Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...

Welcome back to another Six Sentence Sunday. Tomorrow is Monday the 1st of October. This date is of vital importance for two reasons.
  1. Christmas is getting scarily close. Again. WTF are you going to buy your Mother this year to prove your eternal love to her?
  2. FLESH is released with all the smutty gritty true love (with zombie chaos and carnage on the side) that you could long for. Your Mother is probably desperate for a copy and too shy to say so. For only $2.99 are you really going to risk it? Think about it.

So, enough of this and on with the show. This week I thought we’d give our other hero a go in the spotlight. Finn is watching Daniel and Ali from afar without their knowledge (stalking). Please note, there's a language warning on today's excerpt.  

Un-fucking-believable, they were arguing again.
     Finn lay flat atop a cargo truck and watched through the scope of his rifle, rapt, as half a kilometer ahead the pair had it out in the middle of a four-lane highway.
     These people defied logic.
     They were an hour out of the city, with nothing but deserted cars scattered about and bush land on either side. No movement as far as the eye could see, and Finn was making sure he could see far and well. Those two made quite the target, hashing out their issues beneath the glaringly white, hot summer sky.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pimpage...part one.

Happy weekend to one and all. The promo for the release of Flesh on Monday has officially begun...


First up I'm over at Cathryn Hein's (fantastic Rural Romance Goddess) Blog talking zombies, salads and I'm also giving away a copy of Flesh. By me, I mean  Momentum. Aren't they nice? Yes, they are. So pop on over and remember to comment to win!

Next, I'm over at the Australian Romance Readers Association as their Author Spotlight. Are you a member of ARRA? It's cheap as chips and they have a fantastic newsletter. Also, they're having a conference in Brisbane next year and its going to be mighty. Think about it. And while you're thinking, go read my post and enjoy the parade of Flesh covers down the bottom. Hours of free good clean family fun. Sort of.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A look at Girl Under Glass by Monica Enderle Pierce...

What do you do when you’re trapped between death and the Devil?

To protect her young daughter from a madman and a tyrant, Rachel Pryne must trust an enemy – one of the alien warriors who conquered Earth.

It is 2032, the Ohnenrai – Earth’s humanoid alien conquerors – orbit the planet, and Terran reproduction is failing. Rachel Pryne, a trained medic, is struggling to protect her seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, from the sexual predation of their community’s leader, Elder Cyrus. Having fathered the girl by rape, Cyrus now intends to take her on her eighth birthday, only six weeks away.

Then Rachel finds her unlikely champion – an injured Ohnenrai soldier who appears in her yard one stormy evening. She knows she may be choosing death over the devil in trusting this warrior, but she doesn’t know that her trust, and her DNA, will make her one of the most important and endangered people to ever set foot aboard an Ohnenrai starship.

Girl Under Glass starts out as a gritty tale of one woman’s survival in a world gone to hell care of an alien invasion over a decade back. Living on the outskirts of a community, scraping together just enough to feed and clothe her daughter, Rachel Pryne is a heroine you can’t help but love to pieces. She’s tough and complex with a mysterious history that hooks you straight away. Meanwhile, our hero, Ehtishem Zain, is big, buff and beautiful in his own manly way, despite being part of the conquering alien hoard. He's capable, kind and very strong. I love him and I want him for Christmas. Together, our hero and heroine evolve nicely into the dynamic duo they were always meant to be. Do note however, the sexy times scenes are light on detail. Given Rachel's back story, however, this fits. In no way did it detract from my enjoyment of the book and you know what I'm like with wanting the raunch.

The book is written in first point of view which I have to admit I don’t often read. Usually the delivery puts me off for some reason. Not so with this book. I loved it. The plot is nicely developed and the characters engaging. The machinations of Cyrus, one of the main villains of the piece, will have you shaking your fist at the sky in anger. Damn your psycho-pseudo-religious bullsh*t you monster! Die in a fire! The world-building is flawless and complex, but not so crazy-town heavily detailed that you can’t keep up.  

Apparently one reviewer described it as Star Trek meets The Scarlett Letter and I think they’re right. Buy it, read it, you won’t regret it. What? You want a complaint? Okay. Monica has promised a second and third book and I wish she’d hurry up. The end.

