29 May 2013

Do you remember the war that never happened?

For the past few weeks I've been foisting excerpts from THE DREAM LAND Book III "Diaspora" onto my dear, overly patient readers and followers.

During those weeks I was working hard on that novel, driven by the fire that only a really hot muse can light. Finally got to tell some of Gina Parton's story: how many ways the world can go crazy as a comet approaches. I charged through the climactic scenes and cruised into the epilogue on Monday, essentially completing the main plot line of the novel.

Now I will go back and add the subplot scenes to fill it out; most of those will be continuing and wrapping up the stories from THE DREAM LAND Book II "Dreams of Future's Past"--which ironically is the topic of this week's bloggerette.

Here's a summary of Book II for those of you who like the short versions. In THE DREAM LAND Book I "Long Distance Voyager" the final Act is a "mission" and Book II is no different. However, I must leave off the spoilers from this summary. Sorry.

It will be out for Kindle in June 2013.

Book II : “Dreams of Future’s Past”

[The following complete synopsis originally had portions blacked out because the text contained "spoilers"; the black boxes have been removed now that the ebook is available.]

After his adventures in Book I, Sebastian Talbot (a.k.a. Set-d’Elous, legendary warrior and Sekuatean cavalry regiment captain) has exiled himself to a desolate island, content to laze away the days and write his memoir. Until the emissary from Queen Tammy of Aivana arrives with a mission he cannot refuse. Tammy, former IRS clerk who he took to Ghoupallesz along with Michael in Book I, wants him to go fetch her son, Chuck junior, who she left on Earth when she did not return but married the King of Aivana. That king eventually died and she married Sebastian’s friend, the mechanical wizard Jason.
Sebastian reluctantly returns to Earth and coaxes Chucker (“Chuck R. Tucker”) back to Aivana where mother and son are reunited. Mission accomplished. However, on the way back to his island he stops in his favorite city, Selauê, and reminisces with a man who was his military colleague during the wars. He realizes that he would change all of that period in history if he could. He also regrets missing ten years with his Ghoupalle wife, Zaura, when he returned to Earth for a brief visit that turned out to be longer on Ghoupallesz. Zaura thought him dead and remarried; their brief reunion was tragic even though they were able to reunite still later, thanks to his fellow Interdimensional Voyager, Gina Parton, a.k.a. Jinetta, Queen of Fenula.
Meanwhile, Sebastian awakens from a coma in a hospital for the criminally insane and becomes the patient of Dr. Toni Franck, psychiatrist. Evidently, he did not escape to Ghoupallesz at the end of Book I but was shot by police. Now he is recovering; Dr. Franck comes to believe his story of traveling to another world might be true rather than his fantasy. The detective Chuck McElroy (ex-husband of Tammy, father of Chucker) is investigating him, however, and befriends Dr. Franck to get information; they date but he is not a gentleman and she tries to break it off with him. Chuck pushes her against the desk and she gets a concussion, falls into a coma; he releases Sebastian and urges him to escape just so he can pursue him and kill the killer of his ex-wife Tammy (who is alive and well on Ghoupallesz).  Sebastian arrives at the quarry where the interdimensional doorway exists and Chuck follows him through the doorway.
Chuck finds himself in the Aivana desert and when Sebastian tells him to retrace his steps and return to Earth, Chuck takes it as a challenge. Sebastian walks off to begin a new life while Chuck eventually is captured by desert nomads and taken away to be sold into slavery. Sebastian realizes his good fortune: he has returned to the ten years he missed living with Zaura and pretends to be someone new; they marry and he rejoins the regiment. Life is good, even though he will need to leave before his previous self can return to resume life with her.
Sebastian as Set-d’Elous is sent with his regiment to the northern district for autumn harvest patrol. There he meets a youthful Basura-Kanoun who he knows will grow up to become leader of a rebel group that eventually sparks revolution and becomes the new government of Sekuate. He weighs the morality of killing one to save millions. He chooses; along with that choice he must also vanish from his life with Zaura they have had for eight years. He knows that what he has done is for the greater good. His friend Jason does not agree. They argue and Set-d’Elous runs off to his island once more to hide from the world.
Meanwhile, Chuck suffers at the hands of his captors—until they understand that he “belongs” to Queen Tammy. They change plans, wanting to get a reward for returning her slave. Then a storm kills all but the youngest nomad, who mends his wounds. They become a team, making their way to civilization, playing the role of slave and slave master when needed. When they encounter a couple of bandits, Chuck comes alive and kills them to save his new buddy, the young nomad who saved him earlier. Reaching civilization but afraid to be seen by Tammy, Chuck and the nomad set up a domestic partnership.
At the same time, Tammy’s son Chucker learns the ways of Ghoupallesz from his new step-father Jason. They take a Youth Trek, a custom for young men. Jason teaches Chucker yet their journey turns to finding what happened to Michael Fenning, who had been involved with Tammy before. Last they heard Michael had abandoned his treatment for overdosing on the elixir of love moussalaganê and took off with his nurses, then went on alone whoring and gambling and being a playboy across the countries of Gotanka, the northern region of the continent of Zissekap. Finally, they track Michael to a clinic for the terminally ill and Chucker confronts Michael about what he did to Tammy.
Chucker, maturing beyond his years while on Ghoupallesz, goes to Sebastian’s/Set’s island to get answers to his questions. Set explains everything; then he leads Chucker back to Aivana without ever crossing the sea, just by using the interdimensional doorways. In Aivana, Chucker resumes his training to be a prince but Set discovers evidence that what he did in killing Basura-Kanoun has had odd effects on history. The war never happened but his own family suffered different, perhaps worse fate. He and Chucker realize they must change what was changed before to correct the mistake in history. Of course, Set cannot go do it himself—he can’t stop himself—so someone else must take on the mission. They form a mercenary group called History, Inc. and plan what to do.
Sebastian/Set begins having hallucinations of wartime, only they do not exactly fit what he remembers. His team of mercenaries goes through the right interdimensional doorways to arrive at the correct time period to meet his previous self and stop him from killing Basura-Kanoun. The mission goes wrong and a Plan B is initiated to correct the mistaken mission to undo the first change!
Meanwhile, Dr. Franck awakens from her coma and starts a new life with a son who was born while she was unconscious. She maintains the father is her former patient Sebastian/Set. While Set is on Earth to direct the latest mission of History, Inc., he discovers her story and contacts her. They make plans to meet but the police are monitoring the calls and plan to intercept him. He escaped from the criminal hospital, after all, and he is still blamed for the deaths of his IRS co-workers as well as the attack on Dr. Franck which she denies was him.
As the History team makes its move, Sebastian/Set attends the Royal Audience in Aivana but leaves just as Chuck arrives to reclaim Tammy and terrorists follow him in with bombs. The explosions blast Tammy and Chuck back to Earth and Chucker also to somewhere else. For Sebastian/Set, it seems to match the explosion of the propane tank at the old, abandoned house he was going to meet Dr. Franck at. It was surrounded by a SWAT team; Dr. Franck did not meet him and whether or not he escaped is uncertain.
Sebastian/Set awakens in bed with a woman in an elegant hotel room; he thinks he’s in Paris on vacation with Dr. Toni Franck, reunited at last. But it turns out he is someone of importance: a personal assistant comes to dress him and lead him through his busy schedule. The woman in the bed is Basura-Kanoun, not Toni Franck. Not wanting to alarm any of his handlers, he plays along, trying to figure out how he ended up in this strange new scenario.  Gathering enough information, it finally dawns on him that he is the emperor—the Emperor of Sekuate! Not only did he not prevent the wars, he became the emperor who initiated them. He tries to find a way to escape before he must give a caustic speech to the assembled representative at an international conference. Biding his time in a waiting room, his entourage is attacked by a team of assassins: Sebastian/Set is shot and falls through a window, down to the plaza below—except he does not hit the plaza stones. He falls through time, back to that moment when he remeets the young Basura-Kanoun and instead of killing her agrees to marry her...thus setting in motion the timeline that we have just read.

