A Trip to Remember, by Sandra Maxwell

Voices of the Sixties and Seventies

Author, historian and teacher, Sandra Maxwell has spent her life attempting to understand the human condition. Urged by many of her teachers to either teach or write, Sandra chose writing because it puts into one place all of the elements she is interested in. She can study history, explore human behavior, and teach — all at the same time.  She lives happily with her husband Robert in a Victorian cottage and gardens in Southern California called “The Havens.”

Late in 1969, my writing partner and best friend Lucy and I were heading back to Los Angeles from Illinois. We had stolen a few days to go back home to visit family, but a meeting with the story editor of a TV show made us hurry back.

Lucy’s parents had given her a brand new Dodge van. It replaced the rather unreliable Chevy Malibu we’d been driving. The van had a…

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Seeking a Genre

Seeking a Genre

I endorse the sentiment of Jason in his blog!

(Almost) Average

I’ve had a difficult time lately trying to figure out what kind of writer I am. Do I write horror? Am I a scifi writer? What about fantasy? Does it even freaking matter?

I’m not sure what’s prompting me to pigeon-hole myself to a particular genre or not, however maybe it’s best if I gravitate toward something. The phrase “Jack of all trades and master of none” keeps coming back to me.

Of all three genres, I think the one that I most identify with is horror. It’s what I’ve read the most, watched the most, and what interests me the most.

I don’t feel I have the credentials to call myself a scifi or even a fantasy writer, though my background in medieval history does give me a foundation for the kind of fantasy I enjoy. I’ve not read many of the scifi classics. I have tried to navigate…

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GDPR And Authors: What You Need To Know

Nicholas C. Rossis

I’ve received quite a few inquiries regarding the new European Union privacy legislation known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018. This regulation initially impacts European Union member countries and aims to protect people from companies selling personal data. To do this, it regulates the use of people’s personal data online and aims at ensuring that every business storing an individual’s personal information has their prior consent. Furthermore, people have the right to know which data is stored and to ask for their removal.

Does That Affect My Newsletter?

GDPR and authors | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Image: Pixabay

The first question in most authors’ minds is: how does this affect my newsletter? There are four points to remember here:

First of all, if you’re in the US contacting solely Americans, you’re covered by the CAN-SPAM regulation; not GDPR. However, if you’re also addressing Europeans, you must enforce GDPR. In other words, the…

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Free Story: Shoot The Devil (Redux)

Nicholas C. Rossis

In April, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I will share here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series for you to enjoy. With over 30 stories so far, I hope you’ll have lots of fun in the coming months!

Last week, I posted Shoot The Devil, one of my favorite short stories from Infinite Waters. This week, it’s Shoot The Devil (Redux) from You’re In For A Ride. This is an alternative telling of that same story. You will notice that the two stories start the same, then diverge wildly. I love the idea of small changes having huge repercussions down the line, and this is my way of exploring that.

Click here to read some more free stories.

Shoot The Devil (Redux)

Brandenburg Gate | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

Papieren,” a voice barks behind…

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William Way, adventures with libraries

CollapseBannerWilliam Way was born to ex-pat parents in Goa, India eighty years after the Collapse. We are first introduced to to William in the  story of Patima’s Forbidden Book. In that story, William is a teenager. He has begun his first assignment as an investigator for the libraries. The story takes a strange dangerous turn that takes him and Pratima across half of India in pursuit of a woman with a deadly weapon. He experiences difficulties which are so harsh they transform the remainder of his life.

Our next encounter with William is in California. A clipper ship brings him to an assignment for the libraries in Southern California. He meets an independent archer named Kalapati. She must reluctantly join forces with William to keep her young charge safe. William is now a young man in his twenties who’s become proficient with a sword in his new role as a library scout. His quiet stoic appearance gives nothing away to others. But, inside, his goals drive him to remain loyal beyond reason.  Together they, with the help of others, are able to stop a guru who wants to control all of Central California.

Henrietta and goats from A Dangerous Way

The next story featuring William takes place in New Mexico. Scout Way serves under the Regional Librarian who is stepping down. As a challenge rises to library authority in the region, his sword and the weapons of other scouts and a reader named Eleanora, restore peace in the Southwest. William will break the rules, disobey library authority to accomplish what he believes to be right.

