UR Group Post - How We Will Take Over The World!

M. Pax

The mad scientist route is for me. I would create mega storms of zombeaverbears, sharkrexes, and piranharaptors. It will be glorious! They will hail me queen, and the Earth will finally be ready for its alien overlords. You're welcome, Ant People. (Thank you, Ancient Aliens :) )

Christine Rains

I will summon an army of gigantic extra-dimensional monsters with many limbs and tentacles. They won't be able to be destroyed by any human made weapons but can consume them. These great beasts will them conquer the world through good will: ending droughts, replanting forests, sucking up pollution, creating environmentally friendly energy sources, and crushing all those who dare try to stop them.

Catherine Stine

I will take over by mesmerizing folks with my awesome crafts that will make them loyal to my every move. Here are a couple of my newest ones, including a handmade spell book loaded with treasure and a hand painted box. I use these for raffle items at book cons. Which means that my army of readers will be stoked enough to move mountains. LOL.

Julie Flanders

I am well known for being pitiful at confrontation of any kind, so if I were to take over the world I would have to go the "kill 'em with kindness" route. I would march into battle armed with enough puppies and kittens to make all my adversaries melt from the cuteness of it all. After all, who is going to stand up to these little soldiers?


Once I am established as ruler, my canine and feline supporters will all have prominent positions in my new world order.

Cherie Reich

First, I would will be selected as Vice President. Then, I would use Tecumsah's curse to get rid of the President. As the new President, I would abolish term limits. To quote Jefferson in the musical Hamilton, "We can change that. You know why? 'Cuz I'm the President." From there, conquering the world is easy-peasy. The Internet has made the world quite small, and we Earthlings really do need to come together. I'm fairly level-headed, and I don't want to, in the words of King George III from Hamilton, "send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!"

If that doesn't work, then maybe the Illuminati will give me another chance. I did delete their email. It seemed spammy at the time, but you never know. Working with a secret society might be more fun, and I wouldn't have to give any public speeches. *shudders*

Cathrina Constantine

I'm sending my Avenging Angel to destroy hatred and dastardly demons. Then he'll bathe the planet with a calming balm of love and tranquility. Of course, the planet will be so enamored with me and my Angel, I'll be put on a pedestal to rule forever...
(Recognize Dean Winchester as the Avenging Angel...hahaaa...)

Meradeth Houston

Okay, so I always worry just a little that I'll end up on some watchlist by talking about this (the day job puts me in a lab with access to all kinds of...things), but I'd totally create a plague that would bring the world to its knees. Before anyone died I'd offer the cure, but at the cost of me being supreme leader. Of course, once I was the leader, I'd find a way to spread love and understanding. Maybe I could make a virus that would make people love each other... ;)

Gwen Gardner

World domination would be easy with helpers like mine...

...and as soon as they wake up from their naps, we'll tell you how to do it.

Jeff Chapman

The key is controlling people's minds. I will populate every household with a device that spits out an endless stream of mindless entertainment and infomercials. And then I'll turn the news into infotainment and then....

Oh, wait. That's already been done. Uhm. Hmm. I'll get back to you.

Angela Brown

Armies of cuteness, political upheaval, avenging angels, world catastrophic viruses, zombeavers... the list is extraordinary. I would call upon the elements, align myself with Mother Nature, and show the world a natural disaster that would bring every world citizen to their knees.

I would be The Hand of Mother Nature...though I have no intentions of suffering the ill fates of The Hands in G.R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones.

Over 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books 99c!

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Polar Day, the Summer Solstice, and a Free Book

Fairbanks, Alaska at 12:43 a.m. on June 21, 2008

Even though my book Polar Day has been out for more than a year now, I still can't help but think of it when the summer solstice rolls around here in the Northern Hemisphere.

The book, like its predecessor, is set in Fairbanks, Alaska, land of both the midnight sun and the Polar Night. I'm not sure why, but I have always been fascinated by the solstices and the phenomenon of 24 hour daylight or darkness. I'm glad I don't have to live with either extreme!

I know the solstice actually happened yesterday, but I figured it's not too late for me to share a few celebrations that are tied to the event.

The Midnight Sun over Alaska

  • Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England is perhaps the most famous location for solstice activities. Every year a host of revelers gather at the ancient site to witness the sun rising above the stone circle. For reasons we will probably never know, the circle was built so that it aligns perfectly with the sunrise on the solstice.

  • New York city has held the "Solstice in Times Square" yoga event since 2003. The yoga begins at 7 am and continues until sunset. The day has also been named National Yoga Day as a result of this event. 

  • In a tradition that dates back to medieval times, fires are lit in the Alpine region of Austria in honor of the solstice. Party-goers enjoy panoramic views of the fires dotting the mountainside from high up in the Alpine towns. 

  • Astrofest in Croatia brings astronomers and star-gazers to the famous ViĆĄnjan Observatory. This festival combines science and spirituality for a magical take on the solstice. 

The Midnight Sun game in Fairbanks

  • Finally, my favorite solstice celebration is the Midnight Sun baseball game held each year in Fairbanks on the summer solstice. The game begins around 10:30 each year and artificial lighting has never been used. The tradition has been going on since 1906. I thought it sounded like such a fun event I included it to help kick off the action in Polar Day. Although in my version the event didn't stay fun for very long. ;)

Since I'm talking about celebrations, I thought I'd add a little celebration of my own and offer my ebook The Turnagain Arm for free this week on Amazon. The Turnagain Arm is the prequel to both Polar Night and Polar Day, and the events of this story play in to both novels. If you're interested in checking it out, get your free copy here.

Have you ever taken part in a solstice celebration?

Happy Summer to everyone here in the Northern Hemisphere and Happy Winter to our Southern Hemisphere friends!


The Art of Giveaway Swag & Getting Reviews

Wristlet bag and greeting card swag
I've done many giveaways, Facebook parties and now I'm attending multiple book conventions. Let's face it, we all want deals and perks. Our readers do, too. Over the last few years I have developed and refined my giveaway treats as well as my methods for getting reviews. I figured you may be interested to hear what worked and did not work for me.

Most of us have done Goodreads book giveaways when our novels launch. This is a no-brainer method for spreading word and also for getting reviewed. I give away at least 6 books, and often up to 10. These have always had to be signed paperbacks, though I understand Goodreads now allows eBooks for a fee (?). I will only speak to the paperback method here. In my note, I always mention "I would be grateful for an honest review, but no pressures" so that readers don't feel hammered. Since I'm in the USA, I've learned not to extend the giveaway to Europe because postage on a paperback is costly. So, stick to your area.
Coffee cup and wristlet bag swag
As far as giveaway swag, I started out with cute but cumbersome items such as coffee cups. This turned out to be a real no-no because they are breakable, hard to pack and they weigh a fair amount once you've packed them. I've also designed T-shirts, which are cool, but expensive to make and tricky as far as sizing. I've designed little bags as well. But these are expensive so I have pretty much nixed them on my swag list.

This spring at the RT book convention, I offered a free paperback (my new Witch of the Cards, which I wanted reviews on), if a reader bought TWO of my other books. This worked quite well. I also designed my own greeting cards with envelopes and people who buy a book get their pick of one. People like these, and they are also very light to mail! I do make bookmarks, but I've learned that many want more than just bookmarks or buttons.
My first batch of heartboxes
I enjoy arty stuff like hand-painting. My latest event giveaways involved my hand-painted heartboxes. My new handmade spellbooks, filled with fun treasure will be my next round of swag to go along with the Witch of the Cards theme. These are time consuming to make, and so I don't give them away lightly. When I go to my next book convention in Nashville (Utopia on June 22) I will put a reader's name in the spellbook raffle pot only if they buy AT LEAST two books and sign up for my newsletter.
My newest handmade spellbooks
At Facebook parties, I often give away ebooks, and I reiterate my message that I would like a review (but no pressures). Nine times out of ten event readers do review. I do $15 gift card giveaways for following me on various social media, plus signing up for my newsletter, plus..... you get the picture.

It's an evolving art--the swag, the perks, the parties and party games. It's a part of the book promo that I actually like. How about you? What's your favorite type of promo? Your most effective?


TitanBorn by Rhett C. Bruno #BookReview / Speculative Fiction Worth Reading #SciFi

Here's the synopsis:

Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a Collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he's told, takes what he's earned, and leaves the questions to someone else--especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders. 

But his latest mission doesn't afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm's paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who's more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth. 

Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he's learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal.

What'd I think? A highly recommended read. Honestly.

Malcolm reminded me of a soured, old-school detective, only he's a bounty hunter. Near the end of his career, he starts to question all he's done and why. His new partner gets in his way. More than ever Malcolm has to prove his worth to his employer.

Although I had a few issues with some of the planetary science on Titan especially, the story is entertaining enough to ignore the flaw. But that's the way I am. As long as the storytelling is fantastic, I can ignore all errors in exchange for great entertainment.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It's edgy yet harkens back to Heinlein and other great classic sci-fi authors. It's space opera. It's mystery. It's part cop story. Part detective. 

It's currently on preorder at Amazon.


#Star Wars or Trek?

Credit to Wars in the Stars blog
Credit due here.
Both of these franchises scream EPIC.

The music.

The mission.

The drama and the action.

EPIC I say!

J. J. Abrams directed the latest installment of Star Wars epicness with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

There were plenty of naysayers but I'm glad to say I was among the YAYsayers. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I laughed, sat on the edge of my seat, and also cried for that one scene with you know who that just ripped at my heart.

That's right. No spoilers. I simply can not ruin it for you!

Justin Lin has directed the latest installment of Star Trek epicneess with Beyond releasing this summer.
Yes, I will be doing my best to catch this one in the movie theater as soon as it's released, or close to it :-)

Have you had a chance to see all the Star Trek or Star Wars movies available?

I can honestly say that I've seen them all at least once during my lifetime.

Some folks have a preference. I do not prefer one over the other. I'm captivated by the action, the space opera drama and the wide diversity both present. Although I am not deeply into science, the technology they fictionalize fascinates me.

Do you prefer Star Trek over Star Wars
Star Wars over Star Trek?

In the comments below, please share your thoughts on the films, the shows, what you have seen, and if you have a preference, please share why. I'd love to know :-)