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Veronica Scott Talks Pets In Space and Shares an Excerpt

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Veronica Scott about the new anthology, Pets in Space. Take it away Veronica!

Veronica Scott Talks Pets In Space and Shares an Excerpt

Pets In Space

Pets In Space

What does the title of this anthology signify?

I can’t imagine not having pets, whether I’m living here on Earth or in outer space. So late last year author Pauline Baird Jones and I were talking about how much fun it would be to put together an anthology of science fiction romance stories involving pets and Pets In Space was born! I myself have two rescue cats currently, Jake and Keanu, who supervise my writing from the chair next to the desk, so I made a cat one of my two space pets and created an alien pet to be her sidekick.
We also wanted to have the anthology benefit a pet-related charity so we selected Hero Dogs, Inc., which supplies service dogs to veterans. Susan Grant, one of our authors, is a veteran and most of the authors have relatives who served in the military, so it seemed like an excellent fit for a partner.

Space Pets

Space Pets

Does the name of your cat character in the story have some special significance?

The human hero is Owen Embersson and I picked that name for him because I was envisioning a big strong, Viking-like ex-soldier to be the cargo master for my spaceship. So I hope the name would convey those attributes to the reader. I recently did a character interview with ‘Owen’ and here’s how he explained his cat’s name:

“She’s pure white, so I named her Moby, after Moby Dick the whale in that old book from Earth. Not that I’ve read it, too long and antiquated. I figured she’d enjoy eating a whale and she was going into the ocean of space. I don’t know, seemed good at the time.”

The alien pet is named Midorri and I simply invented that when she first appeared in my novel Star Cruise: Outbreak as the pampered pet of a princess. I liked the sound of the name!
We also commissioned an artist, Nyssa Juneau, to do sketches of all the pets in the anthology, so here are Moby and Midorri.

I’ll share a short excerpt from Star Cruise: Stowaway, my story in the anthology, where Owen and Tyrelle, the stowaway are discussing pet names. Tyrelle has been held in the sickbay and the two pets have been visiting her (because they have the run of the ship). Turns out Tyrelle can ‘talk’ to the animals.:

Midorri chirruped and slithered to the floor, going to the portal, where she scratched at the door with two of her six feet.
Owen rose to let her out.
Moby promptly entered, jumping to the bed and rubbing Tyrelle’s face, arching her spine and purring loudly.
“When one leaves, the other arrives. You’re the keeper of the animals?” she asked.
“Moby’s mine. I rescued her from kids in a rough port town as a kitten a few years ago and brought her with me to the Zephyr. Midorri belongs to the entire ship, but she spends a lot of time in the cargo bay, with Moby, hunting vermin.” He sat, trapped in the small chair. “The Zephyr’s not infested or anything, we run a tight ship, but there’s always a few space rats.” I can’t believe I’m talking to this beautiful woman about rats.
She laughed, scratching under Moby’s chin for a moment and staring into the cat’s green eyes. “Yes, this one likes you very much and the name you gifted her. Midorri is not the other one’s name, you know, but she told me she doesn’t mind answering to it.”
“I vaguely remember my grandmother telling me a story or a poem from old Earth, something about cats having three names,” he said, the memory surfacing full blown. Thoughts of his grandmother hadn’t crossed his mind in decades, but now he could picture her, smell the cookies she baked, hear her voice. “The one people called them, the one the cats called themselves and a secret name no one ever uses.”
“I like the idea.” Her cheeks displayed charming dimples as she smiled. “Even I don’t know Midorri’s secret name.”

###

Anthology Pets In Space

Anthology Pets In Space

Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Star Cruise: Stowaway by Veronica Scott
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

Pets In Space anthology is available 10/11/16 via the following…

    Amazon (TBD)

Author Veronica Scott

Author Veronica Scott

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

Guest Post: Making Yogurt at Home

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

Take it away Jody!

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

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

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

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

Such as…yogurt.

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

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

“And?” he asked.

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

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

 

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

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

So how did it turn out for me?

Supplies Needed

Supplies Needed

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

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

Crock Pot Yogurt

Crock Pot Yogurt

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

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

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

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

 

Author Jody Wallace

Author Jody Wallace

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

In Defense of Anime: My Love Letter to One Piece

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes The Cantina Cast blogger Kat as a guest today to give us her love letter to Anime and One Piece.

Take it away Kat…

One Piece logo

One Piece logo

 

In Defense of Anime: My Love Letter to One Piece

Anime often gets a bad rap. Despite that certain nerd fandoms are now becoming accepted, mainstream, and even “cool” (Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel/DC Heroes), liking anime is still socially unacceptable. Take for example a conversation I overheard at this year’s Denver Comic Con: One attendee was admiring another’s anime cosplay, but basically told his friend he couldn’t publicly admit to liking anime for fear of being judged. How telling is it that at a convention designed to celebrate Nerd-dom, this person still felt he couldn’t openly admit to liking anime? I daresay many people who love anime (myself included) have felt the same way.

But why is that the case? I believe there are two main reasons there’s a stigma associated with anime. The first is the old belief that cartoons are for children. While that perception has been changing with the advent of many Adult Swim shows, most Western cartoons for adults are primarily comedies. Anime, in contrast, encompasses every genre: comedy, romance, action, horror/thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, and more. And, well, there simply aren’t many Western equivalents that are marketed for adults. So to the average Westerner, an adult claiming he/she loves anime can seem a bit juvenile.

The other reason I believe there’s a stigma attached to anime is the “weeaboo” stereotype. (A “weeaboo” is a semi-offensive term for a non-Japanese person who is obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture. Many people associate obnoxious behavior with weeaboos, hence the unflattering connotation.) I believe many people that don’t “get” anime tend to stereotype anime fans as being obsessed with Japanese culture. But this really isn’t the case. Think about it this way: I don’t really enjoy watching sports, but I also don’t see all sports fans as obnoxious roided-up gym rats. In the same way, not everyone will enjoy watching anime, but those folks should also understand that most anime fans are not obsessed weeaboos. (And even those who are still have a right to their opinions!)

So to summarize: When the “weeaboo” stereotype is combined with the view of cartoons being childish, the result is a negative association with liking anime. However, both these perceptions are, in fact, misperceptions. But even this is beside the point! What it really comes down to is that it’s OKAY for people to like what they like, even if you don’t get it. Not everyone will like anime – just as not everyone likes Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, comic books, etc. And most importantly, no one should be made to feel embarrassed for liking what they like! With that said, if you are skeptical about anime, or have never given it a chance, I invite you to keep reading while I tell you about one of my favorite anime series, One Piece.


One Piece is based on the manga One Piece by Eiichiro Oda that tells the story of a pirate named Monkey D. Luffy. He is on a quest to become the King of the Pirates by finding the “One Piece” treasure of the previous Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. As he begins his quest, colorful characters join his crew, and they have adventures sailing the treacherous seas known as The Grand Line.

One of the brilliant and captivating nuances of this show is that every story arc, long or short, takes place at a different island or exotic location. To give you an idea, they visit a floating restaurant, stop at islands of every climate, end up inside a whale, soar to an island in the sky, sail to an island at the bottom of the sea, and much more! They encounter friends and foes, many of whom have strange and deadly powers. They run headlong into each new adventure, dodging the Navy, defeating warlords, searching for treasure, saving innocents, exploring crazy locations, and become stronger with each new encounter.

Monkey D Luffy

Monkey D Luffy

For as much as I love this show now, I’ll admit it took a while for me to give it a chance. To the outsider, One Piece can seem weird and a bit nebulous. It does, after all, have over 750 episodes and counting (the manga is also still being published). There are many characters, which can seem confusing, and most ads fail to capture the real heart of the show. It wasn’t until a Japanese friend told me it was his favorite anime that I decided to give it a try. Fast forward a couple years and I can honestly say that no show has made me laugh, smile, and cheer as much as One Piece.

Luffy and his crew

Luffy and his crew

This anime is an ode to the spirit of adventure, exploration, and pursuing dreams. It has real story progression, genuine character development, and a world where anything seems possible. And the cherry on top is that it’s all woven together with a kind of ridiculous and innocent humor I can’t help but love. But what really strikes me about this anime is how happy I feel when watching it. Even when the characters endure heartbreaking trials and desperate struggles, the spirit of this show is heartfelt and inspiring.

