The Awakening of Artemis – Blog Tour #Dystopian

The Awakening of Artemis

by John Calia

Genre: Dystopian

Orphaned and disillusioned about her career, Diana Gutierrez-Adams is on a routine military assignment when she and her team are kidnapped by a domestic militia. She learns from her captors that her cryogenically-frozen grandfather is at the center of a high-stakes caper to steal technology for greed and great fortune. Challenged by the conspiracy and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Diana begins a rescue mission that will change her life.

Set in 2049 America — a world where the elites make all the rules and artificial intelligence enforces them – the real danger is that the technology will be lost in the ensuing chaos. With her life under threat, Diana is forced into a desperate bid to escape, taking with her Gabrielle, her soulmate and the one person she knows she can trust.

To evade a devious enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Diana and Gabrielle must outsmart the global monitoring systems that tracks their every move. On a trail littered with the dystopian remains of middle-class America, they will come face-to-face with an artificial intelligence that threatens the future of all humankind.

What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous – an adventure that embraces all her hopes for finding her true self and her place in a world dominated by powerful elites and even more powerful artificial intelligence.

**Only .99 cents until 9/28!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

A Brooklyn-born, second generation American and the eldest of three boys, writing is his third career and the one about which he is most passionate. Following graduation from the US Naval Academy and active duty in the Navy, he embarked on a career in business. He began writing his blog “Who Will Lead?” in 2010 attracting over 120,000 readers. It inspired him to write his first book, an Amazon five-star rated business fable titled “The Reluctant CEO.” Currently he makes his home in Fairport, NY, a village on the Erie Canal.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$15 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,

ebook of The Awakening of Artemis – 10 winners!

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The Antlands Series – Blog Tour #Sci-fi #Dystopian




Antlands
The Antlands Series Book 1
by Genevieve Morrissey
Genre: Science Fiction


It seemed like a good idea… Genetically engineer a species of humanoid workers—strong, tireless, minimally intelligent—to become laborers for humans. What could possibly go wrong?

For a thousand years, humans have had to fight for their survival against the mute, feral “Ants,” created as workers but now gone rogue, scavenging and slaughtering everything in their path.

The beleaguered humans, in the meantime, have evolved two distinct cultures. The disciplined, insular Foresters prioritize safety over personal freedom in their woodland strongholds, while the more individualistic Men embrace an urban lifestyle and are eager to reimplement the technology of past ages. Nominally allies against the Ants, the two groups deeply mistrust each other.

Deer, a despondent Forester soldier, is one of his people’s foremost authorities on Ants. He knows with perfect certainty that Ant-raiders never leave survivors. So how, amid the carnage of a raided Man-village, is one small girl still alive? She says her name is Anne; but who is she, and what is her secret?

Deer takes Anne to the forest to grow up, where years later, a horrifying revelation about her may provide a means for Men and Forester to finally defeat the Ants—but only if they can put aside their differences and work together.

Full of unforgettable characters, masterful dialog, and riveting scenes, Antlands is ultimately a story of hope, healing, and redemption.

Goodreads * Amazon * Audible

Listen to an audio sample chapter here!

https://soundcloud.com/user-925486873/antlands-sample-chapter

Annasland

The Antlands Series Book 2

Gone…

Fleeing the last Ant-War, Anna of Evergreen goes with a party of Foresters, Men, and Ants to seek sanctuary on an island. None of them are ever seen again.

Twenty years later, the launch of the Muriel, the first steel-hulled, powered ship built since ancient times, offers Anna’s friends a chance to discover what happened to the lost colonists—if they can persuade River, the Muriel’s designer, to lead an expedition to find her. Exiled from the forest, estranged from his family, and crippled by rage and guilt, River agrees to the plan. Not only was Anna his first love, but the journey, he believes, will provide an exciting new distraction from his pain.

It’s the adventure of River’s life, but when the voyage proves longer and more perilous than anyone anticipated, he finds he’s brought all his old problems along with him on the journey—and in the middle of the ocean, there is no further place for him to run. The struggle to survive reveals River’s limitations, but also his strengths, and with this new self-knowledge, River reassesses his life. The Muriel may provide a whole new life-purpose for him—but is he up to the challenge?

The second book in the Antlands series, Annasland is an adventure novel that explores themes of prejudice and hate, love, loss and redemption in a post-apocalyptic setting.

Goodreads * Amazon * Audible

Genevieve Morrissey is an avid student of British and American social history, but through one of those strange little quirks of fate she spends most of her days talking with scientists.

In Antlands, she explores a future history of societies coping with the loss of civilization, and their attempts to rebuild it.

Together with coeditor Sarah Morrissey, Genevieve has previously published The Complete Raffles: Annotated and Illustrated.

Genevieve enjoys reading obscure books, travel, good cooking, and solitude.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$50 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Swift Six Author Interview – Lee Matthew Goldberg

Name: Lee Matthew Goldberg

What attracts you to the genre in which you write? I typically write thrillers, but I also have a Sci-Fi and a Young Adult series coming out this year so I like to think I write whatever moves me at the moment. That being said, all my books have some thriller elements to them because the stakes are always raised and for me they are the most engaging to read.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?

