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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Conservation of Luck



For every good fortune, there's an equal and opposite misfortune.

As a brilliant young computer scientist working on her master's degree, Ella Hote doesn't believe in luck. But when bizarre accidents, insane coincidences, and weird encounters with improbably handsome strangers start to happen all around her, even hardheaded Ella has to change her mind.

She comes to realize she's inadvertently created a luck generating computer that can make even the longest of long shots pay off.

Unfortunately, for every stroke of good luck, someone else pays the price in bad luck.

Ultimately, when lives are on the line, how far will she go?
    Available at:
    Amazon
    Smashwords
    Kobo
    Audio book
Book Details: Conservation of Luck
Release Date: June 14, 2017
Genre:  Science Fiction.
Age: Adult
Page Length: 315
Note on book content: No violence, sex or drugs. Allowed on TV swearing with a couple "f-bombs". PG-13 rating. 

About the Author:

By day, Lesley is a scientist at a major research university, but by night, she's a science fiction author. She has a Ph.D. in physics and an M.F.A. in creative writing. She's published seven science fiction novels, including Conservation of Luck, Quantum Cop, and Kat Cubed. Her short fiction has appeared in various venues including Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Daily Science Fiction. She's an active member of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America.




Blog/website: www.lesleylsmith.com

Interview
Welcome to my blog Lesley please tell my readers and I about yourself and your latest book.

Q:Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?

A: My new book is Conservation of Luck, a science fiction adventure with romantic elements. I was motivated to write it by thinking about the question: what is luck?  Set in the future, it’s the story of Ella Hote, who just graduated and starts a new job at a quantum computing firm in Kansas City. She’s quite surprised when her quantum computer seems to affect luck. Adventures ensue…

Q:What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?

A: I must admit I do love science fiction because it enables the reader’s imagination to run wild. Virtually anything is possible. You can explore new ideas, planets, creatures—all while learning new things about the human condition.

Q:What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do
you just let it unfold?

A: I am what’s called a pantser—I write by the seat of my pants. I do not plan things out. I’ve tried a lot of planning but that just sucks the fun out of writing for me.

Q:What kind of research was involved?

A: I did have to investigate what’s involved in creating a quantum computer. Some readers seem to love all these specific details, while some tell me they skip over them!

Q:How much of YOU makes it into your characters?

A: Ella is much nicer than me. In my opinion though, characters share a lot with their authors. I don’t think you can write characters that you don’t at least empathize with.

Q:How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of
family, society, etc.?

A: I don’t have a family except for my cats and they’re pretty low maintenance. Like many writers and readers, I enjoy writing and reading, so it’s not difficult to find time to do it.

Q:Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?

A: Janet Evanovich and Connie Willis both influenced me a lot with their humor and fun female characters. If I could write a fraction as well as them I’d be happy.

Q:Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?

A: Since I am a physicist in my day job, I’m passionate about creating fun female characters that have STEM skills. I hope I inspire some female readers to think: Hey, women can be kick-ass in STEM! I should try that!

Q:What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?

A: Right now, I’m writing Quantum Mayhem, the third book in my Quantum Cop series. Madison Martin is a physicist that learns how to use quantum physics to control reality. Adventures ensue…

Q:Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the
most effective in your opinion?

A: I find marketing quite challenging. I actually consulted a marketing professional and she said the key is to get your name out there. Authors usually do this via blog tours, social media, pod-casts and webpages—all good ideas!  A new idea she gave me was to write nonfiction articles related to your novel. I’ve actually gotten some articles published that encourage women to go into STEM as well as a few other topics.
A secret marketing weapon is HARO, Help A Reporter Out at  https://www.helpareporter.com Authors can sign up to be possible sources for reporters’ articles.

Q:What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would
tell aspiring authors?

A: I think the most important thing is to interact with other authors. I have an awesome critique group that reads all my books after I’ve finished the first draft. Their input is invaluable in making my books better. Plus, we chat and commiserate and exchange ideas on writing, publishing, marketing. Feeling like I’m part of a community is lovely. Many towns have local writers groups; check at your local library. If your town doesn’t have a group, and you can’t find enough writers to form a group, there are quite a few online groups.

Another tip is: write. Yes, I know this is obvious, but I know some writers that seem to be waiting for the perfect time and place to write. This will never happen. You just have to scrounge out writing time whenever and wherever you can find it.

