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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Another Ferking Reminder

Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Thanks to everyone who visited last week. 

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space. Because this is a work in progress, any suggestions are greatly appreciated. This snippet continues where we left off last week where Genna is reminded of a former lover.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. 

Forget him—her mantra for the past three years—forget the jerk who didn’t appreciate a strong fem. If she hadn’t been summoned to headquarters, she would have been content to stay at training camp, having fun with Ian Tamerly.
She should forgive and forget—she had another life, one far away from this stinking mass of people, and that was how she liked it, far from the Central District, out on the Frontier.
Forget him, keep walking, get out of this crush of bodies, get to HQ and find out why she’d been ordered to report, cutting short her celebratory vacation, the one Ian promised her, and that would’ve been fun—no pressure, days of lying on the beach and swimming in the Granadian Ocean, its water so salty your body floated on its own.
The glint of light off a necklace in a store window caught her eye, but when she paused to get a closer look, a Ringaran vendor slithered up to her, his leathery scaled claw reaching out to her. She recoiled at its slimy look. Swamp scum green.
He withdrew his claw, cowering, “No touch, Big Boss say no touch—welcome to enter,” He waved at the window, “You like jewelry?”
She glanced at the necklace again—dangling from an argenturum chain, the tiny flower caught the light again, a jileena, the yellow wildflower from her homeland.
Sherd, she couldn’t get away from ferking reminders of an affair gone bad.



Tentative blurb:

Rookie agent must rescue veteran before his cover is blown.

Genna Nogaro, new to the Coalition of Planets’ Intelligence Commission, is assigned to bring in an undercover operative in Hallart’s organization. More experienced agents died before getting him out. Were they killed by the intergalactic gangster or has the operative gone rogue?

Quintall d’Sernin, con man extraordinaire, infiltrated the mob and moved up to be the gangster’s right-hand man. Hallart has his tentacles throughout the Coalition—business, industry, and government. Quin’s finally worked himself into a valued position. All he needs is the key to mob structure in order for Coalition forces to take down the entire organization.

Genna will pose as a new recruit to distract Hallart long enough for Quin to find the key. If they work together, they can accomplish more. But Quin and Genna’s lives are jeopardized by a mole in the Intelligence Commission. Will their true roles be revealed before they accomplish their goal?






Friday, November 15, 2019

Favorite Holiday Memory Blog Hop: ELAINE KAYE #NewRelease



It's so much fun to participate in Elaine Kaye's Favorite Holiday Memory Blog Hop. Elaine has been here before, and so has her daughter Chrys Fey. Welcome back, Elaine.


Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory?

My favorite memory is the Christmas I was ten. Leading up to the actual day, I was convinced we were getting a puppy. Christmas Eve, as my sibs and I were supposed to be sleeping, I heard that puppy whining. I was so excited I don't think I slept. When we were finally allowed to get up to open our gifts, I raced around the tree searching for the box with the puppy in it. My brothers were tearing into their gifts, my sister opened hers with more finesse. 

I finally opened my gift. It was not a puppy. Instead, I got a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera. 

credit: Wikipedia

Needless to say, I was disappointed. I'm sure my mom must have seen my reaction and that makes me sad. Looking back, that camera was an amazing gift. It started me on my life-long love of photography. I've had many cameras since, but that Hawkeye was the beginning. Better than a puppy. (Not really. šŸ˜Š )

Now let's learn about Elaine Kaye's new book.


New Picture Book Release from Elaine Kaye:






BLURB: On Christmas Eve, Gregory and Sammy get a special visitor—Santa Claus! Santa brings them on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world and to the North Pole. Bundle up and come along for the ride!

General Age Range - Kids 4-8 (Story Picture Book)

Book Links:



PLUS, A FREEBIE!



Get Pea Soup Disaster now!
Kindle / Nook / Kobo





About the Author: Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools. She currently lives in Florida, but has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.



Hop around to the other blogs participating:


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Guest: VERONICA SCOTT with Pets in Space 4 #sfr


It's my pleasure to welcome back Veronica Scott. Playing Fan Girl here, I love her books. They are always a one-click for me. And I've been hooked on the anthologies created by Veronica and Pauline Baird Jones. Such fun stories. Here's Veronica to tell us about the 4th anthology.


Thanks for having me as your guest today! Always fun to return to your blog and talk about books…

 About four years ago, my author friend Pauline B. Jones and I started a fun project we call Pets In Space® and invited some other science fiction romance authors to join in. We put together an annual collection of all new stories featuring action, adventure, romance and a pet of some sort involved in the story. Sort of like “Lassie in space”. (Not the racier kind of ‘pets’ you find in some steamy fiction!).

The idea was to find new readers for scifi romance and to support a worthy cause with a portion of the royalties. Now in our fourth year, we’ve hit the USA Today Best Seller list three times and been able to give our charity over $7K total for the first three years, thanks to our wonderful readers.

