Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Soul Retrieval by Ann W. Jarvie

Today, I have Ann W. Jarvie and her book, The Soul Retrieval.

Space Rep: Is there a prize?

Liza: Didn't I lock you in a closet?

Space Rep: No, that was Peep Rep. So what's the prize?

Liza: Are you strapped in?

Space Rep: Hold on...I'm strapped.

Liza: Ann is giving away $75 Amazon or B/N Gift Card.  All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter. What do you think about that, Space Rep? Oh dear, Space Rep has fainted. Well, let's find out more about Ann's fabulous book.


by Ann W. Jarvie

Inspired by a true story, The Soul Retrieval is a suspenseful tale of love, loss and healing which follows traumatized southern beauty Henrietta Clayborn as she moves between her home in a small South Carolina town and the New Mexico Native American reservation whose spontaneous healings keep drawing her physician husband back. Tortured by her awful secrets, Henrietta struggles to thrive in either locale, but it is her unlikely friendship with Joe Loco––an eccentric Native American mystic with an Elvis fetish and a gift for healing––that shows her the way to be whole again.

Set in the late 1950s, The Soul Retrieval is richly woven with spiritual insights but also deadly secrets, forbidden healings, a murder mystery, stunning scenery and an unforgettable cast of characters.

A story of transcendent and inspiring power that is both entertaining and enlightening, readers will be cheering for the uptight woman from South Carolina to push through her fears of the forbidden as she searches for truth and healing, faces great obstacles on the frontier of self and ultimately becomes more than she ever thought possible.

“It’s just as Bear foretold,” the Apache said. He closed his eyes and moved his hands in small circles with palms out. “The fire’s burning, but no one’s home in your teepee.”

“Excuse me?”

“You don’t feel like yourself, you’re feeling vacant and disconnected, like something’s missing.” Joe spoke as he opened his eyes.

She gaped at him in stunned silence before whispering: “How … why would you say something like that?” Henrietta’s heart thumped in her chest as she nervously glanced toward the living room. Her husband was still talking on the phone.

“Your soul speaks volumes through your eyes.”

“You see something in my eyes?” And she rubbed them again with her handkerchief.

“I see what was there, what should be there, but is not now.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m fine. My eyes were just watering, that’s all.” She winced, knowing that it wasn’t true, hating that she’d become such a liar.

“It’s okay, I’m here to help,” Joe said. He placed his folded hands on the table after sitting down.

His smile and disarming empathy surprised Henrietta, but she wasn’t going to be moved by what seemed like a sweet and insightful gesture. Joe Loco was absolutely the last person in the world she’d choose to confide in.

“Don’t worry. It’s obvious your soul has fragmented and is in need of repair,” Joe said with a calm certainty, as if it was an everyday matter to be dealt with.

“What?” Henrietta put her hands down and stared into space, bewildered by his words. In the quietude, the sizzle of the frying eggs and bacon filled the room like a choir of rattlers. My soul has what? When she looked again at Joe, planning to demand exactly what he meant, his eyes were closed, and he was whispering and holding his palms up as though in prayer.

So she placed the cooked food on a plate, poured a glass of milk and put both down in front of him. He opened his eyes and smiled up at her.

“That’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard—a soul fragmenting,” she said. “How would something like that even be possible?”

“It can happen when we believe or experience something bad we don’t want to face.” He took a bite of eggs and grits, closing his eyes again to savor the combination. “Oh, this is yum-yum,” he said.

When he looked up, it was Henrietta who was staring.

“The good news is that lost soul fragments can be recovered and healed. It’s not hard, if you know how, if you know the secret,” Joe said.

“Are you saying you know how to do that? That you know the secret?”

“The Great Spirit works hitherto and I work.”

She crossed her arms. “So what are you, some kind of soul repairman?”

Ann W. Jarvie has a B.A. in journalism and more than twenty-five years’ experience as an award-winning writer in advertising and public relations agencies, both in South Carolina and Chicago. She now lives near Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends part of her time as a freelance copywriter and the rest writing fiction.

The Soul Retrieval was inspired by Jarvie’s maternal grandmother’s fascinating life on Indian reservations, where she lived with her physician husband until his mysterious and untimely death.


Don't forget to enter to win $75 gift card!

Stop at the other tours stops to increase your chances of winning. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Amanda Bridgeman shares favorite sci-fi movie romances.

Today, I have Amanda Bridgeman, author of the Aurora series, sharing her favorite sci-fi romances.

