Wednesday, May 27, 2015

HAHABT winner!





AND THE WINNER IS:

Denise Dechene

Okay, I've sent the email out! I want to thank everyone who took part in the Hop and for all the comments. 
~M

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Writer's Minion presents The Valespian Pact Audiobook Blog Tour by Lexi Ander and a Giveaway








Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact #1)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press:
Ebook Release Date: September, 2013
Audiobook Release Date: February 2015
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Genre: Sci-Fi/Gay/Poly
ISBN: 9781620042434
Available in both ebook and print and audiobook




Alpha Trine was the winner of 2014 Rainbow Awards



Audio Purchase Links: Available at iTunes and Audible


Book/Ebook Purchase Links:






Blurb:


The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar'Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents' court refuse to ever trust a frail human.

Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psionics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they've brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.





Striker (The Valespian Pact #2)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press:
Ebook Release Date: June, 2014
Audiobook Release Date: March 2015
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Genre: Sci-Fi/Gay/Poly
ISBN: 9781620043783
Available in both ebook and print and audiobook



Audio Purchase Links: Available at iTunes and Audible
Audible:


Book/Ebook Purchase Links:






BLURB:

The peaceful respite for which Zeus and his intended, Dargon and Alpha, had been hoping is shattered when Zeus is unexpectedly drawn to the Waters of Poseidon and told that the safety they’ve been promised is a trap. But the Fal’Amoric aren’t the only important cargo on the Oethra 7, and countless others are depending on the success of their mission. If Zeus hopes to break the silent siege on Valespia and protect those most precious to him, he will need not just powerful allies but the fortitude to survive overwhelming odds.




Author Bio:

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.








Link for Haka:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rDoV0EBu44&authuser=0





And now for the interview!

I love this series and have read it more times than I can count, lol. What made you write the first book?
Yay! I'm so tickled you loved the series. ^_^ The Valespian Pact was inspired by a story prompt that requested a Sci-Fi story with mpreg of a non-human male without the use of technology. The requester was pretty specific about the non-human being a person who didn't look remotely human. I wasn't really worried about the impregnation part because there are so many options for mpreg in the natural world (there is a species of flat worms are all born male. When they mate, the males "sword fight" with their "penis" and the one that loses gets to be the female. Pretty cool, eh? ). The hardest part was picking what to use.

The real question was how to make the non-human attractive to the reader. If the idea was too foreign or people couldn't empathize with the character then no one would believe that Zeus could ever fall in love with someone completely dissimilar to the norm. Then when I finished Alpha Trine, I had one of those moments where I thought I had failed my objective. I really liked the story, okay I sorta loved it, but I wasn't sure what others would think because sometimes what I liked was way out in leftfield. I'm still amazed at how much people love the series. It's humbling.


Where did you come up with the Mar'Sani? Is the world and its people based on something or totally made up?

The idea of the Mar'Sani started out with a race of reptile-people. In science fiction, more often than not, lizard-people are depicted as villains, the bad guys. Even though they walk upright and have advanced technology, they are still depicted as the vicious Neanderthals of the galaxy. Few find them attractive or worthy of a hero's tale. It's sorta unfair because reptiles have amazing qualities but many people prefer furry to scaly.

I did borrow from Greek Mythology for place names and Mar'Sani character names from Atlantis lore. I changed Atlantis to the planetary name of Atlainticia. Some of the names name for the Ancients came from Greek mythology, and of course, Zeus. But that was all I took from mythology. I didn't want anything more because the Greek Gods were sort of *ssholes and some of them are downright creepy. Everything else about them is made up. Mar'Sani are a fierce people who don't do things halfway. They throw themselves full-force into their convictions. How they view their responsibilities, family, spirituality—they commit to with all of their hearts. So even though they are alien in appearance, they are still lovable.

I also borrowed the reptilian scientific names for the names of the Mar'Sani houses. The revered and fear Gerrho'Sauridae is an actual lizard family that is native to Africa and Madegasgar, I just made mine venomous and a really cool color to blend into the Black Sands Desert. There are also little things like the space station Bashker'Qa is actually the character K in Cyrillic script. Udens Mahte'lan is from Latvian mythology term udens mahte, an epithet applied to 67 water goddesses. Oh, I almost forgot. The warrior side of the Mar'Sani, I borrowed (loosely) from the Māori people and their Haka. The battle in Striker is where you can see the correlation the most with the responsive chant and the face paint.

So while there are definitely made-up things about the Mar'Sani and the Valespian-verse, there are some things that are drawn from my love of reading reference material. ^_^ (I'm waiting for someone to ask me where the V'Saar came from and I can show them pictures of a really cool helmet. LOL!)


Is there going to be a book #3 for the series? How far are you into it?

Yes, there will be a third book. Actually there will be seven books total. I had originally planned four books for the series. Two for Zeus and two for Prometheus, but when turning everything over I realized that for Prometheus to accomplish his task there would be too much telling. There were side stories and quests that impacted his story. After looking at what those side stories would be comprise of, I decided I would "show" instead of "tell" what happened. So three stories were added in the middle from characters the readers already know. I'm a pantser. But with the different plots and side stories I did have to sit down and bullet point what was needed in every book. Those points have to do with the plot arches and making sure the information across the board is consistent. The only one that I haven't completed an arch for is Legends because I know some things will change before I get to that point. It always happens when writing, especially when I discover that what I had in mind won't work for some reason and have to change the direction. Here's what's planned so far.

Bespoken (#3), which is about the Galactic Princes finding Prometheus.

Chosen (#4), is about the GyrFalconi navigator Axis. He's taken a liking to the Chimera triplets but go missing and Axis refuses to stay home and hope for the best. What he finds will affect all of Atlainticia.

Rebirth (#5), is about Canry and Nethus… and there really isn't any hints that I can give about this that won't give out spoilers. ^_^

Boundless (#6), is about the mission the Galactic Princes send Madux and Star Eater on. If they fail, the Grid will fall.

Legends (#7), we are back again with Prometheus, Vipre, and Malek. What they and their allies have to do, and what some will give up to protect the galaxies from the V'Saar hoard will bring an end to the series. *tissues required*

Right now I'm in the middle of completing the Sumeria's Sons series. The final book, Releasing Chaos, is the WIP I'm working on currently. Bespoken is next on my writing schedule and then I'll roll right into Chosen. I'm really, really excited about both. I had a difficult time trying to figure out where (when) to start Prometheus's story. The story doesn't flow correctly if started in the wrong place. I believe I know where to begin, but is it the right spot? I won't know until I start penning it.


Out of all the characters, who is your favorite? Do you have one?

That is such a hard question. When I was writing Alpha Trine, I was totally in love with the Orion, Rhee. (Not that I don't love the MCs!) He's a bad*ss and the background on his family pod (which won't be revealed until Bespoken) is really cool and no one knows but me. *sad face* At least for now. So it's really hard to talk about why I like them without people jumping to conclusion that it's all the tentacles. Don’t get me wrong. The tentacles are totally cool, but the Orion are so much more than their extra appendages.

While writing Striker, I became infatuated with Otho the L'Eema. He is such great fun to write and his story becomes so much bigger by the time I start Legends—Dudes, I can't wait to show you.


I love Alpha. How did you come up with him?
I adore Alpha, too. When I came upon the idea of Alpha, I was devising the reason why the Dar Massagas needed a symbiote. What did the Alpha-Zetamites glean from such a union? Why was it important? If I couldn't explained convincingly then Dargon and Alpha weren't credible characters.

Alpha's shape came before the why of it. I wanted Alpha to be old and versatile, but because the Alpha-Zetamites came upon the dying Dar Massagas and offered their help, the question became:  where were they from, how did they get there, what was their origin? With the lack of bone structure or cartilage, his form was perfect for birth in space. By the end of Striker, you know that Alpha is only small part of a huge Alpha. They are all connected but retain their own personality. I wanted him be the representation for "giving a piece of yourself to someone you love". Sort of corny, I know, but I liked the idea.


Didn’t you win a Rainbow Award for one of the books?

Alpha Trine won the 2014 Rainbow Award in the Best Bisexual General Fiction category. I didn't think that Alpha Trine would win. I was simply tickled (you just don't know how I cried) when it received an Honorable Mention and thought that would be the end of the road. The announcement for Alpha Trine winning in that category came three weeks later, after my father the passed away. At times, our relationship was strained. He didn't approve of me writing gay romance, but he always told me that if writing gay romance made me happy, if this was my cause, he was glad that I found something in this world to fight for. Even though he didn't understand my choices he would've still told me he was proud of me for winning an award. I don't think I'll ever be able to think of the Rainbow Awards and not think of my dad.


Thank you so much for having me on the blog today!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Feline Fridays

HAHABT post: click here





Behind the Eight Ball teaser:

Chapter One – Heller


Step.
Step.
Stop.
The rustling of dead leaves caught my attention, and I froze, with one paw still in the air. Not moving and barely daring to breathe, I waited. My whiskers twitched as a cool October breeze disturbed the scent of decaying leaves and rich soil. The foliage trembled again as something rooted around.
I slowly lowered my paw. The disturbance wasn’t very noticeable, except to my predatory gaze. The movement continued. Gradually, bit by bit, I crept forward, making sure my long fur didn’t disturb the surrounding mounds of dying leaves. It was times like these I wished my coat were short like Dolf’s. One thing was for sure—whatever was below those leaves was going to be mine shortly. All I needed was to cover a little more distance, and I’d be close enough.
Step.
Step.
Crouch.
Heart thumping, I watched as the movement continued. My muscles tightened, and my bottom started wiggling. Unable to wait, I sprang forward, claws extended. Leaves flew into the air as I landed on my target. Bugs scattered. Eyes narrowed, I searched for…. There! There was the little bugger. I growled at the big black beetle and trapped it with my paw.
Seconds passed. The bug wiggled under my paw, tickling me. Hunched down, I carefully lifted my paw and peeked. Dammit, can’t see. Unable to get a good look, I lifted my paw a little higher… and there it went, scuttling across the ground. Gleefully, I slammed a paw down, trying to trap it. Slap. Slap. Slap. Arrgh! What’s the deal? I keep missing.
Looked like I’d found myself in a game of whack-a-mole, except with a beetle. And off we went. The bug scurried away with me hot on its trail. Every time I thought I had a paw on it, I ended up missing. Stupid critter was fast. I bounded along behind as it raced across the ground. Then it suddenly cut back and ran straight under me.
Surprised, I leaped in the air, all four paws coming off the ground. Whoa! Zigged when I should have zagged. I landed and nonchalantly licked a paw. Hope no one saw that. I had to give the bug credit. That was a smart move. The shrill cry of a mockingbird caught my attention. I lifted my head, searching for the little tattletale.
Up in a tree it sat, its warning cries echoing around the yard. I eyed the tree. Hmm, I could climb it, but the stupid bird will probably just take off. Still, might be fun. Maybe after I finished playing with the bug… and damn. The bug.
My attention returned to where it had been, my tail slashing. Great. Lost it. Stupid bird. I sat up and threw a glare over my shoulder at the bird. Standing, I turned my back to the little menace, tail held high. And that’s what I think of you, buddy. I prowled around for a while, sniffing, enjoying the coolness of the morning.
In the early morning sunlight, the dew on the grass sparked like diamonds. Maybe it was pretty, but the stuff was also cold and wet against my paws. I was glad for my fur. As I wandered back toward the house my stomach growled. I was hungry and… I sniffed. Oh, was that a blue jay I smelled? Oh, oh, a blue jay. Yum.
The human side of me groaned, but the kitty part wanted to jump with joy. The noisy little shits were actually quite intelligent. Catching one was always a feat. Quick as I could, I hid in the bright fall foliage by the back porch. I stayed very, very still so the stupid bird three feet from me didn’t fly off in a panic.
I licked my lips, my whiskers twitching as I watched the little rascal across from me raise its head. Shit, shit, shit. What caught its attention? Come on, already. It’s all fine, nothing to worry about here. No cat hanging around. Just go back to pecking around on the ground. Everything’s good. See? I’m not moving, not even breathing.
Crouched low, I waited while my breakfast relaxed, and returned to looking for acorns. Other birds came and went, but I refused to get distracted. I knew the one I wanted. Inch by agonizing inch brought me closer, my prey completely unaware death hovered. My mouth watered, and my heart thumped.
The chatter of the birds around me was easy and relaxed, no distress calls sounding. That’s right. Just keep on eating. Soon I’m going to be eating you. My body tensed, back legs ready to spring me into action….

And the phone in the house rang.
The birds took off in a wing-flapping mad rush. I turned back to the house, snarling. Unbelievable! I should’ve shut the damn window in the house. I should’ve known better, but I just had to raise the windows this morning. I’d never stopped to think about a ringing phone messing up my stalk.
I darted back inside and shifted just as my cell stopped ringing. I needed to check that since the ringtone was the head beta of our clowder, Dolf. One didn’t ignore any more than one ignored our Alpha. I was one of four betas now, but up until a few years ago, I’d been the clowders hacker.
My main job was protecting our Alpha, even though I ran a lawn service for the clowder members. I also did website design for many paranormals and fixed computers on the side. I was a regular jack-of-all-trades who really, really needed to find his clothes before my nuts froze off. Now that I was furless, I noticed the bite to the fall air even more.
I hurried to my bedroom. The hardwood under my bare feet sent shivers up my spine. As I dressed, I heard my cell beep from the kitchen, letting me know I did indeed have a message. I returned to the kitchen where my cell sat. At least that couldn’t fly off. 

* * * 
So, I *still* haven't heard anything on 8 Ball. I was hoping to announce a release date, but that's a no go. I *should* be hearing something just any day now. (Yes, I'm climbing the walls lol. This is the 10th week. Rarely does it go this long.) 
Anyway, let's talk about Remi a little. You first met him in Trouble Comes in Threes. He's the one who didn't act like an ass when Dolf told all the betas about Kirk, his other mate who happened to be human. Remi is easy-going and fun-loving. He's not one to get mad often. But don't be fooled. Out of the four betas, Remi is the strongest. Just because he's laid back, don't assume he's a pushover lol. He's not. 
Now, in Behind the Eight Ball, Remi meets his mate near the end of the book. Surprise, surprise, he's not a human. It certainly caught me by surprise lol. No, Remi's mate is actually a paranormal, and a damn strong one to boot. Remi's story will be book #3 called It Takes Two to Tango. 
One of things I noticed about Remi was his love for funny T-shirts. So of course I had to go find a site that sold these kinds of things. Oh man, some of the sayings cracked me up. Matter of fact, both of my kids are getting some of these shirts for birthdays and other holidays lol!
Here are a few saying you might see mentioned in either upcoming book. *wink*