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Monday, September 26, 2011

Will artificial life spawn artificial love?


My inspiration to write the novel, Gods of the Machines, basically comes down to one word of inspiration: sentient. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sentient as ‘feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception or thought.” The ability to feel defines our consciousness as humans. It is what distinguishes us from other devices capable of thought or calculation i.e. computers. And although that line of separation, the inability of your laptop to feel emotion, is pretty thick at the moment, there may come a time when that line will either be blurred or crossed. Maybe you are skeptical that robots or perhaps, androids – beings that resemble humans – will ever exist in the way we see them in movies such as I Robot. But there are signs that technology is advancing and that robotics is becoming more and integrated into our everyday life.

The latest cutting edge cell phone operating system is called Android or Droid for short. Although a phone is a long way from a walking, talking android, it seems to show the very idea of such technology is seeping into the consumer consciousness. In Japan, actual android/robots have been created! They have skin made of silicon, and sensors allow them to react. They appear to blink and even breathe! But what they don’t possess is sentience. And because they don’t, I believe these creations will be ripe for exploitation. Robots are already in use in battlefields. Androids such as the life-like creations in Japan may be used for servitude as well, perhaps as nursing aides.

So the idea of robots is really not that extreme or fantastical. For the most part, they are here. Will it be all right to use them for servitude? Most every science fiction story of the last half century portrays them in that manner. Think of Bicentennial Man. But in that movie, there is a difference because that robot evolves, so much, that it actually becomes human. Still, the robot is portrayed as a servant, although its owner treats it with respect.

Will humanity treat robots with respect once they grow in number? People who perceive them as mere machines such as a computer will probably dismiss the idea of expending emotion on objects. But others may feel compelled to interact with androids as if they were human, even if they don’t possess self awareness or are unable to feel genuine emotion.

In Gods of the Machines, the androids James Starkman and Juanita Lopez will find love. Each sympathetic to the other’s plight, neither find themselves totally accepted, and worse for Starkman, he is the prime suspect in a murder investigation. In this future, robots have yet to attain the full rights of humans. But as they inch closer to this goal, the idea that androids can love each other and that humans have had sexual relations with them almost makes it absurd that these beings aren’t considered humans. They are just another kind of human; instead of biological, they are artificial. But both can love.

Find out more about Gods of the Machines at www.garystarta.net

Comment and you may win a book!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heidi Ruby Miller: UPCOMING RELEASES

Heidi Ruby Miller: UPCOMING RELEASES: NEW IN THE AMBASADORA-VERSE IN 2011

Fragger: Book 2 of Ambasadora
"I believe the problem stems from her bio-lights," Yul said.

Sea...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As part of the Out of this World Blog Tour 2011, I am proud to host author Lisa Lane. Lisa likes to mix up genres, something I am partial to myself. She also intends to convey a message in addition to entertaining. I will let Lisa say it best, in her own words. Remember to comment for a chance to win one of her books...
Writing with Reason

Writing multiple genres can get complicated, not because of differences in voice and style, but because of thematic and literary ones. Moreover, as an eclectic gal, I’m often tempted to blur the lines a little more than I should: politically charged speculative tidbits find their way into my romantic sci-fi; my satire is rarely humorous; and I’ve been known to throw in a splash of erotica into my dystopia and horror.

So why not just pick a genre and stick with it? Sounds simple, right? It would be simple—if I had just one reason for writing—but the fact of the matter is my reasons for writing are varied and many. Among the most important are:

Reason #1: Not to abuse Maugham’s famous quote, but I write because I must. The words started piling up in my head when I was eight or nine. At that time, I found myself no longer content just reading what others wrote, but compelled to record the stories I began to experience in my own mind’s eye. I found that the stories would begin to haunt me if I did not “release” them in a timely manner.

Reason #2: I want to bring entertainment and joy to others. I get giddy when I learn that a reader has enjoyed one of my stories. It is one of my greatest delights.

Reason #3: I want to change the world. Yeah, that’s about a cliché as it gets, but it’s actually the strongest driving factor behind my writing. As a speculative fiction writer, I have at my fingertips the potential to touch people in ways I might not be able to otherwise. I can write about alternate worlds with governments similar to ours, about worldwide wars over aliens’ religious differences, or about worlds destroyed by human-like greed. Saying something, making a point, is important to me in my writing.

As a result, I have novels and short stories that range from literary to erotic science fiction romance and horror. My two most recent releases, Myths of Gods and “Super Nova” exemplify this.

Myths of Gods is a dramatic sci-fi satire that spans from the Big Bang to present day, speculating God’s thoughts on the various beliefs, conflicts, and holy wars that have existed since the dawn of humankind. A prologue and epilogue, each subtitled “The Beginning,” frame the story, which in itself is a fictitious account of an infant, fallible deity that stumbles upon creation and then struggles to make sense of it all.

“Super Nova,” on the other hand, is a spicy sci-fi short included in an anthology titled Three’s a Charm, edited by Lori Perkins. While I secretly tucked in commentary on sexual tolerance, using a hermaphrodite alien species to represent bisexuality, make no mistake that “Super Nova” is a work of erotic romance—meant to entertain, amuse, and arouse.

I often write two or three stories at a time, much like some avid readers will read multiple books at a time. For me, it’s a good way to work around writer’s block, as a shift in genres helps me to let go of whatever over-thinking might be holding me back in any given story. It works well for me; however, I have found the need to use different pen names—purely to delineate my “adult” works from my “literary” ones. I am 100% transparent about my use of them, hiding from no one that Lisa Lane and Leigh M. Lane are one in the same. I’m proud to be eclectic.

So, my question for all of you readers today is this: What are your expectations when it comes to authors and genre? Do you appreciate consistency, or do you like a little variety in your favorite authors’ works? Leave your thoughts for a chance to win an electronic copy of one of my published books. Leave a particularly insightful comment, and I might just send you a signed paperback (sorry, continental U.S. only, due to shipping costs).

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to chatting with you.

Lisa (Leigh M.) Lane

For more information on my writing, stop by my website: http://www.cerebralwriter.com For more about my erotica, go to http://newsensuality.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author Jennifer Chase, Crime/Suspense Writer

I am honored to host guest blogger Jennifer Chase, criminologist and award-winning author. Here is some pertinent background on Jennifer. I find it fascinating that when Jennfier writes about profiling a killer, she really knows her stuff. I am hoping she will be back soon to talk about crime scene investigation.
Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s in criminology. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She’s a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.
Jennifer is an author, freelance writer, and a criminologist. She has authored three thriller novels Compulsion, Award-Winning Dead Game, and Silent Partner. She has authored a non-fiction book How to Write a Screenplay, incorporating a step-by-step process to write a screenplay. She currently assists clients in publishing, ghostwriting, book reviews, blogs, articles, screenwriting, editing, and research.
Jennifer was born and raised in California where she currently resides with her husband, two dogs, and two incorrigible cats. She developed a love for books and writing at an early age.
She has an intense curiosity about crime and the varied connections between the actual crime and the criminal mind. This propelled her to return to school and earn her master’s degree in 2008. Her academic background has helped to prepare her to write in the thriller and true crime genres.
********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
SILENT PARTNER
One Cop, One Serial Killer, One Witness
Who Will Survive?
K9 Units Northern California’s elite Police K9 Units arrive at an abandoned warehouse after a high-speed chase and apprehend two killers after they have fled a grisly murder scene. This barely scratches the surface of a bloody trail from a prolific serial killer that leads to unlocking the insidious secrets of one family’s history, while tearing a police department apart.
Jack Davis, a top K9 cop with an unprecedented integrity, finds himself falling for a beautiful murder suspect and struggling with departmental codes.
Megan O’Connell, suffering from agoraphobia, is the prime murder suspect in her sister’s brutal murder.
Darrell Brooks, a psychopath who loves to kill, is on a quest to drive Megan insane for profit.
Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a secret. Someone else must die to keep the truth buried forever. Silent Partner is a suspense ride along that will keep you guessing until the bitter end.
Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
***************************************************************************************************************************** Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
*********************************************************************************************************************** Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
************************************************************************************************ Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Silent Partner by Jennifer Chase is 2011 Silver Award Winner - Best Suspense - Readers Favorite
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Thursday, September 15, 2011


Guest author Natasha Larry paints a vivid picture of how she breathes life into her creations in this blog about her latest book: DARWIN'S CHILDREN. I am proud to have her as my first guest post on this new writers' blog. This is a forum for all authors of fiction to have a haven to post blogs about writing and their works. Giveaways are coming soon. For now, enjoy this blog!

The Glass Room

I started writing Darwin’s Children after a two-year stretch of writer’s block. At times I would start to write what was originally intended for an adult audience, but all I had was my passion for the topic and a list of characters that were too hard to write. I almost gave up on my writing at the time until I had a very disturbing daydream.

I was sipping coffee in my living room when suddenly; I saw a large glass room filling up slowly with dark smoke. As the smoke dissipated, I could see a man pleading with a beautiful young girl, who had one hand placed on the other side of the glass, staring inside, with her emerald green eyes. Then I saw a lithe, ivory figure with violet-blue eyes that clearly weren’t human, grab the man as he pleaded for his life. Her fangs extended as she bit into his neck viciously, and I knew that this was the vampire Sasha Gray.

Here is the prologue that sparked a series of books.

From the other side of the glass, Mason Lerner watched Haylee Mitchell circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening.

Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place ... something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think...”

Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight.

He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst.

Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse.

The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain.v
The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over.

So, I had to work backwards because I knew this was my book. I wrote the first book of Darwin’s Children, trying to explain the glass room. Within ten minutes I worked out that the reader wanted to watch him die, and as soon as I knew that, I knew how it would unfold. From then on, this has been the most fulfilling body of work I’ve ever written. The characters: Jaycie and Mason Lerner, Allison Young, John Gramm and Haylee Mitchell were so easy to write that it felt like I literally, put no thought into it. My experience writing this series has been indescribable and I hope readers come to love this world at least half as much as I do.

I’ll leave you with insight from one of the five characters I listed above, because his insight describes the world his family lives in better than I can.

John Gramm theorizes that, as the supernatural world increases in strength and number, the human race will, out of necessity grow more powerful with it. He also believes that the key to this change stems from the amygdala because “it is the heart of the human brain.”
vI hope readers find Darwin’s Children surprisingly original, and thank you again for having me here!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guest Author Natasha Larry talks about DARWIN'S CHILDREN

I am excited to PREMIERE the launch of Gary Starta's Writers' blog - a forum for novelists... I am guest hosting author NATASHA LARRY who paints a vivid picture of both creating her characters and bringing them to the page. Hope you enjoy it! The Glass Room I started writing Darwin’s Children after a two-year stretch of writer’s block. At times I would start to write what was originally intended for an adult audience, but all I had was my passion for the topic and a list of characters that were too hard to write. I almost gave up on my writing at the time until I had a very disturbing daydream. I was sipping coffee in my living room when suddenly; I saw a large glass room filling up slowly with dark smoke. As the smoke dissipated, I could see a man pleading with a beautiful young girl, who had one hand placed on the other side of the glass, staring inside, with her emerald green eyes. Then I saw a lithe, ivory figure with violet-blue eyes that clearly weren’t human, grab the man as he pleaded for his life. Her fangs extended as she bit into his neck viciously, and I knew that this was the vampire Sasha Gray. Here is the prologue that sparked a series of books. From the other side of the glass, Mason Lerner watched Haylee Mitchell circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening. Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place ... something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think...” Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight. He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst. Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse. The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain. The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over. So, I had to work backwards because I knew this was my book. I wrote the first book of Darwin’s Children, trying to explain the glass room. Within ten minutes I worked out that the reader wanted to watch him die, and as soon as I knew that, I knew how it would unfold. From then on, this has been the most fulfilling body of work I’ve ever written. The characters: Jaycie and Mason Lerner, Allison Young, John Gramm and Haylee Mitchell were so easy to write that it felt like I literally, put no thought into it. My experience writing this series has been indescribable and I hope readers come to love this world at least half as much as I do. I’ll leave you with insight from one of the five characters I listed above, because his insight describes the world his family lives in better than I can. John Gramm theorizes that, as the supernatural world increases in strength and number, the human race will, out of necessity grow more powerful with it. He also believes that the key to this change stems from the amygdala because “it is the heart of the human brain.” I hope readers find Darwin’s Children surprisingly original, and thank you again for having me here!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Out of this World Blog Tour Begins soon!

