Tag Archive | science fiction

Victoria Pinder and “The Zoastra Affair”

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Victoria will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Setting the Scene: A Letter From a Character

by Victoria Pinder

Dear Diary,

It’s been a while since I wrote in a book. My life has changed. Now that I’m back in the pink haired girl’s body, I’m safe again. I had to steal Grace’s body. But it was a shameful act. People can’t wrap their minds on any goal that might make it okay to borrow someone else’s life. And everyone loves Grace. I can’t say I blame them. If I had another choice, I’d have made different plans. And Grace is a nice person. Her husband loves her. But no hu-man on the ship would understand or care. My life was stolen too. Long ago, by some child named Lenchena. I had two childhoods. The one I was born into and then the second one when my life was stolen. The Sheratons are backwards. The planet is beautiful and tame and inviting for visitors. But what lies underneath that is an alien race where men and women are segregated. They wouldn’t allow me to be an an engineer based on my gender. But I was one of the brightest minds in the known galaxy in terms of engineering. I remember everything about my life, before.

The hu-mans have every right to lock me up and throw away the key. Heck, I’d not trust me if the situation was reversed. But why do they keep the ship so cold? Or is it just my cell? If they take me back to Sheraton, I’d rather die. This body might belong there, but my soul doesn’t. I can’t go back and lose any hope of fixing what happened. I want my life back too.

I’m so sorry about everything. I don’t know what else to do.

Ariel Transcender

About The Zoastra Affair

A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.

The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.

Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.

Available

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Excerpt

Twenty Second Century

Sheraton Home World

I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.

“Ariel, are you listening?”

Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”

She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.

A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.

Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?

MEDIA KIT TheZostraAffair500x700Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man

No longer on her planet, Grinocx, she did her best to understand this planet’s culture. Order made sense, but the Sheratons never made sense. Her gaze wandered to the well-manicured lawn designed for ostentatious parties. Not paying attention, Ariel’s mind still picked up a few phrases in the lecture, please a man, be agreeable, and do whatever is asked with a smile, floated in the air.

Lenchena’s voice became animated as she told them, “Ferula can be used on your future husband to ensure he finds completion even if you are too tired to perform your duties. However, with your husband, do this sparingly or else he’ll find you a lazy wife.”

Ariel blinked after that statement. Another grueling lecture on pointless marriage and sex. Blah, blah, blah. Her people, Grinders, didn’t believe in love and mating only to reproduce. Being stuck on Sheraton where the women dressed in long dresses, caring for homes with neatly cut green grass, and doing nothing more exciting than watching the pink dawns, while the men held careers in outer space, had never been her plan.

Was she really sitting in a lecture on how to please the male species? She rolled her eyes. Seriously? No, she refused to listen to this nonsense. The words ‘ladies never say no’ reverberated behind her back and made her face pucker.

Ariel schooled her features, pretending to listen to the school master, Ms. Rochelle. The woman had no heart. No one had listened to Ariel when she had cried for days and days that some young teenager had switched bodies with her, trapping her in this alien hell. Rochelle had dragged her back to school, and kept her under lock and key.

Hope became fleeting after that, while the years ticked past. For the past four years, she’d been training at the all-girls school for orphans on how to be a proper maid and housewife

The twenty-five years of her life training to be an engineer, then serving on the starship Tygra, then the sistership Thrycer, had been stolen.

Now that this body was almost of marriageable age, Ms. Rochelle, cursed school teacher, paraded Ariel out of the orphanage to find her a match. Every week or special event needing service, Ariel had on the job training with heavy supervision, pointing out Ariel’s light pink hair and ability to be a serviceable wife to a working man. Pink hair girls are sweethearts. Yeah right. That lowlife bottom-feeding insect, Lenchena, had stolen her body and her life.

Ariel had stopped complaining years ago because it got her nowhere. She was on her own and needed to find a way out of this body and back to her ship. With the almost age of marriage upon her, it was now or never. Then Ariel was going to find that little twit who stole her body and make her pay for stranding her on this backward planet.

“In a few weeks Ariel will be leaving us. Heading toward marriage with Massimo?” Ms. Rochelle’s voice pulled her back into the lecture.

“Err . . .” Massimo, with his hovercraft, became convenient transportation to leave the school with permission, but marriage? The boy dreamed of owning a restaurant with a pretty wife. She’d find a way off the planet, when she wasn’t being observed or offered for marriage to every low level non-space going man on this planet. Time ticked fast now.

“Ariel is lucky to have found a man so interested in her beauty, he can overlook her status.”

Ariel’s mouth tightened and she lowered her head to hide her scowl. No. Massimo was a child, too. Getting her body back from the child thief, Lenchena, mattered far more. This body was now strong. Away from the ever-watchful teacher, she’d have her chance for escape at one of the upcoming diplomatic events where she’d be a maid or serve others dinner. Plus, Sheratons mated for life, something Ariel refused to believe in. But in order not to draw attention to herself, she played along. “Um, yes. I am.”

