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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'.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Who do I write like?

  I just inserted two excerpts from the third book in the Destiny Trilogy to find my writing style. Apparently:

I write like
 

What's really interesting is that I write Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance. Agatha Christie also wrote romances - but as far as I know, Raymond Chandler only wrote crime novels - and posting a third excerpt from the same book - Beloved Enemy - the programme told me I wrote like him too. Well I've always tried to inject an element of suspense and mystery into my novels,  so hopefully I've succeeded to some extent. I'm keeping my badge in the sidebar, anyway!

(If you want to find out who YOU write like, just click on the badge above.)

 

 

 

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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Honouring the Dogs of 9/11

Yesterday was the 20th Anniversary of the terrible events of 11th September, 2001.  While it is absolutely right and fitting that the brave men and women who worked tirelessly day and night to recover bodies and survivors from the rubble be remembered and honoured,  it is also right that we should remember as well the nearly 400 dogs called into action - Search and Rescue and Police K9 dogs who also risked their lives in the search, and Comfort and Therapy  dogs who were there to comfort the injured and grief stricken. One Search and Rescue dog was killed and many suffered burns and scorched paws. One SAR dog was so traumatized after finding two bodies of fire fighters, that he lay down, refusing to eat or interact, and had to be retired. (These dogs are trained to normally find living survivors rather than bodies.)

 As a dog lover, I found this video incredibly moving and a wonderful tribute to the dogs and their handlers, and all the courageous men and women who worked tirelessly for a month, digging in the rubble in the aftermath of that horrific event. 

 

 


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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.
 http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Love In The Time Of Wormholes Spotlight and #Giveaway,

 

  I'm so pleased to be part of this book tour. Read all about it, and don't forget to leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for your chance to win  an e-copy of Love in the Time of Wormholes by Jess K. Hardy.  

 ABOUT THE BOOK:

On this deep space pleasure cruise, love is in the recycled air.

Sunastara Jeka is passionate about two things: (1) meeting the needs of the varied species who holiday aboard her interstellar pleasure cruise during the day, and (2) avoiding attachments when the occasional guest meets her needs at night.

Sunny’s life is simple, straightforward, and safe until a former one-night stand becomes her newest crew member.

Freddie has never forgotten that night with Sunny. He’s ecstatic to see her again, until she tells him she never dates her coworkers. Determined not to lose this confident, sexy, hysterical woman again, Freddie bides his time, pursuing a purely professional relationship with Sunny when they’re on the clock, while he slowly charms her senseless after hours.

As Sunny breaks her own rules about workplace romance, her tragic past and a heartbreaking betrayal thrust her orderly life into chaos.

When a hostile species holidays aboard the ship, endangering VIP guests and even the known universe, Sunny and Freddie must decide. Will they let the gravity of their pasts keep them apart, or risk it all for love and fight for their future together?

Content Warning: Prior to the events of this book, the main character lost a child. She continues to process this loss throughout this story.

Excerpt:

                “Is it always this hard?” asked Freddie as they watched Garran’s shuttle pull away from the ship through the flexglass. “Saying goodbye to the guests?”

               “No. Garran was special, one in a million, like a single piece of hay in a haystack.”

               Freddie’s head swiveled toward her. He frowned. “Where did you hear that expression?”

               She shrugged. “Some New Earth American guest, I think. Why?”

               “If I may, I’m not sure you’re using it correctly. That particular saying is actually ‘like a needle in a haystack.’”

               Her brow furrowed. “Well, that doesn’t make one lick of sense. Why would there be a needle in a stack of hay?”

               “Hmm,” he considered. “I’ve never thought about it that way. Why would there be a needle in a haystack?”

               “Don’t look at me.” She slid her arm around his waist.

               “Baffling nature of the expression aside, it’s typically employed to point out how difficult it would be to find a certain thing or person. As hard as finding a single needle hidden in a haystack. For your purpose, to borrow another New Earth colloquialism, you could say something along the lines of ‘they broke the mold when they made him.’”

               Sunny looked up at him, a smile breaking across her face. She didn’t often get to see him playing his role of L&C, let alone benefit from it. His kind, patient competence was, unsurprisingly, a major turn-on.

