Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For the Love of Robots by Catherine E. McLean

Robots fascinate me, but AI's not very much. I like the mechanical, the simplicity of the "cute" little bots like Wall-e, Johnny Five (of Short Circuit), and Rosie (of The Jetsons).

Now, the first robot that actually captivated my imagination was Robby The Robot in Forbidden Planet.

Then there was R2D2 of Star War's fame. He's a favorite of mine, but not so much C3PO. Again, the small, cute mechanical versus the gold-plated humanoid of artificial, opinionated intelligent.

However, I'm also enthralled by RoboBots. My local school has a team of students that, this year, won the school district's RoboBot competition.

Then there's the battling bots, those wacky little box-style bots with destructive capabilities--flame throwers, saws, and whacking-spinning blades. Thankfully, they're confined to a bulletproof arena because the parts and sparks fly when they collide. That bulletproofing also protects the person operating the remote controls.

From time to time, I search the Internet for robots to see what's happening in the world of robotics. Most recently I was wowed to find Cheeta Bot. It can run on its own at 29 mph--and it can jump!

Then there's the littlest of robots, like RoboBee. Why anyone would want a bee-sized robot boggles my mind. Okay, so spies might love them, but I'd be more inclined to swat one out of existence because I don't like being stung by bees, real or mechanical. ... st-robobee

But the most amazing modern-day robot has to be Asimo -, a walking, talking, domestic robot that's a wonder of science and technology. It even has a cute voice.

I would love to own an Asimo, but I'll have to settle for owning Roomba, the vacuum cleaning robot (Big Sigh.)

Catherine E. McLean
HEARTS AKILTER - Love, vengeance, attempted murder, and a bomb...No reason to panic. It's about his heart, her heart, and a robot's nonexistent heart.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Love For Sale...

I’m very pleased to be returning to the Garden with my sci-fi romance, Love for Sale.

March Morgan always set her standards for men high. Divorced but still a dreamer, she reads an ad offering Love for Sale, sentient androids indistinguishable from human, programmed for love. She flies to London and meets the image of the man she has been searching for her entire life. Christian loves March at first sight, without programming, but internal and external forces soon threaten their happiness, indeed their lives.

I received my beautiful books with a fantastic cover and it made me think of the inspiration for this book. Has anyone ever read Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover? I read this many years ago, and the book stayed with me all this time. I recently re-read it and enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first time I read it when I was a teenager. It was a Book of the Month selection for some book club or the other. That was quite a feat because at the time the genre wasn’t as well known. The Silver Metal Lover is a different coming of age story. I love Ms. Lee’s lush writing and have read many of her books, but this one is my favorite.

Here is the Plot Summary from Wikipedia:
“Robots have replaced human labor on earth, causing massive unemployment in a world devastated by pollution and natural disasters. Then Electronic Metals releases a new line: performing artists and sexual companions designed to entertain human partners. Jane, a rich, lonely, and insecure 16-year-old, meets one, the minstrel Silver, and falls passionately in love, despite revulsion at the idea of preferring a mechanical man to a human. She gives up everything she has known for him, and discovers herself. Silver becomes more and more "human" in loving her—a clever illusion created by his programming. Or is it? This unstable society can't afford any evidence that some robots might be indistinguishable from humans. Tragedy is inevitable.”

In researching SML, I find that it is part of the S.I.L.V.E.R. series. Metallic Love was published in 2005—immediately added to my TBR. SML is currently out of print though in 1985, it was published as a graphic novel. There is a rumor that Ms. Lee will write a third in this series. I, for one, sincerely hope so.

Love for Sale isn’t a retelling of The Silver Metal Lover at all. I simply got the idea of a sentient robot from Ms. Lee and ran with it in my own direction. I hope it is as memorable as its inspiration!

Visit my website for a free vampire story.
Linda Nightingale

Monday, August 24, 2015

Highland Harry Wallace, a former highland rogue

For years I've been waiting for the right characters and moment that would bring the story of my paternal grandfather's (many times removed) family in the early 19th century to fictional life. One day two years ago, the stars aligned and I began to write.
Two characters sprang full blown into my imaginative view. Highland Harry Wallace, a former highland rogue, and nineteen-year-old tavern girl Maggie Fowler were the perfect couple to become step-parents to a brood of seven children ranging in ages from seventeen to three. Then Precious the Pig came into my mind's eye. What better companion for the youngest child who hadn't spoken since the death of her mother and what an unusual pet to sleep each night in the cabin with step-parents and children.

