Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Fall TV schedule

It's been two years since I added a new show to my weekly fall TV schedule. The last new one was Once Upon A Time a few weeks into season two. Thank you, Netflix!

I've been with Criminal Minds since the beginning, and The Big Bang Theory since season two. I watch NCIS: LA off and on. Never miss The Walking Dead or Doctor Who.

This year I've added THREE. Yes, three. Forever, Arrow, and The Flash.

Season one of Arrow I watched on Netflix back in the spring, recorded the re-runs of season two, and jumped in with season three. I'd been hearing good things about it since the beginning, but finally got on board when I found out John Barrowman would be a regular in season three. Since I have a major crush on him it was a no-brainer.

I love the 90's cartoon Justice League Flash, so when I found out CW was spinning him off for his own show I was all OMG! Must watch. Two episodes in and I'm enjoying it.

The final one I started watching for nothing but eye candy reasons. Forever, starring Ioan Gruffudd. My sister and I have had crushes on him since the very first A&E Horatio Hornblower movie in 1998.

There's nothing all that original about Forever. It's light science fiction mixed with crime drama. Ioan's character, Dr. Henry Morgan, died one night about 200 years ago and came back to life. Every time he dies he comes back and he's trying to figure out why. He's a medical examiner in New York City right now, but he's been every kind of medical doctor one can imagine. Including working in a tuberculosis sanitorium at the turn of the century.

What I love about the show is the sense of hope in it. And the wonderful, deep, rich characters. Every episode is infused with hope and Henry learning how to live again. He's been obsessed with death for so long, and lost so many friends, he has a tendency to only see the negative.

Another cool thing is he's been in New York City before, at least three times. In the 1880's, 1920's, and 1950's. So far in every episode there's been some kind of flashback thread to NYC in one of his previous times there. There's also a running thread with something having happened to a woman he met during WW2, married, and she seems to have disappeared at some point.

Unfortunately, I don't have high hopes of it lasting more than a season. If we're lucky to get that much. Because it's so full of hope. Which is sad, because the world we live in needs more hope.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

SFR Brigade Showcase: My Name Is A'yen

Welcome to the first month of the SFR Brigade Showcase! It's going to be fun, and you may find some new authors to love. To celebrate I decided to extend my release giveaway to include this post. Make sure you visit the Showcase page and hit all the participants.

I'm going big and sharing A'yen and Fae's first kiss. Wanted to do it for awhile, and kicking off the Showcase is as good a reason as any.
An irresistible pull brought her hand to his face. She brushed her knuckles across his cheekbone, up to his hairline. He covered her hand with his as his eyes slid closed. Only for a moment. When they opened again, his soul lay open in them. She splayed her fingers across his face, and he did the same to her, his hand sliding down to cup her neck.
A drumbeat pounded in her ears. He tilted his head, leaned across the space between them, pausing centimeters from her lips. Warm breath tickled her nose. Warm lips touched hers, soft at first, almost tentative. Waiting for her to say yes.
As though her hand possessed a will of its own, it came to rest on the other side of his face. She shifted her body forward, increased the pressure of her lips to his. His arms encircled her, pressed her to his chest. Teeth and tongue teased her bottom lip and she let him take it.
Fireworks exploded in her heart. A hint of spice in the taste of him sent heat chasing through her body. His fifteen year relationship had turned him into an expert at kissing. If it were possible to freeze time, she’d do it. Right here, in this moment, with his touch bringing her to life. Thawing places she didn’t know were frozen.
Knowing this, what waited for her in his arms, how could she ever go back to living without it?
How had he survived fifteen months without feeling like this? Life coursed through him again, breaking open the places he’d sealed off, flooding his soul with sunshine. Her taste was altogether different from Master’s, but oh so addictive. Complex and sweet. It’d take years to identify all the components. Years he wanted to claim for him alone. No one else could touch her now.
The feel of her body pressed against him pulled him deeper and deeper. So soft and curvy. So much to explore. He released her mouth, followed her jaw to her ear, then down her neck. A soft moan feathered the side of his face.

One hand still on the back of her neck he pressed his forehead to hers. Their breathing, quick and heavy, meshed in a duet. No doubt now. She owned him. Completely and totally. And he didn’t want it any other way. 

