Company Assassin

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Claudia Blood and her  novel, Company Assassin.

Author’s description

It’s Duff Roman’s eighteenth birthday, but no one is lighting candles.

 

Turning eighteen in the orphanage on Kalecca means starvation for those who aren’t hired into a Family. Outside the Family compounds lies the jungle. And in the jungle lies death. And Relics—the only real currency on Planet Kalecca.

 

The orphans are Duff’s family, and he’s sacrificed everything to keep the orphanage running, even his chance to move on. Now, at eighteen, he has no choice but to leave. Without him to bring in extra money, the orphans will starve under the Company’s control. Duff’s only chance to save them is to find a spot on an independent crew and hopefully find a Relic to sell.

 

A seemingly chance encounter with Z, leader of the most feared independent crew, offers Duff his opportunity to score a Relic. And offers Z a chance to relieve the guilt he feels over his past.

 

But a company assassin has plans to lay waste to Duff’s future, and the orphanage as well.

Guest Post on Character Creation

There is a ton of advice about how to create characters. I’ve seen questionnaires, character sheets, and archetype cards. Even methods where you write a job and adjective to start.

I started playing D&D I the third grade. So I’ve created hundreds of characters for D&D campaigns over the years. The nice thing about that process is the templates and combination choices are laid out for you. I’ll create a favored soul because the party needs a healer. But I don’t truly know them until the first battle or difficult choice.

So for me, the stats on a page are not enough. What color their eyes were didn’t play into if my new favored soul runs into battle and drags out a downed comrade or is hyperventilating in the corner.

I think of character creation as a process to get to know your characters. So for me being a pantser, I have to interact with them to make sense of who they are.  Almost like when you meet a person for the first time. Very few people come out and give you their life story. (Most of us would run away from those that do over-share with the flimsiest of excuses.)

So I will journal from their POV about whatever is bothering them at the moment.

I will put them in a scene and apply pressure to see what they do.

I will interview them. This can be fun if you can get someone else to ask you the questions and you answer as the character.

Yes, I will need to write down what color their eyes are and other quirks, but this tends to come out later. After I’ve determined if they sneak away when the going gets tough, or sound the battle cry and join the rest of the party in battle.

About the Author

Claudia Blood’s early introduction to Dungeons and Dragons, combined with her training as a scientist and a side trip into the world of IT set her up to become an award-winning author of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Find the Author

Website: http://www.ClaudiaBlood.com
Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorClaudiaBlood
Facebook: http://bit.ly/ClaudiasAdventurersFB
Twitter: twitter.com/AuthorClauBlood
Instagram: instagram.com/authorclaudiablood
Short Story give away for newsletter sign up: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/knyz61msub

Buy the Book

https://books2read.com/CompanyAssassin
https://books2read.com/HorizonFound
https://books2read.com/TimeRift

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Matilda from Chapter 4

Matilda sat at the table and threaded the needle. The demon alarm still buzzed in the background. She’d given the kids their assignments and tried to act as normal as possible. She didn’t want them worried about Duff or the demons since even the orphanage had company supplied protections. As long as they stayed in the orphanage, they should be fine.

Miss CuddleBug, Sheila’s doll, needed some surgery. Usually this sort of activity would calm Matilda. She checked her nails and saw the distinctive purple at the base that meant her nanites were activated. She took a deep breath and used the mantras her father had taught her.

Peace is within my reach.

Breathe and breathe again.

“Will Miss CuddleBug be well?” Sheila stood on her tip-toes to see her dolly on the table.

“I’ll get her fixed up.” Matilda stroked Sheila’s hair. Sheila’s complexion grayed. Matilda snatched her hand back. She had to be careful with the little ones when she was this worked up.

Thank you!

Claudia Blood — we appreciate your sharing your book Company Assassin with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Alien Legacy – The Empath

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Keri Kruspe and her sci-fi romance novel, Alien Legacy – The Empath.

 

 Author’s description

The aliens we thought were long gone are coming back.

Just his luck, alien-hybrid Ben Duncan is the only one for the job. Being an empath and a financial wizard, he’s called in to uncover an essential ally at a small regional bank in Vegas to thwart a plot his alien ancestors, the Akurns, seemed to have started there. If their heinous plans are successful, the global economy would crash and weaken mankind for their invasion in less than five short months. When Ben arrives at his assignment as a covert consultant, he meets the intriguing Julienne and is instantly alarmed at the intense attraction he has for her. He’d love to indulge in his obsession with the delectable woman, but knows he has no choice but to stay as far away from her as possible. The fate of billions don’t leave time for anything personal.

As senior vice-president, Julienne King leads a stressful life immersed in organizing a huge merger for a local bank in Vegas. And meeting some arrogant, hotter-than-hell, aloof outside consultant makes things worse. When she stumbles on an insidious money laundering scheme that threatens the global economy, she’s caught and kidnapped by one of her hateful bosses. While in captivity, she’s threatened with alien experimentation, death, or both. But what shocks her the most is it turns out she may not be who or what she thought she was.

Now it’s a race against time. Can a banker and an alien-hybrid overcome their misconceptions and to not only work together, but to realize their love is the key to mankind’s salvation?

About the Author

Keri Kruspe, award-winning “Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures” loves nothing more than to write about romances that feature “feisty heroines who aren’t afraid to take a chance on life… or love”. Her writing career started when she became irritated that most SciFi romances had women kidnapped before they could find love. Determined to create something different, she turned “the alien kidnapping trope upside down” (Vine Voice) and the ALIEN EXCHANGE trilogy was born.

Keri’s latest SciFi Romance novel, ALIEN LEGACY: THE EMPATH, is the first in a five-book series of the Ancient Alien Descendants, taking the Ancient Alien motif and mixing it with a sensual, romantic twist.

A native Nevadan, Keri is a lifelong avid reader who lives in Northwestern Michigan with her hubby and the newest member of the family, a Jack Russell Terrier named Hestia. When not immersed in her made-up worlds, she enjoys discovering the fascinating landscape of her new home and pairing red wine with healthy ways to cook. Most of all, she loves finding her next favorite author.

If you want to know when Keri’s next book will come out, please visit her website at http:/kerikruspe.com, where you can sign up for her mailing list. You’ll get a FREE copy of the novella, The Day Behind Tomorrow that is a prologue to the ALIEN LEGACY series. Not to mention being kept updated on the life of a dedicated, obsessed author.

Find the Author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/klkruspe15

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keri_kruspe

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerikruspe

Buy the Book

The book is on sale for $0.99 on Kindle or Nook during this tour.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Legacy-Romance-Ancient-Descendants-ebook/dp/B08FT98KQ8/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

At 7:00 on a Monday morning, the bright cloudless sky should have encouraged Julienne King to begin her day with a light heart and an eagerness to start the day. Not stress about going to a thankless, pain-in-the-ass job. Not stress about how she didn’t fit into the life she led. Not stress about her unrelenting urge to search for that elusive something just out of reach—convinced more than ever she was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, while living a totally wrong life. You’d think reaching the pinnacle of Senior Vice President of a small but reputable state bank at the age of thirty-one would cement a soul-satisfying life purpose. Oh no, not her.

Humph. Might as well obsess about her nonexistent love life while she was at it.

She eyed the metal handle of her car door. The stupid thing would be hot. Even this early, it had enough time to soak up the mid-July desert heat of Las Vegas. Using the edge of her suit jacket to protect her fingers, she opened the door. When it flung wide, the inside belched a suffocating, broiling miasma. As sweat broke out, she briefly closed her eyes. Good thing she parked in the shade, otherwise she’d melt into a puddle of messy goo by the time she got to work. Maybe she’d make it there before her makeup liquefied into a Picasso painting. Having been raised in the Vegas foster system, you’d think she’d be used to the scorching heat by now.

The Descendant

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Melissa Riddell and her science fiction/romance novel, The Descendant.

Author’s description

She wants her world back; he wants her heart.

Tilly Morgan and her four-legged companion, Kodiak, are just trying to survive the alien arrival. Two years ago, the visitors unleashed devastation—a world-wide EMP followed by a deadly virus that wiped out more than half of humanity.

Traversing the lonely landscape, she runs into an alien on patrol with one order: eradicate all human life. A mysterious, dark-haired stranger named Jareth comes to her aid, and she reluctantly allows him to join her quest to find her sister. He even persuades her to let the damaged alien tag along against her better judgment.

As her group travels the desolate world and inches closer to her goal, she’s forced to examine her unwanted feelings for Jareth and come to terms with her heart, even if the truth threatens to destroy her and everything she’s come to believe.

