Category: Author Guest Post

Author Guest Post & Review: Confluence by S.K. Dunstall

Posted November 30, 2016 by Anne in Author Guest Post, Book Review | | 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Author Guest Post & Review: Confluence by S.K. DunstallConfluence by S.K. Dunstall
Series: Linesman #3
Published by Ace on November 29, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

While the Crown Princess of Lancia seeks to share the new technology, her father, the Emperor, has other plans. His latest political maneuverings seem to be tilting the balance of control to Lancia’s favor—a move that not all members of the New Alliance are looking upon favorably.

As tensions mount, Ean’s former shipmates must unite to avert a disastrous conflict: the princess working within the tumultuous Alliance, Ean seeking the help of the impatient alien ships, and Ean’s close friend and bodyguard, Radko, embarking on a mysterious and perilous mission.

But the biggest threat comes from an unexpected source. Someone is trying to take down the New Alliance from within—and will use anything, even the lines themselves, to ensure its destruction...

icon outofthisworld   icon scifi

I got the first book in this series as part of my first Ace Roc star package and I knew from reading the blurb I would love it.  I did and I have continued to love this series.  Of course, it is space opera and I’m renewing my love affair with space opera the past two years.

Read the Linesman series in order, the story builds with each book. Each of the three books is different in the feel.  Linesman (my review) introduces this world and our hero, Ean Lambert.  Alliance (my review)  is a broader view of the world and its politics with many more characters involved. Our “team” from Lancia works together to try to solve issues. Confluence has our team separated and all our main characters isolated from each other. Ean starts out alone, struggling to build a life, then he is a valued part of a team, and now he is rather alone again but still with some influence and control.

Some key players from the first two books have limited roles. Mostly, Ean and Radko, who are not in the same location, tell us most of this story.  The two political factions of Lancia each believe they are doing the right thing. The authors did a fascinating post herehow do you know if you are fighting on the right side in a war.

The politics, the war, the factions all keep things moving and kept me reading in suspense of the outcomes. Angst over the treatment of some people was more than usual, and I worried tremendously for my people’s safety. And now, I really HATE Jordan Rossi. He was always an arrogant annoyance, but I am done with him now.

This trilogy brings a story arc to a close, is the end of the contracted books, but I really hope we get more of this series. There is more to know about Ean and how the world changes for the linesman. The alien ships and the ramifications of working with them can have so much more. Each captain of each ship could make other interesting stories, along with their crews. I want more!  Highly recommended series.

I’m excited to share an exclusive post from the authors for us.  S.K. Dunstall shares with us how music came to be part of this story.

Author Guest post:

He sang as worked. The deep sonorous song of the void—line nine. The chatter of the mechanics—lines two and three. The fast, rhythmic on-off state of the gravity controller—line four. And the heavy strength of the Bose engines that powered it through the void—line six. He didn’t sing line one. That was the crew line, and this was an unhappy ship. —Linesman

We didn’t deliberately set out to include music in the Linesman series. We were telling a story about sentient alien ‘technology’ that humans had discovered by chance, had used for five hundred years now, and thought they knew how it worked, but they didn’t. In fact, they didn’t even know what it was.

The music was there, right from the first draft.  It arrived on page two and it stayed, integral to the story.  Far more important than we ever could have imagined when Ean first started to sing.

“How do my crew communicate?”

She knew what the answer would be before he said it. Lambert had sung to the lines.

“They sing.”

This was going to be the noisiest bridge she’d ever been on. —Alliance

By the time we arrived at book three, it was part of the story arc, and everyone was asking questions about it. Including characters in the books.

“And the singing, Linesman?” the Factor asked. “What does that signify?”

He’d jumped on a single tune very fast. Almost as if he had been waiting for a song so he could ask the question. How much did he know?  —Confluence

Music is awesome.  It can lift a mood, set a mood, evoke memories. It can override faulty or damaged brain connections to temporarily restore memory. Or to help people with problems like Alzheimer’s disease to remember and even move more easily.

How do we know these last two?  A reader sent us an amazing link on how therapists are using music to help people. The link’s gone now, or otherwise we’d add it here.

Our readers are wonderful, and many of them know a lot more about music than we do.  We are learning so much from their feedback and their questions.

Another reader wanted to know about the musical roots.  Whether Ean’s singing was based more around Qawwali, Tuvan throat-singing harmonics, Enya, or something else altogether.

Our answer?  We both imagine it as a full vocal sound. Something that comes through as more than just a single voice singing. But we couldn’t attribute it to a particular person or sound.  While we were writing Linesman we listened to a lot of Enya, Lisa Gerrard, and big movie themes (with a strong vocal component), and that probably subconsciously influenced what we imagined the sound to be.

It turns out that the music we listened to is a combination of all those styles of music. If you delve into Lisa Gerrard’s singing she cites Greek, Turkish, and Irish influences. And if you listen to Qawwali or Tuvan throat singing you can hear the similarities.

Readers ‘get’ the lines. They tell us:

“I was spinning, and everything was running so smoothly. I could feel the lines singing to the strands of wool, guiding them.”

“I was having a bad day.  I asked the lines to guide the flow, and everything settled.”

“I can hear the lines singing to me.”

We write to music. Soundtracks and voices.  A typical mix might include Sarah Brightman, Hans Zimmer (and pretty much everyone from his studio, and lots of Lisa Gerrard here), Era, Ten Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, Audiomachine, James Newton Howard.  Soaring voices, big music.

The words flow especially easy late at night, when there’s just you, the lighted room, and the music.

So it is only natural that our books contain music as central to the story.

About S.K. Dunstall

S. K. Dunstall is the pen name for Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall, sisters who live in Melbourne, Australia. They are the authors of the Linesman series of novels. Linesman, Alliance and Confluence. Confluence is released on 29 November, 2016.

Photo credit to Andrew Kopp.

Deceiving Bella by Cate Beauman: Excerpt & Giveaway

Deceiving Bella by Cate Beauman: Excerpt & Giveaway

Posted October 13, 2016 by Jonetta in Author Guest Post, Giveaway | 4 Comments

    The Inspiration Behind Deceiving Bella   It’s no secret that I’m a crime television junky. I love watching anything that might bring about an idea for another story. Several months ago, I found a series on Netflix about La Cosa Nostra—or the five mafia families of New York. I was immediately drawn to the information I was observing. Within minutes, I knew I wanted to weave together an adventure that would bring Isabella Colby and Reed McKinley face to face with organized crime. I hope you’ll enjoy reading Deceiving Bella as much as I loved writing it.     Excerpt     Chapter 1: Bella drew a heart on the back of a pale pink envelope while she sat at the small table […]

Paige Tyler’s Top 5 Favorite Places To Write

Paige Tyler’s Top 5 Favorite Places To Write

Posted December 1, 2015 by Jennifer in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour | 3 Comments

Top 5 Favorite Places To Write My go-to location to write is on the couch in our living room with QVC on TV (volume down), while listening to my iPad either playing music or the Jim Rome Show (on iHeart Radio). My fur baby is typically sitting on the back of the couch right beside me looking over my shoulder and beta reading as I write. That’s where I get the lion’s share of my book writing done, but sometimes you can’t always write where you want to. Deadlines are deadlines no matter where you are, so I’ve gotten used to taking my laptop everywhere I go. Even if I’m not necessarily “writing” on my stories, I’m always thinking about them. In fact, sometimes when […]

A Preternatural Thanksgiving with DJ Jaco

A Preternatural Thanksgiving with DJ Jaco

Posted November 25, 2015 by Jennifer in Author Guest Post | 23 Comments

A Preternatural Thanksgiving with DJ Jaco I’m a wizard, not a cook. I heat up potions in my microwave and stir together charms on my stovetop. Thanks to a couple of grenades set off by an undead serial killer, my house burned down and I’m living in the half-finished shell of my late father’s gutted house in one of New Orleans’ Katrina zones. Which I don’t say to make you feel sorry for me, but simply to explain that I can’t cook worth a damn. So my half-finished kitchen seemed a good excuse to invite some friends over for a potluck Thanksgiving. I envisioned a traditional New Orleans feast: fried turkey pumped up with Cajun spices and dripping with savory juices; rich, savory oyster stuffing; […]

Jennifer Estep Enlightens Us on How a Book is Edited

Jennifer Estep Enlightens Us on How a Book is Edited

Posted October 21, 2015 by Jennifer in Author Guest Post | 11 Comments

Greetings! First of all, I want to say thanks to Jennifer for hosting me on her blog again. Thanks so much!   So today Jennifer asked me to talk a little bit about the book production process and what some of the various publishing terms mean. Revisions, line edits, copy edits, page proofs … it can get confusing when you hear an author talk about all these things. So here’s a rundown of what these terms mean and the general process that an author and her book goes through before you see the finished book on the shelves. I’ve included some examples of things that I’ve been asked on my various books, including Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in my Black Blade young […]

Cover Reveal: Wrapped in Lace by Prescott Lane

Cover Reveal: Wrapped in Lace by Prescott Lane

Posted October 8, 2015 by Jonetta in Author Guest Post | 0 Comments

      “I sat back and studied the canvas.  I’d finally gotten it right — the way his lips turn up in that smile that makes both my heart and panties melt.  It had taken me over a dozen tries to get it just perfect, but I finally had.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel any better.  I thought if I could capture Drew’s smile on my canvas, my pain would somehow lessen.  Because I’d always have his image, that his leaving me wouldn’t hurt so bad.  It hadn’t worked.  The pain in my heart was just as sharp, just as overwhelming as it was yesterday and the day before.  I knew I’d never get over him.  I knew it like I knew the deep blue […]

Release Day! Gone to Die by Stacy Green

Release Day! Gone to Die by Stacy Green

Posted June 23, 2015 by Jonetta in Author Guest Post | 3 Comments

AVAILABLE TODAY: The third book in Stacy Green‘s darkly thrilling, intensely psychological series about child-advocate-turned-killer-vigilante Lucy Kendall. Fans of Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), Lisa Gardner (Detective D. D. Warren and FBI Profiler series), and Karin Slaughter (Blindsighted) will find themselves ruthlessly sucked into the tortured mind of serial avenger Lucy Kendall as she goes after those who hurt the most defenseless members of society. Lucy Kendall can no longer run from her own dark truth. Locked inside the torment of her mind, she’s struggling to find a reason to stay alive. Until Chris Hale vanishes after a confrontation with his mother–serial killer Mary Weston. With only a puddle of blood in the snow and a few cryptic email messages left as a trail, Lucy must […]

Answers for Julie by Cate Beauman Launch & Giveaway

Answers for Julie by Cate Beauman Launch & Giveaway

Posted June 18, 2015 by Jonetta in Author Guest Post | 6 Comments

The Inspiration Behind Answers For Julie I often get my story ideas from watching crime documentaries, but the plot for Answers For Julie came together after I read some sobering FBI statistics in a magazine about the odds of a missing child coming home. Unfortunately, many children are lost forever. The wheels began spinning quickly after that, and a few weeks later, the story was well on its way. I hope you enjoy Julie and Chase as much as I enjoyed writing them! ~ Cate    Excerpt “Good night.” She turned on her side as Becky left and snuggled into her covers, listening to the music from downstairs while she stared at the white lights twinkling on the baby Christmas tree she and mommy had decorated […]