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Guest Post: The Challenges of Writing Short Stories

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl again welcomes author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about the challenges of writing short stories for her futuristic universe, the Sectors.

Thanks again Veronica for being a guest blogger today!

Thanks for having me! Always a treat to come and visit the EverydayFangirl Blog and talk science fiction romance!

The Challenges of Writing Short Stories by Veronica Scott

I usually think and write in novel length format, but in 2016 I accepted a couple of challenges to write shorter, for three very different anthologies. The collections are no longer available, so I’ve put the three stories together in one volume myself now and released them under the very unwieldy title Star Cruise A Novella: Stowaway Plus Rescue and Token Short Stories. I thought it was really important to be clear that the book doesn’t contain three novel-length works. But wow, what a title, right?

I thought I’d talk a little bit about the stories and why I wrote them. First of all, if I’m going to come up with a 9k to 25K story that has a beginning, a middle and an end, plus the HEA, I needed to work within my already established futuristic universe, the Sectors. This allowed me to show new readers a bit of my worldbuilding by giving them the feeling there is a well-defined setting, and people who have read my books will feel right at home and perhaps see some familiar characters in supporting roles. To that end, two of the stories involve the crew of my luxurious interstellar space liner, the Nebula Zephyr. Of course I’m also hoping new readers will want to dash off and read more Sectors stories after finishing these!

Pauline B. Jones and I had the idea to create an anthology that blended pets into stories of scifi romance and adventure, which became the award winning Pets In Space, with seven other terrific authors. For that project, I wrote Star Cruise: Stowaway and created one alien pet, added in a ship’s cat, and took off with a romantic suspense story. (The blurbs are given below.) I had so much fun writing this and became so intrigued with the addition of a major interstellar crime syndicate to my Sectors, that I wrote another full novel, Danger in the Stars (which released in April), and am now working on a second novel that explores some other aspects of romance and adventure the mob and the captive empaths provided. So as an author, I think taking the time to do this novella really worked for me, and readers were very kind with their reviews. We are doing a Pets In Space 2 this year, by the way with a slightly different mix of authors.

Star Cruise: Rescue was for an anthology with mostly or all Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors and there was no central theme, so I brainstormed what kind of mischief my crew members might get into if they spent an evening on a planet. Fortunately around this time I read an article in Business Week of all places, discussing curated events for the very wealthy. I had an ‘a ha’ moment about how the bored, rich ‘Socialites’ traveling on board the Nebula Zephyr might end up taking a crew member with them to such an exclusive event and the trouble that might ensue.

The third anthology was Dealer’s Choice, for the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention and was a limited edition paperback, only handed out at Linnea Sinclair’s Interstellar Bar & Grille event. (I was a co-host.) There was no way I was going to miss a chance to be in an anthology with Linnea Sinclair and to have my story edited by her as part of the process! She gives great notes by the way. The unifying theme of the collection was to involve a scifi casino as the setting. Now I do have a casino on the Nebula Zephyr, but for some reason I wanted to write a story in the style of a classic Western, where the hero rides into town, gets involved with the local problems, falls in love with a dancehall girl and….HEA ensues. So I put the story on a space station with a casino, but still in the Sectors. The Golden Token is the title of this story.

I find I enjoy writing the occasional short story or novella as a change, and it can be something of a ‘palate cleanser’ for the Muse, before diving back into my longer novels. I was also happily surprised to have the characters in the Stowaway novella prompt me to now write two more novels that hadn’t been on my mind at all. I seem to be able to hit the different word limits of each project, which is satisfying as an author. I think my biggest challenge or frustration perhaps is that I tend to take my time for my characters to reach the point where they experience physical intimacy, so a novella or short story from me doesn’t give the full flavor of one of my novels, which do usually contain a few moderately warm bedroom scenes. (I’m a 3 on a 5 point scale of steaminess.). I’d definitely consider doing another anthology project someday, besides the Pets in Space series.

Thanks again for having me as a guest here and I look forward to guest blogging here in the future!

As a special treat, here is an excerpt from one of the short stories The Golden Token.  Charlie has just arrived on the space station and expects to connect with his next ship immediately but learns there’ll be a delay of several days:

He plucked his ticket from the man’s fingers, taking a glance to see how much oxygen tax he was paying. “Wait, there’s some mistake here. I’m not staying on the Station.”
Tongue between his teeth as he concentrated, the station agent reviewed the information on the screen before him. “You’re hopping a ride on the Centauri Dawn to your destination in Sector 46, right?”
“Yes, but she’s supposed to be docking later today.”
The clerk shrugged. “Updated info as of an hour ago. Ran into some rogue comets. She won’t be here for three days. Be glad she’s coming at all, would be my advice.” A small alarm sounded and the man held up one hand. “Hold on, this could be your lucky day.”
“I fail to see how.”
“Says here you’re arrival number one hundred for this cycle and entitled to a golden token, redeemable at the Hall of Good Fortune.” He handed Charlie a large, fake gold coin, embossed with a dragon on one side and blank on the other.
Astonished, Charlie flipped the coin over. “You must be kidding me. Nobody uses metal money these days, not even in a backwater Sector like this.”
The clerk said, “That’s for gambling at the Station’s casino, up on Level A. Only place to get drinks, gamble, have some fun. Depending on your preferences, of course. The menu’s not as extensive as it used to be in the old days. Kumisarc Corporation’s always cutting back.”
In an effort to stem the tide of the now-garrulous agent’s information, Charlie asked, “This station got a hotel?”
“Temporary housing only for non-residents, rents by the day. I can reserve you a unit.”
Charlie scanned the lobby. There were a few seats on the far wall and he knew he’d seen some in the arrival area.
“Security don’t allow vagrants,” the man said as if reading his mind. “No camping out in the waiting areas. Even with a valid transfer ticket.”
He stifled a growl of irritation, drumming his fingers on the counter. So far this station was a racket, trying to separate him from his credits and doing a good job of it. “How much for the room?”
Not surprised to be quoted a predictably exorbitant price, Charlie set the useless coin on the counter while he transferred the credits, got his code key strip and picked up his bag, ready to make the best of his unexpected layover.
“Hey, don’t forget the token.” The clerk held it up before tossing it to him. “This plus a few credits’ll get you a drink or a spin of the roulette wheel. Not good for much else.”
Charlie made a one-handed catch and slid the disc into a pocket on his utility pants.
“No open carry weapons, by the way,” the clerk said, leaning over the counter. “Gotta keep them stowed in your baggage. Security does a body scan before anyone gets into the casino. They get real upset if they see weapons. Had a few incidents with hotheaded miners over the years, trying to settle their personal grievances with blasters. Tempers are short these days.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak!

STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY PLUS RESCUE AND TOKEN SHORT STORIES is available via Amazon, iBooks, B&N and Kobo.

Star Cruise: Stowaway: 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.
Star Cruise: Rescue: When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?
The Golden Token: Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

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.

Seven 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 “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Interview with Author Natacha Guyot

It is a pleasure to welcome Natacha Guyot who is a French researcher, public speaker and author of both fiction and non-fiction publications.

Author Natacha Guyot

Author Natacha Guyot

Welcome Natacha to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your latest publication, Dream Crusher, better.

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

Dream Crusher relates to a threat featured in the novella. The universe is called the Dantek System Records, based on the system where the story takes place. I don’t plan a direct sequel to Dream Crusher, but will continue to write more stories, whether featuring the protagonists of the novella or brand new characters. This is also why I chose to include a bonus short story in said universe, Homeless, in the print version.

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

I have loved storytelling since I was a child and creating new worlds is one of my passions. That was why I have always written in the Science Fiction (or Fantasy) genre. Even my nonfiction and academic works relate to Science Fiction. Dream Crusher was originally a short story and liking the characters and the world as I did, I decided to expand on everything and this was how I realized I would continue to write in this universe. Among my greater inspirations to write Science Fiction, you find Star Wars (including many Expanded Universe titles), C.J. Cherryh’s Serpent’s Reach, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern. Joseph Campbell’s work has also been very inspiring to me.

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

Wrestle with the stories and characters to make them understand I will only write one project at a time, but will still engage in note-taking for any other projects. Trying to tell the characters to keep quiet by my bedtime is going better but I still recall my Clairvoyance Chronicles villain decided to tell me his whole background (since Stone Age) at 1am one night. I try to keep organized folders pertaining to individual writing projects, as well as a document for bullet point short/vague academic papers. (You can find more about my writing process with my Digital Quill’s Writing Tips blog series.) Organization, perseverance, patience and learning not to be a perfectionist and burning out are reflected in several of my character, but not necessarily in a single one of them.

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

I had to work more on the history of the system where my story takes place, how humans came to live there a few generations ago, and what happened between the other species. I needed that from the start, but more so as I realized it would become a novella and a universe where more stories would take place. Developing the different cultures, at least to a point where I could understand the interactions was important to me. It tends to be a pattern in my writing as I tend to have multiple groups interact to different degrees in my fiction. Works I wrote when younger tended to be more focused on two groups, but in the past years, I tend to have more than two. I always have solid character background and the extent of the world building depends on what I need for the given story.

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

I was playing a lot of videogames while working on this project: Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect 2, Torchlight II, and the immersive aspect of gaming inspired me for how I depicted some of my settings. I am not a huge comic book fan, but I love the Yoko Tsuno series and it has had influence on several of my stories, including Dream Crusher, whether with the multi-species or Morden’s heterogeneous team. I am overall a huge Science Fiction fan, whether in books, TV shows, video games or movies. And I love compelling female characters (some of my favorites are Dana Scully from The X-Files, Leia Organa and Mara Jade from Star Wars). Dream Crusher is my first title with a male protagonist, but I consider Vahika of great importance in the story and naturally had several supporting female characters develop as I wrote the novella.

###

Thank you Natacha for stopping by and answering these questions and letting us get to know you better! For more information about Natacha and her works…You can connect with her via NatachaGuyot.org | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn.

Dream Crusher

Dream Crusher

Natacha Guyot is a French researcher, author, and public speaker. After studying at Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle and King’s College London, she relocated to Texas in summer 2016. There, she has embarked on a new academic journey: she started doctoral studies in Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas.Her main fields of interest are Science fiction, Gender Studies, Children Media and Fan Studies. Besides her nonfiction work, she also writes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. She is a feminist, nerd, Christian, cat lady, book dragon and Earl Grey drinker.

Her new Science Fiction novella, Dream Crusher, is coming out in Kindle and paperback format in November 2016.

Excerpt From THE GOLDEN SPIDER

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from THE GOLDEN SPIDER The Elemental Web Chronicles – Book One by Anne Renwick

The Golden Spider

The Golden Spider

Excerpt from THE GOLDEN SPIDER

There was a lull in the conversation. Thornton cleared his throat and looked up at his audience, expecting all eyes to have focused attentively upon him. Instead, he saw the backs of fifty odd heads and only one face.

A very beautiful face. One with deep pink lips, high cheekbones and a dainty nose between wide eyes that had just a hint of an exotic tilt. Smooth skin, all surrounded by elaborately coiffed hair the color of midnight. Unlike the crows in the back who rolled their eyes in disgust, this woman was garbed in the latest of fashions, a tightly corseted and bustled teal gown with a low cut neckline that had all the men leering.

All but him, of course.

Striking blue eyes met his gaze.

He lifted his eyebrows and drew out his pocket watch to consult the hour. It was five past. She was late.

