Six Sentence Sunday – Science Fiction – Danger Ahead & Behind

The novel is still out on resubmission, no word as yet (after I did the requested revisions). Tom and Andi and their companions have a few more twists and turns to navigate before the HEA….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

We’ve been through Tom’s near fatal illness, his recovery (but no spoilers about how that was accomplished)….(did teasers about their romantic encounter LOL)…lately, Andi was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the rebels…but we got past that…some jealousy but now we’ve moved on from there…

Tom, Andi and Sgt. Wilson arrive at the deserted rest station where their party has taken temporary shelter. Andi gets some rest while the soldiers work on the vehicles but is awakened suddenly, feeling as if she’s under attack by a Betang – a dangerous offplanet alien, allied with the insurgents.

Tom sends the majority of the party on ahead in the lumbering cargo hauler while he and Andi take the fast car to scout out the advancing enemy. Now he plans to send Andi and a few others ahead to the capital but when they catch up to the cargo hauler, it’s stopped dead in the road. Tom gets out to confer with his sergeant, leaving Andi in the car with one soldier.

A wave of cold dread washed through Andi as she said, “Corporal, can you please take another read­ing on your tracker?”

“Targets still approaching, ma’am.”

“Try taking a reading ahead of us, toward the capital.” Oh, I hope I’m wrong…

Flipping his device around, the soldier scanned in the direction she requested. He whistled, eyes opening wide as he showed her the readout, “Big target, stationary, multiple vehicles – roadblock for sure – you called it, ma’am.”

Now what will they do? Last stand coming…stay tuned next week!

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

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Wednesday Whimsy – Excerpt & Illustrations from My First Novel

While going through ALL  the household’s boxes after a recent move, I found the actual first story I ever wrote, when I was 7. I remember tramping through puddles of melting snow outside our upstate New York home while pondering plot points, so it must have been Spring. I’ve always had some vague memory of this deathless epic – self illustrated too! – but it was fun to spend a few moments browsing through the crumbling pages. Even then I had a pen name, I discover – Jeanet Isabella Gray Holton. No idea where that came from!

“I am writing this book from memory and imagination,” I said in the Forward. Not a bad way to go, even now…

This was a truly dramatic opus about princesses and their pets and their dresses and their gardens, entitled THE PRINCESSES…..here’s the love story portion of this saga, in its seven sentence entirety:

 The princess Roberta went to the sea and saw a steam ship. She boarded and asked for the captain. She knew that it is a rule, some royal person must inspect a ship before it may pass.  When she left the ship with the captain, she was saying, “Yes, I do!”

At the castle the king had a long talk with the captain. Then he said, “Prepare a feast for the first marrigagge.*” So they were married…..

And lived happily ever after apparently, with the cats, dogs and flying horses, in the many gardens – oh, and four children who I mentioned in an epilog – Barb, Bob, Billy and Mary.

I’m glad I learned to put a few more twists and turns in my plots, drop more obstacles in the lovers’ path to the HEA, found a wonderful Editor…gave up the illustration business….and at least now my heroes also get a name!

*spelling apparently not my strongest skill at age 7 but I had GREAT handwriting! and yes, I loved exclamation points even then.

 

What kinds of stories did you write or draw when you were a kid?

Six Sentence Sunday – Science Fiction Adventure on the Road

The novel is still out on resubmission, no word as yet (after I did the requested revisions). Tom and Andi and their companions have a few more twists and turns to navigate before the HEA….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

We’ve been through Tom’s near fatal illness, his recovery (but no spoilers about how that was accomplished)….(did teasers about their romantic encounter LOL)…lately, Andi was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the rebels…but we got past that…some jealousy but now we’ve moved on from there…

Tom, Andi and Sgt. Wilson arrive at the deserted rest station where their party has taken temporary shelter. Andi gets some rest while the soldiers work on the vehicles but is awakened suddenly, feeling as if she’s under attack by a Betang – a dangerous offplanet alien, allied with the insurgents.

Tom sends the majority of the party on ahead in the lumbering cargo hauler while he and Andi take the fast car to scout out the advancing enemy. The alien launches a mental attack on Andi, which she barely survives, by driving out of range. Tom is speaking:

“When we catch up to the others, I’m going to trans­fer Rahuna and the baby into this vehicle then I want you to head straight for the capital.”

“I’m not going to leave you.” Andi stared at him in shock – he might as well have doused her with cold water. “I won’t.”

“Eyes on the road,” he said, gently redirecting her attention to driving.  “You have to go on ahead – as soon as the Betang gets within mind scan distance again, it will kill you.”

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

Wednesday Whimsy – Gramma’s Purse

One of the benefits of moving is the need to go through all those boxes and bins you never unpacked the last time you moved. The other day I reached the box containing things from when I was a little girl and found a few family “heirlooms” – just odds and ends – a few of my grandfather’s boyhood books, now musty and crumbling a bit (Dare Boys in the Revolutionary War! Bobby of the Labrador!…) and my grandmother’s little leather purse with her initials, from when she was a girl.

I had a lovely moment remembering when she gave it to me, telling me how one day she’d been walking on the beach in Maine and found this tiny mother of pearl heart in the shells and gravel, which probably would have been around 1910….this is one item I’m definitely keeping!

The Costume’s The Thing in This Amazing Exhibit

Any actor worth his or her salt can convey you to another reality with just a bare stage and the power of their thespian craft, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have the character’s costumes thought out in great detail!

“Costumes are not always designed to be seen. They’re designed sometimes to be a complete part of that character, so you’re accepting what they’re wearing without thinking. I don’t want everyone looking at the frock. That’s the hardest thing. Some of the costumes I’m most proud of are the ones you wouldn’t necessarily think about because the clothes naturally belong to the character. They don’t look like actors in costumes. They look like real people.” Susannah Buxton, Costume Designer for “Downton Abbey”. (From an interview at TIME Entertainment)

I spent a chunk of time Saturday wandering through the world of “Once Upon A Time,” “Downton Abbey,” Game of Thrones”, “Sons of Anarchy” and more – no, the actors weren’t there but the costumes – the “natural clothing of the characters” – were!

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) have their sixth annual exhibit, “The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design”, in downtown Los Angeles at the moment.  Featuring 75 costumes  from 16 shows, mini-series and movies, the exhibit was amazing. There were costumes from all the shows nominated for prime time Emmys, as well as many other programs. There’s a slideshow with 38 photos from the exhibit here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/art-of-television-costume_n_1724939.html  (Be sure to scroll down to find the photo slideshow attached to that article since we weren’t allowed to take any photos – these are the best I’ve found.)

I spent the most time about an inch away from the costumes for OUAT (watched carefully by the friendly but efficient security guards), peering at the details, oohing and ahhing. The exhibit has Snow White’s incredible, swan feathered white dress, her garb in  the Enchanted Forest, Prince Charming’s dress uniform and his everyday leathers, one of Queen Regina’s dresses, Red Riding Hood’s fairy tale garb, the Black Knight….it’s hard to know where to look first as they were all wonderful and fascinating. The Genie’s costume was the most astounding, with all this incredible detail – beading and “gems” and designs you never see on the small screen, no matter how high def your TV may be. His accessories are to die for!

When watching the show last season, I wasn’t that inspired by Snow’s everyday garb in the fairytale world but having seen the clothes up close and personal now, I’m in awe of how the supremely talented costume designer, Eduardo Castro, made it appear to be a sensible set of clothing for a woman who was having to live by her wits in the woods. Definitely fits her  “badass…bandit”  situation, as he’s been quoted as saying on Zap2It.  Red Riding Hood’s skirt and cloak have a similar, very believable, slightly rundown and worn air to them, as does Prince Charming’s wardrobe. His dress uniform actually looks less believable than the everyday clothing.

I used to sew all my own clothes in college and made all my daughters’ costumes, including the ones they needed for various plays throughout high school, so at this exhibit I took a tremendous interest in the small details that convey so much for a character, building up to a totally believable picture, even if the audience can’t see them. Let me tell you, Mr. Gold’s jacket has the most amazing fastenings!

Emma Swan’s red jacket, the Rainbow Fairy’s dress, Abigail’s brocade dress…

“Game of Thrones” was represented by far fewer costumes, again all extremely well done, looking as if they had been lifted from the characters’ closets or trunks just a few moments before.

