29 August 2016

Terra Nova release rescheduled to September 28th

Minor Speed Hump - Source: freeimages.com
So that post title sucked a bit. I learned over the weekend that release of Terra Nova has been delayed (only slightly) moving from September 14th to 28th. Two weeks is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things *she repeats like a mantra* and I know this is not going to stop interested readers from picking it up. That being said, I feel obligated to inform the internet.

The Glass is Half Full - Source: freeimages.com
I could launch into a list of reasons this has happened. But I don't think it's an interesting story. What I do find interesting is the brilliant array of graphics from this spring and summer's release frenzy and promo excitement. So while we're waiting just a little bit longer for Terra Nova, let's recap some of the awesome stuff that's happened so far with The Variant Conspiracy books.
  1. Here is my favourite graphic tweet. This amazing illustration comes courtesy of iStock. I sprang for a few premium pics earlier this year, but this one is easily the most stunning. I felt that it artfully encapsulated the The Compendium's mission to transform Earth into something alien. 

  2. In Irina's Cards has taken some time in gathering feedback from the world of readers, but responses have generally been very positive. I hadn't realized what a complex story I had developed. I hadn't anticipated how readers might associate the plot and story elements with other work I hadn't considered as direct influences. But it does all make sense.
    "I would recommend this book to fans of series like Divergent, or just of scifi
    romance in general, and I look forward to reading the sequel." - I Heart Reading
    "This book is kind of like Fantastic Four meets Divergent ... I can’t wait
    until the next one comes out." - Addicted to Reviews
    "I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series to see
    what happens next!" - Rebecca Austin

    "This is a complex, intriguing story." - Liza O'Connor

    "This is a highly complex, intriguing and decidedly different story,
    one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading." - Splashes into Books
    "I love the whole tarot card thing. I really do. Irina's dreams, the characters, the discoveries all come together to make a good new adult, sci-fi romance." - Sara W.
    "I was sucked into the story and stayed up way too late reading it because
    I had to know what happened next." - Long and Short Reviews
    "I love this series ... I am eagerly awaiting the
    3rd installment." - Bookjunkie's Book Blog

  3. Book blog tours have been rolling forward like a machine. I've toured with Magic of Books, Xpresso, Enchanted, and Goddess Fish. I highly recommend that other authors work with these seasoned book promo professionals.

  4. Social media has been a blast too. I've been crazy active on Twitter (compared to my normal sound of crickets) and back into Pinterest, Tumblr, and Goodreads. If you've noticed the Books Go Social Badge on the right, you won't be surprised to hear I'm working with them too.

#NewAdult #NA #sci-fi #paranormal #PNR #TheVariantConspiracy

Overall, it has been a wonderful summer. I've loved being back in the book world after a hiatus since 2010. (My Etsy shops Sleepless Storyteller and Beyond Junk don't enjoy my neglect, but you have to pick your battles when real life has its own demands.)

Thank you to any and all new readers I've picked up in the last few months. I hope you'll stay with me for Terra Nova - and for what's coming next year. (Hint, hint, I have a new MG book coming next year.)

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22 August 2016

How I got converted to Romance

Source: freeimages.com
I used to dodge reading Romance. I'm sure many readers (authors or not) are aware of the stigma attached to the genre. After university when I began to focus on reading solely for entertainment, I stuck to what I'd always loved: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Children's Literature - all in novel form.

As I began to write fiction of my own, I stayed within the same boundaries. (For those of you who don't know me well, I started my career in communications, marketing, blogging, and technical writing.) When I wrote Book 1 of The Variant Conspiracy, something changed.

I had a plot and motley crew of characters on my hands that didn't really fit the spec fic kidlit molds. The books were a bit too mature for most YA publishers. They were too NA for hard sci-fi publishers. I'd grown pretty attached to Irina and her story, so I kept trying to find a home for her.

And I started gingerly exploring the world of Romance. I submitted to a few and The Variant Conspiracy got picked up by the thoroughly awesome NY-based Soul Mate Publishing. I couldn't be more pleased to be working with them. They have such a great author support network, I started reading my fellow 'Soulies', one after another. I found the spec fic worlds I loved, with the happy endings I've come to need.

I've always said that I don't want to read or watch stories about how the world ends. I don't want to hear about how the battle is lost, how life falls apart, how tragedies unfold and destroy people. Those are powerful stories which need to be told. Yet, I personally don't have the constitution for them anymore. Maybe it's because I became a parent. Maybe it's because I'm getting older. I need to focus on a hopeful outlook on the world, even in my entertainment.

In my twenties, I had a strong stomach for tragedy. In my thirties - once I realized 'romance' simply meant that someone was in love and the ending would be happy - I started opening up to a gigantic new world of literature, many sub-genres within a massive umbrella. I used to think of the Romance genre as a narrow strip of porn for housewives. Wow, was I wrong!

I feel so silly about it now. Almost silly enough to keep the revelation to myself forever. Almost, but not quite. So now you know. I still don't read erotica or anything particularly racy. But a romance story is always welcome on my TBR list from now on.

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12 August 2016

Cover Reveal for Terra Nova - Book 3!

Available September 14th!
The third and final book of The Variant Conspiracy is almost here! I'm excited to finally share the cover for Terra Nova, the darkest and strangest of the three.

A few of you may or may not have seen a thumbnail sneak peek in on a few upcoming blog tour pages. It's been a super busy year, so I'm not surprised I let a little something slip.

But here is the full size image in all it's apocalyptic awesomeness! And, of course, the blurb.

Terra Nova (The Variant Conspiracy Book 3)
The end of the humanity and an unrecognizable future Earth are now days away. After their first glimpse of the Terra Nova virus, Irina and her variant friends know their former employer’s plans are almost at hand. Their failed attempt to publicize Ivan and Innoviro Industries’ horrific activities has left them utterly reliant on their own wits and weapons.

After surviving a catastrophic earthquake in San Francisco and destroying a secret viral testing facility, Irina’s crew has traveled by a variant portal to London. On the other side of the world, they begin tracking when and where Terra Nova will be unleashed on the world. They know stopping Terra Nova is only the beginning of unraveling Ivan’s plans to reinvent the planet, but if they can’t stop this virus, there will be no one left to save.

This sequel picks up exactly where The Compendium left off. And on that note, if you've read and enjoyed The Compendium, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Your friendly neighbourhood author would be so delighted.

#NewAdult #NA #sci-fi #paranormal #PNR #TheVariantConspiracy

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08 August 2016

Theme Thoughts: Scientific ethics

Source: www.istock.com

One of the first major themes in the plot of In Irina's Cards, is the ethics of human testing in the field of experimental medicine. Since Innoviro Industries is already a subversive and secretive company concealing the true motivation for their research, I didn't find it a stretch that their leadership would have no problem testing on humans far too early in genetic engineering trials.

In the real world however, we instinctively experience a moral problem with exposing people (even sick people) to unproven and potentially dangerous treatments.
As The Variant Conspiracy books progress, Irina discovers more underground science developed to harm the planet, create new species (plant and animal), intentionally mutate human DNA, and worst of all, a deadly pandemic virus.

Not all of the scientists and business people involved in the Conspiracy were willing participants, but some were. I'm curious to know how readers feel that this reflects the actual state of research and development in our world. Do we perceive rampant immorality where R&D is concerned? Or as in the Conspiracy books, is it just a few bad apples?

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01 August 2016

Prizes added to my August giveaway

2 e-books - In Irina's Cards & The Compendium
Guess what! I've just added a new prize to this month's giveaway. I'll be drawing a second winner August 12th to receive a copy of In Irina's Cards and a copy of The Compendium.

Get your entries in now!

#‎NA‬ ‪#‎YA‬ ‪#‎giveaway‬ ‪#‎FREEBOOKS‬ ‪#‎specfic‬

In Irina's Cards (The Variant Conspiracy Book 1)

Irina Proffer leaves mundane small-town life behind when she experiences visions inspired by a strange deck of tarot cards. To get answers, she travels from her northern British Columbia home to the province’s coastal capital. She quickly discovers a world of fringe genetic science and supernatural mystery.

Working for Innoviro Industries, Irina is drawn in by a powerful first love and compelling, yet dangerous questions about the nature of the company’s business. Meeting other 'variants' brings Irina closer and closer to the dark truth about her origins. She finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles as she scrambles to escape her employer's grip. Before she leaves the city, Irina realizes she has merely scratched the surface of a frightening conspiracy on a global scale.

The Compendium (The Variant Conspiracy Book 2)

Irina and her renegade variant friends are scrambling to pick up the trail of their former employer, Ivan, and his globally catastrophic scheme. After strategically sharing their story with the media, the group heads south from Vancouver to Seattle hoping to recruit more experienced—and lethal—variants to their cause.

Their attention develops a laser focus on an engineered disaster mere days ahead of them. Ivan is using what staff and resources remain of Innoviro Industries to set off a violent earthquake in San Francisco. While they fight to stop the earthquake, Irina pushes the love of her life Jonah as far away as she can, trying to keep his unstable genetic degradation in check.

Irina’s friends think they’ve seen the worst that Innoviro could bring forth by the time they reach a secret facility in the Mojave Desert. As they near the property, the group uncovers a horror none of them had ever imagined.