Tag Archives: multicultural books

Book Spotlight: Lizzie & McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid

About the Book

Title: Lizzie & McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid

Author: Dina C. Tate

Genre: Children’s Books, Fantasy

Imagine if all the little girls of the world looked alike.

If the Same Glam Goddess gets her way, it can surely happen.

McKenzie Rivers, the pint-sized daredevil, and Lizzie Sanders, who loves all things frilly, aren’t afraid of being different. And that’s exactly why Princess Lovina of Exquisite City calls upon them to stop the Same Glam Goddess from making all the little girls of the world look the same. With the aid of their magical lovely lockets and fierce diva weaponry, Lizzie and McKenzie will travel the world to find the Seven Crystals of Sisterhood. Their first stop is the magical city of Madrid.

Lizzie and McKenzie will need help to obtain the crystals before the Same Glam Goddess gets her hands on them. If the crystals are not found, little girls all over the world will remain under the spell of the Same Glam Goddess and will lose their identities forever! Will Lizzie and McKenzie be able to find the crystals, break the spell, and stop the Same Glam Goddess?

Author Bio

Dina Tate is the President and Founder of GlobalGirlsSquad LLC a publishing and technology company. Her first book which combines her love of travel and japanese animation is titled “Lizzie and McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures”.

Links

www.globalgirlssquad.com

Buy the Book:

Amazon (Paperback)

Amazon (Hardcover)

B&N

Book Excerpt

The girls walk slowly inside the Crystal Palace. It’s hard not to be distracted by the magnificence, but Lizzie, McKenzie, and Lucia do their best to stay focused. As they proceed to walk inside the place of the palace they see the Mimics, and standing behind them is the Same Glam Goddess.

“Thanks, Twinkle Toes, for that lovely performance earlier. You made getting the crystal that much easier,” says the Same Glam Goddess, laughing at McKenzie.

Lizzie and Lucia each put a hand on McKenzie’s shoulder and give her a tender smile.

“Pick on someone your own age!” Lizzie shouts.

The Same Glam Goddess gives a bold, piercing look and says, “Mimics, take care of them. Their presence offends me.”

The Mimics take out their beauty blasters. McKenzie, Lizzie, and Lucia take out their wands, fire off some darts, and hide behind a display.

A dart hits one of the Mimics square in the back. “Ow!” cries the Mimic. As she tries to nurse the wound in her back, the crystal falls to the ground.

The Same Glam Goddess clenches her fists and shouts, “You fool!”

Lizzie, McKenzie, and Lucia clutch hands and call out, “We know who you are, and we know what you do. You can’t make us the same. Princess Lovina, we need you.”

A golden light comes from the sky and begins to fill the Crystal Palace with rainbow colors.  Princess Lovina appears alongside Lizzie, McKenzie, and Lucia. Calmly, she says to the Same Glam Goddess, “Why are you doing this? You weren’t always this way. I remember when you were nice.”

The Same Glam Goddess clutches the Friendship Freeze Ray for dear life. “Maybe we were friends, but that was long ago.” A hurt expression covers her face. “Piggy Princess they called me, because of my flat nose. It may not have been you, Princess Lovina, but that does not matter. Now, I am fierce and everyone fears me. Those days are over!” shrieks the Same Glam Goddess as she aims the Friendship Freeze Ray at them.

Princess Lovina turns to the girls and says, “Let’s take care of her together!” Princess Lovina uses her Same Silencer, and Lucia, Lizzie, and McKenzie fire their wands.

Whoosh! An army of colors surrounds their frightful foe.

The Same Glam Goddess reacts swiftly. “You won’t get me this time. Mimics, disperse!” she says, vanishing into hazy air.

 

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Book Spotlight: Toru: Wayfarer Returns by Stephanie R. Sorensen

 

One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

GENRE: Historical Steampunk Fiction
BLURB

A nation encircled by enemies

A noblewoman with everything to lose

A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.

In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.

Toru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Toru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.

Guest Post
“The Making of an Alternate History Steampunk Technofantasy Writer” by Stephanie R. Sorensen

So…I have failed as a writer on the most basic piece of advice budding writers are given, which is to pick a genre and make sure you deliver against genre expectations.

Oops.

