Author Archives: Margaret Fieland

Starting Out: Establishing a Story

How do you establish a story, its characters, and setting? For me, since I’m writing science fiction and fantasy, it starts with my creating a setting,  a society, a cultural context and a history fit to tell my story. My stories start with the germ of an idea and grow from there, made up of bits and pieces, the body of an animal, a discarded mattress, two boys dragging a body out into the cold, and grow from there. I need to be able to fully picture the scene my characters are in: the glass doors, the large reception room with the crowd of humans and aliens enjoying drinks and snacks. I need to see and hear the scene in my head, rather like a film running past my eyes. I need to know far more than ever makes it onto the page.

When I describe an alien setting, I try to start with the familiar — mountain — then add the distinguishing characteristic — purple rocks — and only include the details that are relevant to the story.

Where is the line between too much and too little? Ah, there lies art, there lies experience, and there lies the helpful comments of the readers of early drafts.

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Dr. Bob https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1eg
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com
Judy Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

Where do ideas come from

Well, everywhere, really. Frankly, my problem is which ideas to pursue. Often, when reading a book, I’ll reach the final chapter only to say to myself, “What happened next?” Did the teenage stepdaughter start to act out? Did the private eye get a hard time from the police? What will the next political crisis be?

I’ve said, only half in jest, that my characters wake me in the middle of the night and bother me until I give in, take notes, and agree to write the book.

For 2010 NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), I decided to write a science fiction novel. At this

One of my drawings of Aleyne, mountains wiith the multi-colored desert sands in the foreground

point, I’d written a children’s chapter book (more on this later) and a middle grade novel in need of serious revision that I believe ran about 15,000 words. I’m a huge science fiction fan and am widely read in the genre — I selected Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farmer in the Sky” for my tenth birthday, now long past — but I’d never written any, so I decided to take the plunge.

Here’s the blurb

Relocated, a science fiction novel by Margaret Fieland

When fourteen-year-old Keth’s dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn’t know what to expect. Certainly not to discover Dad grew up here, and studied with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. On Aleyne, Keth’s psi ability develops. However, psi is illegal in the Terran Federation. After a dangerous encounter with two Terran teenagers conflict erupts between Keth and his father. Keth seeks sanctuary with Ardaval. Studying with the Aleyne scholar Keth learns the truth about his own heritage. After Keth’s friend’s father, Mazos, is kidnapped, Keth ignores the risks and attempts to free him. Little does he realize who will pay the cost as he becomes involved with terrorists.

So where did these ideas come from? Despite the little voice that’s yammering, “If I could really tell you that, I’d be out there making my fortune,” I can tease out the origin of some of the elements in the story.

The main character is a fourteen-year-old boy. I raised three sons, and at the time I was still under the misapprehension that kid’s books were easier to write. I was also attracted to the idea that they could be shorter than a novel for adults; as a poet, I am fairly terse.

The action takes place on an alien planet. The main character’s father is an army officer assigned to the military base, which is in the desert. My middle son was still in the army at that point, and he was stationed in Afghanastan. I couldn’t do anything about my anxiety over this, other than bite my nails, but I could and did add a terrorist plot to the novel and make sure that things “came out right.” Well, mostly.

My aliens are quite humaniod, with very dark skin, gray eyes, oval heads, and hands and feet that are wider than ours. Because of the demands of the plot, I needed to make them close to human in appearance. I wanted them to have a normal but easily distinguished skin color, and thus I had a choice of very light or very dark. In my novel, the aliens are the good guys; I made them dark (very dark). This gave me the opportunity to play with the theme of discrimination. As well, White for the good guys is way overdone, and I learned from reading Heinlein the value of the unexpected in a story. In “Starship Troopers,” for example, we don’t learn that one of the major characters is Black until half-way through the book.

