Tag Archives: Sci-fi romance

Vicky Burkholder with Queen of Hearts

queenofheartsI’m welcoming Vicky Burkholder to my blog today with her novella QUEEN OF HEARTS. It’s a quick read, but not lacking in adventure and romance.

This is the third book in her Gambling on Love series. All three books take place in outer space, on other worlds, and, in some cases, with handsome or beautiful aliens. Like most authors who write fantasy, futuristic, or paranormal romances, she loves creating her own worlds. She hopes you enjoy reading about them.

BLURB – Queen of Hearts, Book 3 in the Gambling on Love series

Adam Chalmers has one hard and fast rule when it comes to passengers on his ship—no lone women. Ever. But when Admiral Keeley Reed of Fleet requests a special service from him, he can’t very well refuse. Adam nearly refuses as his “cargo” approaches him. Amanda Ki. The woman who’d tugged at his heart two years ago. But she’d left him without a word and he’d been transferred as far from her as possible. However, if he doesn’t take her on, the kidnappers who took his sister may get away because she has a way to find the answers he’s been seeking.

Tiny, silver-eyed Mandy is part Halo, a race of warriors known for their deadly ferocity. When Adam left her, she suspected her mother, queen of the Halo world, and Admiral Keeley of setting their separation up. But Adam is her true mate, and she can prove it. Unfortunately, he’s an undercover Fleet agent, and she’s heir to the throne of the Halo world. It will take the two of them working together to overcome politics, danger, and each other in order to have a chance at real love.

BUY LINKS: LS Books     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     All Romance eBooks

EXCERPT – Queen of Hearts

Adam Chalmers paced the ramp outside his ship. “This is a bad idea. I know this is a bad idea. I can feel it. Something’s not right.”

“Excuse me, boss?”

Adam jumped as his ship’s AI whispered in his ear. He’d forgotten about the damned implant. The scar itched every time he thought about it. The implant was only a few months old. Still, it was much better than the stupid little button he used to wear. Damned thing was always getting lost or caught in cleaning. “Sorry, Thor. I was just thinking out loud.”

“Understood.”

Adam ran his hands over his head, disturbing the tied-back locks. As an undercover agent for Fleet, he hated this part of his job. He wanted action, not this shuffling of cargo and passengers from one planet to another. Though, if he was honest, he and Thor were responsible for bringing in several lowlifes who would otherwise still be out there terrorizing honest people. “I don’t like taking on unknown passengers or cargo. Are you sure the admiral said this is legit?”

“Yes. The credentials and credit background check out, though the information was surface only and the admiral wasn’t forthcoming with details.”

Adam didn’t like the sound of that. “What do you mean?”

“When I dug into the background, I found nothing more than the surface profile we were given. There was no depth to the information. The admiral didn’t even give me a name beyond what I gave you.”

“M. Ki. Which could be anyone. Ki’s not exactly an uncommon name on some planets. Did you check everything?” Even as Adam asked, he knew the answer. Thor was nothing if not efficient. And, though Ki wasn’t unusual, it had connotations that worked on his stomach. There was one particular M. Ki he hoped he never saw again.

“You know I did,” the AI said to his question.

“Yeah. Sorry. But Admiral Reed doesn’t usually use us for official Fleet stuff. Word could get out and we’d be sunk. So why us? Like I said, something about this doesn’t feel right.” He patted his ship. Although the exterior had been carefully crafted to look like it could use maintenance, within the walls were the latest upgrades in technology, and a few that weren’t even on the market yet.

“The admiral’s reasoning has not been made clear to me.”

“Which makes this even more curious. Will we be carrying anything more than the passenger?”

“I’m sorry, boss, but that’s also unknown. The manifest says one passenger to be picked up here, a second to be picked up at our next stop, destination to be given at departure. Both are to be delivered to Tairis Station. Do you want me to contact headquarters and request more information again?”

“No. It’s from the admiral so I can’t exactly refuse. And if she’s being tight-lipped on this, there has to be a reason.”

“Understood.”

Adam glanced at the time. Their passenger was late. The directive had specified that they be ready to go at exactly two and it was now ten after. He paused in his pacing as he watched a woman toting a regulation-sized carryall enter the docking bay, knowing she wasn’t his fare. He had one hard and fast rule—no lone women on his ship. They were nothing but trouble and this one looked like a catastrophe. He took a second look and his heart stopped. He knew that profile, maybe better than he knew his own. Or he had a couple of years ago. But it had been two years. Maybe his memory was faulty. He looked closer. Nope. His memory, as always, was dead-on. And he had a horrible feeling who the M. Ki was. But why would Admiral Reed do this to him? And why now?

The woman was tiny. Her head barely reached his shoulders when they stood side by side. The only difference between this woman and the one he knew was the color of her hair. Instead of the pale, almost white-blonde hair he remembered, she had dark hair that swung loose at her shoulders. She wore a regulation cut jumpsuit, but on her, it was anything but customary. The cut of the cloth and draping of the fabric showed it to be expensive rather than a generic one like most spacers wore. But then, his black trousers, heavy shirt, and knee-high boots weren’t exactly standard issue either.

What her jumpsuit didn’t hide was the lush body underneath. She was definitely not heavy, but nicely rounded. At least, that was what he’d seen on the surface. She had curves in all the right places and just enough of them to draw the attention of every man, and more than a few women, in the place.

Which was unfortunate, as one of the people whose attention she drew stepped out from a ship that had seen better days. Titus Harman wasn’t much better than his ship. Unfortunately, probably due to blackmail, Titus had connections high up in the hierarchy of the station, which gave him the choice jobs. It also made him a dangerous man to cross. Though Adam couldn’t hear much, he could tell from the woman’s demeanor that she wasn’t happy. She tried several times to sidestep Titus, with no luck. If Titus weren’t such an ass, he’d feel sorry for the slob. Adam leaned against his ship to watch the scene he knew was coming.

Titus grabbed the woman. Instead of frantically fighting back, she calmly kneed him in the groin and executed a perfect round-kick to his head. He went down like a sack of discarded spare parts and she wasn’t even breathing heavy. Interesting how everyone else in the bay had disappeared. She looked up at Adam, her eyes narrowed.

“Friend of yours?” she asked as he joined her.

“Not mine.” Adam glanced down at Titus. He was out cold. Then he looked back up. “Hello, Mandy. Been a while.”

“Adam.” She nodded once at him. They were all so civil. It had been two years since he’d seen her. He’d been working on Cygnus II when they’d met. She’d been his planet contact, but he never found out exactly what she did, just that she seemed to have unlimited funds and everybody danced to her tune. They’d had an immediate and strong connection, but, as his boss had so pointedly informed him, she was off-limits. After a month working closely together, she was in his blood like no other woman had ever been before or since. They’d grown very close, even with the admiral’s restrictions. Their last night together had been so hot he’d nearly combusted, but before anything more than heavy groping could happen, they’d been interrupted. And that’s when everything started to shut down. A day later, he got the message that she was gone and he was being transferred to a planet so far away, it was nearly another universe. Even though he’d tried contacting her, he’d never heard anything back. So that was that. End of story. Over and done with.

Shit. Could he come up with any more clichés for the ending of something he’d thought held promise?

“Can I help you find someone?” Adam asked. “I know most of the ships in dock. I can point you in the right direction.”

The tiniest of grins ran across her face as she stepped over Titus. “Point me and not escort me?”

“Sorry. I’m waiting for a fare. So…?”

She’d been studying him almost as intently as he’d looked at her. He was glad he’d at least put on a clean—or cleaner—shirt this morning. “I’m looking for the Dealer’s Choice, Captain Adam Chalmers.”

Adam’s tongue stuck in his mouth. No. It couldn’t be. He prayed to every deity he’d ever heard of that she wasn’t his fare. “What do you want with me?”

“I’m your fare.”

His stomach sank to a new low and his mouth dried up like the deserts on Arieal I. “You’re M. Ki? Why the subterfuge?”

“No subterfuge. Ki is one of my names, just not one I use very often.”

“Try never.” Well, almost never.

“Would you have taken me if I’d announced who I was?”

“No, and you know it.” Damn. Damn. Damn. Three weeks with her on his tiny ship would be an eternity. He tried a different tack. “My contract states no lone women. Period.”

“And yet, the contract is signed, witnessed, and unbreakable. If you didn’t read the changes, that’s not my problem.” She stuck her toe in Titus’s side. He didn’t move. “As you are well aware, Captain Chalmers, I am perfectly capable of handling myself.”

“That’s not the point.” He glanced at her eyes as they flashed silver at him. That was odd. He remembered her eyes as being gray, like a stormy sea, not this luminous shade of silver. He loved her eyes. And her lips. And… Damn. He forced his gaze away from her and stared at the wall behind her.

