Where I Live

If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you might have figured out that I live in the coastal mountains of northwest Oregon, in a rainforest of giant trees and moss.  Our quaint town is 10 miles down the road and the big city is an hour or two away (depending on elk, ice, fog, snow, logging trucks, and the intended destination).  Cell phone service is non-existent, and our entertainment comes by satellite including the internet which is  s…l…o…w…  and I mean    s………l………o………w

Yet, I love living out here.

To give you a better idea of this place, I’ve created one of those fun “Where I live” graphics. There is no exaggeration in this post AT ALL.

Where I live

 

The Adventures of Crazy Liddy

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Not too long ago I interviewed Clayton Callahan, a local author here in Oregon.

Callahan’s a funny guy, a sci-fi fanatic, RPG game master, and talented writer. His books are fast-paced, brimming with non-stop action and wry humor. As a rule his characters have distinctive voices that keep me laughing aloud.

About two weeks ago, Callahan flashed me the cover to his latest book, and it couldn’t have been a better fit. It exactly portrays the nature of the tale – space opera, action-packed, sexy main character with a lot of spunk and a big gun. Bravo!

The Adventures of Crazy Liddy is a spin-off of Callahan’s first novel, Tales of the Screaming Eagle, another entertaining read. It’s not a sequel, so readers don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this ride.

10985865_694331034022992_2283527380250555945_nWe met Liddy briefly as Kilroy’s girlfriend in Tales of the Screaming Eagle. This story follows Liddy on her own crazy journey across the galaxy. She’s a brassy, tough spacer with a penchant for smuggling that lands her in prison on a distant planet. She has one chance at a pardon – the local governor needs a crack pilot.

The governor’s son, a young lieutenant, is missing in action in alien territory occupied by Azanti marauders, hulking blue warriors with nasty personalities. Liddy’s freedom depends on this rescue, and she won’t be going alone. Agent Reed, the by-the-book officer that arrested her, fills the role of partner and straight man.

Nothing about this mission or unlikely pairing is easy, and Boy Scout Reed is only so much help. Used to relying on her wits and grit, Liddy is the one starpilot skillful enough and crazy enough to pull it off.

The Adventures of Crazy Liddy is a quick, entertaining read with engaging characters. It’s a perfect book for light summer reading and will appeal to any reader who loves a fun space adventure. Appropriate for YA and up.

Order your Amazon Kindle copy Here.

Order an ebook or print copy from Double Dragon Publishing Here.

Enjoy!

 

One moment in time.

When I became a grandparent, one of the unexpected sensations was of immortality. On one level, I had done my genetic part, seen another rung added to a physical ladder reaching back to the primordial soup. Yet, the experience transcended the mere satisfaction of a biological instinct. My grandchild would carry with him a legacy of love.

I believe love is tangible, an existent creation that changes the chemistry and energy of the world. It extends not only beyond the conscious moment, but through lifetimes, as real as DNA. For me, my grandchild is a bridge to the future, my connection to all that will occur beyond my window of time. I have the sense that generations of love will journey with him, just as they accompany me.

This beautiful piece by Tric made me think about the immortality of love. I’m happy to share it with you.

My thoughts on a page.

Today I stopped time,
and paused it for a moment,
as I watched my youngest child
walk up the aisle,
with the eldest of our clan.
My Mum.

It was her confirmation,
and regardless of my beliefs,
my daughters special day.
As she neared the altar,
my mum placed a hand on her right shoulder,
As I pressed pause.

I gazed upon that moment in isolation.
Invisible bonds tied these two,
never allowing time and distance come between them.
I watched through a mist of tears,
age and wisdom,
guide youth and innocence.

And so the moment ended
and they parted,
each to their own seat.
The camera within me rolled once more,
capturing many more moments,
but none quite like that one.photo credit: JonathanCohen via photopin cc

Later I replayed it for my mum,
who smiled and encouraged me
to look a little deeper,
to see
what I was missing,
in that magic moment.

View original post 37 more words

Careful what you wish for…You might just get it.

download (8)If you look back through my posts, you might notice an ongoing desire for balance in my life.

