Tag Archives: fiction

Worst Martian Playlist: A short novel of space exploration and survival

My latest science fiction offering is live on Amazon! It was a ton of fun to write this summer (harder to get further from lockdown than Mars), and its been a lot of fun to get it ready for publishing. As always, much thanks to Gabriella at Edit for Indies who did the copyediting. Hyphenated words and adjectives are the bane of my existence, and she helped me get all the spaceships and terms consistent. I tend to get excited and little details like NAMES get lost in the mix, which is no good for the poor reader.

So what is it about? In my head, I’ve been describing it as a mashup between The Martian (by Andy Weir) and Smart House, a fun campy Disney movie from my tween years. Lol, make of that what you will! It took a lot of twists and turns from the original premise, and I’m happy with how it turned out.

Here’s my description from Amazon:

If you love tense, survival sci-fi, join a pair of shell-shocked astronauts on a catastrophic day of dangers in Worst Martian Playlist, a short novel exploring trust, identity, and loyalty.

The first caverns of the new Martian base were dug by rovers, but when the first long-term crew is on its way, catastrophe strikes. Miranda Oceveda and Caleb Wexler are the sole survivors.

In the caverns and tunnels that comprise the new base, Caleb and Miranda have soldiered on for months, but it’s frustrating and exhausting with only two people. Their AI assistant helps with day to day tasks, but it can’t replace a living crew.

And Miranda isn’t at all sure that Caleb hasn’t cracked under the pressure–he’s angry and aggressive in a way he never was before. Of course, she isn’t sleeping well either, and they both probably have PTSD and adrenal fatigue… But they only have to hold out until the Respite crew arrives.

But with only two weeks to go, one fateful day of storms, solar interference, and human error, their survival will depend on trust and intuition… and neither has much to spare.

Thanks for reading, go check it out!

Free day for Manipulate, and a Jules Verne anthology

Manipulate SMALL slap a spaceship on it

The first ebook in my Alien Cadet series is free today (ends at midnight!) so grab a copy if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, I am excited to have a story included in an anthology celebrating 150 years since Jules Verne published his famous novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That book was published June 20, 1870, and it has inspired countless scientists, engineers, and explorers. And Captain Nemo, with his tragic past, murky motivations, and terrorist tendencies, is a conflicted (anti?) hero who honestly fits right in to our world in 2020!

20KLeagues_Front CoverThis anthology is full of stories that pay tribute to Nemo and/or his ship the Nautilus, and it’ll be available June 20, exactly 150 years to the day! You can pre-order now on Amazon.

In other news, I hope everybody is hanging in there with lockdowns and quarantine. In the US, it seems like a lot of places are opening up and I hope that will mean more jobs will return, and hopefully we have learned enough to control any major Covid-19 spikes! Here in Los Angeles, things are a little slower to open, so I will continue to sit tight with my four kids while we make mazes, sketch pretty doodles, or watch the Holderness channel and laugh.

Don’t forget to pre-order soon! Happy reading, everyone!

Corrie Garrett

 

A Gentle Touch, A Novel of Anne de Bourgh

 

A Gentle Touch 5.25 x 8.25Hurray! A Gentle Touch, the third book in my series, is published!

This whole series was great fun, but it was my first foray into Regency fiction and for a lover of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, that was intimidating! The process of writing this last one was particularly interesting, landing squarely in the COVID-19 lockdowns.

If you happen to read this while the whole world is still holding its breath over this pandemic—well, hang in there. (Also, I have more books, hint, hint. There are several modern retellings and some sci-fi as well, if you need to really remove your mind from current affairs and coronavirus.) If you’re reading this after the pandemic, well, praise the Lord it’s over!

As an introvert, the isolation isn’t getting to me yet (plus I have four kids, that helps), but I have noticed that this story has more multi-character conversations than usual! Often I try to limit dialogue to two or three people, for the sake of clarity, but in this story, I just couldn’t do it. I would say to myself, “Alright, it’s just Anne and James bonding… but Barney’s there! And Martha! Probably the housekeeper! Everybody’s there.

Together.

Hugging.

Maybe I need to step outside.

Thanks again for reading,

Corrie

Pride and Prejudice and Passports

Final Cover2019

It’s finally out there! My Pride and Prejudice retelling is complete and available in ebook or paperback on amazon.com.

Phew, it always takes me a couple months to come off the high of finishing something. In the meantime, here is the description:

During the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, three Latina sisters navigate life and love in Southern California.

Elisa Benitez is happy to help her family clean cabins for the summer, but when her older sister falls hard for one of their rich guests, Elisa expects heartbreak. Her sister is a Dreamer, an undocumented immigrant, and he’s an elected state representative.

Even worse is his infuriating friend Darcy! He’s arrogant, rude, and based on a comment Elisa overheard, probably racist. He’s one of those guys who get by on money and looks, and she wouldn’t mind poking a hole in his self-image.

Darcy certainly didn’t intend to fall for a beautiful, well-spoken Latina on his short vacation to the mountains. Elisa would sooner turn off his hot-water heater than agree with him about anything. Why is debating with her more fun than agreeing with anyone else?

But when Elisa’s little sister runs away, and her parents are scared to go to the police, Darcy realizes just how serious she was. And how serious his own feelings have become.

Pride and Prejudice and Passports is a modern variation on Pride and Prejudice with heart and humor, a wholesome romance that brings Darcy and Elizabeth to life all over again.

Still Waters Release!

unnamedPhew, time to move on from Kindle Scout to other news! I’m so happy to have my Little Mermaid retelling included in the most recent anthology by C.J. Brightley. If you love J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, and other uplifting fantasy writers, this anthology is for you.

“Noblebright fantasy is fantasy with a thread of hope even in the darkest hour, with characters who strive to do the right thing, even when it costs them everything.

In this exciting collection of noblebright fantasy, fresh new fantasy voices and award-winning authors explore grief and hope, sacrifice and heroism. Rediscover the best aspect of classic fantasy – the noblebright ideals that made heroes heroic, even when the world grew dark around them.”

My fairy-tale adaptation is called “The Ice of Heaven” and was actually inspired by my nine-year-old daughter. She wrote a fun little story about Galileo traveling to one of the moons he discovered and finding life. (She totally has the heart of a historical fantasy writer, if I do say so myself!)

Check out the anthology, you’ll love it. Links for all retailers below:

Amazon B&N/Nook Kobo | iBooksGoogle PlaySmashwords

facebook for stillwaters

 

Word Art: The Rise and Fall of Jane

Fun stuff from my Jane Eyre tumblr campaign. And because pictures are fun!

Kindle Scout link: http://amzn.to/2i8DZlb <- Get the book free if you nominate during October!

crack quotereflectionNature with a capital Nfilters in my mind

Kindle Scout campaign details

Rise and Fall-ThumbnailI’m ten days into my Kindle scout campaign, and several other writers have asked how much information I get as I go along. This may not be every reader’s cup-of-tea, but I thought I’d throw some thoughts up here.

First, if you have a moment, don’t forget to nominate my Jane Eyre romance! 😘 I really appreciate it.

Okay, deets. When you have a campaign going, you get a dashboard that looks like this:

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The “Hours in Hot & Trending” seems to b a key metric, though I’ve heard anecdotally that it’s only one factor the Amazon team looks at. There have certainly been titles who trended a ton and didn’t get selected and vice versa. This dashboard updates once a day, in the morning.

Anyway, I had a big push at the beginning (mainly from friends and family and readers (thanks!) and from the visibility of being new. My page reads have been pretty steady since then, but we’ll see how it goes. So that’s my sneak peek. Good luck to my fellow writers who are planning on giving it a whirl!

Don’t forget to nominate The Rise and Fall of Jane! And let me know in the comments if you’re considering your own campaign!

Thanks

Corrie Garrett

 

How Not to Write a Novel

From personal experience. (Sobs quietly over her smoothie.)