I didn’t mean to screw up so badly.

I will freely admit I meant to write a steampunk novel (Action! Adventure! Romance! Cool outfits! Dirigibles!), but it kind of meandered out of the lines and scooped up heavy doses of historical fiction (Real people from history doing cool stuff! Culture! History!) and a bit of fantasy of the technofantasy variety (flying dirigibles! Submarines in 1850! an industrial revolution in about 18 months, or about twenty times faster than is really possible!!! Wheee!). Then I altered the history, which gets you into alternate history (the world as it might have been! But wasn’t!).

Call it four genres, and discover you have made trouble with a capital “T” for yourself as a writer. Advice to fellow writers—don’t do this kind of genre-blending, as it annoys readers when they wander into your story thinking it will be one thing and then you serve them something else.

And yet….

I’d do it the same way all over again and write the same story, even knowing there would be grumpy readers out there. Why? Because the story I told is a story with characters I love and is a story I could only tell by borrowing elements from all those genres and putting them together in a new way.

I love steampunk novels, and the way they let us visit a time when elegance and manners held sway, versus the coarseness and informality of our daily life today. Steampunk also remakes the past into a better past, “better” by today’s moral and ethical standards, like more equality and less slavery. Let’s be real—if you were a woman of any race or class or a person of a non-white race in the 19th century, like African slaves in the American South, or Asians and Middle-Easterners and Africans being “colonized” and “civilized” by the imperialist powers, your life basically sucked.

Steampunk novels have women and non-white people doing all the fun adventurous things that white males have always gotten to do, and steampunk characters get to right wrongs and do it while enjoying elegance and courtesy and cool outfits. I also enjoy how steampunk novels explore our human response to technology. The nineteenth century was the last time an ordinary person could look at and touch technology and understand how it might work without having a masters degree in some obscure kind of engineering. All these ingredients found their way into my story, even if it was not purely steampunk by the time I ended.

I also love history and historical fiction. When I set out to write a steampunk novel set in Japan, I knew Japanese history and culture might be alien and unfamiliar for many of my American readers. That meant I spent a lot of time building up a Japanese world that was truly Japanese, not whitewashed America in samurai drag. I knew I had to help the reader unfamiliar with Japan understand why Tōru’s mission was so life or death for the Japanese of that time.

The period I chose was as big a deal for Japan as our American Revolutionary War or the Civil War was for Americans, or the French Revolution for the French, when their entire nation changed from being one way to being entirely different. I couldn’t just have Tōru and his friends rushing around having random adventures in their dirigible against a Japanese backdrop—those adventures needed to mean something and have historical resonance.

Once I had put all the history and culture into the world-building, I found myself in alternate history territory, where I had to create a new history based on the changes the steampunk technology triggered. That’s why it is a series, for this first book only kicks off this revolutionary period in Japanese history and triggers a world where steampunk technologies make a difference to history. There is so much more to explore in the upcoming books, which I am working on now.  I also wanted to show the incredible resilience and uniqueness of Japanese culture, how it absorbs changes and outside forces but renews those forces into a form uniquely and identifiably Japanese.

In the end, I was forced to blend steampunk with historical fiction with alternate history and a bit of fantastical technological handwaving to tell this story, of Japanese who must remake their nation overnight to save it from foreign invasion. Without the fantasy elements, on a larger time frame, it remains a true story, for that is the challenge the Japanese faced and rose to meet in real history, and it is an incredibly moving story. And even though my characters are fictional, they are, to the best of my humble ability, very Japanese and courageous and resilient in their devotion to their cause of saving their nation.

“Tōru: Wayfarer Returns” is not a classic steampunk adventure story, although it does have a bit of action and adventure, and romance and dirigibles. It’s also not historical fiction in the usual sense, although it is full of authentic culture and history. Finally, it’s more of a prequel to an alternate history, describing the moment where historical timelines divide and a new and alternate history can arise. For some readers, these are problems. To others, they are exactly what makes it much more than a mere steampunk adventure novel or a straightforward history.

To me as a writer, these were necessary ingredients to tell a story about a young man with a nation to save and everything to prove to an unobtainable woman he loves and an unreachable father he respects. This is Tōru’s story, and Japan’s story, no matter what genre it is. I hope you will enjoy it.

