Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

And here we go again! Hello there! Tell me a little about yourself.

“My name is Lilie, and I’m an 18 month old West Highland White Terrier, which is a kind of dog similar to a Scotty dog, just in case you don’t know.”

I’ll freely admit I’m not an animal expert, so thanks! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

“The cutest little white dog in the world!”

*chuckle* Indeed! Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

“Of course not! Everybody loves me! I’m too adorable to have enemies. Everyone says I’m really cute, and loves how happy and friendly I am. They tell me so when we’re out for walkies.”

Lucky little one! Glad to meet someone cheerful and careless like you! Where do you live?

“I live in a town by the sea. I don’t know which one though. I just know sometimes walkies happens by the big water the humans call the sea, and wherever we go walkies, there’s lots of people to greet, birds to chase, and scents to sniff, and I love it! Sometimes we even go play in the big water, which is kind of fun too.”

Ooh, the sea! I like the sound of it! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

“I have to find Noodles! Noodles is gone! He’s my favourite toy right now, ever since the others fell apart – which was totally not my fault, by the way, so don’t listen to anyone who tells you it is – and he’s missing!

I left Noodles on the living room floor when I went walkies with Daddy. I know I did. But he wasn’t there when I got back! I don’t suppose you’ve seen him? He’s a strange cuddly red creature with a squeaker in his tummy, a smiling mouth, two big round eyes, four little stubby legs sticking out from his three-inch square body, and bits of wool sticking out from everywhere, which makes him look like he’s covered in wooly red noodles.”

Mm… no, I don’t think I’ve seen him… *looks around* Definitely not here, no. Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

“I live with Mummy and Daddy. They’re humans. I’m told they have other names too, but I don’t know what those names are, or even think it matters. As long as they play with me, feed me, and take me for walkies, I don’t care what they’re called.”

*chuckle* Totally with you on that! Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

“As I mentioned before, I’m a very friendly and loving dog. In fact, I love everyone so much that I even love the vet. To me, vets are just another chance to go on an outing and get some attention. What’s not to love about that? I’ve heard lots of humans say that’s unusual.”

Book(s) in which the character appears and links

Title: Where’s Noodles

Author: Victoria Zigler

Narrator for audio version: Judith Bareham

“Noodles is a strange red creature with a squeaker in his tummy, who just happens to be the favourite toy of a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie. At least, he is now, since the bushytailed squirrel and cuddly triceratops fell apart while she was playing with them – totally not her fault, by the way!

Now noodles is missing.

Lilie’s sure she left Noodles on the living room floor when she went walkies. But when she comes home and goes to fetch him so they can have a nap together, Noodles isn’t there.

Where’s Noodles? Is he somewhere else, or is he lost forever?”

Where to find the book:

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Wheres-Noodles-Audiobook/B07JKBT76W

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/880958

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wheres-noodles-victoria-zigler/1129141679

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/where-s-noodles

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wheres-noodles/id1415553711

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/wheres-noodles-unabridged/id1439954293

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1724843222/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1724843222/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1724843222/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40890298-where-s-noodles

Bio:
Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world. She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.
To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future. She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Links:
Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: https://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

Find Tori’s books on…
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6/
Along with a variety of other online retailers.

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! She was one of my first editors and read all the Books of the Immortals, then we parted ways and lost track of each other, so I’m very proud to have her on my blog again after so many years! Because guess what? Yes, she has a new book out! And it’s not fiction for a change! 🙂 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Shonell Bacon!

Where do you live and write from?

I’ve been in Lake Charles, LA, since 2001, but was born and raised in Baltimore. Where I write … well, pretty much anywhere. Usually, I am in my “home office,” a space I carved out of our bar room area. But with my phone and tablet and dictation, I “write” while in traffic, at the café, the park. If I have a digital device and my voice, I can write anywhere.

Why do you write?

Because of WORDS. I love them. I love the shapes of letters in words, how words sound in my mouth as they come out, how we can use them to create elaborate stories that touch readers in a myriad of ways.

When did you start writing?

I was about six. My mom had bought me a diary for a quarter at a flea market, and almost immediately, I began writing sports articles for my beloved Baltimore Orioles and for my favorite soap opera at the time, The Guiding Light.

What genre(s) do you write?

Mystery, rom-com, inspirational, non-fiction (on the writing craft)

What does your writing routine consist of?

