Sunday, January 29, 2017

Laurel Wanrow shares Thermophiles and her book: Passages.


I was working on my sci-fi novel Passages when my family visited Yellowstone National Park. One of the coolest things I saw in this active volcanic area was evidence of the organisms that manage to live in the hot geyser waters—thermophiles.

Thermophile means ‘heat-loving,’ so of course these bacteria like it hot, living at temperatures between 113 and 252 °F. While it’s not possible for a casual visitor to the park to see the actual bacteria, signs of them are along most of the park’s geyser walkways—they are the colorful scum in the water and on the rocks.

Sometimes they create the colorful rings of ‘scum’ around the thermal pools—the different thermophiles living in different heat zones of the water, the more heat-tolerant closer in, others falling into other zones as the water cools.

But it’s not only the heat, but also the minerals in these volcanic pools that allow the thermophiles to live and grow. For example, sulfur replaces oxygen for the underwater anaerobes.

With some of these details, I began to expand on my ideas of what native plants might live on Passages’ volcanic world of Aarde, and how the visiting scientists might study them. This led to ‘setting up’ study areas on the various continents, such as this one the hero and heroine visit in this excerpt:

We strolled the atrium’s paths, passing a few ’torgs and stopping like any couple to read the labels of the native plant collection assembled by early botanist teams. Alone, we approached a wall of windows separating the heated lab.

I scanned the interior for occupants. No one worked in the well-lit room. The office door lay beyond the table-height vats of steaming water containing the thermophiles, primitive heat-loving plants from the geothermal areas of the planet. The water lapped at rocks, all encrusted with colorful scum, different ones in each glass tub. I’d never realized Aarde’s active volcanic regions might be pretty.

“Twelve artificial hot pools,” Quinn said from behind me. “They’ve replicated the temperature gradients to grow every native bacteria, algae and hornwort.” He pointed to a vat containing tiny, rock-hugging, crimped-edged leaves.

The plant didn’t look at all like Cyrem’s photos. “This sample isn’t sending up the horn-like spore stalks,” I said.

“Oh?” Quinn bent to the door’s lock and removed the keypad cover. “There must be a reason,” he said and stuck his finger into a mess of wire. A glow lit up his skin.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I hissed.

“It was locked. Quiet a sec.”

Blessed Waters, he should have been flat on his back, electrocuted. I waited while he closed his eyes and let sparks fly over his skin.

The door slid aside with a whoosh.

“How did—”

He replaced the cover. “You’re not the only one with talent.” He raised a brow and ushered me inside.

Follow the Passages Blog Tour to read more science & fantasy tidbits!


“Find someone you can trust.”

For decades, Eve and her fellow electorgs—part human, part machine—have worked on the quiet planet of Aarde, beating back toxic spores that threaten to poison the native people. When the new commander halts work right before a deadly spore release, Eve frantically plots to protect the villagers she considers friends and family.

On the run after an ambush, Quinn holds a secret that nearly got him killed. If only he knew what it was. Though the attack scrambled his memories, Quinn is sure of one thing—he can’t trust the electorgs. But they know information he desperately needs to puzzle out who wants him dead, and why.

With the fate of life on Aarde in the balance, the logic of joining forces with Eve overrides Quinn’s fears…and erupts into an attraction that could prove fatal for both of them.

Because the planet’s commander might just be Quinn himself.

Passages is on preorder & sale for .99 through February 5th.
Add Passages to your Goodreads shelf!




Author bio:

Before kids, Laurel Wanrow studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower walks and answers calls about the snake that wandered into your garage. During a stint of homeschooling, she turned her writing skills to fiction to share her love of the land, magical characters and fantastical settings.

When not living in her fantasy worlds, Laurel camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean house. Though they live on the East Coast, a cherished family cabin in the Colorado Rockies holds Laurel’s heart.