Not to get too bogged down by rejection. Rejection is necessary, all writers experience it, and it only makes you a better writer. I got too caught up in it early on when it was really the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?

Probably F. Scott Fitzgerald. He’s always been my favorite writer and even though a dinner with him would be impossible now, if I could raise him from the dead for the meal, I choose him and we could just talk about The Great Gatsby the whole time and how it’s a perfect book.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

Probably David Lynch. I remember watching Twin Peaks as kid and it defied what I knew stories could do. There’s an ominous foreboding to his work where anything can happen, and I try to use that for all of my books too.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

No. They can exist side by side. There might be less print books but people will always want to own physical copies. An e-book just isn’t the same. That being said, I probably sell more e-books than print, so I’m glad it exists.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

Great Gatsby for the reasons I said before.

The Beach because it’s a fantastic thriller kind of about a desert island.

Catcher in The Rye – It may be cliché, but it’s one of my favorite novels and I’ve reread it ever few years since I was twelve. Each time I discover new things about it.

 

Author bio and book synopsis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

 Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com

 

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

Upcoming:

Orange City – Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Orange City – Print

Orange City Kindle

Imagine a secret, hidden City that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the City forever. You can never leave.  

Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the Man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.   

After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.

A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, Orange City is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel Lemonworld. 

 

Runaway Train – Young Adult

Runaway Train

They told me I was an out-of-control train about to crash…

Everything changed when the police officer knocked on the door to tell me – a 16-year-old – that my older sister Kristen had died of a brain aneurysm. Cue the start of my parents neglecting me and my whole life spiraling out of control.

I decided now was the perfect time to skip town. It’s the early 90’s, Kurt Cobain runs the grunge music scene and I just experienced some serious trauma. What’s a girl supposed to do? I didn’t want to end up like Kristen, so I grabbed my bucket list, turned up my mixtape of the greatest 90’s hits and fled L.A.. The goal was to end up at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle, but I never could have guessed what would happen along the way.

At turns heartbreaking, inspiring, and laugh out loud funny, Runaway Train is a wild journey of a bygone era and a portrait of a one-of-a-kind teenage girl trying to find herself again the only way she knows how.

 

Social media

http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com

https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG

https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

https://www.facebook.com/leemgol/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8001634.Lee_Matthew_Goldberg

 

Intergalactic Enosis – Blog Tour #Sci-fi

Fallen Warriors
Intergalactic Enosis: The Pyxis System Book 1
by Aurora Welkin
Genre: SciFi RH Romance
We are warriors. We are shifters. We are Saberians.
We are the greatest…until we fall.
When the females of Saber mysteriously die, Prince Arana, the only remaining member of the Royal family, vows to govern the living and avenge the fallen.
As if being the new king was not enough, Arana faces a grave challenge. He and Beast, his sabertooth half, need to play nice long enough to accomplish the only thing that will save them—finding compatible females for his people.
He needs to lead his warriors by example, else his failure will cost him more than just his life. Will he locate a mate Beast will accept in time, or will he be leading to doom those he pledged to protect?
Fallen Warriors is a 39k words reverse harem romance that ends in a cliffhanger. Arana’s story climaxes in book 2 of the series, Saved Warriors. (No M/M). Happily ever after guaranteed!
** NOTE: This book contains violence, explicit sexual situations, bad-language, and content that some readers may find triggering. If this material offends you, please do not read. Visit aurorawelkin.com for further information.
If you love kicka** heroines, drool-worthy aliens who don’t mind sharing, dive in now! This series will appeal to fans of the Dragons in Exile series, the Ozar Triad series, and the Interstellar Brides series.
To find out what happens next and be notified of the upcoming releases, sign up for my newsletter!
Get Fallen Warriors FREE when you join Aurora’s newsletter!
**Get Fallen Warriors FREE when you use one of these codes Jan 6th- Feb 6th!
From B&N – use code BNPSDT100
From GooglePlay – use code HW98E6RN3FP6H
Saved Warriors
Intergalactic Enosis: The Pyxis System Book 2
Abducted by aliens? Check.
Caged with other female aliens, only wearing my birthday suit? Double-check.
Swoon-worthy male alien brooding my way? Triple-check.
Oh, God! I’m in trouble.
Saved Warriors, book 2 in the Intergalactic Enosis: The Pyxis System series, is a science fiction alien warrior MFMM reverse harem romance featuring a human female and three aliens that are determined to claim their fated mate. (No M/M). Happily ever after guaranteed!
Aurora Welkin is a Sci-Fi and Paranormal romance author. She lives in Sydney, but every chance she gets, she goes traveling all over Europe. She enjoys reading a little too much, and her loved ones usually find her with her nose in a book. In her free time, she loves strolling along the beach, drinking a cup of cocoa.
Aurora’s books can be read as sexy, “stand-alone” adventures, but when read in order, you get so much more from the overarching plot. Despite happenings inside her stories that might not be entirely sunshine and roses, her Happily Ever Afters are always free from cheating because even though her males are aliens, they are possessive alphas who know how to take care of their human women. Fair warning…her heroes are drool-worthy and her love scenes sizzling hot.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon

Book Spotlight- Cruiser Dreams – Janet Morris

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED SILISTRA QUARTET.

