SFFS – 21/02/15

SFFSat is a group of authors posting snippets from either WIPs or published work.
To read the rest of the posts for this week, please click on the image above.

Although STONE COLD DEAD has stalled, I’m going to share another snippet. This scene takes place on the spaceship. Jade is returning to her quarters after a party. Alex left earlier in a mood when she refused to dance with him.

Jade slid her key card into the reader. When the indicator flicked to green, she pushed down on the handle and opened the door. The light from the corridor made an elongated rectangle on the floor of her cabin. She could just make out Alex’s hunched form on the bed. He’d pulled the covers over his head. Jade rolled her eyes at his childishness and went into the room. She let the door close behind her before swiping a hand over the sensor to bring the lights on.

“You missed a great party,” she told Alex as she went to the dresser. She put her handbag on top and then stilled. Had he been smoking? There was no sign of it; no ashtray on the dresser, no cigar wrapping or butt. Yet there was a faint tang of smoke to the air. Smoke and… burnt flesh?

Thanks for reading.

Cover Reveal: The Day Before, Liana Brooks

DayBefore coverDayBefore cover

A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is:

Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property?

Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.

The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.

This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.

A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.

LINKS: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo | GoodReads

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Liana Brooks once read the book GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and noted that both their biographies invited readers to send money (or banana daiquiris). That seems to have worked well for them. Liana prefers strawberry daiquiris (virgin!) and will never say no to large amounts of cash in unmarked bills.

Her books are sweet and humorous with just enough edge to keep you reading past your bedtime.

Liana was born in San Diego after bouncing around the country she’s settled (temporarily) in the great wilderness of Alaska. She can be found at the following links:

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Change, Change, Change

Since I started querying agents at the start of the year, I’ve changed the theme of my website three times. Altered what’s in the sidebar. Jigged the menu. Why? Because I’m panicking and trying to appear professional. Yet I’ve no idea what “professional” looks like to an agent.

Should it be minimal? With a sidebar? A splash page? How do I make an agent love me?!

I am, absolutely, worrying too much. I know this. But knowing it isn’t stopping me eyeing up the Author Theme for WordPress. Or from trying to prep the blog for the moment I get The Call because that is definitely the thing I should be doing right now.

Except that I know it’s not. GD is out and there is nothing I can do here that is going to effect an agent’s decision. (Maybe I could blog more, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.) If I get a Yay, then I suppose that, if the agent in question thinks I ought to change the site, then they’ll talk me through it.

So I should leave well enough alone and do what I’m meant to be doing. Write.

Madness in my method

British commercial TV networks have been running an advert from Sport England called “This Girl Can”. It features women participating in a variety of sports. Nothing unusual about that? There is in this case – all the women are from a wide range of backgrounds, cover a wide range of abilities, and, most importantly, encompass a wide range of sizes. To quote the website:

This Girl Can is here to inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.

How inspiring is that? In my case, very. At 41 years old and 220 pounds, I’ve put off getting fit because I’ve been afraid of judging looks. Anyone who’s ever attended a gym whilst even slightly unfit knows the ones I mean. But I don’t have to go to the gym to run. I can pull on my trainers and jog around the block.

greatrunSo far, I’ve not managed much. But I have a goal – I entered and won a place in the Great North Run; a 10K running event through Newcastle in September (I was originally looking at the Great Manchester Run, being closer, but decided three months wasn’t enough training time).

The GNR is in seven months, and two days after my 42nd birthday. I’m equal parts excited and terrified, given my current personal best is about ten yards. But I’m determined. Even if I can’t run every day, I aim to get out and at least walk the dogs. I’m going to start swimming once a week as well, and I’ve already started eating more healthily.

I’m running the GNR for charity, namely Sea Shepherd UK, for reasons that should be obvious. I’ve a Just Giving page on the off chance people want to support them and me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve some exercises to do.

Writing Sci Fi Romance #Romance2015

romance-festival-2015When I started writing, back in 1999, I wrote fanfic. I’d no intention of getting published. All I wanted was to tell the stories of the characters I loved, and to share those stories with others. The shows I watched, in whose universes I played, were all sci fi. Stargate and Farscape and Doctor Who. The stories I wrote were romances. (Okay, maybe some were complete porn, but I digress).

Writing sci fi romance for a wider audience isn’t easy. On one side you have the hard sci fi fans who hate messy things like love and sex. On the other, there are romance fans who aren’t sure they can keep up with the technical parts.

And yet, both of those things are why I choose to write sci fi rom. I’ve been fascinated by space since I was a child. With that same wonder of the unknown which made humanity journey across seas and then claim the Moon. I’ll never step off this planet, not physically. But there are no such restrictions on my mind. I imagine the future of Earth. I imagine strange new worlds and new civilisations (ahem). One of the draws of sci fi is the ability to create my own universe.

Of course, once that universe is Tin+Catmade, it’s important to keep to the rules. I don’t go into depth in my stories, but often there is hours of research behind the most casual of scientific mentions. I’ve read books on physics, and subscribe to pages like IFLS to keep up with the latest news.

But creating the universe is just the beginning. After that, I have to fill it with people. My casts are usually small, and the focus usually on the heroes. I use that term because sci fi romance encompasses not just het stories, but gay and lesbian, bisexual and trans. No, I’ve not published anything outside of the het box, but I am writing it. Hopefully some of it will be available later this year.

But it’s the possibilities of sci fi that makes me love writing romance in space. Why I love being able to create characters who go on wild adventures, who meet, fall in love and – yes – have really hot sex on the way to a happily-ever-after, because hope is important.

SFFS – 07/02/15

SFFSat is a group of authors posting snippets from either WIPs or published work.
To read the rest of the posts for this week, please click on the image above.

Welcome back. I’m continuing to share from my sci fi mystery, though I’ve hit a few bumps in the road. This scene takes place a little after the opening one shared last week. Jade and Alex have gotten through security and are going into the departure lounge. Please excuse the placeholder! :D

In the departure lounge, red leather chairs sat in back-to-back rows with square coffee tables at regular intervals. Holographic adverts were projected above each table, extolling the virtues of [Company] Starlines and the various attractions their starships flew to.

Jade scanned the faces of her fellow passengers out of habit. She’d picked up a fair read on people over her years working for Alex. He mocked it, but still tended to ask for her opinion on this client or that suspect. Out of the office – and away from Alex’s scoffing – she’d done a course in human body language, then one in psychology, then another in criminal behaviour. She didn’t want to be a mere assistant any more. She wanted to be a PI, and not just because the money was better – she wanted to help people. However, Alex refused to even entertain the idea. Said it was to protect her, because being a PI meant dealing with scum. Jade chose not to point out that she already did.

Thanks for reading.