Archive by Author | Patty Hammond

Interview with Author: EG Manetti

It is a great pleasure to welcome EG Manetti author of the Twelve Systems Chronicles series!

Welcome EG 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

The Twelve Systems Chronicles was selected to convey both science fiction and the epic fantasy. As of February 19, 2019, there are seven volumes and another four or five to come. Why 12 systems, not 10 or 14? That’s my subtle homage to George Lucas and the original Star Wars movies: I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

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

Great question and one that came up in one of my reader groups recently. Super convenient for me because I have the response all set. The character names come from many sources; family, friends, my erratic muse. Some are deliberate choices based on meaning. Others are simply names, although I try to pull from the full range of cultures. A few of the main and supporting characters:

With the heroine, Lilian; it was her name from the first. I have no idea where it came from or why it is spelled as it is. The same is true of the Five Warriors and Adelaide—they and their stories emerged from my psyche full-blown.

The alpha male main character, Lucius took some time to settle – I wanted something that evoked the ruthlessness and warrior culture of ancient Rome, but also Rome’s commitment to law and order. According to ‘Behind the Names’ –Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux “light”. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian.

Lucius’ sons; Cesare & Raphael because I wanted to keep the Latin theme. Cesare Borgia has always fascinated me. Raphael because – art.

Lilian’s mother, Helena is a version of my given name — I couldn’t resist.

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

The story started as a vivid dream that I had the morning before a five-hour car trip. By the time I reached my destination, I had the outline in my head. That I dream in science fiction romance does not surprise me.

I’ve loved science-fiction since I found Captain Kirk and Spock on cable when I was a teenager. Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and Andre Norton were huge favorites that I interspersed with romance authors Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodwiss, Amanda Quick, and others.  Then I discovered Anne McCaffery and science fiction romance – it has been my go-to ever since.  Although I’ve also been heavily influenced by fantasy authors; J.R.R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Jacqueline Carey, and Stephen Donaldson, to name a few.

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

Commitment, determination, endurance, tenacity, and imagination. And yes, Lilian embodies all of these and more.

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

This is my first set of novels. I’ve researched everything from ancient swords and daggers to crystal computing to poisons.

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

I love good world-building, nuanced characters, and well-constructed plot with elements of action and/or suspense. Like Dune or Star Wars it takes place in a galaxy far, far away, although the characters and plot hold the moral nuances of Dune rather than that the clear-cut good versus evil of Star Wars. The society of the Twelve Systems has similarities to twenty-first western culture, but also some critical differences.  It is a ruthless society, driven by power and wealth, rigid and often violent. At the same time, while the class distinctions are extreme, they are based on genealogy, not ethnic group or religion. For all its tolerance of violence, there has not been whole-sale ware in over a millennium, they take care of the environment, and is compassionate with the mentally ill.  Romantic love is rare and not highly valued. Sex is considered a pleasant past-time. Honor, duty, strength are the core of the value system and most relationships.

Where duty and passion collide – The Twelve Systems Chronicles.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This is not a conventional series in terms of romance tropes, one review called it ‘a slow-burn with sex.’ Although the heroine triumphs in every volume, the classic HEA is not an element. Yet. The narrative line is complex, and the series should be read in order. Although sex and romance are integral to the long-term story arc, each volume contains mystery, intrigue, action, adventure and some violence. The sexy bits tend to be more graphic than the violent bits.

According to InD’Tale Magazine: Science fiction is a genre known for its technical and often intricate world building, its epic battles and futuristic technologies. Romance, however, is rarely a required aspect. . . until now. EG Manetti is the newest name and hottest rising star for the very fact that she so beautifully weaves those two elements together. With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I have Goodreads and Facebook pages, a Twelve Systems Chronicles Facebook page as well as a blog.   And there is my monthly newsletter, Red Gems.

Interview with Author: Nix Whittaker

It is a great pleasure to welcome Nix Whittaker author of Lady Golden Hand.

Welcome Nix 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

I did this one backwards. I started with cover with a woman with a brass mechanical hand and the name of the novel Lady Golden Hand just popped into my head. But the series name is based on another series in this world called Wyvern Chronicles. Since this was going to be my first foray into mystery I went with Wyvern Mysteries so at least readers knew what they were getting into and yes there are dragons in this story.

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 particularly in this series. I do like to delve into multiple meanings for the names of my characters but since this was set in 1830’s London I knew I had to stick with the names that were around then. Since this is an anachronistic retelling of history and there was no Queen Victoria I was a little tongue in cheek about calling the dragon Victor. But Rayne was just about having an authentic name to balance out the other liberties I take with history.

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

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

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

So one of the reasons why I like steampunk and Gaslamp is because I can take liberties with history. But I also wanted to stay true to the feel of 1830’s England which meant I had to do some research. It helps that my sister-in-law is busy working in the Tower at the moment and could help with some of the research. Though you’d be surprised what you find like the fact that eye rolling was more about flirting at this time than some sarcastic gesture. Or that newspapers weren’t competitive and shared stories.

What makes you laugh?

Dry wit and since I teach English I love a good pun.

What makes you cry?

Soppy movies. The cornier the better.

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

I love a good romance. So even though all of my stories have strong plots in another genre I always have multiple romantic tropes in there as well. In Lady Golden Hand we have enemy to lover trope as I think the sparks help with the romance.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can always sign up to my newsletter on my website www.nixwhittaker.com where they can get free books and short stories. But I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nix-Whittaker-1540555802866070/

More information on Lady Golden Hand and my other stories are available through the following links:

Lady Golden Hand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MDSP3LW

Blazing Blunderbuss: https://books2read.com/u/31xNd6

The Mechanicals: https://books2read.com/u/mVBM1A

Wyvern’s Trim and other stories: https://books2read.com/u/mvvr0J

The Jade Dragon: https://books2read.com/u/3RVVrY

Ruby Beyond Compare:  https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Yvd

Hero is a man: https://books2read.com/u/b5rn2p

You can run: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YPU0OVQ

Sorrow also sings: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015PHRUUK

Blind Leading: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B9VERNO

Model: Serenity: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FD4HJT9

Model: Scribe: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYNVQCP

Interview with Author: Cynthia Sax

It is a great pleasure to welcome Cynthia Sax author of Choosing Chuckles.

Welcome Cynthia 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

Cynthia Sax:  Chuckles is the name of the cyborg hero of Choosing Chuckles. Cyborgs are assigned a model number when they are manufactured. They give themselves their names. Chuckles is known for being a bit grumpy. His name pokes fun of that. The fact that he has embraced that name tells us he isn’t as bad-tempered as he makes some others believe he is.

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

Cynthia Sax:  I named the heroine of Choosing Chuckles Bettina as a nod to Simone Micheline Bodin aka Bettina. She was considered to be one of the first supermodels and was best known for her beauty, but she was much more than that. She was a designer, a poet and a composer.

Like the supermodel, Bettina, my heroine, is viewed by some beings as merely a pretty face, but she is much more than that. She designs jewelry (not clothes), has honorable, worthy, secret goals that have nothing to do with her beauty.

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

Cynthia Sax:  I fell in cyborg romance after reading stories by Laurann Dohner and Eve Langlais. When they both took a break from their awesome series at the same time, I decided to write the stories I was craving to read.

I was most interested in exploring WHY cyborgs, soldiers manufactured to fight, beings programmed to be loyal, would rebel against their makers. My series, both Cyborg Sizzle and, the new one—Cyborg Space Exploration, are, as a result, a bit darker than some other Cyborg Romance series.

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

Cynthia Sax: A sense of humor is necessary in this wonderful business. I think it is also necessary for a happy life and for relationships. Things go wrong. The unexpected happens.

My main characters, yes, even Chuckles, our grumpy cyborg, all have senses of humor. They might not crack jokes all the time but they do tend to laugh and see the irony in the universe.  

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

Cynthia Sax:  One of my favorite sciences is Evolutionary Biology and I tend to weave that into my Cyborg and SciFi Romances. In Choosing Chuckles, our hero and heroine end up stranded on a rainforest type world. It was great fun crafting new alien species based on existing Earth rainforest creatures.

This, however, requires learning quite a bit about these species. I can talk for hours about the Panamanian white-faced capuchin, for example. (laughs) Yes, I’m a fountain of useless information, as my Dear Wonderful Hubby jokes.

Patty: What makes you laugh?

Cynthia Sax: I have a weakness for VERY bad puns. I also love hearing other people laugh. That usually sets me off. My Dear Wonderful Hubby makes me laugh all the time. He is always making jokes.

Patty: What makes you cry?