               “Yes, that’s exactly what I meant,” she replied, then she grabbed his tie and pulled his lips to hers


ASIN: ‎ B09BPY2HHJ
Publisher: ‎ City Owl Press: Mystic Owl (September 9, 2021)
Publication Date: ‎ September 9, 2021
Language: English
Print Length: ‎ 240 pages
Genre: SF/Space Romance/Second Chance Romance/Office Romance
Check it Out On Amazon: http://mybook.to/LITOW

Praise for Jess K. Hardy's Love in The Time of Wormholes:
“LOVE IN THE TIME OF WORMHOLES is the perfect blend of clever humor, hotter-than-hot romance, and alien antics! Hardy has delivered a phenomenal read that is quite literally out of this world. Find yourself laughing, crying, and honestly kinda horny through this sci-fi romcom." - Cate Pearce, author of Traitors of the Black Crown

“Love in the Time of Wormholes is a delightful, fast-paced, and warm-hearted rom-com set on an interstellar pleasure craft. Hardy weaves a dramatic socio-political backstory as we cheer for Sunny’s happy ending with Freddie, a spunky one-night stand that returns as a crew member… A great sci-fi rom-com with funny and unique characters and an engaging story.” - Readers’ Favorite.
 

About the Author:


Speculative and contemporary romance writer of The Bench (Evernight Publishing), Missing Charlie (Black Rose Writing), and the forthcoming Love in the Time of Wormholes scifi-romcom from City Owl press.

Find her on social media or on her website at: https://jesskhardy.com/

Represented by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds Literary Agency.

 

 

 a Rafflecopter 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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Thursday, 2 September 2021

 


Haunted Bride

Moragh's Ghost Book 1

by Maggie Tideswell

Genre: Paranormal Romance



"Excellent read! Maggie Tideswell's book is impossible to put down. This writer is skilled in evoking deep emotions in the readerA pleasure to read." - Amazon Reviewer

A marriage of convenience - no strings attached - suited both Holly and Joshua just fine; a virgin marriage, so that they could both walk away… But they made a crucial mistake: they didn't take chemistry into account.

Holly —
Seriously? They actually advertised for a husband for her without telling her?
She was going to have to kill them, stone dead.

But having a ‘husband’ behind her would give her an edge she didn’t have now. Donald, her ex, and his wife would have to revise their strategy of keeping her children away from her. That was an advantage worth taking a risk for. But what kind of man was likely to respond to a tiny ad in the newspaper no one reads anymore?

Joshua —
Nicole had to marry him now or let him go. He was done waiting, but he did not know what else he could do to persuade her to his way of thinking. Until he saw the little ad in the paper. A plan fell into his head as if he'd snapped his fingers. This woman who audaciously advertised herself as available would do perfectly. Married to another woman would make him irresistibly attractive to Nicole – as was the case with everything she wanted and couldn’t have.

From the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage, strange things started happening to her, and the strangeness followed her to her new (temporary) home. She was going to have to unravel a decades-old mystery before anything else.

A ghost, a wronged fiancĂ©e, and trouble with everyone around them. Will Holly and Joshua get what they’ve set out to achieve?


Maggie Tideswell, internationally acclaimed bestselling South African author, has a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, making it love, not money, that makes the world go round.
Ghosts just can't seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can't be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can't do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time.
The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them.
That might change soon.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads



Follow the reveal HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$15 Amazon giftcard,

ebook of Find My Love by Maggie Tideswell

- 1 winner each! 

a Rafflecopter 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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Here's my final link in #BacklistBonanza #Giveaway

 
I hope you're enjoying a nice relaxing weekend!
 
You  can enter the Backlist Bonanza contest to win a $39 Amazon gift card, and read an excerpt and a bit more about the third book in the Destiny Trilogy, BELOVED ENEMY.
 
 Check out the other books featured in N.N. Light’s Backlist Bonanza Bookish Event, and enter the giveaway.There are so many great romance books to choose from, whatever your taste.
 
 AND DON'T FORGET
- Kindle versions of all three books in the Destiny Trilogy are now on Sale at around 99c. (For some reason it's a little higher on Amazon.com's page for the book, but if you click the  link below for my own Amazon Author page with all my books, it's listed at 99c)

Hurry because this sale ends on 3rd September!
 
