Christmas in July #BookSale! #YA #SciFi #Fantasy

The Gemini Connection has a new and immensely improved book description – yay!  But I have a stack of books with the old description printed on the back, so let the Christmas shopping commence – after all, it’s only 168 days away!

I’m selling paperbacks for $10.00 (sorry, US only), and I’ll ship it to you media mail.  Or if ebooks are more your thing, it’s $3.99 on Amazon.  Get your Christmas or birthday shopping done early and check something off your to-do list!

If you’d like to purchase a copy, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com and I can invoice you through PayPal.

Here’s what reviewers are saying:

“…an intriguing world that will appeal to fans of Stranger Things and The Giver…”

“(The LGBT plot line) is shown in such a healthy, positive way and I loved it.”

“The characters were amazingly well-written and balanced.”

“The idea of Benders being able to infiltrate the minds of sleepers and interact with dreams and nightmares was mesmerizing.” 

Planet Tage is dying, and the best hope of saving it is gone.

Seventeen-year-old identical twins Evan and Simon share an extraordinary bond, a trait that’s both useful and invasive. They use their connection in their work at Scientific Innovations. Evan is a Mindbender, someone who enters the minds of scientists to spark ideas, join thoughts, and battle nightmares. Simon is a science prodigy and Tage’s best chance of survival.

Unfortunately, their unusual link often bleeds into their private lives. When Evan discovers his brother is keeping a secret from him, he lashes out and ignores requests to talk, and even pleas for help. By the time Evan tunes back in, he finds their connection severed and Simon missing.

He suffers a terrible case of survivor’s guilt. Moreover, he’s desperate. The fate of the world rests on Simon’s return, and Evan is willing to do anything to get him back—even working with his greatest rival, who also happens to be Simon’s boyfriend.

Evan finds allies among enemies and adversaries among friends. When nothing is as it seems and everything is depending on him, he must explore a dangerous aspect to his twin connection he never knew he had.

If he fails, he’ll lose both his brother and his world.

#NewRelease: The Tower in the Mist (Minstrels of Skaythe #1) by Deby Fredericks #sorcery #fantasy

If you’ve visited Deby’s blog, you know she loves dragons – and I mean, who wouldn’t?  Because – dragons, right?  Deby has also published several fantasy books, and is here today with her new release, the first book in a series.  Isn’t that cover awesome?  Beautiful colors.  Welcome, Deby!

Mages vs. Amazons vs. Giant Badgers vs. Tyranny!

Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.

Buy Links:
Amazon

For other formats:

Draft2Digital link: https://books2read.com/u/3nK1Mo/div>

Author Bio
Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. More recently, she self-publishes her fantasy novellas and novelettes. In addition, she writes for children as Lucy D. Ford. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of  Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International  (SCBWI).

Fantasy and Children’s Writer
Find out more at my website or my blog
or join my mailing list.

My Top 5 #SciFi Movie Influences #OWSCyCon2019 #YA

I’m pretty sure I was born a sci-fi geek.  From a young age, I can remember being captivated by sci-fi movies and books.  Normal generally bored me – I lived in the world of normal.  It was the unusual, otherworldly, and improbable that held me spellbound.  Today, I thought I’d share with you the five science fiction movies that made the biggest impressions on me.  Rather than listing least to most favorite, these are listed chronologically.

5.  Planet of the Apes  I’m totally dating myself, but I was in grade school when these movies came out, and I was instantly hooked.  Seeing Charleton Heston awaken to another world where apes were in charge – and they spoke?  I never knew movies like this existed.  But when he saw what was left of the Statue of Liberty at the end, my young mind was blown.

4.  Star Wars  You had to see this one coming.  Light sabers, talking droids, powerful Jedis, space travel, and such detailed world-building – instant obsession.  I’m a fan of the whole series (except any scenes including Jar Jar Binks – such a travesty), and after watching A New Hope, my next obsession was the video game adaptation at the local arcade.  I personally destroyed the Death Star many times over.  You’re welcome.

3.  The Terminator  This movie is at the root of my love of just about anything involving time travel.  It didn’t hurt that Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) looked the way he did.  As Sarah Connor, I would have accepted his offer in a heartbeat.  But seriously, the whole premise that John Conner sent a soldier back in time to protect Conner’s mother – and that man was Conner’s father?  I turned that one over in my mind for days.  I’ll still watch that movie when it’s on.

2.  The Matrix  I was a Keanu Reeves fan long before I saw this movie.  Besides the effects being off the charts cool, once I understood what the Matrix was?  And Neo was The One?  I fell hard for this one, and the sequels that followed.  The idea that what you perceive is reality isn’t, but some people choose to live that way had my head spinning for days.  It might have been my first experience with alternate realities.

