Category Archives: Books

Time’s Phantoms Sneak Peek

“Strength is having the guts to be who you are,” Jafrey said. “Strength is allowing yourself the right to have doubts and make mistakes. Strength is knowing that having weaknesses doesn’t actually prevent you from being strong.” He gave a small smile. “Strength is not soldiering on no matter what. That’s just training.”

Time's Phantoms Cover

Time’s Phantoms will be available in December 2015. Cover art by Ali Ries.

Ten Quotes about Time from Time’s Edge

A few readers have asked what our favorite quotes about time are — from our own books! We debated and argued and wrangled over some of them but managed to come up with a list of ten. So, for posterity, here are our favorite quotes about time from the Time’s Edge series:

Time's Edge Cover1. Time exists in cosmic strings that run parallel to each other, each with a slightly different frequency and, hence, a slightly different reality. (Time’s Edge)

2. We create the illusion of time, but time, as most beings define it, doesn’t really exist. (Time’s Secret)

3. Time is infinite. If you’re a molecule. (Time’s Secret)

4. Most answers are revealed by Time. (Time’s Secret)

5. Play your part in time but do not try to alter time. (Time’s Illusion) Time's Illusion Cover

6. Time takes no prisoners. (Time’s Warriors)

7.  It is better to be warned and act at the proper time then to try and change the order of time. (Time’s Warriors)

8. Time heals most errors. (Time’s Guardians)

9. Time has a way of righting itself. (Time’s Guardians)

10. Time is ours. (Time’s Illusion)

Your Brain on Fiction

Turns out reading fiction is great for your brain! It’s the cognitive equivalent of taking your brain for a jog. So exercise daily with a good book.

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Releasing a Book for Publication

nervous faceAh, that wonderful day when it is time to approve that final proof for publication. You’ve slaved over the manuscript, rewritten it, edited it, submitted it, edited it some more, resubmitted it, and then… final approval for publication. Sounds easy, right?

Well, giving the okay for your novel to emerge into the realm of published books is both wonderful and terrifying. You stare at that final proof. It’s done. Of course it’s done. There’s nothing more to change. But… What about that ending in chapter six? Does it give too much away? Does it not go far enough? Is it, really, really just right? And that passage in chapter fifteen. Perhaps, just one more rewrite….

And, of course, there are the mechanics of book publishing. Does the eBook look good on all devices? Is the format a little funky on certain types of phones? I know I checked all the links, but perhaps, I should check them again, just to be sure… The paperback looks good. Yes, but that index in the back… Is that format really the best one? And that comma on page 47. Will anyone care about it except for me?

An author can drive herself crazy when its time to give that final approval. It’s akin to walking down the aisle on your wedding day. The reality hits you: It’s time to commit. Gulp.

But, ah, the freedom and excitement that you feel once the book is released for publication! It’s done. It’s out there. There are readers eagerly waiting for your book. You sigh with relief. It’s finished. Pour me a glass of champagne!

Time’s Guardians, the 6th book in the Time’s Edge sci-fi series, was released for publication on January 19th, 2015. Does having five previously published novels make a difference when it comes to that final moment?

Nope. It’s like getting married all over again. Same agony, same ecstasy. Perhaps that’s why, after we take those vows or give that final approval for publication, we reach for champagne.

Time’s Edge Is On Sale

Book #1The Kindle edition of Time’s Edge is on sale!

From December 8th through December 14th you can purchase the Time’s Edge ebook for only 99¢.

This new edition includes a character and place name index.

Treat your family and friends to a gift of Time’s Edge for the holidays!

Available at Amazon.

Time’s Edge is the first place winner of the Tassy Walden Award, a literary prize given by the Shoreline Arts Alliance of Connecticut. The story blends adventure, humor, and romance in a fun-to-read mix of science fiction and fantasy.

Read more about Time’s Edge here. Cover art by Ali Ries.

The Time’s Edge Series

We were challenged to create one or two line descriptions that summed up each of our books. Challenge accepted!

Time’s Guardians Cover

Here it is, the cover of Time’s Guardians. The book will be released in Spring 2015. Cover art by Ali Ries.

Guardians Cover Web Image

Ali Ries, Space Artist

The covers of all the books in the Time’s Edge scifi series attract a lot of attention. We constantly get asked, “Are those Hubble images?” and “Where did you get them?”

The answer: No, not Hubble. Mrs. Hubble.

Ali Ries, aka Mrs. Hubble, is the artist behind the beautiful images that grace our covers. We found her through that great cosmic event more commonly known as an accident.

We were browsing the Internet for a picture for our first book, Time’s Edge, when we stumbled upon the perfect image for the cover. Drustan’s Nebula was the name and we assumed it was a picture taken by the Hubble space telescope. We eagerly clicked on the picture and wound up on Ali’s website, where her tagline reads “Just call me Mrs. Hubble.”

We browsed through her gallery of images amazed, delighted, and enamored. To date we have more book covers picked out than we have stories planned. Her art has that effect. It inspires. It has that magical ability to transport the viewer to another place. Any science fiction writer would take one look at her work and instantly begin composing stories in his head.

We have five books in the Time’s Edge series so far. The sixth, Time’s Guardians, is underway. How many more? Well… Ali has a great quantity of irresistible images available. We may never stop!

Click on the covers to see the original images on Ali’s website.

Time's Edge Cover

“Drustan’s Nebula” by Ali Ries

Time's Secret Cover

“Lazarus Nebula” by Ali Ries

Time's Illusion Cover

“Jewels” by Ali Ries

Time's Rebels Cover

“Between Two Suns” by Ali Ries

Time's Warriors Cover

“Come 2012” by Ali Ries





Two Writers, One Voice, Ten Tips

WritersEveryone wants to know: How do two writers write one story? We described our journey as collaborating authors in So, How Do Two Writers Write As One? However, there must be a lot of writing partners out there for we still get many requests for more information on how to pull off the two authors/one voice trick.

It is difficult to analyze all the nuances of how we work together. A great deal of our success is personality. We, simply put, are a good fit. We also have been at this for a very long time, so each knows the way the other one thinks and what our strengths and weaknesses are. But for those who wish to have a go at writing a book with another, here are ten tips on how to go about it.

1. Be nice to each other.
The Golden Rule of writing together. If you can’t follow this rule, don’t bother because you will never get anywhere. This doesn’t mean that you must agree all the time. Some of our best story ideas came out of disagreements. Just keep the disagreements respectful. No name calling. And no yelling.

2. Be honest.
About yourself. About whether you can work with  partner. About whether you even like the way they write. About everything. If you do not like something, say so. If you like something, also say so. (It’s amazing how often that simple but wonderful piece of feedback is overlooked!)  So be honest. But don’t be mean.

3. Have weekly meetings.
Even if you are living in the same house, if you have a writing partner, you need to have at least one meeting a week to discuss your work-in-progress, read drafts, ask questions. This helps to keep both writers (if you’ll pardon the pun) on the same page.

4. Know how your book will end.
This is good advice even if you are not writing with a partner. The overall tone of the story should reflect just where the tale is heading. Also, how your characters behave and develop has a direct effect on where they end up. Both writers must be aiming at the same target.

5. Write an outline of the story.
Not every writer works with an outline, but for two writers working on one project an outline is very useful. This doesn’t mean you must rigidly adhere to the script, but having a structure will keep both writers moving in the same general direction.

6. Divide the work...
Discuss beforehand who will write what. Get out the outline (see how useful it is?) and negotiate which sections each writer will tackle. Here it is important to be nice (see tip #1) and to be honest (see tip #2). Know your writing strengths and weaknesses. In our writing, Mary is good at dialogue, Joe at description. We both love action scenes. We keep these things in mind when deciding how to divide the labor.

7.  …but don’t be rigid about it.
Dividing the labor does not necessarily mean one writer per chapter. It may mean one scene in a chapter. It may mean you BOTH write the same chapter. This usually results in a blend, taking a piece of each writer’s version of the chapter and melding it into one piece. Remember that mention above about dialogue and description? We often will take a dialogue-dominated scene by Mary and blend it with a description-rich scene by Joe. Presto! A complete chapter.

8Write separately.
Perhaps there are those who can write comfortably with another writer in the room, but it doesn’t work for us. Invariably, one writer will interrupt the other with a question, idea, or to read a passage from a draft. This can be really annoying. Also, there is nothing more damping to the flow of words than to see someone either typing furiously while you can’t even put together one sentence or to be the one typing furiously while the other is staring our the window not writing at all. (By the way, the old adage is true. A writer IS working when he is staring out the window.) Need to discuss something? See tip #3.

9. Edit each other’s work.
Painful but necessary. A great deal of the merging of two writers into one takes place during the editing process. Remember, positive feedback is just as important as pointing out errors. If your writing partner is particularly good at something or really nailed a scene let him know. And when your partner criticizes your work, try to remain objective. Discuss the critiques, don’t sulk. Use your partner’s suggestions when rewriting. What you rewrite is not set in stone. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t, but give suggestions a fair try.

10. Have fun.
If you are not enjoying the process, then it simply is not for you. We have a lot of fun collaborating on our books, so the inevitable differences of opinion and stumbling blocks are bearable. Most writers we talk with claim they could never write a story with another person. They dislike sharing creative control, they don’t want another writer editing their work, they feel inhibited about plotting aloud with someone else. So perhaps we should add an eleventh tip…


A Five-Star Review for Time’s Warriors

Time's Warriors Facebook“Anytime I read a series I usually find the first book in the series to be my favorite. This trend does not hold with the Time’s Edge series. Each book written becomes my latest favorite! Each book draws you deeper and deeper into a world of science fiction, adventure and romance. Each book has a mesmerizing quality that makes you long to stay in Time’s Edge and leave the hum drum of the real world behind. The only draw back to each book is that they end and leave you longing for the next one to be written.”

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