1. Re-start it once a year for three years.

2. Decide to switch main characters more than once.

3. Write it all on your phone and lose a significant chunk when your toddler gets the app open.

4. Get distracted by new shiny ide- squirrel!

5. Have a baby. (Actually this one I recommend. It just delays the writing a TINY bit.)

6. Tell your sister or your best friend the whole idea and lose all motivation.

7. Swing wildly between manic confidence and utter revulsion in what you’ve written.

8. Take three years to write it.

9. Get feedback on early chapters and lose all motivation.

And 10. Blog about writing instead of actually WRITING! 🙂

 

The Officer – coming June 28

Summer is here! Do you have a good book to read?

Well, I’ve got one for you! The Officer is almost here. Eleven science fiction stories examining the duties, challenges, and downright chaos of authority in strange places. It’s available for pre-order now, and drops on June 28.

From the back cover:

“Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility.

The stories are:

Duty by Alasdair Shaw
Patchworker 2.0 by M Pax
Totaled by Benjamin Douglas
Lucky Star by A R Knight
There Comes a Time by J J Green
Red Fortitude by Eddie R Hicks
Pithos by Mark Gardner
A Step on the Path by Tom Germann
Rituals by Rick Partlow
First Generation by Adrien Walker
The Grape Thieves by Corrie Garrett ** That’s me! 🙂

Top 5: Ensemble Science Fiction

I got to do a guest post a while back about ensemble fiction (books with at least 5 – 8 main characters), and these are my suggestions!

From Lord of the Rings to Ocean’s Eleven to Crash, I almost always enjoy ensemble movies. But my particular favorites are sci-fi ensembles like Independence Day or Inception. So, in their honor, I’ve put together a Top Five reading list for other science fiction (and ensemble) lovers.

(For my purposes I’ve left out classic authors like Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov and focused on newer authors and books you may not have read yet.)

1. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson)

This book is an explosive collision of I, Robot and The Day After Tomorrow – big, crazy violence and big, crazy heroes. You’ve got conflicted, noble robots and super-scary evil ones, heroes you love and heroes you kind of hate (in a good way). The story starts when the main human character finds a “hero archive” compiled by the arch enemy computer – who, despite the fact that he’s been decimating humanity, is fascinated by the heroes who fight him. I’m bugging my husband to read it so I can talk to him about it!

 

2. The Ghost Brigades (John Scalzi)

This is the second book in the Old Man’s War series (which is generally fantastic) but this novel was the standout in my opinion, and could be read alone (though I bet you read the others, too!). In a cutthroat universe, the human military has developed a way to take the DNA of dead people (who’d volunteered for military duty but died before they could begin) and turned them into perfect clone soldiers. Following a group of these cold ghost soldiers as they come to life is a surprisingly emotional and satisfying read.

 

3. Bruiser (Neal Shusterman)

You might have read this in school in the last few years, but if you haven’t, put it in your to-read list! Yes, right now, I’ll wait…. Okay.

Told from four perspectives, this is the story of Brew, a young man who absorbs the pains and injuries of those he cares about, and almost destroys them in the process…Because without pain, you can’t learn and you can’t really live. And you can’t put down this book, either.

 

4. Agent of Change (Sharon Lee and Steve Miller)

This is the first novel of the Liaden Universe, and although the authors began it in the 1980’s, it’s been kept alive by a small but fanatical fan base and now contains upwards of sixteen books! The books are a mix of regency romance and space opera – lots of dancing, piloting, and matchmaking. (I understand they had some copyright problems, but I see that they’ve just released a new kindle version of this book for free! The cover is a little less awesome here- copyright issues, probably. But it’s free! Go get it!)

5. Revenge of the Sith (Matthew Stover)

It’s hard enough to write a good novelization of a sci-fi movie, but throw in a really lackluster script and angry fans, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Incredibly, (some might say miraculously) this is an EXCELLENT book. I’ve never been a huge Star Wars gal, but this book converted me. Mace Windu and Yoda and all these people I’m vaguely familiar with suddenly came to life…and took my breath away.

I know this is woefully short, so tell me – what sci-fi ensembles do you love?

Happy reading,