Turning Harry into the respected and respectable family man would be no easy difficult as it would be to have a former tavern girl accepted by the straight-laced women of their rural New Brunswick community. But, then, that's the delightful challenge of fictionalizing one's family.
In actual fact, my grandfather many times removed wasn't murdered for his mills but died at age 50 of pneumonia, leaving his wife with nine children to raise. This she did as well as running the family milling business. The eldest, James, who appears as a belligerent teenager in "Highland Harry" became a clergyman and respected botanist. In later years he became the first professor of natural science at prestigious Queen's University. His daughter was the first woman to receive a university degree in science in Canada.

I'm hoping to write a series of books on the children and have one currently in the works about Brodie, Highland Harry's best friend who joins their family. But his partner in love and life has not yet fully revealed herself. Perhaps I should work on a short biography of Precious the Pig? :)


Gail MacMillan
Highland Harry

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Writer's Private Place

Work Place Habits  
Gail MacMillan, Proud Wild Rose Press Author

Years ago, when we had our basement finished, I opted to have a modest office built behind the furnace, away from the other rooms, a recluse’s paradise to write and think.  Many, many book shelves were built, filing cabinets put in place, and a desk top computer installed.  I put up posters that I believed would inspire me as well as family photos and mementos of our travels.  
It didn’t work out.

Alone, in that small room with a single window I couldn’t get the creative juices flowing.  Enter a laptop.  Now I was portable and I found my way into my dining room.  Furnished with beloved antiques, it became “my spot”.  With a large window looking out onto the back lawn, it was bright and warm and cheery. 

Of course, my grandmother’s rocking chair remained the place where I dreamed up stories and imagines  of how it would have been.  My dogs have always waited patiently during these “lost in the moment“ times and I’m careful to reward my faithful companions with a nice, long walk. 

These days I write at all hours of the day and night, in all four seasons, and generally at least a few words seven days a week.  Addicted to writing, I can do no less. 

For Gail's Books Click Here

Friday, August 21, 2015

ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE on sale for .99 cents!

Until September 4, 2015, the ebook version of ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE, will be on sale for .99 cents! OMSC is part of the Lobster Cove series, a multi-author, multi-genre series set in the fictional small town of Lobster Cove, Maine. Here's the blurb:

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.
Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.
Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Here's an excerpt:

“You’re not leaving already, are you? It looks like the party’s just getting started.” 

She turned toward the familiar voice, her heart in her throat. Alex smiled down at her, his dark eyes warm and full of an emotion she was afraid to name. The last words he’d said to her came immediately to mind: I’m not going to give up on you, on us. She clasped her hands together, disconcerted to find they were shaking. 

“I’m not really much of a dancer,” she said. Her voice sounded husky, as if it came from someone else.

He tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear, his fingers brushing against her sensitive skin and making her shiver. 

 “I don’t believe that for a minute. Not someone who plays ball with the grace and athleticism you do.” 

“It’s true. I have two left feet when it comes to dancing.” 

“Prove it. Dance with me.” 

He extended his hand. Julia stared at it for a moment, warring with herself. If she danced with him, here in public, the whole town would know. They’d talk about her, about them. Once more she’d be the subject of gossip. 

But when she looked into Alex’s eyes, she discovered she didn’t care. She hoped she wouldn’t regret her decision tomorrow. 

She took Alex’s hand and let him lead her out onto the dance floor. The band was playing a slow waltz. He linked his fingers with hers and drew her hips against his. They moved slowly, swaying seductively to the music, their gazes locked. Julia simply couldn’t look away. She was lost in a turbulent sea of desire and longing. 

“Where’s Ava tonight?” 

“With the Stewarts. She’s staying the night.” 

The slow song ended, and the band played an upbeat tune that had everyone on their feet. They crowded onto the dance floor. Julia and Alex remained in the middle of the street, staring into each other’s eyes as people danced around them. Then he lowered his head and whispered in her ear. 

“Come home with me, Julia.”

He rested his forehead against hers, waiting. Alex was the first man, the only man, she’d wanted since the end of her marriage. Their one night together had been magical. She didn’t know what to make of his assertion that he loved her. Her feelings for him were too confused to make sense of them. All she knew was that in this moment, she wanted him, needed him. 


ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE is available at The Wild Rose Press. Remember, the sale ends September 4th!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Diana Gabaldon at Denver HNS Conference

Diana Gabaldon and Me in Denver!

Diana G. wowed the Denver crowd as well as participants in the 6th annual Historical Novel Society Writer’s Conference June 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency. As her biggest Minnesota fan, I was once again in the presence of my inspiration. (Two years ago, we met at the 4th annual HNS in St. Petersburg, Florida. Every other year, the Historical Novel Society has a conference in England.)
The popular author participated in a panel session on Midwifery Saturday afternoon, then signed books continuously for two hours. As the keynote speaker at dinner that evening, she filled over 400 conferees in on how the Starz cable series of Outlander was born at another dinner with Producer Ronald Moore of StarTrek fame, his partner and their wives. The wives were gushing over the bestselling Outlander books they were reading—a perfect new project!

