A Different Point of View

vokhtah-button
      Somewhere in the
universe, there’s a planet with two suns and a population of bird-like sapients.
These aliens are split between the more populous iVokh and a smaller number of
Vokh. Their level of technology is low. With no animals that can be used as
beasts of burden, and several that will happily eat one of our sentient birds,
communication is slow, and travel is dangerous. And, apparently, being smart
enough to make significant discoveries is dangerous too.
      This is the world
AC Flory drops you into with her debut novel Vokhtah. No humans exist here to ease your transition! You follow a
healer and a young trader apprentice through a series of adventures as the
healer tries to save his world from itself.
      I really enjoyed
this book. I hope you do too.

Daughters of Suralia Release Date

Christie-Meierz_TTS-bk2_Daughters-of-Suralia_6x91

To those of you who have been anxiously waiting, it’s almost here!

Coming April 23, 2013

Three women, two planets, and a whale.
            For
Marianne Woolsey, linguist and tutor, being empathically bonded to the leader
of the Tolari turns out to be a bed of roses – complete with thorns. Especially
thorns.
            With
diplomatic relations severed and humans kicked out of Tolari space, the Earth
Fleet ship Alexander is gone …
for now … but Earth Central Command hasn’t given up trying to get Marianne
back. As she struggles with surprises, nightmares, and a bond-partner who can’t
be tamed, she just wants to figure out where she fits in a society that isn’t quite human.
            Laura
Howard, the Admiral’s widow, only desires to be left in peace to gather the
fragments of a shattered heart, but Central Command has plans for her, too.
            Meanwhile,
the Sural’s apothecary is a serene and gifted healer who knows what – and who –
she wants. Circumstances have conspired to deny her the man she’s always loved,
but in the pursuit of his heart, she has an unexpected ally – in the depths of
Tolar’s oceans.
       Daughters
of Suralia
is a sweet scifi romance.
 

Great Expectorations is LIVE!

Christie-Meierz_Great-Expectorations

Great Expectorations is live! Get it here on Amazon and here on Barnes & Noble.

I do want to apologize that I can’t get it any cheaper than $0.99. I know the story is only 3300 words, but $0.99 is the lowest price either Amazon or B&N will permit. I will eventually be able to get the price down on B&N by pricing it down on Smashwords, but Amazon doesn’t price match Smashwords. To judge by Amazon’s failure to drop the price of Into Tolari Space, it doesn’t price match B&N or Sony anymore, either.

Speaking of which, I’m still fighting to get Into Tolari Space down to free on Amazon. If you’d like to help, please go to its sales page:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AQ8HTFU/
and report the lower price ($0) at B&N (click on “tell us about a lower price” in the Product Details section):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/into-tolari-space-christie-meierz/1114999102?ean=2940044408166

I’d really appreciate the help!

Meanwhile, on Hlatra

I’ll have a short little treat for you all sometime next week: Great Expectorations.

It’s a short story (3300 words) set, oh, 150 years or so before The Marann. It may or may not be in the same universe; we’ll just have to see about that.

In the late 24th and early 25th century, indentured servitude has made a comeback: people sell 10 years of their lives working for a corporation in return for resettlement on a colony world. Work hard and keep out of trouble, and when your contract is up, you’re a free citizen of the colony.

Cassie Johnson is one such debt worker, newly arrived on Hlatra and starting her term of service in the city of New Pittsburgh.

I’ll upload it to all the usual online booksellers (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords) as soon as my cover designer, the talented Laura Shinn, gets back to me. It should be out before Daughters of Suralia releases.

The Perils of Science Fiction

I’m not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I play one on TV. So I’m sometimes caught flat-footed by things such as the fact that Beta Hydri isn’t a main sequence star.

You may ask, “Why is that important?”

If I understand things correctly — and I might not — it’s because Earth-like planets can only form in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ (the distance that’s “just right” for liquid water to exist) around a main sequence star. The proper conditions for life as we know it just don’t exist anywhere else.

So if you’ve read The Marann, you know the Tolari were planted in the Beta Hydri system, but you may have also noticed that the planet is covered with vegetation and occupied by six-limbed creatures. So if life couldn’t have evolved there, how did that happen?

Fortunately, I have an out. *Christie waves her hands* While the Tolari were planted on Tolar by a highly advanced race of wizard geneticists (which I might tell you more about some day), it turns out Tolar was an ongoing experiment of these same aliens, who terraformed (tolariformed?) the planet at least in part to save another species from Beta Hydri’s expansion (it’s already 1.8 times larger than our sun — a planet at Earth’s orbital distance would bake). It was a convenient place to put the human test subjects. Yay! Problem solved!

I hope. *grin*

What’s a Girl to Do?

So. Daughters has gone off to the editor. Of course, I couldn’t resist glancing over it again, only to find a few typos, and a few places where I could phrase things a little differently. I hesitated for a bit, not wanting to make my MS different than the one the editor has in her hands, then turned on Track Changes and corrected the typos.

Incurable. I’m absolutely incurable. But at least with Track Changes turned on, I can quickly find the differences, all marked in red.

Meanwhile, I ponder. Daughters will need reviews when I release it, and I have noted that the number of readers who are motivated to write Amazon reviews is on the order of 1% of those who buy the book. Reviews on Amazon make a real difference, so many authors offer swag in exchange for honest reviews. I have no quarrel with that, but I also have no swag to offer. Unless my readers would consider access to inside information a fair exchange.

My novels do not contain explicit scenes. That pleases those who prefer to close the door on intimacy and causes others to scream in frustration. How would you feel if I told you that some of those scenes are actually written, but deleted and saved? Given the warning that I am by no means proficient in the art of writing that genre, would my readers who write an Amazon review still feel themselves well-served if they were rewarded with the deleted scene in Daughters? I cannot say yet who is in the scene — that would be too much of a spoiler — but once you’ve read the novel, you’ll know who I mean. Or would you prefer the deleted bonding scene from The Marann instead?

Do I hear some avid voices exclaiming, “Both!”?

Feel free to leave a comment expressing your opinion on the matter.

I’m playing hooky and occasionally tinkering with the aforementioned deleted scenes. I find them easy to imagine but difficult to write. With the Daughters MS at the editor, I should be working on The Fall — and, actually, I have been doing some tinkering with the opening chapter. The Fall is almost completely written, so that one is just a matter of editing it into readability. Hopefully — barring someone whose opinion matters to me telling me that it’s complete hooey — you won’t have to endure a 6 month wait for it. I’d like to try to get The Fall released by the end of the summer.

Unless I release Stranded first, but that manuscript is only partly written.

We shall just have to see.

Daughters of Suralia blurb!

Christie-Meierz_TTS-bk2_Daughters-of-Suralia_6x92

Three women, two planets, and a whale.
For Marianne Woolsey, linguist and tutor, being empathically bonded to the leader of the Tolari turns out to be a bed of roses – complete with thorns.
Especially thorns.
With diplomatic relations severed and humans kicked out of Tolari space, the Earth Fleet ship Alexander is
gone … for now … but Earth Central Command hasn’t given up trying to get Marianne back. As she struggles with surprises, nightmares, and a bond-partner who can’t
be tamed, she just wants to figure out where she fits in a society that isn’t quite human.
Laura Howard, the Admiral’s widow, only desires to be left
in peace to gather the fragments of a shattered heart, but Central Command has
plans for her, too.
Meanwhile, the Sural’s apothecary is a serene and gifted
healer who knows what – and who – she wants. Circumstances have conspired to
deny her the man she’s always loved, but in the pursuit of his heart, she has
an unexpected ally – in the depths of Tolar’s oceans.
Daughters of Suralia
is a sweet space opera romance.

What’s New in Tolari Space?

I’ve been working very hard on Daughters of Suralia. The manuscript is finished; I just need to polish it up some more and run it past an editor. It’s looking good for a mid-to-late April release date.

There is (whisper it softly) a possibility of some illustrations. Someone in the stronghold is an artist. You’ll have to wait to find out who!