Cruiser Dreams

Cruiser Dreams

The cruisers called.

She answered.

Book II in the Kerrion Empire trilogy.

 Cruiser Dreams: A young woman inherits an empire beyond all imagining, where interstellar cruisers become sentient and the cosmos itself is transformed.

In this epic of political treachery, interstellar insecurity, human passion, and artificial intelligence, Morris continues the saga of the fiery girl Shebat, stolen away from a decaying and primitive Earth to become the adoptive heir to the Kerrion Empire.  Molded to serve the designs of the Kerrion state, Shebat instead becomes the harbinger of change sweeping the civilized stars.

Against the chaotic background of simultaneous social and technological revolutions, Shebat struggles to face the fact that the man she loves is her implacable enemy, that the man she reluctantly married is perhaps her only ally, and that her space-faring cruiser may be her only true friend.

Praise for Dream Dancer  Book One in the three-part saga of the Kerrion Empire:

“A fascinating and lyrical story, told with great invention…” – Peter Straub, author of Shadowland and Ghost Story

“Not since Dune have we witnessed a power struggle of such awesome intensity!” Eric Van Lustbader, author of The Ninja and The Bourne Legacy.

Praise for Cruiser Dreams, Book Two  in the bestselling three-part saga of the Kerrion Empire:

“Packed with intrigue, spiced with romance . . .” — Publishers Weekly

Fascinating . . .  Recommended!” — Booklist

Janet Morris is an international best-selling author who lives with her husband on Cape Cod.

Amazon UK Kindle

Amazon. Com

 

Dirty Dozen Character Interviews – Kairi Johnson #Sci-fi #Bundle

CHARACTER NAME Kairi Johnson

 

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

Unfortunately, I’m an orphan. I don’t know anything about my family—and I really wish I did!  I’m also a student at the University of Colorado where I have an awesome boyfriend, Josh and my best friend Dakota.

  • Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?

My adventure all started when I went with Josh on a spring break road trip to Padre Island, TX. I actually found …an engagement ring when I was packing the car! But it really went downhill from there when we ran into a tornado and then I got stranded by the side of the road. So, as for the ‘why’ I basically had to, I had to figure out what was going on so I could save myself and my friends.

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be

I definitely have a moral code. Since I don’t have a family, my friends are precious to me. I would do anything, and I do mean anything, to keep them safe.

  • Would you kill for those you love?

Definitely.

  • Would you die for those you love?

Definitely.

  • Who is your greatest friend?

My greatest friend is Dakota, she’s my sister from another mister. We met in the foster care system and I’d do anything for her.

  • How do you define ‘heroism?’

Heroism is showing up and standing up to difficulty even when you don’t understand what’s going on or you’re not sure you can succeed.

  • Tell us about your family?

I wish I knew.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset

I keep on going no matter what! Is that stubbornness? I guess it is.

I’m starting to get an inkling, however, that I might have a special power which might turn out to be my greatest skill/asset.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell).

I am much more insecure than I seem. I’m also very lonely. I get envious of other people who have families.

  • How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself to others as fiercely loyal and tough. With no family I’ve had to be tough and depend on myself.

  • How do you think others see you?

I think others see me as a regular woman, but they’re wrong. Josh says I’m pretty…

For the author

Books in which this character appears: Temporal Dreams

Links, short author bio…

Links

Temporal Dreams on Amazon

This also features in Spring Surprise Bundle

Spring Surprise on Bundle Rabbit

Spring Surprise – Universal Link

Lesley L. Smith has published seven science fiction novels including Temporal Dreams, The Quantum Cop, A Jack By Any Other Name, and Conservation of Luck.

Her short science fiction has been published in several venues including “Analog Science Fiction and Fact” and “Daily Science Fiction.” She is an active member of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW).

She is also a founder and editor of the speculative fiction ezine Electric Spec (http://www.electricspec.com). For more information, please see http://www.lesleylsmith.com.

Dirty Dozen and Returning Author Interview – Andrew P. Weston – Sci-Fi

#Dirtydozen #Meetanauthor #Scifi

Name: Andrew P. Weston

Please tell us about your publications.

My publications have been produced with the guidance and support of the team at Perseid Press and as you will see, I tend to favour themes with a science fiction, fantasy and paranormal bent.

The science fiction slot is filled with the IX Series, detailing the trials and tribulations of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again. Needless to say, they didn’t just disappear, and the series has grown into something of a gem.

The trilogy is comprised of the following books: The IXExordium of TearsPrelude of Sorrow. (Just released, get it while it’s piping hot!)

IXPreludeSorrowLargeAdvert - Copy.jpg

The fantasy paranormal niche is nicely filled by the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim. His adventures are told through a series of anthologies and full novels incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
The novels are: Hell BoundHell Hounds – (and Hell Gate out in the Fall of 2018 – stay tuned).

