Total Pageviews

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To Kindle or Not to Kindle?

After much debate with myself over the wisdom of putting Judgment on Tartarus out on Kindle, I finally decided that it was probably worthwhile. So I reached another milestone by making the deal to have Book One formatted and released on Kindle. I'll let you know when it will be available.

This wasn't an easy decision for me. Though I own a Kindle myself and have read one book on it, I prefer a book you can hold in your hands and turn pages. I like to be able to jump back and forth through a book, to reread, to check out parts I may not have fully paid attention to at first, etc. Also, I like to study book covers, to judge whether or not they truly convey what's inside. It annoys me when a book doesn't deliver on its cover---I feel a bit cheated sometimes. Same goes for backcover "blurbs"! A book has a certain tactile "feel" that I don't get from my Kindle. And maybe worst of all, I can't tell how much of the "book" I've read and how much more there is to go!

Maybe this is just a case of my own personal aversion to new technology, but I'm willing to give Kindle a chance. In any case, I'd like to see more people reading these days. Though I love TV and movies both, I still think you can gain much more by reading a good book. No matter the format, a book can go with you wherever you go and will wait patiently for you to have time for it!

What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Searching for Family

Now that Spring has finally, blessedly, sprung, I took several days off to recharge my batteries and visit my kids and grandkids. It was great fun! My family means everything to me. Each member is special, unique, talented, and entertaining. Whenever we all get together, it's a laugh a minute! Some of my kids ( who shall remain nameless here! ) could've had great careers as stand-up comics.

No wonder that so much of what I write ends up being about family at its roots. If you didn't notice that in Judgment on Tartarus, you certainly will in True Son of Tartarus and Ransom of Tartarus! For instance, Rona Scott has no family left to speak of---her parents both died in the Mars-colony disaster. And Kalom of Eris decided to stay behind on Terra when his parents returned to Eris ( his father was the Ambassador to Earth, remember? ) and he's not now on very good terms with them. They accuse him of being more Terran than Erisian.

And as for Malkis, his father, Kadris, disowns him outright, then accuses him of being the cause of his own mother's death! Sweet guy! For now, Hughes' background remains pretty much a mystery---but believe me, this guy has daddy issues big time! So, obviously, several of my characters are out in space searching for "family" as well as adventure, even if they don't realize this, and have found a substitute family aboard Astrella.

That's it for now. Hope to be back again tomorrow!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Equal Opportunity Reader

Right now I'm reading an interesting fantasy novel ( no, I don't read only science fiction! ) called City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It's Book One of the Mortal Instuments series. I'm about 2/3 rds of the way through it. It's well-written, funny in places,, and obviously geared for a teen to young adult audience, but I'm enjoying it. If I turned my nose up at books out of my advanced-age range, I'd never have discovered the Harry Potter series which I dearly love!

The plot involves a group called the Shadowhunters who defend "mundanes" ( that's us ) from demons. A refreshing change from centering on vampires and werewolves as the main characters---no offense to Twilight fans as I am also one!And I don't dislike either class; I'm an equal opportunity reader! So if you enjoy fantasy/horror with a nice comic touch ( kinda reminiscent of "Buffy" ) you might want to try reading City of Bones.

Happy reading,


Monday, March 14, 2011

A Serious Note

The recent horrific disaster in Japan and the earthquake in New Zealand should graphically remind us that this Earth is an ever-changing, dangerous place! We are plagued by earthquakes, sunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires. mudslides, blizzards, avalanches, etc.  We'll probably discover entirely new dangers out in space or on other planets we finally reach. But we must never forget that we aren't exactly safe here at home either!

Those who are on the cutting edge of space exploration know darn good and well that they are risking their lives. Astronauts realize the dangeers, but accept them as part of the cost of doing what they love to do. They are my heroes, and although I envy them, I realize that I lack their courage and fortitude!

I will try to do everything I can to support them and the space program. And my thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to those effected by tragedies on Earth.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Who Says I'm Just Like My Characters?

Wow! Once again Judgment on Tartarus rose from 2 million-and-something back up to #296,876 on's bestseller rankings! That's the highest it's ever been! I am psyched, but I'll try not to get too depressed when its ranking inevitably dips again.

So, in answer to a question: who is the character most like me? Probably Rona Scott---but I'm a heck of a lot more timid than she is; call me superchicken. ( Just don't challenge me about anything I feel strongly about! ) The least like me? Probably Kalom. He's very sure of himself, outgoing, cocky, impulsive, funny, and flirty. Second least like me would be Malkis. I'm not at all good at hiding my emotions. I'm known to cry at the drop of a hanky! And yes, I do cry when writing some of my own scenes.

I forget who said it, but I'm quoting when I say: "No tears for the writer---no tears for the reader." I find that very true. And I'm not much like Hughes either, who tends to explode fairly frequently. I do have a temper but with a very long fuse, thank goodness! I think, though, most writers would agree that they put a little piece of themselves into every character they write. Makes sense to me!

All the best,


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Farewell to Discovery

Watching the space-shuttle Discovery come in for its final landing was a sad moment for me and brought a tear or two to my eyes. The most-traveled of the shuttle fleet is being "retired" and consigned to a museum. ( I've heard conflicting reports as to her destination. ) Painful as this move may be, change is necessary if it brings us even one step farther into space. My only fear is that the US, especially, has lost sight of why we should be going into space. There are many good reasons from commercial to scientific to sheer practicality, ie: the ultimate survival of the human race.

