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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Characters from BELOVED ENEMY by Hywela Lyn

Today we have two special guests. Kerry Marchant and Cat Kincaid from Hywela Lyn's BELOVED ENEMY.

Diane: Please introduce yourself for those who haven’t met you in your author’s other books.

Kerry: Good morning, may I say what a pleasure it is to be here with you today. I am Kerry Marchant, the second in command of the starship Destiny.

You want to know more about me? I suppose many people would describe me as a loner. I don’t make friends easily and I have learnt to depend on myself and not to rely on anyone else. However the crew of the Destiny and I have come to know each other very well after nearly ten Earth years in space, facing many perils together. I am not very good at showing my feelings, but I would do anything to protect them if they were in danger.

He turns to Cat:

Hello, I’m Cat Kincaid. I’d just crash landed my escape vehicle when I came across Kerry. And this is Shifter (she indicates the large animal lying at her feet, which slowly seems to disappear in front of their gracious hostess).

(Cat laughs softly) Oh, don’t worry about him, he has a knack of blending into his surroundings. He’s still there, just hiding. He’s a chameleopard. Kerry calls him a wolf but he’s really more related to the cat family. He’s much friendlier than he looks – when you can see him, that is.

Diane: Tell us about your family.

Kerry: I have no recollection of my father and my mother died when I was very young. I was raised by an Aunt and her partner. They did not treat me particularly well and eventually sent me to the Formal State Centre for Education. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I met Jon Quinlan there and we became friends, a friendship which has continued into childhood. Eventually we realized our childhood dream of building a great exploratory starship, the Destiny. I suppose you could say that the crew of the Destiny are the nearest thing to a family I have ever known.

Cat: For a long time Shifter was the only family I had. My sister left home shortly after my father left us, and my mother died several years ago. I suppose you could say Kerry is my family now, and of course, like Kerry, the crew of the Destiny.

Diane: How did your upbringing influence who you are today?

It taught me to rely on myself and to fight for what is rightly mine. My experiences with my Aunt, and later on, with a woman who tried to steal the Destiny meant that for a long time I kept my distance from most of the women I met and believed them to be devious and untrustworthy. (He flashes a rare smile at Diane.) Present company excepted, of course – and naturally there were other exceptions, one of our ship’s medical officers, Zeldra, and our ecologist, Laitha. (There is a long pause and a distant, far away expression crosses his face) and…Jess—but that is a different story.

Cat: And me I should hope! She turns and gazes at Kerry with a stern look that quickly gives way to one of affection.

(Kerry takes her hand, his expression serious.) Of course. I would trust you with my life – now. But it was not always the case, I don’t think either of us trusted the other at the start.

Diane: What was your first thought when you met the Kerry, Cat?

Cat: (Grinning wryly.) My intention was to kill him – I thought I had a good reason at the time. However we were forced to face a hostile planet and dangerous situations together, and I began to suspect that I might be mistaken about him. I shouldn’t really say this in front of him, but he is very charismatic, as well as being too good looking for his own good, and although he could be sarcastic and a bit patronizing, I can give as good as I get, and we gradually formed a grudging respect for each other. 

Diane: Kerry - what was your first thought when you met Cat?

Again that flashing smile crosses Kerry’s face. My first thought was that she was about to kill me—since she was leaning over me with a knife in her hand. Once we got over our initial mistrust of each other however, I realized that she was not only very attractive, but extremely brave, strong, and independent as well as being a very capable fighter. She also seemed to share my own rather dry sense of humour, when she wasn’t actually trying to kill me, that is.

Diane: Why did you fall her?

Why does anyone fall in love? It was certainly the last thing on my mind – my main concern was to get off that wretched planet. However we were forced to work together and I realized that in fact we made a good team. The more I got to know Cat—the real Cat, the one she tried so hard to hide, the more attracted to her I became, despite my determination not to allow myself to get too close to her, and never being quite sure which side she was on. There was something about her that called to something in me, and ignited a spark which I thought had long since died, a spark that became a flame so strong, I would have given up anything for her, even my life.

Diane: Why did you fall for Kerry?

Cat: (Blushing ever so slightly) You mean aside from those mesmerizing blue eyes and devastating smile? I’m not sure. I grew to admire him as a person, his strength of character, his intellect—we just seemed to have a connection and much as I tried to fight it eventually I had to admit that I’d fallen in love. He means everything to me now, and I couldn’t imagine us being apart.

Diane: How would you spend a free day?

A free day? Away from the Destiny you mean? I would take one of the ship’s ferry craft and show Cat a beautiful paradise planet I know, in the Andromeda system. It is completely unspoiled and sparsely populated. I won’t say any more though, as I have sworn to keep its precise co-ordinates a secret--but I could not think of a more perfect location for romantic break for two people who have only recently discovered  are in love! His mouth twitches at the corners and he looks straight into Diane’s eyes. Did I really say that? I do not normally show my feelings so openly, especially to someone I have only just met. However, love makes fools of us all, as someone once said, and now I would not have it any other way. Cat is my love, my life, and I could not imagine a future without her.

(He stands and takes Diane’s hand in a formal handshake.) Thank you for the interview, it has been delightful to meet you, but we have to return to the Destiny – if Cat can persuade her tame wolf to re-materialize.

Cat: Goodbye, as Kerry says, we’ve really enjoyed meeting you and your readers. Come Shifter, time to go home.

Wow. What a couple. Let's learn about their story.


Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret, and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red-haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

(This takes place shortly after Cat and Kerry first meet, he has been shot and she tends to his wound.)

She put the tri-dee-viewer to her eyes again and scanned the area. “There’s no sign of life over there. They must all be dead or badly injured. They’d have shot at us again if they were still capable.”

“Unless they are waiting for us to show ourselves, so they can pick us off more easily,” Kerry said.

He made as if to stand, and in an instant, she drew her pistol.

“Like I said before, no sudden moves. Get up—slowly.”

“So you are making me a prisoner?”

“Not exactly, but I’m not stupid enough to take any risks.”

He rose to his feet, his gaze not leaving her gunhand. Several inches taller than her, broad shouldered and slim, he presented a commanding figure. His expression froze as his gaze homed in on the insignia on her breast pocket, his eyes like chips of blue ice.

“You work for the Union.”

“I work for myself.”

“Then why are you wearing the insignia of the Global Union of Earth and Allied Planets?”

“I have a license to requisition any enemy ship trespassing in the sectors of space over which they hold dominion.”

“A licensed pirate in the pay of the Global Union,” Kerry’s eyes showed outright contempt. She almost preferred the icy coolness.

“I prefer to think of myself as a freelancer—doing a service.”

His expression did not change, although he did change tack. “You could have left me to die—or just shot me. Why didn’t you?”

“Call it a personality flaw. I don’t like abandoning someone who’s wounded even to save my own skin. And I don’t kill in cold blood. If I have to shoot someone, I’d rather they were facing me with their eyes open.” Even if I did swear to leave their dead body for the Union to use in their hideous experiments. Keep it casual. Don’t let him guess what’s really in your mind.

To her amazement, he smiled the most devastating smile she’d ever seen, made even more remarkable because he didn’t look as if he did it very often.

“My own philosophy as it happens. It seems almost a pity we are on opposite sides.”

“Opposite sides?”

“I have no love for the Union. That puts us on opposite sides, even if you are just a pirate, doing their dirty work for them.”

She gave him her best withering look. “Fine. And just because I decided to save your hide, don’t get any ideas. We don’t have to like each other.”

Buy links

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired much of her writing.

Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. Her characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. Her heroes are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable–and of course, handsome and hunky. Her heroines are also strong and courageous, but retain their femininity and charm. However difficult the journey, love will always win in the end.

Her first novel, a futuristic romance released by the Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel 'Children Of The Mist'. A third novel 'Beloved Enemy', released on 11th March 2016 continues what has now become a series known as 'The Destiny Trilogy'. Although some of the characters appear in the other books, each story is complete and can be read as a ‘stand alone’.

She is a member of The Romantic Novelists' Association (UK) and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.

When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with her two horses and little ‘rescue’ dog - or just reading and eating chocolate!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Our Big Adventure

On Friday, my cohort in crime, Margo Hoornstra, and I climbed into our trusty conveyance (Hubs’ Chevy) and set off for an adventure in the wilds of Northern Michigan. After six hours of battling obstacles along the route (weekend traffic), we arrived at a charming port city on Lake Huron (Alpena). There, we found a comfortable campsite for the night (Best Western).

Why did we embark on this adventure? The Alpena BookFestival. A gathering of authors and readers. On Saturday our hosts, volunteers at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library, greeted us with enthusiasm, happy to see us. We were guided us to local businesses where we participated in panel discussions on our favorite topics—books and writing. An independent bookstore carried our books and set up tables for us to greet readers and sign our books.

The best part was talking. Talking to readers. Talking to other authors. Talking to the gracious event volunteers. A lovely lady named Patti from Rogers City eagerly gave me ideas for a story that has been percolating in my mind for years and made me excited again about this project. I shared a panel on science fiction with two talented guys (Raymond Brege and John Garavaglia) who write sci-fi graphic novels. What amazing young men! A helpful YA author, Chanda Stafford, made a point of seeking me out to share a tip on self-publishing.

Margo and I participated in three panels together. My favorite was on being a Michigan author. We thoroughly agreed with the other five authors that Michigan is a terrific setting for our stories as well as being such a beautiful state. We aren’t prejudiced or anything. We both agreed the networking was the best part of the all-day event. We shared, we learned, we came away happy.

The organization of the festival was amazing. Margo and I are eager to go back next year.

Returning home, I wished we had one of those self-driving cars. Traffic was heavy, as usual on a Sunday with weekend vacationers returning home. With an easy-to-talk-to passenger, the trip went by quickly. Only after dropping off Margo did it become tiring. Stop-and-go through a lengthy stretch of construction forced me to stay focused but stretched the rest of the trip home by an hour and a half.

Still, I was grateful that I got home safely. Exhausted. So tired I slept twelve hours! And woke up this morning to 965 email messages.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday time, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet is from my new sci-fi romance novella MISSION TO NEW EARTH. Sara has diffused a tense situation between 2 team members, Marsh and Tom. She's given the team time off, even though they're due for another simulation. The rest of the team takes off, leaving Sara and Marsh behind.

I strolled up to the man I loved and put my arms around his waist. When I rested my head on his chest, I heard the thud of his heart, normally, a reassuring sound that always made me go weak in the knees, now it beat more rapidly than usual, still agitated
“Hey, guy, everything will be all right. We’re ready--more than ready.”
“I know, it’s just—”
Leaning back in his arms, I reached up and patted his cheek. “Settle down, big boy.” I gave him a long kiss, to which he didn’t respond—still worked up over the latest simulation. Then he gave in, as I knew he would. Not to be smug, but Marsh did like my kisses.

This will be my last snippet from Mission to New Earth. Next week: new month, new story. Thanks for all your comments.

The Story:

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

In 2172, Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four.

Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

The is the last week for the Giveaway. Don't forget to enter.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Last Day For a Plethora of Free & Discounted Books #SFRBlast

Last Day

Oh, happy day! Five days, actually. Another chance to get free or 99-cent science fiction romance books. I love participating in this promotion. I'm a reader, too. (Like you didn't know that. Hahaha) So I'm going to shop my heart out.

The Pilot (An Outer Rim Novel), on sale for $.99, is the first book in my Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space. This book was so much fun to write. Most of my books are, some more than others. I love the feisty, short, red-headed Celara. More than that, I love the interaction between her and the hard-nose administrator Trevarr. She won't give an inch and neither does he . . . until he needs her help.

Each book in the Outer Rim series is a standalone. You don't have to read them in the order they were written.


Life on the frontier of space is hard enough so when pirates stole Celara d'Enfaden's cargo, she vowed not to be tricked again. Determined to make an example out of indie pilots who disobey orders, Coalition Administrator Trevarr Jovano impounds Celara’s starship and cargo. If he backs down, he’ll lose respect. If she can’t deliver her cargo, she’ll default on her loan and lose her only home—her ship. More important than her ship, though, is her brother. To rescue him from a galactic gangster, she’ll even work with Jovano who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.

The Pilot is available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, ARe, Smashwords.

Note: as of this morning, iBooks has priced The Pilot at $1.99. I'm working on getting that fixed.

Click on this link to find more books. http://smschmitz.com/promo

I hope you find many terrific books to download. I know I will. I think I'll have to live another fifty years (at least) to read all the books on my Kindle.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet Author A.J. Norris

I'm happy to introduce you to a fellow Michigander and an author with a new release. Even though we live in the same state, I met A.J. Norris through the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal RWA online chapter. Let's get this show on the road. 

Welcome, A.J. Tell us about yourself.

I’m from Southeastern Michigan and live with my husband, son, and two Yorkie mixes. I write paranormal romance and romantic suspense. In my spare time, I love to go to the movies and watch my son play baseball.

Where can readers find you?

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when a story starting forming in my head and I needed to get it out. That was about five years ago and I’ve been writing ever since. I knew though that I needed help in order to become a better writer, so I joined a couple of critique groups and tried to learn as much as possible through research and just writing my butt off.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I try to write something every day, although that doesn’t always happen. When I’m writing a MS, I will usually put down 1500-2000 words a day. Sometimes more.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

I’m a pantser, so I just sit down and start writing. I usually have a main character in mind and put them in a situation and let them tell my how it unfolds. I research as I go along or make a note to look something up later. After I get the first ten thousand or so word down, I loosely outline the ending so I stay on track. I need to have the ending in my sights, otherwise I get lost.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?

That’s simple: start writing earlier.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

My books tend to be somewhat dark with happy endings. I put my heart into every character and I hope that it shows. I love stories about redemption and second chances.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is the second book in my paranormal romance series called Her Black Heart. The first book, Her Black Wings is where it all began. I recommend readers start with the first book before reading the second because the sub-plots carryover in the second book. However, each book features a different romantic couple.

Although, my Dark Amulet Series is a paranormal romance, some have said it has horror elements. I also try to use situational humor to offset the darker parts.

Her Black Wings Blurb:

Amalya Rivers longs to die and end her lonely existence—but it doesn’t work out that way…

A former runaway turned criminal, Amalya is murdered and thrust into a treacherous world full of red-skinned, horned beasts under the control of the Demon Ruler, Abaddon, instead of enjoying peace and serenity like she hoped. But saving a young child from a certain brutal death in the last moments of her life has earned her a chance at salvation.

Elliott the Redeemer wants no part in saving another soul…

After one too many failures at redeeming lost souls, the nail-biting, self-pitying Elliott has had enough of his work and would prefer to live out his eternity on Earth drowning in bourbon. It doesn’t matter that Amalya has grown black feathered wings signifying the good that still dwells within her. He can’t risk failure again.

Amalya must save someone from her past in order to escape Abaddon’s rule…

She has to prevent the now grown child she saved from committing murder or risk returning to Netherworld with Abaddon for good. She can’t do it alone, though. Amalya needs the help of the angel sent to guide her, but their emerging love might not be enough to convince Elliott she’s worth the risk.

Amalya loves her black wings. She knows she’s meant to be an angel—and she will stop at nothing to prove it…

Her Black Wings Excerpt:

“You can touch them if you want.”
Placing a hand on the cushion at her hip, he leaned down. He ran a palm along one of the top arches of her wings. She closed her eyes and moaned, carried away by the new sensation. His touch felt erotic. What was the deal with that? He seemed to enjoy it as much as she did. Then he stopped, got off the couch, and went to gaze out the sliding glass door.
The angel stared outside. When he didn’t move for five minutes, Amalya became curious to see what he was looking at so intently through the glass. She pulled herself to a sitting position. Straightening out her legs, she placed her bare feet on the putrid yellow carpet. When she took a step toward him, she almost tripped over one of the shoes Aba had given her. She looked around for the other pump. It was missing. Damn; she’d liked them too.
She stood beside him about to take her first glimpse of Earth in ten years. The fact that it had only been a couple of days for them didn’t matter; she was nervous. All she could see was an overcast sky, reminding her of the last moments of her life. She had to step closer to the glass to get a better view. The balcony beyond the door-wall was enclosed with a black wrought iron railing. They were up high, maybe on the top floor of a ten or so story building. She expected to see snow on the ground. Instead, grass covered the courtyard below. What had happened to winter?

Buy Link:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

#WeWriWa #8Sunday ~ Mission to New Earth

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday time, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet is from my new sci-fi romance novella MISSION TO NEW EARTH. Marsh is upset about something, and Sara doesn't have a clue what's wrong. She finally finds out.

“We screwed up again--in RT, it could kill us,” Marsh announced as soon as the five of us joined him, his voice echoing off the hard surfaces of the lav.
“You and your damn RT,” Tom spat out. “Why can’t you just say real time like a normal person?”
Marsh was right to pick the only place that wasn’t monitored. We absolutely didn’t want the directors to think we weren’t a well-functioning team. They could pull us and put in the Shadow Team--our replacements.
“Okay, guys, what did I miss?” With a forced grin, I raised my right hand. “I swear I wasn’t dreaming about a day at the beach during the sim.”

The Story:

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

I'm running a Giveaway through the month of September for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Click on Rafflecopter to enter. 

Be sure to check out the other snippets from the great list of authors here.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

#CoverReveal Timeless by Crystal Collier

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal

Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

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