October
OUT OF THIS WORLD ROMANCE

10/20 CYBORGS by Grace Goodwin, Author of the Interstellar Brides Series

Saturday, October 20, 2018

SURRENDER TO THE CYBORGS by Grace Goodwin


Just for ROMANCING THE GENRES readers, for the rest of OCTOBER, I will make BOOK 1 in the series FREE on BookFunnel.

Surrender to the Cyborgs
Interstellar Brides: The Colony, Book 1
By Grace Goodwin

Here is a letter from the base governor, a warrior named Maxim, who started it all. Enjoy!

 A letter from the Governor of Base 3, Maxim Rone

Dear Earth Females,

The forgotten warriors of the Colony have suffered long enough. We fought bravely for our people, and for yours, protecting the Coalition worlds from the scourge that is the Hive. We come from many worlds, but in the end, we all ended up here, broken and betrayed. Abandoned by our own people.

For long days I believed nothing could be worse than the pain of becoming one of them, the Hive. They tortured us, testing our endurance to pain. They injected us with microscopic biosynthetics impossible to remove. They altered us, changed us, made us both more and less alive.

We were supposed to become one of them, absorbed into their Hive mind, mindless drones sent out to hunt and maim and kill. And to collect. More bodies. More worlds. More.

By some miracle of the gods, or brotherhood, we on the Colony were saved. Set free while our mind was still our own. But in the end, many of us wished for death, for we have all been altered, changed.

My own people, the people of Prillon Prime, rejected us for years, building this Colony planet and shipping her wounded warriors, her broken things somewhere dark and quiet, somewhere they would not have to look at us.

For years we lived without hope. And then came you. A human woman loved one of us and everything changed. Prime Nial, our ruler, is contaminated, as we are. And this human woman, an ordinary woman from your world, loves him anyway.

It is too late to go back to the hopeless existence we once knew. We have seen this new love with our own eyes. And we can not unsee what we have seen.

My mate is the first bride to come to this hellish place. And if she can love me and my battered second, she will save us all.

Perhaps, beautiful female, you should consider volunteering for the Interstellar Bride Program yourself. We need more brides to cherish, to claim…to love.

My mate, my stubborn mate, is locked in a prison cell on your precious Earth. Know this, I am coming for her. Nothing will stop me.

She is mine.

I am coming.

~Maxim

I just released ROGUE CYBORG, Book 6 in my Interstellar Brides: The Colony series

About Grace Goodwin

Grace Goodwin is a USA Today and international bestselling author of Sci-Fi & Paranormal romance. Grace believes all women should be treated like princesses, in the bedroom and out of it, and writes love stories where men know how to make their women feel pampered, protected and very well taken care of. Grace hates the snow, loves the mountains (yes, that's a problem) and wishes she could simply download the stories out of her head instead of being forced to type them out. Grace lives in the western US and is a full-time writer, an avid romance reader and an admitted caffeine addict.

All of Grace's books can be read as sexy, "stand-alone" adventures. Her Happily-Ever-Afters are always free from cheating because she writes Alpha males, NOT Alphaholes. (You can figure that one out.) But be careful...she likes her heroes hot and her love scenes hotter. You have been warned...

Sign up for Grace's VIP Reader list at http://freescifiromance.com

YOUR mate is out there! Take the test today and discover your match (or two):

Interested in joining my not-so-secret Facebook Sci-Fi Squad? Get excerpts, cover reveals and sneak peeks before anyone else. Be part of a closed Facebook group that shares pictures and fun news. JOIN Here: http://bit.ly/SciFiSquad