Most writing routines for me consist of lots of COFFEE and usually some form of meditation, even if it’s a five-minute song to think on and listen to or an actual meditation session on one of my apps. Sometimes, I light a candle to fragrance my space, and then I say a prayer and reread previous writing to get me back in the writing headspace.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t let fear stop you from writing.

Please do ramble about your latest project – what it’s about, how you came up with the idea, anything, really. We want to know about it!

Make Your Writing Bloom is my first project on writing. I always knew at some point I would venture into short books on writing. I’ve been writing articles on writing for over 15 years for various websites. As an educator, and especially someone who has the spiritual gift of “teaching,” helping others do something better is an integral part of who I am. I’ve been an editor for over 18 years, and the biggest joy of editing is seeing writers grow from one project to the next one. I continue that teaching into what I hope will be the first of many projects on the writing craft. Make Your Writing Bloom is the “love” project from me to writers who feel stuck in their writing and who want to get unstuck. From rediscovering their love of writing and favorite writing experiences to understanding why fear and busy lives can kill writing, readers will be taken on a journey that will, hopefully, get them back into their writing mojo.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Currently, I am working on the Make Your Writing Bloom online class; outlining my second project on the writing craft, 8 Questions for Writers; and playing around with the storylines for my next mystery, FOLLOW, the final book of my Double Inkwell Mysteries series. 

Please add your social media links

Web Page: http://chicklitgurrl.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chicklitgurrl

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chicklitgurrl/

Random Friday


And from the Sci-fi July Redux bundle, here’s a brand new author (new to this blog, I mean! 😉 ) who shows how this is an international, no, intercontinental! job! I haven’t met him yet, but hope to do so shortly… We even have a cover artist in common, Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri! And he’s probably even more prolific than me… 😀 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sean Monahan!

Where do you live and write from?

After living around the world, I’ve settled back in my old hometown in rural New Zealand. It’s oddly comfortable. I still have itchy feet always, but I’ve been able to set up to write while on the road, even when traveling light (as in carry-on only). Last year I wrote a fantasy novel using a tiny bluetooth keyboard and a cellphone, while traveling through South America.

Why do you write?
I get the feeling that it’s ingrained. It seems as much a part of me as breathing. Some comes from loving stories, and some comes from my school days, when I had poor handwriting (still do). I got into trouble for my bad, unreadable writing and for making little effort. I’m sure that there’s an eight-year-old inside me out to prove something: “I’ll show you! I’ll be a writer!”

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction, thrillers and the occasional fantasy. My fantasies are usually without magic, just fantastical worlds. My science fiction can be very fluid with the science (my dream is to write and a story to Analog, where the science has to be absolutely based on fact). I also write some literary fiction, which is fun to come at with my pulp-writer methods – exciting too, to have those stories published by recognized magazines.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I would like to do this for my living. Right now I’m slowly getting there, and it’s a real balance of getting better as a writer, and learning the business skills required to get my stories into the hands of readers. I think I’m a fair writer, but a fairly lousy salesperson. I am taking some business and sales courses, I’m slowly updating my back catalogue with better covers and blurbs, and I’m experimenting with advertising. Being in bundles is great too – a nice way to promote my books to readers who might not normally see me. Easy and low-risk for the readers too.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Butt in the chair.

Outliner or improvisor? Fast or slow writer?

Absolutely seat-of-the-pants. I start out with a character in a setting and give them a problem and see how they get out of it. Sometimes I might have some ideas about settings or problems I’d like to play with, but that’s about all. I love letting my eight-year-old’s creative side just go play. I think I write moderately fast – about a half a million words a year for the last seven years. It works out about fifteen hundred words a day. I know writers who write maybe a tenth of that, and others who write three or four times what I manage.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

When I set out writing Raven Rising I thought it was going to be a short story, maybe five or six thousand words. But it kept going. Things got worse for everyone in the story. My characters kept trying to sort things out, but set backs cropped up more and more. It ended up as a short novel – about my shortest so far, but it was fun to write and, I hope it’s entertaining to read.

Tell us about your latest book.

Tombs Under Vaile – just came out, and it’s the sixth novel in my “Karnish River Navigations” sci-fi series. Private investigator Flis Kupe left the military to settle back on her home world. Her damaged permanent military implant gives her touble, but sometimes helps out. In this novel, a prison escape forces Flis to make some unlikely allegiances to help capture a psychopath.
Available from various retailers through this link.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always! I have a new novel in my “Captain Arlon Stoddard” series completed so it just needs copyediting and promotional material. I hope to have that out before the end of the year. I’m writing a middle-grade sci-fi novel at the moment, which I’ll probably finish up in the next week or so. Then I might write a couple of short stories before jumping into another novel – maybe a thriller, maybe a fantasy. That’s part of the fun of being a “pantser” – just figuring out what I’m writing once I start writing it.

