Tag Archives: Nonnie Jules

Meet #RRBC Spotlight Author Marcha Fox!

Meet Thyron, a Flora Peda Telepathis

 

 Creating engaging characters is not only important to a story’s success, but fun and challenging. Sometimes it takes deliberate thought and hard work to figure out everything about him or her: hair and eye color, quirks, talents, weaknesses, favorite comfort food. However, knowing your characters intimately brings them to life, at which point they help write the story. I love it when that happens!

Thyron, a flora peda telepathis (telepathic walking plant) who appears throughout the Star Trails Tetralogy, was different. I didn’t have to go through a long, drawn-out, creative process to bring him to life. Rather, it was more like Pallas Athene, who burst forth from her father, Zeus’s, head as an adult (clothed in battle armor, no less–no wonder he had a headache).

In other words, Thyron showed up fully developed. Getting to know him was more a matter of discovery than creativity. I knew immediately that he could shuffle about, had eyes, and communicated telepathically, usually in rhyme. In spite of being nearly omniscient, he was naive due to his lack of experience. He hailed from a planet named Sapphira, which was populated by pygmies who didn’t have a spoken, much less written, language. As the most intelligent species on that planet, the flora peda telepathes were worshipped as gods. No ego trip there!

As reviewers began to mention Thyron as their favorite, considering he’s a minor character in the series, I realized he deserved more attention. Thus, I wrote a short story that explained how his path came to cross with Creena’s, protagonist in Beyond the Hidden Sky. In A Dark of Endless Days, he and another minor character, the robot, Aggie, wind up at Area 51. Clearly, that story needed to be told as well. And thus the seed was planted for The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51.

Getting into Thyron’s head was a trip and a half, trying to figure out how he would perceive Earth and us earthlings. Here’s an excerpt when personnel at Hill Air Force Base placed the chamber in which he’d been secured in a shipping box:

Two others arrived, measured the chamber, then quickly constructed a box similar to the others… As he was lowered within its depths, Thyron hyper-photosynthesized with horror–he was surrounded by material that had once been the living tissue of a very unfortunate tree. His villous leaves tingled with revulsion as he sensed screams emanating from the wood’s coarse grain, his mind assaulted by the vision of it being murdered in its prime–cut down, stripped of its bark, then mutilated to suit the demented purposes of humans.

A few scenes later, he was horrified again:

Everyone left except two helmeted MPs. The pair took up stations just outside the open door, weapons slung over their shoulders while they engaged in muffled conversation. One removed a small human-finger-sized cylindrical roll of vegetal materials from a package in one of his pockets, then offered one to the other, after which he lit the bundle with a tiny flame and began to inhale the smoldering vapors, emanating considerable pleasure as he did so.

Thyron gasped, horrified. He’d felt fear vicariously, but never experienced it personally before. Now it gripped him at a visceral limb-chilling level as he considered the many ways people on this dreadful world tortured vegetation. Would they do the same to him? He shuddered with the realization he was probably about to find out.

When Thyron arrives at Area 51, astrobiologist, Gabe Greenley (another character who just showed up) begins to check him out. Gabe’s favorite expression is “Holy guacamole!” which Thyron assumes to be the scientist’s personal diety. Thyron isn’t exactly the usual lab specimen, given he’s sentient and Gabe is psi-sensitive, so the two can communicate. The relationship that developed between them surprised even me. My biggest challenge with this story, given the characters were essentially self-animating, was when Gabe started his scientific investigation.

I pride myself in writing hard science fiction with a generous side-order of science. As a physicist, I knew precious little about botany. To make a long story short, researching and integrating the science side took as long as writing the story! To my delight, however, what I discovered included a generous blast of serendipity.

 The plant I decided to model Thyron after was oxalis. As I learned about its properties, as well as the photosynthesis process in general, I encountered numerous fun facts that dove-tailed with Thyron so beautifully that they fit the category “you can’t make this stuff up.” Even his name, which he’d had long before I’d learned anything about plant physiology, had meaning, given that thylakoids are the part of a plant that receives light, and Thyron’s entire journey in this series was about attaining enlightenment. I discovered that oxalis has medicinal properties after I’d assumed such in the story, as well as the fact that it’s not unheard of for plants to have some level of perception, including defense systems.