From In the Horde’s Way

The most recent adventure of William Way occur in the book titled, In the Horde’s Way. William and his daughter, Alaya, must face an overwhelming number of mounted invaders from the north. William has lived an exceptional life, and changed over the years. He is not the same man who first worked for the libraries in India. His skills have changed as well as everything else in his life. While some see him as a traitor, he believes his he is remaining true to his family and the highest ideals of the library.

For more information see http://bookae.org the Protected Book page.


Asian Lit Bingo 2018 Reading Challenge Announcement and Master Post

Lit CelebrAsian

asianlitbingo-bannerWe are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a month-long reading challenge during May. This is the master post with all the relevant information for the reading challenge.


Inspiration and Purpose: In the U.S., the month of May is Asian American Heritage Month*, so we thought, what better way to celebrate than to do a reading challenge that spotlights books with Asian characters and centers Asian voices? In publishing, there are power dynamics in play that marginalize Asian authors, especially those who write Asian characters and draw from their heritage for their writing. In the context of publishing in countries where white people are the majority/dominant group, diaspora Asians in those countries have a hard time breaking into publishing.

In a more global context, Asian writers in Asia have a hard to reaching a wider market beyond regional publishing due to their perceived foreignness, plus a…

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25 Idioms from the World of Logging

Nicholas C. Rossis

Lumberjack | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Image: Pixabay

A while ago, I had written a post with 45 idioms from the world of boxing. As JSTOR Daily reports, in 1942, writer Elrick B. Davis collected a glossary of terms tied to the old logging tradition. At the time he was writing, the lumber industry had begun to see American forests as giant tree farms. Loggers used trucks and tractors to bring in the harvest, and treated the job like any other, living in towns near forested areas with their wives and children.

But Davis delights in the earlier tradition of lumberjacks who spent most of their time in logging camps far from civilization, creating “a vocabulary so pithy and colorful that its memory stays alive in loggers’ sentimental hearts.” Although, as it turns out, much of that vocabulary didn’t make it into Davis’s account since “most of the loggers’ lingo has been, through the…

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Traveler Blog Tour – April 24


Traveler is avaliable for preorder

I’m here today with an book I can highly recommend, the third book in the Starstruck series: TRAVELER. I greatly enjoy this series. A blend of science fiction and romantic fantasy. The Starstruck series is great fun. This is where Star Trek meets the Hitchhikers guide. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you haven’t started the series, keep reading. This week you can begin quick and easy.

Here is an except from chapter 2 from Traveler:

I followed Zander into the hallway, taking it all in. The corridor, stark white and laced with utilitarian chrome, stretched in both directions. It was what I’d always imagined one of these would look like.

First jump and bam—spaceship. For me, jackpot. Not home yet, but I didn’t want to jump anytime soon and I wanted to explore in the meantime.

Both of the times I had been on a ship, I had been abducted, never having time to inspect the alien technology. It was the price I had paid for freedom. And those ships sucked, anyway. This one was much better. A little more… glossy. Not some falling apart piece of garbage. Not some aliens trying to burn down the world. No, this was a real spaceship, one that gleamed and traveled the stars.

Blayde grunted and stretched, staring down the corridor.

“Ta-daa, spaceship,” she said. “You’ve seen it. Happy? Now, let’s go.”

She tugged on Zander’s arm, but he didn’t seem to notice, or care for that matter. I imagined Blayde had strong upper-body strength, yet she wasn’t swaying him one bit.

“I’m not trying to be mean, Sally,” said Blayde, looking at me this time. “And I know I agreed to an hour, but I didn’t realize this ship was Alliance. Every minute we stay here could get us deeper in trouble. They don’t take kindly to stowaways.”

The only Alliance I knew was close to Earth, which meant we couldn’t be too far away.

She spread her arms wide. “They’re the only union I know that makes their walls so insufferably white.”

“We promised her an hour,” said Zander, “and an hour is exactly what Sally’s going to get.”

My heart skipped a beat. He looked so… excited. Like this shared experience was making him giddy. And I had to admit this was the pinnacle of astrolust for me; I was actually seeing a spaceship, a real one.

“Can we look out a window?” I begged.

“There’s really nothing to see,” Blayde muttered.

“If the ship is in interplanetary mode, sure,” Zander said. “If this is an Alliance ship, they black out the windows for interstellar travel. Faster-than-light travel isn’t pretty to look at. There’s a theory that you’re not supposed to know how fast you’re going on these things. The second you do, poof, no one knows where you are. Others say it induces space madness.”

“Space madness?”

“She asked if we were going to look around,” Blayde said, “and the answer is no. We’re leaving. Now.”

“If Sally wants a window, then we’re finding a window!”

“Fine!” she said, though it was obvious she was not fine. She threw her hands in the air, defeated and scowling. “Sally gets what she wants, right?”

“We owe her that much.”

“You’re putting her in danger. She could get hurt!”

“I thought I proved I can handle myself,” I said. “What’s with the cold shoulder all of a sudden? I thought you were getting used to me.”

“That’s when I thought you were staying five minutes,” she said. “Everything we do could get you killed. And while I don’t know you enough to care, I’m pretty sure it’ll make Zander mopey for a few centuries, and who wants to travel with a wet blanket?”

“Come on, Sally.” Zander shot a glare at his sister then grinned at me. I smiled back and trotted to keep up with his stride.


Haven’t yet begun the Starstruck series? You are in luck. This week, until April 28th, Starstruck the first in the series is free on Amazon. As a celebration for the upcoming release of Traveler on Friday, Starstruck is now FREE until the 28th! Grab it for the sweet price of $0. We hope you love it!


by S. E. Anderson

Sally’s search for Earth isn’t off to a good start: chased out of her hotel room and into the broom closet of a spaceship, she’s accidentally become a stowaway on the Alliance Flagship, Traveler.

But when sabotage and murder show the crew’s true colors, Zander and Blayde are forced to stay and help them out of their mess. Lies, drama, and deceit lead them light years away to a mysterious planet on the edge of the galaxy, where the crew must band together just to stay alive. Which would be much easier if they didn’t have to deal with a diva first-mate, a droid with a religious obsession, and Blayde’s Ex whose brain is a spaceship.

Finding Earth has to be put on the back burner, as Sally’s stuck tending alien boo-boos – and she still has no idea what she’s doing. And she might live long enough to get off the planet in one piece..

Find Traveler from S. E. Anderson

Check it out! Amazon link

Visit Traveler by S. E. Anderson today

Boxed Set 2018, Challenges On the Horizon


Last year I decided, along with a few other authors, to put together a boxed set with ten to twenty full books. Over the following weeks, then months the dream began to take shape while offering a few white-knuckle moments. We recruited fantasy and science fiction authors who were willing to take a chance of offering a full book to our set. A great deal of research and effort was required including, cover development and approval, blurb writing, book beta-reading, and marketing planning and implementation.

Over the many months of this project, we have explored and learned about marketing, coordinating and managing a complex project. Several authors submitted pre-published stories, others wrote stories specifically for this collection. It is a challenge to produce a book with a short fixed deadline. I have serious respect for authors that can write under this pressure. As of this month, we have 22 complete books that will be published in this ebook boxed set on May 1st.

Here are some thoughts from another participant, who was the first author I contacted about this idea, Stephanie Barr: “Even as slightly more than a participant, I was unprepared for what went into this, far more than the contribution of a single book, but also helping other authors, coordinating covers, participation in a half dozen events to promote it, boosting ads. It turned into a significant investment in time and money, but I’m proud of the end product.”

In developing this boxed set, we decided on a theme of a simple time. We curated books that either did not use modern advanced technology or were filled with a society which had lost a portion of their technology. Most of the books contained fantasy elements, some science fiction, and few blended the two into science fantasy. I am impressed with the quality we were able to assemble and hope the thousands of readers who have preordered this set are equally impressed. I found this a big job, which consumed more time and money than I anticipated, and the first week of May should be a rewarding conclusion for all the effort.


The Small Town Producing 140 Million Books A Year

Nicholas C. Rossis

Berryville Graphics | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Photo by Edward Leonard, Clarke Daily News

The last page of your favorite mystery novel probably offers this brief, final mystery: “Printed and bound in Berryville, Virginia.”

Just where is Berryville, you may ask. A question that can only grow when you learn that a town of some 4,000 people is responsible for producing some 140 million books a year.

A Trappist Monastery And A Printer

As Andrew Madigan of The Washington Post reports, Berryville is the seat of Clarke County, five miles from West Virginia. Buildings of note include a Trappist monastery, a soldier’s home and a very old pie company. With a population of 4,185, Berryville has a healthy, ironic sense of its own obscurity.

And yet, the town’s only major printer, Berryville Graphics (BVG), became in 1998 the nation’s No. 3 book manufacturer with a brand-new patent for its Duratech binding technology. This was a…

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