L is For Laundry on Whimsy Wednesday

???????????????????????????????Combining my slowly unfolding A to Z challenge with my Wednesday Whimsy meme, and adding in my Victorian trade cards! I’ve got some fun ones to share this week. I actually enjoy doing laundry, even though it’s one of those never ending tasks. Somehow it doesn’t seem as pointless to me as dusting does. I even enjoyed the laundry process as a kid when I had to go hang the clothes outside to dry, using wooden clothespins. I think it’s satisfying to end up with loads of clean, fresh smelling clothes and sheets, more or less neatly folded. Although thankfully our clothespins didn’t talk to me or try to run away, as the ones on this card above are doing!

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True story – my mother was right handed and she would go behind me into the linen closet and refold ALL the towels I’d just put away, because I folded them the reverse way from how she did it and she informed me it bothered her to know the towels were mixed up on the shelves, facing different directions! (I’m left handed.) She’d really be appalled by the state of folding in my current linen closet.

I think these trade cards are especially fun, from a late 1800’s brand called Soapine.  Evidently they did a whole series of clever cards where daily household objects spelled out the company name. The two I’m sharing in this post were my favorites. Soapine also had other humorous cards, like the clothespins,  and more mundane ones, without humor, that just touted the virtues of the soap itself.

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I have a kind of running joke with one of my author friends, about how she always leaves the laundry until Sunday night and  then has to stay up late to get it all done – this 1880’s Queen of Laundry card below is in your honor, Jodie!

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The Dead Have Infinite Patience MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Continuing on from last week’s excerpt. (Creative editing and punctuation have occurred.) Shalira is speaking, attempting to answer Mike’s question about why she asked for his escort. (NOTE: He saved her life in a terrorist bombing the day before.)

“You’re searching in the mountains for a lost military ship, aren’t you; to give those MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700who died the proper burial, set their spirits free?”

“Well, yes,” Mike said, aware Command had used those terms to explain the request for access to this closed world. 

“But the dead have infinite patience, Major. Surely you can spare a few days for the living?” Leaning forward, she set her glass on the table, perilously close to the edge.

He shifted the glass to a safer location as he said, “Your Highness—”

“Would you let the life you saved be lost so soon? There are those who don’t want me to reach my wedding.”

The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Can there be a future for a simple soldier and an intergalactic princess?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes (Other links in progress)

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

 

Veronica Takes A Magazine Quiz

high schoool musicalIt’s been a while since I did a magazine quiz and today I’m in the mood. I started off inspired by OK magazine’s interview of Vanessa Hudgens in their August 4th issue.  I did star (and wrote) my senior play in high school but alas it wasn’t a musical. I did marry my co-star, in real life! So maybe Ms. Hudgens and I have more in common that you might think? No? OK, on with the questions!

The biggest misconception about me is…probably that I’m shy and quiet all the time. Hey, I can be loud and rowdy and bust a move! Just not that often….

The number one thing on my bucket list is….ok, you’ve heard this before so I’ll say it fast – to have one of my books made into a movie. Or a TV movie. Or a TV show. Or a music video. Or……I want  to see my characters live on the screen! I will say my two science fiction romance audiobooks narrated by the wonderful actor Michael Riffle (and actress Mary Fegreus with him on the latest one, Escape From Zulaire) are nearly as good. Michael brings my tough-but-sexy special forces guys of the future to life perfectly, and then he goes on to do all the other characters as well. So much fun!

If I had a Magic 8 ball, I’d want to know…Ms. Hudgens didn’t want to know anything. I’m thinking maybe I’d want to know what the hottest trends in romance novels will be in about two years. But that might be beyond the scope of a Magic 8 ball!

steampunk selfiealtMy style icon is…not sure I have one? I like to do my own thing and wear what feels good to me, and gives me confidence in any situation. I do like long and flowing and I loved my steampunk cowgirl costume for the recent costume event at the San Antonio Romance Writers of America Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. I’ll put one of the selfies in here. Lots of black lace and purple and sparklies! Ooh, wait a minute, I think my style icon is Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. I love her clothes. When I go to the Oscars for that mythical movie of my book, I want to wear a dress by her. I also love Cavalli but….and then too, some Jessica Simpson dresses are really cute!

One celeb I’d love to go shopping with…Tim Gunn of Project Runway! Although he’d probably disapprove of my desire for ruffles and lace and etc. But he’d be fun, yes? Vanessa picked Ashley Tisdale, no surprise there as they’re always out shopping together.

Selena Gomez is…um, I don’t know her outside of magazine pages so I don’t feel qualified to comment! I’m sure she’s a lovely person and good friend. If I could meet any celebrity…well, that changes from day to day, depending on what I’m reading or watching. Today I think I’d like to lunch with Helen Mirren. Her recent movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey” was excellent! But her calendar for today is probably full…

Love doing these quizzes alongside the celebrities, hope you had a little fun asking yourself the questions too!

 

Ladies Reading ~ Wednesday Whimsy

???????????????????????????????For today’s Wednesday Whimsy I went to my stash of Victorian trade cards and decided to present a theme of Ladies Reading. Most are reading books but a few, like this charming medieval damsel, are apparently reading letters. I love her hair, seems to be in the most elaborate braid.

Found this quote from Francis Bacon:

“Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.”

And I think the picture is a good illustration for the quote???????????????????????????????

She was advertising some kind of meat extract…..
Now the recumbent young lady below  was apparently reading and then began having “Maidens Dream of a New Home”,  as the card says, which was apparently going to have to feature a new sewing machine! Here’s a quote for her:
???????????????????????????????“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” John Locke
I love the ones of people reading together, like these two elaborately dressed young ladies, who were advertising shoes (although the shoes are all but invisible in the picture).
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???????????????????????????????And my next art card embodies this Jane Austen quote, I think, and reminds me so much of her novels. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
And this last one is just fun – she’s obviously reading a scary book alone at night. I like to imagine she’s reading Frankenstein perhaps, or Dracule, or maybe even The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. This card was advertising “a trusty family tonic” and advises on the reverse side that young ladies should forego reading ghost stories at bedtime. I guess if they ignored the advice, then the trusty tonic was ready to banish the nightmares!
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Did He Ask? MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Doing excerpts from my soon-to-be published science fiction romance WIP, Mission to Mahjundar…Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Shalira is speaking. (Creative punctuation has occurred.)

 “At the presentation ceremony, did the minister ask if you’d be willing to ride in myMissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700 caravan?”

“Ask? More of a threat.” Mike knew his frustration was showing, “Ride with you or else my own mission gets cancelled.”

“And you don’t sound pleased – I wish I could have made the request myself.” She nibbled on a cracker, brushing crumbs from her lap.

“Forgive me, Your Highness, but why do you want us to go with you?” Setting his glass on the table, he leaned forward. “I’m on an urgent mission – your route causes me quite a delay, which I can’t afford without good reason.”

She’s going to give him a good reason, of course.

The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Can there be a future for a simple soldier and an intergalactic princess?

(Still working on the blurb…)

As always, I love your comments and feedback.

heart of rose nebula

Nebula Nights A Science Fiction Romance Boxed Set

NN_squareOver at the USA Today HEA blog, I’m interviewing ten science fiction romance authors (and myself) today on what we love about SFR and which SF hero is our favorite. I’ve been spending  lot of time with these ladies lately, not just because we all love to read and write SFR, but also because we’ve put together a boxed set of eleven stories. I have my award-winning, best seller Escape From Zulaire, as my contribution. The boxed set contains quite a mix of elements from cyborgs to aliens, space opera to adventure on alien planets.

Best of all, the set is priced at $.99! For over 800,000 words of  exciting SFR….

Here’s a quick synopsis for the included stories:

Her Cyborg Awakes by Melisse Aires
Her gentle cyborg servant helped her escape violence–but now he’s changed into a warrior! Is he safe?

Removed (The Nogiku Series, #1) by SJ Pajonas
In this Japan-inspired tale, one woman’s family destiny is key to the survival of the last city on Earth.

Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. by PK Hrezo
Welcome to Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

Noelle In His Heart by C.E. Kilgore
Noelle wishes for someone who understands she has love to give but commitments to honor. Stranded on Earth, Steve longs for someone who will understand that his alien heart can love just as deeply.

Stark Pleasure; the Space Magnate’s Mistress by Cathryn Cade
Kiri te Nawa survives the perils of the galaxy on her wits … although when it comes to space magnate Logan Stark, she’d rather use her body.
But can she trust him with her secrets?

Birth of an Empire: The Beginning by Catrina Taylor
Three former genetic experiments chose peace over war in a sector that’s known only war for a century. As each one squares against their governments they will question the experiences that guide them.

Escape From Zulaire by Veronica Scott
When the planet erupts into war, Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane must decide whether to save Andi Markriss, the intergalactic businesswoman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Solia’s Moon by Lyn Brittan
SFR Galaxy Award Winner! When Dr. Solia uncovers her company’s foray into creating humanoid life, she enlists the help of her handsome ex, Sheriff Sable, in bringing a little justice to the universe.

The Key by Pauline Baird Jones
Her orders are simple: do the impossible and do it yesterday. But this time the impossible might actually be impossible. The only way it could get worse? If her heart starts beating for the wrong guy.

The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy by Greta van der Rol
The Galaxy teeters on the brink of war. Can ex-admiral Saahren persuade the woman who hates him to help him prevent the coming conflagration? And perhaps even love him?

Mirror Image by KG Stutts
Maddie’s entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone. Now she must work with her counterpart to protect Earth.

And the buy links:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     All Romance eBooks     Kobo

Nebula Nights 3D_1300

 

What SciFi World Would You Visit?

I’ve asked a number of fellow authors this question over at the USA Today Happily Ever After blog today. My own answer was Anne HEAMcCaffrey’s Pern but hop on over to see what Yasmine Galenorn and Ilona Andrews and others said…

ozI’ve always thought one of the best scenes in the “Wizard of Oz” is that moment when Dorothy leaves her battered Kansas house and what has been a black and white movie suddenly turns gorgeous Technicolor. She’s in another world all right!

There’s something so enticing about the idea of walking around in a fictional world that calls to you. First I guess you need to decide if you’re going to become one of the actual characters or will you be a new person who fits nicely into a niche there. I want to be rider of a golden dragon and run a Weyr myself. I don’t want to BE Lessa or any of the other people Anne McCaffrey wrote. I suppose a third possibility is to still be you and just be a tourist in the fictional world. I think that might be somewhat challenging, especially if you had to keep wearing your blue and white gingham dress, like Dorothy did, or whatever you had on when you slipped into the new place.

A long time ago, way before the movie “Galaxy Quest” was a gleam in anyone’s eye, I read a Star Trek short story having fun with the GalaxyQuestCastactors going onto the set one day and finding out they were now playing their parts for real. The rest of Enterprise crew expected them to know what to do and how to fight a space battle and etc. It was a totally new concept to me at that point and I was enchanted by the possibilities. But I always wanted to be my own character in the fictional universe. (See, Mr. Spock had this half human sister….)

I enjoyed the way “Galaxy Quest” took the trope and a few more besides and twisted and spun things. Love that movie!

stay-tuned-movie-poster-1992-1020235116There’s a really old John Ritter movie called “Stay Tuned” where his character and the man’s wife (played by Pam Dawber) get sucked into a television after doing a deal with the Devil, and then have to get themselves out of a number of strange, dangerous television shows and back to the real world. That’s another take on this idea of visiting fictional worlds, although that one wasn’t much fun for the characters.

So what would would you visit and who would you choose to be?

She Went to Sea In A Sea Shell 1800s Cards

???????????????????????????????Continuing on with my new Wednesday Whimsy posts, here is a charming set of three Victorian t???????????????????????????????rade cards that I thought had sort of an almost-steampunk feel – the ladies are so intrepid, setting out across the ocean in a shell or a bowl or on a banjo! (Yes, I do realize that other than binoculars there aren’t any specific steampunk elements.)

These are from a shoe and shoe repair store, “Repairing neatly done.”

I also liked that one lady brought along her cat and her dog, and a good book to read! I’d be too nervous to read, out there in the middle of the ocean, in a glass bowl so I admire her fortitude.

And  then the third card in the series:

???????????????????????????????I also found the charming trade card below, which carries on the ladies at sea theme in a somewhat more alarming manner – three undersea bathing beauties have been caught in a net. This one is from a Parisian corset and lingerie maker!

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Meet My Character Meme

MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700I was tagged for this meme or hop by my very good Weekend Writing Warrior friend Charmaine J Gordon!

I thought, with a new science fiction romance coming out in August, I’d like to participate and without further ado, here are the seven questions with my answers.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

The character I’m going to talk about is Princess Shalira, from the planet Mahjundar, so entirely fictional.

2) When and where is the story set?

The events in this novel occur in the far future, out in the greater galaxy, where a civilization known as the Sectors sprawls across the star systems. The citizens of this loosely organized stellar nation are humans, people of human descent and alien beings. So far all of my science fiction romances have taken place within this structure.

3) What should we know about him/her?

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? 

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Questions 3, 4 and 5 can be answered by the book’s blurb so here goes with the relevant information:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? I’m kinda basic with my book titles so this is Mission to Mahjundar, which is the name of the planet where all the action takes place. There’s more to the blurb on the book’s page on my blog

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

The manuscript just emerged from copy edits and needs one more high level editing pass, plus formatting, so probably another 2-3 weeks, which is just a little bit behind my self-imposed schedule. But I want it to be perfect!

I put out a call to several of the loops I’m on for other authors to tag and this meme seemed to appeal to a lot of people so I’m tagging seven friends. They’ll put their Character posts up a week from today, on their own blogs so I hope you’ll visit them then!

Shawna Reppert     Shona Husk     Mimi Sebastian     A J Larrieu     Sonya B Clark     Sheryl Nantus

   Regan Summers     Jody Wallace      and  Sandy Wright

Will You Care? MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Per the popular vote last week, switching to excerpts from my soon-to-be published science fiction romance WIP, Mission to Mahjundar

Although she’d never lived in the temperate mountain forests, Princess Shalira imagined she’d prefer them to the hot lowlands. Whenever she visited the tiny temple of her patron goddess Pavmiraia on the outskirts of the city, as she was doing MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700today, she pretended the heat and intrigues of the capital and the court had been left behind. This chapel and her vivid daydreams had provided special refuges for most of her life.

The floor was cool beneath her bare feet as she strolled twenty paces from the door to the altar, passing the snoring priestess, sprawled on a bench no doubt, mouth probably wide open. Not many come here anymore, not many at all. Will anyone worship the goddess when I’ve gone? Tears pricked Shalira’s eyes as she felt for the padded knee rest, bowed her head, and knelt in front of the altar.

 “Do you know this is to be my last visit?” she whispered to the goddess she could no longer see, “Do you care?

The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Can there be a future for a simple soldier and an intergalactic princess?

(Still working on the blurb…)

As always, I love your comments and feedback.

EXCITING NEWS! My award winning SFR Escape From Zulaire is in a boxed set, released last Friday! It’s available now at the major ebook retailers at a ridiculously low price  of $.99…I used to excerpt it here and on Six Sentence Sunday in the old days…

Amazon     Barnes & Noble  All Romance

Nebula Nights 3D_1300