Cynthia Sax: If someone else is crying, I’ll cry. I also tend to cry while writing the cry scenes in my own stories. A death of a secondary character will almost always make me cry, especially if that character sacrifices her or himself for another being.

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

Cynthia Sax:  I’m a fan of many Cyborg Romance writers (Laurann Dohner and Eve Langlais being two of my earliest favorites). That has definitely influenced my writing as I would never want to write something that didn’t grow the niche or that brought shame to it. I want to leave Cyborg Romance as great as it was when I first discovered it.

Do no harm. (grins) That sounds very Star Trek-like, doesn’t it?

Patty: Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Cynthia Sax:  Choosing Chuckles is the first story in a Cyborg Sizzle spinoff series called Cyborg Space Exploration. I’ve tried to craft this new series so it could be read on its own, with readers knowing nothing about the Cyborg Sizzle world. But I’ve also tried to craft it so Cyborg Sizzle readers will be super happy. That was a challenging balancing act but, with my awesome editor’s help, I think I accomplished it.

Patty: What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Cynthia Sax: There are many ways for readers to interact with me or find out more about Choosing Chuckles including:

Visiting my Website: http://cynthiasax.com/

Signing up for dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter,   http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter:  @CynthiaSax

Blog:  http://tasteofcyn.com/

More about Choosing Chuckles and where to Pre-Order…

A Cynical Cyborg Meets A Bad, Bad Female.

Chuckles hates all humans. In the past, humans betrayed him. That treachery caused permanent damage to his muscular form, resulting in a lifespan of pain.

When the primitive D Model cyborg answers a distress call sent by a pink-and-blue haired, sparkly human female, he knows it’s a trap. He still has to respond to her fake cry for help. She belongs to him, is the one being genetically fabricated for him. But he plans to be her captor, not her captive.

Bettina, aka Bait, works with a team of females, snaring sexual predators in space, seizing their ships and transporting them to primitive planets. As soon as she speaks with Chuckles, she knows he’s not like the others. He has honor, is a being worthy of respect, of caring.

But she can’t let him go. She has to trap him. His dominance thrills her. His deep voice evokes desires she’d never experienced in the past. She’ll risk it all, breaking every rule for one wild encounter with the male she calls Sir.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Choosing-Chuckles-Cyborg-Space-Exploration-ebook/dp/B07MXQ13WS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Choosing-Chuckles-Cyborg-Space-Exploration-ebook/dp/B07MXQ13WS

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/choosing-chuckles/id1450000541

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choosing-chuckles-cynthia-sax/1130326339

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/choosing-chuckles

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/918618

Interview with Author: Linda Mooney

It is a great pleasure to welcome Linda Mooney author of JEXX.

Welcome Linda 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

JEXX is the name of Jelia and Kaxx when their bodies meld and become a single new entity, the one with enriched powers and energy.

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

I fell in love with the sci-fi genre with Podcayne of Mars, back when I was a kid. My first taste of adult sci-fi romance was Janette Taylor’s Moondust and Madness. Since then, I’ve had the passion to write in that genre.

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

You need a sense of humor, patience, the drive to finish what you start, imagination, and the belief in yourself that, although the book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was important enough for you to tell the story. Therefore the story has worth.

And, yes, I think my characters reflect some of those attributes.

What makes you laugh?

Snarky remarks. Comments that come from out of nowhere, but perfectly fit the situation.

What makes you cry?

When the hero or heroine feel they’ve lost all hope. When there’s an ultimate sacrifice. Deliciously happy endings.

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

I want the heart of the story to be the budding romance between the main characters, but I don’t want the book to be all conflict between them (misunderstanding and constant verbal fighting). I want a plot that is unique to anything I’ve read before, and for there to be action and adventure, maybe some mystery, and a resolution where the H/H realize they were meant to be together for their own sake, as well as for the good of others.

Yes, these are definitely reflected in my stories.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Although JEXX is a standalone, I learned a long time ago never to say there won’t be a sequel, or even a series sprouting from it in the future.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Email me. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter. Comment on my blog. Join my newsletter. Details below:

Website: http://lindamooney.com/ (Join my newsletter!)

Blog: http://lindamooney.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Mooney/e/B002BMES1W

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-mooney

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/735249946549380/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaMooney

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/lindam54

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lindam54/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Linda_Mooney

Instagram: http://instagram.com/macwombat

Interview with Author: Adell Ryan

It is a great pleasure to welcome Adell Ryan author the Her Reverse Genus series.

Welcome Adell 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

The Her Reverse Genus series is an over-arcing romance story about the government capitalizing on the very blueprint of who we are — our DNA. Perfect, Book One, questions the very definition of what it means to be “Perfect” in the near-future — right down to the classification of just who exactly is the perfect mate for us. Broken, Book Two, proves that even the seemingly most “Perfect” of plans, people, and relationships have their breaking moments.

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

Oh yes! As a mother of three boys, I often thought of what I might name a little girl in the event I ever had one. My hubby – the Ryan in Adell Ryan – and I decided on the name Thessaly, but we never got the opportunity to use it. When I started writing Her Reverse Genus, I knew right away that this series would be the “baby girl” I always wanted, and so my lead female character took on the name.

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

In August of 2017, I was very sick and bedridden for quite some time. Books became my escape and I had a budding love for Paranormal Romance. One of my many book searches during that timeframe led me to Trickery, the first book in the Curse of the Gods series by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington. I read that book and just completely and utterly swooned over the guy characters, then was like “What is this sorcery, and WHERE DO I FIND MORE?!” I got all grabby handy and desperate. Gimmie, gimme, gimme. Soon, I found myself in a Facebook group called Reverse Harem Readers with thousands of other women (and men) who were also obsessed with the genre. A story idea I had thought about in brief six years prior flourished in my mind yet again… this time with a Reverse Harem twist. From there, the story and the characters practically wrote itself. The near future, soft sci-fi aspect weaved its own tale. I had no idea before I started writing that Science Fiction would be my romance sub-genre of choice!

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

Organization! I am a planner, not a pantser. Outlines, to-do lists, schedules, mind-maps… you name it, I’ve done it. I have never once considered whether or not one of my characters reflected any of these traits; however, one particular character, in fact, does. Tobias, my brooding, alpha, nerdy guy definitely matches me most in this way. He always needs facts, a plan of action, and logic to move forward.

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

A lot. So. Much. Research. When you’re dealing with the topic of DNA and a contemporary, near-future setting, you need to be extra specific with the scientific verbiage and details as well as understanding what advancements in politics, economy, and science may be realistic. I’ve put more hours into research than I have into the actual time spent writing with this particular series.

What makes you laugh?

My children and my husband. Also, my crazy readers; I love interacting with them!

What makes you cry?

Again, my crazy readers – the happy sort of cry. They send me the sweetest, most supportive messages on a regular basis. But also, if I’m being fully transparent, the challenge of being “accepted” by friends and acquaintances when they find out about my “adult” writing – the not so happy sort of cry. Oh and also, sometimes negative reviews, because I think some reviewers forget that authors are real people with feelings. Ha!

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

Huge fan of the Outlander series, Reverse Harem, Paranormal Romance, food, donuts, Pepsi, my hubby, my children, my readers… I feel like this question has so many possible answers! And, yes absolutely, my likes definitely bleed into my stories.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

There is a lot of science and speculation, but Her Reverse Genus is also a romance. Thessaly has four suitors who each love and adore her in their own way, and it’s quite a lot of fun to follow their romantic journey.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I am everywhere! The easiest way to find me on all platforms, is by visiting my website though: http://www.adellryan.com

Interview with Author: Rae Anne Thayne

It is a great pleasure to welcome Rae Anne Thayne author of THE CLIFF HOUSE.

Welcome Rae Anne 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

THE CLIFF HOUSE, my first hardcover novel, is symbolic of taking risks, jumping into the void, exploring new opportunities and new directions. This is a story about three women, two sisters and their aunt. Each is at a turning point and each has the chance to reach outside her comfort zone to embrace the challenge and adventure of falling in love. This is a standalone novel set in a fictional town on the beautiful northern California coast.

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

Writing THE CLIFF HOUSE was a unique experience me, a chance to really have three heroines with entertwined stories. I wrote about twenty romantic suspense novels early in my writing career. While I still love reading the subgenre and feel like those are still strong stories, I discovered I was enjoying most the book where I could focus on the emotional and community aspects of my stories.

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

It’s important for writers (and everyone!) to focus on friends, to take care of themselves and to learn not to stress about things that don’t really matter. It’s something I am continually having to remind myself about and lessons my characters need to learn too.