“Downton Abbey” basically had one costume for each main character and the “Maggie Smith” dress was absolutely gorgeous.

It was quite imposing to stand in front of the “men” of “Sons of Anarchy”!

After one last trip around the OUAT display, and a wistful gaze at the “Henry” mannequin, clutching The Book  (Yes, that one, with ALL the secrets LOL), my daughter and I ventured back out into the LA heat and traffic after a magical hour.

Someday I’d LOVE to see the characters from my Ancient Egyptian paranormal universe come to life in similar fashion. Well, an author can dream, right?

What show or move has your favorite costumes?

Six Sentence Sunday – Science Fiction Adventure – What Next?

The novel is still out on resubmission, no word as yet (after I did the requested revisions). Tom and Andi and their companions have a few more twists and turns to navigate before the HEA….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

We’ve been through Tom’s near fatal illness, his recovery (but no spoilers about how that was accomplished)….(did teasers about their romantic encounter LOL)…lately, Andi was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the rebels…but we got past that…some jealousy but now we’ve moved on from there…

Tom, Andi and Sgt. Wilson arrive at the deserted rest station where their party has taken temporary shelter. Andi gets some rest while the soldiers work on the vehicles but is awakened suddenly, feeling as if she’s under attack by a Betang – a dangerous offplanet alien, allied with the insurgents.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Andi said. “I felt tentacles wrapping around me, squeezing the life out of me. The Betang was invading my mind, like at the river village, so it has to be somewhere close to us- we’ve got to get out of here or die.”

“Andi, you were asleep, you were probably dreaming—”

Violently, she pushed away from Tom. “No, trust me, the enemy knows where I am and it’s on the road to us.”

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

Wednesday Whimsy – Spell Your Name in Galaxies!

Turns out the Galaxy Zoo Project has found galaxies of unimaginable shapes and sizes, including one or more that resemble every letter of the alphabet! If you follow the link, you can type in your own name or a message and “galaxify” it. Here’s mine:

And here’s the name of my science fiction adventure:

(That’s WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM – ok, so some of the galaxy “letters” look like the more illegible Captcha codes but hey, how cool is it to  spell out something in entire galaxies?!)

From the Galaxy Zoo web page, a bit more about their project:

“Since 2007, Galaxy Zoo has been asking regular folks around the world to classify galaxies by shape. So far, more than 250,000 people have sorted through roughly 1 million images, saving scientists precious time and helping reveal key insights about galaxy formation and evolution, project officials say.”

Gotta love science!

Six Sentence Sunday – Science Fiction Adventure

I hope people aren’t getting tired of this novel? It’s still out there on resubmission, no word as yet (after I did the requested revisions). Tom and Andi and their companions have a few more twists and turns to navigate before the HEA….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

We’ve been through Tom’s near fatal illness, his recovery (but no spoilers about how that was accomplished)….(did teasers about their romantic encounter LOL)…lately, Andi was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the rebels…but we got past that…

Now a different kind of problem presents itself as Tom, Andi and Sgt. Wilson find an abandoned groundcar on the road…and Andi made it clear she knew the car’s owner…

Andi didn’t even glance Tom’s way before sliding into the driver’s seat of the beautiful machine, the car automatically adapting itself to her height and reach, the soft breeze of the air conditioner carrying a faint hint of Gul’s citrus spiced aftershave. Eyes prickling with sudden tears, she mourned him and all the people who’d died in this stupid clan war.

For a very long moment, Tom didn’t budge. Sighing, Andi made the first move, leaning her head out the open doorway to ask, “Didn’t you want to use the comlink?”

Eyebrows raised, Tom met her gaze steadily and said, “If I need to apologize for being an asshole just now, consider it done. The thought of you with any other guy—even before I met you—makes me crazy, Andi.”

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.

Meet the Author & Giveaway – A. S. Fenichel MAYAN DESTINY SERIES

Today it’s my pleasure to have A. S. Fenichel as my guest. She’s the author of MAYAN AFTERGLOW and MAYAN CRAVING, with the third book in this exciting series, MAYAN INFERNO,  coming out September 19th. We met through Six Sentence Sunday, where over 100 authors post just six enticing sentences from their WIPs or published books weekly. I was so intrigued by her snippets that I went out and put the first book on my kindle, read it in a day and had to have the next book immediately LOL. Now I’m impatiently waiting for MAYAN INFERNO…but in the meantime, we’ll do the interview and A. S. will give away one copy of MAYAN CRAVING to a randomly selected commenter. So don’t forget to comment on the interview or leave her an answer to her Question (see below!).