Excerpt

“Rather than argue with them, you should invite them to make the first flight with you,” said Takamori. “At first they will agree, since it is their place as the leaders. Everyone is very excited about the dirigibles. Set the time and place for the first flight. Jiro should explain that is not a good time because of the wind or something technical that needs testing first. You argue with Jiro and perhaps even scold him for impertinence in front of the daimyōs.”

“Yes, I am often scolded for impertinence,” said Jiro. “I have a talent for it, you know.”

“Indeed you do,” said Tōru. He saw where Takamori was going. “Then they notice the risks and uncertainties…and they ask me if it is safe. I tell them honestly that we have no idea if it is safe or if it will work, and that we might all crash to a fiery death and therefore perhaps I should test it first myself before we endanger them.”

“And I will be impertinent again and tell you in front of them that you don’t have a clue how to fly one of these dirijibi!” Jiro finished the plan for them. “Which is also true, by the way. I know how to fly one of these, and you don’t.”

“You’ve never flown one either,” protested Tōru.

“I have built one. Almost. Soon. How many have you built?” asked Jiro, with his broad grin.

Tōru opened his mouth and closed it again.

“See? Problem solved,” said Takamori, as he pounded Tōru on the back. “We have a fine dirijibi pilot, the finest dirijibi pilot in all of Japan, our good man Jiro here.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.

Recognition for “Toru: Wayfarer Returns”

— Finalist, Fantasy category, 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

— Bronze Medal Award, Multicultural Fiction category, 2016 eLit Book Awards

LINKS

Author website                        http://stephaniersorensen.com/

Author Facebook        https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011148014463

Publisher website        http://palantirpress.com/

Publisher Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/people/Sassa-Margot/100010457895534

Publisher Twitter         https://twitter.com/SassaMargot

Sell sheet PDF                 http://palantirpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Toru-Sell-Sheet.pdf

Kirkus review              https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/stephanie-r-sorensen/toru/

Historical Novel Society review https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/toru-wayfarer-returns-sakura-steam-series-book-1/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toru-stephanie-r-sorensen/1123110310?ean=9780996932318

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Book Release: A Honeyed Light by Freddie Milano

honeyedlightrelease

About the Book

ahoneyedlightTitle: A Honeyed Light

Author: Freddie Milano

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Kunal, relative newcomer to the strange town of Harmony, has his hands full preparing for Diwali. That should be enough to keep anyone’s mind preoccupied, but Kunal can’t really ignore that he’s nearly thirty, single, and still buried in the closet.

Out of town at a gay club one night, he bumps into Oscar, proprietor of Harmony’s only sex shop, and figures his secret is now officially out. What he doesn’t expect is a slow seduction, or to have to decide what it is he really wants in life.

Author Bio

freddie-author-photoFreddie Milano lives with her partner-in-crime, two adorable and devilish cats, and far more ideas than she really has time to set down on (electronic) paper. She’s been writing since she could hold a pen, though most of the embarrassing stories thankfully never made in onto the internet, and can stay safely buried.

She loves wine, Korean pop music, tea, chocolate, coffee, mythology, and both video and tabletop gaming. An ESFJ surrounded by introverts, Freddie has learned the art of socialization in moderation. Besides, staying in just leaves her more time to write.

Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

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Instagram

 

Giveaway

Win a honey pot & spice container, and a digital copy of the book.

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Hathor Legacy: Revelations WIP Excerpt Part 3

Hathor-Legacy-Revelations-Web-MediumHathor Legacy: Revelations – book 3 of the Hathor Legacy series will be coming in June. Here’s another brief excerpt.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

*Read more about Hathor Legacy: Outcast and Hathor Legacy: Burn*

Excerpt

In this scene Jonathan Keel finds out the price of his new-found fame as a club owner on Hathor and member of the elite executive class. 

It wasn’t surprising to see crowds in the Entertainments district, but this was the Palatine. Usually there weren’t as many people hanging out on the streets. Security patrols ensured that the tourists moved along, aided by Guardian Watchers who kept a low profile while they were observing.

Unfortunately it wasn’t until the door of his transport opened that Jon had an answer to his question. Someone screamed and the mob converged on him, about 3 of them managing to stuff themselves into the doorway just as he tried to get in. Hands grabbed his shirt and jacket, pulling so hard he felt the fabric rip.

