Tag: Space Opera

Star Shepherd Blog hop – Day Two

Posted March 20, 2019

STAR blog Indie

Welcome to the Star Sheperd BLOG HOP TOUR.

Please get yourself comfortable as we take a daily tour through these fabulous blogs. Each blog you visit will entertain you with exclusive articles and excerpts from this fantastic new book. Get an insight into the character’s head with interviews and profile images. Then hunt down the hidden word that will get you one step closer to the $10 Amazon Gift Card.

You are here to celebrate the release of Star Shepard, book one of the space western series, Shepherd of Light, by R.R.Virdi.

Star Shepherd knows a raw deal when he sees one. And he’s got the worst one in the galaxy: to deliver a mysterious package to a rebellion to change the scales of power in favor of the common man. As he meets with an old friend to seek much-needed help, he draws the attention of a genocidal admiral willing to destroy entire worlds if it means catching Star Shepherd.

Will Star survive the chase and bring hope to the rebellion, or deliver a gift into the hands of a worse power, tipping the galaxy into further chaos?




Zheer exhaled through his nose. “Government and corporations are after you. Expect trouble of the private, well-armed, and not-so-nice, and law-abiding kind.”

Star rolled his eyes. “Corporations are the government last I checked.”

Zheer waved a dismissive hand. “Think they used to call that semantics. Still, for the money they’re offering, won’t be long till more than just those bodies will be after you. We’re talking citizens, less than savory sorts. Heck, Liberation Movement folks will be after you. Separatists—extremists too. You know what they’re like. Always crowing on about how the government and those that serve ‘em are dogs needin’ to be put down. They’re just as ruthless and maybe crazier Shepherding. You’re going to need friends and one heck of a corner to hide in.”

Star pulled his drink back, swirling the amber fluid around without wanting to take a sip. “So, question is: Are you friend, Zheer?”

Zheer clicked his tongue. “Not as good as one as I should be. Showed up just in time to tell you to get what you came for and run.”

Don’t forget to visit all the blogs and collect the 10 hidden words for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Send your completed word list to kkantasauthorassist@gmail.com

Tuesday 19thhttps://rrvirdi.com
Wednesday 20thhttp://indiescififantasy.com
Thursday 21sthttps://readcommendations.com
Friday 22ndhttps://mmcquillen44.wixsite.com/themadhouse
Saturday 23rdhttps://www.authorerikamszabo.com/my-thinking-board
Sunday 24thhttps://rainne15.wordpress.com
Monday 25thhttps://www.maryrwoldering.com
Tuesday 26thhttps://karensbookbuzz.wordpress.com
Wednesday 27thhttps://katerauner.wordpress.com/
Thursday 28thhttps://celthric.com

Blog Hop Tour organized by Author Assist


Sponsored by Bolide Publishing Limited


Lucifer’s Star by C.T. Phipps

Posted May 19, 2017

Cassius Mass was the greatest star pilot of the Crius Archduchy. He fought fiercely for his cause, only to watch his nation fall to the Interstellar Commonwealth. It was only after that he realized the side he’d been fighting for was the wrong one. Now a semi-functional navigator on an interstellar freight hauler, he tries to hide who he was and escape his past. Unfortunately, some things refuse to stay buried and he ends up conscripted by the very people who destroyed his homeland.

LUCIFER’S STAR is the first novel of the Lucifer’s Star series, a dark science fiction space opera set in a world of aliens, war, politics, and slavery.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01MDM9MCT” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

First Contact by Dawn Chapman (Review)

Posted December 24, 2016

First Contact is the second book in Dawn Chapman’s science fiction series, The Secret King and continues to chart the progress of the Aonise as they search for a new home. Their journey – so far – has been fraught with danger, and at times, some close calls, but salvation is in sight.

Planet Earth could offer the Aonise a chance to resettle and put the trauma of their escape from Lethao behind them. Their ships aren’t in the best of shape, food is running low, and as if that wasn’t enough, secrets are becoming harder to conceal.