So...what if there was a war and then somebody changed something and there wasn't a war? Would those who lived through it still have memories? Would those people be called crazy?

You can get started on Book I "Long Distance Voyager" 

THE DREAM LAND Book III "Diaspora" 
will be available perhaps as soon as December 2013.
(C) Copyright 2010-2013 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.

23 May 2013

Announcing the Myrddin Publishing Giveaway!

My publishing house
 Myrddin Publishing
is having a Giveaway! 

That's where we give away something...probably a book (or two). 

I confess I don't know all the details, 
but I encourage all of my dear readers and followers to 
check it out.

Maybe one of my books--or a book from one of my writer buddies: 
paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, poetry, literary high-brow brain-shredding adventure tales of lust and betrayal...
(well, that last one's my book)!

Remember that! 

Tweet that! 

Face that!

Link that!

Pin that!

"Be the Fiction you Want to Read!"

[Peace Out]

(C) Copyright 2010-2013 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.

18 May 2013

Got Goddesses?

First, let me sincerely apologize to those dear readers and followers who were made uncomfortable by my previous blog post. I did not realize the portion of people prone to Leporiphobia was so high. Sorry to shock you with so many bunny pictures. I just really, really wanted to celebrate the arrival of spring in what I thought (and polls had backed me up on this) was the best way possible. For me, and many others (again, the polls support this), the bunny is the epitome of spring icons. Perhaps I did go a little overboard, but if you can't go overboard with "itty bitty bunny wabbits" then what can you go overboard with? I ask you!

Sooooo, as a kind of self-flagellation, I have found I needed to regain some religion. Not necessarily the usual brands, of course. (I cannot do anything ordinary; even my posting of itty bitty bunny wabbit pictures is rather an ordinary act, granted.) No, I refer to the seven gods and nine goddesses followed, if not actually worshiped, by the various peoples of the planet Ghoupallesz, which is the location (along with Earth) of the tales recounted in THE DREAM LAND trilogy. That's right: fictional religion. At least to you and me, not to them.

Sooooo, returning to my Work-In-Production, we find our heroine, the unstoppable Gina Parton, a.k.a. Jinetta-d'Elous, faced with a whole host of obstacles--as every heroine usually is when stuck in a work of fiction by an unscrupulous author.

In the present scene, Gina has just escaped from an airship crash and the attack of a mob of religious fanatics bent on destroying technology and killing the scientists who make technology, including the hated interstellar spacecraft intended to evacuation some of the population in advance of a catastrophic comet. (Was that a spoiler?) Fleeing to an inn with the wounded co-pilot (naughty gal!), she connects to the Overlord (a.k.a. the governor of the city-state that is the Kobarel metropolis) via comm link. Because of the airship crash and the destruction of the fuel cell she was bringing to the Overlord, Gina fears she will not be able to free her young adult daughter from the re-education facility; the Overlord was supposed to grant that in exchange for the fuel cell, but you know how things go in science-fiction stories....

Anyhoo, Gina was previously captured and examined by the Overlord's staff, based on an unflattering report by Gina's nemesis/colleague Hanar-Santorak. They found interesting data from the lab report. The co-pilot from Gina's airship also suspects she's not quite the ordinary Ghoupalle woman she has been maintaining she is. Certainly, she could not be someone from a place called Earth! Long story short, they suspect Gina may be one of the goddesses come down to challenge them in their darkest days. And they may be correct!

EXCERPT from THE DREAM LAND Book III "Diaspora" Act IV

. . . “Are you a goddess?” the Overlord asked [via the comm link] in a suddenly different voice, a stream of phonemes coated in sugar, running fluidly from his tongue as though he had rehearsed the question for a week. “And if so, which goddess are you?”