 

Pets in Space® 4 Anthology Blurb:

For a limited time only! Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Pets in Space® proudly supports Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that provides service animals to veterans and first responders in need. Join New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting Pets in Space® anthology. Get the stories before they are gone!

I always set my Pets In Space® stories on an interstellar cruise liner and have had all kinds of pets from a cat to an eagle to an alien blend of a tribble and a red-tailed panda. This year my pet is an alien ‘dog’, named Charrli. I’m not much of a dog person (it’s always been cats for me, since I was a kid) but I kept seeing Charrli in my mind’s eye and just had to write him into the action! My ship has a resident cat, Moby, but she disappeared for the entire novel – I think she wasn’t happy I brought a dog on board LOL.

Here’s the blurb for my full length novel in the anthology:

STAR CRUISE: IDOL’S CURSE (The Sectors SF Romance Series)
An unusual bequest….

Juli Shaeffer, the Nebula Zephyr’s cruise director, receives a mysterious bequest from the estate of a longtime passenger – a lump of rock taken from a reef on the planet Tahumaroa. Legend states anyone who steals from the ocean gods will be cursed. The passenger’s will requests the rock be returned to the beach so his heirs won’t be affected by the bad luck he believed he’d incurred. Juli doesn’t believe in superstitions and she agrees to carry out this small favor on the ship’s next stop at the planet in question.

Until the rock disappears from her office…

When the rock disappears and reappears in various locations around the ship, and seems connected to a steadily escalating series of mishaps, Juli turns to Third Officer Steve Aureli as the only one she feels she can trust. Along with Steve and his elderly Aunt Dian – a passenger aboard the Nebula Zephyr for this cruise - she investigates the strange series of malfunctions plaguing the interstellar luxury liner. Steve and Juli enlist his Aunt Dian’s dog, Charrli, a retired Sectors Z Corps canine, to help them track the missing rock as it moves about the ship.

Juli and Steve must find the rock, hang onto it and transport it to the planet’s surface, before the alien idol’s curse turns deadly. The attraction between the two of them grows as the threat to Juli becomes more and more focused. Can she carry out her task while he keeps her safe from the alien curse? Will the capricious alien idol bring them good fortune…or disaster?

Here’s a quick excerpt as Juli and the rest of the ship’s crew begin to realize the trouble they might be in: 

Maeve, the ship’s governing Artificial Intelligence, spoke next. “I am unable to identify any anomaly in my systems. There was no command given or received to alter the air pressure flow on Level Five, other than the time boxed kite event, which occurred early in the day and ended as scheduled. I’m currently devoting extra ganglions to controlling all systems in the ship which affect life support. I’m also running specialized analysis, drilling into the available data for any clue or predictor of the problem.”

Captain Fleming nodded, rotating his chair to face Juli. “Anything to add?”

She swallowed hard. “Yes, sir, I believe I do.” Steve flashed her an encouraging smile, raising his eyebrows. The captain is either going to believe my wild tale or write my career off for being space happy. “Sir, do you remember the special assignment I took on? Retrieving a rock that a now deceased passenger had taken from Tahumaroa Two and returning it to the planet on his behalf? I found the rock in the sand on Level Five right before the winds started blowing.”

The chief of Security made a quickly suppressed sound of surprise. The Executive Officer was staring at her with his mouth open. Fleming raised his eyebrows but was stoic. “Did anyone else see the rock? Maeve?”

“I had a ganglion in the general area but the picture was fuzzy.” The AI projected a miniature trideo on the burnished conference table and Juli saw herself and Charli on the beach, but the quality was grainy and broke up into fragments. There was no sign of the rock and from all appearances she and the dog were playing.

“My aunt said Charrli agreed the rock was there,” Steve said. “They’re a former Z Corps team. The dog has unusual capabilities and an enhanced IQ and has been used in the past for gathering intel. If he told Dian he observed the rock, there’s no doubt. A causal link to the malfunction has yet to be established of course. ”

“Do you have a theory, Juli?” the captain asked.

“I can’t even begin to guess, sir, unless the rock contains an unknown type of alien sentience and has the ability to teleport, and to affect systems in its vicinity.” She blushed as she heard how ridiculous she sounded. Like I’m reciting the plot of a bad trideo action movie. “My groundcar did break down shortly after I took the rock from the lawyer’s office but I realize that’s not conclusive.” And the diva lost her voice right when I was going to stick the rock in my safe. She remembered how ill at ease Cilla the lawyer had been the whole time Juli had been in the office, as well as the several odd instances of minor damage in the vicinity.

“I’ve seen countless unbelievable things in my years traveling through the Sectors and outside the fence on missions,” Fleming said after a moment’s silence. “Where is the rock now?”

“It’s supposed to be in my office,” she said.


