Category Archives: Science fiction

The Stuff of Legend is live!

It has been a long time coming, but I’ve finally finished what was for a very long time “the current WIP”. I had hoped it would be out in 2016, but life-as-we-know-it got in the way. Anyway, it’s finally done.

Dreams2Media’s Rebecca Poole has done a wonderful job on the cover (as usual) and I had some fun with the graphics. The story revolves around an open cluster in that galaxy far, far away and the legends and tales that have been told about that formation. (No, not that one.) As an analogy, consider the Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters. Just about every society on Earth seems to have had a legend around it – many very similar tales about maidens escaping from a suitor, whether they are Greek, Roman, or Australian aboriginal.

My two protagonists have very different views on ancient tales. History professor Olivia Jhutta thinks there’s often a core of truth; Admiral Jackson Prentiss is only interested in facts. This snippet illustrates their differences. Olivia and Jak are walking through the woods.

“How much do you know about the Ghria?” Olivia asked.

Jak shrugged. “Space demons that lie in wait for the unwary. They swallow ships whole. And that’s about it. Oh, and I’ve seen the pictures.”

Fanciful illustrations of non-existent creatures with huge mouths and slavering jaws. “That’s very likely fabrication.”

He chuckled. “You think?”

“We don’t know for certain, do we? What we do know is the Gh’ria legend dates back thousands of years. Although it pops up across Confederacy space, it has its roots here, in the Helicronian planets.”

Jak brushed an errant leaf off his shoulder. “I didn’t know that.”

“It’s because in its original form, the Gh’ria are linked to the Maidens. That thing about space demons is later, much later. The earliest stories are about maidens protecting a dragon’s hoard. ‘Cloaked in stardust, draped in shadow the maidens guard the dragon’s hoard’. From a poem written by Elivior San Brindel two thousand years ago.”

Smiling, Jak shook his head. “That’s better than space demons, is it?”

“It’s interesting. The story goes that if you get past the dancers protecting the place, you still have to avoid being swallowed up by a dragon.”

He laughed. “Oh please. A dragon? We have swirling gowns making up the dancers’ clothes, and now we have a dragon as well? That’s a first. Can you show me?”

Show him? Olivia riffled through the images she kept on her implant, including a few for the Maidens which she’d collected recently. “Can I transfer an image to your implant?”

“Please do.”

She waited for the invitation to access his private inbox, then transferred the one with the three women superimposed over the stars. “This shows the dancers.”

“Sure. Where’s the dragon?”

His tone bristled with scorn. But then, she should have realized he’d react like that. Bracing herself, she said, “The dragon is invisible. It’s beyond the ability of humans to see it.”

Jak shook his head slowly. “Professor, I deal with facts, not made-up stories. These legends are just idiotic notions made up by ignorant people trying to understand something beyond their knowledge. I can see it now. Some kid asks the teacher what that thing up there is, so teacher tries to explain, using things he understands. But there are no star women up there. Just an open cluster with a nebula behind it. If you look at the Maidens from Rigmont or Sallazar, the stars don’t look the same. As for an invisible dragon… give me strength.”

********************************************************************

The Stuff of Legend

When history professor Olivia Jhutta receives a distress call from her parents, she sets out into space with their business partner, her grandmother and injured Confederacy Admiral Jak Prentiss to find them. But she’s not the only one interested in the Jhutta’s whereabouts. The Helicronians believe Olivia’s parents have found an ancient weapon which they can use to wage war on the Confederacy.

Jak goes on the trip to fill in time while he’s on enforced leave, helping Olivia follow cryptic clues in what he considers an interplanetary wild goose chase in search of a fairy story. But as the journey progresses and legend begins to merge with unsettling fact, Olivia and Jak must resolve their differences and work together if they are to survive. The two are poles apart… but it’s said opposites attract. If they can manage to stay alive.

You’ll find The Stuff of Legend here.  Amazon  Google iBooks  Nook Kobo  Print

Be sure to visit everyone else participating in the showcase.

SFR Brigade holiday showcase

sfrbholidayshowcaseUPDATE: The prize has been won and claimed. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Hi there folks. Welcome to my world. Yes, there’s a giveaway.

