Tag Archives: adventure

Guest Release Promotion—Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane by James Austin McCormick

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A reluctant solo agent, Sillow is called upon to undertake his first mission, investigate the Tower, a high-tech prison complex along with the oligarch who runs it, a mysterious nobleman who calls himself Tamerlane.

All the while, something has been evolving, growing stronger inside the Tower, something intangible yet far more dangerous than Tamerlane ever could be, a being implacably opposed to all life in the galaxy…

…and only Sillow has any chance of stopping it.

BUY LINKS

Class Act Books

Amazon

Amazon UK

EXCERPT

Laser fire and shouts echoed as Sillow was thrown headlong into the cell.

“What are you?” a female voiced asked. “Some type of green midget?”

Sillow groaned and tried to get up. He settled for a slumped kneeling position.

“I’m a Sylvan,” he replied. He squinted into the shadows and saw a figure seated on the upper berth of a bunk. He could make out little apart from a muscular, yet shapely pair

of legs. “Who are you?”

The figure jumped down from the bunk. She was an Amazonian, strong and athletic with an impressive cleavage and long chestnut hair falling around her shoulders. She was

also extremely pretty despite the artificial eye and cheek implant. She stretched out a perfectly formed silver arm, extending her hand. “Titanya.”

Sillow’s eyes widened. “The Pirate Queen?”

The woman nodded.

The Sylvan took her cybernetic hand and let himself be hauled to his feet. He found himself head high to her magnificent chest.

“Sillow,” he replied, smiling at her breasts. “I’m from the Alliance.”

“Up here, short stuff,” the woman told him.

Slowly and very reluctantly, Sillow turned his attention upwards. He grinned. “Nice to meet you.”

Outside, cries and weapon fire continued to echo through the halls.

Titanya frowned. “Any idea what all that’s about?”

“Whole place is going crazy,” the Sylvan replied. “Something got into Tamerlane’s AI system.”

The woman took a couple of tentative steps toward the door. Screams echoed through the walls.

“Sounds like a warzone out there,” she remarked. “You sure the AI is causing all this?”

Sillow frowned. “You know, this is going to sound kind of crazy but…” he paused, running a hand over his pointed chin.

“What?” Titanya demanded.

“Well, it kind of looks like the one causing all this is Darius Drake. You heard of the guy?”

“Oh yeah,” the Earth woman answered. “We’ve met.”

“Well, somehow he’s put himself into the computer system.” Sillow gave an embarrassed shrug. “Sounds sort of off the wall I know.”

There was a sudden explosion and flames tore through the slits at the top of the door.

“Look out.” Sillow threw himself at Titanya, knocking her off balance and sending her tumbling to the floor. The Sylvan landed on top of her, head buried in her thick auburn

locks. A fireball tore past them, turning the bunks into cinder.

It was some moments before Sillow glanced up. He found himself looking at the stern, beautiful features of the Terran woman.

“You okay?” he asked. “Just so you know, that was me protecting you.”

“Just so you know,” Titanya replied, “under any other circumstances I’d have busted your jaw for that.”

Sillow grinned. “You mean saving your life?”

Titanya flung the little Sylvan back onto his feet. “Yeah, right. I can’t believe a pipsqueak like you got the drop on me.”

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James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England who considers writing pure escapism. After the publication of his first SF novel, Dragon, he realized he wanted to keep exploring the universe he’d created. So far he’s written two more Dragon books, Dragon: Smuggler Tales and the most recent, Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane, and three stand-alones.

WEB CONTACTS

Amazon

Class Act Books

Facebook

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Twitter

 

Guest Interview—Hywela Lyn

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I was born and lived most of my life in Rural Wales, although I have lived in a small English village, since my marriage. I love the outdoors and animals, and enjoyed many happy hours riding in the hills in my native Wales, the beautiful landscapes and colourful myths and legends inspired much of my writing. I have always loved the stars, and although I started out writing Western historicals, I became fascinated by the idea of travelling in space, and exploring distant worlds and began writing Science Fiction Romance – I always say ‘Space Opera’ which is how I would categorize my writing, is really a ‘Western’ in space with starships instead of horses and aliens instead of Native Americans.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’ (although a few of my stories are set on this world but in a distant time either far back in the past, or in the future.)

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading (of course.) As I said earlier, I love the outdoors, walking with my dog and caring for my two horses. Although I learnt to ride ‘English’ style, when Western Riding became more popular in the UK, I bought a Western saddle (from an endurance rider) and changed disciplines. Western riding is so comfortable and relaxed, and my horses converted to it very easily. I completed several endurance rides myself, using Western tack, and even bought a specially reinforced ‘Stetson’ as my mare, T’pau, although sweet, is very spooky an we’ve parted company a few times. At one time I used to sketch and paint, but don’t have time for that any more, unfortunately.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Usually the characters come to me first, then the setting and the plot sort of evolves around them. I always think the characters tell me the story as we go along.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

I usually like to find a picture of my hero and heroine and keep it in front of me as I write.  I don’t find a suitable picture I will make a quick sketch, it just helps to flesh out the character in my mind. In ‘Beloved Enemy’ I had already found the male model I wanted for my cover ‘Jimmy Thomas’. The picture I found conveyed exactly the right image for my ‘tortured hero.’ The female model was a little harder to find, but the one I found suited the main character perfectly. I was lucky in that my cover artist used both the  pictures I chose and incorporated them into the cover.

In what genre do you read?

I love reading Science Fiction naturally, but I also enjoy historical Westerns, Romantic suspense, and adventures stories. I will actually read almost anything if it has good characters and holds my attention.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I couldn’t be without an animal or two. I have two horses, Harri and T’pau.  Harry is a black Welsh Cob and T’pau is a chestnut and white ‘Paint/American Quarterhorse. ‘Dusty’ the stable cat, does the ‘mousework and vermin control.   I also have a rather manic ‘rescue’ terrier called Choccy. He is the sweetest, most affectionate little dog, but unfortunately was kept locked up for the first two years of his life, and as a consequence was never ‘socialised’ with other dogs. It’s taken over a year and a lot of patience, but he’s now reached the stage where he will see another dog and approach it happily, instead of barking furiously and spinning in circles. He’s very clever and learns quickly, and when I’m not out with the horses, I take him for long walks in the woods or across the fields, and he just loves to chase a ball and play ‘fetch’.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I would love to think that readers would enjoy reading about my characters, and be left with a feeling of hope for the future, and the triumph of good over evil, and that they will feel the same sense of satisfaction when the main characters finally get their ‘happy ever after’ as I did writing it.

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Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon UK

The Wild Rose Press

Giveaway

Thank you so much for having me here today – I wonder how many readers think we will one day explore the stars?  I’m looking forward to your views and will give a $6.00 Wild Rose Press Certificate to the most interesting answer.

EXCERPT

Before she could activate the weapon, Kerry let off another barrage of plasma bolts into the river. He leapt toward her and ripped the severed tentacle from her leg. It flapped around on the wet grass. She scrambled to her knees, still slightly winded, and fired at the hideous thing. The foliage around it flared briefly with an eerie green flame, and the tentacle shrivelled into a slimy black mass, emitting a pungent odour and causing her to gag.

“It seems I was mistaken about the creature being dead.” Kerry prodded the smouldering mass with his boot and looked across over the water. “It is now.” He leaned down and grasped her wrist to haul her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Her shoulder was sore and probably bruised but she’d live.

She tried to control her shivering. The incident affected her more than she wanted to admit. Kerry’s proximity—naked to the waist, his lithe body shining from the water droplets that still clung to his skin, and his legs swathed in tight black leather—did nothing to help. The last thing she wanted was for him to realize how scared she’d been when she thought a snake attacked her.

“Thanks. That was close. It would have been a bit ironic if I’d been killed by the same creature I saved you from.”

She realized he still grasped her wrist. She tried to move away, but he pulled her back, obliging her to turn to him.

“You’re trembling.”

“I’m fine.”

