Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space

Today's special guest is H. Peter Alesso. As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, Peter has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of six books. (Website


What interested you in writing science fiction?

Science fiction novels provide wonderful adventures in unexpected places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all my life including stories such as Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series and it inspired a story that I wanted to share. Midshipman Henry Gallant was the result.

Did you research asteroids/ asteroid belts, comets, meteors and other dangers in the universe?

Yes. I feel that science fiction should be based upon actual scientific principles. I researched the technology included in the story and tried to project their development path into the next century.

Did you have to research genetic engineering? How do you weave that thread through the book's plot?

Genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Midshipman Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future threat: Artificial Intelligence.

How did you arrive at the plot?

I worked to develop the characters and basic circumstances of a possible future. Then I let the characters control the flow of action by letting them behavior according to their own make-up.

Will there be more books in this series? What are you working on next?

I am considering a sequel.

As the last star fighter in squadron 111, Midshipman Henry Gallant is on his way from Jupiter to Mars. With the United Planets' fleet on the verge of annihilation, he can expect no help as he passes through the asteroid belt and threatening aliens. With so much uncertainty about the aliens’ capabilities and intentions, analyzing the captured computer equipment in Gallant’s possession could prove crucial.

The fate of Earth could rest on the abilities of Midshipman Henry Gallant. Unfortunately, it is his abilities that have been much in doubt during his tour of duty. In an era of genetic engineering, he is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. His classmates and superior officers have all expressed their concern that he will not be up to the demands of the space service. Only bright and attractive junior officer Kelsey Mitchel has shown any sympathy for him. Now as his navigator on the last fighter in squadron 111, her life as well as a good many others, depends of Henry Gallant.

A massive solar flare roared across the pockmarked face of the sun producing static interference on every display console operating in the tiny spacecraft as it approached the United Planets' battle cruiser Repulse in orbit around Jupiter.

“No need to worry young man, we’re almost there,” said the aged pilot.

“I’m not concerned about the storm,” said newly commissioned Midshipman Henry Gallant. Eagerly, he shifted in his seat to get a better glimpse of the massive ship that was to become his new home for the next two years.

The pilot maneuvered expertly to minimize the worst effects of the x-ray and gamma radiation until the craft made its tortured way from the sunlit brilliance into the cold black shadow of Repulse. The tiny ship quivered gently as its tractors reached out to the behemoth warship, slowly drawing alongside.

When it attached to the Repulse’s docking hatch, Gallant transferred to the warship and made his way to the bridge. He found the Officer of the Watch standing next to the empty captain’s chair surrounded by its nest of displays and virtual readouts. The officer rested his hand briefly on the panel concealing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) tactical analyzer.

“Midshipman Henry Gallant reporting aboard, sir,” he said, standing as tall as his seventeen-year-old gangly figure would allow. He tugged at his uniform blouse to straighten the buttons into proper alignment.

“Welcome aboard, Mr. Gallant. I’m Lieutenant Mather.” Mather was of average height, barrel-chested with sharp-angular facial features. Stoic, he showed little interest in the new arrival. “Please give me your comm pin.”

Gallant handed over his pin and Mather made several quick selections on a touch screen console. He swiped the pin passed the chip reader which loaded the ID and personnel information into Repulse’s computer.

Gallant took the opportunity to look around the spacious semicircular compartment with its numerous apparatus and instruments. The captain's seat was centrally located and he noticed that many of the other chairs were also unoccupied. Apparently some watch stations were only manned during conditions of higher alert.

He observed the watch standers carrying out their ritual duties. The communication panel was manned by a midshipman who looked occupied with an incoming message. The radar station was also manned, but by a technician who was diligently studying his display. Gallant couldn't tell what he was tracking, but there were several blips on the scope. The weapons and astrogator positions were vacant; several science analysis stations were operating automatically.

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY winner's choice of $100 Amazon or gift card.

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Contact: H. Peter Alesso


Monday, July 29, 2013


Today's special guest is Robyn M. Pierce, an up-and-coming author from Las Vegas, where the night is never-ending. She is a writer of paranormal romance and, now, New Adult romance.
Catch her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website today!


What were your favorite books growing up?

My fifth grade teacher introduced me to Harry Potter, so I grew up loving that. Aside from that, in high school, I came across Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy  series and absolutely fell in love.

Has your taste in books changed over the years? Which genres do you gravitate to now and why?

I used to always read YA, and that hasn’t changed over the years, but I do read more romance and more paranormal books than I used to. I love giving Indie authors a chance, so if I see two books in the same category that I like, I’d most likely choose one over the other if it’s Indie.

Who are the most memorable male and female characters you've ever read about?

I’d have to say Rose Hathaway and Dmitri Belikov from Vampire Adacemy. From the very beginning of their stories, I was drawn in, and their characters really made me stay witht he series as it progressed.

Why did you choose to be an author, and why did you select your particular genre?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I chose it. In high school, after I decided I didn’t want to be a lawyer, I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I had no plans for college and really no drive for anything. When I took a composition course my senior year, I expected it to be the same old boring English class, but my teacher had us writing stories. When the time came for our first big submission, I wrote a 9-page short story called “Masquerade,” which has, over the years, evolved into the third book in my series The Lanistter Chronicles. The story has changed so much, but it was that class -- no, that teacher, who made me believe I could even become a published author.

What do you like most - and least - about being an author?

I’d have to say the creativity is both my favorite and least favorite part. I love having the freedom to do whatever I want -- or, really, whatever my characters want -- with my stories. But at the same time, a lot of things take away my creative drive -- if there are a lot of stressful things going on, if I had a breakup, etc. It’s really frustrating sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I’m finishing up Masquerade and then diving immediately into the fourth book of The Lanistter Chronicles when that’s done. When I wrap that up, I’m hoping to start working on the first book in a new series. The series will be called Hell’s Gems, revolving around a 19-year-old girl who has just moved into a deceased relative’s home in an attempt to gain a little freedom for the start of college. Almost as soon as she moves in, though, a real estate agent comes by looking to buy it from her. Finding him to be suspicious, she declines his offer. Later on, a guy from one of her classes comes by saying that the real estate agent is looking to literally raise Hell on Earth. The setting will be Las Vegas, and the series will definitely show just how sinful Sin City can be.


Title: Paradox
By- Robyn M. Pierce
Genre: New Adult Romance
Paradox is a complete novella at 30,759 words. NEW ADULT ROMANCE
Expected Publication Date- July 9th, 2013

They knew from the beginning it was wrong.

Everything in her life pointed her away from him.
Everything beckoned him toward her.

When Rachel met Taylor, their connection was immediate and undeniable. With so many things in common, these friends found themselves falling inevitably and too fast to stop. There was but one thing that was between them:
Rachel had a boyfriend.

A year after parting ways, Taylor’s and Rachel’s individual lives have thrust them back toward one another, and the resulting fireworks will leave more than one person burned.


Twitter- @MissRobynPierce

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Billionaire Princess

Today's special guest is Christina Tetrault. In her own words, Christina says:

I wrote my first story with characters similar to those in the Sweet Valley Twins books at the age of 10 on my grandmother's manual typewriter. As I got older my stories and characters became more mature. During my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth, I read my first romance novel and fell in love with the genre. I have been writing contemporary romance ever since.

Today I live with my husband, three beautiful daughters and two dogs in Massachusetts. Whenever I have a free moment you'll find me either reading a romance novel or working on my most current story.


She was raised as an American Princess

Following the betrayal of a former lover, Sara Sherbrooke swore off relationships, too afraid she would be used again. Instead she has devoted all her energy to succeeding in politics without relying on her family name. That is until one night in Hawaii with her brother's best friend Christopher Hall.

He is a self-made billionaire

Technological genius and CEO of Hall Technology, Christopher Hall first met Sara Sherbrooke when he and Jake Sherbrooke were college roommates. While attending Jake's wedding in Hawaii, Christopher is reintroduced to Sara, a beauty who was once way out of his league. But now as the most eligible bachelor in Silicon Valley, the only thing stopping Christopher from pursuing Sara is the thought of betraying his best friend.

As they work together to promote a new education initiative, neither can deny the attraction between them. But will their growing romance be worth all of the consequences?


"All set." Sara forced herself to smile despite the tightness in her chest. She couldn't explain it, but she felt as if each step up the stairs was taking her further away from her life as she knew it and closer to something else. Something new and unexpected.

Christopher took a step back so she could enter the plane. "Excellent. As soon as you're settled we can go."

Forty minutes into the flight, Sara ditched her jacket and reached for her cup of tea. Both she and Christopher had finished their breakfast and had gone straight to work. Or at least she tried to work. Her brain had other ideas. It wanted to focus on the man seated across from her. Once again Sara's eyes traveled back to Christopher, the man who visited her dreams every night. The man, who despite knowing it was a huge mistake, she wanted to get to know better.

Despite her inability to work, Christopher didn't suffer from the same fate. Since opening his laptop, he hadn't looked up once. A fact that actually annoyed her a little. Having a man ignore her wasn't something that ever happened.