An admitted writing addict, there’s nothing more I like to do more than rise from bed at 4:00 in the morning, brew a cup of coffee, and relax back in my recliner, laptop across my knees. I can write for 12 hours straight without a break (except for that second hot cup).

image from taragallina.blogspot.com

image from taragallina.blogspot.com

In truth, I can write for 16 hours straight, oblivious to the passing time. I have no particular desire to eat, shower, cook, do housework, enjoy the sunshine, go to movies, or communicate with friends, family, or spouse. My husband comes home from work and I’m still in my pajamas. I haven’t moved. He thinks I’m in a coma.

image from lilaccu.deviantart.com

image from lilaccu.deviantart.com

In truth, I’ve been extraordinarily busy. I’ve had a tumultuous and exhausting day battling the soulless. I’ve lost loyal companions, my sword arm weighs a ton, the city is in flames, and the future of human civilization hinges on my next choice. I need to unearth the enemy’s fatal flaw before time runs dry and the world descends into chaos. With all this responsibility, who has time for laundry?

He rolls his eyes when I tell him I need a maid…and a cook.

Well, this real world of friends, family, and chores only has so much patience for my writing addiction. I know with utter certainty that I don’t want to wake up one morning and find that all I have left in my life resides inside my head. Therefore, the need for balance.

Careful what you wish for…you just might get it.

  • The Overlord

    The Overlord

    My daughter graced me with a grandchild. I now spend two full days a week with a drum-obsessed overlord. Almost-two-year-olds are more exhausting than the soulless (though much cuter).

  • Big energy is trying to run a mega pipeline through my little town’s drinking water supply. As a writer and advocate for my community’s viability, I’ve become an activist fighting the oppressive, polluting robber barons.
  • The overlord commented on the spider webs in my living room. You can always rely on a child for the painful truth. He says it’s “spooky.”
  • Over the past two years, the yard has morphed into a prehistoric jungle. I can’t see my patio. I have two months until the overlord’s second birthday party to get it into a less mortifying state.
  • I’ve started blogging and following blogs and making friends all over the world that I genuinely care about. Now, that’s a little too much fun and I can’t stop.
image from site.google.com

image from site.google.com

My initial reaction to the onset of balance was a troubling case of writing withdrawal: shakiness, irritability, insomnia, and hives. I found myself dropping things, burning dinner, taking naps, and – believe it or not – vacuuming. I had shameful relapses, like allowing the overlord to watch cartoons while I polish up some dialog on the laptop.

Five months later, I’m pleased to announce a gradual adjustment. The urge to write all day every day continues to invade my consciousness, but I’m working the program. A sense of balance is taking hold, and I’m settling into a new blend of busy-ness that makes room for more of the chaos and joys of life. The overlord and I have been spending more time at the park, building and smashing sand castles.

How do you maintain balance when the story calls? I’d love to hear your secrets.

 

Interview: Sheron McCartha, Sci-fi Author and Book Reviewer

book+picture1Sheron Wood McCartha is the author of the Alysian Universe Series that now totals seven books. Sheron also hosts the Sci-fi Book Review, offering weekly book recommendations and articles about writing and the publishing industry.

 DWP: Welcome Sheron. Thanks for joining me today. I’d like to kick off this interview with the old stand by…what inspired you to pick up a pen and start writing?

41vXdaY81RLSWM: Science fiction has been one of my passions for a long time thanks to my father. There were times my mother would go hunting for him only to find him hiding out in the bathroom, avidly reading some science fiction book as if it were a forbidden treat. I now understand this behavior. Sometimes I read in out-of-the-way places too, feeling as if I’m partaking of some guilty pleasure. He always talked about how he planned to write the great science fiction novel. Later, he stated that he’d write it after he retired. Then he retired and started on his novel. One day he came to me and shook his head. “I love to read it,” he said, “but I can’t write it.” When he threw up his hands in defeat, I saw the torch arcing my way and caught it.

91CAFU9EHLL._SL1500_DWP: I’m sorry he didn’t reach his goal, but what a gift he gave to you. You clearly ran with it.

SWM: I was determined to accomplish his dream, but it didn’t happen for many years. Then, one night, during a long, boring drive home with my husband from a vacation weekend, we passed a billboard with the name Penryn on it. That one brief glance sparked my imagination. A whole world and generations of exotic characters, places, and events came into being, giving me years of writing. No wonder I focus on time and its effect in my books.

41kRHSE61vLDWP: The Alysian Universe Series has time travel as a major element. Tell us about that.

SWM: When I started writing, a book on time travel appealed to me. I began to explore the many ways time might be manipulated, first by traveling into the past…then into the future. In my first book Caught in Time, Rowyna Grae travels back into a medieval past. In subsequent books, Arwoyn Telluria (and then his clone Kayse) travels into the future and has to adapt to an advanced society.

