Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Guest Post: Sara Burr - Underground Rose

Today, I'm thrilled to have Sara Burr here to talk about her new book, Underground Rose. I couldn't resist talking about this book, because it hits close to home. Quite literally. About an hour away from where I live, in the Tri-Cities. I love Washington-based books and TV and always have.

Anyway, enough blathering from me: let's talk about Underground Rose.



After her surprise discovery of a mystical gift, fourteen-year-old Rose Wilson thinks her life is ruined. It turns out she comes from a long line of gifted women, and despite her protests, Rose’s mom ships her off to her grandmother’s house to spend the summer learning about her family’s well-hidden secrets. To make matters worse, Rose is expected to carry out this tradition alongside her mousy, bookworm cousin, Megan. What a waste of a summer.

With some effort, Rose and Megan manage to find common ground and by the time they get home, they’re working together to adjust to their new life. But everything is turned upside down again when their families are exposed by witch hunters who call themselves The Witches’ Hammer. With killers on the loose, their tiny town isn’t safe anymore. Rose’s entire family is fragmented and forced to flee through a network of hiding places, dubbed The Witches’ Underground Railroad.

As she journeys to the sea, Rose learns more and more about who she really is. The closer she gets to her destination, the more danger she encounters, until she is forced to make the ultimate decision: follow her family’s edict of non-violence and become an orphan, or save her mom’s life.


About the Author:

Sara has been entranced by the written word for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a school teacher, she fell in love with books as soon as she could read them. She wrote her very first story, about a girl who ran away and hid in her cousin’s lilac bush, when she was just eleven. Although her stories have grown more complicated and less petulant since then, Sara still loves to entertain kids with her words.

When she isn’t writing, Sara has a big family to keep her busy: a husband who is her other half, and four children who are wonderfully individual. They live next to a beautiful lake in a tiny town with no street lights. Sara spends lots of time taking care of little superheroes. She likes to camp with her family, enjoys traveling, and hopes to see the Northern Lights someday.


Excerpt:

A pool of blood already surrounded Amber's head, and she was as pale as a ghost. Her breathing was shallow and labored.

Rose started parting her wet hair, little by little, trying to find the wound. Finally, after the longest minute of her life, she found it. The wide cut was right on the crown of Amber's head – how could she have missed that? – and it was bleeding fast.

Fighting not to gag at the metallic smell, Rose put her hands on the slippery gash and pushed, like the lady said, but the blood just seeped through her fingers. The bleeding wasn't stopping. Was she doing it right?

Feeling completely helpless, she began to sob.

She didn't dare leave Amber again to go back to the phone.

“I don't know what to do!” she cried out. “Help,” she croaked, knowing no one could hear. “Please help.”

Suddenly, she felt something strange happening, deep inside her chest. A comforting warmth, like hot chocolate on a freezing cold day, heated her from the inside out. It spread and expanded from her chest, bubbling and tingling like a fizzy drink, growing like wild morning glory vines, covering every part of her insides.

Was it coming from her heart?

It grew until she felt like she couldn’t contain all that heat for one second longer. Then, when she thought she might just explode, the heat-vines raced down her arms. An effervescent mixture of blue, pink, and purple light exploded from her hands, and surrounded Amber's head like a quivering, transparent cocoon.

Rose sucked in a breath and blinked in disbelief.

She was frozen – afraid to move or even breathe. She stared with her mouth agape, her emerald eyes wide, as the bleeding slowed.

What the heck is happening? she thought. Is this a dream?

She didn't understand what she was seeing. Was it ... magic?

The glimmering cocoon continued pulsating from her fingertips, surrounding Amber's head. Rose didn't dare let go, for fear of undoing this miracle.

Then Amber started to stir.

This was not something Rose wanted to discuss. What kind of a freak would Amber think she was? Reluctantly, she removed her hands.

The vines of warmth snapped back into her, like a recoiling measuring tape. Then, the peculiar sensation was gone. No more heat. No more colors. She looked at her hands in a mixture of awe and disgust.

What was that? she asked herself.

She didn't know, but she was glad it was over.

A few short seconds later, Amber opened her eyes. Her face so pale her freckles looked three dimensional and her icy blue eyes were even more clear than usual.

_______________

You can find more about Sara and Underground Rose HERE

And as always, have a lovely, lovely day,
Voss

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Release: The Mountains of Good Fortune


The Rot covers the planet, destroying life, scorching soil, decaying even metal to dust. Humanity has only one option: the sky. Massive ports spread throughout the atmosphere. Docking stations for the ships that fill the air. The last refuges of a doomed race.

Captain Nila Yeden controls the skies. She’s sworn to protect the ports, protect the people, and hand down judgment to criminals who threaten society. Her job is vital, keeping the peace in a ravaged world, and she never questioned her importance. But one fugitive forces her to hesitate.

Can she bring down her own sister?

The balloon beasts provide food for all the ports, and only the bravest crews man the hunting ships. Commander Sitha Yeden devoted herself to the hunt, but something changes when she finds the map, and her bravery leads her to mutiny. And now the police forces looms over her, her sister among them. But in her hands, she holds a tether to her past, and a map to a new future. For herself and the world

Will the quest destroy her, or will she finally find the fabled Mountains of Good Fortune?