What makes you laugh?

Spending time with my four sisters. We always have a great time together.

What makes you cry?

So many things. The older I get, the more deeply I feel things, it seems like. I especially cry at emotional, honest writing.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I’m most active on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRaeAnneThayne. Readers can also find me on Instagram, Twitter or at my web page, www.raeannethayne.com.

Interview with Author: Susan Hayes

It is a great pleasure to welcome Susan Hayes author of the Drift Series.

Welcome Susan 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

Blind Bet’s title has several meanings. It was inspired by on a photo I saw of a blindfolded woman about to be kissed. There was no contact between the lovers, and it made me wonder if she knew who was about to kiss her. In the book, my heroine has an accidental meeting with a bowl of hot soup (really!) and needs to wear bandages for a while as her eyes heal. Pain meds lead to an inadvertent confession, and a bet is made that changes the lives of everyone involved. The title also refers to the fact that to find their happily ever after, all the characters needs to make a leap of faith. They can’t know if things will work out, they’re all betting blind.

The other significance of the title is that it’s a gambling term. The entire Drift series uses this same convention. Life out on the Drift is risky, and every day is a gamble.

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

I have always loved science fiction stories. Books, television, movies, all of it. From Star Trek to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I am a sci-fi geek.

I started out writing paranormal romance, but soon I realized I could combine my love of romance with my love of sci-fi. After that, there was no turning back. I now have more than forty published works, and half of them are sci-fi romances, with many more to come.

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

My friends and family would probably tell you that I’m far from sane most of the time. It’s part of being a writer. We have entire worlds and hosts of characters inside our heads, all clamouring to get their stories told. (sometimes they’re so insistent I can’t sleep.)

That being said, I think one of the most important things I do to stay grounded and sane-ish is to give myself time away from writing. It’s easy to forget to do this – but stepping back and taking time to breathe is important. My characters are a diverse group, but I think some of them learn this lesson through their story arcs much the same way I did, by hard experience.

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

Blind Bet is part of the Drift universe, which is a cyberpunk world with cyborgs, cyber-jockeys, alien races, lots of technology, and powerful corporations that are constantly looking for ways to grow richer and even more powerful. To create stories in this world, I’ve researched everything from how wings would work in zero gravity environments to how cloning works and what it might look like in the future. I’ve taken online courses in space travel, read medical journals, and even delved into brainwashing and mind control techniques.

What makes you laugh?

Dry British humour and the absurdity of daily life.

What makes you cry?

Far too many things. A poignant piece of music. Every single episode of “Touched By An Angel.” (and yet I watched them anyway.) Even commercials can get me right in the feels.

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

I’m a geek. I love all things sci-fi and fantasy. I have tattoos of dragons and the cosmos. I own TV props from Xena: Warrior Princess, Lexx, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. There’s a collection of swords on my office walls that includes replicas of Sting and Glamdring from Lord of the Rings.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

The Drift series is a wild, wide-open universe, and it’s allowed me the freedom to create spin-off series inside the same world. While the Drift series is mostly menage, the Nova Force series is M/F and follows a team of military investigators as they work to keep the galaxy safe. The series run concurrently, but the stories stand alone. In the future, I’ll be writing another series that includes a recently added alien race, the Vardarians. (They’re the ones with wings I mentioned earlier.)

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Readers can find me around the web, but I spend most of my interactive social time on Facebook, on my page or in my reader group.

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/SusanHayesAuthor

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/389883471205646/

A complete list of My books: https://susanhayes.ca/susans-books/

Website: https://susanhayes.ca/

Newsletter: https://susanhayes.ca/susans-newsletter/

Interview with a Fangirl: Annie Stoll

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

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Annie Stoll who is a Grammy Winning art director, an award-winning designer/illustrator and of course a Fangirl!

I became aware of Annie through the Twitter Star Wars Fangirl Community.

Welcome Annie and thank you for taking the time to let us get to know you better.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I think I’ve always been a fan of things that I liked but maybe not till a few years ago was I aware of the term “fan girl” in a positive light. I’m totally down with it. It’s great to share what you like and enjoy new experiences with media.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

It has helped in that I have met so many amazing and wonderful people who have become real pals. I’m constantly inspired by artists I find on social media. Although, I do think that social media does have a down side — sometimes it makes us communicate less or be more self-conscious about who we really are. The important thing to remember is that the number of followers next to your name is not your self-worth. What matters is making art and lifting up artists.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

Star Wars and LOTR are instant likes for sure! Harry Potter I was super resistant to, but when I finally read the books, in a better headspace, I ended up really enjoying them!

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

I have been so very lucky to be embraced by some really amazing communities especially the Star Wars fandom. And as someone who has and does participate in it myself, I really love how supportive and positive that fandom can be. I love how much fans work to do events for charity as well as dream big and have fun discussions that lift each other up about the stories and characters! Fandom can really do a lot of good when they focus on balance and joyful compassion. I’m always full of love and gratitude for the positivity and creativity that fan communities can create.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Everything???? Indie music, Kpop, Jrock & Jpop…. Lots of different IPs and comics, zines and every single indie artist out there working hard online and in the artist alleys.

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

Have fun and don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s important to treat others with the love and respect you want to be treated with. When all that works out, you will have a blast!

Where can others interact with you?

Twitter & IG @Aniistoll

Interview with an Author: Libby Doyle

It is a great pleasure to welcome Libby Doyle author of the The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series.

Welcome Libby 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

“Passion” is part of the title of Book I of the Covalent Series for the reason you might expect. My two main characters—Zan and Barakiel—fall into a sizzling hot passion for each other that goes beyond the merely physical. The consequences of their love—and its beauty—is central to all the books in the series.

Barakiel is a superhuman warrior from another dimension. The leaders of his homeworld have outlawed serious relationships with humans so his passion for Zan is complicated, to say the least. It’s lucky she can handle pretty much anything that’s thrown at her.

“Season” also has an important meaning in the book, specifically, the change of seasons in the Earthly Realm. At every solstice and equinox, the Earth’s orbit stretches the fabric of existence to open rifts between the dimensions. Barakiel’s evil father, Lucifer, sends his minions through these rifts to attack his son. As you can imagine, if Lucifer were to discover that Barakiel is in love, it could get a bit dangerous for his girlfriend.

I’ve also published The Pain Season and The Vengeance Season, Books II and III of the Covalent Series. As for the meaning of pain and vengeance in these titles, I’ll leave it to your imagination!

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

This is such a great question for me! Almost everyone is familiar with the name Lucifer, the angel that defied God and was expelled from heaven. Barakiel is a lesser-known angel name, one of seven archangels and the leader of the Guardian Angels. In my book, however, Barakiel and Lucifer are not angels. They are Covalent, ancient beings who hold the cosmos in Balance. When human society was primitive, the Covalent often visited the Earthly Realm. They were the source of a lot of human mythology – not only angels but avatars, the djinn, the gods of the Greeks, a whole array.

Lucifer inspired all those human tales about Satan. He rebelled against the Covalent leadership and was driven out of Covalent City, but not completely defeated. He fled with his loyal dark warriors and regrouped. By the time the story begins, he’s become the powerful Lord of Destruction and the two sides are locked in a grim war.

As for Zan. Her name is short for Alexandra. I used it because I think it sounds cool.

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

I spent my formative years devouring all the fantasy and science fiction I could find. I started with A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and moved onto J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny and Frank Herbert (the Dune books), to name a few. I guess all those stories had to ferment in my brain for thirty years until The Covalent Series poured out.

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

Beats me. I don’t think I am sane. A person has to be a little nuts to do so much work for so little money. I get frustrated that I can’t quit my day job. Ha Ha! I can dream.

What kind of research did you have to do for the series?

Physics! One of my main characters is Pellus, a friend and mentor to Barakiel, my male hero. Pellus is a being known as a Covalent traveler adept, born with the ability to perceive the molecular composition of things at the quantum level. Travelers study for a long time until they can move through the cosmos using interdimensional rifts. When they achieve mastery, they become adepts, the highest rank of traveler.

Adepts are BADASS. They can manipulate and alter the bonds that give structure to all things. Pellus can shift light to hide things. He can form impenetrable barriers out of thin air and burn or freeze his adversaries. He can travel through space in the blink of an eye. I read a book about physics so I could describe how Pellus sees the world.

What makes you laugh?

My husband. I make him laugh, too, the secret to our happy marriage.

What makes you cry?

Whenever an animal dies in a story. I simply cannot take it.

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

I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame. He inspired me with this quote, one of my favorites: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”

Words to live by! I took his advice. A lot the dialogue in my books is rich in humor.

Is there anything else you want to add about the Covalent Series that has not already been mentioned?

My heroine, Zan O’Gara, is a tough, battled-tested FBI agent. She does not submit and she does not need to be rescued. She is not claimed or owned and she will not be mistreated. Not anymore.

In addition, these books aren’t really light reads. Sure, they have lots of humor, but they go dark at times and the plots are complex. If you like total immersion in a world, I think you’ll like them.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Through my website! You can contact me directly through my website’s “contact” page, as well as find all my social media links (Amazon Author Page, BookBub, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Goodreads) and my mailing list sign up.

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The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series by Libby Doyle

A superhuman warrior from another dimension. An FBI agent with a troubled past. A love that will burn through the cosmos.

When Special Agent Zan O’Gara investigates a ritual murder, she meets the only man who’s ever been able to reach beyond her emotional defenses. Little does she know he harbors a dangerous secret.

Barakiel accepted his solitary life after the rulers of his homeworld banished him to Earth, but his encounter with the fascinating Zan O’Gara changes everything. He knows he should stay away from her before his enemies make her a target. No matter. There’s no taming the unruly passion of a Covalent warrior.

As Zan’s investigation brings her closer to the truth about her lover, Barakiel realizes his presence on Earth has placed its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as Zan rescues him from a deadened heart.

“A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters.”

— Kirkus Reviews

WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, explicit sex, and sexual violence. Adults only! This is not a stand-alone novel, but the first in a five-part series. The romantic science fantasy continues in The Pain Season, Book II of the Covalent Series, available now.

Available via:

Amazon http://mybook.to/CovalentOne

Apple Books

Kobo

Walmart

Other retailers

Libby Doyle escapes real life by writing extravagant tales, filled with adventure, sex, and violence. When not tapping away at her fiction, she’s been known to work as an attorney and a journalist. She loves absurd humor, travel, hiking, punk rock, and her husband. Libby is the author of The Covalent Series, a romantic science fantasy in five parts. Read more at https://libbydoyle.com.

Guest Post: Romance, Consent and the #metoo Movement

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes back author Corrina Lawson as a guest blogger to talk about her newest release, A Hanging at Lotus Hall.

Take it away Corrina!

Thanks so much Patty!

Romance, Consent and the #metoo Movement by Corrina Lawson

It’s been one of my longstanding goals as a romance writer and as a geek to breach the wall between the two. My books are in genres like my upcoming steampunk, A Hanging at Lotus Hall, or superhero-style romances, like the Galaxy-award-winning Phoenix Institute series.

But, still, bridging that gap isn’t as easy because while there are many romance-writing geeks, like the owner of this blog, there are many science fiction and fantasy-loving female geeks who have internalized much of society’s views of romance. Like “they’re formulaic,” and “the woman have to be rescued,” and “the heroes are all way too pushy.”

All of us who know the romance book genre know that these clichés are, in general, falsehoods. Indeed, much of what the general society views as romance is from entertainment created by straight white men that inevitably puts women in second-place, as a sidekick or helper. These stories almost invariably inform people’s views of romance books, which is frustrating because, for the most part, this stuff contains terrible romances, even when the love interest survives the story.

But because romance is viewed this way by those outside the genre, questions about consent and the #metoo movement have naturally gained some traction. Even many in the romance community have started to look at their books with a fresh eye about consent.

This is a good thing because it’s always good to be aware of any unconscious harmful societal assumptions that have made their way into our work.

But it’s also a bad thing because it feeds on our assumption that the romance genre, overall, has a problem with writing consent properly. It doesn’t.

I’ve spent the last year reading the romance books that have won the Rita, the Romance Writers of America’s award for excellence in romance. That means I’ve read 112 books so far, starting with the winners in 1982, when the award was called the Golden Medallion.

I, too, had unconscious assumptions about what I’d find in these award winners, particularly the older ones, especially about whether there would be heroes who rape or sexually assault their heroines.

Because I’d heard “romances used to be rapey.”

The truth was not even close to that. The first winner I picked up, A Day Beyond Destiny, started with a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, with a husband who rapes her, and she finds the courage to leave him for the lover who values her. Clearly, romance-reading and romance-writing woman in 1982 already knew what was what.