More ideas popped into my mind. What if one of my characters could stop time? Rewind time? Jump from one timeline to another? My mind began to whirl with the possibilities, and I realized that I needed a genetic line of time manipulators. So I created the Telluran line that carries a time Talent gene, and I had fun with it.

81y2ok-1dALDWP: Caught in Time kicks off the series. Would you tell us a bit more about it?

SWM: Caught In Time is a time travel, science fiction adventure and romance that takes place on Alysia, an alien planet. It’s the story of Rowyna Grae who always thought she was human until the day that Arwoyn Telluria, the last dying time traveler, tells her that she was created using bits of his DNA…specifically the gene for time travel. It doesn’t take long for things to go awry. Arwoyn dies and the new regime wants to send her back to medieval times to assassinate a king. The inexperienced lab assistant, Richard Steele, frantically sends her to the wrong place and loses her.

The reader is plunged into a world of the past with a heroine who struggles to survive and deal with a self-absorbed king that she finds herself falling in love with against all better judgment. The dialog is fun and the action continuous. As she meets new situations, she creates havoc in the past that changes the future. Poor Richard Steele has to deal with the consequences…and most often, they are not the pleasant kind. He is thrown into various timelines because of her actions. He finds himself on the whip end of events and he becomes desperate to get her back…if he can locate her, if the time machine is still working, and if she even wants to come back at all.

81W+wJ8I3sL._SL1500_DWP: Sounds like a fun read. How do you come up with your story ideas?

SWM: At one point, years ago, I questioned whether there weren’t better things to occupy my busy life than writing about time traveling, world saving, and wise-cracking characters that seemed to decide what they were going to do in my books regardless of my wishes. I thought I was done with them…

BUT, they would sneak into my head while I was trying to get to sleep and suggest that it would be fun to have Hieronymous’ mother be a time traveling clone. Okay I can do that book. Then an alien probe crash-lands on Alysia and what are we going to do about it? Next book guys. How about we build a space ship and check out its origins? Now we’re at three, or is it four?

Then, when Arwoyn was experimenting with cloning Rowena, his first two attempts produced male clones. Whatever happened to them? What if one didn’t know that he was a clone or that he could time travel, but others knew? And tried to kill him? Yipes! I really wanted to get my beauty rest, but these questions kept me awake. So I finished his book. Done.

Then I found out that I liked to get even, and I put my characters in impossible situations to see how they would wriggle out. How about their two moons colliding? How about an alien invasion with a twist. Meeting aliens in space? What would they look like? What would they do? How about…

91WHkfkGfrL._SL1500_DWP: Wow…that’s an imagination on the loose! So much for the beauty rest. Tell me, what will readers like the most about your books?

SWM: My readers will like the fun of the read. There is no deep message, no critical information that will change your life, or show you how to lose weight, or make more money. It’s like a bar of good chocolate that you savor, but lasts longer. It costs less than a cup of coffee but has the same stimulating effect.

DWP: In addition to writing books, you host a weekly Scifi Book Review blog. What can someone expect to find there?

SWM: My weekly blog, wwwscifibookreview.com discusses a variety of things pertaining to the realm of science fiction or fantasy. I always share at least one book that I think my readers would enjoy. It’s not an in-depth review, but a suggestion on a book I find worth mentioning. Word-of-mouth in a blog, so to speak.

I sprinkle in my experiences as a self-published author, and recently I’ve discussed what works and doesn’t work in the realm of marketing my books. This is currently a hot topic and it’s evolving. I don’t tell anyone how to write as I’m perfecting that skill myself. From time to time, I include a startling new science discovery or celestial happening. I’m open to ideas on what my readers want to hear about.

81RUV76sgIL._SL1500_DWP: What do you think the future holds for you?

SWM: This is a watershed time for publishing and writing. Everything is changing. And fast. People are scrambling. The traditional publishers are in trouble. No longer are they the gatekeepers of what gets published; anyone can publish. It’s up to readers to decide what they want to read. The problem for the writer is connecting with readers. The creative writer has to do it all and become a businessperson.

My next book, number eight, is coming out in the Fall of 2015. It still only has a working title. Check out my Author’s Page on Amazon. My goal for the next six months is to get the writing in this next book polished and submitted without losing my mind. I am an edit fanatic and can’t leave well enough alone. I’m excited and challenged and I love what I do. I encourage my husband to go ahead and travel in his job, or play golf when he wants to, because I am fine, and busy and happy. I’m getting published, and my father is in heaven hiding out, reading it all.

DWP: And I’m sure he’s loving every word.

>><<

Sheron McCartha’s books are available in paperback and ebook. Find her on Amazon by clicking Here! 