Friday, October 19, 2018

Discovering the Art of #Cosplay


Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories with a romantic soul. But I'm also a cosplay addict.
I remember very clearly learning to sew. I must have been six or seven years old at the time. A well meaning female relative tired of my tomboy ways bought me one of those sets that are popular quick picks for presents. It was sewing clothes for Cindy (the British equivalent of Barbie). I remember very, very clearly my poor mum trying to explain why the hat had to have a running stitch running parallel to the brim so it could be gathered in to make a Miss Muffet style cap. I was a stubborn little madam and wanted to do the stitch at right angles to where it should be (I can't remember why though). Eventually my mum gave up, grabbed the box and chucked it out the front door. Some time later, I snuck out, reclaimed the box, and quietly sat stitching it her way. The incident was never mentioned again.
I can't say I was the most competent seamstress, but I am a relatively good bodger. Once my mum had taught me to use her sewing machine, I turned out quite a few outfits for my dolls, including a rather mix and match 'uniform' for my space travelling crew of Pippa dolls (not Pippa because I owned them - that was their real brand name!). My POC captain wore a gold lamé robe (really a dressing gown) with a blue satin belt. My red-haired second had a blue silk mini dress, while the medic had a white shorts suit like something out of Austin Powers, and my alien shapeshifter (a headless doll transformed by the edition of a wooden cat's head from a finger puppet with a bit of real fur glued between her ears) had a pink catsuit (of course). I guess having parents who were fans of Star Trek might have had some influence...
As a teen, I extended the life of some of my favourite clothes using my sewing skills. Outgrown jeans got expanded by strips of coloured fabric down the sides. Long sleeved tees got turned into sleeveless ones. But my most ambitious project was a costume for my first scifi convention - a hoodie from one of my favourite scifi series, Blake's Seven, plus a gun belt. I still have the top even now.
But it wasn't until quite recently that I've really challenged my basic sewing skills and discovered the art of cosplay. A dear friend and fellow fangirl generously bought me a three day pass to Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016. We'd not long seen the first film in a new trilogy, where lead character Rey had caused my eldest's conversion from Star Wars hater to fan (but that's still the only film of the series she likes). She had a hankering for Rey's costume, and as a fellow author and cosplayer on Twitter had not long posted a tweet about two Star Wars patterns, it just seemed fate. However, finances meant that I hadn't planned to take my children (I hadn't expected to be going myself, and wouldn't have if not for my generous friend). When the chance came to take one of my three, it was superfan 11yo who got the chance. Due to his red hair, I suggested a General Hux cosplay for him, even though this meant making my own pattern/design from scratch. This was quite a test for my basic sewing skills, but I don't think it turned out too badly?
11yo as General Hux
After that, I well and truly got the bug. Eldest did in fact get the chance to come to the final day of Star Wars Celebration with me, and although she's not the biggest fan, she does have the better idea of fandom, a concept she embraces. She adored all the cosplayers at the con, and I knew I had at least one companion for doing it again, so many years since the first.
Eldest as Rey
While I may not look like any characters I like, I take this as an opportunity to make and wear whatever costume I happen to take a fancy to.
My Anakin costume
I've now made 12 cosplays in all, always learning new skills along the way, and after two years of refusing to join us, my husband has now gotten the bug too and has joined me in attempting a complex cosplay of his own (though he did do Hooper from Jaws last year). But you'll have to wait until next year for the big reveal...
Hubs as Hooper, and yes, that is Toyah.
Eldest's Tauriel (The Hobbit)

Middle child onstage as the Witch-King of Angmar (Lord of the Rings)

This year's cosplays: my version of Han Solo (The Empire Strikes Back), youngest as the Plague Knight (ShovelKnight), middle child as Quicksilver (X-Men), and eldest's Tenth Doctor (Doctor Who)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Lost Art - of everyday

My grandson is big into the Jurassic World movies. We have 'enjoyed' them many many times. In the beginning of the Jurassic World movie, they are in the lab talking about creating dinosaurs.  It's said that they need to keep creating bigger, meaner, and more unique dinosaurs because people of bored or T-Rexs and raptors.

Bored....bored of T-Rexs and raptors.

And I think of true that would be. We have become of world of 'impress me - NOW'. In my book, A Mermaid's Wish, Aislynn argues to save a wood fairy's home by claiming all the 'everyday places' of our world are begin replaced with strip malls and movie theaters. Only if a natural wonder is on the property will it be preserved.

We miss so much of the art of everyday by seeking amazing.

I strive to take my grandson to local places that are beautiful just because they are.... to understand what an amazing world we live in.

Just last night we went to the beach (and froze) to watch the sunset.... We came home and our neighbor asked us why. "Was there something special about it?"





The art of everyday includes...

















We miss sooooo much by looking for the 'great' thing.  By not enjoying the art of everyday.
To keep from losing this art, I have made a goal to take at least 3 pictures a week and post them either on Facebook or Instagram.

The pictures aren't to be of anything special just of my 'everyday' world. To share the art of everyday.

I would love to see your everyday art, please leave me a picture in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by and see you next month! But in the meantime you can come and hang out with me... we will talk about doughnuts and vodka...and everyday art...



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Art of Making Memories


Today is the age of selfies and a world of photos being on our phone or our hard drive and photo albums have become a thing of the past. To keep prints in good condition requires albums with acid proof paper and the use of photo corners. A lot of work, and how many of us end up with boxes of photos stored away and never looked at?

I love photos. I always have. My dearest possessions are my mother's old photos dating back to the 1920s (wow that's nearly 100 years old!) and covering her life in Latvia, then as a post WW2 refugee in Germany, then life as a 'New Australian' in the post war immigration influx.  Then there's all the photos of the kids, and now the grandkids.

When I realised I hadn't stored my photos properly I had to take them out of those horrid albums with the sticky pages. I wanted something better than just shoving them in a box where they might deteriorate anyway so I scanned them and now my sentimental collection lives 'on the cloud' - and then I discovered the art of digital scrapbooking.

I knew about 'paper scrapping', a craft which has been around for a very long time and which involved showcasing select photos or programs, or invitations, cards etc on special pages, decorated with coloured or patterned paper, adding embellishments like ribbons and lace, and creating a page to tell a story, preserve a memory or just show off a fabulous photo. I loved the idea, the way you could make the pages look, but I had neither the inclination nor the room to store all the bits and pieces required, and which had to be dragged out every time I'd want to create a page.

But for digital scrapbooking all I needed was my laptop and my scanned photos. I had developed an love for digital design and taught myself Photoshop so digital scrapping was a perfect match for me.



To decorate my digital pages I have to buy digital 'kits' of background papers and embellishments. And fonts! Can I just say here I love fonts? A weird addiction, but finding 'the right one' is as satisfying as having a French vanilla slice.

The beauty of scrapbooking is you can just focus on the photo, or you can add a whole story by journalling on the page as well. It's also an excellent way of recording the dates and places of special occasions for future generations.  You can scrap a page about something you love, a hobby, a piece of music, a place. The options are endless for creative expression, and in a way that suits our  techy world.

It does a bit of technical knowledge to master a program like Photoshop, or the free GIMP program, but as with all technology, now there are more basic options like the free Canva site on which you could produce some fabulous results. Youtube is a fount of information on using these programs.

Yes, digital scrapbooking still keeps your work/photos 'online', but technology now lets us easily and inexpensively put our memory pages into print books rather than hidden away prints, and is an easier option for keeping images in good condition rather than the fuss of storing prints properly (although I love my nearly 100 year old originals and although I have scanned them and used them in the biography I wrote about mum, holding them in my hands is something special.)

I can spend hours putting my pages together. I get totally absorbed and with the flexibility of digital, can experiment and try different looks until I get it right. The undo button is my best friend.

I'm sure there are scrap booking purists who still go 'old school', but the ease and convenience of being able to just turn on my laptop and be able to create wherever I am makes me a super fan of this 'new art'.

For anyone who is interested in a bit more information, I have written the Digital Scrapbooking Bootcamp and it's available free here.  

Andra Ashe
https://www.andraashe.com/

Monday, October 15, 2018

What do you really know about #Halloween by Kristin Wallace


So we’re well in to October now, which means full on Halloween prep and pumpkin spice everything. There are many popular Halloween traditions, from carving pumpkins to dressing up in costumes, but do you know the origins and history behind the holiday? 

I decided to look it up...

Origins of Halloween

The origin of Halloween dates back over 2,000 years ago and has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) in Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom. The Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1st, which marked the end of summer (and the harvest) and the beginning of winter. October 31stbecame a night of celebration. On that night it was believed that the spirits of the dead were able to walk the earth. To commemorate the event, the Celts dressed up in costumes and built huge bonfires to burn crops and make sacrifices. When Samhain was over, they re-lit their hearth fires from the sacred bon fire in order to protect their families during the winter. 

The Holiday Evolves

In 8thCentury, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st All Saints’ Day or All Hallows Eve, a time to honor all saints and martyrs. The holiday incorporated many of the Samhain traditions, including bonfires, parades and dressing up in costumes. Eventually, All Hallows Eve became known as Halloween. 

The more popular traditions in the US (such as dressing up & trick or treating) didn’t begin to take shape until the second half the 19thcentury, mostly due to the large influx of Irish immigrants who began arriving in the 1840s. It wasn’t until the 1950s that Halloween evolved into a secular holiday aimed mainly at children.

Check out HistoryChannel.com for more in-depth history of Halloween.

Here is some more Halloween Trivia:

-Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep the spirits and ghosts away on the Samhain holiday. 

-The word witch comes from "wica", an Old Saxon word that means "wise one". The early witches were known for their skills with medicinal herbs.

-It takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

-According to the National Confectioner’s Association, more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. 

-Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.

-Halloween candy sales in the US average about $2 billion dollars annually.

-Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.

-Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.

Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and contemporary romance, and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. She is the author of three best selling series, Palm Cove Tales, Shellwater Key Tales and Covington Falls Chronicles. Her latest release is SECOND CHANCE CHRISTMAS, 1 of 9 holiday novellas in Sweet Christmas Kisses 5. Available now for only 99cents. 



BUY LINKS

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Out of This World Romance with CJ Cade


Out of This World Romance – What’s the Appeal?

Hello to all you readers who love to romance the genres. When Sarah and Judith asked me to post, I got to thinking… just what is the appeal of Out of This World (Sci Fi) Romance?

Sci Fi has been around for a very long time, since tech came far enough to create robots and flying machines. Being human, our imaginations were not far behind.

What would happen if… those robots could think for themselves? Those flying machines could take us out into space? Where we would of course meet other fascinating and dangerous sentient beings… and there our adventures would begin.

According to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fiction ,‘E. E. "Doc" Smith's Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories in 1928. It is often called the first great space opera.’ Then came Buck Rogers, etc. Plenty of fictional fun to be had.

I read sci fi as a kid—in the form of comic books. Those were a nickel a piece at the local store, and oh, wow! Superman and all his enemies and allies introduced us kids of the ‘60’s to a whole new universe.

Then came the televised Star Trek, followed years later by the movie Star Wars…and from there the genre really took off, so to speak.

I’ll tell you a secret about sci fi and space opera…they’re really just ‘out-of-this-world’ westerns. With robots instead of colorful sidekicks, space ships instead of horses, and laser weapons instead of six-shooters. And heroines who get to wear fitted space suits instead of those silly bustles.

And sci fi romance…even more fun! The hero always gets the girl…and vice versa.

Sometimes even on the page.

Join me in a space opera romp, won’t you? My books are all available now FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Best,
Cathryn Cade writing as CJ CADE


Bio: CJ Cade is a native of Montana, so look for the flavor of the cowboy culture in her Sci Fi Romance/Space Opera. Her alpha heroes & feisty heroines may pilot space ships instead of horses, but they find plenty of wild adventure & sexy romance, so deep space never stays cold for long!

CJ also writes Contemporary & Contemporary Paranormal romance as USAT Best-Seller Cathryn Cade.



Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Lost Art of Conversation by Lynn Lovegreen


It seems that if I’m not writing, I’m talking. I spend a lot of time critiquing with fellow writers, discussing topics at volunteer meetings, and hanging out with people I love. Much of it involves the “lost art” of conversation. Why is this considered a lost art—are we spending too much time looking at screens, or are we simply out of practice? Either way, we can start by engaging more with our family and friends. Try these tips next time you’re waiting for food to arrive or before you turn on the TV or device.