Her lips curved upward at his obvious reprimand, but she made no effort to hasten her steps. A gentleman in the front row stood, gesturing to a vacant seat he clearly intended for her to occupy. She nodded in greeting, then with the twist of a knob at her waist to collapse her bustle, she removed her feathered hat and settled into the chair beside the smug-looking gentleman.

Instinct told Thornton she would be a problem. A woman with such obvious physical charms expected attention. Best to not provide it. He waved his hand at his assistant and the room plunged into darkness. Sliding home the first glass plate, an illuminated image appeared on the large screen hanging at the front of the hall.

Tomorrow, he would not wait. If she could not manage to arrive promptly, she could damn well stumble her way down the stairs or sit in the back.

“Neurons and glial cells,” he intoned. “Later in the laboratory you will closely study the features of both.”

~~~

Amanda leaned forward in her chair, entranced by the deep, booming voice of this new professor. The light cast by the limelight lantern threw his angular face into sharp relief. What captivating facial bone structure. Prominent zygomatic arches and a long square jaw made the planes of his face appear wide and harsh. Between his dark eyebrows, nasal bones stretched into a long, straight and distinctive nose. Damp hair severely slicked back from his forehead betrayed the man by daring to curl at its tips. Full lips formed words in a tone that made the features of a neuron sound utterly entrancing.

She rather thought she could be content to spend the entire morning listening to him read the index of her anatomy text. Clearly brilliant, he was also the best physical specimen she’d laid eyes on in a long time. Too bad about that clause in the school’s charter forbidding professors from entering into relationships with their students.

A flush rose upward across her face. Such thoughts. She forced her gaze to the projection on the screen. Focus, Amanda.

He was proceeding at such a rapid clip that she would soon be left behind if she could not pull her head out of the aether.

Though she put pen to paper, she could not stop herself from asking. “What happened to Professor Corwin?” she whispered to Simon, or Mr. Sommersby as she addressed him in public.

Simon shifted to lean his shoulder lightly against her own. Male instinct, she supposed, to mark her as his own. Behavior she’d encouraged. “No idea. But it seems Lord Thornton is to finish the lecture series.”

Her indrawn breath was audible.

###

Author Anne Renwick

Author Anne Renwick

Though Anne Renwick holds a Ph.D. in biology and greatly enjoyed tormenting the overburdened undergraduates who were her students, fiction has always been her first love. Today, she writes steampunk romance, placing a new kind of biotech in the hands of mad scientists, proper young ladies and determined villains. Anne is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She lives in Maryland with her family.

Anne brings an unusual perspective to steampunk. A number of years spent locked inside the bowels of a biological research facility left her permanently altered. In her steampunk world, the Victorian fascination with all things anatomical led to a number of alarming biotechnological advances. Ones that the enemies of Britain would dearly love to possess.

Learn more about Anne and her stories by visiting her website http://www.annerenwick.com

THE GOLDEN SPIDER

The Elemental Web Chronicles – Book One

London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.

Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.
After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?

Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.
Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.

Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.
Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.

Excerpt From Scandal: Scions of the Star Empire Book 1

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from Scandal: Scions of the Star Empire Book 1 by Athena Grayson

Scions book 1 teaser cover

Scions book 1 teaser cover

Ione wrapped her fingers around the delicate glass of champ-ale. Pairing up with Den was a practical move for them both. Their families moved in the same social circle and they spent enough time in each other’s company that a pair-up was a foregone conclusion. The only variable was the timing.

A week ago, she wouldn’t have even questioned Den’s declaration. She’d have responded in kind, pressed her body against his in a move carefully calculated to both keep his interest from waning and feed the mills of the gossip streams.

But everything seemed different now. Emptier. Landfall’s soaring strato-scrapers, the massive arcologies that housed the entire world in which she moved, once felt as if they were the universe itself. At least, the parts of it that mattered. The movers and shakers and power-brokers of the settled star system either curried her favor as daughter of the ruler, or jockeyed for position among themselves.

Alliances and feuds, fueled by the engines of Social Capital, influenced negotiations that turned on a social snub or a carefully-timed acknowledgment. Behind it all was the Probabilities Index—the information market that determined the likelihood of potential outcomes that drove the engines of the economy. What used to be the Grand Game had become no game at all. And it was all because of Denaat.

Between one calculated moment and the next, she’d slipped. Suddenly gone weak-kneed and wobbly when his eyes turned smoky and he noticed her as a woman. Some small, winged part of her no longer saw the dome above as protection from the atmosphere, or the floors below, sealed off from the rest of the arcology, as a secluded garden. A part which lost its wings every time his gaze went cool and reminded her that it was indeed a grand game they played.

Den’s hands rested on her shoulders. His touch was light and as carefree as his voice. “All I’m hoping for is a little breathing room.” He leaned in to whisper close to her ear. “Maybe a little sweetness from my favorite princess?”

He wasn’t fooling her, even if his breath tickled her bare skin. And she wasn’t fooling herself. His hands glided down to her back where his warmth was drained away by the cold hardness of the crystals of her dress. His forehead touched hers, and to an outsider, they appeared to be sharing a moment of affection.

Shielded by the gemstones, something in her chest fluttered. That part of her was liable to land her in a choke-chain of an alliance for the rest of her life if she let it take control. Instead of hard crystal, she felt thinner than the threads weaving them together. So she squashed it ruthlessly, and stepped into the circle of his arms to meet his mouth for a kiss that promised, teased, and couldn’t deliver.

And if the warmth of his body made hers a little malleable and tingly, the solid core of her made sure to shift her body so their activities could be observed by the eyes that rested above the mouths that would report to the right ears.