* * *

The clanking she heard she knew to be the wheels that turned to raise or lower the metal gates of the castle in heaven where mortals were invited to stay for all eternity if they sufficiently displeased the gods and goddesses. Torture was routine, agony the order of the day, hopelessness the new blood flowing out of their veins. Not many had managed to return from such fate. Certainly not Interdimensional Voyagers, no matter what their class might be. Gina was a First-Class Voyager, but it had been so many years now since she had traversed a tangent that she was not very confident of being able to do so. She feared that instead of stepping through to an Earth she barely knew, she would find herself there outside the gates of heaven and see the chains pulling up the bars and the huge Guardian Iur-Fax swinging his thick, muscular arm toward the castle, a bull voice roaring “Sata!”—Welcome!
Gina remembered the lessons of her children, lifetime after lifetime, teaching them what all good Ghoupalle children should know.
Nourii stands tallest among the goddesses, presumed the eldest of Great God Zaul, red hair and pink skin, scars of war across her chest, breastless (one lost in battle, the other the result of self-mutilation after being outraged by the cheating god, Katoux); long, sharpened teeth and fingernails; rides a three-wheeled chariot pulled by three bintur—giant red badgers. People pray to her for strength during difficult times, though she seldom listens.
 Pemaa, the quiet sister, loves to cook and enjoys a clean home; plays with small animals; eats only three plants: eguo, blith, and resh, usually together in the same meal. Believed to care about young lovers, popular with girls who are popular with boys. She sleeps with snakes and plays with fish, often acting as a mermaid and tricking sailors.
   Roloura is the smart one, the scientist of the family, the holder of stars and worlds, the measurer of everything, the decider of days and nights and lifetimes. People call to her for longer lives, shorter work hours, extra tries in sporting events, and a full growing season for crops. She seldom grants favors other than a single extra day for the truly righteous people who lie upon their death beds.
Garou has hair blacker than night, eyes of red, hands that sweat blood with six fingers each, feet with six toes each; long feet and long legs that stride the world, from kingdom to kingdom; who hovers over croplands to water the soil from her loins; who calls women to bow to the earth before giving birth. Mothers-to-be sometimes sacrifice to her, leaving one of their fingers buried in the soil of a garden.
Emmau is the child of innocence, the irrational waif who prefers to play games than take the fate of mortals seriously. She is often chastised for her lack of concern. She responds that eternity is long enough for both work and play; she will do her work later. The lazy people of Ghoupallesz pray to her, begging for excuses to skip work or school or come home to spouses after cheating on them. She laughs a lot, and almost always at inappropriate moments.
Furanna, the matron saint of the Furank people, is a warrior goddess with a silver shield who lives deep in the forests and rides a jalo. Always surrounded by fairies, often sung to by birds, given fish and fowl for food by mountain gnomes whom she prefers as bedmates. She carries a silver spear that can penetrate anything and is forever sharp. She takes it to bed with her.
Aburra is the happy one, full of juicy fruit and cuddly pet animals, the one who dances across the clouds. She wears flowers and nothing else, and carries small, divine pugua in her arms at all times. She never sits, not wanting to smash her buttocks, and believes her bottom has the most perfect curves in the universe. She is often painted as a nude figure admired by a circle of lusty men.
Sethi is thoughtful, kind when it suits her, helpful with household matters, believed responsible for the deaths of babies when the mothers are unsuitable. Men pray to her for a woman who will please them in the qala; they pray to Pemaa for a good, faithful wife, however. Most young couples have a Sethi icon hanging on the wall over the qala.
Memitha is the ornery one, always looking for ways to hinder progress; she loves throwing obstacles before mortals. Traditionally she has brown hair with streaks of golden locks throughout. Her body is the one men dream of as they mate with their wives, yet were they to be welcomed by her they would die before they could satisfy her. She never takes shit from anyone—god, goddess, or mortal. She loves playing handball with human heads and never loses.
Gina took a breath, let it out slowly, patiently.
“I am Memitha. And you are toast.”

The Overlord did not understand her reference to ‘burnt bread’ but he got the gist of her demeanor: the Overlord was nevertheless a mortal and had not been acting very decently in recent weeks. He was therefore subject to discipline and Goddess Memitha had been assigned to dispense it. First, however, she needed to get to Vazak-Mixerran’s country house and fly the aircraft to Kobarêl. Only then could the spanking begin....


