Interview with author Jenna Bennett

It is a pleasure to welcome Jenna Bennett (Jennie Bentley), who is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and the Savannah Martin real estate mysteries for her own gratification. She also writes a variety of romance for a change of pace, including the award-winning Soldiers of Fortune science fiction series.

Welcome Jenna to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to talk about your Soldiers of Fortune series.

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

The books in the series (so far) are Fortune’s Hero and Fortune’s Honor.

The Good Fortune is a space freighter whose crew was arrested for ferrying weapons to the insurgents on a planet called Marica, which is under siege by Rhenian forces, the military from a neighboring planet called Rhene. The Rhenians are afraid of invasion into their nexus through a wormhole in Marican space, and because Marica is a poor, agricultural planet without much in the way of defensive forces, they’ve decided they ought to go in and ‘protect’ Marica.

Fortune’s Hero is Quinn, the captain of the Good Fortune. When the first book starts, he’s captive in the prison colony on the moon Marica-3, being put to the question. He escapes, and then spends the rest of the book trying to figure out how to get back into the prison to get the rest of his crew out.

And Fortune’s Honor is about the ship’s translator, a young man named Holden Sinclair. In the second book, the crew has made it downside to the planet Marica. Holden comes across Quinn’s old girlfriend, who was the one who betrayed them to the Rhenians in the first place, and has to make a decision about whether to leave her in the bad place she’s in, or help her get away.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Not to me personally, but I do think about the meaning of the names when I name my characters. Quinn’s last name is Conlan – Irish – which means hero. Holden Sinclair’s last name means clear and bright. Elsa Brandeis is Quinn’s love interest in Book 1, and her last name is made up of Brand and Eis, which means Fire and Ice in a combination of Northern European/Germanic languages. Quinn calls her the Ice Bitch, until he gets to know her.

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

That’s a long story…

Back in February of 2010, I was a member of a group blog called The Working Stiffs. It was mostly a group of mystery writers, which is mostly what I am.

One of our members was named Wilfred Bereswill, and he loved to write short fiction. I, on the other hand, can’t write anything short, and Will knew it. For February 2010, he challenged us all to a flash fiction contest: write a complete story in 200 words. (He told me later he made it 200 instead of 100 because he knew at 100, I’d simply refuse to try.)

Nobody else seemed to have a problem, and I’m nothing if not competitive, so I kept at it until I had something resembling a complete story that was exactly 200 words. (I had to massage it to get there. It was more when I first wrote it.) And for some reason, it was about this guy sitting in a prison on the outer edge of the back-beyond of space, wanting to die. I had never considered writing SF before – although I do occasionally read it – but that’s the character that came into my mind for the story.

Funnily enough, when we posted the stories on the blog and invited the readers to guess who had written what story, everyone thought Will had written mine.

I didn’t do anything more with it for six months or so, but Quinn kept popping into my head every so often. He had a story he wanted me to tell, and he wasn’t about to be quiet until I did. I finally gave in.

I eventually sold the series to a publisher as a four-book series, so I got the last laugh after all. I really can’t write anything short.

Will passed away a couple of years ago, very suddenly, but not before the first book was released, and dedicated to him.

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

Having a sense of humor, I guess. It’s pretty important for survival in any situation, whether as a writer or not. And yes, the first book is full of gallows humor. Quinn knows he probably won’t survive, isn’t even sure he wants to survive, but he manages to find the humor in the situations he’s in anyway.

What makes you laugh?

I’m a typical writer. I love word puns. :)

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

I’m really not an SF writer, so I had research space and space ships and physics and all sorts of things like that. Boring stuff. I’d much rather just write a story about people, you know? People are the interesting things.

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

I’m a huge fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, so there are similarities to her books. And while I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, I grew up in Europe, where the memories of WWII were still alive and well while I was a girl. My parents lived through it, and so did several of my teachers. My mother would get very uncomfortable every time the air raid siren would go off, even though she knew they were just testing to make sure the sirens still worked. I had blackout curtains on my windows into the 1970s and 80s. We used them as roller shades at night. As a result of growing up with constant reminders of The War, the Rhenians have some distinctly Nazi-like traits. A lot of what I write deals with racial prejudice in some way, and this series is no exception. I also like things like real estate and architecture – former real estate agent – so all my books are full of descriptions of buildings.

What’s next?

There’s supposed to be two more books in the series: Fortune’s Hope and Fortune’s Hour. The first is about Toby Flatt, the Good Fortune’s mechanic, and the last about Isaac Miller, a mercenary who’s been riding with the crew for a couple of years, keeping them safe. They’re long and complicated books to write, though, so it’ll probably take me a couple of years to get there, in between the mysteries. After that, I have an idea for a romantic suspense sort of story set on a space station (most likely) in a different universe than this one, but who knows if I’ll ever get around to writing it. Too many ideas, not enough time.

# # #

Again, thank you Jenna for answering these questions and helping us to become better acquainted with both the Soldiers of Fortune series and yourself.

For more information about Jenna Bennett, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or visit her website, www.jennabennett.com, which includes additional information on the Soldiers of Fortune series.

Interview with a Fangirl: JediTink

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview cosplayer, podcaster, blogger and, of course, fangirl, Sarah Woloski, known as JediTink! I “met” Sarah when she was featured as Fangirl of the Day on July 6, 2013 and have been following her ever since on Twitter, Facebook and of course the Skywalking Through Neverland podcast! In April, I finally met Sarah “in person” at Star Wars Celeberation Anaheim and we had a blast hanging out together.