Christmas is coming. I’m mentioning that in case you hadn’t noticed. 🙂 Here in Australia it is, of course, high summer. No snow, no egg nog in front of a roaring fire. Unless it’s a beach barbecue, and then it’s cold beer or fizzy wine, not egg nog. But even so we share the time with friends and family, whatever our religious or cultural belief might be.

In our hot climate many of us have weaned ourselves off the traditional turkey, ham, roast veg, plum pudding etc food orgy we inherited from our English forebears.  Although there is a new tradition of Christmas in July where those who like that sort of food can indulge themselves in mid-Winter. My husband and I will be having a peaceful day, eating a selection of delicious seafood. To finish, I might even whip up this rather tasty dessert – but in smaller proportions, and without the toffee.

For your reading pleasure I’ve selected a piece of the current work in progress, The Stuff of Legend. It should be published in late February – early March.

Here’s the blurb

When history professor Olivia Jhutta receives a distress call from her parents, in trouble somewhere in space, she returns to her home planet to find out what happened to them. Together with her grandmother and injured Confederacy Admiral Jak Prentiss, she sets out to find them. But she’s not the only one interested in the Jhutta’s whereabouts. The Helicronians believe Olivia’s parents have found an ancient weapon which they can use to wage war on the Confederacy, and their agents secretly follow Olivia’s every move. If they lay their hands on the weapon it will mean certain death for Olivia – and interplanetary war.

And here’s an excerpt

The shower was a blessing. Olivia washed the grime and dust out of her hair, and turned through the dry cycle. She still felt guilty about Jak. He’d been hurt because of her, and his wounds were painful. She’d seen him bounce up and down the stairs like a mountain goat. Now, he had to take the elevator, and he limped. She’d been such a fool, letting him dictate her mood like that.

She stepped out of the shower stall. Even when she’d tried to apologize she’d fluffed her lines. She’d been surprised to see him wearing the black fleet uniform with the stars on the shoulder boards. Maybe that was it. He’d said once before that the uniform made ordinary people nervous. She could see why. The dress uniform, all sparkling white with gold insignia and a high collar, was probably designed to intimidate, but even in everyday black Jak oozed authority.

What to wear to dinner? Grandma had hung some dresses in the closet for her and after spending the last couple of days in dust and grime, Olivia felt like looking pretty. The red one with the cleavage should suit. If nothing else, it would give His Admiralness something to look at. She twirled in front of the mirror. Grandma had bought the dress on New Haven and it had nanotech so it would fit whoever wore it. You couldn’t buy anything like that on Belledura. Olivia had modified the style slightly to show a little more skin. She looked good and more important, she felt good.

She opened the door to her bedroom and nearly walked into Jak. He stopped and stared at her, his lips curving into a hungry smile. “Delightful. Absolutely delightful.”

Her face heated. He didn’t look so bad himself. He’d changed out of the uniform and into black evening dress with a white shirt and bow tie, old fashioned but elegant. He’d left his walking stick behind.

“No stick?”

“I’m trying to wean myself off it.” He gestured. “Shall we go?”

Giveaway

To be in the draw for one ebook copy of any of my books, please tell me what you’ll be doing for Christmas.  I’ll contact the winner, using the email address you are asked to enter when you leave a comment (unless otherwise advised) on 20th December.

Have a very wonderful solstice celebration, whichever version works for you. And please, don’t forget to visit all the other blogs for more chances to win stuff.

Participants:

1. Lea Kirk 16. Kyndra Hatch
2. Greta van der Rol 17. Melisse Aires
3. Pippa Jay 18. Shari Elder
4. Carol Van Natta 19. Ed Hoornaert
5. Liza O’Connor 20. C.E. Kilgore
6. Jolie Mason 21. Diane Burton
7. Aurora Springer 22. Athena Grayson
8. S. A. Hoag 23. Misa Buckley
9. Veronica Scott 24. Kaye Manro
10. Jess Anastasi 25. E.M Reders
11. AR DeClerck 26. Pauline Baird Jones
12. Carmen Webster Buxton 27. Dena Garson
13. Christina Westcott 28. Imogene Nix
14. Michelle Howard 29. Tess Rider
15. Siren Allen 30. Michelle Diener