If you’ve read Lethao and thought it a fast-paced, action-filled ‘ride’, then you had better make sure you are buckled in for First Contact. It is an exciting read, exploring not only the politics and power dynamics of the Aonise but the hierarchy of power we are more familiar with on Planet Earth.

First Contact is a soft sci-fi/space opera, focusing on the lives of the characters we met in Lethao as well as introducing some new ones. The writing, as always, moves the story at a good pace, using a balance of narration and dialogue to keep the reader up to speed with events.

Events are alternated from two perspectives in the early stages of the book. The reader is given a chance to catch-up with the Aonise’ progress while introducing Earth-based characters. The question of whether they are alone in the universe is finally answered, and more to the point, how they intend to deal with the uninvited guests.

I really enjoyed this book. For me, it had all the elements of space opera that I like – distinct characters, lots of conflicts, twists and turns, and a scenario I could never get bored of reading. My only criticism is that it does have a sharper ending than Lethao, but if I’m honest with myself, at this point, I’m wholly invested in the characters so shall await book three with eager anticipation.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01NBCKEWX” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Author Interview: Dawn Chapman

Posted December 20, 2016

The Secret KingDawn Chapman has been creating sci-fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13-episode sci-fi TV series, with great passion for this medium.

In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon from 2012 who’s encouraged her away from fast-paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.

Dawn lives in a country village in the UK with her husband, parrot and 30 koi.

  • When did you first discover your love for writing? 

My earliest memory is of wanting a typewriter, I was 6. And I wrote my first story titled ‘Roger the Fox’ I couldn’t use the typewriter well so my next door neighbour typed it up for me and I paid her from my earnings as around the village, shopping or car washing.

  • Do you have a favourite place to write?

I pretty much write anywhere, but a couch is as good a place as any. I do prefer no noise. Though the other half will put the TV on as soon as he comes in. I’m good at blocking out anything he watches, but if he puts a Sci-Fi program on I’m soon distracted.

  • Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

I am usually home at 3:15 pm so anything from 4  pm onwards is my writing schedule till 8 pm when I’m usually too tired and turn to social media or critiquing for my team-mates.

  • Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

Not really, of course, I’d love to earn a living, but I will do everything I can in my own time till I get to that point.

  • What inspired you to write the novel of, The Secret King- Lethao

It was a friend who pointed out NaNoWrimo (after scriptFrenzy was culled) and she said, have you ever thought about a TSK novel? I hadn’t but I was soon able to write it up after all the work on our TV show. 

  • Can you tell us a little about your book?

Set 18 years prior to our penned TV series, is where book 1 begins.

Kendro, King of the Aonise, can do nothing to prevent their sun from collapsing, consuming their home planet Letháo in a single fiery blast. Running out of time and options, he evacuates the entire population, setting off into the unknown galaxy in four crowded ships. Under constant danger from their ancient enemy, the Zefron, treasonous dissent seeps into his inner circle. Threatened inside and out, Kendro struggles with whom to trust, until a mysterious vision finally brings hope to the distraught King. A new home awaits the Aonise, if Kendro can only unite them long enough to survive the journey.

  • Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

No matter where I am in the whole series, I have to still say Taliri is my favourite character. He is the secret prince/king after all. His story is the first I wrote, back in 2007 when I broke my hand at work. I penned a feature film (yes, one handed) and after joining a website called Zhura and meeting my co-writer Steven it is where the TV series stemmed from. I spent a lot of time with Taliri, my co-writer, and the world around them. Everything else, of course, I still love, and my other two fav characters are Ainoren Broki and the human character – Sarah Mendoza, whose story is set far into TSK’s timeline. 

  • Does your book contain a message for readers to consider? 

I like to think there are a few hidden messages. The world around us, how we accept people no matter the race or religion, who they love. But mostly the story is about normal and some extraordinary people who struggle through life, and hope to protect those around them they love. Pretty much what most of us go through on a day to day basis.

