Monday Author Meetup: Ella Quinn, Regency Shooting Star

I am thrilled to have Ella Quinn, my favorite Regency author, with me today. Ella is offering a Giveaway! See details below.

Ella Quinn

About the author:

Amazon and Barnes & Nobel bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Through History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington.

Welcome, Ella. You live on such a beautiful island! Amid all that beauty, where is your favorite place to write?

Hi, Lyn. Glad to be here. My favorite place is at my writing desk which has a view over my deck and a hill to a bay. In a few years, I hope my favorite place will be on a boat.

That sounds glorious. Can you write amid noisy distractions or do you need absolute quiet?

I need absolute quiet, or at least, no artificial noise, such as the TV. Also no talking.

I’m with you on the no talking. Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? How did you come to be with this publisher?

I write for Kensington, which is a large house. My agent goes to New York once a year and visits with editors. They bring with them a list of available titles and the blurbs. My editor saw the blurb and made a request to read my first three books, then he made an offer.

Wow! That’s amazing, but I’m not surprised. You write terrific books. Please tell us how you write. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a pantser. Why? After two post graduate degrees, I can still not write an outline. I get mental video of scenes, and start to write.

How do you develop your plots and your characters?

I so wish I could tell you I had a method, but I don’t. My characters start talking to me and the plot flows from those conversations. I always start the book knowing what my hero and heroine want. It’s just a matter of getting there.

How and where do you research for your books?

I do a lot of my research on-line, or in books I’ve bought or borrowed. Many times I’m writing about a place I’ve visited, if not, I try to go there.

Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I have a group of critique partners, without them, my books wouldn’t be nearly as good. They make sure to call me on things that aren’t working, or make me add things I’ve left out. I also have beta readers. My mother-in-law is one. She and my agent seem to be in lock step. I have a woman from England who catches all my Americanisms, and several others. Each one seems to catch something different. I have to say, writing a book is not a one person process. The finished product takes a team.

I so agree with you. How do you unwind and relax when not writing?

I walk on the beach or in the water. I’m also involved in SUP (stand up paddle boarding). For non sports activities I like to go out to lunch and read.

All great ways to relax! When reading (and writing) do you prefer books in a series, or “stand alone” books?

I prefer reading and writing a series. I like being able to revisit with the characters and see how their lives are progressing.

If you don’t mind telling us, which of your books has been most favorably reviewed?

The one that just released, Desiring Lady Caro. The other three books have solid 4-star ratings on Amazon. Caro is edging towards 5-stars.


With that, dear readers, here’s a taste of

Desiring Lady Caro 

Book Blurb:

Ella Quinn’s bachelors are clever, charismatic—and determined to remain single. Yet one by one, they find that fate—and certain irresistible women—cast doubt on even the best laid plans…

Haunted by her past, Lady Caroline Martindale fled England for the solace of her godmother’s palazzo in Venice. But if Caro was hoping to escape the charms of marriage-minded men, she’s come to the wrong place. And she’ll resort to extreme measures to spurn the advances of a dangerously determined Venetian marquis…

Though most of his friends have married off, Gervais, Earl of Huntley, remains bent on eluding the parson’s mousetrap. But his convictions begin to falter when he arrives in Venice and meets his match in the alluring Lady Caro. What began as a hastily concocted lie to save her from the marquis may become a chance for them both to relinquish their fear—and embrace what they can no longer deny…


Huntley finished his ale and held out his hand to Caro. “Let’s go for a short walk until we have to change for dinner. There is a garden to the side of the building.”

Perhaps now they’d talk of their marriage. Caro placed her hand on his arm. “A stroll is just what I need.”

He led her out the front door and around to the hotel’s walled kitchen garden. Vegetables grew with herbs whose scents wrapped around her. It reminded her of home in England. Paths separated the beds and a bench stood next to the back wall. “Should we speak now?”

“About us?”

“Yes.” She nodded. “How we will go on.”