Monica Enderle Pierce writes romantic science fiction, romantic dystopian fiction, and romantic historical and gothic fantasy for adults. She lives in Seattle with her husband, daughter, and two rock ’em, sock ’em catbots. She is unrepentant about the piles of clothes in her laundry room and the collection of dishes in her sink. When not writing novels, Monica works for a web design and development company where her official title is Troublemaker.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Alpha vs Beta Battle Royale...

Alpha: Oh yeah, you should totes come pat me.
Us here in Romancelandia have a thing for Alpha Heroes. And it’s a big thing. You might even call it a THING... if you wanted to be painful. Now, the differences between an Alpha and a Beta character can seem obvious and yet elusive all at once sometimes. The Alpha is blunt and bluff while the Beta stays caring and sharing. The Alpha stomps while the Beta soothes. The Alpha confronts problems with a singular sort of focus while the Beta mops up the mess and diffuses tense situations with a splash of humour. The Alpha protects what’s his while the Beta puts the needs of others before his own. The Alpha leads while the Beta is content to follow. Or is he?

Beta that believes she can fly.
How about Professor X of X-Men fame? He was the undisputed leader of the mutant goodies, and yet he was a sensitive, kindly, good for a chat and a cup of tea kind of fellow. Professor X was the shoulder to cry on come good times or bad. And Rhett Butler was some kind of fool for Scarlett O’Hara but would you call him a Beta? Not a chance. The man led with strength and always landed on his feet. No way did he pull his punches. But when Scarlett had bad dreams, Rhett was there to wipe away the tears and renovate Tara to cheer her up. What a man! Maybe being a sucker for the woman of your dreams is a trait best removed from the debate.

Sleepy, fluffy Beta.
It seems the one thing we can all agree on is that the Beta is always the ‘good-guy’ of the piece. He is the best friend who is always there when you need him but never quite exciting enough to warrant heart palpitations and over excited phone calls to your girlfriends at two in the morning. Or is he? Rory waited 2,000 years for Amy on Doctor Who. Try and tell me that sort of steadfastness doesn’t make you swoon just a little. Neo donned a lot of leather and downloaded martial arts for dummies into his geeky little mind and voila! But he’s still rocking the Beta personality till part way through film two. Neo still defers to Morpheus and follows Trinity around like a lap dog despite the dramatic rise in power. Characters can transition. Betas hold definite appeal to women who don’t mind a fixer upper (I never said that). Maybe those that don’t want to share the limelight, also.

In Avatar the blue chick led while Sam Worthington’s marine followed, until he felt compelled to do otherwise. Betas make great reluctant heroes­­­­—it gives them the opportunity to transition into more of an Alpha personality. But they always end up at the sunset showdown opposite the evil gunslinger because they felt they had no choice. When Rambo was tossed out of town he promptly turned around and walked back in. He chose confrontation. In all likelihood he felt terribly misunderstood for much of the movie, but he chose to make it an issue. John McClane of Die Hard fame is the hard done by Police Detective out to visit his estranged wife and see his kids for the Christmas Holidays. When confronted with a troop of terrorists out to do harm he does his utmost to defeat them. He’s charismatic and people will follow him, but he doesn’t want the hassle of being a leader if it at all can be avoided. It’s simply not his scene. His anti-social instincts prevent him from a possible full Alpha promotion. He would try to diffuse the situation with a quip or two before resorting to guns IF possible. If not? Oh well. Yippee-ki-yay mother f*cker!
Cat is above such stupidity.

Maybe it’s best to see it as degrees of Alpha & Beta elements within the one personality. What do you think?

Doctor Who
Rory Pond
Han Solo
Luke Skywalker
Rhett Butler
Ashley Wilkes
Rick Blaine
Victor Laszlo
Gale Hawthorne
Peeta Mellark
Morpheus (3rd movie excluded, groan)
Malcolm Reynolds
Hoban Washburne
Professor X
James T Kirk
Spock (and Bones)
Khal Drogo
Eddard Stark
Tony Stark/Iron Man
Steve Rogers/Captain America
Strider (see what I did there?)
Hans Gruber
John McClane

Now, just out of interest, let’s start a list for the girls too...
Catelyn Stark
Princess Leia
The Ewok Nation

Come on then. What other female characters can you think of that fit nicely into our Alpha/Beta chart? Disagree with one of my calls?