Cover Art Maurizio Manzieri

I also have a new story set in my Shilinka Switalla universe, “Ventiforms”, coming out in the January/February issue of Asimov’s. This is in the same universe as my story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” which won the Asimov’s Readers’ Poll, and the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best science fiction story 2017.

Thanks for the interview.

___________________

Find Sean online: www.seanmonaghan.com

Random Friday


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call it, enjoy these writers’ quotes and have a great weekend! 🙂

Do not make escaping your day job a goal for your writing.

I hear this all the time, but the pressure is too much on the writing because the day job, the “real job,” is what makes everything tick.

But don’t worry, if you keep the writing fun, keep your family supporting you, keep learning, eventually the money from the business side will overwhelm the day job money. And by then you will have gotten help to deal with it all mentally, right?
Just don’t make the writing so important, so special, that it threatens the “real job.” If it does, you will grind to a halt fairly quickly because how we were all raised doesn’t allow threats to what pays the bills.

Dean Wesley Smith

 

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.

– Octavia E. Butler

 

I think it’s fairly common for writers to be afflicted with two simultaneous yet contradictory delusions – the burning certainty that we’re unique geniuses and the constant fear that we’re witless frauds who are speeding toward epic failure.

– Scott Lynch

 

So, what am I telling you, exactly? Am I telling you not to seek help?
No, of course not.
But I am telling you to trust yourself and your instincts as a writer. Your voice is what makes you who you are.
Sometimes your voice isn’t suited to a particular subgenre of fiction. That’s okay. Genres and subgenres are >marketing categories, nothing more.
Write what you love, and you’ll always do better.
You do need to learn your craft. You need to learn the rules of grammar before you can break them. The same with the rules of storytelling—whatever your culture. (Not every culture appreciates the same storytelling rhythms. Accept that, too.)
You need to keep learning and growing and improving—which is precisely the instinct that caught both of these stupendous indie writers. Because in continuing to learn, they forgot that they already have mastered a certain level of craft.
They also both asked the wrong questions.
Kris Rusch

 

Don’t screw around with history. The study of history isn’t just an exercise in saying where we came from – it is an examination of who we are now. We all of us will see the past through the lens of the present, and if you decide that your past is a shiny one in which busty maidens loved to flirt with sword-wielding kings of justice while happy peasants enjoyed a humble life of shovelling cow-dung, then your world is… in need of a bit of a kick in the nethers, pardon my saying so. Because if you cannot see the past, and cannot see that the act of seeing expresses something about yourself, then you will never know your present.
Screw around with history! I know you put a lot of effort in finding out exactly what kind of throne Suleyman the Magnificent sat upon while holding his divan… however if it doesn’t have a bomb hidden under it, or the secret of eternal youth hand-stitched into the upholstery, it is dull. Atmosphere is not the same as pastsplaining. You’re here to create fun stories full of sound, colour and soul. History is full of stories that can be the starting point for something else – and if it teaches us to see ourselves differently, then permit yourself to see it through the prism of wonder and imagination too.’

Claire North, “Hurrem and the Djinn”

Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

I’m here today with someone I know a certain author looks forward to meet… but she’s waiting a certain date to binge-read this mini-series! 🙂

So, hello there! Tell me a little about yourself (name, age…)

“My name is Enid, and I’m the Spirit Fairy. It doesn’t matter how old I am.”

Of course not. Fairy! We immortals don’t need to tell our age! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

“Five inches tall with jet black hair, wings, and eyes.”

Pretty little thing… What is your role in the story?

“I’m using my magic to keep my sisters out of the way, and to remind the creatures of the world that there are five elements – and five element fairies to go with them – so they’ll never forget about me again.

At least, I’m trying to. It would be easier if that irritating faerie dragon, Zeena, didn’t keep getting in the way of my plans.”

Ah, yes, the five elements of the aforementioned author’s fake Silvery Earth… but I digress. What is your relationship with the protagonist(s)?

“I hate that faerie dragon!

I keep coming up with excellent plans for reminding the world I exist, and she spoils them. It’s so unfair! I hate her!

