Friday, July 03, 2015

BOOK: The Valley of Happiness by George Williams

In The Valley of Happiness George Williams returns with a second collection of stories as original and arresting as his first, Gardens of Earthly Delight. From a Texas reservoir a fisherman hauls in a record-breaking bass that transforms his life forever. In Georgia a man is required by federal law to become chattel for a day. A criminal and his ventriloquist’s dummy wreak havoc wherever they go. The son of a Syrian soap maker becomes obsessed with a fellow graduate student in Colorado and plans an atrocity he believes will bring him the admiration of the world. In the title story, two physicists traveling across southern Germany keep and reveal secrets about their relationships that comfort as much as they trouble. A girl discovers she has a strange medical condition that will eventually benefit the world. In the final story, two pickpockets working Indiana fall festivals make the mistake of lifting the wallet of a relentless and vindictive ATF agent.

In these fifteen stories, George Williams takes readers from 16th century England to 21st century post-apocalyptic Canada, from suburban Georgia to rural Texas, from a Baton Rouge motel to the shores of Northern California. At turns comic, disturbing, and visionary, The Valley of Happiness reveals a writer in peak form using a subtle, daring range of styles to create unforgettable characters, fully human in their heartbreak, cruelty, and capacity for self-deception.

George Williams was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of a novel, Degenerate. His stories and essays have appeared in The Pushcart Prize, Boulevard, and The Hopkins Review, among others. He is the recipient of a Michener Fellowship and a grant from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. He teaches at Savannah College of Art and Design and works as a consultant and writer for Corra Films.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: Keir by Pippa Jay

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS

A NOTE FROM PIPPA:
Oddly enough, Keir is about the only one of my books where I’ve ever thought about the casting list. In fact, one of my earliest conversations with a fellow author was about who we each saw as the hero. We had some rather differing opinions! And that was only for Keir. I’ve only recently discovered an actress that I would love to have playing my heroine, so when Heidi invited me to cast my characters, it gave me a chance to really think about who else I’d love to see in the film.


KEIR

AUTHOR: Pippa Jay

DESCRIPTION: A demon waiting to die...

An outcast reviled for his discolored skin and rumors of black magic, Keirlan de Corizi sees no hope for redemption. Imprisoned beneath the palace that was once his home, the legendary ‘Blue Demon of Adalucien’ waits for death to finally free him of his curse. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise.

A woman determined to save him.

Able to cross space and time with a wave of her hand, Tarquin Secker has spent eternity on a hopeless quest. Drawn by a compulsion she can’t explain, she risks her apparent immortality to save Keir, and offers him sanctuary on her home-world, Lyagnius. But Quin has secrets of her own.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes the dormant alien powers within him and earns exile from Lyagnius, Quin chooses to stand by him. Can he master his newfound abilities in time to save Quin from the darkness that seeks to possess her?

Book One of the Redemption series and part of the Travellers Universe. A science fiction romance novel previously released by Lyrical Press Inc. 7th May 2012, Keir is a Readers Favorite Contest Awards Finalist 2012, HOD RWA Aspen Gold finalist (3rd place), The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards semi-finalist, and a 2012 SFR Galaxy Award Best May to December Romance winner.

CHARACTERS:
Aidan Turner as KEIRLAN DE CORIZI
Better known as the Blue Demon of Adalucien. A blue-skinned, heavily tattooed outcast, born into a medieval society who view his disfigurement as some kind of black magic. This tortured soul is my hero, and since his name is Irish for ‘dark one’, I guess Aidan Turner (better known as Kili in The Hobbit, or in the recent remake of Poldark) was a logical choice. Actually, he was my husband's suggestion way back when, while Aidan was playing tortured vampire Mitchell in Being Human. It's mostly the hair. :P

Scarlett Johanssen as QUIN (TARQUIN SECKER)
A three-hundred-year-old time traveler who doesn't look her age! Small, red-haired, not a born fighter but she doesn’t take any stick from anyone. I’d love to have Scarlett Johanssen play her. I’m going to admit to a serious girl crush over her portrayal of Black Widow, which is why I chose her for Quin (although Quin isn't so kick-ass). She also happens to be the perfect height for Quin - 5 ft 3. Um, which also happens to be my height too. And I know she can pull off the red hair.

Halle Berry as SUREI
My tetchy avian medic

Gigi Edgley as TALER
Quin’s companion, one of a pair of haemovores (literally blood eaters, though not much like our legendary vampires in any other respect)

Shawn Ashmore as SKY
Taler's brother, the other half of the haemovore pair

Rebecca Romjin as T’RILL
My reptilian queen, (Rebecca Romjin because she’s already pulled off one scaly character as Mystique with the same level of dangerous sensuality that I imagine in T’rill.)

Cory Hardrict as S’RANO
My saurian captain who saves and then befriends my two main characters while they’re stranded on his planet

Daniel Craig as RIALTO
The cold hearted military leader on the backward world of Salusan would be played by Daniel Craig, best known as the latest incarnation of James Bond (though I think he’d make a much better villain than a questionable ‘hero’. He’s certainly the most ruthless and chilling version of 007 I’ve ever watched, and therefore perfect for Rialto).

Guy Pierce as THE EMISSARY
The final villain in Keir and the most terrifying. We don’t really learn much about his past until the very end, but he has no difficulty removing anything that gets in his way, nor any hesitation in carrying out his threats. Guy Pierce has the perfect face and he’s already played a lot of bad guys in the past, so I think he’d slip into the role quite easily and scare the pants off the audience!