A group of male soldiers marched past the closed door of the school room. The females in the class twisted around to catch a glimpse of them. Ariel didn’t join her classmates in staring and drooling at the opposite sex.

Pathetic.

Why did these aliens keep males and females separate until marriage? The customs of this world never ceased to amaze her. The teacher taught the virgin teenagers to expect women to fall into orgasm whenever a man’s hand grazed her body. Seriously? Had they never had sex before? In her memory, sex hadn’t been that all-encompassing.

For the past four years she’d been stuck in this body, living through alien teenage hormones. The sexually denied tightness irritated her body, and her mind longed to be back working on a single engine design. On the Thrycer, she’d run a top design engine room, winning numerous awards for ingenuity on a space ship. Then she’d joined the boarding party to Sheraton, being told the planet was a relaxing and safe tranquil spa. Lies.

If Ariel let them, these alien hormones would dull her reaction time in the girl’s leftover body that held her consciousness. She’d managed to keep slim and fit with exercise as she bided her time until she found a way to her freedom, and got her body and life back. When she finished this, she’d fix everything. She’d force the girl who stole from her to return with the borrowed body to make the final switch and right everything.

About the Author

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoVictoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.

During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.

When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.

Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.

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Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue and “Into the Fire”

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The authors will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Into the Fire

The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning…

…death…mutation…insanity…corruption…terror…

…all that remains is hope.

Cover_Into the FireIn the wake of destruction left behind by the Virus, it took Dani and Zoe months to find each other. But their reunion was short-lived. Dani has been taken, and though little distance separates them, they might as well be worlds apart.

From the moment she hears Dani’s scream, Zoe’s only goal is to save her best friend. She and her companions scramble to come up with a rescue plan, but when a ghost from Jake’s past reappears, lines are blurred, decisions become harder, and secrets are revealed…and some secrets are best left buried. To keep heartache and fear from consuming her, Zoe must cling to her determination. She will see Dani again.

Dani awakens inside the final hold-out of civilization: the Colony. Remnants of the former world surround her—electricity, safety, social order—but all is not what it seems. As she faces her most manipulative adversary yet, she loses sight of who she is and who she can trust. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and allies will betray her.  Dani will have to decide what she’s willing to do and whose lives she’s willing to risk if she is to have any chance of breaking free.

Available

Amazon:

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2)

After The Ending (The Ending, #1) 

Barnes & Noble:

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2)

After The Ending (The Ending, #1) 

Smashwords:

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) – not available yet

After The Ending (The Ending, #1) – not available yet

Kobo:

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2)

After The Ending (The Ending, #1)

 Excerpt

Cover_After the EndingI froze. He’s leaving. I glared at Jake’s back, but feeling his misery, my anger quickly subsided. “We can figure something—”

“Stop!” He pulled his arm back and slammed his fist into the wall, denting it. “There’s nothing to figure out. My sister will not be used as a pawn.” His face fell. He leaned back and brought his hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose. “I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.”

He’s already made up his mind. Instantly, I started to question everything about Jake and me…about us. My reservations from the first time I met him—the first time he saved me, opened his mouth, and pushed me away—flared to life, and I chided myself for being so naïve. I knew something like this would happen. 

The questions jumped off my tongue before I could contain them. “What about Dani? What about me? You’re just going to leave?”

When he didn’t respond, reality burst overhead like a looming storm cloud, clearing away the fog that had settled in my heart and mind. How could I have been so stupid?

The conversation we’d had on the dock back in St. Louis resurfaced from under a month’s-worth of foolhardy emotions. Jake’s words replayed in my mind.

“For whatever reason, I know you don’t want to let me in…or maybe you just don’t know how…what are you afraid of?”

This. This feeling of inexplicable loss was what I’d been afraid of—the living lump of hysteria swelling in my throat, the desperation in my heart. I couldn’t swallow it away.

Biting the inside of my cheek as hard as possible, I willed myself to calm down. Keep it together, Zoe.

Jake strode past me to Becca, pulling her up to her feet.

Lunging at him, I pushed against his chest as hard as I could. “You’re leaving?” He stumbled away from Becca, and I pushed him again. “You’re going to kill Dani!” I shoved against his shoulder. “You’re going to kill us all if you take her!” I smack his chest. “I won’t let you ruin everything.” I won’t let you break my heart! I pushed, shoved, and slapped him again and again. “You son of a bitch!”

Jake gripped my arms firmly, immobilizing me and forcing me to look up at him. His eyebrows lifted with sympathy…or is it sorrow? I was too upset to differentiate between his emotions and mine.

“Let go,” I warbled.

As he opened his mouth to speak, a gunshot cracked through the air, and Jake yanked me down to the floor.