  • Because we’re about to launch book 2, First Contact, I’m including a short excerpt from there.

A loud ringing echoed through the house. Prime Minister Robert Walker bolted upright. His wife, Christine, still slept, her chest rising and falling in even breaths. Is that… the…

His heart pounded in his chest, as the ringing stopped. Silence. No…

Glancing at Christine, he let out a breath seeing she hadn’t stirred. The chemo from yesterday had wiped her out. They were trying to rest, and now, he was terrified what little rest they’d had at their country holiday home would be ruined. As the phone rang again, Walker threw the covers off and reached out for it. Damn, this will wake her.

Monday, 23rd Sept 2041 – 1:14 AM flashed on his clock.

Picking up his phone. Walker hit answer and slid out of the warm bed into the cooler air of their hallway.


Christine murmured, turning over, and searching blindly in the bed for him.first-contact

“Robert?” The Chief of Defence’s adrenaline-pumped voice almost screamed across the line. Walker listened to words he never thought he’d hear. “We’re at Threat Level Critical. A copter is on its way. Suffok will meet you at the nearest hotel conference room.”

What? Critical? The UK hadn’t issued critical status ever. What on Earth is going on?

“I’ll be right there.” Then, Walker thought of Christine. He couldn’t leave her alone. Not tonight. Phoning his sister-in-law, he asked her to come over and stay with Christine.

There were highly trained nurses stationed in the house, but they weren’t family. Guilt clutched as his conscience, as he headed back to the bedroom and dressed.

Christine had settled back, and he perched on the end of the bed, stroking the back of her head. “I’ve got to go out. Ani is on her way. She’ll stay with you tonight.”

His wife turned to face him. “At this hour, seriously?” The annoyance on her pale face and bloodshot eyes spooked him.

Walker sighed. Christine knew his job came before lots of things. “I’ll see you for dinner.” He kissed his wife gently on the forehead.

Christine didn’t respond. She turned her head away from him. Concern filled him, as he gave her one last look before hurrying to the door. He had no way of knowing if he would be home for dinner today, or next week.

  • What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing TSK?

The biggest challenge for me is and might always be I’m a born script writer, it’s the style I much prefer, writing prose is hard for me, and takes me a good amount of effort. I do think with my writing and editing regime that it is the best I can do though and I’m proud to put these books out there.

  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing The Secret King?

That not everyone will love your work, same as with writing scripts, there will always be a difference of opinion. But I do like to think I can take on board those opinions and learn and keep trying.

  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Just practice every day, join crit groups, make friends and grow together. The more you do for others the more you get back, don’t be selfish. Don’t expect people to read your work without helping them back in some way, supporting this community is very important. 

  • Anything else you would like to say?

Please click the link and download book 1 for free, from 12/12/16 to the 15/12/16 and if you’re an audiobook fan, the whispersync deal will be 2.99! bargain. I love Greg Tremblay’s voice, and for the first person to ever speak our conlang (beside its creator) sounds just perfect!


  • And finally, do you have any future works planned?

Of course, the release of book 2 – December 20th.

We’re also working on two more audio shorts from Doctor Brie and Lieutenant Hadi’s story line. Narrated by Holly Adams and Greg TremblayJ
And a fully illustrated anthology, with illustrations by the very talented Andrew Dodd.
And also 50k novella from one of our TV episodes, penned by my co-writer, Steven Kogan!

I’m totally excited for next year! We’ve so much more planned and ready to launch, you have to follow us though to keep up.

Please click the links below for regular news and updates.

Sites: Production Website & Main TSK Website
Twitter: Production & TSK
Facebook: TSK Productions Ltd & The Secret King Fan Page




Serengeti by J.B. Rockwell

Posted October 7, 2016

It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own; wrecked and abandoned in an empty expanse of space. On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the cryogenically frozen crew inside. Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti’s bones clean. Her engines dead, her guns long silenced, Serengeti and her last two robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew trapped inside her.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01BG8OHXU” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Sacred Planet by Austin Rogers

Posted September 21, 2016

“An ambitious, ardent launch that sets a stellar precedent for installments to follow.” -Kirkus Reviews

Humanity teeters on the brink of galactic war. Only one woman can stop it. Only one man can save her.