Perhaps sensing her gaze, Christopher looked up, his warm chocolate brown eyes locking on her face. Heat instantly scorched her cheeks. It was one thing to study someone but another to be caught doing it.

"Sorry, I haven't been very good company," he said, his eyes never leaving her face. "I'm almost done with this."

The soft leather felt cool against the back of her thighs as she shifted in her seat, causing her skirt to ride up her thigh. "Don't worry, I'm fine."

Christopher's eyes dropped down to the screen once again. She heard his fingers moving over the keyboard then he closed the laptop and his gaze once again settled on her face.

"All done. I'm all yours.”  His mouth curved into a wide smile.

Memories of their one night together exploded in her mind.  They hadn't spoken of it on the three occasions they'd seen each other yet she couldn't help but wonder if he ever thought about it. Too bad asking is out of the question.

"You should be careful who you say that to." She hoped a little teasing would help her think of him as a brother type rather than a lover. After all she joked with Jake all the time. "Say that to the wrong woman and you'll find yourself holding a pumice stone giving a pedicure."

Without warning he leaned forward and lifted her leg toward him. The feel of his hand on her bare calf sent shivers through her body.

"Since it looks like you had one recently, I guess I'm safe." He lifted his head from his inspection of her coral pink toenails. Slowly he put her foot back down to the floor and released it. But even after he moved his hand away she could feel it on her skin.



Christina will be awarding a $15.00 Amazon or BN gift card (Winner's Choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Author Links:

Twitter: @cgricci

Buy Links: B&N

Monday, July 22, 2013

Penalty Clause

Today's special guest is Lori Ryan, an award winning author and stay-at-home mom. Her second book, Penalty Clause, won first place in the romance category in Lucky Cinda Publishing’s Annual Global Writer’s Contest in 2013.

Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.

More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two. 

Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs.


***First Place Winner Romance Category, Lucky Cinda Publishing's Annual Global Writer's Contest, 2013***

To keep her, he'll have to gamble it all!

Andrew Weston and Jill Walsh had to be the two most unlikely people to fall in love. When Jill's first husband's love for her simply fizzled and died, Jill knew she'd never trust that love could last again. After Andrew's first love betrayed him in the most brutal way possible, he knew he might fall in love again someday, but there was no way he'd ever make himself vulnerable again by confessing those feelings if he did.

Fate had a different ending in mind for these two, though, and when Andrew discovers his love for Jill, he knows the only way to get her to stay with him forever is to offer her an iron clad penalty clause in a prenuptial agreement. He stays with her forever or he loses everything he owns. The millions he's worked for, his property, his cars, everything. Now he just needs to hope that's enough to hold onto Jill forever.

Five out of Five Stars
"Lori Ryan has done it again...I am just drawn in. On the hook. I want to know what is going to happen next. There were times when I really was physically holding my breath!"

Five out of Five Stars "I've been waiting for this book and wasn't disappointed. Great story and great characters. Andrew is sexy and steamy and hot!"


Jill settled back for the rest of the trip, leaning back in her seat and watching the road in front of them. They drove in silence for a while; the kind of comfortable silence that neither felt driven to break or fill simply for the sake of it. When Andrew spoke, his tone was serious for the first time in the trip.

“Do you still want it? Family? Love? Kids?” Andrew asked Jill.

Jill felt a kick in her gut at the question and measured her response. “I do. The only problem is that I no longer believe that love can be lasting and I can’t figure out a way around that. And, I know that Jake was an ass, at best,” Jill stopped and grinned at Andrew, acknowledging the reference to Jake’s ass-ness once again.

“But...” She took a shaky breath and continued, “When we got married, we were in love. It just died somewhere along the way. I honestly don’t know how I would fall in love again or trust that my husband wouldn’t leave again. I think I’d walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time.”

Jill was quiet for a minute before she continued. “With Jake, I was so sure, so confident of our love and our marriage until one day I was completely blindsided. I don’t want to be blindsided like that again. I don’t think I could handle that.”

Lori will be awarding a Giana Bernini Handbag to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY)

A Giana Bernini Handbag will be awarded to a randomly drawn host. Tour hosts who do a review will get two entries into the contest. All others will receive a single entry. (US ONLY)

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Her Sister

Today's special guest is award-winning author Karen Rose Smith. Karen was born in Pennsylvania. Although she was an only child, she remembers the bonds of an extended family. Since her father came from a family of ten and her mother, a family of seven, there were always aunts, uncles and cousins visiting on weekends. Family is a strong theme in her books and she suspects her childhood memories are the reason.

In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both began married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home-decorating business.  She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing romance fiction. Now she writes romances and mysteries full time. She has sold 82 novels since 1991.

Presently, she is hard at work on a three-book series for Harlequin Special Edition as well as a three-book mystery series for Kensington.

Married to her college sweetheart since 1971, believing in the power of love and commitment, she envisions herself writing relationship novels, both romance and mystery, for a long time to come!


Clare's little sister, Lynnie, was abducted twenty-seven years ago.  Now the retired detective who has never been able to let go of the cold case has a lead.  Lynnie could be alive!

Clare's neighbor, Joe, an occasional friend until now, gives her support and...wants more than friendship.

Clare's mom, Amanda, thrown together again with her ex-husband into a crisis discovers forgotten love beneath the regrets.

Clare's sixteen year old daughter, Shara, decides to run from her problems instead of facing them.

A devoted sister, a turmoiled mom and a rebellious daughter find their way back to each other in this contemporary ebook about three generations who discover love can knit their family back together again.


Where is Lynnie?  Where did she go?

In her mind, five-year-old Clare Thaddeus called to her little sister—Come back, Lynnie.  Please come back.

The huge policeman crouched down in front of Clare's mother at the sofa and said in a deep, slow voice, "Mrs. Thaddeus, I know you're terribly upset.  But I need details.  We've got an hour before daylight.  If your daughter wandered outside—"

Clare's father, who'd been talking to another man in blue, glanced at her, and Clare huddled down deeper into the big green armchair.  Her dad didn't come to her but rather went to her mom, sank down beside her and wrapped his arm around her.  Then he spoke to the officer.  "Our daughter, Lynnie, is three.  She would never go outside into the dark on her own."

"Tell us again where you were last night," the policeman demanded in a not-so-nice voice.

"I worked late, preparing a brief."

"Until five a.m.?"

"Yes, until five a.m.  As I told you, I always check the girls' rooms before turning in.  Lynnie wasn't in her bed.  I woke my wife.  We looked through the whole house and then we called you."

Clare had been sleeping in her brand new room.  They'd moved in here—she studied her hand and counted her fingers—five days ago.  Boxes were still stacked down here and upstairs.  The house was okay.  There were more rooms for her and Lynnie to play hide and seek.  But she didn't like being alone in her own room at night.  She'd liked it better when she and Lynnie had slept in the same room.  She was supposed to watch her sister.  She was always supposed to look out for Lynnie.  That's what big sisters did.


Karen will be awarding a Landau charm bracelet and a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Building Ennara's World

Today's special guest is Angela Myron. In her own words, she says:

Like many writers, I have a full life in which I juggle many duties and joys. I love to cook, garden, and play with my twins. As a mother to toddlers, I write whenever I am not helping them navigate their day--which typically means in the early mornings and early afternoons when they sleep, and sometimes when Grandma comes to visit.

I was twenty-two when writing became a passion of mine. I've been doing it in one form or another ever since. But it took me a very long time to follow my heart's desire to tell stories.

For years, I simply journaled. I delved into writing articles for newsletters and grant proposals. I settled into technical writing, often finding myself a one-person writing, editing, design, app development, and publication team. I learned the basics of journalism, and finally, when on maternity leave with my twins, I turned to writing fiction.