An option was already held by someone else for movie rights to Outlander, but condensing the book to a two-hour movie was not in the script. When the option was finally released to Moore, Outlander became the 16-episode series that has collected raves, awards, and an incredible following of international viewers who have flooded social media with proof of their dedication as old…and new fans. The charismatic actors have truly brought Diana’s book to life. Season one ended as summer began, and “Droughtlander” became the new word coined for the period between seasons (and books in the series).

Diana was also hostess for the late night “spicy” readings after the Saturday banquet. I had signed up to read—among 30 or 40 others—but lost my voice to laryngitis. Great timing for an opportunity that was probably steamrolled by a case of nerves, anyway. Diana graciously offered to read for me, and I gave her a copy of my own romantic time travel with pages marked. As it turned out, the evening was shortened when the hotel staff needed to clean the dining room. The dinner, awards, a hilarious costume skit and the readings had extended the day to 17 hours for intrepid HNS travelers.

Fans of the more celebrated attending authors signed up to meet their favorites in Sunday morning “Coffee Klatches.” Diana had three 45-minutes sessions scheduled in her suite, We learned she writes in a "gridwork design," scenes that eventually string together like a network of Christmas lights. Are Jamie & Claire in the Starz mini-series an item in real life? (Sadly, no; just good friends and charismatic actors.) Advice to fellow writers? Write somthing every day, even if you think it stinks!
“Ye Hielands and Ye Lawlands” for the last hour of the Conference was one of my favorite sessions, probably because free samples of Scottish whiskey from all regions of Scotland—became instant balm for a sore throat. With her rigorous schedule, I was amazed that Diana still had her voice, and gracious good humor. “If you want to sell books,” she chuckled, “get a TV series.” The best writing advice I ever got advocated a benchmark to follow: Emulate, Equal, then Surpass your favorite author! Dynamic Diana makes that reach nearly highland impossible!

Cj Fosdick
Cj's Books Click here

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Inspired New Release, Beneath The Lake

A town that time forgot––the eerie lore attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta's famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. And Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars (in the picture below), bared its cement stands in a recent draught.

The moonshiners of the 1940's added built-in suspense. But there's a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too. And the lore is creepy. Swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains until they join her in her watery grave. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake's unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. :o The inspiration haunted me, begging for a story to be told.

What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series. Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L'Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history presented a plausible theory: what if the explosions required to excavate the lake induced a seismic shift and, given enough energy, could open a portal to a different dimension or a rip in time. I loved the possibilities.

The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux's A Knight In Shining Armor, a time-slip novel of course, and her endearing Montgomery family, with the hope my writing honors her inspiration. The character Lacey's persona, inspired by my high school friend, Hilary Johnson, slipped perfectly into position. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble, and some of her finer qualities naturally became part of Lacey––but the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. :oops:

Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed the energy grew into a life of its own. Book two, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Any guesses as to who will pick up the ball? :roll: Hmmm... maybe a contest is in the works.

Casi McLean
To Read More on Beneath the Lake - Click Here

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Peril, Passion, Peru - adventure, romance and danger

As dreams go, the apparition didn’t frighten her. She continued to stare at the lascivious face. When a bloodshot eye winked at her lewdly, she pulled the drawstring closed and let the bag drop.
Another sack rolled down from the pile, splashing as it hit the water, which had now risen to her ankles. She opened this one to see a female head with glassy brown eyes staring sightlessly at her. Long, yellow hair fanned out in a crown around the girl’s face and floated on the slowly rising water, the strands bunched into knotted strings like an Inca quipu. This one, she knew, counted scalps.
She closed the sack and let it slide from her fingers as a third came tumbling down. Shivering, she opened this one with great care.
Before she had widened the hole more than a few inches, a familiar lock of sun-bleached hair fell out. With a cry, she dropped the sack and backed up, shoes sloshing as the water reached her shins. She kept stepping backward until the side of her head hit the wall of the cave.

Here's the Inca quipu Jill found in the cave, giving her the image for a nightmare about her rival. From PERIL, PASSION, PERU by Eve Dew Crook.

Available Now

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ancient panpipes in Peril, Passion, Peru


Jill finds a shard from a large pot that shows a little man playing the panpipes. The broken clay didn’t make a good photo, but here’s the same motif on a silver jug. PERIL,PASSION, PERU. 


