Monday, January 31, 2011

Giveway & Author Interview With TK Turner

Her TemptressYes, the rumours are true . . . I have been wooed, seduced, and liberated of my book blogging virginity - and not just once, but twice in one night! What the heck am I talking about? Well, I am hugely excited this morning to be hosting my first Giveaway AND my first Author Interview, both courtesy of the lovely TK Turner.

TK Turner has just published her first single-title publication, Her Temptress, and has been kind enough to offer up a free electronic copy to one (1) lucky reader of the Bibrary. We'll get to more on the giveaway below, but for now let's get right into the interview. I think you'll agree, she's a fun, fantastic woman, and you won't be able to resist reading more about her!

1. For those who may be new to your writing, and who haven't checked out your blog, please tell us a little about yourself.

“Eccentric” and “free-spirited” are adjectives folks have used to describe me ever since I was a little girl. For instance, when I was in elementary school, I was convinced I could talk to trees. Because I had many imaginary friends, my mother referred to me as her “peculiar child,” haha! But I don’t mind being a little weird. I’ve always danced to my own drum. The way I see it, life is too short to obsess over the small stuff.

I am a college student (just a semester away from my bachelor’s degree, huzzah!) and a total space case on most occasions. Sometimes my daydreaming is productive and can lead to future story ideas—but my imagination is always at work.

2. The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one. When did you begin writing, and how did you feel when you first saw your work in print?

I was stoked when I got my first publication. I was twenty years old (I just turned twenty-two this December) and that was a humbling experience for me. I mean, to many of my colleagues and writer friends, I’m still a “novice,” you know? I’ve only been publishing my work for a little over a year, so I got so much more to learn. I’d hardly call myself “accomplished,” but I hope by the time I’m thirty I’ll get the hang of it. For right now, I’m having fun figuring out how it all works. Writing has always been my passion and I enjoy sharing that with other people.

3. Do you have a soundtrack to your writing? Is there a particular band or style of music you like to listen to while writing?

That’s a funny question because I’m kind of obsessive about the music I listen to when I’m working. Depending on the scene I’m writing, I’ll listen to different music. If I’m writing a fight scene, I’ll listen to “epic” music (think Star Wars “Duel of the Fates” kinda stuff or E.S. Posthumus) where there’s a choir shrieking something in Latin in the background and everything, haha! I have to create the right “mood.” My boyfriend laughs at me—he’ll walk through the door, hear my music blasting, and ask, “So…which character is getting beat up today?” or something. There are times that I’m so into the music and the scene I’m writing, that I will begin to “act out” the scene as if in a play. Silly, I know. But like I said before, I’m kinda weird!

4. When you're not writing, What are some of the hobbies and passions that keep you happy?

I like reading comic books (nerdy, I know) and video games (even nerdier!) as well as watching documentaries and other stuff like that. I’m also passionate about social issues dealing with feminism, GLBTQI issues and multiculturalism. I’ve worked in rape and crisis shelters in the past, and I plan to go on to social work. I am adamant about bringing positive change to the world—it is what drives me.

5. We all have them, even if we don't like to admit it, but what are some of your bad habits?

Some of my bad habits? I would say my dirty mind, for sure. I think it is what makes me such a good erotic author. I don’t know if I should be proud of that or not, but I guess time will tell, haha! I never thought I’d write erotica, but for some reason, it comes naturally to me. My favorite genres are horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, though.  

6. Just for fun, who is your number one celebrity crush, and what would you like most to do with them?

Currently, my biggest crush is on Mariska Hargitay’s character, Olivia Benson, on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I’ve actually had SEXUAL DREAMS about this woman, haha! Yeah, she’s old enough to be my mom, but I don’t give a damn! The woman is smoking hot! She kicks the bad guy’s ass, saves and protects women, and is totally fearless and devoted to her mission. I wish I had Olivia Benson’s noble convictions. She’s the absolute best…I love her. But the hottest celebrity I can think of is Salma Hayek. Salma Hayek is…beyond words. She’s been touched by the gods or something…she’s that hot. I truly fell in love with her after she kissed Ashley Judd in that scene in the movie, “Frida.” Made me so hopeful, haha! But she’s straight, I think.