Author Bio and Links:

USA Today Best Selling Author
 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

 She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”






Saturday, November 9, 2019

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Too Busy to Care

Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Thanks to everyone who visited last week. 

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space. Because this is a work in progress, any suggestions are greatly appreciated. This snippet continues where we left off last week where Genna bemoans the overwhelming smells at spaceport: No essence of jileena could cover up the odors.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. 

Jileena. Genna’s heart twisted at the name of the tiny wildflower that reminded her of the bitch who stole her lover.
Jileena Winslott—stupid, bubble-headed fem, though Genna supposed her name was now Jileena Winslott-Servary now, and she wasn’t the dimwit everyone thought she was. She was CEO of the largest mining exploration company in the Central District. The newswaves raved about her negotiation skills for mining rights in primitive areas around the Rim—good negotiations that protected the rights of natives.
Genna didn’t want to admire her, didn’t want Laning to love her. He should have been hers, and he had been—once. She supposed he was here in Eleganza.
Sherd, she hadn’t thought about him in years . . . at least two, after all, forcing herself to get over him had taken a year. Then, she’d been too busy at the training academy to think of anything, especially not her former lover.

 

Tentative blurb:

Rookie agent must rescue veteran before his cover is blown.

Genna Nogaro, new to the Coalition of Planets’ Intelligence Commission, is assigned to bring in an undercover operative in Hallart’s organization. More experienced agents died before getting him out. Were they killed by the intergalactic gangster or has the operative gone rogue?

Quintall d’Sernin, con man extraordinaire, infiltrated the mob and moved up to be the gangster’s right-hand man. Hallart has his tentacles throughout the Coalition—business, industry, and government. Quin’s finally worked himself into a valued position. All he needs is the key to mob structure in order for Coalition forces to take down the entire organization.

Genna will pose as a new recruit to distract Hallart long enough for Quin to find the key. If they work together, they can accomplish more. But Quin and Genna’s lives are jeopardized by a mole in the Intelligence Commission. Will their true roles be revealed before they accomplish their goal?







Wednesday, November 6, 2019

#IWSG: November Excuse For Not Writing


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

Thanks to this month's awesome hosts:   Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!

Last month, I wrote that I'd goofed off (no small thanks to Netflix) and didn't write much this summer. But I ended the post with "the story is finally rolling."


That was on October 2nd. The following week, Hubs went into the hospital . . . twice. First with congestive heart failure that necessitated a 911 call and an ambulance ride complete with sirens and flashing lights. He got better, was released two days later. He was home about 2 hours when he showed signs of a stroke. Back to the hospital (even the same ICU room). Fortunately, he got to the ER in time to get a clot-busting drug, so the stroke became a TIA (mini-stroke). Since then, we've had home health professionals visiting and making sure he is okay. Plus doctor visits. His pre heart valve replacement procedures were shoved back a month. Needless to say, my writing went on the back burner. I could not concentrate.



Yeah, I know (or heard of) people who can write through anything. More power to them. I admire that type of diligence. But that isn't me. It's been such a switcheroo. I'm the one who's been in the hospital multiple times, and he's been the caregiver. Like many men (sorry, guys, for being sexist here), he is not a patient patient. He wants to get it (the valve replacement) over and done. The doctors have other protocol.



This is November--National Novel Writing Month. I've never joined but always applauded those who did. This year, because I need a kickstart to finish my WIP, I unofficially joined. Last night, I joined our local NaNo team for a write-in. Wow. I wrote 1100 words in two hours. Maybe there's something to this. 

Despite Hubs' upcoming procedures and doctor follow-up visits, I'm determined to write the 35k words needed to finish The Spy (4th book in my Outer Rim sci-fi romance series). So far this month, I've written a little over 3200 words. I'm on a roll.

You probably noticed I didn't answer the (optional) question of the month--about the strangest research for a novel. I'm curious what others say. My research last month was on the signs of a stroke and what to do. Glad I did that research!

Good luck to all who joined NaNoWriMo. I hope you all win!


Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Genna Arrives in Eleganza #sfr


Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Thanks to everyone who visited last week. 

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space--the same series as The Pilot, which I've shared for the past several weekends. Because this is a work in progress, any suggestions are greatly appreciated. This is the beginning of the first chapter.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. 

Genna Nogaro strode down the corridor of Eleganza Spaceport for the third time in her life. She hated coming here. In fact, she hated the planet Bricaldia and everything on it. She felt the same way about her birth planet. Too crowded, too many people, too much noise.
And the smells. By the Matriarch, everything stunk like sherd. People might think the perfume they sprayed on smelled as light as jileena. Instead, combined with body odor and other obnoxious scents, one whiff of passing travelers hit her as powerfully as falling into a pile of zircan dung. No essence of jileena could cover up the odors.


Tentative blurb:

Rookie agent must rescue veteran before his cover is blown.

