Location, location, location.

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I don’t know how other authors pick locations. But here’s an insight into how I do it.

1. I’ve lived there (or at least visited.)

Some of the locations featured in my stories are places I’ve been which spoke to me in some way.

Windermere/Grasmere in the Grasmere Trilogy is a prime example. The Lake District, in general, is one of my favourite places in the entire world. If I could live anywhere, it would probably be there.

2. Plot Led.

Found You is probably the greatest example from my books. I knew the story had to be set in Florida. The Keys was honestly the only place that would fit what I had in mind for the novella.

And, I fell in love with the Keys while researching for Found You.

CHICKENS!

3. My Bucket List.

Last, but not least, I pick places I’ve always wanted to visit. When I was younger (6 weeks old to 21 years old), I travelled quite extensively. I’ve been to twenty plus countries and lived in five.

I’ve always had a little bucket list of places I wanted to go. And hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to travel again. It’s been ages since I visited another country.

The Sin Bin is the best example of this one. Cornwall is a place that I’ve always wanted to spend a lot of time at. I think we went there when I was a baby, but I obviously can’t remember, so I don’t count it.

Researching the series was great fun for me because I got to vicariously live in the lovely villages that I’ve longed to see.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but those are definitely my top three.

How about you? If you’re a writer, how do you pick the setting of your story?

For readers, how important is the setting?

The Rising Tide by J. Scott Coatsworth

The Rising Tide

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out: “The Rising Tide.”

Earth is dead.

Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever, a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Control the AI, control the people.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide.

Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

Series Blurb: Humankind is on its way to the stars, a journey that will change it forever. Each of the stories in Liminal Sky explores that future through the lens of a generation ship, where the line between science fiction and fantasy often blurs. At times both pessimistic and very hopeful, Liminal Sky thrusts you into a future few would ever have imagined.

DSP Publications | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads 


Giveaway

Scott is giving away two prizes with this tour – a $25 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of “The Stark Divide,” book one in the series (US winner only for the paperback). For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4734/?


Excerpt

The Rising Tide Meme

Eddy Tremayne rode his horse, Cassiopeia, along the edge of the pastures that were the last official human habitations before the Anatov Mountains. Several ranchers along the Verge—the zone between the ranches and the foothills—had reported losses of sheep and cattle in the last few weeks.

As the elected sheriff of First District, which ran from Micavery and the South Pole to the mountains, it was Eddy’s responsibility to find out what was going on.

He had his crossbow strapped to his back and his long knife in a leather sheath at his waist. He’d been carrying them for long enough now—three years?—that they had started to feel natural, but the first time he’d worn the crossbow, he’d felt like a poor man’s Robin Hood.

He doubted he’d need them out here, but sheriffs were supposed to be armed.

He’d checked with Lex in the world mind via the South Pole terminal, but she’d reported nothing amiss. In the last few years, she had begun to deploy biodrones to keep an eye on the far-flung parts of the world, but they provided less than optimal coverage. One flyover of this part of the Verge had shown a peaceful flock of thirty sheep. The next showed eight.

The rancher, a former neurosurgeon from New Zealand named Gia Rand, waited for him on the top of a grassy hill. The grass and trees shone with bioluminescent light, and the afternoon sky lit the surrounding countryside with a golden glow. The spindle—the aggregation of energy and glowing pollen that stretched from pole to pole—sparkled in the middle of the sky.

The rancher pulled on her gray braid, staring angrily at something in the valley below. “Took you long enough to get here.”

“Sorry. The train was out of service again.” Technology was slowly failing them, and they had yet to come up with good replacements.

She snorted. “One helluva spaceship we have here.”

He grinned. “Preaching to the choir.” Forever didn’t have the manufacturing base yet to support anything close to the technology its inhabitants had grown used to on Earth. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you asked him. With technology came new and better ways to kill. He’d seen it often enough in the NAU Marines. “What did you find?”

“Look.” Her voice was almost a growl.

Eddy looked down where she was pointing. “Oh shit.” Her missing sheep were no longer missing. They had been slaughtered.

He urged Cassiopeia down the hillside to the rocky clearing. A small stream trickled down out of the mountains there. He counted ten carcasses, as near as he could tell from the skulls left behind. Someone had sheared a couple of them and given up. It looked like they had skinned and cut the rest up for meat, the skin and bones and extra bits discarded.

Gia rode down the hillside behind him.

“Didn’t you report twelve sheep missing?”

She nodded. “Bastards took the two lambs. Probably for breeding.”