He glanced at her. “It has been a . . . difficult day. I would prefer we each take time to consider. Once you are out of danger, we will make plans.”

Caro searched his face and could see nothing but sincerity. If di Venier was to be believed, Huntley was also in peril, and he would need to concentrate on their journey. Maybe it was best for both of them to wait. “If you wish.”

Huntley smiled. “I do. Right now, I’d like to enjoy a peaceful evening.”

They strolled and looked at the plants and herbs still thriving in the walled garden before making their way back to the inn. He covered her fingers, briefly, with his. She hoped he would not expect more of her than she could give.

He escorted her to her chamber. “Dinner in an hour?”

Caro had trouble meeting his gaze, afraid he would want her or be angry that he would spend their wedding night alone. But when she raised her eyes, only a smile lurked in his. “I’ll meet you then.”

“I shall do myself the honor of escorting you.”

She nodded. “Very well.”

He reached around her and knocked on the door. Her dresser opened it. He bowed. “Until then, my lady.”

Caro sat on a hard wooden chair that she’d moved next to the window. They were still in the foothills of the Alps, and yet the mountains rose almost straight up from the valley floor. Rows of houses abutted the base, as if they had nowhere else to go, just like her.

Countless women, she was sure, would give their teeth to be the Countess of Huntley, the future Marchioness of Huntingdon, yet it had been forced upon her. Caro couldn’t think ahead even to the dinner she would share with Huntley this evening, much less to the rest of their journey, or their lives.

The snapping of Nugent shaking out a lustring silk gown drew Caro’s attention away from the houses. “Yes, Nugent?”

Her dresser hung the gown on a peg, then took out a pretty paisley shawl and placed it on the bed. “I didn’t say anything, but if I was to do so, I’d say you could’ve done worse than to marry his lordship.”


Ella will give away a copy of Desiring Lady Caro to one lucky commenter. Or, if the winner already has a copy of this book, Ella will substitute a copy of Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret. Please leave your email address.

Buy links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon German ~ Amazon France ~ Amazon Canada ~ Barnes and Nobel ~ Kensington ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

Find Ella on these sites:




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Using A Crowd To Create Tension In Your Story

Sharla’s word lists are fantastic! This is the latest of many.

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Sharla Rae

Personally, I dread crowds.

They make me feel a bit claustrophobic and oh, the noise! Perhaps this comes from working in my nice quiet office all day; I don’t know. I strive to hit a mall or grocery store on weekdays and not at end of the day when hungry, tired, short-tempered 9 to 5ivers race from work to do a quick and dirty grab for whatever they need. We’re talking lots of negative energy here and these scenes aren’t pretty!

There are many kinds of crowds, though and some are full of energy, the kind that makes excitement bubble beneath your skin and vibrates right down to the bones. This type of energy is contagious. You can literally feel and hear the high voltage zinging through all the people. Think favorite plays, concerts and sporting events. It’s exhilarating. The rushing crush to reach the parking lot…

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Monday Author Meetup: T. Jackson King, Space Adventurer

With me today is popular sci-fi author T. Jackson King. Please make him welcome.

CowboyTom (3)

About the author:

T. Jackson King. (Tom) is a professional archaeologist and journalist. He writes hard science fiction, anthropological sci-fi, dark fantasy/horror and contemporary fantasy/magic realism. Tom’s many voyages of imaginative discovery have led to 13 published novels, a book of poetry, and a conviction that when Humans reach the stars, we will find them crowded with space-going Aliens.

Tom lives in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA and hangs with a group of smart and tolerant Westerners. Divorce has taught him to smile a lot and to work at being a Nice Guy. Still, he is pretty weird. Has been since fourth grade when he began reading sci-fi. Since then, he and Authority have rarely been in agreement.

Tom, please tell us how you began writing.

I’d be glad to, Lyn. It began in fifth grade, when I wrote a short story about a kid building a rocket in his backyard, blasting off for Mars, landing, then finding tiny fossils in the sands of Mars as proof that life once existed there. My early interest in paleontology got full play in that story!