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

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, Broad Universe, and EPIC, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: Steel Victory by J.L. Gribble

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS

STEEL VICTORY

AUTHOR: J.L. GRIBBLE

PUBLISHER: DOG STAR BOOKS

DESCRIPTION: One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.

CHARACTERS:
Jaimie Alexander
as VICTORY.
The vampire Victory has taken on the hardest challenge of her long life—trading warfare for politics. But the mercenary skills of Victory’s past are what she must turn to in order to confront the enemies that beset the city of Limani, her adopted home.

Lauren Cohan as TORIA CONNOR.
Victory’s adopted daughter has everything going for her: warrior-mage ability, apprentice mercenary, college student. What happens when she loses everything instead?

Kristen Bell as SYRI.
This was really not how the elven girl expected to spend her week. But no, these crazy people need her to solve magical problems, orchestrate manhunts, shoot Roman soldiers in the woods, and save the city.

Jared Padalecki as MIKELOS CONNOR.
Victory’s daywalker has been by her side for almost a century. Don’t be fooled by the mild-mannered musician exterior—he might not start fights, but he knows how to finish them.

Michael B. Jordan as KANE NALAMAS.
Warrior-mages come in pairs, and Kane is the other half of Toria. Never forget that the earth may be less flashy than the storm, but an earthquake can do much more damage than a simple lightning strike.

Michael Fassbender as ASARON.
Victory’s sire is still a career mercenary and doesn’t work for free. But Limani has become his home as well, so he won’t hesitate to bring two thousand years of experience wreaking havoc to bear on the city’s enemies.

By day, J.L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing.

Previously, Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Steel Victory was her thesis novel for the program. This is her debut novel.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

BOOK: Storm and Steel (The Book of the Black Earth 2) by Jon Sprunk

BOOKS

STORM AND STEEL

An empire at war. Three fates intertwined.

The Magician. Horace has destroyed the Temple of the Sun, but now he finds his slave chains have been replaced by bonds of honor, duty, and love. Caught between two women and two cultures, he must contend with deadly forces from the unseen world.

The Rebel. Jirom has thrown in his lot with the slave uprising, but his road to freedom becomes ever more dangerous as the rebels expand their campaign against the empire. Even worse, he feels his connection with Emanon slipping away with every blow they strike in the name of freedom.

The Spy. Alyra has severed her ties to the underground network that brought her to Akeshia, but she continues the mission on her own. Yet, with Horace’s connection to the queen and the rebellion’s escalation of violence, she finds herself treading a knife’s edge between love and duty.

Dark conspiracies bubble to the surface as war and zealotry spread across the empire. Old alliances are shattered, new vendettas are born, and all peoples—citizen and slave alike—must endure the ravages of storm and steel.

Jon Sprunk grew up in central Pennsylvania. The eldest of four children, he attended Lock Haven University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1992. Although he had always been an avid reader of speculative fiction, it was during his college years that he developed a broader passion for literature and began his first awkward forays into fiction writing. Encouraged by his professors and peers, Jon set out after graduation to become a “Serious Writer.” Unfortunately, he had failed to notice the specter of Reality stalking at his back. When his disastrous first fantasy novel failed to find a publisher, he bent his knee to the Real World and sought gainful employment. Crushed, he thought his dreams were over.

Over the next decade he married (twice), changed jobs (numerous times), and after much soul-searching, returned to writing. Like most writers, he suspects, he tried to go it alone, seeking to pound his head through the glass ceiling of his innate talent through sheer willpower and effort. Finally, after many more rejections, he joined Pennwriters and attended their annual conference in 2004. Jon is both proud and ashamed to admit that he learned more in those two days about the business of writing than he had in the previous ten years. He was also getting the first inklings of why his fiction had not yet made him a household name. Up till then, he hadn’t known how to fashion a true story.

So,Jon did what any Serious Writer would do. He joined a writers’ group (Pennwriters, to be exact). And he read about the art of writing, a lot. He started to admit to himself that perhaps he could use a little help, that the next Great American Novel wasn’t going to spring from his head, full-grown and ready for world acclaim like some literary Athena.

Since then Jon has seen some success. He has had several short stories published and in June 2009 he signed the first of two multi-book contracts with Pyr Books. And we is adjunct faculty in Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. Best of all, he has the love and support of his wife, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

BOOK: Hadon, King of Opar by Christopher Paul Carey

BOOKS

A brand-new tale in Philip José Farmer’s Khokarsa series from Christopher Paul Carey, the coauthor of The Song of Kwasin!

In Hadon of Ancient Opar, the hero Hadon entered the Great Games, battling in the arena for the chance to become king. Instead, he found himself at odds with a vengeful tyrant who sent him on a fool’s errand to retrieve a living god’s bounty. In Flight to Opar, civil war has erupted across the queendoms of Khokarsa, and Hadon must take his quest back to his home city of Opar if he is to fulfill a prophecy of the oracle and protect his loved ones and his homeland from utter doom. In The Song of Kwasin, Hadon makes an appearance following the adventures of his giant herculean cousin, surveying a world torn asunder by a continent-wide earthquake. Now, in Hadon, King of Opar, fourteen years have passed since the great calamity threw the mighty queendoms of Khokarsa from their foundations, and Hadon is king of Opar, charged with protecting his far-flung jungle city against the myriad dangers that threaten it.

