Monday, October 23, 2017

Stephanie Osborn shares Tour de Force

Liza is pleased to have Stephanie Osborn,
"The Interstellar Woman of Mystery" over today.
In case you don't know Stephanie, she's an award-winning author of the Division One, Gentleman Aegis, and Displaced Detective Series. 
 Let's get right to her latest book,

Division One Series, book 4: 
Tour de Force
Stephanie Osborn

Alpha One is participating in Omega’s very first First Contact diplomatic operation. Unfortunately, it’s going to split up the team—the Cortians, a race from the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy, have stringent requirements, and that narrows down the list of “candidate exchange students” to...Echo. ONLY Echo. PGLEIA’s top Division One Agent, the man being groomed to be the next Director...and Omega’s partner. A plum assignment, for the pick of the crop.

But Omega doesn’t see it that way, though she can't—or won't—explain why. She is determined to stop the mission from going forward. At any cost.

Why is Omega trying to scuttle a diplomatic mission? What is she seeing that more experienced Agents aren’t? Why won’t the others listen? Is something bigger, more menacing, happening to her—to them? Will—CAN—Alpha One survive?

Division One series book four, Tour de Force, was released in ebook formats on 10 October 2017, and in trade paperback format on 24 October. Additional installments in the ongoing series are anticipated next year.

Echo returned to his quarters later that morning from the unexpected meeting with Fox to come face-to-face with a gift. A huge, poster-sized full-color print of the Orion Nebula was propped carefully in the recliner in his living area. Echo stood there studying it for a long moment. The gas filaments in the nebula were sharp and clearly defined, the colors vivid, the stars crisp and bright but not overexposed. The giant sheet of paper on which it was printed was high- quality photo stock. This was no off- the- shelf poster; this was the personal work of a professional astronomer. A skilled professional astronomer.

Thoughtfully he lifted the image and flipped it over to check the photographic paper. It was from the Agency photolab. He nodded to himself, the corners of his mouth curving slightly.

Wow. Just... wow. Somebody, he decided, must have realized I was not happy about being thrown out last night, I think. After all, it wasn’t like I tried to hide it. And I’ll just bet this is an apology. A pretty cool one, too.

He laid the photo back down with care and went to the back door. Upon seeing Omega’s quarters empty, he shrugged, and headed into his own kitchen to grab some lunch.
* * *
Later that day, Omega returned to her quarters from running errands, and knocked on the frame of the connecting ‘back door,’ calling to her partner.

“Hi, Echo, I’m back...” Omega paused as Echo glanced up from re-reading H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man to look at her from his prone position on the couch.

Over the couch now hung the only adornment on Echo’s walls, the Orion Nebula photo she had made and printed, which had, in the interim, been beautifully matted and framed in jet black. The overall impression created by the framing was that the nebula itself extended onto the wall, while at the same time it highlighted the beauty of the delicate colors. More, Echo’s position on the couch seemed calculated to allow him to glance up at it whenever he was not actively reading.

She studied the framed picture silently for a long moment, startled but pleased, and he watched her reaction equally silently, with dusky brown eyes.

“...Did Fox call?” Omega finally finished.

“As a matter of fact, he did. It’s not anything you have to worry about. But it DOES look like I’ll be going off- planet for a couple days.”

“Just you? What for?” She moved farther into the room, an odd, disturbed sensation running through her being.

“Yeah, it’s a first contact, and they’re scheduled to arrive in a couple of weeks; sorry about that. I know you’re dying to do an exo mission. Especially since the Agency co-opted you just as you made astronaut. But the Cortians are new to us, the Pan- Galactic Council is eager to connect with ‘em ‘cause they’re from the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy, and the situation’s a little complex. Seems they follow a strict protocol in making diplomatic overtures. One of the rules they’ve laid down is one agent, and one only. They also had some interesting requirements regarding gender and physical ability.”

“What? Physical...”  Omega’s eyes narrowed, and she frowned, as imagery of a particularly unpleasant nature popped into the back of her mind while Echo talked.
* * *
“What’s wrong?” Echo asked, noting her expression.