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

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

I first saw Star Wars backwards!

When I was 10, my older cousins were in town and we were looking for something to do, so they went through this huge list of movies on VHS my dad had recorded and compiled over the years. “Let’s watch ‘Return Of The Jedi’” they proclaimed. Having no idea what this was, I said ok. We watched it and I was hooked! The next night, a stormy evening, “The Empire Strikes Back” happened to be on TV. Then I watched “A New Hope” the next day. Having seen them in the wrong order, I had to immediately watch them over again in the right order. Throughout that summer I watched and rewatched the Original Trilogy, and got all my friends obsessed as well.

Now, this was 1991, and the amazing Timothy Zahn trilogy was mid-release. Always a reader, I dived into these books with the same abandon as watching the movies.

My love of Star Wars, especially John Williams’ score, grew and grew. For my 16th birthday, I took a bunch of friends to the theater to watch The Empire Strikes Back when the Special Editions re-released in 1997. I remember my friends made me a birthday cake with Star Wars figures on top. I asked if I could keep the figures, but they said no. They belonged to their younger brothers!

My love of Star Wars only grew, and the timing for “The Phantom Menace” could not have been more perfect. I drove straight from my last Final Exam of Senior Year in High School to join my friends in the overnight line to buy tickets for opening night of The Phantom Menace in 1999. What an experience!

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

Ignore negativity, promote positivity. People are always willing to help if you open yourself up. For me, of late, the Star Wars community I talk with on a regular basis are podcasters. We are always willing to help each other, promote each other and be on each others’ shows! #podcastersunite. It’s a wonderful community and I love being a part of it. Because of this podcasting community, Richard and I have been tapped to kick off DK Publishing’s book tour for “Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know” on Force Friday in San Diego. We are excited to moderate a panel of four Star Wars authors, three of whom we already know because of this wonderful thing called “Star Wars.”

How has social media helped or hindered you?

I adore social media. I first used MySpace, then Facebook. Then I discovered the wonderful world of Twitter. In fact, through @HerUniverse “Fangirl Of The Day,” I’ve met and befriended so many fangirls, including Teresa Delgado and Tricia Barr, my cohosts on Fangirls Going Rogue! In fact, if it weren’t for Twitter, I probably wouldn’t be a part of Fangirls Going Rogue. Also, when I first joined Twitter and had to think up a handle, I conceived “@JediTink.” It was because of this awesome Twitter name that I created my JediTink costume, and she became the mascot for Skywalking Through Neverland.

In promoting our podcast, Skywalking Through Neverland, I’ve learned quite a bit about social media. We’ve cultivated a wonderful, dynamic following on both Facebook and Twitter. It’s become so addictive that I often feel closer to my online friends than those I see face-to-face in real life!

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

Probably Ashley Eckstein’s “Fangirl Of The Day” really made me embrace that title.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Oh my goodness, I adore Disney movies and Disneyland. Harry Potter books are a must. And now Disney Infinity is a big obsession of mine. Let’s see – let’s head to my Twitter profile and see what it says: “StarWars Disney fangirl. Loves John Williams, cosplay, running and Julie Andrews. Happy wife happy life.” Yup. That sums me up.

Thank you again Sarah for this interview and sharing your Fangirl story with us.

***

Of course, you can learn more about Sarah by following her through the following:

Podcast: SkywalkingThroughNeverland.com
Subscribe on iTunes & YouTube

Contributor: AdventuresByDaddy.com
Podcast Host: Fangirls Going Rogue on RebelForce Radio

tweet tweet! @SkywalkingPod @JediTink

Interview with an Author: Rinelle Grey

It is a pleasure to welcome Rinelle Grey, author the science fiction romance series, Barren Planet Romances.

Welcome Rinelle 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.

Thanks for this opportunity!

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

The title of my series, Barren Planet Romances, began with the first book, which is set on a polluted planet that has a very harsh winter. It’s a challenge for the inhabitants to survive, and I wanted the series title to reflect that too. The word barren has a double meaning, in that it also refers to my protagonist, who is unable to have children. It is less obvious at first how it fits with the second book in the series, which is set on a heavily populated planet, but in this case, it is the government who is restricting it’s population from further increasing. As a second tie in, this planet has moved most of their food production off planet, a fact that’s going to become a problem for them very soon as they run out of rocket fuel! The other books in the series continue these themes as well.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

The names don’t have any particular significance to me, but they have come to do so after living with the characters for so long. For most of my fantasy/sci-fi romances, I tend to make up names by putting together sounds/syllables until they sound good. It is interesting that at least two of my heros have names beginning with T though!

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

I didn’t even realise that I was writing sci-fi romance initially. I just had this idea where a spaceship crashes on a planet, and ran with it. It wasn’t until I was trying to figure out where it fitted into the Amazon categories that I realised sci-fi romance was a genre. Now I’m enjoying exploring all the other great writers who write in this genre too!

My love of sci-fi in general though was inspired by my husband, who used to tape Stargate every week and bring it around to my place to watch together. He followed this up by introducing me to Star Trek, and the rest is history. I always loved the episodes with hints of romance in them, so it’s not really surprising that I put the two of them together.

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

Sane? Who said I was sane?

Seriously though, I think a willingness to roll with the punches, and adapt on the fly is essential to being a writer, both for fitting my writing in around my family, and for coping with my characters, who always throw in the unexpected. This is definitely reflected in my characters, who have to cope with some unusual and unexpected challenges, that make my dealing with paint spilled on the floor or the sudden need for a bandaid seem like child’s play.

