Tag Archives: SFR

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

Introducing Michaela Kendrick’s “Dragon’s Honor”

DragonsHonorFinal2When I first spoke with Greta about my new release, she was intrigued by my mention of the Dragon Riders of Pern series, and she wondered how it had influenced my writing—including my current series.

This turned out to be a more difficult question than I anticipated. The Pern series will always have a special place in my heart—I still remember finding it as I pored over the shelves of books in our house. From the start, I was captivated by Lessa as the slave who could not be intimidated or broken. Fiery and commanding, she made her own destiny. I’ve always wanted to write a character who held the same strength it took to face down the dragon and bond with it, and to endure all of the trials that followed.

On the face of it, the Dragon Corps series and the Dragon Riders of Pern have little in common. One is militaristic SciFi with space marines, and the other melds fantasy elements into a story that is much more a fantasy epic than a space opera (however it may be classified). But McCaffrey is still an inspiration. One does not need to match her story structure or her genre in order to write the same sort of story: one of passion and pride, both as positives and negatives. Her villains were real, absolutely visceral. Her heroes were just as full, with the fiery natures we could empathize with even as the characters walked down the proverbial dark alleyway.

That is what I have always tried to capture in my writing. McCaffrey wrote in a fantastical world that was realistic because the characters were so relatable, both in their good and bad moments. When readers see Aryn, I want them to know how fully she is outmatched and yet cheer her on even while she walks knowingly into danger for love’s sake. When Cade’s pride leads him into yet another beating, I want the reader to flinch at the blows and yet know why he can’t bring himself to betray the woman he loves or the morals he holds so dear.

I think we read, on some level, because we want to believe that if such terrible things happen to us, we could also stand up and do the right thing. When I write, I don’t want just to show characters who rise above their circumstances, as Lessa did at the start of the book in Dragonflight, I want characters who also inspire us to be better people now, as Lessa inspired me when I was younger. I want characters like Cade and Talon, who show me the responsibility that comes with their training. I want characters like Aryn and Samara, who fight for what’s right even though they might not be the best ones to do it. I want characters like Tera, who have to confront brutal truths about people that they love. Because all of these are things we need to do in our lives, and if I can inspire even one person like Anne McCaffrey inspired me, I will be very happy, indeed.

Want to know more about Cade, Aryn, and the rest? Email Michaela at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com for a FREE review copy of Dragon’s Honor!

Dragon’s Honor

The Warlord…

From high society banquets in the ice covered skyscrapers of New Arizona, to the most far-flung outposts at the edge of human-occupied space, everyone has heard of Ymir. The Alliance’s reach is wide, and its soldiers are well trained, but there are always despots powerful enough to assert themselves, and Ymir has been one of the most notable failures of human history: a whole planet given over to a man known only as the Warlord.

The soldier…

Cade Williams was once a Dragon—the most elite fighting unit in known space. Precise, brutal, and unstoppable, they were a last resort in the lawless wastes of space colonization. But there was a price: in one horrific mission, Cade’s unit took down not only a slave trader, but an entire intergalactic carrier. Cade left and never looked back. Haunted by his past, he’s vowed never again to kill, never again to fight, and, filling jobs from dock worker to bartender, he’s managed to keep that vow. But Cade’s life is about to be turned upside down. Because when at last he runs out of options, his old friend Talon Rift appears out of nowhere. Talon, the man who ordered him to take down the carrier. Talon, who wants him to get back in the game. And when Cade won’t, Talon has a job opportunity he seems to know Cade can’t afford to pass up. Protect a woman. An innocent. Remarkably little chance of anything going wrong. And a man needs to eat.

And the trophy wife…

There are two problems: first, that Cade hates Aryn the moment he lays eyes on her; second, that he wants her like he’s never wanted anyone before in his life. Or make that three problems: Aryn’s fiancé is a weapons trafficker with a well-deserved reputation for being ruthless, and Aryn is about to get caught up in one of his schemes – one that will bring her back to the place she only just escaped…the mines of Ymir.

Where to buy:

Dragon’s Honor will be free to read in Kindle Unlimited: smile.amazon.com/dp/B017F8X7HC/

Where to find me:

Right now, I’m only on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkendrickauthor/

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bIDsBn

And people can feel free to email me at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt:

“Cade Williams?”

The words came through the haze of smoke and drunkenness like a hallucination. Cade knew that voice. He was never, ever going to be able to forget that voice, and it had to be a hallucination because there was no way in hell the owner of that voice had chased him across three systems only to walk into a dive bar on the lower streets of New Arizona. So he went back to his drink.

He picked up the glass and stared at it. It was a scotch he’d been nursing for about three hours now, and not just because “scotch” seemed to be a loose term for colored grain alcohol. When he finished his drink, he had nowhere to go. And in the ever-drifting snow of New Arizona—he’d never figured out if the name was born of ignorance or irony—he needed to stay indoors as long as possible. The cold was fierce, and whatever acid was in the water on this planet, it would burn his skin raw in less than a night.

And if he didn’t get ten thousand credits to Osiris within a week, he was a dead man. But one thing at a time. Cade shook his head and let the moment slide away from him, a tiny drift into memory and nothing more.

“Williams,” the voice said again.