After centuries of expansion into the galaxy and no contact with intelligent, extra-terrestrial life, humanity is split into three superpowers, each dominating one of the spiral arms closest to Earth: Orion, Carina, and Sagittarius. Divided along political, cultural, and religious lines, these galactic mega-states have grown alien to each other over time. Inter-arm relations have eroded. Minor differences have become dangerous disparities. Now a ruthless religious faction threatens to plunge the galaxy into a catastrophic war.

Conflict sparks when Sierra Falco, the Carinian prime minister’s daughter, is attacked on her space yacht by a powerful and shadowy enemy. As a popular advocate for peace, Sierra’s loss destabilizes the fragile balance of the galaxy. But her attackers’ plans are disrupted when a rugged band of scavengers stumble across the yacht and jump at the opportunity to make a profit. Davin, captain of the scavenger ship, is caught between the lure of fabulous wealth and the nag of conscience as he is dragged into a conspiracy bigger than he can imagine.

A race begins between those who seek to prevent war and the secretive forces who want to escalate it—apparently with Earth in their crosshairs. In this universe, Earth—the Sacred Planet, the epicenter of human civilization—holds the coveted key to victory. Whoever controls Earth controls the galaxy. Fans of Firefly, Old Man’s War, and the Expanse series will feel at home in the world of Dominion. For a taste of galaxy-spanning adventure and epic space opera. 

[goodreviews isbn=”B01KKXBYO2″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Author Interview: Greg Spry

Posted May 14, 2016

Greg Spry was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1978. He majored in industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin—Madison before earning a graduate degree in space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology. When he’s not writing the next epic sci-fi adventure, he enjoys playing kickball and cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He currently resides in the United States.

1) When did you first discover your love for writing?

In late elementary school, I wrote my first novel, Crystalia, which filled 365 pages of two 5-subject notebooks (writing on physical paper really takes me back). I followed that up with another short novel, Bear Wars, in middle school, and wrote the very rough draft of Beyond Cloud Nine in high school. Further details about my early works can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/earlyworks.php.

2) Do you have a favourite place to write?

I write at my desktop computer at home most of the time. While I’ll occasionally take my laptop somewhere, I find that I’m most comfortable and productive at home.

3) Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

My larger publication process for a single book is as follows:
1) Write first rough draft
2) Refine characters/plot, self-edit, and polish second rough draft
3) Submit cover specs to designers
4) Submit chapters to a critique group and/or beta rears for feedback and apply to draft 3
5) Work with a professional editor to apply developmental and line edits (drafts 4 and 5)
6) Cover reveal
7) Have proofreader revise the book, apply changes to draft 6
8) Have beta readers provide feedback and apply to the final draft 7
9) Three-month pre-publication / ARCs / promotion period
10) Publication and promotion

4) Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
Arthur C. Clarke. The master had a way of writing easy-to-understand prose and dialogue while still including the hard science. You know he invented the geosynchronous communications satellite, right?

5) What inspired you to write the Beyond Saga?

My primary influence for Beyond Cloud Nine, Beyond the Horizon, and the upcoming final two books in my Beyond Saga actually came from an Anime series known as Robotech in the USA or Macross in Japan and abroad. I wanted to do a similar grand-sweeping, fate-of-the-universe-hangs-in-the-balance space opera series with the beginnings of FTL (faster-than-light) travel, first contact, space combat, time travel, and more. I also draw influence from Star Trek: The Next Generation in that I want the plots to deal with higher-brow ethical dilemmas rather than cliché good versus evil.