Like what you see? You're in luck! My Name Is A'yen is available now at NookKobo
Google Play Smashwords, and the iBookstore.

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him.

Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant. Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and she is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeder's Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

I'm giving away an ebook of My Name Is A'yen, along with this necklace inspired by the book. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Name Is A'yen, MFRW Book Hooks

This is my first time participating in the MFRW Book Hooks. I'm showing off My Name Is A'yen, the first book in A'yen's Legacy.

 She released his hand and held her empty one out to him, palm up. First he stared at her hand, then her eyes. Everything in him missed physical contact with another person. Hell, missed sexual contact. The way it made him feel. The way he made his partner feel. He’d never been with a human woman on his own terms before, and in this moment he wanted it. Really wanted it.
Master’s voice whispered in his memory. Patience. Desire alone wasn’t enough to sustain a relationship or reveal his secrets. Master could have taken him at any point, but he never did. It must be mutual, or he really was nothing more than a slave.

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him.

Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant. Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and she is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeder's Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

Buy here:
Barnes and Noble
Google Play

Check out the rest of this week's participants.

Monday, September 29, 2014

In Defense of Styxx and Male Rape Victims

I'm finally inhaling Styxx, the 23rd book in the Dark-Hunter series. I knew it was going to be intense and dark. But wow. I still wasn't prepared for everything Styxx was put through.

But why am I blogging about it? One reason. Some of the reviews I've seen on Goodreads. 

Styxx was unfortunate enough to attract the attention of Apollo. In the Dark-Hunter world Apollo is a total ass who deserves to be gutted over and over and over, exactly the way he gutted Acheron. Heck, make it his never-ending punishment. We also learn just how twisted and depraved Styxx and Ash's uncle Estes was. His death was too easy on him. We already hated him for what he'd done to Ash.

In some ways Styxx's life was worse than Ash's. A lot of what was done to Ash he has no real memory of, and he at least had one person in his human family who kind of loved him. Styxx didn't even have that much. I wasn't a huge fan of Ryssa in Acheron, and seeing her in Styxx makes me want to slap her into another galaxy. She deserved to die in Apollymi's fit of rage.

Styxx is a soldier. A broken, wounded soldier suffering from PTSD. He's also a rape victim. This quote from a Goodreads review made me SO MAD.
On the GLBTQ fail--It was totally offensive to make the openly gay character Estes into the stereotyped depraved sex fiend. To make it worse, the god Apollo was just sadistic on top of his explicit attraction for Styxx. Both characters could have been handled in a more nuanced way, especially in light of the fact that not everyone wanted a piece of Styxx's ass (figuratively as well as literally)
Why did this piss me off? Estes and Apollo are NOT gay! It does come out in the book Estes prefers boys, but that doesn't make a man gay. This quoted reviewer is not alone in believing Sherri has done a disservice to the gay community.

She hasn't. This reviewer, and others like her, have done a disservice to male rape victims.

Estes and Apollo are users and abusers. They think every single being alive is beneath them and exists solely as a tool for their pleasure. Particularly Apollo. They are not gay. They are despicable creatures who deserve the rage of Apollymi and Bethany. And Ash too.

Male-on-male rape is NOT about someone being portrayed as gay. It's about power, control, and domination. It's about destroying the victim and making him feel worthless, helpless, and trapped. Just like Styxx feels.

This attitude I'm seeing in some of the reviews is a major major major contributor to male rape victims feeling like they have no voice. No one has any idea what the numbers are like for male rape victims, because most men never report. The few who do never get justice, are ostracized by those who find out, and become more lost than they were before.

And who are the people who are most vocal about it being impossible for a man to be raped and saying they're lying? Women, particularly of the feminist variety. Don't believe me? Check out some of the stuff at Toy Soldiers. Particularly the This Is What It Looks Like page. If what you see doesn't break your heart, you're as callous as Estes and Apollo.

