Merry Christmas from Untethered Realms!

Cathrina Constantine

I'd like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas from my house to yours. I realize many people's holidays are busy, But, I pray your days are also filled with laughter, joy, and peace. 
Our Christmas Tree ~ 2016 

Happy Holidays to everyone from Kate-the-Great and me! I hope everyone's able to enjoy the season, spend some time with family, and enjoy a good book or two!! I'm really looking forward to digging into some awesome novels from the Untethered Realms cohort that I've been looking forward to for ages. What are you up to?
~ Meradeth

Merry Christmas, from me and my kind. Have a safe and joyous season. My season will be filled with memories of those no longer here as I create new ones with new friends and friends I've known awhile. It's not Christmas without some alien, though. Live long and prosper.  M. Pax

Catherine Stine  

I'm wishing everyone a fun Christmas or whatever winter holiday you celebrate. And I hope all of your 2017 is peaceful, light-filled and inspiring. In this season of political turmoil, two things that give me easy joy are nature and animals. So my tree this year is filled with decorations of creatures, from owls, to hedgehogs to a great Chinese lion. Above are some photos.

This is our Christmas tree before our cat, Thunder springs upon it! See those eyes! Happy Christmas from my house to yours.
~ Christine Rains

I hope everyone has a great holiday! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
- Cherie Reich

Here's to wishing you all a very Happy Christmas. May all your hopes and dreams come true, and may 2017 bring you much health and happiness.
~Gwen Gardner


Getting your indie books in bookstores, schools & libraries

I recently attended NCTE, the National Conference of Teachers of English, in Atlanta. A colleague who writes for the high school market convinced me to go, saying that it was where all of the teachers and librarians went, and where one could connect with them and talk about books.

My Fireseed series in particular, though a sci-fi thriller, has lessons on climate change and global warming, and teens should be aware now more than ever of their world in order to help it.

There was one thing I had to do first. Get the books published on Ingram Spark (used to be called Lightning Source) in order to offer the books at a 55% discount, and with returns. Amazon's Create Space does not offer this. For schools and libraries and also to get your books in bookstores, you need to offer your books at a 55% discount.

I have yet to know whether this gambit will paid off. It's too early to tell. But I will go to NCTE next year, because I did make great connections with teachers, who are hungry for good books with topical points for teens. You can see some of the discussion topics for the Fireseed series that are listed on my banner. I also offered free study guides, which drew people in.

Do you write for teens at all? If not, have you tried to get your indie published books into bookstores? If so, how do you do it? Do you offer a 55% discount?


Book Review: Huntress Found by A. A. Chamberlynn #amreading

Evryn’s got mad skills at playing hide and seek. She can find lost children, hack the most secure databases, pretty much anything. Except for the one thing she desires most: the knowledge of who her parents are, why they abandoned her, and what her special talent means about who and what she really is.

So, when a guy named Seeker appears quite literally out of nowhere, claiming to know about her past and offering her a job, Evryn can’t say yes fast enough. Even if it does mean following him to another realm. As in, mind-blowingly, not Earth. Apparently she’s part of an elite clan of Hunters descending from Artemis who can find just about anything in all of time and space. As the last of Artemis’ direct lineage, Evryn is her clan’s best shot at finding a lost city before rival clans do.

Not just any city, but the flying, realm-hopping city of Skye. Aboard Skye is the Artifex, a magical device with the power to create or destroy worlds. Everyone wants the device, and with Evryn’s super-powered lineage, it means everyone wants her, too. It’s hard to decide who she can trust, even within her own clan. After she discovers a strange, alluring connection to the Artifex, she’s not even sure she can trust herself. Worse yet, the only person who may be able to help her is the Timekeeper, the sadistic ancient being who created the Artifex. An interdimensional war is brewing, and Evryn is right at the epicenter of it all.

Let the hunt begin.
My review:
Evryn has always felt the pull of lost things when she's focused on them. She follows the Call to find missing children and save them from their captors. Until a handsome man named Seeker finds her. She is the Lost One, and once she finds out why, she wonders if she should have stayed hidden. Evryn has the blood of Artemis in her, the most famous hunter in history. Now as a Hunter herself, she seeks the most elusive target: an artifact on a flying city named Skye which can jump realms. This artifact is a powerful weapon. The realms are going to war to find it. And Evryn is the key to it all.

This is the first book in the awesome series, The Timekeeper's War. I was blown away by Evryn's tale, especially with all the twists at the end. Wow. With several realms and a great history, this was a massive task in world building, and it was done wonderfully. Never once did I feel bogged down by information. I reveled in the various realms from modern day Earth to medieval worlds and steampunk realms. Plus the flying city of Skye! The place fascinates me. I hunted it through the pages just as Evryn did.
Evryn is a strong heroine, and while she does have a lot of power, I didn't feel she abused it or that she was perfect. No, she has her flaws, but she also has a huge heart. Kellan is quite the match for her. Gorgeous (and he knows it), smart (and he knows it), and as good of a Hunter as Evryn (and he knows it!). They bring out the best in each other. The whole cast of characters is spectacular. From their clan to the power hungry king to the mysterious White Stag. And the evilness of the Timekeeper, whoa.

An incredible speculative fiction book with fast action, magical mysteries, and a nice bit of tension-filled romance. I'm hooked!


Santa Claus: Alien vs Wizard. Which one is he? #fantasy #Christmas

5 Reasons to Believe Santa is an alien:

1.  He can travel to every house in the world in one night. Evidence of advanced technology: either time dilation or traveling beyond the speed of light.

2.  He has flying reindeer from his alien homeworld. Some have red noses that light up.

3.  He carries one sack filled with presents for everyone.

4.  He can pack away a lot of snacks in one night and not get sick. Evidence he has at least 8 stomachs.

5.  He flies in a ship through the sky. Aliens always do.

5 Reasons to Believe Santa is a wizard:

1.  He has a pointy hat. Wizards always do.

2.  He has long hair and a beard. Wizards always do.

3.  He knows who is naughty and nice. Via a crystal ball.

4.  His tummy rumbles like Jell-o. This is prime evidence of wizardcraft.

5.  He gets the elves to want to make toys all year long for fun. Elves are generally magical.

Oh, there are plenty more reasons to believe he's one or the other. There's even overlap. Some talents he has could be alien or wizard. Whatever you believe, believe in the good cheer of the season and have yourself a merry one!

Here's another holiday treat...

Backworlds Box Collection: Books 1, 2, and 3

The Backworlds Books 1, 2, and 3: The Backworlds, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, and Boomtown Craze.
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This set contains the first 3 novels in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.

The Backworlds
After the war with the Foreworlders, Backworlders scatter across the remaining planets. Competition is fierce, and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to improve his fortunes by destroying his son. He tells his only boy their moon isn’t big enough for them both and gives Craze a ticket for the next transport leaving the space dock.

Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge
Revenge is on Craze’s mind. He chews on it every day along with the relentless dust on Pardeep Station. He dreams of grander wealth, enough to make his father choke. That’s the dream consuming him when the interstellar portal opens, spitting out a ship that should no longer exist. A battleship spoiling for a fight. Yet the war with the Foreworlds ended two generations ago.

Boomtown Craze

Craze is only days away from the grand opening of his shiny new tavern. The starway opens, bringing in a loony Backworlder intent on mucking up his carefully laid plans. Gaunt and trembling, she claims her spaceship is possessed. She also has a connection to the underworld, threatens to end Craze’s prosperity before it begins.

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