My Favourite SFF Couples
Some people are surprised to discover a strong romantic subplot threaded throughout my Aurora series. For some, science fiction should only cover science, technology and politics. But for me, an incredibly important area often overlooked is the study of humans themselves; how they interact, the gamut of emotions they experience, the way they interact with the society around them. 

The Aurora series is a very character-driven space opera, where the personal storylines are just as important as the over-arching action-thriller plot. Given this, the strong romantic subplot of the Aurora series, I thought I’d take a look at some of my favourite SFF couples in film/TV.

Aragorn and Arwen (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy)
This is a tale of two lovers effectively facing the difficulties of an interracial relationship. He is human, she half elven, and her father doesn’t approve of the pairing. She is destined to outlive him as she is immortal, so how could it possibly work? Aragorn tries to do the noble thing and do what is best for her (or what her society/father thinks is best for her), but their love and bond is too strong to keep them apart. They both make sacrifices in the name of love, and that’s what makes them an awesome couple. Also, Aragorn is pretty much the ultimate warrior/king/lover.

Princess Sorsha and Madmartigan (Willow)
This is a great example of the couple who meet and instantly dislike each other, and yet are incredibly sexually attracted to one another. Madmartigan is a thief and a scoundrel, and if he were in the real world, you’d probably say ‘he doesn’t apply himself properly’. But underneath, he is a valiant warrior, who just hasn’t met the right woman to sort him out yet. Princess Sorsha is a strong independent woman, who’s also a kick ass warrior, so she’s more than capable of handling him. Together they make a good match. Now if they could just get her ‘overbearing’ mother, the Queen, out of the way…

Trinity and Neo (Matrix Trilogy)
This pairing sees a ‘chosen one/novice’ (Neo) fall for his ‘guide/support’ (Trinity), and vice versa. Neo is thrown into a whole new world and Trinity is there to ease his transition, to watch over him and help guide him. She slowly falls for this ‘chosen one’ as she sees not only his special gift, but also the man underneath, and how ‘good’ he is. A match made in the Matrix heaven! And hey, they both look pretty damn awesome in black!

Princess Leia and Han Solo (Star Wars trilogy)
This is another couple modelled on the ‘dislike yet attracted as hell to each other’ trope. Han is another romantic lead who tends to do things on the wrong side of the law, whereas Princess Leia is the strong independent woman. Leia is a little more on the side of good and righteous than Princess Sorcha, although she too has a questionable parent (Darth Vader). Regardless, the two can’t help falling for each other and become a good match. He gets her to loosen up a little, and she gets him to straighten up a little. They meet each other half-way.

Kara Thrace – ‘Starbuck’ and Lee Adama – ‘Appollo’ (Battlestar Galactica)
This is another chalk and cheese pairing, although, unlike the Willow and Star Wars pairings, they don’t dislike each other at first. They’re friends, as Starbuck dated Lee’s brother first. That’s what initially brings them together – they bond over their mutual loss. Lee is pretty straight and well-behaved, whereas Kara is the complete opposite; she drinks too much, she smokes, she brawls and she’s generally a little reckless. But again they balance each other out. Theirs is rocky road to romance, that unfortunately sees the reckless Kara ruin many chances the two have. Even when they do hit their stride, they start out on the wrong foot (while being married to other people). They’re the kind that would be good together if they just didn’t let themselves get in the way. Regardless, theirs is the kind of love that lingers even after they’ve parted ways.

Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese (The Terminator)

You can’t really get much more romantic than someone coming back through time to save a woman he doesn’t know, but has fallen for all because of a photograph he has. What makes the whole scenario even better, is that he goes back in time to effectively ensure his own son is born. The leader he respects in the future, is the child he creates in the past with his mother. Poor Michael Biehn (the actor who plays him), they always kill him off right after he’s won the heart of our sci-fi heroines (they did the same in Aliens). 

Facebook: Amanda Bridgeman
Twitter: @Bridgeman_Books

Friday, March 27, 2015

Excerpt from Surviving Outbound

Today, I'm sharing an excerpt from Surviving Outbound

Dmitri watched Saran nibble on the giant sandwich, and listened to her mental musing that only a man so large would think this sandwich could be eaten in one sitting.

Satisfied she was fine, he stepped outside and cursed beneath his breath. His brother had evidently tossed the bucket of oats at Blue, for flakes speckled the grand fellow’s entire back and head. Dmitri apologized verbally since the bull had closed his mind again.

“My brother is the baby of the family, and Mother has never made him work a day in his life. I asked him to give you a large bucket of oats so I could see to Saran.”

A low grumbling voice spoke in his head asking how Saran was doing.

“She drank a full glass of water and was nibbling on a sandwich when I left her.”

