C Is for Cat Mostly

???????????????????????????????Still working my way through the A to Z Challenge at my own speed and now we’ve??????????????????????????????? reached the letter C, which my immediate first reaction is Cat. Probably a flashback to elementary school and learning my ABC’s, but also because I’ve always had cats. This sleepy guy to the left is Jake and the semi-grumpy, camera-shy Keanu is on the right.

Of course, being me and endlessly fascinated with ancient Egypt, I’ve added some Egyptian type cats…The cat lady is a Margaret Le Van “Alley Cat” figurine, which I prowled for on eBay…???????????????????????????????

I haven’t actually used the cat goddesses much in my novels to date, although Sekhmet the lioness does take an active part in some of the action in the most recent, MAGIC OF THE NILE.

C could also be for carousels, which I’ve loved since I was a little girl. One of my earliest memories is from around age 3, going to ride the merry-go-round somewhere near Phoenix, NY, with my Dad. That’s probably also where my love of horses started (although we’re not to the letter “H” as yet). So I managed to combine the cat theme and the carousel idea in the photo below. There’s also a wonderful series of novels by Sharon Lee entitled “The Carousel Tides”, which I recommend if you enjoy a different take on fantasy, carousels and Maine.

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Yes, I do have a lot of knickknacks to dust….mostly when I want to photograph them.

And finally, anyone who ever had toddlers who watched “Sesame Street” endlessly knows “C Is for Cookie” (but with my ubiquitous Egyptian theme going on!):

 

On An Unknown Road? MAGIC OF THE NILE 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…

I HAVE to squee (just  little, oh kindly moderators?) – Night Owl Reviews gave MAGIC OF THE NILE 5 stars and made it a Top Pick this week!

Continuing with the excerpts from this novel => After last week, everyone wanted to know whether Sahure would let Tyema drive the chariot so I’ve followed up with the next few sentences.  (I may have played with the punctuation to make it eight run-on sentences so please forgive me….) Sahure speaks first:

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400           “In the twilight, on an unknown road? Hardly the place for me to teach you to handle a high spirited team,” he demurred.

            “When will I ever have such a chance again – you must be one of Pharaoh’s best charioteers, surely? Who better to learn from?”

            Glancing at her face, which must have shown her disappointment despite her wheedling tone, he laughed, drawing the horses to a halt in a cloud of dust. “I can’t resist such a charmingly worded request. All right, as a compromise, you can hold the reins with me, if you’d like.”

            He stood back as she sidled to a position in front of him and he folded the leather reins into her hands, never actually releasing them himself, saying as he did so, “You wanted to drive, lift the reins and click your tongue so they know to run.”

Actually the chariot is a recurring theme in the novel…

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

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I’ll Listen All Night ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from theSFR Galaxy Award wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away.  So of course the conflict breaks out at the worst possible moment…

I’m skipping quite a bit of the action because SPOILERS.  Continuing on with the middle of the night conversation I started sharing last week, between  Tom and Andi,  as the small group camps by a lake after several days of fleeing the enemy. She can’t sleep and he’s on guard duty.

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResDeverane set his pulse rifle on the rocky surface and picked up the metal cup that had been sitting on the other side. “I’d offer you a cup of coffee, but since wakefulness is your problem—”

Andi smiled ruefully. “I’d love some, but you’re right. That won’t help my insomnia.”

He drank before setting the cup down, steadying it with one hand as it rocked on the uneven surface. “I have nightmares sometimes, but from my own private collection. Have you ever heard of Merenia 12?”

”Sounds familiar.”  Racking her brain, Andi chased down the reference. “It was one of the first worlds the Mawreg attacked in Sector Fourteen, wasn’t it? A long time ago?”

“Right. I’m the sole survivor.” He stacked a couple of small stones on top of each other, then toppled the tower with a flick of his finger.

“You must have been very young.”  What could it have been like, going through an ordeal like that as a child?

“Maybe a year or two older than Sadu.”  Deverane’s smile was the one Andi had come to read as a social gesture only, containing no amusement. He looked at her briefly, his eyes hooded, then turned his attention back out toward the lake. “My mother made me crawl into the storm cellar—Merenia 12 has huge tornadoes. Anyway, she shut me in there, and she ran to decoy the Mawreg away from me. She told me to wait until Dad came to get me.” Falling silent, Deverane picked up the blaster rifle again, checked the safety and the charge level.