In a way, I feel that One Piece captures the spirit of anime as a whole. It demonstrates one of the medium’s biggest advantages: its versatility. Show creators have the leeway to play with ideas, characters, and situations that might otherwise prove unfeasible for, say, a live-action production. The other wonderful thing about anime is the storytelling, and One Piece is no exception. One Piece, as do most anime, features a character-driven story that allows the viewers to develop a kind of personal relationship with the characters.

I daresay there aren’t many American cartoons that have that kind of depth or focus on character development. For instance, I love Superman, but let’s be honest, he’s pretty static as a character. I’d say one notable exception, though, would be Avatar: The Last Airbender. Yes, its target audience is younger, but over the course of the show we get to see all the characters growing in skill and maturity. Not only that, but it has some moments of real laugh-out-loud comedy. This is the experience I have when watching One Piece. The characters draw me in as they grow from the challenges they face, and I sympathize with them as I can see my own emotional struggles and dreams reflected in the characters’ struggles and dreams. This powerful effect of good storytelling is, perhaps, the key to why I love anime so much.

If I’ve managed to peak your interest and you’d like to give One Piece a try, I should warn you about the show’s one flaw. One Piece, like many classic and popular anime such as Dragonball Z, Bleach, and Naruto, follows a format that is intended to draw out the story as long as possible. While the lengthy and often slow storytelling sometimes adds a great deal of depth to the show, it can also drag it down. Because of this, the show is definitely better suited to binge-watching than single episodes at a time. However, if you can overlook this one flaw (my husband gets around it by multitasking while streaming the dubbed version) One Piece has a wonderful story to tell – full of loveable characters and grand adventures – all presented through a medium that is vibrant, versatile, and highly entertaining. And I dare you to give it a try 😉


Kat is a blogger for the Star Wars podcast The Cantina Cast. You can find her blogs at thecantinacast.net as well as their new site, thecantinacast.com. Have thoughts or comments you’d like to share? You can reach her by email at errantventurer@gmail.com and on Twitter @ErrantVenturer.

Guest Post – When The Going Gets Tough

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author AR DeClerck as a guest blogger today talking about support she received when the going gets tough!

  
When The Going Gets Tough

Recently I started going through a writing funk. I had the stories in my head, but no inclination to do the actual act of writing down the words. A slump like this had never happened to me before and I found myself seeking the help of my writer friends to find a cure. I want to chat briefly about all the wonderful advice and support I received.

I posted about my dilemma on social media, expecting the normal outpouring of shoulder pats and random platitudes. What I received, however, was uplifting and genuine concern coupled with good advice.

I was not, it seemed, the only one going through the writing doldrums. Other authors were experiencing, or had experienced, the same thing. This by itself was comforting. I like knowing that I am not the odd duck from time to time. I was flooded with stories of similar experiences. It was heart warming to hear others express the same struggle.

The advice I received was strong, encouraging and tough. Get back on the horse even when you’ve lost your saddle. Force yourself to write; it will come naturally again soon enough. Use a pen and paper to regain your connection to the act of writing. Listen to music. Watch movies. Read your old favorites. Feed your imagination. I was humbled that fellow authors would encourage and support me when I was down.

I followed the advice from above and wrote three thousand words. It felt great. I felt whole again. Ready to get back to the business of,storytelling. And the next time I feel down, or worried about needing a break? I hope all my wonderful friends are there to pick me up again! I will definitely pay the favor forward!

Thanks again AR DeClerck! 

You can find AR:

Three other classic British SF shows to check out

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes Echo Ishii, who is the author of Mr. Rumple and Mr. Grimm, as a guest blogger today.  Take it away Echo…

I am so excited to be blogging today at Everyday Fangirl. I’m Echo Ishii and I blog at Smart Girls Love Sci Fi, which focuses on SciFi Romance. My fellow bloggers are Charlee Allden and Riley. Each month we host interviews with authors, post book reviews, and do a Wednesday weekly round-up of Sci Fi romances.
I also do a column called SF Obscure twice a month on SF/Fantasy/Paranormal TV shows of the past. I started writing about them because many, people have fond memories of SF TV shows that influenced their love of the genre. Also, contrary to a common belief that SF is a ‘boy’ thing, I find that a lot of women follow SF shows, comics, and all aspects of fandom. My initial plan was to feature an actor in shows and intersperse it with reviews of more modern SF media. As I went along, I discovered that I loved revisiting old TV shows and watching them all the way through. I discovered forgotten gems (well, sometimes more duds than gems) and it’s become a real joy for me to do the SF Obscure column.

For today’s post I am going to talk about three other classic British SF shows that are worth checking out.

Blake’s 7: This is probably the least obscure of the bunch; however because it has not been licensed in a US DVD format (as far as I know) I am surprised at the number of people who have never heard of it. This is a shame. For those who have not seen Blake’s 7, it starts with a man named Roj Blake who had been brainwashed and slowly regains his memories of being a freedom fighter against the oppressive galactic government.. Once he regains his memories his is falsely framed for horrible crimes and condemned to a prison planet. On the way he meets his soon-to-be compatriots- Vila, Jenna,Gan, Avon- and they acquire an powerful AI ship, called the Liberator. They are later joined by a telepathic freedom fighter named Cally and head off with Blake’s plan of somehow overthrowing the Federation. Blake’s 7 has often been referred to as the anti-Star Trek. Instead of a Federation that unites we get one that oppresses; instead of a crew that works together we get random criminals, mercenaries, and traitors willing to sell each other out and constantly at odds; and there is no guarantee of a good ending to it all. Ignore the dated hairstyles, budget special effects, and occasional questionable plot lines-it’s overall good stuff. The final episode is a classic. Watch it all the way through.

Sapphire and Steel: It’s the story of two agents called Sapphire and Steel. It’s never quite clear what Sapphire and Steel really are. Not human, possibly alien, and perhaps not even corporeal and these bodies are merely hosts. In any event it is the job of these hosts to fix problems with time. Time travel? Not always and not exactly. In Sapphire and Steel time is a thing that can be broken into or messed around with or altered. There are things outside of time that can break in or cause harm. And sometimes time slips into other times and begins to overlap. Yes, it’s vague. And it’s strange, but it’s a wonderful show. What keeps it going is the fact that the stories are good and the acting is top notch. With a small budget and minimal effects it’s still an engaging story-that’s what good acting does. It starts slow. If you are used to fast-paced action this may not be the show for you. If you don’t mind slow, thoughtful show with almost a stage play style, Sapphire and Steel has some real mind treats.

Star Cops: This is very rare and very obscure. I lucked out in having someone else tell me about it and I am not sure it’s readily available. I mainly point it out because of its concept-a true, hard SF show about astronauts and the international space station. That’s not done often, and for that alone it may be worth finding. Star Cops is set in the future-2027- in which there are five permanent space stations surrounded the Earth, Moon, and Mars. Space travel is common, with governments and private enterprises exploring the Solar System. The International Space Police Force (ISPF) is given the job of handling criminal investigations that concerning the space stations. Most of the crimes concern industrial espionage, scientific hoaxes, rival space based tech corporations. It’s a neat show that dwells into the competing views of what space explorations means; the rivalry between companies and the large amount of money at stake; and just plain old human flaws.

I always welcome suggestions for shows to cover. My next post at Smart Girls is Thursday, March 3. Feel free to join in the conversation.

Echo Ishii loves talking about SF. She also enjoys all manner of SF Romance, space opera, and such. I frequently re-watch Babylon 5, Star Trek, and Blake’s 7. She is a Star Wars fan too. Her current SF/Paranormal watch list includes Continuum, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful, and The Expanse. She has one published novella, M/M fantasy romance Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm with more writing in the works.  You can follow her on Twitter: @mrsbookmark or Pinterest: @mrsbookmark as well.

Five Cities that inspired Union in Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Pippa Jay as a guest today to tell us about the five cities that inspired Union in her story, Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened.

Take it away Pippa…

Five Cities that inspired Union in Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories designed to engage the emotions. My latest release – Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened – is a near future YA dystopia…which is set in utopia. Confused yet? While the world has undergone a kind of apocalypse, the city in which it takes place is still a functioning, apparently perfect self-maintaining machine that continues to thrive despite the demise of most of its inhabitants. So I thought I’d take you on a short tour of the five scifi cities that helped inspire mine.

1. The Great City of the Exxilons (Doctor Who and Death to the Daleks). In this story, the city is a living, thinking, self-sustaining entity in its own rights, which has left the rest of the planet barren and its creators living as savage primitives. Draining all energy from its own world, and from any ship foolish enough to approach, it also defends itself with ‘roots’ capable of destroying even the Daleks. This is self-sufficiency gone a bit mad!

2. The Domed City (Logan’s Run). Here, the city is a utopia where a computer runs every aspect of its inhabitants’ lives, including reproduction. There’s just one catch in this paradise. In order to maintain equilibrium, everyone must die when they reach 30 years of age, and the computer follows this plan to extremes.

3. New York City, 2263 (The Fifth Element). My favourite element here is the little cleaning bots in Zorg’s office that emerge when he breaks a glass to demonstrate the circle of life.

4. The Ruins of Utopia in HG Wells’ The Time Machine (the 1960s film version). Unfortunately, the time travelling narrator speeds past the time of the cities into a post-apocalyptic paradise, where humans are at peace (almost catatonic because everything is provided for them and so the need or even desire to fight for more or achieve it through the use of intelligence and technology is replaced by apathy). The humans live in the remains of futuristic buildings and have no need to work for anything. The downside is the underground society of Morlocks who provide for their every and simple needs also harvest them for food!

5. Dark City. Though this isn’t a utopia as such (in fact it comes across as a rather dark dystopia), once again everything is provided and the inhabitants have no compulsion to venture outside the city, despite some very gruesome murders taking place. In fact, for the most part it doesn’t even seem to occur to them that there is an outside (in fact there isn’t – the entire city is an artificial construct out in space).

I hope you enjoyed your brief tour of these five very different and yet related scifi cities. Now, are you brave enough to step into mine?

Imagine waking up to find the world has ended, but unfortunately you’re not alone…

For Connor Innis, awakening from a year-long coma with no memories, no ability to move, and unable to speak was bad enough. Then he learns that a bioweapon set off a zombie apocalypse—for real—while he was sleeping, and the world he can’t even remember no longer exists.

Rehabilitation might be torture, but far worse awaits him outside. All too soon, the hospital Mentor declares him fit to leave with nothing to go home to except a city full of mindless, flesh-eating monsters. That is, until he forms a strange relationship with the one he nicknames ‘Zombie Girl’.


Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleiTunesOmnilit and Smashwords

For more information on Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened and other stories by Pippa Jay, you can check out this interview with her, visit her Web page or sign up for her no-spam newsletter! You can also stalk Pippa on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Wattpad

About Pippa Jay:

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

Pippa also regularly posts on these Blogs: Adventures in Scifi, Spacefreighters Lounge, Romancing the Genres and SFR Brigade.

Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 RWA LERA Rebecca (2nd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place)

Guest Post: Cyborgs And Writing An Open-Ended Series With Cynthia Sax

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Cynthia Sax as a guest today to tell us about Cyborgs and writing an open-ended series.

Take it away Cynthia…

Cyborgs And Writing An Open-Ended Series with Cynthia Sax

A series is a grouping of stories that are linked in some way. In SciFi Romance, these stories can be stand alones (they can be read out of order and on their own) or they can be connected (they have to be read in order).

Series can also be closed (the writer knows exactly how many stories will be in the series) or open-ended (the writer doesn’t know how many stories will be in a series).

Crash And Burn, my most recent release, is the latest installment in my open-ended cyborg series. Reading buddies ask me how many stories I plan to write in the series and I have no idea. Each story is crafted to be read on its own.

Open-ended series are great for writers in some ways and not-so-great in others. The writer can stop the series whenever she wants. If she runs out of original ideas or passion for the series, she can end it…either permanently or temporarily. If there’s no reader interest (i.e. sales suck), the series can be ended. If the series is a sleeper and interest builds over time, it can be restarted.

But open-ended series bother some readers. Some readers want to know exactly how many stories are in a series. They want to ensure they can read all of them. Some of these readers don’t like to wait to read the next stories so they buy the series only when it is completed. Writers of open-ended series don’t have that last book in the series sales bump. They are unlikely to interest these readers.

There are also some things that are challenging (though not impossible) to do in open-ended series. The main one is having an overall series arc. For example, the good guys are fighting the bad guys. Readers want to see the outcome of this battle. They’re reading to find this out. Writers are likely to end the battle during the last story in a series.

Except in an open-ended series, there ISN’T a last story. The battle never ends. Readers never find out who wins.

I have a bit of an overall series arc with my cyborg stories. However, this arc isn’t core to the stories. It doesn’t make a huge impact on the main characters. It is part of the setting rather than the plot.

What is your preference as a reader or a writer? Do you prefer open-ended or closed series? Does it bother you if a series changes from closed to open-ended midway?

***

Cover for Crash And Burn

Crash And Burn
Now available to purchase on Amazon US, Amazon UK, ARe, B&N, or Kobo

Crash was manufactured to be one of the best warriors in the universe. The cyborg has spent many human lifespans fighting the enemy. But, unlike his battle-loving brethren, he doesn’t enjoy killing. When he escapes the Humanoid Alliance, he vows to never end another life.

Then he meets Safyre, an infuriating human female, and he considers breaking his vow.

Safyre will do anything to save her friend, the being she loves like a sister. She’ll ravish a huge hunky cyborg, kiss his best friend, and invoke scorching hot desires the male never realized he could feel. Dark soulful eyes, a quick wit, and a tempestuous passion won’t divert her from her mission.

Love, and a planet-destroying weapon, however, might stop her permanently.

About Cynthia Sax
USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.
Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at http://www.CynthiaSax.com
Website: http://cynthiasax.com/
Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/
Facebook: facebook.com/cynthia.sax
Twitter: @CynthiaSax
Blog: http://tasteofcyn.com/

Guest post: 5 Facts About Keir’s Fall


The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes guest blogger Pippa Jay, who is sharing with us 5 facts about her new story, Keir’s Fall, Book 2 of the Redemption series.

Take it away Pippa!

5 Facts About Keir’s Fall by Pippa Jay

1. The original title was Lost Serenity, but after a major rework the ‘Lost’ became inaccurate and I couldn’t call it just ‘Serenity’ (not unless I wanted a lot of confused, possibly cross Browncoats after me).

2. Keir’s Fall began as part of the original draft for book one, but it soon became apparent it needed to be a separate story.

3. The original version also contained a secondary storyline following Quin’s granddaughter Kauri, but it was removed to cut down on excessive POVs. Kauri’s Tale will be another book in its own right…eventually…

4. The Nercaandi began life in a Doctor Who fanfic called Gamehouse that evolved into a story involving Quin and Darion, before becoming part of Keir’s Fall. Jakhani is relatively unchanged, but Tyra-Lee was called Sylvi and was the rather creepy assistant to a crotchety elderly woman called Madame Dione, a chess champion.

5. Tyra-Lee, like Queen T’rill of Metraxi in Keir, was based on my memories of Princess Ardala in Buck Rogers and Princess Aurora in Flash Gordon. Both vain, dangerous, twisted and powerful women who undergo varying degrees of redemption. However, there’s also a trace of Anne Rice’s Queen of the Night – Asha’s absolute refusal to believe she’s wrong, and that everyone will simple adore and worship her no matter what she does. ‘No’ simply isn’t in their vocabulary.

Keir’s Fall


A seductive tyrant. A lost hero. And a galaxy about to fall…

It’s been a year in paradise for Keir and Quin, but now the idyll is over. After Quin falls sick, they return to the hidden sanctuary of Lyagnius, and what she learns there will not only change their lives, but set them on a journey that could separate them forever.

When Keir falls victim to a ruthless Nercaandi Empress bent on conquering the galaxy with her cybernetic army, it will take all Quin’s diminishing powers and the help of her son to find him. But what waits for her aboard the tyrant’s ship will test her strength and the limits of their love, and put everything she cares about at risk. Including Keir.

With the galaxy itself about to fall, will she be able to save him?

Keir’s Fall, Book 2 of the Redemption series. is currently available at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, B&N and coming soon to , iTunes, Google Play, and even a print edition as well. You can add this to your Goodreads shelf as well.

Book One – Keir – is available for just 99 cents/Euros/pence until the end of December 2015.

For more information on Keir and other stories by Pippa Jay, you can check out this interview with her, visit her Web page or sign up for her no-spam newsletter!  You can also stalk Pippa on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Wattpad

About Pippa Jay:

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

Pippa also regularly posts on these Blogs: Adventures in Scifi, Spacefreighters Lounge, Romancing the Genres and SFR Brigade.

Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 RWA LERA Rebecca (2nd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place)

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)

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