Blue snorted. “Could use some water myself.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll bring it now, along with fresh oats and a brush to clean off your coat.”

“I wait with anticipation,” Blue replied in an acerbic grumble.

In all his life, Dmitri had never spoken to an animal with such an expressive voice. Most had only rudimentary language skills; many simply chose to send pictures to communicate their needs.

Dmitri didn’t find his brother in the barn. He would bet the ranch that the lazy sloth was inside playing video games. He tucked a brush in his shirt and carried two large pails, one with oats and one with water, to Blue. As the bull enjoyed his water and then oats, Dmitri brushed the bull’s longhaired coat free of oats, burrs, twigs, and a thousand other items picked up during their travels through the woods.

He knelt down and inspected Blue’s feet, mentally asking the bull if there were any pains.

“Nothing that won’t wait for Saran,” the bull replied.

“I have a vet on staff. He’s very good.”

“No one but Saran. If you are eager to be helpful, get me another bucket of water.”

Dmitri smiled at the brashness of an animal ordering about his handler. When he returned with more water, he continued brushing the fellow. 
“I’m amazed Tamara put up with you, Blue,” he teased.

Suddenly, Tamara’s voice answered. “I didn’t. When I handled him, he did what I said.

Blue snorted, and his reply resonated in Dmitri’s head. “I was considerably smaller then. Now, I am only handled by reason.”

Dmitri stroked him behind his ear. “I will try very hard to remember that.”

"See that you do!" Blue huffed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Excerpt from the Gods of Probability

Here's an excerpt from the Gods Of Probability:

Selected by random, not seen by my editor yet. I bear no responsibility to your health upon reading.

By all that was quantum, Zousan loved his daughter. He had planned to promote her to shepherd, but to do so would rob the universes of the greatest art in existence. Still he had promised Thoran he’d reduce his work load. He’d intended to demote the pain-in-the-ass and give the job to Athena, but now he would need another solution.

He studied the list of trainees, searching for someone who had the traits that would result in a great shepherd.

Pane. The fellow looked to be a natural— all the right qualities: high ethics, intuitive reasoning, problem solving, and multitasking competency. “Pane to the control room.”

A second later, the ugliest crew member Zousan had ever seen stood before him. Standing four foot tall and as straight as his hunchback would allow, the brown furry simian-like creature smiled at him with sharp white teeth. 

Zousan was about to yell at him for breaking protocol but realized since he’d never seen this fellow before that Pane could be so new to Control Central, he didn’t know that no one ‘popped’ in on the Commander.

“Pane, it is customary, nay mandatory, to arrive in the outer waiting room and then ask permission to enter.”

“But you said…“ Pane grimaced and bowed his head. “I apologize, Commander.”

“No harm done. I gather you have yet to be taught the appropriate protocol?”

“Persi said it would be another hundred years before anyone would notice my work.”

Zousan rubbed his right temple. Clearly Persi was slackening off on his training responsibilities. 
There is no way someone with Pane’s scores would escape notice that long.

“I will speak to Persi about preparing you sooner than that. Once you are ready, I’ll give you some of Thoran’s universe to monitor.”

Pane’s bushy eyebrows rose, merging into his frizzy brown hair. “I’m to be given a galaxy?”

“We’ll start with a few planets at first, and if that goes well, we’ll expand from there.”

Pane smiled, which almost improved his appearance to that of a good-looking troll. Clearly, the fellow could never be used for meetings with sentient beings. Gods were supposed to be perfect, both in appearance and action.

If only that were true!

Options other than Earth

Today, I'm discussing our options. Let's face it, Earth is doomed. So seriously what are our options?

Let's check out the ring around Saturn. Did you know Saturn has 62 moons.

Makes Earth look down right wimpy in comparison!

The latest potential planet that might support life is....

Hello, I'm Enceladus.

I know, I look like Earth in your near future. But do you see those pot marks on my ice covered skin?

Steam puffs out of them, which means warm water must lurk beneath my ice. So if you bring a ship that can live underwater, you can hang with me for awhile. No one is quite sure how long I'll be warm, since they don't actually know why I am warm. All they know for sure is that there is steam that spews out my pot holes. It has been analyzed by one of the many robots you keep sending out. The analysis of the substance collected suggests the water sits on a really hot core, and there might be life on me already.

So stop on by and try me out!  

WARNING: Ice crust is 30-40 kilometers thick
so getting to the warm 10 kilometer deep ocean won't be easy.

Or you could lurk deep in your poisoned ocean in a ship for a million years. 

Bet you're sorry that you dumped uranium in the depths of your ocean, now.

I wonder what you'll look like after 333,000 generations living in deep water with your uranium. 

On second thought, maybe you should stop by me. Don't forget to bring a giant drill, so you can even reach my warm ocean.

You might think about growing gills like this fellow from the 4th Dimension of Earth:

Friday, March 20, 2015

New cover for Grand Master's Pawn by Aurora Springer



Aurora Springer

A thousand years in the future, wars and portal failures disturb the fringes of the galaxy. On Terra, twenty-two year old Violet Hunter seems an ordinary student of the Space Academy, who dreams of exploring unknown planets. She applies to serve as the pawn of one of the twelve Grand Masters, although her hidden talent of empathy makes her ineligible. Violet has defied the prohibition against psychics for half her life. Why should she stop now?
Isolation is the penalty for a Grand Master’s great power because their touch is deadly to a normal person. The Grand Master with the griffin avatar selected the girl with the star-shaped birthmark in spite of her father’s dire prophesy. He is suspicious about his disobedient pawn, yet he cannot deny the success of her missions to strange planets where she finds more than he expected.
Violet seeks the truth about the mysterious Grand Masters. Who or what are they? Do they threaten or benefit civilization? While searching for answers, Violet does the unthinkable. She makes a bargain with her obnoxious Grand Master and challenges him to meet her face to face, risking her secret to discover his purpose. She plunges into an impossible love and a world of intrigues. The vicious conflicts propel her into flight from a terrible enemy and a desperate search for allies to save her new found love.

Liza loves the new cover. 

The raft shot towards the top of the waterfall. Taranis stood, balanced on his toes, and stared ahead from the vantage of his full height. He glanced back at Violet, and shouted above the crash of the water, “The drop is too steep. We must abandon the raft!”
Violet staggered to her feet and stared at the rocky shore. Dubious, she shook her head, “How? The current is too fierce to swim to the river bank, and I can’t jump that distance.”
Taranis stepped carefully across the raft, took the pack from her grasp, and tossed it onto the rocks at the edge of the water. “Get ready! I will throw you onto the land.”
She gulped, wide eyed in alarm. How was she supposed to prepare?
Without further warning, he caught her round the waist and flung her from the raft. Violet shrieked. She flew over the water, twisting with cat-like agility to land on her hands and feet. Her hands stung from the impact, but she was safe on the shore. She turned to watch Taranis.
He ran with the pole in his hands to the edge of the raft, stuck the pole into the water and vaulted to the rocks. He staggered on a slippery stone, and Violet grabbed his wrist and tugged to prevent him from falling. Instead, she slammed against his body with her face pressed against his bare chest, tingling with psychic power. Immediately, she felt foolish.
She lifted her head to break the sizzling contact. They stepped apart, and he stared down at her from those unreadable black eyes in his solemn face.
“Sorry!” she muttered. She lowered her eyes and reddened with embarrassment. Was this athletic man really her Grand Master? The one she had taunted as too decrepit to participate in a mission.
He patted her on the back. “It was a wild ride. You are fearless!”

What a delightful read.

As a master’s pawn Violet Hunter travels over the universe meeting all sorts of sentient alien life forms including Bears, Dragons, tiny cannibals etc, and picking up items that will be useful to her in the future.  She thinks her master arrogant and obnoxious at first, but over time their relationship changes and when he accompanies her, pretending to be a guide, her skills allows her to know he’s her master. He falls in love with her.

I love the detailed world building, just enough, but never too much which can pull you from the story, and the slow but inevitable love between the Violet and her master as they become partners in all ways. I especially love the way Violet wins friends and influences people by being kind and thoughtful to others. That is a strength that the evil members of the Master’s Council cannot tap into. And when Violet needs help. Her new friends step up.

This is a superb story. It has a clear pay it forward message that rings true even in a world of fantasy.

Love it! I give this 5 stars.

My career in science involves plenty of writing facts for research articles. But, I’ve imagined exciting adventures in weird worlds for as long as I can remember. For many years, life intervened. Now, I have achieved my life-long ambition to publish novels. My published works include science fiction and fantasy with romance and a sprinkle of humor. I was born in the UK and live in Atlanta with my husband, a dog and two cats to sit on my laptop. My hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Media links:

Liza strongly recommends this book.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's all about the Multiverse


The multiverse is a complex entity

Here are some basic rules:

1) Infinity does not exist. It's all finite, it's just really big--beyond our imagination big.

2) Universes split and become two when something STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT OCCURS.

3)Time reduces the importance of differences.

4) Universes collapse when differences no longer statistically matter.

Does it really matter what happened in 4000 BC?