“Stop it! Get away from me!” he yelled, but it didn’t do any good. In fact, his reaction only seemed to fuel the intensity. The more he tried to pull away, the more hands gripped him. One woman pressed her lips against his, while a man grabbed at his hair.

“Jonathan! I love you!” The woman who had kissed him continued to press her lips all over his face.

“Get off!” He grabbed the woman’s furry purple jacket, but just came away with a handful of puffs of fake fur. “Close the door!” Maybe if the transport door could close, he could get these idiots to let him go.

“Sorry, sir, the door cannot close while passengers are entering.” the computerized voice replied. “Please clear the doorway of obstructions.”

“Damn it! I can’t clear it!” he snapped just before the sleeve of his jacket separated from the rest of it.

“Jonathan! Come out!”

“Jonathan!”

“Stop pushing, he’s mine!”

He felt himself being dragged out of the vehicle as hands continued to claw at his clothes and fingernails scratched his skin. For a moment it was like floating. He had no control over his own body as he felt himself being carried. All he saw were faces grinning at him and hands grabbing, obscuring the blue sky so that he felt like he was being smothered.

“Citizens! Stand off! Citizens!” Muffled voices broke through the squeals and screams, and Jon saw shiny black helmets hovering above him. His senses were in overdrive, making his stomach churn and overwhelming him with the sensation of being buried alive under the crush of writhing bodies.

Air. He had to get air right away. The feeling of being smothered was like being closed up in a mine shaft. Panic rumbled through his body, thundering up into his chest as his heartbeat accelerated. Prepared for fight or flight, he wrenched one arm out and worked to free the other.

“Citizens!” Black garbed security officers were pulling people off him, tossing them to the side in an effort to free him.

Finally the last person was pulled away and Jon found himself kneeling on the marble sidewalk. He saw something dark red drops on the ground and realized it was blood.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations WIP Excerpt Part 2

Hathor-Legacy-Revelations-Web-MediumHathor Legacy: Revelations – book 3 of the Hathor Legacy series will be coming soon (I promise!) but in the meantime, here’s another brief excerpt.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

*Read more about Hathor Legacy: Outcast and Hathor Legacy: Burn*

Excerpt

This scene happens after Nadira has received disturbing news about what happened to her father, who was reported lost while on a deep space mission. According to Mikal, the former Guardian who tried to overthrow the Guardian Elders (in book 2, Hathor Legacy: Burn), the Guardian Elders were behind her father’s disappearance.  

“Good evening, Sentry Leader Nadira. What is your desired location?” The computerized voice inquired.

“Take me home,” she replied as she settled back into her seat. Their apartment was in a tower only about 15 minutes from this one. But by the looks of the clogged traffic lanes, the trip would probably take longer. This main boulevard led through the Entertainments District, one of the busiest areas of the city.

“Tell me what happened. Why do you think they killed your parents? Where did you get that?”

The transport pulled out into the traffic lane and slowly rumbled down the boulevard. Nadira looked out over the crowd, just in case she saw Zina among them. She knew it was a waste of time, if anything Zina would be in her private transport.

“I went to see Mikal at the detention center. He told me everything. My father got to the penal colony. He wasn’t lost out there. They had him killed.”

Jon opened his mouth to reply, then sagged against the cushions. “You went to see Mikal? And you believe him? Are you serious?”

“Why would he lie?”

“Is that a real question?” Jon sighed. “He’s trying to set you up. Don’t you see? He’s a liar and a killer.”

“He found my father’s ship, Jon. That wasn’t a lie.” She couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t listen. He had his mind made up and it was pissing her off.

“I know what he did at the medi-evac, Nadira. I figured it out when Maji told me she and Azure had gone there the morning after they took me to detention. I asked her to tell me everything and she did.” He reached over and grasped her hand. “He’s not getting another chance to hurt you.”

“Jon…”

“No more. Don’t see him again and don’t believe anything he says.”

Usually when they talked like this, their communication remained verbal. But right now she felt his energy on the edge of hers. It felt like sparks off a drill, stinging her with its insistence. His anger at Mikal was still fresh, as though it had all just happened yesterday.

