Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 15K in five days, and spent the weekend setting up another bundle, uploading another title, and setting up my series pages on Amazon. So this week I can announce TWO new titles! 🙂

The first is the “middle book” of the Vampires Through the Centuries meets Future Earth Chronicles “trilogy”. On the cover is Ishaq, although he’s described as looking like Oded Fehr in The Mummy, but unfortunately I couldn’t put that on the cover! 😀 But the guy has a beard and is not too bloody. Ishaq is a fledgling of Arianrhod, Bran’s sister-in-darkness.

Ishaq ibn Tariq is an 8th-century Berber warrior under the Umayyad Caliphate. After his latest pilgrimage around the Mediterranean, he meets an old mortal acquaintance who introduces him to Rainbow Towns, the perfect places for a vampire to spend the years of the mortals apocalypse. Hidden underground settlements with 21st century smart-homes can allow vampires to spend a decade or three in comfort. Until they become prisons.
Alain is a 20th-century hacker with Asperger syndrome. With his girlfriend, he goes through the end of the Technological Revolution of the 21st century by finding refuge in Rainbow Town, where time seems to stop. They can’t go out, unless Alain remembers his way to the Darknet.
Bonus story: One Who Cannot Be Destroyed. Achyutam tries to get his wife back through the centuries, if only the damn western bloodsuckers didn’t always ruin his plans.

Now, that bonus story is also included in Nightly Bites Volume 3, that you should definitely check out, because 1) it’s longer than the previous two and 2) it has flash fiction and novellas and short stories, so a much wider variety compared to the first two! 🙂 So check it out and give some love to my fellow authors who wrote great stories!

I am also setting up a limited time bundle on BundleRabbit after a long time. I was spurred by another curator who took out my book from his bundle because “could not find an email on your website to communicate with you” (which prompted me to modify the Contact Me page) when he had already received my acceptance.

You see, there’s a forum on BundleRabbit, where curators can communicate with whoever is in their bundle or collaboration. I had to withdraw a request for my latest bundle (it’s the 4th, in case your wondering) because that author indeed had no way to contact him by email to prod him into accepting the request.

His contact page said to leave a public comment and had no link to send him a private email – which is what I did with another author who promptly wrote back with questions. That other curator? He could have made a post in his bundle’s section and asked we sent him an email for private communications off site. Sigh.

Anyhow, still working out a couple of things for that bundle, so I’m not announcing it yet. Do check the above books, though. November is definitely the vampires month! 🙂 As for December, I’ll publish the Star Minds Universe box sets and that’s it for this year.

The new titles in the Future Earth Chronicles (or Before) will come out next year. Writing the last sequel right now, I should be done by the end of the month, so I can send it over to the editor in December.

Sunday was mostly housekeeping, setting up those series on Amazon and working on Da Strip with the umpteenth change that might push us older users out of social media for good, LOL!

The only good thing about the new Author Central is that they took off the unpublished books, so those ugly old covers finally vanished. I did compire the survey, though, since when you add another book, it shows up ten times, and not just when it’s a multi-authors title. Even Through the Centuries showed up 10 times. If enough people tell them how dumb it has become, maybe they’ll revert, won’t they?

Wishful thinking, I know. On Sunday I went to upload the strip and SURPRISE! Instagram changed stuff around too! To add a MARKETPLACE! Gee, I know everybody buys online with lockdown and coronavirus and everything, but damn it, if all social media become virtual stores, I’m out of here!

Also the fonts are so tiny to be unreadable (for my ageing eyes) on the phone, and you can’t post stuff from laptop. End rant of a Gen-Xers who is sick of those subtle changes for you youngsters who still have good eyes (but you’ll ruind them faster than I ever did if this trend continues)!

Sunday night I rewatched Kites because it was “movies where the protag dies at the end” weekend. I hadn’t watched for more than 2 years, since before the WMG workshops moved from Lincoln City to Vegas.

I have seen Las Vegas in 1994 (the Strip only) and 2009 (our guide took us to the Freemont Experience), but it was touristic one-night stays during group tours. So it was fun rewatching the movie while being familiar with Freemont Street – and I even spent one night at the Plaza last February! 🙂

So it was lika a déjà vu, like when I watch Ocean’s 11 (even though I never slept at the Bellagio), and so NOT like 1994! 🙂 Speaking of which, a lovely penfriend (remember those?) whom I met quite often through the years, just sent me old pictures of Mark Slaughter (the reason for my expedition in Vegas back in 1994), which, along with rewatching their first home video from 1990 or 1991 makes for another wonderful throwback! 🙂

Ending with this throwback picture of a former Muse and hoping we all get to travel again in the near future, I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

 

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Sunday Surprise


Rocketpack Adventures Sunday Special! Revered Guests, here are eight fearless authors answering six questions about this  anthology, available as ebook and paperback. Get it now!

AUTHOR/CURATOR RUSS CROSSLEY

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

I fell in love with the idea of jet or rocket packs in the early 1970’s when I saw part of an old serial on a children’s morning program. Looking back I think it was 1949’s King of the Rocketmen. Then the 1991 film The Rocketeer reignited my interest in this subgenre of fantastic film (a long time love of mine). I now own all the old serials with rocket suited heroes and of course the Rocketeer on DVD. The whole idea is so much fun I decided to compile a collection of stories by various authors to see how other authors might approach the idea. And, boy, did they ever write some clever tales. I hope everyone enjoys these stories as much as as I do.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Mine is called Mercenary Knights. It is about rocket pack wearing knights jousting on antigravity boards in the 42nd century. Of course there is danger, action, and peril and a cliffhanger ending as is fitting for this genre with a surprising twist. Great fun to write my own rocketpack story.

3. What inspired your story?

As it happens I have an ongoing series of books about team of mercenaries set in the 42nd century and two of the team love to compete in outrageous, and dangerous sports. It occurred to me why not jousting knights wearing rocketpacks? This provided me the perfect frame work for the story.

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

No, not much,. At the moment I’m in the process of finishing the seventh book in the Blaster Squad series and have plans to write a paranormal mystery next.

5. What should readers know about you?

My professional writing career started when I sold three Star Trek stories to Pocket Books.

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

I have a large collection of Star Trek fiction dating back to the 1970’s. Science fiction has been one of my passions for most of my life inspired by the US Space Program in the 1960’s and the seemingly inevitable goal of peaceful space exploration of my generation.

AUTHOR MARY JO RABE

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

The idea of getting away, leaving the solar system, galaxy, or even universe.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

An efficient engineer builds her own rocket.

3. What inspired your story?

In my Blue Sunset collection I have poems about life on Mars. One of them deals with an efficient engineer leaving Mars in her own rocket.

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I write science fiction, some fantasy, and some historical fiction, all with different topics and themes.

5. What should readers know about you?

I prefer to write optimistic fiction with happy endings because that’s what I like to read.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? I am very amazed and grateful to be in this bundle.

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

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

Website: http://www.teedsgalaxypress.com

AUTHOR LESLEY L. SMITH

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Rockets and jetpacks are super fun. I think it goes back to the ideas of the golden age of science fiction–when everyone was jetting around. I wish I had a jetpack right now!

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

My story “Girl Power” is the tale of a group of girls inventing a wearable jetpack.

3. What inspired your story?

I must admit I’m on a bit of a ‘girl power’ streak this year.  I love the idea of girls becoming empowered–in more ways than one!

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I often write about rockets and spaceships, but my stories are really about characters and their relationships in science fictional settings.

5. What should readers know about you?

Readers should know that in real life I’m a physicist, and have worked on a NASA project (so, am a rocket scientist?). 😉

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

This particular anthology has been super fun and all the stories are marvelous. For more info, check out my website: www.lesleylsmith.com

AUTHORS/CO-WRITERS JIM LE MAY AND CHUCK ANDERSON

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Chuck- I had never written a jetpack story, and when Russ asked I was intrigued.

Jim – Honestly, I had never thought of writing a story about jetpacks until my co-author, Chuck Anderson, brought the idea up. It sounded like fun to write and indeed was.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Chuck – Jim and my story is about a down-on-his-luck hero during the Great Depression who is recruited by a former gunfighter to fight against crime.

Jim – International intrigue in the pre-WWII era, a sexy female Nazi spy, Alcatraz island in the San Francisco bay and a heroic jetpack pilot.

3. What inspired your story?

Chuck – The old television show ‘Have Gun- Will Travel.’ I wanted a character who’s for hire but generally tries to do the right thing.

Jim – Partially, the late ’50s TV show “Have Gun — Will Travel” and in part the ’90s film “The Rocketeer.”

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

Chuck – I have not written a jetpack story before, and I usually write under a bunch of different areas of science fiction.

Jim – That was my first jetpack story, though Chuck and I might write another. I usually write about future history or gonzo versions of fairy tales and other stories.

5. What should readers know about you?

Chuck – I am a publisher, writer, and an art student, but I used to be a teacher, volleyball coach, and an athletic director. I also have a weakness for muscle cars.

Jim – I write character-driven short stories and novels, most of them set decades or centuries in the future after antibiotic-resistant bacteria has drastically reduced the earth’s population.

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

Chuck – I think this is going to be a fine collection of stories, and I can’t wait to read the rest of them.

Jim – Yes. You can access my blog here: https://www.lemaysshadowworld.com/ , find my books at Mad Cow Press (https://www.madcow.press/ ) and Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jim-LeMay/e/B076MGDHFC ).

AUTHOR  KELLY CAIRO

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Flying. My best dreams include me figuring out I can fly. And it’s wonderful. (Also, as a tourist on a helicopter flight, I was delighted to realize if felt exactly like flying in my dreams.)

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Without giving too much away, it’s about differences and similarities and communication.

3. What inspired your story?

As a kid, I never understood why anyone would consider creating an all-boy or all-girl school. As, er, not a kid, I do understand the appeal of every single opportunity not influenced by stereotypes. (However, I remain grateful I never experienced the all-girl school first hand.)

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

Most of my published work is sci-fi — time travel, Star Trek, and steam punk — and paranormal romance. And I enjoy reading and writing anything that offers a twist.

5. What should readers know about you?

I love the idea of helping people through what they read. Whether it’s providing a half hour of entertainment as reading/relaxation time, or providing a perspective on something a reader thinks about outside of the story — that is the fun of story telling.

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

For a good time, check out free samples of my Guardian Angel series. It’s paranormal romance, so the stories are under the Lynn C. Kelly pen name, and available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There’s a complete, free short story written from the point of view of the guardian angel (parallel to the novel), plus a sample of the novel that (I hope) will make you ask yourself, “What now?”

AUTHOR DEANNA KNIPPLING

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

I love all things pulp.  I watched a million episodes of Flash Gordon as a kid, that’s probably where it started.  Rockets…well, they’re okay.  Space rockets, they can be great.  But jetpacks are so impossible from a practical point of view that you can only think of them as belonging to another reality, one where all our problems have been, or will be, improbably solved by technology.  Maybe that’s the modern version of a fairy tale, I don’t know.  But I’ve always liked that sort of thing.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Jetpacks!  And the fact that a lot of our early rocket scientists were former Nazis that we raided out from under the USSR’s nose.  Maaaybe a little unethical testing went on.  Who’s to say?

3. What inspired your story?

I started on a different story that turned into a 100,000-word novel, or at least it will at some point.  Phooey!  I still wanted to write a story for the anthology, so I borrowed some of the characters from the book and sliced off a smaller chunk of story to play with.

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I write science fiction, fantasy, horror, and crime.  A lot of aliens, fae, and monsters.

5. What should readers know about you?

Hahahahaha…that’s assuming they really should know anything.  I like pushing readers’ buttons, so maybe it’s best for everyone concerned if they don’t.  Anyway, my website is at www.WonderlandPress.com.  I’m obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and there happens to be more cannibalism in my stories than maybe there should be.  I live in Colorado.  I am not a direct descendant of anyone involved in the Donner Party, though, in case you were wondering.

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

I have a blog series of free flash fiction stories running during October.  This year, the theme is “normal things gone wrong.”  You can find Tales of the Normal here.

My latest release is under a pseudonym, Dean Kenyon, two books in a series of near-future detective thrillers full of sarcasm, serial killers, and self-driving cars.  You can find those here.

AUTHOR AND BLOG HOST BARBARA G.TARN

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Actually, it’s my first story with jetpacks and I had a lot of fun writing it, so I must thank Russ for requesting a story with rockets and/or jetpacks! 🙂

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s one mission of the Lone Wolves Team, a group of solitary people who teamed up to work. They call themselves the problem-solvers of the Star Nations, and at the beginning the team is an enhanced Humanoid, a telepathic assassin, a hacker and a starship pilot. This mission focuses on Hariel and Icy Aya , since they’re the right ones for this job.

3. What inspired your story?

The characters inspired the whole series of short stories about a Lone Wolves Team. They’re all quite introverted (except the starship pilot, Shanell) and I like watching them work together. Other loners will join in future episodes. The Star Minds Lone Wolves Team stories are currently (as of 2018) unpublished except the first mission, Wonder Man – included in Hacker (Star Minds Lone Wolves book 3) and the one in this anthology, the rest will come out sometime in 2019

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I write mostly science fiction and fantasy (actually, science fantasy more than sci-fi, but my models are Star Wars and Star Trek, not hard SF). This short story belongs to the Star Minds Universe, then there’s Silvery Earth (secondary world fantasy), Future Earth (just started, including some Post-Apocalypse Chronicles) and Vampires Through the Centuries (historical fantasy).

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a prolific one-draft writer, and there’s plenty for you to discover at www.unicornproductionsbooks.com or on my blog https://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com. And if you want a glimpse of the artist (I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist), find me on Deviantart https://www.deviantart.com/creativebarbwire

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

I guess I rambled enough. Enjoy this anthology curated by my wonderful writer friend Russ Crossley!

Rocketpack Adventures ebook universal link and paperback.

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