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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…


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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….


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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

Books, stories or series that influenced me

I have been challenged by few of my friends on Facebook to name 10 books that changed or influenced my life. However, I have so many books, stories and series that changed or influenced my life that I cannot possibly only name 10. Therefore, below is my attempt to limit this list to only the top books, stories or series that changed or influenced me throughout my life so far!

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

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This was actually one of my Mom’s favorites. It influenced her so much that she made a gift of this book to me as an adult. My Mom told me, when she gave me that gift, it was to remind me that there is always a silver lining no matter how dire things are. Now that she has passed away, this story is even more precious to me and will continue to remind me of her for years to come.

Poky Little Puppy A Little Golden Book

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This was a favorite story when I was in elementary school. I am not sure how it changed or influenced me, but I read and re-read this book so much that I wore the binding out and pages fell out of the book.

Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene

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I was first introduced to these stories in elementary school, by the school librarian. The first story of the series I read was The Hidden Staircase. These were first set of stories that I became obsessed with and just had to read!

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

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I first read an excerpt of this story in Middle School as part of an overall reading assignment in the textbook. However, it was the scene where Mr. Collins proposed to Elizabeth and her response to that proposal. The character of Elizabeth was just so powerful in that short scene that I just had to find out more about her and her life. It influenced me to seek out the novel and of course all of the other iterations and adaptations.

Once and Always by Judith McNaught

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This is my very first adult historical romance novel. The story, characters and the steamy romance scenes really caught my attention. For a long time, this is the historical romance story I used to measure all the other stories I read in the same genre!

LONG, TALL TEXANS SERIES by Diana Palmer

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This series has been a part of my life since 1988 and I mentioned that this was one of my favorite series before. I bought the first story in the series, Calhoun, with money that I earned working part time at a local Kmart store. I was so proud that I was able to not only read such an amazing story with great characters, but that I was able to buy it new with my own money!

Mallory-Anderson Series by Johnanna Lindsey

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This is another series that I have mentioned before and has been a part of my life for over 25 years. The first story in the series, Love Only Once, introduced my favorite male character, James Mallory, and I was NEVER the same since.

Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz

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This is the first story that I found by one of my favorite authors, Jayne Anne Krentz. I found this at a used book store one Saturday afternoon. The book was so good that I went to find all her previous books. In addition, because all the other books were just as good as the first, Jayne Ann Krentz became a must read and buy author from that time on.

Flirting With Trouble by Cathie Linz

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This is my first signed book by the author! I met the author through an online Bulletin Board while I was in College. The members of the Bulletin Board decided to have a meet up in Cathie’s home town. Not only did I get to meet this amazing author and have this book signed, but it found a life long friend as well.

A Night In the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

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This story is one that my husband and I re-listen to every year during the month of October for Halloween. Each time we listen to it, it feels like brand new all over again. In addition, we have the rare audio version of this story narrated by the author himself!

And, but definitely not least…

Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold

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I have mentioned this series before. Every single story in the Vorkosigan Saga constantly changes and influences me, even in small ways. However, if I had to choose one book from this amazing series to list it would be Shards of Honor!

Liza O’Connor discusses The Troublesome Apprentice & her Typewriter

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In The Troublesome Apprentice Vic types for so long she gets blisters on her fingertips.

For those of you who learned to type on keyboards, this no doubt sounds implausible.

For those of you who learned to type on electric typewriters, this also sounds implausible.

For those of you who learned to type on non-electric prehistoric typewriters, this sounds completely believable.

I bought an ancient Underwood for $2 at a flea market. I could not believe how hard it was to use. One sentence in and my fingers ached. You required strong fingers to type on those machines.

Let me start out by saying a great deal of inventors decided the world needed something more legible than a man’s handwriting. And let’s face it, men are notorious for their chronic bad penmanship. A great deal of men attempted to conquer this dastardly problem. Over fifty of them managed to get something patented in the 19th century. But getting a patent and selling a viable product were two very different things.

The first European commercialized version of the typewriter was the Hansen Writing Ball in 1870.

Hanson writing ball Entire Hansen Ball device

Beneath the ball was a large cylinder with paper wrapped lengthwise around it and an electric carriage return. Thus, technically, it is actually was the first commercialized electric typewriter as well. However pressing down the keys was not electrically assisted. Only when I found this second picture could I comprehend how it worked. Honestly, the 1st pic looks like something a mute fortune teller would create to stay in business.