Describe your favorite place to write.

In front of my glass-topped pinewood desk. It’s a simple desk, flanked on either side by bookcases with books, print manuscripts and pottery made by independent potters. When I sit in my comfy exec chair and look at the screen, the people in my head jump right out and do the Tango on the laptop screen!

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? If so, how did you come to be with this publisher?

Both. My first novel was Retread Shop, published in 1988 by Warner Books. My next novel was the collaboration Ancestor’s World, published by Ace Books in 1996. Since then I have had two books published by the small press Fantastic Books of Brooklyn. They were Judgment Day And Other Dreams and Little Brother’s World. They are releasing a third YA sci-fi novel of mine on May 23 at Balticon sci-fi convention near Baltimore. It is The Memory Singer. The rest of my novels I have self-published. So I am what some call a Hybrid—big press, small press and Indy published!

What made you change to the self-publishing route?

Control and ease of using Amazon’s Do It Yourself self-publishing venues like Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing. Although I’ve had agents in earlier years, and two of my novels were published by major New York publishers, I’ve found that being an Indy author allows me to get the best cover art to go with an original story and to price it at a level appealing to regular readers.

Where in the world would you most likely to visit?

India. It is the home of Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha, and home to the holy city of Varanasi, on the Ganges River. I would love to visit ancient temples, ancient sites where the Buddha meditated and ancient ruins all across India. I’ve wanted to visit India ever since I read about it in Rudyard Kipling’s class YA novel Kim!

If money was no object, what extravagant thing would you do or buy?

The Eiffel Tower. When I lived in Paris many decades ago, it was visible outside the window of the brownstone high-rise that I was living in. When I went to the top with my Dad, I loved the ‘endless view’ of Paris that I got from being elevated like a bird!

Who is your favorite author? What do you admire about her or his writing?

Robert Heinlein. His sci-fi novels of the 50s and 60s took me to outer space adventures that entranced me, motivated me to study science, made me question the Established Order, and taught me how to think for myself. By always asking Why?

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

With high anxiety, self-doubt, frustration and the thought “can’t this idiot read!?” That’s after being a pro published writer for 25 years. While Humans will have greed in common with Aliens, I think Self-Doubt is genetically endemic among Humans!

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.

Elevated. Elevated. Elevated.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Be persistent. Be stubborn. Keep reading. Never give up. People with only modest talent can become very successful if they follow these rules, including success in writing fine stories and novels.

If you don’t mind telling us, which of your books has been most favorably reviewed?

My first novel Retread Shop. It earned great reviews from major review outlets like Library Journal, Voya, Science Fiction Review, Science Fiction Chronicle, and Locus, while its 22 reviews on Amazon have earned it a 4.5 star rating. Readers seem to love its ‘classic sci-fi’ nature and my imaginative Aliens!

Sounds like a great read! Now please give us a taste of your newest release.

Love to. Anarchate Vigilante is the latest novel in my Vigilante series.


Book blurb:

Matt Dragoneaux the Vigilante has destroyed nearly a thousand Battleglobes of the Anarchate, the ruthless commercial combine that has ruled the galaxy for two million years. Their doctrine is “anarchy is profitable!” But Matt’s fleet of T’Chak warships has suffered the loss of five A.I. minds. And a new Anarchate fleet commander has developed weapons that can overload the Alcubierre shields that protect his ships from weapons fire. His war against cloneslavery has become painful for him, his lifemate Eliana, his A.I. partner Mata Hari, and the pilots of the 502 T’Chak warships that are pitted against 11,000 Battleglobes of the Anarchate. Even as the Anarchate rulers seek ways to trap Matt, his raid on a cloneslaver base reveals shocking news—his mother Kristen and his sister Charlotte are alive and working as labor slaves for Alien owners! Can Matt and his allies rescue the last survivors of his family? Or will the Anarchate capture them as a tool to bring Matt to his destruction?

