Friday, August 15, 2014

SFR Brigade Presents: My Name Is A'yen, ch 1 part 3


The third installment of chapter one! Here's part one, and part two. The book releases on September 12th, and can be preordered at Kobo, Nook, and iBooks. You can also sign up for my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything.

 “Do you have any unlisted skills? Navigation or piloting maybe?”
Something about her reminded him of Master. Made him want to trust her. But only a little. “Perhaps.” This time he let his lips curve up. Surely she was smart enough to know it was a yes, and the closest thing to a yes she’d get unless she bought him. He’d never enjoy a life of almost freedom again, but anything was better than here.
I thought so.” She leaned in and lowered her voice. “A male with pilot and navigation skills would cost more than I can spend.”
Then I’m the deal of the century.”
I expect you to prove it.”
I will.
She stepped back, green eyes sparkling with pent-up laughter. “Keeper, I want this one.”
Chosen now, sale all but final, he didn’t look away. The keeper’s face still wore a scowl, even though he was getting rid of A’yen. “Are you sure, Dr. Hart? He’s quite a handful.”
A’yen stiffened at the acid in the keeper’s words. The man wanted him in a regiment, to suffer and die a horrible death. The fate most of Loks Mé men were doomed to, and one Senator Moray had saved A’yen from. Following orders, being nothing more than a number in a system, were things A’yen never wanted to experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crush Wednesday: Tom Selleck

When it comes to romance, and general TV watching too, I'm all about the hero. I don't watch/read stuff for a heroine. Except Wonder Woman, but come one. Wonder Woman! I look for books, TV shows, and movies with strong male characters. I've always been this way.

Crush Wednesday will be a running feature and I plan to share actors and characters with my lovely readers. Sometimes I crush on an actor, and other times I crush on a character the actor portrays. Not to mention all the book men I'm in love with.

I'm starting Crush Wednesday with my first crush, Tom Selleck. Yup, Tom Selleck. As Magnum. I own the whole show and it's one of my absolute favorite things ever made.

Magnum is a complete character. Backstory wound, running love story, friends who will help him no matter what.

One of my great-aunts met him once, when she went to visit her daughter who was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Another one of my dearest friends was in the Navy in the 80's, stationed in Hawaii while the show was filming, and she found out where he went running every morning. So she could go too. She saw him a couple times, but never worked up the nerve to say anything.

My parents have been to Hawaii twice. Every single clothing store you go in, you're told "Tom Selleck bought his shirts here." I have no idea where he really bought them, but I do have a couple from Hilo Hattie's.

Tom has grown no less fine as he's aged. He's up there with Sean Connery in "gets hotter as he gets older" category.

Friday, August 8, 2014

SFR Brigade Presents: My Name Is A'yen, ch. 1, part 2


As I said last week, I'm sharing the first chapter of My Name Is A'yen as I inch closer to release on September 12. Go here for Part 1.


The feet stepped closer. “You were owned by a cartographer?” Her sweet voice didn’t mean she’d stay that way.
A member of the guild?”
You can look up.”
He did, and the breath left his body. Five inches shorter than his six feet four, but finely-boned at the same time. Delicate. Hair dark as a black hole framed a kind looking face, with bright green eyes studying him. She glanced at her tablet again and he sucked air into his lungs.
The entry she studied showed her his history and place of birth, along with other facts. But not the things that made him a person. “When did you leave Athen?”
When I was ten.”
Why did a Titan cartographer buy you?”
Because Senator Moray, his mother’s owner, trusted him and A’yen hadn’t been afraid of him. But he couldn’t tell her that. A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, but he didn’t give in. “I don’t know. But I’m very glad he did. He filed the first climate report on Rim One.”
Her shoulders drooped and she stared at her table for a minute. “I wanted to meet him some day. If you’re here, that’ll never happen.” The green gaze pinned him again. “I’m sorry.”
Thank you,” he whispered.

