Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Resources About Women Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Jill Schultz, a member of Broad Universe, recently moderated a panel on women writers of science fiction and fantasy at Robercon. She was kind enough to share her list of resources about women writers with me so I could share them on my blog. Further information on Jill and her work is at the end of the list.

Resources About Women Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy
By Jill Shultz

· Great historical overview of prominent women SF/F writers.

· Women who won major awards.

·   Top Ten fantasy books/series chosen by Thea James, reviewer at The Book Smugglers.

· Reviews of SF written by women. Also includes lists of award winners and some SF classics.

· To counter an anthology by Issac Asimov that only included male authors, Ian Sales put together a list of 100 great stories by women. Twenty are available free online.

· A Hugo Award-winning collection of essays by Kameron Hurley about the erasure of women in literature.

· “The 2013 SF Count” by Niall Harrison, an analysis of gender representation in reviews.

· Susan Elizabeth Lyons tackles the question of gender bias in SF publishing. Links to studies and the results of a questionnaire sent to 31 women writers, including Grand Masters and well-known new writers.

· Broad Universe is a nonprofit that promotes women writers of SF, fantasy, and horror. Their catalog features the works of their members.
Jill Shultz is the author of Angel on the Ropes, a science fiction novel with a Cirque du Soleil vibe. It won the 2014 Readers’ Crown Award in science fiction from RomCon and was honored in three categories in the 2013 Rainbow Book Awards. Jill has also published a wildlife biology book and holds a B.S. from Cornell University and M.S. from Antioch. For most of her career she zigzagged between environmental and arts organizations; some of the strange but true consequences can be found on the author page of her website,

Angel on the Ropes: Amandine Sand is a dazzling trapeze artist who leads a perilous double life. When her two worlds collide, her secret—and her choices—might save her planet. Or ruin it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Ring of Power--Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

I think I recognize this week's interviewee... (grin)

Since I feel uncomfortable hosting my own interview, please visit Teresa's and Emily's blogs to learn more about me and Seasons' Beginnings. Thanks!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Science of the Week--10/17/14

Here are some of the most interesting science news articles I read this week:

Gut microbe to blame in anorexia, bulimia?

Mechanism that repairs brain after stroke discovered

Scientists discover a "good" fat that fights diabetes

Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death

Elephant "radar" can detect rain 150 miles away

Bittersweet news for dieters: grapefruit really helps
(I loved that they included a reference to Weird Al's "Grapefruit Diet" in the article)

Hunger Games: How the brain "browns" fat to aid weight loss

Heroes don't deliberate before they act
(since it's always good to learn more about heroes)

Astronomers spot faraway Uranus-like planet

Antioxidant found in grapes uncorks new targets for acne treatment
(What's especially interesting to me is that combining the antioxidant with an oxidant is more powerful than either treatment separately)

That's it for now. Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Execerpt from Seasons' Beginnings

The final (or final final) version of Seasons' Beginnings has been uploaded to Amazon and will go live next Tuesday, 10/21. The print version should be available very soon. I don't think Amazon allows previews or samples of pre-order book until the actual publication date, so here's a sneak peek at the opening:

Kron Evenhanded was packing up his many unsold artifacts when a woman in a scoop-necked dress pushed her way through the crowd and halted in front of him. She had a grim expression on her face and one hand behind her back. “I hear you’re a magic-user, stranger.” Her tone made it clear she didn’t think much of his kind.

“I’m an artificer,” he replied. He waved his hand over his collection: scraps of wood embedded with pebbles, a couple of bronze mirrors with words carved into the handles, soapstone figures, cloth bags, and more. He had the most eclectic merchandise in the city—and the most misunderstood. She didn’t seem like a customer, but he had to treat her like one. “Each of these items is enchanted. Do you want me to demonstrate what they can do, Dame, or should I make an item just for you—”
“Can any of your items do this?” 

She thrust a white, bloodless chicken a thumbspan from his nose. Kron blinked as he stared at the carcass. Its head was on backward, melded smoothly to the neck as if the bird had been born like that.
Kron had only arrived in Vistichia a few days ago, but he hadn’t encountered any other artificers—or other magicians, for that matter. Many people blamed magicians for the recent plague of disasters that had inspired Kron to return to his own family in Delns. What if they blamed him for this? He could end up as dead as the chicken. 

He smiled at the woman while wishing his tunic and leggings were less torn and stained. “That’s not my type of magic, Dame. I work with made objects, not natural creatures.”

“Well, could this be a side effect of your magic?” she asked.

Kron shook his head. “None of my artifacts can do that to a living thing. Where did you find the hen?” 

“In my henhouse. She was one of my best layers.” The woman shook the carcass at him. “We have laws in this city, magician. There’s a fine for destroying someone else’s property.”

“But Dame, I didn’t—”

“Phebe, that’s enough.” Another woman, younger than the first, stepped forward, her arms draped with baskets full of bread, vegetables, and fish. “He’s not that kind of magician. Can’t you tell from looking at his wares that he doesn’t practice magic on animals? Someone else was cruel to our poor Mama Hen.” Her gentle voice became grieved at the final words.

“She was an egg-layer, Bella, not a pet.” But Phebe looked down and stepped away from Kron’s temporary shop as if ashamed by her earlier accusation. 

He turned to the other woman. She wore a simple white tunic with a matching headcloth covering her dark hair. Her large eyes, flecked with green and gold like gems, would have made deer envious. As Kron met her gaze, she smiled and looked away. He couldn’t blame her; he was hardly as lovely to look at as she was.

“Thank you, Dame.” He honored her with a slight bow.

“It’s Dama.” Bella smiled at him again, making his stomach feel like a thousand butterflies were trapped inside. If he remembered the title correctly, “Dama” meant she was unmarried. The men in this city were fools to overlook someone this kind and pretty. 

Phebe cleared her throat. “I still want to know what happened to my chicken and who did it.”

Without looking away from Bella, Kron heard himself saying, “I’m done with the marketplace for the day, Dame and Dama. Perhaps I might be able to find out who killed your hen.” He picked up a finder. “With this, I can track magic.”

Thanks for reading! If you'd like to learn more about this book, check it out here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog Ring of Power--Lauralynn Elliott

Today on the Blog Ring of Power, Laualynn Eliott talks about her creative process. You can find the About You and The Writing Life sections here and the About Your Current Work/Words of Wisdom sections here.

Where do you get your story ideas? 

Honestly, they just pop into my head out of nowhere most of the time.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t usually get writer’s block. I get page fright, which is hard to explain. It’s this weird feeling that makes me afraid to open up my manuscript. But I make myself do it anyway.

Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)? 

I’ve always been a firm pantser. However, I’ve actually started to do a little plotting. I’m kind of a hybrid. I don’t plot out everything, and I still let my characters take the lead. I guess I plot “loosely” now.

Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not? 

I definitely use beta readers. I’ve found that each one catches things that neither I nor other beta readers catch. That’s why I have about four most of the time.

How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?

 For paranormal romances, there’s usually not a lot of research involved since it’s usually a mostly made up world. I guess the most research I had to do was when one of my books was set in the rain forest, and I had to make sure I knew what the foliage and the wildlife was like. Especially since my main character got bitten by a spider there.

Lauralynn Elliott is an independently published author of paranormal and fantasy romance books, as well as some horror. She started the indie journey several years ago and has never regretted it, loving the freedom to publish what she wants when she wants. You will find everything from vampires and ghosts to elves and wizards in her novels and novellas. She enjoys putting a little bit of a different twist on some of the old ideas about our favorite fictional characters.

Lauralynn lives in the southeastern United States with her husband of many years. She has two grown sons whom she adores. Reading, playing computer games, and spending time with friends are some of her favorite activities.

Author Contact Information
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Twitter:  (@lauralynnelliot)
Amazon Author Page:
Smashwords Author Page:

When an arsonist sets a series of fires hotter than anything the local firefighters have ever seen, Finn McLain becomes the prime suspect. But all he’s trying to do is find out which of his fellow fire wizards is really guilty.

Niki Hansen is a firefighter who rushes into fires to save those trapped inside but always remains unscathed. She wants nothing more than to find out who’s setting these fires that burn everything down to ash, including the bodies of the victims.

When Finn sees Niki, he realizes she may be the first female fire wizard in a century. When she accuses him of setting the fires, he convinces her he’s innocent. But will he be able to convince her to embrace her unique abilities? While they try to find out who’s behind the fires, they end up starting a few fires of their own.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Indie Writers Monthly--Issue of Horror

The weather around here may be more like Indian summer instead of fall, but it's not too soon to start thinking about Halloween--and horror. Indie Writers Monthly's latest issue is therefore devoted to horror. Briane Pagel offers advice on how to write horror, and several authors, including me, wrote flash fiction horror stories specifically for this issue. I also wrote an article about the different levels of editing that authors need to be able to do. As a bonus, this is a double issue, packaged with the April 2014 issue that's no longer available. If you were "foolish" (sorry, that was the theme of the April issue) enough to miss it before, you can get it here. Best of all, if the issue isn't free yet, it will soon be. (And if it's not, it's only $0.99). Check it out at this link.

ETA: It is currently free and should be free for the next five days (until next Monday).

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