I also hate that annoying little pixie friend of hers, who shouldn’t be sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong.

Stupid faerie dragon, and stupid nosy pixie!”

Wow, that’s a lot of spite in such a small being! Where do you live?

“I usually live in the woods. But I can go wherever I want.”

Great! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

“I’m trying to remind the world I exist, which is hard enough in itself, without certain faerie dragons getting in my way.

Most people forget there are five elements, not just four. They remember about Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. But they forget about Spirit. Forgetting about the element of Spirit means they forget about the need for a fifth element fairy. That means they forget about me. My sisters always get remembered, but I never do.

I’ve had enough! I want people to remember I exist. I want people to believe me when I say I’m the fifth element fairy. So I’m trying to make sure they’ll never forget me again.

As I mentioned before though, it would be a lot easier to remind them I exist if that stupid faerie dragon would stop spoiling my plans.”

I do believe in faeries, so don’t worry. I’m sure I’m not the only one! And hey, the fifth element is Ether! At least according to that author… Let’s agree it’s five elements and leave it at that! I am aware that you exist or we wouldn’t be talking right now! Do you have a moral code?

“I did, once. But why should I care about others any more? Nobody cares about me, after all. They don’t even remember I exist.”

Fair enough… Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

“I used to have silver-blonde hair, silver-grey eyes, and wings that were white with silver patterns in them.

Their colours changed to black when I reached the point where I’d had enough. My rage at being forgotten blackened my heart, and the change you see is an outward projection of that.

I’m the only creature in the world who has such an obvious change to their physical appearance based on emotional changes.”

Okay… What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

“There’s only one thing you probably should have asked: what’s so special about that faerie dragon that makes her able to spoil my plans when others can’t?

The answer is that she’s the only other creature in the world – the only creature besides me, in other words – who can wield the magic for all five elements, and harness the power of more than one element at once.

Zeena can harness the magic of all five elements equally. I’m best with Spirit magic – being the Spirit fairy – but can harness the magic for the other four elements too. Don’t tell her I said she has more skill with the other four elements than I do though. I’d never admit that to anyone, and probably shouldn’t have even told you that.

Anyway, every other creature who can use elemental magic can only harness the power of one element. That’s what makes us special. Zeena being the only other creature as special as me makes her the only one who’s really a match for me, and therefore the only one who can stop me. She’ll need that special magic if she’s going to put a stop to my plans.

Of course, I’m not going to make it easy for her, and she’ll need more than just her magical skills if she wants to completely ruin my plans.”

_______________________________________

Book(s) in which the character appears and links

Written by Victoria Zigler, and now with audio versions narrated by Ella Lynch, the “Zeena Dragon Fae” series tells the story of a faerie dragon named Zeena, a pixie named Saarik, and their quest to save the world from the evil Spirit fairy.

Book 1 – Zeena And The Dryad

Zeena the faerie dragon doesn’t think she’s special, even though she’s the only one of her kind to have mastered the magic for all five elements equally. But when a dryad named Kishi comes to her for help, she doesn’t hesitate. Together with her best friend – a mischievous pixie named Saarik – Zeena sets off to free Heidi the earth fairy, as well as to save the woods and the creatures of Earth.

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Zeena-and-the-Dryad-Audiobook/B07FKWM38K

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/543250

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zeena-and-the-dryad-victoria-zigler/1121956462

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/zeena-and-the-dryad

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/zeena-and-the-dryad/9781311814449-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/zeena-and-the-dryad/id996128706

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/zeena-and-the-dryad-zeena-dragon-fae-volume-1-unabridged/id1412903618

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zeena-Dryad-Dragon-Fae/dp/1512360430/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Zeena-Dryad-Dragon-Fae/dp/1512360430/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Zeena-Dryad-Dragon-Fae/dp/1512360430/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Zeena-Dryad-Victoria-Zigler/9781512360431

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25547463-zeena-and-the-dryad

Book 2 – Zeena And The Gryphon

With their quest to free the earth fairy barely completed, Zeena and Saarik are approached by another creature in need of their help; this time a gryphon named Aquillo. So the two friends set off on a quest to free the air fairy, Ora, and save the mountain dwelling creatures from the goblins.