Christopher Paul Carey, coauthor with Philip José Farmer of The Song of Kwasin and the author of Exiles of Kho, picks up Hadon’s tale of adventure in exhilarating fashion. Using Farmer’s own notes, Carey now continues the epic saga of Khokarsa, filling in the missing history of a civilization lost to the mists of time…

Opar, legendary city of gold and fabulous treasures, once shined as the most precious jewel of Khokarsa, a mighty empire whose magnificent cities stretched across the shores of ancient Africa’s vast inland seas. But a horrific cataclysm has shattered the other great metropolises of the land and the bountiful seas have slowly begun to drain. Now golden Opar stands alone—the last bastion of a dying civilization, battling to survive in a hostile and rapidly changing world.

When a mysterious enemy strikes from out of the wilds, King Hadon must lead his golden city against the most perilous threat it has ever faced. As he embarks on a mission to confront the danger, Hadon runs headlong into a maze of plots and intrigues lurking in the ages-old tunnels deep beneath the city. Soon he discovers the ancient war between the followers of the goddess Kho and the sun god Resu never truly ended. Unless Hadon can rally his most daunting enemies to fight by his side and rescue his daughter La from the clutches of a ruthless pirate lord, the city of gold and jewels will soon lie in ruins, the long-held prophecy of its greatness hurled into oblivion…

Christopher Paul Carey is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of The Song of Kwasin, and the author of Exiles of Kho and the forthcoming Blood of Ancient Opar, all tales set in the lost civilization of Khokarsa. His short fiction may be found in anthologies such as Tales of the Shadowmen, The Worlds of Philip José Farmer, Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, and The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files. He is a Senior Editor at Paizo on the award-winning Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and has edited numerous collections, anthologies, and novels. He holds a master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Chris and his wife Laura live in Seattle, Washington. Visit him online at www.cpcarey.com.


PREORDER THE SIGNED LIMITED EDITION HARD COVER OR PAPERBACK FROM METEOR HOUSE


Cover Art by Bob Eggleton

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

BOOK: Tethered by Pippa Jay

BOOKS

TETHERED

She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, Broad Universe, and EPIC, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

~~~

WEBSITE:
http://www.pippajay.co.uk

BLOGS:
Adventures in Scifi - http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk
Spacefreighters Lounge - http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com
Romancing the Genres - http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk
SFR Brigade - http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter - https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/101080630877126516448/posts
Wattpad - http://www.wattpad.com/user/PippaJay
Amazon page - http://author.to/PippaJay
Newsletter - http://blogspot.us4.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=e5e8a4dfebcfde471a95ed3f8&id=d7764e9767

~~~

EXCERPTS:

1

She shed the copper dress Visaya had persuaded her into, but guilt poked at her as she stepped out of it. With a little more care than she would have shown her clothing back in Refuge, she gathered up the garment and draped it over the back of a plush, plum-colored sofa that curved around one corner of the room. The white silken shift she wore underneath clung around her torso and hips, but left her limbs free. Swaying to the music, she pulled the pins and clasps that bound her hair, releasing it one braid at a time. With each loosened and the soothing rhythms, her tension eased. She could do this. It wouldn't be so hard.

The last braid fell and she massaged her scalp, breathing out a thankful sigh. The music wrapped around her like cammer, a mild tranquilizing drug favored by some rhythmic trancers. She'd taken it a time or three while waiting on a target, though their use was forbidden in Refuge.

Warmth flowed through her body, and all her concerns seemed to wash away. This would be easy. She twirled beneath the bubbles of light, submerging into the pulsing beat of the song. It filled her thoughts, blanked all her worries. The music possessed her, moved her body without her conscious control. Her arms lifted of their own volition. Colored light glided over her vision, and the room seemed to vanish. She giggled as she floated.

But I haven't Misted out, she thought suddenly, with a faint twinge of alarm at the strange euphoria that filled her. She couldn't feel her body, only a heated glow and the racing pulse of her heart in time with the music.

She tried to draw breath, panic coming in a cold sweat and a convulsive jerk of her body. The floor smacked into her side and pain crashed into her skull. She lay on the carpet, her limbs twitching spasmodically and her throat closed tight. The rhythm of the music spiked into her mind, agony piercing her body.

Drugged!

But how? She fought to pull in air but nothing responded. She tried to move her arm and it jerked, not fully under her control. Her vision shifted in a sickening lurch that tossed and turned the features of the room in a miasmic swirl. Light and music continued to play over her skin, hypnotic in their intensity.

No!

The paralysis deepened, and yet her body juddered as she went into a spasm.

The ring.

She needed to squeeze the ring.

Her hand twitched; the circle of silver a gleam of hope. She tried to crush it between her fingers, but they'd gone numb, all sensation a vague and distant thing.

Suffocating, heart pounding, she couldn't even manage a whimper as darkness swamped her mind and blackened her vision.

2

Trepidation strummed along her nerves in a way she hadn't felt since her first assignment. Sweat dampened her palms, and she tried to wipe them on the formal robe without being seen. The material, in folds of copper satin, refused to accept the moisture and she clenched her hands into fists. How much longer? She didn't want to wait in this anteroom, in an ornate, full-length dress, and her hair gathered into braids on her head and drawn so tight she felt as if her face had been pulled back several inches into her scalp. Why did they have to go through with this poxy charade? Why couldn't she and D'joren just go for a capprey together and say hello. It shouldn't take a whole frigging performance for a single greeting.

Stop fidgeting! she told herself.

This was more than nerves. Perhaps it was the shielding the council had provided her to protect her from the influx of auras. In Refuge, the Inc-Su lived in harmony with each other—well, relatively speaking—and shielding wasn't necessary. Out in the field, they could control it for a time, long enough for the job, but it was draining. Having to maintain that shield for the foreseeable future would've seriously impaired her ability to function, but the nanotech device seemed to play on her nerves.

Like a subliminal buzz at the edge of her mental hearing.

Her fingers drifted to her right collarbone and brushed the slight ridge beneath her skin where the control had been grafted into the bone. As a general rule, Inc-Su shunned any kind of cybernetic enhancements, already being genetically specialized. Most traveling outside Refuge wore a shielding device for convenience, but in her role as Mirsee the device needed to be hidden. Submitting to the insertion of such tech into her own body had been like ingesting a disgusting parasite. Raw.

"My lady?" The majordomo called to her from an open door behind her. In her agitation, she hadn't even heard him coming. Damn it, what good would she be as protection if she couldn't keep herself under control? D'joren had her behaving like an untutored newbie.

Her anxiety focused into a fine beam of resentment for her co-delegate. This was all his fault!

She drew herself up, sucked in a long breath, and willed the turmoil in her gut still as she trailed Pevanne into the main room. Calm seeped through her as she let the breath back out in a slow sigh. D'joren was only human, and she was fully-trained Su. She outranked him, and she could kick his co-delegate behind with both hands tied.

A hunched figure, dressed in brown, sat with his broad back toward her, and irritation threatened her newly-reclaimed composure. Damn it, didn't he know any basic personal safety measures at all? If she'd come as his assassin instead of his co-delegate, he'd have been a dead man already. A thought warmed her. She might be here as his protection, but she could damn well beat some sense into him in the guise of training. The prospect forced a small smile onto her face as she imagined him on his back and at her mercy.

She stalked across the floor, but with her stealth shoes on only the rustling of her robes announced her presence. If D'joren heard her, he made no move or acknowledgement.

She swept around the table, barely allowing the majordomo to voice the invitation to sit before she plumped herself into the chair that faced D'joren. He had his head bowed over a data sheet and his face half-hidden by a fringe of fine, brown hair streaked with gold. His right hand rested against his cheek.

"Master D'joren," she said briskly. "I am Tyree of the Su."

His head rose and his eyes met hers. She gasped, and her gaze snatched to the side of his face that he'd kept covered until now. Scars twined across his cheek and threaded into his hair. They had pulled up the corner of his eye—which was clearly cybernetic, judging by the fine silver threads through the white.

~~~
Download the first chapter free and add it to your Goodreads TBR here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22085149-tethered
Amazon - http://mybook.to/Tethered
All Romance eBooks - https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tetheredanincsustory-1815081-343.html
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940151676922
Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tethered-12
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id998679445
Scribd - http://www.scribd.com/book/266685271
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547603
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Pippa_Jay_Tethered?id=GuvBCQAAQBAJ&hl=en_GB

Thursday, June 04, 2015

BOOK: Steel Victory by J.L. Gribble

BOOKS

STEEL VICTORY

One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing.

Previously, Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Steel Victory was her thesis novel for the program. This is her debut novel.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.


Cover Art by Bradley Sharp

Fantasy Paperback coming from Dog Star Books in June 2015


PREORDER NOW!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Tor Maddox 3: Mistaken by Liz Coley

COVER REVEALS


INTRODUCING

Tor Maddox, a heroine for our times

“I know that one day, I’m going to have to live in the real world. I’d like it to be a decent one.” - Tor

Book 3 Tor Maddox: Mistaken

Eight leotards and a ball gown—that’s what Tor Maddox packed for her summer ballet intensive in New York. Pity she never arrived. Kidnapped once by the good guys and once by the bad ones, Tor finds herself involved in a high seas adventure featuring princesses and pirates, a wedding ring, and the guy she thought she’d never be allowed to see again, junior man-in-black Rick Turner.

Liz Coley has been writing long and short fiction for teens and adults for more than ten years. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, Strange Worlds, Flights of Fiction and Winter's Regret.

In 2013, psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 was released by HarperCollins in the US and UK. Foreign translations have been published in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Czech, Slovakian, and Chinese (simplified and traditional).

Her independent publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and teen thrillers in the new Tor Maddox series.

Liz lives in Ohio, where she is surrounded by a fantastic community of writers, beaten regularly by better tennis players, uplifted by her choir, supported by her husband, teased by her teenaged daughter, cheered from afar by her two older sons, and adorned with hair by her cats Tiger, Pippin, and Merry.

Liz invites you to follow her as LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit her website at LizColeyBooks.blogspot.com.

Friday, May 29, 2015

MEME: The 777 Meme for Red Plague

MEMES

I was tagged in a variation of The Lucky7 and 777 Memes. Thank you to Sherry Knowlton for the tag. You can check out her latest book DEAD OF AUTUMN.

THE RULES:
1. Go to the 7th line of the 7th page of your work in progress.
2. Post the next full 7 lines.
3. Then tag 7 friends.


From RED PLAGUE
(The Fourth Department)
by Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller


The officer in command motioned from the landing below for Dimitri to open the connecting door. He did...and immediately closed and locked it again once the last of the omonovsky were through.

The men crept past cabinets and equipment. The flickering sodium lights reflected from the muzzles of automatic rifles. One soldier stopped and stared at the ground in front of him, then motioned to a nearby comrade. With the next flicker, Dimitri caught a glimpse of a white lab coat sleeve and the top of a hand. Mecklin?

~~~

Here are my memes from years past:
2012 - ATOMIC ZION
2013 - ATOMIC ZION
2014 - ATLATL

I tag:
Matt Betts
Cary Caffrey
Liz Coley
John Edward Lawson
Mike Mehalek
Jason Jack Miller
K. Ceres Wright

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BOOK: Lionel's Grand Adventure Book 3: Lionel Goes to Camp by Paul R. Hewlett

BOOKS

Lionel Goes to Camp

Lionel is dying to go to summer camp to try to learn more about his dad. But did his mom even sign him up, or is the joke on him waiting for a letter that will never come? Lionel has never met his dad, and his mom never talks about him, but Lionel’s magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot has him convinced the answers are at Camp Bonine.

Lionel does get his letter during a disastrous trip to the Post Office; he’s going to camp! His excitement for camp is quickly doused when he learns he’s rooming with the biggest bully in school—Tad Winters. After being tripped, pranked, and set up by Tad, Lionel finds himself stuck doing dishes with Martha the kitchen lady. Lionel finally gets his chance to get even when the day of the big scavenger hunt arrives. The boy and girl winners get to spend the day at Lake Yellowhorn .

Will Carrie win for the girls? Will Lionel beat Tad and get to go with her? Lionel will have to endure Martha, wander through the desert in the old west, find his way through the woods, escape bad guys, and collect all the items before everyone else if he wants a chance to spend the day with Carrie at Lake Yellowhorn, survive summer camp, and find out the mystery of his dad. Luckily, Lionel has his magical charm to help him out, or will it land Lionel in a mess-and-a-half he can’t get out of?

Paul R. Hewlett writes books for children. His first book is Lionel's Grand Adventure: Lionel and the Golden Rule. It is an early chapter book for ages 7-10. It is the first book in the Lionel's Grand Adventure series. Paul is a US Air Force vet who is married and has a "senior" dog named Joe that he and his wife adopted from the local rescue facility. His aim is to increase and foster children's interest in reading by combining entertainment and values.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

BOOK: Airship Hunters by Jim Beard and Duane Spurlock

BOOKS

AIRSHIP HUNTERS
Limited Edition


A thrilling novel of turn-of-the-century intrigue and mystery!

It is 1897 and the skies are haunted by mysterious airships and unfathomable secrets.

Tasked with hunting down these strange vehicles of the air and determining their origin and intent, two U.S. government agents toil under unusual conditions to supply their shadowy superiors with information. But that information proves to be as elusive as the airships themselves.

Ride with Agents Valiantine and Cabot across the Midwest as they encounter reports of strange lights, phantom soldiers, unreliable witnesses, and the ultimate source of their airborne prey.

They are the Airship Hunters, and they cannot be waylaid from their path to uncover the greatest mystery of them all.



PREORDER THE SIGNED LIMITED EDITION NOW FROM METEOR HOUSE

Cover art by M. S. Corley



Jim Beard hunts the biggest of all game: good storytelling. With years of comic book collecting and obsessive amounts of science fiction, fantasy, and pulp reading under his belt, he frequently startles his Northwest Ohio neighbors with his constant muttering and note-making. Beyond that, Jim’s works include Sgt. Janus Spirit-Breaker, Monster Earth, Monster Aces, the Captain Action pulp novels, and Gotham City 14 Miles, a comprehensive look at the 1966 Batman TV series.

Duane Spurlock comes from a long line of long-winded storytellers and near-sighted doodlers. He writes in a number of genres and occasionally illustrates books, including Brian J. Showers’ The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories, which won the 2008 Children of the Night Award from The Dracula Society. He lives with his family in Kentucky, where they garden, whistle, read folktales, and tell one another stories when not climbing bean stalks and hunting trolls.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

EVENT: The SFR Brigade Summer Cafe

EVENTS



Space Opera 1 - JUNE 1-7
Weird Science - JUNE 8-14
Dystopia - JUNE 15-21
Androids and Aliens - JUNE 22-28
Supernova Hot - JUNE 29-JULY 5
Space Opera 2 - JULY 6-12

I'm participating in the last week of The SFR Brigade Summer Cafe, sponsored by the brigade and SFR Station. Each week will have prizes, stories, recipes, and lots of fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: Tor Maddox: Unleashed by Liz Coley

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS

TOR MADDOX: UNLEASHED

AUTHOR: LIZ COLEY

DESCRIPTION: TOR MADDOX, A HEROINE FOR OUR TIMES

When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?

Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.

CHARACTERS:
Maia Mitchell as TOR MADDOX
Tor Maddox is a heroine for our times, a girl who care about the world she’s growing into. But she’s not going to sit around and wait for permission to fix it. Favorite quote: “I’d been pretty good at extricating myself from sensible adult influences in the past. That’s when the good stuff happens, after all.”

Ansel Elgort as RODY MADDOX
Tor’s brother Rody, nine months younger, in the same grade at school, could be any big sister’s nightmare. They get on each others nerves like any siblings, but he would follow her into any battle—and does.

Dakota Fanning as SIOUX-SAN
Tor’s BFF is Sioux-san, blond bombshell and secret genius science geek, whose favorite color is pink. PS Rody has secretly liked her for years.

Colin Bates as ALEXANDER "SASHA" BROMWELL
Tor’s GBF Sasha Bromwell has been dancing ballet with Tor since they were both six years old. There’s no deeper bond.

Harry Connick, Jr. as AGENT STEVE TURNER
Steve Turner, Man in Black, mysteriously shows up at Tor’s front door flashing a government badge and demanding answers. Sure, Cocoa likes him, but can he be trusted? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

Brant Daugherty as COLLEGE STUDENT AND AGENT-IN-TRAINING RICK TURNER
College student and agent-in-training Rick Turner is Steve’s practically clonal son. His hypnotic eyes, kind heart, and sharp mind entrance Tor. But that nagging question remains—whose side is he on? Can he be trusted?

SNEAK PEAK FOR BOOK 2!
TOR MADDOX: EMBEDDED


Josh Hutcherson as HAMILTON PARKER
Follow him? Tor’s first assignment to embed herself as the agency’s eyes and ears in her own school could turn explosive when the subject of interest is state swim champ Hamilton Parker.

~~

LIZ COLEY’S internationally best-selling psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 has been published in 12 languages on 5 continents and been recognized by the American Library Association on two select lists for 2014 including Best Fiction for Young Adults.

Liz’s other publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and teen thrillers in the new Tor Maddox series. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and numerous anthologies.

Liz invites you to follow her as LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit her website at LizColeyBooks.blogspot.com.



Monday, May 11, 2015

EVENT: Science Fiction in Thrillers Workshop by Heidi Ruby Miller at Pennwriters Conference 2015

EVENTS


SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2015
9:05 – 10:00 - Heidi Ruby Miller – Science Fiction in Thrillers - Robinson

DESCRIPTION:
Where would you shelve a book about scientists cloning dinosaurs for a theme park or a man turning into a chimera or how about the unleashing of a zombie plague? I asked authors and editors for insights into how the industry categorizes thrillers with expansive science fictional elements. If you write these types of stories, where do you think you fit in?
~~~
The Pennwriters Conference is in Pittsburgh this year on the weekend of May 15 - 17 at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. Keynote speaker is Ridley Pearson.

Friday, May 08, 2015

BOOK: Flight to Opar by Philip Jose Farmer and Christopher Paul Carey

BOOKS

FLIGHT TO OPAR
Volume 2 of the Khokarsa Series


The exciting adventure-filled sequel to Hadon of Ancient Opar!

Hadon of Opar was the winner of the Great Games and the rightful claimant to the throne of Khokarsa, a mighty empire that stretched along the shores of ancient Africa’s great inland seas. But the old king has refused to surrender his power, and Hadon finds himself caught in the middle of a bloody civil war between the zealous priests of the sun god and the beneficent priestesses of the great mother goddess.

Now a divination of the oracle hurls Hadon on his most dangerous adventure yet. With a tyrant’s armies and warships hot on their heels, Hadon and his companions must set out on a journey through perilous jungles and across storm-wracked seas to reach the city of his birth—for only in far-flung golden Opar can he fulfill the oracle’s prophecy and save the land from utter doom.

Meteor House is excited to announce the never-before-published Restored Edition of Philip José Farmer’s classic novel Flight to Opar, the second volume of his acclaimed Khokarsa series. This new edition—available as both an affordable trade paperback and a collectible limited edition hardcover—features nearly 4,000 words that were cut from Farmer’s original manuscript when the novel was published in 1976. Meteor House’s Restored Edition is the first and only publication of the novel ever to include the excised material, which encompasses long passages of narrative, dialogue, and rich world-building details on Ancient Opar and the civilization of Khokarsa that readers have never previously been able to enjoy—until now.

Meteor House’s Restored Edition of Flight to Opar also features cover art and a frontispiece by Hugo Award-winning artist Bob Eggleton as well as rare and previously unpublished bonus material, including:

A Preface to the Restored Edition by Christopher Paul Carey (coauthor with Philip José Farmer of The Song of Kwasin, the third novel in the Khokarsa series)*

A brand-new introduction by S. M. Stirling (New York Times bestselling author of the Change series)*

The Khokarsan Language by Philip José Farmer**

Khokarsan Glossary by Philip José Farmer and Christopher Paul Carey

A Guide to Khokarsa by Christopher Paul Carey

Early Notes on the Khokarsa Series by Philip José Farmer*

Original Outline to Flight to Opar by Philip José Farmer*

Cross-section Map of Opar by Philip José Farmer*

* Never before published.
** Only previously available in an out-of-print and extremely hard-to-find signed limited edition.


The trade paperback edition is $20 (plus shipping).

The hardcover limited edition is $30 (plus shipping).

Or you can buy them together for only $45 (and save even more on the combined shipping)!


Due out in the Summer of 2015, be sure to preorder early to ensure you get a copy of the limited edition hardcover, signed by editor Christopher Paul Carey. As always, the print run will be determined by the number of preorders received. Not many copies beyond those reserved will be printed.

While the trade paperback edition will not have a short print run, if you preorder a copy before publication, it will also be signed by editor Christopher Paul Carey.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

BOOK: what if i got down on my knees by Tony Rauch

BOOKS

what if i got down on my knees? presents romantic misadventures and entanglements of absurd, whimsical, existential longing, featuring discovery, secrets, identity, escape, strange happenings, endurance, regret, and hope. The stories are little postcards from the lonely regions of the human heart.

These tales of wonder are about people trying to find meaning and a place in an indifferent world, and their discoveries, revelations, secrets, failures, struggles, connections, and odd encounters along the way—

—two unemployed men steal dogs and run them through buildings around town.
—a man goes on what turns into the worst date in recorded history.
—you are asked to baby-sit for a neighbor, only to find a giant baby waiting for you.
—a man comes home to find his entire yard and home paved over by a long lost rival.
—a clerk at a used record store finds a man has passed away on one of the couches.
—some young adults go into the basement to get sad, in order to impress girls.
—a stranger extracts a baby from a man waiting for the bus.

With themes of longing, fragility, uncertainty, impermanence, regret, the mysteries hidden in everyday life, discovery, ennui, loneliness, irresponsible behavior, confusion, change, identity, and absurd situations, Tony Rauch is a worthy successor to the artistry and absurdism of Donald Barthelme and Steve Martin.

“For those open to having their heartstrings tangled and tugged repeatedly, this book can become a classic on their bookshelf.”
—The Hoya, Georgetown University

“Tony Rauch is reviving the bodies of love and mystery and laughter. He knows where the bodies are buried and is digging them up beautifully. And we are all the better for it.”
—Patrick Wensink, author of Broken piano for President and Black Hole Blues

"The quirky and wholeheartedly original book, what if i got down on my knees? by Tony Rauch is the epitome of what literature needs more of.
what if i got down on my knees? is easily one of the most creative books I’ve read in a while. Rauch’s style is exciting, novel and imaginative.
Rauch provides the reader with an incredibly unique and exceptional piece of literature. If you’re on the market for something new, unpredictable and oddly comical, look into what if i got down on my knees? — it won’t disappoint.
– Daily Nexus, University of California–Santa Barbara student newspaper

“This is a wonderful book of believable absurdities, inviting us to join in the fantastic madness of a truly original voice. You will celebrate how uncomfortable some of these stories will make you feel. You will know when ‘the strange’ is strangely close to the truth.”
—Jim Heynen, author of Fishing for Chickens and Ordinary Sins

“Tony Rauch’s magical, manic and lonely narrators navigate the margins of a cartoon world carefully and uncannily crafted to distort our vision. Yet these stories somehow reflect the strangeness of our lives with distressing accuracy. In what if I got down on my knees? Rauch writes with his trademark surprise, humor and joyous confusion.”
—John Colburn, author of Psychedelic Norway and Invisible Daughter

“Reading Tony Rauch’s what if I got down on my knees? is like going to a really good magic show, and the whole time you’re at the show, you’re thinking about it being over, so you can see someone you know and tell them, ‘You gotta go see this guy’s stuff.’ There are a lot of good fiction writers out there making believable magic, but Rauch’s show is different. You gotta go see it. Yeah, it’s that kind of show.”
—Jeff Vande Zande, author of the novel American Poet

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Tor Maddox 2: Embedded by Liz Coley

COVER REVEALS


INTRODUCING

Tor Maddox, a heroine for our times

“I know that one day, I’m going to have to live in the real world. I’d like it to be a decent one.” - Tor

Book 2 Tor Maddox: Embedded

Life has been way too quiet for Tor Maddox since her fifteen minutes of CNN fame. Then agent-in-training Rick Turner reappears with what sounds like a simple assignment—to embed herself as his eyes and ears in her own high school. When she agrees to keep tabs on high school state swim champ Hamilton Parker for the Feds, she is plunged into the deep end of a sinister plot. Knowing that freedom, justice, and lives are at stake again, Tor jumps in feet first, but has she gotten in over her head this time?

When observe and report becomes kiss and tell, Tor’s first mission may blow up in her face.

Liz Coley has been writing long and short fiction for teens and adults for more than ten years. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, Strange Worlds, Flights of Fiction and Winter's Regret.

In 2013, psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 was released by HarperCollins in the US and UK. Foreign translations have been published in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Czech, Slovakian, and Chinese (simplified and traditional).

Her independent publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and teen thrillers in the new Tor Maddox series.

Liz lives in Ohio, where she is surrounded by a fantastic community of writers, beaten regularly by better tennis players, uplifted by her choir, supported by her husband, teased by her teenaged daughter, cheered from afar by her two older sons, and adorned with hair by her cats Tiger, Pippin, and Merry.

Liz invites you to follow her as LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit her website at LizColeyBooks.blogspot.com.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

EVENT: Heidi Ruby Miller on Pennwriters Presents

EVENTS


FROM PENNWRITERS:

Writer, Traveler, Educator Heidi Ruby Miller will be our Guest Star on our Pennwriters Presents program Monday, April 27, 2015 from 9 am to 9 pm. She will answer your questions on several topics, including:

BEING A HYBRID AUTHOR (I’m published with the big publishers, small presses, and have self-published.)

HOW MENTORING MAKES ME A BETTER WRITER (My ongoing learning as faculty at Seton Hill)

COLLABORATING (How my husband and I write our thriller series together and still remain married)

WRITING IN MULTIPLE GENRES (Branding is second only to good books.)

WHY TRAVELING IS ESSENTIAL TO MY WRITING (It’s more than simply inspiration for me.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Samantha Holloway

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Samantha Holloway

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
When I was a baby, my dad got a job as a teacher for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools--DoDDS. We moved to Turkey before I was three (my sister was born there and my brother was born right before we left). Then Italy before I was four, Japan when I was six, Scotland at eight, and back to the States when I was eleven. I had no idea how to be American! This is a weird country! Since then, I've been to several states, Canada, and a glorious two weeks in London for a mini-study-abroad. I try to travel as much as possible, but it's not nearly enough to keep back the wanderlust! One of my favorite things is just wandering around some old part of a new city and eating things I've never eaten before!


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea! I drink at least one cup almost every day (though after I was keeping warm all winter with up to eight cups, I've had to cut back for a bit!), usually unsugared, though sometimes British style when I'm feeling homesick.
I love the smell of coffee, but after I worked at a cafe for two years in undergrad, and lived off the stuff, I just have very little tolerance for the acid and caffeine. Also I'm way snobby, and no one lets me clean and work the espresso machines myself!


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
This minute, I'm reading Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly for review, and it's quirky in a way I'm really liking. I've got Cassie Clare's The Bane Chronicles lined up for next, and then maybe one of the stack of travel memoirs or poetry books I picked up from the last library book sale!


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
I don't usually outline. I don't like feeling hemmed in, and if I write it all out it feels like I've already written it and makes the actual writing feel like repetition. What I mostly do is break it down into arcs, then after each day's writing, list three or five things I can do the next day.


If I do make an outline, it's because I'm doing an intensive project like NaNoWriMo (which is fun but usually somewhat disastrous because it's too fast--I missed literally half the needed plot in my last one and I'm still wrestling with it!), and then I make the barest skeleton of an outline to leave space for inspiration and magic!

