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Friday, June 29, 2012

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - Horse Charmer 2

Welcome to my Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet. You can read other #sffsat snippts here. And we continue on with my current WIP; the sequel to Horse Charmer. Title hasn't been decided yet for Horse Charmer 2. For those of you who read Horse Charmer, Cassia is now the official queen of Karah and is stuck with all the duties and problems that come with the job. Including, the continued threat of Vespera and lots of people telling her what to do.

Cassia plans on using Kali's truth-detecting abilities to find out if one of Torr's companions is an assassin sent to kill her.  

***
Kali shifted under her, letting her know that riders approached. Torr and his companions were being escorted by a Karahan cavalry guard to their location. Torr rode slightly in front of his men. She stared at both Alan and Hanley. Either of them could have been sent to kill her she supposed. It was odd to think of someone being sent to kill her.

A silly theory, Kali snorted.

Cassia held back the smile. You don’t believe Donaly?

It isn’t a matter of believing, but of likelihood. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Post: Anne E. Johnson - Why Sci Fi?


Why Sci Fi?

I thought it would be easy to write about my choice to become a science fiction novelist. After all, I’ve been a fan of science fiction novels, short stories, movies, and TV shows for decades. But explaining why science fiction holds such an appeal for me is harder than I expected. Of course, there are all the usual responses to “Why do I like science fiction,” but none quite covers it adequately.

Science fiction does allow for a welcome element of hope. Humanity is pretty screwed up in many ways, and it’s wonderful to imagine there are other creatures out there who have a truly healthy concept of civilization and society. But, seriously, how many science fiction stories are about well-adjusted species? No, we prefer to read about creatures just as messed up as we are. So that can’t be it.

In the introduction to a recent edition of her masterful novel The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin says, “Science fiction is metaphor...If I could have said it non-metaphorically, I would not have written all these words, this novel.” Okay, I can buy that. Shall we say, science fiction is a more poetic, grander, more exotic, maybe more beautiful way of showing the human experience?

Aristotle said that drama was all about recognition. There must be an echo of real life. If you can’t recognize yourself in the story, you won’t be moved by it. That’s science fiction, wouldn’t you say? Obviously, sci fi needn’t involve humans. Or even biological beings. But those robots need to have emotions and behaviors that can be compared to those of humans, or the story won’t capture the reader’s sympathy.

Another standard reason sci fi fans give for our obsession is what I call universal loneliness. I feel this acutely, and it has nothing to do with personal loneliness. I simply don’t want humans to be the only species. I want a universe that’s packed with countless species, and I want them to interact. I want the Cantina scene in Star Wars or the officers’ club in Star Trek to be the way the universe is.

Oh, wait. I see a different kind of metaphor now. For the past twenty years, I’ve chosen to live in New York City. My daily existence is like the Star Wars cantina, but for an endless variety of human types. So, maybe that life choice is a tiny version of the universal melting pot I want my species to be part of. Am I causing my life to imitate the art of my imagination?

Imagination! That’s it! That is why I want to be a science fiction author. Science fiction―in fact, all types of speculative fiction―are special among fiction genres for the manner in which they use imagination. These novels are full of make-believe presented as real, wondrous presented as ordinary, magical presented as scientific.

And if you think those flights of fancy are entrancing or diverting to read, you should experience what a treat it is to create and describe them. No doubt about it: the opportunity to use my imagination to write science fiction makes it a privilege to be a novelist.

*   *   *
Green Light Delivery Synopsis
Webrid is a carter, like his mother and grandfather before him. It's not glamorous work, but it pays the bills, and it gives him time to ogle the sexy women on the streets of Bexilla's capital. Mostly, he buys and sells small goods and does the occasional transport run for a client.

Then he gets mugged by a robot.

Now, with a strange green laser implanted in his skull and a small fortune deposited in his bank account, Webrid has to make the most difficult delivery of his life. He doesn't know who his client is, or what he's carrying, but he knows that a whole lot of very dangerous people are extremely interested in what's in his head. Literally. And they'll do whatever it takes to get it.

