Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

#WeWriWar - Children Of The Mist At last - Vidarh can indulge in a few home comforts!


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read and write! We've got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their work.

Writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet on Sunday each week. Be sure to visit the other writers - they're listed below:

If you'd to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, whether published or not, follow the link and sign up. It's a great community to be a part of! 


Before I get to the excerpt, as some of you may know, my science fiction romance, BELOVED ENEMY (the third novel in the Destiny trilogy) was a finalist for the RONE award, and was the second  runner up (after fellow WeWRiWar member Ed Hoonaert, congrats Ed!) I have just realised the cover for Beloved Enemy is also entered in the Authors database cover contest - could I beg you for a vote if you think it deserves it (it was designed by Rae Monet and I love it!) Voting finishes on Monday 23rd October, so there's not much time!
This is the link and you don't have to register, just fill in your name and a star rating.If you have a few moments to spare I would be eternally grateful and will give out virtual chocolate kisses 💖


Back to the snippet
I'm currently sharing excerpts from Children Of The Mist the second book in The Destiny Trilogy. This is set on Niflheim, a planet close to the heart of Jess, who features in the first book. The heroine is one of her closest friends, Tamarith.

 Thanks so much to everyone who has been following this series, and left comments xx


This snippet carries on a bit further from last week's snippet which you can read 
HERE 


Vidarh was still gazing around in awe, when Gullin came to his pony's head and held the bridle for him to dismount. 

Come, you must be tired after your journey. You need to change and then we'll eat, and you can meet everyone. 

Vidarh was happy to alight from the saddle and hand the reins to a girl, who also held Tamarith's pony. As she and a young man led their mounts away, Vidarh followed Gullin and Tamarith across the delicate bridge, which spanned the lake. Unseen bells tinkled, the sound drifting on the slight wind, and the bridge itself coruscated with all the colours of the spectrum, in the radiance of the two sunsets. When they reached the far side, Tamarith led him to one of the houses overlooking the lake. 

I'll take you to your room. You can bathe before we have our meal. 

BLURB


Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love: Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own.

Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities. Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late?

Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love? Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?

***
Purchase all three books (or just one, they stand alone, while sharing some of the same characters)  at https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01MRY3XXT












For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Quintaglio Ascension, Spotlight and #Giveaway


Far-Seer
The Quintaglio Ascension Book 1
by
Robert J. Sawyer
Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy 

Sixty-five million years ago, aliens transplanted Earth's dinosaurs to another
world. Now, intelligent saurians -- the Quintaglios -- have emerged.
Afsan, the Quintaglio counterpart of Galileo, must convince his
people of the truth about their place in the universe before
astronomical forces rip the dinosaurs' new home apart.


The Face of God is what every young saurian learns to call the immense,
glowing object which fills the night sky on the far side of the
world. Young Afsan is privileged, called to the distant Capital City
to apprentice with Saleed the court astrologer. But when the time
comes for Afsan to make his coming-of-age pilgrimage, to gaze upon
the Face of God, his world is changed forever- for what he sees will
test his faith... and may save his world from disaster!





Fossil
Hunter
The
Quintaglio Ascension Book 2

Toroca, a Quintaglio geologist, is under attack for his controversial new
theory of evolution. But the origins of his people turn out to be
more complex than even he imagined, for he soon discovers the
wreckage of an ancient starship -- a relic of the aliens who
transplanted Earth's dinosaurs to this solar system. Now Toroca must
convince Emperor Dybo that evolution is true; otherwise, the
territorial violence the Quintaglios inherited from their tyrannosaur
ancestors will destroy the last survivors of Earth's prehistoric past.




Foreigner
The Quintaglio Ascension Book 3

In Far-Seer and Fossil Hunter, we met the Quintaglios, a race of
intelligent dinosaurs (evolved descendants of dinosaurs rescued in
prehistory from Earth), and learned of the threat to their very
existence. Now they must quickly advance from a culture equivalent to
our Renaissance to the point where they can leave their planet.

