Escalation of Space Travel by @StephenTremp

As you've no doubt noticed, this has been Book Feature Week at my place. We started out with sci-fi, mixed it up with some YA paranormal, and now we're back to sci-fi with a guest post from author Stephen Tremp, who's celebrating the release of Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan.

Stephen writes sci-fi, but today he's going to tell us about some real life scientific ventures that only sound like fiction. Take it away, Mr. Tremp...

As we wind down the Escalation Blog Tour, I want to be sure to highlight some of what’s going on in the private Sector regarding things like commercial space flight, space tourism,

Virgin Galactic: Is an America-based, British-owned commercial spaceflight company within Richard Branson’s Virgin Group which plans to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists, suborbital launches for space science missions, and orbital launches of small satellites. Further in the future, Virgin Galactic hopes to offer orbital human spaceflights as well. Virgin Galactic's spacecraft is launched from a large aeroplane, giving the spacecraft more initial speed and altitude than if it were launched from the ground. REFERENCE

Book a flight now for only $250,000. You will be joining our community of over 600 future astronauts which has become one of the most exclusive clubs in the world! REFERENCE

SpaceX: The brainchild of Elon Musk (PayPal and Tesla Motors) made history as the world's first privately held company to send a cargo payload, carried on their Dragon spacecraft, to the International Space Station. The capsule then brought back more than one ton of science experiments and old station equipment. It's the only supply ship capable of two-way delivery.

NASA is paying SpaceX more than $1 billion for a dozen resupply missions. Space X can reuse their spacecraft too. SpaceX has signed contracts with private sector companies, non-American government agencies and the American military for its launch services. NASA needs these “private space taxis” to help ferry cargo to the International Space Station.

The Moon: According to SpaceDev, a return to the moon from the private sector could be accomplished under $10 billion using existing technology, significantly lower than anything NASA could accomplish.

“According to SpaceDev's chief, Jim Benson, the private group has found that a more comprehensive series of missions could be completed in a fraction of the time and for one-tenth of the cost of the NASA estimate.” REFERENCE

Mars: An ambitious private manned mission to Mars aims to launch a two-person crew to fly around the Red Planet and return to Earth in 501 days, starting in January 2018.
This bold undertaking is planned by the Inspiration Mars Foundation, a non-profit company founded by millionaire and space tourist Dennis Tito that was officially unveiled on Feb. 27 after early details leaked.

Though the spacecraft would not land humans on Mars or even put them in orbit, it would bring people within a few hundred kilometers of the Martian surface — roughly the same distance between the International Space Station and Earth — and represent a major milestone in human spaceflight. If successful, the mission would go down in history as the first time a private company accomplished something government agencies were unable to do in space. REFERENCE

Asteroid Mining: The race is on. Who will bag an asteroid first? NASA or private industry. There is so much money to be made in a venture such as this because of the minerals that it’s hard to say.

I love this idea and think we will see it in our lifetime. But my problem is, the best way to do this is to bring an asteroid into Earth’s orbit without crashing it into us. How else are they going to mine it and bring the precious elements to Earth in a cost effective manner. Stay tuned.

Well, lots of crazy and exciting stuff on our immediate horizon. For better or worse. And I’ll be on top of each and every step of the way at my blog.

Stephen Tremp Is the author of the Breakthrough series. Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, horror, and even romance.

Stop by Stephen’s Blog for more information on the Breakthrough series, or download Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan at Amazon.

Thanks for coming by, Stephen & congrats on the new book!


Are You Ready to Challenge Destiny? @CherieColyer Is!

Today, Cherie Colyer's upper YA novel with angelic flair---Challenging Destiny---is available on Kindle, and I'm excited to be part of the celebration by hosting an intriguing excerpt:

Logan’s point-of-view

I glanced down at the silver dagger and then back up into her eyes. I couldn’t move. My muscles froze as my mind whirled.

She pressed the bone handle into my hand and closed my fingers around it. “You’d be freeing me from my contract with the Fallen. My soul will finally be at rest.” Her voice was soft. Tired. She raised her chin and closed her eyes. “Just make sure you hit my heart because I’m not going to promise getting stabbed isn’t going to piss me off.”

It wouldn’t take much effort to kill Kira. She stood in front of me, half an arm’s length away.

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Kindle Release Date: March 27, 2014
Worldwide Release Date: July 11, 2014

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons.

Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana.

Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity.

Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?

Click here to read Challenging Destiny on Kindle today!  Amazon UK

Cherie Colyer is the author of YA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE and HOLD TIGHT from Omnific Publishing. Her latest novel, CHALLENGING DESTINY will be available this spring from The Wild Rose Press, Black Rose Imprint. Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Goodreads to get the latest updates on her books.

Congratulations, Cherie!


Gorgeous New Covers for the Shades Series by @CarolOates

Today is a double cover reveal for the Shades Series by Carol Oates!
Shades of Atlantis got a makeover (new cover to be available on April 15), and Shades of Avalon (to be released on April 15) is being revealed. To celebrate the reveal, Omnific is giving away an ePack of Shades of Atlantis at EACH hosting blog. So that means that right here, right now, you can enter for a chance to win just by leaving a comment on this post. 

Shades of Atlantis. 

Since the death of their parents, Triona Pryor and her brother, Ben, have lived with their aunt and uncle in Camden, Maine. Now in her senior year of high school, Triona loves her family and friends, but she has always felt that she didn't quite fit in...in Camden, or anywhere else.

Enter Caleb Wallace, the devilishly handsome man who has recently moved to Triona's small town.

While their attraction to each other is instantaneous, it also proves to be dangerous...and deadly. When tragedy strikes, Triona flees to London for solace and to start her life anew. It's there she discovers from an unlikely source that her family has been keeping secrets from her - secrets about not only her birthright, but her ultimate destiny as well.

Armed with this knowledge, Triona finds herself thrown into a whole new world and into a battle to save the lives of everyone she loves.

Shades of Avalon:

Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright.

When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council.

With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.

In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur

About the author:

Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge.

She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper. 

When not writing, Carol can be found exploring history with her son. Luckily, he shares her love of old buildings, castles, and tombs. 


The story of the Backworlds continues, and the story of Earth begins. Worlds on Edge by @MPax1

In the mood for an intense sci-fi adventure? You're in luck because today is the official launch of the fifth book in M. Pax's popular Backworlds series.  Congrats, Mary!

Worlds on Edge
by M. Pax
War is coming. A horde of merciless aliens poise just beyond the Edge. In a matter of weeks, they will devour the worlds.

Racing ahead of the apocalypse, Craze returns to the Backworlds to warn them and plan a defense. Only he can’t go home. Banned from Pardeep Station, he must wage a more urgent battle. His moon is under siege, and his friends are dying.

Bad things come in threes, and the galaxy is no exception. An old enemy returns, attacking moons and defenseless globes, leaving a wake of destruction. Worse than that, they threaten to join forces with the alien horde.

Defeat seems inevitable. Craze may not be able to stop it. Yet home is worth the fight.

Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to M. Pax, and she blames Oregon for that, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers, teaching the public about the stars and the galaxy. A Bachelors of Science in Journalism, she had former lives in marketing and television before settling down to write. Want to know more? Visit mpaxauthor.com


In Which I Show You Mine #AtoZreveal

I was so happy to learn that I wasn't the only dork who planned to pre-reveal her theme for the 2014 A to Z Challenge. As it turns out, there are a whole bunch of us, led by Team Damyanti in the Great & Powerful Theme Reveal Hop.  Click here for the list of the many other bloggers who will reveal themselves today.

Ready to see mine?

90's Pop Culture Favorites!

As in, my favorites. I firmly believe the 80's were the best decade ever pop-culturewise, and as a result I tend to not give the 90's their due. So I forced myself to sit down and come up with 26 things I loved in the 90's that I STILL love, and you know what? It wasn't difficult at all.

So, starting on April 1, I'll be retroing back in time to show you bits of my 90's soul. But before we begin, I'd like to share with you my personal 90's timeline to provide insight into my baseline at the time I fell in love with these things:

1991: Got married
1993: Earned MBA from DePaul University
1995: Bought first single-family home
1996: Started la familia w/ bambino #1
1997: Became a stay-at-home mamma
Expanded la familia w/ bambino #2
'98-'99: Pretty much a blur

You're all tingly with anticipation now, aren'tchya?

If you haven't signed up for A to Z yet, there's still time.


What a Grown-Ass Woman Wants (#GrownAssMan Tour)

New Adult has taken the romance world by storm, which is pretty cool---especially considering that my first novel, Three Daves, is a college love story---but some of us thought it was time to celebrate the fully-formed man and all the lovely things he can bring to romance. By some of us, I mean:

(BTW, All Featured Novels Are Specially Priced At Only $0.99 – $2.99  Throughout The Tour!)

Each of us has spent some time falling in love with a fictional man over the age of 30 while we wrote the novels listed above. This week, we're each talking about grown-up love from our own perspectives, and we invite you to join in on the conversation. Please click on the links above to visit each author's post (and see what they're giving away at their places). Be sure to also stop by the Omnific Publishing blog to enter the Grand Giveaway---win a $50 Gift Card + a Grown-Ass Man eBook Collection. For a snippet about each of the authors and their Grown-Ass novels, visit my website.

My topic today is Grown-Ass women---or men---and how what they value in a mate has changed from when they first started mate-seeking. I chose this topic because it was the driving force behind writing Divine Temptation. As I've said before, I wanted to see how a mature woman with adult responsibilities would react to an otherworldly white knight being suddenly thrust into her life. I suspected her responses would be quite different from those of a teen or early twentysomething, and they were.

Not only did Maggie have adult responsibilities to keep her grounded, she'd learned through life experience---including a painful divorce---to appreciate different qualities in a man than she had at earlier points in her life. She even learned to admire qualities in her ex-husband that she hadn't paid enough attention to while they were married. So Divine Temptation is a very different kind of love story than Three Daves. I think that's true of all of us, don't you---that our personal love stories morph as we grow older because what we value in a mate/potential mate changes as we progress through this life?

I clearly remember what I was looking for in guys when I was an undergrad at EIU---my roommate and I called this ideal: Fun Guy. I was looking for the life of the party, someone who'd make me laugh and laugh. And I found him. I found lots of hims. But I also learned that Fun Guy was often synonymous with Drunk Guy. And that Fun Guy often turned into Overly-Sensitive and Needy Guy when not the center of attention.  And he was almost always Selfish Guy.

My mate-seeking days are over, for better or worse, but I can see how my mate-dar has changed over the years in how I advise my daughter about boys. My number one advice: pay attention to how he treats his mother (and yes, I make sure my son is close enough to overhear). Is it with respect, thoughtfulness, and genuine caring? Or does he tend to disregard her unless he needs her for something? This is a good indication of how he'll treat the rest of the long-term women in his life. I also tell her to not discount the shy, socially awkward guys. It doesn't matter if he can't make a room full of people laugh as long as he makes her smile.

So how about you---how has what you value in a mate changed since you first started dating?

To say thanks for making me one of your stops on the tour, I'm hosting a li'l giveaway below. After you enter, please do hop around to see what the other authors have to say about Grown-Ass love. Don't forget to enter the Grand Giveaway at the Omnific Publishing blog.


#IWSG: Faking It

To quote something from my current WIP: the ability to pretend she knew what she was doing was often more valuable than actually knowing.

Do any of you feel that way with this writing thing? Like sometimes you're just pretending to know what you're doing instead of actually knowing? I sure do---in pretty much every step of the process: the actual writing, the querying, especially the marketing. I've taken every step forward that I needed to to get where I am, but not usually with a great deal of confidence. It's more like...m'okay, let's do this & see what happens.

Occasionally what happens is that I find myself in over my head. Like when Savvy Authors invited me to submit a proposal for an article, so I did, and they accepted. I sent out an excited Tweet and then thought...Aw crap, now I've got to write this thing.  And what do I know about Finding the Hooks Within Your Manuscript?

The only way I was able to get myself started was by faking it---writing as if I knew what I was talking about. And by the end, I felt like, hey, maybe I have been learning as I go along and maybe I do know just a little bit more on the subject than I'd thought. So I guess that's my pep talk this month: boldly go forth as if you know what you're doing...and maybe you'll find out that you actually do.

This post is for the March 2014 edition of the Insecure Writer's Support group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.