Still, the Hansen did allow men to type faster than they could write legibly.  But, it only had capitalized letters, so all correspondence yelled at people as if they were deaf. Another issue, you couldn’t see what you were yelling.  Still, it was used in some London offices until 1909, at which point they became polite again and switched to typewriters that didn’t have to be so bloody belligerent.

1st commercial RemingtonIn America, Sholes, Soule & financier, Glidden created a typewriter in 1867 which they sold to Remington who made it look a bit like a sewing machine. (Remington already made sewing machines and evidently thought typing and sewing were much the same process. One stitches words together, and the other stitches fabric. Sholes hated the ridiculous end product and refused to promote it. Not surprisingly, this version of the typewriter was not successful.

In 1873 Remington turned out a better selling version without sewing accouterments. This version had been tested by a male stenographer who constantly broke all the typewriter prototypes Sholes sent him, then returned  harsh critiques about the man’s work. Sholes’ new financier wouldn’t allow him to stop using the mean critic. Instead, he was chided to fix the problems.  To stop the jamming of keys problem, Sholes worked out what we now call the qwerty board, which spreads out the letters most frequently used so they aren’t side by side. That’s right, the ‘non-alphabet confusion’ began here all because of a cranky critic.

1st commercialized (really) qwerty typewriter

The first qwerty typewriter

The Qwerty typewriter was a vast improvement and this time people wanted it. Still all the early machines (excluding the Hansen ball) had keys that struck upward, hitting the bottom of the cylinder to create an imprint on the paper. This meant a person could not see what they were writing until the cylinder returned a few time, rolling the paper up. Thus, Vic types blind as she hammers away on her Remington. She doesn’t complain about it, because that is how it has always been.

Daughterty Visible

Daughtery Visible

However, if Vic could have convinced Xavier to give up his beloved Remington typewriter, there was a new typewriter out in 1893, the Daughterty Visible. This machine had front face key strikes, so the typist could see what he’d just wrote. Oddly, this wasn’t seen as a ‘must have’ improvement, and the under-strike machines continued to sell up until 1915.

 

Approximately half the Remington typewriters sold were shipped to England, so that’s what Xavier bought. That is also what Professor Rutherford at Oxford College purchased, and what he taught Vic to type on.

Good thing, because there was no standardization back then among the 50 inventors and Vic wouldn’t have fared so well with any other version of the typewriter.

1892 portable typewrite Blickensderfer 5Had she purchased her own, she might have chosen the less expensive, portable typewriter, the Blickensderfer 5.  (Sounds like something Harry Potter would use.) However, it’s not a Qwerty board. Converting to a different board would have been hard for a typewriter (back then both the machine and the person using it was called ‘typewriter’. A few years later the Blickensderfer offered both keyboard options. And when women took over typing during World War I of the 20th century, they began calling the person who typed a ‘typist’.

Hope you enjoyed learning more than you ever wanted about something you will hopefully never have to type on. Let’s see what Xavier & Vic are up to…

 XnV Troubled Apprentice 400 x 640

The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

By Liza O’Connor

***

Cases Requiring Resolution: 

The Key to Aunt Maddy’s Death

The Missing Husband of Mrs. Wimple

The Disappearing Scarlet Nun

The Clever Butcher’s Wife

The Rescue of Lady Anne

blurb

While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn. Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist.

As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.

An Excerpt

Vic sighed with relief upon sight of the Remington in Xavier’s office. Her science professor at Oxford had declared her handwriting illegible and suggested she learn to type. Instead of taking insult, she’d investigated the myriad of typing machines currently available and settled on the same one Xavier had chosen.

She had just finished retyping the third letter when Xavier’s hands settled on her shoulders and he leaned forward to study her work. He remained bare-chested and in his silk sleeping pants and smelled wonderfully masculine, a mixture of musk and tobacco.

“Did I give you permission to enter my office?” he asked, clearly in a better mood, despite his provoking question.

“Implicitly you did, for you told me to retype the letter and, since you possess the only machine in the office, one can reasonably presume permission to enter the room it resides in order to complete your request.” Vic stopped talking because his hands remained on her shoulders and they caused a stirring within her. When he did not counter-challenge her observation, she continued. “Now, if you will give me the combination to your safe, I will retrieve the checkbook, deposit slips, and money required to complete the other tasks.”

