August Wrap-Up & September Goals

I didn’t travel anywhere this month, but I still managed to have plenty of adventures! The highlights of the month were definitely the cover reveal for my next book, Steel Time, and buying the very first new car for either of us with my husband, a Tesla Model 3! Other fun things included some home improvement (installing a storage room under the stairs in our house), an epic ropes course through the treetops with my best friend at Adventure Park, and escaping a Nicola Tesla-themed escape room with my husband and friends with 45 seconds to spare.

Oh, and I got some work and reading done, too.

August Wrap-Up

  • Book 5, Steel Shadows, has been submitted to my editor! WOOT!
  • To celebrate, I will be building the Star Wars Y-Wing Starfighter LEGO set this weekend while I binge the most recent Marvel movies to prepare for a panel I’m on at a convention next month.
  • Prepping for the launch of Steel Time put my book 6 plans on hold, but I’m looking forward to buckling down on an outline in the next few days (technically, I’m writing this post on Wednesday, even though it’s going up on the blog on Friday).

August Book Reviews

August Speculative Chic Contributions

September Goals

  1. Well, to start, build a LEGO set while I watch Thor Ragnorok, Black Panther, and Avengers Infinity War to prep for that panel. I have such a hard life.
  2. Create a detailed scene-by-scene outline of the as-yet-untitled book 6 and write 5 to 10 thousand words of the first draft.
  3. Prep for a short and sweet blog tour to promote Steel Time. It comes out on September 6! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?
  4. Attend FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018! I can’t wait to return to this awesome convention and meet up with friends. This is the convention my husband attends with me (happy 6th anniversary to us!). I’ll be giving my presentation on the alternate history genre, participating in a few cool panels (including one on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hence the film rewatch), and getting my picture taken with David Tennant!
  5. Later in the month, I’ll also be participating in a more local convention, Capclave 2018 outside of Washington DC. Plans are afoot for a Steel Time launch party, and I’ll be sure to share the info here.

So much to do, so little time! I could use my very own time machine right about now.

 

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Book Spotlight & Review: Rights of Use (Black Book Project #1) by Shannon Eichorn

Today, I’m happy to help celebrate the birthday of a book I’ve been looking forward to for literally years, ever since the author and I met at a a convention and found kindred souls in our shared delight over Stargate, NASA, writing, and speculative fiction. Rights of Use brings me back to my teenage years, when I had a crazy thing for UFOs and Area 51, but I’m glad I got to experience this novel with the added maturity of adulthood. I might not have appreciated the modern themes of consent and authoritarianism Eichorn slips in under the guise of creepy aliens and shadowy political maneuvering.

If you’ve ever had a thing for Stargate, NASA, or pretty much anything speculative fiction, this will be right up your alley, too.


Rights of UseABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1960s, Project Blue Book assured America that no aliens visited its amber waves or shining seas.

Thirty years later, Project Black Book knows better and has the flying saucers to prove it, but they still can’t stop the body-possessing Kemtewet from scooping their pick of young women from Earth to host an alien queen.

Sarah Anderson yearned for an escape from her new life in Pennsylvania, but not for this: being kidnapped by aliens and faced with a choice between having a Kemtewet queen erase her brain or sharing her body with a Gertewet insurgent. Unless the Air Force can rescue her in time, it’s either death or a chance to make a difference in the galaxy, because with Sarah, the Gertewet have one last shot to end the Kemtewet Empire and free billions of humans subject to their body markets.

In a war over consent, only some things are black and white.

Amazon | Goodreads


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I read this book during the editing process, and I consider the author a friend; however, I can’t wait to buy a hardcopy version of this novel of my very own.

I thoroughly enjoy science-fiction of all forms, but there’s something comforting about a delicious blend of epic space opera and an Earth oblivious beyond classic UFO sightings. I find it cliche to describe a book as a mix of one popular thing plus another popular thing, but Rights of Use is everything I love about the Stargate universe combined with everything I love about modern space opera such as Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series and Rhonda Mason’s Empress Game series. Thoroughly detailed world-building where you are forced to learn about all of those details along with a delightfully diverse mix of sympathetic characters.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Shannon Eichorn

To celebrate the release of her first novel, I was delighted to interview author Shannon Eichorn about topics near and dear to both of our hearts. If you’re at DragonCon this weekend, be sure to track her down in the armory and pick up a copy of Rights of Use for yourself!

For those of us not at DragonCon, Rights of Use is now available for pre-order at the link below! The book comes out tomorrow, so there’s no time to waste!