About the Authors

Author Headshot (Lindsey Pogue and Lindsey Fairleigh)Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats.

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her–whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next story line or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.

Contacts

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Lyndi Alexander and “A Small Degree of Hope”

Today I’m sitting down with author Lyndi Alexander and the hero and heroine of her book A Small Degree of Hope. Take it away, Lyndi!

Thanks. So tell me about yourselves, you two. Kylie Sanderson, I understand that you met Griff on the job.

Kylie: That’s true. I was investigating a string of murders, unexplained mutations of women. Someone was trying to change them into reptiles, right down to their cellular structure. I work with a police unit called SIRT, somewhat like your Earth television series The X-Files. We only get the weird stuff no one else can figure out. Griff stalked me—

Griff: I did not! I had to contact you to help your investigation. After all, my alien race conducted the experiments that killed your women. I had to do something to stop it.

Kylie: You followed me to a cop bar. Then you tracked me home.

Griff: What can I say? You’re hard to approach. And you’re stubborn. You wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain it all to you. Then you thought I was the one killing them.

Which was not the case, right, Griff?

Griff: Of course not. As one who is capable of producing the virus that changes other beings into reptiles, I was very much aware of the ethical consequences. Our planet’s sun may have rendered our females sterile, but that does not give us the right to take other planets’ females to use as our own.

Good. Kylie, what did you think of Griff when you first met him?

Kylie: I thought he was an idiot. Literally. As in not mentally functional.  (when Griff looks surprised) Well, you didn’t speak my language well. Took everything literally. You practically confessed to the murders without meaning to.

Same question for you, Griff.

Griff: When I watched her in that gathering place of her comrades, she seemed to glow with strength and sense of purpose. She has such narrow shoulders to carry such great responsibility. I could see she was admired by her peers. Now I know why.

(Kylie blushes.)

Kylie, you sacrificed a lot to get to the bottom of what was going on. Did you feel like it was worth it?

Kylie: It was a hard road. Some of the events were totally unanticipated, and really threw me off the rails. I mean, I’m doing my best to find the abducted women, and one thing leads to another, and then I’m persona non grata at SIRT, and my family? Please. My father never accepts anything less than perfection. I was damaged goods, as far as he was concerned. My mother is his little yes-woman, so I was off her radar, too. (She looks at Griff) He’s the only one who stood by me through everything, sometimes even when he thought I was wrong.

Griff: I could never do less, peke. Your spirit has been big enough for both of us.

That’s a word I don’t know, what you called her.

Griff:Peke” means “dear one” in my language.

Well, I can certainly see that you’re happy together now, no matter what you have been through. Thanks for visiting with Susana and her readers today.

asmalldegreeofhope3About A Small Degree of Hope

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

Available

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Excerpt

This scene takes place after Kylie is rescued, when her SIRT team boss Jaco Rand stops by the hospital to debrief her.

Kylie woke again, sluggish and sleepy. The sun shone brightly in the window. It could have been the next morning, but her inner time sense told her it was longer. Her hand lay on the blanket. The skin’s green tone had faded, only a few individual scale-shaped sections remaining. She lifted her arm, examining it from all sides. It was her arm again. The nightmare was over.

“Sanderson. So nice of you to rejoin the world.”

Jaco’s wry sarcasm. Not how she preferred to start her day. But he was a friend, at least.

She pushed herself upright, the movement setting her head reeling. A hand went automatically to smooth her hair, and she pulled it back, shocked to find she was bald as a newborn baby. She yanked her blanket up to cover her body.

“Jaco, I’ll be back to work just as soon as I–”

“Really. No rush,” he said. He left his post by the window and came to the end of her bed, his face impassive.

Why was he annoyed? Did he hold a grudge about her taking off with Griff in the warehouse? “Okay. Thanks,” she said. He didn’t smile. Her answer didn’t seem to satisfy him. “I really will be back when the doctor lets me out.”

He grunted then shifted his weight to the other leg. “We’re managing fine, Sanderson. You aren’t irreplaceable.”

The cold edge to his voice stung her. She’d expected at least some sort of camaraderie, comfort, even. Some measure of understanding of what she’d been through. Maybe she wouldn’t get a hero’s commendation, despite being instrumental in saving the last woman captured by the aliens. She could live with that. It sucked big time, though. If Jaco’s ego took the credit, maybe she could live with that, too. But something more was wrong here she didn’t understand.

“What are you saying, Jaco? I shouldn’t come back?”

He picked up a newspaper from the chair then tossed it at her. It looked like a tabloid, one of the publications featuring sensational stories about alien invasions and political scandals. She frowned. “What’s this for?”

He retreated to the end of the bed. “Check out the front page, baby.”

