Friday, June 30, 2017

What Can You Learn About Relationships On A Motorcycle

Posted by: Maureen

by Maureen L. Bonatch

I often refer to myself as a backseat-biker. My hubby controls the over 800 lb. sexy, metal beast while I sit on the back clinging to my hero. Last week my hubby and I made our yearly trek to attend Thunder in the Valley. One of Pennsylvania’s largest biker rallies known to attract over 200,000
One of my photos from Thunder in the Valley

There’s a certain peace when you’re riding on the open road outside of the confinement of a vehicle. You see the world from a totally different up-close and personal perspective. 

As a writer, it’s always been a great way for me to work through a story. But this ride, while hugging my hero as we passed a multitude of other bikers with many toting their own heroine, I contemplated about how biking compares to the essentials of a relationship.

More Than Skin Deep

You have to look further than skin deep in a relationship. Just like there’s more to the stereotypical bad boy biker than what is on the outside. You know the loud, leather-wearing, tattooed, sexy, confident men that straddle the back of those metal beasts that the heroine loves to ride off into the sunset with? 

I’m not judging–lucky for me I have my own ‘bad boy biker’ and it came as no surprise to me to find that
in my book, DESTINY CALLING (on sale for 99 cents for a limited time), my Bad Boy happens to be a biker who despite/because of his bad boy persona, my heroine has a hard time resisting.

The outside appearance might draw you in, but it takes more than that to maintain and grow a relationship. But if you look a little closer at most bikers you’ll find many groups participate in fundraising/charity rides, support military, retirees or simply enjoy motorcycles as a social group.

It Takes Teamwork

As with any relationship, it only works well if it’s not one-sided. Even though you may ride in silence with only the company of your thoughts, there is a non-verbal communication occurring on a motorcycle. No words need to be spoken as you rely upon body language to lean together to take the twists and turns of the road.

There’s a certain comradely that comes from riding a motorcycle, a sense of community and connectedness with other bikers that you don’t share when you’re in a vehicle. Kind of like when you find that special person who you feel an instant, intense connection.


Don't be fooled- I'm getting on the back
Most bikers have a special bond with their motorcycle. When I didn’t ride, I used to be a tad jealous of my hubby’s love for her–his motorcycle. (I wrote about that here. ) I didn’t ride for many reasons, but one of the big reasons—which is the same with any relationship—was the fear of getting hurt.

When you’re riding a motorcycle you have to be much more alert to the scenery (wildlife, rocks, potholes, water) and other vehicles. Just like a relationship, one of the most important things necessary in order to relax and enjoy the ride, is that you have to trust your partner.

Did You Know About the “Biker Wave”

Biking seems like a solitary endeavor, and it is in many ways, but usually you wave when you pass another motorcycle. Even though the most likely a complete stranger, you feel compelled to greet them like a friend. The wave is a variation of two fingers pointed parallel or down toward the ground, as if a symbol of peace. There are different assumptions behind the reason for the start of the “wave”.  Some stating it stems back from when motorcycles weren’t as common, others state it was a “biker necessity” when they saw Arthur Davidson wave to William Harley.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Would I collaborate with another author?

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
So there I am on Facebook, two days before this post on this site is due to go live, and I’m asking folks whether they have a topic they’d like me to post about. My sister chimes in on that post and asks me:
“If you could co-author a novel (or short story) with your favorite living author or two, who would that be and what would be the general plot of the book?”
This is a very good question. The problem with it, though, is that I’m not entirely sure I can answer it in the way my sister intends. So before I try, a few caveats.

One: Some of my favorite living authors write in genres I don’t, and vice versa. For example, any of my favorites that write historical romance, or romantic suspense, or mystery.

Mind you, “not having a genre in common” would not necessarily be a deal breaker if both I and the other author were sufficiently committed to making it work. But it would make things more difficult, just because we wouldn’t necessarily have common experience with genre conventions as authors. (As opposed to common experience with genre conventions as readers, which is not the same thing. If we didn’t have a genre in common as authors but we did as readers, that might inform the type of work we’d create together.)

Two: Nailing down “my favorite living authors” is hard, you guys. Even if I focus on SF/F, since that’s what I write, there are a lot of authors in the genre whose work I have admired at one point or another just because I read a lot.