“Then let me tell you this,” she stated. “There will be no problem on your ship because I won’t allow it. I can control myself, Captain. Can you?” She glanced around as several security people entered the bay, looking in her direction. “I suggest we continue this discussion on board your ship.”

“Hey, lady, you’re the one with the fast feet. Not my business if you’re in trouble.”

“Adam, there are things going on here that are deeper than you know. Please. Can we at least get on board and talk? Keeley said you’d understand.”

Adam’s instincts kicked in as she named his boss, Admiral Keeley Reed. Very few people knew who she was, and who he was. It was enough to make his decision, though he still didn’t like it. “Welcome aboard the Dealer’s Choice, Miss Ki. Thor, fire up the engines. We want a fast exit.”

 

AUTHOR BIO

Vicky Burkholder resides in Pennsylvania near the area where her ancestors settled in 1741. She lives in a three-generation home and is lucky enough to have two other writers in residence. At various times in her life, she has been a journalist, writer, editor, teacher, short-order cook, computer specialist, DJ, and librarian. Her writing spans the fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and romance lines from YA to adult. No matter the age or genre, all of her books have a touch of romance in them and have to have a happily ever after ending.

AUTHOR LINKS:  Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Spotlight: Jessica E. Subject with Alien Attraction

JES-AA-BK3-432x648

ALIEN ATTRACTION

Alien Next Door book three

By Jessica E. Subject

Erotic Sci-Fi Romance

ISBN: 978-0994843111

She wants to be more alien.

He wants to be more human.

Born a galaxy apart, will Angela and Chal have a chance at love, or will their extraterrestrial secrets leave them running to stay alive?

Available From:

Amazon US / UK / Canada / Germany / Australia

All Romance | Barnes & Noble | Coffee Time

Google Play | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27280631-alien-attraction

 Alien Next Door series

Related titles:

Alien Adoration (Alien Next Door book one)

Alien Admirer (Alien Next Door book two)

Excerpt (Adult) – Alien Attraction

Resting his palm on her hip bone, he resisted the urge to scoop her up in his arms and take her to the bedroom. Could living in this part of the world be so easy for his kind? “What about you? Could you fall in love with an alien?”

She smiled, her body relaxing again. “I am absolutely sure I could.”

“What about a regular human being?” Slowly gathering her skirt up her legs, he waited for her answer. Would she reject him?

“Could I fall in love with someone from Earth? Sure.” She moved her hand down and began to rub his inner thigh. “If that someone is you.”

Lust oozed out of her pores, accelerating his desire. He sat up, anxious to kiss her sweet lips. So soft and tender. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned back, pulling him on top of her. Chal plunged his tongue into her mouth the way he wanted to experience other parts of her.

Angela held the hem of his sweater, drawing the material up until he was forced to draw back for a moment to get the dang thing off. As she trailed her palms up and down his back, Chal slipped his hands under the skirt of her dress. He yearned for more. All of her. No internal warnings with his neighbor. Every inch of his being encouraged him on, to make the ultimate connection with the woman who said she could love an alien.

Clasping her waist, he ran his thumbs along the edge of her undergarments. With a throaty moan, she thrust toward him. Encouragement?

He lifted his head and gazed into her honey-colored eyes. “Do you want this?”

She nodded and pulled him back down, claiming his mouth the way he yearned to claim her. When she elevated her hips, he slid his fingers beneath her undergarments and shimmied them down her thighs.

young couple kissing, close up

AUTHOR BIO:

Jessica E. Subject is the author of science fiction romance, mostly alien romances, ranging from sweet to super hot. Sometimes she dabbles in paranormal and contemporary as well, bringing to life a wide variety of characters. In her stories, you could not only meet a sexy alien or two, but also clones and androids. You may be transported to a dystopian world where rebels are fighting to live and love, or to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica is not reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk with her giant, hairy dog her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Website/Blog | NewsletterTwitter | Facebook | PinterestGoodreads | Amazon | Authorgraph

Just Released: ROYAL DIRECTIVE, sci-fi romance

I am excited to announce the release of my sci-fi romance novel ROYAL DIRECTIVE from Blushing Books.