I talk about my motivation and influences in more detail at https://www.beyondcloudnine.com/Background.aspx and https://www.beyondthehorizonbook.com/Background.aspx.

6) Can you tell us a little about your book?

My latest release, Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2), is the story of a young ensign who must foil an attempt at genocide during humankind’s first interstellar mission.

7) Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

I certainly have an affinity for Brooke Davis of Beyond Cloud Nine and her tough demeanor. Lyana, the main character of Destalis (book readers won’t see until after I’ve finished the Beyond Saga), is a self-doubting introvert and martial artist who must get out of her own head in order liberate her home world.

In general, I think it’s important for an author to like their main protagonists. After all, the author has to spend multiple years with each character while writing his or her story.

8) Do your books contain a message for readers to consider?

Always. The main theme of Beyond Cloud Nine and the Beyond Saga is “Would you rather be happy living a lie or be miserable knowing the truth?” The antagonists have a plan to bring about a utopian society for the human race but it requires lies and deception to achieve. Every reader has to decide for themselves whether they think the ends justify the means. The Beyond the Horizon press release at https://www.gregspry.com/pressrelease.php discusses the theme in more detail.

9) Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?

The below excerpt is from the inside flap of Beyond Cloud Nine. In chapter 3, ten-year-old Brooke Davis accidentally kills her father:

I did it. At the age of ten, I killed my father.
It was an accident, but it was still my fault.
Nothing I do can ever make up for the heinous mistake.
But I will spend the rest of my life trying . . .

The canopy blew away from the flyer. A spring-loaded mechanism punched her out into open air.

Brooke plunged and spun out of control. Rushing air pummeled her in the face. Gravity shoved the terror-stricken screams back down her throat.

The automatic parachute blew open, jerking her body upward. Her orientation righted, Beyond Cloud Nineand her descent slowed.

The Little Angel disappeared over the nearest mountain, but she couldn’t locate her father’s chute anywhere in the sky.

Where is he? Didn’t he jump out? Did his seat malfunction?

The wind whipped through her hair. Water trickled through a stream far below her hanging feet. A flock of birds glided past her.

A thunderclap jolted her heart.

An explosion mushroomed upward from behind the mountain, burning the image into her memory forever.


10) What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing?

Publishing my first book, Beyond Cloud Nine, was a big deal as I’m sure it is for most authors. I spent ten years (2004-2014) educating myself and learning how to write until I felt my craft was ready for prime time. Now, my biggest challenge is promotion, and I’m learning more and more each day about how to generate exposure and sales.

11) What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing your books?

Based on reader and reviewer feedback, I’ve gained confidence and validation in knowing that my books are of sufficient quality to stand side-by-side with many traditionally published works.

12) Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Absolutely. My writing process and advice for new authors can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/process.php.

Also, know that the process of being a successful author begins only once you’ve published your first book.


13) And finally, do you have any future works planned?

I’m currently writing the third book of the Beyond Saga, Beyond Yesterday, in which Maya heads back in time to figure out how a piece of modern technology ended up 200,000 years in the past. Then the saga will conclude with book four, Beyond Existence, in which Maya must travel to alternate timelines and time periods to prevent powerful exobeings from wiping mankind out of existence. Learn more about the Beyond Saga at http://www.beyondsaga.com.

After the Beyond Saga, I’ll resume work on the first full-length manuscript I wrote as an adult, Destalis. Set several thousand years in the future, Destalis will be the unofficial sequel to the Beyond Saga and finish exploring the concepts introduced in Beyond Existence. I haven’t yet decided whether Destalis will be a single novel or multi-book series. Visit the Destalis official website at http://www.destalis.com to learn more about it.

I also have plans to write a sci-fi comedy series of short stories entitled Bears in Space, the concept for which can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/bearsinspace.php.

Author Links
Website: https://bit.ly/gregspry
Amazon: https://bit.ly/grsamzn
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/gsgoodr
Twitter: http://bit.ly/gstwitr
Facebook: http://bit.ly/gsfaceb
Google+: http://bit.ly/grsgplus
LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/grlnkin
Pinterest: https://bit.ly/gspinit

Beyond Cloud Nine (Beyond Saga Book 1) Links
Website: https://bit.ly/bc9home
Amazon (Kindle): https://bit.ly/bc9kdle
Amazon (Trade Paperback): https://bit.ly/bc9prbk
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/bc9good
Twitter: https://bit.ly/bc9tw
Facebook: https://bit.ly/bc9fb
Google+: http://bit.ly/bc9gplus
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/bc9pinit

Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2) Links
Website: https://bit.ly/bthhome
Amazon (Kindle): https://bit.ly/bthkdle
Amazon (Trade Paperback): https://bit.ly/bthprbk
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/bthgood
Twitter: https://bit.ly/bthtw
Facebook: https://bit.ly/bthfb
Google+: http://bit.ly/bthgplus
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/bthpinit

Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga #2) by Greg Spry

Posted May 1, 2016

Ensign Maya Davis has had her sights set on the captaincy of a starship since she launched her first toy rocket into Earth orbit at age four. But not long after she departs the solar system aboard humankind’s first interstellar vessel, New Horizons, sabotage cripples the ship, killing a third of the crew and stranding the expedition light years from home under the siege of hostile forces. Without knowing who she can trust, Maya must risk her life to get the crew home and prevent the genocide of the very exospecies Horizons set out to contact.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01BBIA9DC” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Beyond Cloud Nine by Greg Spry

Posted April 22, 2016

Ace star fighter pilot Brooke Davis lives for pushing hundreds of gees in orbital combat, but she’d give it all up in a moment to become the first human to fly faster than light. When Brooke stumbles upon a conspiracy involving terrorists, aliens, and the highest levels of government, she finds their goals seductive but their methods abhorrent. With the moral core of human civilization hanging in the balance, she must risk her shot at history, her family, and her life to prevent the schemers from forcing their nefarious brand of salvation upon the solar system.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00NOFZ16Q” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Rogue Hunter: Longshot by Kevis Hendrickson

Posted December 14, 2015

BEHIND ENEMY LINES.On the back of recent hardships and failures, Zyra has become withdrawn and bitter. Meanwhile, terrorists have captured a doomsday weapon with plans to use it unless their enemies meet their demands. Desperate to settle the debt with the crime lords who want her dead, Zyra joins an elite team of bounty hunters to rescue the scientist who holds the key to the weapon, not knowing she is walking into a trap.Can Zyra put aside her grief to stop the terrorists' evil plot? Or will a new wave of terror and destruction be unleashed upon the entire galaxy? Join Zyra as she faces her greatest challenge ever in this exciting action-packed science fiction thriller.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00RCLPWWQ” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Burning Suns – Conflagration (book one) by Lisa Wylie

Posted December 7, 2015

– – Conflict is coming – – Jennifer Bronwen, deep-space freighter skipper, sometime smuggler, and occasional blaster-for-hire is flat broke and in desperate need of a job. With her bills mounting and her ship one unlucky micrometeorite collision away from the scrapheap, when she’s offered a lucrative contract for a risky heist, well, it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up.

Keera Naraymis, a secret agent on deep-cover assignment in alien space, has just one more job to finish before her mission is complete. Getting it right means making the galaxy a safer place, and taking a trip to the Terran homeworld should be simple enough. But in the espionage game, your enemies are never quite who they appear. When their lives collide with catastrophic consequences, Jen and Keera form an unlikely alliance to find out why anyone would want to kill either one of them.

What they discover runs far deeper than they could ever have anticipated, and throws them into a race against time to stop a conspiracy that threatens to unravel a thousand years of peace in the galaxy of the Burning Suns.