1.  Inception  Speaking of cool effects – even if you didn’t get Inception, there’s no denying they were visually stunning.  The whole entering someone else’s consciousness impacted me deeply.  If you ask me, that token fell, and Dom was reunited with his children.

Parts of my young adult sci-fi/fantasy novel, The Gemini Connection, were heavily influenced by The Matrix and Inception.  One of my main characters, Evan, is a Mindbender who enters the minds of others and connects thoughts and concepts, and occasionally battles nightmares.  Evan also shares an unusual connection with his twin, Simon, that is instrumental in saving their dying planet.  To find out more about my books, you can look around here, on my website, or check out my virtual booth here.  I’ve also written a young adult horror novel, Sarah.  Info on that book is included in my sci-fi booth, or you can visit my booth under the horror section here.

OWS CyCon officially runs May 17-19 with the CyCon website and Facebook events acting as the hub for all of our events. Sign up for our newsletter or RSVP to the event to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the bookish goodness we have to offer. Plus, you can read more about our participating Sci Fi authors and their Top 5 favorites in Sci-Fi before CyCon starts. Visit the blog hop page any time leading up to CyCon for the latest posts and your chance to enter our MEGA giveaway (open May 10).

#OWSCyCon2019 Cover Wars – Please Vote! #YA #scifi #horror

Happy Friday!  I’m participating in OWS CyCon over the next few days, and both of my book covers are battling it out in Cover Wars – Sarah under horror/thriller, and The Gemini Connection under sci-fi.

I could use your help, and this is me begging for votes – if you have a couple of minutes, please vote at the following links:

Vote for Sarah HERE.

Vote for The Gemini Connection HERE.

Fair warning – the bracket for sci-fi has been kind of wonky in the mornings, but seems to work in the afternoon.

Don’t forget to register for the 22 book and Amazon gift card giveaway HERE!

Thanks so much – have a great weekend, and don’t forget to vote tomorrow, also!

#OWSCycon2019 World-Building Showcase: Arid Alarm by L.B. Carter #scifi #YA

Welcome to another fantastic stop in our World-building Showcase blog hop! On this stop, we’re highlighting a story where the world changes or ends as we know it, but you can find a full list of authors and topics on the OWS Cycon website. Let’s dive in!

Welcome, L.B. Carter!

Before we dive in to the nitty gritty, what is the Climatic Climacteric series about?

The Earth’s climate is changing, and natural disasters are becoming more frequent, more intense, and more deadly: coastal storms, forest fires, drought. Voted the 14th Best Indie Book of 2018 by readers at Read Freely, the Internationally Bestselling upper YA/NA near-future sci-fi Climatic Climacteric series is now (as of April 26) complete with tense adventures of hope, suspense, thrills and a touch of romance! All books are FREE on KU or anyone can start the series for only $0.99 at www.books2Read.com/SilentSiren.

Does language play any role in your world? Does everyone speak the same language, or is there variety? Did you invent any new slang or terminology during your world-building process?

This book takes place in the near-future with as realistic science and technology as I know, so it’s not too different but has some scientific terms… though one of my main characters in book one has some creative word choices for avoiding swears!

What kinds of climates do your characters experience? Do they see a lot of change or is it always the same? Has your world always had this kind of climate, or has it changed over time?

Now this is a perfect question for this series! The premise is what the world will look like as climate change starts to really mess with how people live on the planet! There are some seriously terrifying natural disasters and crazy weather effects that torment my characters: book one focuses on rising sea level and hurricanes/coastal storms; book two focuses on forest fires and technological advances; book three revolves around drought and governmental attention to such a climate.

Is there any kind of faith system in your world? Did you draw inspiration from any real cultures, living or dead?

Since this world is similar to today’s, it’s similarly diverse.

What do people in your world do for fun? Are there sports, games, music, or other activities they do in their free time?

In book one, we follow two characters in high school. There are normal forms of entertainment–Sirena (Rena) uses boxing as a way to destress, they do pottery at school, and some friends are involved in ice hockey. However, with all the chaos Mother Nature is tossing at them, they quickly have to shun games and fun–free time at all–in favor of survival.

What kinds of transportation and other interesting technology do your characters have access to? Are they ahead, behind, or a mix of different kinds of tech compared to where we are now?

This future world has some technological advances to the current one: cars are mostly electric in a too-late attempt to avoid polluting the Earth, though deisel is still prominent in the poorer, disaster-ravaged areas (mostly the Midwest), there are few universities left after an education overhaul but they’re fixated on automatons, robots, drones and helicopters. Importantly to book two, they’re also improving prosthetics for amputees. Genetics is also advancing even if regulations and fears are still averse, but I’m not saying more than that.

Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about your world-ending event and how it led to the world of your story? Was it a distant event or does it happen as part of your tale?

Humans. Anthropogenic ignorance and arrogance caused this climatic climacteric (a term that means period of time) that’s forcing everyone to focus on not becoming part of the Earth’s next mass extinction.

