Fiction Blog, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Geeky Things, Writing & Publishing Articles

Meet the 2016 Women of Sci-Fi (FREE Ebook)

A couple months ago, I shared my Women in Sci-Fi interview, hosted by science fiction author and scholar Natacha Guyot. Now, in honor of Women’s History Month, Natacha has released a FREE ebook that compiles her complete 2016 Women in Sci-Fi Interview series.

Why am I telling you about it?

A) Your new favorite author or artist might be inside! This book showcases some seriously talented sci-fi/fantasy writers, cosplay designers and other fantastically nerdy (that’s a compliment!) creators.

B) As you probably guessed, my interview is featured. Learn more about my science fiction background and the inspiration behind the Desertera series.

C) These awesome women share tips for aspiring science fiction creators, so that you can follow in our footsteps!

D) Again: it’s FREE to download!

Pick up your copy today, then let me know what you thought of the interviews. And of course, I’d love to learn about your own science fiction-related interests or pursuits. Share them in the comments!

Fiction Blog, The Desertera Series, Writing Updates

On Sale Now: The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2)

perf5.250x8.000.inddAfter over a year of working and waiting, I’m pleased to announce that The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2) is available in ebook AND paperback formats on all major online retailers.

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point. I couldn’t have published one book, let alone two, without the support of my family, friends, and fellow writers. My readers deserve a special thanks: your encouraging emails, social media shout-outs, and heartwarming reviews are the fuel that keeps my inspiration burning. Thank you joining my journey.

When I published The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) last year, I thought my heart would burst from panic. Here I was, an unknown and inexperienced author, putting her art out for the world to judge. Publishing my nonfiction booklets has felt significantly less personal (more like writing one of my craft blog posts), so I thought I would be better prepared for this launch. After all, this will be my tenth publication. It’s old hat now, right?

Wrong. I’m still a bundle of nerves and excitement, of dread and hope. I’m not a parent, but I have to imagine that this is what it feels like to send your child off to kindergarten or university. I did the best that I could. Now it’s up to you, little one.

I’ll write a longer reflection post after the book launch buzz simmers down. For now, I’m off to take deep breaths, celebrate, then start book three.

If you haven’t bought your copy of The Courtesan’s Avenger yet, click this link to download it from your favorite retailer.

If you’re waiting on signed paperback copies, stay tuned. I’ll have purchase links available once I have copies to sign.

Fiction Blog, The Desertera Series

Desertera #2 Title Contest: Clue 1

Full disclosure: I suck at coming up with book titles. Second to writing the book description, it’s my least favorite part of the writing process.

As such, I’ve lovingly referred to my forthcoming novel (the sequel to The Cogsmith’s Daughter) as Desertera #2. With the publication date creeping ever closer, I’ve finally decided upon a title.

Since it took so long, I thought it would be a little anti-climatic to just announce the title. Therefore, I’ve decided to host a little contest.

Here’s the deal: over the next week and a half, I’ll be slowly unveiling the title of Desertera #2. And one lucky reader will receive a signed paperback copy of either The Cogsmith’s Daughter or Desertera #2 (upon its release).


  1. The giveaway is open to all readers, both domestic (U.S.) and international.
  2. Each reader can submit up to (but no more than) three guesses.
  3. There will be four clues in total, and you can submit your guesses at any time.
  4. The contest officially ends on August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  5. ONLY guesses submitted through the official contact form on the posts will be considered. Any guesses submitted through comments, direct messages, regular email, or any other form of communication will be disregarded.
  6. The first reader to guess the title correctly will win one signed paperback copy of either The Cogsmith’s Daughter or Desertera #2.
  7. If no one guesses the title correctly, the author will choose what she deems the “closest” submission as the winner.

All right … here’s your first clue. Good luck!

Title Contest #1

HINT: Remember, this novel is from Dellwyn Rutt’s perspective.

Once again, good luck and happy guessing!

Fiction Blog, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Geeky Things

Five Female Science Fiction Characters I Love

As a female Science Fiction fan (and author), I always adore seeing strong leading (and supporting) ladies represented in my genre. Some of them I admire and try to emulate in my personal life, and others provide a source of inspiration for my own characters. While I could name several fictional women I adore, I thought I’d start with a list of five.


1. Faith Lehane from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I’ve recently been brought into the Buffy fandom (I have to give my husband credit, or he’ll tease me.). Now, the obvious choice for a bad ass chick from Buffy would be Buffy herself, or even Willow — but let me tell you why I like Faith. For better or worse, Faith stays true to who she is, and refuses to change for anyone or anything. Despite the horrible things she’s experienced and done, she still maintains her spunk and works for redemption. Her flaws — lack of trust, ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ attitude — manage to play into her strengths — self-reliance, survival instinct — which makes her fabulously complex.

2. Juliette Nelson from the Silo trilogy

As many of you know, I’m working my way through Hugh Howey’s Silo trilogy, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite Science Fiction series. And my favorite character? Juliette Nelson. When the reader first meets Juliette, she is one of the silo’s most skilled mechanics (as my readers will know, I’m a sucker for females in mechanical fields). Without providing too many spoilers, I’ll say that Juliette has her world turned upside down. She is thrown into a life-threatening situation — and not only does she manage to survive, but she bypasses limits anyone thought possible and emerges as an incredible leader. Between her ingenuity, determination, and compassion for others, Juliette is admirable indeed.


3. Katherine ‘Kate’ Kane (aka Batwoman) from Batwoman (The New 52)

No — my love for Kate Kane isn’t just about her name (though, it is intensely satisfying that we share a nickname). What do I like about Kate? You mean besides the fact that she’s Batwoman? Well, she didn’t settle for being the damsel in distress. When Batman saved her, she took the inspiration and became a hero in her own right. She knows marshal arts, defends the innocent, and still embraces her feminine side. Another thing I like? The writer/artist behind Kate’s new incarnation (J.H. Williams III) chose to make her a lesbian — without making her a stereotype or a token. Yay for diversity!


4. Hadley Fenice from the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series

What kind of steampunk-writing indie would I be if I didn’t give a nod to one of my fellow author’s strong female characters? In Victorian-era England, Hadley Fenice knowingly (and successfully!) subverts gender norms. She makes a living by crafting automatons and prostheses (there’s that mechanic theme again), is generally unskilled at ‘feminine’ activities, and stands up for the education and reproductive rights of her fellow women. More personally, Hadley is deeply loyal to those she loves and never flinches in the face of danger — both traits anyone can admire.


5. Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road

As I’ve said before, I think writers have a lot to learn from the newest Mad Max film — not least of which how to include feminist themes within your work. If you’ve seen the movie, I probably don’t need to explain why Furiosa is bad ass. But, for the rest of you, let me share. In a society where women are reduced to being wives of an evil overload, providing milk for an army, or acting as slaves, Furiosa has worked her way into a respected, leadership position. Instead of turning against her fellow women, Furiosa uses her advantage to organize the rescue of the enslaved wives, and other than a few moments of assistance from Max, she does so pretty much on her own. She’s a hell of a driver, an equally talented shot, and does it all with a mechanical prosthetic arm. Another kudos for diversity!

Who are your favorite female Science Fiction characters? What qualities of theirs do you admire? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Fiction Blog, The Desertera Series

The Cogsmith’s Daughter Book Launch Blog Tour Recap

Here’s a listing of all the posts from the blog tour. Thank you again to all of my wonderful hosts. Make sure you check out their websites if you haven’t already – they are full of great insights, wit, and of course, fantastic writing of their own!

Monday, October 12 | What the Heck is Steampunk Dystopian, Anyway?

In this post, hosted by the wonderful Kate Evans, I explain the basics of both the steampunk and dystopian genres, as well as what attracted me to a “steampunk dystopian” mash up.

Tuesday, October 13 | The Evolution of The Cogsmith’s Daughter: From First Draft to Final Product

Here, I’m hosted by Ula, and I share how I went about writing my first draft as well as some “trivia” about how the final book differs from my first draft.

Wednesday, October 14Desertera: Conception and Construction

Zach asked me how I came up with the idea for Desertera, my novel’s world, as well as how I went about building it. In this post, all is revealed!

Thursday, October 15 | How I “Became” a Writer (and Stumbled Upon the Idea for My Novel)

Charles wanted to know more about my background as a writer and how I came up with the idea for The Cogsmith’s Daughter. This one goes way back, folks.

Friday, October 16 | Author Hall of Fame Introduction

Chris the Story Reading Ape was kind enough to add me to his Author Hall of Fame. As my introduction, I talk about how my sociology background influences the purpose behind my writing.

Monday, October 19 | New Author Alert

A video interview, hosted by young adult science fiction author, Jonas Lee. Insights into my writing process, future plans, and general shenanigans.

Tuesday, October 20 | Take a Tour of Desertera

Because Helen crafted such an enchanting world in her own fiction, I wanted to take her and her readers on a tour of my world, Desertera – an old steam ship surrounded by villages.

Wednesday, October 21 | What It “Really” Takes to Write and Publish a Novel

I give Amanda the straight truth about writing a novel – both the intangible traits it takes and the hard facts and figures on stages, time, and personal cost.

Thursday, October 22 | The Religion of Desertera

Have you been wondering how the heck a steampunk world ended up in a desert wasteland? I tell all with Teri’s readers – including an excerpt from the novel.

Friday, October 23 | The Pros and Cons of Using Invented Words in Your Book Title

What exactly is a cogsmith? In this post on Kev’s Great Indie Authors, I explain – and describe the pros and cons of slapping such a word on your book cover.

Don’t forget! The blog tour Goodreads giveaway ends TODAY. Enter HERE for your chance to win one of three signed copies of The Cogsmith’s Daughter!