Category Archives: Guest Post

Blog Tour: Jack Campbell Guest Post and Giveaway

Author Jack Campbell joins SciFiChick.com on his Blog Tour to promote his latest release The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian.

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Jack Campbell on his vision of the future and how it affects his stories:

The setting of a story drives a lot of the plot, and heavily influences the characters. SF and Fantasy writers have the luxury of creating the setting, but (being human and heavily influenced by our own settings) the futures and worlds we create reflect our own hopes and fears.

The future in my stories is what I call a competence-based culture. That means when someone wants to do a job, the only question will be whether or not they can do it. Nothing else will matter, not appearance or race or religion or sex or anything else. Someday, I hope that’s the only question in a job interview. I don’t know if that future will happen. Humans have a bad way of seizing on “differences” that don’t really matter and making them the most important issue, or establishing job requirements that rule out the “wrong people” before they even have a chance to compete. The result has been an incalculable waste of human potential. But I can hope, and I can present such a future the way it might look. It’s not a perfect future, because humans are far from perfect, but it’s better.

Another aspect of my futures is what I call “transparent” technology. That means technology which can be used without having to think about how to use it (or describe it in detail! Who actually does that when they use something?). Instead of having to enter bizarre, complicated commands while stepping through multiple menus and trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do next, transparent tech involves things like increasing the size of a picture by spreading your fingers. My hope is that will become the rule rather than the exception. (Though in one scene in the Lost Fleet books my characters recognize that they should have realized a certain tech was designed by aliens because the control interface was so simple and intuitive. “No human software designer would have done that.”)

A lot of my stories are set in space, in other star systems. I think we’re going to go to the stars someday. It’s not going to be as fast and as easy as writers imagined in the 1940s and 1950s, but it may not be as slow and hard as a lot of people now assume. Getting to the stars is a very hard problem, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be solved. Anything is impossible if you don’t know how to do it, and anything is hard if you don’t know how to do it right. If the answers are there, I think we’ll find them.

One thing I work hard to avoid is the Flintstones/Jetsons Theory of Anthropology. Those two cartoon series assumed that everywhere in the far past and the far future had societies which were a stereotyped version of 1960 suburbs in the United States. That assumption wasn’t unusual. One of the things that seriously dates most SF from the mid-to-late Twentieth Century is that the futures shown, no matter how distant, are in that Mad Men mold. Men do all the thinking, acting and decision-making, and if women appear at all they are usually either housewives or somebody who needs to be rescued. It is incredibly jarring to read those stories now and see futures in which women sometimes don’t even seem to exist. It is also a given in many of those stories that everyone in the future has Anglo-Saxon names. Even Star Wars fell into this sort of trap, originally presenting a future in the first film (A New Hope) in which there were lots of aliens but no humans of African descent. Star Trek TOS did, too, claiming that only men could be captains of starships because women couldn’t handle the job. As a result, I try to avoid assuming that Tomorrow will be dealing with exactly the same role models and cultural assumptions as Today, and I try to avoid presenting a future which includes a narrow vision of who will be represented. Very often, I don’t provide physical descriptions of my characters, letting the reader assign them whatever shape, color, or type feels right to the reader. (In my novelette Lady Be Good, the sex of the point of view character is never identified. It wasn’t necessary to the story, so I didn’t confine the story by setting that characteristic in stone.)

Finally, my futures are ultimately hopeful ones. Terrible things happen, great challenges arise, people are confronted by awful choices, but nonetheless my futures are places where human effort matters, where hope is ever-present, where answers to the toughest problems exist even if not easily found. My characters strive, and suffer, and in the end succeed, because I think that’s the sort of future humans can aspire to.

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Courtesy of Ace, I have a copy of The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian for five (5) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 24. I’ll draw a name on May 25, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Blog Tour: Jack Campbell Guest Post and Giveaway

Guest Post and Giveaway: Kevin Emerson

Author Kevin Emerson joins SciFiChick.com today to talk about our fascination with aliens and alien abductions… and to promote his new book THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION! (reviewed here)

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I had never run into a person who seemed to sincerely believe that aliens had visited Earth until I visited Roswell in 2004. Sure, I had many fun theoretical conversations about it, mostly related to the better episodes and theories on The X-Files. And I certainly believe, given the size and age of the universe, that there are definitely other complex life forms out there. But as to whether those aliens have been here: maybe? But it doesn’t seem likely. For every compelling oddity in ancient history or strange account in modern times, there tends to be a fairly compelling alternate, non-alien possibility.

