Friday, June 29, 2018

What Point of View is For You?

Posted by: Maureen

By Maureen L. Bonatch 

We all have different reasons for choosing the types of book that
Some of my daughter's books and her TBR list.
we like to read. Perhaps the reason is just that you love a good story, no matter what the genre or what point of view (POV) it’s written in. I’ve written, and read, in third person POV as well as first person POV. 

I must admit that my favorite is usually first person POV. 

Many people have told me that they don’t care for first person POV for various reasons. Perhaps it’s because they’re only getting one person’s perception of how the story unfolds. They want to see what the hero thinks, or they're frustrated by the limits first person places on revealing things to the reader since we learn them with the heroine or hero. 

I’ve found that one of the main reasons I love first person POV goes a little deeper.

Save Your Penny


You may have heard the old idiom, “a penny for your thoughts”. Well, I’ve always been interested in what other people are thinking or how their mind works. I spend too much time observing others and analyzing what they are thinking, and why. The mysteries of the mind completely fascinate me. Hence why I spent many years working as a psychiatric nurse, and perhaps one reason why I started writing novels in first person POV.

I often think I know why someone does what they do, or what prompted them to act in a certain way, but I’ll never know for sure. It’s difficult enough to determine our own motives sometimes, let alone others. 

But when you’re writing, or reading, a story in first person you can examine and explore someone else’s thought process. 

Any book provides you with a chance to explore an exotic adventure, or another place, and escape, but with first person it just feels so much more intimate to me. It’s almost as if you’re discovering the secret intricacies of the mind. Therefore, the stories I write in first person usually intertwine the story with the character’s emotional struggles.


It Takes Two POV


The books I write in third person POV are usually more fun and
sexy. Perhaps that’s because most of us view other’s lives through rose-colored glasses. Always thinking perhaps their grass is always greener and their lives are fuller since we don’t have the entire story.

We see what they want us to see as we look on in their story. Sometimes that’s enough. 

What About You? Do You Have a Favorite Point of View?


Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How I find new things to read

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti

As I’ve written about before here on this blog and elsewhere, I’m a passionate reader as well as a writer. Like those of a lot of geeks, my household reflects that we’re readers. We have shelf after shelf of print books all over the house, as well as hundreds of ebooks between us on various digital devices.

And, like a lot of geeks, we often find ourselves hard pressed to figure out how to find the books we want to read. So I thought I’d do a roundup of where I find my newest reads, in the hope that this might prove helpful to fellow readers out there!

So in no particular order, I give you my list of recommendation sources!

1) Tor.com is one of my biggest ones for SF/F. I regularly read their site, and their reviews of recent releases as well as announcements about upcoming titles frequently make me go “ooh hey that sounds like fun”.

2) Also for SF/F, since I regularly read both John Scalzi’s and Mary Robinette Kowal’s blogs, I see the Big Idea and My Favorite Bit features that they regularly run. I’ve picked up several titles on the strength of posts that authors have sent in to appear on those features.

3) Yet again for SF/F, book reviewer James Nicoll. What he likes to read doesn’t always align with what I like to read, but he’s pointed me at more than one book I’d otherwise have never thought to pick up. For example, The City, Not Long After and There And Back Again by Pat Murphy, or The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss. I find him quite satisfying for broadening my SF/F reading horizons.

4) For romance, my go-to, one-stop shop is Smart Bitches Trashy Books. I’m persnickety about what romance subgenres I like to read, and they’ve been consistently reliable at helping me find titles as well as authors that fit into those subgenres. Two of my favorites I’ve learned about from them are Courtney Milan and Kate Noble.

5) For mystery and suspense, I keep an eye on Criminal Element’s newsletter. I don’t read those genres as often as I do SF/F, but I do like a good period mystery occasionally, or a good suspense novel.

6) Since I’m a member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association, I learn about multiple things I’d like to read just from my fellow members of that group.

7) While I don’t use the feature very much, I do keep an eye on the recommendations features on Goodreads (and by extension, my Kindle) just in case that pops up something I want to check out.

8) Other readers I know are always a win for telling me about potential fun things. “Hey Anna, you should totally read this, I think you’d dig it,” is one of my favorite things to hear out of someone!

9) And, of course, I keep an eye on other posts on this very site!

What about the rest of you? How do you find new things to read? Tell me all about your favorite book sources in the comments!

--
Angela has a lifelong goal of reading ALL THE BOOKS, and this has been compounded by also wanting to read SF/F in French, because holy crap you guys there's a whole other language's worth of books over there that she hasn't read yet! Meanwhile, she writes her own books as both Angela Korra'ti and Angela Highland, and you can come find out all about those at angelahighland.com. Or you can geek out with her about your favorite books on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Bring It Back(list) Feature:
Until June 30th, you can get the ebook for just 99 cents! (Available at this price only on Amazon and my websiteNote: Click BUY EBOOK to get the Nook or PDF version.)

X-TROLLER
Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Post-Apocalyptic,
Paranormal, Time Travel  Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 62.9K
$0.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a



Emotionally scarred and physically weary, Dwan is ordered to go forty-seven years into the past in a last ditch effort to find the one man who can help her fight the monsters created decades ago by a company called Lambruchet. Monsters that have since devastated mankind and the world.

Eli Voight has been battling the Lambruchet demons ever since the company had his father killed. As the first Troller, he’s made it his duty to bring down the creatures and find a way to permanently stop them. He’s skeptical of Dwan's claim that she’s from the future. But her skill is undeniable, and her presence becomes an all-consuming passion for the man who had pushed aside any thought of a personal life in his quest to drive the demons to extinction.



Dwan never expected to fall and fall hard for the emotionally unapproachable soldier. Worse, she knew what kind of death lay ahead for Eli, which meant there could never be a future for them.



Together, they must fight to take out the monstrosities, or else Earth as it is will cease to exist. And the Earth that could be, Dwan’s world, will only hold a future of horror and hopelessness.


Warning: Contains living nightmares, impromptu dentistry, great beef stew (with real meat), screwed DNA, deadly broom handles, a shave and a haircut, coded writing, and two people fighting against a future that gives mankind only two more decades to exist.

Excerpt and buy links.

................................................

Sales & Promos:


Some of the Here Be Magic authors are helping to sponsor the annual SUMMER FUN SCAVENGER HUNT at Night Owl Reviews

Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 8! Plus many gift cards and ebooks to win. Simple, easy, and most of all, FUN to enter!

Runs until July 5th



Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bring It Back(list) - X-Troller,

Posted by: Linda Mooney
Until June 30th, you can get the ebook for just 99 cents! (Available at this price only on Amazon and my websiteNote: Click BUY EBOOK to get the Nook or PDF version.)

X-TROLLER
Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Post-Apocalyptic,
Paranormal, Time Travel  Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 62.9K
$0.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a



Emotionally scarred and physically weary, Dwan is ordered to go forty-seven years into the past in a last ditch effort to find the one man who can help her fight the monsters created decades ago by a company called Lambruchet. Monsters that have since devastated mankind and the world.

Eli Voight has been battling the Lambruchet demons ever since the company had his father killed. As the first Troller, he’s made it his duty to bring down the creatures and find a way to permanently stop them. He’s skeptical of Dwan's claim that she’s from the future. But her skill is undeniable, and her presence becomes an all-consuming passion for the man who had pushed aside any thought of a personal life in his quest to drive the demons to extinction.


Dwan never expected to fall and fall hard for the emotionally unapproachable soldier. Worse, she knew what kind of death lay ahead for Eli, which meant there could never be a future for them.

Together, they must fight to take out the monstrosities, or else Earth as it is will cease to exist. And the Earth that could be, Dwan’s world, will only hold a future of horror and hopelessness.

Warning: Contains living nightmares, impromptu dentistry, great beef stew (with real meat), screwed DNA, deadly broom handles, a shave and a haircut, coded writing, and two people fighting against a future that gives mankind only two more decades to exist.

Excerpt and buy links.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Covert Fiction

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
Thirty years ago, when I was in high school, the Orwellian notion that Big Brother was watching was fiction. A society so closely surveilled was considered a dystopian nightmare. Now, we're living it.

Our cellphones and cars give away our location. Our online activities are recorded. Algorithms crunch the data and deduce even more about us. Potentially, the data crunchers understand us better than we understand ourselves. Remember that story where Target guessed a teenage girl was pregnant and acted on that knowledge? Creepy stuff.

As people struggle with the notion of standing naked and exploitable before whoever controls our data, fiction is trying out a few different responses.

There is the escapist response. This is common in paranormal romance where magic veils people from wider society. The idea that there are mysteries out there unknowable to Big Brother and science is reassuring, even if the expression of it is literally fantastic.

But if you can't hide from reality, maybe you can confound the surveillance system. This is the premise of thrillers as people go on the run, evading Big Brother in his various incarnations both corporate and government.

Dystopian and survivalist fiction takes this evasion method in a different direction. People go off-the-grid, sometimes after the grid fails, but other times by choice.

I'm not sure what form it will take, but I think all of these different approaches to surviving a surveilled world will coalesce into a new genre of covert fiction. We need some way of shaping the narrative of surveillance so that we can be agents within it, and not simply prisoners. (And if you want to completely confuse, yet scare yourself, read about the philosopher Foucault's notion of the panopticon).

What I haven't read is fiction where people challenge and destroy Big Brother. Have you?

Shamans & Shifters science fiction
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072M3Q555




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What If - An Apocalyptic Viewpoint on the Future of Books

Posted by: Linda Mooney
My latest release is a post-apocalyptic, futuristic romance. I've written such books before (ex: X-Troller), but while I was working on this new book, I remembered how it felt to be caught in the middle of a hurricane last year, and its aftermath.

Being left without electricity, water, or refrigeration for food is, in a lot of ways, very much what people in a post-apocalyptic world would have to face. Things we take for granted would be no longer viable. You'd struggle to find food, find ways to cook your food, to use the restroom and go days without a proper bath because of the need to conserve water, not to mention learning to contend with spending hours without a TV or computer. You'd revert back to the "olden days" of trying to find ways to make the hours and days pass, returning to conversation, board or card games, and books. Printed books.

But what if the apocalypse actually happened? There'd be no more electronic books. No more social media. Electricity would cease to exist, including phones. But we would still have print books. Yes, there would be a finite supply, since no more would be coming off the presses. At least, not for the next decade or so, until someone brought back the printing press. But reading would still exist, and so would authors.

Which leaves me to ask other authors, what would you do in that situation? Would you hand-write your manuscripts and pass them around? How would you cope if, suddenly, all technology was gone?

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?


* * *
New!

FORBITTEN
Futuristic, Post-Apocalyptic Romance
Word Count:  58.2K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p



Not all who are bitten are turned.

After World War III, better known as the Nuclear War, survivors were forced to move underground, where they had a better chance of survival. Those who were caught above ground in the aftermath inevitably died of exposure. However, the animals and vegetation were not so lucky. Although most species survived, they also mutated. And sometimes those mutations reached the remaining human population.

Shaddoe March lives in one of those subterranean bunkers, called SubForty. Her life is nowhere idyllic. No one’s is. But she’s healthy, and that means she has a future. Until, one day, her nightmare becomes reality, and she’s infected.

She is thrown out of the bunker, above ground, unarmed and alone to face the hideous creatures and other Condemned who’ve been discarded to face their inevitable deaths. As she prepares herself for the worst, she finds redemption.

Chyler Comstock was also infected, but he didn’t turn, and he’s not dead. Yet. Neither are the thirty-two other souls who’ve banded together for the sake of survival. When he meets Shaddoe, he’s more than willing to let her join their group, but not until the critical thirty-seven-hour window is passed. If she remains human after that, then she’ll be welcomed.

But, for now, it’s a waiting game, and the world ran out of patience decades ago.

Warning! Contains a beatdown with a broom, shattered solar panels, a deadly lunch tray, radioactive ammo, explosions, and a possible cure that could mean the difference between love cut short, or love everlasting.

Excerpt and buy links.

Not a Room of My Own

Posted by: Shawna Reppert

One of the things non-writers (and some beginning writers) often ask me is if I have a special place/time/set of conditions that I need to write. My standard answer” I can’t afford to be that precious. When you working full-time, overtime, sometimes two jobs at a time, you learn to write where and when you can. Kids at the coffee shop getting loud? Ignore it and keep going. (OK, glare first, then ignore it and keep going.) There’s a ping pong table in the lunch room at work. I’ve learned to toss back stray balls and barely break rhythm.

That said, I do have some preferred spots to work. Sometimes I need a ‘vacation’, usually defined as going someplace else to write. I really like windows with views of nature—trees especially, but oceans and rivers are also good. This is complicated by that the fact that the glare of natural light often makes it difficult to see the computer screen. This leads to all sorts of strange shifting of angles of chair, table and laptop as I try to ensure that I can see both the computer screen and my beloved trees.