“I... don’t know,” Omega admitted. “I’ve just suddenly got enough bells ringing in my head for a five-alarm fire. I don’t like the sound of that, Echo.”

“It sounded pretty routine to Fox and me.”
He shrugged. “Nothing really unusual.”

“I don’t think you should go.”

“Why not?”

“Call it a hunch. Women’s intuition. Whatever. Just don’t go.”

Damn, he thought, biting his lip. I was afraid she was gonna take it hard. Especially coming so soon after the South American mission, when she’s still tired. Hell, when we’re both tired. He pondered how to let her down easy.

“Meg, look. I know you’d love to go, but... you can’t. I really am sorry. I’ll try to arrange with Fox to get us both an offworld assignment as Alpha One as soon as I can.”
* * *
She stared at him, shocked, then a little glint of anger kindled in the depths of her eyes.

“You think I’m trying...” Omega turned on her heel and stalked toward the door. Over her shoulder she said, “I thought you knew me better than that, Echo. You’ve sure preached about it enough in recent months. But damn, are you off this time, Ace.”

Sales Links

 The ebooks are now available for order at:
Other formats, and trade paper, will be available from your favorite bookseller! (Print release is slated for 24 October.)

Previous books in the series include:
Future books in the series are planned for 2018.
About the author:

Award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery, is a veteran of more than 20 years in civilian/military space programs, with graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is "fluent" in several more, including geology and anatomy. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to some 35 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as "Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files," and the award-winning, excitingSherlock Holmes: Gentleman Aegis series. Her newest venture: Division One, her take on the urban legend of the mysterious people who make things...disappear. In addition to her writing, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily "pays it forward," teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dena Garson shares a bevy of Steam Punk

Hi, Liza!  Thanks so much for hosting me today.

I’m thrilled to be able to share news of the London Calling anthology with you and your readers. It was exciting to be included in this set.

The Victorian era has always been one of my favorite time periods. It was the topic of my senior paper in high school. I have always been fascinated by their fashions, manners, and general way of life. And when you add in the touch of whimsy that the steampunk culture brings and wow! I’m hooked.

Every con I go to I look for steampunk clothing or accessories. My plan is to put together several outfits since I can’t settle on any one look – the quirky adventurer, the spunky inventor, or the librarian with more secrets than she knows what to do with. If you have never looked, you can find corsets in every color of the rainbow. And each one has a different style. There are intricately designed leather goods for almost anything you can think of. And all of the gadgets and gizmos make my head swim.

Alas, my budget usually only allows me to buy one or two items at a time. But that’s okay. I can live vicariously through the characters I write about.

Be assured that they’ll dress spectacularly!

London Calling
Three Scintillating Victorian Steampunk Tales
By Sorcha Mowbray, TL Reeve & Michelle Ryan, and Dena Garson
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Take a journey to Victorian London where an assassin meets her match, zombies invade, and top scientists go missing.

Four talented authors come together to bring you three BRAND NEW, full length Victorian steampunk novels of seduction, adventure, and mystery.

A look inside…

Seducing the Assassin (The Ladies League) by Sorcha Mowbray
Josephine Stanton, Madame and assassin, has another assignment to eliminate an enemy of the Queen. Too bad John Griffin, The Earl of Melton, has no intention of dying. Neither of the pair expects the heat that steams them up between the sheets and ultimately sets New Victorian London on its ear.

Darkness Rises by TL Reeve and Michele Ryan
A zombie horde has invaded London, England. Jonah McRae and his band of ghoulish Dreadfuls are London’s only hope. However, when Annabelle Craig threatens his mission he doesn’t know whether to kill her or claim her as his. Can the hunter and the huntee team together to take down the horde? Or will London be lost forever?

Her Clockwork Heart by Dena Garson
During her search for her missing brother, Trixie is reunited with Nathaniel, the man she never stopped loving. Sensing that Trixie might be in danger, Nathaniel lends his skills as an investigator to her efforts. Their love is rekindled as they race across the country looking for clues to more than one mystery.

Buy Links:

Teaser Book Trailer Video:

Excerpt From Her Clockwork Heart
by Dena Garson:

With a sigh, Nathaniel straightened his mess and tucked his notebook away in the breast pocket of his coat. He reached for the lamp to douse the light but paused when something banged against the wall of the records room.
Most of the RIO staff had left for the evening. By now he should have the offices to himself, with the exception of the security officer who patrolled through the night. But he would have sworn he recently heard the officer’s footsteps echoing down the hallway.
As silently as possible he exited the file room. At the door to the records room, he paused and listened. There were shuffling sounds, like boxes being moved about, as well as odd clicks and whirls. Almost like a clock with a gear out of alignment.
“No, not that one,” someone whispered on the other side of the door.
Was that a woman’s voice?
“Hurry. We don’t have much time.”
Again, no response to the whisper, but the clicking sounds multiplied.
Nathaniel checked the lock on the door. It had been opened. The intruder either had a key or a considerable talent with locks. The locks used at the RIO were unusual and gave even the most experienced lock picks trouble.
He pulled his derringer from his pocket then as quietly as possible turned the door handle. The last click of the latch set off a flurry of activity inside the room.
So much for a stealthy entry.
He positioned himself against the wall, yanked the door open, and leveled his gun on whatever he found inside the room.
Some kind of insect jumped off one of the file cabinets onto Nathaniel’s outstretched hand and pinched him.
“Ouch!” He shook his hand and tried to dislodge the bug, but it moved too fast. “What the bloody hell?” He bellowed when the bug ran across his arm then down his chest and leg to the floor.
“Don’t hurt her. She won’t hurt you,” a woman called out from the other side of the cabinet. “Nid, get over here.” Papers were shuffled and more clicks came from that side of the room.
Her voice was familiar. Nathaniel lowered his gun but kept it at the ready as he made his way to the other side. As he crept forward he looked left and right for more bugs. “Who is that and what are you doing in here?”
More shuffling of papers. A drawer slammed shut. The woman whispered, “Squeaks. Hopper. Get in.”
Nathaniel stepped around the end of the cabinets and leveled his gun at the person crouched next to the cabinet. He blinked in surprise at the woman who looked up at him. “Trixie?”
Beatrix Wadeworth froze with her hand extended to two small creatures that resembled a toy mouse and small rabbit. “Nathaniel?” She started to stand, then paused and scooped up the toys and slipped them into her pocket. “I uh…” She glanced behind him toward the door.
He took two steps forward and grabbed her by the arm. “Don’t even think about it.”
“Wh… what are you doing here?” she asked breathlessly.
“I work for the Royal Intelligence Office so I’m allowed to be here but you’re not.” He tightened his grip on her arm. “What are you doing here?”
Two of the bugs ran up his arm. He tried to brush them off, but only managed hit one of them.
“Nid, it’s okay.” She nabbed the one shaped like a spider. “Come here.”
“What are those?” They looked like bugs, but the whirling noise and clicks gave away the fact that they weren’t.
“They’re my, well…” She shrugged and dropped the one she’d taken off his arm into the pouch at her waist. “They’re my friends.”
“Friends?” One of her other toys scratched at his pant leg as it tried to climb it.
“Oh, sorry.” She reached for the creature but stopped when her face drew too close to an area of his anatomy that no proper young woman should be near.
“I’ll get it.” He released her arm, slid his pistol back into its holster, then plucked the tiny mechanical insect from his thigh. He examined it for a moment then dropped it into her open palm. The strange assortment of metal gears and parts were shaped to resemble a scorpion.
“Thank you,” she murmured.
“How many more of those do you have?”
“I only brought five of them with me.”
He opened his mouth to say something then shook his head. “You can’t be here.”
“What the deuce is going on in here?”
Trixie’s eyes widened with alarm. Nathaniel groaned. Great, the security officer had found them.

Author Bio:

Dena Garson is an award-winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.
She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn't writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.

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