Now's your chance to grab one at a serious discount, or all three for less than a third of one full price Ebook.You can see all my books on my Amazon Author page HERE (UK) or HERE (U.S.)
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway    GOOD LUCK!



 

 

 

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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Friday, 27 August 2021

Here's the second link in #BacklistBonanza #Giveaway

 
 I hope you're enjoying a nice relaxing weekend!
 
I’m thrilled to be a part of N.N. Light’s Backlist Bonanza Bookish Event. Check out all the backlist books and enter the giveaway to win a $39 Amazon gift card.  There are so many great romance books to choose from, whatever your taste.
 
You can read an excerpt and a bit more about the second book in the Destiny Trilogy HERE.
 AND DON'T FORGET
- Kindle versions of all three books in the Destiny Trilogy are now on Sale at around 99c. (For some reason it's a little higher on Amazon. com's page for the book, but if you click the  link below for my own Amazon Author page with all my books, it's listed at 99c)

Hurry because this sale ends on 3rd September!
 
Now's your chance to grab one at a serious discount, or all three for less than a third of one full price Ebook.You can see all my books HERE
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway    GOOD LUCK!



 

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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Backlist Bonanza - #GIVEAWAYand #SALE

 
I hope you'e enjoying a nice relaxing weekend!
 
I’m thrilled to be a part of N.N. Light’s Backlist Bonanza Bookish Event. Check out all the backlist books and enter the giveaway to win a $39 Amazon gift card.  There are so many great romance books to choose from, whatever your taste.

i'll post the link to the third book in this event tomorrow.
 
You can read an excerpt and a bit more about the second book in the Destiny Trilogy HERE.
 AND DON'T FORGET
- Kindle versions of all three books in the Destiny Trilogy are now on Sale at around 99c. (For some reason it's a little higher on Amazon. com's page for the book, but if you click the  link below for my own Amazon Author page with all my books, it's listed at 99c)

Hurry because this sale ends on 3rd September!
 
Now's your chance to grab one at a serious discount, or all three for less than a third of one full price Ebook.You can see all my books HERE
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway    GOOD LUCK!



 

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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 26 July 2021

DRAGON (E) BABY GONE - Spotlight and #Giveaway

 
GENRE: Mystery Fantasy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 My guest today is Robert Gainey, with his wonderful mystery/fantasy novel 'Dragon (E) Baby Gone'. (What an intriguing title!) A slight change from the usual romances on this blog, but if you enjoy fantasy with a good helping of mystery, you're sure to enjoy this.

I do hope you enjoy the post and the excerpt, and don't forget to comment of you have a moment, and enter the competition to win a $50 BN/Amazon Gift Card. Visit the other blogs who are hosting this tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

 https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/06/vbt-dragone-baby-gone-by-robert-gainey.html

 BLURB

Diane Morris is part of the thin line separating a happy, mundane world from all of the horrors of the anomalous. Her federal agency is underfunded, understaffed, and misunderstood, and she’d rather transfer to the boring safety of Logistics than remain a field agent. When a troupe of international thieves make off with a pair of dragon eggs, Diane has no choice but to ally with a demon against the forces looking to leave her city a smoldering crater. Facing down rogue wizards, fiery elementals, and crazed gunmen, it’s a race against to get the precious cargo back before the dragon wakes up and unleashes hell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

 Excerpt

“I have arrived!” Rubin intoned, loud and solemn as he strode into my office. He was every inch a wizard, so long as those inches were from the neck up. A long white beard met with long white hair, both flowing down over his chest and shoulders. White eyebrows heavy enough to act as speed bumps shaded his gray eyes, and the entire magnificently magical appearance was thrown off by the fact that he wore a tweed jacket, khakis, and loafers. He looked like a homeless man applying for a job in a suit donated by another homeless man.

“Rubin, thanks for coming so quickly,” I said, rising and offering a hand. He walked right past me and stood to look out the window.

“Why, woman, have you summoned me to your presence? Do you wish to consult with the power of earth and sky? Do I, and I alone, have the knowledge you require?” I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be this close to him. He smelled very strongly of horseradish and cloves. There was a large patch of fresh char on the elbow of his jacket.