“No,” he said. “You’re not.” He pulled her closer and his eyes softened, his gaze holding her mesmerized. She opened her mouth to try to speak, but in the same instant, he put his hand under her chin and his lips closed over hers.

Snippet from 5 Start Review – Books By Beverly

“Cat comes to Kerry and his party’s rescue. If anyone is going to kill him it will be her.

I haven’t read the first two in the series but Beloved Enemy is a stand alone. A good one!”

Hywela Lyn

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales. Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.

WEBSITE  –     http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

BLOG  –            http://www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor?ref=hl

                  https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

TWITTER –        https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn

GOODREADS –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1422651.Hywela_Lyn

 

Her first novel, Starquest, a futuristic romance released by The Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel Children Of The Mist. Her recently released third novel Beloved Enemy, continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’.

 

She is a member of The Romance Novelists’ Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group. A keen animal lover, when she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!

Interview with J.A. Marx

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I grew up in Estes Park, Colorado where my back yard was an adventure land complete with climbing trees, rock fortresses, and horses. Stories have been rolling like movies through my head since I was little, but I never wrote one down until after I read Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness at age thirty-something. My first-ever novel, written in 1990, is safely buried in some computer file. A decade passed, and, on the stage of my mind, a girl washed up on a beach unconscious. I had to do something with her, and that turned into the first book in The Destiny Series. Between homeschooling and domestic chores, I wrote all 6 books in the series. Another decade passed, and, when I’m not playing with the grandchildren, I’m re-writing & editing the last three books plus other publishing projects.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Fiction that Heals the Soul

(The Destiny Series is a healing & redemption story of a former victim of sex trafficking – A fairytale-come-true for the oppressed)

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Painting, hiking/walking, fitness & nutrition. The first two vie for first place. One of my favorite things to do, especially if it’s too hot to be outside, is paint to worship music. And then I’m always wishing I could carry my paints with me whenever I go hiking, too, but that’s ridiculously unrealistic.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Definitely a plot. But as soon as the story starts rolling (about 4 chapters into it), I have to stop and interview my characters and lay out the setting, which I consider another character. If I don’t know the characters, I get bogged down.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Both. I write purposefully and adventurously.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Yes. Most of the story takes place in Cleveland, where I lived for 8 years. And part of book 3 takes place in Colorado, where I grew up. I also traveled to the Caribbean where my protagonist came from. And I’ve often visited my parents on Kauai, HI, an island that helped me further form my setting for this and an upcoming romantic suspense.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

Usually, as long as I have a solid moral premise—a complementary vice and virtue that unite the characters—I don’t get stuck. (I highly recommend reading “The Moral Premise,” by Stan Williams.) I also write by the seat-of-the-pants and without a filter about larger than life characters, which allows them to surprise me. For example, my peculiar protagonist (overcoming her sex trafficking background) spontaneously dances like a wild gypsy around a Zales store while trying on engagement rings (in partial rebellion), which draws security and forces Sedgwick the persnickety salesclerk to kick her out of the store.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

My first hour of the day is spent in the secret place with my Heavenly Father, the true inspiration behind why I write. After that I’ll write or edit a chapter, workout at the gym, then return to a book or blog, according to my deadline schedule. If I have obligations/chores/errands in the afternoon, I’ll often return that evening to finish whatever I didn’t get to earlier.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

I love nature, hiking, and foreign travel. So a combination of those three would be my dream vacay. Swiss Alps?

In what genre do you read?

I prefer reading the genre I write. Suspense, particularly psychological suspense (B. Collins, T. Dekker, D. Koontz, F. Peretti to name a few); and spiritually intellectual fiction (i.e. Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee; C.S. Lewis). Not much else holds my attention.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

Domestic: Dogs top the list. However our shepherd mutt moved out with our daughter two years ago. I now happily live out my ‘puppy love’ vicariously through other dog owners.

Exotic: Penguins rock! Anyone acquainted with my quirky affection for penguins leaves posts and related pics/videos on my FB. My critique group in particular has become gifted at penguin comments.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

My heart is to see people healed, set free, and equipped in Christ. It’s hard for me to write a story that does NOT involve at least one if not all three of these elements. The most meaningful reviews and personal comments I’ve ever received are those that touch on any of these three areas. One of my readers/fans told me recently, “My friend really needs the healing your character experienced, so I gave her your book. She’s already asking for the next one in the series.” That blessed me!

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Chiara escaped nineteen years captivity and is now rebuilding her life from scratch. Everything would be fine if there were no men around for her to hate.

Isaac goes overboard in trying to get the mysterious Chiara, a former sex slave, accepted into his community. Few are willing to look beyond her social bumbling to find her hidden worth.

Just when things couldn’t get worse, the FBI tracks Chiara down and coerces her into helping them catch a murderer/trafficker. Isaac’s wish to understand her unimaginable past comes true. He not only experiences her old world firsthand, he encounters the man who wants Chiara dead.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON (kindle and soft cover)

Barnes & Noble (soft cover only)

EXCERPT

(June 1990)

Clutching the stiff white bedding, Chiara flexed her feet, working strength back into her sluggish extremities. Not one window adorned the walls of this room, and she desperately wanted to see the real world. Jase had filled her head with glorious descriptions of neighborhoods and parks of amusement, stuff she’d only dreamed existed. The promise of getting to Ohio had helped her weather the past twenty hours.

“Trust me, Princess,” Isaac whispered. “Dr. Macon isn’t scum.”

You wouldn’t recognize scum even if one kissed you. Trying not to scowl at Isaac took up the rest of her energy. “Got it. Now go, so I can book out of this sterile jail.”

Adapt and conquer. Her tutors had dropped her into a variety of testing situations over the years and expected her to survive. Waking up half-naked with numb limbs must have missed their list of scenarios—at least the numbness part.

Most of her paraesthesia was gone. Dr. Macon said she could travel as long as she got rest and took the elephant pills that made her gag. The man also promised her ice cream if she let him interrogate her. Privately.

If he touches me, I’ll— She looked around for scissors. Knife. Anything.

Her side and arm burned like acid. To stay alert, she’d faked taking the painkillers. The throbbing reminded her she was alive. Reminded her how much freedom had cost.

The doctor entered and stood at the end of the bed. More gray strands had blossomed in his hair since yesterday, and his crow’s feet had extra pleats.

He crept within a meter.

Chiara sat up. If necessary, she’d strangle him with his stethoscope. How many times had he hassled her with that evil gadget? “What do you want to know?”

Posing with his hands in his coat pocket, he evoked images of the doctors she’d seen pictures of in textbooks. “What happened to you?”

“I was shot.” Maybe she’d appreciate hospitals more if she didn’t feel so incapacitated. There had to be something good about them or Isaac wouldn’t have made her stay overnight.

Macon rubbed one sideburn. “Your friends obviously don’t know much about you.”

“I thought this was our private conversation.”

Crossing his arms, he nodded. “Working in the heart of Miami, I’ve encountered my share of the abused population. Victims of violence, unfortunate souls born to troubled families. I’m not ignorant to the symptoms. Who did this to you?”

His finger zoomed toward her shoulder.

Realizing which area he was targeting, she blocked his hand. Chiara had never given her Omeàlan souvenirs a second thought. “Is it not common in Florida?”

His jaw dropped. “What labor camp were you—?” He sucked in a breath. “It’s illegal. An injustice against you.”

She winced. What could he know about injustice if he’d never lived on Omeàla? If she didn’t answer his questions carefully, she might end up back in that hellhole.

Review quote

“It’s one of the few books that when I looked up from the pages it would take me a minute to realize I was sitting on my couch, not in Ohio helping Chiara adjust to her newfound freedom.” ~~Donna

Marx bwJ.A. holds a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. She’s presently the Vice President of ACFW – DFW Chapter. She has published several articles, devotionals, and writes a weekly blog supporting the Christian walk. J.A. resides in Texas, where she serves at Gateway Church and loves on her children and grandchildren.

WEB CONTACT LINKS

Website: http://jamarx.net/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JA_Marx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/embattledspirit

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/EmbattledSpiritAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/JAMarx