Genna Nogaro, new to the Coalition of Planets’ Intelligence Commission, is assigned to bring in an undercover operative in Hallart’s organization. More experienced agents died before getting him out. Were they killed by the intergalactic gangster or has the operative gone rogue?

Quintall d’Sernin, con man extraordinaire, infiltrated the mob and moved up to be the gangster’s right-hand man. Hallart has his tentacles throughout the Coalition—business, industry, and government. Quin’s finally worked himself into a valued position. All he needs is the key to mob structure in order for Coalition forces to take down the entire organization.

Genna will pose as a new recruit to distract Hallart long enough for Quin to find the key. If they work together, they can accomplish more. But Quin and Genna’s lives are jeopardized by a mole in the Intelligence Commission. Will their true roles be revealed before they accomplish their goal?




Thursday, October 31, 2019

Guest: C. LEE McKENZIE Not Guilty #giveaway @cleemckenzie


I’m delighted today to welcome author C. Lee McKenzie to my site to talk about her latest release, NOT GUILTY, as part of her MC Book Tour Blog adventure.

I met Lee through Insecure Writers Support Group. When she asked for reviewers for her new YA story, I couldn't volunteer fast enough. You can read my review at the end of this post.

After you find out more about this tantalizing new story, be sure to enter Lee’s giveaway featured below.

* Not Guilty
* by C. Lee McKenzie
* Publication Date: October 25, 2019
* Genre: Young Adult


Hi Diane,

Thank you for hosting me today and giving me a chance to talk about where Not Guilty came from.

I love the theme of justice, or as in this story, injustice. It’s a long-time interest of mine and probably started when I was about ten and discovered life wasn’t fair all the time. People aren’t always afforded justice, but when they are it’s a beautiful thing.

I wrote another story with this same theme, and one day I set out to revise it. That revision turned into Not Guilty, a very different book. That’s the first time revision has taken the bit between its teeth and run away like that. I’m still scratching my head, wondering how it happened.

In both books, the boys are falsely accused and ostracized by the people they’ve known all of their lives. Their families suffer as well. While there are similarities between Book One and Not Guilty, those end after the first few chapters. Book One, heads off into a Nevada ghost town while Not Guilty is rooted in the community Devon, the MC, has grown up in. Most of the story is about how he sets out to prove he’s innocent.

I kept some of the scenes from that first book, so I thought I’d show you one of those side by side to give you an idea of how similar they are. This is the scene of the boys’ homecoming after they’ve been released from custody.

Book One
With Dad’s arm slung over his shoulder, they walked to the porch. Jonah caught his reflection in the front window. He looked exactly like the boy who’d left this house six months ago, but that was impossible. A bitterness crept up into the back of his throat, burning his tongue and bringing a sting to his eyes. In that one second, he wasn’t at the front of his house. Instead, he was in a different time and a different place—one he wanted to forget.
His dad’s hand pressed on his back. “It’s over, Jonah. Let it go.”
But it wasn’t over and Jonah knew it. It would never be over. It would always be in his gut and in everyone’s mind.

Not Guilty
With Dad’s arm slung over his shoulder, they walked to the porch. Devon caught his reflection in the front window. He looked exactly like the person who’d left this house five months ago, but that was impossible. A bitterness crept up into the back of his throat. The Devon Carlyle who left from this door for the courtroom didn’t exist anymore. In that one second, he wasn’t at the front of his house. Instead, he faced Room Five and it was March. He was about to walk in on JD and Reeker.
One thing’s for sure, if I ever go back to work on Book One again, I have to dump a lot of scenes. What worries me is what will happen if I try another revision. I’m afraid it will turn into Book Three about justice and injustice.
BLURB
          A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.
          The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.
          Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been in his life.
          Angry? Hell, yes.
          He’s bent on finding who did the crime. He’s bent on making them pay because he’s Not Guilty.
          But can he prove it?

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published five young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets. Not Guilty is her most recent one.

          Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.

          When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and at her Website

NOT GUILTY can be found AmazonSmashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.


The author’s other young adult books include: Sliding on the Edge, Princess of Las PulgasDouble NegativeSudden Secrets


GIVEAWAY

With Halloween celebrated this week, Lee’s giving away five digital copies of NOT GUILTY and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. This tour-wide giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today during Lee’s visit. Do you enjoy stories where the underdog becomes the champion? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.


Diane's Review: 5 stars

This story about a young man falsely accused of a crime disturbed me. The author made the situation in juvie so real I had to put down the book. But the story was so well written I had to find out what happened to Devon. My persistence was rewarded. As the story unfolded, the characters became real to me. The situations Devon and his family encountered were equally realistic. Devon's obsession with discovering the true culprit "forced" me to keep reading. I had to know if he would be successful. Young readers and adults will find the book compelling.