Misa Buckley

Misa Buckley

out of this world romance

Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop

fairy-tale-hopFairy tales are often the first stories we hear as children. Goldilocks, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty. As oral tradition, fairy tales predate the written word and were often moralistic stories – for instance, The Frog Prince is about not judging on appearances.

When Champagne Books put out a submission call for dark heroes, I was put in mind of out of my favourite fairy tales – Beauty and the Beast. I love the enemy-to-lovers trope, but I wanted to put a different spin on the classic story. So I set it in space.

Malia, my Belle character, lives on a world that used to be part of a federation of planets but, being small and rather insignificant, it’s fallen off the grid. The only connection is the abandoned landing station. For Malia, who loves technology but is denied an education, the station’s “ancient” devices is a treasure trove. She teaches herself to repair them, but in doing so, activates a locator beacon that brings the federation’s commander back.

The Beast, Bayne, is known as “the Overlord”. His reputation is so fierce even Malia’s backwater planet has heard of him. Bayne demands his tithe – something Malia knows the planet cannot deliver. She offers herself in place and Bayne accepts.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has a memorable scene where the Beast gifts bookworm Belle his library. That is a turning point in their relationship, and I wanted a similar scene in my version. However, Malia cannot read or write, so instead Bayne gifts her a workplace where she can learn and practice her technological skills.

Two decks down, Bayne activated the door on a room he knew hadn’t seen much activity for a while. He stepped in, Malia’s hand still on his arm, and the lights came on. He watched her face as she looked around, smiling when her eyes widened as she realized where he’d brought her. She turned those wide eyes on him and his stomach knotted.

“Bayne?”

“Anyone that can fix something as technical as my arm with only the knowledge they taught themselves has a talent that it would be foolish to waste.”

Her forehead creased, then her lips parted. “This is for me?”

“Indeed so. I can assign a couple of my technicians to assist you as well, if you would like.”

“If I would…” She shook her head, then turned to take in the laboratory again. “Bayne, this is so… so… oh, I don’t know! I don’t have the words. All I ever got was discouragement. No one ever gave me a chance before.”

“Then they are idiots.”

She laughed, coming truly alive for the first time since he’d taken her from Terranis. She glowed, a thrilling thing to witness. Then she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him soundly on the mouth.

“Thank you.”

To win an ebook of BAYNE in the format of your choice, please comment on what you favourite fairy tale is and why, and don’t forget to include your email!

BayneMalia dreams of a life less ordinary but when her planet is visited by the Bayne, Destroyer of Worlds, she surrenders herself to him in order to give her people time to collect the tribute that the Overlord demands.

Despite Bayne being as much machine as man and having a violent temper, he rescues her from the unwanted attentions of his second-in-command and gives Malia a glimpse at the battered heart lying beneath the steel and scars.

As they start their relationship over, Malia discovers a man very different to the reputation that precedes him and probes deeper. However, her investigation uncovers a dark truth: a truth that someone wants to remain hidden no matter what the cost.

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Misa 15 September, 2014 14 Comments Permalink

Writing Science Fiction

book_starsBrowsing Twitter on a writing break, I saw a link to a course on how to write science fiction. I followed it and saw the course was rather expensive. Now, tutors have every right to make a living from teaching what they know, but as a whole, writers tend to be a fairly poor group. And to be honest, it riles me that aspiring sci fi writers might think they need this course when they don’t.

Science fiction isn’t a hard genre to write. Honest. Yeah, I know you’ll hear some authors saying it is, but they’re usually the ones, who’ve been writing it forever and think all sci fi should be hard and written by men. Bollocks to that, I say.

All you need to write sci fi is an imagination. You really do not need a degree in rocket science. Sure, it helps if you have knowledge of any science, and if you like learning that stuff, go out and do that, but you don’t need to. (Random pimpage: if you want to read a book that goes into science in layman’s terms, go find Ben Miller’s It’s Not Rocket Science. It’s educational and fun.)

What you do need is a consistent world/universe. Have your reason for faster-than-light travel, for little green men, for your weird magic force that bonds everything together, and stick to it (yeah, I’m looking at you, Lucas.) Creating a suspension of belief is a whole lot easier when you’re consistent.

Create believable characters and seep them in their world. Avoid “as you know, Bob” conversations and explanations into How Things Work. Just show them working. After all, you don’t think about how a kettle boils, you just pour the hot water. I don’t remember an episode of Firefly that explained how Serenity flew. That didn’t stop the audience believing she did.

