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 – http://www.pippajay.co.uk

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 pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Pippa-Jay/e/B0080QVWEE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406376408&sr=8-1
Omnilit/All Romance eBookshttp://www.omnilit.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Pippa+Jay
Barnes and Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/pippa-jay

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.”

Book Review: Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt

I just finished reading Darkship Thieves, and my first thought was: Excellent! It’s the first of a series!

The only thing better than reading a good book is discovering there are others like it lined up in a nice, neat row.

Hoyt’s feisty main character gets to be tougher than nails…but also displays the doubts and insecurities of a nineteen-year-old torn from everything she has ever known.

Three centuries ago, human society was blown apart by bio-engineering gone horribly wrong. The failed experiment casts a long shadow, catching up in its net two vastly different people from vastly different worlds.

Patrician Athena Hera Sinistra is a human from Earth–and a survivor. Wakened from sound sleep by the survival instinct that served her well in reformatories and insane asylums, Thena outfights, outwits, and outruns her father’s goons, bent on mutiny while returning to Earth.

Problem is, she gets stuck in a drifting lifepod with nowhere to run to…except for the ship of bio-engineered Christopher Klaavik, engaged in the illegal harvesting of pods from the semi-organic powertrees that provide Earth with a renewable source of energy. Problem is, Kit works on behalf of Eden, the mythic haven of the renegade refugees from Earth’s long-ago genetic cleansing.

Reared from infancy to hate and fear each other on sight, Athena and Kit discover a growing mutual respect and attraction displacing ingrained prejudices.

But they can’t outrun their pasts, or the plots in which they are only pawns.

I like character-driven stories, and Hoyt delivered there. But I also enjoyed her world-building, where societal norms are driven by tyranny, libertarianism, self-interest…and in the end, the human heart.

Darkship Thieves is the kind of book I like to enjoy with a pot of tea and home-made biscotti for a thoroughly enjoyable evening escape.


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.

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.