World-building: it’s essential for every fantasy writer.
While true that the fantasy writer spends significant time creating the world in which their adventures take place, world building is not an exclusive domain of the fantasy writer. It is important to every fiction author. The suspense writer creates a world of espionage. The historical romance writer builds the world as it was, complete with period language, society, politics, and economics. What we write ends in very different stories, but we are all world building.
Building Ennara’s world began with the seeds of the story I wanted to tell. I wanted a story about a child with real-world magical abilities—those based on historic folklore. I learned about caul children years ago and decided to use them as a jumping-off point for this story. Because of the lore around the caul (it protects against drowning), I knew that the child’s planet must be mostly water. I also wanted to present an alternate future in which humanity returns to a way of living that is more connected to the natural world. Not utopian, but not dystopian either. So I knew that I would not be creating a new world, but modifying ours and setting it thousands of years ahead of our time.
Then my research began. Being a visual person, I searched for maps. I found projections of what the earth would look like if the polar caps melted away entirely. It was shocking. One day, I found a website in France that went beyond projections for icecaps—it showed what our planet would look like if the seas rose as much as 500 meters, or around 1600 feet. Now that changed the world completely. With a map, the people and societies of Lan fell into place and the history that caused the massive flood came easily. It felt as though I had one foot solidly planted in a real world—just not ours!
            Magic is essential to fantasies and must be defined from the beginning. The author must decide how the magic works, what it can and cannot do, and what the consequences of its use are. And the story needs to stick to those rules to maintain its realism.
Dividing magic into three different “flavors”, I created a structure that would define what magic could and could not be practiced in Lan. I limited it further by giving consequences to the use of magic—in this case, the depletion of the caster’s mental energy. Finally, I added one last definition: magic in Ennara’s world would be tied to the words used. The more powerful the spell, the older the language must be. Thus, the most powerful spells are limited to words in the IndoEuropean language. Of course, other languages are used for magic craft in Ennara’s world—as demonstrated with the life pod Ennara makes for Tork—but they aren’t as powerful. While these may be viewed as common definitions to magic in storytelling, it was essential to lay them out and follow the rules.
The beings that populate Ennara’s world came later—they were the result of plotting the story. In outlining Ennara’s journey as a hero, the creatures, settings, and people were drawn out to provide needed conflict and personal growth for the main characters. I then built them into her world by incorporating their backstories. For example, I outlined a history that explained a splitting of humanity into new “races” in which they called themselves traditional fantasy names. Thus a tribe-nation of rough, gigantic, and violent mountain men are called trolls. Goblins, dryads, nymphs, and humans also populate the world of Lan. Some of these races interact with Ennara and her friends, while others provide personal backstories for major characters. The rewards to Ennara’s journey were similarly built into the world in the plotting phase.
Building a realistic fantasy world starts from the first thoughts that inspire a story and continue through research, plotting, drafting, and revision. In the end, by addressing elements of plot, genre, theme, and character growth, you will have created a world that feels just as real as the one you write in.


Eleven year-old Ennara Gaern has a serious grudge against the dragon on her right hand.

Born with a caul—a mask that foretold magical powers—she was immediately inked with the fiendish, fire-breathing tattoo that forces her to study boring texts, cover her hand continuously, and worst of all, keeps her from visiting the beautiful capital city, Dordonne. But her quiet life changes when one night she is attacked by a shadowy demon.

Tork, an old friend and wizard, is enlisted to help. But when he arrives, he informs Ennara’s parents that she is her world’s only hope of finding the legendary Sword of Gisilfrid, which is needed to destroy the curse that is creating the demons. Ennara doesn’t want to leave on the dangerous quest, but when she learns the curse threatens her world, she reluctantly agrees.

Ennara and the wizard begin a perilous journey to the Sunken City, pitting them against dangerous oceans and pirates intent on claiming Ennara’s magic as their own. With only her friends at her side, including the intelligent, aquatic cat Smoos, Ennara must defeat monsters guarding the sword and servants of the Fallen Druid. When her world is covered in darkness, will she know how to dispel the curse?


Ennara shuffled to the rear of the cheese vendor’s stall, crouched low, and aimed. “Mag gwihuwo!”

A fine finger of black smoke curled toward the meat shop. As the ashy spell landed on the animal parts, they twitched. A woman walking by the stand shrieked. The butcher looked up, his eyes bigger than eggs and his mouth in an “O.” Several shoppers shouted in astonishment. Others yelled and ran.

A passing monk cried, “The devil is among us!” as six headless hens wriggled their way off the hooks and scrambled on the ground, flapping their featherless wings.

Then the lamb legs got free, and there they were, bouncing round the empty area in front of the butcher’s stall. The crowd parted. Some ran home. Others ran inside stores and shut the doors, but many stayed to see what would happen. The center of the plaza was clear except for the butcher, who hid in his stall clutching a cleaver, the city sentinel, still holding Kithe, Mr. Dulfsnark, a dozen reanimated chickens, five dancing legs of lamb, and a menacing zombie hog.

The watchman spun around as the gathering dispersed and saw the reanimated meat. “What the…?”

A chicken bolted for the man’s leg. He released his grip on Kithe and punted the creature away. The chicken flapped its wings as it whizzed through the air and smashed into a vegetable cart.

Mr. Dulfsnark made a mad grasp at a bouncing leg of lamb and struggled to hang on to it.

“Hey!” the butcher called, “You’ll be paying for the lamb, Dulfsnark!”


Angela will be awarding to a randomly drawn commenter during each week on the tour, a wall calendar print from (Items can be exchanged for other equal or lesser value items from Ennara Swag on Cafepress.), and will award a t-shirt from to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY). Also, a $20 Amazon GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

Ennara t-shirt giveaway:

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