“Then what?” Andi reached out from under the enfolding shawl to lay a hand on his arm, squeezing gently. Maybe he needed to talk about it. And I have to admit I’m curious about the man beneath the taciturn warrior façade.

Raising his coffee cup to his lips, Deverane gave her an unsmiling sideways glance. “Are you sure you want to hear this?”

Andi nodded. If it helps me understand you better, I’ll listen all night. “I’m a good listener.”

WitchesBroomNebulaThe story:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 

SciFi Encounter With Author John Scalzi

heart of rose nebulaI grew up on a steady diet of classic science fiction, lifted from my Dad’s HEAbookshelves. At my house we read and discussed everything from Asimov to Heinlein to Andre Norton and my love for the genre only grew with time. So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite authors writing today is John Scalzi, whose books have been compared at times to the best of Heinlein.

Earlier this month I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mr. Scalzi for my USA Today Happily Ever After SciFi Encounters column. Not only does he write terrific science fiction, but his characters have deep connections to each other and there are romantic elements. Among other honors and recognition, he received the 2012 RT Booklovers Readers’ Choice Award for “Redshirts”. The novel also received the prestigious 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel from the World Science Fiction Society. Here’s the link to his 2013 column “Back From the RT Booklovers’ Convention,” which details his experiences at RT.

“Redshirts” is a wonderful, fun novel in my humble opinion – here’s the story (courtesy of  Tor Books):

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, with the chance to serve on “Away Missions” alongside the starship’s famous senior officers.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to realize that 1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces, 2) the ship’s senior officers always survive these confrontations, and 3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Unsurprisingly, the savvier crew members belowdecks avoid Away Missions at all costs. 

Then Andrew stumbles on information that transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

In the interview we talked more about “Old Man’s War” and “The Human Division” (I asked on behalf of the Readers: will there be more between Harry and Dani?), with a bit about the book coming in August, “Lock In”. We didn’t say much about “Redshirts”, which is why I thought I’d give it a bit more room here.  I have to tell you it was so much fun to talk about the writing process and about specific writing choices with Mr. Scalzi, so I hope you’ll hop on over and enjoy the interview!

“Redshirts” is being made into a TV series, with the author as Executive Producer and Consultant.

In the meantime, although “Redshirts” is its own highly entertaining story and isn’t “Galaxy Quest” OR “Star Trek” in any form, here’s the “unnamed security guy” Guy from  the movie “Galaxy Quest” for you, because he also addresses the issues of being a low-ranking and in-jeopardy crew member in his own fashion.

For your amusement, the clip collage from “Galaxy Quest”, where the character of Guy was an actor in an episode of a fictional TV series that has been off the air for quite a while by the time the movie begins:

B is for Beatrix Potter

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Continuing on with my own slow version of the A to Z challenge, this week is the letter “B” and the first thing that came to mind was Beatrix Potter, author of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” and countless other charming stories of life in the English countryside as enacted by darling animals in Regency dress. Our family’s copies of the books are very well loved!

She’s firmly fixed in my mind now as Renee Zellweger, since I saw the 2006 movie version of her life, “Miss Potter”. The tagline for the movie said “Her life was the most enchanting tale of all.” Well, no spoilers from me, but I’m not convinced, folks. Parts of the movie were very happy, however, and I was fascinated at how she managed to become a published author. She left a rare legacy for all of us to enjoy. The actress Emma Thompson has been commissioned by the copyright holders  to write a new tale for wily Peter. You can read a fun interview with her here on how she was asked to take on the task and how she went about writing the book.

I have a large, LARGE collection of Beatrix Potter figurines, which I’m happy to share a few photos of today. My favorite is Timmy Willie Sleeping.

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But I’m also very fond of the various mice ladies, the cats, Mrs. Tiggywinkle the Hedgehog…not so fond of the pigs but I’ve acquired a few…

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I also have some Bunnykins and some Brambly Hedge figurines which you may have noticed,  mixed in with the Beatrix Potter but I think they all go together pretty well.

???????????????????????????????And one or two more:

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May I Drive? MAGIC OF THE NILE 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…

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400Continuing with my newest –  MAGIC OF THE NILE. After last week, everyone wanted to know how wild Tyema was going to be on her evening out with Sahure so I’ll follow that tangent for a bit. Skipped a bit of dialog and the description of Sahure’s imposing chariot. (I may have played with the punctuation to make it eight sentences and I deleted a bit.):

            “I’ve never ridden in a chariot,” she confided as he handed her into the vehicle. 

