Spotlight & Excerpt: Someone in Time + Giveaway

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This is my post during the blog tour for Someone in Time. Someone in Time is a science fiction time travel romance anthology.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and runs from 17 till 30 May. You can see the tour schedule here.

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Someone in Time
Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Including stories by: Alix E. Harrow, Zen Cho, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Gailey, Jeffrey Ford, Nina Allan, Elizabeth Hand, Lavanya Lakshminarayan, Catherynne M. Valente, Sam J. Miller, Rowan Coleman, Margo Lanagan, Sameem Siddiqui, Theodora Goss, Carrie Vaughn and Ellen Klages
Genre: Science Fiction Romance/ Time Travel Romance
Age category: Adult
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Release Date: 10 May 2022

Even time travel can’t unravel love

Time-travel is a way for writers to play with history and imagine different futures – for better, or worse.

When romance is thrown into the mix, time-travel becomes a passionate tool, or heart-breaking weapon. A time agent in the 22nd century puts their whole mission at risk when they fall in love with the wrong person. No matter which part of history a man visits, he cannot not escape his ex. A woman is desperately in love with the time-space continuum, but it doesn’t love her back. As time passes and falls apart, a time-traveller must say goodbye to their soulmate.

With stories from best-selling and award-winning authors such as Seanan McGuire, Alix E. Harrow and Nina Allan, this anthology gives a taste for the rich treasure trove of stories we can imagine with love, loss and reunion across time and space.

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Rebellion Publishing


Excerpt:

ROADSIDE ATTRACTION
Alix E. Harrow

THE DAY AFTER Candace Stillwater broke his heart, Floyd Butler decided—with the reckless haste of a twenty- one-year-old who knows they must act quickly, before good sense intervenes—to go time traveling.

It wasn’t a difficult proposition: you simply took Exit 52 off I-70, halfway between Junction City and WaKeeney, and followed the signs for The World’s One and Only Time Machine. You bought a ticket from the amiable drunk at the front booth and waited while he unlocked the gate, and then you walked through a grove of cottonwoods until you came to the time machine, which isn’t really a machine at all. It’s a rough pillar of sandstone weathered into a shape not unlike an hourglass, carved all over with names and initials and faded hearts.

There was a lot of fuss when it was first discovered—minor wars, international espionage, secret government agencies with a bewildering array of acronyms—but when the stone failed to provide either profit or power, the land was quietly sold to a private entity. The Ticket Through Time Theme Park opened in the early ’70s, boasting a Chronological Museum, an overpriced supply shop full of pocket dictionaries and period clothing, and an extensive system of waivers. It lasted four or five years, when it became clear that the number of people willing to pay exorbitant prices in order to fling themselves like deranged darts through space and time, with no guarantee of return, survival, or even a good time, was sadly limited.

So the private entity sold the acreage to another, smaller entity, which eventually sold it to a Mr. Anthony Barton, who found that there were just enough cultists, conspiracy theorists, true believers, historical re- enactors, and desperate escapists to cover the salary of one full-time employee and send Mr. Barton to the Bahamas every January.

If Mr. Barton had been there the day Floyd Butler paid for his ticket, he would have put him without hesitation in the ‘desperate escapist’ category, and he would have been half-right: Floyd was running away from plenty of things (his next shift at the QuikTrip 24-Hour gas station; the deadly flat of the Kansas horizon; Candace Stillwater’s blue, blue eyes when she broke up with him; and the dizzy sense that he’d lost the plot of his own life) but he was also running toward something. He just wasn’t sure what it was.

He thought of it as an apple hanging just out of reach, perfectly ripe, gold-limned in the light of some new dawn. If he’d ever spoken of it to anyone, which he had not, he might have called it his destiny.

Floyd had to tap the glass of the front booth to wake the ticket seller, who squinted at Floyd’s bright blue backpack—stuffed with all the necessities a person might need on a journey through time or, more accurately, all the non-perishable food that was available in his mother’s kitchen before dawn this morning, when the idea had occurred to him—tore an orange ticket from a large roll, and said “Good luck” in a tone suggesting he would need it.