I can point at a lot of books and go “I loved this book because of how it did its worldbuilding” or “I loved this one because it had an amazing set of characters” or “Jesus H. Hopping Christ on a pogo stick, this book’s command of the language makes me just want to set my keyboard on fire now”. In other words, I tend to place more of an emphasis on “favorite books” than I do “favorite authors”.

Which is not to say I don’t have favorite SF/F authors, because I do. But for me, “favorite author” is a category I pretty much reserve for “people who have directly impacted my life above and beyond just writing a book I thought was awesome”. Tolkien goes into that category. So does Barbara Michaels, a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters. You will note, however, that both of those authors are deceased and my sister specifically asked me about favorite living authors.

Three: “I adore this author’s work” does not necessarily equal “so I’d like to collaborate with this author on a project”.

Even if we’re talking authors who are also SF/F, this doesn’t necessarily mean that that person and I would be a good fit for collaboration. Some questions we’d have to consider would include (but not be limited to):

  • Do we have compatible writing styles?
  • Does our individual work hold any promise of interesting crossovers?
  • Alternately, if we want to do a new project together that has nothing in common with our individual projects, do we have an idea to pursue we’re both excited about?
  • Do we have compatible writing schedules? Are we local to one another? If we’re not, how many time zones are between us? Would it be difficult for us to coordinate via Skype?
  • Are we both reasonably sure we can work together as professionals and not drive one another nuts?
  • Can we set up a reasonable contract for the work between us, or have agents do so on our behalf?

All of which would slant me in favor of collaborating with an author I actually already personally know.

Four: Just because I really like a given author’s work and would really love to write with them doesn’t necessarily mean they’d want to write with me.

For one thing, they might not know me from Adam, and might not have any reason to know whether I’m capable of stringing coherent sentences together. And certainly, a lot of authors above a certain tier in the world of publishing are going to get a lot of strangers approaching them going “I have this awesome idea, you write it, we’ll split the royalties fifty-fifty.” (I do not operate at this tier of publishing.)

For another, even if they’re aware of who I am, they may not have actually read my stuff. Or even if they have, they might not have cared for it. Which is fine!

But if I’m going to work with someone, it would definitely need to be someone who knows my work and who would be excited about working with me.

Which, again, would probably slant me towards authors I personally know.

Five: Most importantly, even if I can name an author I’d love to work with, this doesn’t mean I can say off the top of my head what the general plot of our project would be.

For one thing, if I’m going to collaborate with someone, the very first thing I’d want to settle with them (aside from verifying workable logistics and the whole ‘can we work together without driving one another crazy?’ question) is what we’d actually be working on.

And what that project would be would very much depend upon the individual author. If they’re someone else who writes urban fantasy, we might conceivably do a crossover between my main character and theirs. But it’s just as possible that we might wind up doing something separate from either of our own titles, if we find an idea we’re passionate about.

All of which is a very long-winded way of me not actually answering my sister’s question. (Tolkien's "go not to the elves for council, for they will say both no and yes" quote? Totally applies to me. Also, verbosity is my superpower and this is a pretty impressive number of words to answer a question I wasn't even sure I could do a full blog post on!)

Given all these caveats, and assuming that all relevant stars were in alignment and these would be collaborations that could in fact happen, here are some ideas:

  • Along with Tanya Huff, I’d be real amused to write Kendis and her compatriots discovering courtesy of a certain centuries-old gentleman named Henry that vampires totally exist. I'm pretty sure the Warders are trying very hard to go LALALALALA about the whole vampire concept. (But really, I would happily write anything with Tanya Huff, who is a queen of all the subgenres. I’m not even particularly interested in writing milSF, for example, but for Huff I would make an exception.)
  • Along with Julie E. Czerneda, I’d want to write an original SF story because she is way, way better at aliens than I am.
  • Along with C.E. Murphy, some form of historical/period urban fantasy since she and I both have some interests in that direction.
  • Along with Cherie Priest, I’d be interested in doing something fun in the realm of Southern Gothic. You couldn’t pay me to live in the South these days, but you could totally pay me to write a story set there. Alternately, it would be very amusing to see what Warding efforts would be happening in Priest’s version of the Civil War and post-Civil-War history, in the world of Boneshaker. It would not be impossible to Ward Priest’s version of Seattle. But it would be a lot harder what with all the zombies.
  • Along with Doranna Durgin, even though she’s writing paranormal romance these days, I’d be interested in original secondary world fantasy or contemporary fantasy (not necessarily urban).
  • Along with Kat Richardson, there’d be more fun crossover potential. Can a Greywalker actually see the Wards on a city? Can a Warder actually go into the Grey? It’d be fun to find out.

So there you go. Becky, this post is for you!

Angela hasn't collaborated with another author yet, even though she does a pretty passable imitation of being two different authors herself, what with publishing as both Angela Highland and Angela Korra'ti. Regardless of what name you know her by, come find all her books at, or say hi to her on Facebook or Twitter!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Life, Love, and Death

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
My kick-ass aunt on her birthday.
This has been an odd week for me. My dad's eldest sister celebrated her 99th birthday, and though I was far away, I sent my love and pored over the photos. A few days later, I was with a dear friend when she received word of her father's passing. Her grief was absolute, and I am currently working with other friends on a small memorial. In the midst of that planning, I'll pause to celebrate my 32nd wedding anniversary--though much of that specific day will be spent babysitting my almost-five-year-old granddaughter, whose birthday party is also in the planning stage. Within the next few weeks I have 2 more family birthdays to deal with, as well as the anniversary's of three close-to-home losses--my mother, brother, and a stillborn grandson. Fingers crossed, we may be celebrating a new job for another member of the clan, and we're still mourning the loss of a beloved friend, my St. Bernard mix Tyr.

Whether you call them rites of passage, the circle of life, fate, a diety's will, or just the natural order of things, life's moments rarely occur at optimal times, and often double or triple up so that we're constantly dealing with all different stages at once.

The granddaughter at a few days old.
As a writer, I can't help but stand back and observe even while I'm in the middle of life's messy business, and it makes me think about how we as authors portray these subjects in our books. As a romance writer, love and marriage are certainly at the forefront of my writing, and sometimes even birth. It's also hard to write too many books without coming up against the subject of death, especially if we're writing suspense, historical fiction or even paranormal fiction where not all of our characters experience aging and eventual demise.

Crazy Kids, 1985
Most readers today don't, I think, want the super-fantastical romance stories of the fifties where nothing bad ever happens to the characters. People want their heroes and heroines to live in a more realistic world (even if it's not THIS world) where the characters experience grief, happiness, fear, frustration, hurt, and all those other emotions that complicate our lives. I think that bringing in some of life's harder moments makes the characters easier to identify with for readers, and it makes the Happy Ever After richer.

In real life, we allknow that HEAs are not really EVER after. I fully acknowledge my luck in finding a partner to love and cherish for over 3 decades. Life is never all roses, but having someone to stand beside you through the rough times and to celebrate the good times with is the best thing in the world. Looking at the young couple in the photo above I marvel at how they managed to make it through everything the world has hurled at them, and I'm grateful for every single day. This man is why I can scoff at people who belittle romance as "unrealistic."

I wish you all the best in your own, messy, complicated life. Treasure every moment.

Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Multiple award-winning author of the best-selling Gaslight Chronicles, she has released almost sixty novels and stories, which blend fantasy, adventure, science fiction, suspense, history and romance. Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and a bunch of spoiled dogs. When not hard at work writing she can be found restoring her 1870 house, dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Star Cruise: Outbreak #Scifi Audiobook Sample + Giveaway

Posted by: Veronica Scott
This was me last year, recording my bit part as a Star Trek Crew Member in a special audiobook. I don't narrate my own!
Since June was officially Audiobook Month and I had a new release, I thought I'd post the soundcloud sample here today. I'll also give away a free download credit for the book to THREE randomly selected commenters on this post - the question is: Where do you prefer to listen to audiobooks and why? Or if you've never tried an audiobook, what's keeping you from trying them?

I'll announce the THREE winners on our Monday Here Be News feature on this blog and on our Facebook page.

Here's the story for Star Cruise:Outbreak:
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…
The book is a double SFR Galaxy Award Winner by the way!