There’s more, of course. In the second book in the series, “Broken Bonds,” one of the characters is Black Seargent imprisoned for going AWOl where his White fellow soldiers were not charged. This came from a story of my father, who served as a Judge Advocate General in the army during World War II. The third book in the series contains an incident based on another of Dad’s wartime stories, one where he hitched a ride on a small plane when he had leave and they ran out of fuel. My aliens form four-way relationships. This was sparked by my reading a book years ago where I came across one, prompting me to say to myself, “That’s not the way I would write it.”

Check out the posts of my fellow bloggers:

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Anne de Gruchy https://annedegruchy.co.uk/category/blog/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1dm
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Check out Candi Fox’s newest book, Harlequin’s Deception

Harlequin’s Deception
The Naked Truth Series
By Candi Fox

Candi will be awarding 1 $10 Amazon GC, 2 Eooks of Harlequin’s Deception and 1 Print Copy of Harlequin’s Deception to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

BLURB: 

Ten years ago, the world as we know it changed. The shift is what it became known as. Overnight, paranormal beings came out of the proverbial closet. Something in reality had shifted. Those who had no idea they were paranormal were awakened to a new reality. Ten years in and Harlowe Lake Kelly, Harley to her friends, is back in her small Oklahoma town, widowed and striking out in a new career, namely, a successful magic agency. Her uncanny abilities at using potions, spells, and other means at solving supernatural crimes, thrust her into a partnership with local law enforcement. Things would be great if it wasn’t for the three sexy, but deadly, men who stand at all corners of her new life. Lucien, the ancient, alluring Vampire who has made it clear he wants more than Harley’s luscious curves. Cowboy, who wants to possess her in every way imaginable, and Aiden. The newcomer who has strict orders from his Vampire boss… but she senses has his own agenda. But in a world where things and beings are never what they seem, life isn’t promised and love comes with many strings. So what’s a girl to do to untangle those strings?

Amazon Buy Link


About the Author: 

Candi Fox, co-host of the wildly popular radio show Candi and Company with over 900 thousand listeners began her venture in the paranormal at the tender age of two, when she witnessed her first apparition. From that moment on the paranormal seemed to follow her. No matter where she moved, the house she lived in the house next door, or the house down the street always seemed to be haunted. 

She often wondered if she drew the spirits to her. Little did she know that she was indeed a magnet of sorts. It wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she found people who could not only explain her gifts, but would also help her hone them. Armed with this new knowledge she began to openly explore hauntings and other paranormal phenomena.

Growing up in Indiana lent her the opportunity to explore many famous haunted places including the Hannah House, which was once part of the Underground Railroad. A little over two years ago she moved to Tulsa, OK and has began to explore the haunted landscape in a new state.

Candi lives with her husband, and furry children in Tulsa. She is passionate about the occult, saving and rehabilitating horses, horseback riding, magic, all things mystical and has her Reiki Mastery.

She uses her own paranormal experiences as well as her own life traumas to write from a grounded and realistic perspective about subjects that are hard to talk about and even harder to feel for yourself.

Social Links: 
Facebook | Amazon | Website | Facebook Author Page | Blog | Twitter | Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Read about Unnatural Allies by Shari Elder

Unnatural Allies (Shifting Alliances, #2 by Shari Elder)

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m very excited to share Unnatural Allies, Book Two in the paranormal romance series, Shifting Alliances. Although part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

 

Unnatural Allies (Shifting Alliances Book 2)
By: Shari Elder
Genre: M/F Paranormal Romance
Release Date:
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Blurb

A World in Transition
Violent fae encroachment on shifter land is heating up. With death tolls rising, the impossible becomes necessary – an alliance among predator and prey shifters.

An Inconceivable Love
Nicca Baron, lone wolf and wolf clan beta, finds herself under the command of Evan Grant, the rat alpha.  In different circumstances, he’d be dinner. Or so her wolf keeps reminding her.  Evan proves to be a perceptive leader, a skilled fighter and irresistible to her lonely heart.

To rule the rats, you have to rule the pack. Evan is a whiz at managing people and groups. Until he finds himself leading a mission made up of every single large animal that thrives on rat flesh. And not the kind between his legs.  The only bright light is Nicca. Her storm gray eyes miss nothing, her brilliant mind comprehends everything and her succulent curves offer the perfect place for a rat to nestle.

