Guest Post: The worlds of The Stuff of Legend

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Greta van der Rol as a guest blogger to talk about her latest book in the Ptorix Empire series, The Stuff of Legend

Take it away Greta!

The worlds of The Stuff of Legend by Greta van der Rol

Thanks for having me on your blog, Patty.

As you know, I’m almost as much of a Star Wars Fangirl as you are. However, today’s post is going to be a bit of geeky stuff about my latest book.

I’ve just published my latest book in the Ptorix Empire series, The Stuff of Legend. If you’ve read any of my books you’ll know I like to do some planet-hopping – in the best traditions of space opera. Many of my planets are, of necessity, habitable by humans, but for this book I wanted to get a little bit more exotic.

img_0830The book’s plot centers around an open star cluster called the Maidens. It’s not a particular open cluster in our night sky – after all, who knows which galaxy this story takes place in? But I like my astronomy to be realistic. I didn’t use a globular cluster, despite the attraction of a mass of stars huddled close together. Globular clusters are tightly packed (for stars) and gravitationally bound to each other. The stars are the oldest we know of, and because of that wouldn’t be likely to have the elements created in super novas upon which life as we know it is built. The stars in open clusters are younger. They form in the usual stellar nurseries like the mighty Orion Nebula. From there, they remain in a more ‘open’ gravitational relationship until they leave home on their own. Our sun was probably part of an open cluster when it was a teenager. You can find out more about open clusters here.

Probably the best known open cluster is the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. But I didn’t want my cluster to look quite like that. Although there are gas clouds in the Pleiades, I wanted something a bit more like the roiling clouds of Orion. And it so happens that an open cluster that had been thought to be part of the Orion Nebula, was in fact a different entity, situated in front of the nebula. Here’s the story of NGC 1980. It was perfect. So my story takes place in a star cluster that has some similarities to NGC 1980.

There’s a legend, of course. My cluster, the Maidens, can be pictured (if you cross your eyes and stand on one leg) as three women in robes of stardust guarding a hoard of stars.

Next, planets. Not every planet has seasons. Not every planet has a temperate climate. Not every planet has a bright yellow star. So I created a few ‘different’ planets for my story.
• One planet is undergoing an ice age. Apart from being cold, the atmosphere is not breathable by humans. And since there is no axial tilt, the planet doesn’t have seasons. It’s not a place where you’d want to visit the poles.
• Another planet is much, much more massive than standard (think Earth).
• Yet another planet is a close binary system, rather like the Earth and its moon, but more equal in size. Perhaps a little more like Pluto and Charon.

Each planet my intrepid explorers visit has its own challenges to overcome. There’s adventure, mystery, and action, all mixed up and sweetened with a dollop of romance.

I enjoyed writing this book. I hope you enjoy reading it.

img_0831When history professor Olivia Jhutta receives a distress call from her parents, she sets out into space with their business partner, her grandmother, and injured Confederacy Admiral Jak Prentiss to find them. But she’s not the only one interested in the Jhutta’s whereabouts. The Helicronians believe Olivia’s parents have found an ancient weapon which they can use to wage war on the Confederacy.
Jak goes on the trip to fill in time while he’s on enforced leave, helping Olivia follow cryptic clues in what he considers an interplanetary wild goose chase in search of a fairy story. But as the journey progresses and legend begins to merge with unsettling fact, Olivia and Jak must resolve their differences and work together if they are to survive. The two are poles apart… but it’s said opposites attract. If they can manage to stay alive.

Buy it now on AmazonGoogleiBooksNookKobo, Print via Createspace

Greta van der Rol loves writing action-packed adventures with a side salad of romance. Most of her work is space opera, but she has written paranormal and historical fiction.
She lives not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoys photography and cooking when she isn’t bent over a hot computer. She has a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping her in her writing endeavors. Find out more about Greta and her books at her website http://gretavanderrol.net/

Interview with a Fangirl: Michelle

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

Today, it is a great pleasure to interview fellow Fangirl, Michelle, aka Missy K’ya!

Fangirl Missy

Fangirl Michelle

I became aware of Michelle via the Skywalking Through Neverland Podcast and through interactions with her via Facebook.