“I have to know the truth. Either Zina or Elder Azure is going to tell me.”

“What about Elder Dakar?” Jon asked.

“He’s sick and not receiving visitors. His sister Jen’s orders.”

Jon sighed. “All they’ve done is hurt you, but I’d trust Azure before I’d ever trust Mikal.”

She felt his resignation and his disgust. But she felt his mood wasn’t only to do with her news. “Jonathan, what is it? There’s something else bothering you. I feel it.”

“I don’t want to go into it now, ashira.” He squeezed her hand.  “The club…it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Right now, I only want to protect you…but I know that I can’t.”

Why Lion Shifters Make Sexy Romantic Heroes

Family Pride: Love and Challenges by Deborah A BaileyThere is something about shifters that makes them incredibly sexy, and the image of the male lion with the full mane is a symbol of power and courage.

Lions are considered to be the most sociable of the big cats, and that was a good fit for the lion shifter community I wanted to create. Female lions are the hunters, and in my shifter world, the female lion shifters are just as fierce. Since lions usually live in prides, I used those as family units for the shifters.

In the Family Pride series, the hero Mac MacKinnon becomes the pride leader, and he learns a lot of valuable lessons from the family matriarch, Lena. She had to fight to keep the pride together for her son (Mac’s father) to inherit, and she’s able to provide important guidance.

The heroine, Zora Mason is a human woman who falls in love with Mac, and through her eyes the reader is introduced to the lion shifter community. As I created the culture of the lion shifter world, I added several traditions and rituals.

One ritual in particular leads to a very sexy scene in book 1, Family Pride: Love and Challenges. Sorry, I’m not going to give away any spoilers! In book 2, Family Pride: Blood Fever, family history leads Mac to face the biggest challenge of his life. Though he wants to live a normal life with Zora, he has to come to terms with the fact he’ll always live in two worlds. Family Pride: Blood Fever

Shifters are popular romantic heroes because of the balance between the man and the wild, untamed beast within. When I created the shifter world, I wanted to put them in everyday human situations, but with a twist.

Though Mac is an entrepreneur with real-world challenges, he also has another side that is influenced by his inner lion.
He’s loyal and extremely protective–as any lion would be when it comes to looking after the pride. But at the same time, he has to deal with real-world issues, like running his coffee bar and managing family drama.

Perhaps that’s part of the appeal of shifters. On the surface they’re regular guys, but underneath there’s an element of danger and excitement because you never know what will happen when their inner animal is set free. It’s what attracted me to create this lion shifter world and why readers love sexy shifter heroes.

Click on the links below to check out my novels, Family Pride: Love and Challenges and Family Pride: Blood Fever, books 1 and 2 in the series (affiliate links).

Family Pride: Love and Challenges on Amazon.com

Family Pride: Blood Fever on Amazon.com

Cover Reveal: Entwined Destiny by Nana Prah

Entwined Destiny-HighResEntwined Destiny by Nana Prah

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Release date: January 12, 2015

BookBlurb

Time is ticking away for Adjoa Twum. She has until the end of the year to find a guy, fall in love, and marry. Or else, her father will disinherit her from the family business.

Adjoa hasn’t had success with the dating game. No man meets her expectations. Esi, her cousin, suggests a fake relationship with Adjoa’s best friend, Kwame Opoku, to pacify her relentless father.

Kwame thinks Adjoa’s request is ridiculous. Posing as her boyfriend might get tricky, but he can’t say no to those beautiful eyes. Once the falsified relationship begins, things heat up. He discovers deep feelings for her, feelings that might lose Adjoa and her friendship.

Should they take the chance and up it to the next level?

BookLinks

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BookExcerpt

Hathor Legacy Worldbuilding Part 4 – The Rise of Novacorp

Photo Credit: Skiwalker79 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Skiwalker79 via Compfight cc

This is the 4th entry in the worldbuilding posts for my Hathor Legacy series. (Check out part 1 and part 2 and part 3.)

For a super quick recap: Hathor (named after the Egyptian goddess) was/will be discovered in the year 2234.

During this time corporations are on the lookout for resources to be used for power sources and a host of other items. They’re also looking for places that are hospitable for farming and agriculture (the kind you grow, not the kind created in a lab).

