Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Scientific Background for my Book Europa #SciFi Adventure & Romance



Whenever possible, I prefer to abide by current scientific knowledge in my stories. Since I have a degree in molecular biophysics, I claim to have a basic knowledge of physics and biology. In some of my stories, however, I may violate current theory in allowing faster than light travel, or extrapolate to teleportals.

My latest series, Taxyon Space, begins on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Europa is the fourth largest moon of Jupiter, and the second innermost of the Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Europa is about 400,000 miles from Jupiter. It orbits Jupiter in about 3.55 days with the same side always facing the gas planet like our moon.

Europa has a diameter of 1,900 miles, or a little smaller than Earth’s moon.
Its surface gravity of 0.134g is a little lower than that of our moon (0.16g) and less than on Mars (0.376g).
Much of our data for Europa came from NASA missions, such as Galileo (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/galileo/in-depth/ ).

Living on Europa
The moon is predicted to have a surface layer of ice over an ocean of water and iron-nickel core. The ice crust may be 10 or more miles thick, and the ocean may be >50 miles deep. The surface ice is probably thinner in places. It has reddish cracks in the ice, probably due to ocean tides caused by Jupiter. NASA has also recorded huge plumes of water vapor bursting out of the ice. The thin atmosphere of oxygen is not sufficient to breathe.

NASA Artist's Interpretation of Europa

The surface of Europa is inhospitable for life with extremely cold temperatures of around 250-350 Fahrenheit combined with intense and deadly radiation from Jupiter.
Instead of living on the surface of the moon, the scientists in my story reside in Galileo Station, located beneath the ice crust for protection against radiation and extreme cold.

My fictional Galileo Station on Europa consists of an Upper Station, nicknamed Topside, and a Lower Station, called Bathos. Topside lies within a water pocket or channel in the ice crust. It has a hatch on the surface that opens to allow a shuttle to land on a platform. Shuttles are used for research flights around Jupiter and to transport supplies from the ferry, a spaceship traveling from Earth to the inhabited planets or moons. Bathos was constructed on a plateau on the bottom of the ocean and houses manufacturing facilities, energy and food production. Temperatures near the seabed are likely to be comfortable for humans and may be fiery hot near volcanic vents. The two levels of Galileo Station are connected by cables for power and data transmission, an elevator called the Bullet, and vanes for energy generation from the tidal currents.

At the time of my story, less than 20 people, mostly scientists, live on Galileo Station. My heroine, a marine biologist, intends to study the life in the oceans of Europa.
The oceans of Europa have long been considered a likely location for extraterrestrial life. NASA’s Space tourism poster illustrates potential lifeforms. My story has intelligent jelsquid, animals that can morph between a disk-like jellyfish shape to a squid-like form with nine arms.

NASA Space Tourism Poster

My inspiration for the ocean life is drawn from Earth. The Europan oceans will be dark with little light penetrating through the ice crust. My heroine uses infrared goggles when she swims in the ocean to study the marine animals. We can consider similar habitats on Earth. A variety of unique animals and bacteria live in deep sea hydrothermal vents, and may feed on hydrogen sulfide emissions from the vent (http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-videos/hydrothermal-vent-creatures). Vibrant communities of animals also life under the ice caps of Earth (http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1647012_1416760,00.html). Even in the deep dark ocean, many animals have vivid colors and may be luminescent.
I have incorporated ideas from these real ecosystems in my vision of the Europan oceans.  



 Europa

SciFi adventure & alien romance. What alien creatures lurk under the icy surface of Europa?
Europa, Book 1 - Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay

 Rishalt

Two alien worlds. Two lovers torn apart. Can they weave the hyperthreads into unity
Rishalt, Book 2 - Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Planetary gravity - Snippet from RISHALT for #WeWriWa #SciFiRom



Welcome to another Sunday with Weekend Writing Warriors. Meet writers in various genres and read 8-10 sentence snippets of their stories. Find a new author and sample their work. Enjoy!

I’m posting snippets from Rishalt, Book 2 of Taxyon Space. The story begins on the submarine Galileo Station on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, shortly after the end of Book 1.

Rishalt, Book 2 of Taxyon Space

Draft Blurb
Kiron Arqin Ramis is summoned home by his family to the unwanted honor of a new triad and union with a high-ranked female. Unable to forget Nikki, he endures a perilous exile on a wilderness planet instead of complying with his family’s demands. But, the Triarchs have other plans for him.
Stakes are higher than the lives of two individuals. Earth leaders are desperate to acquire the aliens’ interstellar technology, while Warrish dispute the benefit of an alliance with inferiors. Can Nikki and Kiron pierce the barriers separating them to find happiness with provoking an unequal war?

The aliens’ strange sphere appeared in the ocean outside the submarine station. Nikki and two colleagues entered and spoke to the Warrish. 
You can read last week’s snippet here –
The final line was: None had red hair; Kiron was missing.
Due to the concern voiced about Kiron, I’m skipping the rest of the chapter where the aliens hand over a message cylinder for the leaders of Earthers. Chapter 2 gives Kiron’s perspective.

Kiron stepped out of the Qtrans into the atrium of the major spaceport on Rishalt. Planetary gravity hit him like a physical blow. Inhaling the humid, oxygen-rich atmosphere, he gave thanks for the ameliorating effect of grav-ease.
Orderly lines of people waited for the next ship, fresh troops bound for the battlefield, excited youngsters on an educational trip, and sober merchants. The crowd filled him with unease, eliciting spikes of alarm along his tense nerves. He had not been in a room with more than a dozen people during his four years as a Watcher. Before he had taken three paces toward the exit, a stout official accosted him.
Bowing with the exact degree of respect due to a younger son, he said, “Brin Arqin Ramis, let me be the first to offer a welcome to your home. Permit me to guide you to the greeting chamber where your esteemed family awaits your presence.”

 Rishalt

Rishalt is available for pre-order
Two alien worlds. Two lovers torn apart. Twist the hyperthreads into unity.


 Europa

Book 1, Europa, is on sale for 99c at: Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay

As always, I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.
Please return to www.wewriwa.com to sample the works of the other writers.

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.
Join me on Facebook  Twitter  Google+


Monday, February 12, 2018

Specials for Valentine's Day #SciFiRomance #Booklovers



Europa, Taxyon Space, Book 1
99c at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay
Daredevil scientist and scarred alien in perilous alliance.

 Europa



The Lady is Blue, Atrapako on Eden, Book 1 99c at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay
SciFi Romance. Feisty scientist solves puzzle of scaly aliens on the remote planet of Eden.
 Lady


Fight for freedom, Fight to survive! Tiger Lily seeks lost colony and finds her match
For refugees from an overcrowded Earth, dreams of a better life on an alien planet transform into a terrifying battle for survival. 
 Colony



 Hearts


FREE short story set in Taxyon Space – Lonely Hearts on Mars

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Missing Redhead - Snippet from RISHALT for #WeWriWa #SciFiRom




Welcome to another Sunday with Weekend Writing Warriors. Meet writers in various genres and read 8-10 sentence snippets of their stories. Find a new author and sample their work. Enjoy!

I’m posting snippets from the first Chapter of Rishalt, Book 2 of Taxyon Space. The story begins on the submarine Galileo Station on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, shortly after the end of Book 1.

Rishalt, Book 2 of Taxyon Space

Draft Blurb
Kiron Arqin Ramis is summoned home by his family to the unwanted honor of a new triad and union with a high-ranked female. Unable to forget Nikki, he endures a perilous exile on a wilderness planet instead of complying with his family’s demands. But, the Triarchs have other plans for him.
Stakes are higher than the lives of two individuals. Earth leaders are desperate to acquire the aliens’ interstellar technology, while Warrish dispute the benefit of an alliance with inferiors. Can Nikki and Kiron pierce the barriers separating them to find happiness with provoking an unequal war?

The aliens’ strange sphere has appeared in the ocean outside the submarine station. 
Final line: Director Foster said, “Major Tarlick is correct. We ought to meet them in their own element as a neighborly gesture.”
After debating whether it is hostile or not, Nikki, Al and Astrid swim out to the sphere.  

Note: I’ve skipped a few paragraphs and abused semicolons to fit into 8-10 sentences

A hundred meters ahead, the great sphere glistened beyond the extreme end of the Greenery, their hydroponic garden. She sped up, eager to reach her destination; halting a couple of paces in front of the membrane, she rotated upright and waited for the others.
Al jerked his chin at the sphere, his gruff voice rumbled in the mike, “Open the hatch, Nikki.”
She walked forward and touched her finger to the iridescent surface. A dimple formed, widening as she pushed. Spreading her fingers apart as if she were drawing aside a curtain, she stepped into the sphere. Two faint plops in the rear announced the entrance of her friends, and she heard Astrid’s indrawn breath of excitement.
An array of green-skinned men in white or brown tunics stared back at them. Nikki scanned their faces in a rapid glance, recognizing the men she had seen in their base. White-robed Triarch Webale stood in the middle of two triads - three men with the bicolored hair of the Gold Band Triad and three blue-haired men with blue star tattoos. None had red hair; Kiron was missing.


 Rishalt

Rishalt is now available for pre-order
Two alien worlds. Two lovers torn apart. Twist the hyperthreads into unity.

 Europa

Book 1, Europa, is on sale for 99c at: Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay


As always, I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.
Please return to www.wewriwa.com to sample the works of the other writers.

 MyBooks

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.
Join me on Facebook  Twitter  Google+


Thursday, February 8, 2018

New Release - DESTINATION: TITAN by Liza O'Connor


Prologue
Wearing a simple flowing robe, the old man stared out from his wrought-iron balcony to the quaint buildings below. “Is everything in place?”
“Yes, Your Holiness,” replied an eager young man in far more splendid robes.
“Failure is not an option.”
“We will not fail.  We have planned for every circumstance. Project Einstein will not succeed.”
“But it will not come back to us?”
“No, Your Eminence. No one will blame us for their demise.”
“How many back-up plans?”
“Seven.”
“Not enough.” His ancient hand quivered as it rested upon the metalwork. “Fifteen. I want fifteen plans, each certain to succeed without the blame reaching my feet.”
“I will see it done.”
The old man turned and studied his devotee. “You have doubts, Thomas?”
“It is not my place to doubt God’s work.”
“Earth is about to fall into an ice-age of such duration and frigid temperatures that nothing is expected to survive. So you wonder why God would wish to destroy one of our chances to continue mankind on a different planet.”
The man fell to his knees and pressed his forehead to the floor. “Forgive me, Your Holiness.”
The old man walked around the prostrate body and returned to his red velvet chair with authentic gemstones cresting each upholstery tack. He sat with a heavy sigh. “It is better for the human race to die in its entirety than to survive without God.” He stared up to the arching ceiling painted with clouds and angels. “The time has come to choose eternal Heaven or Hell.”
The young man’s head rose. “Yes!” His face filled with joy and wonderment. “I understand now.”
The old man’s head wobbled, perhaps in a nod. “Then go, and see God’s will is done. Only Project Chosen can succeed. Project Einstein must be destroyed, at all costs.”



Destination: Titan
By
Liza O’Connor
 Blurb

Excerpt
“So, you’re telling me I was chosen over every other biochemist in the world because my favorite color is orange.” Tamara tugged at a strand of her short blonde hair. Her mentor was the brightest man she knew, but this didn’t make any sense at all!
Maxwell’s eyes sparkled. “I love the way your brain tunnels in and isolates the key differentiator.”
“The fact I like the color orange should not be a key differentiator.”
Her mentor shrugged and paced the small, open space of the conference room. “Well, when all other things were equal, it became so. This project requires a top biochemist under the age of thirty, in excellent health, unmarried, with no constraints that would prevent traveling. There were quite a few scientists who met those requirements. Therefore, further differentiators were selected. The ability to work with teenagers dropped out all but two, and your clear preference for the color orange put you securely on top of the last remaining candidate.”
“But it’s a meaningless differentiator unless we’re going someplace that only has the color orange.” She fell silent as she considered that possibility. “Exactly how far will we be traveling?”
“Quite a distance.” His eyes twitched several times.
They only did that when he was conflicted, which told her she was asking the right question to discover whatever it was that he was under orders not to reveal. “Will we be traveling on Earth or away from it?”
The twitches intensified.
“Tam, I cannot tell you anything until you’ve agreed to go.”
“Jesus! We’re going to Titan, aren’t we?”
He removed his reading glasses and pressed his hand over his left eye to still the twitches. “I can neither confirm nor deny that.”
Titan: Saturn’s orange moon. Forty percent the size of Earth and rich in life-supporting chemicals. Bedrock composed of ice, rivers and seas of liquid methane, and enough hydrocarbons to heat the Earth for a thousand years.
“What is the purpose of the trip?”
“I cannot tell you anything until you agree to go.”
“Well, I cannot give you my answer until I know if we’re going to harvest the hydrocarbons for Earth or if we’re going to try to colonize it.”
Max now had both eyes covered with his hands. “Tam, I cannot tell you. You will just have to use that brilliant mind of yours to figure it out all on your own.”
His response told her that something he’d said had provided the answer. She focused on the ability to work with teenagers. You wouldn’t take teenagers on a ship to harvest, but you would to start a colony. By the time they arrived, they’d be young adults possessing a full span of child-bearing years.
“I’ll go.”
Sales Link
Destination: Titan
All books are free for KU subscribers
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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Results of International BookBub for Grand Master's Trilogy #MarketingTips #IndieAuthors


Summary: My international Bookbub was a success. It paid for itself and generated sales for another month. It generated new sales on non-Amazon retailers, and new reviews. I’ll try again in a few months for a worldwide BookBub.

Background
BookBub accepted my Boxset, Grand Master’s Trilogy, Book 1-3, for a 99c international promotion on December 27, 2017. This boxset was published January 2, 2017, and submitted to BookBub about once a month (15 times) until it was accepted in November. The boxset had 2 reviews.
Grand Master’s Trilogy is Sci-Fi Fantasy and Romance. I tried submitting in different categories, and the book was accepted in Fantasy.

 Trilogy

My Strategy
The Trilogy is part of a 4-book series with a short prequel. I kept book 4 at $3.99, and the prequel at 99c. 
My goals were: 1) to introduce readers to this series, which I plan to expand; and 2) add readers in other countries and sales at non-amazon retailers. 

BookBub Feature Date: December 27, 2017
Final Cost: $174.00
Selected Regions: UK, CA, IN, AU
Selected Category: Fantasy
Subscribers: 450,000
Average Sales: 420 (estimated)

Results
I set the boxset to 99c a couple of weeks early as a precaution.
Other promotions: My newsletter on Dec 14 and 26, and Patty Jansen’s cross promotion (pattyjansen.com/promo) on 26th.

Total sales Dec 14-26: 31 on Amazon + 14 at other retailers. Also 1 prequel + 6 of Book 4. Estimated royalties of $35

Total sales Dec 27-31: 324 on Amazon + 219 at other retailers. Also 5 prequel + 4 of Book 3. Estimated royalties of $254 (repaid cost of BookBub feature)
Amazon Ranking rose to #2 in Canada and #3 in Australia for Romance/Science fiction

Total sales in January: 290 Trilogy on Amazon + 43 at other retailers, mostly Kobo.
Also 7 sales of Book 4. Estimated royalties of $138


Comments
My boxset had more sales than the BookBub estimate - 543 over 2 days, and an additional 333 over the next month. 
I gained 3 new reviews on Amazon and Kobo. 
My estimated royalties of $392 paid for the promotion. 
The tail lasted through January. In February I set the book back to full price. I saw the longest tail on Amazon Canada and Kobo. Apple, however, showed more sales of my other books.
I was disappointed that few people bought the fourth book in the series or the prequel, although it may take time for people to read the trilogy. 


 Grand Masters' Galaxy