Excerpt from Clue and The Shrine of the Widowed Bride

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from the recently published Clue and The Shrine of the Widowed Bride by Wendie Nordgren.

Clue and The Shrine of the Widowed Bride


Yellow light filled the small cabin and then disappeared to be replaced with a soft red light that quickly vanished leaving the compartment in darkness until the next holoboard’s big display came into view. I stared vacantly out of the smudged window counting the signs that provided the only illumination in the inky night. The creaking of the train car on the elevated rails had frightened me the first time I had ridden on them. Now, none of it seemed to matter.

Before she had died, my mother had given to me her meager savings and made me promise to leave the Eris Space Station. I could still see her tired, haunted eyes as she looked up at me from atop the crisp white infirmary sheets. The dark bags under her eyes and her hollow cheeks were much more evident now that her face was clean of all of her make-up. Momma’s dry cracked lips had begun to bleed as she said, “Clue, listen to me. You have to promise. You know I did my best by you, but I don’t want you living the same life I did. I want you to get passage on a freighter and head to one of the Earth settlements on Cassini. It doesn’t matter where. Go to school. Make something of yourself.”

Her hands were cold on mine, and I could feel her bones through her thin soft skin. Momma had named me Clue because she had no idea which of the strangers passing through the space station had been my father. She didn’t know which of them had given her the wasting sickness either. “I promise, Momma.”

She had smiled at me. I had been looking into her dark brown, glassy eyes as she had gone. I hadn’t needed the beeping of the machines to tell me that.

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Clue and The Shrine of the Widowed Bride

When Clue Forester leaves Eris Space Station behind to live on a distant Earth settlement on the planet Cassini, she discovers a new reality of troublesome mononoke, beautiful ocean spirits, and vengeful demons who attempt to use her for their own purposes.

However, a powerful Okami rules the city of Scorpius and may be Clue’s only hope if she is to survive long enough to uncover the mystery of her uncle’s demise.

Clue and The Shrine of the Widowed Bride, Clue Taylor Book 1, is available now.  Learn more by visiting Goodreads or Amazon.

More about Wendie Nordgren can be found through the following:

Breaking News: Star Wars Uprising to be shut down! 

Breaking news! @KabamRPG is shutting down #StarWarsUprising as of 11/17/16 per a message my hubby got in game! Here is the message he received!

So who played this game? Are you upset about it being shut down as my hubby is?  Will you join the Marvel game instead?

Interview with Author Veronica Scott

It is a pleasure to welcome author Veronica Scott, author of Trapped on Talonque.

Welcome Veronica to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.

Thanks for having me as your guest!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

My most recent science fiction romance novel is called Trapped on Talonque, because when I first started writing my stories, I thought I was going to give all of them a title with a verb and an alien planet name. Then after a few encounters with readers who loved the books (yay!) but who were unsure of the pronunciation (uh oh!), I realized maybe that wasn’t the best strategy. I do have a few novels with this naming convention but in the future I’ll probably try to move away from it.

All my scifi romances are part of the Sectors SF Romance series, because my galaxy wide civilization is known as the Sectors. I have another series set on an interstellar luxury cruise liner in the Sectors, which I call ‘Star Cruise’ this-or-that. I think I’ll move toward using the word ‘star’ more in my titles and let the exotic planetary names just reside in the books. My next book is entitled Star Survivors and I hope to have it out before the end of 2016.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

When I was young, my Dad gave me an Andre Norton book to read – Catseye – and after finishing that, I couldn’t get my hands on all her other books fast enough. Then I branched out to read a library’s worth of different science fiction authors. I love the idea of infinite possibilities for adventure and exploration in the galaxy…but with a lot more romance than I found in most SF novels. Anne McCaffrey was another favorite of mine, especially Restoree and her Dragon Riders of Pern series. Since I always needed more books to read and I wanted more romance, I started writing my own. The movie “Aliens” is a good example of what I strive for in my stories – strong heroine, strong hero, mutual respect, danger, adventure AND a love story. I kind of amplify what was hinted at between Ripley and Hicks in that movie LOL.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I have to write – it’s like breathing to me. I sit down and the words just flow and I lose all sense of time. Which is great BUT in the current publishing environment, there are many other things an author has to do as well, like engaging on social media, doing promo…and I have to be careful that I don’t spend too much time on all the other activities and not enough time ‘just’ writing. I love the social aspects of being an author, especially twitter, but the important thing at the core of all I do is creating the books.