Meanwhile, I’m at sixes and sevens trying to decide which major project to work on next. Here are the possibilities:

  1. Book 3. It’s mostly written, but I can’t say much about it without spoiling a major plot point in Daughters. I can tell you that it takes place mainly in the province of Parania, with a short foray into Monralar because the Monral is still up to his old tricks. Working title: The Fall
  2. Book 1.5. This is actually probably a novella-length story, half-written as of this moment. A young adult adventure in Tolari space, it’s about the second salvo in Central Command’s shenanigans trying to get Marianne back. A young aristocrat ends up on Tolar. Takes place after The Marann and before Daughters of Suralia. Working title: Stranded
  3. Something completely different. A scout ship slips sideways into an alternate universe where its Kline-Thompson-Nishida engines do the crew, Lonnie Lafontant and Darryl Antonucci, no good at all. Novella length for sure. No working title yet, except for “That Alternate Universe Story.”

What do you think, gentle reader? Feel free to comment and let me know. 🙂

Thoughts from Marianne

            My name is
Marianne Woolsey, and I’m just an
Iowa farm girl turned high school teacher. I don’t have any family, though I
have a few friends – or I did until I left Earth eight years ago to go teach on
a planet circling Beta Hydri. So why does Central Command want me so badly?
            Yes, I did
sort of … thumb my nose at them. What can they expect? They tried to kidnap me! And I have been here eight years, so they probably think I know all sorts of things about the Tolari.
But that still doesn’t explain the lengths to which they’ve been going to get
me back. Threats, bribes, unexpected “guests.” The Sural is being remarkably
patient, but that might be because he considers his fellow rulers more
dangerous than Central Command. To him, Earth is more like an annoying cat. Get
it off the knickknack shelf before it knocks something down.
            It’s enough
to make a girl irritable, I can tell you that.

Two-Five’s Adventure, Epilogue

      Two-Five wriggled
through his broodmale’s tunnel. His Slash First, Four-Three of Eight-One,
smaller and more compact than he, scuttled along behind him, giving an
occasional playful tug on his right tail, which was swelling and throbbing from
the attention. He clicked at her and wove a message of patience with his left
tail. She hissed a laugh.
      The tunnel seemed
to come to an end. Was the broodmale unhappy with his Slash First and Slash
Second? But no – he felt air moving and looked up. A new obstacle: the tunnel went
straight up above him. He hissed in amusement.
      “She wonders what
entertains him,” Four-Three said.
      “Their broodmale
makes new obstacles,” he replied. “The tunnel opens upward. More stamina is
needful.”
      Four-Three hissed
again. “It will be a large brood.”
      “If they arrive
in their broodmale’s chamber with ability left.”
      “It has been a
long run. She believes the chamber must be close.”
      “He agrees.”
      Two-Five spun
onto his back and began the slow process of wriggling around the turn upward.
When he was straight in the tunnel, he found it turned again… but he could
see the broodmale’s chamber through the opening at the end of this one.
      “He sees the
chamber,” Two-Five announced, and began slowly squirming into this last tunnel.
Behind and beneath him, Four-Three began clicking with excitement.
      “A good run,” she
said.
      Two-Five squirmed
a little further around the last corner before he answered. “A most excellent
run. They have an incomparable broodmale.”
      “They have a most
excellent broodmale indeed.”
      Once in the final
tunnel, Two-Five crawled as quickly as he could through its length and into the
broodmale’s chamber, Four-Three just behind. One after the other, they dropped
into the chamber.
      It was oblong,
with a large bed of mud at one end and warm nesting sands at the other. Past
offerings of beauty festooned the walls: gems and jewelry, graceful pottery,
stunning paintings and sculptures, anything beautiful that the Slash First and
Slash Second thought would make the broodmale happy, because happy broodmales
produced more young.
      He lay buried up
to his nostrils in the bed of mud. Two-Three of Three was well-known for his
care, and the mud was immaculate. Two-Five and Four-Three approached the bed,
taking the faintly glowing epsilon ruby out of Two-Five’s pouch. Four-Three discarded
the pouch and laid the ruby on the offering table beside the bed.
      Two-Three’s eyes
widened. He clicked. “He is very
pleased with his Slash First and Slash Second.”
      Two-Five and
Four-Three twined their tails and stepped into the mud.