With the help of some truly alien friends, a simple carter will journey across worlds to deliver his cargo. And hopefully keep his head in the process. 

*   *   *
You can purchase Green Light Delivery at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

You can learn more about Anne at her website. http://anneejohnson.com/

For updates on Anne’s publications and appearances, like her Facebook author page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anne-E-Johnson-Author/249053641780972

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Unicorn Keep

Welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday snippet. You can read other #sixsundays here.

Unicorn Keep is a young adult fantasy romance about a girl who swaps places with her best friend to become a unicorn keeper. This scene occurs after the unicorns have selected Jiline/Madelen as a keeper and asked a very special favor of her. She's worried others have discovered her intent to assist the unicorns.

***
She supposed she should be thankful Mage Brennah agreed with Marta’s suggestion as she slid down the cliff face to the valley in front of everyone. She was the only trainee going down this time. Mistress Marta had removed her red sash before sending her down. She didn’t know where the five keepers currently in the valley were stationed, but she was sure she was being watched and judged. She just hoped the unicorns knew what was going on and wouldn’t abandon her. They had to choose her again if she was to have any chance of helping them.
***
Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Available in print from Create Space, Amazon,and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - Horse Charmer 2

Welcome to my Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet. You can read other #sffsat snippts here. And we continue on with my current WIP; the sequel to Horse Charmer. Title hasn't been decided yet for Horse Charmer 2. For those of you who read Horse Charmer, Cassia is now the official queen of Karah and is stuck with all the duties and problems that come with the job. Including, the continued threat of Vespera and lots of people telling her what to do.

Cassia has offered Prince Torr of Vespera and his two companions sanctuary, but the threat of assassins still weighs heavily on her mind. 
 ***
Yaffa fidgeted, her weight shifting for a moment before she scurried down the hall.

“You sure you want her as your lady in waiting, she’s…skittish,” Maconahay said, watching her go.

She frowned at him a defense on her lips, but she couldn’t fault his reasoning. “Abiga suggested her since she’s my age and has already been trained by Ula to be a handmaiden.”

Maconahay didn’t seem convinced. “Where to, Your Highness?”

Cassia walked forward resolved to start the day off right. Determining whether Torr had brought an assassin into the palace seemed the perfect way to begin her day. She wanted Kali’s help with this. “A ride with our guests is in order."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Plutonians FREE For A Short Time

The Plutonians by Angelia Almos is free for a short time.

Adalena, a Plutonian, has lived undercover with her team on Earth for over one thousand years. But when the New Horizons automated spacecraft arrives at Pluto and takes pictures of one of their cities, she knows everything is about to change.

You can download your copy of Plutonians from these e-retailers - Amazon, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and Smashwords

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Unicorn Keep

Welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday snippet. You can read other #sixsundays here.

Unicorn Keep is a young adult fantasy romance about a girl who swaps places with her best friend to become a unicorn keeper. This scene occurs after the unicorns have selected Jiline/Madelen as a keeper and asked a very special favor of her. She's worried others have discovered her intent to assist the unicorns.

***
She closed her eyes in despair. What could it be but the unicorns for her to be summoned by the Keep Mage? Marta opened the door and not too gently pushed Jiline in over the threshold before shutting the door.

Mage Brennah sat behind a large wooden table covered with what Jiline could only assume was magical items since very few of them looked familiar to her. Brennah rose from her seat and walked slowly around the table.

“Do you know why you have been summoned, Trainee Madelen?”
***
Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Available in print from Create Space, Amazon,and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - Horse Charmer 2

Welcome to my Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet. You can read other #sffsat snippts here. And we continue on with my current WIP; the sequel to Horse Charmer. Title hasn't been decided yet for Horse Charmer 2. For those of you who read Horse Charmer, Cassia is now the official queen of Karah and is stuck with all the duties and problems that come with the job. Including, the continued threat of Vespera and lots of people telling her what to do.

