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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Guest Post: Humanity and Science Fiction

Humanity and Science Fiction

Guest Post by Jon Messenger

author of the Brink of Distinction trilogy



Before I started writing the Brink of Distinction trilogy, I buried myself in science fiction novels, absorbing everything I could about the genre. One of the last series I read before I started writing was The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell. The story centered on two factions of humans fighting with one another as they both laid claim to the explored space. Near the end of the series (sorry for the spoilers), they discover that there’s probably an alien race existing beyond their borders, one that is a threat to all humanity, if only they could set aside their differences.


It was a great series, one that I devoured, book after book. The idea that humanity would have to band together against an alien threat is a staple of science fiction, from Ender’s Game to Starship Troopers. 



But is it realistic?



These stories paint the picture of a humanity expanding to the stars, with the original colonists described as heroes to those who awaited word of their settlements from Earth. When they encounter aliens, the aliens are always hostile with the intent of wiping out the colonies before turning their attention to Earth itself.



Except I’ve study world history. Humanity doesn’t have a good track record of benevolence when meeting new cultures. In fact, 95% of the time, the invading culture wipes out the indigenous population. If that were the case, then why would we assume that humanity would be the victims in an intergalactic war?



That train of thought became the premise for the Brink of Distinction trilogy. It’s always been my belief that the only thing that would push humanity to colonize the stars would be overpopulation or over polluting of Earth. If that were the case, humanity would colonize under a manifest destiny mentality. The establishment of colonies would be priority number one, regardless of the alien races that might have already existed in the worlds they discover.



I invite you to come read the trilogy, consisting of BURDEN OF SISYPHUS, FALL OF ICARUS, and PURGE OF PROMETHEUS. It’s an interesting take on the science fiction genre, with humanity clearly the antagonists throughout the story.

BRINK OF DISTINCTION SERIES by Jon Messenger

Adult Sci-Fi Series Published Through Crimson Tree Publishing


Burden of Sisyphus
Between the alien Alliance and the Terran Empire, a neutral zone stretches between the galaxies, a demilitarized zone that was established 150 years previous, following the Great War. The peace accord granted a semblance of peace to the universe. The peace, however, is a facade, and it is the responsibility of Michael Vance and his covert operations team to maintain that illusion.

Recently, the Alliance lost contact with one of their outposts near the neutral zone. Surveillance scans show an abandoned city and no signs of life. The Alliance does what it always does: send in the best. But an unexpected betrayal leaves Vance and his team stranded. Worse, the city that was supposed to be dead is quite alive. And the monsters that now roam its streets are slaughtering his team, one at a time.




Fall of Icarus

The Terran Empire has broken the Taisa Accord and invaded Alliance space in this exciting second novel in the Brink of Distinction series. Survivors of the Empire's first assault, Yen Xiao and Adam Decker swore vengeance against the Terrans. Joining forces with the enigmatic Keryn Riddell, the three warriors must find a way to destroy the Terran fleet. But the Terrans have a secret weapon: a biological agent sold to them by an renegade smuggler. Now it's a race against the clock to capture the smuggler before the Terrans decimate the Alliance home worlds.

When everything they do proves to be not enough to stop the Empire's violent invasion, the Alliance takes the fight directly to the Empire by invading Earth! But Earth may not be the biggest threat to the safety of the Alliance. The biggest danger may be one of their own.



Purge of Prometheus

The final confrontation between the Alien Alliance and the Terran Empire begins in this exciting conclusion to the Brink of Distinction trilogy.

One-by-one, the brilliant suns of Alliance space are disappearing, left cold and lifeless after exposure to the Terran biological epidemic. Trapped on one of the sunless worlds, Keryn Riddell, the ruthless Wyndgaart warrior, fights against both a frozen landscape and her Terran captors.

As Keryn fights for her life, the psychic Yen Xiao leads the Alliance fleet in pursuit of the Terran Destroyers threatening the Alliance homeworlds. Yearning for leadership of the fleet, Yen begins to wonder just how far he’ll go for the power he craves.


I invite you to come read the trilogy, consisting of BURDEN OF SISYPHUS, FALL OF ICARUS, and PURGE OF PROMETHEUS. It’s an interesting take on the science fiction genre, with humanity clearly the antagonists throughout the story.

About Jon Messenger


Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through two deployments to Iraq, a humanitarian relief mission to Haiti, and an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.

Jon's books include Wind Warrior, Flame Caller and Water Shaper which was published through Clean Teen Publishing and quickly hit the best selling lists of Amazon. Jon Messenger has won a readers choice award as well as the Clean Teen Publishing writing contest for his Novella of Wind Warrior, which is also featured in Wonderstruck. Messenger's sci-fi series, Brink of Distinction, was picked up by Clean Teen Publishing's adult imprint: Crimson Tree Publishing in the Fall of 2013. 


Twitter: @JonMessenger







* * * *
Don't forget to check out my latest YA adventure, 
Deep Green, 
available in Print & e-Book
*25% off with the promo code 20EPdb14

* * * *

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Guest Post: Real Life Experience, by Angela J. Townsend

Real Life Experience: 

Guest Post by 

Angela J. Townsend, author of




I love to write about the supernatural. Ghosts and witches and even a goblin or two always seem to sneak into my writing. 

I have lived in two haunted houses, traveled into the darkest regions of southern swamps and even fought off an alligator or two. All of these experiences have helped me to write my novel, River of Bones. And if you like a scary southern gothic story filled with local myth and lore than this creepy novel is a perfect read for you!

My real experience with haunted houses happened when I lived on a historic farm. If you pressed your ear against a far wall--you could literally hear whispering and crazy sounding laughter. On the other side of that wall was a simple flower garden. There was no reason to hear any noise from that wall.
We called in a paranormal team to and explore the house, The investigators claimed it was haunted by the prior owners who had died in the early 1900’s and were buried in the garden.

I was horrified that dead people might be underneath my radishes and tomatoes plants! The very next day I hurried outside with my shovel and starting looking for gravestones. I scooped out shovels of dirt and dug for nearly a whole day and never found anything. Not even a piece of headstone.

Later that summer on a smoldering day a car drove into the yard. Out stepped an older gentleman. I was packing my bags because we had found a house in town and frankly I was tired of all the creepy things that were happening in the house. The man walked up and shook my hand. He told me that he was the grandson of the original owners. I quickly asked him all the things I wanted to know about the house. He was very polite and after a cup of lemonade in the shade I had learned that his grandparents had both died suddenly of unknown causes. Before he left he tipped his hat back and said. “You know my grandparents are buried here don’t you?”

“Where?” I asked quickly.

“Over in the garden.”

I shook my head. “That just can’t be. I’ve searched the garden. There aren’t any headstones.”

“Oh,” he said. “Not that garden.” He pointed to a rosebush on the side of the house near where we could hear the voices. “They’re in the flower garden!”

The hair rose up on my neck and needless to say the paranormal investigators were right. There were dead people under my tulips.  We moved out that same night and never looked back.  I’ve always wondered what those voices were saying.  Perhaps they were telling me the tales that went into my novel, River of Bones….

RIVER OF BONES 

By Angela J. Townsend

Published by: Clean Teen Publishing

Young Adult Horror - Romance

Available Today!

When seventeen-year-old Dharma Moore moves to Bayou country so her scam artist mother can work as a Paranormal Investigator, she discovers that more than ghosts haunt the abandoned plantation they now call home. 

Centuries ago, a voodoo curse was placed on the swamp waters surrounding the old plantation by a murdered slave. This terrible curse ensnares Dharma with its deadly effects. To save herself, she must face the terror of the haunted waters, find the dead woman's skull, and convince the slave's soul to release her from its torments. When Dharma discovers an ancient secret that links her to the property—a secret kept from her by her own family—she realizes that the curse is more personal to her than she ever imagined. 

 To survive, Dharma must accept the help of the locals, and put her trust in the handsome gardener, Wolf Bodine—who is the only one crazy enough to come near the plantation. With his help, Dharma must learn to embrace the truth and accept that magic is not only real… but that it can be very, very deadly!


About Angela J. Townsend

Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing. 

Angela's first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. Her newest novel, Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings, was signed for publication with Clean Teen Publishing in 2013. 

Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant. 

More books by Angela J. Townsend:

 

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? 

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!





* * * *
Don't forget to check out my latest adventure/romance, 
Deep Green, 
available in Print & e-Book
*25% off with the promo code 20EPdb14

* * * *

Friday, January 23, 2015

Guest Post: WRITE! by Melissa J. Cunningham


WRITE! 

Guest Post by 

Melissa J. Cunningham

author of Reluctant Guardian 

At eighteen, we are expected to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. We have to pick a career and go for it, spending countless hours and thousands of dollars to fund that training. For me, music was it. I loved music in all it's forms, and I still do. But it was hard for me to pick just exactly what I wanted to do with that music I loved so much. First, I majored as a vocalist for a while, and then I switched to a piano major, which morphed into music therapy. 

I have quite a few friends who went to four years of college only to realize they don't want that career after all, and it's too late... kind of.

My point here is... our goals change. It has been over twenty years since I was in college and as much as I love music, my desires have turned a corner. I fell in love with writing and writing is what I want to do now. For a career that is. 

I can't imagine anything more fun than writing stories people love to read. I want to inspire. I want to take people to Never Never Land. I want to steal them away for a few hours and paint a world they want to get lost in. 

Now, just because I want to do this, doesn't mean I'm going to be good at it, right? The greatest authors of all time didn't sit down one random day and write a master piece. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice before the average writer gets good enough to sell a book. I started writing about five years ago, so if I wrote for two hours a day, every day, for those last five years, I still haven't even come close to those 10,000 hours! I still have tons of practice to go!

Thank heavens I found a publisher who is willing to be patient while I get there!

No one is great without practice. No one gets there overnight. But the one thing the “greats” do have in common is... they write. They do it, even when they don't want to, or don't feel like it. If you've had the goal to write a book, stop waiting around to get in the mood. Stop waiting to feel inspired. Inspiration comes after you start, while you're writing. Believe me, I know! I can't tell you how many times I have not been in the mood to write, but I needed to get a book finished, so I sat myself down and forced myself to type.

Most of the time, those chapters turn out great! Have faith in your muse! Have faith that you can do it, and don't let anything or anyone talk you out of it. Even if your goal is not to publish, your goal can be to finish!

So set your behind down on that chair and get your fingers moving. You could be the next Stephen King or Stephanie Meyer for all we know!



by Melissa J. Cunningham




Guarding Brecken Shaefer—a dark and dangerous rebel—is harder than it looks. 

Death was nothing like sixteen-year-old Alisa Callahan thought it would be. Resting on pink, fluffy clouds for eternity with her gram and best friend sounded like a dream come true. After all, enduring one torturous experience after another in her short life deserved some kind of reward, right? Unfortunately, eternal rewards aren't given out so freely when you take your own life.

Required to pay the debt for committing suicide, Alisa must become a guardian. It sounds easy enough, but not when the boy she is forced to protect has a dangerous secret and wants absolutely nothing to do with her.

Brecken Shaefer isn't any normal teenager. He has special gifts that are sure to make Alisa's afterlife miserable. When feelings develop between them, everything spins out of control. Not only must Alisa face her own demons— but to protect Brecken, she must face an evil so heinous that it threatens to destroy their souls completely.

Alisa is tired of hiding from her past. When the easiest thing to do is run, can Brecken give her the strength to stay? 



About Melissa J. Cunningham


Melissa's first novel: Reluctant Guardian, was accepted for publication through Clean Teen Publishing in August 2013. When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time with her husband of eighteen years and her five children. Melissa studied music in college and loves to read all things fiction. Melissa lives in Northern Utah with her family, her horses, cats, dogs and chickens. 

Melissa's first novel: Reluctant Guardian, was accepted for publication through Clean Teen Publishing in August 2013. When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time with her husband of eighteen years and her five children. Melissa studied music in college and loves to read all things fiction. Melissa lives in Northern Utah with her family, her horses, cats, dogs and chickens. 

More from Clean Teen Publishing:





* * * *
Don't forget to check out my latest YA adventure/romance, 
Deep Green, 
available in Print & e-Book
*25% off with the promo code 20EPdb14

* * * *