Good questions, Dee! Thanks for the opportunity!
Again, thanks Lesley for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Forgotten Carols Giveaway


1. What is your favorite Forgotten Carol scene?

I have so many scenes in THE FORGOTTEN CAROLS that are “favorites” for a variety of reasons.  But I’m surprised, performance after performance, how often something touches me differently and teaches me something that I’ve missed in performances past.  It’s the gift of doing this show for 26 years.  I keep learning things, understanding things, and feeling things that bring me closer to the One Christmas is all about…the One who we remember…It’s about remembering what’s been “forgotten” when it comes to the meaning of Christmas.

2. Do you have a favorite snack you enjoy while traveling to each tour city?


I'm a diabetic, so this is sort of a trick question.  I crave chocolate cake donuts, but have to eat Kind Bars.  That’s the reality, but the truth is, I cheat sometimes…and take a little bit more insulin to make up for it.  Don’t tell anybody :)

3. What do you enjoy most when you’re on the road performing?

The older I get the more exhausting it is to be traveling from place to place…but the joy of that travel when it’s with people I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to pieces.  The cast and the crew make it a joy beyond measure. 

4. During the last song when the audience is hand-in-hand singing, what emotions do you feel from the stage?


When the encore segment of The Forgotten Carols happens, I find myself focusing on the meaning of “together forever”.   Is it something that we hope will happen someday, somewhere down the road, or is it something we can feel right now, this moment?  Some nights I feel like I should sing a different lyric for families that can’t buy in to the idea of an eternal connection, for whatever reasons, and the appropriate lyric for them would be, “We can be together, whatever, today”.  Some nights, thinking about my own family and the challenges we face, those words are a great comfort and a celebration of now.  I believe that what happens to me, and many people who attend The Forgotten Carols, is that together in that moment, we feel the love and peace and comfort that comes at Christmas time to remind us that we are never alone, and the One whose birth we celebrate is ALWAYS with us.   Here’s a news flash for you, my blogger friends.  I’M ADDING A NEW CAROL TO THE SHOW THIS YEAR that I think will shine a beautiful light on that thought.  Hope y’all come and hear me sing it!!!



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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Talisman of El




Talisman Of El by Al Stone
Series: T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Al Stone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Centrinian

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human … 7 billion.
Others … unknown.

When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He’s afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him… because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.

Charlie doesn’t know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.


On Sale for $0.99 for a limited time on Amazon!



Praise for the Book:

"If there was ever a book series to rival Harry Potter, then Talisman Of El is definitely the one." - The Queen Of Teen Fiction

"This is a one of a kind novel." - Reflections Of A Bookworm

"All I have to say is that it has been a long time since I read a book in just one day." - Myth, Goodreads

"Talisman Of El is part fantasy, part mythology and pure adventure." - Tina, Winter Haven Books