Sherri made a bold move in portraying Styxx the way she did. And I applaud her for it. She used a massively popular series to showcase a pervasive problem in American society and give these wounded men a voice in fiction. What Styxx deals with is what male rape victims deal with. The shame, the not wanting anyone to know, the thoughts that if anyone ever found out they'd be mocked and ridiculed for not being able to protect themselves. And that's exactly what happens to far too many victims.

Thank you, Sherri, for writing Styxx. Thank you for giving a voice to these hurting men. Thank you for being brave enough to confront this evil head-on and show the world what it does to the victims.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Name Is A'yen: Blog tour stops and giveaway!

A'yen has hit the real world! People are reading him, and I hope falling in love with him.

Here's all the buy links:

Barnes and Noble
Google Play

The blog tour kicks off this afternoon at 2 pm Central with a Coffee Time Romance release party. From there A'yen and I will be making eleven other stops.

There's a giveaway for a necklace, pictured below. The colors, blue and green, are important in the novel. Blue for A'yen's eyes, and green for his markings. I'll be talking more about the markings in the last stop on the blog tour.

And here's the pretty necklace. Made it myself. Yes, I'm multi-talented like that. I like it so much I'm going to make me one.

Here's the list of tour stops. You can bookmark it and come back every day, or watch my Facebook and Twitter feeds for the links.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Five Facts About Restless in Peaceville by Pippa Jay

I'm very happy to be hosting fellow SFR author Pippa Jay today, as she talks about her new release Restless in Peaceville. What's the book about you ask? Read on!

Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising...from the grave...Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems...

But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?

And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.

1. Peaceville is based on the real life Louisiana town of Arnaudville. When I first started researching a setting for RIP, I wanted a town with a population of about 2000, so not too big but enough that it would be possible for my two main characters not to have met or know everything about the place they live. Finding several towns ending in 'ville' also enabled me to come up with a suitable name to keep the original idea of RIP for the title.

2. It's the first time I've used Google maps to virtually explore a real life setting, instead of just making places up. I wandered along Route 31, checking out the local shops and houses, the road surface, what the surrounding landscape looked like etc. I almost felt like a film director checking out a location for a shoot! I also looked at a lot of the local businesses—restaurants, shops, the church and graveyard, even the undertakers and a care home.

3. My research involved Catholicism, voodoo, zombies, Cajun food and language, the price of a burger and fries, Louisiana real estate, luxury US cars, local wildlife and plants, holidays and zombie walks. I think I clocked up the most hours of research on this story, probably reading more than what I ended up writing, but I'm not convinced it's a complete replacement for actually going to a place and experiencing it. I'll be interested to see if anyone local or more knowledgeable picks me up on any flaws.

4. Luke was named after my eldest's boyfriend at the time of writing. Not deliberately - I just heard the name a lot, and it stuck. That, and possibly having a childhood crush on a certain Luke Skywalker. I chose Annabelle for my heroine mostly because I had Luke saying a line about her being trés belle (it mean 'very beautiful' in French, and in Cajun).

5. Restless In Peaceville was written as part of NaNoWriMo in November 2013...and if I hadn't had a request for the full after entering five pages in a Breathless Press critique, I would have put it away in a virtual drawer never to see the light of day! I had the idea over the summer, and resisted writing it because I just didn't think I could do zombies. But I couldn't move on to anything else either while it was in my head. So I did NaNoWriMo as a way to clear it out of my mind, never expecting it to be published. Just goes to show what I know about publishing...

So what's the strangest place you've ever had to research, or what was the weirdest thing you've ever found out in the process?

Rachel's answer: I think the strangest thing I've ever researched was when I was writing my historical romance and needed to know how a mule-powered cotton gin worked. I spent days combing through Google Books looking for descriptions, and finally found a video of a steam-powered one that had been restored. Man that sucker is loud! I've researched tons of random stuff for various writing projects, but this one stands out as one of the more memorable.

You can also buy the book at the following places:
Lycaon Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here.

You can also sign up for Pippa's no-spam newsletter to get updated on the latest releases, giveaways and special offers. Exclusive snippets and stories coming soon! http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk/p/newsletter-signup.html

Keep scrolling for the giveaway! It's a $5 gift card for Lycaon Press and a super cute heart shaped zombie brain necklace.

Author Bio: After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres.

She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place). You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.