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Zeena-and-the-Gryphon-Audiobook/B07FWSFTHS

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575822

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zeena-and-the-gryphon-victoria-zigler/1122636780

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/zeena-and-the-gryphon

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/zeena-and-the-gryphon/9781310442353-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/zeena-and-the-gryphon/id1038551008

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/zeena-and-the-gryphon-zeena-dragon-fae-volume-2-unabridged/id1418194473

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zeena-Gryphon-Dragon-Fae/dp/1517472555/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Zeena-Gryphon-Dragon-Fae/dp/1517472555/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Zeena-Gryphon-Dragon-Fae/dp/1517472555/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Zeena-Gryphon-Victoria-Zigler/9781517472559

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26255227-zeena-and-the-gryphon

Book 3 – Zeena And The Mermaid

The adventures of Zeena and Saarik have already taken them through the woods and up the mountains. Now they’re answering a plea for help from a mermaid named Naia. With the help of both Naia’s magic and Zeena’s own magic, the two friends head on an underwater quest to free the water fairy, Lana, and make the ocean safe once more.

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Zeena-and-the-Mermaid-Audiobook/B07G2NTLSV

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611061

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zeena-and-the-mermaid-victoria-zigler/1123334828

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/zeena-and-the-mermaid

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/zeena-and-the-mermaid/9781310189609-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/zeena-and-the-mermaid/id1079536281

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/zeena-mermaid-zeena-dragon-fae-series-volume-3-unabridged/id1422133093

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zeena-Mermaid-Dragon-Fae/dp/1530023521/

AmazonUS: https://www.amazon.com/Zeena-Mermaid-Dragon-Fae/dp/1530023521/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Zeena-Mermaid-Dragon-Fae/dp/1530023521

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Zeena-Mermaid-Victoria-Zigler/9781530023523

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28791585-zeena-and-the-mermaid

Book 4 – Zeena And The Phoenix

After all their recent adventures, Zeena and Saarik aren’t surprised when a plea for help comes again; this time from a phoenix named Uri. But the two friends have more than the freeing of the fire fairy, Tandie, and the safety of the fire creatures who live in the volcano to worry about. An elven village lies near the base of the now very unstable volcano, and the fate of the elves is in Zeena and Saarik’s hands.

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Zeena-and-the-Phoenix-Audiobook/B07GTCPW96

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/zeena-and-the-phoenix-zeena-dragon-fae-volume-4-unabridged/id1434333938

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637030

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zeena-and-the-phoenix-victoria-zigler/1123809626

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/zeena-and-the-phoenix

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/zeena-and-the-phoenix/9781311850393-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/zeena-and-the-phoenix/id1114646586

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zeena-Phoenix-Dragon-Fae/dp/153350556X/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Zeena-Phoenix-Dragon-Fae/dp/153350556X/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Zeena-Phoenix-Dragon-Fae/dp/153350556X/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Zeena-Phoenix-Victoria-Zigler/9781533505569

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30200194-zeena-and-the-phoenix

Author bio & social media/website, etc.

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world. She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.

To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future. She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

Random Friday


One more author of the Sci-Fi Stories Space Opera Mashup (Ebook universal link and paperback)! I haven’t had the chance to meet him (yet) but I was impressed by his story, “Funeral Sails” – you should read it too! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Scott T. Barnes!

1. What is it about space opera that draws you to it?

I love epic stories and faraway places, what David Farland calls “Wonder Literature.” Space Opera has the wonder, adventure, and romance of fantasy, with the tantalizing possibility that some of it might actually happen.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

“Funeral Sails” starts out as a simple revenge story but becomes a much more complicated story once the lead character realizes she has something worth living for. What I really enjoyed was creating a rich culture of tradition and honor that human, off-world salvagers had adopted from an alien culture as their own. It gives purpose and meaning to their often lonely lives, but also creates wonderful complications an author can explore.

3. What inspired your story?

Reading about solar sails and satellites in geostationary orbit somehow got me to thinking about cemetery monuments, and I thought, Why not combine the two ideas?

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

Most of the time I write fantasy. I don’t read enough science to work in the field of “hard” science fiction. But if a futuristic setting comes to me in my musings I won’t hesitate to write a character-drives sf story. With “Funeral Sails,” I started by doing a lot of research on solar sails, then basically kept that in the back of my mind as I was writing. Or maybe I threw it out and just went for character and action. I’m not sure.

5. What should readers know about you?

I write fantasy and science fiction short stories, with novels in the works. My writing is as eclectic as my reading tastes. Besides “Funeral Sails,” recent publications include a humorous zombie tale from the Zombie POV called “Zombie Nation”, a fantasy thriller “The Mark of Blackfriar Street,” and a western horror tale “The China Queen.”