She turned it over and over in her hand. “Why, that raised part looks almost like a little figure. He’s playing—what do you call them—the panpipes?”
“Right, the panpipes are ancient. And see how the bottom of the piece is curved? It’s part of a lid, perhaps, broken off a pot. The little guy could be the handle.”
Jill rubbed her thumb over the shard, thrilled at her connection to the past. “How old is it?”
“Hard to tell just from a fragment. From the feel of the clay…maybe eight hundred years.”
“Wow!” She smiled radiantly at Dex, and he grinned back. “Better watch out, you’ll catch the pot-hunting fever.”
Oh no. Frank used this fascination to hook her. She couldn’t let herself be sucked in again. Her head throbbed. Manhattan…books…publishing…the bright lights of Broadway. That was her world, not this blistering sun. Scrunching her eyes tight behind the sunglasses, Jill tried to force the headache back into darkness. Her fingers still clung to the shard.

About Eve Dew Crook

I’ve bounced from East Coast to West Coast with many stops in between, now live in Arizona with my artist husband. Not into sports, though I used to play a mean game of pingpong. Love to travel, read, write, walk with a book on my I-phone while I gaze at the scenery, attend concerts and watch lots of movies. Like to pal around with friends, especially writers and readers, and look forward to hearing from readers of my books. You can find out more about me at http://evedewcrook or e-mail me at 
Oh, yes, I also like to write poems. Here’s “The Song of the Lovesick Siren.” I love you, I love you, I love you so madly, If I tried to tell you I’d do it so badly. I love you for will be, for was and for is, If I were a soda, I’d give you my fizz. I love how you think, and I love how you feel, I love you for promise, I love you for real. I love you for touching, I find you enticing, If I were a cupcake, you’d lick off my icing. I love you for dreaming, for taking and giving, I love what you put into warm-blooded living. I love you completely, I’m out of control. If I were a doughnut, I’d give you my whole. ? --Eve Dew Crook Author: Taking the Tumble Peril, Passion, Peru

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pursuit and passion, bullets and blowguns...welcome to Peru

“One of the ancient reed boats glided into the cave.”

The reed boats appear several times in PERIL, PASSION, PERU. Don’t they look like an octopus’s waving arms when they’re drying out on the beach?  

Available Now

Pursuit and passion, bullets and blowguns, arousing art and sublime satisfaction—welcome to Peru.

When her husband walks out leaving their final divorce papers unsigned, bilingual editor Jill Flanders hops on a plane to Peru to find him. She’s waited a long time to be rid of the lying coward and refuses to lose her chance at a fulfilling life.

In Peru, she meets Dex Conroy, a ceramics specialist hot on her ex-husband’s trail after precious artifacts go missing. Jill is disturbed by her instant attraction to Dex. Nevertheless, she joins him in search of the missing man and vanished treasure.

As the hunt heats up, the hesitant relationship between Jill and Dex blossoms. Can the newly awakened lovers find what their hearts seek while accidents accrue and poisoned blowgun darts start flying?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Spooky Cave with Eve Dew Crook

I love exploring caves (with a guide!) and the cave on the cover of PERIL, PASSION, PERU plays an important role in the story. But the first Paleolithic cave I visited gave me an experience I’ll never forget. Deep in the cave was a chamber covered with tiny drawings. I lingered there in fascination, not realizing my tour group was leaving. Suddenly, I was in total blackness—and the blackness deep in a cave is like no other blackness imaginable. My heart pounding madly, I cried out, “Hey, I’m still here!”  A German tourist in our group made his way back with a lantern. He lifted it to my face and must have been grinning as he said, “Ach, der Neandertaler…” ~ Eve Dew Crook

Peril, Passion, Peru - Available Today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Peril, Passion, Peru - Get ready for adventure...

“I’d pick the
Amazon for romance…gliding silently in a canoe after dark, hunting for wildlife by flashlight.”
Of course, Machu Picchu is special, and as a ruin rat I love the desert, but there’s also the Amazon and the jungle, another exciting place to visit in this fantastic country. Here’s a local banana boat on the river. PERIL, PASSION, PERU. 

Pre-order Today - 
Releases Tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2015

What an Experience!

On my first visit to Peru, my family and I flew in an unpressurized plane from Lima at sea level to Cuzco at 11,000 ft., snaking between peaks of the Andes Mountains, sucking on oxygen tubes. My son (8 years old) sat beside me, my husband across the aisle. At one point hubby called out, “You’ve got to see this!”  I unbuckled my seat belt and took the tube from my mouth to walk across the aisle. I didn’t make it--started to pass out, but lurched back across and grabbed my tube to breathe again! ~ Eve Dew Crook

Peril, Passion and Peru - Coming Soon!