Den’s grip tightened, pressing the gem-encrusted fabric into her skin, but she remained protected from the points of the gems. The carbon-silk threads were indeed as thin as thought. But strong enough to do what they were designed to do—hold it together.

###

Athena Grayson writes romantic fiction ranging from sci-fi romance to magical realism and contemporary fantasy. She loves to write characters who are more than they seem, and loves to play with beloved genre tropes in engaging and unique ways. She adores smart, sexy, beta heroes, and savvy heroines who aren’t afraid to demand–and get!–the best from their relationships. Find her online at athenagrayson.com, or get a free book from her private readers’ group at http://readers.athenagrayson.com/huntress

Scions book 1 teaser cover

Scions book 1 teaser cover

On the surface, princess Ione Ra and her friends seem to have it all. Money, power, fame. Fortunes are won and lost based on their every whim. But the fortunes are not theirs to lose. The sons and daughters of the most powerful families on Landfall have nothing but their reputations to call their own.

When the right scandal at the wrong time threatens to knock Princess Ione’s reputation into the trash can, damage control sends her after notorious gossip journalist Jaris Pulne, a thorn in her side since age twelve. For Denaat Hades, caught up in the scandal with Ione, notoriety is what he desperately needs to emerge from his father’s long shadow, but fame could expose secrets that could get him killed.

But what starts as a social scandal soon reveals that there is more at stake than her reputation. When her scandal runs afoul of the secrets of the most powerful cabal on Landfall, even her crown can’t protect her from the consequences.

Scions will be out in early 2017.

The Superheroines Who Inspire Me – Guest Post

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Corrina Lawson as a guest blogger to talk about the Superheroines that inspire her.

Take it away Corrina!

The Superheroines Who Inspire Me by Corrina Lawson
Once upon a time, I dreamed superheroes were real. Of course, they’re not, not in the traditional sense of heroes with colorful costumes and extraordinary powers, but the heroic traits they possess is something I still want to emulate. Naturally, when I began to write paranormal romances, I drew on superhero mythology.

img_0201My first superhero, Alec Farley, the hero of Phoenix Rising, may have been born with powers like the X-Men, but he owes far more of his personality to the traits to the ones who inspired me: namely, his optimism, his kindness, and his insistence on always doing the right thing.
So here are the heroines who inspired me, in the order that I encountered them growing up. What strikes me about this list is that it’s full of grown woman for the most part. One would think I would have identified more with teenage characters but this list of ladies appealed to who I wanted to become, rather than who I was.

Batgirl copyright D.C. Comics

Batgirl (c) DC Comics

Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (later Oracle) Yes, it was the Batman show from 1966 that introduced me to my first female hero. Sure, I loved the show before that because it was so fun but the second meek Barbara Gordon’s wall flipped to reveal that she was Batgirl, well, that was the minute my younger self realized “Omigod, girls can be superheroes too!” Toss in a motorcycle and a theme song and I was hooked forever.

Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers

Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers

Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman I know, by rights in the 1970s, I should have been watching Wonder Woman and her twirl but my Wonder Woman love came later. Back then, I was enthralled by Jaime. Not only could she do everything better than a guy—stronger, faster, and with superhearing—but she was also unfailingly kind with a need to help others. She was the best teacher ever, concerned about her students, she even saved Max, the bionic dog. This was not a woman driven by angst or darkness but by compassion.

Lois Lane
I’ve said this before, many times, but Lois Lane is the reason I became a journalist. She was the first female character I encountered who had a job other than teacher or nurse or secretary and it was a really cool job! There has been so much analysis about Lois Lane, everything from she’s not too smart to she gets kidnapped all the time, but the bottom line is she does the same job Superman does, fighting for truth and justice, but she does it without powers. In other words, she’s Superman’s hero.

Princess Projectra wedding

Princess Projectra wedding panel

Princess Projectra Non comic fans might not be familiar with her, but Projectra was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the DC Comics’ far future. Her ability was to create illusions to fool people. I loved that because it showed you could defeat someone stronger and faster by being clever and with misdirection. Plus, she was also a real-life princess responsible for taking care of a planet, and her boyfriend/eventual husband was Karate Kid, who was awesome. They modeled the type of romantic couple I would later want to write about. (We won’t discuss DC’s failure to give them a HEA.)

Huntress/Helena Wayne Helena Wayne was the daughter of an alternate Earth Batman and Catwoman. Whoa. Who wouldn’t want those parents? Alas, Helena was driven into crimefighting by revenge as her mother was killed after being blackmailed, and then her father later died fighting a villain possessing magical power. This, however, did not change her essentially optimistic personality. She became Huntress to find justice, not to hurt others, and she was a lawyer by day to do the same.

Jean Grey
If you’ve only watched the movies, well, you’re missing out on Jean Grey/Marvel Girl/Phoenix as she’s been consistently underused on the screen. That’s the problem with her comic book self, too, as Jean was never the same after the Dark Phoenix saga in which she gained the ability to devour worlds (and did) but killed herself to save the universe from her own power. What she taught me in the Dark Phoenix saga is that a powerful woman could be an equal in a relationship, even with the leader of the X-Men, (Cyclops), and she could even initiate sex. (“Scott, I wanted to see your eyes.”) Jean, until power consumed her, showed what equality was like when you’re in love.

Oracle and Black Canary from The Birds of Prey

Oracle and Black Canary from The Birds of Prey

Black Canary was a semi-favorite of mine in the 1970s as a member of the Justice League of America but she never seemed to get the spotlight, which was frustrating. I lost track of her for years until I picked up a new series, Birds of Prey, in which Dinah Lance/Canary teamed up with Barbara Gordon, now Oracle. My love for Canary has never diminished since them, as not only did Dinah have the spotlight but she was more confident and powerful than ever, even without her Canary cry. The book also was a role model for female friendships, with the cast members eventually growing to include the Helena Bertinelli version of the Huntress. (We won’t discuss what the television writers have done to my Dinah.)

