Monthly Archives: March 2014
First, I’d like to thank Lyndi Alexander for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today. I plan to discuss the setting of my debut novel, Shift Happens, which is now available exclusively on Amazon. At the end of the post, you can enter for a chance to win one of five kindle ebooks of Shift Happens.
Shift Happens takes place in Vancouver, Canada. In this case, I took Mark Twain’s “write what you know” quote literally (although I personally feel he referred to emotions). I’ve lived in Vancouver for many years and definitely know it. Born and raised on the West Coast, I feel at home in the rain, with the ocean breeze, and the picturesque views of snow-capped mountains and dense evergreen forests.
My not-so-secret plan is to spotlight a beautiful city in a beautiful country. With writing Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I add “supernatural” elements to the location to make it my own, but I keep a lot of the landmarks, street names and areas the same, hopefully preserving the ”feel” of the city. I like mixing the known with the unknown. Isn’t that what Urban Fantasy is all about?
Does that mean every book I write will be set in Vancouver? No. In fact, I’m currently working on a short story set in Maine. Writing a piece with an unfamiliar area takes a lot of research. It’s definitely not the easy way out. What types of birds do they have? Flowers? Trees? What kind of slang do people from the area use? It’s exhausting. As much as I love research, the need for accuracy (total A-type here) means I’ll never do something like Historical Romance. Not only do historical writers have to get the area and landmarks right, they also have to get the time period aspect correct as well—when did they stop wearing pantaloons, when did indoor plumbing come about, when did men wear knee-high boots, etc, etc. Exhausting!
So did I “cop out” by placing my series in Vancouver? I don’t think so. Vancouver fits with the dark, gloomy and rainy image I’m going for with Shift Happens. I needed a city that could be beautiful and bright, and at the same time be seedy and grimy; and all surrounded by the brilliance of pristine nature, namely forests and mountains. In other words, Vancouver! My imagination took me on a journey; one that specifically took place in a city I love.
What’s your take on setting?
Does it matter to you if you read a book set in Vancouver, versus New York or LA?
Do you like it if you read a book set in a place you know really well, or do you find it distracting, even insulting (if they describe a place you like negatively)?
Do you prefer to read about a place you’ve never been to? Escapism at its best?
Thanks for taking a moment to join me. Happy writing and reading!
· HER PAST DESTROYED HER HEART, CAN SHE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER IN TIME?
Andrea McNelly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.
A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.
My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.
Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.
When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.
Available exclusively in Kindle electronic format on March 27th, 2014
Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author
Facebook Account Name: JC McKenzie
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie
Twitter Account: @JC_McKenzie
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So excited that A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is back on the “shelves” as a Kensington product now– check it out!
Great new reviews, too–
“…highly recommend this story to young adult to adults who enjoy a smart, well written, interestingly different sci-fi story with lighter romance in it.” Open Book Society
“The author grabs you in the beginning of this amazing story and doesn’t let go. I loved it. I loved the characters; Kylie–she rocks, I’m in awe of her. She’s tough, not perfect, and totally loyal to her family (sort of) and job. Then of course Griff, so sweet and loving and sexy in both forms…” Up All Night, Read All Day Reviews…
Tags: A Small Degree of Hope, adventure, alien, author, book, Kensington, Lyndi Alexander, Lyrical Press, publishing, reptile, science fiction, science fiction romance, shapeshifter, strong women, writer, writing, YA
What could draw poet, explorer, loner and paranoid Mykol Ranglen away from the relative peace of his own ring-in-space habitat?
He has no choice in the matter as one by one acquaintances are murdered or disappear altogether. Propelled by ever changing and deepening mysteries Mykol embarks to uncover secrets which could make people rich beyond their wildest dreams…or tear apart human civilization.
The escalating quest takes him through worlds of many dangerous extremes, leading him to confront the deadly alien Fist of Thorns, extinct species refusing to give up their power over the future, and those racing against him to uncover the secret first. But in the course of his pursuit, he must also face his own secrets. And some of these are even more dangerous.
The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes by Albert Wendland
Cover Art by Bradley Sharp
Foreword by William H. Keith
Space Opera Paperback coming from Dog Star Books in June 2014
What They’re Saying About The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes
“Mystery, heart-pounding adventure, and the dazzling wonders of far-flung space play significant roles in Wendland’s breakout novel, all while gifting us with a mesmerizing tour of alien landscapes destined to get under your skin and remind you of the very reason science fiction exists: Not to escape to other worlds, but to find ourselves within them.”
–Diana Dru Botsford, author of THE DRIFT and FOUR DRAGONS
Inside are alien worlds and titanic space habitats and a brilliant and paranoid hero, all skillfully blended together with long-vanished galactic secrets. Science fiction… good science fiction, by a college professor of literature who loves good SF.”
–From the foreword by William H. Keith, New York Times Bestselling Science Fiction Author
Today I’m so excited to have my writing friend from across the pond come visit– Pippa Jay has been a colleague since my early days at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, and we’re also in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. She’s a mom and a rock and roll fan and a great writer–I’m just thrilled to have her here! I hope you all welcome her as much as I do.
Today she’s here with a character interview of her main character in her book GETHYON. Take it away, Pippa!
It’s been eight months since I left my young hero Gethyon on the planet Loganum, with his baby niece in tow and him hoping to see more of Marisol, the girl he met there. I thought I’d check up on him and see how things were going. When I finally track him down he’s trekking around a junk yard on the outskirts of Spire City, apparently on the hunt for a spaceship. Half buried in the cylindrical hull of an escape pod, it’s not until he pulls himself out swearing with his hands covered in green sludge that I see he’s let his red hair get long again. Other than that, he hasn’t changed at all as far as I can see.
Me: Hey, Gethyon.
His expression isn’t exactly welcoming once he catches sight of me, but I can’t blame him for that. I gave him a pretty hard ride, especially over the last few weeks we were in company. Oh, and I lost him his beloved Spirit Drifter, the spacecraft of his dreams and part of the reason he’s wiping slime off his hands in a junk yard. Maybe this wasn’t such a good time to visit…
Gethyon: Did you want something?
Me: I thought I’d see how you were settling down on your new home-world and how things were working out.
Gethyon: Everything’s fine.
I sense an unspoken ‘no thanks to you’ tacked onto the end of his words, but either he’s got better at diplomacy or he’s worried saying the wrong thing might spark off a new batch of trouble. Can’t blame him for that.
Me: So you’re all settled into a place? How’s Kauri?
Gethyon: Yeah, we’re settled. Got a nice apartment on the west side of the city, near the park. I take Kauri to play there every day after work.
Me: She must be getting big now. What is she, about eighteen months? Must be a handful.
This time I get a rueful smile.
Gethyon: More than a handful. She’s a full time job all by herself.
Me: So you’re working now? Doing what?
Gethyon: Installing and repairing crystophilic systems. I can pick and choose my hours, so that works out best for Kauri. I can spend a bit of time with her and Marisol.
Me: I’m glad to hear it. So you see a lot of Marisol these days?
Maybe I’m imagining it, but I’d swear he blushed then, just before he ducked his head so I couldn’t see his face.
Gethyon: (mumbles) Quite a bit.
Aww, bless! I guess he hasn’t got around to asking her to move in with him yet. Or maybe her parents didn’t like that idea even though they’re both majority age. Not when Gethyon turned up with a baby.
Me: So you’re happy here on Loganum? Not finding it too quiet?
I get a chuckle at that.
Gethyon: I prefer it quiet, thank you, although it’s a bit more lively than being stuck on Lyagnius with mother. Loganum is working out just fine.
Me: You’ve not had any trouble? No sign of that Jinx coming back?
Gethyon: (shuddering) No, no sign of her. Haven’t sensed or seen her around. I’m hoping my run in with the Siah-dhu means I’ve scared her off. For now at least.
Me: And I bet that’s a relief, especially with little Kauri to look after.
Gethyon: Very much so. (He hesitates) You really tried to make life difficult for me. For all of us.
I shrug. Me: That’s kind of my job.
He gives me a frown. Gethyon: If you say so…
Me: Well, I’m really pleased things are working out for you now. I’ll leave you to it. Great to see you again, Gethyon.
I turn to leave but…
Gethyon: I mean, is that it? You turn up out of nowhere, ask me how things are going and just leave again?
He looks suspicious.
Me: Seriously. I mean, you surely don’t want me to stick around, do you?
I grin. After all, last time I was near him, he ended up travelling halfway across the universe and through twenty years in time. Twice!
Gethyon: I guess not. No offence, but I’ll be happier if I don’t see you again.
Me: None taken. And yes. You probably would.
Shame really. Because I’m pretty sure he will be seeing me again…
A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the SFR Brigade, a community of science fiction romance authors and publishing professionals committed to writing and promoting the very best in the genre. Double SFR Galaxy Award Winner. Readers Favorite Contest and GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards finalist.The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards semi-finalist.
Website – http://www.pippajay.co.uk
Adventures in Scifi – http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk
Spacefreighters Lounge – http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com
Romancing the Genres – http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen/
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101080630877126516448/posts
SFR Brigade – http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
A YA Science Fiction Novel
Released by Champagne Books 3rd June 2013
His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.
Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.
When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?
Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?
BURST – http://burstbooks.ca/product.php?id_product=99
Kobo – http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gethyon/book-PBNMPmlj7E-LpAed79fkDQ/page1.html?s=Cgke5CRKHESGZxG7MmccQQ&r=1
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
Omnilit – https://www.omnilit.com/product-gethyon-1216049-245.html?oid=
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gethyon-pippa-jay/1115474634?ean=9781927454565
Don’t miss this fabulous trailer!!
Tags: adventure, author, book, Champagne Books, Gethyon, Lyndi Alexander, Pippa Jay, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, science fiction romance Brigade, space, Spirit Drifter, writer, writing, young adult