Floyd was undeterred. He walked through the gate with a swelling, billowing sensation in his chest, as if he were finally reaching out for that red, ripe apple. He would have touched the stone without breaking stride, without a second’s hesitation, if it hadn’t been for the man standing in the way.

He was a little older than Floyd, somewhere in that nebulous range between early-twenties and old, which were Floyd’s only categories. Floyd thought he might have been handsome, in a tensile, whippet kind of way, if he shaved those embarrassing sideburns and wore 21st-century clothing. His outfit looked as if it had been stolen from the cover of one of Floyd’s mother’s romance novels: high-waisted pants, a collared shirt, and a stiff red vest that Floyd suspected was called a waistcoat or a cravat, or possibly a cummerbund.

Floyd knew some time travelers chose to dress in period clothing, but this man’s costume had a geographical and chronological specificity that struck Floyd as thoroughly silly.

If he’d heard Floyd’s approach, he made no sign of it. He stood before the stone, staring at it with a strange, lost expression, as if he didn’t know why he’d come or what he ought to do next.

Floyd waited a polite minute before saying “Morning” in the same soothing tone he used to greet stray cats.

The man startled so violently he tripped over his own feet and very nearly fell against the stone. Floyd caught one flailing wrist—so slim and sharp it was like catching a tossed butter knife—and stood him gently back upright.

The man blinked several times, panting and rubbing his wrist. “Thank you.” He had a nasally BBC accent that made Floyd suspect he’d traveled much further than three counties to be here.

“No problem.” Floyd nodded at the stone. “I’ll give you some privacy, if you’re going first.”

“Going…?” The man looked at the stone, then back at Floyd, squinting as if Floyd were standing in much brighter sunlight than he actually was. “No, I wasn’t—that is, I’m just the, uh, groundskeeper.” He nodded vaguely at the trees, which seemed to be keeping themselves perfectly well. “You go ahead.”

But he looked so pale and alarmed, his pupils dark beneath the long fringe of his eyelashes, that Floyd found himself lingering. He extended the travel mug he’d stolen from his mother an hour earlier. “Coffee?”

The man took the mug with long fingers, sipped cautiously, gagged, and said “How kind” in a slightly hoarse voice. He must have been the sort of person with a Starbucks order and a French press; Floyd generally just microwaved yesterday’s leftovers and stirred in so much powdered creamer it left a pleasant chemical film on his tongue.

“You keep it,” he said magnanimously. “I’d better be heading out.” Floyd tightened the straps on his backpack, hoping he looked like a dashing explorer rather than a Boy Scout.

“Where are you going?”
For some reason—because the man’s eyelashes were really quite long and he was looking at Floyd with such a pleasingly wistful expression, or because Floyd was filled with the ebullience of someone who has a feeling he will not be in Kansas for much longer—Floyd told him the truth.
He shrugged, smiling, and said, “To find my destiny.”
He touched the stone and disappeared.


Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Someone in Time. 5 winners win a paperback copy of Someone in Time. And 5 winners win an ecopy of Someone in Time. Open International.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Book Blitz: Calamity at Gattori V, by D.H. Dhaenens

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Calamity at Gattori V

by D.H. Dhaenens

Pulp Sci-Fi, LGBT

Date Published: January 2022

 

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Can you rise up and be a hero even when you’ve lived among criminals all your life?

When Tommy is entrusted with a special power he has to make a decision. Fight to uncover what is off about Cattori V or keep his head down and focus on getting a ride off of the prison planet he was born on?

When he finally uncovers the secret of Cattori V, it may just be too late for him and everyone on the planet…

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About the Author

 

Daphne D’Haenens writes about grumpy mages from her London flat. Born in Belgium, she moved to the UK after graduating from her studies in Applied Linguistics, and has been enjoying the British weather ever since.

She lives with her loving wife and two ginger cats writing a little every day. All while collecting very frilly dresses and occasionally taking a break to be an adult.