Sharon Carter
Agent 13 was created many years ago but she’d been pushed to the side when I first started reading Captain America comics in the late 1970s. Heck, she was even killed off. But she was brought back in a short run by Mark Waid and has never been sent to the sidelines again. What’s great about Sharon? She’s the proto-typical bad-ass secret agent, she’s the intellectual equal of Steve Rogers, and she’s fiercely independent. When Sharon was impregnated against her will by the Red Skull with (handwaveycomicbookscience) a child/clone to use against her and Steve, Sharon escaped custody and when her enemies were closing in again, she stabbed herself in the gut, taking control and ownership of what was being done to her own body.

Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
Like Black Canary/Dinah Lance, Carol has been knocking around since the 1970s, though she’s in the Marvel universe. Originally, she was a female version of Captain Mar-vell, but then a newspaper publisher, a member of the Avengers, then depowered, then a member of the X-Men powered by star energy called Binary, then Warbird, then…well, you get the picture. Writers, mostly male, made Carol into whatever they wanted. Then Kelly Sue DeConnick led a revamp of the character, Carol took on the mantle of Captain Marvel, she owned her experience as a pilot and Air Force Colonel, and now she’s a confident leader who can defeat any threat. In other words, she came through the fire better than ever and now she’ll have a movie. Go, Carol.

Jessica Jones
She’s the last addition to my list and it’s by virtue of her Netflix show. I read some issues of the comic Alias that introduced Jessica and they didn’t speak to me. Perhaps it was that Jessica seemed angry all the time but it was never clear why.
But in the show, we know right away why she’s angry and dysfunctional. She was mind-controlled and raped and abused by a telepath, and she’s by turns pissed off and traumatized by it. But to Jessica, the worst thing that can happen, ever, is that someone dies on her watch. She was under compulsion to kill once and she refuses to do it again. Oh, she’s not a saint. She’s profane, an alcoholic, she’s rude, and she often refuses to let anyone help with her pain. But she pushes past that because, dammit, she hates to see people hurt, even people she doesn’t like. Her story is also one of healing for rape survivors and we never get enough of those.

Corrina Lawson as Wonder Woman

Corrina Lawson as Wonder Woman

Corrina Lawson is a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. A mom of four, she now works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director and co-founder of GeekMom.com.

Her novels include The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, a romantic steampunk mystery and the Galaxy award-winning and USA Today recognized superhero romance series: Phoenix Institute series: Phoenix Rising, Luminous, Phoenix Legacy, Ghost Phoenix, Ghosts of Christmas Past, and Phoenix Inheritance.

You can learn more about Corrina by visiting her website: corrina-lawson.com,  her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/corrina.lawson or by following her adventures via Twitter: @CorrinaLawson

Excerpt from Santa Baby

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from Santa Baby by Colleen Keehne.

img_0187Bruce Springsteen’s gravelly voice singing about Santa Claus coming to town streamed from the jukebox in one corner of the diner. Multicolored twinkling lights covered the long bar near the back, coloring the glasses of beer and drinks that lined it. The tree at the far end of the bar was seven feet of old fashioned, symmetrical White Spruce. The colors of the dancing lights reflected in the shiny ornaments and tinsel that hung from its full branches. A silver star tree topper gave the tree a finished look. Patrons sat scattered among the tables and along the bar, eating or nursing drinks as they chatted. Rudy’s Diner was the only place to gather in the small but bustling town of Mistletoe, North Pole.
Bruce’s voice faded away, replaced by Elvis Presley lamenting his blue Christmas. The diner’s door opened as two tall, bulky men walked in, stopping inside the doorway. Both men were dressed for Mistletoe’s dry polar climate: insulated pants, down parkas with fur-trimmed hoods, boots, and gloves. Their brown eyes scanned the room, stopping a moment to give the tall, buxom blond waitress an appreciative once over. Her tight jeans and t-shirt showed off her ample curves. Turning, as if feeling their gazes on her, she grinned at them.
“Hey guys, take a seat anywhere.” She waved them in toward the open dining area. “Be with ya in a minute.” Both men watched as Kandy disappeared through the swinging doors. They shrugged out of their parkas, hanging them on the large pegboard next to the door.
Jamie, Kandy’s best friend and newest member of Rudy’s staff, looked up at the clock over the doors that led into the dining room. 7:30 p.m. “Two more hours,” she thought. All she wanted to do was go home, roll into bed, and sleep for days. Sleep had been elusive the last few weeks because of a sense that something was going to happen, she just didn’t know what. Closing her eyes, she could almost feel the coolness of her sheets as she imagined herself sliding between them. A bump from behind brought her back to the diner’s staff area.
“Hey Jamie, you OK?” Kandy asked. “Sorry about the bump girlfriend, but Rudy is yelling for you.”
“Yeah, I’m fine, just tired.” Jamie gave Kandy a small smile before she walked toward the kitchen. Stopping, she turned around and looked at Kandy. “I have this feeling that something is going to happen.”
“Happen?” Kandy asked. She had known Jamie since they were freshman roommates at the University of Oregon and had learned to take Jamie’s premonitions seriously.
“Yeah,” Jamie said, “I haven’t been sleeping. The feeling has been getting stronger each day. I think it’s going to be soon.” She shook her head, trying to dispel the overwhelming anxiety.
Kandy’s eyes grew wide. Jamie was never able to pin down what was going to happen or when with her premonitions. But, good or bad, they always came true. “Something bad?” She asked. “Soon?” She glanced toward the kitchen where Rudy bellowed for Jamie.
I don’t know,” Jamie answered, walking to the pickup counter between the serving area and the kitchen where three steaming plates waited for her.
“Jamie…orders up!” Rudy yelled from the kitchen. “Table six!”
“Rudy, I’m right here,” Jamie pointed out with a smile. “You can stop yelling.” Rudy grinned at her. He only had one volume when he was in the kitchen.
Jamie moved the plates from the pickup window to a large tray and added some condiments then headed toward table six. A shiver of anticipation raced through her body as she moved through the dining room.
Meanwhile, the two newcomers had settled in at a large round table off to one side of the diner. After sitting down, each had grabbed a menu from the stack in the middle of the table. As they looked them over, Bing Crosby’s voice crooned from the jukebox, wishing everyone a Mele Kalimaka. It was a catchy tune, and before the song was over, both men were singing along with it. A sigh drew their attention to Kandy, who stood next to the table.
“God…I’ll have that blasted song stuck in my head for the rest of the night!” she groaned, rolling her eyes at the two men’s less than stellar musical talents. “Lucas, Myles.” She nodded at each man. “What’ll it be?”
“Hey Kandy.” Myles tossed his menu down, a dimple showing as he grinned. “I’ll start with Alaskan Winter Ale.”
“Same thing for me,” Lucas muttered, still looking at the menu. “And an order of Spicy Fried Zucchini.”
Myles grimaced. “Man, you do remember what those did to you the last time you had them?” He looked at Kandy. “Gave him gas for a week. No one wanted to get near him.”
Kandy laughed, her large breasts jiggling under her tight t-shirt. Both men stared, mesmerized by the sight. A large hand reached out, slapping the back of Lucas’s head. “Hey!” Lucas protested, rubbing the spot and looking up at the tall man who had approached the table unnoticed. “What the hell Silas?”
Silas sat down with a scowl that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Dude…you know Rudy will kick your ass into next week if he catches you looking at Kandy that way.”
“Not likely, Silas,” Kandy snorted, “Then I’d be doing some ass kicking of my own. Where’s the rest of the crew?”
Silas tilted his head toward the door before dropping into an empty chair. Kandy glanced at the door as it blew open and four tall men walked in, followed by a willowy auburn-haired woman. The men were jostling each other and laughing. The woman strolled into the diner behind them, acting as if she didn’t know them. It was obvious she was a part of the group despite the distance she kept from the men. All five made their way to the table where Lucas, Myles, and Silas sat. Kandy greeted each of them by name as they pulled chairs out and sat down
“Hi Donny, Oliver, Adam, David.” The men nodded, and a chorus of hellos echoed around the table. Kandy looked at the lone woman among them. “Hi Vicky,” she said with a smile, “Things going OK?” Kandy knew that Vicky was coming off a broken relationship, and being surrounded by men could be painful for her now.
“Things are…improving,” Vicky replied. She left it at that. She tended to keep her feelings close to herself. With all male co-workers, she’d claimed it was better that way. Kandy nodded in commiseration.
“OK boys…” Kandy said. She had to speak louder to be heard over the cacophony of male voices. “You guys need some time before you order?” She pointed to Myles and Lucas. “I have two Alaskan Winter Ales and an order of Spicy Fried Zucchini.” At the mention of the fried zucchini, everyone at the table except Lucas groaned. He just grinned.
“Alaskan Winter Ale all around Kandy,” David said then continued to order for the table. “Nachos, Stuffed Mushroom Caps, and a couple orders of Cheesy Garlic Bread.” Everyone at the tabled nodded in agreement. Kandy scribbled their order on her order pad then turned toward the kitchen. As she walked away, seven pairs of eyes followed her tight, swaying ass. Vicky watched her table mates and rolled her eyes.
“Men!“ she thought then chuckled softly as Nat King Cole’s voice filled the room, singing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Oh yeah, she knew of seven pairs of nuts that needed roasting.

###

Santa Baby Synopsis
img_0187Looking for a slower pace of living after a family tragedy had derailed her life’s plans, Jamie Winters moves to Mistletoe, North Pole at the urging of her best friend, Kandy. Even though she envy’s the love shared between Kandy and her mate Rudy, Jamie’s not looking for a romantic relationship. That changes when she literally bumps into Chris Kringle, the CEO of North Pole, Inc while waitressing at Rudy’s Diner.
Chris Kringle falls for the curvy brunette with the dark chocolate eyes the moment his eyes land on her. And when she had swayed toward him, her hands landing on her cheat, he had known she was the One. His fated mate. But his wooing of her won’t be easy. She’s human and he’s… more than human. Can she accept what Chris is? He’ll have to tread carefully to make it work between them before the menace stalking NPI and the Kringle family steals Jamie away.
Santa Baby is available now at:

About Colleen Keehne
img_0188Colleen’s debut novel was published in October 2016. It took her a year and half to accomplish this feat. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and holds down a full-time job. Throw into that mix two very spoiled cats and about 60 fish and you can see why it took so long. You can learn more about Coleen via her Amazon Author Page, her Author Page or her Goodreads Author Page.

Excerpt from Claimed

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from Claimed by Lee-Ann Wallace.

NOTE:  This excerpt is PG-13.

Claimed

Claimed

Paxar went still behind her, and his humming ceased with a gasp. Tina whipped her head around to see a male taking up the entire wide doorway of the shop with his body and wings.
Her breath caught in her throat as her stomach did flip flops. Not a single sound, no movement, no talking came from behind her. The tension level in the shop rose as Tina stared at the male.
Oh, my. Wow, talk about stunning. She let her gaze travel over the male, taking in his wide shoulders and thick arms. He could squeeze you to death with those. A shiver shot down her spine. She’d never been with a man built like this male. He reminded her of her father, and she’d seen and had firsthand experience of what a man could do with that kind of strength. She swallowed down the lump forming in her throat.
He had the thickly muscled body of a warrior, even sported a breastplate, and had a variety of weapons strapped to his hips and thighs, cinching the garment he wore on his lower body tight. Who was he?
Tina let her gaze sweep back up the length of him to his corded neck and face. A face she could have found on any men’s fashion campaign on Earth, if it wasn’t for his yellow eyes with their slit pupils. A slight movement dragged her gaze from his, and she watched his deep green wings flare and snap back into position behind his back.
Oh. Oooh! So this was her male. This stunning combination of Morgathian and Human was hers. Boy, he was scrumptious enough to eat. Straight black brows sat low over his eyes and black hair spilled down the sides of his face. A long curl hung over his shoulder all the way to his waist. Tina had never liked long hair on a man, but on her mate, it was sexy as hell.
Okay, okay, sure he was gorgeous, but… he could be a complete dick. No, she already knew he was an ass. He’d bitten her and claimed her as his mate without even asking her. Definitely an ass. Tina had no time for assholes, and only time would tell if he was like her father. The fire in her gut flared. How dare he be so sexy and make her want him regardless of her feelings. Tina gritted her teeth and clenched the arms of the chair so hard her knuckles went white.