A lot of humor arose in the interactions between Thyron and Gabe. I think I had more fun writing this side-story than the entire series. Interestingly enough, I’d started writing the final (I think) book of the series prior to this one, but something told me to stop and write The Terra Debacle. By the time I finished, I realized what a large part it plays in the final wrap-up of what has been a long journey.

This is what happens when you have characters that take over the writing process. I love it when that happens.

AUTHOR BIO:

Marcha Fox is an avid science fiction fan and author with over 20 years’ experience in positions ranging from technical writer to engineer to manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in physics, which was but a prelude to her interest in the unexplained mysteries of the cosmos. Inspired by science fiction to pursue a career in a technical field, she hopes to instill the same fascination in young readers, while providing older ones with classic hard science fiction.

 

Born in Peekskill, New York, she has lived in California, Utah, and Texas in the course of raising her family, which included fifteen years as a stay-at-home mom before returning to college in her 30s to obtain her degree, a feat accomplished while she still had six children at home. All are now grown with children of their own providing her with 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren so far. Never at a loss for something to do, besides writing she’ a professional astrologer who enjoys gardening, her two Bengal cats and a sassy tuxedo, and keeping up with family.

 

THE TERRA DEBACLE: PRISONERS AT AREA 51

https://books2read.com/u/b6QelW

 

Blurb:  Thyron is a flora peda telepathis (telepathic walking plant) from the planet Sapphira on an adventure gone terribly wrong. The bad decision of a human girl and her maniacal robot companion has stranded them on Earth, where his botanical cousins face horrible fates such as consumption by herbivores, incineration, and brutal annihilation for use as building material.

 

Following capture, Thyron is transported to Area 51, where NASA exobiologist, Gabe Greenley, studies his every move, ecstatic with the opportunity to examine an entirely new lifeform. In due course, the scientist makes a ground-breaking discovery, distressed by the fact he can never share it due to his security oaths and research agreement. Eventually, he’s confronted by an even worse ethical dilemma that forces him to make a treasonous and potentially deadly decision.

 

Will Thyron’s psychic powers be enough to save him? Is Greenley friend or foe? Or does the exobiologist have a few secrets of his own?

 

Find out in this unique combination of hard science fiction, suspense, and a touch of humor populated with memorable characters in a setting loaded with intrigue. Unexpected plot twists coupled with a unique ending make this an unforgettable tale whether you’re a science fiction fan, botanist, UFO aficionado, or simply enjoy a good story.

 

Twitter: @startrailsiv

Facebook:  @marchafoxauthor

Website: https://www.startrailssaga.com

 

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“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Day 13 (Part 2)

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

Author, Michael Hicks Thompson

 

 

Book: THE RECTOR 

 

 

Book Blurb: Thompson’s engaging, high-energy Christian murder mystery is narrated by Martha McRae, a woman living in a small Mississippi town who seeks to solve the mystery of the sudden death of pastor David Baddour. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to the cast of characters who inhabit the small Delta town in the 1950s. The book gleefully mixes all the elements of a small-town murder mystery—gossip, foul play, backstabbing—and, as more is revealed about Pastor Baddour and the other townspeople, more mysteries, hypocrisies, and dangers add to the intrigue. Thompson’s tale looks intimately at what it means to function in a community—how a population can reveal and obscure the truth. The Rector works as a suspenseful murder mystery, Thompson also incorporates a spiritual and religious undertone to the story. This Christian Murder Mystery successfully intertwines faith in its plot twists with surprising results.

 

This small-town tale, set in the 1950s, delves into religion, spirituality, and murder; and is exceedingly clever and cunning. The small community of Solo, Mississippi, is rocked after the murder of a prominent religious figure. Law officials consider the case closed, much to the dismay of widow Martha McRae. She questions how the young rector could die so unexpectedly. After sharing her suspicion with her bible study leader, Betty Crain, a chain of events is set off in the small southern community. Gossip soon abounds with murmurings of foul play, murder, and loss of faith. In the case of whodunit, Martha soon finds that asking questions has put her own life in peril, as she comes face to face with evil.

 

Twitter: @mhthompsonsr

“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Day 13

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

Author, Victoria Saccenti

 

 

Book: DESTINY’S PLAN 

 

 

Book Blurb: One empty bus seat. Two aching hearts. A future written by Fate…When Raquelita Muro’s overbearing mother rips her and her little sister away from their beloved Papa, one tiny, rebellious corner of Raquelita’s heart is grateful that the bus is crowded, and the only seat left is out of Mama’s sight. Next to a handsome young man.

 

Matthew Buchanan’s beautiful traveling companion is more than something pretty to look at before he ships out for Viet Nam. Deep in her sad, whisky-colored eyes he glimpses a new dream to replace the ones he’s leaving behind. It breaks his heart to leave Raquelita in her tyrannical mother’s hands, but she gifts him with a token of love and a tender promise to exchange letters in secret.

 

But their first, shy “hello” has reached the ears of Fate. Fate is in the mood to see how far it can push two lonely hearts—to the brink of temptation, desperation, and despair—before they break. Perhaps beyond any hope of healing…

 

 

Twitter: @VictoriaSAuthor

“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Day 12

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

Author, Nia Markos

 

 

Book: ELEMENTS 

 

 

Book Blurb: For eighteen-year-old Alexa finding a place to put down roots after being forced into a nomadic life by her paranoid mother was not as simple as she had believed. Her attempt to settle down in the coastal town of Beverly comes to an abrupt halt. Within months an explosion levels her apartment building, and all her preconceived ideas of her world come to an end.

 

Now on the run, Alexa can only follow Bet, her roommate, into the unknown, where the worlds of the Sidhe race of faeries, warlocks, daemons, and shadows, threaten her very existence. Pulled into a prophecy that she together with Aidan, the Sidhe Prince, would right their worlds, Alexa finds herself fighting against the prophecy’s telling of her being bound to Aidan. What makes it worse is her increasing attachment to his brother Liam.

 

With her destiny set centuries ago, can she save their worlds in time, does she have a choice in whom to love, or will choosing her own path lead to their destruction?

 

 

Twitter: @NiaMarkos

“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Day 11

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

Author, Amy Reece

 

 

Book: THE WAY TO HER HEART 

 

 

Book Blurb: No amount of counseling can bring Josh Harris back to his old self. After a tragedy that changed his life forever, eighteen-year-old Josh has lived in a year-long fog of medication and confusion. It’s all he can do to not think about his dad—a culinary genius who raised him in the kitchen. Thankfully, Josh inherited his golden palate and sixth sense for cooking, which is the only thing that makes sense anymore.

 

For a seventeen-year-old girl, life can’t get much worse… Bernie Abeyta is a senior in high school and lives with her drug-addicted mother, but has managed to keep her grades up so she can get into college. With her father in prison and her mom’s sleazy boyfriend getting too close for comfort, Bernie turns to her best friend Gabby Rodriguez for help, but discovers Gabby has gone missing. Distressed over her friend’s sudden disappearance, Bernie resorts to living out of her car while she looks for answers and tries to avoid foster care.

 

Part love, part mystery, part cookbook—and all heart.

 

 

Twitter: @AReeceAuthor

“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Day 10

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

Author, Wendy Scott

 

 

Book: HIEROGLYPH

 

 

Book Blurb: 13 year old TC has a secret. No one knows she possesses a supernatural power.

Can TC help her Uncle Max, an archaeologist; to unearth enough evidence to prove Ancient Egyptians visited Australia, before he’s discredited in the media by those that want the past to stay buried?

 

“Some would say that I have a gift, but to me it’s always been a curse. Before I changed my mind, I tugged off my gloves and whipped my head left and right, checking to see that no one was watching. I sucked in breath and steadied my nerves then thrust my hands against the stones and touched one of the cartouches. Time and place ripped away.”

 

An enthralling archaeological mystery, mixing the supernatural with humour and suspense.

 

 

Twitter: @WendyJayneScott

“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Day 9

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

Author, Bette Stevens

 

 

Book: DOG BONE SOUP 

 

 

Book Blurb: Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

 

 

Twitter: @BetteAStevens