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.

The Calling

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Branwen OShea and her YA Sci-fi novel, The Calling.

Author’s description

Humanity’s wake-up call. Answer it or face extinction.

 

When Bleu’s little sister shows symptoms of the deadly Sickness, a strange vision directs him to leave humanity’s subterranean haven and seek the cure on Earth’s glacial surface. Joining the expedition team, Bleu expects extreme temperatures, not a surface ruled by ingenious predators.

 

Rana and her fellow star beings have co-existed with Earth’s top carnivores since the humans disappeared. But when her peers transform into Crowned Ones, the final stage of star being development, she fears remaining Uncrowned like her parents. To prove her worth, she undertakes a dangerous mission—contacting the hostile and nearly extinct humans.

 

But Rana’s plan backfires, and Bleu’s team retaliates. As war with the more advanced star being civilization looms, both Rana and Bleu separately seek a way to save their people.

About the Author

As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.

Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her previously published works include contributing to a nonfiction yoga book, wellness magazines, and her published science fiction novella, Silence of the Song Trees.

When I discovered I’d be featuring a book of OShea’s and would get to ask her any question, I looked up her biography on Amazon, too, and learned that she is a licensed counselor, a yoga teacher, and a sound healer. She says she writes books with stardust and magic. (What a lovely phrase.) So I asked her which of  the many traditions she has studied contributed the most to the “stardust and magic” in The Calling.

Here is her intriguing answer.

I’ve always been fascinated with different belief systems and have read and studied various religious and spiritual traditions since I was about ten years old. For me, every tradition holds great truths, but no tradition by itself fully meshes with my values of compassion, nonviolence, love, truth, and valuing nature. Each of my books explores slightly different beliefs.
The Calling kicks off a series that encompasses three different species, each with their own cultures and beliefs. The humans in my series are mostly scientific thinkers and driven by a sense that the Earth betrayed them by plummeting into an ice age. Most of the humans only trust science. However, Bleu and his family are secretively highly intuitive. I based their experiences on intuitive experiences that I’ve had since childhood. I didn’t give them a specific philosophy, because they had nowhere to research one other than their own shared experiences.
The star being culture and spirituality is possibly a combination of Indian and Yogic philosophy merged with indigenous beliefs and Christian mysticism. I say “probably” because much in this book was told to me in a series of meditations/dreams from the character Rana, a star being. So, you could either assume that my subconscious combined the above, or that it’s a psychic experience and Rana is something else other than a creation of my subconsciousness. The story works either way.
The third species doesn’t appear until the end of the second book, The Chasm, which is coming out in January 2022. Their culture and beliefs could be seen as a combination of shamanism, Islamic beliefs about jinn, and myths of the Fae. That said, their culture, beliefs, and story also came to me in meditations. Like myself, my books contain influences from many cultures and times. The overarching theme of the series challenges humans to reconsider their perceived limitations and separation from other species.

Find the Author

Website: http://www.branwenoshea.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/branwenoshea
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/branwenoshea
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/branwenoshea

Buy the Book

Order Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735915998

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

“All right, get out, men.” Savas had never experienced such peace on the last mission. This was truly pleasant. They climbed out of the rover, and he tripped on his own feet as if drunk.

Laughing at himself, he reminded the others, “Guns out. Stamf, take the lead. I’ll bring up the rear.”

He paused, swaying a bit, while the other two men passed him and then proceeded slowly down the left branch. Sparkling light from farther down the tunnel lit their way. With a quick glance back toward the entrance, he took up the rear.

Then a voice as ethereal as the wind sang, “Caaaaaahm heeeeeeeere…caaaaaaaaaahm heeeeeeeere…”

What the hell?

Savas shook his head, blinked, and tapped his ear communicator. Stamf and Abdul, farther ahead, had frozen and appeared confused, swaying in place.

Something was terribly wrong. Was this cave filled with noxious fumes? Had they all gotten cold sickness? The databases talked of arctic workers becoming weak and confused by the extreme temperatures.

Think! Think. Savas wanted to lie down and nap. What’s wrong with me? Images from his childhood tumbled through his head. Not now. Not again. I control my own mind.

“Caaaaaaaaahm heeeeeeeeere,” the voice lulled, endlessly peaceful.

They all mindlessly continued forward, as if in a dream. A small part of Savas’ brain screamed in warning. I. Control. My. Own. Mind. He grunted with the effort. Fighting the urge to relax, Savas forced his hands to raise his weapon.

Thank you!

Branwen OShea — we appreciate your sharing your book The Calling 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.