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Friday, March 31, 2017

The journey continues, by Michael E. Gonzales.

In Book one, Dark Moon Rising, of the The Unborn Galaxy series, you were introduced to JILL, the Joint International Lunar laboratory, on the Moon’s near side, setting inside Mare Insularum, the Sea of Islands. Here you witnessed the horrific and unprecedented lunar quake that sent one of the habitats, and eight humans, plummeting into a sub-lunar world fraught with danger, and complicated by the gambit of human emotions, frailties, and lusts, all seeming to conspire to end their lives. And then they encountered the lost alien colony.
In my second book, The battle of Broken Moon, you watched as the survivors of the quake fought to stay alive and evacuate the base. You saw their efforts thwarted by traitors, and an invading force from space.

In the coming third book, look for some subtle clues that will point toward the series finale.

The third story in the series starts on JILL, with a mystery that dates back to the Apollo 15 Moon mission of 1971, and the mysterious photographs of what appeared to be a large cylindrical shaped spacecraft, lodged in a crater on the far side of the moon.

Then came the top-secret Apollo 20 mission which took place in August of 1976. The Apollo 20 mission objective, according to Mission Commander William Rutledge, was to land in proximity to the cigar shaped alien craft, spotted by Apollo 15, and then conduct a detailed survey and exploration.
A Saturn V rocket was the launch vehicle, and the Apollo space craft made the trip, and landed on the far side of the moon where two of the three astronauts, one American, and one Soviet, explored the massive alien craft before returning to Earth.
Their findings were so startling, so unnerving, so explosive, that the entire mission was buried, and both the Americans and the Soviets agreed to deny the mission ever existed.
But the films and photos remain on file, and on line, for any to see…to this day.

The story, the cover up, the controversy, the conspiracy had long been forgotten when a series of extraordinary events on the lunar surface caused a reexamination of the record.
Captain Cristóbal "Chris" Salazar, a career Air force officer, who had trained for years for the Mars mission suffers a devastating blow when he was passed over and thus prevented from joining the Mars crew. He is cast into a deep depression, but when offered a posting on the Moon…he grudgingly accepts.
Arriving on JILL almost a year after the great quake, Chris is made the pilot of a Lunar Eagle, a small low orbital vehicle designed for transport, and survey work.
When the “anomaly” begins, he is selected, because of his skill as a pilot, to fly an Eagle to the event site, and launch a probe.

The probe sends back telemetry and images that shock the scientific community.
As a result, the military want to destroy the anomaly. But instead another, more sophisticated, probe is ordered delivered into the mysterious event.
When asked, Chris volunteers for the dangerous return trip. This time the unimaginable happens. He is drawn into the event horizon and vanishes from sight, off sensors, and into an adventure both horrifying and wondrous. He will face great malevolence, monstrous creatures, zombie like humanoids, evil magic, and worse yet, his own demons.
Chris will also find a treasure worth more to him than even his life. To possess this paragon, he will forever sacrifice his chance to return home, Across a Sea of Stars.

(Take a look at the pictures and film footage of the alien craft by looking on YouTube for “Apollo 20 William Rutledge”)

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Sunday, March 19, 2017


I’d been in Mazatlán for over a week and was pining for cats. I checked all the usual places, where I had seen cats in the past: Gus Gus restaurant café, and the parking lot of the Inn, where once a stray kitten was found. The bookstore had moved and presumably so had the bookstore cat. Mazatlán is not a safe place for cats. 

Then, in the lush green lawn of our new resort, I saw one. I couldn’t believe my eyes; a good-sized tabby with dark markings and snow white paws. I neared slowly; the cat waited. I got close, moved slower, held a hand out saying “Gato gato” and “Kitty kitty” which most cats seem to inherently understand. The cat, sleek and well fed, held on just long enough to let me think I could approach, then he fled like a tiny cheetah across the grass.        

I followed, slowly, to where he paused near the edging of palms. Close by lounged a young red cat, and beside him, another tabby. I stood and stared. How beautiful they were in the sun: how luxurious! 

I took a tiny step and the three were gone, vanished like a mirage, in amongst the palm shadows. I walked back to my room, happy with my feline vision.

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Happy reading!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Goodreads Goodness #3: PROMOTING YOUR BLOG

In part 3 of my Goodreads Goodness series I take the opportunity to point out how Goodreads can help an author promote her or his blog. No matter how many followers by email or RSS reader you as a blogger may have, it is always nice to have as many avenues for getting your personal blog (and also your name and book titles) before the eyes of your readers.

One way is to set up your Goodreads author account so that it features your blog:

When you do, anyone who visits your author page--and every author should make an effort to steer readers to their author page--has the opportunity to read your most current post to your blog.

But wait! There's more.

Convince your readers and visitors to follow your author page, and they may receive a weekly email with links to all the blogs on all the Goodreads author pages they follow:

If your reader clicks on that link automatically generated by Goodreads, it takes them directly to your blog post right on your Goodreads author page:

And I don't mean just a snippet, either. The whole post is there:

 Is there any guarantee they will click on that link to read your blog post? Of course not. However, even if they don't, it is another opportunity to get your name in front of their eyes and remind them that they really enjoy reading your books. It may prompt them to look for your most recent release:

If you are an author and don't have your Goodreads author page set up to connect with your blog, consider doing so today. Then, be sure to invite your friends, readers, fans or anyone who is just plain curious about the books you write to follow you on Goodreads.


Friday, March 3, 2017


            POV. Point of view.
            I started paying closer attention to point of view when I read a few reviews criticizing master romance writer, Nora Roberts, for mixing her POVs. “Shameful,” said one reviewer. “Incredible,” wrote another. How could she? Didn’t she know any better? All because Nora had the audacity to write this:
            “He needed, craved, the touch, the taste. Now. All of her, all his.
            Now those stars exploded, blinding her. She couldn’t get her breath as sensations pummeled her.”
            The flack flung Nora’s way was because she began a chapter in the perspective of one character and, in the midst of an intense scene, nonchalantly finished the chapter in the perspective of a second character. With a small smirk, I noted that changing perspectives wherever and whenever she felt like it had not hurt Nora Roberts’ books sales one teensy bit.
            Curiosity piqued now, I conducted a small survey of well-known writers over the past few decades on their particular use of POV.
            The writings of Dashiell Hammett, a hard-boiled detective writer in the 1930s and 40s, were not earthshaking when it came to perspective. He kept religiously to third person past tense.
            “Spade sank into his swivel chair, made a quarter turn to face her, smiled politely.”
            Ditto for western and crime writer, Elmore Leonard. He wrote for decades in third person selling not only books but movies as well. Hombre and Get Shorty were two of his best.
            But mystery writer, Sue Grafton, decided to mix things up back in 1982 when the reader learned her stories through the first person perspective of sassy Kinsey Millhone, a wonderful female protagonist written by a wonderful woman writer. (Note the excitement for my gender?) Sue wrote:

            “My name is Kinsey Millone. I’m a private investigator, licensed by the state of California. I’m thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday I killed someone and the fact weighs heavily on my mind.”
            Grafton not only switched voice, from third to first person, but she changed from present tense to past in the same paragraph. Changing tenses wasn’t done successfully until then either.
            J.A. Jance, another successful mystery writer, grew even bolder in the 2000s. In “Dance of the Bones”, she wrote all the main characters’ viewpoints in third person past tense except for J.P. Beaumont, one of her major protagonists. We learned J.P.’s contribution through the all-important first person. When Beaumont spoke, we paid more attention. His small but mighty input not only furthered the story but helped in its resolution.
            “Excitement bubbled in Brandon Walker’s voice and in mine as well. We were a pair of old hounds who had just caught a scent. It was a very faint scent and one that might not pan out, but it was still here, and we were on it.”
            But no writer strayed into the POV red zone: writing in first person, present tense until the blockbuster novel Fifty Shades of Grey became a literary phenomenon. Say what you will about her book, E.L. James managed to pull off nothing short of a coup when she wrote her trilogy in first person, present.
            Unbelievable! Critics cried her books were trash and so poorly written. Maybe so but they made publishing history and blew up forever some antiquated notions of writing.
            “His long index finger presses the button summoning the elevator and we stand waiting—awkwardly on my part, coolly self-possessed on his.”
            I feel like I’m in the elevator with Christian and Anastasia, don’t you?
            That was the point of the author’s point of view.
            Everything in the world has changed in the last hundred years and it’s fine that styles of writing have evolved as well. The detached third person point of view has slowly made way for the more involved first person POV to join it center stage. As authors, it’s wonderful to have more choice. As a mystery and romance writer, I am thrilled to be able to experiment with my writing.
            Here’s a toast to blowing up your POV!

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I Just Cannot

Editors are wonderful people. Well, the ones I have worked with are. ;-) For a writer, it’s hard to trust our babies—er, our stories—to someone else. But a good editor is a necessity, they help us polish our stories and make them shine. The refining process isn’t always easy—when your favorite line in the whole book doesn’t move the story forward, it needs to be cut. I’ve had this happen more than once and it never gets easier. But, a good editor can point out our errors and recommend changes without changing our unique voice and without making us feel like we should set our laptops on fire and move to an island with no writing implements and no internet connectivity.

I’m sure that each author has certain words and phrases that they overuse and I’m gradually getting a handle on mine. Therefore, before I send a story to my editor I search my document for all occurrences of the words that, very, really, and anything else that ends in ly and make changes as needed. I also do one last read-through of the entire manuscript in order to catch any phrases that I may have overused. 

Cricket is quite the feline editor.
However, there is one habit that I simply cannot seem to break. I love writing dialogue but, for some unknown reason, when I do, I stop using contractions. It’s very easy for me to start sounding like Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. For those of you who aren’t Star Trek nerds, Data was an android who wanted nothing more than to be human. (Think Pinocchio in space.) Although he is far more human than he thinks, one of the things that makes Data different is that he doesn’t use contractions when he speaks. I would be awesome at writing his dialogue, LOL.

I use contractions in my every day speech, so I’m not sure why I tend not to when I write. When making revisions prior to sending my story to my editor I go through my dialogue and find as many contractions—or lack of contractions—as I can. However, whenever I get my feedback from the editor, there are always many instances that I didn’t catch. I don’t know if this is something that I’m always going to struggle with or if I’ll get better (hopefully the latter). After all, I just can’t is much catchier than I just cannot isn’t it?

As a matter of fact, in reading through this post, I found a few places where I could have used contractions but didn’t. I left them as evidence of my Contraction Dysfunction.

If you’re an author, what is your writing Achilles heel?

Until next month, happy reading!

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