What Do Writers Read Over the Summer?

Did you ever wonder what writers read when they curl up with a good book? My friends have asked me to share my Summer Reading List with them. As a fan of SF (science fiction) and M (mystery), there is a lot of it on my list, most of it R (romance), but not all of it.

Last time I gave you the list of books on my Kindle for Summer Reading, this time, I give you books I’ve read and HIGHLY recommend. These are some of my favorite new releases and some old favorites I go back to again and again.

Click on the book title for the Amazon sales link:

KEIR by Pippa Jay (SFR)

THE LANCASTER RULE by TK Toppin (SFR)

AMBASADORA by Heidi Ruby Miller (SFR)

A ROSE IN WINTER by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss  (R)
(or SHANNA if you prefer something more tropical and summery)

HONOR’S SPLENDOR by Julie Garwood (R)
(really anything by Julie Garwood to be honest. LOVE HER!!)

A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR by Jude Deveraux (R)
(Any Jude Deveraux book, really)

THE STAINLESS STEEL RAT by Harry Harrison (SF)

HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams (SF)

THE GIRLS FROM ALCYONE by Cary Caffrey (SF)

THE CRYSTAL CAVE by Mary Stewart (F)

CASINO ROYALE by Ian Fleming (M)

THE BIG SLEEP by Raymond Chandler (M)

STAR SPANGLED MURDER by Leslie Meier (M)

DEATH ON DEMAND  by Carolyn Hart (M)

A NEW LEASH ON DEATH by Susan Conant (M)

REST YOU MERRY by Charlotte MacLeod (M)

What’s on YOUR Summer Reading List?

Book Review: ALONE ON THE EDGE by Patrick Stutzman

Once I started reading ALONE ON THE EDGE I couldn’t stop. I had to know what happened to Anna and the computer.

The author spun a fascinating tale of a young woman as the sole crew member of a deep space mining outpost for six long years, with only the central computer for company. Unlike some depictions of young women written from a male perspective, I found Mr. Stutzman’s presentation of Anna to be spot on in most respects.

The author deftly delivered a compelling story, rounding out the character of Anna with only the computer and drones for interaction. Parts of the story reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey and I frankly admit to hearing HAL’s dulcet tones while reading the computer’s dialog. I kept waiting for him to say “What are you doing, Dave?”

With elements of psychological thriller, romance, and rollicking good adventure, ALONE ON THE EDGE was a riveting read. I look forward to the sequel ALONE IN PARADISE and you can bet I’ll lose a night’s sleep reading that one, too!

Spending “Quality Times” With Author Gayle Ramage

Good news! It looks like the Author Spotlight is going to become a recurring feature here on GNMB! I’m excited because I’ve met so many wonderful writers on my journey and I’m happy to share these friends with the rest of my world.

Today’s featured author is Gayle Ramage, a talented writer with a quirky sense of humor and a fascination for Doctor Who. You know me, I can’t resist anyone who says they want to grow their own TARDIS (check out her Bio down towards the bottom)! I invited Gayle over to kick off her blog tour celebrating the launch of her new release THE WHISPERING TOMBS – A Quality Times Novella.

So, (settling in with some fish fingers and custard) Gayle, tell me about yourself.

I’m a life-long resident of Scotland, having been born in Edinburgh almost thirty-one years ago and have lived in various places in the lowlands since then. I’m “living in sin” with my partner, and we have two children – a girl and a boy – under ten. I’m currently a stay at home mum while writing, but during my working life I’ve been a shops assistant, admin assistant, and also a Reprographic Assistant for a large law firm.

In other words, typical writer with a diverse background… oddly enough, sounds like a typical background for a Doctor’s Companion, too… hmmm… (shaking myself back to the interview at hand)

Why Science Fiction? What is it about the genre that attracts you?

I think mainly for the time travel aspect, though it’s so much fun and freeing to create worlds and populate them with non-human beings. I think with science fiction, to a certain degree, you can make up the rules.

Where did the idea for Quality Times come from?

Two words. Doctor Who.

Of course (eye roll.) Why did I even bother to ask?