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

I’ve had some really interesting research for this one. A lot of it centering around meteor strikes, and the damage they do. I found a really cool online tool that allowed you to set the size, material, impact speed of a meteor, and centre it’s hit at any point on a map of the Earth. That was fun to play with!

What makes you laugh?

I seem to spend a lot of time laughing at silly YouTube videos my daughter or husband are watching lately. Oh, and my mum’s dogs, they’re always up to trouble.

What makes you cry?

This is a harder one. Usually anyone going through a tough time, especially one I can relate to.

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

I’m a big fan of a lot of different sci-fi shows – Stargate, Star Trek, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and of course, Star Wars. You’ll definitely see reflections of the situations I’ve watched reflected in my stories. In fact, the first book in my Barren Planet Romances series is a popular trope in these series, the handsome pilot is stuck on a planet, thinking he will never get home, so he falls in love with one of the local women.

Again, thank you Rinelle for answering these questions and helping us to become better acquainted with you and the Barren Planet Romances series.

If you read a Rinelle Grey story, you can trust in a happy ending. Love will always triumph, even if it seems impossible… Rinelle Grey writes feel-good romance usually in science fiction or fantasy settings. Her heroines are independent and headstrong, and her stories are hard to put down.

The first book in the Barren Planet Romance series is available for free on Amazon, iBooks and Nook.

Rinelle grew up in a remote area of Australia, without power, hot water, or a phone, but now lives with all of those and her (happily ever after) husband, daughter, chooks, ducks and veggie garden.

Sign up for her mailing list to be notified when new books are released, read her blog, Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Surviving Outbound by Liza O’Connor. MEET BLUE

Surviving Outbound Allotted sleep time banner

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Who put Blue on Earth?

Short answer: no one knows.

BlBlue profileue remembers being taken away from his planet and moved to Earth, but he doesn’t recall anything about the person. Probably due to the sack over his head. When it was removed he stood among a hundred brown calves at an auction.

He looked down and was surprised to discover he was also brown. Certain he should be blue, the fact confused him. Realizing the calves before him were being taken away when the man with gavel yelled ‘sold’, Blue studied the buyers for the best in the bunch. He settled on a lanky blonde. Reading her preference for the color blue, he changed his color and then focused on her while thinking “Pick the blue one”. When he came up, he portrayed himself as a lame sick calf to all but the blonde.  Not a single person other than the blonde bid on him, and she got him with her first bid.

When the blonde took him to his new home, he met Saran and fell in love. She had the purist sweetest soul that he’d ever seen. He was very pleased with his selection of buyers until he met Saran’s supposed father. While Saran was pure light, this man was pitch black. He might have left their farm and tried to find a better home, only he couldn’t leave Saran. He needed to stay and protect her.

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Surviving Outbound

By

Liza O’Connor

 Blurb

Saran along with her ‘not dead, just no longer human’ soul-bond—Tamara, and their giant blue bull leave in search of a handler so Blue can escape Earth and travel outbound. The man Saran meets and falls in love with turns out to be Tamara’s husband. Their spiritual joining of three sets into play a prophecy written long ago. Together, they become Tamsarandem, the most powerful soul-bond in all the multiverses.

The shamans pay for their voyage to Terranue, an unknown planet, never before colonized by humans. In return, Tamsarandem must look after the other colonists and help them to prosper and find their Paths of Light. They will need to do this mostly on their own, for the Gods are running out of authorized interventions. However, the God Pane, with the help of the sentient ship-computer, Marybell, constantly search for clever workarounds to ensure The Path of Light will reign supreme upon the final collapse. But there is only so much they can do within their bureaucratic rules.

Having failed to stop Tamsarandem from leaving Earth, those who walk the Path of Darkness embed their own people, including their darkest lord, on the ship to ensure it will never arrive at Terranue.

Excerpt

SaranSaran was glad Blue had cleared out a wider space. It allowed her to move to his side and lean against him. “Do you mind if I lean on you, Blue?”

He shook his head in wide sweeps, which meant he truly did not object, for he never shied from the truth. With such an assurance, she let his massive bulk take more of her weight. “I know you must be terribly hungry. Neither of us has eaten in two days.” His head swung around and his massive blue tongue licked her scratched ankles.

“I know. I should have worn trousers instead of a long skirt, and we should have brought ample supplies. Only, Tamara said we had to leave at once.”

Blue nodded as his large black eyes gazed at her. When she scratched his head, his body resonated with deep rumblings.

Weak from exhaustion and hunger, Saran’s legs gave way. Instead of allowing her to fall, Blue knelt down so she could lay on his back rather than the scraggle branches. “You’re such a good bull. I’m glad you’re finally going to get to go outbound. Only, I’ll miss you terribly.”

Blue grunted and sighed heavily before plopping his head upon the thorny bed.

Sales Link

Book 2: Surviving Outbound

Amazon

Book 1: The Gods of Probabilities

Amazon

About Author

Liza is a multiple genre author of 15 novels. A Late Victorian Series, The Adventures of Xavier & Vic, plus a spinoff, A Right to Love, is an ongoing series.    A Long Road to Love is a humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance series of five books. She has two single books. One is a humorous, bad boys contemporary novel with ghosts, called Ghost Lover, the other is Untamed & Unabashed, a spinoff from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Now, she’s rolling out her Science fiction series (with romance & humor) called The Multiverses. The first four books are slotted for last half of 2015.  In addition she hopes, if she hasn’t dropped from exhaustion by then, to re-release a sometimes humorous/suspense thriller called Saving Casey

Social Networks

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Multiverse Blog

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Multiverse series 4

Interview with a Fangirl: Corrina Lawson

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, Corrina Lawson. I met Corrina through the SFR Brigade, which is a group of Science Fiction Romance Creators/Editors and of course through her articles on GeekMom.com.

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

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

It was a long progression for me because when I grew up, being a fangirl was something to be avoided. Boys were the geeks, girls were supposed to not like stuff like comics, SF/F sports, etc. I realized early that I was different but was tagged instead as a “tomboy.”

It wasn’t until I had kids and started to write for GeekDad and then founded GeekMom.com that I realized what a total fangirl I was and owned the “geek” part of me.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has connected me to everyone in my fiction and non-fiction writing career. The first site I wrote for, Sequentialtart.com, asked me to join the staff because of something I wrote on their forums. (Predictably, it was a rant.) And all my fiction writing friends live far away. Without social media, I’d never have met my first critique partner, all the people in the Romance Writers of America, my writing mentor, Jennifer Crusie, and my current writing friends.

Without social media, I wouldn’t even *have* a career.

That said, there’s an ugly side to social media. I’ve been threatened with physical harm and had plenty of insults tossed my way. I’m generally able to ignore them. Perhaps it’s my reporting background.

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 first in a theater. Confession: it was the first release and I was 11 at the time. :) I loved it right away but it didn’t have the impact on me that seeing original Star Trek reruns did. Besides, I’d gone to see Star Wars because I was already addicted to SF/F. It increased my love of the genre but didn’t start it.

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

I’m mostly immersed in the superhero comics community and I’ve met so many great people, from readers to creators, and ended up even moderating Gail Simone’s forums. They’ve been so supportive, especially meeting other women who loved comics like me. I thought I was alone.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Let’s see: Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones (books), Batman/Gotham comics, Marvel heroes, Sherlock Holmes, any and all writing craft stuff, 1980s songs, Lois Lane, classic movies, Nora Robert’s J.D. Robb In Death series, Wonder Woman, loose tea blends….I get geeky about a lot of stuff.

But you can see the Sherlock Holmes influence in my steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, and the X-Men influence in the Phoenix Institute superhero series.

Oh, and the English Plantagenets. I had the Plantagenet Chronicles by Thomas Costain growing up and ended up memorizing the entire English royal line from William I to Elizabeth II. However, my favorite historical figure isn’t one of the kings, it’s William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, the greatest knight of the Middle Ages. (So fun that I managed to write him into one of my books, Ghost Phoenix.)

And who knows what else I’ve find in the future? Right now, I’m intensely interested in Columbo reruns. I’ve been DVRing them off the Hallmark HD channel and watching. What a master class in mystery writing and Peter Falk is adorable.

Thank you again Corrina for this interview and letting us get to know you better.

***
Corrina Lawson is a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. A mom of four, she now works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director and co-founder of GeekMom.com. You can connect with her through her articles on GeekMom.com, her website, www.corrina-lawson.com, Facebook Page and of course on Twitter: @CorrinaLawson.
***


Curse of the Brimstone Contract is available on Amazon.com

Excerpt From Grand Master’s Game

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl presents this excerpt Aurora Springer’s latest release is GRAND MASTER’S GAME.

Spin across the galaxy as Violet and her Grand Master hunt their enemies.

Cracks in the portal web threaten galactic civilization, and suspicions fall on the mysterious Grand Masters with their immense psychic powers. Once, there were twelve Grand Masters, humans and aliens, on the Council. Now there are eleven. One was killed when the young pawn, Violet, rescued her Grand Master, Athanor, from the Red Queen’s dungeon. The Red Queen fled the fight and now she lurks out of sight, regenerating her energies.

Athanor devises a risky plan to expose his enemies on the Council and force the Red Queen into the open. His strategy will employ Violet’s empathic skills as his secret weapon. Meanwhile, she wrestles with her erratic talents and doubts about their unequal partnership. In their search for revenge, they contend with the portal crisis, psychic traps and hostile aliens. In the inevitable battle of Grand Masters, Violet and Athanor each will face their worst nightmares. What is the sacrifice for victory?

Excerpt from Grand Master’s Game

The Professor’s office was large, furnished with a desk, side table, couch and several chairs. Leather-bound books filled the shelves on one wall, while a landscape on the opposite wall attracted Violet’s interest.

Phineas stood up politely when they entered, and Violet hid her amusement at the contrast between the two men. Even disguised and shielded, Athanor exuded an air of authority tinged with menace, while the Professor was a bright-eyed academic brimming with curiosity. Phineas straightened and stared at his visitors. Usually, he was the authority in his office. He was both disgruntled and curious about the grim man examining his books. He noticed Violet gazing at the picture, and waved a hand at the landscape, saying, “It is a scene from my home planet of Phylox alpha.”

Violet was admiring the picture, while Athanor ran his finger over the spines of the books to read their titles, when they heard quick footsteps in the corridor.

Tessa stepped into the office and cried in her nervous high-pitched voice, “Oh, Phineas, I didn’t realize you had visitors.” Her beautiful face brightened on recognizing her friend, Violet, and Tessa ran to hug her.

Athanor frowned at the interruption and the door slammed shut, leaving an unnatural silence.

