Sunday, May 28, 2017

Twenty-Four Days by J. Murray

Today we're taking a break from talking about editing, writing and unruly characters to celebrate the launch of Jacqui Murray's newest book Twenty-Four Days.

So what is this book about?

World-renowned paleoanthropologist, Dr. Zeke Rowe is surprised when a friend from his SEAL past shows up in his Columbia lab and asks for help: Two submarines have been hijacked and Rowe might be the only man who can find them.

At first he refuses, fearing a return to his former life will end a sputtering romance with fellow scientist and love of his life, Kali Delamagente, but when one of his closest friends is killed by the hijackers, he changes his mind. He asks Delamagente for the use of her one-of-a-kind AI Otto who possesses the unique skill of being able to follow anything with a digital trail.

In a matter of hours, Otto finds one of the subs and it is neutralized.

But the second, Otto can’t locate.

Piece by piece, Rowe uncovers a bizarre nexus between Salah Al-Zahrawi--the world’s most dangerous terrorist and a man Rowe thought he had killed a year ago, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is a nuclear-tipped weapon, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch.

And a deadline that expires in twenty-four days.

As America teeters on the brink of destruction, Zeke finally realizes that Al-Zahrawi’s goal isn’t nuclear war, but payback against the country that cost him so much.

Kirkus Review:
A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster. ... A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale.

Where can you find this military thriller?

Available at: Kindle USKindle UKKindle Canada

About Jacqui:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cover Reveal for The Last God

If you've been skulking around here between now and November, you'd undoubtedly heard bits and pieces about my current project: The Last God. Well, it's finally almost ready to share with you.


While I wait for the last two of my esteemed critique partners to hand over their red ink filled pages so I can complete the touch ups, I figured I'd share the cover with you. I fell in love with this art after spending most of an afternoon searching for cover elements. When we created the cover for Sahmara, it was from five different pieces that we pulled together. This one hit me, the angels sang, and that was it. And so after working some graphical magic to make it just right for the story, I present the cover for The Last God.

Jane has decreed that the time of the Unlata Kai is over. Her race of god-like beings has caused enough chaos, leaving floundering hybrid races and war-ravaged planets throughout the universe. Kaldara, their home, is about to fulfill her wishes. When the planet goes, it will take her and the last of her kind with it.

The crew of the Maxim sets out to warn the leaders of Kaldara of their imminent demise, but instead, witnesses a violent battle between gods. One of them holds knowledge that could restore the Maxim to its full strength. The possibility of a defense against the ruthless army of Matouk that destroyed his homeworld fills Logan Klevo with something he’s been missing, hope.

Abducting an angry and suicidal god might not be a wise choice, but if the god of war can learn to love, they both might discover a future worth living for.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reflections on the 2017 A to Z Challenge

I will admit right up top that I was leery about the lack of the linky list, (You'd think this was an L post, wouldn't you?) but having survived the entire month with more activity than ever, I have been won over. Yes, it was more work than signing up one time on the linky list before April. Yes, I had to remember to copy my links every day to google+, Facebook, and the A to Z site, but it worked. In fact, by the middle of the month, hectic mornings sidelined my advertising rounds a couple times, but people still came.

So what changed for me this year?
I started gathering a blog list in a word .doc to visit during the theme reveal. Anyone who had an active blog who was participating got added. It made it way easier to make my daily rounds than trying to hunt down links for everyone everyday or magically sync up with their posts on any of the three posting mediums I mentioned. Because many of us were in different time zones or advertised in the morning or evening, there was often a two to three letter range of where we all were within the challenge by using my method, but going down my list during my morning rounds helped keep me organized.

Not to say I didn't find other blogs along the way. Often, when I was posting my link, a topic would catch my attention and I'd wander off (as I'm prone to do on the evil internet), to see what they had to say. I did the same thing while leaving comments. Oh, who's that? Click. Thank you to all of the A to Z people who made the effort to push us into leaving links in our signatures! That made finding other blogs so much easier.

By the end of the month, keeping in mind that I did delete a few blogs from my list due to a total lack of return comments or they just stopped participating, I was actively reading and commenting on twenty-one blogs everyday. That does not include the few interesting attention grabbers that I also visited here an there. I cannot emphasize enough how much adding a link to your signature makes it easy to get to you.

Following that many blogs meant I gave up my writing time altogether, but April is often a (mostly) writing vacation month for me due to the challenge so that was nothing new. What was new was that instead of following a handful of blogs, I had a whole list of people I enjoyed visiting each day. While there were a few days that got away from me, I did try to comment on as many blogs on my list as possible. Saturdays were hard because I don't have a set aside writing time to use for blogging during April.

What surprised me:
• How many people commented but left no way to find their blogs. Their Google+ accounts only had comments on other people's blogs or no activity at all. They didn't leave a link. I'd love return the visit, but I don't have twenty minutes to solve the mystery of where to find you.

• How much smoother the month goes when you write your posts ahead of time. It leaves much more time for commenting.

• That the lack of a linky list actually worked really well. I had far more visits this year than in previous years.

• All the fun blogs I found and interesting people I virtually met throughout the month. In previous years I connected long term with one or two blogs, but this year, with a much larger daily list, I hope to have many more long-term connections.
For me, April has become the month of networking. While I follow blogs throughout the year, I also sporadically become a writing hermit and seem to fall off the face of the networking earth. Having a month set aside to get out there and meet people is a good thing.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to comment throughout the month and to those of you who stopped by just to read. I hope to see you throughout the year. My A to Z blog list is saved for future visits as time allows.

Now that April is over, it's time to get back into writing mode!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April IWSG

With A to Z now lurking behind us and the reflections posts waiting to be written, it's time for a short break to think about this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

I'm sitting at that awkward point of waiting for feedback. So I'm anxiously twiddling my thumbs, pretending not to be anxious to see what comments come back from the three critique partners I wrangled into going over The Last God.

I could be using this time to work on other small projects and that is my plan, but I've been plagued by headaches lately and dealing with half of a throbbing head and black spotted vision isn't exactly conducive to writing. Being outside in the fresh air helps, especially if it's a little chilly, which means I'm not at my computer. Over the past month I've managed to build garden beds, haul a bunch of dirt, rocks and mulch and make a nice little garden area. I'm sure it will be overrun by the stubborn dune grass in no time, but I'll share pictures of how nice it looks for now another day.

Today's thoughts are wondering if I should give Kindle Scout a try. It would appear that you retain print rights while they get ebook and audio. Assuming you're chosen, of course. Anyone out there have any experience or insight on this?