I’m such a huge fan and wanted to be able to write my own ‘space and time adventurer’ story, but obviously I couldn’t use the idea of the TARDIS (bigger on the inside) so I came up with a shrinkable time machine.

Which I think is a really cool twist, btw.

There are also elements of Doctor Who spin-off “Iris Wildthyme” in there, too. (Wildthyme is a mature lady timelord whose TARDIS is a red double-decker bus. Her companion is a talking toy panda, while Iris herself enjoys a drink or twelve. The stories are also very humorous.)

I got particular enjoyment out of the overt Doctor Who homage, and the influence certainly shows.

Like the Doctor Who series, you originally published QUALITY TIMES AND THE WHISPERING TOMBS as a serial. How did that work out for you?

It started well. Especially as I’d made the individual parts free to download. Unfortunately, there was a problem with Smashwords, and I had to unpublish the parts there. I did have them up on my own website for a while, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to tell how many people downloaded them.

Qez or Bluey, made quite an impression on me when I first read THE WHISPERING TOMBS. Love the “sexy police siren” description. How do you come up with Quality’s off-beat observations?

I suppose I tend not to overthink what she will say, in some situations. Just like real life, sometimes you just blurt out things without really thinking about what you’re saying. For the “sexy police siren”, it was the first thing that came to me when I was needing Quality to liken Qez to something.

The overall tone of the story really grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek. Is this a departure for you from your other work?

I suppose, to a certain degree, it is a bit of a departure. The Quality Times series is a lot more humorous and, as you say, tongue-in-cheek than my other work. Cigs, Bolan and Strange Men With  Guns had a bit of humour in it, as did my christmas short story collection, Three French Hens, but they weren’t as quirky as Quality Times.

What comes next for Gayle and Quality Times?

Well, the second book in the series, The Grandparent Trap, is still in its first draft but I have the overall plot sorted out so I need to get that completed, edited, etc. However, with that story, it’s being written in third-person narrative instead of first. Also, we get to meet Quality’s granny, Necessity, who is mentioned in The Whispering Tombs. I also have a few plot lines for another couple of books, so that will keep me going, writing wise, for the foreseeable future.

Thanks, Gayle, for stopping by and best of luck with THE WHISPERING TOMBS.

***

If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of discovering the works of Gayle Ramage, I strongly recommend THE WHISPERING TOMBS. I’ve had the good fortune to read and enjoy the serialized version and I’m completely hooked! I can’t wait for the next installment in the QUALITY TIMES series! You can see my abbreviated review on Goodreads.

***

Meet Quality Times, just your average 21st century woman who happens to own a shrinkable time machine. Along on her intergalactic adventures is Tim, a self-confessed sci-fi geek who takes everything in his stride.

In ‘The Whispering Tombs’, Quality and Tim are residing at the luxurious Baala Haven Resort, on an unpronounceable planet, when they’re invited on a quest to find ancient hidden treasure by a wealthy alien archaeologist. Reaching the caves of Azrokaran, however, loyalties are tested to the very limits as those within the group reveal their true colours.

A light-hearted mix of science fiction, adventure and humour.

BIO
Gayle Ramage is a writer, living in the Scottish lowlands. She would love to grow her own TARDIS if only to go back in time to find out if her ancestors were as mad as she is.

LINKS

What Do Writers Read Over the Summer?

Did you ever wonder what writers read when they curl up with a good book? My friends have asked me to share my Summer Reading List with them. As a fan of SF (science fiction) and M (mystery), there is a lot of it on my list, most of it R (romance), but not all of it. I have to admit that all of the books on my TBR list are by authors I’m acquainted with and owe reviews to. Some of them are so talented they make me want to give up writing altogether!

Here are only some of the books I haven’t read or finished yet, but are on my list of summer reading. It is an incomplete list, but these are the books I hope to have finished before Labor Day. I am looking forward to reading every one of them. Click on the book title for the Amazon sales link:

THE WHISPERING TOMBS:  A Quality Times Novella by Gayle Ramage (SF-humor)
In ‘The Whispering Tombs’, Quality and Tim are residing at the luxurious Baala Haven Resort, on an unpronounceable planet, when they’re invited on a quest to find ancient hidden treasure by a wealthy alien archaeologist. Reaching the caves of Azrokaran, however, loyalties are tested to the very limits as those within the group reveal their true colours. 

EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE by Liana Brooks (SFR)
A super villain at the top of his game must choose between the world he wants and the woman he loves. 

PARADIGM SHIFT by Misa Buckley (SFR)
Observatory tour guide Megan Shaw has always had stars in her eyes, so when she all but runs down the otherworldly Raul, she barely blinks. It doesn’t hurt that Raul is hot – whether in his human form or his natural one – and that there’s an immediate mutual attraction. But Raul is on the run from his alien overlords and soon Megan finds herself fighting against a foothold situation with nothing more than a couple of cattle prods and Muse for soundtrack. However Earth is not the only planet at risk and with his species desperate to escape generations of oppression, will Raul’s loyalties shift as easily as his physical appearance?

KICKING ASHE by Pauline Baird Jones (SFR)
Seems Time has a new hobby: kicking Ashe (and shame on It for doing it when she’s down). 

Not that she plans to stay down. Or give up the guy.

DEAD MAN’S FORGE AND OTHER ADVENTURES by TM Hunter (SF)
(the entire Aston West series actually)
Everybody’s favorite Space Pirate.

ALONE ON THE EDGE by Patrick Stutzman (SF)
After accepting a job as a robotic engineer that sends her to a mining station at the edge of explored space, Anna Foster finds that her position is not what she expects and must adjust to life as the only living being aboard, struggling to keep her humanity while a relentless computer lords over her existence. But, the discovery of a secret could prove to be the key to her freedom.

No LimitsNO LIMITS by Jenna McCormick (SFR-E)
All Genevieve Luzon wants is to be loved by one man, a seemingly impossible task in New York City – though she can buy sex as easily as she can order pizza on a Friday night. Needing a job and sick of being alone, Gen enlists as a pleasure companion at a premium escort service…During Gen’s first training session, she meets Rhys. He is an empath, a man with the extraordinary ability to fulfil her most secret desires. His dangerous mission might claim his life, but Gen is not about to let something she’s wanted for so long get away now that she knows how good it feels…
You can read all about it here in an earlier post when Jenna was my guest!
https://jccassels.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/jenna-mccormick-no-limits-guest-blogger/

GREENSHIFT by Heidi Ruby Miller (SFR)
(Prequel to Ambasadora)
David Anlow, a former captain who was betrayed by both the fleet and his ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.
Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent. 
When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK by Jason Jack Miller
(not sure how to categorize this one, it’s billed as Appalachian Gothic)
Preston Black has a nasty habit of falling in love with the wrong type of woman. But girls who don’t play nice are the least of his problems. This handsome bar band guitarist isn’t washed-up, but he’s about to be. He’s broke, he’s tired of playing covers and he’s obsessed with the Curse of 27.
He’s about to add ‘deal with the devil’ to his list.
Lucky for Preston, he has help. Like the angelic beauty who picks him up when he’s down. And the university professor who helps him sort through old Appalachian hexes and curses to find the song that may be his only shot at redemption. And when things get real bad, he has the ghost of John Lennon to remind him that “nothing is real.”

***

Next week, I’ll put together a list of books I’ve already read and highly recommend!

What’s on YOUR Summer Reading List?

“What’s Next? What’s Next?”

Now that SOVRAN’S PAWN is out in the world for everyone to see, the question I keep getting is “What’s next?” I am delighted to know my meager efforts have been so well-received. I’d like to thank everyone who has already bought an e-copy of my book and assure those waiting for the paperback, that it won’t be long in coming. Look for it sometime in June. Yes, I will have a supply on hand, signed, that I will happily sell direct to you at a discount, plus shipping costs.

As for what’s next, look for ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS sometime this fall. It is the premiere installment of THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON, a companion series of books featuring the man himself in all his swashbuckling glory. (Be still my heart!) You can find an excerpt under the tab at the top or by clicking the link.