Title:  Royal Directive

Genre:  Sci-fi Romance, discipline elements by agreement

Buy Link: Blushing Books

 

BLURB

Koriana had thought she’d escaped her father’s hold over her life and that of the Ruling Council of Arronda when she’d joined the Intergalatic Peace Mission over two years ago. But now as the ship heads back to her home planet, her father has sent a royal directive to the ship’s commander. A strong, dominant man who is not only her Commander but also her lover. And a man with whom she has shared very little of her past and family history. This directive over a Royal Decree she opposed could destroy her new life.

Commander Dante Zantrose has been somewhat at peace since Koriana joined his ship and became his lover. She is a worthy diplomat and strong-willed, yet she accepts his dominance in bed and with discipline. She is his woman. Yet when he receives a directive to bring her to the king of Arronda and his Ruling Council, Dante feels betrayed by the secrets she has kept from him. To learn now that she is a royal princess who dared to defy a Royal Decree and hide away on his ship all this time, angers him. Even angry and aware of what must be done, he plans to take her to the council but he will stand behind her, too. He will fight for the one woman he needs as his lifemate.

 

EXCERPT

Alzamar’s eyebrow lifted again. “I believe she has met her match in you, Commander Zantrose. At least for now.”

He looked thoughtful. “I only hope during the husband interviews we will find another man, such as you, who is able to handle her.”

“Husband interviews?” Dante feared he understood what they were, waited for an explanation.

“It is tradition here for the Royal Princess to begin interviewing potential husbands upon her twenty-fifth birthday. Then the Ruling Council makes the final decision about who is worthy.” Alzamar frowned. “Koriana had become too independent, too rebellious for the Council. They had told her that the interviews were to begin early, which was about the time the Zarian visited here.”

Dante understood now. Koriana hadn’t wanted a husband of the Council’s choosing. He wasn’t sure she wanted one at all, but neither of them had talked of anything beyond their life together now. He believed she had wanted more than just a chance to travel to other worlds, she had wanted to rebel from the forced tradition of marriage. He understood that, would have felt the same way in her position. Yet it went against his long-held belief in obeying the laws of a world, the traditions would be part of that.

Even though he was troubled by opposing those laws, Dante knew his feelings for Koriana. “She is my woman, lifemate or not…wife or not.” It surprised him how strongly he felt about the matter.

He hadn’t really thought about their future before now. Usually he was with a woman for only a few months, until both grew tired of the relationship and moved on. He had trouble seeing life without Koriana, didn’t want another woman in his bed or in his life.

“Arrondian laws do not honor relationships as… as mere lovers. The Princess must marry someone with the approval of the Council,” Alzamar stated solemnly.

“I do not believe she wants to marry, nor stay on Arronda.” Dante countered; now ready to turn his ship around and head in the other direction. “She has chosen to be with me and I… I wish her to remain with me until she chooses differently.” The thought of her “choosing differently” caused a pain in his chest, around his heart.

“She doesn’t have such choices. It is her duty to marry someone the Council approves. Her life is to be lived here on Arronda.” Alzamar looked him in the eye. “I have respected you during your time as commander of the Zarian, and am aware of your reputation with the Intergalatic Mission Board. And knowing the ways of your world, I know you would be a good husband to my daughter. But…”

But?” Dante demanded.

Character Interview: Katie McGowan drops in from the future

Character Interview of Katie McGowan from Rock Crazy by Rochelle Weber

 

Today I’m pleased to welcome Katie McGowan to my blog. She’s taking a step back in time to share with us a little about herself and her story.  Thanks for being here and please get comfortable, have a seat.

 

Can you share a little about yourself with us?

As you said, my name is Katie McGowan. I want to say I’m fairly normal, but I guess I’m not. I have bi-polar disorder. I’ve tried just about every combination of meds available, but they all seem to have stopped working.

Oh, that must be so frustrating. Can you give us two random thoughts about yourself, something will surprise your readers?

I suppose people see me as a spoiled brat who always gets everything she wants, and it’s true—my family has always pampered me. I haven’t had to work even since I got married because my husband, Scott, has a really well-paying job.  So, I’ve stayed in school to keep busy.  But because of my disorder, I have a short fuse and I go off on people.  So I guess it would surprise people to know that somewhere deep inside is a nice person who would like to finally get her degree and have a real career. I would like to live life without this horrible monster coiled inside ready to strike at any minute.

Katie, I can only imagine the traumatic issues you face. Have you had this problem all your life?

I was in high school when I was diagnosed. I don’t know what a “normal” life is.

What upset your ordinary world and brought you into conflict with Scott?