She turned away from her mate and stared into the mirror. “Cut it, Paxar.”
A low growl preceded, “If you cut her hair, I will gut you.”
Tina whipped her head around, her teeth bared in a snarl, and glared at the imposing male. His seven feet of wicked, violent masculinity posed a considerable threat to her peace of mind. He threatened her resolve to be strong with his overpowering presence, and it pissed her off royally. Stupid, arrogant male.
“You will not,” Tina said. “By your laws, I am free to do as I like until you claim me. Until you bite me a second time, I can do as I like. Now, I am going to have a haircut. Then I am going to my quarters to pack my belongings, and after, I will let you take me to your ship. You can wait outside for me, or you can wait on your ship, and I will come when I’m good and ready.”
They stared at each other for long minutes, the first of what Tina knew would be a series of battles. His bright yellow gaze bored into hers, the weight of his stare, the weight of his will trying to subdue her, but Tina refused to back down. A tiny grin lifted one corner of his lips as one sexy eyebrow rose, and humor filled his eyes, but that didn’t stop the flaring of his wings. He snapped them back in so fast they let off an audible crack.
Sexy beast. Tina barely controlled her growl of frustration. No man had the right to be so arousing that she wanted to jump him the minute she met him. Damn him.
“Then I guess I’d better claim you,” he said.

###

Claimed

Claimed

Amazon | Extasy Books | Claimed webpage

Sometimes, dreams come true.
After fighting Earth’s government for fifty years, the Coalition has succeeded in its plan of bringing human females into space, and Tina Graham can finally live her dream. Assigned as a medic on Deranti Station, she has everything she has ever wanted until an unknown alien male rips it all away during a raid. With her dream destroyed and her life forever changed by an alien she’s only met once, Tina must fight to keep her dream alive.
Sorvar, Third Prince of Morgath, wants a mate who is different from the submissive females his people usually steal, and Tina’s just the sort of female he’s been looking for. The feisty human sets his blood on fire the minute she opens her mouth, and one bite is all it takes to claim her. But unexpected complications threaten to halt their relationship before it starts, and Tina must slay the demons from her past to have any chance at happiness with the sexy alien.
While Tina and Sorvar learn to manage the surprising results of mixing Human and Morgath genes, alien and human forces are determined to tear them apart, and steal not only their future but the future of the Morgath people.

About Lee-Ann Wallace
Lee-Ann Wallace wants to live in a world where washing folds itself, coffee’s good for you and dreams come true (at least the good ones). With one series published by eXtasy books, she’s just getting started with this thing called writing. If only her hands could type as fast as her imagination flows. When she’s not tapping away at her computer working on her next story, you can find her daydreaming about her next tattoo, watching action movies with her family, and practicing self-control, so she doesn’t one click every book on Amazon.

Find out more about Lee-Ann’s current releases and what she’s working on now at http://www.leeannwallace.com. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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…

Book Excerpt: The Pain Season

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from The Pain Season, Book II of the Covalent Series by Libby Doyle.

the-pain-season-cover

Autumnal Equinox, Chapter 1

The axial rift opened with a ripping, clattering sound that fell in on itself, like a record playing backwards. Barakiel stood near the rusted tangle of train tracks behind Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. When a dozen demons emerged from the rift he smiled with relief. No Corrupted. None of his father’s dark warriors had made it through. The demons might be sturdy and vicious, but they were dim-witted. This fight would be routine, and then he could get home to Zan. He didn’t let himself think about what might happen when he revealed himself to her. He had a battle to deal with first.

I cannot love her if I let myself be killed by demons.

The location was also a relief. Usually when the yellow-eyed beasts shot through the axial rift he had to draw them away from population. Here, regional-rail trains were passing nearby, but there were no pedestrians. And the hour suited him. The equinox had come at night, around 10:30. Even if Pellus had not been there to conceal his activities, it was unlikely the passengers would be able to see much of anything occurring so deep in the rail yard. Pellus was there, of course, to create his curtain of refracted light that would hide the battle from weak human eyes. Barakiel could depend on him.

Thank Balance this will be easy, after all that has happened.

Shortly after the demons emerged, the warrior’s relief evaporated. Instead of attacking Barakiel, a handful peeled off, running in the direction of the city streets. The others headed for the section of the yard where the passenger trains were coming and going. Barakiel froze for a second to weigh the threats, before he moved toward the trains to pursue the greater number of demons.

I hope you can conceal this imbroglio, Pellus.

The warrior was about to fall upon a demon with his sword when he saw another attempting to rip up the tracks in front of an approaching train.

What in all the realms?

The train could be derailed if the monstrous creature finished, so Barakiel sped to fling it away from the tracks. As he raised his sword to take its head, another demon ripped apart a switching station. Yet another threw chunks of corroded metal. Some pieces fell onto a set of tracks on which a train approached. The warrior killed the first beast then ran to the blocked tracks, hurrying to clear the debris before the train reached that spot. Other demons ran amok in the rail yard, destroying any structure they could see. Anxiety gripped him.

What are you trying to do to now, father? Murder innocent humans to torment me?

###

Coming Halloween 2016…The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series

WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, and explicit sex. Adults only, please! Although not a cliffhanger, this is not a stand-alone novel. The story began in The Passion Season and will continue in The Vengeance Season.

The Pain Season

The Pain Season

ON THE AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, ZAN O’GARA’S LIFE WILL CHANGE.
Tonight’s the night. Rainer Barakiel is going to tell me all his secrets. I thought I’d be excited, but I feel like someone shoved a knife into my gut.

Heh. Fitting, considering I met Rainer because of his expertise in edged weapons. The daggers used in that ritual sacrifice turned into our best lead, thanks to him. What kind of omen is it, that I met the love of my life because someone found a human spleen in the bushes?

I didn’t expect someone like him. When he opened his door I couldn’t talk, I was so stunned. God, how I flirted with him. Hell of a way for an FBI agent to act. I didn’t want to face that he was hiding things from me.

What if he has something to do with the murder?

I’m being paranoid. He’s denied being a criminal and I believe him. I don’t see how my instincts could be so wrong. He can’t be bad. He can’t.

He’s hiding things from me, but he loves me. I feel it. Maybe he didn’t expect to fall in love with me, but he did, and now he wants out. He’s going to confess, leave it all behind. For me.

C’mon, O’Gara. Get ahold of yourself.

I wonder, after he tells me all his secrets, will this become a wacky story we love to tell? Or a story I tell only to myself, alone in a stale-smelling apartment, stewing in pain? The story of how my heart got damaged beyond repair.

The Pain Season is available for pre-order via Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Available now…The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series

WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, explicit sex, and descriptions of sexual violence. Adults only, please. Be aware, this is not a stand-alone novel. The story continues in The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series. Release date: Halloween 2016.

The Passion Season

The Passion Season

“A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters and room for expansion.” — Kirkus Reviews

A gruesome crime brings them together. Will his secrets rip them apart?

He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic. Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to keep the elemental forces of Creation and Destruction in Balance. The Covalent Council exiled Barakiel to the Earthly Realm as the price of the treachery of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against it. Lucifer also relentlessly pursues his son. The Council thinks Lucifer views his son’s power as a threat, but Barakiel knows his father seeks to destroy even the memory of love.

She is Alexandra O’Gara. FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk. Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never encountered anyone like the stunning Rainer Barakiel. Zan believes Barakiel is a wealthy businessman with expertise in edged weapons who can help her with a case. From the moment she meets him she wants him more than she’s ever wanted anything, but her intense attraction frightens her as much as it thrills her.

This is their love story. As Zan’s deepening feelings for Barakiel lead her to confront her emotional damage, he struggles to meet the demands of his home world so he will be free to love her, and to reveal his true nature. Through the gruesome crime that first brought Zan to his door, Barakiel learns that his presence in the Earthly Realm has placed some of 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 centuries of a deadened heart.

The Passion Season (enrolled in KDP Select until Oct. 30) via Amazon.

Libby Doyle

Libby Doyle


Libby Doyle is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes the mundane by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.

Writing novels is Libby’s latest adventure in a life that has been filled with them. She knows she’s a lucky woman, to have so many memories that feed her imagination.

She’s stood atop a hill in Connemara in a cold wind, watching sunlight sparkle off the pristine sea below. She’s crested a trail after a grueling hike to find the glory of the Continental Divide spread before her. She’s been followed by a howler monkey in a Mexican jungle, shared the midday meal with Buddhist monks in Korea, and been pummeled by an opponent in a martial arts test in Japan. She’s trekked for days among the Himalayas, mountains so high and timeless they made her feel completely insignificant, a wonderful feeling.

She’s married to a man who is funny and kind and patient enough to listen to her chatter on about her characters. Libby feels like they’re her friends. She’s confident they’ll keep you entertained. Through her fanciful tales, she hopes they speak to you.

Ways to Connect with Libby Doyle:

Interview with Author Callie Bourde

It is a pleasure to welcome Callie Bourde author of the Galaxia Alia AIR series.


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

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

This SERIES is called Galaxia Alia AIR. AIR is an acronym for Artist In Residence… Each book is about a main character who is an artist of some sort in this new program. The Jump Stations are huge, with big populations of permanent residents of all ages… The society has gotten very mechanized and as a result, hand work is now highly prized, luxury items.

The AIR program provides housing and living stipends for artists who create and sell their products AND also offer classes both to residents and tourists. Crafts in the first six books include — Lighting Design, Abstract Meditative Art (DoodleArt) , Beading, Batik, Lampworking, and Cameo Carving.

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

If so, give a few examples…

My universe, the Galaxia Alia, is not an Earth based world. To emphasize that, I made the names different from what we are used to. At the same time I needed SOME sort of structure, so I came up with naming conventions for each species…

    So Chill’ra females all have names that end in ‘Ish — An’Ish, Mar’Ish, and Kt’Ish
    D’Ur’Uma females have names with double vowels in the middle — Gaala, Neela, Tuula
    And U’ngoloph males have a ‘Z’ in the middle — Mazim, Lazo, nd Hazar

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

It is a genre I read, and the scope for creativity appealed to me.

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

I’ve followed an number of career paths and they all included creativity as a component. As a result I see creativity as an on-demand skill rather than a muse driven gift. If you have to design and build six different stage sets in seven weeks, waiting for a muse is a luxury you don’t have. I try to bring that same ‘business as usual’ to my writing. I do a lot of planning at every step of the process.

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

Several of the crafts were either ones I hadn’t done at all or hadn’t done for a long time. LOVE the videos on YouTube 😉

What makes you laugh?

Irony or things out of context…

What makes you cry?

Cruelty to people and animals. I don’t see any reason to be mean to anyone or anything…

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

Doing needlework or sewing or any other craft is a wonderful way to wind down. These days my go to craft is beading.

Thank you again Callie for answering these questions and letting us get to know you and your stories better.

###

More about Callie Bourde:

Please visit her website or her Facebook page for more about Callie and to get the latest about her stories.

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