Posts Tagged ‘women’s fiction’

Serengeti
by J.B. Rockwell
Genre: SciFi Adventure
It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution
Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel
decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie
class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own; wrecked and
abandoned in an empty expanse of space.


On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She
herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into
space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the
cryogenically frozen crew inside.
Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti’s bones clean.
Her engines dead, her guns long silenced, Serengeti and her last two
robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew
trapped inside her.
**On sale for .99 from Sept 4th- 9th**
Serengeti 2:
Dark and Stars
Fifty-three years Serengeti drifted, dreaming in the depths of space. Fifty-three
years of patient waiting before her Valkyrie Sisters arrive to
retrieve her from the dark. A bittersweet homecoming follows, the
Fleet Serengeti once knew now in shambles, its admiral, Cerberus,
gone missing, leaving Brutus in charge. Brutus who’s subsumed the
Fleet, ignoring his duty to the Meridian Alliance to pursue a
vendetta against the Dark Star Revolution.


The Valkyries have a plan to stop him—depose Brutus and restore the
Fleet’s purpose—and that plan involves Serengeti. Depends on
Serengeti turning her guns against her own.
Because the Fleet can no longer be trusted. With Brutus in charge, it’s
just Serengeti and her Sisters, and whatever reinforcements they can
find.
A top-to-bottom refit restores Serengeti to service, and after a rushed
reunion with Henricksen and her surviving crew, she takes off for the
stars. For Faraday—a prison station—to stage a jailbreak, and
free the hundreds of Meridian Alliance AIs wrongfully imprisoned in
its Vault. From there to the Pandoran Cloud and a rendezvous with her
Valkyrie Sisters. To retrieve a fleet of rebel ships stashed away
inside.
One last battle, one last showdown with Brutus and his Dreadnoughts and
it all ends. A civil war—one half of the Meridian Alliance Fleet
turned against the other, with the very future of the Meridian
Alliance hanging in the balance.
Hecate
Prequel to Serengeti
Black Ops—the intelligence arm of the Meridian Alliance Fleet came
calling with an offer Henricksen couldn’t refuse: a ship—an
entire squadron of ships, actually—and crew to command. A chance to
get back to the stars.
Too bad he didn’t ask more questions before accepting the assignment.
Too bad no one told him just how dangerous this particular skunkworks
project was.

 

They call the ship the RV-N: Reconnaissance Vessel – Non-combat, Raven for
short. A stealth ship—fast, and maneuverable, and brutal as hell.
On the surface, Henricksen’s assignment seems simple: train his crew,
run the RV-Ns through their paces, get the ships certified for
mission operations and job done. But an accident in training reveals
a fatal design flaw in the Raven, and when an undercover operative
steals classified information from a Black Ops facility, the Fleet
Brass cancels the tests completely, rushing the faulty ships and
their half-trained crew into live operations. On a mission to recover
the Fleet’s lost secrets.
Out of time and out of options, Henricksen has no choice but to launch
his squadron. But a ghost from his past makes him question
everything—the ships, their AI, the entirety of this mission, right
down to the secrets he and his crew are supposed to recover.
Audiobook available 10-17-17

Note from the Author:

When Your Main Character’s a Starship…

By J.B. Rockwell

Umm, so yeah. I did this. At the time I was thinking, “How cool! This will be really different!” And it is. That’s one of the things I love about the Serengeti series: you just don’t see a lot of books written with a sentient AI warship as the main character.

And there’s a reason for that: it’s hard.

Okay, so that’s probably not the only reason you don’t see a lot of books written from a starship’s point of view, but I’m going to go down on record as saying it’s one of them. And here’s why: close your eyes and think about every book you’ve read or written, every movie of TV show you’ve watched and how the characters interact with one another. All the physical posturing and non-verbal cues. Now imagine one of those character’s is a ship and most of the rest of the characters are moving around inside her.

See what I mean?

Being the brilliant writer I am (*insert extremely heavy dose of sarcasm*), I never thought about this when I blithely sat down at my computer one day and started pounding out words on my ‘OMG everyone will love this!’ little story. But it wasn’t long before I realized this book was going to be a lot harder to pull off than I originally thought. And since I didn’t have a whole lot of other, similar books to fall back on for research, I basically figured things out as I went.

So, how does one go about using non-verbal cues with a main character that lacks arms and legs, hands and eyeballs? Well, if you’re me, you cheat. (*puffs up all proud*) And since some of you out there may be reading this and considering doing something as stupid…er, brilliant as me, here’s how:

Let’s start with the eyes. Or lack thereof. Eyes play a major role in conveying characters’ feelings without repeating boring things like: ‘She was sad’, or ‘She was mad’. Eyes squint and widen, flash and darken to tell readers just exactly what is going on with a particular character at a particular moment. We use words like ‘glance’ and ‘glare’ and ‘stare’ to help convey interactions between characters and indicate who’s speaking to whom.

Well, Serengeti doesn’t have eyes (she’s a badass warship, remember?) but she does have cameras—that’s Cheat the First. By turning cameras, zooming in and out, or simply flipping through one lens and another I can show the reader how Serengeti’s focus changes. I can flash a light on a camera to draw another character’s attention to it, and use it as a focus of conversation when their speaking to Serengeti’s AI, rather than having them do the Star Trek thing and just randomly yell ‘Computer!’ in the general direction of the ceiling.

Cheat the Second is similar to Cheat the First, in that it involves Serengeti’s fittings, in this case the many data panels scattered across her bridge and elsewhere on her ship’s body. By flashing panels and sending discrete messages, even cute little emoji, Serengeti is able to interact with her crew on a more personal and private level, offering information and encouragement, sharing worries and fears without broadcasting that information through her speakers for everyone with a working set of eardrums to hear.

Cheat the Third when it comes to eyeballs is also Cheat the Fourth which helps to replace the pesky lack of appendages that comes with Serengeti having nothing more than a ship’s body. Namely, robots. Throughout Serengeti and Dark and Stars, there are many and various situations which prompt Serengeti to download or connect a portion of her vast consciousness to one of her maintenance robots (Tig, Tilli and Oona) or another robot she comes across in her travels. Though non-human, these robots handily come equipped with legs (for flailing, and waving, and otherwise shaking about) and faces (backed by motile, bright blue lights) that can be animated in a multitude of manners to emulate human gestures and facial expressions, providing easily digestible cues to Mr. and Ms. Reader of My Book. Plus, they’re cute as the dickens and snarky as all get-out—who doesn’t like that?!—and provide a break from all the camera looking and talking. Characters interact differently with cameras than they do with robots, no matter who’s in the driver’s seat, so letting Serengeti run around in a robot body for a while really gave me more latitude to change things up. And, as an added bonus, robots can go places Serengeti the ship can’t. Like space stations, for instance—I can’t exactly have whopping big Serengeti pitter-pattering down a space station’s hallways—allowing me to expand the story’s universe and take the action out of the stars once in a while.

So, that’s how I did it. That’s how I got around writing a book (and a sequel, and a prequel) whose main character was a starship. It wasn’t easy, but I’m proud of the result, and that used a story device that so few others have tried. More importantly, my agent liked it and signed me on in part because I offered up something that was fresh and new. I also like to think it’s because I’m incredibly entertaining and funny as all get-out, but I’m not sure my agent would agree…

J


J.B. Rockwell is a New Englander, which is important to note because it
means she’s (a) hard headed, (b) frequently stubborn, and (c) prone
to fits of snarky sarcasticness. As a kid she subsisted on a steady
diet of fairy tales, folklore, mythology augmented by generous
helpings of science fiction and fantasy. As a quasi-adult she dreamed
of being the next Indiana Jones and even pursued (and earned!) a
degree in anthropology. Unfortunately, those dreams of being an
archaeologist didn’t quite work out. Through a series of twists and
turns (involving cats, a marriage, and a SCUBA certification, amongst
other things) she ended up working in IT for the U.S. Coast Guard and
now writes the types of books she used to read. Not a bad ending for
an Indiana Jones wannabe…

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About the Book

Title: Scent of the Past

Author: Erin Marie Bernardo

Genre: Historical Fiction

Scent of the Past by Erin Marie Bernardo

A secret diary. A forgotten past. Another time.

