Good morning, everyone. I have a special guest visiting me today, and I’m thrilled to be a part of  the blog tour promoting her new sci-fi romance novella, Mission to New Earth. Diane Burton and I met via the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and she graciously allowed herself to be my guinea pig…uh, I mean guest for my first author interview. We both came out relatively unscathed by the experience. I could get used to this.

In addition to the interview, I’ve included an excerpt from the book, and there’s even a Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post.










Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.


Marsh strode toward me with determination—so different from that easy-going swagger that caught my eye the first time I saw him four years ago at the White Sands Training Center. I never believed in love at first sight, but oh, mama. With dark-haired, dark-eyed Marsh, I fell hard. I must’ve done a great job hiding my feelings back then. He said he never knew—until a year later I pinned him on the exercise mat and kissed him. Yep, I took the initiative and planted a toe-curling smooch on his delectable lips. Not to be outdone, he kissed back. Holy smoke. If I’d known what a great kisser he was, I’d have done it sooner. He said he’d been biding his time, waiting for me to catch up. According to him, one look into my “gorgeous blue eyes” and he was a goner, too.

“We need to talk,” he said as he blasted past me toward our quarters.

What? I looked around. Where was the rest of my team? Marsh took an impatient whack at the mistletoe ball hung from a garland. Oh, boy. What had gotten into him?

Bill and Tom trailed behind Marsh with Gloria and Ana bringing up the rear. Like me, they wore forest green jumpsuits, and they did not look pleased. Glum was a better word.

The last simulation wasn’t that bad. A couple of glitches with last-minute corrections. Maybe a reminder to one person or another. I thought we did well. Glitches happened. No need for concern. Or was there? What didn’t I know?

Bill hung back and waited for me to catch up. “He’s right. We need to talk without Big Brother listening.”

The last he delivered in a whisper with a wink and a nudge. Since we were close in height, he didn’t have to bend down, just leaned his ginger head next to my dark one. Loved that term ginger for hair color. Doctor Who always wanted ginger hair. Bill often reminded me of the classic sci-fi show from the late 20th century.

I tried not to smile at his reference to George Orwell’s 1984, required reading in my elementary school. Considering all the cameras located throughout the station, Big Brother was an appropriate appellation.

“I assume Marsh has a place in mind?” I matched my stride to Bill’s, the most easy-going of our team. Bill was a guy’s guy. Best friend to everyone.

“Yeah, he does.”

Good thing. We couldn’t just take a walk outside, unless we could breathe methane. Titan was a trifle inhospitable. In preparation for our mission, the United Earth Space Agency established Saturn’s largest moon as our launch platform. Connected habitats, added before we arrived, evolved into crew quarters, conference and training rooms, and general meeting areas. We weren’t absolutely sure, but we thought our quarters were monitored—something I’d queried but received no definitive response. None of us were happy about that. But then in four days, we’d be on camera all the time. That was the second worst thing I feared about our voyage.

As we followed, Marsh strode across the corridor to the left. The only private place down there was a lavatory. Not my favorite destination for a team meeting. But beggars couldn’t be choosers, as my mom used to say.

“We screwed up again,” Marsh announced as soon as the five of us joined him. His voice echoed off the hard surfaces. “In RT, it could kill us.”

“You and your damn RT,” Tom spat out. “Why can’t you just say real-time like a normal person?”


Without further ado, onto the interview!

Eva: So, Diane, tell us about you.Where do you live? Where would you love to live?

Diane: I live on the west coast of Michigan, fifteen minutes from Lake Michigan. We moved here three years ago to be closer to our daughter and her family. After moving around the Midwest for Hubs’ job this was the best move we ever made. Love the time with the grandkiddies. This is exactly where I want to live. Except . . . (see next question)

Eva: I’m curious about your family. Married? Kids? Pets?

Diane: I met my husband 44 years ago on a blind date. We have 2 children. Our daughter lives nearby with her husband and 2 children. Our son lives in Phoenix with his wife and toddler girl. We’re looking forward to spending time with them this winter. Now I just have to convince Hubs we need to spend most of the winter in Arizona.

Eva: What does your family think of your writing?

Diane: They’re very supportive. Hubs fixes dinner and does laundry when I’m buried. My adult children tell my how proud they are, and my grandkids think it’s pretty cool that their Nana writes books, even though they know they can’t read them until they’re older. They like to tell stories, too, so we write them and print them out, which they say is even better.

Now About Writing

Eva: What is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

Diane: How helpful, generous, and supportive other writers are. An example of this is Insecure Writers Support Group, which is how I met you, Eva. I also belong to other writer groups who are supportive as well. I’ve also learned you have to be flexible. This industry changes quickly. You either adapt or stagnate.