Here are the blurbs for blurb for MAYAN CRAVING and then MAYAN INFERNO:

Book 2 Mayan Destiny series.
Mayan Craving:
Surviving the End of Days was only the beginning of the journey for Nancy. After years of searching, she’s finally found her missing sister, but when she attempts to rescue Robyn, she enters her worst nightmare. Captured by demons and about to be sacrificed, she’s rescued by Asher, whose kindness and bravery arouse her lust, and leave her wanting much more than friendship.

Asher has been in love with Nancy since he first laid eyes on her, but her infatuation with another man left him unnoticed. Her sudden craving for him couldn’t turn him on more. Together they find rapture, but the attraction can only be fleeting. (VS sez: Asher was actually my favorite character and good as MAYAN INFERNO was, I was so excited he got his own book for this, the second entry in the series.)

While danger and passion pull them together, doubt may rip them apart. Asher and Nancy will need more than a carnal connection if they hope to survive.

Book 3 Mayan Destiny series.

Mayan Inferno

Robyn has spent years waiting for her chance to gain revenge on the demons responsible for her enslavement. She’s molded herself into a warrior and now that The Lord of the Dead is on the move once again, her time has come. Her plan is infallible, until a band of survivors and their enigmatic leader make her think about what she’s fighting for.

Breadan has kept the people of his ranch safe from the wrath of The Lord of the Dead. His gift of always knowing what everyone is thinking is instrumental in protecting those around him. The instant connection with Robyn, takes his talents to another level.

Passion simmers between them. Neither one can avoid their connection, but any distraction could mean disaster. The fate of the world rests on their shoulders, and their lust could be the deadliest distraction of all.

Welcome! Please tell us a little about yourself:

Thank you so much, Veronica for having me visit today. I’m thrilled to be here.

I adore writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been the place where I escape and I still relish diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. Originally from New York, I grew up in New Jersey. Now I live in the southwest with my own personal hero, my wonderful husband. When I’m not reading or writing, I love to cook, travel, study history and putter in my garden.

What prompted you to start writing?

I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl. In college I took an English course where they made us write a short story based on a magazine clipping. Everyone else in the class groaned, but I was intrigued. Once I started writing, I was hooked. I guess you could say I was a late bloomer. After that, I took a lot of writing classes and filled a filing cabinet full of stories that will never see the light of day. But the process made me a better writer.

What’s your writing process? Where do you write?

I have two main places where I write. My husband and I share an office. It overlooks the lake and most of the time we can work compatibly. However, his work can get a bit loud and distracting with phone calls. During these times, I have a nice little set up in our sunroom. The sunroom also overlooks the lake, though at a different angle, and I have a chase lounge and everything I need out there. If it gets too hot, I will work pretty much anywhere.

My process is to sit down and write every day. I never make excuses for not meeting a deadline. When men came in to replace the windows in the house, I hid in the bedroom until they were done. I had my laptop and finished Mayan Inferno with banging and crashing throughout the house. If I travel, I still write every day. Writers can go on vacation but they always take their work with them.

When I’m not writing, I’m still working. Stories creep up or smack me on the back of the head, and I make notes. They get placed in the queue for a later book. Right now there are seven books in the queue and the ideas for several more.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I get a pedicure and a manicure every two weeks. I know it’s self-indulgent, but I love it!

How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?

Most nights I have dinner and go right back to work. When I finish a rough draft, I take the night off and have a glass of wine with my husband. When I got the release date for the final “Mayan Destiny series” book, Mayan Inferno, my darling man bought me a pair of earrings. Now, that’s an incentive. I would have written faster if I had known there was jewelry at the end.

(VS sez: oh yes, jewelry would work as an incentive for me too, especially earrings!)

 Do you do a lot of research for your books?