Dr. Davidovich first mentioned this idea of a brain implant to Scott after I poured pop on a woman’s head when we were in a karaoke bar in the Greater Chicago Metropolis downstate near Champaign. She shoved me across the room and I broke my wrist.  I don’t want to be a robot or worse yet, a vegetable, so I said no surgery.  But Scott brought me up here to the Moon and after our first big fight, he divorced me.  Now I’m waiting tables, I’m pregnant, I can’t have the surgery until after the baby comes, and I had to go off my meds.  Scott says he wants me back, but I how can I ever trust him again?

He took you away from all that you knew to the Moon, fought with you, and then divorced you? And now he wants you back? Really? Just curious, what was your immediate reaction to the divorce?

I was sick when he asked me for the divorce.  My rage reaction follows a set course.  It comes out of nowhere and I throw a tantrum.  They’ve become increasingly nasty and violent and I gave Scott a nasty black eye.  He’s lucky I didn’t cause him to lose vision in his left eye.  Then I cry and apologize to everyone until I’m dehydrated, and then I sleep it off.  This time Scott sedated me before he went to the Emergency Room with the police.  When I came to, he was sitting there with his eyes bandaged and his bags packed.  I was dopey and nauseated, so it didn’t register until a couple of days later.  When it did, I couldn’t quite believe it.  Part of me wanted to shoot him and part of me didn’t blame him.  If I could have divorced me, I would have.

What an awful situation!

Yes.  I thought I was perfectly happy with life as it was, except for the tantrums and Scott was trying to solve those.  I was just terrified of his solution.  My boss and his wife said I won’t get to keep my baby unless I get the surgery.  But again, that won’t be until after the baby’s born.

I can understand your terror and panic. But it had to be very frustrating for Scott, too.

True, I gave him headaches with my bizarre reactions. I never went to jail because he always talked  the cops into taking me to the psyche ward.

Stepping back from your eventual problems with Scott…did you feel an immediate attraction to him?

Scott and I met in high school and I thought he was cute.  He was there when I was diagnosed and he still stayed with me.  He got his physics degree while he was in the navy, and I started college.  When he got out, he went into the civilian fusion industry and I stayed in school, because my rage disorder bought me a lot of incompletes.  We’ve pretty much been together all our lives.

He sounds like a good man at heart. Who made the first compromise to attempt to make peace in your relationship?

Scott proposed to me as soon as I told him I was pregnant, but I don’t know if it’s because he really wants me back or if it’s because of the baby.  But he said if all he wanted was the baby, he wouldn’t have to marry me to get custody. And my boss and his wife said they wouldn’t help me keep the baby unless I have the surgery.  So maybe he really wants me, but I’m so mad, I could spit.  He’s lucky I didn’t give him another black eye.

Yes, it would be hard to know if he really loved and wanted you, without the issue of the baby. What finally led to the moment when you thought everything was lost between you two?

I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when I was sixteen and I’m thirty-two now.  Scott’s been putting up with my disease for sixteen years.  Okay, for some of that time, my meds worked.  But I’m one of those people who would be level for awhile, think I didn’t need my pills anymore and go off of them.  The depression would creep back in, the irritability, and finally a rage reaction and the cat would be out of the bag—“Katie’s off her meds again!”  I kind of think Scott did a pretty good job living with that for so long.

Have you managed to make things work between you and Scott?

It’s all still up in the air.  Right now, I’m off my meds, serving real beef steaks at a café in Rockton inside Mt. Aragaeus in the Moon. And I’m wondering how long it’ll be before I lose control at work and go off on a customer, because—I’m alone, pregnant, bi-polar and I’m going crazy in this God-forsaken rock!

Katie, thank you so much for being here today and sharing your life with us. I’ll have to read Rock Crazy  to find out the complete story.

 

Now Katie can sit back while I talk a bit with her author, Rochelle Weber.

 

Rochelle, what drives you to be a writer?

I’m better at writing than at waiting tables or closing a sale, and I no longer have the stamina to get out the door and do “real work.”  Plus, there’s this committee in my head.  While other people have erotic dreams, I dream characters, plots and dialog.

(Starla) A lot of us writers have these same haunting dreams of characters, plots, and pieces of dialogue.

 

What do you do to get away from the stress of writing?

I confess, I’m a TV junkie and my favorite sport is reading.  It’s Super Bowl time and I’m rooting  for Lady Mary Crawley to marry Matthew, the very distant cousin who is heir to her father’s entailed estate.  They’re very much in love, but it’s World War I and there are so many complications.