I think as far as my own personality, I’m good in an emergency or crisis, and I tend to write characters who are the same. You can’t hesitate when your spaceship is about to blow up or the space pirates are about to capture you. Take action now, fall apart later, when the danger’s over.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

For Trapped on Talonque, I invented a ritual ball game that the hero must play and win in order to survive, so I did a lot of research into similar games played by the ancients in Central and South America. For some of my other scifi romances I’ve heavily researched the sinking of the Titanic, the cruise industry, life on an aircraft carrier, pathology of deadly viruses, abdominal surgery, the aspects of the goddess Kali…I want to create a world in the Sectors that feels solid and well thought out for the readers, so I absorb a lot of details of our own world and synthesize. And add ingredients from my own active imagination!

What makes you laugh?

I’m a tough nut when it comes to laughing out loud. Kittens or small children playing are always good. Georgette Heyer wrote some side splitting scenes and dialog in some of her Regency novels – Cotillion is one of my favorites, no matter how many times I read it. The early seasons of “The Big Bang Theory” have moments that cracked me up with their sheer absurdity.

What makes you cry?

There’s a death of a much beloved character in one of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels that I cried over (no spoilers). In the recent season two finale of the show “Killjoys,” I cried when the character of Khlyen died. So I guess death and parting from loved ones are my triggers. I always write Happily Ever After endings for my main characters, by the way, precisely because I don’t handle anything less than that well when I’m reading a book or watching a movie.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

By now you have no doubt gathered I’m a huge fan of science fiction, action and adventure, with a lot of true love and romance. I can’t imagine ever writing a book that didn’t contain these elements! I do write a series set in ancient Egypt and for that I substitute paranormal or fantastical elements for the science fiction but all the rest remains the same.

 

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Trapped on Talonque

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Will an alien sleeping beauty awaken to save him, or destroy everyone around her?

When a Sectors Special Forces soldier and his team crash land on an alien planet, they’re taken captive and given a challenge–win at the violent ball game of sapiche and live. Lose, and they die, sending a mysterious, alien beauty to an even uglier fate. To survive, these soldiers must win the game and find a way to free the dangerous prisoner from her locked chamber.

Nate Reilly and his team are in deep trouble. Prisoners on a backward alien planet, they’re brought before an alien ‘goddess’, sleeping in her high tech seclusion. Nate is astonished when she awakes and establishes a psychic link with him. But her news is not good–he and his men must win a brutal challenge set by their captors, or they will die. She’ll give her aid, but in the end their courage and strength must win the contest.

Bithia sleeps in her chamber, as she has for thousands of years, since her own people unaccountably left her there. Viewed as a goddess by her captors, she must hide her ancient secrets to survive. But only the bravest of men may free her. Can she use her psychic powers to keep Nate and his men alive long enough to help her escape, or will her only hope of freedom die with them?

About Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can connect with her via the following social media sites:

Interview with Author SM Schmitz

It is a pleasure to welcome author SM Schmitz, author of The Chosen.


Welcome SM to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.

The Chosen
What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Chosen is set in the Resurrected series universe and there are a couple of themes that run throughout the series.

I’m a former college world history instructor, and I often had students defending the actions of the CIA at Guantanamo. I began to wonder at what point would people say, “This isn’t ok. Regardless of what the suspect is accused of doing, this isn’t an acceptable way to treat people.” And at what point, then, do our heroes cease to be heroes? That’s partly the motivation behind the development of some of the main characters in this series. Dietrich and Eric, from the original trilogy, are CIA agents who participate in some horrific activities – but I wrote them to be likable characters. I want readers to like them. I want them to sympathize with them. And I want them to pause when they torture someone and question what that means about our culture that they’ve been taught to do this and it’s been ingrained in them that they have the right to do it.

