she bore odd heritage runes, but she had two mate marks from House Sunsinger.

“I won’t let them take her,” Bryn blurted.

“Agreed. My mate, Talena, was in phase recently. I understand how difficult that can be. I won’t let anything be forced on your friend,” Captain Hawke said.

“Sabine is my mate,” Bryn corrected. “I’ve never heard of a human with Cy’ren mates.”

“Well, now you have. And you are?”

“Brynnaren Viera, shadow sword of House Wintersend. I served as a lieutenant aboard the Sabre.”

“I’m not familiar with that ship.”

“The Sabre was destroyed almost six years ago. Five of us made it to an escape pod. We were captured. I don’t know what happened to the others after—” Bryn stopped, the words vanishing as her throat squeezed shut. After I was sold. She rather hoped her crewmates were dead. Death would have been an honorable end, and easier to bear than the hell she’d been through.