Excerpt:
“We’ve got her in sight.” Captain Menit nudged the wheel to the left and pulled back the power, slowing the Nedell to a hover. With his free hand, he pressed the intercom button, broadcasting his voice through the whole ship. “If it takes more than five minutes to take this bitch down, you can all jump down and get taken up by the Rot.” He released the button, then turned and sighed to Sitha. “Be ready with the shockers. We’ve got a big female. She could haul us all across the sky, if she wanted.”

“Aye, Captain.” The control panel, stainless steel studded with buttons, levers, and screens, stretched out before her. She wrapped one hand around the power lever, her fingers sliding into familiar ruts in the rubber handle, and put the other on the winch switch. “Ready, Captain Menit.”

He nodded and pressed the intercom on again. “Why don’t I have harpoons in the air, yet?”

A gruff, crackling voice came over the line. Desyet, the lead harpoonist. “Firing now, Captain.”

Sitha looked at the balloon beast floating next to them. Its bluish-gray skin filled the whole portside window, blocked the sky from view. Huge, black eyes blinked at her. She had to be at least a ton. All good meat they could take back to port. It would feed a lot of people. Her hands sweated around the handles.

The Nedell vibrated as the harpoons left their barrels. They flew, tiny metal barbs compared to their quarry, and stuck into the thick hide. The beast noticed. She pulled, yanking the ship into a heavy tilt, almost ninety degrees. Sitha jerked back the lever, loosing the Nedell’s stored electricity along the shockers’ cables, right into her body. More than enough of a charge. The beast calmed in death.
Captain Menit spun the wheel around, righting the ship. “Start that winch, Commander!”

She pulled the switch back. The hum started, then the rumbling as the shockers reeled in, pulling the balloon beast’s carcass along with it. She thought of the food it would mean, again. The food and the payday.

Sitha sighed and stopped the winch. “I’m sorry, Captain.”

He must not have heard. “What’s wrong, Commander?”

She reached into her pocket and pulled out the handshocker her sister had given her. For protection, she’d said. Just in case. Sitha aimed it straight at Menit’s chest. She looked at his polished copper buttons, not into his eyes. “I’m taking the Nedell.”

“Commander, stand down.” He boomed, using the voice that made people listen. It made Sitha shiver. “This is ridiculous.”

“I don’t want to hurt you, but I’m taking the Nedell. It can be peaceful, or it can be otherwise.”

“My crew—”

“My crew, Captain.” Still not making eye contact, she gestured with the weapon. “Get into the escape pod and go. We’re only a few hours out from Ausin Port. You’ll only be traveling for a while.”

“Commander—”

“Go!” She pushed him in the chest, knocking him back. He stumbled toward the pod door. “I won’t ask again.” She brought her other hand to the shocker and primed it. A single button press and he’d be unconscious. “Please, Captain. Don’t make this difficult.”

“I can’t give you the Nedell, Commander.”

Staring at her feet, she shook her head. “Then I have to apologize again, Captain.”

The barbed needles flew, landing in Captain Menit’s chest with a scattering of tiny thuds.



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, Same Me

Although I'm starting 2015 with about fifty pounds less of me than when I started 2014. Yeah, so, I guess that's different. But other than that, I'm still just the same old me.



Nope. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

And, just like in years past, I'll be attending Radcon this year. I think we're on Radcon 6C this time around. And I think it's going to be a good con. Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Hines, and Dragon Dronet all together in one hotel? Can't really go wrong with that.

On the writing front... well, things might be a little bit different, there. In 2014 I think I put out two or three books, total. In 2015, I'm aiming for 12... or more. It all started with The Park, which has since hit the Hot New Release list in both Dystopian fiction and Technothrillers. But that leaves me with at least 11 to go. Now, they probably won't all be under Voss Foster. At least 1 or 2 will hopefully be as Raven de Hart (no clicking if you'e under 18, please!). But either way, that's a lot of new work out in the market, and a lot of hours and words for me. Combine that with Write 1 Sub 1 and all the other various things I'm sure I'll be doing aside from my schedule, and you can bet your sweet britches I'm looking at a productive year.

So, what is in store this year? Well, I won't give specific dates, because I don't have anything nailed down too far, but:
A Fool's War (King Jester Book Three): That plan could get derailed a bit, but barring the unforeseen, this will definitely be hitting the net in 2015.
4 King Jester Novellas: They'll give stories of some of the characters from before Zirkua Fantastic (Right now, I'm working on Madame Zerga's book: The Psychic.).
The Mountains of Good Fortune: This one should come out sooner rather than later. I'm calling it electropunk, for lack of a better term. Definitely aiming it for the first half of 2015.
Rings of Treachry: The first book of the Rings of Vivak books. People who've been around for awhile on here might have some inkling of just how long I've had this book written. Well, Things are in motion to where I can actually get the thing out this year.

And at this time, that's all I can say. Well almost all.

I wouldn't be where I am today without a lot of wonderful people. The good folks at Torquere/Prizm, who gave me the confidence to actually keep going when they took that first book. My writing group, the Moses Lake Muses, who catch me on all my crap when it comes to writing and publishing. And of course, my readers. You are the lifeblood of this whole thing. I heard something, back when I was a little baby writer, just taking my first toddling steps into the murky waters of publishing. And it's something that stuck with me through all these years.

"Once you write the book, it's no longer yours. It belongs to the readers."

So these books, like all my books, are for you.

Peace and a groovy New Year,
Voss