Over and over again, I saw few issues with consent in the Rita-winning books that I read. There were some problems in the short contemporary romances with overly pushy heroes, heroes who thought they knew a job better than their heroines, heroes who thought nothing of grabbing purses to look in them, heroes who assumed they were superior. And, yes, most of the heroines overlooked this pushiness. But there was always a moment in these stories where the heroine stood up for herself, forced the hero to understand her point of view, and made him, well, grovel.

In short, in these older contemporaries, women were writing about women in the workforce who pushed back and stood up for themselves, in bed and out. And the sexual consent was clear in these stories.

I expected this not to hold true in the older historical romances, with the leeway given heroes with a literal medieval or Regency-mindset. Instead, I read historical romances that could stand up to the scrutiny of today, with heroines who demanded respect and the heroes who gave it to them. That held true in the bedroom, especially for those trapped in marriages of convenience. In one medieval, it was made clear that the heroine could escape, if she choose, but because of reasons related to her love for their estate, she choose to stay and deal with the hero.

It was obvious, as I read books from 1985, and 1995, and 2005, and 2015, that the romance genre as a whole understood consent.

The one book that I could not finish, Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale, did have a hero who outright raped the heroine. But this was an outlier even for Kinsale, who wrote the incredible and wonderful Prince of Midnight. I can’t say what was in Kinsale’s mind while writing this, but I suspect she was exploring how dark a romance can go and how much punishment can be doled out to a hero in order to make him grovel and consider him redeemed.

Other than Shadowheart, I can only count three Rita books with problematic consent. That’s slightly less than four percent of the overall total.

And, like with Shadowheart, the authors were deliberately exploring the boundaries of consent, and power, and the push-pull between two independent people. These romances aren’t to my taste, as a sexual assault survivor, but it’s also clear the authors of these books weren’t ignoring the idea of consent but deliberately delving into it, to see what was and what was not over the line.

All this doesn’t mean that we, as writers, need to ignore the importance of the #metoo movement. A workplace romance with a power imbalance has an inherent consent issue that needs to be addressed perhaps more head-on than in the past. Readers, even of romance, are coming into stories now with eyes that have been opened.

For instance, when I wrote my dark paranormal BDSM, Love’s Inferno, I knew I was pushing boundaries of the S/M aspect. My hero gets off on pain and he can heal his injuries, meaning to fully enjoy himself, the pain has to be at a level high enough to cripple an average person. That meant exploring knife-play and fireplay (my Google results were quite interesting for a time). But it also meant discovering how explicit the consent had to be, at each stage in the fetish scenes, as is done in the majority of non-fictional BDSM communities.

On the fictional side, what I found is that BDSM romances are more likely to have openly verbal and informed consent at every step of the way than in a regular romance, where the consent is clear but our heroes and heroines can be swept up in the moment, jointly consenting but with body language and actions, rather than explicit verbal instructions of what the other wants.

BDSM romances are inherently careful about consent for each individual sex or fetish act in a scene. That’s no a bad idea to carry over to romances in the other sub-genres, either, as verbal banter can be an excellent way to add sizzle to sex scenes. There’s nothing sexier than two people telling each other how much they enjoy what the other person is doing in bed (or elsewhere).

Overall, as writers, it’s good to ponder consent more than in the past, even if it doesn’t change your writing, because readers are coming at scenes with a different set of assumptions.

But, in reading the Rita-books, the stories given by writers to other writers, it’s clear that the romance genre already knows the pitfalls inherent in problematic consent and not only actively works to avoid that pitfalls, but it has always done so.

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, as a sci-fi and fantasy blogger for Barnes & Noble, and is a founding editor of GeekMom.com.

Corrina also writes about mysteries and suspense for CriminalElement, a site that reviews any genre with a mystery edge, and writes about romance at Heroes & Heartbreakers.

Corrina has written in a variety of genres. She loves to delve into the worlds of paranormal romance, science fiction/fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy, Vikings and alternative history, and superheroes. She loves to intertwine these worlds, such as in her Phoenix series which are romance novels with a superhero twist.

She is the author of the Amazon bestselling Victorian-steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contractthe Seneca series, three stories set in an alternate world where the Romans and Vikings have colonies in North America, and the Phoenix Institute paranormal series, featuring heroes and heroines with psychic superpowers who secretly combat evil, a series that has been compared to the X-Men, and won the 2015 science fiction romance Galaxy Award for Best Superhero origin series.

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