Tag Archives: blog hop

Starry Nights

Welcome to the annual Science Fiction Romance Brigade blog hop. This year’s theme is ‘Starry Nights’. Think lovers hand in hand. Or the Milky Way as a hazy river of light across a desert sky. Or go a little farther out…

hs-2004-10-f-full_jpg smlOut there in space EVERY night is a starry night. Imagine the clarity. The only haziness comes from nebulae, great glowing clouds of gas around stars. Think of the Orion nebulae, or this one. The stars won’t twinkle as they seem to on Earth. That’s just because the light travels through Earth’s atmosphere. They’ll be hard and bright, and I expect their colours will be clearer. Blue for Rigel, red for Aldebaran.

What always fascinates me about stars, though, is not the prettiness. It’s that you’re looking back in time. In my novel Starheart, the heroine, Jess, is beginning to realise that her husband was murdered. She’s out in space, at the space station, checking the log files on the ship where her husband died.

Outside the ship a river of stars shone diamond bright amongst the litter of gases and debris that made up the spiral arm. In a way it was a perception, an illusion. Some of those stars no longer existed, blown into smithereens long before their last light arrived in the back of her retina. Maybe what she saw on these log files was a sleight of hand, much more than a none-too-subtle cover-up of a botched boarding.

Leave a comment on this post to be in the draw for an e-copy of any one of my books. (You’ll find all the titles via that link) Just tell me  the name of the book you’d like, and the format (epub, pdf or mobi).

We’ve got some great main prizes, too.

1st – $100 Amazon or B&N gift card, plus books
2nd – $50 Amazon or B&N gift card, plus books
3rd – $25 Amazon or B&N gift card

Entry is via Rafflecopter, one entry per person. But be sure to visit other participants in the tour for more chances to win – some have their own giveaways. And thanks for stopping by.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Australia Day Book Hop

australia day blog hop iconI’m proud to be participating in the Australia Day Book Giveaway, sponsored by Book’d Out and Confessions from Romaholics.

For those of you in other parts of the world, Australia Day is the day we celebrate the founding of our modern nation, when in 1788,  Australia’s first British Colony was established at a place now known as Sydney. I might have been born in Amsterdam, but I’m very much an Australian. Although these days I live on the shores of Hervey Bay in Queensland, I grew up in Perth, Western Australian, and attended the University of WA, where I graduated with a BA(Hons). After that I spent a good many years in Melbourne. It’s a wonderful country and much as I love to see other places, coming home is the very best part of the journey, Far too often we don’t know how really lucky we are.

To help you celebrate this wonderful Australia Day, you have a chance to win any one of my books, in an ebook format. You can find them all here. I write mainly science fiction (with a dollop of romance), but I’ve written a contemporary paranormal and an out-and-out historical novel which hasn’t much to do with romance at all.

Leave me a comment, telling me which book you’d like and in what format, make sure the email address you record with your comment is correct, and you’re in the draw. Entries  close at Midnight on Monday, January 28th and winners will be announced on the 29th January.

Don’t forget – name of book and format (epub, kindle, pdf, mobi etc) Please note The Iron Admiral is only available on Amazon Kindle, all others are also on Smashwords. But I can still provide an epub or pdf for The Iron Admiral.

Then pop across to http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/australia-day-book-giveaway-blog-hop/ to see what else is on offer.

*** Thanks to everyone who entered. The offer is now closed. Books will be on the way to 3 winners.Congratulations to them

Midsummer nights

Midsummer. Long days, bright nights, a play by Shakespeare, the fabled White Nights in St Petersburg, where people don’t bother going to bed. A brief chance to party before the sun recedes for another year. It’s all based on the Earth’s angle of inclination and the point of its path around the sun.

Stonehenge, the famous stone circle on the Salisbury Plain in England, is the site of one of the best known midsummer celebrations. On the day of the solstice it is claimed that an observer in the centre of the ring will see the sun rise over the heel stone. But actually, that isn’t true.

More than one person has pointed out that ancient people were less likely to care about the summer solstice than the winter solstice and indeed, it seems Stonehenge was set up to record the mid-winter event. This rather good article gives more information. Why? Because winter was a time of freezing cold and biting hunger. The nights were long and dark and people prayed and made sacrifices for the return of the sun. That’s why we celebrate Christmas in the way we do – many ancient traditions are mixed into the Christian myth.

Needless to say, lining the sun up with geological objects has made its way into science fiction and fantasy, too. One that springs to mind is Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. Thread would return when the red star was bracketed in the star stone. The creation of the warning sign was part of the plot in Red Star Rising (Dragonseye in the US).

Mid winter isn’t always so awful, though. It depends on how far you live from the equator. It’s mid winter for me right now but in the sub-tropics it isn’t a real hardship. To those of you in the frozen north, enjoy your time in the sun.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something to read on the beach, and you like science fiction with a bit of romance on the side, you might like to download one of my books. Please come inside and check out the selection. Leave me a comment and be in the draw to win an ebook of your choice from my titles.

What’s more, you’ll be in the running to win one of TWO GRAND PRIZES!

1st Prize – a Kindle Touch or Nook Touch
2nd Prize -a library of science fiction romance titles from over 20 authors (these will be mostly ebooks with one print anthology), and an Anabanana Gift Card.

For more chances to win pop along to the blogs listed below and comment on as many as you want (only ONE comment per site will count as an entry). Each time you comment at a stop, you’ll earn one entry into the grand prize – so the more sites you visit, the greater your chances of winning. The winners will be drawn at random on the 24th June and announced on this site. The list of participating authors can be found at this link.