He laughed outright while his hands encircled her neck as if he planned to strangle her. “Not bloody likely.” He loosened his grip, but did not release her. “I understand your need of the checkbook and deposit slips, but would you care to explain your need to pilfer my money?”

“We are out of stamps.”

“Ah…a false assumption. If you had checked my desk drawer, you would have found the necessary stamps.” He returned his hands to her shoulders.

She turned and frowned at him, trying to ignore his naked chest and focus on his sparkling eyes and beautiful hawk nose. “I would have expected you to keep your desk drawer locked.”

“Right you are, and you will not receive a key to that either.”

“Perhaps you could remove the stamps from your drawer and give them to my care, since I have need of them and you do not.”

He retracted his warm hands from her shoulders and a chill settled in their absence. After making a great fuss over opening the drawer, he presented her with stamps, placing them into her hand. “Do not lose them.”

She laughed at him as she rose. “Are you always so obliging in the mornings? I would have thought otherwise.”

“I seem to find myself in better spirits than normal,” he admitted. “No doubt due to your early arrival.”

lINKS

The Troublesome Apprentice

AMAZON

 

 

About the author 

I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio.

Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.

She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

Social Networking

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR, XAVIER & VIC:

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Prior Tour Sites

Don’t Forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.

Enter Rafflecopter

 

 

Highlights in Fandom History – October

Topic: Highlights in Fandom History – October

Today, I will highlight some interesting events in “fandom” history during the month of October for the following fandoms:

Technology:

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October 18, 1985: Nintendo NES first released in New York and select North American markets.

Literature:

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October 31, 1892: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the first collection of stories by Arthur Conan Doyle was published.

Pokémon:

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October 28, 1997: First volume of the manga Electric Tale of Pikachu was published in Japan.

Disney:

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October 30, 2012: Disney announces that it will acquire Lucasfilm Ltd

Star Wars:

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October 30, 2012: Disney and Lucasfilm announce

…new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

Recent Adventure: Castle TV The Beginning

Topic: Recent Adventure: Castle TV The Beginning

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My husband and I have started to watch the season one box set of Castle on DVD. Over the last couple of days, we have watched first three episodes of season one. We are not ready to give a full review, but we have discussed who our favorite characters are so far.

We both like many of the characters on the show including the Detective Kate Beckett and those that work with her like, the medical examiner, the other detectives and the police chief. We like these recurring characters and their interaction with the main title character, Richard Castle. We have observed that many of the recurring character have some great dialog and scenes throughout these episodes.

As I mentioned before on this post, I like the character of Richard Castle.

My favorite Richard Castle quote so far…

From Episode 1.2: Nanny McDead

Richard Castle: “Three men huddled around a computer… that better not be porn. And if it is, I want in.”

My husband, on the other hand, likes the character of his daughter, Alexis Castle.

My husband’s favorite Alexis quote so far…

From Episode 1.1: Flowers For Your Grave

Alexis Castle: “Not when your dad’s been escorted away by cops. How was the slammer? Anyone make you their bitch?”

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So who are you favorite Castle characters from the beginning of season one?

Recent & Upcoming Adventures: Castle TV Series

Topic: Recent & Upcoming Adventures: Castle TV Series

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I recently started watching the TV series Castle on TNT. I was not familiar with the Castle TV Series until I was introduced to it through a TNT marathon, while in a hospital waiting room, and I was immediately hooked.

I missed watching these episodes when they first aired on ABC. In addition, I have never read the novels that inspired this series. I believe it is the characters, especially Richard Castle, who usually gives snarky and geeky comments during the episodes I saw, that helped me jump right this series. Also, it does not hurt that Richard Castle is played by Nathan Fillion, who starred in another famous fandom, Firefly. Therefore, I am looking forward to watching all of these syndicated episodes and hope to watch season 5 as soon as I catch up!

Update: I bought the DVD sets of the first and second seasons of Castle at BestBuy. I just started watching the first two episodes with my husband this evening. Therefore, I will be posting our observations of this series as we watch these episodes in order soon!

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So are you watching Castle? Did you start from season 1 or, like me, you were not introduced to it until much later and then started watching them in order? If so, what drew you to the series?

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