Tag Archives: writers

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 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 6

“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, Rhani D’Chae

 

 

Book: ONE DYKE COZY 

 

 

Book Blurb: People come into our lives for a day, a season, or a reason…

 

“Shy taught me to fight like a champion, love like a poet, & live like it was my last day on earth.”

 

One Dyke Cozy touches on the lives of two girls, Gabby and Shy, from their first meeting as children to Shy’s untimely death.

 

This novel contains profanity and adult situations.

 

 

Twitter: @rhanidchae

“Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories” Now Just .99!

Sliver of Life: A Collection of Short Stories is now available for just .99 on Kindle for a limited time. Grab a copy before it’s over!

“There is no time to lose when crafting a short story. In order to hook the reader, the author must instantly bring the narrator’s voice to life and create a compelling drama. In each of the Slivers, Beem Weeks plunges us into an intimate emotional encounter faster than Alice down the rabbit hole.” –S. Rose, author of Bridge Ices Before Road

These twenty short stories are a peek into individual lives caught up in spectacular moments in time. Children, teens, mothers, and the elderly each have stories to share. Readers witness tragedy and fulfillment, love and hate, loss and renewal. Historical events become backdrops in the lives of ordinary people, those souls forgotten with the passage of time. Beem Weeks tackles diverse issues running the gamut from Alzheimer’s disease to civil rights, abandonment to abuse, from young love to the death of a child. Long-hidden secrets and notions of revenge unfold at the promptings of rich and realistic characters; plot lines often lead readers into strange and dark corners. Within Slivers of Life, Weeks proves that everybody has a story to tell—and no two are ever exactly alike.

 Slivers of Life

2018 #RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO!

Three years into the conference game and RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is getting better and better at it!

Last year’s conference opened up such a wide window of opportunity for our members, as they got the chance to meet and mingle with fellow members they had never met before, and many of them went on to become closer colleagues during the past year.  Our books were introduced to a larger reading audience and our knowledge of the literary world, and all that it takes to become better in this field, increased ten-fold.  Now, almost a year later, we’re preparing to do it all again!

The theme of last year’s conference, “WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, YOU PRODUCE BETTER,” could not have been tagged as anything else, as our members proved that they came, they listened, they learned, and then…they produced…better!  I know this because the growth of some of our members in their writing has been incredulous, to say the least.  So, we began to wonder how we could improve on what we offered in 2017.

Deciding to continue along the same path, it was clear that the theme of this year’s conference “RISING TO STAND AMONG THE VERY BEST,” would surely catapult our members even further into the realm of successful authorship!  The resources that will be offered and the knowledge that will be gained from this year’s conference, will serve as the catalyst to ensure that each person who attends, will be that much closer to their goal of either “aspiring writer” or “successful author.”

Just as last year…

THIS YEAR’S EVENT WILL HELP YOU…
*Get inspired and get to writing more

*Market your work to avid readers
*Strengthen your writing skills even more and allow you to…
*Network with like-minded individuals who can aid you on your writing journey.

This year’s sessions and workshops are on many different topics that today’s writers and Authors are hungry to learn more about.  Our week-long event will be the perfect opportunity for you to soak up all that you can from those who are expert in their field of presentation.   With topics such as:  SHOW DON’T TELL:  LETTING YOUR READERS SEE IT FOR THEMSELVESKEEPING IT SIMPLE – HOW NOT TO OVERWHELM YOUR READERSBOOK CLUB ETIQUETTE“KILL YOUR DARLINGS” – SAYS STEPHEN KING.  WHY EVERY STORY NEEDS DEATH and so many more topics that would be of interest to any and everyone in the field of literature!

There will be several Author Booths on site for RRBC members to showcase, promote and sell their books, and Vendor Booths for those who wish to showcase and introduce their services.  No event is ever complete without giveaways, so allow me to mention that our RAFFLE this year is going to be just as good (if not better) than last year’s, and made fully possible by our ever-generous (member) SPONSORS!  We will be raffling 7 gift card/gift baskets – one for every day of the conference and there will also be door prizes up for grabs in every Author Booth!

Yes, all of this education, fellowship and fun in ONE place…and the best part is, you get to enjoy it all from the comfort of your very own home, or wherever you have an internet connection!

Ooops, there’s that word again…FUN!  How could I have left out mention of that wonderfully FUN RRBC SCAVENGER HUNT we had last year?  Well, get ready, because we’re bringing it back and it will be even MORE FUN and brain-challenging than the last go-round!!!!

This event will be held for one full week beginning August 12 and ending on August 18, 2018.

If you are an Author and have books releasing this year or have newly released books, this event is a great venue to debut them, so don’t miss out on getting your Author Booth!

Once again…

WELCOME!  WELCOME!  WELCOME!!

REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!

***This event is open to the general public***

*RRBC – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

*RWISA – RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

*THE RRBC PIPELINE MAGAZINE

Choose “The Alternative” Blog Tour With Suzanne Burke!

Greetings and welcome to another stop on author Suzanne Burke’s blog tour in support of her latest novel. Take it away, Suzanne…

Welcome to Day 7  of my Choose “THE ALTERNATIVE” Blog Tour.

With my grateful thanks to my marvelous host.

Thank you for joining me here.

BLURB

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

***

My fiction works are character driven.

Today I share with you a character interview with FBI Special Agent, Meredith Adams. A pivotal character from Chapter 1 Picasso.

Meredith Adams takes on a case that will take her into the crazed world of a narcisistic sociopath.

The case will become a lingering nightmare that will forever permeate her rare sleeping hours.

We find her,  tormented by her previous choices. She appears to hover in a wasteland of indecision. Until …

“Agent Adams, what is it about this particular case that troubles you so deeply?”

I can’t recall a time when I have ever felt so utterly helpless. I’m trapped by decisions I’ve made, decisions crafted by my own belief that our justice system with all its inherent faults must be upheld.

Yet I know that nothing we can do will ever change the fact that sixteen girls have had their futures irrevocably altered.

“Do you now regret those choices, Agent Adams?”

Regret? Dear Lord, you have no idea. You need to understand something. To you these girls are just tragic photographs that shocked you just for as long as it took something else horrific to appear on your screens.

They will never be just images to me. They have become my friends. I’ve watched them struggle to survive, and I’ve watched on in rage and sadness as six of them lost that struggle

So, regret doesn’t even begin to come close. This thing gnaws away at my innards like a ravenous cancer. There is not one night in recent memory that I don’t still see their mutilated fourteen year old faces. I still hear their torment.

“If there were a way for you seek retribution, would you take that path?”

“Well, would you, Agent Adams?

I’m sorry, this interview is now at an end.

“Just one more question, Agent Adams?”

“Agent Adams … ?”

“I apologise. My guest appears to have left the room.”

You’ll discover the outcome inside the pages of “The Alternative”

Karma has no deadline.

I do hope you’ll join me.

My thanks again to my supportive host.

My thanks to the marvelous crew at 4Wills Publishing for arranging my blog tour.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

“The Alternative” NOW Available Amazon.com

 

Author Bio:

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.

Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in Kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.

 

Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”