Her Books (in chronological order):

Caught in Time

A Dangerous Talent for Time

Cosmic Entanglement

Past the Event Horizon

Space Song

Touching Crystal

Someone’s Clone

For more in-depth information about her books and writing, visit the Alysian Universe.

Check out her Sci-fi Book Reviews at by clicking  Here! 

Follow her on Facebook or Twitter @Sheronwriting.

Should books for adults have content warnings?

image by digitalspy.co.uk

image by digitalspy.co.uk

I told my mother to skip reading my latest book, The Bone Wall. She’s in her 80’s, and I know for a fact that she would find it gruesome and offensive. She thought my other fantasy books were “horror” and wondered why I was so “angry.”

I’m actually a pretty happy-go-lucky person: a loyal friend, loving wife and grandmother, and active volunteer. I like babies and puppies. I’m “nice.”

image from pixshark.com

image from pixshark.com

At the same time, I’m a fan of Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, and Anthony Ryan, to name a few. I like gritty realism in my fantasy favorites, and my writing tends to reflect my preferences. I have this “thing” about not sugarcoating brutality.

Yet, as a “nice” person, I also have an aversion to giving offense. I want to move my readers emotionally and perhaps make them ponder choices for a moment of two, but my preference isn’t to trigger outrage or upset. My books are meant to entertain.

image by kaleveradaily.com

image by kaleveradaily.com

The Bone Wall pushed my own limits. Living inside these characters’ heads took its toll. I was exhausted, dehydrated, and stressed out. My heart was forgetting to beat, and when I went to bed at night, I wasn’t convinced I’d wake up in the morning. I ended up at the cardiologist with an exacerbated heart arrhythmia.

Oddly enough, after I finished the first draft, all my symptoms vanished. I wanted to warn my readers: DON’T READ THIS! BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH!

Well, as you might guess, I didn’t put that on the cover. I wrote an Author’s Note and tried to make the blurb reflect the content. Why did I stop there? Or go that far?

image by ethicsalarms.com

image by ethicsalarms.com

As I struggled over whether to warn readers about violence, sex, profanity, and religious content, I wondered if I was over-reacting. Will some readers say, “Gosh, Diana, what’s the big deal? You are such a wimpy drama queen.”

And books are supposed to trigger our emotions to an extent, aren’t they? The struggles our character’s endure and choices they make in the face of physical, moral, or psychic danger is part of what draws us in and engrosses us in the story.

The Bone Wall is not a YA novel. As a parent, I understand the desire to monitor content. Back in the olden days, I would have appreciated a rating on the books my daughter read, if only to engage with her regarding controversial subject matter. Though many YA authors seem to agree that content warnings have a place, differences of opinion continue to exist as to what should be included.

image from blogs.kcrw.com

image from blogs.kcrw.com

Adult readers have years of experience and wisdom to draw on. Our tastes and tolerances vary greatly. My husband likes Mad Max and I like Forest Gump. We have the choice to walk out of a movie or put a book down. I’ve done it, more often because it’s boring or vapid rather than too graphic. I chalk it up in the “oh, well” column and move on.

The Bone Wall is out now. I still muse over this topic and wonder what reader/reviewer reactions will be. I’d love to hear your thoughts about content warnings on adult books. Good idea? Bad idea? What’s your experience as a writer, reader, or both?

Thank you, and hugs from the “nice” me.

The Bone Wall: gritty fantasy #Free with #Kindle Today, Sat, and Sun

Bone Wall CoverAnother new adventure in writing presents itself. I’m learning…figuring out how to promote and publicize, how to use Facebook for something besides sharing pictures of my cat.

I’m still getting twitter sorted out in my pea brain, learning what the heck those hashtags are and what they do. To be honest…it’s been a blast.

Free on Amazon Kindle 

Grim Gritty Fantasy 

Friday April 3 – Sunday April 5

Click Here to Order

Blue light ripples and crackles as the shield walls fracture. The remnants of a doomed civilization stand vigil outside, intent on plunder and slaves, desirous of untainted blood to strengthen their broken lives. With the poisons, came deformities and powers, enhanced senses and the ability to manipulate waves of energy—lightbenders and fire-wielders.

For those who thrived for generations within the walls, the broken world looms, strange and deadly, slowly dying. While the righteous pray for salvation, Rimma prepares for battle, fueled by rage and blinded by vengeance. Her twin, Angel, bound to her by unbreakable magic, seeks light in the darkness, hope in the future, and love in a broken world.

thank you