Your Process

When you build a world, what is your process like? Do you do a lot of research upfront, wing it completely, or something in between?

This world is built on years of knowledge gleaned through my extensive education. I’ve studied Earth Science for almost ten years, getting a bachelors, masters and then doctorate, so I’ve cultivated all the research I needed on the potential impacts climate change will have on Earth.

How central is the setting of your story to the story itself? Is it more of an interesting backdrop, or is it integral to the events of the story?

This series takes my characters–and the reader–all over the US in this adventure series! The travels show the various aspects of climate change impacting different areas in various ways: from coast to interior to mountains.

When helping the reader get to know the world you built, what techniques do you use? Do you tend to be upfront about things, or keep the reader in the dark and feed them only bits at a time?

A pet peeve of mine is when authors don’t use “show, don’t tell,” so I try my hardest to pepper things into the story itself, so readers get a feel of the world in how the characters interact with it, rather than listing its state outright. I’m told they’re quite mysterious and suspenseful, so perhaps it’s a bit of “in the dark” unintentionally.

How much of a role does realism and hard scientific fact play in your world-building? Do you strive for 100% accuracy, or do you leave room for the fantastical and unexplainable in your world?

A lot! As a scientist, I find it hard not to base my fiction in fact. I’d say the plot is fiction (I hope), the characters are plausible fiction, and the world and its disasters are scientifically predicted (which is shame). My intention with this series was in part to help non-scientists better understand climate change predictions and exactly how they will pan out into actual effects on humans’ lives.

Do you have any specialized training or background from your “real life” that has informed your world-building?

I’m a scientist! More than that, I’m a science communicator at a university in my day-job, which means it’s my duty to explain the latest and most important results coming out of scientific research to the public. This is a soft version of that.

How do you keep all of the details of your world and characters straight? Do you have a system for deciding on different factors and keeping it all organized, or does it live more in your head?

It’s mostly in my head. I do have character cards to keep track of everyone’s names, background, details. The world is all in my mind.

Did you experience any difficulties while building your world? Any facts that refused to cooperate or inconsistencies you needed to address while editing?

Not with this world because it’s so ingrained in my brain after years delving deep into Earth Science. We’ll see about the next one…

Where can people find you on the web?

I love meeting other bookish friends! Please check out this series, which is now complete as of about a month ago (wahoo!)–find out more info about me and the series at my CyCon booth here.You can also find more information and links to my social media and email at www.LBCarter.com. Subscribe to my newsletter there to get free books, previews of the books I described above and more… like meeting my snuggly garfield-wannabe, Mr. Cat!

Many thanks to my host for letting me pop onto their blog here to chat about my series! I hope it was enlightening and fun. This blog-hop is a great way for me to find new books myself! 🙂

 

For more stops on our End of the World World-building Showcase, visit the tour page on the OWS CyCon website. You can also find more great Sci Fi authors and books on our main Sci Fi event page.

 

 

Name My Book Character Winner! #giveaway

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for help in naming a supporting character in my newest book, scheduled for publication February 13, 2020.  The book is currently going by the name ‘Book 3’, and the supporting character by the name of ‘X’.  You see my dilemma – which is why I requested assistance.

I had such a terrific response – bushels of thanks to everyone who entered!  With so many awesome suggestions, it was a difficult decision, but my youngest son (who is privy to what will happen with this character) and I considered all of the entries, and made a selection.

Congratulations to Misty from Misty’s Book Space with the name Declan!  She’ll receive an acknowledgement in the book, and a signed copy upon release in February.  Misty, please contact me at tpolen6@gmail.com so I can get your information.

 

Interview and #NewRelease by R.K. Landers #TuesdayBookBlog #Fantasy

 

A few weeks ago, I hosted a cover reveal for R.K. Lander’s Dawn of a Legend, the third book in her Silvan Series, released on April 22nd.  The second book in the series, Road of a Warrior, won the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in the Fantasy/Paranormal category.  Make yourself comfortable, settle in, and get to know R.K. Lander a little better and learn more about this series.

What’s your writing background?

I don’t have one. I never thought I would end up writing fantasy books. It was my passion for the world of Tolkien that would not be harnessed. The only way for me to express that passion was to write. So when you are coming from a non-literary background, the challenges are massive and sometimes, that learning curve is not a walk in the park. But once you find your voice and understand all those technical questions that make a book flow, the creativity begins. With every book I write I know it is a better book.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I have received many, many comments on the names of my characters, most of them asking why I had to make them so complicated. I think it’s a valid quip, but I also think I have a valid justification. In a fantasy world, we expect there to be differences in the geography at least. There will be creatures that don’t exist on Earth, languages that don’t exist on Earth and – logically – names that don’t exist on Earth. It’s about believability, I think.