One of my favorite writing ‘time-out’ locations surprises people who don’t know me well. I love to take my laptop to Irish traditional music sessions. A session, for the uninitiated, is an informal gathering of musicians to play tunes (and often share tunes and learn new ones.) There are many types of sessions with many different levels of players, each with their own unwritten rules of etiquette. Some are in private homes, but more often they take place in bars and pubs (or, as I prefer to think of them, music venues that conveniently serve food and hard cider.) Far from the music distracting me, I find it helps me focus. Irish tunes are often played at a fast tempo, and my typing speed picks up to match. I’m a versatile writer; I type equally well in jig-time, reel-time, or waltz-time.

Sessions, for me, also serve the same purpose as write-ins. There’s a nice little social-time before and after to help ease that writerly social isolation, and then my musician friends settle down to their business and I settle down to mine.  I’ve become such a fixture at the Westside Irish Session that the fiddler introduces me to new musicians as ‘our author’, as though every session has a writer in among the fiddlers, guitarists, and bodhran players. (I sometimes tell people that I play the ‘silent keyboard’.

For some reason, Irish traditional music, above all other genres, seems to make my creativity flow.  Even though I am a planner, not a pantser,  my characters and scenes often go in surprising new directions or find new depths when I write at sessions. In fact, I distinctly remember a formal harp concert in a concert hall where it took every ounce of self-control not to pull my laptop out from under my seat and start writing the idea I’d just had for the next Ravensblood novel.

And just on the way to tonight’s session, I told the fiddler giving me a ride that I had this blog due and I had no idea what to write. She said ‘alcohol, music, and desperation will get you there.’ And here we are.

 

 Shawna is an award-winning author of fantasy and steampunk. You can find her works on Amazon .

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

glomming Strike Back

Posted by: Shona Husk
Over the weekend I glommed up the latest season of one of my favorite TV shows, Strike Back. I love the format where it’s effectively one long movie broken up into to episodes. Each episode leaves on a cliff hanger and I also enjoy the banter between the team…well especially the original team of Scott and Stonebridge.

Scott and Stonebridge
I knew it was a new team this season, but I was willing to give them a chance.
I’m glad I did as I did enjoy the latest season (Gracie Novin played by Alin Sumarwata really made it for me and she had some of the best lines). There were also the usual plot twists, that I knew would be there but still left me stunned (great work writers).

However it’s very hard to bond with character’s when there isn’t much known about them. Their past was hinted at, but not well enough for me to really care. I started to worry about Novin when she got involved with another soldier (that never ends well).

I think it’s important to remember before your characters start lobbing grenades and chasing after black market weapons we need to care about them so we worry (though based on previous seasons I was expecting team and deaths ).

I’m looking forward to another season...not sure if there is one…


Monday, June 18, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Other News:
Veronica Scott's LADY OF THE NILE was named as a Finalist in the RWA FF&P PRISM Awards.
The plot: 
Tuya, a high ranking lady-in-waiting at Pharaoh’s court, lives a life of luxury, pageantry and boredom. Khian, a brave and honorable officer from the provinces temporarily re-assigned to Thebes, catches her eye at a gold of valor ceremony. As the pair are thrown together by circumstances, she finds herself unaccountably attracted to this man so unlike the haughty nobles she’s used to. But a life with Khian would mean leaving the court and giving up all that she’s worked so hard to attain. As she goes about her duties, Tuya struggles with her heart’s desires.

When Tuya is lured into a dangerous part of Thebes by her disgraced half-brother and kidnapped by unknown enemies of Egypt, Khian becomes her only hope. Pharaoh assigns him to bring the lady home.

Aided by the gods, Khian races into the desert on the trail of the elusive kidnappers, hoping to find Tuya before it’s too late. Neither of them has any idea of the dark forces arrayed against them, nor the obstacles to be faced. An ancient evil from the long gone past wants to claim Tuya for its own purposes and won’t relinquish her easily.


Can Khian find her in time? Will he and his uncanny allies be able to prevent her death? And if the couple escapes and reaches safety, what of their fledgling romance?

Buy Links:
Amazon     iBooks     Kobo     B&N
Sales & Promos:
Please note the specific sale doesn't start until June 22nd! Veronica Scott's scifi romance AYDARR is on sale for $.99 now, however.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Is There a Monster in Your Lake?

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR
Image: Bigstock.com
Ah, summer! Flipflops, swimsuits, and picnics by the lake. If you decide to take a dip, however, do you know what might be swimming below you?

