Monday, 28 May 2012

Why I love writing in my genre

My novella, Unsecure Connection, is a cyberpunk romance, but to me that falls under the broader umbrella of sci fi. The funny thing about me and sci fi is I love more science fiction TV shows, movies, and video games than I do books. And yet when I sit down to write, I gravitate toward stuff that takes place on spaceships and grungy space stations (or grungy future cities). I like to think I’m writing the books I want to read—but haven’t found yet.

I blame this partially on the sausagefest that appears in a lot of science fiction books. I tend to get bored when a book doesn’t have female characters. Or worse than bored, I get mad and start to rant about how stupid it is. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series was my first exposure to science fiction… I think. I can’t remember. Before that, I was more into fantasy. But like Kaylee says in Firefly, I can’t help it—I like ships. I like the idea that there are other worlds out there, and people cris-crossing space between them. And I love that I’ve recently discovered more romantic science fiction, as well as a greater variety of SF written by female authors.

Another reason I like writing science fiction is I seem to gravitate toward “outlaw” characters. I guess this is Han Solo’s fault for being so awesome. But I think it’s a lot easier to suspend your disbelief about a character being likeable while living a life of crime when they’re living in an unfamiliar world or fighting an evil empire. In Unsecure Connection, my female character Riley makes her living doing some pretty illegal stuff, but she lives in a future where corporations basically control everything. If you write a smuggler, hacker, or thief in the here and now, I think there’s more of a tendency for the reader to think he or she is kind of a dick.

I’m going to finish this up by sharing my Top 5 Sci Fi Universes (in no particular order):

1)      Star Wars

2)      Battlestar Galactica

3)      Mass Effect (video game series)

4)      Firefly

5)      Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series

6)      And for a bonus, because I figured I should throw in some cyberpunk, my favourite cyberpunk is by Richard K Morgan, starting with the book Altered Carbon

Riley is one of the best hackers around. She’s always kept her online identity separate from her real life… mostly because she doesn’t have much of a real life. But someone is stalking her through the network. Someone who knows about the big job she just pulled off and won’t stop till he finds out who she is.

Two years ago, CJ was a hacker at the top of his game, until he got caught. Now the prisoner of a ruthless corporation, he is forced to hunt down his former friends and colleagues. He finds himself irresistibly drawn to the woman he knows only by her alias, Samantha, as he traces her from virtual nightclubs to the dark streets of the Manhattan sprawl.

But when Riley and CJ’s relationship crosses over into real life, things get dangerous.
But he couldn’t see her again. That would be a mistake.
Mistake. He snorted. He’d already made his mistake when he went after her in real life. Should’ve turned her in, like the others. Shouldn’t have taken it into his own hands. Then he wouldn’t have had to look her in the eye. You could do all sorts of things to people you never saw, he’d learned. It was just simpler that way.
CJ realized he’d been subconsciously rubbing the skin of his right forearm. He glanced down at it and swore.

Confiscated. That was how they said it, casually, like they were the principal taking a dirty magazine you’d stashed in your locker, instead of a bunch of men in white smocks ripping things out of your flesh in a waking nightmare. But they’d left him a gift.
He fingered his arm, tracing the tiny bump of the microchip that floated right under the skin. It was a tracker. So they knew where he was.
They always knew where he was.
He’d tested it. Of course, that was the first thing he’d done, when they “released” him. (It was like confiscated—another word they liked to use with the meaning twisted.) They’d left no guards outside the apartment they set him up in, put no locks on the doors. So CJ took off. As he skimmed the shadowed alleys through the dilapidated buildings, he wanted to laugh. It was this easy? And yet something seemed unbelievable about it, so he stayed wary. He kept his senses alert and glanced over his shoulder as often as he could without being too obvious about it. He doubted his old apartment was still vacant after all this time. No doubt, he thought bitterly, SpectreTek had confiscated all his equipment, too. It was just as well—scavengers would certainly have gotten it.
They caught up with him a few blocks later, pulling up in an unmarked hovercar.
The next day, testing a theory, he tried again. This time he went in the opposite direction. And he timed himself. About twenty minutes later, he heard the whine of engines behind him.
After six days of this, they finally sent one of their exasperated suits to meet with him. The implant, they explained, tracked his movements. He was allowed to go wherever he wanted, within a one kilometer radius of his apartment. “And don’t even think about having it removed,” the man said, a self-righteous gleam in his eye. “It has a defense mechanism. If any instruments touch it directly, or if it is exposed to the air in any way, it will emit certain toxins. You’ll be dead within minutes, or if not dead, very ill. So you see, when we said we owned your life, it wasn’t a figure of speech, Mr. Benson.”

