Tuesday, July 28, 2015

TEASER TUESDAY: Starrie (From the World of Ambasadora)


STARRIE: From the World of Ambasadora

The hologram projected on the windscreen blinked out and the controls went stiff in Naela's hands.
Their world fell silent.

The darkening sky was suddenly illuminated by shimmering waves of pink and green. In the more evolved human part of Naela's brain she reveled as they hung suspended in the beauty of the deadly aurora. But her primal, animalistic urges soon screamed for attention when the craft's nose dipped and they entered freefall. A few loose items rolled forward and bumped into Naela's foot.

“Char,” Ben shouted into his co-com. “Matt. Dreadfire Team. Anyone copy?”

Naela attempted to control the pitch of the craft by pulling up on the manual yoke, but snow splatters bloomed against the windscreen as they yawed into the approaching storm.

“Is there a secondary yoke?” Ben said.

“Behind the black panel in front of you.” Her conversational tone punctuated the quiet cocooning them. There should have been bleating alarms as systems squawked for power, but there was nothing. Not even the rush of wind singing them to their deaths.

The swirling storm clouds and spitting icy mix parted long enough to show a nearby vertical snow bank on the mountain straight ahead. One wing of the egg clipped the outer edge of the bank. The grazing impact spun the ship away from the mountainside, but directly toward Stavros's prow.


Friday, July 24, 2015

BOOK: Operation Pucker Up by Rachele Alpine



First kisses are always nerve-racking—but especially when they’re onstage! Can Grace find a real-life Prince Charming before she has to lock lips in front of a crowd?

When Grace Shaw finds out she’s been cast as the lead in her school play, she has about two seconds to celebrate before she realizes she’ll have to kiss Prince Charming, aka James Lowe, aka the heartthrob of Sloane Middle School…on the lips! She’s never kissed a boy, and the idea of experiencing her very first kiss in front of a live audience with the most popular boy in school sounds like her worst nightmare instead of a dream come true.

So Grace’s two best friends propose Operation Pucker Up—a plan for Grace to score a kiss before opening night so she doesn’t make a fool of herself in front of an audience. And as if Grace isn’t having a hard enough time, her estranged father suddenly reappears after leaving six months earlier. Her mom and sister welcome Dad back with open arms, but Grace can’t simply forgive and forget. With opening night fast approaching, Operation Pucker Up reaching ridiculous levels, and family drama teeming behind the scenes, Grace is beginning to think all this love stuff is way too complicated. Will she find a way to have her happily ever after—and seal it with a kiss—both onstage and off?

Rachele Alpine is a lover of sushi, fake mustaches, and Michael Jackson. One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn't last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she's a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. By day she's a high school English teacher, and by night she writes with the companionship of the world's cutest dog, Radley, a big cup of coffee, and a full bag of gummy peaches. Rachele lives with her husband in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there. Rachele is represented by Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CONTEST: 2015 SFPA Poetry Contest


2015 SFPA Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: August 31, 2015.

JUDGE: Lesley Wheeler
Blind-judged - author identification will be removed before poems are sent to judge.

ELIGIBILITY: The 2015 SFPA speculative poetry contest is open to all poets, including non-SFPA-members.

GUIDELINES: Unpublished poems only.
All sub-genres of speculative poetry allowed in the following categories:
Dwarf (poems 1–10 lines [prose poems 0–100 words], not including)
Short (11–49 lines [prose poems 101–499 words])
Long (50 lines and more [prose 500 words and up])
Line count does not include title or stanza breaks.

Submissions via web forms (separate for members and non-members).
SFPA Members - http://bit.ly/2015SFPAMember
Non-Members - http://bit.ly/2015SFPANonMember

ENTRY FEE: SFPA members - $1/poem (unlimited entries)
non-members - $2/poem (unlimited entries)
*All payments via PayPal. Confirmation of receipt of your submission should follow within 3 days.

PRIZES: For each of the three categories, first prize of $100, second prize of $50, third prize of $25 will be awarded.
Publication on Poetry Planet (StarShipSofa.com) podcast magazine and on the SFPA website for first through third places.
Winners to be announced by October 1 on the SFPA website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOOK: Rising from the Darkness by D.A. Bale


It’s finally here – the explosive finale of the Deepest Darkness series.