An Impossible Future
In each other’s arms, Nicca and Evan discover love and a new perspective in an off-kilter world. But a wolf cannot mate with a rat, no matter the strength of the human attraction.

Buy Links

Amazon

Evernight

Bookstrand

Excerpt

Evan had never seen Nicca look frightened before. Those silver eyes expanded into saucers, and they were still beautiful. He wanted to wrap her in his arms, just hold her close as they both tried to process a world spinning out of control. Even his rat wanted to comfort her.
She was getting under skin and fur.
The last leaves hung limp on the branches, resisting winter’s pull. Away from the sidhe, the air had warmed, although the sky retained a grayish winter hue. Shifter bodies held heat, keeping them comfortable in the most brutal frost. Evan burned hot from continuous movement, the too frequent adrenaline spikes, and Nicca’s nearness. Everything about her fit, like she was made for him. That agile mind, open-mindedness, those lush curves. Hell, she even spouted poetry. He yearned to put a sign around her neck—no trespassing, this woman belongs to Evan Grant.
Except for that whole wolf thing…
“Why don’t we find a comfortable place to set up camp near Fairy Falls and call it a day?” he said to get his mind back to practical things, not wishing for something he couldn’t have. He told himself he selected the location as part of the mission. All species declared the pristine, wild falls a safe zone, so they wouldn’t need the wolves or eagles to stand guard. The fact that it was the number one rated site for shifter romances had nothing to do with the selection. Nothing at all.
No one would ever accuse Nicca of talking too much, but she was withdrawn even for her on the hike to the Falls. “Any suggestions on places to sleep?” he asked when her silence got too loud for him.
“I’ve, uh, never really been here,” she whispered, looking at the ground. “Just run by it on patrols sometimes.”
“And that makes you sad?” He itched to run his hand down her cheek.
“This mission makes me sad.” Her gaze stayed lowered as she walked.
His rat senses perceived a deep despondency wrapped around her like a black aura.
“This mission makes you angry, anxious, and confused. Not sad.”
“Who are you to correct my assessment of my emotional state?” She gave him a half-hearted snarl. He figured he’d hit an open, raw nerve.
“I lead this mission, and I will not have you fall apart on me. Right now, you are not okay.” He opened his arm, aping Rafe’s earlier action, inviting her to him to take comfort. “Let me help.” Let me touch you.
She visibly shook herself, ignoring his outstretched limb. “You’re right. I need space. Let me run as wolf.”
He dropped his hand, then nodded to cover the ripping sound his heart was making. “Stay close,” he said over the lump of disappointment lodged in his throat. “Give me your backpack, and I’ll find a place to sleep. Meet me at the falls when you’re done.”
Relief brightened her eyes. Once shifted, she brushed against his leg, then licked at his hand dangling by his side. He ran his fingers through her thick, gray fur touched with black and silver as she trotted off. “Grab some happy, Nicca,” he said into the air, as she raced out of sight. Come back to me. Accept me.
Alone, he hummed as he walked toward the falls. The low tune soothed his skittish rat, who hated being alone and wasn’t too fond of the woods. Rats felt secure in the pack. The human in him appreciated the red gold of the sunset streaking across the powder blue of the sky, weaving in and out of spiky, hunter green firs that ate up the landscape. Beauty truly did soothe an aching heart. The whirr of winter birds, a chorus to his ears, unnerved the rat. He picked up his pace, following the smell of ice and the roar of the falling water.
When he arrived at the falls, he saw Nicca standing at the edge of the descending water, running her fingers through the stream. That sadness he’d sensed earlier scented the air and dulled those unique gray eyes. Following a powerful intuition, he approached quietly, staying upwind so she wouldn’t notice until he stood directly behind her. She may have rejected his offer of support earlier, but he was determined to try again. His way.
She turned to face him, and tilted her head up to meet his gaze. He pushed behind one ear a lock of hair that was draped along her cheek. The tresses felt like silk, the skin velvet against his fingertips.
“Evan?”
He leaned over, touching lips to lips ever so gently. Giving comfort. Sneaking a taste. Exploring what might be. She pressed back, her mouth opening slightly beneath his. He sank into cherry and cinnamon, shyness and heat. She didn’t require a friend; she needed a lover. He desperately wanted to be that man.
He pulled back, falling hard for the blush staining her cheeks a bright pink.
“Follow me,” he said, taking her hand, and led her to the camping spot he noticed along the way.
To love a wolf.