 

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Crucible Kingdom, by Blair Bancroft

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The Crucible Kingdom

by Blair Bancroft

Sci-Fi Fantasy, Sci-Fi Paranormal, Sci-Fi Adventure/Romance

Published: April 14, 2022

Publisher: Kone Enterprises

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In this spin-off of the Blue Moon Rising series, the Crucible Kingdom, an obscure planet far, far away, is suffering from an ancient curse—periodic bouts of violent storms, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and wildfire. To break the curse, a widowed duchess and a starship captain from the disintegrating Regulon Empire (which her ancestors fled centuries earlier) are forced to work together. Although the duchess grudgingly concedes that the captain is highly capable in emergencies, she scorns the idea that a hard-headed Reg who does not believe in the power of sorcery can be helpful in ending the curse. And then the captain comes up with an idea no one thought of, setting off a quest that turns out to be as dangerous as the curse itself.

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THE CRUCIBLE KINGDOM – EXCERPT

“Command, Command,” Ryn called, “Yindan exploding. Repeat, Yindan exploding.” He paused, craning his neck to look toward their rear. “The whole fydding side of the mountain is collapsing, cloud rising. Black, roiling . . . Dimmit, that was lightning!” Ryn steadied his voice to captain mode, continued his narration. “We’re red-lining it out of here, but it’s right on our tail— Omni!” he breathed. “It’s leveling trees like toothpicks.” For Alora’s ears alone, he added, “Max it, Duchess! Show me this toy can out-run what’s chasing us.”

It was as if they were flying in a vacuum—no sound from explosion or thunder, but the sky darkened around them, leaving only a small blue patch in front. Alora, fingers white-knuckled on the steering stick, attempted to blot out all thought of the monster looming on their tail, but mind over matter refused to work. She could feel the target on her back, the force of the blast aimed straight at them.

Ryn was alternating his communication with Command with private words of encouragement that somehow rang false. Even though they’d kept a respectful distance from the volcano, their head-start was slim. But every kilometer they traveled toward home would lessen the force of the blast. So, keeping a wary eye on the instrument panel—how long could her precious baby keep up this pace?—Alora pushed their speed to faster than a PCC was ever designed to travel.

“Fyddit,” Ryn muttered as more flashes lit the gloom.
“The lightning’s gone weird. Pink and purple.” A short pause, and he added, “A story to tell our grandchildren, right?”

The PCC wobbled as air whooshed out of Alora’s lungs. He could make jokes at a time like this! Or maybe it wasn’t a joke, just an attempt to reassure her they would survive this. Have a real marriage. Strange as it was, it helped.

“Good,” Ryn muttered a few minutes later. “Passed the half-way mark. Blast shouldn’t be too bad at forty kliks.” But after another look over his shoulder, he did a swift recce of the forest below. Shouting over the now audible roar that was about to engulf them, he pointed toward the right. “There! That break in the trees . . .”

Alora followed his direction, even as his tone sent a warning shiver up her spine. They weren’t going to make it. Ryn was looking for a clearing . . .

“Give me the stick!”

No question which one of them was stronger. Alora gladly gave up control. A rushing stream with a slight clearing on either side, came into sight just as, thirty kliks from home, they lost the race. The forefront of the explosion, armed with ash, pumice, blocks of lava, snow, ice, and chunks of rock, sent the PCC into a spin. As hard as Ryn fought the onslaught, it was like an ant fighting a giant. Their world no longer silent, the PCC went down in a barrage of sound, from the bangs and thuds of the lethal contents of the black cloud to the ugly crack of a wing sheared off by a tree, the whomp of the undercarriage hitting the ground, skidding, bouncing, grinding to a stop. The noise finally settled to near silence, leaving only the soft hiss of falling ash that was already beginning to envelop the plane. And the unconscious occupants inside.


About the Author

Blair Bancroft is the award-winning author of fifty novels. Although best known for books set in the Regency period (Gothic, Historical & Traditional), she also writes Contemporary Mystery and Suspense, with a Medieval Young Adult and a Steampunk thrown in for good measure. Her awards include a RITA nomination and winning the Golden Heart (Romance Writers of America). “Best Regency” from Romantic Times magazine. “Best Romance” and “Best Young Adult” from the Florida Writers Association. She is also the author of Making Magic With Words, a 200,000-word book of advice on Writing and Editing.

Blair considers being able to create people, even whole worlds, from the imagination a never-ending joy. She is an “out of the mist” author. One of her favorite sayings: “I can hardly wait to sit down to my computer each morning and find out what my characters are going to do next.”

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