[goodreviews isbn=”B017JL1FU6″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Rogue Hunter: Life Force by Kevis Hendrickson

Posted October 20, 2015

THE ULTIMATE SIN. While on the run from her enemies, Zyra goes into hiding on Space Station Phoenix. She comes down with a mysterious illness and seeks the aid of Ryan Grant, the station doctor. Fearing a terminal disease, Zyra turns to Ryan for support but their budding friendship takes an unexpected turn.As things heat up between Zyra and Ryan, vile gangsters hunt her. Zyra knows she must get off of Phoenix before it is too late. But can she risk leaving without a cure for her illness?Death haunts her every step and time is running out. As her health worsens, Zyra's uncontrollable desire for Ryan takes her down a dark path of unbridled sensuality that threatens to destroy her very soul.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00XCTKR2M” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

Author Interview: Jo Zebedee

Posted August 31, 2015

11219352_1589640271320995_6069205188943084080_nJo Zebedee – I live just outside Belfast, and I write science fiction with the odd dash of fantasy. I enjoy gardening, and grow lots of my own veg, spending time with my family, and I read a lot.

When did you first discover your love for writing?

I wrote quite a lot when I was a teen, but I gave it up through my 20s and 30s, busy having a family and working. Then, the summer before I turned 40, I decided to write The Book and put aside 3 months to do it…. Four years later, I have two books out and a publishing contract for a trilogy, and I pretty much haven’t stopped writing since.

Do you have a favourite place to write?

I’m lucky – give me a laptop and somewhere to sit, and I can write. Which is good because I have a not-so-young family, a dog, a job, constant interruptions…. But, mostly, I write at the end of the kitchen table. For plotting, if it’s a sunny day I might pop out to my little table in my cottage garden with a notebook.

Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

In terms of routine, I have to be flexible. Some days I have lots of time, some a tiny window. Mostly, though, I clear whatever work-work I have before picking my kids up from school, and then will write until I realise it’s time to chuck dinner in the oven. At that point, my kids make me a cuppa and I close up for the day, although I might review plot and what not later.

If I’m editing for a deadline, I’m much more focused and will put in three or four hours a day, work permitting, to get it done.

Process-wise, I am a pantster, and I struggle through first drafts, frustrated at not seeing how everything hangs together. Once I mostly know what happens when, to who, where, I’m okay and will hone and tidy very happily.

Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

Gosh. Lois McMaster Bujold, for how she manages both sci fi and fantasy series so well. And for her character work – I’m very character led. Neil Gaiman, for his moments of utter beauty; The Time Traveller’s Wife for its blending of narratives.

But there are others I admire and love, whilst knowing I will never write like them – Isabel Allende and Carlos Ruiz Zafon, for instance. I love how they blend the real and magical, and how rich and poetic they are, whilst knowing my style of writing could never achieve it. That makes reading them bitter sweet.

What inspired you to write Inish Carraig?

I had been working in my Space Opera world of Abendau exclusively, when I realised I really enjoyed writing, and felt I needed to know I could write something else. I didn’t want to create another epic-scale world just then, so decided to base it on Earth, and specifically Belfast.

The original inspiration was a 75 word flash-fiction story I wrote for a competition, on the theme of innocence. That set up the main character’s arc, and things expanded from there. Once it had taken more of a shape, I knew I wanted to write a rocking sci fi adventure that captured the feel, and black humour, of Belfast.

Can you tell us a little about your book?

Inish Carraig is set in post-alien invasion Belfast. Humanity’s been defeated in the invasion, with the survivors left scavenging in the damaged city. John, the teenage protagonist, is trying to safeguard his younger siblings and agrees to carry out a job for the local hard man in exchange for food, but is arrested and sent to Inish Carraig, a forbidding prison.

There, he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens Earth, and everyone he loves. He knows he has to reveal the conspiracy – but he has to get out of prison first.

Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

In Inish, I like Henry, the policeman unwittingly drawn into John’s troubles. He carries a lot of guilt, having worked with the aliens to bring about the end of the war, and is desperate to see John’s family are safe.

I do like my conflicted heroes – Kare, the hero of Abendau’s Heir, my first book, is riddled with conflict.

Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

No – in fact, I tried to steer away from a message. There is so much history in Northern Ireland, I really wanted to write a book that didn’t see the setting as the means to give some sort of message. I just wanted a book that entertained, and had a setting that readers would enjoy getting to know better.

Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?

Sure. The job John (and his friend Taz) are to carry out is to release a powder over the city:

John reached out his hand, holding the tin tightly. If McDowell wanted it sprinkled over Belfast, that’s what he’d do. Hell, if the big man wanted him to piss off the side of the cliff, he’d do it. He shook the box into the wind, watching the dust lift into the breeze. He put the tin in his pocket and clapped his hands to get rid of the sand. “Let’s go.”

They hurried down, skidding on the scree, half on their feet, half on their arses. They’d got partway down when Taz doubled over with a grunt. His face curled into a grimace. Sweat beaded his forehead.

“Jesus,” said John, reaching for him. “What –?”

Taz screamed.

“What is it?” John shook Taz.

“It hurts!” yelled Taz. He slumped to the ground. “It hurts everywhere!”

What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Inish Carraig?

Getting Inish Carraig out has been a huge challenge. I wrote it as a crossover book that could appeal to both teens and adults, but when I sought an agent was advised to make it one of another. I changed it to a Young Adult book – removing most of the adult point of view – and got an agent. Cue excitement.

Unfortunately, when it went out the editors, despite being complimentary, were looking something a little older than the book had become, so the book came back to me. The disappointment was huge – not least because the agent dropped me when my next book presented the same difficulties.

On the back of that, getting the book out was an achievement. It would have been so easy to throw in the towel. But I’m most proud of returning it to its original crossover feel, and staying true to what the story was.

Reviews to date seem to support that I was right, and the book works as it is.

What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Inish Carraig?

That I’m not a one-trick pony, and can write more than one story, set of characters and world. And to listen to my gut instinct and trust myself a little more.


Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Write and finish something – start with shorts if a novel is too much. Finishing and editing a project is different from writing it. And, start building a platform for promotion. No author can get away without promoting. Having a platform in place – a website and one decent social media platform, as a minimum – helps a lot.

And finally, do you have any future works planned?

Lots! I have book two of my trilogy, Sunset over Abendau, coming out in March with Space Opera specialists, Tickety Boo Press.


I also have a fantasy, also based in Northern Ireland, that I’m musing whether to seek a home for or self-publish next summer.


In the meantime, I’m about 30,000 words into a YA sci fi adventure, and am just starting to shape a new, steampunk-esque fantasy series in my mind.

Website – www.jozebedee.com

Blog: www.jozebwrites.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inish-Carraig-Jo-Zebedee/735598239884931

Twitter: http://twitter.com/@joz1812

Inish Carraig



Blogging A-Z: M is for… Military Scifi

Posted June 14, 2015

Military Sci-Fi

Unisol_132 As far as I can gather (as this is one of my least favourite sub-genres of science-fiction) Military Sci-Fi uses futuristic technology and weapons, often to negotiate fights with alien civilisations, or conduct battles in space, although I’ve read many a book where the military is used in a present day setting, usually with a near apocalyptic scenario.

Books in this genre appear to have main characters who are, in fact, military personnel, which means that I’ve been writing a novel in a genre I claim not to be keen on (my novel draft has military personnel and most of the story take place on military premises – who knew?)

Space Opera

Space opera is a subgenre of Science Fiction (and a form of Military Sci-fi) involving romance, melodrama and is set mostly in outer space according to the Wikipedia page on the subject. Clearly I’ve not understood this genre at all (until now), as a lot of television shows I enjoyed as a child, and which instilled me with a life-long interest in science fiction, appear to fall under this category: Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and Blake’s Seven to name but a few.

So, all that talk about this genre being my least favourite means I’ve been clearly misinformed at some point in my life. It’s a genre I read a lot of, and a genre I have chosen to write in, a genre I love in fact…