Con Report: FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018

FanX 2018 author imageWow. What an absolutely amazing trip.

[If you’re here to find the copy of my alternate history presentation, you’re in the right place! It’s included below!]

I’m not even going to recap last year, because this year blew it out of the water. I was honored to be invited back, and I hope to return again next year. Many thanks to Jay Whittaker and Blake Casselman for their continued support — I genuinely feel like I leveled up as an author last weekend, and it could not have happened without the support from both of you.

THURSDAY

My husband Bach and I traveled to the airport early in the morning, where we met two friends we were traveling with. Our trip was smooth, including the connection in Chicago and catching the new Utah train service from the airport in Salt Lake City to our hotel downtown. We checked into our hotel 30 minutes ahead of my mental schedule, and then it was off to the races!  Continue reading

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Review: Snowbound (Bloodline of Yule #2) by Maria Alexander

SnowboundDisclaimer: I consider myself friends with the author; I received an electronic advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

I finished reading this book at the height of summer in my very warm home office. But I didn’t even think of turning on the ceiling fan, because Alexander brought the freezing cold of the Arctic to cool me off instead. This sequel started with a bang and instantly hooked me, even if the beginning didn’t follow the path I expected. But it was the best sort of unexpected, with twists and turns that led to an epic ending.  Continue reading

Steel Time Book Launch & Excerpt!

Steel Time Jacket.inddHappy book birthday to me! Today, I’m pleased to announce the launch of the fourth book in my Steel Empires series. Steel Time is extra-special for me because time travel is one of my favorite speculative fiction motifs. Working the concept into my own expansive universe was challenging and a LOT of fun. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t just throw my characters into a certain blue box.)

I’m at FanX Salt Lake City today, giving a presentation on one of my favorite topics: alternate history! I’m sure this evening will involve lots of fun shenanigans, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a book launch day. As a treat to celebrate, I also get my picture taken with David Tennant, my favorite Doctor, tomorrow afternoon! (Look for my con report with my full write-up of the trip on the blog next week.)

Last year, when Steel Blood came out, so many people congratulated me on finishing my trilogy. Though events can stand alone after the first three books, I have so much more story to tell. I really appreciate you coming along on the adventure.

Today, I’m happy to share some basic information about the book and then give you a sneak peek at the very first chapter! And if you haven’t met my crazy world yet, I encourage you to jump in with book 1, Steel Victory.

TARDIS


ABOUT THE BOOK

You’re never too young or too old to experience a paradigm shift.

Toria Connor is 25 when tripping over an artifact in the ruins of Nacostina thrusts her a century into the past, before the city is destroyed during the Last War. Now, she finds herself alone. Adrift in a time where she must hide everything important to her, from her mercenary career to her true magical ability.

Victory is over eight centuries old when she follows her adopted daughter. She has seen empires rise and fall, but never anything like this. She must survive alone in a city inhospitable to vampires, dodging friends and foes from her past alike.

Both of them know the clock is ticking down to the moment when the city is wiped off the map.

Now, they’re in a race against time. To find each other. To escape the past. And to save the future.

There are many ways to get your own copy of Steel Time!

Read on for the opening to Steel Time!

Continue reading

Review: Moribund (Circuit Fae #1) by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge

MoribundDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend; however, I purchased a hardcopy version of this book for full price.

For all that I read urban fantasy and LGBT fiction, it surprises me that this is my first F/F urban fantasy — and a young adult (YA) novel, at that. But if a book had to be my first, I’m pleased that this was it. It definitely took everything that I love about urban fantasy, LGBT fiction, AND young adult fiction and transformed them into something wonderful and fully engrossing.  Continue reading

FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018 Schedule

FanX 2018 author imageThis weekend I will be attending my second FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention (formerly Salt Lake Comic Con)! My husband joins me at this con, and we use it as our annual anniversary celebration because it falls near the date of our wedding. We have a great time people-watching, spending too much money on nerdy things, and catching up with friends. My husband refers to himself as my sherpa-slash-arm candy while I promote my writing, and this year, I’m excited to have our friends Lauren and Chad fly out with us.

I will be presenting on the alternate history genre and participating in a few panels. You’ll also definitely be able to find us at anything related to the Geek Show Podcast to support our buddies there. Schedule and additional details below.

I acknowledge that there has been some controversy surrounding this convention due to harassment issues between guests and fans that were not resolved satisfactorily during or after the 2017 event. While I am not 100% satisfied with the way things turned out after the issues last year (from what I know through the press and the Internet grapevine, at least), I do see that changes have been put in place that will hopefully make the 2018 event a success for all involved. For example, I personally know two of the people on the new community council and trust in them to help the convention through these issues. Though this is a larger convention (by many magnitudes) than the others I attend, my usual policy still stands: If you feel unsafe in any way, even if it’s just mildly uncomfortable, you can find me and I will be your new best friend (and help you out with whatever steps you need to feel safe). Fandom is a community, and communities look out for each other.

To anyone who might be at this convention, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to meet up for a meal, a drink, or even just to chat, especially since this is the one event a year that I’m not on the Easy Coast! I’d love to meet you. This applies to pretty much anytime I’m not busy. Facebook and Twitter DMs will be the best way to reach me before or during the event.

Thursday, September 6

  • 4 PM: Alternate History: Creating Stories by Changing the Past (Room 150G)
    • Join author and editor J.L. Gribble as she leads an interactive presentation on alternate history as a genre, subgenre, and storytelling technique, using examples from all forms of pop culture media. Appropriate for authors and readers. Hosting and color commentary provided by comedian Jay Whittaker.
  • 5 PM: Book signing at The Printed Garden (Booth 801)

Friday, September 7

  • 5 PM: Avengers, Re-Assemble! Infinity War and Beyond (Room 151D)
    • With the fate of the universe (well technically, half of it) hanging it the balance will the Avengers be able to put their differences aside and become The Universe’s Mightiest Heroes? In this panel we will discuss what we think/hope we can expect from the next Avengers movie as well as the movies leading up to and following ‘Avengers TBA’!
    • With Robert J. Defendi  (moderator), Jacob Dietz, Christian Lambert, McCord Larsen, Cameron McVey, and Travis Tate
  • 7 PM: Book signing at The Printed Garden (Booth 801)
  • 8 PM: Get Your Geek Off: Two Teams Debate Random Topics Suggested by the Audience (18+) (Room 251A)
    • With Shannon Barnson, Scott Drakeford, Kerry Jackson (moderator), Jimmy Martin, Kyle J. Steenblik, Jay Whittaker

Saturday, September 8

  • Wandering around and having fun!

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.

 

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