The anthologies that leapfrog the novels are: Grim – Doctors in Hell, Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell, and later this year, Devil’s Trull – Lovers in Hell.)
If you want to stay with the flow of Daemon Grim’s evolution, it would be best to start with Doctors in Hell, and then go on to Hell Bound; Pirates in Hell, followed by Hell Hounds. Do you see? Each of the anthology pieces is a complete short story in itself, but it also adds substance to Grim’s overall adventure.

What first prompted you to publish your work?

The challenge! There’s a well-known maxim that states we all have a book inside us. But how many actually sit down and do it? How many dedicate themselves to the uphill marathon of putting all those thoughts and ideas into a coherent mass, from which you have to pick out the nuts and bolts of an organized tale that grips and entertains? I nearly gave up a good half dozen times on my first book. But I’m glad I persisted … because now I can’t seem to stop.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process?

Now I’m progressing? Being too picky. When I write the first draft and complete my running edits, I’m paranoid about not repeating the mistakes I made in my first few manuscripts of overusing certain ‘descriptive’ words or expressions.

I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which makes me my own worst enemy when it comes to relaxing and letting things roll naturally. (The amount of hair pulling and fist clenching that goes on in my house would entertain the most avid WWE fan).

However, I’m addressing that particular challenge and hope to grow my hair back soon.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I think it’s true to say I plot by the seat of my pants!

My readers will know I do plan things out rather meticulously before I start writing, especially during the world building stage. The same goes when it comes to the story arc. I like to chart the course I intend to follow so I can prepare sub-plots and mini-arcs along the way. You know, those little side-stories that keep the reader engrossed. However, I’ve learned NOT to stick rigidly to plan. Some of my best, most heartrending scenes came to me ‘mid-type.’ And when I went with those spur-of-the-moment ideas and allowed them to expand until they were interwoven into my concept…? Well, I think my stories have been enriched in every case. (Mac McDonald’s death in The IX being one such panster moment. Originally, he wasn’t destined to die, you see J ).

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Nowhere near as influential as it should be.

I was very fortunate growing up, my mother would read to me every night before bed, and my father was always making weird and wonderful tales up with which to regale me. Whether it was written or no, I remember how I lived what I was listening to, imagining in my head what the monsters looked like, the creatures in the forests, the undersea caves full of treasure, etc. Storytelling stimulates the mind – in both the speaker and listener – and encourages a world of fantasy in ways mobile phones and iPods never will.

Which authors have influenced you the most?

Stephen Donaldson: for his use of descriptive prose. (and a darn good story-arc).

Tad Williams: for writing in a way that involves you in the most incredulous adventures as if they really could be a part of everyday life.

Neil Gaiman: Because it’s Neil Gaiman and I don’t think there’s a topic in existence he can’t turn into a weirdly, wonderful marvel that will hold you spellbound to the end.

Edgar Allen Poe: He inspired me to bear my dark soul in poetry, and damned the consequences.

What is your writing space like?

Think of what a gaily decorated and fully-laden Christmas Tree looks like after playful kittens high on catnip have been let loose on it for a while, and you won’t go far wrong.

Tell us about your latest piece?

I’m just concluding the Author’s Cut edition of Kiss of the Succubus, book 2 of the Cambion Journals. This particular series is being completed in tandem with the first Guardians trilogy. Both were debut works I completed as I broke into the business and I’m ensuring to give them the attention they deserve. I can’t wait for readers to meet these characters – especially Augustus Thorne. (You’ll see, ladies. You’ll see.)

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m still thinking about it. Once the Author’s cut versions of the Guardian Series and Cambion Journals are out the way, I have the foundations in place for several projects: Something from the IX world – most likely a prequel; the completion of the second trilogy from the Guardians universe; new adventures within the Cambion multiverse; the further exploits of Daemon Grim; and a brand new untitled project set in a dystopian future.
I know…so much to do, so little time, and only one pair of hands!

What is the last book you’ve read?

The Artisans of Albia trilogy by Cas Peace. (It comes as one book you see…a cunning ploy) I really do recommend it. It’s great fun to read and will definitely pique your interest in the follow-ups. (I know I’ll be reading them)

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

No. True readers love real books too much. The smell and atmosphere in a bookshop can’t be replaced. This subject reminds me of a wonderful little one-liner the actor Stephen Fry said to an interviewer who asked him a similar question. His reply ran along the lines of…”Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

Isn’t that awesome? And it makes a powerful point, doesn’t it?
Yes, I enjoy ebooks and the ease by which you can buy them online. But buying and reading them that way will never usurp actually holding the real deal in your hands and feeling its cover, the texture of the page, the smell of the printing process and the ambience of a shop. Heaven.

Is there a message in your books?
Always. The thing is, spotting them.

