Archive for March, 2014


Snostk 3-8-14Daylight savings, and we’re back to sunrise at 8:27 am. We’re actually on double daylight savings based on longitude, as Alaska Standard Time is already an hour farther east than our true longitude, and 2 hours east for Nome, also in the same time zone. This far north, true time zones are close together.

At any rate the sun will set tonight at 7:37, after a day almost 11 hours 10 minutes long. The Equinox is coming*; only about a week and a half to go, now!

Temperatures this month have been slightly above normal until the weekend, with highs mostly in the 20’s and lows sub-zero – ideal for the ice park, where it’s warm enough that water can be used as glue to weld ice blocks together without being so warm that the ice melts. We did have a couple of inches of snow midweek, and the backyard snow stake now reads very close to two feet. We’re also getting into a cold spell over the weekend (highs not always above zero) but it’s forecast to be pretty short.

*At 8:57 on March 20 ADT, to be precise.

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Welcome to another episode of Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

We’re still with Roi, right after he has let loose his frustration into his father’s mind, in this snippet from Tourist Trap. Italics within the quote indicate mental communication.

Roi?  He felt the surprise in Lai’s mind-voice, and a distinct feeling of — respect? — that he had initiated contact at such a distance.

For once in my life can’t you let me do something I want to do, on my own?  Or am I as much your slave as I was Derry’s?

He felt his father flinch at the accusation.  What happened, Roi?

            We’re gliding down to the plains, I had a minor problem with the wing, and there’s a Company flier pacing me.  Get him off me now, or I’ll arrange that we lose the finders.

Blurb for Tourist Trap: A vacation with his three best friends from slavery and a manhood challenge: Roi is given the graduation present he has dreamed of. Dogsledding, hang gliding, a chance to see Pleistocene animals transplanted to a Terraformed vacation world, horseback riding, sailing … all the sports he has returned to with his recovery from paralysis, and a few new ones to learn.

They’re prepared for danger from weather, wild animals and extreme sports. But none of them realize that Roi’s half brother Zhaim, determined to recover his old position as Lai’s heir, intends to kill them if he can—and he’s decided that the dangers of the trip will make a perfect cover for his schemes.

How long will it take them to realize that the “accidents” they keep running into are more than just accidents?

Reviewers of Tourist Trap say:

“Fans of Sue Ann Bowling’s novel Homecoming will not be disappointed with its sequel. Tourist Trap returns the reader to the world of the Jarnian Confederation—to Roi, Lai, Marna, and all of their friends and relations. The author does a stellar job of bringing these characters to life, allowing the reader to not only see their actions but to understand the culture and politics that motivate them. (ForeWord Clarion review)

“Tourist Trap” is a great read for anyone that wants motivation and feeling to accompany the action in their sci-fi adventure. Alien beings and super powers are an integral part of Roi’s story but what makes this novel really shine is the heart. Nobody is good or evil just because that’s their assigned role. Just like in real life, everyone has their own motivations and desires, and Bowling does a great job of letting the reader see what it would be like to walk in the shoes of Roi, Xazhar, and even madman Zhaim. (ReaderViews review)

Tourist Trap (iUniverse, 2011) is available from: Barnes and Noble, iUniverse, and Amazon in dust jacket, trade paper, and e-book formats.

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Click the logo above for snippets from other science fiction romance authors.

Today’s snippet, and several to follow, are from my first published book, Homecoming. Marna, who for two hundred years has thought herself the last survivor of her species, has been contacted by a ship crewed by Humans and a survivor of her own species, Lai. Here Marna, preparing for her first meeting with the R’il’nian, is observing the Human who has nursed her through her illness.

Cinda’s pelvis and breasts were well developed–she must be close to ovulating. No, Marna caught herself, Lai had told her enough about Human biology that she should know better. The women of her own people, ovulating once a century at the most, changed visibly when ovulation was near. Sexual relationships were important as a part of bonding between the R’il’nai, and helped encourage the transition to fertility. But the physical changes needed to bear and care for a child occurred only rarely, and generally only after a substantial period of sexual activity. Humans, ovulating once a month, remained physically ready for childbirth and nursing for most of their short life spans.

Homecoming is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iUniverse. About the book:

Snowy is a slave, a dancer. His first priority is keeping himself and his friends alive, and this means hiding the odd abilities that could get him killed. How can he cope with being totally paralyzed and sent to school with a group of telepathic bullies?

Lai is the last survivor of the R’il’nai, the species that has kept the Jarnian Confederation going for a hundred thousand years. He is in mourning for his Human lover, Cloudy, but now it seems there might be more R’il’nai somewhere beyond the borders of the Confederation. Can he find them? Should he?

Marna was on an isolation satellite when a plague wiped out all the rest of the population of her planet. Now the life-support system of the satellite has failed, and Marna must try to return to a planet where no other intelligent creature is alive. Is the plague still there? Can she survive? Does she want to?

Homecoming, the first novel of the Jarnian Confederation, won second place in science fiction in the 2010 Reader Views contest.

Reviewers say:

“If you’re looking for a science fiction adventure that has some thought behind it, I highly recommend this story.” Marty Shaw, Reader Views.

“Well-written science fiction expands the imagination. It is a book genre that explores the outer limits of reality, based on the reasoning and endless possibilities of science….

“Homecoming is a truly compelling book. The author has done a superb job of creating characters that are well rounded and emotionally real. The plot is original and thoughtfully crafted, and the supporting science is fresh and exciting.” Catherine Thureson, ForeWord Clarion Reviews. 5 stars.

“Homecoming” is one of those novels that grabs the reader and pulls you in. It flows smoothly, sometime at a breakneck pace, but always making sense. Bowling’s characters are very well developed, with flaws, skills, doubts and dreams.” Libbie Martin, Fairbanks News-Miner

Year 9 Day 285

“Find me a large skin,” Songbird suggested, “and I’ll see if I’ve learned their methods for tanning right. Look for a prey animal. I think that’s what they use mostly, the hides of the animals they kill for food.”

There are some animals with branched antlers that seem quite comfortable in the snow that covers the area I am now exploring, and when I saw one break through river ice and be swept under, I managed to lock onto the body and teleport it to my side. The coat was indeed dense, with hollow hair that promised warmth with a minimum of weight.

Songbird had emphasized the importance of removing all flesh and membranes from the inside of the hide, so I did that while I was teleporting the hide clear of the body. I brought her the head, too, along with the meat, extra salt, obsidian and sweet dates as payment.

It took her many fivedays, but today she presented me with the tanned hide. “Suppose you teleport me to the lake to work with Rainbow in making you body coverings,” she suggested. “I studied the way the northern hunters made them, and I think I could do better than the ones she made for me.”

I thought this over. Songbird is still the only one of the People I feel safe teleporting, and she still can’t leave her daughter for more than half a day. “An afternoon at a time,” I told her, “and only if you and Rainbow can work in harmony. Tell her what you have observed.” Rainbow is learning to make me fitted garments, and with clothing made from this hide, along with the bearskin, I will actually be equipped to explore the cold northern continent even in the local winter.

The video is the wrong place and the wrong time of year, but it does show the right animals.

Thursday’s an open day, so here are the 4th and 5th place winners in the single block ice carving in the 2014 World Ice Art Championships:

4th Place Realistic was Fairy Tale, sculptors Junichi Nakamura and Hidenobu Ara, from Japan.

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale

4th Place Abstract was Peaceful Flight, sculptors Stan Kolonko and Jerry Perun, from the United States.

Peaceful Flight

Peaceful Flight

5th place Realistic was Lunch, sculptors Tsagaan Munkh-Erdine and Enkherdene Ganbataar, from Mongolia. This piece also won Artists’ Choice in the Realistic category.

Lunch

Lunch

5th Place Abstract was Queen of the Forest, sculptors Igor Stepanov and Alexey Andeev, from Russia. That’s a mammoth she’s riding, by the way.

Queen of the Forest

Queen of the Forest

Quotes from Mercedes Lackey

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted and on my facebook pages between February 27 and March 5, 2014. All but the last are from The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey.

cover, Sleeping Beauty“People see what they expect to see.” Siegfried to Leopold, when he is first expounding his theory that “queen Sable” is in fact the Godmother.

“There is something to be said for being happy in what you do.” Desmond to Princess Rosamund, while he is trying to court her.

“Nothing in life came without a cost.” Rosamund, recognizing that the bruises she gets in Siegfried’s training in self-defense are the cost of her learning.

“When you lived as long as the Fae did, there was a great deal to weep over.” “The fae did not cry often, and never in public, but oh, yes, they wept.” And Lily is about to collapse from all that needs doing in her Kingdom.

“When things were at their worst, if you had the space, let panic run out.” Rosa, finding herself a captive again, recalls Lily’s advice.

“Only a woman! She’s cleverer than both of you put together.” Rosa’s thoughts when her captors refer to Godmother Lily as “Only a woman.”

“You’ve worked out too much on your own not to be taught to use it properly.” Sue Ann Bowling, Homecoming. Nik, speaking to Roi after Roi has almost killed Derry and Nik with an uncontrolled and unplanned show of his power.

Second and third place winners in the single block sculptures at Ice Alaska:

2nd Place Realistic: Teaching Breaching. Sculptors Aaron Costic and Stephan Koch, USA.

Teaching Breaching

Teaching Breaching

2nd Place Abstract: Windy Day. Scultors Vitaliy Lednev and Sergey Loginov, Russia.

Windy Day

Windy Day

3rd Place Realistic: Conformity. Sculptors Steve Brice and Heather Brice, USA.

Conformity

Conformity

3rd Place Abstract: Flight to the Sun. Sculptors Eduard Ponomarenko and Aleksei Tugarinov, Russia

Flight to the Sun

Flight to the Sun

There are times I find myself wondering where the dividing line is between realistic and abstract.

The sun will rise at 7:52 this morning, and set 10 hours 16 minutes later at 6:11 this afternoon. (Sunrise is in the future tense only because I switched my posting time to midnight.) The sun is getting higher in the sky, too, 18.6° at solar noon, now. With our snow cover and clear skies the past week, sunglasses have definitely been needed! The days are now lengthening by 6 ¾ minutes a day. The roads are still icy; we’ve had some brief thaws, but on all but the busiest freeways it’s merely polished the ice.

The ice park is open and the judging of the single block competition is complete. The weather has been close to ideal: sunny, with daytime temperatures just below freezing. First Place abstract and Artist’s Choice went to Carnival, sculpted by Ivan Zuev and Nikkolay Stepanov from Russia.

Carnival: first Place Abstract

Carnival: first Place Abstract

First Place Realistic went to Love in Motion, by Victo Jagatan and Joel McRae from the United States.

Love in Motion: First Place Realistic

Love in Motion: First Place Realistic

I looked at the multi-block area Saturday, a few hours after the sculpting started, but there was too much heavy equipment running around to get much in the way of pictures. I’ll try again this afternoon, after my first iMovie class.

logo WWW Vet

Welcome to another episode of Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

I’m continuing from last week with Roi, who has just regained control of his sabotaged hang glider – but his problems aren’t over yet. This snippet is from Tourist Trap, published in 2011 and winner of the Reader Views award for best fiction book of the year in 2012.

He looked down at the ground to his left, searching for his own shadow to help him estimate distance. Two shadows?

He turned his head and saw a large power flier pacing his glider, above and behind him, where most of the craft was hidden by the wing above him. Rage flooded through his body, and he gathered and channeled it toward the enemy craft, banking his own wing enough to see the markings on the craft that must have been responsible for his plight. He reached toward the flyer, with every intention of blasting it out of the sky, and abruptly saw the mammoth device, and picked up a hint of concern over his own plight from the vessel that had become his target. Horrified, he wrenched at the building rage, somehow transmuting it and changing direction toward where Central and his father should be, ten light years away.

Get this goddam baby-sitter off my back! he snarled into his father’s mind, and felt Lai’s shocked response.

 Blurb for Tourist Trap: A vacation with his three best friends from slavery and a manhood challenge: Roi is given the graduation present he has dreamed of. Dogsledding, hang gliding, a chance to see Pleistocene animals transplanted to a Terraformed vacation world, horseback riding, sailing … all the sports he has returned to with his recovery from paralysis, and a few new ones to learn.

They’re prepared for danger from weather, wild animals and extreme sports. But none of them realize that Roi’s half brother Zhaim, determined to recover his old position as Lai’s heir, intends to kill them if he can—and he’s decided that the dangers of the trip will make a perfect cover for his schemes.

How long will it take them to realize that the “accidents” they keep running into are more than just accidents?

Tourist Trap, the second novel of the Jarnian Confederation, won first place in science fiction and fiction book of the year in the 2011 Reader Views contest.

Reviewers say:

“Fans of Sue Ann Bowling’s novel Homecoming will not be disappointed with its sequel. Tourist Trap returns the reader to the world of the Jarnian Confederation—to Roi, Lai, Marna, and all of their friends and relations. The author does a stellar job of bringing these characters to life, allowing the reader to not only see their actions but to understand the culture and politics that motivate them. (ForeWord Clarion review)

“Tourist Trap” is a great read for anyone that wants motivation and feeling to accompany the action in their sci-fi adventure. Alien beings and super powers are an integral part of Roi’s story but what makes this novel really shine is the heart. Nobody is good or evil just because that’s their assigned role. Just like in real life, everyone has their own motivations and desires, and Bowling does a great job of letting the reader see what it would be like to walk in the shoes of Roi, Xazhar, and even madman Zhaim. (ReaderViews review)

Tourist Trap (iUniverse, 2011) is available from: Barnes and Noble, iUniverse, and Amazon in dust jacket, trade paper, and e-book formats.

Also, I’m asking for help in identifying book or writer on this. Our local librarian is stumped.

The main character is a dragon shifter.  She is with the police but some are afraid she will go to the dark side since she had one parent that was good and one that was bad.
There is a witch in a wheel chair who is around 600 years old.  There is a prophecy that if  she dies 3 times a curse will be broken.
There is a character named Princess Bri or Brianna
They all live on an island.
The Island has Protectors and only the characters can go on and of the island.
The previous stated witch and a warlock dies and in the process of coming back, the daughter of the witch dies.
There is also a character that is a “normal” human Special Ops guy that kills off demon-like beings.

Anyone have any clue as to what this book/ or series is?

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