It takes a little thought to create a good conversation. To start, we need to think about the person we’re talking with, and anticipate her background and interests. A teenager may not know anything about a TV show made in the 1970s. A fly fisherman in Alaska may not want to discuss the subway system in New York. So we want to start with some common ground that everyone can relate to.  

It’s always a good idea to ask questions. Questions give people positive  attention and help us find common experiences or ideas to discuss. Where have you traveled or lived in the past? What do you like to do in your free time? What movie or show did you see recently that you’d recommend? Once everyone is comfortable, we can get a little more abstract. What superpower would you choose if you could have one? What is the greatest invention in our lifetime? Which person in history would you want to have dinner with?

I find that everyone, of every age group, can participate in a good conversation with the right encouragement. Create an inviting atmosphere and an interesting topic, and folks want to engage. We can bring people closer together, and entertain ourselves, with the lost art of conversation.  



Lynn Lovegreen has lived in Alaska for almost fifty years. She taught for twenty years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering at her local library. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We Still Need Diverse Books

Hi everyone! 

I am YA, and now MG author Barbara Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for adolescents and teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them.  My debut middle grade novel, Courage, was recently published by Harper Collins.

I happen to be between conferences right now. I was at the Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico last week. Today (Wednesday) I am speaking at the Illinois Library Association conference in Peoria, Il.  In lieu of a new post, I am giving you a post a made during the JCLC conference, as librarians discussed children's books and We Need Diverse Books.  An appropriate topic as I prepare to begin my Diverse Writing class  for next week. So here goes, an overview of the Youth Author Luncheon at the recent JCLC conference.

The Youth Author Lunch on Friday included an opportunity to discuss with a panel of WNDB personnel, Dhonielle Clayton, Lamar Giles, Caroline Richmond, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, and Juleah del Rosario. We had a full house including great conversations at individual tables, a lovely lunch, and a lot of information about changes in diversity in the publishing industry.


The panelists started by going over the history of We Need Diverse Books. The first wave of activity after the birth of the #WNDB hashtag and movement involved publishers looking at authors and illustrators writing outside their lane to provide “fixes for the problem.” Fortunately, most now embrace the #ownvoices movement. In addition, many books written by POC and other #ownvoices are finding spots on bestseller lists. As Lamar Giles notes, that is not because these authors went from bad to good overnight. Its because the authors and books are finally being taken seriously by publishers, and getting the marketing and publicity push behind them to propel them into visibility. Diverse books by diverse authors are no longer being shoved into a pigeon hole to die, quietly and unnoticed. Once these books are discovered by readers and reviewers, the quality that was always there is seen.

We are coming up on the fifth anniversary of the organization. The panelists discussed many of their accomplishments including:
  1. Sponsoring numerous diverse interns into large publishing houses. Publishers often hire from pools of unpaid interns, and many authors from marginalized populations found in difficult to afford to take on an unpaid job in the very expensive land of New York. In the last few years, several of the interns subsidized by WNDB have gone on to permanent employment in publishing. 
  2. The Walter Awards celebrating diverse books by diverse authors. 
  3. Short story anthologies of diverse authors designed to be school-friendly. Each anthology includes a slot reserved for an unpublished author to help undiscovered #ownvoices get a start. 
  4. Copies of the anthologies, Walter award winners, and other books are regularly given away to classrooms across the country. And several participants at the luncheon went home with autographed copies of several of the books involved in the giveaway. 
  5. Created an Our Story app as an easy-to-use resource for students, teachers, and librarians to help find diverse books of interest. The app includes a quiz readers can take to help the app suggest books for them. That includes so-called reluctant readers who may simply not have found a book that speaks to them…yet. 

During the Q&A period, several questions about the self-publishing surge came up. The panelists felt self-publishing was more a band-aid than a solution to the problem of getting more diverse books published and into libraries. They advocate for actions that will help fix institutional problems, such as the internship program. While self-publishing is now a viable publication path for authors to pursue, it should not absolve publishers from dealing with real issues that remain in the publishing industry.