7. What can we look forward to from you in the future? Is there a project on the horizon that you're really excited about?

I fly by the seat of my pants when I’m writing a story. So I really don’t know. I wish I was super organized where I can plan projects in advance and such…but I’m just not that diligent, haha! I have a couple of story ideas tossing around, mostly speculative fiction novellas and lesbian romances, but I have yet to find the time to write them down. Whatever I end up doing, it will be wacky and strange (as I tend to like bizarre-o fiction). At the moment, I’m working on a love story between a suicidal bridesmaid and a circus acrobat. I’ll be amazed if it actually gets published, haha! So we’ll see. I have a hard time placing my stories in the market because I write fiction that is hard to categorize.


Hooked yet? If not, check out the promo blurb from Her Temptress:

After enduring fourteen years of thankless, mind-numbing, backbreaking work, disgruntled employee, Meredith Hartman, is about to be fired...and knows it.

Her young, sexy boss has no qualms about letting her go, but Meredith hopes to change her mind. It'll take a nasty category two hurricane, a Saturday at the office, and one mean panther to pull this off. Meredith just might be able to save her job, but how far is she willing to go to accomplish that goal?


Now, have we got your attention? Great, because we have one (1) electronic copy of Her Temptress to give away. Please note, this is hot a sexy read, so you must be 18+ to participate. To enter:

  • Leave a comment below and include your email address (1 point)
  • Become a new follower of my blog or TK's blog and let us know in your comment (2 points each)
  • Share this interview/giveaway on your blog or via twitter and include a link in your comment (3 points each)
  • Become a new follower of my reviews on Goodreads let me know in your comment (1 point)

The giveway will remain open until midnight on Sunday (February 6th). I will add up the points and draw a winner using, then post the winner here Monday morning (February 7th).

Thanks to all for participating, and HUGE thank you to the lovely TK Turner for making this all possible.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Star Trek Novels - More "Forward Thinking" Than The TV Show or Movies

Brannon Braga, long-time writer and producer for several TV and Movie incarnations of Star Trek went on the record this past week to decry the lack of gay characters in the sci-fi saga know for breaking both race and gender barriers.

As he said, that omission was "not a forward thinking decision" (gee . . . you think?). He said it came about largely because The Next Generation "was a syndicated family show" with affiliates to please, but I'm not sure how much weight that carries, especially when applied to the likes of Voyager, Enterprise, or DS9 (which was especially edgy, compared to the rest of the Star Trek universe). Regardless, you can read the entire interview over at After Elton, although there's really not much more to it than that.

Sadly, for all the efforts he's put into "watching" Star Trek, it seems he has never taken the time to "read" it. If he had, he'd know that writers of the novels have been taking significant steps towards promoting equality within their visions of the future, including some very positive representations of LGBT characters and issues. In many cases, it's just a one or two page background reference to a character, with their gender/sexuality of no more significance than the colour of their eyes, but there are some more prominent relationships.

While the below is by no means a complete listing, it's a good place to start for anybody desiring an 'alternative' read of Star Trek:

  • A Stitch In Time by Andrew J. Robinson: Written by the actor who played Garak on DS9 (and who has admitted he always played the role as if Garak were bisexual), refers to a past attraction to a handsome Cardassian male.
  • The Best and the Brightest by Susan Wright: Written by an openly bisexual author, it features a lesbian relationship between Moll Enor (an unjoined Trill) and Jayme Miranda (a human).
  • Blackout by Phaedra M. Weldon: Dr. Bart Faulwell flirts with an Asarion, an alien race that can switch sexes.
  • The Buried Age by Christopher L. Bennett: References a lesbian couple who are married, share a last name, and are raising 2-year-old son. In addition, the story features an alien race called the Manraloth who can transform their bodies (including altering their gender).
  • Dark Passions 1 & Dark Passions 2 by Susan Wright: Written by an openly bisexual author (see above) and set in the Mirror Universe, the first features Kira as a bisexual villainess and Seven of Nine as a lesbian agent who seduces her. The second features an equally bisexual Deanna Troi who romances Kira.
  • Deny Thy Father by Jeff Mariotte: During his Academy days, Will Riker and a female classmate named Estresor Fil competed for the romantic attentions of another female classmate named Felicia Mendoza.
  • Destiny 1 (Gods of Night), 2 (Mere Mortals), and 3 (Lost Souls) by David Mack: Ranul Keru (see Section 31 below) features prominently in all 3 books. In addition, book 1 references his boyfriend Sean Hawke, while book 2 has an interesting dialogue about lesbianism)
  • Forged in Fire by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels: Reveals that gay marriage is commonly accepted among Klingons.
  • The Good That Men Do by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels: During a discussion, it's revealed that Trip's brother, back on Earth, has a husband.
  • Harbinger by David Mack: The Vanguard series, which begins here, features a female Vulcan officer who is engaged in a lesbian relationship with a female Klingon spy, who is disguised as a human. T'Pryn goes on to appear in Summon the Thunder, Reap the Whirlwind, Open Secrets, Precipice, and the Sorrow of Empire Mirror Universe novel.
  • House of Cards by Peter David: Burgoyne 172, a recurring bisexual character in the New Frontier series, is established here as a Hermat (a race of hermaphroditic aliens).
  • Kobayashi Maru by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels: Makes reference to a married gay couple.
  • Mission Gamma: Twilight by David R. George III: Etana Kol and Kristen Richter are established as a lesbian couple and appear in several of the DS9 relaunch novels that follow.
  • Obsidian Alliances by Peter David, Keith R. A. DeCandido, and Sarah Shaw: Sarah's contribution to this Mirror Universe collection,  Saturn's Children, reveals that the alternate-universe Leeta and Ezri are married.
  • Over a Torrent Sea by Christopher L. Bennett: Features an alien race with four sexes, two of which are male, and two of which are hermaphroditic.
  • Pathways by Jeri Taylor: Reveals that Harry Kim's Starfleet Academy roommate was not only a gay man, but one who was in love with Harry (although Harry isn't gay, they remained friends). In addition, Brad Harrison and Noah Mannick are established as a gay couple aboard Voyager.
  • Renaissance by Peter David: Part of the New Frontier series (which also features Burgoyne 172), the novel introduces the gay Vulcan brother of one of the lead characters, who is unique as much for his sexuality as for the fact that he's immune to the Pon Farr mating ritual.
  • Section 31: Rogue by Michael A. Martin: Lieutenant Sean Liam Hawk and Ranul Keru are introduced as a gay couple (although Hawk was killed off in Star Trek: First Contact, Ranul has reappeared in several DS9 and Titan novels).
  • Serpents Among the Ruinsby David R. George III:  Gell Kamemor, the female Romulan ambassador, is revealed to have a female partner named Ravent, with whom she raises their son.
  • Shards and Shadows edited by Margaret Clarke and Marco Palmieri: Rudy Joseph's contribution to this Mirror Universe anthology, The Sacred Chalice, features a closeted gay male Cardassian politician.
  • The Star to Every Wandering by David R. George III: References a female starship captain by the name of Margaret Sinclair-Alexander, who is involved in a lesbian marriage (leading to the hyphenated last name).
  • The Sundered by Michael A. Martin: Ensign Pamela Hopman is established as female-identifying member of an androgynous species that changes genders regularly.
  • To Reign in Hell by Greg Cox: It's revealed that two of Khan's male followers are married, and that the camp's primary physician is gay.
  • War Stories Book 2 by Keith R.A. DeCandido: Relates the first meeting of Dr. Bart Faulwell and his boyfriend, Lt. Commander Anthony Mark. Bart is a regular character in the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, and their relationship is mentioned regularly).

