Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cathy Pegau and Breaking Rules Sci-Fi Style



Liv Braxton's Felon Rule #1: Don't get emotionally involved.

Smash-and-grab thieving doesn't lend itself to getting chummy with the victims, and Liv hasn't met anyone on the mining colony of Nevarro worth knowing, anyway. So it's easy to follow her Rules.

Until her ex, Tonio, shows up with an invitation to join him on the job of a lifetime.

Until Zia Talbot, the woman she's supposed to deceive, turns Liv's expectations upside down in a way no woman ever has.

Until corporate secrets turn deadly.

But to make things work with Zia, Liv has to do more than break her Rules, and the stakes are higher than just a broken heart…


Please welcome Carina press author Cathy Pegau! I had a chance to read Rulebreaker and found it fast-paced, funny, and poignant. Even better, I've been lucky enough to get to know the author and pick her brain :) So let's hit it!

What made you want to write sci-fi? 
 

I've always loved the genre and have been reading it since high school, at least ( a long, long time ago). Zooming off to different worlds or having something amazing happen here on Earth is a great way to escape reality.

Favorite sci-fi authors?

Oh, there are so many. David Weber, Alan Dean Foster, Connie Willis, Catherine Asaro, Timothy Zahn, and Nicola Griffith, among others. I like a bit of variety, even within SF : )
What's the difference between sci-fi and speculative fiction (if any)?
I consider sci-fi as a subset of speculative fiction. To me, anything that isn't "normal," from vampires and shapeshifters to magic and beyond what we use tech (including steampunk), fall under the spec fic umbrella.

I was impressed with the depth of world-building about mining--how did you come up with that?

Wow, thanks for that. World-building is a big thing in any writing, but especially for the stories that take place out of the ordinary. I came up with the mining of keracite as the basis of life on Nevarro as an "oh really?" response to several "clean coal" ads I'd seen on TV. No fuel source is 100% clean. In my story, the fuel burns cleaner but there are other things going on that make it, shall we say, less so : )


Rulebreaker strikes me as part industrial thriller, part buddy heist and part romance. How in the heck did that all come together?

Hopefully with success : )  I tried to make the plot and the characters as interesting and relatable as possible. As I wrote the basic storyline--the industrial extortion and romance--I kept coming up with conflicts to make things difficult for Liv. Can't have things too easy, can we? The hard part was getting those threads to mesh. It was both fun and frustrating. 


What is your next writing project?

A second book set on Nevarro is at my agent's office, waiting to go on submission. It's a m/f with Sterling, from Rulebreaker, and a former drug addict. Though it's the same world and a secondary character, the book is stand alone. I recently started book three, another f/f. Can't reveal much about it yet, other than there's another "bad girl" involved ; )

Thanks for being here, Cathy!

Thanks so much for having me, Bella!



Read an excerpt from Rulebreaker 

   Liv and her bank robbing partner, Cal, are at the sheriff’s office after their hit is thwarted by another gang. A gang that included her ex. Here, Liv is being interviewed as a witness.

   “Here’s your water, Miss Braxton.” Sheriff Nathan Sterling set the heavy glass tumbler in front of me and resumed his seat on the other side of the table. He wasn’t particularly tall, only a dozen centis over my 167. But his dark uniform with its shiny badge, his broad shoulders and erect posture made him seem bigger.
   “Thank you,” I said and took a sip of tepid water.
   We sat in the windowless, overheated interview room of the Milchner sheriff’s station. Like most of Milchner—and Nevarro, for that matter—the room and the station had seen better days. Peeling paint and rickety furniture proclaimed the sheriff department’s lack of budget.
   Sterling shuffled through a few sheets of synth paper on the table. Paper. I swallowed a chuckle with another sip. No handhelds in sight, and the bulky System Interface terminals in the main office were about a decade behind the rest of civilization. How did they chase down criminals? With a posse on horseback? Just as long as they didn’t go in for lynching, I’d be fine.
   A thin scar running across his forehead blended with frown lines as he read my statement. “You went into the bank to withdraw some cash.” His blue eyes met mine. “Your ID says you’re from Pembroke. What’s your business in our little burg?”
   Cal and I had worked out details well beforehand. “My friend and I were taking a weekend trip. We needed a room.”
   That was a lie, but the fleabag hotel we’d scoped out only took hard money, not credit vouchers or weepy promises. Though the guy behind the desk was scary enough that he probably would’ve taken a kidney or small child as payment. The trade in both was rampant on some worlds.
Sterling quirked a dark blond brow at me. “You were gonna stay at the Milchner Arms?”
   I gave him a weary smile. “It’s the only hotel in town. We’re tired and poor.”
This part was true, hence our plan to rob the bank.
He held my gaze for a moment. As he stared, his right eye drifted, shifting its focus to the wall. Artificial organ. And a cheap one at that, if it couldn’t hold position. If the Milchner constabulary couldn’t afford decent furniture, why was I surprised its sheriff received second-rate eye replacement?
   The sheriff rubbed the corner of his eye, setting it back into place before nodding. “All right. Tell me what happened.”
   Despite the fact he had my full statement right in front of his baby blues—at least the colors matched—the lawman wanted to see if there were any discrepancies in my story. To see if I’d left out any details of the robbery, which I hadn’t. Or was lying about anything, which I was, but he’d never know it. Lawmen were suspicious types; “trust no one” was their mantra. I could relate.
   I cleared my throat. “Cal and I had come in to get some cash. It was getting late, and the bank was about to close.” Classic time for a hit. The robbers knew it. Sterling probably knew it. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to admit I knew it.      “Before we got up to the teller’s cage, these three guys in black burst in, hit the guard and pointed guns at us. They told us to lay on the floor, and we did.”
   My hands clenched on the table. Sterling probably thought it was a reaction to the frightening situation I’d been through. Actually it was from being torqued that our plans had been thwarted. Again. The idea of switching careers had crossed my mind more than once since this afternoon.
   “What about the teller and the manager?” he asked.
   “One of the men yelled to them to come out from behind the cage. I guess they did. I couldn’t see them, but I heard movement when the gunman told them to hurry up.”
   The reason the robbers needed both people still niggled at the back of my brain.
   He tapped on the table and rested his other hand against his face, two fingers pressed against the corner of his right eye. “One of the other witnesses says you were approached by a gunman. Want to tell me about that?”
   I shifted on the wooden chair. “It’s in my statement.” Mostly.
   “If you don’t mind, I’d like to hear it out loud, Miss Braxton.”
   Like the distraught victim I was supposed to be, I dropped my gaze to my hands encircling the tumbler and waited for him to prompt me again. I didn’t have to wait long.
   “I realize this is difficult for you,” he said in the lawman tone of sympathetic interrogation, “but we need your help if we’re gonna catch these guys.”
   That brought my eyes up to his. “Do you think you will?”
   I hoped I sounded more like a justice-seeking victim than a vengeful ex. But oh, to have Tonio and his new little gang tossed into a Colonial Correctional Mine for a dozen or so years would make my year. Teach the bastards for messing up my hit.

Get your copy of Rulebreaker here!






  Get to know Cathy better here!
 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Small Blogs, Big Giveaways!: Interview with author Bella Street

Small Blogs, Big Giveaways!: Interview with author Bella Street: Today we’re interviewing the author Bella Street, our last featured author! Enjoy! Living so close to Nashville has provoked me to take...

Monday, August 22, 2011

FREE SQUEE! The Z Word free on Kindle


Y'all, it's been free on Apple, free at B&N, free at Smashwords, I've been handing 'em out free hand over fist, but now, my first book in the Apocalypse Babes series, The Z Word, is FINALLY FREE FOR KINDLE.

*IthinkIjustwetmyselftalkamongstyourselves*

So get your KINDLE COPY here!

If you like The Z Word, enter my contest for a chance to win a Juicy Couture tracksuit, Pink perfume by Victoria's Secret, or an Amazon GC. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Scientist and Indie Author Linda Andrews!







Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounced: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal."

All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house?

What got you interested in writing? 

Reading got me interested in writing. Of course, I've always told stories, just ask my mother<G>. But one day, I challenged myself to actual put those stories onto paper. That was in 1997 and I know now that writing has become a bit of an addiction. Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could stop.

Your author tagline is Real characters, skewed realities. Explain that a little.

One of the weirdest compliments I get is from people telling me that they know x character from my book. They explain how much alike they are and then ask how I know them. So obviously, I've tuned into some universal wavelength where I'm tapped into real people's subconscious and use them to tell my story. Although technically, I feel as if I'm just a conduit and must go where the characters take me.

As for the skewed realities bit, um, I've been told more than once I don't see things the way everyone else does. Some  folks have even offered to return me to the mothership! So the moral of that story is, things are not what they appear. Sometimes they are just 15 degrees from normal or they're like stepping through the looking glass. I also make connections and string them along in such a way as to get me funny looks. So it's your world, only different.

Your favorite author?

Arthur Conan Doyle. Although he's best know for his Sherlock Holmes stories (and I love mysteries), he also wrote fabulous Science Fiction stories including the Lost World. That's my favorite as it includes a bit of a romance.
Do you have any thoughts or advice on self-publishing? It's the Wild West out there!

Find a support group and other folks who have plowed that field before you. I'm always surprised at what I don't know, but I love to learn. Just one more spot of weirdness to add to my psyche;-). I plan on taking the plunge in September, so I'll have more to say once I've been there and done that. But the degree of control it will give me is quite seductive.

What's your next project?


Currently I'm working on destroying the world. Um, on the page of course. It deals with an Influenza outbreak, the rotting of society, then seq-ways into biological warfare. It is a very realistic portrayal that is currently given my critique partners nightmares. For it, I drew  upon my microbiological background and outbreaks in history. It is not a romance. Yet. There may be three or four books in the series and one of them will definitely have more of a romantic element. This is the first book I hope to self-publish in September, I have two short stories in the queue first to test the waters.

Thanks for having me, Bella.

Linda's latest release is Fiona. Searching for her missing aunt and uncle, self-reliant American heiress Fiona Grey needs the reclusive Marquess of Kingslea to introduce her to the upper echelon of London society. But Kingslea knows her type—rich, spoilt and on the prowl for a husband. Despite the lure of intrigue surrounding Fiona and her missing family members, he wants nothing to do with her…until a murderer begins to take interest.

Can he live with himself if he turns his back on Fiona because he’s afraid to risk his heart?
 Excerpt


London Docks, England
May 1892


    Someone was behind her. Awareness prickled the back of her neck. Fiona Grey peered through the darkness and the thick pea-soup fog, searching the alley for a place to hide.
    There. Perhaps the doorway…
    Before she could move, a hand covered her mouth. The unmistakable odor
of male assaulted her nose as a forearm pressed against her chest and another
hand closed around her upper arm. Fiona’s heart picked up tempo as the man’s
hard body pressed against the length of hers. She stiffened in his arms. In all
her twenty-one years, she’d never been treated this way.
    She twisted in his hold. How dare he!
    “Shh…” Ale-scented breath hissed past her ear seconds before his hold
tightened.
    A moment later, her boot heels bumped over the cobblestones. Merciful
heavens, where was he taking her?
Instead of anger and fear from his grip, a pleasant tingle raced through her.
    Most peculiar. Sure, she craved a bit of excitement, but she preferred to experience a kidnapping within the covers of a book, not in person.
    The restless spirit of her dead fiancĂ©, Milton Davis, hovered near the center
of the alley. His opaque form appeared in shades of gray against the yellowish
fog and glow of gaslight.
    — I say, he’s being a bit rough, isn’t he?
    Rough? The stranger’s grasp exuded determination, not cruelty or punishment.
    Of course, given her wealth, he wouldn’t want harm to befall her and
risk his ransom. No, he presented only a minor annoyance. As for the other
presence in the alley…
    Fiona glared at her not-so-dearly departed fiancĂ©. Did he truly think such
an observation would help her? Of course she didn’t precisely need his assistance.
    She had looked after herself for two years.
    Wiggling a bit in her captor’s hold, she brushed her weapons with her fingertips.
    The stranger held her only because she allowed it.
    Milton adjusted the cuffs of his gray burial suit.
    — Don’t look at me like I’m infested with beetles, Fi. I did not encourage this
midnight jaunt. I thought London to be a civilized place, not some godforsaken
den of iniquity.
    Fiona cast her gaze upwards. Milton hadn’t encouraged her escape from
the Revere, but he had urged her to walk slowly so she might see who followed
her. Had he known she would be grabbed? No, she refused to believe he would
endanger her life just to prove the dockyards were no place for a lady.
    She wiggled. And just what manner of man was this stranger? Granted,
this was her first kidnapping, but he seemed to be going about it in a rather
peculiar manner. Instead of carrying her off to a waiting carriage, he appeared
to be manhandling her into the very doorway she’d planned to hide in. She
inhaled sharply. The scents of sea and soap filled her lungs. Alarm rippled
through her—something did not ring true.
    “I mean you no harm, madam.” The man’s breath was hot against her ear
and tart with the smell of alcohol. “I must have your compliance and silence if
we are to escape the docks.”
    Compliance and silence. This man was no common sailor. Indeed, his
speech was refined, his vocabulary educated. A captain, then? Fiona struggled
to fit the facts to her conclusion. In her experience running her family’s shipping
company, captains swaggered not skulked, and few wished to escape their
beloved ships.


Purchase Fiona for Kindle, and for Nook



If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to visit her website or email the author at lindaandrewsATlindaandrews.net. She’d love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Autumn Dawn, Indie Author and Inspiration


Please welcome indie author extraordinaire, Autumn Dawn! She's got an inspirational story of early writing struggles to indie success. She's learned most of the ins and outs of self-publishing the hard way and today is sharing about:


The challenges of being self-pubbed: tech support

I love the freedom of being self-pubbed. My deadlines are my own and I make my own schedule. I’m self-driven, so it’s not a problem for me to stay on task. If anything, I have to schedule breaks to avoid burnout. I like doing covers and I’m good with formatting, uploading and managing my various ebook accounts. I can budget and hire proofreading and the occasional cover artist, and I’m capable of doing my own website.

There are some cons. Edits aren’t fun and they take time, as does blogging. Also, if someone has to deal with tech support or troubleshoot, it’s me.

Yesterday I spent an hour and twenty-five minutes on line with tech support about my new cell. I was prepared for the difficult to understand accent, but I was also hit with a bad connection and elevator music during the numerous times I was on hold. By the time I had to repeat my address for the third time and was told not only that I’d get my new phone in 5 business days and that I only had 200 minutes left (that morning I’d had over 1000), I was steamed. I handed the phone to my husband for the last few minutes so I wouldn’t explode. This was my second phone call that day to tech, and while this is an extreme example, I’ve had similar fun dealing with website and computer related issues.

Please, US companies, stop outsourcing your tech support. Have mercy.

Thankfully, the pleasures and rewards of self-pubbing outweigh the occasional frustration. My book, The Charmer, is a good example. Rejected numerous times by NY, it hit #1 on Barnes and Noble and was ranked in the top ten on Amazon UK and US. It just goes to show that sometimes persistence and self-publishing pays off.

Check out Dawn's latest release!



Jasmine didn’t realize her friend Wiley was special until they were drawn into another world. Here Wiley is betrothed to the ruler of the Haunt, a wererace both dangerous and proud. Keilor is the master of soldiers, a man few would cross, yet he’d never met a menace like the little brunette his princess calls friend. Will Jasmine find the portal home, or will she find a werewolf of her own?

Visit her at:




 

Monday, August 1, 2011

iRobotronic...The Apocalypse Babes Saga Continues...



Time travel, wormholes, pink velour, Unresolved Sexual Tension...it all just keeps going in book three of my Apocalypse Babes series.

The latest entry in this skiffy-rom-goth-com (don't ask) is called iRobotronic. Metaphors abound. Angst is ratcheted up. Pink velour gets torn. (See also books one and two)

And a couple of characters even make it out of the compound, but, Keanu wants to know, it is just a glitch in the Matrix? All this and more for a measly 99 cents.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords. And don't forget to enter the contest by October 6th!