OUT OF THIS WORLD BLOG TOUR BEGINS....Sci fi/Romance authors will be guest posting on these blogs...Come and visit and maybe win a free book... September 16 Greta van der Rol at the Cerebral Writer http://www.cerebralwriter.com/blog.html September 17 Paula Dooley at Amber Norris’ blog http://sci-fiadventures.blogspot.com/ September 18 Gary Starta at Melisse Aires’ blog http://melisseaires.blogspot.com September 19 Frances Pauli at Paula Dooley’s blog http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ September 20 Amber Norris at Joe Vasicek’s blog http://onelowerlight.com/writing September 21 Lilly Cain at Anne Kane’s blog http://www.annekane.wordpress.com/ September 22 Joe Vasicek at Frances Pauli’s blog http://francespauli.blogspot.com/ September 23 Lisa Lane at Gary Starta’s blog http://godsmachinesandroids.blogspot.com/ September 24 Melisse Aires at Lilly Cain’s blog http://www.annekane.wordpress.com/ September 25 Anne Kane at Lisa Lane’s blog http://newsensuality.blogspot.com Let's make this year's tour even better than the last!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Android rights... Artificial vs. Organic...

GODS OF THE MACHINES EXCERPT – Android Rights “What are we doing here?” Sam posed the question not really prepared for the answer. He could hear his heart pound. He licked his lips for moisture. “I think we should just cool it until we’ve settled this investigation.” Sam didn’t like Sandra’s answer. But it was logical. “And I’ve got to hand it to you Sam. You’re doing a swell job of crucifying Mr. Starkman.” “Hey, I didn’t know I was being monitored. I only wanted evidence. I didn’t know Mikasa would propose any recall.” Sam leaned back on a recliner, his new favorite resting space in the commune’s living quarters. The bedroom had somehow been transformed into a land mine of sorts over the past few days. For the past two nights, Benson had dozed on the recliner for half the night, waiting for Sandra to fall sound asleep. He feared intimacy right now, believing any attempt would only further estrange his fiancé from him. “You’ve helped to set a precedent – a very dangerous one I may add,” Sandra reminded Sam as he slid out of his cleats. “If the Earth governments allow this, the manufacturer can recall the androids at any time. It could destroy the whole rights movement.” “Well, I don’t like this Mikasa – his ‘generosity’ bothers me. I don’t think his objective is to take away fear. I think it’s about control.” “I’m glad you at least see that, Sam.” “I see things pretty clearly.” His upper lip twitched. He felt like breaking down. It seemed every word he uttered sent him another step away from Sandra – even here in the living room. He cringed, hoping his comment wouldn’t invite further verbal retaliation. But Sandra remained silent. “You know.” Benson stated pensively, “I spent our wedding day chasing a damn bee.” “It’s all part of the job.” Sandra laughed, but it came out sarcastic. “You know I don’t hate all machines, all artificial life. I do think the android might have been manipulated.” “How? By Mikasa, by Abassian?” “That’s possible. But I think the answer’s closer to home. I think some jealous spouses put Mr. Starkman up to this. But the evidence will bear this out once the search is conducted. And either way, I think Abassian will show the android is not defective.” “But Sam, Abassian’s bees were made by Mikasa’s firm. He’s not going to refute the man who made his dream possible.” “I already know as much. I talked with Abassian today. But what if Mikasa is holding something over Abassian’s head? If we establish guilt on the part of Mikasa, Abassian might reconsider his loyalty.” “Well Sam. What be Mikasa’s motive?” “He’s been awfully cooperative about passing the android bill of rights. I find that odd since he currently benefits from their free labor.” “How about if he changed his game plan? A savvy CEO would change with the times…” “So, Sandra, are you suggesting that Mikasa is after Starkman’s programming?’ “It makes perfect sense. Starkman’s technology is not patented. It couldn’t have been because Dr. McElroy created it illegally. So that leaves a big door open. Mikasa can simply take the technology McElroy created, patent it, and then become the exclusive manufacturer.” “Not if I can help it, Sandra. I’m not going to allow the recall. I’m still in charge of this investigation. If Starkman is guilty, he’ll be sentenced like any human. I won’t allow him to be violated. You’ve got my word on that.” “I hope so for Starkman’s sake.”