Maconahay, her personal guard, and Cassia are discussing the need for more bodyguards besides him.

***
“Too many and not enough.”

“You’ll need to pick one eventually, guarding me seven days a week during all waking hours is going to burn you out.” She turned and walked toward the family quarters up several more flights of stairs.
 
“The decision can’t be rushed,” Maconahay said quietly.
 
She bit back a smile before looking over her shoulder. “I trust you, Captain, I know you’ll pick the correct people.”
 
Her words didn’t reassure him judging by his deepening frown. “A personal guard is the perfect person to take out a royal.”
 
“Do you really think any of your candidates are assassins?” 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Unicorn Keep

Welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday snippet. You can read other #sixsundays here.

Unicorn Keep is a young adult fantasy romance about a girl who swaps places with her best friend to become a unicorn keeper. This scene occurs after the unicorns have selected her as a keeper and asked a very special favor of her. She's snuck down to the unicorn valley for the second time.

***
Breaking into a run, she headed toward the third wood she had been led to the night before. A glint of white told her she was heading in the right direction. This time three unicorns waited for her at the ancient tree.

She stumbled to a stop and tried to catch her breath as she waited. None of them spoke right away. 

“I’m here.”
***
Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Available in print from Create Space, Amazon,and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - Horse Charmer 2

Welcome to my Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet. You can read other #sffsat snippts here. And we continue on with my current WIP; the sequel to Horse Charmer. Title hasn't been decided yet for Horse Charmer 2. For those of you who read Horse Charmer, Cassia is now the official queen of Karah and is stuck with all the duties and problems that come with the job. Including, the continued threat of Vespera and lots of people telling her what to do.

Picking up from last week's snippet, Cassia is talking to her adviser Donaly about offering Prince Torr of Vespera and his companions sanctuary. 
***
“You’re sure of what Torr told you?”

She shrugged. He’d already asked her that direct question as soon as he’d entered the room. “He was telling the truth. But as to whether the assassin was a Karahan or not, I can’t say. You would know better than I.” She asked the question she had been holding in until he had let out most of his steam. “You didn’t send an assassin to Vespera, did you?”

He stopped his pacing to look at her. He looked older than he had a month ago.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Unicorn Keep

Welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday snippet. You can read other #sixsundays here.

Unicorn Keep is a young adult fantasy romance about a girl who swaps places with her best friend to become a unicorn keeper. This scene is between Jiline/Madelen (the main character) and Herrick (the hero), and occurs after the unicorns have selected her as a keeper and Herrick has begun to suspect she isn't what she seems.

***
“Why would someone pretend to be a chosen trainee, Madelen?”

She was tempted to confess, but no words came to her. Her promise to the unicorn forced all words out of her mouth. She must return to the valley floor. She shook her head. “I don’t know, Mage Herrick.”
***
Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Available in print from Create Space, Amazon,and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - Horse Charmer 2

Welcome to my Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet. You can read other #sffsat snippts here. This will be the first time I've participated with a WIP. I'm currently working on the sequel to Horse Charmer and thought I would share some snippets from Horse Charmer 2. Title hasn't been decided yet. For those of you who read Horse Charmer, Cassia is now the official queen of Karah and is stuck with all the duties and problems that come with the job. Including, the continued threat of Vespera and lots of people telling her what to do.

In this snippet, Cassia is outside the protection of her castle walls with only her personal guard, Maconahay, and Kali to protect her. Torr is the prince of Vespera and just arrived unexpectedly with two men.

***
One of the men next to Torr shifted with a grunt and Maconahay stepped so he was blocking her again.

Torr gestured to the man. “He’s not a threat, Captain. My friend, Alan, is upset on my behalf. He's the one who stopped my father’s assassination attempt.”

“What?” Cassia stepped around Maconahay. His shoulders moved in the irritated gesture he did whenever she didn’t listen to him. “Erich tried to kill you?”

“It was made to look like someone from Karah was behind the attempt, but I’m fairly certain you didn’t send an assassin, did you, Princess?”