I’m not seeking to answer those questions for the reader; I’m only trying to raise them.

The second theme that is related to this one is that of the converse of what fills our world with so much hatred and violence. I use the resurrections of these extraordinary people to highlight the values that have the potential to transform our world into a more peaceful and safe one: namely, compassion and empathy. Lottie and Mason are exceptional – and The Chosen highlights Mason’s characteristics that made him so special.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

The Resurrected series is science fiction with some paranormal elements. I’m a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, but one of the biggest reasons I wrote this series as a sci-fi romance is that I was intrigued by the idea of what it would be like to wake up as both myself and someone else – kind of like just waking up one day and there’s someone else living in your head with you. In order to turn this idea into a story, I decided on a science fiction angle with aliens who bring dead bodies back to life, only the person who died isn’t supposed to return from the dead. The bodies work again, but the person’s memories and personality are supposed to be permanently eradicated by death. For Lottie and Mason, however, that doesn’t happen – the human returns from death, and the alien is part of this “new” person now, too.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I don’t think it’s difficult to stay sane as a writer! But a lot of my characters do possess pieces of my personality, particularly my silly sense of humor. Eric in the Resurrected series and Cameron in The Unbreakable Sword series both have my sense of humor, which is probably why they’re two of my favorite characters.

What makes you laugh?

As I mentioned in the previous question, I have a silly, sarcastic sense of humor that comes through in my writing, particularly in certain characters like Eric from the Resurrected series, Gavyn from Dreamwalkers, and Cameron from The Unbreakable Sword series. Similar characters in books and movies appeal to me.

What makes you cry?

Disney. Seriously, how does Disney keep doing this to me? It doesn’t matter how many times I see Frozen, I’ll still tear up at the end when Anna saves Elsa.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a huge fan of Imagine Dragons, and I reference the band in one of my novels (The Golden Eagle). I also love Marvel movies, and they tend to get references in a lot of my books, including The Chosen. Selena in The Unbreakable Sword series is also a Marvel fan and mentions different comics and characters throughout the series.

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More about S.M. Schmitz:

S.M. Schmitz has an M.A. in modern European history and is a former world history instructor. Her novels are infused with the same humorous sarcasm that she employed frequently in the classroom. As a native of Louisiana, she sets many of her scenes here, and like Dietrich in Resurrected, she is also convinced Louisiana has been cursed with mosquitoes much like Biblical Egypt with its locusts.

The Chosen is available now at Amazon.com.

Other titles by S.M. Schmitz

You can follow SM Schmitz through her Website or  join newsletter and receive a free copy of my post-apocalyptic novella, The Scavengers.

Interview with Author Mary Brock Jones

It is a pleasure to welcome author Mary Brock Jones, author of Torn.


Welcome Mary to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The title is “Torn” because so much is being torn asunder in this book, or threatened to be. The environment of the planet Arcadia, the living, breathing heart of the world that gives life to the human inhabitants, is near to being physically torn apart thanks to the settlers’ actions. If nothing is done, and very soon, there will be cascade of environmental catastrophes putting at risk the continued existence of humans on Arcadia.

“Storms, floods, drought. Don’t bother taking your pick, says the planet, you’re going to get the lot.”

The hero and heroine are torn between multiple loyalties. To save their world from environmental collapse, they must betray the families they love. There is something between them, something they cannot deny, but they come from very different parts of the planet and each has a love for their unique but quite opposite homelands that is an intrinsic part of who they are. Can they resist this growing attraction between them, one that must result in exile for one or both? Further, do they really trust the organisation they work for, the government department bent on saving their world, and for which they have put at risk their families and agreed to change those very lands they love.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?