Some are tongue-in-cheek. From the very beginning, I’ve sprinkled cross-references to my other works in each novel. Little phrases here and there. A name, a title, a term of endearment or address. (Here’s a good one – when The Rage of Augustus, Book 1 of the Cambion Series becomes available, see if you can spot a direct nod toward ME – Andrew P. Weston, author). I’m there if you look carefully. And no, I’m not talking about my name on the cover. J

Apart from that, I do like to include some form of real-world moral or ethical dilemma within my story arcs that helps the reader appreciate, “What if?” What would I do if I faced that predicament? Would I be as restrained? That strong? That determined? Or would I simply take the easy course and go with the flow?
Again, they are there if you look, and each of them are specific to the story arc in question.

Links:

Links to Prelude to Sorrow

Amazon UK

Amazon

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston

IXPRELUDEFINALinstallment

 

Bio:
Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and criminal law graduate, he is the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Sherry D Ramsey #fantasy #scifi #Immortalsbundle

 

 

immortals-fb-bannerAuthor name: Sherry D. Ramsey

 *Please tell us about your publications. I enjoy writing both short fiction and novels. I have a series of science fiction novels published by Tyche Books (Alberta, Canada) (The Nearspace series: One’s Aspect to the Sun, Dark Beneath the Moon, and Beyond the Sentinel Stars); a middle-grade fantasy from Dreaming Robot Press (New Mexico, USA) (The Seventh Crow); and a self-published urban fantasy/mystery (The Murder Prophet­). I also have two collections of previously-published short stories, To Unimagined Shores and The Cache and Other Stories.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process? I feel somewhat frustrated that I don’t write faster—in the current publishing climate there’s a certain pressure to publish consistently and often for greatest success. I see many authors publishing three or more books a year, and I just don’t seem to work at those speeds. Last year I had a short story collection, a new novel, and a couple of short stories come out, and that seems like a lot for me. I know it’s usually not a good idea to compare oneself to other writers, but I would like to be able to work a little faster. I’m not a perfectionist—but I am a bit of a procrastinator. Maybe I need to work on that!

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I’ve always been a pantser, for sure. A long time ago I tried outlining a novel, and then found that I was no longer interested in writing it; the fun of “discovery” seemed to have disappeared during the outlining process. Lately, though, I’ve begun to find a middle ground—I’ve discovered that minimal outlining actually helps my writing process and reduces the chance that I’ll run out of steam/ideas on a project. So now I guess I’m a hybrid between pantser and plotter. Plantser?

If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat. I think I’d have to choose Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe to have dinner with. No doubt he’d wax forth on some fascinating topic for dinner conversation, and of course the meal would be superbly prepared by his chef, Fritz. We might have corn, “roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted,” since Wolfe considered that to be ambrosia. It’s probably cheating, but I expect Archie Goodwin would also be there for dinner, so I’d get two characters for the price of one. If I were particularly fortunate, Wolfe would show me his orchid collection after dinner. The perfect literary character interaction!

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? I think that offering some work for free can be a valuable promotional tool for writers who would like to find new readers. Many readers are wary of taking a chance on a new-to-them writer, and most of us watch how we spend our hard-earned dollars these days. It’s also a way to introduce a new reader to a series or character. I don’t think it’s demeaning to authors or their work when it’s done sensibly, professionally, and as a promotional choice.

Sort these into order of importance: Good plot, Great characters, Awesome world-building, Technically perfect. For me, the characters come first. Sometimes a character arrives on the doorstep of your mind with a suitcase in hand and not even a name, but they have a story they want you to tell. You can’t turn them away. I think most of the time, we keep reading a book or put it down forever because of the characters. If you love the characters, you can forgive a lot of other sins in a book. Plot comes next—the smooth, flowing experience of reading a well-plotted book is such a rewarding experience for a reader, I think we should always strive to create that as writers. World-building is important, of course, and sometimes the world can even be like another character in a book—but the most fabulously-imagined world can’t carry a book if the characters and story are not strong. Technical perfection—I’m not convinced it exists. I do some work as an editor, with two co-editors, and even working as a team I don’t think we’ve ever ended up with a technically perfect work. It’s important to create the best work you can, but striving for perfection might mean no-one else ever gets to read it. I think we have to learn when our work is “close enough” to perfection, and let it go.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I write many flavours of both science fiction and fantasy, so I’ve done research on topics from medical nanomachines to particle accelerators to how magic might be fueled by different minerals. One of the most interesting things I researched lately was the question of how two machines/computers, each created by a different alien species, might learn to communicate. I learned a lot of fascinating things about both computing and language acquisition!

Which authors have influenced you the most? I read a LOT, and over the years I think there have been many authors who’ve influenced me in my writing. I love to write humour and humorously convoluted situations, so the influences of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Connie Willis are there. I love science and the future, so Nancy Kress, Jack McDevitt, and classics like Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl have left their mark. And I love to work with the wide reaches of imagination in fantasy, so Dave Duncan, Maggie Stiefvater, and Elizabeth Bear have made an impression. So many more I could name!

What is your writing space like? I’m very fortunate to have a small but wonderful office at home. I have a normal sitting desk and also a treadmill desk, where I try to spend at least part of each writing day. Too much sitting is not good for me! The walls of my office are covered with overflowing bookshelves and inspiring artwork, and I have a large southwest-facing window that gets lots of light and houses many plants. There’s one extra chair so a friend or family member can come in and visit. This sounds idyllic, but now add in lots of notes, maps, knickknacks, filing cabinets, binders—and some folks might find it too cluttery! For me, it’s inspiring and comfortable, though, and although I might sometimes write elsewhere in the house with a laptop, I always come back to my office as my main creative space.

