Sunday, 25 June 2017

62. Winter Wonders

It’s past June twenty-first, which marks the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, I am now officially spending my first winter in South Western Australia. :)

I doubt you want an official report, but apart from chilly mornings, and cold, stop-hogging-the-blankets evenings, it’s been beautiful weather. Bright, sunny days. Curls of smoke hanging in the air over the chimney tops in the neighbouring houses. A playful breeze messing with my hair. In all, (apart from the chimney smoke), it’s been like what I am used to in Queensland. And here I was worrying I wouldn’t handle the cold now that I’m living closer to the Antarctic circle. I’ve got this.

And then a week ago, one of the lovely locals let it drop that, apparently, it’s been an unusually warm winter.

Er, say again?

So now the cool change is sneaking in and I’m wearing socks and shoes constantly. (An almost unheard-of occurrence back home.) The woollen gloves come on at night. (Fingerless, so I can still type.) I’ve progressed to wearing two pairs of socks in bed, and I’m kidding myself if I think I’ll be acclimatised by Winter’s end. Seriously? What do I think I’m going to do when the ‘real’ winter arrives? And why am I now imaging a horde of White Walkers (aka George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones) are now breathing down my neck? It’s just that playful breeze, right?


Warming up the gloves while I make my cuppa.

Fear not! I have managed to steal, er, acquire, some warmth. The dogs have become extra cuddly during the day, and the cat is my new best friend as she settles on the bed at night, curled around my feet. (She also stops the other half from stealing the blankets.) I can’t move until she decides to wander off again, but my double-sock covered toes aren’t complaining. And of course, Winter is the perfect excuse to snuggle into a comfortable chair, overindulge on the coffee and chocolate, and read. :)

Book Reviews

Her Robot Wolf: Gift of Gaia by Jenny Schwartz

Jaya Romanov is an independent star ship shaman. She studies the energy flows of the universe and—for a price—will harness them to her employer’s purpose. Wormholes are a whole lot safer to travel when a shaman guides the jump.

Vulf Trent is a bounty hunter. It was that or join the family business, piracy, and Vulf is too much the lone wolf to tolerate the demands of a large pirate crew. Where his family enjoys the bonds of pack, he prefers the freedom of ranging the universe, alone.

Seven generations ago, humanity evacuated Earth and the shifter clans’ ability to transform into their animal forms was one of the most terrible losses of that time. Now, the werewolves, werebears and other shifters are trapped in their human bodies and slowly losing the essence of their primal souls. Jaya is determined to heal their torn transformational abilities, but Vulf doesn’t believe her.

He didn’t kidnap her for her healing abilities.

***

“Her Robot Wolf” is a fabulous adventure in which rare, mystical science replaces magic, pirates are taught to respect lone women, the galaxy is imperilled —and perhaps, rescued—and a fated mate pair contemplate kicking Fate in the teeth. Have fun! Don’t forget to buy Galactic Insurance before leaving Earth!

Space opera, paranormal romance and a galactic array of aliens, mysteries, startling revelations, and breath-taking heroics.

Jaya is a natural born shaman, and an orphan. No wonder she pledges her loyalty to the one man who acts like he gives a damn about her, even if he has a strange way of showing it. For him, she’d do anything, without hesitation. But that loyalty is questioned when he steals something precious from her whilst escaping a formidable bounty hunter. And in that one moment, she’s gone from betrayed to kidnapped because that bounty hunter knows there’s a connection between the two humans that Jaya can’t or won’t reveal.

Vulf Trent is a bounty hunter, werewolf, pirate, and determined to live alone. Kidnapping Jaya isn’t his first choice, but if that means using her to capture his target, he’ll do it. But the damn woman knows too much about his kind. And why should he care if she claims to want to help the Were community regain its ‘shifter’ abilities. He’s heard enough lies to last a life time. Yet there’s something about her that goes far beyond appearance, however unwilling he is to admit it.

Sci-fi romance is a new area for Ms Schwartz, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that by reading her story. I found it seamless. It didn’t hurt that it had a that paranormal twist I love so much, but seriously, is there nothing she can’t do? My envy for her writing skills is skyrocketing. (Pun not, well, maybe just a little,  intended.) Again, Jaya and Wulf were characters who balanced each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and what do you know, Ms Schwartz has plans to continue their tale. J

More on Ms Schwartz’s stories here. http://authorjennyschwartz.com/

Streamer by Sue-Ellen Pashley

How can you disappear, only to appear in a new location, and not know how it happens?
How can you have any sort of life if you can’t control when this happens?
And how can you find the answers when you don’t even know your own name?
For twenty-year-old Rhiannon Clarke, the last three days are all she can remember. And they have just been a series of flicking in and out of different locations with only vague memories to guide her. But as she slowly starts to build a picture of her life, the questions are getting harder. Why is this happening to her? Why does the thought of her brother fill her with unease? Why does her father’s name make her break into a cold sweat? And who is the mysterious man in the bed?

This is a great new adult story teeming with shock, betrayal, distrust, and intrigue.

Imagine the despair and confusion of having lost your memory, yet images and thoughts fight to resurface. Desperate to make sense of what is happening to her, and maintain her grip on sanity, Rhiannon Clarke is terrified, alone, and determined to find the answers. Just as soon as she learns how to stop moving through space without knowing how to control it. Sometimes she arrives at places with non-knowledge of what she’s doing there. The next, everything seems so familiar. But every time it seems someone recognises her, and she them, something whisks Rhiannon away once more. And then she lands in his bedroom, he calls her name, and slowly the truth is revealed. But is the one man who promises to help her, who swears they know each other, the person who betrayed her heart and soul?

Find out more from Ms Pashley here. http://www.sueellenpashley.com/

Kadin: A Sci-Fi Alien Romance (Dragons of Riddich - Book 1) by Mel Teshco

The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate...

Grace has a special ability. She senses paranormal beings. It’s the perfect trait to have as an operative for the Paranormal Detection Agency. A pity her next target, Kadin Marres, doesn’t just trigger her paranormal senses … he triggers her lust too.

Kadin has been aware of the elusive Grace for some time now and has waited patiently for her. She’s a dragon breeder, and once he finally has her, he isn’t about to give her up. Not even if it means she goes from hunter to hunted.

I love when Ms Teshco brings me another naughty little story to read. This is the lead-in novella to her new Sci-fi/Paranormal ‘Dragons of Riddick’ series.

Orphaned at an early age, Grace swore she’d make whoever killed her parents pay. Or should that be ‘what’ ever, because even then, Grace could sense those who were different from humankind. That ability found a home with the PDA - Paranormal Detection Agency, its members utilising Grace’s abilities while giving her the means and skills to someday fulfil her vow. But this talk of dragons is too far-fetched. They don’t exist, and if they did, surely, they would have triggered her senses. Then she closes in on the PDA’s person of interest and discovers that not only do dragons exist, her genetic code could save their entire race.

Kadin has been watching and waiting for the opportunity to meet Grace, but he never expected their intense reaction to each other. She’s the answer he’s been scouring the Universe to find, and now that he has her, he’s not letting her go. Being an alien might complicate matters, but nowhere near as complicated as the revelation that Grace is his fated mate, and the PDA, once her saviours, are now their enemy, for a mated pair of dragons is a sort-after commodity indeed.

Here’s more on Ms Teshco. http://www.melteshco.com/

News

Nothing back from the competitions and the submission yet. August is going to be nerve wracking. I’ve enjoyed my second writers group meeting. We had a critique day. There’s some great storytelling happening with this group. :) I also discovered they have a Writers Festival in September. That means I’ll be meeting more fabulous writers, though it’s more likely I’ll be grinning at them insanely from behind a pot plant or some dark corner of the room.

The editing is progressing, but let’s just say one of my stories needs some major surgery. Fortunately, one of my critique partners is handy with a scalpel and is cutting away the dead words. I can only hope my critiquing in return is just as valuable.

My next dilemma is - do I edit another old story or start the new one? I swear, some of those ‘voices’ are becoming ‘very’ insistent. Either that, or my husband is having trouble breaking the sound barrier that is my headphones.


I’ve discovered they make excellent earmuffs. ;)