Tuesday, June 30, 2015

EVENT: Seton Hill WPF MFA Residency / In Your Write Mind Conference (Photos)

EVENTS

This past June was by far the busiest residency I've had at Seton Hill since my own graduation back in 2007. Busy, but fun! Congratulations to all the graduates, including my seven mentees: Amy Culey, Jenni Dillard, Sheri Queen Fleming, Caroline Gessner, Catherine Oswald, K. W. Taylor, and Chris Wilk.

Below are a just a few photos of my time at the combined residency and alum-run In Your Write Mind conference.




THANK YOU, KENYA WRIGHT, FOR THIS ONE. IT'S THE ONLY PHOTO OF JASON AND ME TOGETHER!



























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.