The actual names are not significant, but the two main characters use different language roots. The hero, Caleb’s, family names are all very short, very old English type names, whereas for Fee, the heroine, her name is broadly based on a kind of Scottish Celtic – very broadly, that is, with a huge amount of leeway for which I hope I am forgiven. I do have Scottish ancestry and last year visited the area of Scotland my grandparents came from, which is part of why I picked it. Also the fluidity of the sounds seemed to match the nature of Fee’s relatives.

If so, give a few examples…

The hero’s name is Caleb Winter – short and brief, a reflection of the man and the society he comes from.

The heroine’s full name on the other hand is: Fioruisghe ingh Bram an Scathach den Coille. Fioruisghe, daughter of Bram and Scathach of the family Coille, a reflection of the importance of family ties and formality of address among her people. She is more commonly known as Fee when working away from home, but her family and people never use the shortened form.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I’ve always loved romance and science fiction, so the combination suits all parts of me. I get to write about relationships and indulge in world building – bliss! I grew up on Anne McCaffrey, and love the works of Lois McMaster Bujold, Catherine Asaro and the Liaden series of books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. But I would have to say it was Catherine Asaro’s Skolian series that inspired me to write this book. The idea for it actually came up in a workshop she gave some years ago at an SFF conference in NZ and I just love the characters and relationships in her books, along with the serious understanding of physics that underlies them. As for the ecological aspects of this one, that probably harks way back to the sense of excitement I felt when I first discovered Frank Herbert’s “Dune”.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Oh dear – not sure that being a writer and remaining sane go together! I do admit that all of my characters are reflections of the various parts of me, which probably means that I’m mixed-up crazy deep inside. I know I have to write regularly; it’s almost a physical need, otherwise I become decidedly twitchy.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

My background is in the biological sciences, so the ecological parts of this book were just an extension of that, but I had to also find out about meteorology and the geotechnical aspects, which were decidedly challenging. I think there is always something unique to be researched for any book—it’s a big part of the fun of world building. My previous books had me delving into NZ history, coming up with a plausible futuristic legal system, and figuring out possible methods of increasing the efficiency of energy transmission.

What makes you laugh?

Human foibles, the quirky things that happen, irony and double meanings. I’m useless at telling jokes though.

What makes you cry?

Anything to do with the loss of a child – I can’t imagine ever being able to put that in a book. A sad but beautiful movie, weddings, whenever any of my sons do something amazing. I’m that blubbery mother at graduations, weddings, grandparent christenings, you name it. Events that take me back to childhood – a Scottish pipe band marching in a parade gets me every time.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

Science fiction, romance and history, hence why I write romantic scifi and historical romance. I loved the ‘Firefly’ series, and books such as Catherine Asaro’s Skolian series, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, all of Anne McCaffrey’s works (not just the Pern ones), Robert Silverberg’s stories for their characters and the way he created new societies. I love music of many types, but particularly folk and the new rock folk, country, classical, and any dance music. I also love any kind of dancing, (still do, but only in very private places!), and always wanted to learn ballet as a child. We had a big family and lived in the country so it wasn’t possible, but dreams are still free. I think that love of dance comes through in the physicality of my characters. How they carry themselves is always important to me. Caleb is very upright, with a slow, easy way of walking. He’s a kind of cowboy character, so that suits him. Whereas Fee is a person in constant motion, happiest in her tree tops when she can become one with the swaying of the branches.

###

Again, thank you Mary for answering these questions and helping us to become better acquainted with you and your story, Torn.
More about Mary…


Mary Brock Jones lives in New Zealand, but loves nothing more than to escape into the other worlds in her head, to write science fiction and historical romances. Sedate office worker by day; frantic scribbler by night.

Her parents introduced her to libraries and gave her a farm to play on, where trees became rocket ships and rocky outcrops were ancient fortresses. She grew up writing, filling pages of notebooks and filling her head with stories, but took a number of detours on the pathway to her dream job. Four grown sons, more than one house renovated and various jobs later, her wish came true. She is published in both romantic science fiction and historical romance, and her books have been nominated as finalists in the RWNZ Clendon awards, the Koru awards, and the RWAus RUBY awards.