Science fiction is the best genre, because anything is possible. And I’m not just talking technology. Star Trek showed the first interracial kiss. So blur the lines of gender and ability and sexuality. Take every “ism” and toss them out the window. Science fictional worlds are a utopia, because we can show diversity in its fullest, leaving nothing and no one out. That in itself is so exciting, don’t you think?

Lastly, read. And not just other sci fi novels, but fantasy and contemporary, horror and inspirational. Read LGBTQ. Steampunk. Mythology. Austin. History books. Get out your old children’s books and re-read them. Glean from literally everything and twist it. Ask yourself “what if”. And do not let anyone limit where your imagination goes.

Misa 6 September, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

Guest Spot: Angela Quarles

blogtour

Levels and Flavors of Geekery

Thank you for hosting me, Misa! I thought it would be appropriate, since we share similar geek interests that I should talk a little today about geekdom, and how it can intersect with writing. My author tagline is ‘Geek Girl Romance Writer’ and I’m about to put to the test the elasticity of that term. My first release was a novelette called Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, and it was a geek romcom with geek references popping up cheek to jowl with the sexy bits.
[Misa: I absolutely LOVED this story!]
However, before I wrote that, I’d written (but hadn’t published) Must Love Breeches, which is completely different from that romcom, but I would still contend it fits in with my brand even though it’s devoid of geek pop culture.

Must Love Breeches releases tomorrow, and it’s a time travel romance, so right there the timey-wimey stuff would appeal to some geeks, but mainly I like to think of ‘geekery’ as unrestrained enthusiasm for a subject, and it’s in that sense I use Geek Girl Romance Writer. I geek out about a lot of things that aren’t necessarily aspects of geek pop culture (though I do that too!). I’m a total geek about history. Seriously, it can be like crack cocaine for me. Well, er, what I imagine it’d be like as I’ve never touched that stuff. But I digress :)

In Must Love Breeches, I feature Ada Lovelace as a major secondary character (she takes the heroine under her wing) and I had a lot of fun learning about her, as well as the time period I chose, 1834. My heroine also geeks out in the book when she comes across the 1833 Bentley edition of Jane Austen’s works, as I’m also a Jane Austen geek.

I think that’s what I’ve found with writing. Up to embarking on writing as a career, I’d hopped from one career to another like a magpie collecting the shiny. A lot of things interest me and so it’s hard to stay focused on one thing. But writing seems to allow me to explore my interests in a medium I find fun, engaging, and challenging, and one of the main interests for me is history, so it’s only natural that I dive into a historical subject for a novel.

The sequel to Must Love Breeches will be Must Love Chainmail, in which the heroine gets zapped back to 1294 Wales. She’s immediately thrown into the middle of a short rebellion that actually took place then–Madog’s Rebellion, and I’m enjoying researching that rebellion, the Welsh culture, and the medieval era in general.

I think in the end, my writing is a medium for me to geek out about what I find interesting, and I’m hoping that others will respond and find it interesting as well. We’ll see!

What about you? What do you geek out on other than aspects of geek pop culture?

AngelaQuarles_MustLoveBreeches_200pxMust Love Breeches
Time Travel Romance
Release Date: Sep 3 2014
Length: Novel (98,000 words)
Ebook Price: $4.99 (Pre-order price $3.99)
ISBN: 978-0-9905400-0-7

Content advisory: Adult language, explicit sex

Blurb:

She’s finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.

“A fresh, charming new voice” – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare

HOW FAR WOULD YOU TRAVEL FOR LOVE?

A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case’s significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.

To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.

Lord Montagu’s now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home—as well as her heart—lies.

Book Links:
Amazon | Kobo | ARe | iTunes | Google Play | Nook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Official Book Page

About the Author:

angela_photoAngela Quarles is a geek girl romance writer whose works includes Must Love Breeches, a time travel romance, and Beer & Groping in Las Vegas, a geek romantic comedy in novelette form.

She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She currently resides in a historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL.

Author’s Links:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Mailing list

Facebook: | PinterestParanormal Unbound

 

Misa 2 September, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Game of Quarters

In his book 500 Ways to be a Better Writer, Chuck Wendig recommends using a four act narrative instead of a three act one. I’ve been thinking how I can apply this to GENESIS DUSK and realised that the story naturally falls into four parts.

Act One: Ella’s relationship with Corin
The first part of the novel is focused on Ella learning to trust Corin, and their friendship developing into a romance despite the odds against it. This climaxes on Parcae, where Ella tells him that she loves him.

Act Two: The fallout from the attack
The alien attack on Parcae is the first pivotal point, where the novel shifts from being solely about the Ella/Corin relationship to being about surviving an alien invasion. With the command at Genesis gone, their roles mean they both have to look beyond themselves and at their wider responsibilities.

Act Three: Genesis
The focus here is back on Ella alone, as those responsibilities mean having to take command. She grows up a lot in this section. Another pivotal point serves as the act’s cliffhanger. No, I’m not telling you. Spoilers, sweeties. :)

Act Four: Losers and Winners
The battle for Genesis is the main theme of this section. Since it is a war, there are losses both personal and on the wider scale. Scars are left on Ella and Corin, one of which derails a long-term plan. The latter half of this act is about coming to terms with what’s happened and moving on.

Figuring this out has been hugely helpful. I’m still working on getting a finished manuscript, but when it comes to the next editing pass, I can divide the novel into these parts. That focus means ensuring there’s a rise and fall in each section, with the tension wracking up overall.

This is where GENESIS DUSK stands right now:ROW80

  • finish the scene on Parcae – DONE
  • write the scenes where Corin takes command – DONE
  • go through the outline and fill out the half-finished scenes – I’ve rewritten seven scenes over five chapters. I have 16 chapters left to battle through. >.<

I’m on 11,500 words of my 20K goal for August. I definitely over-estimated how much actual writing I could get done between editing and having the kids at home. But it’s better than nothing, and the novel is tighter now than it was at the start of the month.

Misa 27 August, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Dangerous Hero Challenge 2014

DHC2014

The Dangerous Hero Challenge , hosted by Paranormal Cravings, runs from August 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The challenge is to read 10 books (of the paranormal romance or urban fantasy genre) that have a Dangerous Hero/ine as a main, or supporting character.

Misa 25 August, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

The SFR Brigade Presents #03

Welcome to the next of my SFR Brigade Presents snippets. Still with GENESIS DUSK, but skipping ahead to Ella’s arrival at the titular space station. Where all is not well…

I’d seen the specifications of Genesis, the holographic schematics, and historical records. None of those prepared me for the reality of station. It was massive. A central cylinder supported three rings, which in turn supported the docking piers. Lights shone along their lengths, illuminating the entire structure and reflecting off its metalwork, making it glitter against the black backdrop of space.

 

However, apart from its steady spin, there was no movement. There should have been ships coming and going, but instead there was a stillness that wound my stomach into knots of foreboding. And as the Obsidian cruised closer, there were signs that the station had been involved in a violent attack. One pier had broken halfway along, its jagged edges blackened. Further scorches marred the rings. Debris surrounded the station, caught in the gravity created by its rotation.

 

“Slow to mark two,” Corin ordered. “And raise forward shields.”

 

The Obsidian crept towards the station. A grim silence hung over the bridge crew. I gripped the edge of the console and tried not to look too closely at what drifted past the viewscreen. Not that the comms panel was much to look at – there was no radio contact within the station, no external. There wasn’t even a distress signal being transmitted.

Check out the other participants by clicking on the badge at the top of the post.

Misa 23 August, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

On Depression

Today, the world is in mourning. Depression and addiction, two insidious evils, have conspired to take the life of actor and comedian Robin Williams. I cried when I read the news, my heart aching for what he must have been feeling, for the family he left behind. Then I got angry. I am going to stand on my desk and cry out.

ocaptain

Depression is a real thing. It does not discriminate against those it attacks. Rich and poor, white and black, male, female, whatever you choose to identify as – it can hit you. And you cannot just shake it off. Because often there is no reason for it. It is like a mental cancer that gets inside and eats away at your happiness, at your hopes and dreams. But it is not sudden. It is usually a slow slide into darkness – so slow that sometimes you’ve no idea how deep you were in the shadows until you come stumbling out into the light.

The sad thing about Robin Williams is that the things he turned to in order to escape are things that just help drag you down further. This is not a condemnation, just a statement of fact. Alcohol and recreational drugs do not help against depression. Sometimes prescribed drugs do not help.

Sometimes therapy does not help.

Nor does the love of family and friends.

Sometimes the darkness is just too dark.

However I want to shine a light for everyone in the shadows right now. There are numbers you can ring, websites you can go on. This is the list I have:

Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90

Rethink Mental Illness – 0300 5000 927

Sane – 0845 767 8000

Childline – 0800 1111

YoungMinds – 0808 802 5544 (parents’ helpline)

Black Dog Tribe

Depression Alliance

Inspirited Minds

Mind

Rethink

 

If you know of any support, list it/them in the comments. Let’s stand together.
together

Misa 12 August, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink