Summer solstice news

I hope you all are having a lovely day. So far, so good here. It’s *hot*! Well, heck, it’s been hot since March, hasn’t it? That’s what we get down here in ye ole Florida. That and mosquito bites. Yep. I spent yesterday outside helping hubs fix the car and getting bit up. Grrr….

But, on the good side, there’s the summer Solstice dinner hop below, I had a dinner with some good friends, and my first steampunk apocalyptic story has been published in the latest issue of Eternal Haunted Summer (along with my good friend author Jolene Dawe :)) Do check them out. http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/
I hope you enjoy the stories.

Image And, oh yes. Heart concert? :) Was totally made of AWESOME! I was way back in the end of the venue, but they played four (count ‘em four) of my all-time favorite songs, stuff they’ve added back to the setlist recently,  and two I wasn’t expecting at all. They were just to die for! *happy little fangirl dance* Oh yes, that was me singing my head off. Half the city must of heard…or not.

Ahem. Their final “special Zep” set wasn’t, in my opinion, mixed right (What happened????) but to hear them do “Kashmir”, “The Ocean”, and all the others was totally cool. The Jason Bonham band was neat too. Loved the stories Jason told of his dad and they pulled the songs off wonderfully.

T’was all around awesome. So glad I went. *sigh* I’ve seen Heart, now, we think, seven or eight times. However, I have a friend who’s seen Dylan on every tour, she says, and I’m looking at my hubby going, “What the heck’s wrong with us? How many Heart tours have we missed? ” *lol* Next year! >:) But this, this was so cool. Totally worth the heat and mosquitoes. On my solstice playlist…Kick it Out!

Yeah, I’m a geeky little fangirl, I know. :)

Memorial Day–War Hero

This is a little short scene/story I wrote during my first Tampa Area Romance Authors meeting back in 2009. It is based on the feel of the stories my father, a Korean War Veteran, told me all my life mixed with a vision of the battles between the Roman army and the Celts, and a little steampunk-esque fantasy thrown in. The vision of a soldier’s first battle, the pride, and the fear and doubt too that stepping into one’s first battle and drawing “first blood” can bring. For all our fighting men and women, for all our vets past and present. Thank you. I hope you enjoy this little snippet, even if it’s not worthy….

Soldiers in Attack Formation ©  Tudor Stanica | Dreamstime.com

© Tudor Stanica | Dreamstime.com

War Hero

by Juli D. Revezzo

The forest seemed to close in; his fellow soldiers ran ahead, but he couldn’t take that first step.Gray smoke wafted through the green sky overhead, smoke from the report of the Emperor’s aether rifles. Fear gripped him tight. He shifted his sword from left hand to right. You can do this; you’ve done it a thousand times before.

In training. Where the men were always his friends, and they always walked away unharmed. This was for real. Destiny, forever, for good or ill, for victory. Or death.

Death seemed to peer down from the trees. He shivered as cold wind whipped through the forest. Was it simple wind, or were the gods of Death truly watching, casting lots upon this ordeal, watching him, singling him out, though he was only just eighteen?

“Ho, men. Advance!” screamed the force captain. Gunfire and clashing swords bounced from east to west, north and south, front and behind, until he couldn’t tell from which quarter the noise rang.

His chest constricted as his breath fought to escape, wheezing through lungs, throat and nose, dragging every bit of pollen, ash and snow down upon him like writhing wraiths. But no, it wasn’t a wraith creeping up. He spun, whipping his sword before him in a curving arc. The blade met enemy armor in a dull clang. A man, no older than him, dark hair shaved short until only a dusting of it graced the scarred scalp.Crimson blood bloomed across his dove gray coat. The man’s amethyst eyes wide in shock, stared, first at him, then at his blade lodged in his chest. A shock that trundled through him, as well. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, extracting the blade as his enemy fell lifeless, staring at the trees overhead. He didn’t seem so fierce, really, this invader, and in a split, flashing second he wondered, why had he come. What awaited him at home? A wife, a child? No one?

His world pitched and rolled, he dropped to his knees beside the dying body, the scent of blood filled his nose, and he wretched, the contents of his stomach pouring out upon the frozen ground. Gasping for breath, gagging, he pushed himself upright, took firm hold of his sword hilt, yanked it from the soldier’s chest.

First blood. He’d done it. There was no going back now.

But he knew he’d see that man’s shocked, dying face for the remainder of the night, possibly for the remainder of his days. He hoped the chieftain and Emperor would be pleased.

He wasn’t. Nor would that man’s family be.

But this was his job, the life he’d had thrust upon him, his pride to be here, his duty, and honor. The homeland needed this, needed him. Still, the demands of freedom were high.

“Get a grip on yourself, man,” he murmured. It wouldn’t do to lose his senses out here, on the field. He had a job to do, a family and home to defend. Far more precious than any commendation, or medals; they were the only reason he was here. That and Fate.

The invaders kept coming. He could hear them through the din of battle, in the river nearby, coming through the trees. On shaky legs he stood, pulled all his courage around him, tucked inside his armor.

What had the gods and fate in store for him? To fall, like this man?

No. Not here, not yet. Hope and courage would guide his path, whatever came. Resolve and duty would steady his blades, until he could count this battle won.

___

War Hero © 2009; all contents on this site © Juli D. Revezzo, 2009 and beyond.

 

If you’d like to read more of my work, you can find my available books here and stories here.

From the trenches 1

I know a few of my readers are writers, so…I thought you might need to know this if you didn’t. Poking around for something to do with some short story today, I found out Duotrope, that bastion of information for writers? Is now subscription only…

(Yes, I know. I haven’t looked at it in a while.) Ralan.com still survives though.

Also, Steampod? Closed. Steampunk Tales? Um….it’s been a long time since I checked into that one. It looks like it’s just run by one fella now and no submissions?

On Spec is closed to subs right now. Their page is a bit confusing but the bold type says “closed”.

Steampunk Magazine is currently taking non-fiction submissions, but no fiction subs.

But… *Kermit flail* Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Magazine rose from the ashes! WOOOHOOO!!!!!

Ladies, you might be interested in this one, SQ Magazine is open to submissions. It’s run by an author we follow, Ms. Mysti Parker.

Voluted Tales Magazine looks like it’s open to Submissions. And they have a Steampunk issue forthcoming.

For the Paranormal Romance writers, Insatiable is taking submissions. And for fantasy, Conjurings is taking Fantasy submissions, if you’re interested.

That’s all I’ve found so far. I hope this helps someone.

Q and A with Fantasy author Geoff Wakeling

I have a treat for my readers today, an indie author I just ran across, Geoff Wakeling, has agreed to be put in the hot seat! Do read on and let’s give Geoff a warm welcome on this cold day.

Why don’t you tell my readers a little about yourself and your work, Geoff? How did you first become acquainted with the fantasy genre?

Author Geoff Wakeling

author Geoff Wakeling

Geoff Wakeling: I’ve always been acquainted with the fantasy genre, and even as a child I was crazy about films and books that transported you into another realm…..I suppose I’ve never really grown up. I loved ‘The Never Ending Story’, Colin Dan’s ‘Animals of Farthing Wood’ books and ‘The Hobbit’, and was always upset when the book or movie ended. I’m a complete dreamer and hate to conform to society, and so have never managed to stay in an office job or anything similar for very long. I get too bored, and I’m off in my own head writing tales to amuse myself throughout the day.

Now I work from home as a copywriter and author. I also have a little gardening business, so life is pretty nice – gardening in the mornings, and then heading home for lunch and writing. It might not be the best existence for some, but it suits me just fine!

What was the inspiration for Inside Evil?

Geoff: Do you know? I really can’t remember. Even though I only started my publishing journey this year, Inside Evil has been hidden away in my computer files for at least half a decade – it needed some serious dusting off before it hit Amazon. Most probably I just sat down and started to write, saw what was coming onto the page and decided to continue. I find inspiration from everything, from a creature or plant I might see when gardening, to a conversation I overhear in the supermarket or a scene that I watch in a film. It all formulates in my head somehow, and out onto the page it comes.

I can understand that. You’ve got a new title out now. Tower of Souls is your second Indie published work. Do you have any advice for those just starting Tower of souls by Geoff Wakelingout?

Geoff: Really the best advice is to write and not have high expectations. I read an article with Amanda Hocking, published Inside Evil and then waited to make my fortune. It didn’t happen, the industry is not like that and you have to be very fortunate to get that lucky rush.

When you’re starting out, just hone your craft. Write every day, concoct stories in your mind and just keep at it. Use professional copywriters, editors and cover artists when you publish your work so that it’s as near perfect as possible. Then, keep writing. The more work you have on the shelves, the more likely you are that one of those novels will hit the big time.

If you weren’t a writer, what career might you have pursued instead?

Geoff: I’d have stayed in TV most probably. Growing up, I always wanted to be David Attenborough, or at least tag along on his field trips. I didn’t even really want to be on TV, I just wanted to be behind the scenes with the crew, traveling the world. I’ve dabbled in the media, both backstage and in front of the camera as a garden expert and have a degree in zoology, so I’d have probably continued down that path. However, writing drew me away, and though I still stick my head into the industry now and then to see what friends are up to, I’m concentrating more on my novels.

Now that the follow up to Inside Evil, Tower of Souls, is out, what can curious fans expect from you next?

Geoff: Quite a few things actually! Along with Inside Evil, I had a science fiction novel stowed away on my computer, and that will publish next month. It’s not your typical lasers, spaceships and aliens though, it’s more of a look at our current fascination with celeb status and the latest craze. Rather than placing a careful eye on climate change and other matters which could be our undoing, people are living beyond their means, and when our lead character gets a chance to enter a cryogenics program and escape the world, he jumps at the chance.

Then, I was rather undecided for NaNoWriMo and I ended up writing a zombie novella. I’ve never wanted to write about zombies, but this story popped into my head. Again, it’s not a classic tale of apocalypse and surviving zombies. It’s more about what happens to the undead when scientists developer a drug to pacify them. How with humans harness these creatures? Are there any remnants of consciousness, or the former people, within the dead shells?

And, of course, the third book of the Inside Evil series is due out March 2013.

Congrats on your upcoming release! We will be looking forward to it.  Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Would you like to share anything more about your work?

Geoff: I suppose just that you should expect the unexpected in my books. I tend not to read in the same genre that I write in because I don’t want to draw too many ideas from existing novels. I’m always trying to find a new take, and several readers have commented that I’ve offered an original twist on traditional genres. It’s not for everyone of course, and it makes it incredibly hard to try and genre-label my books as they have elements of many different works. Inside Evil could be described as a murder mystery, but it has paranormal and fantasy elements too, and then in the second book there’s a whole new realm to explore with steampunk, fantastical beasts and supernatural threads all being involved.

Sounds like my kinda book! Now for a fun question: if you could face and vanquish any literary (or movie) villain, who would it be?

Geoff: Now it’s time for the inner geek to be unleashed….

hehe. There’s nothing wrong with that!

Geoff: It has to be the Emperor from Star Wars. Yes, I know he’s killed in Return of the Jedi, but did you know that in the expanded universe he actually comes back after using the force to save himself? I LOVE Star Wars, you could say obsessively, so facing Palpatine and being victorious, now that would be pretty darn awesome!

Thanks for being with us today, Geoff. Before you go, where can my readers learn more about you and your work?
Here:

Twitter: @GWakelingWriter

Thank you for being with us today, Geoff! Folks, we hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the mind of this interesting author. :) Got any questions for our guest? Please feel free to leave him a comment. As ever…keep reading!

Heather Hiestand–The Story behind Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas

Again, another one from last Christmas.

 

Oh, hi. Back again I see? No, no. Don’t worry about those rope ladders, we’re not being invaded.

No, today, we have an interesting guest for you, Miss Heather Hiestand, writer of romance and steampunk stories such as her latest, Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas. No, she’s not one of Santa’s elves but she’s could help him get around. *Points to roof* see, she’s all about early air travel—yes, almost like the contraptions my former master (yes I had one, centuries ago) tried to get me up in. Sorry. I think I’ll stay Earthbound.

Either way, I’m sure, should Santa show up early, he and my guest would have much to talk about. Anyway, she’s here to share a bit of history with us. Heather, you have the floor.

The story behind the Story

by Heather Hiestand

I adore Christmas stories and do my best to devote at least a couple of weeks in December to reading them each year. Being a writer, I also get ideas for holiday stories too. “Victoriana” my first published romance (and Christmas story!) came to me in complete form in a dream. It’s in the Holiday in the Heart anthology available electronically and in print. Last year, I wrote “Christmas a Go-Go” for Ellora’s Cave under my Anh Leod pseudonym and then this year published “Victoriana Adventure”—the January sequel to the original “Victoriana.”

This summer, I had bronchitis and it interrupted the flow of the Victorian-set Christmas romance novel I was writing. By the time I was well again, my toddler had given up napping and my free time was gone. I decided my brain needed something shorter than a full-length novel if I was going to ever get any writing done again (Tot playing at my feet quietly while I write? Not so much.) and I noticed there weren’t too many steampunk romance Christmas stories out there. Since I’ve already co-written one full-length steampunk novel, I thought I was just the writer to add to this sub-sub-erm-sub? genre.

The original idea came to me about a year ago, and the kernel was a girl finding a ladder waiting for her at her attic window. Above? An airship, with a life of possibility. Below, all the responsibilities of being a housemaid at Christmastime.

Excerpt:

London, December 24, 1892
Linet Fenna shivered in her attic bedroom as she stared out the open window. Downstairs, all was merry and bright with evergreen branches, mistletoe and handmade garlands festooning trees and mantles. Under the eaves here, wind blew through a crack in the undecorated wall and rustled in the chimneys above.
A fever had made the first housemaid take to bed just after breakfast and Linet, the second housemaid, had been run ragged all day by her demanding mistress and her ever-arriving family. Now, finally done with work, she just wanted to stare at the stars and dream.
“Close the window,” Ann-Marie said, coughing from her iron bedstead in the darkest corner of the room.
“In a minute.” Linet took one last breath of chilly air and had her hand on the sill when she heard a metallic chugging in the distance. The sound came from outside, and wasn’t likely to be Father Christmas.

What are you stuffing into stockings this Christmas? Leave me a comment below.

 

One commenter will win an electronic copy of my sweet holiday romance, “Victoriana.”*

 


Author bio:
Heather Hiestand is the author of seven novels as well as many novellas and short stories. Her imagination keeps her entertained with romance, mystery and futuristic/fantasy story ideas, many of which eventually become words on a page. She lives in Washington State with her husband and son. For more information, see her website at http://www.heatherhiestand.com.

Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas Blurb:
Housemaid Linet Fenna would rather be an air pirate than a servant. When she finds the ladder to an airship dangling outside her garret window on Christmas Eve, 1892, she ascends to the skies above London on her late father’s flagship dirigible, the Christmas. The new captain is someone she never expected to see again, a dangerous, sexy foe. Is the Fenna family nemesis offering Linet her heart’s desire or a dastardly trap?

Captain Andrew’s motivations are as foggy as the coal-soaked sky. Prime Minister Gladstone’s Blockaders, a horde of automen and a teenage girl named Hatchet want Linet to fail in her quest to discover what happened to her missing family, but she is determined to have a happy Christmas.

You can get Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas at the follow places:
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Christmas-Steampunk-Smugglers-ebook/dp/B005WASTQK
Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/96889
BN:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Captain-Andrews-Flying-Christmas/Heather-Hiestand/e/2940013314191

ARe:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-captainandrew039sflyingchristmas-624819-339.html

I love this premise, don’t you folks? Oh the romance of the Victorian age… ;) Don’t forget to leave her a comment or question for a chance to win a copy of Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas! Thanks for being with us, Heather, good luck with Captain Andrew–I mean, with your book about the Captain– (why is my minion looking at me like that? I didn’t say a word.) Have a great holiday!

*Giveaway has ended