The first draft of Book Two of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, tentatively titled THE WATCHTOWER, is two-thirds complete. Plans are for a release in Spring 2013, provided we all survive the Zombie Apocalypse of December 2012.

I hope to be spending a lot of time at the beach between now and then, doing research. Much of THE WATCHTOWER is set on the Outland Fringe planet Kah Lahtrec whose people have adopted Blade as a native son. He has a pretty nifty villa on the beach there that was given to him by the Lahtrecki government in recognition for… well, you’re just going to have to wait and see. Book Two is going to be a lot of fun as it introduces some of my favorite characters in the series:  Ballanshi – Tryrium te Kah Lahtrec, his lovely and formidable wife Madine – Tryrine te Kah Lahtrec, and the wizened old holy man Tahar. Book Two also explains the how and why of Blade’s leaving his career in holofeatures for the life of an itinerate mercenary, complete with the scene in the theater which is part of Blade Devon lore.

Not to worry, the romance with Bo continues, as she carries on her quest to clear her name and find her father. Book Two finds Bo settling into her new role as a facilitator in her brother’s organization, and she has learned to have fun. With a new confidence, her puckish sense of humor emerges, but her resolve is put to the test as she draws closer to finding the answers she so desperately seeks, one of which threatens to destroy her relationship with Blade forever.

Now that I’ve told you entirely TOO much, I’m off to get back to work making all of these claims a reality.

SOVRAN’S PAWN: The First Week

Initial response to SOVRAN’S PAWN has been incredible! I couldn’t be happier with the reception my debut novel has gotten. Thanks to everyone who has shared, tweeted, talked up, and bought a copy! Your comments are pure gold to me. Here are just a few comments people have sent to me:

  • “I am madly in love with Blade. You had better write a sequel!”
  • “Oh, and yes, I did buy it, despite not being a big sci-fi fan. Surprisingly, I’m actually enjoying it. Who knew?”
  • “I downloaded it last night and read the first chapter this morning…love your imagination.”
  • “If you love your heroes in the mold of Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds, you’ll be left idolizing Blade Devon.” ~ 4 out of 5 stars
  • “I can’t stop reading!”
  • “A fast, fun read!”

With no pretentions at great literature, SOVRAN’S PAWN is escapist fare; space opera with a bit of romance tossed in. If readers are entertained for a few hours, I consider my mission accomplished.

The BLACK WING CHRONICLES series is about the hero’s journey from callow youth (or ingénue) to Big Damn Hero who puts it all on the line to save the Commonwealth. I’d like to thank everyone who has embarked on the journey with us. I promise, there will be more! Just check out my WORKS IN PROGRESS page or the BLACK WING CHRONICLES page. And yes, Blade has his own series, THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON, with the first installment, ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS, in revisions with an eye on a Fall 2012 release. For those wondering whether Bo will become that Big Damn Hero, I invite you to read the excerpt from the first chapter of BARRON’S LAST STAND, the final installment of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES.

Sovran’s Pawn Blog Tour Dates Announced

SOVRAN’S PAWN, Book One of The Black Wing Chronicles…

…is on schedule to be released on April 20 in e-book format. Look for it on Amazon and Smashwords.

JC Cassels – Big Damn Hero Blog Tour Dates

Apr 16 TK Toppin pt 1
http://www.tktoppin.blogspot.com/

Apr 18 Pauline Baird
http://www.paulinebjones.com/

Apr 20 Publication and launch with SFFSat (with a snippet from SOVRAN’S PAWN)
https://jccassels.wordpress.com/
http://misa-buckley.blogspot.co.uk

Apr 23 TK Toppin pt 2
http://www.tktoppin.blogspot.com/

Apr 24 Space Freighters Lounge
http://spacefreighters.blogspot.com/

Apr 25 Pippa Jay
http://www.pippajay.blogspot.com/

May 2 Imogene Nix
http://www.imogenenix.blogspot.com/

Dates TBA:
http://westofmars.com/blog/

HEIDI’S PICK SIX:
http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.com/

Participants who comment will be chosen at random for a FREE e-copy of SOVRAN’S PAWN.

Check back here for more information as it develops.