About Shari Elder

Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges.  I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination).  As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction.

Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.

Hang out with Shari on the Web

Website – www.sharielder.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ShariElderStories/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ShariElderBooks
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/ShariElder
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/ShariElderBooks/

See it here: the cover for Prophecy of Solstice’s End by Diantha Jones

S
Prophecy of Solstice’s End

Oracle of Delphi #3

By Diantha Jones 

BLURB: 

Summer Solstice is here. Let the games begin.

Nothing but lies (some of them her own) and deceit have brought Chloe to Olympus for the Solstice Olympic Games. As the Oracle and the special guest of the King of Myth, Chloe becomes immersed in a life of unfathomable luxury, taunting history, and overwhelming excitement. Though scheming and untrustworthy, the gods remain on their best behavior as the tension and anticipation builds around the outcome of the Quest of the Twelve Labors, the deadliest competition of the Games. All seems well on the celestial front…until athletes start turning up dead and a philosopher missing for months returns with a most terrifying story…

But that’s not all.

As Strafford confronts his troubled past and more is learned about the Great Unknown Prophecy, Chloe grows close to another, setting off a chain of events that will bring her face-to-face with a truth that will rock both of her worlds to their core.

And it’ll all happen before Solstice’s end…

Book Links:
Amazon  | B&N | Goodreads


Author Bio:

Diantha Jones loves writing fantasy books filled with adventure, romance, and magic. She’s the author of the Oracle of Delphi series, the Mythos series, and the Djinn Order series (as A. Star). When she isn’t writing or working, she is reading or being hypnotized by Netflix. She is a serious night-owl and while everyone else is grinning in the warmth and sunlight, she’s hoping for gloominess and rain. Yeah, she’s weird like that.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Goodreads (A. Star) | Amazon | Pinterest | DJ’s Book Corner

Reviews, reviews, reviews

This month’s topic — reviews. Love them, hate them, how to get them.

I love to get reviews; that way I know that people are reading my books. I’d be delighted to get more of them. However, I’m as guilty as anyone for frequently reading and loving a book — I’m a voracious reader, and I’m rarely without a book to read — and neglecting to post a review.

What motivates you to post a review? What would it take for you to post more of them?

 

Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/how-to-get-reviews
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Interview with Izzy Szyn, author of Resurrection of Artemis

(1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Detroit. Moved to Oklahoma City five years ago for a job in a call center. Happily single with one furchild named Misty a chihuahua/terrier mix.
(2) How did you get started writing?
I started almost three year ago when a friend of mine dared me to write when she heard someone’s book plot that was all over the place. She said I bet you could write better.
(3) What attracted to science fiction and fantasy? Is it the only genre you write in?
I always been sort of a geek, I loved to read comic books, especially Batgirl, Catwoman and Lois Lane. This was actually my first attempt at writing a superhero. A group of us one night came up with an anthology featuring superheroes/villains. I have been toying with the idea of writing a part two. If I get enough positive feedback, I probably will.
I write menages,  I guess you could say that’s my genre. I write in modern and paranormal. I love paranormal because you can create your own rules.
(4) How much research did you have to do for your book?
This one I did a lot, because of the plot. The call center where I work deals with iphone tech support, one day there was an outage, people were going nuts. I thought what if? I researched how hard would it be to hold technology hostage.
But the hardest part was trying to find names for my superheroes and my villain that hadn’t been used before.
(5) What is your writing process?
I just write when it hits me, I have so many ideas in my head that need to get out.
Lori Foster, she was the first author I became friends with. She shows that not only can you be a successful writer, but that you should give back. If I ever get to that point, I hope to emulate her.
(6) Do you have an all-time favorite book, and if so, what is it?
Favorite book is more like a favorite child. I have so many by different authors.
(7) What writers have influenced you the most, and how?
Lori Foster is one, Mina Carter, Cynthia Sax and Barbara Devlin for encouraging me to write. That I wasn’t crazy to start.
(8) What would you like readers to take away from your work.
Just to feel good, life is so serious, with jobs, kids, bills, it’s nice to take a brain vacation and read.
(9) What are you working on now?
I’m working on the follow up to Wendi and Tink called Bella and the Beast it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but in this one the beast is a woman who is cursed with scars.
I also just started working on a short that is set to come out this summer with Candi Fox and Bobbi Romans to name a few. Mine is titled Oh What a Night.
(10) Where can readers find you on the web?
Facebook, Twitter, I do a little Instagram.
(11) Where can they purchase your book?
Amazon and it is part of Kindle Unlimited