Check out the A'yen's Legacy page up for preorder links. You can also sign up for my newsletter to make sure you don't miss any news about the series and release dates. Subscribers also get first peek at the cover art.

Friday, August 1, 2014

SFRBrigade Presents: My Name Is A'yen, ch 1 pt 1


In preparation for A'yen's release into the Big Wide World I'll be spending the next few weeks sharing the first chapter. It's undergone some changes since the last time I shared it. Enjoy!

Earth Year: 5231
Three hundred sixty-six days and the images continued to haunt him. His screams and cries. Master’s whispered final words to not lose himself, no matter what.
Damn humans. Taking the one person he loved above all others and locking him in this hell called holding. Fitting, really, since A’yen Mesu’s entire life was put on hold when the enforcers dragged him away. Loks Mé. Less than human. An alien. Nothing but a slave. One easily replaced since no one cared he was an expert cartographer in his own right.
A whirring sound filled the cell block. The mag-locks. Buyers. A’yen forced himself off his bed, went to the bars keeping him prisoner, and positioned his hands where he wouldn’t be forced to stand for who knew how long in an awkward position. The cuffs on his wrists reacted to the mag-lock and stuck to the bars so tight he couldn’t get free if his life depended on it.
He kept his gaze glued to the floor to avoid punishment from the hold keeper. When a pair of small feet in black boots stopped, he stiffened. So far no woman had dared to stop in front of him. Due to fear, most likely. They didn’t understand most Loks Mé men couldn’t stand the thought of hurting a woman, or seeing a woman hurt while they were helpless to stop it.

Check out the A'yen's Legacy page for preorder links. You can also sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar to make sure you don't miss any news. The next newsletter will go out when all of my preorder links are live.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How many books do you read?

I'm a writer. I pay attention to what's going on in my industry, how technology is changing how we read, and I find reading habit studies interesting. Last week I stumbled across an article in Slate (probably via the Publisher's Weekly daily email) about the death of e-readers.

Why did this catch my attention? Because Barnes and Noble is finally spinning Nook off into its own division, like they've been saying they're going to do for at least two years now. I own a Nook. In fact, I'm on my second one. Bought a Simple Touch on Black Friday when it was half off and I love it.

Anyway, back to the Slate article. It notes how sales of e-readers are starting to decline and makes reference to several tech writers who are starting to say the e-reader is in its death throes. Smart phones and tablets are changing how we do everything, including reading. But not necessarily to the benefit of readers or authors, or brain development and cognitive skills.

I have an e-reader for one reason: I don't like reading books on a computer screen. Or on my phone, or on a tablet screen. I work on computers all day, whether I'm writing, goofing off on Facebook, email, or doing actual work for my job. When I go to bed I don't want to be staring at yet another backlit screen. Not to mention backlit screen use after dark can wreak havoc with my brain's ability to shut down for sleep. And I'm not alone in this.

But what really caught my interest in the article was the reference to this survey from 2012. It found that readers who own e-readers read, on average, 24 books per year, while those who don't own an e-reader read on average 15 books per year. That got me wondering. How many books have I read so far this year? Since I have a Goodreads shelf called Read In 2014, it was easy to find out.

My total so far this year? 29. Don't believe me? If you have a Goodreads account go look.The shelf says 27, but that's because one of the books shelved is a boxed set of three books. And yes, I've been doing a lot of binge reading this year. It's my favorite way to read. I love series, and when I get hooked on one I have to read them ALL.

And I can say with certainty having a Nook has led me to buying more books. I bought 90% of the Dark-Hunter series in ebook last year when they were on sale for the release of Styxx. Styxx was #23. I've also discovered new authors from picking up freebies, like Elisabeth Naughton. 

How many books have YOU read this year?

Friday, June 20, 2014

SFR Brigade Blog Hop: A'yen and the Stars

Coming this fall to Nook, Kindle, Kobo,
iBookstore, and All Romance Ebooks
During last year's blog hop I shared about the alien planet I created, Lok'ma. This year's theme is Starry Nights, and it just so happens that some key events in A'yen's life happened beneath a starry night.

A'yen is a humanoid alien, and his people were enslaved so long ago they no longer believe they were ever free. He's lucky, though, compared to the other males of his race. His life was one of almost freedom, lived among the stars for twenty years with one human. A human he loved, and a human who died to keep him safe.

Losing access to the stars, the one place he was free, almost kills his spirit. When he gets back up there, with a new owner who doesn't understand him, his stars don't mean what they did before.

Starry nights continue to play an important role throughout My Name Is A'yen. He lets the heroine in beneath a starry sky as they wait for a nebula light show to start. Later he realizes his feelings for her go far deeper than he thought possible.

Yet through it all he keeps fighting. Keeps reaching for the freedom he knew living in the stars.

I've also spent time looking at a starry night. Last spring my sister and I and some of our friends rented a cabin at a state park during an astronomy society star-gazing night when the ISON comet was visible. We had so much fun! Our two amateur astronomers found all these super cool things for us to look at. Laying there watching the Milky Way slowly become visible was an experience I'll never forget. I'm lucky enough to live in a place that doesn't have a lot of light pollution, but it's still enough the true glory of the Milky Way is hidden. And yes, I did see the comet!

For the very first time EVER I'm giving something away on my blog. You have a chance to win an ARC of My Name Is A'yen, that will be delivered to the winner in August. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. AND THEN KEEP SCROLLING FOR THE BRIGADE PRIZES!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
We have a HUGE prize pack this year. First place is a $100 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 42 books. Second prize is a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card, plus 22 books. Third place goes to three people with a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card to each, plus 12 books. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. Comments left saying "please enter me" will be ignored. The only way to win is to use the Rafflecopter form.

ONLY THE PRIZES LISTED ARE AVAILABLE! Nothing else can be sent. No cash, no converting books to gift cards. What's on the list is what you get.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now the list of participants. Make sure to visit as many as you can and see what all the Brigade is up to. Have fun hopping!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Coming Soon: My Name Is A'yen

My last post here shared some of the journey I've been on the last five years. This one's going to share some more, and there's a HUGE announcement involved.

I've been dabbling in writing all my life, creating characters, spending thousands of hours playing with them in my head. I created a huge family who lived in the Colorado Rockies, and shared them with a friend and my sister. The friend had characters, too, and my sister made some up. We spent hours playing with these characters whenever we were together, and we'd even write letters to each other as our various fictional friends. It was loads of fun.

For a couple years I wrote fan fiction with my sister and published it online at one of the main hubs for this fandom. Then I started writing fan fiction in another fandom and exploring the backstory of characters whose backgrounds were unknown. Eventually my interest in it petered out. But at the same time I got a new job as a tour guide at a plantation and there was downtime. I needed something to keep me occupied that wouldn't get me in trouble. So I turned to my O'Connor friends, the huge family, to keep me company. I have hundreds of pages of college ruled notebook paper filled front and back with pieces of their lives.

In 2007 I joined my first writers organization and began learning how to structure a novel and be a better writer. We were encouraged to pick one genre, so I settled on historical romance. A few years went by, the events of my last post happened, and I ended up abandoning it for science fiction romance.

I've been on the submission trail with A'yen for two years. He's been sent to four publishers and an agent. All have said no. I tried to go back to my more traditional-friendly series, Slipstream, and couldn't. Though it wasn't for lack of trying!

The HUGE announcement is I've decided it's time to start self-publishing A'yen's Legacy. It's time to send him out into the big wide world and hope readers love him as much as I do. I'm hoping to have the first one, My Name Is A'yen, out in September, with the second and third to follow in January and April of next year. I'm hard at work on number four, and number five is written already.

I'm also starting a newsletter list, since Facebook is being so stingy with how many people it shows Page posts to. If you want to stay up to date and make sure you never miss anything, like my Facebook page and sign up for the newsletter. I promise I won't be emailing all the time, and it's not likely to ever be more than once a month.

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