Find Laurel at:

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Below are the bloggers participating in the Blog Tour for Passages. Each stop will have excerpts and tidbits about the science & fantasy, and a chance to win the tour prizes: a $10 Amazon eGC or a sign paperback of Passages. (Giveaway open to US/CAN)

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Jan 26: Travel to a Mineral Hot Springs on Vicki Batman’s Handbags, Books, Whatever…

Jan 27: Goudrogen Crystals on Jessica E. Subject’s Happily Ever Afters Across the Universe

Jan 27: Hornworts on C. D. Hersh’s Two Hearts Creating Everlasting Love Stories

Jan 29-31: Thermophiles on The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

Jan 29: Author Interview with Mia Jo Celeste on Other World Diner

Jan 30: Moons and Rising Waters with Laurie A. Green on Spacefreighters Lounge

Jan 31: Creating a Character’s Home Planet—in a Red Dwarf Star System on Pippa Jay’s Adventures in Scifi

Jan 31: What kind of a book is it? With Kira Decker on Toni Decker Books

Jan 31: Lacuna, a Bit of Realism, a Bit of Magic on Author J. C. Nelson’s Urban Fantasy and More

Feb 1: Resolving your story problems…including knocking out a pesky spore? on Riley Moreland’s Whiskey With My Book

Feb 3: What do you think of when I say “cyborg”? on Veronica Scott’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog

Feb 4: The Mystery of Transporters on Heather Massey’s The Galaxy Express

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Never Surrender by Cait Lexis

Never Surrender
(Book One of Luminary Wars)

She’s the galaxy’s most wanted. And only a space pirate dares to take action.

Lo Deveron is on the run after her fiancé, a core world senator, was found murdered in their apartment. With an unknown threat chasing her, the normal sheltered life she knew is suddenly turned into a nightmare. While attempting to escape law enforcement, she lands straight onto the lap of a dangerous pirate, who agrees to help her for a price.

Pirate captain Lenk might be bold and cocky as he leads his crew against deadly enemies, but he has no idea what to do with a lady. He knows his ship can hold more danger than protection for someone like Lo. 
Yet when she has no one else to turn to, he doesn’t hesitate to face off against her pursuers and risks everything to protect her.

With a price on her head, everyone wants a piece of her, including mercenaries and bounty hunters, as they hunt her across star systems and set traps to capture her. When Lo discovers the shocking reason behind the relentless manhunt, she realizes there’s only one man she can trust.


Lo cried out as two TEGs reached her side and grabbed her. Lenk reached them and slammed bodily into one as he kicked out at the other, forcing them to lose their balance and release her. He caught her by the shoulders to steady her.

“Get moving.” He told her.

He turned around and slammed into several of the TEGs still left standing, throwing all his weight into the punches as he managed to knock down two more before opening fire. His arms swept out in a semi-circle as he sprayed them with laser fire at point-blank range. He took down several more with headshots and the rest were knocked back from the force of the shots. He staggered to his feet, turned and ran after Lo.

They made it to the top of the rocky hillside of the shoreline, when a few surviving TEGs got up again and came after them. They took several shots at Lenk, narrowly missing him. One laser bolt singed his sleeve and grazed his arm through the thick layer of leather. He grunted in pain but pushed on.

Lo stumbled as her foot slipped on a rock, crying out as she fell sideways. Lenk dove and caught her just before her head hit the rocks. He tried to roll and take the brunt of the fall, but only managed half way, scraping his side along the rocks.

Lo was breathing heavily as she lay momentarily stunned, half under him. Lenk glanced down at her to check to make sure she wasn’t seriously injured. She seemed more surprised than hurt. Her hood had fallen off from her head, revealing strands of pale blonde hair that escaped from her bun, her face flushed. She stared at him with slightly bewildered eyes, her full lips parted. She was scared, but there was also a strange spark in her eyes as she lay there looking up at him. He didn’t have time to wonder about it. His only thought was to get them to safety.

“You okay? Can you get up?”

“I think so.” She whispered, quickly breaking eye contact and looking away.

Before he could help her up, a series of laser fire lit the area around them. Lenk half expected to be peppered with laser holes, but he looked up to see Francis standing at the edge of the hill holding his blaster and emptying laser bolts at another squad coming towards them.

“You two want to get going or are you having too much fun?” Francis taunted over the sound of his whining blaster.

Book Links

Always Tomorrow
(Book Two of Luminary Wars) – Coming Soon

Assignment: Protect the Luminary at all cost
Directive: Capture the fugitive Ilonia Deveron
Obstacle: Xend Kitsou

Elite Commander Tera Laux is being sent on a covert mission to secure the future safety of the Luminary, the galaxy’s most influential man. She’s excited to go on the mission except for one little glitch, the infuriating and all too sexy Dr. Kitsou. She might have to work with him, but she didn’t have to like it. How can she focus on her mission when his very presence drives her crazy?

Data Scientist and historian Xend Kitsou is assigned to the mission to provide his research and analytical skills, with a secret agenda. He might admire Tera’s vibrant beauty and fighting spirit, but his top priority is his work with the Luminary to regain an ancient knowledge.

As they race across the galaxy, hunting and setting traps for their target, their past catches up with them and the line between friend and foe begins to blur. They must decide how much they’re willing to risk to complete the mission.


Xend was still standing where she’d left him, looking as cool and collected as always. She slowed her stride as she became aware of him watching her approach. Suddenly, she felt a little self-conscious as she resisted the urge to smooth her hair and straighten her armor.

From a lifetime of habits, she always tried to present herself with a neat appearance. It was what was expected of her from her parents, it was drilled into her at the military academy and during her service in Fleet. But it wasn’t habit that made her want to do that now.

During the little incident, her shoulder-length hair, usually tied back into a simple low ponytail, had loosened from its binding. It now formed a cloud of errand strands of red hair, a bright chili-pepper red, that framed around her face. Her armor uniform was slightly askew. It was hard to maintain control and a professional image when she probably looked like she’d just tumbled out of bed.

But she wasn’t about to tidy herself in front of him like some women might preen before a man they were trying to attract. She didn’t want him to get the wrong idea that she was doing it for him.

“Are you all right, doctor?” Her hazel eyes met Xend’s, daring him to comment on her dishevelment.

A slow sexy smile met her question. “Couldn’t be better, commander. It’s not every day I have a beautiful woman throwing herself at me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. I was merely trying to protect you.”

“From that dangerous human missile?”

“Trust me, it won’t happen again.” She retorted.

“Shame. I enjoyed every moment of it.”

Tera clenched her jaw. Did this man take nothing seriously? How did he always manage to twist a situation to his advantage? She’d never known anyone who could be so infuriating.

She tried to wipe the images his words brought to mind. Those seconds of her body pressing down onto his. Even through her body armor, she could feel the unyielding strength of his body. Her fingers had brushed against the tautness of his chest. He was firm and toned for a man who spent most of his day tucked behind a desk inside a stuffy library.

Maybe next time she’ll just let him get blown to bits. The thought gave Tera a moment of ferocious enjoyment and made her feel a little better.

About the Author

Like many young girls, Cait Lexis grew up reading capacious amounts of romance novels. But unlike a lot of them, she also devoured anything related to science fiction. She is especially drawn to stories about futuristic soldiers, and stories with a kickass heroine that saves the day and get to fall in love.

If you’re looking for fast-paced action-packed science fiction romance and space opera, come check out her books.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book 2, Scavenger Falters by Liza O'Connor LAST TOUR STOP

Welcome to Scavenger Falters

First, let me share the main characters. 

Meet Alisha
Unlike the rest of the SkyRyders, who had never tried to improve their Wind-Catcher over the last 60 years, Alisha saw great possibilities in modifying her catcher. These changes along with her natural talent made her skills far better than any of the other SkyRyders. So on her third day (after 2 battles which were won solely on her skills) MAC promoted her to Colonel responsible for teaching the rest of the SkyRyders how to fly.

Meet Colonel Logan

Logan reaffirms there can be no relationship between him and Alisha. She has an entire fort to teach how to fly better and he needs to learn her skills as fast as possible so he can become General of the East Coast. But can he do that? If he truly loves Alisha, can he deny the love between them?

Meet Jack Sparks
With the Broadtown Fort destroyed (book 1) space for colonels is at a premium at Capital Fort. Thus, Alisha is to bunk with Colonel Sparks. Colonel Logan is not happy and offers to bunk with Dryers so Alisha could have a room of her own, only General Powell refuses to change the room assignments. He assures Logan that the two would be too busy to get up to mischief. In truth, there is another reason why he's certain they won't be coupling rather than sleeping. And we'll find out why.

Meet General Powell
If he had a nickname, it would be Grumpy, but no one has the balls to give him a nickname. Even Jack hated the general when he first arrived. Powell has made every colonel other than Logan cry. He has a puritanical streak a mile wide, a blind eye to the making of dogs (abusing new cadets), and always demands more than is reasonable from his men.  And he hates women. Until he had to let Logan's people into the Capital Fort there has been no women in his fort. Fortunately, he is so amazed and enchanted by Alisha at first, that he appears to become a nicer general.