 

Resurrection of Artemis
 by Izzy Szyn 

Izzy will be awarding a $10 Amazon to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here. 

~*~*~*~*~*~
BLURB:

Once known as the infamous hacker Artemis, Amy Wilson now works in a coffee shop. With only months until the end of her probation from working in the technological industry that she loves, Amy is determined to keep Artemis dead and buried. 
When incidents similar to the ones Amy did start occurring all fingers start pointing in Artemis’ direction, and three people that want Artemis to come out of retirement. 
Quail City’s super heroes Dark Master and Calypso aka as multi-billionaire Noah Adams and his assistant Vanessa London know Amy’s secret, and also know that she is being set up. Having spent months in a flirtmance with Amy, they are tired of waiting and want both her and Artemis in their bed. 
Hinderer wants to hold technology hostage, but in order to do that he needs Artemis’ assistance, and he will use any methods necessary to gain her cooperation. 

Amazon Buy Link 
Available on Kindle Unlimited

~*~*~*~*~*~
Excerpt:
“People have been mentioning Artemis,” Calypso said. “You wouldn’t have heard anything?”
They knew, Amy thought. Somehow they knew. “No, Artemis isn’t here anymore. At least from what I heard.”
“Damn shame, too,” complained one of the customers in the shop. “Not the Artemis that is playing with the lights and stuff. But the Artemis who liked to help people with their problems.”
“Yeah, I think if someone is behind it, it’s someone pretending to be Artemis, or trying to shift the blame on her,” said another customer. “She may have done some things, but she’d never deliberately set out to get people hurt.”
Amy smiled at the person that made the comment. “I’ve been here all day. But it’s more than the traffic lights. Didn’t I hear that the other day the Financial District was shut down because the money showed at zero?”
“That is something that Artemis had fun with,” Dark Master commented. “Or had in the past.”
“I’m sure that whatever has been happening in Quail City has nothing to do with Artemis,” Amy replied.
“Hope for Artemis’ sake it’s true,” Calypso said. “Williams is ranting and raving in Commissioner James’ office asking for her to be arrested.”
Just bet he is, thought Amy. “Is there anything else I can get you?” Amy asked them. She saw that it was almost six and the last bus going towards her apartment would be there any minute.
“You in our bed,” Calypso said in her ear. “Your blue hair will look glorious on our pillows.” Then out loud stated, “That’s all for now.” 
~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

New York Times Bestselling Author Izzy Szyn was born in May of 2014 when a friend dared her to write. Born and raised in Detroit, Mi. Izzy now lives in Oklahoma City with her furchild Misty, the friendliest Chihuahua/Terrier you will ever meet. Currently works in a call center, where she writes in between phone calls.
Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at izzyszyn@gmail.com.

Find her on Facebook 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/Izzy-Szyn-379714942215154/timeline/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/izzySzyn

Blog: https://izzyszyn.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13836241.Izzy_Szyn
Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/100905614042668276073

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js