Monday, 31 August 2015

Where have you been, James Blunt?

If you're one of my personal Facebook friends, you'll know I often joke about my iPhone being sentient, because at times it seems to know me a little too well. It regularly replaces the word both with Borg in my text messages, encourages me to marry Tom Hiddleston, and Siri often uses science fiction movie quotes to answer my questions. Can't think why it would think I'd want to marry Tom Hiddleston, though. Cough. Cough.

In reality my iPhone probably just has clever algorithms that 'remember' all those google searches and commonly texted words or phrases. Or is it more than that logical explanation? 

Late Friday night my iPhone woke me playing a song I'd never heard, I Really Want You by James Blunt. What I wanted to do is toss my phone across the room, because I really didn't want to be woken up. Anyway, in my half-awake state I ended up listening to the song and it was actually quite good. Then I thought where the hell was it coming from? I've never owned or downloaded a James Blunt song or album. I went to my music app and there was the deluxe edition of one of his albums, All the Lost Souls, along with that damn U2 album Apple forced on us. If anyone can tell me how to remove U2's album, I'd be eternally grateful.

The next day I listened to Blunt's album and also watched the videos it contained. By the end I was wondering why I'd ignored him all these years? He's actually a talented musician and songwriter. I didn't know a lot of his songs reflect his time in the army and experiences in Kosovo. He isn't the manufactured pop act as I'd always thought. 

Clearly, my iPhone knew I'd like his music. It just had to force me into realising that fact by downloading one of his albums and waking me up by playing it. I mean what other conclusion can I come to?

My favourite track so far.

As I've clearly been missing out on some amazing artists, hit me with some recommendations. And if you are a James Blunt fan, do you have a favourite song or album?

Monday, 24 August 2015

Mayhem in the Air! #UntetheredRealms

Out this Halloween.

Another fantastic collection of short stories from the talented authors of Untethered RealmsIsn't the cover stunning? Erin Dameron-Hill has fast become an Untethered Realms favourite when it comes to cover art.

UR will be touring in November to promote this anthology. Join us for exclusive excerpts and a chance to win a $40 gift card!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Feed Your Ebook Reader #SciFi #FREE

One of my greatest pleasures in life is 'feeding' my Kindle. I love turning it on and seeing those new titles upload. There are always more on it than I can read, but that's the way I like it.

Coming this October (I've already pre-ordered it) is Far Orbit Apogee.

Looking for science fiction stories like they used to write? Far Orbit Apogee takes all of the fun-to-read adventure, ingenuity, and heroism of mid-century pulp fiction and shapes it for a new generation of readers. Follow the adventures of heroic scientists, lunar detectives, space dragons, robots, interstellar pirates, gun slingers, and other memorable and diverse characters as they wrestle with adversity beyond the borders of our small blue marble. Fun, engaging, pithy, and piquant, we’ve got it all.

I love the cover for this anthology. It includes a novelette by Milo James Fowler, which is an added bonus.

Another anthology containing a story by Milo James Fowler is Beyond Space Opera, which was published on August 16th. It's also FREE on all formats at the moment, so grab it while you can.

In the vein of Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, and Guardians of the Galaxy, this space opera collection includes humorous action and adventure alongside stories with heart. These tales won’t leave you in the pits of despair. Instead, they’ll lift your spirits, taking you to places unknown. 

You’ll travel the stars to far-flung planets, meeting heroic humans and aliens alike — even a mech and a clone. There may be lions and jet packs, to boot. No pigs in this space, but otherwise, all bets are off. 

Strap in, and prepare yourself for a wild ride! 

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords

Finally, today is the launch date for the second book in Susan Kaye Quinn's stunning Singularity series, The Duality Bridge.

What does it mean to be human? Elijah Brighton is the face of the Human Resistance Movement. He’s the Olympic-level painter who refused an offer of immortality from the ascenders—the human/machine hybrids who run the world—in solidarity with the legacy humans who will never get a chance to live forever. 

Too bad it’s all a complicated web of lies. 

Worse, Eli’s not even entirely human. Few know about the ascenders’ genetic experiments that left him… different. Fewer know about the unearthly fugue state that creates his transcendent art—as well as a bridge that lets him speak to the dead. But the Resistance is the one place he can hide from the ascender who knows everything the fugue can do. Because if Marcus finds him, he’ll either use Eli for his own nefarious purposes… or destroy him once and for all. 

The Duality Bridge is the second book in the Singularity series and the sequel to The Legacy Human. This thrilling new young adult science fiction series explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world. 

Book one of the Singularity series, The Legacy Human, is ON SALE at 99cents. The Duality Bridge is available NOW.

Now you'll have to excuse me. I need to go feed my Kindle.

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Writer's Paradox

You might have noticed it's been a few weeks since I last blogged. I've been struggling with a pelvic injury, and just getting through work has been both a struggle and exhausting. Thankfully, I'm on the road to recovery.

I have to say a special note of thanks to Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh for taking the time to email me to check all was okay. Thank, you, Alex!

Now on with today's blog topic, The Writer's Paradox.

I recently had a profound realisation - time spent with friends who understand me and also make me laugh are vital to my creativity. Furthermore, too much time on my own kills my creativity. And there in lies the writer's paradox. I need time alone to write and read. I need to be okay with my own company for long stretches of time. I need time to daydream. But I also need to feel contented, secure, and happy. I need to have long conversations about the things that inspire me with someone other than myself. Most importantly, like everyone else, I need laughter to release the tensions and worries of every day life so that I feel relaxed enough to write.

We writers need to surround ourselves with people who enrich our lives and inspire us to achieve more. The ones that are genuinely interested in what we have to say. We need to avoid the emotional vampires; the people that leave us feeling utterly drained after each encounter. You know the ones I mean. We all know such people. Most importantly, we need time-out from both everyday life and writing to recharge our creative batteries, and nothing does that better than time spent with friends.

What say you?