Eva: What was your road to publication like? Smooth sailing or rocky cruise?

Diane: Definitely not smooth sailing. I wrote for ten years before my book was accepted by a small niche publisher. Another ten years passed (life intrusions) before I tried self-publication. In the 5 years since I’ve had one book pubbed by a small press and self-pubbed 9 more. I’m very happy self-pubbing. I hire a freelance editor and a cover artist. Although I’m a DIY girl from way back, those two jobs are best left to the professionals.

Eva: What is your favorite genre to read? Is it what you write?

Diane: I read so much. Love romantic suspense, sci-fi romance, cozy mysteries, Young Adult, military/action-adventure. All of that except military, but my books all contain action/adventure. I have a YA finished but not ready for publication. Someday…

Eva: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Diane: The ideas come from anywhere: newspaper, magazines, thin air. The information is another story. I love the internet. Saves so much time traveling to the library, etc. I’m careful about what I find, though, and make sure that I have several sources. The worst part is falling down the Black Hole (a term I didn’t make up) of research. That’s when you see those links in the sidebar and follow them. Then see more and follow them. Great that I find out so much. Bad that I’m not writing.

Just for Fun  🙂

Eva: What was one of the best Christmas presents you ever received?

Diane: My 2nd best gift was a Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was 10. It led to a lifelong hobby of photography. My absolute best Christmas presents were my children. My daughter was born 2 weeks before Christmas, son was born 2 weeks after Christmas, a year apart.

Eva: Name your favorite children’s story.

Diane: Anne of Green Gables. But I have another one I’d like to share. My grandmother gave my sister and me a set of books called My Book House. Each volume had stories appropriate to an age group or grade. The 1st book was nursery rhymes, 2nd short kiddie stories, 3rd fairy tales, etc. The 1st book was well used, pages are torn and falling out. The 12th book looks brand new. Although I’m the oldest of 7, none of the others read the books. They’re now mine, and I share them with my grandkids.

Eva: What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

Diane: I can’t think of anything I couldn’t live without. If I had to, I’d adapt. But I think flush toilets would top my list of what I don’t ever want to live without.

Eva: What are your three favorite smells?

Diane: A baby, almond flavoring, bacon.

Eva: Nice. I love the smell of babies, too. What music do you listen to? And do you listen to it while you write?

Diane: Soft rock or Golden Oldies, but never while I write. The lyrics play in my head, and I can’t concentrate. Sometimes I’ll listen to classical music (no words) or Andrea Bocelli’s songs in Italian.

Eva: Can you tell us a little about your latest work?

Diane:  Of course. Mission to New Earth is about a group of astronauts preparing to explore a planet in the “Goldilocks” zone where the conditions are just right for humans. The story is told by the commander of the mission, Sara Grenard.

You can find it at any of the links below.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ ARe ~ Smashwords ~ Barnes & Noble

Eva: Thank you for joining me today and making my first ever author interview easy and painless.

Diane: It’s been my pleasure, and thank you for having me.



Enter for a chance to win a copy of MISSION TO NEW EARTH.

Here’s the Rafflecopter link:


About the Author

diane-burtonDiane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies How I Met My Husband and Portals: A Gateway to Science Fiction Romance Vol. 2. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

So, how do you think my first interview went? Planning on reading the book or entering the giveaway?



Good morning all and welcome to Monday Book Reviews. Today I’ll be reviewing Seeds of a New Birth – Book One of the Kindred Series, by Orrin Jason Bradford. I believe the series is a trilogy.





RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ / ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥





Unlocking the Potential of the Human Mind
Scientific Breakthrough… Or a Really Bad Idea?

Research geneticist and genetic engineer, Lionel Adams is onto something hot –the key to unlocking the vast reserves of the human mind. Everyone is interested in it. Bio Vita Tech, the genetics research lab he works for, is excited about the possibilities and the potential mega-profits. So are their foreign competitors who are counting on their inside man at Bio Vita to deliver Adam’s secret into their hands.

Everyone seems to want a sample of Adam’s formula, except his college buddy, Flip MacDougal, who makes a surprise visit to Bio Vita to play a practical joke on his old friend. Unfortunately, it’s Flip who ends up with the sample. His world is turned upside down as he struggles and maneuvers his way through the trouble he has gotten himself into as he unwittingly spreads his “gift” to others.


While research scientist Lionel Adams is working one night on a secret genetic engineering project, his old college friend, Flip MacDougal pays him a visit. Flip, a smooth-talking ladies man, convinces Lionel’s secretary Debbie to lend him her keycard so he can enter his secure research lab. He wants to ‘prank’ him. In return, he’ll take her out to dinner.

After Flip startles Lionel in the lab, he accidentally knocks over a beaker of liquid that’s on the counter which contains Lionel’s most recent project ‘alteration’ – It turns out to be bio-genetically active recombinant DNA. He advises Flip to go to the bathroom and wash his hands with soap. When he gets there, he decides that nature’s call comes first. He washes his hands when he’s done.

He subsequently takes Debbie out to dinner and back to his hotel room, and you can guess the rest. Flip finds himself falling madly for her after that first night. When she declines his invitation for a second date because she has plans, he goes back into his player mode, flying out the following afternoon to see one of his lady friends. It’s on this trip that he finds out that he is being used as a ‘boy toy’ by a group of professional women. With his male ego shattered, he makes trips to various cities, visiting each one for a final tryst and confrontation.

Because of his lack of personal hygiene back at the lab, each woman ends up becoming impregnated with girls by him despite the fact that he’s had a vasectomy and each woman is either sterile or on birth control of some kind. The fetuses are growing at an alarming fast rate.

Lionel must now report the leak to the corporate sponsor who funded the grants for his research. The sponsor sends their own researcher to work with him. How many women are there? Has he taken his experiment too far in the name of science and profit?

I liked the premise of this story. The idea of genetically altered DNA that unlocks the possibilities of the mind – telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc. makes for awesome science fiction writing. There was so much potential here and the plot wasn’t bad. There were some parts I didn’t see coming, and I liked that.

I was pulled out of the story more times than I wanted to be. Suspending reality in fiction is expected, especially in science fiction. The problem is, it still has to be believable. The setting is in modern day and the location is an ultra secure research facility. First of all, no one can gain access with a little sweet talk and the promise of a date. Second, even a lay person knows that a leak of any potentially dangerous/hazardous specimens calls for an immediate lockdown and/or quarantine until whatever implemented safety protocols are initiated. It would be like me gaining access to the CDC by batting my eyelashes, entering the labs, checking out all the vials, and asking “What are these?”, and then being told to go wash my hands in the bathroom down the hall with soap after opening a vial containing a deadly virus – thus contaminating everything and everyone I come into contact with. It is not going to happen.

As a reader, it seemed to me that the author wanted to get past the more uninteresting parts of the writing to get to the ‘action’. I mentioned earlier that the premise and plot were good, but the accident scene fell flat with me. The writing wasn’t bad, and the characters were okay.

Overall, this was an okay read. I may read the second book in the series if it is highly discounted or a free download on Amazon (as this one was). I’m rounding it up to three hearts because I really liked the premise, plot, and the story. I feel it has a lot of potential for improvement. Perhaps in a future edition?

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ / ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥



OBOrrin Jason Bradford is the pen name for speculative fiction author, W. Bradford Swift, who chose to use a pen name for The Kindred Series to make it clear to his Young Adult fantasy readers that these books are of another breed entirely. Currently the series includes Seeds of a New Birth and book two, Seeds of a New Power.

Dr. Swift is a graduate of Clarion West in Seattle where he honed his skill and passion for writing fantasy and science fiction. These two genres are forms of visionary fiction – fiction that first and foremost entertains while also enlightening and encouraging the reader to embrace greater possibilities in their own lives.  Giving back to future generations of young adults and adults through visionary fiction and non-fiction is an integral part Swift’s legacy of a life on purpose. To learn more about additional books by the author go to: www.wbradfordswift.com  and amazon.com/author/wbradfordswift






Alex J. Cavanaugh – CassaSeries TRILOGY

Hey everyone! As I’m sure you’re aware from my earlier reviews of Alex J. Cavanaugh‘s space opera books CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, I’ve become a fan of his work.

CassaSeries-Trilogy I just want to let you all know that the entire Cassa Series Trilogy is now available! If you click on the individual titles above, you can read each of my reviews.  🙂

By Alex J. Cavanaugh
ISBN 9781939844118
Price – $5.99 eBook boxed set
Science fiction/adventure (FIC028010)
Science fiction/space opera (FIC028030)

The Amazon Best-Selling Series!

CassaStar – Few options remain for Byron. Slated to train as a Cosbolt pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth to his instructor, Bassa. As war brews on the edge of space, Bassa must make a decision that could decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission destined to stretch their abilities to the limit?

CassaFire – Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters behind him, the detection of alien ruins sends him to the planet of Tgren. Forced to train a Tgren named Athee and deal with an eager young scientist, he feels invaded. Tensions mount as the ruins reveal a potential weapon, plunging him further into the chaos. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

CassaStorm – Commanding the base on Tgren, Byron watches as a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the planet. When the war hits Tgren, it triggers nightmares in his son. The ancient alien ship begins transmitting a deadly code and the probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago returns. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Find it at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Goodreads


ajcABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He is the author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.


Dragon of the Stars – BOOK RELEASE BLITZ!

Good morning fellow bloggers and friends! I’ve got a special treat for you today. 🙂 Alex J. Cavanaugh, one of my mentors, fellow bloggers, friends, and virtually adopted brother has released his fourth book today – Dragon of the Stars! We’re celebrating it by having a book release BLITZ! Check out the Scavenger Hunt for details and make sure you visit Alex’s blog and all participants for the best shot at winning and autographed copy and some SWAG!


Comment to win an autographed copy of Dragon of the Stars, tons of bookmarks & postcards, and a $20.00 iTunes gift card–where is Mini-Alex? Visit Alex HERE for a list of the participants. (Open through April 11 – winner announced April 13 at Alex’s blog.)

Available today!

Dragon of the Stars - Alex J CavanaughDragon of the Stars

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

Science Fiction–Space Opera/Adventure/Military

Print ISBN 9781939844064

EBook ISBN 978193



The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?


Amazon –  Barnes and Noble –  Kobo Chapters Amazon UK Goodreads – iTunes – Amazon print – Overdrive

ajc About the Author: Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.




Mini Alex 11

I hope you take this opportunity to enjoy this Blitz. I know I am! I love trying to win stuff. 😀 As you probably already know, I already read and reviewed Alex’s first three books and CANNOT wait to read this one. I never thought I’d enjoy space opera this much.

CassaStorm – BOOK REVIEW

Hey bloggers! I’m trying to play a bit of catch up with my reviews, so today I’ll be reviewing CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since I’m working the A-Z Challenge, there will be a few reviews set up in my queue through April. It’s a busy month for sure! Expect a couple more book reviews to pop up over the course of the month. 🙂



Book:  CassaStorm

Author:  Alex J. Cavanaugh

Genre:  Space Opera

Hearts:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥   4.5/5.0


My Review:

I’m glad I was able to read all three books in the series. I enjoyed them immensely. If Mr. Cavanaugh’s books are indicative of the Space Opera genre, I’ll definitely be reading more of them.

Forty years earlier, Byron helped end the Vindicarn War and became a hero in the process. But it wasn’t without sacrifice and great personal loss. Twenty years after, he finds new friendship, a loving mate, and gets back in the pilot’s seat to prevent a catastrophe from eliminating the planet Tgren. I just summed up the first two books in two sentences.

Now Byron is twenty years older, married, and has a young, mixed-raced (half-Cassan/half-Tgren) son named Bassan. He no longer flies an explorer ship, and his days as a fighter pilot are over. As Commander of a Cassan base on Tgren, all he has to worry about are occasional stray attacks and appeasing the egos of the Tgren prefects and bureaucrats. Or so he thinks…

Bassan doesn’t have many friends because of his ‘half-breed’ status, so he is bullied often. Drent is his closest friend and mixed race, too. He is the son of Senior Science Officer Mevine, Byron’s close friend. Bassan doesn’t have an interest in flying like his parents do. He’s more interested in the scientific and technological aspect of things. He is excited beyond belief when his class takes a field trip to the alien ship where Officer Mevine works.

Parents can tell kids ‘Look, but don’t touch’, as much as they like, but…I guess they don’t listen in space either. Soon after the trip, Bassan starts having terrorizing nightmares; the alien ship on Tgren starts sending signals from a once dormant console. Soon the other planets in the system begin uncovering alien ships on their own planets too.

The uncomfortable truce between the Cassans and Vindicarn is gone and there is fighting again as other planets ally: some with the Cassans and some with the Vindicarns. It’s only a matter of time before an all out war galactic war takes place and it must be stopped. Byron figures out that Bassan is somehow connected to what is happening. I can’t say much more without giving away spoilers, but the ending DID NOT disappoint!

As always, Mr. Cavanaugh fleshed out his characters well and I was impressed with Bassan and how he handled his ‘growing pains’. I didn’t notice any grammatical or spelling errors in this final book of the trilogy.

What bothered me a little: Byron, Byron. I love him. I do. He’s come a long way since the first book; he still some issues he needs to work on. It may just be me, but I hoped personal connections would have been easier for him by now, particularly with Bassan. It was good watching their relationship evolve through the book, but having a closer relationship earlier would have been nice.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It can been read as a stand alone, but if you truly want to know who Byron is as a person, I would suggest starting from Book 1.

FINAL RATING:    Hearts:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥   4.5/5.0


About the author:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.
P.S. #WhataretheKarGrandes