Scavenger Falters

Liza O'Connor

Alisha Kane, the Corps’ best flyer, is promoted to colonel, in charge of teaching the Corp’s SkyRyders her extraordinary flying maneuvers. The man she loves, Logan, continues to place the Corps first and insists they both remain focused on their work. For Alisha, this means ferreting out the best flyers in a Corps that has systematically forced great flyers into mediocrity. Logan focuses on learning Alisha’s flying techniques so that he can become the hero the East Coast desperately needs. The result includes fractured ribs and broken hearts, but through it all they never relinquish their love of the Corps. 


The day after the devastation of the Broadtown Fort

Logan woke to the stirring pleasure of soft kisses upon his face and a familiar hot body pressed against him. He opened his eyes, and upon realizing this was more than a pleasant dream, he escaped the bed.

“Alisha, what are you doing in here?” he demanded of the beautiful young woman who regularly tormented his dreams and presently resided in his bed.

“Waking you up.” She cocked her head to one side, causing her dark hair to cover her right shoulder. God, she looked so young and adorable fluttering those long eyelashes. “But before we can go any further, I need you to release me from a part of your order.” She climbed out of bed and put her arms around his waist. “The part forbidding me to engage in any physical or seductive actions toward you.”

Logan unwrapped her hands from around his waist and gently moved her farther away from him. “I can’t. The order remains.”

“But you love me!” she insisted. “You told me so last night before the mission!”

Logan sighed. He led her back to the bed and sat her down on the edge. “Alisha, I’ve always loved you. I think I may have loved you from the moment I set eyes on you.”

“It was the same for me!” she confessed.

He smiled and stroked her face. “But all that love doesn’t change the facts. I’m your commanding officer, I’m too old for you, and you can and will do better. My orders remain.”

The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 2
Scavenger Falters

The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1
Scavenger’s Mission

About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science


The SkyRyders Series
Sci-Fi Romance
Scavenger Falters-releasing Dec 30th 2016
Scavenger Vanishes-coming 2017

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Susanna Eastman interviews Ava Fisher from Timeless Heat

Today Susanna is interviewing Ava Fisher from Timeless Heat, published by The Wild Rose Press, November 4, 2016.

Occupation: On Earth in the early 21st century, I was a cancer researcher in St. Louis, Missouri. Now I’m living on a different planet 3,000 years in the future. Huge change! All my science knowledge is totally obsolete. Thankfully Vanta has access to the Uninet (kind of like the Internet), and I’m updating my education.  I’m also going to be a mom again. I haven’t had a baby in a VERY long time, so I have much to remember and prepare for.

First impression of Joran Zoma:  Terrified! One night I went to bed (my bed) in the 21st century, and I woke up on a transporter pad on a space ship in the distant future. I thought Joran was insane (for so many reasons), but I couldn’t help notice he was the sexiest man I had ever seen. It took me barely a nanosecond to fall in love with him.

Greatest adjustment to life on Vanta: Oh, the list is endless. Being able to travel almost anywhere in seconds is amazing. Also, I’ve met people from many different worlds in the galaxy.  I have a special relationship with Joran’s best friend Max, a green-skinned male from the planet Zelos. 

Greatest joy: My new husband Joran and my new family. Joran gave me a second chance for happiness, and I love him beyond words.

Greatest regret: Staying in my first marriage when it was long over. I spent way too much time with a man who didn’t love me. Never again!

Now let's check out the book!

Adrift in space after a strange cosmic phenomena sent them into severe sexual heat, intergalactic trader Joran Zoma and his business partner, Max, are dying. Time is running out, and only a woman from the distant past can save them.
Ava Fisher, recently divorced and deeply unhappy, is trying to move away from the hurt and bitterness of her past. Then she's kidnapped by two strangers—aliens from a different time and place. More astounding is their claim that she carries a rare hormone and must mate with them to save their lives

     Joran nodded and awkwardly shifted his body away from her. His fingers dug into the soft arms of his chair. As a biologist, youre familiar with sexual heat?

     “Of course.Shed learned about that in high school biology 101. Some female animals experience…”

     Joran shook his head, interrupting. It hasnt been that way in a long time. For more than a millennium, humanoid males have gone through sexual heat cycles. Some believe its natures response to increasing female infertility. The storm critically diminished our testrus causing us to go into severe heat. Normally, early onset or out-of-cycle heat is only painful if unsatisfied, but our levels are so weakened…” He pressed his lips together and sighed. Without the high estrus levels of an Alpha female, well die. Maxim only has five to six hours to live.

     Her eyes shot open as realization dawned on her. He didn’t want her blood, her cells… The straining bulge between his legs spoke volumes, but Ava pressed on, needing to be very, very clear. When you say you need a female with high estrus, you mean…”

     “Only through sexual…” His hand, so stiff, ran through his thick, short-cropped hair. The muscles all over his body tightened as he forced the words out. I brought you here to mate with us and save our lives.


Writing has always been a part of my life. I loved to write short stories as a little girl, and I majored in communications in college. While I’ve spent most of my career as a public relations writer, I dreamed of being a romance novelist. I was fortunate to meet my personal romance hero during college. We met at a fraternity party my freshman year at school and became fast friends. One night I was eating dinner at his fraternity, and my future husband suavely sat on an empty table beside me to chat. Unfortunately, that table was missing a leg and it collapsed on my arm. When he called the next day to check on me, I had to tell him my arm was broken. (It was!) Devastated but still gallant, he asked me out on a date. We’ve now been married more than a few decades and have two teenage sons.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Cara Bristol shares Claimed by the Cyborg

The “eyes” have it: Using eyes to convey (or not convey) emotion

By Cara Bristol

It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to soul. Human eyes are very expressive and convey a lot of emotion. They show when we’re happy, sad, tired, amused, angry. They spark, glare, glitter, droop, gleam. We talk about fake smiles that don’t reach the eyes.

Because of the expressiveness, authors use eyes a lot to convey emotion.

So, I challenged myself when I made the heroine of Claimed by the Cyborg a Xenian. I had created the alien Xenians as secondary characters in an earlier book in the series. One of their distinguishing characteristics was their eyes. Unlike human eyes, which can be brown, blue, green, hazel or even violet or amber, Xenian eyes are solid black. It’s as if their eyes are all pupil. I realized solid black eyes would be “unreadable.”

The hero, March Fellows is a human-turned-cyborg who finds Xenian eyes (at least the heroine’s) mysterious.

March gaped at the woman who’d entered the hall, her arm linked with a girl’s. Hair, long and curly, tumbled down her back. Her eyes were as he remembered, as black and enigmatic as space, but girlish features had matured into womanliness. Jules. My Jules. Her gaze collided with his, the darkness concealing her thoughts, but her mouth parted as if shocked. If he hadn’t been seated, the sight of her would have knocked him on his ass. His hands shook, and he clenched them into fists to quell the trembling.

Julietta, the Xenian heroine, is enthralled by Terran eyes.

At the start of her first year at the university, she’d met him, a teaching assistant in one of her classes. Marchand Fellows had a quick mind, a ready quip, and a wicked grin. But, oh, his eyes! Such a striking color. Blue like the Terran sky, so very different from black irises concealing whatever lukewarm emotions her people did feel. March’s eyes had glinted with humor, pensiveness, concern. They had fascinated her.

When he’d catch her watching him, he’d wink. She’d feared he’d suffered a facial tic until another student explained he was flirting—and then explained what that meant.

Once I realized that solid black eyes would probably not reveal emotion, I used trait in the story and made the moderation part of the Xenian nature. They feel emotion, but their culture does not allow them to express it with exuberance. Because of this, love does not factor into their relationships; their marriages or “bondings” are arranged.

“Did you grow to love him?”


“Father. Did you ever grow to love him?”

“Love? It is well and good for troubadours to fill commoners’ heads with romantic frivolity. The bond your father and I share is sounder than any built on love. Our foundation is not based upon ephemeral whims but mutual respect and commitment. We complement each other.”

“So you don’t think it is possible for love to grow?”

“Well, I suppose it’s possible, but why would that matter when you have an empire to rule?”

Because I have an empire to rule. That is why it matters. “So you don’t love me—or Marji?”

“Of course I do! A mother’s love, a parent’s love for a child is a different matter.”

“Terrans bond for love,” Marji piped up. “I thought you admired the Terrans.”

Julietta looked at her mother, anxious to hear her reply.

“I admire many things about Terra,” she agreed, “but their emphasis on love isn’t one of them. Emotion offers a weak reason to bond, as evidenced by the fact that a significant portion of their marriages fail.”

“Perhaps love is so important they cannot carry on without it,” Julietta said quietly.

Julietta, of course, is an exception. She feels deeply and falls in love with a cyborg with eyes as blue as the Terran sky.

Claimed by the Cyborg Description

March Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.

The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty. Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives.

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Do a bookstagram using the cover of Claimed by the Cyborg and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Deadline to enter is January 20. Get the rules and details here.

Cara Bristol Bio
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.
Twitter, @CaraBristol: