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Monday, March 31, 2014

From Spring to Dystopia



The sun is shining. Robins are digging for worms in my front yard. It’s Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers. The temp will hit the 60s today. It must be Spring. Finally.

After a winter that broke records for cold and snow, Spring is more welcome than ever. I can wash my parka and put it away until November. Right?

Wrong. The blizzard in the Dakotas will hit Michigan by the end of the week.

One of the best things about living in the Midwest is the change of seasons. We grouse about the cold and snow and about the time we’ve totally had it with winter, spring comes. After the heat and humidity of summer drain all our energy, the cool days of autumn tease us.

After the extremes of cold this winter, can we expect a cooler summer? Not according to those in the know. We’ll have extreme heat. Climate changes are affecting everyone around the world. Besides devastating lives, droughts and floods determine food availability and prices.

What does all this mean for our planet?

Writers of dystopian fiction imagine a desolate world that mankind destroyed. In other science fiction stories, writers explain why we ramped up space exploration—to find a “new” Earth. Think about the messages in Blade Runner, Elysium, The Hunger Games, The Matrix. We destroyed our world—not some alien invaders.

When I started this post, I just wanted to celebrate that Spring had finally come to Michigan. But look where that happy thought took me. It’s often the same when I start a new story. Since I don’t outline or plot, I never know where my imagination will take the story. I always know the beginning of the story and the end. Getting from the beginning to the end is an adventure for me as well as the characters.

Will science fiction come true? Maybe not in our lifetime. I hope we can figure out what we need to do to prevent a global catastrophe.

Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy the warmth of this beautiful Spring day.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday - The Chameleon


Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday where authors share six paragraphs from either a work-in-progress or a published work. Here's another peek at The Chameleon, the next story in my Outer Rim series. The Chameleon will be released next month.


Last time, Jileena (aka Baby)'s father said he's sending her to the Outer Rim to confirm a rare mineral discovery. Then he says she has to go with a companion. This is what happens when the companion finds out.



“Commander Servary, your assignment is to escort Baby Winslott on a sightseeing tour of the Outer Rim.”
Security Officer Laning Servary clenched his teeth so hard his jaw ached. By the Matriarch’s left tit, that was why he’d been recalled from the Rim to Coalition HQ? To be a glorified tour guide? A babysitter? He thanked the Exalted One that he was standing, his feet wide apart with his hands clasped behind his back. Otherwise, he might have wrapped them around Chief Vanutial’s neck and throttled him.
“Baby, sir?” Laning knew full well who Baby was. He’d met her Royal Pain-in-the-Ass at a social function last year.
“Chief Representative Winslott’s daughter wants to visit the Frontier. Her father insists you protect her.” The man’s eyes narrowed. “She has some damn fool notion about having an adventure. Apparently, those damn fool pioneers have been filling her head with damn fool ideas.”
“But, sir, I have an assignment—”
“Servary, your assignment is what I say it is,” Vanutial boomed, shattering the air in the spacious office much the same as his Volpian Cruiser did when shooting through the atmosphere.
 


Blurb for The Chameleon
 
Legally Blond meets Mata Hari.

Socialite Jileena Winslott has perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s a smart, savvy aide to her father in social situations where she is his eyes and ears. She yearns to be her true self and run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. Big problem. He insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years.

Security Officer Laning Servary has better things to do than babysit a spoiled rich girl on a tour of the Frontier. If he refuses, he can kiss his career good-by. Then her father sweetens the pot. If Laning keeps her safe, his family will receive the land they share-crop. He can’t refuse.

In the close quarters of her ship, Laning and Jileena discover they aren’t who they seem. Pirates, weather, and her recklessness threaten to derail the mission. As Laning and Jileena revise their impressions of each other, they’ll have to make hard choices about their goals. Can their budding love survive?

To read Sneak Peeks from other authors click here.