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Besides writing I practice kenjutsu, so don’t break into my house at night! My website is www.scotttbarnes.com

Native to Southern California, Scott T. Barnes grew up on a farm, lived, studied and worked in multiple countries, and now resides in Orange County, Calif. as a proud husband and father of two girls. He studies samurai arts (Nami Ryu Aiki Kenjutsu) with James Williams and Russian Systema with Joseph Stoltman. In both the fantasy and science fiction genres, Scott’s short fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline, Gaia, Shadow and Breath volume 3, Shambles (fiction bundle), and many others. His science fiction story “Insect Sculptor” won the Writers of the Future award. He also edits the magazine NewMyths. You can find him at work in independent coffee houses all over the southland, or on the internet at www.scotttbarnes.com.

Random Friday


And it’s another anthology author! She was also part of my first bundle and I met her at my first offline workshop on the Oregon Coast, back in 2011. She’s a sweet Canadian who writes gripping stories. You can find her work in Sci-fi Short Stories Space Opera Mashup as well as her own site below. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marcelle Dubé!

1. What is it about space opera that draws you to it?

I love the vast scope of space opera, and the mystery of what might be out there, and the adventure of discovery. And if there are aliens, even better!

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Station OSCX-9 is the story of Stokes, a young machinist working on an Orbital Station being constructed around Star CX-9. He and his crew are on a shuttle, heading back to their work site after leave, only to discover the construction site abandoned.

3. What inspired your story?

I’ve written a couple of other stories in the Alliance world, though none related to Stokes. Those stories are Jhyoti and Jhyoti: Planetside. While they both feature star ships, they aren’t technically space opera.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

Nope—in fact, I was very surprised to discover that I had actually written a space opera story. I usually write fantasies and mysteries. While many of my SF stories feature starships, many don’t.

5. What should readers know about you?

My stories never fit neatly into one category or another. My A’lle Chronicles series, for instance, is an alternate history / SF / mystery series. My Mendenhall Mystery series is technically a police procedural that feels like a cozy. I can’t help it…

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m tickled to be in an anthology with a collection of such fine authors!

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces – not to mention Belgium – she settled in the Yukon, where people outnumber the carnivores, but not by much.

She writes science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories, and has 11 novels to her name. Her upcoming novel, Epidemic: An A’lle Chronicles Mystery, will be released in Fall 2018. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies.
If you liked Station OSCX-9, you might also enjoy Jhyoti and Jhyoti: Planetside which are also set in the Alliance universe.

Learn more about her and her published work at www.marcellemdube.com

Sunday Surprise


And again an author from the Sci-Fi Anthologies! I met her in person at an offline anthology workshop, but she surprised me with the story she sent me and that I included in Sci-Fi Stories Space Opera Mashup (ebook universal link and paperback)! Please welcome Mary Jo Rabe!

1. What is it about space opera that draws you to it?

It’s what I love to read; I love the idea of exploring the universe.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s about baby steps toward possible trips to other/parallel universes.

3. What inspired your story?

It was an assignment for an online workshop.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

No, I write science fiction, some science fantasy, some fantasy, and occasional historical fiction.

5. What should readers know about you?

That I want to write optimistic fiction so that people can escape from a depressing reality (see the evening news) for a few minutes.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m very grateful to you for accepting my story.

Mary Jo Rabe grew up on a farm in eastern Iowa, got degrees from Michigan State University (German and math) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (library science) where she became a late-blooming science fiction reader and writer. She worked in the library of the chancery office of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany for 41 years, and lives with her husband in Titisee-Neustad.

She has had stories accepted for Fiction River and Pulphouse. She has published “Blue Sunset”, inspired by Spoon River Anthology and The Martian Chronicles, electronically and has had poems and stories published in Alternate Hilarities, Pandora, Stygian Articles, The Martian Wave, Astropoetica, The Sword Review, Raven Electrick, Mindflights, and Space and Time.

Personal blog: https://maryjorabe.wordpress.com/

Publishing blog: https://teedsgalaxypress.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.teedsgalaxypress.com

She indulges in sporadic activity on Facebook and Twitter

Random Friday


And it’s another anthology author! His story is very funny as is this  brief interview. I never had the pleasure to meet him in person (yet) but he can tell you how to make a living with short fiction! In fact he is both in Nightly Bites Volume 1 and Sci-Fi Stories Starships. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Douglas Smith!

1. What is it about starships that draws you to them?

Usually the tractor beams.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s about 6,700 words. It’s also about what happens when a star ship hires a crew member who is a real “Murphy” — the living embodiment of the law that if something can go wrong, it will. And an interstellar space ship and Murphy’s Law do not mesh well (except in my story, where hilarity ensues. Along with flying mashed potatoes.)

3. What inspired your story?

It came out of an anthology workshop at one of Kris Rusch’s and Dean Wesley Smith’s Oregon Coast workshops. We had a day to write a story. So you could say I was inspired by fear of Kris if I didn’t submit something. The theme, I think, was “Bar Flys” or something like that. Anyway, it was to be an SF antho, and it brought to mind for me Spider Robinson’s “Callahan’s Cross-Time Saloon” stories, which I always loved. That was the mood and level of silliness I was going for. The story first appeared in Baen’s Universe.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

My short fiction has been a mix of SF and Fantasy, mostly in the darker vein. “Murphy’s Law” is a rare humour (yes, that’s spelled correctly — I’m a Canadian) piece. My novels so far have all been urban fantasy (THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD and a current two-thirds finished YA trilogy) but I have a standalone SF novel planned, based on several of my short stories.

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a multi-award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction” (but then what do they know, right?). My fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries (but who’s counting?) and includes the novel The Wolf at the End of the World and the collections Chimerascope and Impossibilia (all of which are awesome).

I’m a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award (try saying that three times fast) and have been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane (the latter cuz I had a translated collection of my fantasy stories).

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Buffy remains the single most creative piece of television ever. Discuss, citing specific episodes. You have 60 minutes. Use both sides of the page.

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction.” His fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries. His work includes the urban fantasy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and La Danse des Esprits. His non-fiction guide for writers, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is a must read for any short story writer.

Doug is a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. A short film based on Doug’s story “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down” won several awards at film festivals around the world.

His website is www.smithwriter.com and he tweets at twitter.com/smithwritr

Random Friday


And here’s another author of Sci-Fi Stories – Starships! I did meet him, twice! On the Oregon coast, for those offline workshops that will be held in Las Vegas from now on. Anyway, I met Russ and his lovely wife Rita (who is in Sci-Fi Stories – Space Opera Mashup) in Lincoln City in October 2011, then again in October 2014. They are both great writers and I’m glad they sent me their stories.

He’s also been on this blog before because we shared bundles as well as anthologies (he’s also in Nightly Bites). But here’s six questions about Starships to Russ Crossley.

1. What is it about starships that draws you to them?

I have been an SF fan going to back to the 1960’s when the NASA space program was in full swing. I watched every launch and watched every SF show/movie, and read every book, comic book etc I could get my hands on with a starship because I thought that is where we were, and still are today, headed.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Solitary Man is about a man alone on a starship with an artificial intelligence on a mission to a newly discovered planet far across the galaxy. When he learns he and the AI are expendable he joins with the AI to survive. When when they meet the alien race inhabiting that far away world they may have found the answer they are seeking not only for themselves but all humankind.

3. What inspired your story?

The idea of people traveling great distances across the galaxy has always intrigued me. I think we will need artificial intelligence or learning machines to help us. This was the kernel to write this story.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?
I’ve written on many topics in many genres but right now I write a lot of stories about starships in my Blaster Squad series set in the 42nd century. Book seven will out later this year.

5. What should readers know about you?

I live in a small town in British Columbia with my wife and two wonderful dogs.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I have a massive DVD movie collection and I have a large collection of Star Trek paperbacks dating back to the 1970’s.

International selling author, Russ Crossley writes science fiction and fantasy, and mystery/suspense as well as their various subgenres.

His latest science fiction satire set in the far future, Revenge of the Lushites, is a sequel to Attack of the Lushites released in 2011. The latest title in the series was released in the fall of 2013. Both titles are available in e-book and trade paperback.
He has sold several short stories that have appeared in anthologies from various publishers including; WMG Publishing, Pocket Books, and St. Martins Press.

He is a member of SF Canada and is past president of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of Romance Writers of America. He is also an alumni of the Oregon Coast Professional Fiction Writers Master Class taught by award winning author/editors, Kristine Katherine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Feel free to contact him on Facebook, Twitter, or his website www.russcrossley.com. He loves to hear from readers.

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