Welcome Michelle to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I suppose I have been a Fangirl since I was 9 years old. I know that, at that age, I didn’t realize that I was a Fangirl (or that there was such a thing). All I knew was that I was completely obsessed with Star Wars. I did realize that I was the only girl in my school that was passionate about it, but I simply didn’t care what anyone else thought. By the time I was about 12 or 13 I realized that “fandom” was a thing, and that I was certainly a part of it.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media was non-existent during my childhood, teens, and early adulthood. We met other fans at comic book stores, lining up for new Star Wars film releases (yes, even back then), or just through mutual friends. Since the rise of social media it has become so much easier to meet other fans, which is great ! I find that when there is some new, exciting Star Wars news that the people around me do not really care about, I can just turn to my social media friends and they are always there to share in my excitement.

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

I saw A New Hope when it was first released in the theater. I had just turned 6 years old and it was love at first sight. I grew up in San Francisco and saw the movie at the Coronet Theater, which I was able to do for every single Star Wars film until The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, the theater closed before then and I was devastated. Now I have to see Star Wars films in other places, but the love remains. I believe my love for all things Star Wars continues to grow, and probably always will.

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

I have learned that there are so many people out there that feel the same way I do, and that these people come from so many different places, ethnicities, religions, and political points of view. Regardless of how different fans may be, we all share something. Through the connections we make in our fandom communities I have seen that we can respect each other’s differences and not judge each other based on those differences or points of view. I find fellow fans to be far more accepting than other people in general. It seems that knowing what we share helps us to respect our differences.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Disney, Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Trek, LOTR, and Stranger Things.

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

I just want to express how happy I am that it has become much more acceptable for girls to be a part of the fandom communities. This generation is able to enjoy being fans regardless of their gender.

Thank so much Michelle for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your fandom better.

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Michelle is a Northern California Fangirl mother and grandmother raising a 6 year old Fangirl with autism. You can connect with Missy K’ya via her Facebook or Instagram as a_mommy_and_a_mimi.

The Character Development of Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano's Character Designs over the years credit Lucasfilm Ltd

Ahsoka Tano’s Character Designs over the years credit Lucasfilm Ltd

Ahsoka Tano was first publically introduced into the Star Wars Universe on January 29, 2008.

Ahsoka Tano with Saw Gerrera in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Ahsoka Tano with Saw Gerrera in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I, like many others, were not too sure about this new character first intoduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. However, as time went on, Ahsoka is now a vital and beloved part of the Star Wars Universe. This can be seen when there were cries of great joy from many fans, including myself, when Ahsoka appeared as the mysterious ‘Fulcrum’ in Star Wars Rebels.

Ahsoka introduces herself to the crew of The Ghost in Star Wars Rebels

Ahsoka introduces herself to the crew of The Ghost in Star Wars Rebels season 1 Finale, Fire Across The Galaxy

Therefore, in celebration of Ahsoka’s introduction into the Star Wars Universe, fans declared that this Anniversary be known as #AhsokaTanoDay.

#AhsokaTanoDay logo from The WookieeGunner.com credit Johnamarie Macias

#AhsokaTanoDay logo from TheWookieeGunner.com credit Johnamarie Macias

I am celebrating #AhsokaTanoDay by sharing the series of blog articles I wrote in 2016 about Ahsoka’s character development from The Clone Wars Movie to Star Wars Rebels. I hope you enjoy my look at the development of this important and beloved Star Wars character, Ahsoka Tano.

The Character Development of Ahsoka Tano by Patty Hammond (aka PattyBones2):

  • Part 1, Introduction of Ahsoka via TheBeardedTrio
  • Part 2, What Did Ahsoka Learn from Anakin? via TheCantinaCast
  • Part 3, Development from the end of The Clone Wars to Rebels via TheBeardedTrio

CLASH of AGES Renaissance Faire


CLASH of AGES Renaissance Faire

On Saturday January 28, 2017, my husband, my sister and two of our friends went to the CLASH of AGES Renaissance Faire. This is an indoor event held in Birch Run, MI where the Renaissance, Viking, Pirate, Fantasy and Steam Punk cultures collide.

The event organized tried very hard to make this a fun and exciting event. They put a lot of work into the set up, displays and programming. It including activities for all ages including…

Watching combatants fight with swords

Sword wielding combatants show off their moves

Sword wielding combatants show off their moves

Admiring all the creativity, enthusiasm and effort of the Cosplayers. –My husband was suprised by the number of people who were displaying their love of these cultures via Cosplay at this event.

Some of the fabulous outfits worn by attendees

Some of the fabulous outfits worn by attendees

Watching a parade with participants playing instruments, carrying banners and wearing outfits from many different cultures.

A parade winds through the faire

A parade winds through the faire

Watching a baudy pirate show

Two sea going lasses confronting a pirate

Two sea going lasses confronting a pirate

Of course, as with any Renaissance Faire, there was plenty of vendors to peruse and shop at. Some our favorites were…

Buying Fairy merchandise

Fairy dust necklaces

Fairy dust necklaces

Perusing the ‘Hogwarts Shop’

Time turners and other Harry Potter merchandise for sale

Time turners and other Harry Potter merchandise for sale

Shopping for your favorite weapon.

Edged weapons for sale

Edged weapons for sale

You could even shop for items for your ‘cave’

Sample of the Star Wars items available for sale

Sample of the Star Wars items available for sale

The only draw back to this event that we can identify was that the usual atmosphere, like the forest or a castle, usually found at Renaissance Faires, was missing.

Faire atmosphere

Faire atmosphere

Overall, this is good event.  If you are in the Birth Run area on January 29, 2017, I would recommend checking this event out.

 

Foods in Star Wars with Significance

Foods in Star Wars with Significance

Consuming food is the basic foundation of life, but within the Star Wars Universe, some of them can have greater significance than just providing substance. Some can either further our understanding of characters, while wome further the plot in some way. A few of the foods that have significance for one reason or another in the Star Wars Saga are…

Gorgs

Jar Jar snagging food from a vendor in The Phantom Menace credit Lucasfilm

Jar Jar snagging food from a vendor in The Phantom Menace credit Lucasfilm

Description: An amphibious animal consumed by Hutts, Dugs and Gungans
Appearance: The Phantom Menace
Significance: When Jar Jar snags a Gorg using his long tongue from a vendor in Mos Espa on Tatooine, he accidentally hits a Dug, with it. The Dug he hits with this delicacy is Sebolba who is Anakin Skywalker’s competitor in the sport of pod racing. The introduction of Sebolba is important in understanding what obstacles Anakin has to face in winning the Podrace, which is necessary for the ship repairs and in gaining his freedom from slavery.

Jogan fruits


Description: Round mostly round fruit with white stripes that can be found on Lothal and other planets
Appearance: Star Wars Rebels Season 1 Premiere Episode, Spark of Rebellion
Significance: Just before Ezra Bridger met the crew of The Ghost, a merchant selling Jorgan fruit was having a confrontation with Imperial officers. This confrontation led the Imperials to call for this merchant’s arrest for treason. Ezra quickly went to help this merchant by making these Imperials think there was an emergency elsewhere in the city. After these officiers left the area, Ezra helped this merchant pick up the Jorgan Fruit that fell to the ground during the confrontation. However, he takes some of the Jorgan fruit without permision. This scene with the Jorgan fruit, gives us a better understanding of Ezra’s character as quick thinking thief, who is willing to help when he can.

Field Rations

Ration Pack from The Force Awakens Visual Guide credit DK Books/Lucasfilm

Ration Pack from The Force Awakens Visual Guide credit DK Books/Lucasfilm

Description: Ready-to-eat food that has little or no prep-time consumed by military (Republic, Imperial, Rebel Alliance) personnel
Appearance: The Force Awakens
Significance: In The Force Awakens, Imperial rations are used as currency on the planet Jakku for items that are salvaged from crashed ships. When Unkar Plutt offers Rey 60 of these ration portions for BB-8, she refuses to sell the droid.  This shows that Rey’s friendship with BB-8 is more important to her than what she was offered.

Meilooruns

Ezra defends himself against a Storm Trooper with fruit

Ezra defends himself against a Storm Trooper with fruit credit StarWars.com

Description: A type of orange fruit melon that is sold on Lothal and consumed by many including Imperial forces
Appearance: Star Wars Rebels Season 1 Episode, Fighter Flight
Significance: A simple assignment to obtain some of this fruit for Hera turns into an adventure where Zeb and Ezra obtain a Tie Fighter. This Tie Fighter was then used as part of the plan to a rescue Kanan Jarrus from Imperial custody.

Rootleaf Stew


Description: A stew made of root leaves found on Dagobah
Appearance: The Empire Strikes Back
Significance: This stew is the ‘Good Food’ that Yoda offers Luke when he first encounters him on Dagobah. This is significant because it is when Luke is eating this repast that he discovers that the crazy creature that offered to help him find the Jedi Master, Yoda, is actually the one he was seeking.

So do you agree with me that these foods have significance within the Star Wars Saga?

Do you have any other examples that I missed?

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Patty Hammond (@pattyBones2) is the Everyday Fangirl from Michigan who has a disguise as a mild mannered data analyst. Patty is very active in the Star Wars community. You can find her posting about Star Wars and much more on her blog EverydayFangirl.com, TheCantinaCast.com, FutureofTheForce.com, TheBeardedTrio.com, and of course on Twitter @Pattybones2.

The Star Wars Rebels Mid-Season Trailer is EPIC

If you have not been watching the animated series Star Wars Rebels and you loved Rogue One, A Star Wars Story, then now is the time to start! Based on the Mid-Season trailer released today, there is some very EPIC Star Wars canon about to be revealed that no Star Wars fan is going to want to miss.

Below are a few of the things revealed in the trailer that I am looking forward to…
Note: All images below are screenshots of the Mid-Season trailer released by StarWars.com via Youtube!

Saw consulting with The Ghost crew

Saw consulting with The Ghost crew

Saw Gerrera working with the crew of The Ghost
I am looking forward to seeing Saw in action again and hopefully not as crazy as he is in Rogue One.

Sabine holding off Kanan with the Darksaber

Sabine holding off Kanan with the Darksaber

Sabine learning to effectively wield the Darksaber
I am very excited to see that Sabine is getting formal training from Kanan on how to wield the Darksaber.

Sabine shows the Darksaber

Sabine shows the Darksaber

Sabine recruiting for the Rebel cause on Mandalore
I am very excited to see Sabine on Mandalore, especially when we learn more about her Mother!

Thrawn about to go into action

Thrawn about to go into action

Thrawn finally makes his move on the Rebels
We now get to find out just what Thrawn learned and just what he is going to do about what he learned!

Agent Kallus looking worried

Agent Kallus looking worried

Thrawn is getting closer to Fulcrum!
Thrawn in the trailer indicates he is looking for the informant known as ‘Fulcrum’. I sure hope Agent Kallus has an exit plan just in case he is found out.

Mon Mothma on board The Ghost

Mon Mothma on board The Ghost

The Rebellion is getting more organized
It looks like we are going to see more on how the various Rebel cells came together to form The Rebel Alliance that we see in Rogue One and of course in the Original Trilogy.

Obi-Wan ready for battle

Obi-Wan ready for battle

Obi-Wan Kenobi
I just knew that we would be seeing an older Obi-Wan, confirmed to be voiced by Stephen Stanton, after all of the Maul centric episodes earlier this season. I cannot wait to see ‘Ben’ on Tatooine during this timeframe and in action!

Maul approaches the fire

Maul approaches the fire

Maul and his quest for ‘peace’
I believe there is going an EPIC confortation between Maul and Obi-Wan before this season ends! Hopefully, we can see Maul finally find the ‘peace’ he is looking for.

Carrie Fisher Has Left Us, but will not be forgotten 

I am very sad to hear that Carrie Fisher has passed away.  There are no words for how I feel that expresses my thanks to this wonderful person.  However, I will do my best.


‪Carrie was a wonderful role model for many, especially this Fangirl by showing that there are self rescuing princesses.  As I grew up, she also showed me that you can overcome many life struggles with humor.  ‬Her problems with her Mother and family really echoed some of the relationship problems I have faced in my life.  Her dedication to her writing, showed me that a beautiful women can be many things in her life.  Her wit and humor showed me to laugh even when things looked bad.  Her love of the fans is one of the things I really liked about her.  


Carrie took the time to interact with everyone she met.  By spreading glitter on her fans at the conventions or even briefly talking to people, like my husband, as he was standing in line to get a diet pop at Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando. 


My heart goes out to her family, friends, her dog Gary and the millions of fans who knew her as Princess or General Leia Organa.

You will be missed Carrie. 

May The Force Be With You, Always…

Carrie Fisher in Hospital after a Mid-Air Heart Attack

Carrie Fisher with her Dog Gary at Star Wars Celebration Europe in July 2016

Carrie Fisher with her Dog Gary at Star Wars Celebration Europe in July 2016

This afternoon via TMZ and updates via other outlets, I heard the news that one of my role models, Carrie Fisher, is in a LA Hospital after an heart attack, while on a plane flying home from her book tour.

Hope profile pic from Full of Sith Podcast listener via Facebook

Hope profile pic from Full of Sith Podcast listener via Facebook


My heart is with her and her family during this time.  I am praying for Carrie and hope that she will be ok.

Sailor Moon R The Movie in Select Theaters Starting 1/19/17

Sailor Moon R The Movie in Select Theaters Starting 1/19/17

VIZ Media announced some of the U.S. theaters that will be showing the Sailor Moon R The Movie with an all new uncut English Dub just after the Los Angeles Premiere on January 13, 2017.

Sailor Moon R Movie Logo

Sailor Moon comes to the big screen in her first dazzling movie! Uncut and for the first time in theaters. Join Sailor Moon on an adventure to save not only the world, but also her true love! This limited engagement also includes the North American debut of the original theatrical short, Make Up! Sailor Guardians and exclusive extras. A special bonus gift will be given to ticket holders while supplies last.

Looking at the list of theaters, this Fangirl is disappointed that only one theater, The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township, MI, will be showing this in my area. However, the good news is that there will be two showings, one of 1/19/17 and the other on 1/23/17, both at 7PM. Tickets are not available to buy for these showings yet. Hopefully, I will be able to buy tickets to one of these. Otherwise, I will have to wait until this is available on BluRay or via streaming.

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You can find more details on other locations in the U.S. and to buy tickets here.

Interview with Author Shari Elder

It is a pleasure to welcome Shari Elder author of Race to Redemption.

Author Shari Elder

Author Shari Elder

Welcome Shari 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 stories better.

Thanks for having me Patty. I’m excited to be here.

img_0592What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The title, Race to Redemption, captures several essential components of the story. Let’s start with race. The heroine Elaina, is a storm racer so racing and race technology are her livelihood. At one point in the story, Elaina and Erik find themselves racing through the desert with mercenaries on their tail and two sick friends who need to get to a hospital. Finally, Erik, who is a doctor, finds himself racing against time to save people he cares about who are suffering from some mysterious ailment.

Redemption is what both the hero and heroine need from their pasts.

The series title, Green Rising, signifies the emergence of a rebel coalition with a different vision for organizing the political, social and economic system of their corner of the galaxy.

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

I grew up on science fiction and fantasy. In ninth grade, my English teacher assigned Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. That book blew me away and I’ve never been the same since. It showed me we can play with the rules of how we organize our lives (e.g. five and ten year marriage contracts). It is my first lesson in how powerful stories are in creating and sustaining the assumptions about good and evil, right and wrong, past and future that we use to organize our lives and society. The Overlords, the aliens in the story are thought provoking (I can’t say more without spoiling it if you haven’t read it.). For me, writing in this genre seemed as natural as breathing.

Why romance then? Because I can’t resist a happy ending, and romance is guaranteed to give it to you.

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

Great question! For me, staying sane as a writer requires creating some structure, getting the right sustenance, knowing when to take a break, an¬¬¬¬d never, ever giving up. Translating all that to personal attributes you get persistence, discipline and a dependence on coffee. Now that you asked, I must admit most of my heroes and heroines would be classified as tenacious and disciplined. Coffee I did make optional. I’ll have to write more of a free spirit in a future book.

What makes you laugh?

My daughter. She is a teen-ager and knows how to wind me up. When that doesn’t work, I watch MASH and Frasier reruns.

What makes you cry?

Any child in pain. Even just the thought of any child feeling pain.

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

Doctor Who, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, world mythologies and animals. So, no surprises I wrote science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance. Aliens and shifters rule!

Anything else you want share with us today?

Yes! I’ve set up an Amazon giveaway that lasts until December 23. Just clink this link and enter for the chance to win one of five copies of Race to Redemption. Good luck and thanks for stopping by. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/f02e2dc7ad79f489

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Thanks so much Shari for answering these questions today and for letting us get to know you and your stories better.

More about Shari Elder

By day, Shari crawls out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, gets her kid off to school, hops on the metro, and saves cities within the four walls of her office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges. She takes off the suit, curls up on the couch and let her imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination). As her alter ego, she save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. Shari can’t resist a happy ending. And she particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives her immense satisfaction.

Join Shari on her journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.

You can learn more about Shari via Facebook, Twitter, Web/Blog or Pinterest.

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Race to Redemption

Race To Redemption

Race To Redemption is available via…
EvernightAmazon | All Romance

A woman who lost everything.
Intergalactic storm racing champion Elaina Carteret had it all – fame, wealth, men – until a horrific accident took it away. To get it back, she agrees to pose as Lainie Carter, medical transport pilot and corporate spy. Her risk-taking attitude infuriates Dr. Erik Johansen, who runs the outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest bod on the planet.
A man desperate for redemption.
Unable to forgive himself for a past tragedy, Erik works himself into an early grave. He has no patience for the insubordinate Lainie Carter, who can’t take an order, disrupts routine and flames his body to ash.

A planet at risk.
When the outpost is attached, they’re thrown together in a race across the desert to stop a deadly biogenetic weapon As a fragile trust blossoms between two damaged hearts, their pasts resurface and threaten their growing bond.
Be warned: anal sex, bondage, menage sex, gender neutral characters.

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