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?

13. Celebrity crush.
Oh god, I'm like that girl on Teen Girl Squad--"I'm in love with all the boys!" Right now, my top five are David Tennant, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Aaron Stanford, and Chris Hardwick. I love a good cheekbone, an expressive face, and a goofy smile.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Anne McCaffrey's Pern books were the first things I read that made me go "damn, I need to write a thing", and I did and it was awful, but I never stopped writing since that day!

I've read almost every book Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman have ever written, and I'm working on getting my grubby paws on the rest. I love Cassandra Clare, Jim Butcher, and Jasper Fforde's stuff is awesomely mind bending.

When I started out, though, I think I was more influenced by Narnia and a hundred 80s fantasy movies. Now I've got two writing degrees adding literary theory and lots of classics I don't like to the mix! I mean, who decides on what's a classic? So many of them are the opposite of how I want to write!


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Samantha Holloway is unfit for anything but writing expansive fantasy and the occasional science fiction story, so she does it full time. She's the author of the new epic fantasy novel Married to the Wind, and has published dozens of book reviews, TV reviews and a few short stories. In between writing and thinking about writing, she lives in North Carolina with a cat aptly-named Ninja, wears too much jewelry, runs a home made nail polish company for a lark, and subsists mostly on tea. Find her at Herding the Dragon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Liz Coley

HEIDI'S PICK SIX

LIZ COLEY

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
At the moment, I am re-reading Scott Lynch’s wonderful Gentleman Bastards series The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves. Scott spins a great yarn, creating both romance and bromance in the midst of these intricately plotted caper/adventure stories. His descriptions are to die for. So besides really enjoying myself, I’m immersing in great writing while I polish up my own caper stories.


6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The toughest scene I ever wrote is in a currently unpublished manuscript. I had to realize my protagonist’s worst fear of loss and disfigurement and make it happen to her. Worse yet, I had to make her choose it willingly. Authors are so cruel to the people they love. I know people will say, “Why did you have to do that to her?” And the answer is, because that’s where the story was leading all along; you just didn’t know it yet. Maybe I’ll call that “the Veronica Roth defense.”


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Most of my inspiration comes from listening and reading and daydreaming. I listen to public radio, which is great for offering up stories. I listen in on conversations, as does every other author on the planet. And I make a point of talking to strangers, because some really great ideas have come out of left field that way. I read a lot of books, about fifty to sixty a year. But I also read Time magazine, Discover Magazine, Cosmos Magazine, MIT Tech Review, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and whatever else ends up on the bathroom floor. It’s all fodder for connecting ideas from wildly different places. Daydreaming is the act that smushes it all together, bringing that AHA! moment.


9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
When I first did this quiz in 2007, the answer would have been “hardly!” But I’ve been playing weekday ladies’ doubles team tennis regularly for a long time now, and I’ve been a captain numerous times, so I guess that means I’m into it! Tennis is my great social as well as physical outlet. I never considered myself coordinated or athletic as a kid, but the past eight years of tennis play have developed my skills and endurance more than I ever expected. Also, we make lunch for each other after every weekly match, so that’s a good thing! The only downside is wearing out my knees ahead of schedule, but it’s a fair tradeoff.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?

13. Celebrity crush.
I’m in the thralls of a character crush at the moment. I find myself madly, passionately, and of course, hopelessly in crush with Sidney Chambers of Granchester (Masterpiece Mystery). This is very unexpected. I’m usually not like this. I wept during the last episode of the season—like really. I miss him so much, it hurts my heart. There’s something about this wounded soldier’s passion, demeanor, sensitivity, smile, and lovely British accent (not to mention he looks great in everything from army beret to clerical collar to pullover sweater) that has captured me.

My daughter says, “Now you know what it’s like to be a teenage girl.” As if I didn’t!


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
I really admire the authors who create rich, memorable characters facing emotionally charged moments in beautifully plotted stories with a heart of adventure. I’d include Lois McMaster Bujold, Scott Lynch, and Patrick Rothfuss among these. Something they all have in common is injured heroes. (That seems to go along with my character crush as well!) Since I cut my reading teeth on seventies (and earlier) science fiction, I guess my sense of aesthetics was formed around larger than life stories. I enjoy an excellent contemporary, romance, or mystery story, but the stories that I aspire to tell take “ordinary” people into extraordinary circumstances.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Liz Coley has been writing long and short fiction for teens and adults for more than ten years. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, Strange Worlds, Flights of Fiction and Winter's Regret.

In 2013, psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 was released by HarperCollins in the US and UK. Foreign translations have been published in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Czech, Slovakian, and Chinese (simplified and traditional).

Her independent publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and teen thrillers in the new Tor Maddox series.

Liz lives in Ohio, where she is surrounded by a fantastic community of writers, beaten regularly by better tennis players, uplifted by her choir, supported by her husband, teased by her teenaged daughter, cheered from afar by her two older sons, and adorned with hair by her cats Tiger, Pippin, and Merry.

Liz invites you to follow her as LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit her website at LizColey.com.