Now she has to prove it with her special goddess-like powers...somehow. Perhaps storm the high-rise "palace" and capture the Overlord, force him to command the release of her daughter. Or perhaps she could use the jet aircraft, secretly built by her former colleague Vazak-Mixerran (who also built the fuel cell she was trying to exchange for her daughter), to buzz the conference of the International Aerospace Commission as they await the results of the Zetin's attempt to send missiles to destroy the comet. Or any of a number of other possibilities. With a Work-In-Production anything is possible. And everything is possible!

I promise you it will all be sorted out by the time you finish reading THE DREAM LAND Book I "Long Distance Voyager" (available now) and Book II "Dreams of Future's Past (coming this summer). Book III "Diaspora" is anticipated for early 2014.

NOTE: The accompanying pictures of goddesses are not intended to represent those particular deities described. As divine law prohibits any depiction of the gods and goddesses, I sought only to give some visual support to the text. No disrespect to the nine goddesses was ever intended. I shall perform the required penitence if any goddess deems it appropriate as a result of my lapse of decorum.

(C) Copyright 2010-2013 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.

13 May 2013

Warning: Cute Overload Ahead!

I am not without sentimentality....

Here we are, the day after Mother's Day, a day for contemplating the next commercially mandated arc of anticipation leading to Father's Day. It may also be a day to contemplate whether or not we showed enough appreciation for Mom. Or whether we were given enough appreciation from Mom for all we do. Then there's the lavish dinners, the flowers, the cake and ice cream, and the phone calls. (In my case, I was mistaken for a sales call and hung up on twice before finally identifying myself to my elderly mother.) At any rate, I am back on the blog circuit!

Last month I posted excerpts from THE DREAM LAND Book III "Diaspora" as they became available. Skipping scenes as I did probably left some readers baffled and confused. One of my dear fellow bloggers Connie J. Jasperson remarked that I was sharing "tantalizing" excerpts, which made me try harder to write something truly tantalizing. Sex and violence followed. Work continues, of course...until either the book is finished or they pry the keyboard out of my cold, dead hands.

Last week I failed to blog, tied up as I was with stacks of final papers and portfolios from my gracious students. Truly a miracle of productivity: to produce an entire semester's work in a mere five days and hope for full credit with a smile. I'm not as cynical as I may seem; I've learned to sit back and smile at the ironies of the world, for they are many. (Just waking up in the morning is often an irony compared to when I go to sleep.) 

Nevertheless, for today's blog, I have in mind nothing but mirth and merriment for the month of May. 

To help me with this endeavor, I have decided to release the bunnies! I've found that a bunny a day helps restore my sanity, my pleasant disposition, and emboldens me against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that daily conspire to smite my delight! It all began with the plethora of cat and dog postings. I have nothing against kittens and puppies but there were so many of them. So I decided to counter that invasion with the bunny brigade: the cutest, tiniest, darlingest, sweetest bundles of furry love I could find on the impersonal internet.

Here are some of my favorites:

Beware the Guard Bunny!

Itty Bitty Bunny Wabbits always eat their veggies!
Itty Bitty Bunny Wabbits have been known to be great stocking cap warmers!

The stretch model of the itty bitty bunny wabbit!

 Who could have a bad day after seeing one of these itty bitty bunny wabbits? I ask you.
(They also like to kiss almost as much as people do.)

Spying on the neighbors!

They do like to be belly tickled...just like most of us.

This is an example of a Friday bunny, ready for frolicking and frivolity!


Ears up...

Or ears down...

This poor fellow aspires to be an itty bitty bunny wabbit but, alas, does not meet the criteria. 

There are no black sheep among itty bitty bunny wabbits!

Itty Bitty Bunny Wabbits also make great puppy warmers!

If you don't have access to a real itty bitty bunny wabbit, you can always draw one. It has almost the same effect of lowering blood pressure and calming heart palpitations, as well as curing dandruff and sore throats.

NEXT: I shall return to esoteric discussions of interdimensional travel and the daring individuals who attempt passage without the aid of itty bitty bunny wabbits.

(C) Copyright 2010-2013 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.