But the people in the International UFO Museum and Research Station http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/ seemed to genuinely believe that they had been visited. Walking up to the museum, I was expecting something with a similar kitschy vibe as the surrounding alien-themed gift shops. The museum, inside an old movie theater, definitely has kitsch, but it’s also free admission and staffed by retirees (or it was the day I visited anyway), which makes it feel a lot less like a hustle. Inside, it seemed sincerely devoted to exploring the question of what happened on that stormy night in Roswell in 1947. I found myself torn between feeling like I was part of an elaborate joke, and feeling like I’d stumbled into an alternate reality. Did these people really believe this stuff? And afterward, did I? Not necessarily, but I wanted to more than ever before.

The aliens in my novel THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION are entirely fabricated, and many of their aspects were crafted in service of the story I was writing about Haley and Dodger, the main characters. (Though they do stop in Roswell for some other-worldly action midway through the story.) It was exciting to write about aliens and UFO’s, and I have a few thoughts on maybe why these stories are so enduring, why we “want to believe” as Mulder’s poster said, or in many cases, really do believe. This list is just meant as food for thought.

1. UFO Stories blossomed in a new and scary world. The fact that Roswell happened in 1947 may be no coincidence. It was a new age of science, and the global landscape had been drastically changed by World War II. In a very brief span, we’d dropped two nuclear bombs that forever changed the scope and scale of destruction possible in warfare, and the Soviet Union had risen to become our chief adversary on the global stage: a massive, aggressive country, similarly armed, and subscribing to a very different philosophy (communism) than us. UFO’s represent the unknown, not just in terms of foreign beings but foreign technology, both of which could crush our frail species. Post-war atomic America was ripe with these fears.

2. Our lives are still a mystery. For all of our scientific advancements, so much in our lives is still unexplained. We are a physically vulnerable and psychologically unstable species, living in a world that can kill us with virus, bacteria, cancers, madness. Most of us can’t afford the kind of all-access to health care that we know modern science is capable of. That leaves us not only feeling left out, but powerless, even suspicious. You might do your best to live a responsible life, only to find out that the water you were drinking for ten years was actually contaminated with some chemical. Or that there was a test for the condition you had, but you never had a chance to get it. So maybe sometimes we look for other explanations for our lack of control. We imagine government conspiracies, alien abductions and cover-up’s. I think sometimes, in a sense, we give away power to others in order to feel better about our lack of control, about the s###-happens nature of our lives.

3. We want there to be more. We want to live longer, go farther, see more, to understand the great mysteries of life and death. We seek to understand our greater purpose, to know the reasons behind life’s twists and turns. Humans have looked to the stars throughout the ages for these answers, believing larger truths lie beyond our vision. And yet, all of alive right now on this planet are unlikely to leave it in a space ship, at least not beyond low earth orbit where Space X or a similar venture might go. Maybe my kids, ages 2 and 7, have an outside chance at the moon, maybe their kids at Mars, but that’s it. We are never going to get to the aliens, unless they come to us. We need them to come here before we die. And if they came, maybe it would answer some of these mysteries: why we’re here, where we came from, where we’re headed. Or, they could at least open our minds to a vastly larger scope of existence, which would, if nothing else, put us in our place. Actually, what would probably fire us up to get to space faster would be to discover something like gold on another planet.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that when I look to the stars, the reason I hope that one of those static dots will swoop down, unroll a metal tongue and spit little green beings onto my lawn, is for some larger knowledge. They’d make the lonely dark a little less unknown. And if they had an elixir for extra long life, a warp-capable ship to show me the Horsehead Nebula, and knew how to get to Mos Eisley, even better.

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Kevin Emerson is the author of THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, published by Walden Pond Press, as well as THE ATLANTEANS series, the OLIVER NOCTURNE series, and Carlos Is Gonna Get It. His band, The Board of Education, wrote the Star-Wars-themed kids’ song “Why Is Dad So Mad?” He lives with his family in Seattle.

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Courtesy of Walden Pond Press, I have a copy of THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 24. I’ll draw a name on May 25, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Guest Post and Giveaway: Kevin Emerson

Jill Wolfson Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Furious

Author Jill Wolfson joins SciFiChick.com today with her latest stop on her Blog Tour to talk about her latest release Furious and bringing the Greek mythology of the Furies into modern day.
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The Furies Go to High School
Jill Wolfson

I got the idea to write Furious when my daughter and her two best friends came home from school one day in late October, all excited about their idea for Halloween costumes. They were going to be The Furies, a.k.a. the sisters of darkness, with wild hair, skimpy clothing, wings and hateful expressions.

I was intrigued that these three very modern high-school girls were so drawn to goddesses of revenge that date back to ancient Greece. But that’s the power of myth. A story that arose in one culture and one time resonates across space and time because it speaks to some very important and very human part of us.

We have all felt that life is unfair. We have all been hurt. And we have all wanted to pay back the person who hurt us or hurt someone we love.

So how to update such an old story? I started by reading The Orestia, which is a bloody, revenge-themed trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus, which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. The storyline has all sorts of twists and turns with members of the royal family murdering each other in gory ways, while assorted gods, including the Furies, take sides.

The final play is actually called The Furies and in it, the goddesses of revenge haunt Prince Orestes for killing his mother. But at the end, they are called off and tamed. Given gifts and flattery, their anger subsides and the Furies turn into a trio of goddess called The Kindly Ones.

Curtain down.

But, what if?

What if someone from that ancient time is still so mad that she nurses a grudge for centuries, waiting for the right time to call the Furies back out of retirement.

What if that time is now and the place is a Northern California beach town?

We definitely live in a time of fury. I see it everywhere – on TV and the Internet, on the streets and roads. People are furious about personal problems and larger social issues –the economy, wars, pollution, bullying, racial and gender discrimination, mistreatment of children and animals. There’s so much pent-up anger, and lots of people feel helpless to do anything about it.

Young people feel injustice the hardest. As Stephanie (The Fury Tisiphone) in Furious complains:

What can someone our age do about it? About anything? Write letters? Hold a fund-raiser bake sale? Make speeches in class that nobody reads? I can’t even vote. I have no power.

Well, let’s do something about it!

So that’s how I gave them ancient powers and brought Greek mythology into high school.

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Thanks so much to SciFiChick for hosting this stop on my blog tour. If you want to see pictures of the Furies depicted in art, check out http://jillwolfson.com/furious.html.

I hope you enjoy Furious, and find the fury in yourself.

Courtesy of Macmillan, I have a copy of Furious for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 10. I’ll draw a name on May 11, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Jill Wolfson Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Wasteland Book Tour: Guest Post


Authors Laurence Klavan and Susan Kim visit SciFiChick.com today for the first stop on their blog tour, promoting their new release Wasteland!

WASTELAND:
Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Our Visions of the Future:

LAURENCE: The last thing I am is a scientist or sociologist, but I imagine the future will be driven by changes in technology and the disintegration of the environment. Both things will dictate that we spend more time indoors hiding and/or being entertained. This will be bad news for schools, stores, theaters, beaches, sports arenas, restaurants, and dating, and good news for books (or whatever replaces them), television (or whatever replaces it), frozen food and enforced time with your family. I would invest in companies that make entertainment and other content for electronic devices and those that build houses on stilts and reinforced basements.

SUSAN: I just read an article online about predictions made in 1998 about 2013 (which isn’t even that long… I mean, there already was an internet, so big deal, right?) and how they got stuff wrong like assuming we’d all have robot maids by now. But anyway, here are my totally unscientific predictions, based on my own anxieties and neuroses and overall pessimism as opposed to anything REAL.

1) The environment will be beyond messed up. The bad things that happen now every few years around the world will happen all the time, everywhere: earthquakes leading to tsunamis leading to nuclear meltdowns, hurricanes breaching city walls, crop-scorching dust bowls, shrinking arctic shelves. And the creepy stuff re. runoff and chemicals in our water will get even worse…. I predict heavy-duty mutation in our not-so-distant future and a reliance on purely laboratory-made food.