While the Quintaglios rush to develop space travel, the discovery of a
second species of intelligent dinosaurs rocks their most fundamental
beliefs. Meanwhile, blind Afsan -- the Quintaglio Galileo -- undergoes the newfangled treatment of psychoanalysis, throwing everything he thought he knew about his violent people into a startling new light.





Robert J. Sawyer — called "the dean of Canadian science fiction" by The Ottawa Citizen and "just about the best science-fiction writer out there these days" 

by The Denver Rocky Mountain News — is one of only eight writers in history (and the only Canadian) to win all three of the science-fiction field's top honors for best novel of the year: the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Award, which he won in 2003 for his novel Hominidsthe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awardwhich he won in 1996 for his novel The Terminal Experimentand the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, which he won in 2006 for his novel MindscanAccording to the US trade journal LocusRob is the #1 all-time worldwide leader in number of award wins as a science fiction or fantasy novelist. Recent honors include the first-ever Humanism in the Arts Award from Humanist Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada, the Hal

Clement Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year (for Watch), and   Lifetime Achievement Aurora Award from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association — the first such award given to an author in thirty years, and only the fourth such ever bestowed. The 2009-2010 ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name, and Rob was a scriptwriter for that series. Maclean's: Canada's Weekly Newsmagazine says, "By any reckoning, Sawyer is among the most successful Canadian authors ever," and The New York Times calls him "a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." The Canadian publishing trade journal Quill & Quire named Rob one of "the thirty most influential, innovative, and just plain powerful people in Canadian publishing" (the only other authors making the list were Margaret Atwood and Douglas Coupland). Rob's novels are top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada, appearing on the Globe and Mail and Maclean'sbestsellers' lists, and they've hit #1 on the science-fiction bestsellers' lists published by LocusAmazon.comAmazon.caAmazon.co.uk,
and Audible.com. His twenty-three novels include 

Red Planet BluesTriggersCalculating Godand the "WWW" trilogy of WakeWatch, and Wondereach volume of which separately won the Aurora Award — Canada's top honor in science fiction — for Best Novel of the Year.  Rob — who holds honorary doctorates from the University of Winnipeg and Laurentian University — has taught writing at the University

of TorontoRyerson UniversityHumber College, and The Banff Centre.
He has been Writer-in-Residence at the Richmond Hill (Ontario) Public
Library, the Kitchener (Ontario) Public Library, the Toronto Public
Library's Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and FantasyBerton House in Dawson City, the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, and the Odyssey WorkshopRob has given talks at hundreds of venues including the Library ofCongress and the National Library of Canadaand been keynote speaker at dozens of events in places as diverse as Los Angeles, Boston, Tokyo, Beijing, and Barcelona. He was born in Ottawa in 1960, and now lives just west of Toronto.


Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!






For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Choclatier's wife and the Choclatier's Ghost = Spotlight and #Giveaway


The Chocolatier's Wife &
The Chocolatier's Ghost
by Cindy Lynn Speer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Fantasy Mystery

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The Chocolatier's Wife: ROMANCE, MAGIC, MYSTERY.... AND CHOCOLATE

A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

When Tasmin's bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn't have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William's own family, who all resent her kind - the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose - and he is intent on ruining William's family at all cost.

The Chocolatier's Ghost: Married to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

The Chocolatier’s Ghost is an enchanting sequel to Cindy Lynn Speer’s bestselling romantic mystery, The Chocolatier’s Wife.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:

Chocolatier’s Wife 1

Time was, in the kingdom of Berengeny, that no one picked their spouses. No one courted—not officially, at any rate—and no one married in a moment’s foolish passion. It was the charge of the town Wise Woman, who would fill her spell bowl with clear, pure water; a little salt; and the essence of roses, and rosemary, and sage. Next, she would prick the finger of the newborn child and let his or her blood drip into the potion. If a face showed in the waters, then it was known that the best possible mate (they never said true love, for that was the stuff of foolish fancy) had been born, and the Wise Woman could then tell where the future spouse lived, and arrangements were made.

For the parents of William of the House of Almsley, this process would turn out to be less than pleasant.

The first year that the baby William’s finger was pricked and nothing showed, the Wise Woman said, “Fear not, a wife is often younger than the husband.”

The second, third, and even fifth year she said much the same.

But you see, since the spell was meant to choose the best match—not the true love—of the heart the blood in the bowl belonged to, this did not mean, as years passed, that the boy was special. It meant that he would be impossible to live with.

On his seventh birthday, it seemed everyone had quite forgotten all about visiting the Wise Woman until William, who knew this of long habit to be a major part of his day--along with cake, a new toy, and a new set of clothes--tugged on his mother’s skirt and asked when they were going. She stared at him a long moment, tea cup in hand, before sighing and calling for the carriage. She didn’t even bother to change into formal clothes this time, and the Wise Woman seemed surprised to see them at all. “Well, we might as well try while you’re here,” she said, her voice obviously doubtful.

William obediently held out the ring finger on his left hand and watched as the blood dripped into the bowl. “She has dark brown eyes,” William observed, “and some hair already.” He shrugged, and looked at the two women. “I suppose she’ll do. I’m just glad ‘tis over, and that I can go on with my life.”

“For you, perhaps,” his mother said, thinking of what she would now have to accomplish.

“Do not fret, mother, I shall write a letter to the little girl. Not that she can read it, anyway.” He petted his mother’s arm. He was a sweet boy, but he was always charging forward, never worrying about feelings.

The Wise Woman rolled out an elegantly painted silk map of the kingdom and all its regions, his mother smoothed the fabric across the table, and then the Wise Woman dipped a brass weight into the bowl. Henriette, William’s mother, placed her hands on William’s shoulders as the Wise Woman held the weight, suspended, over the map.

Henriette held her breath, waiting to see where it would land. Andrew, her younger son, had his intended living just down the street, which was quite convenient. At least they knew what they were getting into immediately.

The plumb-bob made huge circles around the map, spinning and spinning as the Wise Woman recited the words over and over. It stopped, stiffly pointing toward the North.

“Tarnia? Not possible, nor even probable. You must try again!”

For once, William’s mother wasn’t being stubbornly demanding. Tarnia, a place of cruel and wild magic, was the last place from whence one would wish a bride. They did not have Wise Women there, for anyone could perform spells. The Hags of the North ate their dead and sent the harsh winter wind to ravage the crops of the people of the South. Five hundred years ago, the North and the South had fought a bitter war over a cause no one could quite remember, only that it had been a brutal thing, and that many had died, and it led to the South losing most of its magic. Though the war was long over and the two supposedly united again, memory lingered. “I have cast it twice.” The Wise Woman chewed her lower lip, but therewas naught else she could do.

“Not Tarnia, please?” Henriette, usually a rather fierce and cold woman, begged.

“I am afraid so.” The Wise Woman began cleaning up; her shoulders set a little lower. “I am sorry.”

William, staring out the window at the children playing outside, couldn’t care less. What did it matter where anyone was from? She was a baby, and babies didn’t cause that much trouble.

“Only you, William,” his mother said, shaking her head. “Why can you not do anything normal?”

This was to be the tenor of most of their conversations throughout their lives.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13.  She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya.  Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows.  When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden.  She also loves road trips and seeing nature.  Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself.  You can find out more about her at www.cindylynnspeer.com, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Balancing Life and Writing
The hardest challenge I have ever faced as a writer is balancing life and writing.
There is not enough time to do everything you want -- for years I felt like my sword fighting self (I practice historical swordsmanship) and writing self were two different people, each vying for attention, each vying for a slice of time between work and chores and collapse time.

Neither of them have ever won. Neither of them ever will. Some weeks the fencer girl will get more time -- maybe there is a championship to prepare for, or a class to develop, or just the need for sword time. She is the keeper of the body and the analytic mind, and I need her, just as much as I need the writer. Through
fencing I improve and maintain my body, and I keep the chess playing part of my brain sharp. And it’s my number one way of socializing outside of work. Number one. That suggests there are other ways. Ha ha. Nope. The hermit part of me would riot.

I want to tell you that I have found a secret, a way of having it all. I can’t -- I still feel like my life is a roller coaster of crazy. Sometimes I am safely buckled into the car, sometimes I am running, flailing and screaming like Captain Jack  Sparrow, down the tracks and trying to keep from being run over. But I can tell you that it is possible to feel like you are doing all right by following some easy steps.

1. Make time, because your writing is worth it. Everyone says you can make time every day. Sometimes I think that is highly optimistic of them. I really do believe that people write better on a schedule, and if that’s you – if the writing HABIT is important to maintain, try and find a couple of days a week where you have one hour that is all yours. Those you never skip. Because if you skip for a good reason, it’s easy to skip for a bad one.

Then, if you can squeeze in ten minutes, twenty, a couple of hours on the other days, that’s bonus. That’s pat yourself on the back and feel awesome time. I am a big believer in making goals that one can meet and exceeding them, rather than shooting too high and feeling cruddy. (Shooting a little high is good, though.)

2. You will fail. Know this. There will be weeks where you will have to take the kids to practice, where you will hate writing and everything, be planning a wedding or other major life event. That’s OK. So many people let themselves feel like crap over things and then they get guilty and ignore it and then it becomes easier and easier to just not come back.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself and come back to the table.

3. It is hard work but it is always worth it.

So that’s my not really very helpful but maybe somewhat comforting advice on balancing things. What do you think? What goals do you have that you are trying to squeeze in between life things?

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.





For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Sunday, 15 October 2017

#WeWriWar, Snippet Sunday - Children Of The Mist: Vidarh Arrives at Gladsheim


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read and write! We've got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their work.

Writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet on Sunday each week. Be sure to visit the other writers - they're listed below:

If you'd to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, whether published or not, follow the link and sign up. It's a great community to be a part of! 

I'm currently sharing excerpts from Children Of The Mist the second book in
The Destiny Trilogy. This is set on Niflheim, a planet close to the heart of Jess, who features in the first book. The heroine is one of her closest friends, Tamarith.

 Thanks so much to everyone who has been following this series, and left comments xx

This snippet carries on a bit further from last week's snippet which you can read 
HERE As usual I have used some creative punctuation, not in the published version, in order to comply with the sentence count.

The sure-footed ponies picked their way along the narrow mountain path and Vidarh shivered against the sharp wind, his sodden clothes clinging to him, heavy and uncomfortable, chilling him even further. On reaching the foot of the mountain they urged the ponies into a mile-eating gallop, the exhilarating pace lifting his spirits and making him less aware of his discomfort. 

He knew there were questions Tamarith wanted to ask, every now and then, he caught fragments of her curiosity, and that of the others. However, he merely projected back to her that he would explain once they reached Gladsheim and he'd changed into dry clothes. 

At last, Gladsheim came into view. Vidarh drew in his breath, the city was even more beautiful than the stories had led him to believe. The mist, which still swirled over the mountains, had not yet reached the settlement. The setting suns cast a golden glow, suffused with touches of pink and crimson. Elegant houses, ranged around a long, narrow lake beneath snow-capped peaks, stood bathed in the ethereal light. Mosaic paths wound between tinkling fountains, and shrubs and flowers grew in profusion, despite the fine sprinkling of snow on the ground. 

BLURB
Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love:
Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own.

Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities. Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late?

Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love? Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?



***
Purchase all three books (or just one, they stand alone, while sharing some of the same characters)  at https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01MRY3XXT





For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join