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Be Careful What You Eat

Today on My Pet Blog, we’re turning things over to awesome author Tyrean Martinson who’s here to talk about her new book, Nexus, as well as the role of food and beverage in fiction.

Take it away, Tyrean!

The Role of Food and Beverage can change with every situation in a fictional setting, just as it can in life. Characters may gain comfort from food. Characters may proclaim or take note of other character’s politics, class, and culture through food and beverage. In some novels, food and beverage take center stage as a plot point. This happens in two situations: when food is poisonous, or when food is necessary for survival.

In the case of food poisoning, either purposeful poisoning or accidental poisoning, food or beverage becomes a key ingredient to understanding the mystery or dilemma in a novel. The main character may poison someone else, be poisoned, or solve the mystery of a poisoning. The main character may suffer from a major food allergy which causes them to react as if they’ve been poisoned. One of my writing instructors years ago said that “Characters should only eat in a novel if the food is poisoned, otherwise it’s a waste of time.” While I believe food and beverage can be used to create a deeper understanding character or world-building, she did have a point. Food and beverage can be in a book for a purpose. If you’re reading or writing a mystery, it is possible the food has a nefarious purpose.

In many survival stories, food and beverage or food and water are key factors in the plot because the characters need them. In The Hunger Games, Katniss becomes a hunter to help her family survive and this ability helps her survive the games. In a pure survivalist novel like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the main character must hunt and find food so he doesn’t starve. Drinkable water is an issue in the old science fiction film Waterworld, in which the entire Earth is covered by ocean water. In the recent Netflix series, Away, the astronauts on the way to Mars struggle to have enough water to drink and to water their plants in a hydroponics lab. 

Food and water (beverages) are key elements for life and health and can be key elements in a plot. 

What books have you read with food and beverage as plot points?

For the other posts in this series of Food and Beverages in Fiction, please go to Chrys Fey’s Blog, or H.R. Sinclair’s Blog.

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana. Nexus: The Rayatana Book 2 is available all online, retail, and all ebook platforms.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyrean Martinson is a word hunter. She forages for words both sweet and tart in the South Sound of Washington State. An eclectic writer, she writes speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, short scripts, devotions, writing books, song lyrics, and poetry. She has been a fencer (long ago), a kickboxer (for a short minute), and an action-movie fan. Tyrean is a life-long book lover, a Christ follower, and walker. Once upon a time, she was a Girl Scout who sang too loudly, and now she’s a podcaster and praise team member. Since childhood, her imagination has been swept away by fairy tales, science fiction, tales of overcoming the odds, and redemption arcs.

Find her online at:

Tyrean’s Writing Spot Blog | Tyrean’s Tales | Instagram

Twitter | Words Takes Flight

Will You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

Hey, everyone!

Today, we’re celebrating the release of Patricia Josephine’s latest book, The Cure, with a good old-fashioned quiz to determine that age-old question…

WOULD YOU SURVIVE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?

(NOTE: Despite my impressive (if I do say so myself) collection of swords and daggers, I would not survive the zombie apocalypse.)

You wake up and find the zombie apocalypse has started. What do you do?

A: Take stock of anything you can use as a weapon, secure your home, and take stock of what food you have and how long it will last.

B: Get a closer to look at a so-called zombie. This can’t be real.

C: Barricade yourself in your home and freak out.

Which of the following weapons would you use to kill zombies?

A: Gun.

B: Knife.

C: Baseball bat.

You’re making your way downtown in hopes of finding supplies. Along the way, you see a group of 4 zombies. They appear to be eating some unlucky sap. How do you get around them?

A: Backtrack and take a different route.

B: Run in with guns blazing and take them out.

C: Throw something that makes noise and causes the zombies to follow it.

Someone you love is now a zombie. How do you react?

A: Shoot them and put them out of their misery. It’s what you’d want if the roles were reversed.

B: Sob.

C: Capture them and put them somewhere secure in hopes of someone finding a cure.

You’ve found a group of survivors, but they don’t trust you’re not infected. How do you gain their trust?

A: Put your hands up and back away to show you are no threat. Leave. It’s not worth trying to reason with them.

B: Strip and show to show that you are not infected, setting all your weapons aside.

C: Insist that you are not infected, motioning to visible skin and lack of blood on your clothing.

Results

If you answered mostly A then you’ll survive. You take survival seriously and don’t take unnecessary risks. You’ll either do it alone or find people you trust. You may even end up the leader of the group.

If you answered mostly B then you are screwed. You don’t take stock of your surroundings, don’t exercises caution, and think you are invincible. And now you’re a zombie.

If you answered mostly C then you have a chance. Sure, the concept of the zombie apocalypse freaked you out, but you’ve calmed down and you’re hoping with enough gumption you’ll make it. If not, you at least plan on taking out as many as you can first.

Every human in the world becomes a zombie when they die. But Erin refuses to accept the world as it is now. She’s heard about a cure locked away in a lab in Upper Michigan, and she plans on retrieving it. To do so, she needs a zombie. Not just any zombie, though.

Zee is Erin’s link to the lab. His connection to the living world is her bargaining chip. But only if she can teach him to control his mindless impulses.

Can a zombie be trained? Or will Erin be Zee’s next meal and become a zombie herself? The fate of humanity rests in her hands.

NOW AVAILABLE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patricia never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, though, and now she can’t stop writing.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Short Fiction Challenge

Hello, everyone!

Today, author Patricia Josephine is here to talk about the challenges of writing short fiction. It’s all part of the celebration for her latest release, a collection of—you’ve guessed it—short fiction.

The Challenge of Writing Short Fiction

You may think writing a 200-word story isn’t that challenging, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some writers may actually say it’s harder than writing a full-length novel, and I know a few who don’t write shorter fiction because they can’t wrap their brains around it. Their muse only works in long form.

Writing short fiction is different from a novel. With novels, you have an unlimited number of words you can use to paint a picture for the reader. Short fiction you have restrictions on word count. You may only have 1000 words. You can even have as little as 50. When you have that limit, you are forced to choose more carefully. Your strokes have to be broader instead of going into minute details as you can with a novel.

The way I approach short fiction is similar to my novels. I just start writing. I figure out the story as I go and when I get to the end, I edit. I edit until the story is at the word limit I’ve imposed. That’s done by cutting descriptive words. The sentence doesn’t need the color of someone’s shirt for example. Thoughts the character has might get axed as well. If it doesn’t serve the basic story I want to tell, it can go.

Sometimes that doesn’t always work. Sometimes the story I’m trying to tell needs to be longer. When that happens, I stop worrying about word count and let it end as a novella or novel. I have a zombie apocalypse story I hope to release in the future that I initially intended to be 100 words. It ended at over 10,000!

Writing short fiction is a great exercise. It makes you think about word choices and their importance to the story. I encourage anyone who enjoys writing to give it a shot.

Magic.
Myths.
Fantasy.

We are bewitched by what we can’t see.

Conjure delight with a fantastical collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to delight your imagination no matter how busy your day is.

Will you believe?

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn’t regretted a moment. When she’s not writing, she’s watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She’s an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

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What’s In A Name?

Today, we’re turning things over to awesome author, Chrys Fey, who’s here to tell us about her latest release and give us some insider information about one of its main characters…

The question…

Why was Detective Thorn’s first name a secret in the Disaster Crimes series until Book 6, A Fighting Chance?

The answer…

Well, because I didn’t give him a first name. HAHA! Simple as that, really. He was Detective Thorn, and many officers or people with titles (such as doctors or individuals in the military) are often called by their surnames at work. Beth and Donovan met Thorn at the police station when he was working on the case against the murderers of Donovan’s brother, an Internal Affairs investigator. So, they called him Thorn, which is actually his surname but is how he’s known by everyone. There was never any need for me to give him a first name. Not until, that is, when Amanda wants to get to know him more and becomes curious about his first name. 

You and me both, honey.

In one scene, Amanda asks Beth what Thorn’s name is, but Beth doesn’t tell her, saying if Amanda wants to know, she needs to ask Thorn herself. It’s Beth’s way of encouraging the two of them closer. Beth knows his name. Donovan knows his name. But they aren’t telling Amanda. Or me.

I ended up posting a poll in my Facebook Group, Fey’s Sparklers, and asking them which name they liked more. A few of the names I had in the poll were: Nathanial, Timothy, Joshua, and Tyler. The name that got the most votes (not listed here) became Thorn’s first name.

Now you’re wondering, what is Thorn’s first name?

You’ll have to read A Fighting Chance to find out!

*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*

Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he’s worried the truth will frighten her away.

And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?

Now available at

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***FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME***

THE DISASTER CURSE

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TheFightingChance.org is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.

***GIVEAWAY***

Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle

ENTER HERE

About The Author

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Find Chrys online at:

 Newsletter / Website / Facebook Group /Blog / BookBub

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When Sci-Fi Tropes Attack

Hello, all! Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome amazing author Tyrean Martinson to the blog. She has a brand-new book out, and she’s stopping by My Pet Blog to talk about sci-fi tropes.

Take it away, Tyrean!

Tropes in fiction can be helpful for our understanding of plot and character in a fast-paced movie, show, or book. In science fiction, some tropes deepen the plot or help us get to the heart of the story faster. Some tropes, like the Ancient and Advanced Aliens trope, seem to be suited for any SciFi film or story where humans seem to need to learn a little humility, or to gain a new insight that our puny human minds couldn’t possibly achieve on our own.

Advanced and ancient aliens attempt to humble humanity when they:

  1. Threaten to annihilate our planet or human life in films like: Independence Day, War of the Worlds, Annihilation, Spectral, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Alien (Aliens).
  2. Show only mild interest in us, but don’t really take much time to interact because we aren’t worthy in films like: The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Contact, E.T., The Cat from Outer Space, The Last Starfighter, and to some extent, Farscape.
  3. Show up long enough to wow us, but not to hang out, because again, most of us are probably not “ready” yet for their level of awesomeness, like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Abyss.

Advanced and ancient aliens attempt to give our puny human minds new insights when they:

  1. Decide to grant us access to advanced technology only after we’ve shown we’re worthy, like in Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Doctor Who (only the companions get access). 
  2. Admit we (or individuals) might be contenders for their advanced technology after some kind of battle, test, or close shave with our own deaths, as in Stargate, The Arrival, Wonder Woman The Fifth Element, and Thor.
  3. Decide we might be worthy after we’ve helped them like in Transformers, and Superman.

While there are many types of human and alien interactions in science fiction, there are many examples of ultra-intelligent, god-like advanced and ancients aliens who seem to serve the purpose of teaching humanity a small dose of humility, although we certainly don’t always learn the lesson.

Do you like seeing/reading about advanced and ancient aliens who attempt to teach humanity about our own frailty or need for better technology? Or do you think aliens with advanced technology might have just as much to learn from us as we do from them?

In Liftoff, Amaya finds herself entangled in a Thousand Years’ War between two alien cultures who are more advanced than our own. Amaya gets a front row seat for alien contact and new insights into advanced alien technology, but that doesn’t mean she understands the culture of intolerance which has one of the side affects of the ongoing war between alien worlds.

A spaceship in disguise,

An Earth girl searching for a sense of home,

And a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,

All collide on a summer afternoon.

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles.

Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies.

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war?

Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai.

Available Now

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, short stories, novellas, and adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance.

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