Continue reading Wasteland Book Tour: Guest Post

Guest Post and Giveaway: James K. Decker

I WANT TO BELIEVE by James K. Decker

One of the themes in The Burn Zone is ‘how much can people be made to believe?’ In the book, this concept is taken to an extreme, but it began with me wondering how hard (or easy) it would be to convince a large number of people something was true, even when it clearly was not.

I mean sure, you could convince a small group of people that black was white – a sliver of the population could be made to believe just about anything – but how about, say, an entire nation? It’s easy to say ‘people are sheep and can be made to believe anything’ but there’s a caveat buried in that statement, which is that the person making it is not one of the sheep. Even if you could get a lot of people to believe something patently untrue, wouldn’t there be at least a subset of free-thinkers who would see through the lie? Wouldn’t they share information, and get validation that proved they were right in spite of what everyone else claimed?

In The Burn Zone, an alien race called the Haan crash land in the fictional city of Hangfei, wiping out a quarter of a million people in the process. That would seem reason enough to dislike and distrust them, and yet fifty years later, human surrogates are caring for haan young and eighty percent of the nation’s food supply is being funneled to the haan, even while the rest of the country, and the world at large, starve. Even as poorer nations push at their borders, attempting to take what they need to survive. The people of Hangfei seem to accept that things need to be this way, and will even defend it, but what could possibly convince them that this arrangement was in their best interest? Even if it was, could you ever convince them of it?

I decided that, given human nature and the way we form opinions that you could, under the right set of circumstances. People of every country have historically traded freedoms for security, and the people of Hangfei have a lot to fear. The haan offer wealth, technology, power and protection. The people are hungry, but they’re also scared. They’re scared they’ll be overwhelmed by the desperate barbarians at the gate, and scared that even if they’re not they’ll succumb to the same decay that the rest of the world has – that even if they are the last to fall, they will still fall.

Add to that the fact that, although they consider themselves free, the people of Hangfei don’t really live in a free society. The city is under martial law. Information comes from strictly controlled sources, and those who dissent tend to disappear. Attempts at contact from the outside are blocked, and attempts to contact the world beyond their borders get you labeled a spy and thrown in prison. The haan have the support of the government, and in turn, the government has the support of the haan. Together they control the flow of information, for better or worse, in support of a larger plan which will, they promise, benefit the greater good. Given the alternative, most opt to believe in a plan they know little to nothing about. You can see those dynamics in effect in the real world, even now.

Like the real world, things in The Burn Zone are never absolute. It’s difficult in Hangfei to point your finger and say ‘those are the bad guys’, but it becomes even more difficult when you don’t, at the outset, know the full truth about the world you live in. Before you can know what you believe, and whose side you’re on, you first have to be able to distinguish what’s true from what’s false. Even when, with a nudge from the highly advanced haan, you might be compelled to truly believe that black is white. Finding the truth would be very difficult, and very risky, and for Sam Shao, it is both. I’ll leave to you to discover what it is along with her.

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About the author:
James K. Decker was born in New Hampshire in 1970, and has lived in the New England area since that time. He developed a love of reading and writing early on, participating in young author competitions as early as grade school, but the later discovery of works by Frank Herbert and Issac Asimov turned that love to an obsession.

He wrote continuously through high school, college and beyond, eventually breaking into the field under the name James Knapp, with the publication of the Revivors trilogy (State of Decay, The Silent Army, and Element Zero). State of Decay was a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and won the 2010 Compton Crook Award. The Burn Zone is his debut novel under the name James K. Decker.

He now lives in MA with his wife Kim.

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Courtesy of the author, I have a copy of The Burn Zone by James K. Decker for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends March 22. I’ll draw a name on March 23, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Guest Post and Giveaway: James K. Decker

Kirsten Miller Guest Post and Giveaway!

Author Kirsten Miller joins SciFiChick.com today to discuss maps and her latest release The Darkness Dwellers. And keep reading for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

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HERE BE THE MONSTERS
– Kirsten Miller

Of the seven books that I’ve written, the novels in the Kiki Strike trilogy (along with my new book,
How to Lead a Life of Crime) are by far my favorites. However, if you were to ask me what I love most about the Kiki series, I’d have to point to something I had no hand in creating—the map/diagram at the beginning of Kiki #1. It shows the Shadow City, the secret world beneath New York in which much of the trilogy takes place. I could literally stare at it for hours.