Blog Tour – Scavenger’s Mission

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Alisha’s skills are so far beyond a normal cadet’s, that the Colonel is concerned many could die trying to learn them. Especially when they are required to collapse their chute. That will send them into a state of terror since they have been taught a collapsed chute is the equivalent of death.
Upon thinking back to the reasons she wasn’t afraid, even the very first time she collapsed her shoot, Alisha suggests they buy a wind tunnel. Logan, has never heard of such a thing.
She explained when she lived in Flatland, which has no wind whatsoever, she would daily go to the wind tunnel, don a baggy suit, hand over two hundred dollars and spend an hour soaring about in the tunnel. Thus, she never equated having winds rushing up from below to ‘dying any moment now’.
For your entertainment I located a youtube that shows exactly what should happen in a wind tunnel…if you aren’t afraid, click here.

It does look like fun!

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Meet Alisha: A young woman who refuses to live the life her parents want.

In a single month, Alisha Kane has gone from a wealthy debutante to street girl to scavenger.  While testing her new flying skills in the Cully Canyon, Alisha incurs a near-death crash landing. She’s “rescued” by a colonel of the SkyRyders and her life changes forever.

Meet Logan: A SkyRyder colonel in charge of a sleepy fort with little to do other than arrest the occasional scavenger.

For the first time in his life, Logan’s attracted to a young woman, only she’s probably a scavenger and he’ll have to arrest her.  But first he offers her a shower and food while he checks on his crew. His Videographer has captured her extraordinary flight through the Cully and her flying is astounding!

He forgoes arresting her and puts his career at risk by asking MAC to assess her skills and integrity as a potential SkyRyder. If he can get Alisha into the SkyRyders, it will be his greatest contribution to the Corps.

Meet MAC: the Artifical Intelligence that runs the SkyRyders Corps.

Upon seeing her arrival, MAC upgrades Alisha’s test. Her flying skills are not just excellent; they exceed what was previously thought possible. MAC classifies her as its top asset and soon she proves her value.

But…the SkyRyders remain a male dominated Corps where Alisha’s sense of right and wrong often clashes with her superiors. How long can a rebellious young woman survive in a regimented Corps?

Excerpt

Alisha pouted and frowned over the list, finally drawing a line after the third item. “Is there a wind tunnel in Fort Capital?”

“A what?”

“A wind tunnel. You know, it’s an arcade ride. You put on this huge suit and pay a hundred dollars to fly about a vertical wind tunnel for a half-hour.”

“I doubt it. Not many kids have a hundred dollars to spend on something you can find by walking outside the mall.”

“It’s different from a horizontal wind. This simulates what you feel when you collapse your catcher mid-air.”

“Terrified?” Logan asked.

“See? That’s what I’m concerned about. To a normal Ryder, collapsing your catcher is the equivalent of death. Yet most of these maneuvers require the flyer to collapse their catcher. And I can tell them how to do it, and we can practice on the ground, but if they freeze in terror during the unfamiliar sensation of air rushing up from the ground, I can’t open their catcher for them.” She met his gaze. “I can’t save them from dying.”

Logan sighed. He refused to accept that, of all the incredible skills she possessed, only three were going to be transferable to other Ryders. “Any idea how much a wind tunnel costs?” He walked over to his computer and started typing a query to MAC.

“Actually, I do know. I was a frequent patron of the one in Flatland. The guy who ran it said I could have bought my own tunnel for the amount I spent at the mall. I knew my parents wouldn’t actually let me have one, but I asked him for the price so I could dream. He said a new tunnel goes for about a million, but you can buy the old ones, without the new security features, for two hundred and fifty thousand. Actually, I prefer the older ones. They have higher speeds.”

Logan almost stopped typing when she told him the cost. He knew the Corps’ budget was painfully tight this year. He’d never get approval, not even for the used version. But given its importance, he typed in the maneuvers Alisha had listed as teachable if she could remove the fear of falling from the equation. He sent it off to MAC. It was all he could do.