 

Do you use a pen name? If so, why?

If I change genres I might tweak my name a bit, but so far I’ve been proud of the books I’ve written and had no reason to use pen names.  If I ever wrote erotica, I would definitely use a pen name, but I’m not a fan of erotica, so I don’t see myself writing it, even though it’s what sells.

 

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Rock Crazy is very autobiographical.  I am bi-polar.  My ex-husband did work outages at nuclear power plants and he dumped me in a town I’d never heard of before we moved there because he “couldn’t take my mood swings anymore.”  The major differences are that I had not yet been diagnosed and the town was, of course, on Earth.  Also, he left me for another woman.  Oh, and I was not pregnant; we already had two daughters.  About halfway through, I decided to write a couple of paragraphs of back-story for some of the secondary characters and the next thing I knew, I had Rock Bound, which I decided to publish first.

Two years ago, I went through addictions treatment at the VA along with the addicts and alcoholics.  I realize that sentence sounds like denial.  It’s phrased that way because I was the only one there dealing with a food addiction.  Every morning the local bakery sent over it’s leftovers from the day before.  And every day I sat there with my salad and fruit watching my classmates eat my drug of choice, which was good practice because I gave up sugar and white flour between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Yes, I got out of treatment on December 22, 2010 and sat at the dinner table on December 25 with four ounces of turkey, one cup of plain green beans (there’s white flour in the soup in that wonderful casserole), and a big tub of salad with two tablespoons of special sugar-free salad dressing.  My WIP is about that experience.  Did I mention I weighed 296 pounds?  Last week I weighed 161 for a total loss of 135 so far.  I’m aiming for about a 150/155 total loss.  Since then, I’ve discovered I have celiac disease.  I’m actually allergic to wheat, rye and barley which has helped a great deal in keeping me on track.

(Starla) Being familiar with an element from a story (something personal, an experience, a place, etc.), allows an author to give more depth to a storyline. Sometimes we really dig deep into ourselves and it can be difficult to do. But the more depth of character we give our characters, the more we give our readers something worthy of reading. It sounds like you had lots of personal experience to help provide this depth. You’ve faced a lot in your life and thanks for sharing some of it with us today.

 

Do you have a regular writing process?

Not really.  I majored in writing in college and at the time I was working full time and did not have a home word processor.  I would write during my lunch hour at work, in the computer lab at school on nights when I didn’t have class or an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  I scribbled long-hand on the El (usually on the way home).  I lived out by O’Hare airport and worked and went to school in Chicago’s Loop.  Most nights I got home after midnight and I had to be out the door by seven am for work, so I think the only real sleep I got was on the El going to work.  Somehow, I always woke up at my stop.  That’s when I was in my thirties.  These days, I get up whenever, make breakfast, write a couple of hours, and then check my e-mail.  If I don’t write first, I get “caught in the vortex” that is the internet.  I get sidetracked reading blogs that catch my eye, doing promo, etc.  But in a pinch, I wonder if I could go back to writing on the El.

(Starla) I understand that getting “caught in the vortex” thing. My intention is always to write something first before playing on the internet. Sometimes, though, I fail and lost in surfing and doing promo. I wish I were more disciplined like you.

 

Do you have some “words of wisdom” for other writers, especially new writers?

If you have dental insurance, get your teeth fixed before you start writing full time.  Medicare doesn’t include dental.

REWRITE!  You probably write on a computer.  Your words are not carved in stone.  You’re not a God or Goddess and your manuscript isn’t Holy.  It can be changed.  It will probably be better, tighter, shinier if you put it aside for a month or two and then look at it again.  Look for info dumps, inconsistencies, whose point of view you’re in and be sure you stay in one person’s point of view in any given scene.  Especially watch for this in love scenes.  I get dizzy when writers go back and forth between the hero and the heroine’s POV’s in love scenes.  It’s called head-hopping and it’s a no-no.  Just because Nora Roberts does it, doesn’t make it right.  Danielle Steel is the Queen of Comma Splices.  Sure, she’s a gazillionaire.  That wouldn’t buy her a passing grade at the College of Charleston, SC where I took English 101.