Look for my full review on Wednesday — this is definitely one book you’re not going to want to miss.


Rights of UseABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1960s, Project Blue Book assured America that no aliens visited its amber waves or shining seas.

Thirty years later, Project Black Book knows better and has the flying saucers to prove it, but they still can’t stop the body-possessing Kemtewet from scooping their pick of young women from Earth to host an alien queen.

Sarah Anderson yearned for an escape from her new life in Pennsylvania, but not for this: being kidnapped by aliens and faced with a choice between having a Kemtewet queen erase her brain or sharing her body with a Gertewet insurgent. Unless the Air Force can rescue her in time, it’s either death or a chance to make a difference in the galaxy, because with Sarah, the Gertewet have one last shot to end the Kemtewet Empire and free billions of humans subject to their body markets.

In a war over consent, only some things are black and white.

Amazon | Goodreads


UFO sightings are one of my favorite mysteries, so your riff on “Project Blue Book” is one of the things that attracted me to your book. Do you believe that aliens have ever visited Earth?

The universe is so vast, and chemistry and life are at once so predictable and so surprising. Everything we know says it’s so unlikely that aliens have ever visited Earth. Space travel is harsh. Wide-open nothingness lies between stars, and everything we know about physics says that it’s going to take decades to get from one system to another — if there’s even life on the other side. If it’s even life that humans can communicate with.

I don’t think aliens have visited Earth, but I don’t know all the facts. Maybe I’m wrong. At the very least, I would love to see first contact in my lifetime.  Continue reading

Review: In a Suspect Universe by Albert Wendland

In a Supsect UniverseDisclaimer: Dr. Wendland was a professor at the graduate program I attended, and he is now a friend and colleague; however, I purchased an advanced-release hardcopy of this novel for full price.

I read Wendland’s first book in this world, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes, in one evening. I wish I could have done the same with this book, but life kept interfering. Instead, I snatched moments of brief moments of time with this intriguing, elegant novel.  Continue reading

Steel Time Cover Reveal!

Steel Time header

I’m thrilled to announce two things today! The first, as indicated by the title of this post, is the final cover to book 4 of the Steel Empires series, Steel Time! The second is the official release date of my fourth novel: Thursday, September 6, 2018!

Make sure to follow my blog for more information about where to get your own copy of Steel Time as it becomes available.

Did you miss the first books in the series? Be sure to check out the first Steel Empires installments below:

  1. Steel Victory
  2. Steel Magic
  3. Steel Blood

And now, check out the full cover and information about my amazing artist after the jump. Let me know what you think in the comments! Continue reading

Author Interview with Nancy O’Toole Meservier

Since I was lucky enough to read an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Red and Black, I knew I had to know more behind the book! This is a fantastic debut novel — I hope you’re inclined to pick it up after reading this interview with the author. You can find my review of the book here.


Red and BlackABOUT THE BOOK

Dawn Takahashi knows a thing or two about superheroes, from the fictional ones that populate her favorite comic books, to the real-life vigilantes who keep people safe. When she’s granted an impressive set of powers of her own, she dives right in, eager to prove herself as Bailey City’s first legitimate superhero. Dressed in red and black, Dawn spends her nights jumping from rooftop to rooftop, apprehending criminals with a smile. But by day, she finds her interactions marred by crippling social awkwardness.

Alex Gage is used to life giving him the short end of the stick, from his working-class upbringing, to the recent death of his mother. He works hard to support his younger sisters, hiding his anger and frustration behind laid back charm. It’s this charm that first draws Alex and Dawn together, but their secrets may tear them apart. Because while Dawn protects the city against threats, Alex unknowingly undermines her efforts by working as a henchman for Calypso, a mysterious woman who can make anyone loyal to her with a single touch of her hand.

It’s the classic story of boy meets girl. And hero versus villain. Where only one side can win.

Amazon | Goodreads


You’ve called this book an urban fantasy with superheroes. What will appeal to fans to both genres?

I feel like I’m cheating a little bit here, because the urban fantasy and superhero genres are already so closely related. Both typically feature a modern day (usually city-like) settings and fantastical elements. Combine this with the fact that the supernatural aspects of urban fantasy worlds are often hidden, and many urban fantasy characters already have something like secret identities.

Red and Black was born out of my love for both genres. It has the taping of a superhero story, including superpowers, masks, and codenames. At the same time, it’s structured much like my favorite urban fantasy books. This includes a first-person perspective, quick pacing, and a prominent secondary romance.  Continue reading