When people think of time travel, they think of the clichéd manufactured kind. Of giant electronic machines with flashing lights and buttons calibrated to shoot you into the past with one press. But it doesn’t work that way. You need a reason, a connection, and—most important—a link. But you can’t choose when and why you go. That would be too easy, and we’d all be snapping our fingers in hopes of seeing lost treasures of yesteryear. It must choose you.

Close cousins Addison and Elissa live in present day New York City and lead somewhat ordinary lives. When uncertain circumstances surrounding a set of antique perfume bottles sends them back to eighteenth-century France, they must uncover the truth behind their travel.

Disaster strikes when Addison finds herself in a nearly identical situation to a mishap she experienced in the present—the witnessing of a murder and release of a secret. Only this time the truth could destroy the entire French monarchy. With Addison’s head on the line, the young women search for answers before Addison suffers her unlucky fate twice. It is only when they discover the haunting connections to life in the present, that they understand why they both were sent, and why a repeating past…may not always be such a bad thing.

Author Bio

Erin Marie Bernardo is an American writer of historical fiction. She has a degree in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, and is the author of the time-travel novel, Scent of the Past. A lover of historic places, Erin’s novels connect the past with the present.

Erin is currently at work on her second novel, Blackbird’s Bounty, set in the bayou of Louisiana – and is actively seeking a home for her children’s collection, Beautiful and Extraordinary Barnyard Stories, based on true events from on her farm.

Erin lives in Tennessee, but has roots in both Minnesota and Washington State. She is married with two young children.

 

Links

Website: www.erinmariebernardo.com

Amazon: Click Here to go to Amazon

Book Excerpt

Excerpt from CHAPTER 4

Finding it hard to concentrate, she worked slowly, cleaning up the damage. Her body felt sluggish. Maybe the stress of Addison’s vanishing was finally taking its toll. Eyelids weighted with heaviness, she noticed fuzzy images pushing at her temples. They were blurry and indistinguishable from one to the next, but they moved like silent pictures on an old movie screen. Something wasn’t right. She felt different. Distant. Detached. Confused. She stopped cleaning to massage her forehead and ease the pressure.

The images moved faster, rotating in circles, dancing along the boundaries of her mind and just out of reach. She was getting dizzy from their movement, yet they held her in place. Every once in a while a vision seemed recognizable. A familiar glimpse of two girls laughing, a majestic fountain spraying drops of crystal water, people dancing, yards of fabric twirling as they turned. Her senses were clouded, but the fabrics, brilliant green and velvet blue, pink lace, ribbon, and white taffeta seemed so real, spinning quickly like a child’s kaleidoscope.

Through the clouded fog she reached out. Just to try and touch. Everything around her was beautiful. So vivid in color and texture. Grasping at a piece of fluttering silk, she lifted her hand and instantly felt the pulling. It immediately consumed her body, leaving her numb to its force. She tried to resist the heavy pull, yet with every move she made, it yanked her harder. Tugging, bit by bit, until Elissa had absolutely no control over her limbs. Her arms were as heavy as rocks. Her legs as solid as lead. She was helpless to the potency of this unknown power. What was happening? What was this energy that pushed her forward yet held her in place? She tried to speak, to cry out for help, but nothing came out of her mouth. Just silent breath. Her own, frightened and scared.

The internal tug pulled harder at her chest, accelerating at a rapid and dangerous speed—yet all she could do was stand there, motionless. Pinned like the forceful pressure of a fast rollercoaster, pushing her back into her seat. She was trapped. Panic darted through her blood, overtaking her cells as the intensity of the images pushing against her mind, grew.  Spinning, spinning, spinning, they turned in unison, filling the four corners of the little store room. A pair of ladies riding gloves, a powdered wig, marble floors. The draw to the images was magnetic, leaving her helpless to stop as the pictures zipped and collided in front of her as she stood frozen. A garden, a trimmed hedge, a vase of fresh roses. The dizziness was making her nauseous.

“No more!” she cried, although it was a soundless plea. She closed her eyes and prayed.

And then just as quickly as it had come, the turmoil stopped. Just after Elissa blacked out.

Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Date Published: Feb 18, 2014
Publisher: Ingramspark
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2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for YA Mystery
2015 RONE Award Finalist for YA Paranormal
2015 New Apple Top Medalist for Young Adult Ebook
Chosen as one of 400 for the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2014!!!
Rising Tide will sink its fangs into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night
Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.
Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.
Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?
When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.
If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

About the Author

Claudette Melanson writes dark fantasy in Kitchener, Ontario with four bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters & Beckett. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories…along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.
Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

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EXCERPT:

It was too late then… He was ringing the doorbell. He looked so much braver than I felt. I could see the anger that had crept back into him in the hard set of his lips, the flash in his dark eyes.

Caelyn had torn the door open immediately, anxiety all over her face. She looked at Ron, dumbfounded. She must have then caught sight of some part of me, because she instantly peered around his shoulder to find me standing meekly behind him, clad only in a boy’s shirt that just barely cleared my hips.

“Maura?! What the…” Her eyes fairly popped with dismayed astonishment.

“Hi, Mom.” What an asinine thing to say. I should have at least started with “I’m okay.”

Caelyn just stood there with her mouth hanging open. I felt the fear turn over, like a living thing in my stomach. How was I going to survive our confrontation? How could I even begin to explain everything that had happened that night?

Luckily, I had Ron. “Hi, um, Ms. DeLuca.” He started out sounding very shy, but as my mother’s brows furrowed closer together, he put a stronger edge to his voice. “I came to bring Maura home.” She was still scowling.

“Um…I’m Ron by the way.” He put his hand out to her. She ignored that entirely.

My mother’s glare was venomous. “Maura! Get in the house this instant!”

Oh boy… She thought Ron was at fault for whatever imagined atrocities were going through her brain right at the moment.

“Mom!” I was desperate to put everything right, despite how much trouble I knew I’d be in. “You have it all wrong!”

“I said GET IN THE HOUSE!” she screamed at me, absolute fury flying from her eyes. I’d never seen her so angry before, and I was terrified. “Do I need to ask you again?”

“N-n-no ma’am,” I stuttered. I hurried past Ron, but not without looking up at him with apology in my eyes. I felt horrible for his being put in the middle, just because he’d happened to save my life.

Once inside, I steeled myself for another attempt at speaking to my mother. “Mom, will you please just let me…”

“Don’t say anything, Maura.” Her voice shook. “Do you have any idea what you’ve put me through tonight?”

I was confused then. Did she want me to stay quiet or answer her question?

Ron saved me again. “I think I can explain.” He took a tentative step onto the living room carpet.

I didn’t like the way Caelyn’s head snapped around when she looked at him. “What was your name again?” she asked viciously.

I saw him swallow hard as he answered, “Ron.”

She turned on him then. “Well, Ron!” It sounded like she’d chewed on his name before spitting the one syllable out. “Do you mind telling me why it is you’re out with my daughter when she’s supposed to be with Katie Parker?  And after you’ve answered that, I’d really love to know why you would bring her home wearing only that!!” She pointed the index finger of her shaking hand at me, standing on the plush blue carpet next to our couch, holding onto its arm for support, my knees knocking together.

Ron went a little pale… I couldn’t stand to see my hero wrongly accused.

“Mom! Listen to me! If-if it weren’t for him, for Ron…Mom, I’d be dead right now!” I shouted all the words out quickly before she had a chance to silence me again.


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