Cover Reveal: “Keir” by Pippa Jay

So excited to announce Pippa Jay’s Keir will soon be available again. Here’s the awesome cover:

Keirv2 (2)

A demon waiting to die…
An outcast reviled for his discolored skin and rumors of black magic, Keirlan de Corizi sees no hope for redemption. Imprisoned beneath the palace that was once his home, the legendary ‘Blue Demon of Adalucian’ waits for death to finally free him of his curse. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise.

A woman determined to save him…

Able to cross space and time with a wave of her hand, Tarquin Secker has spent eternity on a hopeless quest. Drawn by a compulsion she can’t explain, she risks her apparent immortality to save Keir, and offers him sanctuary on her home-world, Lyagnius. But Quin has secrets of her own.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes the dormant alien powers within him and earns exile from Lyagnius, Quin chooses to stand by him. Can he master his newfound abilities in time to save Quin from the darkness that seeks to possess her?

Keir is Book One of the Redemption series and part of the Travellers Universe. Previously released by Lyrical Press Inc. 7th May 2012 and an SFR Galaxy Award for SciFi Romance for Best May-December Romance (2012), Aspen Gold Readers Choice Award 3rd place finalist (2013), Readers’ Favorite International Book Award finalist(2012), The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Awards Nominee for Best SciFi/Fantasy (2013)

Please add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE, or sign up HERE for my no-spam newsletter for special previews on cover reveals, new releases, the latest giveaways and discounts, and upcoming news.

Meet Pippa Jay…

Pippa headshot

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

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Book Review: When Dark Falls, by Pippa Jay

whendarkfalls_1650x2550Kadie is a young woman trapped in the city of Nephopolis, where “morning comes in flame and darkness.” Although she has tantalizing clues, she has no memory of her life before. Now, she slaves for meager rations under the tyranny of the man known as Dark, whose cloudburners toil daily to blot out the sun. Only the occasional distant kindness of her manager, Jev, leavens her endless labor, and Kadie is drawn to him. But it’s too dangerous to act on her feelings, as the slightest infraction could mean a death sentence; or worse, the slow and painful metamorphosis into the monstrous nightcrawlers who enforce Dark’s will. Kadie remembers Dark didn’t always rule. The superheroes of her time had died trying to oppose him, even Blaze, the greatest among them. But Dark’s costly victory had left him permanently scarred.

Nocturnelle is a rogue superhero, her past a mystery even to herself. Her considerable powers earn her a wary acceptance among the few low-talent survivors of the Alliance of Super Heroes and Heroines. Nelle’s cybernetically enhanced sidekick, Shadow, is the only minor hero who is willing to trust her. But he draws the line at exploring their mutual attraction, insisting a deeper relationship would violate league rules, making them both outcasts. Neither are willing to risk their partnership with ASHH when there’s important work to be done. Together, they slip into the night to gather intelligence and battle the tyrant’s thugs and his eerie nightcrawlers. Nelle has one goal: to defeat Dark or die trying.

Nelle doesn’t realize that Dark is moving swiftly to fulfill her death wish, and that Kadie holds the key to her mortal weakness.

‘Punk of any kind is usually not my genre, because authors too often get so caught up in the gadgetry that they shortchange the characters.

Pippa Jay is not one of those authors. The technology of her world is deftly–even beautifully–described, vividly calling up the scene without the eye-crossing detail that causes me to flip ahead, looking for the story. Instead, the decopunk blends seamlessly into, and supports, the story. And the characters and fast-paced action caught me up and drew me into a toxic world where love is a risky endeavor for good people and heroes alike.

Pippa’s characters have depth. Alone, afraid, barely subsisting, Kadie could easily have been a wilting flower. But her courage in facing her fear and the daily grind comes through. Nocturnelle could have been simply a kick-ass superhero. But we get to see the doubts and insecurities behind her driven determination.

In shorter books, something has to give. But here, not so much. In addition to sympathetic characters and strong world-building, Pippa delivered a plot with plenty of action, with only one minor challenge to my willing suspension of disbelief. The force of the story rolled right over it.

This is a book I would’ve swallowed in one sitting. But I made the mistake of starting When Dark Falls right before I had to leave for a friend’s party. I spent a lot of time wondering how the story would turn out. I would suggest you make sure you’ve got a sufficient chunk of time, then get yourself a cup of tea, or pour a glass of wine, and settle in for a good read. Then, why four stars, you ask? My star ratings are on a logarithmic scale. Check out my ratings on goodreads, and you’ll see even my long-time favorite authors don’t always achieve five stars. For me, three stars means, the book was good. Four stars means, the book was excellent, and I’ll look for this author. I think you will, too.

40k; 2/5 heat level. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Welcome Guest Author…Pippa Jay!

I’m pleased to welcome Pippa Jay to the Scotian Realm. Pippa is an award-winning author, writing in multiple genres, including science fiction, paranormal, and decopunk…often with a dash of romance. She also writes about superheroes, and I sometimes think she is one herself as a multi-tasker par excellence. She’s here to talk about her newest release, When Dark Falls. (Come back on Wednesday, December 10th for my review of a great read!)

First, let’s meet Pippa…

What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Annoying, weird, and enthusiastic. Although I mostly get the first two from my children.

Do you have a personal credo or motto that helps to guide your decisions?
From the film Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender!”

What’s on your bucket list? 
There’s several places I’d like to travel to, mostly because I either have old friends there, or new friends I’ve met since I joined Facebook. But I’m still amazed I’m a published author, which I never dreamed of ever being, so even if I never did anything else exciting in my life I have that.

Do real people, places &/or events show up in your writing?|
They have, but perhaps not in ways people might recognize. I think authors as a whole take in lots of details and information in their everyday life, and it’s inevitable that some of it will end up in their work, even subconsciously. I’ve used days at the nearby beach as inspiration for a tropical planet, a feature in my home town as part of a space station, personal experiences for things that happen to my characters, etc.

Does someone critique your writing for you? How do they affect your writing?
I now have a wide group of fellow authors or enthusiastic readers who will critique my work. Different stories go to different people depending on who has the time and what the story is, and most have their own particular way of giving feedback. It helps me spot plot holes or inconsistencies, where I’ve gone overboard on detail or repetition, or where I need to do more. As I’ve grown more confident, I’m less likely to take some of the advice if it’s just come from one person or I feel I have a valid argument for leaving something as it is, but I’ve also gotten better at taking criticism and using it constructively. I’d like to think it makes my writing better.

In your opinion, what qualities make for a great author?
Determination, passion, enthusiasm, the ability to pick things up quickly, and a willingness to research, learn, experiment, and take criticism.

And now for the book! When Dark Falls is an alternative 1920s decopunk superhero romance released by Breathless Press on the 21st November. I’ll have a review on Wednesday, December 10th. But here’s a teaser….


In a city where Dark Technologies Inc. now runs the show, Kadie Williams has more immediate concerns than the fall of Blaze, their guardian superhero. Almost every morning for the last few months she’s woken up with cuts and bruises on her body, and no idea how she got them. There are no nightmares. No evidence that she sleepwalks, or any sign of a break in. And nothing to tell her who’s been cleaning up after her. As just one of thousands of civilians conscripted to slave away in the labs of Professor Dark, she knew there’d be trouble ahead. But she never expected it to be so bad, or so personal.

Desperate for answers, Kadie looks to the new defender of the night, the only person who can hinder the total domination of Professor Dark—Nocturnelle. The mysterious vigilante superhero came from nowhere with her cybernetic sidekick Shadow, set on putting an end to the brutality of Dark’s regime. But as his laboratories work on a new secret super-weapon, Nocturnelle and Shadow may not be enough to save Nephopolis…or to save Kadie either.

Describe the hero in three words: Loyal. Caring. Sad
And the heroine? Fiery. Unstable. Driven.
What two words best sum up their relationship? Rollercoaster ride!

Please give us an excerpt!

Nocturnelle perched on the carved griffin statue decorating the tower’s cornerstone, with hundreds of feet of empty space between her and the ground below. Her second skin felt tight. It was a familiar sensation and yet always the first thing she noticed on waking, as if her body needed to remind her of the fact. She stretched and her outer skin crackled like leather. She flexed her fingers, the delicate oh-so-white digits a stark contrast to her black arms. Silver lines marked her left forearm, and she frowned at them. She was meant to be impervious to blades and bullets, and yet somehow, not too long ago, she must have injured herself.

As she rose, her skin creaked. She stretched again, and then tugged her hands through her hair, pulling the thick swathe of black silk from her face and knotting it at the back. Darkest Night forbid it should get in her way. The second skin pressed tight against her forehead, running around her eyes and mouth, cradling her chin. She ran her fingers around the edges, tracing the outline. Perfect. Her body tingled as though electricity danced in her veins, and she smiled. Breathed in the evening air. This was her time.
Viscous and reeking, the night sky hung over the city of Art Deco towers and buildings like an oil-slick. Behind her, the metallic chinking of the cloudburner cooling after a day spent scorching the sky ticked away the seconds like a clock.


The deep male voice sent a shiver down her back, and she turned. “Ah, my faithful Shadow. Ready for another night-time jaunt?”

A figure stepped out of the shadows to join her. He matched her for height; his whipcord frame clad in a charcoal-colored armor vest, black combats, and a hip-length military jacket. When the rooftop lights hit his face, the chiseled jawline showed; his skin a dark tan. He wore a mask over his eyes, but his teeth gleamed white when he smiled. And when he smiled, something inside Nelle set her heart racing.

“Ready and set, Nelle.”

Thank you! Where can my readers find you?

Website –

Add When Dark Falls to your goodreads shelf. Sign up for Pippa’s no-spam newsletter to stay up to date with releases, cover reveals, sales and giveaways for all her titles and more.

Where can my readers find your books?

Amazon page
Omnilit/All Romance eBooks
Barnes and Noble

And now…the contest!

Contest open internationally until the 19th December

WP_20141125_007By day, Pippa Jay is a dedicated (and “mild-mannered”?) member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place). But who is she behind the mask…? Pippa wants your help:

“I’ve donned my superhero guise for the length of the tour, and you get to name me and decide my talent(s)! If I like it, I may include it in the sequel to When Dark Falls and credit you in the acknowledgements.

“To enter, please put the name, talent, and your contact details in the comments. Please note – by entering this contest you are giving me full permission for me to use the superhero name without any recompense to you, financially or otherwise, other than the acknowledgement, and you are waiving any rights to the name. You’ll also get a digital format of your choice for When Dark Falls.”

Honoring Our Veterans

“All gave some. Some gave all.”

We’ve heard this saying so often it is in danger of becoming trite. Veterans’ Day is a time to peel back the timeworn familiarity and remember the hard reality behind the adage, the cost of our freedom: Lives lost. Wounded survivors. Struggling families.

In honor of those who died in the cause of freedom, in support of those who returned from combat with wounds both visible and invisible, and their families:

I will donate 50% of all net proceeds from the November royalties of Seeds of Enmity to two organizations that support our veterans and service men and women: the Gary Sinise Foundation; and Team Rubicon USA, an organization of military veterans who provide first-responder relief to victims of disaster.* (Team Rubicon seems to fly under the radar. It’s my sister-the-retired-naval-officer’s favorite charity, or I never would’ve known about it.)

From November 8th-15th, Seeds of Enmity will be on sale at for just $0.99 and is also available for free on KindleUnlimited. I enmity_cover_final1hope you’ll join me in supporting our veterans and their families. Buy my book. Make your own direct contribution. Do both! I like the way Gary Sinise puts it: “While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”

Here’s Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s classic anthem of the one truth that resonated across the “hawk/dove” divide of the Viet Nam war: “Find the Cost of Freedom.”

Happy Veterans’ Day. And to all the men and women who gave some, and those who gave all: Thank you.

 *Here’s how this works: Seeds of Enmity is only available through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service. This means I get an exact accounting of how many sales I make in November, and the associated royalties. Subtract the minimal cost of producing the book from the royalties, and I’ll split the profits with these two groups. Thanks for your support!
Please note…just because I picked these two organizations doesn’t imply they’ve ever heard of me, or particularly like my books. It’d be great if they did, but their service to vets is more important than their opinion of my writing.


Book Review: “Pixie Noir” by Cedar Sanderson

The free sample of Pixie Noir by Cedar Sanderson grabbed me. The “buy with one-click” button was my ticket to adventure with Lom and Belladonna.

Lom is a rarity among pixies. He often walks the human world, hunting monsters. This time, his mission requires him to escort Belladonna Traycroft to the High Court of the Folke, regardless of her feelings in the matter. Belladonna seldom thinks about her fairy heritage, and would rather continue life among her closeknit extended human family on the Alaskan frontier. Winning her agreement to the journey is the first of Lom’s problems…but not his last. With the fate of the Folke riding on his success, and a past that haunts him, he really shouldn’t be falling in love with Bella. As they wade through monsters on the way to Court, it’s a good thing Lom is used to winning battles. But he’s dismayed to realize he’s lost the war with his heart.

Sanderson deftly combines humor, world-building, and fast-paced action with the deeper emotions of characters you can root for. I was happy to see Pixie Noir is the first of a series. I’ll be back!

Forge Snippet

Beaten and starved, Tazhret wonders if a visitor to his contract-owner’s farmhold is a reason to hope:

At dawnstrike, the Scotian traveler strode down the steps, right past Tazhret without a pause on his way into the barn. By little dawn, he had his team out in the yard and hitched to the wagon. Tazhret kept his head down, but his gaze followed the traveler, who worked with the ease of long practice. His team pushed their heads into his hands for a welcoming scratch, and he patted their smooth, gleaming coats.

Hope spoke. He cares well for his horses, at least. Fear snarled along the back of Tazhret’s mind. He wouldn’t be the first Scotian who cared more for horses than izzies.

Book Review: Far Orbit Anthology, Bascomb James, editor

Well, that was fun!

Late this afternoon, I bought Far Orbit, an anthology of “Speculative Space Adventures,” edited by Bascomb James, to keep me company over the three-day Labor Day Weekend. Short stories, after all. Easy to put down and pick up again. Now what? Because I just finished it, swallowing it in almost one sitting (there was that pesky interruption of dinner).

Thirteen short stories, and not a clinker in the bunch. The book begins with an open letter from Elizabeth Bear to SF, reminding the genre that it’s okay to have a sense of humor, to “…have a little pleasure again.” And then the rest of the book goes on to prove just how good that can be.

The collection encompasses hard science to space opera, and it’s hard for me to choose a favorite. They all have memorable–some are downright sticky–characters. “Open for Business” by Sam S. Kepfield–a lawyer’s eye-view of the risks and rewards of private space ventures–is a strong opener. Along the way we encounter an assassin-cellist; a lost-in-time Space Command Commander who learns the fine art of Southern Barbecue; and dumb bunnies who get an unexpected evolutionary assist. Julie C. Frost contributed “Bear Essentials,” continuing the saga of Captain Fisk, his grown daughter, their small crew, and their marginally profitable freighter…and an intelligent bear destined for godhood and sacrifice. (It was Frost’s “Illegal Beagles” that prompted me to buy the anthology.)

Editor Bascomb James provides insightful and articulate introductions to the stories, celebrating their place in the best traditions of SF. And when I put the book down, I was struck by how all of them captured the one thing that seems in such short supply today: Hope. 

The only problem I had with Far Orbit is that they were all short stories. In general, I agree with CS Lewis’s sentiments: “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” But I’ll make an exception for a short story collection of this caliber.

Six Lines from Forge

The hero is having a Very Bad Day:

The cuff snicked open, revealing a gleaming yellow servband, two inches wide, embedded in his flesh. It itched. His stomach heaved. He tasted sour vomit, but he’d already emptied his abused belly into the holding cell’s toilet and had nothing left to retch. The servband reduced him to indentured servitude for a term of seven years. And he didn’t know why.

What did I do? But not even the beautiful woman had an answer.

Seven Lines from Page Seven WIP

From my current work-in-progress, Web of Destiny:

Nica Adair: “If I’d struck just a little harder and truer, Guaire Hunter would’ve died on my challenge knife six weeks ago. Instead, he commands the Royal Scotian Navy task force in the skies of Forge, while I cower in a hole in the ground. Clan Adair has a duty to defend this planet—the Realm!—from the enemy. I have pledged my life to the purpose of Keir’s rescue.” She reclaimed her hands and glared at Rory. “I would further both aims if I finished what I started and sheathed my challenge knife in Hunter’s black heart.”

Finally feeling like I’ve broken through the ice dam on this one…

Marvel’s Feminist Astigmatism

OK. Full disclosure here. I grew up reading comic books, and my preference was for Marvel. Until my sophomore year in college (a/k/a the prehistoric era).

In fairly short order (or so it seemed to me) they turned Jean Grey, Marvel Girl, into the Phoenix, and then the sun-eating-killing-billions-of-people-monster Dark Phoenix. Then Storm, also known as the African semi-goddess Ororo, became leader of the X-Men…and thereafter got her weather-control powers taken away by a mutant-power-neutralizing gun. They messed with my two favorite characters. I was, to put it mildly, Very Upset.

These story lines prompted my one-and-only letter to Marvel, accusing them of not being able to handle women with real power. Let ’em be able to go toe-to-toe with the men, and suddenly they were somehow too big for their britches and needed to be cut down.

I pretty much stopped reading comics after that. Yeah, maybe I was Very, Very Upset.

So now, after more years than I care to think about, Marvel is making headlines about the “New Thor”…who’s a woman.

Let’s put aside for a moment that this decision disses Thor himself as a hero. He is somehow “unworthy” for his hammer, Mjolnir (which he’s only honorably wielded for, like, a millenia?)

Who it really disses are the female super-heroes, already on the job. Doing the same job as the boys–in high heels and backwards, as Ginger Rogers famously remarked. But everybody gets excited because “finally” women will get some new level of respect, because one takes over a man’s name. Like Ginger would be any better, if we called her Fred Astaire?

Ororo–who later went on to wield Thor’s hammer during the time she’d lost her mutant abilities–really doesn’t need it to be herself. Don’t ever make the mistake of calling her Thor. Her name stands on her own merits.

I think there’s a lesson in there. Too bad the Marvel folks just don’t get it.