Tessa stared intently at his saturnine face, which radiated confident pride despite his disguise. Her eyes widened in shocked insight and she yelped, “Violet, he’s your Grand Master!”

They all stared at Athanor. His figure appeared to grow taller and darker. The room filled with psi pressure and blue rays flared from his unveiled eyes. Simultaneously, the clicks from the box sped up until their volume reached a shattering crescendo. Athanor’s gaze flicked to the box and the clicks halted abruptly.

Tessa gasped and clutched at her chest.

Violet called, “Stop! Mute your power or Tessa will faint!” The psi pressure lessened and his eyes dimmed to a faint blue glow.

The Professor paled beneath his tan. Tessa squeaked and fled to the comforting arms of her fiancé.

“It is all right, Tessa,” Phineas said in a shaky voice. “He does not mean to harm us.”

“You’d be dead!” The Grand Master’s mental snarl reached Violet, and she restrained the urge to give him a mental kick. In her opinion, a friendly approach would serve him better. The two people trembling behind the desk were not the enemies he wished to crush in a blast of power.

The Grand Master pointed a finger at the metal box on the desk and demanded, “What is the purpose of that noisy contraption?”

Phineas gulped, “It’s my invention. An instrument for detecting psychic power.” He patted the shiny top of the box. “Did you break it?”

“You are fortunate. I merely located the off switch,” Athanor said. The blue beams from his eyes played over the box.

“How could you touch the switch from the other side of the office?” Tessa’s voice was shrill.

The Professor gulped again and muttered, “My dear Tessa, he is a Grand Master.”

“Just so. I suggest you keep your detector well away from Council Hall.” The room vibrated with the ominous undertone.

Violet giggled. She caught Athanor’s blue gaze and sent, “Show off!”

He tossed her an image of the box exploding on exposure to the full power of twelve Grand Masters.

Bio:

Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved her life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven romances set in weird worlds described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Aurora has published science fiction romances in two series, two novellas and short stories. Her first series, Atrapako on Eden, describes the interactions of humans on the terraformed planet of Eden with scaled aliens from the hostile planet of Vkani. She has published two books in this series: The Lady is Blue and Dragons of Vkani. Her second series is Grand Master’s Trilogy. Book 1, Grand Master’s Pawn, and Book 2, Grand Master’s Game, are published. Her short story, Gifts of Jangalore, is set in the Grand Masters’ Universe. Her standalone novellas are: A Tale of Two Colonies and Captured by the Hawk.

You can find out more about Aurora and her writing via her Blog, her author page on Amazon.
You can connect her via social media as well through Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Interview with Fangirls: Johna and Maria


I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!


Today, it is my pleasure to interview two fangirls! Johnamarie and her Mom, Maria who are not only fangirls, but also have their own podcast together, Rebels Chat! I met these awesome fangirls first through Twitter and of course through http://thewookieegunner.com. I was estatic to meet them in person at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim and am thrilled that they both agreed to this interview!

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

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

Johna: I knew I was a fangirl the moment I started searching the Web in my early teen years for fan fiction based on some of my favorite television shows and movies. I remember being obsessed with Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. I used to make fan-made music videos and write my own fan fiction, and my first GeoCities website was dedicated to the Stargate universe. I like to think I was a fangirl long before that, but I didn’t start acting on my fangirl interests until those early teen years in junior high and high school.

Maria: I think I’ve always known that I’m a fangirl. The terminology was not there when I was a young girl, but the sentiments and the ideas behind it were normal for me. It wasn’t until my daughter’s generation came around and gave it a name that I chose to adopt it.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Johna: Social media has been a great tool to reach out to a wider audience and make new friends. It’s a great space to interact with a variety of people, but it also has its downside. There’s an ugly side to all fandoms and places like Twitter and Tumblr tend to generate a lot of negative attitudes. It’s easy to write something down that you would normally not say in person to someone else. People feel a sense of power in that and feel the compulsion to say/write anything without consideration. Despite that, social media has a light side in that it brings people together, and oftentimes, there’s a sense of solidarity and those are the moments I enjoy the most.

Maria: Social media has helped me because it has enhanced the relationship with my daughter and the way I communicate with young people her age. I know what they’re talking about because it’s accessible to me, so rather than seeing it as a hindering point, like most parents, I see it as a tool to communicate.

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

Johna: According to my mom, the first time I saw Star Wars was in the theater as a baby. It must have been in a local re-run theater, since I was born in 1986. My clearest memory of seeing Star Wars, though, was on a Sunday afternoon. It was playing on WB11, and I remember sitting on the floor in front of the television and falling in love with it right from the start.

Maria: I saw Star Wars for the first time during the late 70s or early 80s in Puerto Rico, and I loved it right away. It was different. It was space–the final frontier!

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

Johna: Through interacting with others in the fandom, I’ve learned to be more positive. As mentioned before, there’s a lot of negativity and cyber bullying, so I try to live life with a more positive outlook and support others along the way. Life is already hard enough, right? So spreading more cheer not only makes others feel good, but it makes me feel heaps better at the end of the day.

Maria: I’ve learned to be open to the differences out there. Normally, we tend to stay within our own idea or concept of how things should be. This whole community and the way my daughter’s generation expresses their fandom has helped me become more open and accepting, and even though I wouldn’t do podcasting on my own, I understand why other people are doing whatever it is they’re doing–whether it’s creating costumes or listening to other fans, like in Rebels Chat.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Johna: Before Star Wars took over my life, I was (and I still am) a big fan of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. The Stargate franchise played a significant role in my life–I don’t know where I’d be without it. I’m also a huge fan of Tron, Tron: Legacy, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Star Trek, and much more.