            “A war chariot is hardly the normal mode of transport for a lady,” he agreed. Raising the reins, he set the horses into motion. At first the team trotted but as they reached the main road to the village, Sahure glanced at her for permission. Seeing her nod, he set the team into a gallop and the chariot shot forward as the powerful animals responded to his command.

            Hair flying, Tyema laughed in sheer pleasure, “This is wonderful! Oh to be able to move so fast through the world!”  Deciding this was a night for daring, working up her courage, she said, “May I drive?”

What do you suppose he answers?

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

003

I Can’t Sleep ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from theSFR Galaxy Award wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away. Andi goes on with her social duties, attending the reception in the evening, where Captain Deverane catches up to her and  asks her to dance. They soon decide to go outside since the dance floor is so crowded. While they’re outside the lights flicker, there’s an explosion and screams. Andi and Deverane escape across the lake in a boat.

I’m skipping quite a bit of the action because SPOILERS. But here’s the beginning of a small scene where Andi and the captain start to become better acquainted. The small group of survivors is camped deep in the jungle by a lake and Andi can’t sleep:

A breeze stirred her hair. Clearly, I’m not going to get back to sleep for a long time. If at all. Wrapping herself in the shawl, she picked her way through the other sleepers to join the captain.

Deverane looked up as she walked over, patting the rock beside him in invitation. “Can’t sleep?”

Shuddering as she sat, Andi rewrapped her shawl more tightly. “You’re surprised I’m having bad dreams?  After everything we saw today? What time is it?”

 Reaching over, he tucked the fabric more securely around her shoulder. “Still middle of the night, I’m afraid. A long time to go until sunrise chases away the nightmares.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. I’m drowsy but scared to risk closing my eyes for more than a second. There are a lot of vivid images forming a queue in my subconscious tonight. These kinds of things don’t affect soldiers, I suppose.” Leaning back, she tilted her head to look at him, eyebrows slightly raised in query.

He continued to gaze across the rippling water and said nothing for a long minute. When he did speak, his voice was low and measured. “I went into the military because the abuse and slaughter of innocent civilians do bother me. At least in the service, I can do something to prevent atrocities.”

Biting her lip, she looked away across the lake. “I’m sorry. Was I being rude? Maybe I’d better go back to bed and leave you alone.”

“No, please stay.” He grabbed at the shawl, which promptly came off her shoulder again. Their hands met as he tried to reposition the wrap and she tried to keep it from falling off.  “I apologize if I sounded abrupt.”

She stared at him for a minute then smiled as she settled back down. “It’s all right. The last few days have been…rough. For both of us.”

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResThe story:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 

 

A Is for Alas Babylon

003Every year I’m so tempted by the April A to Z challenge. I love the idea of writing a post about every letter of the alphabet but there’s no way I can cram that into 26 days straight, not with the day job and all the other stuff. I give huge kudos to those who can manage it!

So I decided this morning that there was no reason I couldn’t do the challenge anyway, but on my own terms. So here I am with my letter “A”. Now the thing about me, which you probably know by now, is that I’m very stream of consciousness when it comes to posts. If you read my Word Whores posts on Saturdays over on their website, you’ve seen this facet of me in operation! Unless I have a very specific topic with enough aspects to inspire me to outline and provide a structured discussion, I kind of bounce. I also love the test-taking theory of put the answer that comes to mind first.

Accordingly, the initial thing that the letter “A” inspires for me is the book Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. It was my first exposure to the whole idea of the manmade or natural apocalypse in one form or another and the life a person would have to live afterwards. The book was one of my Dad’s favorites and I devoured it. I still reread it from time to time and have the original paperback (much thrashed) in my bookcase. Of course the words live on my kindle now. I thought I was alone in my passion for this novel until one day I looked it up on Amazon and discovered how much of a classic it is. SPOILER ALERT  – I always want Randy Bragg’s brother Mark to be alive, somewhere, and I always wish they could save Malachi. I LOVED the TV series “Jericho” because it felt so much tojericho skeet me like a modern take on Alas Babylon, at least in the early episodes, before things got all conspiracy-complicated. (And Skeet Ulrich is very easy to look at….but I digress.)

jurassic amber“A” is also for amber in my idiosyncratic illustrated alphabet. My favorite piece of amber probably isn’t real – that would be John Hammond’s   giant chunk of amber from “Jurassic Park,” adorning his cane, with a prehistoric mosquito chock full of dinosaur blood forever trapped inside. (“dino-sawer” as that narrator from the Park’s video says). We saw the props from “Jurassic Park” at Universal Studios, back when this kind of exhibit hadn’t really been done before. Somehow we took a wrong turn at the theme park and got into the back door of the ehxibit (my mistake, I swear) so we had the area to ourselves for a few minutes. Then of course the crush of people came in but it was still an amazing experience to see the recreation of the kitchen where the velocipraptors stalked the kids and touch the triceratops as she laboriously breathed in and out and watch the egg incubator turning big eggs.