LINK

The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1

Scavenger’s Mission

AMAZON

About the Author

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

OTHER BOOKS BY LIZA O’CONNOR

SCIENCE FICTION

The Multiverse Series

Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science

The Gods of Probabilities

Surviving Outbound

Surviving Terranue

Surviving Sojourn

 

Artificial Intelligence Series

Sci-Fi/Romance

Public Secrets

Birth of Adam

 

The SkyRyders Series

Sci-Fi Romance

Scavenger’s Mission

Scavenger Falters-coming 2017

Scavenger Vanishes-coming 2017

 

Ella and the Admiral – out now

SFRB-ShowcaseBanner

EllaElla-And-The-Admiral-web-Size and the Admiral

When Admiral Goran Chandler suddenly turns up in Ella’s restaurant her comfortable world is thrown into turmoil. Ten years ago he’d been a senior commander, and captain of the frigate Antelope. She had been Lieutenant Bulich then, and he’d kicked her off his ship.

With unexpected danger threatening, and a killer stalking the corridors of the Hotel Majestic, Ella and the admiral must work together to escape with their lives before they can consider the events of ten years ago, and what they mean now.

Here’s a snippet…

Ella returned to the restaurant’s  reception desk in time to meet the last large group, five men and three women. While his companions chatted, one man approached her. He wore a high-collared jacket, the current fashion for male formal attire, not a uniform, but Ella would have bet a month’s pay this man was military. The way he stood, the air of authority, she supposed.

“Ibbotson,” he said. “Table for eight.”

“Of course, sir. Welcome to the Imperial.” She glanced over her shoulder to where the two attendants waited. “If you’ll come this way.” She hovered while he gathered his party, then led the way to the table. As usual, there was some discussion about where everyone would sit.

“The top end, Admiral,” Ibbotson said, gesturing at a chair.

The man he addressed laughed and shook his head. “It’s your birthday. You can do the honors for a change.”

Ella’s heart thudded. She knew that voice. She knew that man. Maybe not as well as she would have liked. Goran Chandler. She fought the heat coursing up her body. It was all in the past, ancient history. He didn’t even recognize her as the attendant helped him to his seat. Two of the women sat on either side of him, another opposite him. Ibbotson took the end seat, as directed, while the other men claimed the remaining chairs.

Mechanically, Ella introduced their two attendants, the new girl, Sara, and Timon, an older man with years of experience. One last smile. “Enjoy your evening. If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask your attendants, or me.”

She walked away, her mind racing. Goran Chandler. Ten years ago he’d been a senior commander, and captain of the frigate Antelope. She had been Lieutenant Bulich then, and he’d kicked her off his ship.

Buy the book at Amazon Nook Kobo iTunes

Check out the other great snippets at the author sites below.

Participants:

A sneak peek at Ella and the Admiral – coming soon

235Here’s a few paragraphs from the current WIP, Ella and the Admiral.

Ella returned to the restaurant’s  reception desk in time to meet the last large group, five men and three women. While his companions chatted, one man approached her. He wore a high-collared jacket, the current fashion for male formal attire, not a uniform, but Ella would have bet a month’s pay this man was military. The way he stood, the air of authority, she supposed.

“Ibbotson,” he said. “Table for eight.”

“Of course, sir. Welcome to the Imperial.” She glanced over her shoulder to where the two attendants waited. “If you’ll come this way.” She hovered while he gathered his party, then led the way to the table. As usual, there was some discussion about where everyone would sit.

“The top end, Admiral,” Ibbotson said, gesturing at a chair.

The man he addressed laughed and shook his head. “It’s your birthday. You can do the honors for a change.”

Ella’s heart thudded. She knew that voice. She knew that man. Maybe not as well as she would have liked. Goran Chandler. She fought the heat coursing up her body. It was all in the past, ancient history. He didn’t even recognize her as the attendant helped him to his seat. Two of the women sat on either side of him, another opposite him. Ibbotson took the end seat, as directed, while the other men claimed the remaining chairs.

Mechanically, Ella introduced their two attendants, the new girl, Sara, and Timon, an older man with years of experience. One last smile. “Enjoy your evening. If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask your attendants, or me.”

She walked away, her mind racing. Goran Chandler. Ten years ago he’d been a senior commander, and captain of the frigate Antelope. She had been Lieutenant Bulich then, and he’d kicked her off his ship.

New Release coming soon…

supernovae and extrasolar planetMy latest Dryden Universe story is nearly there, folks.

When fate throws Brent Walker and Tian Axmar together, it’s strictly a business arrangement. She’s an Imperial agent with a problem to solve, he’s a space jockey with an empty bank balance and a tramp freighter for hire.

Eye-of-the-Mother-ebookSomebody’s murdering Yrmaks and Humans, and leaving a mysterious calling card. Somebody wants interspecies war. Tian hires Brent to help her investigate, delving into Yrmak customs and beliefs to understand what’s going on. It’s an increasingly dangerous game, with more than just lives at stake. Before it’s over Brent and Tian will be faced with choices which will change both of them forever.

 

 

 

 

Introducing Liza O’Connor’s new book Public Secrets

Public secret blog tour banner

Research Topic: Extradition from New Zealand.

In Public Secrets, my author heroine escapes to New Zealand to give herself a break from writing and have some fun.

While there, an assassin runs her car off the road and the woman driving burns in a fiery crash, resulting in FBI agent, Luke Gallagher, coming to New Zealand to investigate. While there are many people who want the bestselling author, Carla Simons dead, Luke suspects the murderer is the focus of her latest book she was writing. Makes sense given he could still prevent his secrets from being told, given the book is not yet finished.

So naturally I got curious how New Zealand police would take to having an FBI agent wandering about their country.

Turns out New Zealand and the FBI work well together. However, they are not pushovers. For example, in the case against Mr. Dotcom, New Zealand insisted the FBI share their proof of guilt before they would send Dotcom back to the States for trial. (Evidently having a stupid name is not sufficient enough for them to assume guilt.)

Here’s how I imagined the conversation went:

But we want to try him in the US”

Yes, but we would like to see your evidence that he has committed a crime before we send him off to your gun-toting country”

So you want to try him here?”

No. We just want to know what he’s done.”

Well, he changed his name to Dotcom.”

Yes, while it’s an unfortunate choice, it’s not criminal.”

Sufficient for extradition…”

No, it isn’t. Now either show us some real proof or take your gun and go home.”

So they coughed up a ton of evidence and the New Zealand judge finally sorted through it all and agreed the evidence warranted Dotcom to be extradited to the US to stand trial.

It would have been much easier just to be US’s minion, but they protect the rights of people who live in New Zealand.

In my story, the FBI agent Luke tries to dodge extradition issues by just having Chad send back his assistant to the U.S. (They wish to arrest him for outstanding crimes, but wish to do so on U.S. ground.) Doesn’t work out like they wished, but then what does?

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Public Secrets

Book 1 of the AI Sci-Rom Series

By

Liza O’Connor

Blurb

Carla Simon is a best-selling novelist besieged by death threats and lawsuits because her stories keep turning out to be true. She is considered an extraordinary researcher, uncovering facts unknown by field experts.

The truth is far simpler and more disturbing. Carla has a software program that “fixes” her mistakes and rewrites her novels so they are error-proof both in presentation and in content. The result is beautifully written and completely accurate stories about real people and events.

Some of those people want her silenced forever. When a woman, mistaken for Carla, turns up dead in New Zealand, she must face the hard truth about her program. But first she has to survive the assassin who has never failed to deliver on a contract.

Excerpt

I just saw Davis off on the plane,” Chad informed him.

But not yourself.”

I thought I’d stay a bit longer down here. That is assuming you have no problem with that?”

No. We’ve kicked you way down to the bottom of the list of suspects. Avoiding the press right now might be prudent,” Luke admitted. Since the DNA had come back, he didn’t know for certain who had died in that car accident, but it hadn’t been Carla Simon. The woman had used Carla’s credit card and driver’s license to rent the car, but her DNA had proved it hadn’t been Carla. Someone else might have mistaken her for the novelist and murdered her, but not Chad Tyler. He had just spent the last twelve hours with the real woman. He knew what she looked like. “I would like a number so I can contact you if necessary.”

Chad gave him his cell phone number and promised to let Luke know when he returned to the States.

Luke hung up the phone. He released a heavy sigh and frowned. If the dead woman wasn’t Carla, where the hell was the real novelist? If this was some stupid publicity stunt to sell more books, he was going to have charges filed against both her and her publisher.

The phone rang again. He was almost afraid to pick it up.