Maria: I’ve always loved music. I’ve always felt music expresses a myriad of emotions and it’s an outlet to just let go in a moment of rage, sadness, or happiness. You just let go and express yourself. I also fangirl about Doctor Who because I just love that show. Who doesn’t?! This is a man who has lived longer than any other creature in the universe and has experienced it not only through his first life but through the eyes of all those other personalities that he has adopted during each regeneration. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

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

Johna: Being a fangirl is a lot of fun, so don’t shy away from embracing that part of yourself. As fangirls, it’s important that we support each other and continue to grow as a community. I love being a fangirl and I do my best every day to encourage fellow fangirls and make them feel included.

Maria: Don’t be afraid to express yourself, but always be mindful of those who are different. Accept that not everybody is going to be accepting of you because that is a fact, but don’t let it stop you.


What inspired you to start Rebels Chat?

Johna: I created Rebels Chat with two reasons in mind. First, I wanted another outlet to talk about my deep love for Rebels, and second, I wanted to spend more time with my mom. We both work during the weekdays and she normally spends her weekends elsewhere, so this one allocated block of time is our way to sit down, talk, and laugh.

Maria: I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend time with my daughter. I talked about this before in the podcast, but children tend to go off in their own ways once they reach adulthood, so Rebels Chat is a way to hold onto that relationship with my daughter and enjoy what she enjoys.

How do you decide what topics to discuss?

Johna: I spend hours writing our show notes! They’re usually 2-3 pages long and they normally contain observations, theories, and highlights of the latest Star Wars Rebels episode in addition to the script we follow along throughout the recording.

How much time do you spend recording and editing?

Johna: During the first season, we watched the new episodes on Monday nights. We would then re-watch the episode on Wednesday nights prior to recording. The recording process would last about an hour or an hour and a half. I would then go straight into editing and that takes about three or four hours. I’m very meticulous when it comes to cleaning up the audio and making sure listeners of the show have a fun and entertaining episode.

If you can have any Fangirl or guest on your podcast, who would that be?

Johna: I’d love to have so many people from the fan community join us as guests! I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of recording audio from multiple people. That’s the reason why I haven’t had guests in the first place! I’ve been meaning to set up something with Vanessa Marshall. She’s such a wonderful supporter of the fans! It’d also be my dream to have Dave Filoni and my mom have a deep conversation about Ezra and the team, but I definitely want to have Sal Perales from the Rogue Rebels in the show in the near future because he’s Rebels Chat’s number one fan and I love his enthusiasm and passion for Star Wars!

Maria: Matt Smith from Doctor Who, so he can talk about Star Wars Rebels with me!

Thank you Johna and Maria again for agreeing to the interview and letting us get to know you both of you!

Guest Post: Taking New Orleans into the Future?

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author and guest blogger Pauline Baird Jones.

Pauline is here today to talk about what inspired her to take New Orleans into the future in her An Uneasy Future Series.

Take it away Pauline!

Taking New Orleans into the Future?

It is exhilarating and heart-breaking to come to the end of a series. You type that last “The End” and you’re SO happy, then you look around and “What’s next” hits you upside the head. I had started a romantic suspense series, set in present day New Orleans, called The Big Uneasy, but I wanted, I needed to be writing some made-up science fiction. I chortle with glee at making it up (though I think my high school science teacher thinks I started making it up back then…)
And then Heather Massey at Galaxy Express, wrote a blog post wish list that included some science fiction mystery and I got that idea bulb over my head. I was already researching New Orleans, what if I followed my Bakers—and New Orleans—into the future?

But—what future? What would New Orleans be like in the future?

At first I went all Jetsons in my head. It would be all shiny and new and—not New Orleans. New Orleans doesn’t mind shiny, but it clings tenaciously to its past, too. So I started looking at the past to get clues into its fictional (but possibly possible) future.
There were things I wanted to keep for sure: the music, the food, the parties, the easy, the people. I saw this meme on Facebook in July with this quote attached:

“In other cities, as Old World cultures broke down, people became Americans. In New Orleans, as Old World cultures broke down, people became New Orleanians.” –Joe Logsdon

That hasn’t changed that much, or hadn’t went circumstances moved us on to a new adventure. I really wanted my future New Orleans to be as connected to the past as the New Orleans we lived in for 18 years, the city that care forgot until Katrina.

That would be the other thing that would be the same: the weather. No sassy weather control machines in the future, at least not yet (I love that about SF, you never have to say never). My New Orleans would be about managing the weather, not controlling it.

So future New Orleans—New Orleans New—began to emerge from the fog inside my head. There would be changes, because, hey, future! But generally the changes emerge from trying to solve problems which often created other problems and problems are the engines of plots…

One of the biggest problems New Orleans has right now is that so much of it is below sea level. (I almost had a heart attack when I was driving next to the river and looked up to see an ocean sized ship going by ABOVE me.) They’ve spent a lot of years drying out land, only to have it flood and building levees and—

Hmmm…I had some alien first contact in my Project Enterprise series. What if first contact with aliens got out to general populace and the world got some shiny new technology—like anti-grav platforms able to raise entire cities right out of the swamps and flood zones? There’d be all kinds of benefits. Land that had been concrete could be farmed. Green spaces returning would benefit the atmosphere. Throw in some anti-collision thrusters and let the good times roll? What could possibly go wrong?

Cue disaster incoming soundtrack here…

Let’s face it, Mother Nature is going to stay the same, now and into the future. She’ll look at our shiny tech, laugh and bring it.

In Core Punch, boy does she bring it. The Hurricane Naming Board calls it Hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe (WTF—oops!) and it earns it moniker in spades.

Oh, those unintended and unforeseen consequences that we find out about in Sucker Punch.
And because this is a mystery series, too, there’s murder, a crime solving duo—one an alien cop on an inter-galactic exchange program, the other a Baker descendent who has been having trouble getting a date because she’s related to most of the police force (The Bakers tend to be a bit prolific), all of it with New Orleans style and with a futuristic twist.

I probably won’t be alive when 2061 arrives, so I’ll never how close, or how far off the mark, I am with my vision of an Uneasy Future. But it sure was fun visiting it, if only in my imagination.

What do you think the future of New Orleans, or your city will be like?

Spinning off The Big Uneasy and Project Enterprise…

Welcome to An Uneasy Future!

About An Uneasy Future Series

Welcome to New Orleans’ and

An Uneasy Future…

Earth date: 2061 Location: New Orleans New (NON)

Welcome to the future. Much has changed in future New Orleans, but some things never will. The food. The music. The weather. The crime rate…


Amazon | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks | Nook

Core Punch

A kiss may be all they have life expectancy for.

When an intergalactic cop exchange program serves up an alien partner for NONPD Detective Violet Baker, she can’t help wishing the handsome alien would be a little less Joe Friday about keeping the pleasure out of their business. Yeah, he’s kind of purple and she can’t pronounce his name to save her life, but he’s almost the only guy in the New Orleans New police department that she’s not related to.

Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn has come a long way hunting the evil that has infiltrated Vi’s floating city. When he meets his charming partner, he discovers another reason to stamp out evil. If only he wasn’t keeping so many secrets from her…

When an epic hurricane heads their way, they are sent dirt side to New Orleans Old (NOO) on a rescue mission. But murder and sabotage strands them in the heart of the raging storm.
As they fight for their lives, Joe realizes that the evil he’s hunting is actually hunting them….


Amazon | Kobo | Google Play| iBooks | Nook

Sucker Punch

Vi never liked math and aftermath isn’t floating her boat either…

Hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe has moved north. Yeah, the storm almost killed Detective Violet Baker, but it also blew some romance her way. Her uptight partner, Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn actually kissed her.

But there’s no time for any follow-up kissing, much to Vi’s regret. They are hunting something very bad. Something that tried to kill them while they were dirt side during the storm.

And has now escaped up into New Orleans New.

It’s not business as usual, though there is some deja vu in there, when Vi and Joe get sent to a FEMA camp to check out a dead body.

Until that body turns into a trail that might lead to the evil it. Or to its next victim.

Just when Vi thinks things are crapeau enough, the MITSC (Men In Top Secret Color) show up and take over their case. Are they after Joe or the evil it?

Before they can find out, the evil it lures them into a trap.

It’s ‘it’ versus them and it hasn’t lost yet…

Thanks Pauline for giving us a glimpse of what inspired you to write this series!

About the author: Pauline never liked reality, so she writes books. Sixteen of them, actually. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance.

You can learn more about Pauline and her stories through the following:

Website: http://www.paulinebjones.com

Blog: http://www.paulinebjones.com/BlogWP/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPaulineBairdJones

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulinebjones

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/247227.Pauline_Baird_Jones

Guest Post: Modern Romance in Steampunk

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author and guest blogger AR DeClerck.

AR is here today to talk about the balance between Victorian restraint and modern sexuality in her Steampunk stories.

Take it away AR!

Modern Romance in Steampunk: Victorian Restraint and Modern Sexuality

A lot of readers tell me that steampunk is dry reading. Dry? The flowery language of Victorian times, the restraint and decorum of the upper-class, and the singular understanding of ‘romance’ make it much harder to tell a ‘spicy’ romantic story. Right?
Wrong. In all actuality writing a romance novel inside the constraints of what was considered ‘acceptable’ during Victorian times makes it a considerably challenging task. It is not, however, impossible. In steampunk romance there are many considerations that take into account the class of the characters, the setting in which they meet and become romantically involved, and the secret way that couples communicate. Upper class Victorian couples did not, as a matter of course, engage in sex before marriage but that doesn’t mean that romance was dead. Secret rendezvous, stolen kisses and innuendo were as arousing as actual physical contact.
With steampunk there are considerably less restraints on the author writing romance. This is an alternate evolution of the history of the world, in which the Industrial Revolution went by the wayside in favor of steam power. Anything and everything is possible when the author has full license over the history of the world. Writers can choose to keep the heavy strictures of society or to leave them by the wayside all together. With a hero and heroine engaged in life filled with steampunk history, they have all the advantages of modern couples. Equality, acceptance of sexuality, and even the possibility for pre-marital sex if the author chooses it. (I tend to write my steampunk characters inside the historically accurate societal boundaries because I like to make them extremely uncomfortable when they end up breaking these rules in order to be together. It lends itself to humor and gives me some complex issues to work against.)
In The Alchemist’s Kiss, Icarus and Cora Mae are not your typical Victorian couple. They live together, work together, and usually argue together, in a time when such a partnership would be the talk of the ton. Add to that the fact that Cora was born and raised in America, and society already has an instant dislike for their relationship. Why, then, does it work? This is a London where magic is accepted and practiced without stricture; a time when science and steam are fighting with magic for dominance. Icarus is the protector of London, its Warden, and so with his status comes some acceptance of his unusual relationship with his protégé.
SO to all those readers who wonder if steampunk romance is filled with dry British humor and awful innuendo, the answer is YES. But, it is also a genre where ANYTHING is possible. That means that authors can write steamy sex scenes between upper-class Lords and Ladies, they can show the kinky, the sexy, and the deeply emotional side to these relationships because their worlds are simply that. THEIR WORLDS. Romance is entirely possible in steampunk. You can find every type of romance, from sweet, to fade-to-black, to as-hot-as-you-like-it because nothing is impossible.
For those who haven’t tried steampunk before I’d suggest Bec McMaster as a starting point. Her London Steam series mixes paranormal romance with steampunk and eases the transition for most readers. The heroes are HOT, the heroines strong and capable and the romance sizzling.