New releases by the presenters:

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Lost Art of Daydreaming

by Madelle Morgan


When was the last time you did absolutely nothing? No TV, no phone. No rushing to fill rare free moments with yet another errand on the To-Do list, clean the cat's litter box, or to scroll through social media posts and online shopping sites.

When was the last time you sat alone in a quiet place, with no devices in hand, and listened to your inner thoughts?




This month's topic is "lost art".

I suggest that connecting with our inner selves is a lost art. 

Month after month we rush through our days with no time to just "be". There is always so much to "do". We have no time to think. To dream. To let ideas float into our minds from the deep well that is our subconscious, or from the infinite super consciousness of the universe.

I've been very busy over the summer, reading fiction and non-fiction, attending seven workshops, hosting guests, and travelling. My To-Do list is very long. I've hardly had time to take a deep breath before it's on to the next thing.

More to the point, I haven't had that time so important to writers and other creatives to daydream. A plotter, I haven't devoted the hours necessary to connect the dots for my WIP and think about the character arcs. I tell myself I'll do that before I fall asleep. Yeah, right. Eight hours later... the next busy day begins.

It's fall already! Yikes. Where did the summer go?




Don't get me wrong. I had a fabulous summer! I enjoyed every minute. A highlight was a two week trip to England's Yorkshire and Midlands regions. I planned to work on the plane (didn't happen) but I did think about my WIP.

Sort of.

I decided that my characters in Hollywood Hero have to go on location in the endless Yorkshire moors. That's progress, right?






How do you make time to be alone with your thoughts and fill that creative well?

Madelle


Connect with Madelle on her website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads |   Wattpad

Madelle writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense set in Canada. Find all her books on Amazon.com


Monday, October 8, 2018

Reading is Fun!


By: Marcia King-Gamble
www.lovemarcia.com



Who would have thought that reading would become a lost art? I know that’s a strange thing for a writer to say.  I blame some of it on modern technology and this world of instant gratification. We want to get answers now.  Forget about savoring and enjoying the moment we're in.
Back in the day, we escaped the challenges of everyday living by immersing ourselves in books. Books opened for us a diferent world and exposed us to lives and cultures that were foreign to us. 
As a child, growing up on a small Caribbean island, it was my means of escape. I was exposed to places never before seen. Reading made me long to travel to all those places I’d never been.
On a small island where only the upper middle class had televisions, and reception was faulty, you had no choice but to read.  You spent precious minutes savoring the cover, holding that book to your heart, and pretending you were in that foreign country.


IPads and electronic devices didn’t exist back then, and even today, do they really trump the feel and smell of a good book?
 Years  ago,  when book signings were in vogue, and readers were excited about meeting authors, millennials (normally a smart  group)  would proudly tell me they didn’t read. Mind you, this was usually said while hustling through busy malls with a collection of shopping bags from upscale stores. It was often a sad moment for me, because it struck home that reading was indeed a lost art. Better to acquire material stuff than the knowledge a good book might bring.
More recently, I had the opportunity to do some work for an international airline. My role was to assist passengers at the kiosks preflight.  This was a relatively simple process that required me to assist those electronically challenged. It required reading the instructions and touching the screen.  
 To my amazement, I discovered that many adults simply couldn’t read. It wasn’t fear of technology that paralyzed them, but the inability to read the instructions.  Even the most buttoned down, briefcase carrying passengers were challenged.  
In doing my research, I discovered that 20% of adults in the nation’s capital still struggle with illiteracy, although most are way too embarrassed to admit it. The unfortunate truth is that several don’t possess academic skills beyond those of a middle-school student.
The National Center for Education indicates 19 percent of adults cannot read a newspaper, much less complete a job application. According to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, approximately 32 million adults in the United States can’t read.  Further, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development claims that 50 percent of U.S. adults can’t read a book written at an eighth-grade level.   This is truly scary.       


