Tag Archives: sci-fi

Guest Release Promotion–The Story of a Peace-Loving Man By Toni V. Sweeney




Against the background of an interplanetary war comes the story of Allan McAllister and N’Sagar sh’en Singh.

He’s a Paxist, a believer in peace, forced by the United Terran Federation into military service to punish his treasonous kinsman. She’s the daughter of a Felidan pride chief, one of the enemy, but there’s no hatred in her heart for the lone Terran marooned on her planet.

Thrown together, then torn from each other by the aftermath of a war neither wanted, their love will be a tragedy and a triumph as a man sworn to walk the road of Peace is made to follow the dictates of War and suffer its consequences.

This is their story…


Class Act Books




Pardee had a package from Shelagh. Home-made cookies. He opened the little box, offering it to Allan. The smell of ginger and cane sugar wafted out. “Gingerbread raisin. Have one, Mal.”

“Why do you call me that?” Allan asked, selecting a large, thick wafer. He inhaled the spice’s sharp scent. It made his mouth water. Taking a bite, he spoke through the sweet mouthful. “My name’s Allan. I don’t use my middle name.”

“No, you’re Mal. Short for Malcolm, aye.” Jon picked his own cookie, ate it in two bites before going on. “But mal also means “bad” an’ you’re a bad boy, Allan Malcolm McAllister…just like I am. Whether you want t’ be or not.”

“What do you mean you’re bad? I don’t see anyone beating up on you. They may be a little deferential to you but at least you aren’t ostracized like I am.”

“Is that your way o’ askin’ about me background? For if ’tis, I’ll be tellin’ a sordid tale, boyo.” Pardee could turn the thickness of that Irish accent on and off at will, but it always became more pronounced when he got serious. He picked another cookie.

“I guess I am,” Allan replied. “I’ll admit I’m curious. You’ve become my friend, Jon, and I can’t help wondering why. Is it for the notoriety, or are you just a glutton for punishment? It certainly can’t be because of my winning personality.”

“Now that…” Pardee pointed at him with the second cookie, closing one eye in a weird little squint just short of a wink. “…is where you’re wrong. I’ll admit I felt sorry for you at first, but it didn’t take me long to see you an’ I are alike in a way, an’ if an’ when things get down to basics where’er we’re goin’, ’tis you I want guardin’ me back, Mal. Just as I’ll be guardin’ yours.”

That floored Allan. That this man who was almost a stranger would come right out and say he trusted him with his life and would be willing to protect him, too.

“In that case…you’d better tell me how you became a bad boy, Private Pardee. Give me the whole, sordid mess.”



Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and a diploma in Graphic Art and also produces book videos. Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. Her novels have garnered awards from The National Writers Association, Preditors & Editors, The Maryland Writers Association, and The Paranormal Romance Guild. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books. She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild.  Recently she was named a professional reader by netgalley.com.



Amazon Author’s Page



Twitter: @ToniVSweeney

Interview with P.J. MacLayne

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I was born and raised in the hills of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Now I live among the in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve gone through a variety of careers, but am currently employed in the Information technology field. Writing, however, is my dream career and I wish I could do it full time.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

“Adventure with a Touch of Romance” I discovered I’m better at writing action scenes than emotional ones, but my main characters also have to deal with the adventures of the heart.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’ve always been a reader. During my grade school and high school years, I typically read a book a day. I may not read as much as I used to, but that’s because I’m busy writing.

I also do needlepoint and other forms of yarn art in my spare time. I’m actually pretty good at it.

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

Usually, I have the barest sketch of a plot in my head when I start writing. More of a story concept, really. And I have the barest idea  of my characters. But because I listen to them as I write their stories, I often find that I didn’t know them as well as I thought I did.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Freestyle. I write by the seat of my pants. I frequently find myself taking the storyline somewhere different than what I’d planned. In fact,  I was well into writing a different book when the main character in my current release, Wolves’ Knight, demanded I tell her story.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I listen to a wide variety of music. But my most frequently chosen for writing are classic rock and John Denver. I have an extensive collection of John Denver.

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

My stories are mostly set in in the states around Pennsylvania. But because I used to travel extensively in a previous job, I could set my books almost anywhere in the US and say I’d been there!

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

I start editing. Going back and trying to clean up what I’ve written already will often help me clarify what’s going on in the story so I can start writing again.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

I have to stop using the word “giggle.” Most of my characters are in their late twenties, and they don’t giggle!

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

I write in the evenings after getting home from work and having supper. Depending upon what else needs done—paying bills, washing clothes, etc—I may have a couple of hours free. If I get a thousand words down in one evening, I consider it a good writing day.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I also write mysteries. My current releases are the Oak Grove Mystery series. I’m currently working on the third book in the series.

In what genre do you read?

You throw a book at me, give me the time, and I’ll read it. I’ve even ventured into the dinosaur erotic romance sub-genre—once. Yes, it exists.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

I try to make sure my names aren’t real people, so I do a google search to see what I can find, and change the spelling of my preferred name if I need to. I also make use of a variety of baby-naming sites when I have a concept for a character but no idea what to name them.

cover pjmaclayne 1-6-16


Tasha Roeper knows what it means to protect your own. So when her friend, Dot Lapahie, CEO of Lapahie Enterprises, suspects that the Free Wolves are under attack, Tasha immediately signs on to lead the investigation and guard Dot.

But Tasha’s not convinced it’s the Free Wolves that are the target. She fears that her own pack—the Fairwood Pack—are the actual quarry and Dot is only a decoy.

The deeper Tasha digs, the more puzzles she uncovers.

Torn between tradition and a changing world, will Tasha risk everything to save a friend—including her own life—when old enemies arise?



Barnes & Noble




Tasha had time for another run—this one in human form. There was a distinct difference in the experiences, and sometimes Tasha craved the adrenalin rush that came with running on two feet instead of four.

She set a hard pace as soon as she hit the street and kept it up as she ran through the open field just past the last of the Victorian-style houses. She kept the punishing stride as she followed the well-worn path to the shooting range. By the time she reached the fence marking the boundary of the Fairwood holdings, she had to slow down, not only to dodge the trees and brambles, but to ease her labored breathing.

But still she kept running. Endurance was as important in human form as it was to her wolf form. She might not be able to outrun a wolf, but there weren’t many humans who could match her for the combination of speed and distance.

Even when she reached the point where forward movement was more instinct that conscious thought, she didn’t stop. At some point she met the pack members on patrol, acknowledging their presence with a quick nod and a brief wave of one hand.

When she turned the corner to trace the southern border, her mind noted her heavy breathing and the rapid pounding of her heart. And still she kept running, pushing herself. Sweat poured down her face, but she didn’t break her concentration long enough to wipe it away.

A dim part of her knew when a wolf started following her, but it didn’t speak to her, just ran in her wake, so she ignored it. She slowed somewhat when she could no longer breathe correctly, but kept going, one foot in front of the other. When she stumbled on a root, she lucked out and caught herself before falling.

“Enough,” sent the wolf.

“Not yet,” she answered. And kept going.

Her lungs screamed from the lack of oxygen, her eyes burned from the sweat streaming into them, and she could no longer feel her legs. She was past pain and moving from sheer force of will. But she wanted to go farther. Her goal was the meeting of the southern and western borders. And past that if she could hold on that long.


Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscapes. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Free Wolves’ stories, she is also the author of the Oak Grove series.

P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:

Facebook https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne

Twitter https://twitter.com/pjmaclayne

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PJMacLayne/posts

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/P.J.-MacLayne/e/B00HVE8WZI

Guest Interview–Andrea Stehle

Today I’m interviewing a friend from the San Antonio Romance Authors, Andrea Stehle.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I am a high school Latin teacher and have been for 25 years.  I have a degree in Classics from the University of Texas.