Tell us about your latest piece? Coincidentally, one of the projects I’m currently working on is another Olympia Investigations story, featuring Acacia Sheridan, the main character from “The Goddess Problem.” Acacia is a private detective with a special gift – she can communicate and interact with supernatural creatures of all sorts. Her clientele includes ghosts, demons, fae, and many more denizens of the otherworld…which makes for some interesting cases. In the new story, her client—who is also a suspect in a series of murders—is a vampire, so I’m having some fun playing with traditional vampire-story tropes.

What’s your next writing adventure? I have another Nearspace book underway, and several other partially-finished projects trying to get my attention. I’ve also seen a few interesting calls for short story submissions in the past few weeks, so ideas are percolating for those as well. I may write slowly, but there’s never a lack of things to write!

What is the last book you’ve read? I just finished listening to the audiobook of Blade Runner by Philip K. Dick. Although of course I shouldn’t have been surprised, I was struck by how much deeper the book is than the movie (although I’ve always loved the movie) and what themes and ideas did not make it into the movie, despite being central to the book. I never expect movie adaptations to be particularly true to a book—the demands of the media are completely different, after all—but the book gave me a lot to think about in terms of choices made at the time concerning what to include and what to leave out. How do we decide what’s vital to a story? Can you separate out certain themes and still have a complete tale? Lots to ponder.

Links

Website: http://www.sherrydramsey.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdramsey

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

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

 

Bio

Sherry D. Ramsey is a speculative fiction writer, editor, publisher, creativity addict and self-confessed Internet geek. When she’s not writing, she makes jewelry, gardens, hones her creative procrastination skills on social media, and consumes far more coffee and chocolate than is likely good for her.

Her books include the Nearspace series from Tyche Books, One’s Aspect to the SunDark Beneath the Moon, and Beyond the Sentinel Stars; the middle grade fantasy The Seventh Crow; The Murder Prophet; and two collections of short stories. With her partners at Third Person Press, she has co-edited six anthologies of regional short fiction and a novel. A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Writer’s Council, Sherry is also a past Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer of SF Canada.

Sherry lives in Nova Scotia with her husband, children, and dogs. You can visit her online at www.sherrydramsey.com, find her on Facebook, and keep up with her much more pithy musings and visual life on Twitter and Instagram @sdramsey.

Sherry’s book The Goddess Problem features in Immortals

Universal Link https://books2read.com/Immortalsbundle

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/immortals

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-immortals-bundle

Amazon http://amzn.to/2BiYsIh

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-immortals-bundle-a-l-butcher/1127826108

I Tunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1335201648

 

Character Interview Number Thirty-Eight – Estri of Silistra

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s) Estri Hadrath diet Estrazi

 

Age: Three hundred forty Silistran years old

Please tell us a little about yourself.

First, I must say that your language is difficult, not one intuitive to me. Nevertheless I shall try to answer you in your own tongue. Excuse my syntax, and I will tell you what I can.

Once I ruled the greatest house of pleasure in the civilized stars. When I reached my majority of three hundred years, I undertook a quest to find my father at the behest of my dead mother. So I left my position as Well-Keepress in my beloved Astria, and nothing has been the same for me since. All I thought I knew, I now question. So many truths proved false, so many assumptions groundless, so much love lost and found. I have greater powers now than I once did, but wisdom can triumph over power, and color all life anew.

I have been many things: aristocrat, outcast, picara, slave, ruler. I have served powers greater than my own, and baser than my soul could stand. I have had everything, lost everything, and gained knowledge by seeking love along the way. Doubtless I am wiser now than when I began my journey out of Astria, having learned that true wisdom comes only to a loving heart. But where love lies, there hatred takes root, and envy, and fear, and dangers undreamt. And yet, love is the key to every mystery: to life and death and creation itself. For without love, what are we, but a brief glimmer seen against eternal night? Where are we in this combustible universe? What arms hold us safe? What we learn, exploring, brings us home to ourselves, to our own loves, our own hearts. Creation plays no favorites, seeking only change. Love can surmount all, I once believed as a naive girl, and believe it yet.

 

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Copper -skinned, copper-haired, with a body to please the gods.

 

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Silistra’s moral code I still hold as mine: my world was wrecked and sundered by unbridled lusts for power. We who remain must rebuild not only our population, but our faith that whatever man destroys, nature can put to rights . . . given time.

 

Would you kill for those you love? I have done so, and killed that I myself survive.

 

Would you die for those you love? Would that I had the chance. To die for something is an honor.  To die for nothing is a cruelty greater than any other.

 

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? Ha. You must not know my people, to ask such a thing. Some say my strengths are in my blood, that I was bred to this battle between the spirit and the flesh, between man and woman, between life ineffable and life everlasting, a battle long conceived before ever I was born. Some say my coming was devoutly to be wished, and others say I and those who love me are travesties, a flaw in the natural order. I myself say that life and love are their own justification, where passion rules.