Okay, so seeing her again was out of the question. Just being in the same room with her would be putting her into danger. He’d told her he was letting her go, and he’d done it. That should be enough to assuage any guilt he felt about tracking down his former colleagues. You saved one, a barely audible voice in his head nagged him. One. And you handed over thirty-six. You’re a real hero.
Alanna Blackett writes science fiction and fantasy with a side dish of romance. Growing up, it annoyed her that she always had to be Princess Leia when they played Star Wars, because there weren’t any other female characters. She would much rather have been Han Solo or Indiana Jones. She immediately set out to fix that through her writing. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and two cats, and has a weakness for video games, NBA basketball, and books about chicks who blow stuff up.
Twitter: @AlannaBlackett
Comment on the blog to be in with a chance of winning a copy of Unsecure Connection

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Jessica Subject Blog Tour


Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.

Hi there Jessica E. Subject. It’s great to see you here.
Thank you for having me! J
 Can you briefly tell us about the relationship between the central characters in your latest release?
When Xia and Aris first meet, they know they shouldn’t have feelings for each other. Aris comes from Tyto of the Petrogeous Galaxy where relationships are strained at best with Earth. Although Xia lives on Elatia, she cannot hide her Terran ancestry. They grow close as they spend time together, but worry whether their relationship can survive away from Elatia.
What qualities do you most admire about the heroine in your book?
Xia thinks everything through, not only how decisions will affect herself, but others as well. Sometimes this is detrimental to her own state of mind, but she truly cares for those in her life.
Which of your characters from this release, would you most like to invite to dinner, and why? What food would you cook for them? And what setting would you choose for the meal?
I’d have to say Kalara and Jacobus. In their profession, it is unusual for them to have the relationship they do. We could pick up some food from the street vendors of Havmiola, the capital city of Elatia, and have a picnic in one of the parks.
 What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?
Well, I went to university for Business Administration, but…I really don’t know. I was still trying to figure that out when I started writing.

 If you were to do your career as an author again, what would you do differently, and why?
There are some small decisions I might have changed along the way, but nothing major. All of the people I’ve met along the way have helped me with my journey, teaching me, and guiding me on the right path.
Favourite word? But
Favourite food? Pasta
Favourite animal? Tiger
Favourite TV show? Castle
Snow or sun? The sun, except when it’s really hot. Then I wish for winter.
Slippers or socks? Both. The only time I go barefoot is when it’s really hot. Otherwise, I wear both.
Flats or heels? Flats
Walk or drive? Depends on the situation. If it’s simply for leisure, I’d rather walk. I hated country drives when I was a kid.

Thank you, Jessica.
Thanks again!

An Unexpected Return Blurb

Looking to experience all the universe has to offer, Prince Aristides escapes from the kingdom of Tyto and travels through space to the Emerald Planet, Elatia. He yearns to partake in the activities the planet is famous for, and fulfill all his sexual desires, but loses his heart and soul to an Adamos apprentice. Unfortunately, she is Terran, and her people are sworn enemies of those from Tyto. If he can convince Xia to give up her dreams of becoming an Adamos, and travel back to Tyto with him, will his parents accept her, or condemn them both?

Abandoned as a toddler on Elatia, and raised by Kalara, an Adamos specializing in erotic massage, Xia decides to follow in her footsteps. But she remains conflicted as to whether she wants to service clients for the rest of her life, or settle down and raise a family. When she meets Aris, he turns the tables on her, and brings her as much pleasure as she gives him.