Two mega-corps involved in this type of research are Terran Terraforming & Mining and Novacorp Gallactic, Inc. They want profits, so the takeover of planets (and systems) are key to their growth.

Similar to corporate takeovers here in the present day, these companies are just as ruthless about claiming planets for their use. (In Hathor Legacy: Burn, I go into more detail about how this affects the settlers who come to Hathor, and other planets under Novacorp control are also mentioned.)

After a disease decimates the settlements and the survivors eventually develop PSI abilities, there’s a huge upheaval of the somewhat planned society. Natives of the planet who have abilities are pitted against later arrivals who knew nothing about the disease until they arrived. This leads to a schism in society between the “original” settlers (AKA the First Families) and those who arrived later on.

People with PSI abilities are often persecuted and killed or are used by more powerful people. Under a corporate “government” it’s more like the survival of those who can create more profits, than any type of republic. Eventually after almost a century of increasing chaos, Joachim emerges as a leader for those with PSI abilities. He’s at odds with TTM, the corporation running Hathor, and they eventually ship him off world.

After his departure, he meets up with reps from Novacorp who would like to take over Hathor. He makes a deal with them to assist their takeover if they will assist his people. Not long after that, a mysterious fire breaks out in Joachim’s home and kills his wife and baby daughter. TTM doesn’t investigate it and it’s assumed they are behind it.

His remaining children, Dakar and Jen – characters who play important roles in Hathor Legacy: Burn, are sent away to what are called the Cold Towns of the North. (Called that because of the colder and harsher weather conditions.)

The Corporate Wars

Ultimately, Novacorp strikes a deal with Joachim, and the war is on. Their troops back him up and he’s able to get the allegiance of his followers to help overthrow TTM’s authority.

After a lot of destruction, TTM pulls out and Novacorp takes over. However, TTM doesn’t provide passage out for all their contractors. And those who either can’t afford to leave, or don’t want to leave, are relegated to the lower rungs of the new corporate hierarchy.

Novacorp draws up a corp charter, giving Joachim’s followers with PSI abilities a place in the company as the Guardians. The city is renamed, Nova City and the company claims all the land in that geographic area.

Novacorp Rule

Though there is still private ownership in the West and North, for the most part, people live on corporate land, in corporate houses and work for the corporation. You’ve heard of company towns? Hathor is a company planet. (Novacorp also takes over the neighboring planet, Astarte and Demeter, the moon where TTM had their mining operations.)

Approx. 50 years later, the Guardians are an established security force, and that brings us up to the time when Nadira and Jonathan Keel meet on Hathor.

I’d planned to add more about the three groups of people with PSI abilities: the Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu. But that will have to wait until the next installment! Their interactions will be featured in the 3rd book of the Hathor Legacy series, Hathor Legacy: Revelations.

 

 

Family Pride: Blood Fever – Lion Shifter Paranormal Romance

Family Pride: Blood FeverAfter claiming Zora Mason as his mate, and fighting off a threat to the MacKinnon pride, Mac is more than ready to get back to managing his coffee bar and settling into mated bliss. But just when it looks like things are quieting down, Mac and Zora find more challenges ahead.

Plans for Zora and Mac’s official introduction the to the pride, and the opening of the new coffee bar may be derailed when, gripped by a mysterious blood fever lingering after the leadership challenge, Mac is driven to the edge of his endurance as he fights to keep his inner lion under control.

Juggling her responsibilities in the business and her position as the mate of the pride leader becomes even more challenging when Zora is forced to confront her fear that Mac is changing into someone she doesn’t recognize.

As the fever pushes Mac to the edge, the revelation of an old, painful family secret proves to be the key to saving Mac’s life. Zora and Mac come up with a plan to end the threat of the fever forever, but that same plan can destroy them both.

Is their love strong enough to defeat the blood fever, so they can live happily ever after as mates?

Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0143LAG46

Buy on Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0143LAG46

Cover by: Steph’s Cover Design

Why it Matters that You Tell Your Story

Why it MattersA little while back I participated in a discussion around diversity in Science Fiction Romance  on the SFR Brigade group on Facebook.

The originator of the post had some thoughts around a post on The Galaxy Express  and had opened it up to discussion.

My impressions were that some people felt that there was criticism in the post and  that it was undeserved. While others mentioned diverse character they were using in their books.

It’s a discussion that has popped up before in various venues, and it seems with current events being what they are, the conversation is increasing.

Discussion about diversity in publishing is good and should continue. For too long these things have only been discussed usually among POC, and not made mainstream.

As a black woman, I write POC heroines because they aren’t represented in any major way in science fiction and fantasy. My first memories of seeing a black woman in a sci-fi setting was on classic Star Trek.

Back in the day, it was extremely unlikely to see black people on TV at all. In fact, the ones I remember seeing on TV could’ve been counted on the fingers of one hand: Nichelle Nichols, Diahann Carroll (“Julia”) are the ones who immediately come to mind. Two.*

Perhaps there were more during that time period, seeing how I vaguely remember Greg Morris in Mission Impossible, and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the Batman TV series (when the role wasn’t played by Julie Newmar or Lee Meriwether) but I’d be hard pressed to call any other names during that period.

*Update: after a bit more research I discovered that Cicely Tyson also had a regular role on the TV show, East Side, West Side from 1963-64.  H/T to commenter Clara54 who mentioned the  contributions of the incomparable, Pam Grier. Though Pam has also been on TV, her career kicked off in movies during the rise of the Blaxploitation era, in 1968-70.

Zero sum game

Fast forward to the present where we seem to be rehashing so many racially-tinged issuess that many people thought were resolved. Race/class/sexuality–it’s all churning above the surface now, helped along in no small part by the internet (via social media and blogging where voices can be heard across the globe).

My desire to write about POC as the lead characters comes from my own formative years where they didn’t exist. Or if they did, they were stereotypes. Relegated to the sidelines and bound by centuries old definitions.

In all the sci-fi I read as a young person, where were the POC voices? Hell, where were the female voices? They made spotty guest appearances usually typecast as “angry” or “inept” or “sex partner.” Background noise to fill in the scenery that was set in gear by the white male protagonists.

Blame it on Star Trek with the inclusion of various races and non-humanoids, but I had different expectations for what I wanted to see in a universe far, far away. It’s no secret that I identified with Uhura and with Spock, whose own struggles as a half human/Vulcan were often brought to painful life in the classic episodes. uhura

Luckily for the character, Spock was allowed self-actualization in the subsequent movies, where he started out as a coldly logical Vulcan and experienced an ultimate acceptance of his humanity by the time ST VI ended the classic cannon.

(The reboot revived it on a different timeline, and thankfully didn’t lose the flavor, though there are differing opinions on the casting choices for Khan in the second movie.)

A lot of what inspired this post was something I read last week written by  much younger reader. She described her first encounter with writer Octavia Butler. My first encounter with Butler is also a touchstone of mine, and I was drawn to her as a kindred (for Butler fans – no pun intended) spirit.

That all these years later this reader could connect in the same way I did shows how one voice can make an impact that reverberates long after that voice is stilled. Maybe when Octavia Butler started writing, she never knew how others would perceive her stories. How we would be moved to write stories of our own.

She (a black female sci-fi writer) showed me that it could be done. And when I read her books, I felt like I could feel her voice in my heart. She was telling my story in addition to telling a human story.

Because you see, that’s really what it comes down to. Human stories across the centuries, the civilizations, the cultures. It’s not a zero-sum game where if I tell my story, yours is discarded. As a POC I’ve felt that way for most of my life. Where were my stories? Where were my heroes/heroines?

Old Tropes

My story involves more than what is depicted in popular culture. Slickly packaged using the same old tired tropes. Checking off the same old boxes to ensure that  no reader/viewer is jolted out of their comfort zone. Or erased completely. Negated and rendered mute.

My story is timeless. As is yours. It is a shared human story, and can’t be told through just one POV.

So, I don’t write about POC characters because I want to reduce other stories or eliminate them. I don’t see it as a profit and loss sheet, where I’m going through the numbers, sliding beads across an abacus, deciding what has value and what does not.

Tell Your Story

My story is valuable, as is yours and all the writers writing across the world. We are telling the world’s story, in our own words, through our experiences. My story does not diminish yours. And your story does not reduce mine.

Tell your stories. Don’t wait for someone else to decide what they should be or how they should be defined. You own them. Tell them. Tell them now.