BUY LINK

AMAZON

Free with Kindle Unlimited

Coming Very Soon

Birth of Adam

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About Liza

Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Humorous Sci-Fi series

The Gods of Probabilities — In the Multiverses, anything can & does happen. Join the bickering Gods and the sentient beings they oversee.

Surviving Outbound — Earth is doomed, but the odds of surviving outbound isn’t much better.

Surviving Terranue — Welcome to Terranue. Prepare to be baked, pummeled, and frozen. But first you’ll have to survive the black death growing in the cliffs.

Surviving Sojourn — You know you have reason to worry when a hyper-grown one-year-old is made captain of the ship.

Humorous Singles:

Ghost Lover Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

Saving Casey — Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled teen who has burned every bridge imaginable. Her only choice is to turn this life around, but that’s much harder than she ever imagined.

Disturbing Historical:

Untamed & Unabashed The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

The Hardest Love Is to love oneself. Sam’s story.

The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)

The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.

A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?

The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.

Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.

The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

AI Series

Escapee Cover Reveal

Escapee — The African Queen in Outer Space

A science fiction romance by Edward Hoornaert, author of Alien Contact for Idiots.

escapee smaller Cover by Eerilyfair Design

Catt Sayer, an abused peasant and a fugitive from justice on her home planet, makes a meager living flying a decrepit airship that delivers supplies to scattered military bases on an isolated, inhospitable mining moon. When enemies invade the moon and destroy the bases, Catt rescues the lone survivor—Captain Hank Dukelsky, an upper-class army captain. Now Hank wants her to risk her life on an impossible quest to attack the enemy headquarters…and Catt is falling in love with both the man and his magnificently quixotic ambition.African Queen poster

Escapee is available for pre-sale, with a release date of April 19, 2016. Rediscover the thrills and romance of one of the all-time great movies, now in a science fiction setting—reserve your copy of Escapee today.

Why do I bother?

1270187That’s a very good question. I’m talking about writing books. Like many of my peers, I self-publish my stories. The main reason, I suppose, is control. Nobody is cracking a whip. I’m not trying to attract the interest of a publisher by going through the horrible submission process (I’m too old for that). I get final say on my covers. Oh, and I’ve had my fill of draconian contracts and publishers going bust. AND I’ll add that I’ve had my fill of the ‘rules of writing’ and all the things you ‘have to do’ to market your work. Bah and humbug to all that shit. I’ve reduced my social media commitments. I took myself off a number of websites I never visited. No more Bookbuzzr, Authordb, Triberr and LinkedIn. I’ve removed my Twitter account completely, due to lack of use.

Do I make any money from my nine novels and various shorts? The answer would have to be a resounding NO. Especially when you factor in the cost of paying for a professional cover, and professional editing. And, in the past, advertising. I believe in doing it properly, you see. I hate trying to read books riddled with typos and horrible mistakes like “he drug the body to the edge of the creek”. Or “lightening flashed across the sky”. Or “she parked her space ship in the hanger”. You get the picture.

I might make a thing about one-star reviews. But lots of people have done that. I find the easiest solution is to not read the reviews. It’s not my job to monitor what readers think. I know lots won’t like my work. That’s fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. There are plenty of books I did not finish (life’s too short to persevere with something that doesn’t resonate – I did enough of that in English Lit at high school). A few people do enjoy my scribblings, which fills me with pleasure.

So given all that, why DO I bother?

Because when I get into the rhythm I enjoy the process. It isn’t easy. It’s never easy. The words don’t fly out of my fingertips. I tend not to plot, just create my characters and a starting point, then ask them what happens next. The further the story goes, the easier it becomes. Stuck? Just have a one-on-one chat with the characters. Or the villain. Or get into the detail of the universe we’re in. And don’t bother with whining that the Muse is on holiday or you have writer’s block. I’ve had no urge to write for most of a year. I pushed myself to start a new book, but now it’s moving along, it’s challenging.

There’s something magical about creating a world that doesn’t exist anywhere but between my ears. It’s wonderful to imagine traveling between star systems, and the interactions between humans and aliens. Every time I read about another scientific breakthrough – another exoplanet, gravity waves, 3D printing miracles, new nano-tech capabilities, carbon fiber, self-driving cars etc etc I pause in wonder and absorb another detail for the creative process.

Mind you, the situations and the interactions between the inhabitants of my make-believe worlds are deeply influenced by the behaviour of that most murderous of species – us.

So I’ll keep doing it. Maybe I’ll be an Overnight Sensation some time. Or probably not. Writing keeps my mind active. If it’s a hobby, so be it.

If you’re interested in what the latest project is, I’ve put up a few snippets on the Space freighters’ Lounge.

Please welcome Lea Kirk and her new novel “Prophecy”

ProphecyHello all! My name is Lea Kirk, and I am crazy-thrilled that Greta has asked me to be a guest on her blog today.

My debut book, Prophecy, is a near future sci-fi romance involving alien invaders, soul mates, and, of course, an ancient prophecy. It will be unleashed upon the unsuspecting world on January 12, 2016. Today I’m going to share with you ten things about Prophecy that next to no one knows.

  1. I began writing Prophecy in high school in the early 1980’s. I picked it up again three years ago after a fever induced dream.
  2. My hero, Gryf, was inspired by a blue-skinned, white-haired, Japanese cartoon character I watched as a kid. I can’t even remember that character’s name, or the name of the cartoon, but I think he may have been the villain.
  3. In the updated version of the story, the invaders are green-skinned aliens whose average height is 10.5 feet. In the original story, they were fifty-feet tall!
  4. My heroine’s name was originally Alexis, and she was way too chipper, even for me. She’s a lot more grounded now, and has been renamed Alexandra.
  5. I cannot find any of my spiral notebooks containing the original, handwritten manuscript. (sad face)
  6. Thirty years ago, the story was only going to be one book. Two and a half years ago, the heroine’s brother, Nick, wanted his own story told. And that’s how the Prophecy Series got started.
  7. In the original story, Nick’s name was Jason.
  8. The Prophecy Series will definitely be at least three books, and potentially as many as five books. All can be read as stand-alone books, but I recommend reading Prophecy first as an introduction to this world.
  9. There are also a variety of short stories and novelettes waiting in the wings.
  10. I suspect my husband is secretly jealous of Gryf because he intentionally mispronounces the character’s name. (Grife, Grief, etc.)

It was a pleasure being here today and sharing some little known facts about Prophecy. I hope you enjoy reading Alexandra and Gryf’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I welcome you to visit my website, Facebook, and/or Twitter.

Thank you for having me, Greta!

About Prophecy

A woman who’s lost everything, a man betrayed by his own, but together their destiny is greater than ever imagined.

One normal day turns into a nightmare when Earth is attacked. Now ER nurse Alexandra Bock is imprisoned aboard an alien slave ship with no way out. She deems all aliens untrustworthy, including the handsome blue-skinned Matiran captain who shares her cell.

One night of betrayal leaves Senior Captain Gryf Helyg a prisoner of his enemies. Because of him, Earth’s indigenous people face extinction and his home world is threatened. But his plans for escape are complicated by his inexplicable draw to the Earth woman imprisoned with him.

One ancient prophecy holds the key to free Alexandra and Gryf’s war-ravaged worlds. Can two wounded souls who have lost everything learn to trust and forgive in order to fulfill the prophecy, and find a love that will last for eternity?

Available for special pre-order price on Amazon:

Release day: January 12, 2016 on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes

Prophecy has placed in the following contests: The Molly, On the Far Side, Dixie Kane, Pages from the Heart, and The Rebecca.

About Lea Kirk

Lea KirkLea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her romances of science fiction and time travel. Her fascination with science fiction began at six years old when her dad introduced her to the original Star Trek TV series. She fell in love with the show, and was even known to run through her parents’ house wearing the tunic top of her red knit pantsuit and her white go-go boots pretending to be Lieutenant Uhura. By nine years old she knew she wanted to be a writer, and in her teens she read her first romance and was hooked.

She lives in Northern California with her wonderful hubby of twenty-five years and their five kids (aka, the nerd herd). She’s also proud of her seven times great grandson. Apparently her stories will serve as the inspiration for James T. to join Star Fleet Academy. She learned this in the 1980’s when James sought out her counsel on where to find a pair of humpback whales.

Where to find out more about Lea Kirk

www.leakirk.com
https://twitter.com/LeaKirkWrites
https://www.facebook.com/LeaKirkAuthor