I have my own little mini collection of amber, mostly in rings. No trapped insects though!

And there you have my kickoff post in the alphabet challenge! (I’m either 113 days behind the rest of the world on this series of blog posts or 352 days early LOL. You can decide!). Next week I’ll arrive at Point “B”….

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Talking Titanic Here and at USA Today

titanic03I’ve always been fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic and this year is the 102nd anniversary of the ship striking the iceberg and foundering. Over at the USA Today Happily Ever After blog today I’m talking about why I believe the sinking has captured the public’s interest for so long and also recommending some newer books about the tragedy, both fiction and nonfiction.

One in particular, “The Girl Who Came Home” by Hazel Gaynor, is a fictionalized account of a group of Third Class passengers from the same small town in Ireland, which I highly recommend. I’ve never seen the Titanic Third Class experience brought to vividly to life as Ms. Gaynor achieves in her novel.
Violet_jessop_titanicA nonfiction book I read a long time ago was “Titanic Survivor” by Violet Jessop, a stewardess on the ship, who survived. She was often referred to as Miss Unsinkable because not only did she make it through the Titanic disaster, she had also been on board the Olympic during its collision with another vessel in 1911 (although either ship sank). And Ms. Jessop was working for the British Red Cross on the Britannic in 1916 during World War I when that ship was either attacked by a submarine or struck a mine (stories vary) and sank. Again, she survived, living to be 83.

I remember her book was very matter of fact about all the adventures she had, including Titanic, and gave a fascinating picture of being a working woman on the great cruise ships in a bygone era. To illustrate the calm way in which she approached her life’s adventures, when the Britannic sank, she took time to grab her toothbrush because, she’s quoted as saying, that was the thing she missed right after Titanic sank! When Britanic foundered, Ms. Jessop had gotten into a lifeboat, which she then had to abandon because the ship’s propeller was threatening to slice the boat in half. Suffering a blow to the head as she was sucked under the water, Violet’s thick hair provided cushioning to save her from serious injury. Eventually another lifeboat picked her up.

Apparently very modest as well as matter of fact, prior to her death, Violet told a friend of hers about a phone call she’d received late on a stormy evening, where a voice asked if she’d saved a baby’s life on the Titanic, to which she replied she had. The person on the other end of the line said they were that baby, laughed and hung up! The friend felt this was probably a prank call, and Violet informed them she actually had saved a baby, on Lifeboat No. 16, but had never revealed that fact to anyone before.

Violet’s Titanic experiences have been touched upon in most of the movies about the sinking, particularly any scene where Thomas Andrews, the shipbuilder, tells a young stewardess to put on her lifebelt to set a good example for the passengers.

I hope you’ll check out my post over at USA Today/HEA for some more book recommendations!

And if you enjoy science fiction adventure,  my Wreck of the Nebula Dream is a loose retelling of the Titanic sinking, set in the far future aboard a luxury spaceliner on its maiden voyage. An SFR Galaxy Award and Laurel Wreath winner…

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalLargeThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Available from  Amazon Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTuneGoogle Play   Kobo

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and iTunes

What Am I Doing? MAGIC OF THE NILE 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…

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400So we’ve moved on to the newly Released MAGIC OF THE NILE. This week’s excerpt follows Sahure’s invitation to Tyema to accompany him to the festival. I’ve skipped a bit of cajoling on Sahure’s part. (I may have played with the punctuation to make it eight sentences. I think!):

 Tyema hastened to her quarters, the whole time asking herself what she was doing. She rarely set foot in town, with all its sad memories, not even to visit her sisters. Never to attend festivals! Am I so susceptible to a handsome stranger? She giggled, thinking of her half-sister Merys and the handsome stranger she’d  met, who of course was revealed to be the god Sobek himself. “I don’t think this Sahure is a god in disguise,” she laughed to herself as she returned to the gate, half expecting to find him gone. But he’s a pleasing companion and tonight I’m in the mood to be wild, to do the unexpected.

            “You were quick, my lady,” he said, pushing away from the wall and coming to take her hand.

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

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