Better yet, do a global search and replace with your highlighter words that end in “ly,” the word “that,” passive verbs such as “have,” “had” and “was,” and the phrases “I am,” “we are” or “were,” and “they are” or “were.”  This will alert you to overuse of adverbs and the word “that.”  Use of passive voice that should be rewritten as an active sentence—“They were served shrimp scampi.” Vs. “They ate shrimp scampi.”  You may not have to change it if the original sentence read “They had shrimp scampi.”  The final group signals stilted dialog.  Are these people or androids?  Does a twenty-something party girl really say “I am going shopping”?  Or does she say, “I’m going shopping”?  Maybe even read it aloud and see how the dialog flows.

After you’ve done your content edit, put the book aside again and a month later, go through it backward, line by line and look for grammar problems—misuse of commas, semi-colons, and other punctuation.  Be sure your tenses match, your homonyms are used correctly, your timeline is correct if you have one.

Finally, if you can afford it, send your book to a professional editor.  If not, find a good beta reader.  And before you submit a book, go to the publisher’s site and look up their formatting guidelines.  Right now there is not one industry standard.  There may be variations in spacing, paragraph indentation, even what symbols to use for scene breaks or if they want asterisks, how many.  Taking the time to read and follow each publisher’s formatting instructions says you’re a professional.

(Starla) Lots of great advice, Rochelle!

 

Now, let’s talk some specifics about Rock Crazy

Title:  Rock Crazy

Tag Line:  Abandoned, pregnant and bi-polar, Katie McGowan’s going crazy on that Godforsaken rock, the Moon!

Genre:  Sci-Fi Futuristic Romance

ISBN:  978-1-927085-75-2

Release Date:  October 14, 2011

Word Count:  41,231

Pages:  129

Publisher:  MuseItUp Publishing, Inc.

 

Buy Link:  MuseItUp Publishing

Book Trailer:  Rock Crazy

Price:  $5.50

 

What is unique about this particular book?

I think author Michelle Pickett said this better in her review than I can:

“Ms. Weber weaves a tapestry that reflects how this very complicated and oft misunderstood disorder affects both sides of a relationship, all the while entertaining the reader.”  Here’s the link for the entire review:  http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Crazy-ebook/product-reviews/B005W5QS0E/ref=sr_cr_hist_all?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

 

Did you have a favorite character in this book?

Selene Renee Johnsrud is a relatively minor character, but she cracks me up.  She’s thirteen and anytime someone walks into her father’s restaurant and asks for him by name or asks her to get the manager, she says, “Okay,” and yells “DADDY!”  Once your ears stop ringing you might be able to have a conversation with her father.  But, that’s typical teenaged behavior.  Even so, it cracks me up when it happens, even though I know it’s coming because I wrote the book.

 

Will there by any sequels to this book?

I really don’t know.  I’d like to write more about the Johnsrud family and maybe follow Selene when she grows up, but the story just isn’t there right now.  I’m working on a contemporary instead, and I hope to have a finished first draft by March 1.

 

BLURB

Katie McGowan is bi-polar, and she’s run the gamut of medications, but nothing works anymore.  Everyone says she should have a microchip implanted in her brain that can regulate her mood swings.  But Katie doesn’t want to be a robot.  In a tough love move, her husband, Scott, takes her to the Moon—and dumps her. Katie’s stuck on that God-forsaken “rock,” and thinks she’s space sick. But she’s wrong; she’s pregnant. Now the surgery’s too dangerous and she has to go off her meds until the baby’s born.

Scott’s elated that he’s going to be a father and assumes Katie will take him back.  He has no clue how badly he’s hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.

 

EXCERPT

Chapter Eight

The Diagnosis

March 27, 2066

Katie awoke and looked around the room. It took her a minute to remember where she was. There was a bucket next to the bed that came in very handy and clean clothes in her size folded neatly on the dresser, with a note that said, “Thought you’d like something clean to wear.”

Katie took a sonic shower and put on the clean clothes, stuffing her dirty ones into the sanitizer. She made the bed, ventured into the hallway, and was standing there trying to remember which way to go, when Annie Johnsrud came out of a room across the hall. “How do you feel?”

“I’m still queasy, but I think I can work. The rest helped.”

“I’m glad,” Annie replied. “While you were sleeping, we talked about you.”

I’ve blown it, Katie thought. They don’t need a waitress who’s sick all the time.

“We want you to see Doc Watkins.”

“Y-You mean I’m not fired?”

“Why would we fire you? You’ve been doing a good job. You are a fast learner.”

“I… Thank you so much.”

“I’ve made an appointment for you for Monday with Doc Watkins. Meanwhile… Do you feel up to working tonight? It’s Sunday. It’ll be busy.”

Katie smiled. “I think I can hack it.”

* * * *

The restaurant was, indeed, crowded that night, and as the evening wore on, Katie became less and less steady. She tried to hide her unease, but finally, while carrying a tray of steaks to a table, the room spun and went dark.

She woke to find herself in the back pantry. Jake was patting her head with a wet cloth, and Scott, of all people, worriedly held her hand.

“That’s it. You’re going to the emergency room right now,” Jake announced.

“Do you think you can walk or should I carry you?” Scott asked.

Katie turned green, and Jake quickly grabbed a waste bucket. She vomited into it, and Scott announced, “That’s it. I’m carrying you.”

Katie tried to protest, but he swept her up and loped through the cafe into the square. The ER was kitty-corner across the square next to the capitol offices. A man followed them from the restaurant and donned a lab coat as he entered the ER behind them.

“I’m Doctor Watkins, and I wasn’t supposed to see you until tomorrow. So, you passed out? Are you still vomiting?”

“Yes. I’m keeping some fluids and dry toast down, but that’s about it.”

“When was your last period?”

“Gosh, was it one month or two before we left Earth? Between the stress of the move and this space sickness, my body’s been so messed up I can’t remember.”

“I want you to lie back and put your feet up in these stirrups,” the doctor instructed.

“What does gynecology have to do with the fact that I’m sick all the time? Oh!”

Half an hour later, after having examined Katie and done the usual tests, Doc Watkins smiled.

“I figure you should be due around the end of October, beginning of November, Mrs.

McGowan.”

Tears streamed down Katie’s face. “My husband just left me. He couldn’t deal with my bi-polar disorder.”

“You’re bi-polar?”

“Yes, I am.”

“And you haven’t had the surgery?”

“No.”

“Then, my dear…I’m afraid you’re in for a rough time. You need to begin tapering off those meds right away. They’re bad for the baby.”

“But they’re the only things keeping me stable. Actually, I was going to ask you to up the dose. I can’t seem to stop crying.”

“That’s because of the hormonal imbalances in your body. I’m afraid you can look forward to some pretty rough mood swings. You may as well apologize in advance to everyone you’re likely to come in contact with.”

“Do you think I’ll be able to have my baby on Earth, Doctor? That is, if I can scrape up the fare?”

* * * *

Before he could reply, the doctor’s com buzzed. “Excuse me, Ms. McGowan.”

He stepped out of the room and answered.

“I hope you haven’t told Katie she can go back to Earth to have her baby.”

“I was about to, Annie. Why?”

“We promised her brother we’d make sure she didn’t go home until she has the surgery. I know you hate lying but come up with something. Tell her it isn’t safe to fly back while she’s pregnant.”

“Annie, you know now’s the only time it’ll be safe for her to fly back. That baby’s perfectly cushioned in her womb. All of our female animals were pregnant when they shipped them up here.”

“Doc, Katie gets violent when her meds stop working. She cannot keep that baby without having the surgery.”

“All right, Annie.” He stepped back into the room.

* * * *

“I’m sorry for the interruption. Where were we?”

“I asked if I could go home and have my baby on Earth.”

“Absolutely not. And I wouldn’t suggest taking an infant aboard the shuttle, either. Three gees is a lot of pressure for a baby to take…especially for someone who’s born in one-sixth gee.”

Katie was in shock. She had been holding onto the edge of her sanity with the hope of returning home as quickly as possible. She even had thoughts of suicide when she realized how long it would take her to earn her fare home. Now, she had another person to care for.

“You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a good husband or two or more, my dear,” the doctor said. “Babies are a real blessing up here. Why, I bet that young man who brought you in here would be happy to marry you. He looked pretty stricken.”

“That was my ex. I must’ve gotten pregnant our last night on Earth.”

“Maybe he’ll change his mind now that you’re having a baby.”

Katie looked dubious. How would Scott react? Would their baby be crazy like she was? Would he want a crazy baby?

“I just want to go home, Dr. Watkins.”

Katie thanked him. He put her on an IV for hydration; then he gave her an implant to control the nausea and a bottle of vitamins. She wondered how long she had before it would be too late for an abortion. She wasn’t sure she wanted this child. Nonetheless, she accepted the medications and made an appointment for the following month and left the examining room.

 

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO

Author Website:  Rochelle Weber

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