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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Review – Wreck of the Nebula Dream

Wreck of the Nebula DreamWreck of the Nebula Dream
by Veronica Scott
Ebook or Paperback

Science Fiction Romance

I was poking around on Veronica’s Scott site–she’s incredibly cool–when I saw an awesome looking science fiction title–Wreck of the Nebula Dream.

Wow. What’s that? I checked it out. It turns out that it was a science fiction romance billed as Titanic in space.

Wow again. I brought it up at Amazon and clicked Purchase.

Here’s the blurb:

Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

I can’t rave about this story enough. The main character, Nick, is compelling and likable, which is a good thing because 80 percent of the story is from his point-of-view.

The story begins in a shuttle as the last group of passengers is being shuttled to the Nebula Dream in the last minutes before its departure. Along the way, Nick has an early chance to be a hero when a superstitious traveler decides to try to kill herself. The opening was a bit contrived and somewhat unnecessary in my opinion, but it did serve the purpose of getting the main characters together.

Once on board the ship, Nick somehow scores a personal tour of the ship by one of the ship officers. This tour comes in handy later. He also takes a jaunt up to the observation deck, where he meets a very interesting old lady.

Less then twenty-four hours later, the ship is in chaos, and no one knows what is going on. Ms. Scott did a great job sowing chaos into the plot. The first challenge is people mobbing the lifeboats, and due to some unforgivable shortcuts taken by the space cruse line, there aren’t nearly enough of them. Plus, there are gaping holes in the hole, and bulkheads are slamming down everywhere to preserve the oxygen in the ship.

What a ride. Everyone has a chance to be a hero. Even the children and the old woman.

This is very much a science fantasy, somewhat along the lines of Star Wars. The mythology has nothing to do with anything you’ve ever heard of in Earth history, which makes it all the more cool. In fact, I am not even sure an “Earth history” is intended in this book, although I may be mistaken. The deities plays a role at least two times, the story is open to a sequel involving one of the deities in particular.

The story is tense, the romance is sweet, and the villains are ruthless. If you pick up this book, the pages will fly by and you will be absorbed into a story that you won’t easily forget.

Care to Crit? My Query for Magic by Starlight

I am sprinting to the finish line for my Austenpunk fantasy, Magic by Starlight. As I tie up plot threads, I am also working on my query. In addition to sending this out to agents, I want to put it on this site in a “Forthcoming” section, so I need to be sure it is as good as possible.

This is just over 200 words.

Tory joins the Intelligence Ministry intending to put to legitimate use the starcasting powers that make her an excellent burglar. When she is expected to work as a femme instead, she thinks someone in authority is in need of spectacles. However, Cecil, bastard son of a lord and the Ministry’s most disreputable spy, thinks that one of the Ministry directors has it in for the lovely Miss Lawrence. And after eavesdropping on speaking tubes and listening at air vents, he knows he is right.

Tory does not realize that an old family indiscretion has made her vulnerable to mischief. When enemies spies try to steal a package that she is entrusted to deliver, she is grateful when Cecil materializes out of the darkness to help. They manage to retain the package, but when they trace the spies back to the Ministry itself, they learn that Tory has been framed for its theft. And the family secret only makes her look guiltier.

The parcel contains a component for a suncasting device that can increase the power of any starcaster a thousandfold. Now, spies both foreign and domestic want the component and Tory is dodging villains like ladies evade louts at a ball. Equipped with a black powder pistol, lockpicks, and a few quick disguises, Tory must decide whom she can trust–and the wrong decision could end with her and Cecil dangling from matching gibbets.


My Staycation – Or, Maybe I Should Have Kept Working

As I write this, it is the last night of my staycation. You may (or you may not) be wondering why I didn’t post more, since I had all that free time on my staycation. Let me give you a rundown of last weekend:

  • Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday morning. Head to Orlando for my niece Katie’s graduation party. (Congratulations, Katie!) We’ve decided to make it a day trip, so we don’t pack.
  • Saturday noon. Get to Palm Coast and swing by McDonald’s. Engine poofs and dies. Won’t start. Hubby strong-arms van into parking space. I fire up the iPhone and ask Siri for a towing company. I call them.
  • Saturday afternoon. Still waiting. Siri fail. We make repeated trips into the McDonalds for what has become an epic pig-out. After third call to towing company in three hours, I call Tire Kingdom and ask them to recommend a towing company. Roger’s Towing recommended; I summon them instead. Of course, the first tow truck finally shows up immediately afterward. Annoyed husband sends it away. Roger’s Towing arrives seven minutes later. We pack in and head to Tire Kingdom.
  • Saturday evening. Tire Kingdom reports that major repairs are necessary. Manager kindly offers us a ride to hotel in his personal van. Once we arrive, we thank him and foolishly send him away. Hotel has no room. Trudge to nearby hotel, a Microtel. It has no room either. Panicked, I ask the desk lady for help. She kindly calls a Day’s inn and procures their last room. She also calls us a taxi, because it is about two miles away.
  • Saturday Night. We take the taxi to the Day’s Inn and spend the night on their surprisingly comfortable beds. However, we were totally unprepared for an overnight trip. We have nothing, except I brought some underthings and a shirt for my daughter because she is wearing a swimsuit. There is nothing in walking distance except a Home Depot. We beg some toiletries from the hotel front desk, and Chuck walks to the Home Depot and buys an iPhone charger, because he knows we’ll want one tomorrow.

Oh boy this is getting long.

Throughout all this, I was live-texting our progress to my family, who partied on. I asked for pictures posted to Facebook, and wished I could have one of those pudding shots (a syringe filled with pudding and spiked with vodka) even though I hardly ever drink.

You don’t think it was so bad? Read on:

  • Sunday Morning. I convince my husband that we are quite capable of walking the half-mile to Tire Kingdom; and I point out that they even have sidewalks the whole way. However, before we leave we take every minute that we are allowed to stay in the hotel, and we check out at 11:00 sharp.
  • Sunday Noon: We eat a mediocre lunch at Perkins and walk the last 100 feet to Tire Kingdom. And we commence to wait.
  • Sunday Afternoon. Still waiting. A repair estimated to take 3.5 hours takes all day. Did I mention that my daughter is an angel throughout this entire ordeal? She gets to eat all the junk she wants. I debate cancelling my staycation. After all, this was supposed to be a time to destress, and it was anything but. I decide that if this drags out another day, I will report to work Tuesday morning and reschedule my staycation for July.
  • Sunday Evening. My brother calls. It was his birthday and he didn’t see his text messages till now. He asks me why the #$@! I didn’t ask him to come get us. I explain that we’d have to come back out the next day anyway, and my king cab mini-pickup does not have room for daughter in the back seat. She overhears me and chimes in that she can squeeze in the back. I give her a hug, and promise bro that I’ll get a status and call him back.
  • Sunday Night. Tire Kingdom is now closed, but three mechanics are gamely working on, determined to finish. One guy tells me that they have all experienced what it is like to be stranded. I am touched. I call bro and tell him that he’s off the hook. They finish at 9:45 and the mechanic drives it around back to rinse everything off. We leave at 10:00, and arrive home an hour later.

I am aware that this could have been a lot worse. But if you ever think, “dang; this kind of stuff only happens to me” you can think of my Memorial Day Weekend and console yourself with the company of my misery.

Winners: Tire Kingdom, Roger’s Towing, Microtel Hotel, McDonalds for the excellent tree under which we parked for three hours, and Home Depot, for carrying an iPhone charger (who knew?), and my daughter 🙂

Losers: John’s Towing, Siri, Perkins, and Dodge, for putting the timing belt in the center of the engine, making it necessary to disassemble the entire engine, resulting in depressing piles of parts around the van.

FinnTheCuteShall I go into the rest of the week, with the physical therapy sessions, the repair on my pickup, the two-day trip to my sister’s to help her deal with a medical emergency, and the drive home with my mom’s vomity dog, which we will be petsitting indefinitely?

(The dog’s adorable–and was just carsick.)

Maybe in another post. Or maybe not.