You can find Mary here:

Also By Mary Brock Jones:

Mary Jones writing as Mary Brock Jones

Torn

  • Torn – romantic SciFi with a dash of suspense. Release date: 3rd September, 2016

Author of the romantic Scifi Hathe series:

Excerpt from Mission to New Earth and Giveaway

Everyday Fangirl is proud to participate in Diane Burton’s Mission to New Earth blog tour and give away.

Below is an excerpt from the science fiction novella, Mission to New Earth by Diane Burton.

Then only Marsh and I were left.

I strolled up to the man I loved and put my arms around his waist. When I rested my head on his chest, I heard the thud of his heart. Normally, a reassuring sound that always made me go weak in the knees, it beat more rapidly than usual. He was still agitated.

“Hey, guy. Everything will be all right. We’re ready. More than ready.”

“I know. It’s just—”

Leaning back in his arms, I reached up and patted his cheek. “Settle down, big boy. I think Bill and Ana have the right idea. From Gloria’s blush, she and Tom do, too.” I gave him a long kiss. At first, he didn’t respond—still worked up over the latest simulation. Then he gave in, as I knew he would. Not to be smug, but Marsh did like my kisses.

His kiss turned hard, demanding, as he strained to maintain control. I wanted him that much, too. But not on the tile floor in the lav. The shower had possibilities. When he eyed the enclosure, I knew he was thinking the same thing. Too bad I had other obligations. That was me, duty first. I could be such a stick-in-the-mud.
###


Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

Mission to New Earth is available at:

GIVEAWAY

Diane is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter.

Please leave a comment here and then follow one of the following links below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Or
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MTZjZjFkYWY5YmMyMDI2ZWIzOTI4OTdiM2Q1MmRkOjE5/?
***
More about Diane…


Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

You can visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com or you can also follow her via the social media sites including her…

Interview with a Fangirl: Diane


I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!
Today, it is my pleasure to interview author, blogger and of course fangirl, Diane!

I first became aware of Diane a few years ago when I started interacting with her via the Sci Fi Romance Brigade Facebook Group and Twitter.

Welcome Diane to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions!

Thanks for having me!

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

I never thought of myself as a Fangirl. I certainly love space adventures. Add in a romance and it’s even better. After watching the Star Wars and Star Trek movies over and over and when I couldn’t get enough SFR romances that I had to write more myself, I finally admitted. Fangirl.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Through social media (esp. Facebook) I discover new book releases and trailers to the latest movies. Obviously, I glom onto those with a futuristic theme and a romance. But I also write mysteries, so I’m always finding new cozies to read, too.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I saw Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. When I first read about the movie in Time Magazine, I wasn’t too excited. Then I heard John Williams’ music on the radio and I was hooked! We got a babysitter, and Hubs and I hit the theater. Not only did it live up to my expectations, but I’ve been a major fan ever since.

I took my son and his BFF (ages 6 & 7, respectively) to The Empire Strikes Back. The friend’s mother doesn’t like sci-fi, at all. The two boys were practically jumping up and down in their seats. I restrained myself. LOL Both of my kids, their spouses and two of my three grandchildren are major fans. The youngest is only 18 months. We’ll indoctrinate her soon. I still have the original trilogy on VCR (no player, but I have the tapes) and all the episodes on DVD. Do ya think I like Star Wars???

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or any other fan community that has had a positive impact on your life?

That others are as fanatical as I am about Star Wars. Forgot to mention above, my family and I went on a Disney Star Wars cruise in April. While I didn’t dress up in costume (I had a T-shirt), I was amazed at the creativity of the fans. Although I shouldn’t be surprised, I was fascinated by their devotion to the whole Star Wars culture.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Star Trek ranks up there. Love the movies. Have all of them on DVD and watch repeatedly. When I meet an author whose work I love, I try to play it cool but inevitably I turn into Fangirl.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Not to be ashamed or embarrassed about it. Life is too short. Enjoy! I loved watching kids of all ages dressed up in costume as they waited in line for the midnight showing of a new Harry Potter movie. They even brought their copy of the book and read while waiting. I admire that devotion.

Thank so much Diane for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your fandom better.

Thanks for inviting me. I really enjoyed your questions.

***

More about Diane…

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

You can visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com or you can also follow her via the social media sites including her…

Guest Post: Making Yogurt at Home

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author of Prodigal, Jody Wallace!

Take it away Jody!

Making Yogurt at Home
By Jody Wallace
Yogurt Making After the Apocalypse

  
In PRODIGAL, our world is 3 or so years into a global apocalypse. Humans are dealing with chaos, unrest, scarcity, and oftentimes survivalist conditions, with the worsts-affected area being the West coast of the United States and eastward from there.

Our heroine, Claire Lawson, is the sheriff of a buffer zone settlement in Illinois. The buffer zone is supposed to be free of the horde, which is the mass of soul-sucking black monsters trying to eat the planet. The shades don’t run around independently like zombies or your standard monster; they ooze in a continuous mass, like a giant slime coating, over the surface of the planet. Their existence, and the land they’ve taken and people they’ve killed, create difficult conditions for all survivors, even ones in lands as-yet untouched by the horde proper. Everything on the United States’ East coast is a pit of overcrowded, refugee-hosting, martial-law chaos. Choosing to live in the buffer zone means you’re pretty much guaranteed to receive no government aid.

As such, the people who live in the buffer zone have got to figure out how to feed themselves again. Electricity does exist, especially when the settlements get help from the Shipborn aliens, but electricity isn’t enough to grow crops. Can’t hop down to the corner store and pick up some salmon for tonight’s dinner or ask hubby to get milk on his way home from work. The residents of Camp Chanute banded together for safety and resource sharing. They’ve been feeding their populace by maintaining farms in about a fifty mile radius of the settlement plus trading with other settlements and learning how to produce foods that they used to rely on factories to make.

Such as…yogurt.

Here’s a quick excerpt in Claire’s point of view of one of the hazards of this lifestyle:

Claire ran with the change in topic, sealing off her feelings and choices with regard to Adam. “This time we brought in the big guns. Angeli. Got a patrol crisscrossing the area, scanning for shades.”

“And?” he asked.

“Nothing yet. Not a trace. Not a daemon. Just dead bodies and the silver pods, which the scientists hauled off.” In her pocket, her fingers had ceased to tremble, so she withdrew the snack she’d been saving. She ripped the wrapping off the old granola bar and bit into it viciously. “I don’t even have time for dinner, so I’m eating this nasty-ass, antique cereal bar.”

The dried-out bar was like gnawing on a tree, but it was more portable than homemade yogurt, and she hated walnuts. They’d traded for a truckload or two of them, and now everything was walnuts, walnuts, walnuts.

 

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

 
In honor of these hardy residents of Camp Chanute, I have attempted to make homemade yogurt myself. Granted, I’m using modern conveniences like electricity, store bought milk, and crock pots to do it, but the instructions could be extrapolated for less handy settings. The basic premise is you heat up your milk to 180 degrees, then cool it until it’s 110 degrees, then add live yogurt cultures, then cool it a bunch more, then strain out the whey through cheesecloth. The result is supposed to be creamy, delicious yogurt. (http://www.daringgourmet.com/2015/01/21/easy-homemade-greek-yogurt/)

So how did it turn out for me?

Supplies Needed

Supplies Needed

Well, it turned out pretty good, I have to say. I used regular store brand milk, and I kind of didn’t pay very good attention to the temperatures, so I let the milk cook in the slow cooker longer than I should have and then let it cool to a lower temp than I should have when I finally stirred in the “starter” cultures (which was plain store bought yogurt with the right cultures in it). It took all day to get to the point where the mixture in the crock pot got wrapped in the towels, so it sat in the towels overnight.