I do. I really try to make sure that all the history and technology is correct in every book. For historical books I also research language. The English language is an ever evolving entity and many words were not used two hundred or even fifty years ago. For the Mayan books, I did a lot of research into Maya, Aztec, Toltec and Olmec histories and mythologies. I then took a lot of liberty about mixing those cultures. I also researched surviving in the desert and the animal and plant life my characters might encounter.

(VS sez: one of the things I enjoyed most about these books was the intriguing way you used and blended the mythology!)

Quickfire  Questions:

Cats or Dogs? Cats. I have to say this or my cat will be angry with me.

Favorite Flower: Yellow roses.

Tea or coffee:  Coffee and lots of it!

Morning person or evening person: I’m more productive in the morning but I’m not very chatty.

Favorite food: Italian (My husband and I teach an Italian cooking class)

Favorite time of the year: Spring

What are you working on next?

I’m finishing up a time-travel for Ellora’s Cave. Still untitled, it’s about a romance writer who lives in Texas and walks through a time portal into rural, Nineteenth Century, England, where she meets the younger brother of an earl.  The portal is closing, and although the lovers know they can never be together, they struggle to part.

What one question do you want to ask your Readers today?

This is a great question. So far, the books I’ve had published are erotic romance. There’s a lot of sex, but I pride myself on making certain that the story is not about the sex. Here’s the question: Is it’s the sex or the romance that attracts my readers to the books?

(VS sez: I’ll be very interested in the answers to that for myself as well. Good question!)

Where can your Readers find you online?

I love to hear from readers! I want to know what you think and encourage you to write to me.

You can find me on my web-site – http://www.asfenichel.com

Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/asfenichel

Like me on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/A.S.Fenichel

Email me at – asfenichel@hotmail.com

I’m also on Google+ and Pinterest.

Buy Links for book:

Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10057-mayan-craving.aspx

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Mayan-Craving-ebook/dp/B0080K3E00/

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mayan-craving-as-fenichel/1110608660?ean=9781419939181

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Mayan-Craving/book-WzQKs8KmCUmY7m4-WB1zkQ/page1.html?s=HoybZBJlqE2RVLnOaEGGYw&r=1
Thank you for being my guest today, A.S.!

Six Sentence Sunday – Science Fiction Adventure Never Ending

First let me apologize to all my fellow Sixers – I actually moved a week ago Saturday – not just the preparation, but  the load-up-the-truck-we’re-really-moving – and wow, life went totally out of control, so I never got to read and comment on everyone else’s fun excerpts last Sunday. This week I’m going to REVEL in reading and commenting, to make up for last week. Unpacking boxes can WAIT. Thank you very much, everyone, for visiting my page last week and commenting.

So, on with the excerpt….

Set in the same universe as my WRECK of the NEBULA DREAM. Andrianda (Andi) Markriss, a planetary representative for Loxton Galactic Trading, has been spending a lazy summer with her best friend in the highly exclusive summer compound of the planet Zulaire’s ruling nobility, networking. On a day when a number of strange  and disturbing things have already happened, Captain Tom Deverane, Sectors Special Forces, unexpectedly shows up with a troop of soldiers and demands she leave with him. Immediately.

Andi doesn’t take this very well….in fact, she refuses to go. Later in the evening, all hell has broken loose, as the captain predicted.
Trying to avoid spoilers here, after certain “events”, she and the soldiers are on the run. 

We’ve been through Tom’s near fatal illness, his recovery (but no spoilers about how that was accomplished)….(did teasers about their romantic encounter LOL)…lately, Andi was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the rebels…but we got past that…

Now a different kind of problem presents itself as Tom, Andi and Sgt. Wilson find an abandoned groundcar on the road…and Andi made it clear last week she knew the car’s owner…

“No sign of a body,” Mitch said, darting an uneasy look her way.

Leaning over, Tom tried the door, finding the locks unyielding. “We could blast it open but the electronics would be ruined and what I want most from this vehicle is a working com link.”

Andi eyed her captain warily for a long moment, drawing in a deep breath to fortify herself, and said, “I can open it for you.”

“You drove his personal car – how close were the two of you?”

It’s really none of his business who I was involved with before I met him.

I LOVE and appreciate your comments….

Please go to http://sixsunday.com/ to find all the other great excerpts.