Thank you AR for helping us to understand Romance in Steampunk stories and the delicate balance of Victorian restraint and modern sexuality.

AR DeClerck is a wife, mother of 2 and an avid reader and writer. She lives in the Quad Cities, IL along the Mississippi with her husband and 2 daughters. She reads as much as she can, and writes in every spare moment. She writes adventure romance in many sub-genres like scifi, steampunk and fantasy.

Find AR through the following:

www.facebook.com/authoramydeclerck
www.twitter.com/@ARDeClerck
www.sites.google.com/site/amydeclerckauthor

STEAMPUNK NOVELS:


The Alchemist’s Kiss


The Clockwork Countenance (part of the Infinite Possibilities Box Set)

Interview with a Fangirl: Natacha Guyot


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,scholar and, of course, fangirl, Natacha Guyot. I met Natacha through the Star Wars fan community and I am looking forward to meet her in person, at Star Wars Celebration Europe next year.


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

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

We don’t have an equivalent for “fangirl” in French (or “fanboy” for that matter). We just say “fan”. I realized it, at least on a semi-conscious level, when I was a child in elementary school. I was a huge Star Wars fan even then and loved to recreate stories from the movies (and beyond) a lot, whether it was playing with friends or when on my own with my Barbie dolls. My first written story, even before I knew what fanfiction was, was a sequel to Return of the Jedi, that I wrote when I was eight or so.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

I am grateful for social media. It has allowed me to meet fellow fans across the globe. I have been introduced to vidding, fanfiction, fan art, roleplaying and more thanks to the Internet. While social media helps me a lot on a professional level, it doesn’t take anything away from my fannish enthusiasm that I can share on it too. I am lucky to write a lot about things I’m passionate about so my professional and fannish sides/circles can easily overlap one another.

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

The first thing I ever saw on TV was the Muppet Show episode with members of the Star Wars cast. I was 2 year old and already fell in love with it. I saw the original trilogy when I was 7 and from then on, it was a big passion in my life. I got my first book from the EU (Courtship of Princess Leia) when I was 9 and I had several Star Wars toys as a kid too. I still love my Millennium Falcon I got back then. Star Wars has had a significant influence on my desire to pursue media studies after high school, as well as on my writing altogether.

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

This question reminds me of something I recently posted on Facebook. No matter how the Internet can bring the worse out of people, it can also bring the best. I have met wonderful people online. Of course, there are problematic individuals and I have met my share. But thanks to passions (whether fannish or writing or both), I have made great friends in several countries. Without all of us being fans of the same thing, we may never have met, especially without the internet.  

What else do you Fangirl about?

What about you take a seat and I fetch us some tea and cookies while I try to remember everything I fangirl about? I have always been multifandom and it doesn’t get better with age!

Star Wars is my first love but I also owe a lot to the X-Files (and Gillian Anderson) as well. I love Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Stargate, Babylon 5, The 100, Pacific Rim, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Anne McCaffrey, Highlander, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Disney, Tomb Raider, Buffy, Terminator, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Syberia, Joan D. Vinge, Orphan Black, Philippa Ballantine, My Little Pony, The Last Ship, Tolkien, Alien…

Even throwing movie, TV show, video game, singers, authors and books I fangirl about in this extensive list makes me think I didn’t even get close to name everything I fangirl about. I lack time to keep up with everything but I safely make sure I have everything around when I am able to read/watch/play!

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

Embrace your passions. You are never too old to enjoy this or that book/TV show/movie. If you want to try (or not try) watching/reading/playing something, it’s all good. You can be a fangirl in many ways, whether just talking about what you love, making fan creations, wearing fannish clothing, and so much more! There isn’t one way to be a fangirl. The only bottom line is to treat people with respect, even when you disagree on something. Other than that? Have fun and be proud of being a fangirl!

Thank you again Natacha for this interview and letting us get to know you better.

***

Natacha Guyot is a French author, scholar and public speaker. She works on Science Fiction, Transmedia, Gender Studies, Children Media and Fan Studies. She is a feminist, a fangirl, a bookworm, a vidder, a gamer and a cat lover.

Her released titles include Feminist Bloggers: The 2014 Collection (editor), Before Mako Came Yoko: Comparative Study of Pacific Rim and Yoko Tsuno and La Cité de Sharianth. The New Revised Edition of A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars will be released in September, which will also include new bonus chapters.

She is currently working on other nonfiction titles and also writes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories.

You can connect with her on natachaguyot.org, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook.

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