Guest Post: Predicting Pandemics

It’s hard for a science fiction writer not to be taken aback by the unexpected events of 2020. Given that, I asked author Melissa Riddell to share her thoughts on the difficulties of writing science fiction that occurs in the near future.

Here is her fascinating response!

When I wrote The Descendant last year, I had no idea we were going to have our own viral outbreak in the real world. Even though my book’s apocalypse starts with an electromagnetic pulse wiping out all electronics and electricity, it also throws in a deadly virus killing most of humanity. With The Descendant, though, Tilly and Jareth’s romance and character development is at the heart of the story, so the virus takes a backseat to the true narrative.

There have been many apocalyptic books written where a virus is the driver to end times, such as Stephen King’s The Stand, and most readers (me included) gobble them up because we feel safe. We enjoy imagining what it would be like to survive the chaos—from the comfort of our favorite reading chair with our favorite beverage at our side.

The only true danger after reading these apocalyptic novels was developing a sniffle during the reading. We might’ve rushed to the clinic and explained what Mr. King called this type of sickness. “Oh, sweet Jesus, I think I’ve got Captain Trips.”

Calmly, the doctor informed me—uh, I mean those readers—they were suffering from allergic rhinitis, nothing more. He might’ve shaken his head and walked away, probably adding the patient to his psychosomatic list. And he was right—a little loratadine or cetirizine cleared Captain Trips right up. I digress, though.

Enter 2020 and COVID-19. Now that the world has had a tiny taste of living through a real pandemic, some readers want no reminders of what’s going on. Their whole purpose of reading a book is to escape reality. This poses problems for this type of near-future sci-fi and kills the “joy” factor.

On the flip side of that coin, the other crowd loves it, because they can relate to the book’s characters in a much more intimate way. Heck, they might even read it again to ensure they didn’t miss any tips on how to survive the virus.

Any writer trying to “cash in” on the current pandemic is probably going to find their book in one of these two crowds—those who love it  because of what we’re living through, and those who detest it due to the current situation. My advice? Write your story. Even if it’s not popular right now, every genre experiences fluctuations in popularity, so who knows? Maybe a few years down the road, when we hopefully have COVID-19 under control in our past, those who passed over the book might be willing to give it a try.

In general, without the viral threat we’re facing, I think the difficulty in writing near-future sci-fi technology is in the technicality of the world or gadgets. If the story’s setting or tech is based on proposed developments, say in 10-30 years, then it’s imperative the writer does his or her research. Why? Because the technology isn’t that far away, and the author must prove to the reader they know what they’re writing about. Imagine getting it all wrong, and in a few years, the book is outdated and unbelievable. That’s not a good thing for the writer—or the reader.

In my opinion, it’s much easier to write science fiction for the far-off future or an advanced race, because I can make up stuff that can’t be disproven so easily. As long as I stick to fundamental laws of physics and biology (as we know it), then I can create the “fiction” part of science fiction and hopefully, the reader will happily come along for the ride.

About the Author

Melissa Riddell is from a small, West Texas town in which she still lives with her husband. Her writing career started as a hobby when she was a teenager, writing poems and short stories. Eventually, she branched out and began constructing novels. When not contemplating new story ideas, she can be found traipsing around Texas State Parks, herding her cats, or reading a book.

You can follow her on several different social media platforms below.
Facebook: facebook.com/melcriddell
Twitter: twitter.com/MelCRiddell
Instagram: instagram.com/averela
Goodreads: goodreads.com/melcriddell

Or visit her on her website.

Buy The Descendent on Amazon

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

Yes, there is a giveaway

Melissa Riddell will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card, a signed copy of The Descendant (book 1), or an ARC of the second book in the series to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Walking down a long, metallic corridor, the hall opens, and I see people sitting at terminals or standing on discs.

Visual readouts project holographic images at the stations. Some of the crew wear visors over their eyes and move gloved hands to swipe at virtual images of the triangular ship and the solar system. When Eva passes their stations, several follow the procession with guarded faces.

The back of a chair rests in the middle of the spacious room. Before the seat is an enormous window that looks out into space.

One soft, polished boot dangles over the side of the chair. Long, deft fingers drum a beat on the black coat that covers the knee.

Freaking, evil granny. I should’ve known she wouldn’t keep her nose out of my business.

In slow motion, the chair swivels in my direction.

I want to crawl and hide. Instead, I stand and stare like the idiot I am.