“That actually might help us.”

“How’s that?”

He dismounted to take a closer look at the crime scene. “They’ll have to pasture them somewhere. May make it easier to track them down.”

“Maybe so.” She dismounted and joined him. “This was brutal work. Look here.” She picked up a bone. “Whatever cut this was sharp but uneven. It left scratch marks across the bone.”

“So not a metal knife.”

“I don’t think so. Maybe a stone knife?”

He laughed harshly. “Are we back to caveman days, then?” It wasn’t an unreasonable question.

She was silent for a moment, staring at the mountains. “Do you think they live up there?”

“Who?” He followed her gaze. Their highest peaks were wreathed in wisps of cloud.

“The Ghosts.”

The Ghosts had been a persistent myth on Forever since their abrupt departure from Earth. Some of the refugees had vanished right after the Collapse, and every now and then something would end up missing. Clothes off a line, food stocks, and the like.

People talked. The rumors had taken on a life of their own, and now whenever something went missing, people whispered, “It’s the Ghosts.”

Eddy didn’t believe in ghosts. He personally knew at least one refugee who had disappeared, his shipmate Davian. He guessed there must be others, though the record keeping from that time had been slipshod at best. He shrugged and looked at the sky. “Who knows?” It was likely to rain in the next day or so. Whoever had done this had left a trail, trampled into the grass. If he didn’t follow it now, it might be gone by the time he got back here with more resources.

Gia knelt by one of the ewes, staring at the remnants of the slaughter. “Could you get me some more breeding stock? This… incident put a big dent in my herd.”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He took one last look around the site. It had to have taken an hour or two to commit this crime, and yet the thieves had apparently done it in broad daylight. Why weren’t they afraid of being caught? “I’m going to follow the trail, see where it leads.”

Gia nodded. “Thanks. We’re taking the rest of the herd back to the barn until you get this all figured out.”

“Sounds prudent. I’ll let you know.”

Slipping on his hat, he climbed back up on Cassie and followed the trail across the stream toward the Anatov Mountains.


Author Bio

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecitng their own reality.

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ/

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink 

Find Your Joy.

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Can I be honest?

2018 has been a bit of a trash fire of a year, hasn’t it?

Stepping away from the chaotic whirlwind of bad news has been a struggle. Being creating in 2018 has been even more difficult. It’s important to write, even in the middle of the muck.

I think, more than any other time, it’s also important to find happy moments and pursue them.

For me?

This weekend, that meant baking, reading, and video games.

Baking? That went brilliantly. I made Mary Berry’s recipe for profiteroles, photo evidence above. They tasted AMAZING. They also didn’t last the weekend lol. Yum.

Reading? I finally got around to reading Alison Weir’s Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen, which I enjoyed immensely. I love a good historical fiction. And this one was definitely half fact and half fiction. Brilliantly done though.

Video games? I’ve gotten completely obsessed with the latest Assassin’s Creed game, Odyssey. Epic, brilliant, amazing. Love it so much.

Now, I’m back to writing on my new work in progress–an urban fantasy. Should be great fun.

How about you? What moments of joy are you finding for yourself this year?

Dun, dun, dun.

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Book two in my cottage mystery trilogy is out today.

Are you ready?

Are you?

POND LIVE BANNER
Killer on the loose? Check.
Frogs in the garden? Check.
Playing a twisted game with a killer? Not good.
Bishan Tamboli struggles to recover from his false arrest. He worries the police still aren’t as convinced about his innocence. With his longtime boyfriend, Valor, at his side, he intends to solve the puzzles and catch the murderer amongst their former schoolmates.
He’s fought hard for his independence as an autistic and refuses to throw it all away because of a nameless monster. With friends and family in the killer’s crosshairs, Bishan fears the mystery will bring the end of everything and everyone he loves.

A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

Lovely review of Forged in Flood from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When one drunken night forever scars three best friends, will they ever find a way to pick up the pieces?

Eaten up with guilt, Ivan Black spends ten years hiding from the world. He retreats to his family forge to wallow in misery. Alone. So lonely his heart aches with it.

Wesley Cook and Rolland Spence have been together since university. They struggle through the physical scars of the accident, building a life in the ruins of their dreams. They find happiness but continue to miss their angry ginger Viking—Ivan.

In all the anger of wasted years, the three men find a way to forge a relationship as hot as the fires in the smithy.