Will they have their chance to be together, or will their families tear them away from any chance of young love?

For more information, please visit:

*Please note, this excerpt has been edited to make it suitable for all audiences.

Taking a deep breath, [Xia] left the house then headed back into the city.

Where am I going to go? The hotel? Perhaps there would be a place for her to lie down. It wasn’t as if she had any friends who would put her up for a few days. No, they all had other people depending on them and no room for her. She only had Kalara and Jacobus to rely on. It was no wonder she secretly wanted more.

Walking into the silky rear-end of an oroke, she came to an abrupt halt. The creature had been walking at a steady pace and then stopped. She’d failed to notice in time. Wiping fluff off her face, she turned around and walked into another hard body. “I’m so sorry.”

Hands clamped down on her arms. “Are you all right?”

She stared up into deep brown eyes. Chewing her bottom lip, she nodded. If this man hadn’t been holding on to her, she would have fallen to the ground. The word swoon held no meaning for her until now.

Am I only like this because of the eletin I inhaled back home? Or was there something more she found heart-racing about the blue-skinned, well-muscled hunk of an Otarian who held her up?

No, she couldn’t feel anything for him. Their races had been sworn enemies for years. Everyone across the galaxy knew that. Yet here she was, standing face to face, gazing intently at him, with no will to move.

He smiled at her, drawing her attention from his eyes to his lips. How would they taste? She’d never kissed anyone before.

“What’s your name?”

Name? Gods, what was her name? “Zee…Xia.” Had she told him, or only thought the word?

He released her arms to brush his fingers along her jaw line. How she remained standing, she had no idea.

“Xia. A beautiful name belonging to a beautiful woman.”

Her cheeks warmed. “Thank you.”

She sighed as he trailed a hand down her arm. Her entire body tingled from his gentle touch.

“You’re welcome. Now tell me, why were you in such a rush that you walked into the rear end of that slow-moving beast? We’re supposed to be on vacation, enjoying all this planet has to offer.”

Laughing at his description of the oroke, she leaned against his arm. Never before had she enjoyed a man’s attention like this. “I’m not visiting. I live here. Have my whole life.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Really? So, what was it like growing up on the pleasure planet?”

“I…I don’t know. Normal?” She couldn’t think clearly around him. Her tongue felt numb in her mouth.

His smile traveled all the way up to his eyes. He leaned closer and rested his hand on her hip. “Then perhaps you could be my personal tour guide,” he whispered in her ear.

“I can’t. I have other plans.”

He drew back and frowned, but she could still see the glimmer in his eyes.

“I’m jealous of whoever you’re going to be spending your time with.”

She giggled at him. “I’m just going to sleep. It’s been a long day, and I’m afraid I wouldn’t be good company.”

Losing the fake expression, he smiled again. “Tomorrow then? I’d really like to see you again.”

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Alexa Bourne

Come join the party for HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION, a brand new contemporary Scottish romantic suspense! Learn more about Alexa Bourne as she travels on a blog tour! Leave a comment and be in the running for a free copy of HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION, a $10 Amazon gift card, and a Scottish surprise! The more you comment, the better your chances of being the winner.
Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Scotland with readers everywhere.

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to hear from readers. To find her, visit or, or follow her on Twitter @AlexaBourne.

A typical day for me starts around 5:30, 6 o'clock in the morning. After breakfast and getting ready for the day, I get online and check emails. If I need to post blogs for the blogs I participate on or assignments for classes I'm teaching, I do that. I usually only spend about 10-15 minutes on the computer in the morning simply because I'm SO not a morning person and I'd rather sleep in until the very last possible second!
I'm a substitute teacher so I'm busy during the school day shaping the minds of our future leaders. (Some would say this is a bit frightening!) However, during the teacher's conference period I read or write.

 Once the school day is over, I either go to my part-time tutoring job or I try to get to the gym. I'm usually home by 8:30 at the latest, and that's when I get back online to check and respond to emails again. I'll also comment on some blogs and interviews (mine and those of friends, colleagues and my favorite authors.). From 9 to 11 (or midnight if I'm on a roll!), I work on either writing or promotional work depending on what's needed. Some days I'm home by 6 so I get to spend more time writing or on promo.