In a world of multi-racial elves, where the spirit Aria strives to protect creation,  a world where Gas Lizards and Deviants roam the land, a hero emerges from the mists. His name was … Barny Eggerton.

What? No!!

Which characters were the most and least difficult to write and why?

Character building is essential to me and I have worked hard to bring to life the warriors of The Company. Fel’annár, the tough orphan who doesn’t care about who his father may have been (does he?). Idernon, the Wise Warrior, his passion for learning and fierce loyalty to his friend. Ramien, the Wall of Stone, Silvan giant with a mushy heart. Tensári, fierce Spirit Warrior and grieving lover. They all have their own stories, are clearly identifiable and above all, believable. I need my readers to identify with them, empathize with them, cheer them on or boo them away.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Oh there are quite a few secrets in the Silvan Series. My beta reader and my editor often accuse me of being cryptic and force me to explain myself. Sometimes I listen. There is a lot of me in my writing. There is a lot of what I love, what I hate, how I think. I also like to drop subtle clues, so that the more observant reader can infer what may or may not happen further along in the story.

Your book, Road of a Warrior (Sylvan Book #2), won a 2018 Best Indie Book Award. Could the neighbors hear you scream when you heard the news?

They may have been about to call the police, thinking some brutal murder was in progress. I promptly opened my kitchen window so they could see I was alright, and promptly popped a bottle of champagne. I think it was about seven in the morning.

Winning the Best Indie Book Award was such an unexpected thing. I have had some success with The Silvan but still, I consider myself an inexperienced writer with only two years of craft behind me. I still have that streak of insecurity about my writing. Entering this contest was a way of forcing myself to toughen up to criticism, really bare myself to the pros and see what came back. That shiny monolith that sits on my shelf is a reminder that I should believe in myself, that I write books that my readers enjoy and that fills me with pride, gives my life so much more meaning.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

  • I studied astronomy and sometimes use that knowledge in my books.
  • I get up at 5:30 a.m. to write, and my Parson Russell Terrier sleeps on my lap while I craft my chapters.
  • I live in an amazing neighborhood. My Kitchen window is a hub, a meeting point for friendly neighbor – friends to stand at the ledge and share a beer or a glass of wine. Great plans are forged at the Witchy Window.
  • I love padel tennis. There is something about bashing a ball around a court that is liberating and inspirational to writing, especially when you have a battle to engineer.

Where can fans find you?

All over the place really. I love talking with readers and the best way to contact me is by visiting rklander.com. You’ll find all the links to my social media, Goodreads, BookBub and YouTube channel. I have a blog too and I enjoy connecting with other people’s blogs and reading their stuff over morning coffee.

Email: ruth@rklander.com
Website: rklander.com
Facebook: @rklwrites
Twitter:@rklwrites

Book III in the award-winning series The Silvan.

A child becomes a novice. A novice becomes a warrior. The warrior – becomes a legend.

To the enemy, Fel’annár is just a half-blood bastard, but to the Silvan people, he is their crownless warrior prince. Returning from battle in the mountains, he grieves for one who was lost, a death that triggers a mystery Fel’annár and his company of chosen brothers must unravel. But why do the trees speak of a beautiful monster?

Fel’annár will learn the ways of the Kah Warrior from a legendary commander while facing the disdain of another who struggles to accept this ‘ignoble son’ for who he is, not for what he represents. Meanwhile, Fel’annár’s royal half-brother reveals a plan to restore the Great Forest to its past splendour of multi-cultural harmony. But the Forest is falling apart under the final onslaught of a ruthless traitor and the Silvan people are turning away from their ruler. Can Fel’annár come to understand what role he must play in this plan before it is too late? Can the brothers put aside their resentment towards each other for tearing their families apart and learn to trust one another? Can love prosper in the midst of battle and hardship as dark enemies converge on the Motherland?

Danger lies in wait for an elf who is slowly coming to terms with his heritage, learning to wield a natural ability and accepting the nature of his unfolding destiny.

The greatest warriors of their time will come together once more—in the name of justice. In the name of love.

Author Bio

I only ever read fantasy and science fiction as a kid. Why? That was my father’s fault, I suppose. I read his chewed up books by Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, and although I love the classics and have read my fair share – I always come back to sci-fi, and especially to fantasy.

It was later in life that I read Lord of the Rings. I loved it but I was left wondering about immortality, about what it would be like to live for so long. Ok yes, I mean it would be great, but specifically, would such beings really be so angelic? So cold and dispassionate? Flighty and unconcerned with the trials of others as not only the book but the films portray? I beg to differ.

That was how I first came up with the idea of The Silvan. I wanted to read a story about real elves, about how they live, suffer and die. How they would think, what social structure they would have, what political regime they would have. The quickest way to find that story – was to write it.

I never had any expectations for myself as a successful autor but that’s changing.  I’m glad I followed my dream.