Excerpt from Chapter One:

The only reason to let genome slavers live is the chance you can free their captives. Human or Alien, Matt would hold his laser fire if he could free even one captive. So far, he and Mata Hari the AI had learned of three captives at an asteroid base where slaver starships came for ‘rest and recreation’, according to NavCore data files they had recovered from dead ships after the Alkalurops beacon battle. Matt and his fellow cyborgs Eliana, George and Suzanne had all donned combat suits and pretended to be a slaver crew from distant Omega Centauri cluster in Norma Arm. This base inside the Ring Nebula M57 lay just 2,300 light years from Earth, at the juncture of the Orion Arm with the Sagittarius Arm. In what the Anarchate called Sector 13. Leaving the shelter of shuttle Ariadne, the four of them marched toward the landing dock’s large archway that gave access to the asteroid’s interior.

But being among slavers like those who’d captured his Mom, Dad and four sisters made him want to spit. Suit binged at him. “Matthew,” said Suit’s Tactical CPU, “coating Faceplate with spittle will interfere with your ability to perceive in the yellow light spectrum. Please refrain.”

The thud of Suit’s heavy boots against the metal of the landing dock came to Matt as a reminder of their mission. “Understood. Will refrain from interfering with your precious sensors!”

In his mind and over the tachlink node implanted behind his left ear, Matt heard Mata Hari chuckle like the ancient World War I spy she pretended to be. The red cloud of her mindsense hovered on the periphery of his mental awareness, along with the mindimages of his lover Eliana, her precog mind-sister Suzanne and black-bearded George of the wrestler’s build, his first combat ally beyond starship Mata Hari and its T’Chak AI BattleMind.

“Matt,” mused the soft voice of Mata Hari, “the task ahead requires concentration, not emotion. Remember our discussion before we arrived at the heliopause of this nebula and chose to assume a slaver ID for each ship of Hexagon Prime?”

He remembered. Months after arriving in Morrigan system and dropping off the 131 slaver captives rescued in the giant battle at Intel Base 14 near the Crab Nebula, they had chosen to go after this cloneslaver base in Sector 13. With just eight ships. The other 494 ships of Cloud Fleet had split into ten cohorts and headed off to attack other Anarchate and slaver bases in the five spiral arms of Milky Way galaxy. This asteroid base had been the source for the 11 slaver starships that held the captives at Intel Base 14. Until Matt and his Cloud Fleet had attacked and destroyed every starship, Assault asteroid, antimatter-filled Supply Tube and the thousands of Remotes that Sector Captain Yorkel had seeded in the Intel system. His opponents were now either stellar plasma or minute black holes. While the 131 captives were alive and free. Freedom for every cloneslave and the stopping of cloneslavery and bondServitude were the objectives of his war on the Anarchate. A war that required him to be less emotional than normal for a Human. Let alone a Human who had lost his mother, father and four sisters to a slaver starship 15 years ago.

“I remember our Battle Council.” In his mind Matt felt the mindsense of his three cyborg battlemates and Mata Hari, the emotional artificial intelligence, or AI. “When do we emit the Spy Eyes, Snoopers and limpet complinks?”

“After we enter the occupied spaces of this base,” said Mata Hari, filling his mind with a three dee graphic of the elongated spheroid that was the asteroid, its internal levels and fusion reactors highlighted in purple even as the red bodyheat images of nearby lifeforms filled the left quadrant of Faceplate.

“Everyone, set your suit on Threat Alert, but leave it to me or Mata Hari to trigger any weapon use.”

“Agreed, Matthew,” muttered George in his Irish brogue, his deep baritone voice sounding tense.

“Of course,” murmured Eliana in a rich contralto even as her mind-sister Suzanne said “Of course” at almost the same second.

Matt grinned to himself. This slaver base was used to seeing lifeforms clothed in some kind of combat suit. But two women with the mental ability to ‘see the near future’, as Eliana and Suzanne could, was a surprise he planned to use against anyone who sought to block their mission of finding the living captives. Then they would return to their T’Chak starships for the final destruction of this base and the 22 slaver ships that floated nearby. Sinking into the multi-spectral vision of Suit and its millimeter ranging radar, Matt focused on the Solink avian who hovered in its vacsuit at the archway. The leathery-winged, yellow-beaked and red-crested avian held an AllCall datapad in one of its winghands, its attention focused on their approach.

“Welcome, fellow Trade beings,” its vacsuit called to them in Belizel click speech. “Your personal comlink IDs? Your medium of exchange for our services?”

Matt PET image-thought to Suit, ordering it to emit their first names, basic Human bio-data, and the ship name Descartes to the datapad held by the avian. “Data is transmitted to your device, winged one. We crew members of ship Descartes are in need of food, rest, recreation and entertainment.” He paused and gestured for George to lift a sealed bag that had become heavy the moment they all entered the gravplate field of the landing dock. “We bring 1,100 platinum Standards to pay for our . . . requirements. Satisfactory?”

The brown wings of the Solink avian drew a little apart within its transparent vacsuit. “Very satisfactory, good lifeforms of . . . the Human species.” The avian’s two blue eyes glanced down at the datapad, then fixed on Matt’s face as his Faceplate also turned transparent. “Yours is a Newcomer species, yes?”

Beside him the white ceramic combat suits of George, Eliana and Suzanne came to a stop as Matt stopped in front of the Solink alien. His three battlemates turned away from the avian and assumed an All Surround battle cordon, their laser Magnums pointed in multiple directions. Their shoulder laser pulse-cannons also hunted for targets among the other ships and vacsuited lifeforms present in the dock. “We are a Newcomer species. Our Corporate State is friendly with the Anarchate. We know how to do business. And how to work out alternate business solutions. Do you require a personal reminder of our versatility?”

The vacsuited avian floated away from the four of them. Until the metal wall of the dock chamber stopped it. Its pointed beak clicked in hurried Belizel. “No reminder is needed! Simply deposit your Standards on the Incoming Pedestal just inside the archway and proceed inward to enjoy our services. Flightless bipeds are as welcome here as are any Solink.” The avian paused as its blue eyes looked beyond at his three combat ready battlemates. “Please?”

Amazon buy link for Anarchate

Find Tom on these sites:
My website–

Demolition Day One

Oh my, what a day we had yesterday. Did I tell you we’re having our bathrooms and laundry room updated as well as the kitchen? No? Well, we are, and the fun began with a bang yesterday. Err, make that a lot of bangs, growling saw blades and mess. Big time mess!

It started with our guest bathroom. We’re having both bathroom doorways widened to accommodate a wheelchair. This is due to my CMT, which will undoubtedly put me in a chair within a few more years. (See “Two-Finger Typing”)

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Newly cut, wider doorway, waiting for new door and frame; wood floor in the hallway also must be repaired. Luckily, we have a few extra boards left from when the floor was installed.


photo 9        photo 16

Divider wall also had to be cut back a few inches.  I’m losing my pretty seaside wallpaper border. Darn!

Next came the laundry room, where the plumbing needs to be rearranged to accommodate our new washer. We had an old top loader before, which worked fine with the placement of the water and drain pipes. But the new one is a front loader, as is the dryer, and in their present position the doors open against each other, making it difficult to switch clothes from the washer to the dryer. With my unsteady balance this is a real problem. Thus, we’re having the water and drain lines moved so we can switch the washer and dryer.

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Pretty new babies need switching; wall opened up, showing water line that needs to be moved over, happening today. I wonder when the wall will be put back together. I can’t wash clothes until this and the new floor tiles are done. Hubby and I foresee a trip to a laundromat in the near future. It’s been years since we visited one, but I remember it being a weekly stop back in the day, when we were newlyweds. A century or two ago.

This only the beginning. Next week the kitchen demo starts. Oh joy!

Monday Author Meetup: Jim Webster

My guest today is British author Jim Webster. Welcome, Jim. Please tell us about yourself.