 My weekends are completely different. In the mornings I get up and watch English soccer (Go Liverpool!). Then I spend as much time as I can on writing or promoting my books, my colleagues or writing in general. I do try to go out and do something fun every once in a while too, like go to the bookstore or to the movies or meet up with friends. I also try to get some exercise in too. Every once in a while, usually when I need to procrastinate on my manuscripts, I clean the house. (If I'm really struggling with the current work in progress, I clean the car too!)

As a teacher, I have summers off. I do still work part time, but this is the point in the year when I get a lot of writing done. Last summer I wrote rough drafts of 2 new stories. I'm hoping I'll get the same amount of work done this summer too! I do try to increase the number of gym classes I attend and I also try to go on some vacation when I can. Other than that, I write! 

In the few weeks HER HIGHLAND CHAMPION has been on sale, I've learned very quickly that being a writer is very much like being a teacher. Neither job is just a 9-5 job. I'm always thinking and planning and doing, and when one activity is done there's ALWAYS something else to do!

Her Highland Champion

A Decadent Honor Guard story….

Heather Winchester leads a charming life. With good friends, a beautiful flat in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and a promising future once she finishes her Ph.D, she is finally pursuing her own dreams instead of catering to everyone else’s…except she doesn’t remember any of it.

Malcolm Fraser has returned to his Highland village to forget his failings as a professional bodyguard. Believing he could just lose himself in the mundane activities of running his bed & breakfast, he finds a woman’s lifeless body by the loch instead….

Captivated by Heather as she regains her memory, Malcolm is thrown into the line of duty. As danger comes knocking on their doors, will he be strong enough to love her and keep her safe?

Genre: Contemporary romance, adventure, suspense/thriller

Heat level: 3
Word count – 23k 

Champion Excerpt:
She turned to the bedside. A man stood there dressed in dark green sweats, with both hands clenched around the silver bedside bar. He was handsome, with light eyes, dark hair cropped close to his head, and a firm jaw. It was his hands, though. They drew her attention. Clean skin, defined knuckles, large fingers. Hands rough from a hard day’s physical labor, and yet, she imagined, gentle enough to caress the afternoon’s sufferings away.
“It’s good to see you awake.” He smiled. “You gave us all quite a fright.”
Okay, the Scottish accent drew her attention, too. At once, it both melted away some of her fears and sparked a whirlwind of questions.
“Where am I?” Her throat scratched like sandpaper.
“St. Catherine’s Hospital.”
She swallowed hard. “Where is that?”
“Fort William.” He reached for something on the table by her bed and brought back a plastic cup with a straw. “Here.”
“Thank you.” The warm water coated her sore vocal cords. She handed the cup back to him.
Wait a minute. Fort William? The only Fort William she knew was in Scotland. “I don’t understand. How did I get here?” Ignoring the aches in her body, she pressed both palms to the sheets on each side of her and pushed herself up. The blanket fell away from her chest and a new chill surrounded her. “What’s going on?”
Her arms shook, and she collapsed back to the bed.
“Relax.” The man set his palm on her shoulder, as if to keep her flat against the mattress. The heat of his fingers seeped through her hospital gown and into her skin. “I found you unconscious on the beach in Glenhalish. I called for an ambulance, and they brought you here.”
“I was in Glenhalish?”
“Aye, on a three day tour of the Highlands. Do you not remember being there?”
“No.” She squinted and studied him. No memories surfaced. “Do I know you?”
He shook his head. “Only from the beach. I’m Malcolm Fraser.”
She opened her mouth and then closed it again. Her gaze drifted to her lap as tears burned in the corners of her eyes. Panic swelled in her chest and into her throat.
“What is it, lass?” he asked with such tenderness.
“Can you tell me my name?”