I'm sure there are even more instances, particularly in the off-shoot sagas (New Frontier, Vanguard, Titan, etc.), but the books are ones that I've been keeping track of for myself. There's still never been a mainstream Star Trek novel with a LGBT main character on the bridge, but the groundwork has been set.

Keep an eye on the likes of Susan Wright, David R. George III, Michael A. Martin, David Mack, and Keith R.A. DeCandido especially, and I daresay the day will come . . . hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hops, Follows, and Tag Alongs, Oh My!

It's time for another Book Blogger Hop, courtesy of Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?"

I've already featured this one before as a "Waiting On" Wednesday choice, but I'm going to keep singing it's praises until the world realises what a damn good author Steven Erikson is. The Crippled God is the 10th (and final) book of the epic Malazan Book of the Fallen saga. Epic in scope and absolutely steeped in mythology, it's a series that breaks all the rules.

It's also time for the Friday Follow, courtesy of Parajunkee's View!

This week's question is:

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

Although I majored in English at University, I'd still have to say history (especially ancient history) was my favourite. If were to ever win the lottery, I'd spend at least a year exploring the history of the world, from the dinosaur badlands of Alberta, to the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, the Pantheon, and more.

The 18 & Over Book Blogger Tag Along is courtesy of Bitten by Paranormal Romance!


As always, I urge you to hop around to some new blogs, tag along with some new friends, and find some great new reviews to follow. I always find something new to delight me!

NEWS: Redefining Chick-On-Chick-Lit

I received an interesting Press Release from Lee Harlem Robinson this morning that I thought was worth sharing. Lee has been maintaining a fictional blog since October, posting her ongoing story in short, episodic installments.

The website aims to explore new ways of bringing chick lit directly to interested readers. It is an on-going narrative in blog form, written by Lee Harlem Robinson, who is looking back at the past ten years of her life and the reasons why she currently finds herself lonely and seemingly exiled in Hong Kong. As Lee Harlem Robinson struggles to come to grips with the insanely fast-paced city of Hong Kong, where she was sent by her employers, she starts to wonder where it all went wrong. The reader is taken on a journey back in time from Lee's early years in romance in London and Paris to her current life in the city where “yuppie actually still works as a term of endearment”. The big question, as in every romance, is: will she eventually find love?

While she's not the first to serialize a fictional narrative online, the fact that she's looking beyond the rather structured format of a blog is exciting.

In order to explore new ways of distribution the content is also downloadable in tablet form, allowing the reader to take it away from the internet. “This is not just an adventure in fiction” says Lee Harlem Robinson, founder and writer of the blog. “I also want to test the waters of the selfpublishing world. With the rise of tablet computers we currently experience a brand new way of approaching readers. While blogging is very much becoming a thing of the previous decade, reading electronic books is definitely a big part of the future. I want to use the older medium of blogging to encourage people to download my fiction to their iPads and Kindles.”

I started reading her story this morning, and I must admit I was hooked by the time I read my way through October. I'm not usually a fan of stories that are told through flashbacks (Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind is a recent notable exception), but Lee uses the literary device smartly, introducing a sense of dramatic suspense, without unnecessarily pulling you out of the narrative to constantly remind you it's a flashback. In this case, it works well for her story. I've already downloaded her first collection, Trying to Throw my Arms Around the World, as a means of catching up on what I've missed, and I'm very curious to see where she's taking it next.

“Chick-on-chick-lit is as good as non-existing”, Robinson concludes. “I hope my style of light fiction finds its way to an audience and sparks some underground enthusiasm.”

If you're looking for something different, both in terms of content and presentation, hop on over to her blog ( and give it a read.