“I certainly hope so,” I said, sitting back down and glaring at his back. This was why he wasn’t on my Christmas card list. That, and I didn’t know where he actually lived. Maybe he slept in the basement, where his little magical laboratory was housed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Robert Gainey is a born and raised Floridian, despite his best efforts. While enrolled at Florida State
University and studying English (a language spoken on a small island near Europe), Robert began volunteering for the campus medical response team, opening up a great new passion in his life. Following graduation, he pursued further training through paramedic and firefighting programs, going on to become a full time professional firefighter in the State of Florida. He currently lives and works in Northeast Florida with his wife and dogs, who make sure he gets walked regularly. Robert writes near-fetched fantasy novels inspired by the madness and courage found in everyday events.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RNGainey

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robertngainey/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.gainey

Blog: https://robertgainey.blogspot.com/

Website: robertgainey.com

BUY LINKS:

https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Reports-Department-Intangible-Assets-ebook/dp/B095GNZJCN

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-robert-gainey/1139526445

https://books.google.com/books/about/Dragon_e_Baby_Gone.html?id=vY17zgEACAAJ

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

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

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

a Rafflecopter 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! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

The Jade Talisman - Spotlight, Guest Post and #Giveaway

The Jade Talisman banner


This is my post during the blog tour for The Jade Talisman by Alanna Mackenzie. In The Jade Talisman a band of rebels explores a wild, desolate island beyond the borders of an Empire controlled by artificial intelligence, in the hopes of finding animal spirits to join the battle against their oppressive rulers.  I'm currently reading the first book The Jade Rebellion  and will be reviewing it and The Jade Talisman soon, so watch out for the reviews on this blog as well as on Amazon and Good Reads.

This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and the tour runs from 12 till 18 July. You can see the tour schedule here.

I hope you enjoy the post, especially the guest post from the author, and dont forget to enter the Rafflecopter contest if you live in the U.S. or Canada.

The Jade Talisman book cover
The Jade Talisman (The Jade Chronicles #2)
By Alanna Mackenzie
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Age category Young Adult
Release Date: 30 March, 2021

Blurb:
A talisman. A song. A gift that bends time, and alters the course of destiny itself.

It is the year 2762 in the Empire of Khalendar, and AI Masters rule the civilized world, striving to crush all dissent. But they have not yet managed to quell the Jade Rebellion or its leader, Walter Saltanetska. The rebels have sailed beyond the Empire’s borders to the infamous isle of Vei’arash. Their mission is to find animal spirits exiled long ago by the AI Masters, and return them to the mainland. With any luck, the spirits will strengthen the fading magical powers of their allies, the Western Mages, and join the battle against their oppressive rulers.

As the rebels plunge deeper into the jungle, physical laws are upended. The plants and animals of the rainforest are inextricably linked to divine beings. An ancient shaman-god entrusts Walter with the Jade Talisman, an enchanted gemstone that warps the basic rules of time and space.

The Talisman allows Walter to gaze into a mesmerizing labyrinth of future possibilities. But the visions it offers up are troublingly dark, giving Walter insight into the potential fates of himself and his loved ones. This gift proves to be a crushing burden, and Walter desperately longs for an ordinary life. But there is no going back…

The gripping sequel to The Jade Rebellion, The Jade Talisman explores whether nature and spirituality are capable of persevering in a world dominated by the cold logic of artificial intelligence.

The Jade Talisman – Excerpt

When Walter arrived at the river, the first thing he noticed was the drying racks the villagers had laid out along its banks. The water level was high, and the river churned swiftly across the landscape, slicing through the monotony of the night’s blackness like a serpent winding across the dark earth.

Walter sat down on a boulder near the river’s edge to admire the grace and power of the waterway. Before long, tears sprang to his eyes as he realized he missed Christopher and the days they had spent training for battle together in Tsei’watu. It was not surprising that those memories were returning to him now, by the river—it was near the edge of a stream that he had bonded with Christopher, first learned to spear a fish with his balayan, and discovered that Christopher was Elaine’s brother. Christopher felt like a brother to Walter, and in that sense reminded him of Jonathan. Although Walter had recently reunited with Jonathan, Walter felt as though the new Jonathan was a different man, a stranger whose humanity had been cruelly eradicated by the AI Masters. In Walter’s mind, the old Jonathan of his childhood was a hero who had symbolized the resilience and indomitability of the human spirit. This, of course, rendered the brainwashing all the more heartbreaking.