That was definitely not a hallucination. Cade’s eyes traveled along the arm that had come down on one side of him. Callused fingertips, last joint of the right index finger missing, the hint of a tattoo poking out from under a blue cuff. The arm underneath the suit jacket was well muscled, leading to broad shoulders and a clean-shaven jaw, and with a sinking feeling of dread, Cade looked up at one of his worst nightmares.

“Lieutenant Rift.”

“Actually, it’s Major now.” Talon’s face was expressionless, as it almost always was. He watched as Cade’s eyes traveled over the understated suit, across the planes of the handsome face. At last, sensing the question Cade would never ask, he flipped over the hand on his resting arm. There, glimmering in the faint light, were blood-red cufflinks.

A Dragon always wore red.

Talon absorbed Cade’s bitter smile in silence.

“You look surprisingly well.” Cade looked down into his scotch and considered drinking the rest in one gulp. The pours in this bar were generous, and with the alcohol being of dubious provenance, a gulp might well kill him. Right now, that wasn’t seeming so bad. It was all coming back to him—without warning, as it always did. He’d known the moment he heard the voice that this was going to be a bad night, even worse than he’d thought—and he’d already thought it would be pretty bad. There was screaming at the corner of his mind, the flashing of the lights in the bar taking on a reddish hue, the emergency exit sign too clear a reminder.

He closed his eyes, clenching his jaw until he thought his teeth would give way. He had to keep breathing, or the memories would take him, and the world would devolve into the chaotic mess he so feared, every face reminding him of the pods, the children pounding on the glass—

He was going to be sick. His stomach heaved.

“Should I go?”

“No.” Cade’s answer surprised even him. He opened his eyes and looked down into his drink again. He could force the world back into its neat shapes if he tried hard enough. In the vacuum of space, in the long silences of a courier’s job, he’d learned to face his fear and press it away.

He could face this, too.

“Okay.” Talon sat, pulled reflexively at both cuffs, and looked over at the bartender. “What won’t kill me here?”

“Don’t try the scotch.”

“Noted.”

Michaela Kendrick Author Photo 2Bio:

Raised on the Dragon Riders of Pern, Star Wars, Star Trek, and a whole bunch of historical romances, Michaela grew up adoring the adventure of Science Fiction and the passion of a good love story. Filled with double crossing, grand romantic gestures, sarcasm, and plenty of heat, Michaela’s books are just the sort of thing she wants to read herself!

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

The aliens in ‘Crisis at Validor’ #amwriting

http://www.canstockphoto.com/golden-chinese-dragon-5632075.html

http://www.canstockphoto.com/golden-chinese-dragon-5632075.html

By now you all know I’m in the final stages of writing a new Ptorix Empire book. The title is Crisis at Validor and it features my decidedly non-humanoid alien species, the Ptorix. Readers will learn more about them in this book, but there will also be another, very different, alien species.

Way back when this book was little more than a bunny hopping around in my head I’d intended to write a story which included an ancient temple and something like a serpent, only smart. The berzhani have evolved since then. A lot of people don’t like snakes and while I don’t really understand the phobia, I know it’s real for many people. I’d discarded the idea of calling them dragons because this is not a fantasy and if people have preconceived notions about snakes, they have them about dragons, too.

Fire breathing, wicked, princess-eating, flying, telepathic, ridden by people, shape-shifters.

None of the above.

So about half way through the writing, I took some time off to go through pictures of serpents, serpent temples, dragons and the like, looking for visual inspiration. And I came across Jim Nelson’s fabulous work, particularly the top dragon on this page.

So the berzhani are rather like snakes inj some respects (sinuous and smooth) but they are not snakes. In Crisis at Validor the berzhani live in caves on an island that is an extinct volcano. That island has become an object of contention between the Ptorix and the humans of Validor. The planet has two continents, and each species inhabits one. They don’t mix. But neither owns Bherzan Island.

The picture top left is a reasonable representation of a berzhan. (It’s actually a statue of a Chinese dragon, but you get the idea.)

What you need to know about the berzhani before you read the book is they are very, very smart, with their own skills. Like whales and dolphins, they don’t need technology and they don’t want to rule the world. They just want to be left alone. But they have a big part to play in Validor’s story whether they like it or not.

Here’s a first cut of the blurb.

Crisis at Validor

Newly-promoted Captain Brett Butcher is about to achieve his life-long ambition to command a battle cruiser. But before he takes up his new posting, he goes home on leave, hoping to perhaps catch a glimpse of his first love, the unattainable Lady Tarlyn.

When the queen is assassinated in a terrorist attack, Tarlyn’s life is thrown into turmoil when she, too, becomes a target. The last person she expects to rescue her is her childhood sweetheart, Brett Butcher.

As Validor’s Ptorix and human populations face off over a group of islands neither owns, the calls for war grow louder. Torn between love, duty and ambition, Butcher and Tarlyn struggle to prevent an inter-species conflict, while the ember of love that has smouldered for so long bursts into flame. But with planetary peace at stake, both will be forced to make a choice; love or duty.

Coming soon to an e-store near you.

PS. For those who know the Iron Admiral books, Butcher was Grand Admiral Saahren’s adjutant. And we also have a cameo appearance from Admiral Ulric Hudson of Starheart.