Excerpts:
#1
PROLOGUE
Manhattan, New York
January 25, 2013, 11:15 P.M.
DERKEIN ODESSA SAUNTERED INTO a study lined with bookshelves and a high ceiling of gold leaf and bas-relief sculptures. He stopped when he saw his father standing behind the large mahogany desk at the back of the room, rifling through the wall safe. A muscle in his jaw ticked. ‘You’re alive then,’ he said.
‘Not now, Derkein.’ His father closed the safe, concealing it with a portrait of his wife.
Folding his arms across his chest, Derkein advanced on him, his footsteps echoing off the hardwood floor. ‘Not now.’ He chuckled without humour. ‘Well, why don’t you give me your card and I’ll book an appointment.’
‘I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I can’t talk right now. I have a flight to catch.’
When his father turned around, Derkein stopped, his eyes widening. A blood-soaked plaster covered the right side of his father’s neck, red stains on the collar of his white shirt. Derkein hurried over to him. ‘What happened?’ he asked.
‘I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.’
‘You don’t look fine. Where have you been ...?’ Derkein paused, the strong smell of tobacco assailing his nose. He scrutinised his father – the purple bags under his eyes, scratch marks on his chin. ‘You’re still searching for it, aren’t you?’ He sighed, raking a hand through his shoulder-length black hair as he lifted his head back. ‘You gave me your word.’
‘I know you disagree with my decision, but you have to understand –’
‘Understand what? Dad, this is not normal.’ Derkein grabbed the bag at his father’s feet, lifted it onto the desk, and tipped it onto its side, scattering the surface with a collection of daggers and guns. He picked up a black leather sheath and pulled out a knife, its broad, stainless blade honed until the cutting edge was almost invisible. He dropped the knife and sheath among the other weapons. ‘You have to stop this.’
‘Luther’s dead.’
Derkein’s heart skipped a beat. ‘What ... What happened?’
‘Natural causes. Apparently, his heart gave out.’
‘What do you mean “apparently”?’
With a hesitant glance at Derkein, his father opened the front pocket of his bag and pulled out a burnished copper talisman with an engraved steel band and a circular crevice. ‘Luther and I dug this up in the Roncador Mountains in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The earthquake that hit South America two months ago ... We caused it when we removed this from the earth.’ He looked down at the talisman and then back at Derkein, distress clouding his features. ‘The moment the earthquake struck, we passed out. Two hours later, we woke up on Manhattan Bridge.’
‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’
‘We didn’t fly to New York.’
‘Then how did you get here?’
His father started packing the weapons back inside the bag. ‘I don’t know. Three weeks ago, Luther called me and told me that someone was following him. I think whoever was after him wanted the talisman, and when they didn’t find it, they killed him. Now they’re after me.’
‘So give it to them. Dad, this isn’t worth your life.’
‘I can’t. This is my only connection to Arcadia.’
‘Where are you going?’
‘England,’ his father replied. ‘Thomas might be able to help me. If what he told me about these beings is true, I can’t be around you. They got to Luther. I won’t lose you too.’ He turned around and stared at the portrait covering the safe.
‘I miss Mum too, but it’s been five years. Give up before you end up killing yourself. Arcadia doesn’t exist.’
His father looked at him. ‘It’s out there. I’m going to find it. I will bring her back.’
‘Mum’s dead,’ Derkein snapped. ‘When are you going to get that?’
‘I have to go,’ his father said in a calm voice. ‘I’ll call you when I get there.’
‘Dad –’
‘I’ll be fine. I always am.’
‘Dad, please –’
An ear-piercing scream ripped through the building. Derkein froze, his eyes the only things that moved. His gaze fixed on his father, who was rummaging through his bag. He took out a black pistol and turned to Derkein, a tortured expression on his face as he placed the weapon in his son’s trembling hand.
‘Shoot anything that moves,’ his father instructed. He placed the talisman around Derkein’s neck, tucking it inside his shirt. ‘Don’t let it out of your sight.’ Cupping Derkein’s face in his hands, he made him meet his gaze. ‘I’m so sorry I got you involved in this.’ He grabbed another gun from the bag.
‘What exactly have you got yourself into, Dad?’
His father looked at him with a solemn expression. ‘If anything happens to me, you find Thomas. Tell him ... Tell him he was right.’ He headed towards the door.
‘Dad, wait.’ Derkein went after him. ‘Dad –’
The double doors burst open with a bang.
His father opened fire. ‘Derkein, shoot!’ he yelled.
Derkein glanced around the room in panic and confusion. He saw no one but his father. Then he felt a sharp pain in his arm, heard his shirt tear, and cried out. Something warm dribbled down his arm, and when he placed his hand on it, he saw blood. His father screamed, and he looked up and saw him flying across the room, crashing into a bookshelf that collapsed under him.
‘Dad!’ Derkein sprinted towards him but felt a powerful blow across his chest that sent him flying backwards, and he landed hard on the floor, his gun falling out of his hand. Staggering to his feet, he glanced around for whatever had attacked him but saw nothing. His gaze landed on his father, who was groaning ... and then he was gone. There were no bright lights or loud noise. He had just vanished.
As Derkein stared wide-eyed at the spot where his father had been lying only moments before, something like a blast of electricity stunned him, and he felt an intense burning inside his chest. He let out a cry as his body lifted off the ground and hung in midair. Seconds later, he came crashing down ...






Other Books in the Series
Blackout (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2 )
Ground Zero (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 3)
Author Al Stone

Al Stone is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy T.O.E. After graduating with a BA in Film & Television, Al had worked in the television industry for a short period before a disabling injury caused her to turn her hand to storytelling. Talisman Of El is her debut novel. The sequels Blackout and Ground Zero are currently available for sale. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and travelling. At present, she lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.




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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/20/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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