Samantha Bartlett has a new mission – and this time it’s one of her own choosing. Armed with information worth killing for, Samantha pieces together secrets spanning generations and uncovers the key to Debrille’s plans, including the horror of his true identity. But will it be enough for redemption? Especially when facing the bridges she’s burned?

Life was once clearly black or white, but now Joe Roberts has a target on his back – and it’s sighted by his boss at the FBI. It’s not just from running off with their primary suspect in President Warner’s murder and then allowing her to escape. No. He’s the Elite’s latest scapegoat. That alone begs the question. Is Sam a cold-blooded killer or a mere pawn used in a global chess game?

World War III looms on the horizon as the Middle East threatens to implode, world alliances are scrapped, and a once tenuous truce with a former enemy collapses – all under President Durksen’s watch. Shadowed by the Elite’s constant and vigilant guard, Durksen must find a way out of the hole he dug for himself long ago. But can he accomplish it in time, or will the United States die like so many nations before it?

Explosions light up the night. Friend becomes foe. Sister against sister. Lives are lost. Sacrifices made. But in order to realize true freedom, evil must be defeated.

No matter the cost.

Sometimes life emulates fiction.

Life is filled with tragedy and D.A. Bale's writing reflects this reality. However, there is always a silver lining...even if one must spend their entire life searching for it.

In her previous career, Ms. Bale traveled the United States as a Government Relations Liaison, working closely with Congressional offices and various government agencies. This experience afforded her a glimpse into the sometimes "not so pretty" reality of the political sphere. Much of this reality and various locations throughout her travels make it into her writing.

She dreams of the day she can return to visit Alaska.

Visit her blog - leave a comment or send a personal message at http://dabalepublishing.blogspot.com.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

EVENT: The SFR Brigade Summer Cafe Space Opera 2


Space Opera 2 - JULY 6-12

Since I'm doing an international giveaway for a paperback (MARKED BY LIGHT or GREENSHIFT) and an ebook (MARKED BY LIGHT or GREENSHIFT), I'm sharing a couple of cocktail-related excerpts from the ambasadora-verse and the recipes to go with them. The chance to enter the giveaway is at the bottom. Enjoy!


Mari slid her arm through David's. "Nothing a drunken coffee won't fix. Do you want one?"

Say no.

He'd had more than enough alcohol tonight. Another drink and his judgment might be impaired. That was one of the reasons he didn't take the stims she offered from the med suite.

"What kind of bourbon do you have?" he asked.

"Koley's Reserve. What else?" She winked.

"You're kidding." He let his skepticism show. "Do you know how difficult that is to get? It's only made in the Koley Mountains, and in very small batches."

Even as an Armadan captain, he sometimes had to wait months for a bottle and he'd given his last one to the dockmaster as a bribe.

She just smiled that big smile of hers. "I wouldn't kid an Armadan about bourbon."


Drunken Chai with Koley's Reserve

1. Brew a cup of chai tea.

2. Add a splash of milk or cream liquor.

3. Add a shot of bourbon.
(Preferably Koley's Reserve from the mountains on Yurai, but Woodford Reserve or your favorite bourbon will work in a pinch.)

4. Sweeten to taste.

5. Stir.



The guests' screams overpowered the rumbling quakes, localizing the chaos for the first time. Sean held onto the table's round edges with both hands.

"It’s tipping," Mari yelled. "The table is tipping!"

Neons spilled. Pointy leaf plates slid. Yogurt-covered scraps of fish tumbled. The lily pad table capsized.

The cool water sucked Sean down. He kicked for the surface and emerged into a world of panicked screams from the other sixty tables. Most floated on their sides, the long stabilizers protruding from the pool in all directions like huge green knives. Geir and Mari hung onto the table and helped Kenon get a handhold. David popped up beside Sean with a struggling Soli under his arm.

"Where's Sara?" Sean asked, ignoring the oily spills of yogurt and curry sauce sliding across the surface near his face.

"I don't know," David said.


Blue Neons

1. Combine 1 oz. of tequila with 1 oz. of curacao and 2 oz. grenadine.

2. Blend with ice and 2 oz. pineapple juice for 10 seconds.
(Preferably azure glowing ice from the glaciers of Tampa One, but regular ice will work. See step 5 if using regular ice.)

3. Sugar the rim of a tall glass.

4. Pour in the alcohol mixture.

5. Drop in a couple of glowing novelty ice cubes to get the true neon effect.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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



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.


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.

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.