The next morning, I used cheap cheesecloth and glopped the stuff into two colanders. That got to sit in my sink for hours and hours while the whey dribbled out of it. (Oh – I have since read that plain cloth diapers work better than cheesecloth for anyone trying this at home.)

Crock Pot Yogurt

Crock Pot Yogurt

The end result was almost 2 quarts of whey, which is supposedly good for smoothies and such, and a giant bowl full of thick, plain yogurt. We ate yogurt every day for a week for the price of one gallon of milk. Since we’re sissies, we added various things to the tart product, like brown sugar, granola and fruit.

  
Definitely cheaper than any brand I could find in the store per ounce. But worth the effort? That, I cannot say, although my family has asked me not to make any more damn yogurt for a while. They’re sick of it.

I imagine in post-apocalyptic times, the hardest part would be getting your hands on starter yogurt or the appropriate cultures. The rest would be doable, though you’d need to eat it immediately or have some way to keep it chilled.

What kinds of things do you know how to do that would be useful in post-apocalyptic times?

 

Author Jody Wallace

Author Jody Wallace

 
Jody Wallace
Smart. Snarky. Seductive. And that’s just the books.
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://www.meankitty.com

Cover Reveal and Excerpt from Gethyon

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to reveal the cover for Gethyon by Pippa Jay.

Gethyon Cover

Gethyon Cover

Excerpt from Gethyon

“Hello, there.” The bright voice snapped Gethyon from his brooding, and he glanced up. A girl with silver skin and black tiger-stripe markings smiled down at him, her crop of red hair almost blood-colored in the twilight.
He lifted a hand in silent greeting.
“You’re Gethyon, aren’t you? Gethyon Rees?” Despite the blandness of his welcome, she hunkered down into the sand, wiggling her backside in an effort to get comfy, with a crooked grin on her lips. Unease coursed down his spine at her expression. It reminded him all too closely of another face, one with hair a paler shade of auburn and sapphire eyes.
He nodded confirmation.
“I’m Jinxuri Chei-har of the Veen,” she said.
This time Gethyon couldn’t restrain a smile. “That’s some name.”
The girl shrugged. “I didn’t choose it. But you can call me Jinx, if you like.” At that, she thrust out a hand, and after a moment, he took it.
Sudden pain splintered through his arm into his chest, and he yanked his hand free to massage the feeling away. He stared at Jinx, but she just continued to grin at him.
“Are you a friend of Dephon’s?” he asked, with a trace of suspicion. Was this something his old rival had set up to keep him occupied?
“Not really. I heard there was a party, so I stopped by.”
“You’re a gatecrasher?”
Jinx leaned forward and whispered in conspiratorial tones, “Not going to give me away, are you?”
Gethyon shook his head. Why should he care? It wasn’t his party.
She leaned back and eyed him carefully. “You don’t seem very happy. Aren’t you enjoying yourself?”
Gethyon shrugged.
“Not your kind of thing, huh? I’ve been told you’re a bit of a genius with technology.”
“Who told you that?”
“Oh, I hear things. I’m good at it.” She smiled. “You live with Professor Rees, don’t you? Heard a lot about him. Well-respected man. Your grandfather, yes?”
“Yes.”
“What about your parents, what do they do?”
He stiffened and drew back. “Why do you want to know about my parents?”
Jinx held up her hands. “I’m just trying to make conversation.”
A fragment of guilt squirmed in his stomach. Give her a break. Not everyone is out to get you. After all, living with a grandparent was going to make new people curious. It wasn’t the norm. “My father was killed in an explosion. My mother…travels. A lot.”
“I’m sorry about your father. That’s kinda harsh. But your mother sounds fun! Don’t you get to go with her?”
“No.”
Jinx gave him a sympathetic look. “Bad choice of subject?”
“Yes.”
She chuckled. “You’re really making me work for this conversation, Geth. What would you like to talk about?”
“Where are you from?”
She paused as if she hadn’t expected such a question. “No one place,” she murmured. “I travel a lot too.”