Jim Webster

Lyn, thank you for hosting me today. I’m Jim Webster, fifty something (but not alas for much longer), married with a wife and three adult daughters. I live in South Cumbria, England, just outside the ship building town of Barrow in Furness.

I farm, have done all my life, and I also do freelance journalism, and I’ve done consultancy as well to help keep the wolf from the door.

I’m a lover of ancient history, and have been a wargamer and role-player since the early 1970s.

I have no dress sense and a bad attitude to buying clothes.

If you want to know more about me or my book, I’m relatively easy to find. See my links at the end of this post.

How did you begin writing?

It was quite simple. I was working with my parents on a small farm, just trying to make a living and I needed an income. ‘Non-essential’ things like food production don’t pay well. So I drifted into freelance journalism. Why I began writing books? I was lucky, I got a chance, I’d done a bit of consultancy and as a contract came to an end I suddenly found I had time as the work diminished by the money didn’t and in that window I wrote my first book.

Did someone inspire you to write? Who and how?

An author I’ve always admired and who probably has had a considerable influence on my work and the way I view the universe is Jack Vance. It was his skill in somehow convincing you of the depth of his perception of the world he was describing with just a few sentences that really inspired me.

What’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hour a day do you write?

Quite literally I’ve written at all times. I’ve even worked in the middle of the night and switched the computer on because there was something that I needed to get down. As for how many hours, I genuinely don’t know. I still farm and do other things so there are days when I don’t write, or write articles on such things as the bite size of dairy cows or the best ways of preventing summer mastitis.

Describe your favorite place to write.

I write in the office, at the desk-top computer. I like desk-top computers, they don’t follow you around when you’re busy, whining that you haven’t checked your email or looked at Facebook.

Do you ever wear your PJs or nightgown all day while writing?

No. I milked cows for thirty years, when my feet hit the floor in the morning I’m awake and two minutes later I’m dressed.

Can you write amid noisy distractions or do you need absolute quiet?

If it’s too noisy I tend to put music on; familiar music that acts as ‘white noise’. I don’t need to concentrate on the music but it does blot out most of the noise.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you choose it?

I’ve only used a pen name twice. This was when an editor was desperate and I’d written several articles for the same issue of his magazine. But it doesn’t look good if too big a proportion of a magazine is written by the same person. Readers tend to raise a quizzical eyebrow and the writer starts to get above himself and expect paying. So a couple of the articles were published under the name of a role-playing character of mine.

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? If so, how did you come to be with this publisher?

Safkhet are a small press. Basically I did it all wrong and broke all the rules. A friend told me they were looking for somebody to write Sci-Fi. So I emailed them saying ‘Hi’ and included the links to the books I’d self published on Amazon and basically said “This is what I can do, what do you want?”

This approach almost never works and should be avoided by sensible people.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

I tend to have certain incidents that I know will occur, and a gut feeling of how the story will look. Then my characters and I indulge in a process that could be likened to ‘downhill skiing in the dark’ as we try to hit all the incidents, ideally in the order I originally had in mind.

How do you develop your plots and your characters?

I walk a lot, chewing over various issues, trying to work out how a character would react, what an intelligent person would do next, and how everybody else will react to how they reacted.

Does your significant other and/or family support your writing career?

Fiscally over our married life my Lady Wife and I seem to have taken turns to be the main bread winner. Moral support, yes, whilst she doesn’t read my books she has always backed me.

Have you ever written a book together with another author?

I’m not sure you’d called a role-playing supplement a book? But yes, I co-wrote the Scaum Valley Gazetteer.

Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I’ve been lucky to have someone I can bounce books off and who gives me an honest opinion, and proof reads them at the same time.

Are your books professionally edited? Who designs your book covers?

Yes, I pay an editor. I’ve been lucky with my covers, I’m totally inept at anything artistic, but I’ve fallen on my feet with finding publishers who could do it for me.

How do you unwind and relax when not writing?

I do love walking.

What project(s) are you working on now?

I’m currently on the fourth book about the Tsarina Sector, I know what’s going to happen (ish) but I’m only about a quarter of the way in.

Now please tell us about your latest release.

Justice 4.1

It’s Justice 4.1 (The Tsarina Sector. This is the first SF book I’ve written and is set on the planet of Tsarina that is quite literally at the edge of the galaxy. The story centres around Haldar Drom who is an investigator working in the Governor’s Office. It’s a combination of detective story and adventure yarn, it probably falls neatly into the category of ‘Space Opera.’


When a journalist is shot down in a backward area of Tsarina, Haldar Drom of the Governor’s Investigation Office is sent to investigate. He uncovers a hidden medical facility dedicated to the production of Abate, a drug used for population control, as well as evidence of the implantation of pre-created embryos in women brought to Tsarina for the purpose. He also discovers a deeper plot with far reaching political ramifications. A senior member of the Governor’s family, Doran Stilan is running a personal feud with the major pirate/Starmancer Wayland Strang. Indeed he begins to suspect that Stilan may even be angling to take Stang’s place.

The medical facility is destroyed after it is attacked by mercenaries hired by Strang, and Drom has to travel off world to untangle the treads of the conspiracy.

Arriving back on Tsarina, he has to deal with a failed Starmancer attack, punish the guilty and arrange for Doran Stilan to get what’s coming without undermining the position of the Governor. To do this, he’ll need skill, know-how and a whole lot of luck to ensure that the guilty face justice.

Purchase Justice 4.1 here:

Find Jim on these sites:

Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Amazon author page:
Safkhet publishing

Stealth Marketing in the Grand Tradition of the British Navy.

M T McGuire Authorholic

OK, I’ll admit, it’s a tenuous connection, especially in the extremely likely event I’ve got my facts wrong, but there is this lovely story about Admiral Rodney; that he was concerned that the demand of the British Navy for oak trees to make ships was outstripping British supply. He therefore carried acorns in his pockets and dropped them wherever he went. Actually, it may not even have been Rodney who dropped acorns wherever he went… thinking about it, I have a vague recollection that it was some Elizabethan dude…

Sadly I haven’t been able to get a sniff of conformation on this story in connection  with Admiral Rodney or anyone else. The internet, usually a rich source of substantiation for such bollocks, is disturbingly mute on the topic. Then again, it might have been invented in Britain but it’s definitely American and the demand for trivia pertaining to European history…

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Thursday Tidbits: A Jaw-dropping Day


Surprised woman

It’s been three weeks since I posted a Thursday Tidbit, but boy howdy, do I have a good one for y’all today. Yesterday was one crazy, happy day. I learned I have a niece! A niece I never knew existed. I found out about her from a cousin who connected with my niece’s husband on a genealogy research site. She found a message he posted — thirteen years ago! How’s that for astounding?

Let me back up, way back to the late 1930s when my father and his first wife split up. They lived on the west coast and had two very young children. The oldest child was a girl, the younger one a boy. For a while after the break-up, the children were apparently in some sort of foster care, then their mother took the girl with her to Alaska, where she was from. My dad took the infant boy to Texas and left him with his brother, my uncle. You see, Daddy was a traveling salesman who had no way of caring for a young child.

Eventually, my aunt and uncle adopted my half-brother, my father married my mother, they had me and we moved to Minnesota to be near Mama’s family. The years passed without any word of my half-sister. My dad tried once to locate her but had no luck, and my half-brother blamed him for letting his sister go. Now, both men are gone, never to know what became of that lost little girl.

Then, out of the blue I receive an email from a cousin who has been digging into our family genealogy for something like fifty years. And she drops this huge announcement in my lap: she has found my half-sister’s daughter! I am still in shock. Coincidentally, my niece and her husband have children and grandchildren living in the Fort Worth area, where I and my gang also live. I look forward to the day when we will all meet for a huge family reunion.

Just goes to show you never can tell when the universe will throw you a curve, a joyous one in my case.