Friday, 29 November 2013

Shrouded Tour & Giveaway


Vashia’s father is the planetary governor. Unfortunately, he’s also a complete bastard. When he promises her to his lackey, Jarn, she panics. On the run in the nastiest corner of the galaxy, Vashia seizes her one chance at escape and signs on as a bride candidate for the elusive race of aliens known as the Shrouded, unaware that she very well may be chosen as the next Queen of Shroud

Of the seven, volatile Shrouded princes, Dolfan may be the only one that doesn't covet the throne. So the last thing he expects to find in the future queen is the woman of his dreams. If he wants Vashia, he must accept the throne as well. Unfortunately, his long-time rival has the same idea. Now, only the planet’s sacred crystal can decide their fates, but what happens when the right woman is paired with the wrong man? And when Jarn comes after what was promised to him?

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Frances Pauli
Frances Pauli writes speculative fiction, usually with touches of humor or romance, which means, of course, that she has trouble choosing sides. She's always been a fan of things outside the box, odd, weird or unusual, and that trend follows through her books, which feature aliens, fairies, and even, on occasion, an assortment of humans.

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Francis Pauli on Shrouded

Why this story?
Initially the spark for Shrouded was all about the planet. It started with a what-if, a curiosity about the technical aspects of the book. Could this world exist, veiled by its own atmosphere, kept secret by the difficulties of getting at it? What sort of society would end up there, under the weight of that cloud? I became fascinated with the possibility of these natural magnetic highways and the sort of vehicles that could utilize them. In the end, however, Shrouded became a story about faith, and I think that appeals to me even more. he characters, in particular the Shrouded ones, have this rock solid belief and yet everything they experience completely defies it. I wanted to know how long they could hold onto their certainty in the face of that, and what it would take to really shake loose that kind of total devotion to their native spirituality.  

Who do you most identify with in this work?
I would like to say Vashia, but I’m probably way too old and well taken care of for that. She’s the heroine, and so I’ve spent a lot of time in her head, but Madame Nerala is realistically the one I can identify with the most. She is mother to all the Bride candidates, looks after them, worries about them and does her best to get them the skills they’ll need to survive the next stage of their journey.  

Who do you think would be most affected by or touched by this work? 
I hope the story pairs a good science fiction plot with the romantic theme. It is aimed at anyone who can enjoy both. The questions posed about faith, and not just in a religious aspect but faith in one’s personal ideals and dreams, should speak to those of us who have held onto a dream despite the odds. It speaks to anyone who has been told to give up when they knew the right thing to do was to hold on.

What is a profound memory from this title’s writing process? 
I distinctly remember creating the Chromian. He’s such a minor character, and yet, pivotal to unfolding Vashia’s good nature at the beginning. I can still see him as he popped into my head, squat and wrinkly sitting on his carpet with his shiny cards lain out in front of him. He has the mystery of the future in his doughy hands, and at that point, the future of the book was still misty enough that I think he became a symbol for it in my subconscious. He picks one card and twirls it in the air. It flashes, silver and ruby red, the symbol of the Heart. That moment, trusting the Chromian, put Vashia’s feet on the path that led everywhere else.


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Friday, 22 November 2013

Dominance: South Africa ~ Blog Tour

Dominance: South Africa

When the CIA receives word that there will be an assassination attempt on South African President Nelson Mandela, there is only one man to send in to stop the would be assassin in his tracks. DAVID REASONS!

As the journey sets into the dark, unfiltered recesses of Africa, David is faced with crooked law enforcement, a racist culture plaguing politicians, and an ex-military sharp shooter.

From the moment David is planted in South Africa, he is alone. There are no trusted allies to protect him and the African National Congress cannot even acknowledge his existence. He must move in the shadows and remain out of reach of Eugene den Kamp, the ruthless, power hungry member of Dominance, and on his own, find and kill the hired assassin. But with no one to turn to and no way out, David will have to decide if his life is worth his cause.

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John Whitaker
John Whitaker was born in India to parents who were medical missionaries. They left and moved to St. Catharines, Ontario when John was only six months old. His life was idyllic as a child until his mother died when he was twelve. His father remarried and a fractious relationship with his stepmother began, ending only when he went off to the Royal Military College in Kingston. Although unhappy at home, he enjoyed his time in high school and, in his last year, won first prize in the yearbook poetry contest for his sonnet about Macbeth. He also was given a ten dollar prize for the poem by the University Women’s Club, and a writing career was born. But no, at Military College he studied Mechanical Engineering and went into the RCAF after graduating. After his twenty-year career maintaining and designing aircraft, he moved on to Spar Aerospace as an operations manager. This career lasted only three years—John was not to be a “captain of industry” and got fired. He then moved over to the marine environment as first a project manager for the reconstruction of the Coast Guard bases at Prescott and Parry sound, Ontario and then as regional manager of Marine Navigation Services. After twelve years of this career, John suffered a heart attack and decided working for someone else was not for him. He retired in Sarnia, Ontario and began writing. After many false starts and side tracks when he and his wife Lynda trailered through most Canadian provinces and many American states, Dominance: South Africa was completed. He and Lynda now reside in Toronto, Ontario, where he is hard at work—this time for himself—on future Dominance adventures.