5) There is a finite number of universes allowed in a multiverse, thus once it reaches it's full capacity a must collapse two into one before  a new universe can be selected. 
The whole circle should have lines. I just grew tired of drawing lines. (I'd be a lazy God).

6) When two statistically similar universes collapse, changes are made on a micro level, created from pieces of the two universes, depending on what is focused upon. It's not a winner takes all, it's a huge compromise.

7) What creates focus during a collapse? Any sentient creature can do so. So if in one of the universes a squirrel has located a tasty nut, he'll probably get to keep it, unless a bigger predator attacked the poor squirrel in the other universe.  Neither action is statistically relevant, so the intensity of the event decides.

This explains why scientists are always finding things where their theory says it should be.

And why positive attitudes do help you have a better life.

8) Collapses are not limited to two. It's just easier to discuss small numbers. During time lags in the same event (like driving to work) a hundred universes can occur and then collapse leaving only one in the end. This is called a Time Event. An event can't be collapsed until all time variances play out. Thus, it could take days to close out an event.

For a human these can result in 'lost time' moments, Deja Vue, and predictions of the future.

9) The last Time Event will normally win out since these are similar situations, just occurring at slightly lagging times. But if a sentient focuses hard on one of the outcomes, then when the event is over that will probably be selected. 

In my Multiverse series, time events are used to actually change what happens, but that's harder than it sounds. To make a significant, statistically important change, they needed a sentient being that's capable of seeing across the various universes and isolate the same event that's playing out on different time lags. 

But that's not enough, because each universe will have it's own sentient who only lives in that universe, they will likely do the same thing as those before have done unless they have reason to act differently. Now it's possible they will get a flat tire which saves them from a forty car pile up that kills the person in all other universes, but I doubt their intense focus on a flat is going to be nearly as intense as the other 99 versions who focused on a forty car crash up.

Thus, in my book, I have a sentient who was born to manipulate universes. However, that alone won't save the day, because the lesson learned from the prior version of him won't be able to share what he knows with the new version of him from another universe lagging even further behind in time. 

What I needed was a sentient who doesn't forget anything that happens. Who is the same sentient in all probabilities and can thus tell my focusing sentient what to do or not to do.

In my story, Drogan is the one who can see across universes, and the Sargon bull Blue remembers all that happens in all possible universes. The two together can change history within a time event. 

Drogan, the seer of Multiverses. (to the left)

Blue, the Sargon who never forgets anything.

Without these two, none would have survived Surviving Sojourn, and they will be needed in the future as well.

Which brings me to a final point about Multiverses. While the universes nearby will be familiar, the further away you reach the less familiar anything will be. And given the large variations of animals on earth, there is no reason you should expect the sentient beings to look human. The one thing we know is that life is determined and creative. For all the successful universes, this should be true.

10) My final observation of a Multiverse is that

what we perceive is but a small segment of the universe, which leaves us unaware of it's true shape. Here's my attempt to portray it:
 Hope you've enjoyed having your mind blown.

Here is my upcoming Multiverse Series

And here are some pictures of characters.
This is Tamara when she returns to the farm and reunites with her Soul-bond after six years of absence. She was murdered many years ago, but since the other half of her soul remains with Saran, she continues to exist as a spirit. 
This is Saran, Tamara's Soul-Bond
(That means their souls have co-mingled so they share one soul between two bodies)

This is Dmitri, an honest, hardworking rancher. He first married Tamara, years ago, not realizing she was a soul-bond. Then she died, but remained with him as a ghost.

When Saran meets and marries Dmitri as well, they bond as three and now Tamara can control billions of molecules. Thus, she can emulate a warm blooded woman instead of a spirit.

Together, they are Tamsarandem, the only 3 soul-bond in all the Multiverses and an incredibly powerful soul.

This is Tamsarandem's 1st born
Kyros-the future King of Terranue
He likes to wrestle with the Sargon bulls.

This is True when she first became an animal handler. She's able to control any animal with charm and mental powers. (The blue bull is Time Span, Blue's favorite offspring.)

This is True when's she's a bit older. Ky's in love with the adorable young woman
who is not exactly what she seems.
But without question, she is the happiest person anyone has ever met.

This is Sojourn,
He is second born, which oddly makes him the oldest since he has all his parents memories, and they were older when he was conceived. Thus, they joined and grew him into a man of twenty-four while Kyros was only grown to the age of sixteen.

When you first meet this young woman, she's a Princess, but in during the series she becomes
The Empress of the Universe and Sojourn becomes her consort.

Together, these and many more people and species join for exciting adventures through space in the Multiverse Series.