 The inability to read makes life significantly harder for adults.  The Literacy Foundation says the consequences of illiteracy are as follows:


The unemployment rate is 2–4 times higher among those with little schooling than among those with Bachelor’s degree
Illiterate individuals are assured a lower income
They are destined to find lower-quality jobs
Their access to lifelong learning and professional development is reduced
They place themselves in a precarious financial position
They have limited ability to obtain and understand essential information
 There is greater likelihood that if little value is given to education and reading within the family, the cycle repeats itself in the next generation
 Low self-esteem is often a result, leading to isolation
 Illiterate individuals tend to have more workplace accidents, take longer to recover and misuse medication because they have trouble reading and understanding the relevant information (warnings, dosage etc.)
 This boggles the mind since there are many Literacy organizations out there willing to work with adults, and at no cost to you.  A good place to gather information would be your local library.


 Just think about how much more enjoyable that electronic device used for game playing would be, if you could read the instructions. How much more enjoyable life would be if you transport yourself to another world. And finally, what better way to relax and forget your troubles than reading a book on that electronic device, now a staple of life.



Yes, reading is fun.  What’s more it increases brain power, benefitting you in the same manner as a good run. Reading improves memory function by giving your brain a good workout. Why don’t we work out together? 


BookBub special through November 5th. By Design being offered at the very special price of .99 cents! Amazon and Barnes and Noble http://a.co/d/8Lcz2W9
BN ID 2940158721830. Don't miss this offer.


Coming soon!





Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. 

She is a travel industry executive and a self proclaimed globetrotter. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 40 books. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling, and with her animal family.

She loves hearing from you. www.lovemarcia.com or Like her on Facebook https://bit.ly/1MlnrIS



Saturday, October 6, 2018

Love Among the Stars #scifi #romance

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories with a romantic soul. When I wrote my debut novel back in 2009, I never considered it a romance. Unlike many of my peers in all genres of romance, I didn't come from a romance background but a scifi and fantasy one. I am a complete and utter geek. I grew up reading and watching speculative fiction where, if there was a love story, to my young mind it was always secondary or insignificant compared to the world building, characters and adventure, never once considering how the stories might have fallen apart without that element.














So when I set out trying to find a publisher for Keir, I never once mentioned or thought about the romantic element in the story. I marketed it as a sci fantasy adventure along the lines of Doctor Who and Farscape. It was only after a fellow author took me under her wing and offered to do a read through that I was faced with the truth. It came as a shock when she pointed out that the story was as much a romance as scifi, and that I should be selling it as such. Me? Written a romance? When, to my mind, I'd never read a romance other than a couple of my mum's Georgette Heyer books when I had literally run out of new things to read.

I didn't know anything about romance (a fact my editor later went on to point out as she helped me fix it. I hadn't been entirely wrong as I'd made a very poor effort overall, but my author mentor hadn't been completely wrong either). After submitting to my three top choices of small presses, a romance publisher picked up Keir and I had my first official published work - a science fiction romance.
Then and now, the changing face of Keir.
It was around now that I first met Laurie A Green, the creator of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. Until then I hadn't even realised the genre exited, and suddenly I found a whole bunch of authors writing similar things. It was like I'd come home. This was a group that understood the difficulty of blending two genres and marketing them as a whole. Back then, science fiction romance didn't even have its own category on Amazon. Many romance readers seemed put off by the scifi element, while the die-hard scifi fans seemed aghast at the idea of icky romance in their SF, despite such pioneering authors as Anne McCaffrey and Linnea Sinclair. Fortunately romance readers are an open minded bunch, and I've had the odd scifi reader come to my books and not be scared away by the idea of smooching in their SF. There is an audience out there. Somewhere. But I'll keep on writing it because I love it.
And so we boldly go forth, writing love amongst the stars or in the far future, at the end of the world or the beginning, with humanity or alien contacts. If you'd like to explore more, please check out the Science Fiction Romance Brigade's fanpage on Facebook HERE or the Twitter account @sfrbrigade or the blog HERE. Or you can check out my own personal favourite SFR reads on my Goodreads shelves HERE.
May the Force be with you. Always.