My friend, Angela Campbell, wrote a wonderful post on Here Be Magic about her fascination and affection for the Loch Ness Monster. And this month scientists will be sampling the dark waters of that mysterious lake, hoping to tease out a DNA sample. Personally, I’m cheering for them – as a fantasy and paranormal writer, I can’t help but love a good monster!

While we wait for those results, let’s talk about Nessie’s possible relatives. Did you know there are several other legendary water beasts scattered throughout the British Isles? And here in the United States, approximately 22 Nessie-type creatures have been reported! That's enough to give a person pause before swimming in deep waters...

As a Canadian, I can attest that the Great White North has its share of aquatic monsters too – over a dozen, not counting the ones that share waters with the U.S. I've been lucky enough to visit a few of the lakes, and one more than once: Lake Okanagan in British Columbia. About 80 miles long and surrounded by steep-walled mountains, it’s been compared to a coastal fjord with depths of nearly 1,000 feet in some places. 

It certainly seems like an ideal home for the most famous fresh water monster in Canada: “Ogopogo”.

Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada
Image: Bigstock.com
First Nations peoples told stories about the “water demon” or “snake in the lake” long before European settlers arrived, and some native pictographs (rock art) have been found that are said to represent the beast. The Salish people in the area called the lake monster N'ha-a-itk, or “lake demon”. The Chinook peoples called it "wicked one" and "great-beast-on-the-lake." 

In 1924, however, a Vancouver newspaper reporter parodied a British song, “Ogo-Pogo, The Funny Foxtrot” in order to make fun of the reported sightings of the time:

His mother was an earwig, his father was a whale;
A little bit of head. And hardly any tail.
And Ogo-pogo was his name.

Unfortunately, the original native names for the monster were promptly forgotten or ignored, and the mysterious creature has been called Ogopogo ever since!

Reports of the Okanagan monster by Europeans predate the first sightings of Nessie in Scotland by about 60 years. In 1854, settler John MacDougall was in a canoe, swimming his team of horses across the lake. Without warning, the horses were dragged under by forces unseen. He was forced to cut the lead ropes to save the canoe from being pulled under as well, and narrowly escaped. The horses disappeared without a trace.

Image: Bigstock.com

The first recorded sighting of the creature was by author Susan Allison in 1872. She was watching the lake for signs of her husband returning from a canoe trip, when suddenly she spotted an unusual animal swimming against the waves. And in 1880 a shipment of timbers was going to be floated to Osoyoos. As the hand-sawn timbers were being made into a raft, the monster was seen to raise its head from the water and watch! In 1890, Thomas Shorts was captain of a steam ship on the lake and claimed to have seen a finned creature about sixteen feet long with a head like that of a ram. It disappeared when he turned the ship in its direction.

Sightings have occurred ever since—including some by large groups of people at the same time! On September 16, 1925, a large creature was seen swimming in the lake by about 30 cars of people parked along a beach. (The government subsequently announced that the new ferry being built for travel across the Okanagan Lake would be equipped with special "monster repelling devices".) On July 2, 1947, several boaters reported seeing the monster . On July 17, 1959, a number of people claimed to have seen a huge creature with a long neck for about three minute before it submerged.

Most witness accounts describe a serpentine creature from 12 to 70 feet long. It's usually glossy black or brown and undulates through the water. It isn’t clear if the creature actually has a number of humps or if it just looks like that because of its method of locomotion. The Ogopogo is described as having a goat-like or horse-like head on a very long neck. And sometimes the creature has been spotted emerging from the water and onto the shore!

So is it possible that Okanagan Lake has an undiscovered animal, or “cryptid”, living in it?
Image: Bigstock.com
Maybe. In 1989, a fisheries scientist named Jim Walker drafted an amendment to British Columbia’s Wildlife Act (http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/news/article_e2a5f54a-5c88-11e7-92c9-2b85dc01e30b.html ). The result was that Ogopogo enjoyed protected wildlife status for several years.

Meanwhile, each summer brings thousands of tourists to the beautiful shores of Lake Okanagan for waterpark fun, for camping and fishing, for beautiful scenery – and maybe, just maybe, a glimpse of its most famous non-human resident.


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

LEGEND  LORE  LOVE  MAGIC
  

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim. Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

In this enchanting romance series from Dani Harper, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.


THE GRIM SERIES
See ALL Dani's novels on her Amazon Author Page

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