On Hiatus

I'm taking a short break from the internet for August, so this blog will be a little quiet for the rest of the month and into the first week of September. In the meantime, there are scheduled posts going up every Wednesday at my cosplay blog - The Intergalactic Seamstress - and at the review blog Critique de Book, plus the odd up to date post at Spacefreighters Lounge on a Tuesday (or you can find my fellow crew mates posting Monday-Friday). See you when September comes! 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Why #Worldbuilding: A #Workshop for Aspiring & Published #Authors #scifi #fantasy


Ever read a book and wonder how the author created such an incredible, engrossing world? Do you want to BE that author?
Writing is a lot more than just Characters + Dialogue + Action = End. For genre writers especially, worldbuilding is a critical skill that will help you create a world that jumps off the page and into your reader’s mind.
How do you get there?
Where do you start?
Worldbuilding is one of the most intimidating aspects of the writing process, but it doesn’t have to be. In Why Worldbuilding (is the Secret Ingredient): The Complete Beginner’s Guide, Catherine Peace, author of books like Gemini—a science fiction romance featuring a universe built around giant cats, Chuck Norris facts, and aliens galore—will guide you on the journey from creating bland settings to vibrant, believable worlds for your characters and stories to inhabit.
Starting October 16, you'll get your chance to learn about one of the hardest and most rewarding parts of the writing process: Worldbuilding. Using examples from some of science fiction and fantasy's best known worlds, you'll gain the tools and insight you need to create your own.
Once you’ve gone through the course, you should be able to:
·         Understand worldbuilding’s importance and function in your story
·         Utilize the building blocks that will guide you through building your world
·         Calculate the air speed velocity of an unladen European swallow (this is not true; I suck at math)
·         Seamlessly weave your worldbuilding elements into your story
Over the five-week course, we’ll explore some of storytelling’s lushest worlds—from Westeros to Hogwarts with a few unexpected stops in-between—and break them down into easily digestible concepts you can use to beef up your stories and give them the punch that will set them apart. BAM!
Put on your apron, grab your chef’s hat, and join me in October!
***REGISTRATION OPENS AUGUST 15***
*Course details: You will get out of this course exactly what you put into it. It will use a ton of examples from abovementioned famous books and my own writing, and there will be some homework involved. (Don’t worry, I’m not grading anything.) I will always be happy to answer your questions.
Not a writer? You can still get plenty out of Why Worldbuilding! LARPers and RPG enthusiasts alike can use the course to brush up on worldbuilding skills!
Course schedule
Each class is $30, or you can complete the set for $130
Week One – Intro to Worldbuilding: What is it? And why should I do it?
o   Covers:
October 16
§  What worldbuilding is and what it isn’t
§  Worldbuilding and your setting: Houston, I think we have a                    problem.

             October 18
§  Worldbuilding and your characters: Who am I and how did I get here?
§  Worldbuilding and your plot: What does this button do?

 October 20
§  Worldbuilding and your genre: We go together like....
§  Worldbuilding and your story: A mechanic without his tools is just a tool.

Week Two – The Basics: What you need to know and why you need to know it.
o   Covers:
October 23
§  Know your genre.
o   You can mix and match in a thousand different ways, but you need to understand what makes genres, genres.
§  Know your story.
o   Plotters will likely have most everything nailed down. Pantsers need to have a working knowledge of their story - some beginning, mushy middle, vague end. Your world affects it all.
October 25
§  Know your (character's) role in your plot.
o   Basic plots & how your genre shapes them and your characters.
                       October 27
§  Know your characters.
o   Whether you know enough to fill out a dating profile or volumes of biography, you should at least know 3 things: A name, a role, and a goal

Week Three – Playing God, pt 1: The Building Blocks of Civilization
o   Covers:
October 30
§  Family
o   The Family (or lack thereof) Unit
o    What do we eat? When do we eat? …Do we eat?
o    Where do I live?
o   Gender roles & Familial bonds
§  Love and Sex
o   Sex and sexuality
o    What is Love?

        November 1
§  Science, History, Religion
o   Science and advancement—is it even allowed?
o   How is history recorded?
o   Religion, mythology, philosophy, factions, and cults
o   Doctor, Doctor: your physician and you
o   Education: Who gets to learn stuff?
                               November 3
§  Culture at Large
o   Language! (Bonus: Hilarious profanity, colloquial sayings, blasphemy)
o    Transportation: Hoof it, drive it, fly (on) it? How do you get where you need to go?
o   Authorities and vagabonds: Who's in charge here? Should they be?
o   Power dynamics: Who has it and who wants it?
o   When Harry Hates Sally: cultural clashes (Bonus: How we wage war and why it matters)
o   Fashion: You’re wearing WHAT?
o   Currency and economic system: I need stuff, you have stuff, how do we trade?
o   What do I live in?: How architecture tells its own story

Week Four – Playing God, pt. 2: Constructing Your World
o   Covers
November 6
§  History lessons: you don't have to know it all, but you have to know enough to be dangerous.
November 8
§  How boned is your world?: Man’s inhumanity to man, nature, God, and you.
o        Radioactivity, weird-ass seasons, crazy weather? WE GOT IT ALL!
§  How hard does your world bite back?: The flora and fauna and beasties that make the world an interesting and dangerous and scary.
o        Here be Dragons, Magic Zombies, Strange Fruit, and more!
                            November 10
§  What in the actual world(s): Stuff. Thangs. What’s where, why, how?
o        Where you’re from and what it says about you
o        Culture, language, and tradition
o        Technology—Regardless of genre, technology is an important aspect of any society
o        Geography—Not just a category on Jeopardy!
o        Seats of Power
Week Five – Weaving the Tapestry: How does it all come together?
o   Covers
November 13
§  Avoiding the infodump: As you know, Bob, it’s a novel, not a history lesson.
                           November 15
§  How much does your reader actually need to know?

    November 17
§  Showing vs. Telling: AKA the reason the Song of Ice and Fire books are soooooooo loooooooooooooooooooong
Clever inclusions

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book Blitz: Crash Land on Kurai by SJ Pajonas #scifi #giveaway @spajonas @lolaslogtours

Crash Land on Kurai banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Crash Land on Kurai by SJ Pajonas. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 20 July. See the tour schedule here.

Crash Land on KuraiCrash Land on Kurai (Hikoboshi #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction, Action Adventure, Space Opera
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 18 July, 2017

Blurb:
Yumi Minamoto has the shortest fuse on the ship. She’s just whipped a bully and been confined to quarters, but she’s not staying there. A disgraced journalist trying to clear her name, her job is to document the mission to the Hikoboshi system, and she’s determined to get it right, despite all the trouble she causes. But when unknown vessels fire on their ship, and Yumi's life pod crash lands on a dying moon, she's separated from her family and friends, and her mission falls to pieces. Now she must navigate the unfamiliar and deadly terrain, deal with a society she doesn’t understand, and try to stay alive until rescue comes… if it ever does.

Crash Land on Kurai is the first book in the Hikoboshi Series, an action adventure, space opera series that explores the worlds settled by the Japanese who fled Earth a century ago. Culture, history, technology, and swords clash in a fast-paced future society on the brink of war.


You can find Crash Land on Kurai on Goodreads

Read the first four chapters of Crash Land on Kurai! Get your sample here from Instafreebie!

You can buy Crash Land on Kurai here on Amazon
The book is available to read with Kindle Unlimited

Check out these teaser images for Crash Land on Kurai!

Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #1


Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #2


Crash Land on Kurai Teaser #3


SJ PajonasAbout the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Tumblr
- Instagram
- Youtube
- Wattpad
- Bookbub
- Amazon

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway during the book blitz of Crash Land on Kurai. These are the prizes you can win:
- 2 winners will get a US$10 Amazon.com gift card and a Nogiku Series Omnibus ebook delivered via BookFunnel (valued at US$13)
- 1 winner will win a Nogiku Series Omnibus ebook delivered via BookFunnel (valued at US$13)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Book Blitz: Withhold by Andrea Pearson #UF #fantasy #giveaway @lolasblogtours @andreapearson2

Withhold banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Withhold by Andrea Pearson. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz takes place on 18 July. See the list of participating bloggers here.

WithholdWithhold (Mosaic Chronicles #9)
By Andrea Pearson
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult, New Adult, Adult
Release Date: 18 July, 2017

Blurb:
With the lives of everyone she holds dear at stake, will Nicole be able to do what it takes to stop the evil surrounding her?

In the ultimate battle between good and evil, Nicole is in a race to stop Keitus before he achieves his plans. If he succeeds, he will crush everyone who has opposed him and enslave Earth and countless other planets. Unfortunately, he is only minutes away from his goal.

With so much at stake, Nicole and her friends must approach Helen, a volatile and dangerous spirit who will probably destroy them regardless of whether she gives them what they want. And the chances of her helping them are slim.

Fast-paced and epic magical fights, exciting plot twists, and non-stop action and adventure await. So sit down, buckle up, and hold on for the explosive, much-anticipated conclusion to the award-winning and bestselling Mosaic Chronicles.


You can find Withhold on Goodreads

Withhold is only $0.99 on release day!
You can buy your copy of Withhold for only $0.99 today only! Buy your copy here:
- Amazon
- Nook
- Kobo
- iBooks

Download bonuses:
If you pre-order or buy a copy of Withhold you can receive some download bonuses! Here is how it works: buy your copy of Withhold and forward proof of purchase (a confirmation email or a screenshot) to withholdbonuses@gmail.com
You’ll receive 7 books (two books from Andrea Pearson and 5 from other authors) and some other goodies, including a bachelor of science degree from Katon University, coloring pages, word search, fantasy illustration by Andrea's husband (James E. Curwen, professional illustrator) and more. Read all the details about the download bonuses here.

Earlier books in the series:
Discern (Mosaic Chronicles #1)
Discern
He's dark and powerful, a magical anomaly. She's inexperienced and untrained. Can they set aside their differences in time to save themselves?

Links:
- Amazon
- Nook
- Kobo
- iTunes
- Goodreads

Praxis (Mosaic Chronicles #2)
Praxis
Links:
- Amazon
- Nook
- Kobo
- iBooks
- Goodreads

Free books!
You can get both Discern and Praxis for free when you sign-up for Andrea’s newsletter! You can sign-up for her newsletter here.

Find the whole Mosaic series on Amazon


Andrea PearsonAbout the Author:
Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo, and loves putting together musical arrangements. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels (the Kilenya Series and Mosaic Chronicles) and several novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life - it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family and close friends is where she's happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

You can find and contact Andrea here:
- Website
- Blog
- Facebook page
- Facebook profile
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Pinterest
- Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Withhold. This giveaway is US Only. One winner will win a $50 Amazon gift card!

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway