Thursday, July 14, 2011

Caught In Time (Alysian Universe Series) by Sheron Wood McCartha

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Rowyna Grae always thought she was human until the day that Arwoyn Telluria reveals that she was created in his test lab using parts of his DNA, most specifically his gene for time traveling-- since he was dying and the last of the time travelers. 

He confides that she had come to him as a young boy telling him that she was from the far future on a critical mission to save their world of Alysia. But things go awry. Arwoyn dies, the new regime wants to turn her into a stealth assassin and Richard Steele, the new Timelab assistant sends her back in time to the wrong place and loses her. She lands with dangerously packed bags that contain a gun, an alien crystal and a book. She finds herself a thousand years into the past at the king's hunting lodge with an agenda to kill the king who started a mutant strain of Talents. But, before a day has passed, she manages to kill six men defending herself against robbers, rapists and, of course, falls in love with the man she is meant to assassinate. 

She creates havoc as she changes the past and reorders Richard's world up the timestream. The Medieval past isn't so charming when there is no running water, no central heat, betrayal and intrigue at the royal court and war on the horizon. What's a replicant, who doesn't even know if she's human, to do? Read and find out.

Gun Magic: Excerpt of Caught in Time

“Come here,” said the robber named Gratch. He took her face roughly into his hands and began to kiss her sloppily while making strange grunting noises. At the same time, his hand reached to grope inside her blouse. She pushed back.“Stop that,” she said angrily jerking back. “What are you doing?”

“I said you were to do as I tell you!” he answered grabbing her hair and yanking her head back. “Be still.” Her eyes went wide. They filled with understanding.

Then Gratch started tugging at her blouse again. Suddenly she kneed him sharply in the groin and the palm of her hand came up under his chin jarring his head back with a snap. He grunted in surprise and dropped her hair, as she spun away from him almost dancing. A breast bobbed, tantalizingly ready to spill out of the flimsy blouse.

She responded indignantly, “I said to leave me alone.” Gratch looked at her in complete surprise and then growing anger.

The men lurched forward, but Gratch waved them back. He wavered in front of her. Staring angrily at her, he fumbled for something in his jacket. A knife flashed into his hand. “You’ve asked for it now. I warned you sweetling.”

An intake of breath could be heard from the men.

The captured king thought he heard her mumble words that sounded like, “Do it now.” But that couldn’t be right. Was she encouraging this butcher? She appeared to be breathing heavily. Did the violence excite her? He stared in astonished confusion.

“You will pay for that,” Gratch growled as he moved jerkily towards her, a sword in one hand and a knife in the other. She stepped further back and then Arvast heard a loud noise and her hand jumped. He saw a startled look cross Gratch’s face and then he saw him grab at his stomach. Curiously, Gratch sat down on the ground as the knife dangled from his hand and then fell to the ground. He held onto the sword. The men didn’t seem to know what was happening either. One started towards her, and Arvast heard the sound again as that robber collapsed. Blood spread out from one of his dirty shirt buttons. The rest of the men stood frozen in disbelief.

Staring at her, a look of shock etched Gratch’s face. She moved in towards him muttering a few words, as she lifted her skirt and kicked savagely at his face. He slumped backwards and lay still. The sword slipped from his fingers. Everything happened in the blink of an eye. Then, someone yelled and she whirled and a flash of light and sharp sound erupted from her hand again. Nearby, another robber slumped to the ground.

With all eyes on her, the king saw his opportunity and moved into action. He turned to his captor, who stood stupidly staring around him, jerked loose and slugged him in the face. Caught off guard, the thief went down. Arvast bent over and grabbed the unconscious man’s knife from his hand.

About Sheron Wood McCartha

I am a Northwest writer who loves science fiction. I have been writing a long while in between jobs of high school teacher, banker, stockbroker, artist, and art gallery manager. I am married with a lovely daughter and great husband. Over that span of time I have put together several manuscripts that I am now editing and getting ready to publish.

Interview with Sheron Wood McCartha

What will readers like about your books?

My readers will like the fun of the read. There is no deep message, no critical information that will change your life or show you how to lose weight, or make more money. It is like a bar of good chocolate that you savor, but lasts longer. It costs less than a cup of coffee, but has the same stimulating effect. The reader is plunged into a world of the past with a heroine who struggles to survive and deal with a self-absorbed king that she finds herself falling in love with against all better judgment. The dialog is fun and the action continuous. 