(Above: The Shadow City from the Kiki Strike books. Art by the incomparable Eleanor Davis.)

There’s nothing I adore more than a really great map. (Though if I could only own one, this would be it.) Often, what interests me most are a map’s empty spots—the uncharted areas that have yet to reveal their secrets. Back when the world was a darker (and more imaginative) place, these unexplored territories were often marked with the phrase, “Here Be Dragons.”

Believe it or not, even in the 21st century, there are still plenty empty spots on our maps—and who knows what monsters may call them home. The pristine forests of the Pacific Northwest are said to be Bigfoot’s stomping grounds. The ocean’s deepest trench could easily hold colonies of kraken. And the forgotten tunnels beneath New York City may very well be infested with mutant, man-eating rats. (As Kiki and her friends discovered in book #1.)

I love maps because they pique one’s curiosity and inspire exploration. They dare you to go places you’ve never gone before. Perhaps that’s why most of the books I’ve written either contain—or were inspired by—a map of some sort.

If you’ve read Kiki #1, you might be surprised to know that the NYCE map does exist. Kiki #2, The Empress’s Tomb, was meant to include a map of the haunted mansion at the center of the story. Kiki #3, The Darkness Dwellers (available 1/13) takes place in the catacombs beneath Paris—and was inspired in part by this phenomenal map. (Smaller version here.) And How to Lead a Life of Crime (available 2/13), which is set in a school for young criminals, will include two maps as well.

I’m taking a break from writing, which means I’ll soon be looking for new ways to spend my free time. I just stumbled across this episode of This American Life, and I’m thinking of making a few maps of my own. If I find any monsters, I’ll be sure to let you know!

Kirsten

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Courtesy of Bloomsbury Books, I have a copy of The Darkness Dwellers by Kirsten Miller for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 1. I’ll draw a name on February 2, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!
Continue reading Kirsten Miller Guest Post and Giveaway!

Nancy Gideon Guest Post and Giveaway!

On a stop along her blog tour, author Nancy Gideon joins SciFiChick.com today with a guest post and giveaway of her latest novel, Betrayed by Shadows!

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WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT WRITING ROMANCE FROM SCI-FI
by Nancy Gideon

Long, long ago in a library far away, before paranormal romance became a blip on my radar screen, I discovered the building blocks of storytelling in another galaxy where I crewed for Bradbury, Heilein, Asimov and L’Engle. I relished those voyages with the Starship Enterprise (mostly to ogle Ensign Chekov) as a training ground for future adventures with Moya, the Maltese Falcon, and Serenity. I discovered the Hero’s Journey on the dusty planet of Tatooine with a whiny kid in baggy leggings. And once cable became a part of my life, there was only one true channel – SyFy.

My mother got lost in the plots of Star Trek (which she called Star Track). My ex couldn’t wrap is attention around tall blue women and a royal toad who floated on cushions. But I was a firm convert to the Outer Limits of the imagination. The universal truths I learned going through those worm holes are the ones I use today in shaping my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal world of Shape-shifters. Here are just a few of the celestial wisdoms I gathered from my science fiction friends:

My world – My rules. You can do anything you want if you can make it believable. Royal toads can fly on cushions. Huge slimy slugs can imprison sexy princesses. A clan of shape changers can live undetected in New Orleans struggling for survival. The one rule you can’t break is if you break it, you have to explain it satisfactorily.

Talk the Talk: An important part of building that otherworldly place is tone. I created my own species: Shifter, Chosen, and Ancient, my own glossary of terms: Glimmer, Upright, Reader, Controller, and Lesser to give the “By Moonlight” world a distinctive feel. But a little jargon goes a long way. Never sprinkle that spice on so heavy that it smothers the taste of the meal. “Frell,” “Frack,” “the Vulcan Mind Meld,” Banthas and Jawas, “Shiny” – these terms became part of our vernacular. The trick is to make the new terms relatable and not to lose the observer under the weight of distancing technical details.

A hero isn’t always heroic: When smuggler Han Solo declares it’s not his problem and walks out on the Rebels in their time of need, that’s in character. It’s what he is. But when he swoops in at the last minute to save the day, that’s WHO he is. A hero in rogue’s clothing. I love reluctant heroes, those who through circumstance or choice disregard the moral highroad to do things their own way. Captain Malcolm Reynolds, anyone? Where they come from, the dark paths they’ve walked are what make their ultimate heroic gestures all the more powerful. My heroes (and heroines) have been assassins (Nica Fraser), mob hitmen (Max Savoie and Giles St. Clair), thugs (Cale Terriot), manipulators (Brigit MacCreedy) which in the end make their sacrifices and redemption all the sweeter.

Courage Comes in Small Packages: Remember that whiny kid in the baggy leggings? Like Luke Skywalker, the children in A Wrinkle in Time and Something Wicked This Way Comes were forced by tragic situations to shoulder the mantle of courage way too young. This push into early adulthood is something many of my characters have in common to prepare them for the difficult actions they’ll confront before that happily-ever-after.

Danger Makes Strange Bedfellows: The goal of over-arcing hero Max Savoie in my “By Moonlight” series is to convince warring Shifter clans that the only way they all can survive is to stop fighting each other and band together against the sinister forces of the Chosen in the North. Nothing like a greater mutual threat to unite enemies. The Shadows in Babylon Five, the Peacekeepers in Farscape, the Alliance in Firefly are powerful galactic bullies who are trying to crush independent friend and foe alike. Throw a group of wildly different outsiders together to common defend a cause and let the chaos and conflict begin.

Evil isn’t Always Ugly: Like the elegant Alliance and my intellectual Chosen, or the Stone Angels of Dr. Who, benevolent-appearing entities don’t always have your best interests at heart. The most frightening enemy is one who comes to you in the guise of a friend. “V” (both the alien series and the Hugo Weaving movie) are all about one hand extending in unity while the other holds a knife. Betrayal is a common theme in Sci-Fi and in the next book of my series PRINCE OF SHADOWS (5-27-13) because by its very nature it cuts to the heart and soul and has characters questioning their beliefs and integrity. The greater good usually gets that way by crushing individual will.

Dreams are Born of Disaster: Nothing’s more poignant than a character struggling to hold onto a dream in the face of adversity. To return to home (astronaut John Crichton/ Giles St. Clair). To find out who they are (Total Recall/SEEKER OF SHADOWS). To establish peace for their people (John Sheridan/Max Savoie). To gain freedom (the Serenity crew/the MacCreedy family). To avenge their loved ones (Luke Skywalker/Cale Terriot). And to have that happily-ever-after. A hero and heroine with a dream hold the shield that protects them from all odds . . . once they are confronted with the pain of loss. The power of that dream is what sustains them, even if the dream proves an illusion.

Have you found these universal truths in your favorite Sci-Fi / paranormal books, TV shows and movies?

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Along with the blog tour, we have a copy of Betrayed by Shadows by Nancy Gideon for one (1) lucky winner!

Balancing a criminal empire and a preternatural clan war, reluctant front man Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy . . . How much trouble can the head-strong and manipulative Shifter beauty get into in two weeks? Plenty when her schemes range from kidnapping to fleeing the retribution of her dead lover’s clan.

With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. The only thing standing in her way is an immovable stone wall of a man she can’t bully or beguile . . . a human, no less, who has promised to protect her from the secrets and dangers she conceals.

Risking her own safety gets complicated when an honorable and annoyingly desirable man puts himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win in this Taming of the Shrew meets Shifter Goodfellas on the Bayou tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places.

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 1. I’ll draw a name on February 2, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Nancy Gideon Guest Post and Giveaway!

Guest Post: Author Alex Scarrow

Okay readers, since the third book in the series TIMERIDERS: THE DOOMSDAY CODE has just been released perhaps it’s time for a ‘story so far’ reminder of what’s happened in book 1 and 2. If you’re new to the series and hate spoilers, turn away now. If on the other hand you want to get yourself up to speed ready for book 3…read on…
And check back tomorrow for an exclusive interview and giveaway!

Book1: TimeRiders
Liam O’Connor, a steward aboard the Titanic, Maddy Carter a computer programmer aboard a doomed passenger plane and Saleena Vikram an Indian girl from 2026, have all been ‘recruited’ from the final seconds of their lives to work for a covert agency tasked with preventing time travellers from the future changing history for their own ends. Waking up from their traumatic ‘extraction’ they find themselves in an archway beneath a bridge in New York. And the old man who recruited them, Foster, immediately begins their training. Theirs is a team – one of many supposedly – expected to work in complete isolation. They’re located in Brooklyn in New York and the date is September the 11th, 2001. They’re in a two-day bubble of time, the day before and the day of 9/11! For them time will repeatedly loop through those two days as they learn every single detail of how those two days are supposed to go.

It’s not long before Sal, the team’s ‘observer’ spots a difference in their two day bubble, a sign that history has been subtly changed. Still fresh from a crash course of training, Maddy detects the origin of the change in history and Liam, and the fourth member of their team, Bob (a ‘support unit’ – a genetically engineered ‘heavy’ with a computer chip for a brain) are sent back to 1943 to prevent a squad of neo-nazis from helping Hitler win WWII. It’s a narrow run thing, but Liam and Bob eventually manage to correct the course of history, but not before Maddy and Sal, still in 2001, see a time-wave altering New York to a horrific new version of itself…as incorrect history plays itself out to the present.

Liam returns from the mission, history corrected, but with nothing left of Bob, but the bloodied computer chip, dug out of his head. All that is left of him. But all is not lost, a replacement body can be grown, and the data on the chip that represents Bob’s newly evolved AI personality can be installed into a new body.

With order finally restored, New York back to its normal self, Foster decides his freshly recruited team can handle themselves and decides to leave them to it. Over a good bye coffee, he explains to Maddy that she’s the team leader, she’s in charge. He explains he has to go…that the affects of the force field that loops the archway back every 48 hours has a long term corrosive affect on the body…as does time travel itself. He must leave, while he still has a few weeks of life left. He parts with a truth…time travel will eventually kill Liam. That’s the dark nature of the technology

Book two: TimeRiders: Day of the Predator
Maddy has taken charge and done her best to get up to speed on how the agency and the technology operates. First order of business is growing a new Bob! A new genetic embryo is prepped for growth and taken to nearly a full growth cycle when disaster strikes. A message from the future, from the agency. Something has happened in 2016; a young student called Edward Chan who is destined to write a degree thesis that will go on to form the foundation of time travel theory has been assassinated during a high school field trip to a science laboratory in Texas. It is suspected that anti-time travel terrorists from the future are responsible. The team decide to send Liam and the new support unit forward to 2016 to thwart the attempt on Chan’s life. However, getting ready to ‘hatch’ the new support unit they discover it’s female, not male. They went and selected the wrong sex embryo to activate. With no time to grow a new one, they go with the female support unit, which they name ‘Becks’. Liam and Becks manage to intervene to save Chan’s life, but a mistake by Maddy, attempting to bring them back to 2001 results in both of them, Chan, the entire high school class and two teachers being beamed back 65 million years to the late cretaceous!

Maddy is distraught. She’s dumped them somewhere, more precisely, somewhen in history and there’s no knowing when!

For Liam, Becks and the others, it’s a desperate struggle for survival while they figure out how they’re going to help Maddy find them. Liam suggests the idea of leaving a carefully placed message containing a calculation of the approximate millennium they’re stuck in, that will eventually, hopefully, become a fossil that will one day be discovered by palaeontologists. Against all odds the plan turns out to be successful, the message finds it’s way to Maddy and Sal and they’re able to zero in on the precise date and open a portal to bring the few survivors home. Edward Chan is returned to his future time to one day write his physics degree paper.

Order once more restored, there’s a decision to be made. Should they keep Becks, or recycle her body and grow a Bob. They decide to keep her AND revive Bob. There’s nothing in the their team’s hand book that says they can’t have two support units.

Maddy manages to locate the old man Foster in New York, and tell him about their last adventure. It’s then Foster drops a bombshell for Maddy. Liam is Foster. They’re the same person!

Book Three: TimeRiders: The Doomsday Code
The adventure continues when some code-hacker student manages to decode a sentence from the Voynich Manuscript, a real document from the dark ages that has yet to be successfully deciphered. In the one sentence he decodes lies a shocking secret that could change the entire course of history….!