Launching Romance into the stars.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Alien Next Door

So, I've started a new alien romance series called Alien Next Door. (You can find more info about the first book in the series here.) And in doing so, I've created Google Alerts for both "Alien Adoration" and "Alien Next Door." Recently, some very interesting links have been coming through in my Google Alerts labelled "Alien Next Door."

Reported on October 18, a planet was discovered in the Alpha Centauri system, only 4.4 light years away. And there could possibly be more in that system, planets that could sustain life. It's an exciting discovery for authors like myself who believe there is life out there.

Here's a quote from the article on ScienceNews:


"Astronomers searching for Earthlike worlds need look no further than Alpha Centauri, the stellar system next door.
An Earth-sized planet has been discovered circling a star in the system, just 4.4 light-years away. The planet's mass is similar to Earth's, but its orbit is not. Tucked in close to its star — 25 times closer than the Earth is to the sun — the planet is likely a roasted world incapable of hosting life."
It goes on to say:
"But a rocky planet so close to Alpha Centauri B suggests there could be more planets in the same system — perhaps rocky and a bit farther out, in the area where life could comfortably thrive. "I think that the odds that there's an interesting planet, a truly interesting planet in the system, are very high, given that this one is there," Laughlin says. Data returned from NASA's Kepler spacecraft — which looks for planets around a population of stars that mostly lie more than 600 light-years away — suggest that multiple-planet systems are common, especially when small, rocky planets are found in close orbits.
There's also a good chance that Alpha Centauri A — the bigger, binary partner of Alpha Centauri B — also hosts planets. But because Alpha Centauri A is bigger, brighter and more rambunctious, any small planets orbiting it would be harder to find."

What do you think of this discovery?

Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

You are still my hero, baby.

Um, so it's my 22nd anniversary and I'm frantically digging for a receipe to make something special tonight. In the mean time, I want to share a little story. Have you ever wondered why I love writing military romance so much? Yes some because I was a woman in uniform, but mostly because I met the love of my life in the Army.

22 years ago my husband, Paul was deploying to Egypt during the Gulf War. I was pregnant, in the Army, and had orders to deploy 45 days after I gave birth. It was one of the most stressful times of my life. The night before he left, we eloped. We'd wanted to wait until the baby was born, but plans change and as the military teaches you, improvise, adapt and overcome. So we did.

We grabbed our marriage license at lunch and after final formation, made a run for the justice of the peace with our best friends Pamela and Derek. I didn't have flowers. I didn't have a dress. We didn't even have rings. But what we did have was love, and we vowed to make it work.

My first letter came with a roll of film, the pictures I've saved along with that letter. Paul has never been a romantic, it's just not in his genetics, but that letter, those photos, kept me warm while he was gone. He knew how badly I needed to see him and hear from him. They didn't have computers, they didn't have Skype. Those letters home kept me sane, and would later help me to understand what my daughter-in-law was going through while my son was deployed to Afghanistan.

Paul came home with the advance party, days before I was to have my son. His first sargeant's wife was a pistol. The woman said jump and shit happened. Before I hadn't been sure he'd make it back for the birth of our son. There was no pomp and circumstance, no crowds of family, only a few, waiting out in the parking lot as the five ton pulled up to the barracks to bring them back from the armory. I remember seeing him in the dim light of the streetlamps as he hopped out of the back and walked toward me. For a moment, we felt like strangers, and then the look in his eyes, the smile on his face. I launched across the parking lot as fast as a woman nine months along, carrying a ten pound baby, could move. He swept me off my feet in a hug and swung me around like I was no heavier than a feather.

I know how lucky I am to have my hero come home to me. Everyday, I count my blessings and once a year, I celebrate. Through thick and thin, richer and poorer, we've endured to see our son's grow into warriors and find ladies of their own. And when I see the tears in their ladie's eyes as they get off the bus, or see them for the first time in months, I privately relive a moment when I felt the same way. It is moments like that, I want to capture with words.

To this day, Paul is still my hero. Here's a song that makes me think of him.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Forge Blog Tour: Interview with author TK Anthony & Giveaway!!




Welcome TK Anthony to Backward Momentum!!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Jessica. I just want to let everyone know that a comment here will enter you into today’s drawing for another Decadent Publishing title in the ebook format of your choice. Also, if you follow me on Twitter, &/or friend me on Facebook—mentioning “Forge blogtour”—you’ll also be entered into a drawing on October 13th (the day after the end of my blog tour), for a $20 Amazon gift certificate. If you both friend and follow, you’ll be entered twice. Good luck, everyone!

Also, I love to hear from readers! My online home is www.scotianrealm.com. I can also be found on Twitter: @TK_Anthony_ and  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tk.anthony.9. Or, send me an email at tesskanthony@gmail.com.

So, TK, tell us about your new release.

TKA: “FORGE” is the first book in the Thrall Web series, combining epic SF with sweet romance. It’s also my debut novel...so I’m just delighted to be here chatting with you about it!

It's great to have you here. Describe the heroine in three words.

TKA: I can do that from the hero’s perspective. At first, Keir* isn’t sure whether she’s real, or the remnant of the visions induced by the same hallucinogen that stripped his memory and left him nameless. So all he’s certain of is...she’s beautiful, with dark hair and amber eyes. When he finally meets Nica, he adds another adjective: Unattainable, because of the difference in their talents and stations. But then they’re thrown together to rescue her father, and he discovers the qualities that count. Nica is courageous, compassionate, and capable. Extremely.

*He starts out as “Tazhret”... “nameless” in the Tormin tongue.

What traits does the hero possess that makes the heroine swoon?

TKA: You mean besides his rugged good looks? Nica’s a powerful healer-adept, and she’s drawn to Keir’s energy from the moment she heals him. She soon discovers that Keir is a man of dogged endurance and courage, quick intelligence, wry sense of humor...and a boundless capacity for unconditional love. Most of the men who’ve courted her were interested in what marriage to her could do for them. Keir is all about standing with her against dire odds—hunted for treason while searching for her captured father—with no expectations of anything other than the honorable friendship she would be able to return. Oh, and almost certain death.

Oh, I'm swooning, too. What was your inspiration for this story?

TKA: That’s a hard question to answer. Nothing. Everything. Underlying themes of freedom, human dignity, identity, unconditional and sacrificial love, the meaning and power of suffering and endurance, came from a lifetime of reading...and the real experience of taking on night nursing duties for my 84-year-old mother when she broke her leg, and wasn’t expected to ever get back on her feet again. Mom’s quiet heroism in the face of her own struggle definitely showed up in “Forge.” So did my own anxiety. I’m pretty sure that what happened to Nica’s father immediately after his capture was influenced by the case of bronchitis and pleurisy I had while writing the scene. But the actual characters and what happened to them...they told the story to me themselves. At times, it seemed more like channeling than writing.

Who is your favorite character from this book? Can you give us an excerpt?

TKA: I like them all...this is like asking me to name my favorite niece or nephew! (Well, I don’t like the villain, but I do feel sorry for her. She learned the lessons of her culture all too well.) But since we’ve already talked about Keir and Nica, I think I’d like to introduce Nica’s father, Col, who’s just acquired Tazhret from his abusive master...even though he has problems of his own.

~Excerpt~

Col kept the team to a deliberate, unhurried pace on the long road through the Dry Lands. As he sat up behind his easy-gaited horses, watching their ears twitch to insects and their own equine thoughts, Col considered his slow travel through the cities and settlements of Forge over the past six standard months.

The lid of civility and law sat uneasily on a simmering stew of distrust, dislike, and hostility among Scotians, Xerni, and Tormins. The ill will was worse now than at any time since Forge’s founding—a failure of its very purpose, to foster cooperation among the three peoples. And if Forge failed, the Realm would fall…. Col bit his lip. If Forge failed, the failure was his own.

Just over sixty standard years before, the Scotian Realm had discovered a world wealthy in ores, gems, timber, and soil. Compounding its worth, the planet sat at the center of an unsuspected wormhole hub—a natural crossroads among the three peoples, connecting the Xern Cluster, the Tormin Accord, and the Realm. Instead of keeping a jealous guard on so rare a prize, the Scotian high king had seized the opportunity to build the Realm’s alliances with his wary neighbors. He’d established Forge as a protectorate of the Realm, governed under a constitution negotiated with the extees, and opened the new colony to Xern and Tormin immigrants.

The son of founding colonists, born and bred on Forge, Col was one of the few who knew the hope of alliance was High King Conall’s cast against a day of dire need. Col had been a youth of fourteen when his father Gabriel had shared with him the late high king’s Seeing of an enemy who would enslave all the three peoples—Scotians, Xerni, and Tormins. Almost forty years later, the vision still had the power to chill Col’s soul. But precognition, the rarest of all talents, was also the most fickle. The high king’s vision had precious little information about the enemy, except for the knowledge that they would prevail unless the three peoples stood together against their common foe. Now, we’re more likely to turn on each other. All that’s needed is a flashpoint to set off the fire—such as Tazhret.

Tazhret. Nameless. A Scotian without any record in the identity archives was rare—and usually a criminal. And what crimes had “Tazhret” committed to drive him to erase his name from the system?

Col had scanned the identbead before signing the transference contract and read Tazhret’s brief record—including the notation “scoot-induced amnesia.” But his odd intuition dismissed—for reasons it wasn’t sharing with Col—the notion of the izzy wiping his identity with black market assistance. Annoyed with his inconvenient talent, Col still rejected the scenario on the basis of common sense. If Tazhret had paid to have his old name erased, why hadn’t he paid them to create a new, blameless identity? Maybe he couldn’t afford it? Scoot’s an expensive habit, after all.

Whatever his past, if the Scotians learned of Tazhret’s abused condition, Forge’s simmering hostility could boil over into outright violence. The counter-claim—Tazhret was a crimserv who had killed an extee izzy—would make for an even uglier stew.

Civil riots. Martial law. Sword-rattling communiqués from the extee governments. Heated responses from the Scotian Realm. If—when—the nameless foe appeared, they would find enmity among the three peoples instead of alliance. The vision of chaos and destruction drove Col’s grim resolve—Not on my watch.

He had a sudden, inexplicable feeling he was hauling the future of the three peoples in the back of his wagon. He shook his head at the fancy. Ridiculous. Still, he clicked his tongue at his team, hands moving on the reins. The willing horses lengthened their stride in a ground-covering pace.



What are you working on now?

TKA: I’m editing the sequel to “Forge”—working title, “Web of Destiny.” And I’m halfway through the first draft of a short story set in an entirely different universe.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

TKA: A lot of pantser with a little plotter. “Forge” was a wild ride of a pantser, until I began to see where the characters were taking me. Then I roughed out an outline, so I could capture some of the key scenes that came to me almost whole cloth, and pick out the stepping stones between them. But in the midst of actual writing, I sometimes found the characters overruling what I thought would happen. I always trusted my characters, and they never steered me wrong.

What genres do you enjoy reading?

TKA: SF—in particular the epic, character-driven space opera kind; westerns, sweet/semi-sweet romance, mysteries, historical fiction, biographies, history, the Bible and wisdom literature, with a smattering of philosophy and theology, fairy tales, business/leadership, cereal boxes.

Where can my readers find you?

TKA: On my website: www.scotianrealm.com (you can purchase “Forge” on the Buy page, or go direct to Decadent, Amazon, Smashwords, Coffee Time Romance....)
Find me on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tk.anthony.90
Or on Twitter:  @TK_Anthony_
Or, send me an email: tesskanthony@gmail.com

Where can my readers find your books?

TKA: At Decadent Publishing, Smashwords, iTunes, B&N, Amazon, ARe, Coffee Time Romance, Diesel, Kobo and Rainbow Books!

Forge by TK Anthony


Warned by a Seeing…

The high king of the Scotian Realm expects the arrival of an enemy, a race of psychic predators bent on galactic conquest. The Realm’s one hope is alliance with the neighboring star domains in defense of a shared colony, Forge.

Caught in Fate’s grim weaving…

Mindblind, amnesic, Tazhret lives out his drug-induced visions of servitude on Forge. He wants to believe the beautiful woman with the nut-brown hair who whispers reassurances to his harrowed heart: “You have a name.” But is she even real? Or just one bright thread in his dark dreams?

An unexpected hope…

Tazhret’s destiny leads him to freedom and the woman he yearns for—and to a desperate struggle against the enemy.

Tazhret can save Forge, and the clan of his beloved. But only at the cost of all he has hoped for:
his name, his freedom, and his love for the woman with the nut-brown hair…



About the Author:

Warped in childhood by too much reading, T.K. Anthony made her living in the world of words, briefly on Capitol Hill as a press secretary before moving on to Corporate America in business communications and human resources.

She grew up in Pennsylvania, has lived in Illinois, Virginia, Upstate and Central New York, and Massachusetts, and has seen much of the United States by road trip, visiting a whole raft of cousins. Travel outside the US includes Scotland, England, Italy, France, and Belgium. With her travel bag packed, she now resides in Texas with her husband, two cats (Pip and Taz are close collaborators in her writing, and keep her keyboard furry), and all the people in her head who talk to her.

She loves to talk to other people, too–so leave a comment, or send her an email at tesskanthony@gmail.com.





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Saturday, October 6, 2012

So it's October....

Well, it's that time of the year when our mind turn to the spooky side. Recently at work, one of my friends came up to me with a picture her daughter had taken in Starbucks in London. Now she was taking a picture of her coffee to use as a screensaver on her phone, but when she pasted the picture on her profile on Facebook, her friends were doing double takes.

Now, I know my friend and I know this wasn't photoshopped. The figure in the back in the glass's reflection, with the cowl, as I've been told, was not there when she took the picture. So, take a look and tell me what you think?

I wonder if the dude sitting in front of the figure, drinking his coffee, knows the Grim Reaper is eyeballing him?


Oh, and thanks to Christine for the use of this photo.

Now I have a winner to announce. The winner of the tote with my Decadent titles and one of my e-books is Faith. I'll be contacting you soon about your winnings.

Congrats!

Have a great weekend everyone,

D L

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When Family Reunions Attack! - Guest Post by author Diane Dooley & Giveaway!!


Hi, everyone! I’m Diane Dooley and I’m here to chat about my recent release, Blue Nebula, from Carina Press. Blue Nebula is the sequel to Blue Galaxy, also from Carina Press. Much happens in both books, but some of the recurring events/themes in Blue Nebula are reunions of the family variety. Here’s a snippet from one of them:
Sola sensed the movement of someone into the room, but didn’t take her eyes from Grady. “Who did you leave to wait for me?” she asked. “My loving brother, Miguel, perhaps?”

Grady shook his head.

“Your loving sister.” The familiar voice came from behind her. Sola immediately ducked under the table and out the other side, just as the laser sliced a swathe where her head should have been.

“Oh, you still have those wonderful reflexes, Marisol,” her sister said, giggling. “I wasn’t trying to kill you, silly. Just teasing.”

Sola stood, staring at her older sister. “Hello, Serena. It’s been a long time.”

Anyone ever have a family reunion like that? This is just one of the reunions in Blue Nebula, but you can probably tell from the snippet that Sola doesn’t have the most loving of families. Quite the contrary, in fact. With a family like that, thank the stars she has the love and support of Captain Javan Rhodes: he of the scruffy beard, soulful eyes, and enticing grin. With him by her side she has all the love in the galaxy to keep her on the straight and narrow. She just has to do right by her man. Problem is, with the upbringing she’s had, she doesn’t know the first thing about how to sustain a loving relationship. Will she learn? Or will she lose the best damn thing that ever happened to her?
Thanks to the Backward Momentum crew for having me aboard! I’m giving away an e-copy each of Blue Galaxy and Blue Nebula. Readers can expect twists and turns, shocks and surprises, some steamy sex, and lots of awful relatives - all while the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment and contact information. And remember, in this Blue Universe, falling in love might be easy, but staying alive just keeps getting harder. Enter before midnight October 8, 2012 for your chance to WIN. Winner will be notified October 9. 
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Diane Dooley writes romance, science fiction and horror - sometimes all in the same story. You can catch up with her on her blog, Facebook or Twitter. She also blogs regularly at Contact: Infinite Futures and is a regular contributor to The Galaxy Express.
Her website is the best place to find her books and their buy links. Her blog is the best spot to find her short stories. They are listed here. 
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