Abandoned. Hunted. Out of control.

Gethyon Rees had always felt at odds with the universe, and hoped for an escape among the stars. But discovering he has the ability to cross time and space with just a thought brings more problems than it solves: a deadly bounty hunter who can follow him anywhere, the unwelcome return of Tarquin Secker—the mother who abandoned him—and an ancient darkness that seeks him and all those with his talents.

When an unforgivable act sets him on the run, it’ll take more than his unearthly powers to save his skin and the lives of those he cares about. It’ll take a sacrifice he never expected to have to make.

A science fiction adventure novel previously published by BURST (Champagne Books), and part of the Travellers Universe. A 2014 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for Most Awesome Psychic Talent and a 2015 EPIC eBook Awards finalist in the Science Fiction category. Also now includes the SF short story The Bones of the Sea.

“With colorful worlds full of nuance and dimension, characters that walk off the page, and themes that anyone who has been either parent or child can relate to.” J.C. Cassels, author of The Black Wing Chronicles series

“This fast-paced, gripping ride zips through time and space, love and loss, rebellion and acceptance.” Anna McLain, SFR Galaxy Award judge

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After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 22 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, and Broad Universe, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 RWA LERA Rebecca (2nd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

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

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Excerpt from Married to the Cyborg

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from the soon to be published Married to the Cyborg by Cara Bristol.


Scene setup:  In this scene, Penelope has been mingling with guests at the AOP gala attended by aliens from across the galaxy. She needs a moment to recharge, so she goes in search of a quiet place.

She stopped outside a door marked OBSERVATORY – PRIVATE.

Did that mean keep out—or did it mean it was a place for solitude? Probably the former, but she could always plead ignorance. The UT she wore in her ear allowed her to communicate with almost everyone, but just because she had a universal translator didn’t mean she could read and write every language. Maybe OBSERVATORY – PRIVATE was the Drusilian’s way of saying, “Welcome, come on in!” Besides, if they didn’t want her to enter, the door wouldn’t open, right?

She palmed the entry scanner, the door slid open, and she stepped into nothingness.

Walls vanished as if no barrier existed between her and the infinite expanse of space. Instinctively, she leaped back with a cry. When she wasn’t sucked into outer space, she realized the floor, ceiling, walls were formed from some kind of glass, but not a type she was familiar with. This material showed no reflection at all. She inched a foot into the room, relieved to find solid floor beneath her slippers. Bolder, she crept inside. The door slid shut. Penelope gulped. Emptiness swirled around her. It was disorienting to be surrounded by nothing yet feel solidness beneath her feet. The Drusilians must have amazing abilities to create something like this.

She loved traveling to new worlds—and space stations—and experiencing alien technology up close and personal. There was so much to see and to learn! As endless as space itself, the galaxy contained infinite wonders. Since the launch of Sputnik centuries ago, Terra had achieved great technological strides—evidenced by her standing on an alien space station. But there was so much more to learn from other races on other planets.

Extending her arms, so she didn’t slam into a wall she couldn’t see, she advanced. Finally, she touched an invisible barrier. Energized glass? A force field?

Penelope peered into the black. Stars, solid points of light, extended out to forever. She was alone in the silent vastness.

She marveled, taking a cleansing, tension-releasing breath.

A rough hand clapped over her mouth, and she was jerked against a massive, solid form. “Do exactly what I tell you, and you won’t get hurt,” a gravelly voice rasped in her ear. A hard, male body flattened her against the transparent barrier.

Married to the Cyborg is currently in editing and will be released later this month (September). Download instructions will be provided in an upcoming newsletter issue. Subscribe here.
About Cara Bristol
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.

Connect with Cara via the following: Author Newsletter, Author Website, Facebook Author Page, Amazon Author page, Goodreads Author Page, Personal Facebook or Twitter.