I discovered the world of mythology back in middle school when I decided to read The Odyssey.  I loved classical mythology from that moment on, and I always include it in my Latin classes.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I enjoy theatre – both watching and performing.  Recently I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with my daughters at the Zion Theatre in Helotes, Texas.  February 2015 marks my debut as a playwright and director for the theatre department at Stevens High School.  We will be doing my Star Wars version of Oedipus Rex and Antigone in the Black Box.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I use the MUSE method.  I create the world and the characters first.  I even have a basic story arc in mind, but once I sit at the computer and begin writing, the story takes on a life of its own.  I often don’t know how the scene will end until my characters start talking and interacting.  I can understand why the ancient Greeks believed that inspiration was a gift from the Olympians.

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

I wish I could visit Arcadia (a planet thousands of years in the future filled with classical mythology), but the closest I have ever been are the ruins of Delphi on Mt Parnassus.  I actually sat in the ruins of Apollo’s temple and invoked the Muses to inspire my words.  The poem I wrote is about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.  Not surprising the ruins of Pompeii had been a previous stop on the tour.  I use the poem with my students to this day.

In what genre do you read?

I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan.  I love Anne McCaffrey’s DragonRiders of Pern and Frank Herbert’s Dune.  I am also addicted to romance novels.  Their “love conquers all” endings always bring me to tears.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

Although I get many of the names for characters from classical mythology and history, I also use the names of my students for minor characters.  I recently discovered that might be a problem.  The other day I was writing a scene where a citizen of Metropolis was attacked by a manticore.  I had intended to have him die of his wounds, but I suddenly couldn’t do it, because he was named for one of my students.

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

There are three cats in my home; my daughter’s cat, Phoebe, my mother’s cat, Problem, and my cat, Xena.   No dogs allowed.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I once watched Rick Riordan [author of Percy Jackson YA series] captivate a room full of young readers with his story.  He made them see that mythology is cool, and many of my students learn to love classical mythology because of his books.  I want to inspire young people to love mythology, too.  I love teaching about the classical world.  I hope my books entertain and give me a much larger classroom.


Gods of Arcadia: Daughter of Athena is a sci-fi/fantasy with romantic elements.  It is an INDIE publication through Mind of Minerva.

Eons ago the gods of Mt. Olympus ruled over the developing civilization of ancient Greece.  From the heights of their mountain retreat the gods manipulated and forced mankind to their will.  But one day the Olympians grew bored with the mundane world – as immortals are predisposed to do.  They looked away from their children for just a moment and the Earth changed.  No longer were the names Zeus, Hera, and Athena whispered with awe and terror, but forgotten until they were nothing more than myths from the dawn of time.  To their regret the Olympians discovered no amount of manipulation or terror could bring mankind back into the fold, and so they were obliged to start again.

Transplanting a small group of humans to the distant world of Arcadia, the gods created their own perfect Utopian society.  In their self-absorbed way each Olympian reigned over a cult of followers in a personal city-state where their word was law.  To promote harmony, the Great Law of the Olympians sought to suppress the volatile nature of humanity by forbidding war on Arcadia. Unfortunately, the Olympians learned nothing is ever perfect.  Once every hundred years the Son of Ares is born to disturb the delicate balance of their world.

Although Ardella of New Athens was the chosen of Athena, blessed with the gift of empathy, she was young and naïve.  She made the ultimate mistake – she allowed the Son of Ares to manipulate her and escape.  Almost a decade later, the Daughter of Athena is still battling the chaos caused by that moment of weakness, when her brother is captured by the enemy.

To save her twin, Ardella travels to Metropolis, the fortress at the heart of the Son of Ares’ empire, and offers herself in exchange.  Exiled in a strange new city, the Daughter of Athena soon learns that the enemy she had come to know reading reports in her Tower in New Athens is not the same as the one she now faces in the thriving, very human culture of Metropolis.  Bewildered by her growing admiration for the Son of Ares, Ardella must not only save her brother, but decide if she stands with or against the Gods of Arcadia.




Gods of Arcadia: Daughter of Athena was named the 2015 Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy by the Texas Association of Authors.  Andrea will be accepting this award on the steps of the state capital in April.


