Science Fiction

Its Out of this World: The Science Fiction Romance Brigade Blog Hop


Welcome to the SFR Brigade’s 2nd Midsummer Blog Hop.  I am so pleased to be a part of this. Their are a ton of amazing giveaways, just scroll to the bottom to find the rafflecopter link.  The theme is Out of this World.  I am in the finishing my first sci fi romance, Race to Redemption.  Here’s the blurb and logline so you can see where its heading.

Race to Redemption Blurb (my SFR WIP)

Dust racing. The highest risk sport in the Earth Alliance…and the most lucrative.  Elaina Carteret holds the championship title on multiple worlds with all the celebrity, wealth and male attention that comes with it. After a horrific accident, she disappears to resurface as Lainie Carter on the Ranhar, a non-aligned desert planet on the border of competing planetary federations. Her risk-taking, rule-breaking approach to her job as medical transport pilot infuriates the med facility’s director, Dr. Erik Johansen, who runs the outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest ass on the planet.

Unable to forgive himself for a past tragedy, Erik works himself into an early grave. He has no patience for the insubordinate Lainie Carter, who can’t take an order, disrupts routine, and flames his body to ash.  She’s not what she seems and he lost his soul to another who lived behind a lie.

When the facility is attacked by a rival Federation, they’re thrown together in a race across the desert to prevent the spread of a deadly phage.  As a fragile trust blossoms between two damaged hearts, their pasts resurface to threaten millions of lives and their very souls.


To prevent a bioengineered phage from taking the lives of millions, a doctor and champion pilot race across a desert planet fighting the pull of their own hearts and an alien federation out to stop them.

Visit all the writers on the Blog Hop

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for the Grand Prize Giveaway. The prizes are:

1st Prize – $150 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice) and an ebook bundle (Ghost in the Machine, Bayne, Recast Book
1:Wither, Recast Book 2:Clash, Alien Adoration, Switched, Reckless Rescue, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Keir, Terms & Conditions Apply, The Key, Marya, The Iron Admiral, Sasha’s Calling, Trouble at the Hotel Baba Ghanoush, Winter in Paradise, Once Upon a Time in Space, the Telomere trilogy, Winter Fusion, Blue Nebula, Demential, Wytchfire, Maven, Fires of Justice, Interface, Girl under Glass, and Breakout. Bonus books – Ghost Planet, The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy and Deception, and Games of Command, Stark Pleasure, The Plan and Starburst).

2nd Prize – $50 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice)

3rd Prizes – four $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards (given to separate winners and their choice)

Here’s the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Joy of Character Names: Pippa Jay’s Gethyon Book Tour

I am so pleased to welcome Pippa Jay to my blog today. Her new book, Gethyon, is a YA sci fi and worth a look. She’ s here to chat about how she names her characters. She also has a great giveaway so make sure you read all the way to the end.gethyon_300

Long, long before I decided to add to the world’s population with my little trio of red-haired monsters, I collected books about names. You know the ones, right? Those ‘1001 Baby Names’ and ‘The Top 500 Most Popular Baby Names of <insert year here>’. Even the Anne Geddes ‘Baby Names Keepsake’, with appropriate cutesy baby photos and fake leather cover. Except that I wasn’t naming babies – well, unless you count my characters.

Names fascinate me. They intrigue me even more than words. They have their own stories and history, a meaning outside of my native English. For example, my real name is Philippa. You can see now why I shortened it to Pip or Pippa, can’t you? This can mean ‘lover of horses’ or ‘horse friend’. It’s just a shame that so many people found it hard to spell, including my own dad – and he registered my birth! Sigh.wordle for Pippa

So my collection of books mean I rarely struggle with names for my characters, my worlds or critters to populate them. Even if they fail me, there’s always the random name generator at Seventh Sanctum. Or if I’m looking for a curse, or maybe a food name, the word verification system on some blogs usually gives me something (bet you never thought those pain-in-the-butt codes could be useful!). I’ll confess to noting down the ‘good’ ones each time I comment somewhere. Technology is more difficult since I try to make it scientifically accurate – or close enough – that only a serious scientist could catch me out.

But Gethyon fell under another of my naming systems. Sometimes I take a normal name (in this case a Welsh name – Gethin) and add or change a letter. So Gethin became Gethyon, even before I started writing.

And the other characters? Well, the dark entity hunting my young hero – the Siah-dhu – came from a car number-plate – S14DHU. Gethyon’s sister is Callon, a real name I’ve always liked. The girl he meets while on the run is Marisole, another real name. But before you think I’ve just raided those baby name books for my characters, there’s Jinxuri Chei’har of the Veen. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Luckily she prefers to be called just Jinx…


A YA Science Fiction Novel
Released by Champagne Books 3rd June 2013

His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.

Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.

When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?

Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?


Amazon UK
Amazon US


Pippa photoBIO:

A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. Between torturing her characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head. Her works have won a SFR Galaxy Award, and finaled in the Readers Favorite Award Contest and the Gulf Coast RWA Chapter Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award.









To celebrate the release of Gethyon, I’m offering this pretty little green crystal charm, open internationally. Pippa greenTo enter, simply fill in the rafflecopter below.

Rafflecopter code

My new gig. Blogging on Darker Temptations. #Contests and #Giveaways


I am so excited to share that, in addition to blogging here, I have joined a fabulous group of paranormal, science fiction and erotic romance writers on the blog Darker Temptations: Tempting Your Imagination.  We launched October 1. For the next two weeks, we will be giving away prizes while telling you a little bit about ourselves. I blog every other Tuesday, starting today, October 2.

Each blogger will pick a winner, comment each day for a chance to win prizes from each author. Winners will be announced on October 15th. Hope on over and say hi.

I’d love to hear from you and showoff  my other cyberspace digs.


Nurturing your inner fantasy writer: Geeking out with Magi Quest

What did I do on my summer vacation?

I ascended to Master Magi in MagiQuest.  What a head rush, flicking a wand to unlock a chest full of gold and jewels;

animate a suite of armor;

duel dragons and goblin kings with ice and lightning; 

and rescue a princess.  I would have much preferred a prince but at least I got some nifty powers out of the deal so I can’t complain.

Why am I sharing this?  Because playing fantasy heroine in a 3D game created in the minds and stories of others nurtures my inner geek and fans the flames of my creativity. (How many cliches can I use?)

Creativity needs feeding.

Play is an integral part of its diet.

So I play.

What do you to do to stoke your inner (or outer) fantasy writer?

For the Love of #Books: The Booker Award

I feel very privileged that  Kasia James, writer of one of my favorite blogs, has nominated me for the Booker Award.  Even more so when I share that the Booker Award is specific to literary and book-centered blogs.

Here’s the best part, I have to post my top five books of all time.  That’s my idea of a geekin good time.   The other rules–nominate as many blogs as you’d like and post the booker award icon.  How could I resist. Who ever wrote the slogan so has my number.

In a lifetime of reading how does one choose five?

I opted for books that I return to again and again because they continue to speak to the parts of me that need to listen and be heard. With that as my guiding light, the choices are somewhat eclectic, reflecting so many facets of what it means to me to be human.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

A children’s book, yes, and I have always owned it. In few words and elegant drawings, Sendak shined a star on rebellion as a font of creativity, unconditional love as our source of strength and the need of the explorer to have a home to return to.  Not to mention the importance of having fun.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Meg Murray, the heroine, made alienation cool. An outsider in her family and at school,  she was my geek heroine before the word geek hit mainstream.  Not only did the story itself peak my interest, but for the first time, I felt that I was not alone.  I may follow my own drummer, but there was a whole band out there I might be able to join.  I still read it when I feel the need to hear that other band playing.  I bought my daughter a copy when she was born.  I hope it gives her the same sense of belonging if and when she needs it.

If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

When a writer like Calvino, who ripped convention into shreds and pushed the boundaries of creativity, penned a homage to readers, it is a tale like no other.  In a feast of changing styles and narrative forms,  Calvino memorialized the relationship between writer and reader in a book that had me turning pages, giggling and thinking non-stop. It is the  book I have gifted the most to others over the course of my life.

No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre

The play that brought us the line “hell is other people.”  I come back to it again and again as a reminder that our own choices and our willingness to change ultimately determines the degree of happiness we allow in our lives. Heavy yes, but so is life.  Even so, I’ll end my list with a lighter feel because I still want the happy ending.

The Empress’ New Clothes by Jaid Black

Since I have an erotic romance debuting in October, I had to put one on the list.  This book had me falling off the couch in stitches.  I pull it off the shelf when I need to laugh and to reconnect with the potential of female sexuality in all its mystery and contradictions.

Now, I am passing the award to three wonderful bloggers whose reading list I want to see. They have dynamic blogs so head on over and have a look see.  Drum roll please…..

Ellie Heller – writer and reader of stories tingling with romance, magic and suspense  (and an awesome world builder).

Celia Breslin – writer of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Amber Belldene – Paranormal romance writer, desire is devine.

And I’ll end this post with an offer. Since I love books, if any one wants to join in the fun, let me know in the comments and I would be happy to pass the award to you as well. Or just stop by and let me know one of your favorites and why?

World building: How do you play?

Have you seen the newest Monopoly game, the electronic banking edition, where players swipe their debit cards to pay for property, taxes, etc…   What did you think?

My gut reaction—Yikes, playing with credit card look-alikes, how can that be good for raising kids?  The rational me reaction—No  surprise. Play mirrors life.  Hard to imagine that our grandchildren will even remember money.  Instead of buying Boardwalk with the roll of a square, plastic die, children playing Monopoly of the future may take a holographic site tour of Martian biodomes and have to calculate Martian-Earth exchange rates to create their intergalactic real estate empire.

And what about sex?  (Where are you going with this Sabrina, you ask.).  Toys depend upon and help shape our sense of touch (e.g. teddy bears, scrabble letters, monopoly pieces, baseballs etc…). They involve the hands and body by definition and develop our sensuality and sense of play.  So if play all happens through a remote, will sex in the future need one as well? Actually, if you look at current game control design, yeah, over there, hmmmm.  And then there’s the joy stick.  Anyhoo, I’ve digressed enough.

Children’s toys and games don’t often find their way into grown up entertainment. When they do show up, they’re not really about having fun.  In Star Next Generation Unification II, we meet a 24th century toy—Vulcan language dice, used by the Romulan Unificationists to teach their children Vulcan. Keeping the unification dream alive, toys are a political statement.  And these were Spock’s toys as a child which explains an awful lot. I adore Spock and the Vulcans, but let’s face it, they’re not a hell of a lot of fun.  Toys will tell.

Designing toys and play is fun part of world building even if they don’t actually show up in our final drafts.  I’ve found when I get stuck with a character, delving into their childhood–how they were parented, how they played, the toys they used—can breathe life into their personality and quirks and drives.

So how about you, any examples of other worldly toys you’d love to get your hands on or toys of the future you know are coming down the pipeline?   You are invited to play along.

Alien Anatomy, Where is it?

Riddle me this. Why do almost all humanoid species and paranormal supernaturals sport the same sexual equipment and it works just like ours?  Their ears may be cupped, their blood silver, and two hearts beat in their belly, they buzz or glow in the happy moments or  have different erogenous zones but the sexual apparatus is non-negotiable.  Anatomy cannot impede true love.

It makes it easier to get it on with an Alien dude or dudette, but we’re more imaginative than that.  Invention is a human specialty.

Lets look at this logically? Vampire traditionally are dead, they don’t have kids so why does their equipment still work? What are the men ejaculating anyway?  Live sperm from the walking dead?  Dead sperm, now that’s a cold shower if there ever was one.  Yuck.  There are ways around this, of course.  We can make them a new, living species, ignore it because its fantasy, or innovate with it. In Morgan Hawke’s House of Shadows, our vampire hero Rick shoots blood. Messy but so very vampire.

Seems to me, playing with alternative genitalia can really spice up a paranormal, sci fi or any other story for that matter. Just because.

There are a few fun examples out there.  In another world created by Morgan Hawke’s Imperial Stars Series, skeldhi males have two, one for the front and back door. Aah creativity.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry Series gave us  Sholto, King of the Slaugh, a hybrid, whose extra bits and bobs stimulate multiple parts. So you have the physical pleasure of a ménage but the emotional depth of a single partner.  That’s what I’m talking about.

These worlds don’t just push at the edges of the box, they obliterate it and rebuild.  (Hamilton goes well beyond anatomy but you’ll have to read it yourself).

How do we explore the depth of who we are, if don’t hack away at our barriers, including the anatomical ones?

Any favorite alien body parts out there? Examples of other books that don’t let human anatomy get in the way of a good story?

Z is for Zoe, last but never least #AtoZchallenge

We’ve reached the end of the A to Z blog challenge and like many of you out there, I’m tired, glad to be finished with the everyday-ness of  this exercise but happy that I did. I made new friends, flexed those writing muscles, and finished something.  All in all, not a bad way to spend April.

So, my last blog post, the Z goes to Zoe Washburne, Mal’s  second in command, the last Firefly babe.  A soldier to the core and a wife, which in and of itself is somewhat unusual. Most of the women in the kickass sci fi and fantasy hall of fame are not married, at least not during the heyday of their fighting days.  Spoiler alert: she does lose her husband in the film Serenity. Her last line is classic, summing up her strengths–resilience and loyalty–in one perfect sentence. “She’s torn up plenty but she’ll fly true.”

Here’s to you Zoe, last, but never least.

Wilma vs Wanda for the W #AtoZchallenge

Life is overflowing today so I am doing a quick blog just go keep it going and finish the challenge.  The W has two kick-ass women head to head.

Colonel Wilma Deering, of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Fame.  She lacked a full blown personality but hearing the term Colonel in front of a woman’s name gave me a little thrill, like had we had really come along way in Buck Rogers universe.

Wanda Maximoff, also known as the Scarlet Witch, is Magneto’s daughter in the X-men and twin to Quicksilver. She starts off in the evil camp as one of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Ah, the familial obligations of the children of supervillians!) and then joins the Avengers and comes to the side of good.  In addition to magic, she holds a mutant power, which is quite unusual–she controls probability. How cool is that?

Honorable mention.

Wai Lin, a James Bond Girl with rad martial arts skills, she actually kicked ass, not just stripped down as women in Bond movies are prone to do. The film: Tomorrow Never Dies.

Any other W’s welcome.  And for those of you doing the A to Z Challenge, keep blogging. We can do it.

Trinity vs Trillian for the T

Two dynamic female are battling it out to win the T position in the A to Z kick-ass Sci Fi/Fantasy challenge.

In the right corner, Trinity from Matrix fame. Black leather, heeled boots, martial artist, weapons master, master hacker (Don’t you just love it when they hand out brains with the black leather?)

In the left corner, Trillian, the only character with gumption in Douglas Adam’s A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, finding a way off of doomed earth and traveling throughout the galaxy. She was the voice of reason, intelligence and bravery, an oasis of courage in a desert of goofy. Did I mention she was a mathematician and an astrophysicist?

Honorable Mention

T’Pau, the Vulcan Minister, who oversaw Spock’s wedding, was the only Vulcan to turn down a seat on the Federation Council, and got her own story in the questionable series, Enterprise.  Frankly, she was one of the few (make it only) characters I actually liked in that series. Those episodes with her taunted us with a promise of what Enterprise could have been, but never achieved.