Walter unexpectedly found himself weeping near the river’s edge, his mind tormented by a slew of worries about the past and the future. Over a year ago, Elaine had been captured by the AI Masters and he had set out in a rowboat to rescue her. Walter had then chanced upon a seer in a tavern who revealed that his brother—whom he had long believed to be dead—was actually alive. His quest had therefore begun with a basic objective, finding his loved ones, and he had gradually acquired new goals and aspirations during the course of his travels.

However, he regarded his mission so far as a failure. Walter had set out to find Elaine, but after reuniting with her he had not been able to re-kindle their relationship—and now, he had slept with another man’s wife, which would no doubt set back his efforts. Walter had also set out to find his brother, but instead he had encountered a troubled stranger whom he could barely relate to anymore. He had set out to rebel against the AI Masters and to lead the Jade Rebellion to victory, but now he was wasting valuable time on this potentially futile quest. Instead of fighting the AI Masters, Walter was wandering aimlessly through the untamed wilderness in search of animal spirits—that likely did not even exist—and a half-crazed shaman-god. The young man shuddered with grief as he realized that the AI Masters were readying their bulldozers to destroy Elaine’s village to make way for the massive diamond mine they wanted to build, and he was helpless to do anything from this small, isolated island in the middle of the Hapakay Sea.

Even if the animal spirits are real, Walter thought, what chance do they stand against the technological might of the AI Masters? The AI Masters had been victorious against those spirits in the past, when they had succeeded in quelling the uprising of the southern tribes and their shamans. Since then, the AI Masters had grown exponentially in wealth, power, and influence.

As tears blurred his vision, Walter spotted a curious figure emerge from the shadowy rainforest. At first, he thought that it was simply the moonlight reflecting off of a nearby rock, but when Walter wiped the tears from his eyes the figure came into sharp relief.  It was an antlered stag, with a coat that was an ethereal, luminous shade of bluish-white. Walter squinted in confusion at the apparition, attempting to discern whether or not it was real as his heart thudded in his chest. Although he could not tell for certain, Walter suspected that it was the same stag he had slaughtered several days ago with Ishkode, which had been carved and dried on these riverbanks. Walter chuckled as he realized how absurd that thought was; it departed from every natural and physical law known to mankind. And yet, he instinctively sensed that his suspicions were correct—contrary to logic or reason, the animal that now stood before him was the same one he had slain.

The ghostly stag came closer. Walter watched it in fascination as the phantom crossed the river with ease, wading confidently through the rushing waters. When the spirit was so close to him that Walter could touch it, he saw that it had the exact same markings and antlers as the slain stag, and even had a wound in its neck where Walter had slaughtered the creature with Ishkode’s knife.

When Walter reached out to place a hand on the stag’s back, he did not touch the warm, firm body of a living animal but a cold, ephemeral substance that made the young man shiver. The stag did not move, and simply continued to gaze at Walter with wide, black orbs of eyes which were so dark in contrast to the surrounding white luminescence that they looked like holes carved into a star. Walter’s memory was jogged by the sight, and he realized that the stag’s piercing black eyes were uncannily similar to those of the seer he had met in the Jamestown tavern many moons ago. When Walter touched the spirit, a whirlwind of thoughts, emotions, and memories suddenly flooded his mind, and he became overwhelmed with an intense yet indescribable sensation which could not quite be categorized as either pleasure or pain, but was equally poignant. For a fleeting instant, Walter was immersed in the stag’s world; he was temporarily capable of experiencing the vibrant richness of each and every memory the creature had acquired during its life on Earth.


Links:
- Goodreads
- Bookbub
- Amazon ebook
- Amazon paperback

First book in the series discounted!
The Jade Rebellion
“A reckoning. A rebellion. The worlds of artificial intelligence and ancient magic collide.”

The Jade Rebellion by Alanna Mackenzie is the first book in The Jade Chronicles series. It’s currently discounted. You can get the paperback for only $7.99 and the ebook for only $2.99!

Links:
- Amazon ebook
- Amazon paperback


Alanna Mackenzie
About the Author:
Alanna Mackenzie lives in Vancouver, Canada. She holds degrees in History, French studies, and Law from the University of British Columbia. An environmentalist at heart, she believes in using the law as a tool for social and environmental change. When she is not pursuing that passion, she can be found brainstorming the next chapter in her novels, playing Irish fiddle tunes on the violin, and hiking West Coast trails.

You can find and contact Alanna Mackenzie here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Jade Talisman. Prizes are US and Canada only. These are the prizes you can win:
- 3 winners win paperback copies of both The Jade Rebellion (book 1) and The Jade Talisman (book 2)
- 2 winners win a paperback copies of the Jade Rebellion (book 1)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Jade Talisman banner

Guest Post: 

Greatest Source of Inspiration for The Jade Chronicles

There are so many differeuitous technology and surveillance capitalism. While my novels project a dystopian future in which AI Masters control information flows and dictate how human societies operate, this imaginary world is not far off from our own. In my novels, the AI Masters aim to control, understand, and subdue humans with the aim of profiting themselves and advancing their own nefarious agenda. In our modern society, technology companies harness our personal data and continually monitor us in order to advance their own darkly utopian vision of a better future. We remain trapped in the web of surveillance capitalism because we find that it is comfortable to do so; it benefits us, by making life more convenient and fulfilling our needs for material comfort and social connection. Similarly, the humans in Crystal City live in a world in which their every material need is met, where they enjoy glamorous social lives and have access to every new technological gadget imaginable.

However, this rosy picture is undergirded by a profoundly disturbing reality – the reality that their superficially perfect lifestyles are made possible through the conquest of other lands and peoples, and the ravaging of the natural environment. The parallels with our modern society, in which smartphones and computers require the mining of rare earth metals, often made possible by child exploitation and the destruction of ecosystems, are difficult to ignore.

And it is not just the external world that suffers by the prevalence of technology in our daily lives, it is also our inner selves. Nicholas Carr has stated in his book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, that “to remain vital, culture must be renewed in the minds of its members every generation…outsource memory, and culture withers.” The vibrancy of our culture and the richness of our mental landscapes depends heavily on the extent to which we are able to preserve our ability to engage in meaningful knowledge acquisition and transmission, critical thinking, imagination, and introspective reflection. While there are ways in which the internet and digital technology more broadly facilitates these processes, by and large the over-dependency of humans on such technology weakens or even eliminates them. And it is obvious that humans’ dependency and addiction to platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter isn’t simply an accident; it’s actually part of the deliberate system of surveillance capitalism that exploits our instincts, impulses, and behaviors as human beings in order to profit a few major corporations. 

In The Jade Chronicles series, the system of control and dependency that the AI Masters have created is deliberately designed, and not the product of accident. The water supply in the Empire of Khalendar is purposefully contaminated by the AI Masters in order to eliminate human memories and dreams, and to keep humans obedient and docile. The AI Masters have also censored the society heavily, removed textbooks from libraries that might inspire political dissent, and replaced these books with their self-authored propaganda. But there is a further layer of tragedy lurking beneath the surface of this authoritarian world; the tragedy that the society constructed by the AI Masters is imperfect, and destined to fail. The AI Masters believe they are doing a service to humanity by imposing this authoritarian-capitalist system on them, which is supposed to cater to their every need. But all the externalities this society produces – negative effects on the environment, on culture, and on spirituality – make it dangerously precarious.

At the same time, the series arcs towards optimism and hopefulness, by telling the story of rebels who seek to chart a different path for their society. This path is one where technology and machine intelligence no longer controls us, but is once again controlled by us. I think that in order to even be in a position to clearly see this path, and understand how to travel along it, we need to be in a frame of mind that sees beyond the narrow frame of technological determinism. Harvard business professor Shoshana Zuboff has stated that surveillance capitalists have created the strategies that keep us paralyzed, which include a sense of inevitability, helplessness, and resignation. She has remarked that “there can be no exit from processes that are intentionally designed to bypass individual awareness and produce ignorance, especially when these are the very same processes upon which we must depend for effective daily life.” The solution, therefore, lies in reclaiming individual awareness, which is fundamentally, knowledge of the processes that are controlling us. We should also understand that it is neither possible, nor even desirable, to return to a society where digital technology does not exist. But it should be possible, and one of the most important priorities of our society, to reach a point where digital technology is our slave, and not our mast

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