“Great journey into a whole new world. It would make a good movie. If you enjoy mythology you would enjoy this book.” – Sandra M.

“The book catches your attention right away. It was hard to put down. Looking forward to next in the series.” – D. Pate


As I knocked on Galynda’s door as the midday sun beat down upon paving stones which in turn warmed my sandaled feet.  I glance up at the star that gave life to Arcadia and thought of the sunrise ceremony for Apollo.  As I waited for the door to open, I suddenly remembered a story I had read in one of the many books from Athena’s archive.  It was from the classical mythology of ancient Earth and it told the story of how the god Apollo drove the chariot of the sun across the sky.   I smiled as I tried to imagine the handsome giant standing silently in Heliopolis’ harbor guiding magical horses pulling the sun behind him.   Our ancestors on Earth had such primitive beliefs.

The Olympians were immortal and had many powers that might seem magical to primitive humans, but where had they come up with such a fantastic tale as Apollo pulling the chariot of the sun across the sky or the seasons being caused by Demeter’s anger.  I finally became so curious, I asked Athena herself.

She explained that the Olympians had lived together on Mt. Olympus far removed from the people in Greece who worshiped them.  It had been a mistake, because the people made up stories about their Gods called myths.  The stories stuck and the Olympians didn’t see the harm in such tales until centuries later when they were used by skeptics to suggest the Gods did not really exist.  It was the dark period of unbelief on Earth that had shaped the nature of Arcadia.

Here each Olympian lives with their followers, so the people would never doubt the Gods were real.  No one on Arcadia would make up or believe such fantastic tales as the myths of ancient Greece, because they have seen the Gods with their own eyes.  Living among humans, the Olympians have been able to shape our societies and guide our footsteps like a trusted parent.  And keep a closer eye on us so we don’t stray into the darkness like our ancestors on Earth.

“Lady Ardella?” I heard Galynda’s voice ask from the doorway.  I had been so lost in thought I not even heard the door open and it took a moment for me to come back to the present and the reason for my visit.

“Lady Galynda, I was hoping to speak to you,” I said.

“Just Galynda,” she replied with a hint of annoyance in her voice and in her mind.

“What?” I asked unsure of what had caused her irritation with me.

“I am a citizen of Metropolis like any other.  I have no title or rank,” Galynda explained.

“I meant no offense,” I murmured.  “I just assumed since you were the sister of the Strategos you would addressed with a title of respect due your role in the ruling class of Metropolis.”

“You are a long way from New Athens, Lady Ardella.  There is no ruling class, or scholarly class, or servant class here.  Everyone in Metropolis is equal.”

“Of course, Galynda.  I am just learning the ways of Metropolis.  Please forgive me for my lack of knowledge,” I offered sincerely and I felt her irritation give way to guilt.

“I’m sorry, Lady Ardella.  I didn’t mean to be rude,” she said honestly.  “Please come in.”

“Thank you,” I said entering her home.

“I am very proud of the way of life we have established here in Metropolis.  I must learn not to be so sensitive,” Galynda explained, her feelings of pride strongly flowing from her heart.

“I have felt a similar sense of pride in many of the citizens of Metropolis.  It has been a surprise for me to learn about the nature of your city firsthand.”

“Most of our society and its customs are based upon the traditions of our ancestors on Earth that Alexander learned from your crystal reader.”

“Are you referring to the crystal reader with the better part of the Academy library stored on it that your brother stole from me?”

“I would love to hear that story,” Galynda laughed.

“Perhaps another time, Galynda.”  I sighed softly.   I took a deep breath and continued,   “I have come to you with the first excerpt of the Book of Artemis. The parts I have translated are the history of the conflict between the Amazons and the followers of Artemis.  I am only about a third of the way through the book, so have no idea what the rest might contain,” I said handing her the pages.

“Thank you.  I look forward to reading the pages.  I can return them to you when I have finished.”