Buy Links
Decadent Publishing:
All Romance Ebooks:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Character Interview


Diane is giving away a free copy of one of her e-books, KILL ME TOMORROW or RECLAIMED! Comment at any of the tour stops to be entered to win! Each entry counts, so be sure to stop at every blog site! Good luck!
(See the end of the blog for all tour stops.)
Hi! I’m Diane Alberts, and today Joseph from ABSOLUTION is interviewing Eva!

In ABSOLUTION, Joseph and Eva are ex-lovers that have been thrown together by life-threatening circumstances. The kicker is, that not six weeks before the opening of the book, Eva finds Joseph in their bed—with a stripper.

She kicks him out, and they haven’t seen each other since that eventful morning. What ensues is an explosion of buried feelings—and lots of passion and fire.

Joseph: What did you think when you saw me outside of your building the day I came back to protect you?

Eva: I thought I wanted to kill you for daring to show your face to me again. Then I wanted to kiss you…but I immediately wanted to kill you again.

Joseph: Yeah, I got that down pretty well, then. I held tight to my gun—just in case you whipped it out of my holster.

Eva: (laughing) As if I could. What did you think?

Joseph: (looking deep into Eva’s eyes) I wanted to pick you up and never let you go. Ever.

Eva: Aww. I love you.

Joseph picks up Eva and stalks out of the room. (Diane clears her throat) I’m thinking this interview just might be over. Thanks for stopping by, and getting a little more insight to Joseph ad Eva. Please enjoy this little snippet of the first time they see each other again—which is what they were just talking about!

Eva can’t believe Joseph dares to show his face to her after he’d cheated on her with a stripper—in her bed. She’d kicked him out, and has no desire to let him back in, despite his claims of being assigned to protect her from the Cartel. Her life very well may be in danger, but she fears more for the safety of her heart.
Joseph made one foolish mistake a year ago, and has been paying for it ever since. She might not want to allow him into her life again, but he doesn’t care if she despises the very thought of him. His duty is to keep Eva alive, even if it might end up being the death of him. Because he never stopped loving her.
Can they put their painful history aside, and work together against her enemy? Or will the past prove too strong to be forgiven?
  “What’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you everything. But not until I get you inside. Take me to your place.”

She laughed. “Hell, no.” Worried or not, he would get nowhere near her apartment ever again. “I told you when I kicked you out you’d never be welcome inside my house again. Nothing has changed. I’m a big girl. I can handle myself.”

She took a step away, and once again he took her by the elbow. This time, Joseph didn’t stop her but grabbed her and dragged her behind him.

“No, you can’t. And if you won’t take me to your place, I’ll just lead the way. Either way, I'm getting in.” He tugged her toward the red-roofed, stucco building Eva lived in, and she tensed.

“Go to hell!” She struggled against his hold, but he didn’t even pause. She dug her heels into the cement and yanked her arm but failed to free herself from his grip. “I’ll scream.”

He stopped and leaned into her face. “You wouldn’t dare.” Without waiting for her reaction, he continued to escort her toward her building.

She opened her mouth, took a deep breath, and yelled, “Help—”

Best-selling author of all things romance. Diane believes strongly in a happily-ever-after for everyone. She especially loves tortured heroes and heroines, as can be seen in her stories. She is repped by the fabulous Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. Check here to stay up to date on all Diane’s upcoming releases!
Entangled Publishing: On One Condition, a novella about a modern day marriage of convenience, is out–and hit the best-sellers list on B&N! Divinely Ruined, a novella about an aspiring angel, is coming soon.
Decadent Publishing: Kill Me Tomorrow, Diane’s first addition to the popular 1NS series from Decadent Publishing, and Reclaimed, a paranormal romance novel, are available. Absolution, the first of a new series with Decadent called Honor Guard, is out March 2, 2012. Broken, a military 1NS book, is out March 30, 2012. Escape To Me, a time-travel addition to the 1NS series, is coming soon.
In addition to being a writer, Diane also reads slush for Entangled Publishing as an intern.
Diane Alberts lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, four kids, and a bird. She lives in the mountains-but wishes it were the beach. She has been writing since she was in elementary school, but only recently fulfilled her dreams of being published in 2011. Enjoys dyeing yarn and knitting in her “spare” time.

Diane's Website

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