 

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why?What entitles you to know my heart, my mind, my soul? Shall I feed you platitudes, disarming truisms and children’s tales? Of my beloveds, you need to know very little, perhaps only one thing: “We are all bound, the greatest no less than the meanest,” as my lover says. I prize the sky and earth and every creature upon it with a love fierce enough to defeat even the foolishness of man.

 

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? I have whatever walks or crawls or slithers or swims, slinks or flies free in our air. We are part of our world’s nature, sometimes its victims, but never its masters. I have friends among the honest killers of the wild, for all kill to eat and thrive and risk their own lives so their offspring will survive. Sometimes I ride on the backs of those who roam the plains or stalk their prey, or live cheek by jowl with them; sometimes not. But they are not mine any more or less than I am theirs.

 

Do you have a family? Tell us about them. You haven’t the time to hear my story. I’ve written some of it; look there to see my mother, my father, my lost child, my relations, deadly every one. My bloodline is old: to live so long, to prowl the universe and shower in star’s breath, my family well learned the wisdom of survival, when to destroy and when to succor.

 

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? Where I live, some can survive for hundreds of years or more. When my mother bade me seek my father, she sent me on a trek more dangerous than my young and foolish self understood. Before then, I thought that men and women were put on the ground to reproduce, to conserve, not to destroy. To claim my heritage, I learned hard lessons — about the nature of life, and the degree to which we are all controlled by the wisdom of our sex. And thus did I blindly go forth to claim my inheritance, thinking all I had to do was ask and the universe would serve my pleasure. I learned otherwise, in the doing; that the world turns by a greater will than mine; that reality is the child of biology, that all things come into being by strife; battling against men, against women, and sometimes against the gods themselves.

I learned many lessons about what men will do to win, and what women will do, and why. I learned that men who punish men and women lust to rule all; that women who punish men and women lust after dominion, and how dangerous both can be.

From childhood’s days to these, I have strived to keep my wits well about me, and shape my own fate.

 

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. In my three hundredth years, I was known as the most beautiful and exotic courtesan in the civilized stars. I commanded a great price.

 

Tell Us About Your World

 

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Silistra is a planet in the Bipedal Federate Group.  Our main exports are our life-extending serums. Our men, in their romance with machines and technology, warred until our planet and its ecology were nearly destroyed and life on the surface became nearly impossible. One result of this war was that conception became very difficult, and those who could conceive a child had power. Then did our leaders develop the life-extending serum which gave us some hope of not becoming extinct.  For thousands of years, a few survivors languished in underground shelters, while women took power away from the men that had nearly destroyed us all.

When the time came that Silistrans could live above the ground, we instituted the Well system, where fertile women could come to find a man who could impregnate her, and the nature of our culture, under the guidance of our spiritual leaders, became life-conserving, rather than life-destroying.

 

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. On Silistra, some believe in gods, some are descended from gods, some meet with gods, face to face. Whether or not we believe in gods, the gods who made us take a hand in our fates. We are a culture that values those skills by which an individual mind can shape the future. Our dhareners, interpreters of the will of those gods who walk with mankind, guide our development by choosing our paths and making our laws.

 

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I have been to places on Silistra that are thought mythical and mystical, where few outsiders have ever been; I have gone to the places where gods hold sway, and seen what few Silistrans have ever seen. I have traveled among the stars, and farther.
What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) On civilized Silistra, our government is controlled by our dhareners, our spiritual leaders, and by the Well-Keepresses, hereditary matriarchs, or by the cahndors, hereditary patriarchs. But our governments have no simple rule by the lowest common denominator as seen on other worlds, nor the rule by wealth, nor are we controlled by a theocracy as you will know the term. The composition of our high councils varies, depending on where one lives or travels. Like our government or not, it has kept us safe from the depredations of plutocracy and the tyranny of mercantilists and their machines. Some parts of Silistra are timocratic, some oligarchic, and some, such as the Wells, are controlled by a hereditary matriarchy or patriarchy.

 

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another?We are few, and some are black, brown, copper-colored, red or white. On Silistra, what is in the heart, the mind, and the bloodline determines status, not the color of skin.

 

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Silistran myths are predominantly memories, from before the fall of man. My favorite is the legend of Se’keroth, and if you read my writings, you will see why.

We also have a divination system, called Ors Yris-tera, that guides some of us and helps us forecast the Weathers of Life.  But on Silistra, any legend that survives is a memory of truths from the past or a portent of the future. Or both.

 

What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Most of us live without technology, as you know it, by choice. The off-worlders who visit try to seduce us with their machines of ease and speed, but we have lived upon and below the surface of a world ravaged by technology for too long to be fooled. True strength lies in the one’s mind and heart. If we wish to do more than a person should, the old weapons and tools of our fallen past still exist in our ‘hides,’ where those who lust for those can still find them.

 

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links:

 

High Couch of Silsitra:         https://www.amazon.com/High-Couch-Silistra-Quartet-Book-ebook/dp/B01B1M1JBY/

 

The Golden Sword…………. https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Sword-Silistra-Quartet-Book-ebook/dp/B01FCMA7LM/
The Silistra Quartet consists of four books in chronological order:  High Couch of Silistra, The Golden Sword, Wind from the Abyss, and The Carnelian Throne. The first two books are now available in hardcover, trade paper, and e-book “Author’s Cut” editions from Perseid Press.  The final two books will be available from Perseid in 2017.

 

The Bantam and Baen editions of the Silistra Quartet are out of print.

 

Author name: Janet Morris

 

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

http://www.theperseidpress.com/

https://sacredbander.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Janet-Morris/e/B001HPJJB8/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
https://www.blackgate.com/2016/03/19/vintage-treasures-the-silistra-quartet-by-janet-morris/

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Book Spotlight – The Golden Sword

Book – The Golden Sword – Book II of the Silistra Quartet

Janet Morris – fantasy, science-fiction, epic

 

Beginning in May 02 2015, after more than 30 years of print, the four volumes of The Silistra Quartet are being published in all-new Author’s Cut editions by Perseid Press, revised by Janet Morris.  The second of these, The Golden Sword, released in May 2016.

The Silistra Quartet is a series of fictional memoirs by the High Couch of  Silsitra herself, Estri Hadrath diet Estrazi. The books chronicle the adventures of the most beautiful courtesan in tomorrow’s universe, The Silistra Quartet is Mythic Fiction, combining elements of science fiction and fantasy with mythology, metaphysics, and magical realism from a distant realm.

The Golden Sword

Front Page

Overview: The Battle of the Sexes is never over…

She had the power to create planets.
The sixty carved bones of the Yris-tera foretold her ancient fate.
Her heritage of power took her beyond time and space and stole from her the
one man she loved.

Enslaved on the planet Silistra tomorrow’s most beautiful courtesan unleashes the
powers of the gods.

Silistra2_goldsword_AC

Overview:  High Couch of Silistra:  Biology dictates reality

One woman’s mythic search for self-realization in a distant tomorrow…

Her sensuality was at the core of her world, her quest beyond the civilized stars.

Aristocrat. Outcast. Picara. Slave. Ruler.

Praise for the Silistra Quartet:

“Engrossing characters in a marvelous adventure.” – Charles N. Brown, Locus Magazine

“The amazing and erotic adventures of the most beautiful courtesan in tomorrow’s universe” – Frederik Pohl

“To be an outcast in Silsitra means travel and Estri is a traveler between stars and planets as well as between time. The best single example of prostitution in fantasy is Janet Morris’ Silistra series. […] Each the books exhibits a consciousness its form as an historical autobiography; the author appends glossaries for each novel and includes prologues, epilogues, biographical sketches, and copious notes to guide the reader into a better grasp of the mult-levels of the work, […]  To be an outcast in Silsitra means travel and Estri is a traveler between stars and planets as well as between time.  — Anne K. Kaler, The Picara From Hera To Fantasy Heroine

FOR ADVENTUROUS READERS ONLY
“Long ago the human colonists of Silistra waged a war so vicious that centuries later the planet has not recovered. Men and women alike suffer from infertility — the deadliest legacy of that deadly war. Because the birth rate is so low, the Silistrans value above all the ability to bear children . . . and their social order is based on their fertility and sexual prowess.
On a planet desperate for population, women hold the keys to power. These are the adventures of Estri, Well-Keepress of Astria and holder of the ultimate seat of control: the High Couch of Silistra.” — Jim Baen, publisher, Baen Books.
 

“The best single example of prostitution used in fantasy is Janet Morris’ Silistra series… Estri’s character is most like that of Ishtar who describes herself as “‘a prostitute compassionate am I'” because she “symbolizes the creative submission to the demands of instinct, to the chaos of nature …the free woman, as opposed to the domesticated woman”. Linking Estri with these lunar and water symbols is not difficult because of the moon’s eternal virginity (the strength of integrity) links with her changeability (the prostitute’s switching of lovers). […] Morris strengthens the moon imagery by having Estri as a well-keepress because wells, fountains, and the moon as the orb which controls water have long been associated with fertility, […] In a sense, she is like the moon because she is apparently eternal, never waxing or waning except in her pursuit of the quest; she is the prototypical wanderer like the moon and Ishtar. She is the eternal night symbol of the moon in opposition to the Day-Keepers […] At her majority (her three hundredth birthday), she is given a silver-cubed hologram letter from her mother, containing a videotape of her conception by the savage bronzed barbarian god from another world. […] If Estri’s mother then acts as a bawd, willing her lineage as Well-Keepress to her daughter, then Estri’s great-grandmother Astria as foundress of the Well becomes a further mother-bawd figure when she offers her prophetic advice in her letter: “Guard Astria for you may lose it, and more. Beware of one who is not as he seems. Stray not in the port city of Baniev …look well about you, for your father’s daughter’s brother seeks you”. Having no brother that she knows of does not stay Estri from undertaking the heroic quest of finding her father.” – Anne K. Kaler, The Picara: From Hera to Fantasy Heroine.