Pushing the boundaries, whatever they may be, is one of the hallmarks of humanity after all. Other countries---notably China---are more than eager to get into space themselves. Maybe that will be enough in itself to prod the US into action? At least, I hope, the test of the plasma rocket, which could potentially power a ship to Mars within five months, is scheduled to be tested in 2014. I'm hoping to live long enough to see us land on Mars someday. Anyway, in the meantime I'm really looking forward to the next launch of Endeavor ( April 19 th if I'm not mistaken. ) I'll be watching.  Will you?


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Nudge!

Just in case you need a teensy little nudge to convince you to try reading Judgment on Tartarus:

The focal character, Ensign Corona Scott ( Rona ), is an idealistic, career-driven young officer who has just been assigned to her first deep-space mission. She comes aboard her first ship, the retired battle cruiser Astrella II, with high hopes of advancing her career and fulfilling her life-long dreams. She's adventurous, though a bit timid, impulsive, and insatiably curious. Dismayed by the unexpected atmosphere of prejudice, bigotry, and outright hatred rampant aboard Astrella, she finds herself struggling valiantly to maintain an open mind and prove herself competent.

She soon begins to worry that her career in space is about to be deep-sixed! She comes into conflict with Astrella's legendary CO, Richard Hughes, who's notorious for his hair-trigger temper, no-nonsense attitude, and lack of sympathy for green ensigns! And his ExO, Malkis of Tartarus, despises Terran females and seems to have it out for Rona in particular! What's a girl to do?

I know my loyal followers have already read my first book, and I'm still soliciting reviews posted on's bookstore or elsewhere.

Hope you're intrigued and want to find out what happens,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Things You Cannot Do in Outer Space!

As I've said before, I'm not a scientist and I don't write hard science fiction---that's just not my field of expertise. But even as a non-scientist, I do my best to research and make my brand of SF believable. ( or at least theoretically possible! ) Therefore, I've developed a list of things you absolutely cannot do in outer space:

     1.  Survive in space without a spacesuit!  Baby, it's cold out there, and there's no air in space so you couldn't breathe. Without a pressure-suit your body would expand, turn into glop, then vaporize. Not good!

     2.  Travel faster than light!  At least without a dang-good bit of theoretical or imaginary science!

     3. Pick up the phone and call home!  You can't have an instantaneous conversation with someone on a planet that is light-years away!

     4.  Land the spaceship and take off again!  Takes too darn much energy to do so.

     5. Stop the ship on a dime!  You'd need retro-fire to slow or stop a ship in space, or it would just keep on going forever! This is one problem most movies, TV shows and authors tend to ignore.

Hope you found this enlightening and not just boring,


Monday, March 7, 2011

A Worthwhile Read?

I try my best to write the kind of books I like to read, usually a mixture of sci-fi, adventure, and fantasy with a dash of mystery, a little bit of romance, all infused with some deeper meaning. I do not like ( or write, I hope! ) books that are preachy, dull, agonizingly slow-paced, or that divert from the main storyline so often that I lose track of the story! I especially don't like a book that doesn't mean much of anything in the long run. I also despise being slapped in the face by dozen-upon-dozens of character or place names---usually difficult to pronounce, spell, remember, or keep straight! Deliver us from such authors!

No, give me a good book that makes sense, is well-written and plotted, holds my interest, transports me into another world or time, and introduces me to characters I can identify with---whether I love them or hate them! Give me a book I don't constantly have to struggle to decipher ( heck, I'm no genius, but I'm not a dummy either! ) When I finish reading, I want to be able to think honestly, "That was a worthwhile read!"

Am I asking too much? Agree or disagree?

Til next time, then---


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Recent Updates

Happily, for me anyway, more and more online bookstores are now carrying Judgment on Tartarus, and the number of copies they have in stock vary all the way from 1 to 500! We've found online booksellers carrying it in North Carolina, Nebraska, Canada, and the UK, among other places. And at least two of my readers have let me know they are dying to have a movie made based on Judgment! Whoa! A bit premature, I'm afraid, folks! I haven't even finished the whole story!

I recently googled myself and, for the first time ever, actually called up my info! It was one of those surreal moments I seem to be experiencing more often now. Probably the weirdest was when I held the first copy of Judgment in my hands and realized it was the embodiment of a long-held dream. I could hardly believe it. Now, seeing my book's cover with my name on it, on so many sites is another "pinch me" moment. And I can't believe I'm getting ready to publish my second novel already! Weirder than weird!

Must admit I'm loving every moment of it!


Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm Back at Last!

Back at last! Our old computer crashed a couple weeks ago now, and we've been scrambling trying to get back online. We even had to resort to a brief use of the local library's computers, but couldn't get on AOL. We just broke down and got FIOS, which many people had recommended to us. So far, so good.

Thanks to the help of my daughter Genesa, True Son of Tartarus has been prepared for publication. I just finished editing it, and it'll soon be ready to put on flashdrive and send to my publisher. Yay! I know of several readers out there who are dying to read Book 2 to find out what happens next to my characters. And I don't even know most of these readers! As a little hint, I can tell you these characters are due to suffer some major upheavals in their lives!

Hoping to blog again soon,