Archives for category: Blogging

8 days offline to finish a new book, of course. Which is now done and multiply sent off the publishers.

At some point in a project, I need to put everything aside and totally concentrate.

So I’m back, my friends! At least for now. I should take a day off, but there’s too much to do. Maybe this weekend.

I must tell you, at first I feared that my growing online presence would collapse like. . . .the price of gold? The stock market?

Thank heaven that hasn’t happened. I mean me and the stock market. I don’t know about gold.

Without any Tweeting, I gained 54 new Followers on Twitter.

A bunch of you great folks on WordPress have liked my blogs from days ago and started following me (more about WordPress and my difficulties with the site in another day or so).

More have friended me on Goodreads and connected with me on LinkedIn.

Facebook is truly a constant stream that I’ve followed and contributed to less than I used to. So things were pretty quiet over there.

And my books have kept selling.

So. Question: is it really necessary for an author to blog and social network every day? The handlers out there say yes. The social sites are pleased to receive all this free content.

But do you, the reader, follow daily posts? Or is it too much? When does it become too much for you?

In the meantime, I’m working on the third volume of Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) and a very fun collection of stories previously published in magazines and anthologies worldwide entitled Strange Ladies: 7 Stories.

Plus I’m mulling over what book I want to review next for Goodreads, which I’ll post here. Still on my To-Read List are A Discovery of Witches and The Night Circus. Don’t know when I’ll get to them. If you’ve read either book, let me know what you think.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, screenplays, forthcoming projects, and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

More affordable titles for your reading enjoyment:

New Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

New Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

For something fast, fun, and free exclusively on Kindle Select, give U F uh-O, A Sci Fi Comedy a try! But only until March 1, 2013.

Knocked Up meets E.T

Nikki and Josh really want a child but have infertility issues. Gretchen and Mike have the same problem. When Nikki meets Gretchen at the Happy Daze Family Clinic in Pasadena, they discover that they share a love of music and have asked for a donor with musical talent.

Nine months later, they give birth to very unusual babies and, seeking an answer to why the kids are so special, they meet again at a pediatrician’s office.

And the search is on!

Who—and what—is Donor Number 333?

U F uh-O, A Sci Fi Comedy started out as a script for a producer looking for a science fiction comedy like Galaxy Quest or Men in Black and became a novella. Prose writing is so much more fun than scriptwriting!

The novella is free exclusively on Kindle! But only til March 1, 2013.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

New! Summer of Love Serials 1 through 7 are free exclusively on Kindle!

Welcome to the final round! We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books. This wraps up the Time Travel Blogs, Parts 1 through 5.

Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and on Kindle. Summer of Love was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. Locus Magazine said, “Remarkable. . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” The Gilded Age was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book. The New York Times Book Review called The Gilded Age, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” Visit Lisa on the web at Lisa Mason’s Official Websiteor  Lisa Mason’s Blog.

Laura Vosika is the author of Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, lauded as a book in the vein of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and earning many five-star reviews. Nan Hawthorne, author of historical fiction, called Blue Bells of Scotland one of her favorite books of the year. The praise was echoed by Robert Mattos of Book and Movie Reviews, adding that it is a must-have for the book shelves of any serious reader. The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles is also out. Visit Laura on the web at www.bluebellstrilogy.comor  www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author.

What research did you do for the era your time traveler returns to?

Laura: Every possible sort. I researched medieval times, Scotland, names, food, castles, weapon(r)y; weather, temperature, and sunrise and sunset on given days of the year in Scotland; whether the clothing in 1314 had buttons (no), time travel theories in science and fiction. I brushed up on my classical music and learned about the vampire of Melrose Abbey. I routinely post a ‘Researching Today’ status on my facebook author page (www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author) telling about the interesting things I come across. I flew to Scotland for a two week research trip to visit all the locations in Blue Bells of Scotland.

I read a number of fiction books set in the era, particularly The Path of the Hero King, the thoroughly-researched novelization of the events leading up to Bannockburn by the great Scottish writer, Nigel Tranter. My collection of books on Scotland and medieval time–castles, towns, history, music, and food to name but a few specialties–spans several shelves. A few that stand out are Robert the Bruce: King of Scots by Ronald McNair Scott, Bannockburn 1314: Robert Bruce’s Great Victory by Pete Armstrong; James the Good: The Black Douglas by David R. Ross; and Robert Bruce and The Community of the Realm of Scotlandby W.S. Barrow.

I also used a number of internet resources, including digging up English records from the time online. I kept detailed charts compiling differences of opinions among scholars.

Lisa: How did people fasten their clothes before buttons, let alone zippers? You’ll have to read Laura’s book to find out, among many other things!

For Summer of Love, I set out to capture the sights, sounds, attitudes, and culture from the inside out. I started out with The Haight-Ashbury, A History by Charles Perry, a book he worked on for eight years. From there, I read the daily San Francisco Chronicle from June 21, 1967 to September 4, 1967 on microfiche at the Santa Rosa Public Library (the only place in the Bay area where I could find such an archive). I acquired the gorgeous facsimile edition of The Oracle published by Regent Press and found a complete archive of The Berkeley Barb at the Berkeley Public Library. At Walden Pond Books, Bibliomania, and the now-vanished Holmes Book Company (all in Oakland) and Shakespeare & Company and Moe’s (both in Berkeley), I found rare books such as Lenore Kandel’s infamous Beat poem, Love Needs Care by Dr. David E. Smith who founded the Free Clinic, and Notes From Underground. I borrowed people’s home movies, studied Making Sense of the Sixties, which featured the famous Harry Reasoner clip, and watched Star Trek episodes (no, I’m not a Trekkie, but that research was fun). I acquired Life and Time magazines for June through September, 1967 from online bookstores, as well as a privately published corporate history of Marinship for details on Ruby Maverick’s mother’s experience as a war worker (found that gem at a military books specialist in St. Louis). I spoke with, met, or corresponded with Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Katharine Kerr, Allen Ginsberg, and Allan Cohen, and even spoke by phone with the late Lenore Kandel. She told me that the bus fare in 1967 was fifteen cents (not a quarter, as I’d thought) and that there was no Sausalito ferry operating in 1967. We shared a laugh over the fact that her brother wrote scripts for Star Trek (she proofed the manuscript for me and loved the Star Trek riffs). And, of course, like Laura, I visited locations. Alas, I didn’t get a two-week research trip to Scotland. I live in the San Francisco Bay area and visited the ‘hood, which remains remarkably unchanged, and walked through the Portals of the Past in Golden Gate Park.

As for The Gilded Age, I found an entire library of books about the world during the 1890s, the United States, and San Francisco in particular. Several journalists in the 1930s and 1940s published detailed and lively accounts of the City before the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire all but demolished San Francisco. These accounts included such classics as The Barbary Coast, The Madams of San Francisco, and The Tongs of Chinatown. Accounts abound of the amazing Donaldina Cameron, who rescued slave girls from the tongs and who plays a pivotal role in my book. Fin de siècle San Francisco was already a tourist attraction in the 1890s, and I found an actual guidebook published in 1899.

But what about those telling details?

Novels of the period (by authors such as Frank Norris and Jack London) reveal much about personal attitudes. At the late, great The Holmes Book Company in Oakland I discovered recipe books by the famous chefs of 1890s San Francisco with delicious details about food and drink. I think my favorite resources are the facsimile editions of the Montgomery Ward and Sears & Roebuck catalogs. There I discovered a wealth of detail about clothing, popular books, harnesses and carriages, guns, sewing implements, patent medicines, wigs, smoking accoutrements, makeup, children’s toys, and more. Pure heaven for the historical researcher!

Laura: It really is those minute details that bring a story to life, that give it the strong touch of reality and create the suspension of disbelief. I have been looking forward to preparing some of the food in my Medieval Feasts book. I probably won’t go so far as to build a five-man-sized brazier–I have a bad feeling there are city ordinances against them–but maybe I’ll time the cooking by saying Hail Marys, as is suggested in one resource, and see how that goes! I’m currently sampling a few of the Twin Cities’ offerings in mead. All in the name of research of course!

Lisa: Research, always!The biggest, juiciest treasure trove for The Gilded Age came in a bound volume of a newspaper, The Argonaut, for the entire years of 1896 and 1897. There I discovered such eye-openers as lady bicyclists and the scandals surrounding their attire (bloomers!) and how much the Spreckels sugar baron spent a year on cut flowers ($50,000). It’s hard to find that kind of delightful everyday detail in history books.

Thanks to Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika for a lively and thought-provoking discussion. If you, the reader, wish to join the discussion or have any questions or comments for our authors, feel free to contact them. And please buy their books!

Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle,by Lisa Mason.

Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, and The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles by Laura Vosika.

New! For a limited time only, The Summer of Love Serials are free on Kindle Select!

Summer of Love, Serial 1: Celebration of the Summer Solstice
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 2: Festival of Growing Things
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 3: A Dog Day
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 4: Rumors
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 5: Inquest for the Ungrateful Dead
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 6: Chocolate George’s Wake
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 7: A New Moon in Virgo
On Kindle.

The Plot (in a nutshell). At this point in The Garden of Abracadabra, Abby has fled her hometown of Buckeye Heights at her mother’s urgent deathbed plea to return to school at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts and, to support herself through school, landed the job of superintendent of the magical, mysterious apartment building on campus. She has discovered that all her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, wizards, and other supernatural entities and is drawn into a tenants’ love triangle. She has also discovered the supernatural multiple murder in Tilden Park and is reluctantly compelled into the investigation because her vampire tenants at the Garden of Abracadabra are prime suspects. Meanwhile, her ex-fiance, Daniel Stern has come to Berkeley to try to win her back, sparks fly between Abby and Jack Kovac, a troubled magician who heads the FBI’s Supernatural Crimes Unit, and Prince Lastor, a potent supernatural entity in the penthouse, has enchanted her at the first of three dazzling Revels. Abby’s tenant, the storm witch Esmeralda Tormenta, has asked Abby to take Senor, Esmeralda’s shapeshifter lover, for a walk while Senor is in his dog incarnation, but Senor has run away. Animal Control has caught Senor and taken him to the Berkeley Animal Shelter. Maureen at the shelter has called Esmeralda and Esmeralda has bespelled Abby into driving her there to retrieve Senor.

At the shelter, Maureen takes Abby and Esmeralda to the cage where Senor is being held, and Esmeralda confronts him. Abby overhears a high, sweet, purry voice, a magical voice, in her ear.

Maureen takes Abby to the cat habitat where Abby is drawn at once to a magical white cat. Smitten, she adopts her and takes her home. There Abby opens the envelope Maureen gave her at the animal shelter and learns the magicat’s name and a brief history.

From The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

I leaf through the trust document, Miss Meadows’ will, a power of attorney, a Bank of Scotland form for transferring legal ownership of the trust account partially filled out by Miss Meadows and notarized, and a signature card for me to sign.

Purest water. The magicat requires purest water? She must be parched! I dash to the kitchen, glad I’d bought more spring water at Whole Foods. I fill a pink Fiesta bowl and set it on the floor.

Alana trots into the kitchen, her claws clicking on the hardwood floor. “Thou art good, fair Ab-by.”

“How do you know my name, Alana?”

“The witch addressed thee so when she bid thee good-morrow.” The magicat wrinkles her nose. “The witch and her werehound reek of a stinky curse.”

“No kidding.” I watch the magicat drink, her long pink tongue dipping delicately in and out of the spring water. Holy teddy bears, I’ve just become a pet parent. I feel as proud and protective of my new pet baby as a hundred million other pet parents must feel. Only Alana isn’t your ordinary pet baby.

She’s a two-thousand-year-old magicat.

“Alana, I’m doing drinks and dinner at home before I go out tonight. Care to join me?”

The magicat flings her tiny arms around my ankle and hugs me. “Anon, to dine with thee would greatly please me. Me pine for sweet fruities of the sea and a good sharp cheese.”

“Comin’ right up, little missy.”

From The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Mason.

This just in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more.:D”
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series (Bast Books)is on Nook and Kindle with a print edition planned for late 2013.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter”

Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy January 12, 2012
By D. Pflaster
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

New! On a budget these days? Who isn’t!

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series is also available as The Garden of Abracadabra Trilogy so you can read the Omnibus Edition at your leisure in three affordable installments.

In Book I, Life’s Journey, Abby arrives in Berkeley, filled with hope and promise, hoping to land a new job and start magic college, when she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. On Nook and Kindle.

In Book 2, In Dark Woods, Abby is drawn into a dangerous murder investigation and torn between three men, Daniel Stern, her ex-fiance, Jack Kovac, an enigmatic FBI agent, and Prince Alastor, a potent supernatural man who lives in the penthouse. On Nook and Kindle.

In Book 3: The Right Road,Abby uncovers ancient supernatural secrets behind the murders and faces dangers and challenges ahead. On Nook and Kindle.

From the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

Welcome! We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books.

Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and on Kindle. Summer of Love was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. Locus Magazine said, “Remarkable. . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” The Gilded Age was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book. The New York Times Book Review called The Gilded Age, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” Visit Lisa on the web at Lisa Mason’s Official Websiteor  Lisa Mason’s Blog.

Laura Vosika is the author of Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, lauded as a book in the vein of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and earning many five-star reviews. Nan Hawthorne, author of historical fiction, called Blue Bells of Scotland one of her favorite books of the year. The praise was echoed by Robert Mattos of Book and Movie Reviews, adding that it is a must-have for the book shelves of any serious reader. The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles is also out. Visit Laura on the web at www.bluebellstrilogy.comor  www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author.

Q: How do your characters time travel?

Laura: Like the four siblings in In the Keep of Time, Shawn and Niall originally switch times in a Scottish tower. As the series progresses, some other elements and conditions are discovered, as to what opens that gap in time. I leave it to the characters and reader, however, to decide if they believe this, or if there are simply ‘thin places’ where such things can happen.

After spending the day at a re-enactment event at the castle, Shawn and his girlfriend Amy go up into the tower. He gets her angry enough to walk away, leaving him stranded in the castle, fifteen miles from his hotel.

An hour later, he finished his third beer and looked out over the walls again. Mist boiled on the loch’s surface and filled the courtyard, like a fog machine at an abandoned rave. The castle walls and buildings floated, ghostly, above the bubbling stew. Tendrils of mist shaped themselves, into a man, into a horse, and melted away again. He blinked. Maybe he’d read too many ghost stories himself.

In the morning, he’s quite drunk.

He leaned against the parapet, but the floral scent wrapped around him. Voices reached out again, from far away. His head spun. He risked opening his eyes. There were no cars in the lot. Funny. Whose voices had he heard? He crossed to the east side of the tower, reeling as the rising sun speared his eyes. He raised a hand against the glare, and squinted down at the pebbly beach below. Two women, in full skirts, ambled along the shore with a man in a gray tunic. The water glittered under the rich greens of the mountains behind it. He swore. What was with these damn reenactors? Didn’t they have a life, that they were out this early in the morning playing dress up?

Of the various time travel methods used in fiction, I decided against science and machinery and went with the idea of the miraculous and mysterious, things outside man’s control, things that Shawn and Niall and Amy must seek to understand throughout the series, so they don’t have a time travel method on their hands so much as a mystery.

Lisa: I wanted to present time travel as a technology that could actually happen in the far future. I’ve always been partial to H.G. Wells’s machine, probably because of that very cool sleigh-like contraption in the 1960 movie. My time machine is a “tachyonic shuttle.”

I researched how, specifically, my travelers could make their journeys over the centuries with the help of three books: Time Travel by John W. Macvey, Time Machines (Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction) by Paul J. Nahin, and Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments by Martin Gardner. After some thought, I decided you would require two technologies working in concert—the first would translate matter (including a human being) into pure energy for an instant and the second would transmit that bundle of energy through the timeline to a targeted destination via faster-than-light technology. Hence, “translation-transmission” in a tachyonic shuttle is how Chiron travels from 2467 to 1967 and how Zhu travels from 2495 to 1895. Piece of cake!

From The Gilded Age:

Out of a tense and arid darkness she steps, her skirts sweeping across the macadam. Her button boot wobbles on the bridge over the brook in the Japanese Tea Garden. “Steady,” the technician whispers. The shuttle embraces the ancient bridge in a half-moon of silver lattices. The air is susurrous, tinged with menthol, cold. The shuttle hums. High overhead, the dome ripples in a fitful gust. Zhu Wong listens for final instructions. None come. Dread quickens her pulse. She closes her eyes and waits for the moment it takes to cross over.

And then it’s happening–the Event sweeps her across six centuries.

Odd staccato sounds pop in her ears. The Event transforms her into pure energy, suspends her in nothingness, then flings her back into her own flesh and blood. And she stands, unsteadily, her button boot poised on the bridge over the brook in the Japanese Tea Garden. A brand-new bridge. The scent of fresh-cut wood fills her senses.

Q: Can your time travelers return to their own era?

Lisa: Oh, yes! But only if they survive. Both Chiron in Summer of Love and Zhu in The Gilded Age each must return to a designated location where the Luxon Institute has in the far future set up a tachyonic shuttle and return at a specifically designated time or they’ll remain trapped in the past.

Laura: Shawn and Niall do have the ability to return to their own time, but in Blue Bells of Scotland, they don’t know that. It’s all guesswork. Even when they have a better idea, in The Minstrel Boy, they’re not at all sure how to control it. Being from different eras, they have very different means of seeking that answer, and throughout the series, they’re never sure when or if it will really work.

Thanks to Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika for a lively and thought-provoking discussion. If you, the reader, wish to join the discussion or have any questions or comments for our authors, feel free to contact them. And please buy their books!

Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle,by Lisa Mason.

Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, and The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles by Laura Vosika.

New! For a limited time only, The Summer of Love Serials are free on Kindle Select!

Summer of Love, Serial 1: Celebration of the Summer Solstice
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 2: Festival of Growing Things
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 3: A Dog Day
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 4: Rumors
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 5: Inquest for the Ungrateful Dead
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 6: Chocolate George’s Wake
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 7: A New Moon in Virgo
On Kindle.

Welcome! We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books.

Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and on Kindle. Summer of Love was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. Locus Magazine said, “Remarkable. . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” The Gilded Age was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book. The New York Times Book Review called The Gilded Age, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” Visit Lisa on the web at Lisa Mason’s Official Websiteor  Lisa Mason’s Blog.

Laura Vosika is the author of Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, lauded as a book in the vein of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and earning many five-star reviews. Nan Hawthorne, author of historical fiction, called Blue Bells of Scotland one of her favorite books of the year. The praise was echoed by Robert Mattos of Book and Movie Reviews, adding that it is a must-have for the book shelves of any serious reader. The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles is also out. Visit Laura on the web at www.bluebellstrilogy.comor  www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author

Q: Do you employ time travel as social commentary or as a way to point out how daily life has changed?

Lisa: Not all time travel authors write about social commentary, but a lot have and I’m one of them. What struck me about 1895 and 1967 were the pervasive sexist and racist attitudes, which Chiron and Zhu each rail against. My time travelers also take aim at the huge effects of the consumption of resources, pollution, and overpopulation.

Each year in the past I chose was a true time marker. 1895 was a pivotal year for the woman suffrage movement, movements to recognize racial minorities and to protest cruelty to animals, advances in medicine, like the germ theory and antiseptics, and technology, like the telephone, telegraph, horseless carriages, and moving pictures. 1967 was the birthplace of the women’s rights movement as we know it today, the equality of racial minorities, the gay movement, the space race, and the first computers. Both my time travelers stand as witnesses to those historic moments and add their encouragement.

It is one of the delights of time travel fiction to point out how daily life has changed. Yet in both Summer of Love and The Gilded Age, my time travelers eventually have to admit that those retrograde attitudes resurface even in their enlightened future and those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Both come to realize that, despite the wonders of far-future technology, in many ways the quality of their lives is poorer than in simpler, more natural times.

I should add there’s also plenty of fun and romance in both books.

Laura: I definitely focus on social commentary and daily life. In Blue Bells of Scotland, Shawn starts out as real womanizing, self-centered player. In medieval Scotland, where he is mistaken for Niall, he finds that what he considers having a little fun, what he considers fairly normal, is heavily frowned on by fathers and sometimes by the women themselves. Coming from an age where we express our displeasure with words and lawsuits, he is shocked to find that people have no hesitation about physically harming him. And they don’t ask questions afterward, either.

One idea The Blue Bells Chronicles touches on is that of respect for women and women’s strength, as Shawn sees the contrasts between the lives of medieval women who appear very sheltered and protected in many ways, but must be very strong to get through a hard life full of work, famine, war, and disease; and the modern women he knows who are in many ways more independent, but suffer from their own problems and societal pressures.

Thanks to Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika for a lively and thought-provoking discussion. If you, the reader, wish to join the discussion or have any questions or comments for our authors, feel free to contact them. And please buy their books!

Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle,by Lisa Mason.

Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, and The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles by Laura Vosika.

New! For a limited time only, The Summer of Love Serials are free on Kindle Select!

Summer of Love, Serial 1: Celebration of the Summer Solstice
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 2: Festival of Growing Things
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 3: A Dog Day
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 4: Rumors
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 5: Inquest for the Ungrateful Dead
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 6: Chocolate George’s Wake
On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 7: A New Moon in Virgo
On Kindle.

We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books.

Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle. Summer of Love was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. Locus Magazine said, “Remarkable. . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” The Gilded Age was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book. The New York Times Book Review called The Gilded Age, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” Visit Lisa on the web at Lisa Mason’s Official Websiteor  Lisa Mason’s Blog.

Laura Vosika is the author of Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, lauded as a book in the vein of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and earning many five-star reviews. Nan Hawthorne, author of historical fiction, called Blue Bells of Scotland one of her favorite books of the year. The praise was echoed by Robert Mattos of Book and Movie Reviews, adding that it is a must-have for the book shelves of any serious reader. The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles is also out. Visit Laura on the web at www.bluebellstrilogy.comor  www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author.

Q: What drew you as an author to time travel?

Laura: I’ve long been drawn to time travel, most likely as a result of a very active childhood imagination and a few really good children’s novels that involved time travel. In the Keep of Time was one, by Margaret J. Anderson, and Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahnwas another. In the first, four children go into a deserted Scottish keep and come out into the dead of night in medieval Scotland. In the second, two boys who look alike, but have very different personalities, switch places in time, Andrew Tyler coming to1990 and Drew, his great nephew, going back to live Andrew’s life in 1910. I consciously drew from In the Keep of Time in my own novel, but it also has some strong elements of Time for Andrew, in the concept of two very different men trading places and lives.

Lisa: Like Laura, I’ve always been fascinated with time travel. From H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895), Jack Finney’s Time and Again (1970), Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (begun in 1991), Connie Willis’s multiple award-winning The Domesday Book (1992), and on to Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife (2004), the concept of time travel has offered authors a rich and complex source of inspiration and readers with a century’s worth of reading pleasure.

Laura: I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, too. What I liked about it in particular is the way it focused on character and personality, on facing life’s problems, with time travel being central, and yet incidental, to the deeper story. This is something I try to do in my own writing. And of course, I also enjoyed Diana Gabaldon’s books and the look at historical Scotland.

Lisa: I enjoy historical fiction but the problem is, as an author, you have to stay within the mindset of the period. It’s vital you do that to maintain veracity. With time travel, though, you get to have it both ways, immersing the story in the era as well as providing a modern perspective, often a critical one.

Laura: These differing mind sets are one of the things that I think make time travel so fascinating–the exploration of how the time we live in impacts our thinking, more so than I think most of us in the modern time would like to admit.

Lisa: Absolutely. A reflection on how our own time shapes us and our thoughts in profound ways is so important in keeping an open mind and exercising your own judgment about the issues of the day.With Summer of Love, I wanted to carve out my own territory in time travel by positing that my time traveler, Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, comes from the far future on a mission to save Susan Bell, a teenage runaway in 1967 San Francisco. In The Gilded Age, Zhu Wong comes from a far future two decades later than Chiron’s and returns to a more distant past, 1895, to save a Chinese slave girl. Against all her better judgment, she falls in love with a scoundrel, Daniel J. Watkins. Need I add that neither time traveler is very happy about the era he or she has been compelled to travel to and none of the locals think much of the time traveler. Trouble!

Laura: That’s half the fun, isn’t it! Get your characters up a tree…in the wrong century…and then throw rocks at them. Neither Shawn, the modern-day musician who ends up in medieval Scotland, nor Niall, the medieval warrior who spends a couple of weeks in the present day, is very impressed with the others’ era.

Thanks to Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika for a lively and thought-provoking discussion. If you, the reader, wish to join the discussion or have any questions or comments for our authors, feel free to contact them. And please buy their books!

Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle,by Lisa Mason.

Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, and The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles by Laura Vosika.

New! For your holiday reading pleasure, Bast Books is releasing Summer of Love Serials free for a limited time on Kindle  Select!. We know everyone is on a budget these days so Bast is offering affordable installments. You can read your way through the summer over the year-end holidays.

Summer of Love, Serial 1: Celebration of the Summer Solstice

On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 2: Festival of Growing Things

On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 3: A Dog Day

On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 4: Rumors

On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 5: Inquest for the Ungrateful Dead

On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 6: Chocolate George’s Wake

On Kindle.

Summer of Love, Serial 7: A New Moon in Virgo

On Kindle.

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