“The pages are yours to keep and share with the others. I want the new followers of Artemis to have access to all the knowledge about their Goddess.  I will keep translating every chance I get.”

“And you are certain there is no payment required for this knowledge?”

“For the knowledge?  No!  I could, however, use some additional paper on which to translate.”

“I believe I can arrange for the paper,” she said smiling.  After a moment her brows furrowed and she asked, “What does that mean ‘translate’?”

“Oh!  Let me show you.”  I said pulling the Book of Artemis from my bag.  I handed the small leather-bound tome to Alexander’s sister.   I watched as she opened the book and a puzzled look crossed her face.  I felt her surge of confusion and suspicion.

“I recognize the letters.  Why can’t I read the words?”

“It is in an ancient Earth language called Latin.  Very few people on Arcadia can still read it.”

“I don’t understand.”

“On Arcadia today we all speak and write in a common tongue.  The Olympians wanted it that way to facilitate communication among our sects.  Our ancestors on ancient Earth, however, had many different cultures and many different languages.”

“And the Olympians preserved one of these ancient languages?”

“Athena did.   I learned to read Latin in an advanced course at the Academy after I became a member of Athena’s Council.”

“The Athenian sect has a secret language no one else on Arcadia can even read.”


I am a Latin teacher at John Paul Stevens High School in San Antonio, Texas.  I have always loved classical mythology.  I earned my degree in Classics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989.   I have three beautiful daughters–Monica, Amanda & Linda.

Website:          godsofarcadia.com

Guest Promotion–Lady Of The Night by M.J. Schiller


Blurb ~

Can she betray the man she loves to save him?

An explosion rips Darius away from Maggie. Everyone believes him to be dead, but in her heart she knows it’s not true.

Will he betray The Order to make his way back to her?

Darius’s captor wants information about Council members.  Will duty win out over love?

Will he betray his best friend for the woman he loves?

Orion has learned to keep his distance from Maggie, but when circumstances throw them together in a very intimate way, how can he be expected to remain a loyal friend to Darius?

Excerpt ~

He entered a hallway lined with doors on either side. About halfway up a patch of light on the polished wood stretched from one of the doorways and then became slimmer and slimmer, disappearing as the door slid shut. He picked up his pace, but footsteps approached from a side hallway. Ducking into a doorway, he flattened himself against the cold metal, his heart racing. The footsteps echoed loudly on the flooring, but soon became more distant. Daring to stick his head out, he got a glimpse of the back of someone turning onto another corridor. He estimated the spot where he thought the light shone on the floor, then strode to the door, took a deep breath, and punched the keypad.

He was horrorstruck when the door opened. Maggie knelt at the foot of a brass bed facing it with her arms spread wide, electro-cuffed to the bedposts. The ape called Mic brought a whip crashing down on her back. Orion jumped at the sharp crack, wincing. He rushed forward and grabbed the slaver’s arm as he pulled it back for another blow. He ripped the whip from the meaty fist and threw it across the room where it knocked over a lamp. Mic whirled in a rage but was laid low by a single punch to his jaw. He staggered backward into the bed and slid slowly, almost comically, to the floor.


He hurried to her side, kneeling and laying his hands on her bare arms. “I’m so sorry.” He peered over her shoulder to see her exposed lower back and the welt already rising there.

“I’m okay.” She leaned to peer around the side of the bed at Mic’s prone figure. “Wow. I guess it is true. The bigger they are, the harder they do fall.” The corners of her lips turned up, but her eyes watered.

He smiled back, relieved she was safe. For the moment anyhow. He ran his hands along her arms to the electro-cuffs and deactivated them. They fell from her wrists, and she grabbed the bars of the bed to help her to her feet. She sucked in her breath through her teeth, then halted, appearing to gather herself for a few seconds. “I’ve got an idea about how I can get into the slave quarters.”



MJ Schiller

M.J. Schiller, lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer, is the mother of a twenty-year-old and three eighteen-year-olds. That’s right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However, a record label is out of the question.

Web Contacts ~

Website: www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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