As she meets new situations and reacts, she changes the past and that changes the future where poor Richard Steele has to deal with the consequences…and most often they are not the pleasant kind. He is thrown into various different timelines because of her actions. He finds himself on the whip end of events and he becomes desperate to get her back…that is if he can locate her and the time machine is still working, and she wants to come back.

Why did you self publish?

As I wrote, occasionally I would submit. First, however, I attended many conferences and workshops. The publishing industry seemed to have so many secret rules and exact procedures that it made my head swim. There were strict formulas to adhere to while they kept saying that they wanted the material to be "fresh". I submitted to TOR, the top publisher of science fiction and then Simon and Schuster. I was told I needed an agent, preferably one in New York. I knew no one. It was easier to get a doctor. And I didn't take rejection well, especially via form letters. I knew some of the best writers had been rejected many times...I knew that in my brain, but emotionally it was still hard to submit again and then again. But I did. 

I submitted a synopsis and first three chapters to Baen Books...and waited...and waited. I wrote them eight months later saying that I was going to submit elsewhere and they wrote that they wanted to see the whole manuscript. They were interested. I took a month to put a bright polish on it and sent it out...and waited. I got discouraged, but I still kept writing and rewriting my other books. My beta readers loved the stories and encouraged me to get published. I told them, "Easy for you to say." They had no idea. A year later I was at a writer's conference and I mentioned how angry I was that I hadn't heard a word-- not even a cold cruel form rejection from Baen. My fellow writer turned to me and said, "Didn't you hear that Jim Baen died?" Well, no I hadn't heard and wasn't that a poor excuse for not responding.

So when Amazon said they would publish my book at no charge and I could put it up and sell it on Amazon without any deaths involved, I jumped at the chance...and became an Indie author. No agent needed.

What is your writing process?

I get my best inspiration around 3:00 a.m. Yes, a.m. It is hard to find pen and paper, or now, my iPad at that hour. I also get great ideas in the shower when it is also hard to use the iPad. No waterproof model yet. And the hair dryer seems to blow away all the really great ideas. My second book, A Dangerous Talent for Time was called Riddlequest for a long time because it has a fun worldwide search for pieces of a riddle in it. Then Google came along and I discovered that someone else had already used the title. Sometimes technology makes me cry. So for a long time it was the X titled book and then one day it just came to me and I liked the title. I don't remember the time or location...or whether I was wet or dry.

While I was waiting for word from a publisher, or was just too discouraged to hunt for an agent or resubmit, I'd say that I was done with my guys, that I had better things to occupy my busy life than writing about time traveling, world saving, smart talking characters that seemed to decide what they were going to do in my books regardless of my wishes. So I'd be done with them, BUT, they would sneak into my head while I was trying to get to sleep and suggest that it would be fun to have Hieronymous' mother be a time traveling clone. 

Okay we did that book. Then, when Arwoyn was developing his clone experiments, his first two attempts were male clones. Whatever happened to them? What if one didn't know that he was a clone or that he could time travel, but others knew? And tried to kill him? Yipes! I really wanted to get my beauty rest, but these questions kept me awake. So I wrote his book. Done. Then an alien probe crash lands on Alysia and we are worried about what we're going to do about it? Next book guys. How about build a space ship and check it out? Now we're at three, or is it four?

Then I found out that I liked to get even, and I would put my characters in impossible situations and see how they could wriggle out. How about their two moons colliding? How about an alien invasion, but not what you would expect. Meeting aliens in space? What would they look like? What would they do? How about...

Then the world changed and Bezo created Amazon and the Kindle. Steve Jobs shifted a paradigm with the Ipad and we are still scrambling to see what the new future is going to look like for books and reading

What inspired you?

Science fiction has been one of my passions for a long time thanks to my father's influence. There were times my mother would go hunting for him and find him hiding out in the bathroom avidly reading some science fiction book as if it were a forbidden treat. I now understand this behavior, especially since we were four kids at home. Sometimes I read in out--of-the-way places too, feeling as if I am partaking in some guilty pleasure.

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