Here's the sound sample:

Buy Links: Amazon     Audible     iTunes

I have four more scifi audiobooks - here's the link to all the info on my blog:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:
Is theirs a love match?
For Leira Venn, her future is a given foretold by the oracle of the Albah, the ancient people she was born to. Which is why she knows from the moment she meets Dr. Julian Ryder that he is fated to be hers. But nothing else about the prophecy feels right. For the handsome doctor is shrouded by darkness, and intimately involved with a woman who seems intent on killing Leira . . .

Or a death wish?
Sorrow has shadowed Julian Ryder for as long as he can remember. But from the moment he meets lovely Leira, his heart is filled with hope for the future—a future that is as combustible as the powerful attraction between them. For Leira is marked for death by the very forces who killed his mother. The very darkness that stole everything he held most dear. Only this time, Julian is stronger, more in control of his powers than ever. But will it be enough to save Leira from those who would destroy her?

Buy links: Amazon Kobo iBooks Barnes and Noble
* * *
The Rim of the World, Book 6
Sci-Fi Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 47.2K
$2.99 E

Finally rescued from the half-world, Kyber and Kelen believed the worst was behind them. They were wrong.

Another ship has landed on Neverwylde, but are the visitors friend or foe? Kelen, Kyber, and the crew are hoping for a rescue, but preparing for a battle. The fight between Terrans and Seneecians has been put behind by those on the half-planet in order to survive, but the newcomers are not of the same mindset.

Even if they are rescued, where will that leave Kelen and Kyber? With neither being accepted by the other’s race, will they be forced to go their separate ways?

Everyone is hoping for their own happily ever after once and for all. But sometimes the worst terrors don't come from alien worlds.

They're closer to home.

Warning! Contains lies and deception, brutality, sterile domes, condemnation, sacrifice, falling moons, and a love between two people that could either save them...or condemn them.

Excerpt and buy links.

Other News:

Bring It Back(list): 
Maureen Bonatch shared DESTINY CALLING:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bring it Back(List) with Maureen Bonatch

Posted by: Maureen

I've always been intrigued by the mysteries of the forest.

The ancient magnificent trees that watch the stories of the world play out—and perhaps hold stories of their own. 

Much of my inspiration when writing Destiny Calling whispered to me while walking or biking in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania. 

There's just something magical about the woods. 

Hope Doesn’t Know If The Man She Can Touch Is A Dream Come True, Or A Nightmare Just Beginning.

Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil's spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.

Drawn back to the home town she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn't know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.

Time is running out, and Hope’s choice may be made for her, as she discovers she’s a pawn in a bigger game played by a merciless ruler who doesn't lose.

Destiny Calling is on sale for .99 cents a limited time. 
Don't miss your chance to take a magical journey into the woods.

Excerpt from Destiny Calling:

I strained to release my arm from Griffith’s vise-like grip while scanning the surrounding trees, trying to determine which was less of a threat, the beast of a man holding me or those who might be waiting for me in the woods.
“You will come inside, now.” Griffith spoke slowly and deliberately as if I were a small child.
I batted at the hand Griffith placed on my head. “I’m not a puppy, quit petting me.”
“I will protect you.” Griffith’s warm breath caressed my ear. “If for no other reason, to find out what I’m giving up and why she wants you so badly.”
I inhaled his masculine scent, like musky earth. It washed over my face, and the tension in my jaw released. I stopped struggling. “Are you the devil?” My tongue was thick and heavy so the words came out slurred.
“Not even close.” His words soothed and comforted, like having a weighted blanket cocoon me. Each movement was an effort. It wasn’t the same as the thing in the woods. This was more like the feeling after a long massage or bubble bath.
“It’s not safe.” Griffith wrapped his arms around me, and I rested against his broad chest.
“It’s not safe.” I nodded. My muscles relaxed and my eyelids grew heavy.
“It’s cold. We’re going inside.” Griffith kept his arm supporting me as he steered me toward the house.
“We’re going inside.” I parroted and walked up the steps, leaning heavily on him.
Out of the corner of my eye, something was cautiously moving at the edge of the woods. Branches snapped as whatever was observing us crept closer.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...