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!

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, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

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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?
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