I’ve long been a fan of the novels of Dahlia Donovan, but Forged in Fire may be her best story yet.  It is a deeply moving love story between…

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Author Friends: Kamery Solomon

Dahlia AI smaller
Are you a panster or a plotter?
I’m a little of both, actually. When writing time travel stories, you have to have your historical stuff right and that typically leads to having a bit of a road map along the way. I usually pick three or four major points in the book and plan them out thoroughly, then write blind from point to point.
 
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Absolutely! I usually try to push through a block with a variety of methods. If writing, listening to my writing playlist, watching movies or television that reminds me of what I’m working on, or going for a walk doesn’t work, I’ll usually leave it for the day and let my brain rest. Thankfully, that usually gets it taken care of!
 
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 
Outlander or Harry Potter (two pretty different stories, I know!).
 
Describe your perfect writing space: 
A comfy chair, music, and something to drink. Writing makes me terribly thirsty for some reason! Thankfully, I’ve got a pretty good setup in my office right now and I just love it ♥
 
Do you write your title first or story first?
Most of the time I have the title first.
 
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:
 The concrete castle reached into the heavens from the earth of the jungle, the blue sky above it spotted with clouds. Despite the cheery, warm look of the place, I couldn’t help the chill that moved through me as I stared it from the roadway. It was as if someone were whispering in my ear, their voice low and hushed, full of fear. The thought my my heart grip with fear and I rubbed my arms, frowning as I found myself unable to look away.
 Something had happened in that house. Something bad.
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Author bio:
#1 Bestselling Genre Author, Kamery Solomon, has been delighting readers with her God Chronicles series, featuring modern day adaptions of Zeus, nominated for Book of the Year and Cover of the Year, Poseidon, Hades, Adrastia, & Exoria. Kamery has also wooed her readers with her #1 bestselling fantasy novella, Forever, and her contemporary favorites, Taking Chances and Watching Over Me. Her most recent blockbuster series and #1 bestseller in Time Travel Romance, The Swept Away Saga, has had readers captivated on the high seas of romance and adventure! Kamery lives with her beautiful family in the White Mountains of Arizona and can often be found singing something from a Broadway musical with her siblings.

Blog Tour: Mary Billiter

Title:Rule Breakers
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 16th, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
 Add to TBR
AVAILABLE NOW

 

What happens when the rules and the heart conflict? In Mary Billiter’s witty novel of rule breaking and delectable romance, a red-hot suit and a beautiful computer geek are linked by heartbreaking loss and a passion certain to set fire to your pages.

 


From parking space to cyberspace, Waterfront Point hotel valet Carmen Gonzalez uncovers computer espionage at her own workplace. The independent, computer-whiz Carmen decides that the best way to fight the system is to hack it.
But when Hank Hughes arrives from the Oregon Coast to the Pacific Coast to take care of family business and avenge an injustice, Carmen’s “act first, think later” approach is called into question. Carmen soon realizes you can’t follow the rules and follow your heart, so one has to be broken.

 

Ohhhhhhh. Damn.
Bryce ran and grabbed the suitcase I’d dropped. “I’ll take care of the bags.”
I barely nodded.
Hank stepped toward me. “I was hoping to run into you today.”
I stared into the greenish-brown eyes that swirled together like his brother’s, but instead of spinning me for a loop, they bored into my heart. Hard.
“Carmen?”
I heard Hank, but I couldn’t respond. I’m falling for a giant.
He gently touched my shoulder with a massive hand. “You okay?”
“No one’s ever done that.” Suddenly I felt like a young girl. I wrapped my arms around him—or what I could of his waist. “You’re my hero.”
He tipped my chin toward him, looked longingly into my eyes, lowered his head, and softly kissed me. His lips melded into mine, his heart beat against me, and my body responded, pressing into him with a mixture of tenderness and desire that had no beginning and no end.
“Gonzalez!”
Nothing like hearing my surname bellowed across the front drive to completely kill a romantic moment. Time of death, 12:35 p.m.
I pulled away from Hank, but not before staring into his eyes. “I don’t want you to vanish again.” I finally let my heart and not my head speak. “I don’t want you to leave.”
A devil-may-care grin crossed his face. “Now, who said anything about goodbye?”
AVAILABLE NOW

 

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Mary Billiter is a weekly newspaper columnist and fiction author. She also has novels published under the pen name, “Pumpkin Spice.”Mary resides in the Cowboy State with her unabashedly bald husband, her four amazing children, two fantastic step-kids, and their runaway dog. She does her best writing (in her head) on her daily runs in wild, romantic, beautiful Wyoming.