Something in his voice set her fingers trembling as she reached for it. Turning it over to the front page, she was hit with a wave of revulsion. Across the center of the page, in black, block letters, it read: Lizard Love! SIRT Cop Subverted!  The subhead read: Eyewitness tells horrifying story!

Her eyes scanned the article, set in larger print than the others on the page. The tabloid had scored an interview with the nurse Evaina. The jump on the inside page showed several photos of a large green reptile with Griff, outside the warehouse. She guessed what–who–that reptile might be immediately. She couldn’t believe they were really her. Not yet.

The story recounted the events in greatly exaggerated detail, at least she prayed they were exaggerated, concluding with a blow-by-blow description of what Griff had described as “mating.”

Stunned, she tore her eyes from the page and looked up at Jaco’s cold face.

“Really, Sanderson? What are you calling that? Undercover work?”

He couldn’t have hurt her more if he’d punched her with a closed fist.

us at mctAbout the Author

Lyndi Alexander is a fan of science fiction, and a fan of love, so this story is a natural marriage of the two. She believes that no one should settle for the ordinary or the expected when there are so many other choices out there.

Each of her books features adventure, compelling stories and fantastic settings from outer space to the deep forests of the Montana mountains to the unseen horrors that lurk in small-town America.

She dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain—or maybe a famous chef—but chose instead fictional excursions into fascinating places with companions from her imagination.

She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida. This is her fourteenth published novel.

Lyndi is married to an absent-minded computer geek. Together, they have a dozen computers, seven children and a full house in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Contacts

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Guest Author: Margaret Fieland

Susana:

Today my guest on Susana’s Morning Room is Margaret Fieland, who is here to tell us about her science fiction book for teens, Relocated. 

Welcome, Margaret! What’s Relocated all about?

margaretsmMargaret:

My main character, Keth, finds himself wisked away to a military base on an alien planet with almost no notice. His dad’s mission is to find an neutralize terrorists, and Keth worries something bad will happen to his dad. He’s plunged into a new environment and left to figure things out for himself. Here’s a letter (which does not appear in the book) he wrote to his best friend back home, Mark.

Dear Mark:

I promised I’d write you when I got to Aleyne, so here’s the letter. I don’t know when you’ll get it, since they send mail by message capsules, or on the space ships, and the one we came on left already. The next one is in six months.

Anyway, right now we’re staying with an Aleyni friend of Dad’s. His name is Ardaval, and he looks really old. I spent yesterday with him, and it was really fun.  Today I went to the port school. It was pretty boring, and the kids are boring, too. There’s this one cute girl, Henrietta, but she has a boyfriend, Tom. She’s bad news. I had to help her with her Aleyni language lesson because the teacher, John, was mad because I already spoke the language, and then she asked me to come over to her house. Fat chance. If I ever did, I bet Tom would kill me.

I don’t think I ever told you, but Dad made me learn Aleyni, and we always had these Aleyni exchange students hanging out at our apartment back on  Earth, so I had lots of practice. I guess he wants me to follow him into the Federation Guard. I always figured I’d join up when I was old enough.

Do you know I’m sixteen in Aleyni years? If I were an Aleyni, I’d be studying with an Aleyni master instead of in school at the port with a bunch of jorks.

How did the soccer tournament go?  I don’t think they have soccer teams here, so I won’t be playing. I miss you all. You can write back, but I probably won’t get your letter for a year.

Your friend,

Keth

What does Aleyne look like? I describe Keth’s reaction to the scenery in the first chapter, which you can read on the publisher’s website, but here are a couple of pictures I drew with GIMP, an image manipulating program, of what I imagine it’s like.

skycubeysmsandcartoonsm

About Relocated

When fourteen-year-old Keth’s dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn’t know what to expect. Certainly not to discover Dad grew up here, and studied with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. On Aleyne, Keth’s psi ability develops. However, psi is illegal in the Terran Federation. After a dangerous encounter with two Terran teenagers  conflict erupts between Keth and his father. Keth seeks sanctuary with Ardaval.  Studying with the Aleyne scholar Keth learns the truth about his own heritage. After Keth’s friend’s father, Mazos, is kidnapped, Keth ignores the risks and attempts to free him. Little does he realize who will pay the cost as he becomes involved with terrorists.

relocatedsmI’ll be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky commenter, so do please leave me a comment.

Available Formats: epub, prc, html, pdf

Website

Blog

Relocated blog

twitter: @madcapmaggie
About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has lived in the Boston area since 1978.  She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. In spite of earning her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to put up the first version of her website, a clear indication of the computer generation gap. Thanks to her father’s relentless hounding, she can still recite the rules for pronoun agreement in both English and French. She can also write backwards and wiggle her ears. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011.  She is the author of Relocated, published by MuseItUp Publishing, and of Sand in the Desert. Her book,  The Angry Little Boy, will be published by 4RV Publishing in 2013.