Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Just Finished Reading... Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare

I had been looking for a good romantic suspense book for a fair while, wanting an author who could really suck me in like Suzanne Brockmann. Someone suggested Pamela Clare's I-team novels, so I bought the first one and then it sat on my bookshelf for weeks. I'm not sure if my tastes have gotten harder to please over the years, or I'm just so busy that I subconsciously don't want to spend what little reading time I have on a book I have to work at liking or reading. I'd started and put down A LOT of books in the last few months and was reluctant to pick up Extreme Exposure in case it wasn't as good as I hoped. When I finally picked up this book, it was actually a relief to find I connected with the characters and got sucked in within a few pages.
 

Kara is a typically driven reporter with one point of difference: she has a four year old son, Conner. Part of why I enjoyed this book so much, I think, is because Conner wasn't just a story device as kids sometimes end up being, only brought out when they're need to cause conflict, and strangely not around 90% of the time so the h&h can get it on uninterrupted. This always annoys me because the realities of kids is that they're ALWAYS around and it is quite hard to get time alone, or go gallivanting around, doing whatever you want. Connor was his own character, and Kara's struggle between self-mom-work-professional-and-personal was handled very well and very realistically, in my opinion. There were times when she had to choose between her son and the career she loved, and my heart ached for her as she felt the guilt and shortcomings. Also, she got to tell her crappy boss where to go, but didn't lose her job because he wasn't treating her (or the other staff) fairly anyway. I'm sure we've all had crappy bosses we've wanted to yell at,so I was cheering her on for that.
 

As for Reece, at first I was a bit worried that I was not going to like him by the end of the book. He had "too perfect" hero syndrome at first. A man who used to be a school teacher, he became a senator to show his students that one man could make a difference and not be corrupted by politics. He was tall, handsome, loved to cook, wanted to look after her, was more interested in her pleasure than his own, willing to take things slow and stood firm about wanting a relationship even when Kara hesitated. Etc, etc, etc. Personally I'm not a fan of the perfect hero, usually, unless they get suitably tortured over the course of the story (I'm mean, I know) but luckily, Reece faced his share of fire through a series of events (which I won't reveal, because I didn't see one in particular coming, so won't spoil it for anyone else!) in the end, I thought Reece and Kara deserved each other (in a good way) and enjoyed seeing their HEA. I'm definitely going to get the next books in the I-Team series and hope they're as good as this one!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Mode For Atrophy Release

Today is the day!
Seven years after I first wrote it, today is the day Atrophy officially becomes a published book. Expecting happy dances, flowing champagne and fireworks? Well, yeah, it would be nice, but the day rolled around and is quietly passing while I wrap Christmas presents for my kids between doing totally not glamorous things like update my website.
... #authorlife
Seriously, though, while I'm so happy and grateful that Entangled gave this book a home, teamed me with a wonderful editor and now all my daydreams about Atrophy being an actual real story that people I've never met before read and (hopefully) love as much as I do, compared to the energy, levels of organization and enthusiasm I had about Damage Control and Escape Velocity, this release day so far has been a much more relaxing experience. Maybe its because this is the third release this year, so I've kind of got the whole process (mostly) firgured out.
But actually, I think it has more to do with the fact that I am totally going into holiday mode. Usually, in years past, I take the entire month of December off from my writing so I can enjoy shopping, spending time with my kids and the first wonderful month of Summer here in Australia.
So my mind is telling me its time to switch off, even though I've had this book out today, have edits to do and another book to finish writing.
But its hard to keep my butt on the chair in front of the computer when the weather is warm, there are presents to be wrapped beneath my Christmas tree, ripe fruit and veggies to be picked from my garden and fun things to do with the kids. 
This blog post was my last official duty for the day, so now I'm off to do some of the above mentioned activities.
Click some of the links below if you want to find out more about Atrophy, but just quietly, get out and enjoy December -- whether you're in the northern hemisphere enjoying the holidays by a roaring fire as it rains or snows outside, or you're down here with me in the southern hemisphere and getting ready to hit the beaches or pools. Either way, 2015 is almost over. Its time to enjoy our families, reflect on the year that was and look forward to new beginnings in 2016.
Happy Holidays!

No one on Erebus escapes alive...

Twelve years on the prison planet Erebus makes a man long for death. The worst part for Tannin Everette is that he was framed for murder. He’s innocent. When the ship Imojenna lands for emergency repairs, Tannin risks everything to escape…only to find himself face to face with the captain’s undeniably gorgeous sister.

Zahli Sherron isn’t planning on turning Tannin in. In fact, she actually believes him. Sure, he’s sexy as every kind of sin, but he’s no criminal—so she hides him. But no one escapes from Erebus and lives to tell about it. With every day that passes, Zahli further risks the lives of the entire crew…even as she falls in love with a man she can never have for herself.


Find it:
Enatangled Publishing
Amazon
Goodreads
My Website
 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Only Thing Better Than Watching Joss Whedon's Firefly...

...Is when you do it with other die-hard Browncoats!
First off, I just have to say a quick sorry for the total abadonment of NaNo and my blog in general. During the second week of NaNo, I had a family emergency that saw me spend the latter half of that week going back and forth to the hospital. Everyone is fine, thankfully, but obviously writing was way down on my list of priorities. By the time I was ready to get back into it, first round edits for Quantum arrived and NaNo 2015 was over for me. I did managed to write 26,609 words in that first week and a half, so all in all, it probably wasn't a bad effort.
And now that we're in the beginning of December, while I'm still working on those edits, Atrophy is coming out on Monday. Lots of happy dancing happening around my house.
If you've stopped by my blog in the last few days, then you would have seen the banner at the top of my page for the very awesome release celebration my publisher has organized -- a live twitter viewing of the pilot episode of Firefly! To join in, simply follow @entangledpub
or @JessAnastasi
For those of us in Australia, that will be Thursday 10th December at 1pm.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

NaNoWriMo Week One Down

Week one of Nano is already over, and despite starting a day late, I've really managed to get into the swing of things. And now for some boring numbers:

Sun 1st Nov - 0 words (hadn't suffered from brain snap and decided to do NaNo yet.)
Mon 2nd Nov - 4028 words (because I decided that morning that YES! I can do NaNo and finish Diffraction by the end of November. Awesome idea. Now to do two days of writing in one!)
Tue 3rd Nov - 2056
Wed 4th Nov - 2799
Thurs 5th Nov - 2285
Fri 6th Nov - 3018
Sat 7th Nov - 3708

Week One Total - 17,895 words.

Since I'm already well ahead of my weekly 14,000 word target, I'm thinking of taking today off and freshen up before diving back in tomorrow. Of course, now that the story if flowing, my brain is full of ideas and my characters are insisting I get it all down on the page, I might find myself sneaking in a few hundred here or there today if I get a quiet few minutes.
But for now, I'm going to make a cup of tea, fold the week's worth of laundry that accumulated and ignore my characters trying to get my attention for a while. My fingers need a break!
Week one of NaNo, its easy to come strongly out of the gate, so I wouldn't be surprised to find I don't write anywhere near to my week one total for the rest of the month. But I do want to get Diffraction finished, so I can take my self-imposed, month-long "holiday" from writing like I usually do in December.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

So without any preparation whatsoever, I randomly decided on Monday (the day after it officially started) that I was going to do NaNo this year to get the second half of Diffraction finished. My aim is 2000 words a day, or a total of 60,000 words for the month. I've made a good start, writing just over 7000 words in the past two days alone. I'm hoping to get down at least another 3000 words today, to make it an even 10,000 for the past three days.
Knowing the way I operate, there's a very good chance I'll have given up by this time next week, but at least I'll probably be 10k or more into the book than I was before!
While 10,000 words in three days might seem crazy to some people, I'm actually loving it right now. For one, being back in the Atrophy universe with Rian and the rest of the Imojenna's crew is just too much fun. And secondly, in the last few months, I've done very little writing and a whole lot of editing in order to get Damage Control and Atrophy out before the end of the year. And thirdly, I am eager to get Diffraction squared away so I can move on to writing the second book in my romantic suspense, Australian Defense and Intelligence series.
My aim is also to have that book entirely written by early next year before I get too heavily into editing Quantum and Diffraction for their 2016 releases.
I think the real challenge for NaNo is not letting the internet distract me. I've been pretty good in the last few days of strictly checking my two email accounts, blog and facebook only once a day. When I'm on twitter, I've been tweeting but not reading my feed. And most importantly, I'm managing to keep myself away from goodreads and off my Amazon author page, even though I could easily check sales or new reviews coming in. I'm feeling really good about my disciplined and less-usage of the internet in favor of writing, so we'll see how that plays out for the rest of the month.
And now I'm off to start my 3000 words for the day!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Teen Wolf Seaon 5A Breakdown

 I've been totally slack in getting this post up, obviously Teen Wolf finished weeks ago, so I'm a bit behind the ball. 
Anyhoo, going into season 5 of Teen Wolf, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I mean, we've been witness to some pretty epic happenings in the Teen Wolf universe over the years - from Scott becoming the true alpha, to Allison dying, to Void-stiles, and all manner of other mind-blowing scenes. So I just couldn't imagine where the creators and writers were possibly going to take us this year and keep up the hype.
But I'm happy to say that I mostly haven't been disappointed. The only bad thing I can say about this season is that I'm really missing Derek. I've done some internet stalking research and it doesn't seem like we'll be seeing a return of Derek any time soon, which is totally depressing from a Sterek point of view. No I didn't ship them in the sense that I actually wanted them to get together, but the pair did have a certain kind of chemistry on screen that always made any interaction that much richer.
But on to what did happen this season. I absolutely love that Scott's pack in Stiles, Lydia, Kira, Malia and Liam was slowly but surely deconstructed over the course of the 5A season.

The antagonist, Theo, was very through and methodical in the way he went about pulling them all apart and trying to put Scott down.
And easily, the moment that hurt the most, a scene that will go down as one of my most favorite heart-wrenching moments of all time, was the Scott-Stiles breakup. I really think the pre-Void-Stiles would have told Scott about accidentally killing Donovan without a second thought. In fact Scott would have been the first person he would have turned to for help. However, in the back of his mind, I'm sure Stiles has doubts about whether or not his friends entirely trust him.

Though they obviously know it wasn't actually him in control of
himself when he did all that evil stuff, it still would have been hard to entirely separate the fact from the emotion. So When Stiles killed Donovan, I guess somewhere deep down, Stiles wasn't sure how Scott would take it, even though it definitely hadn't been a murder with intent. Or even really self-defense. It was entirely an accident, and logically, Stiles has nothing to feel guilty over. Still, emotion is very rarely logical.

Of course, Theo was ready and willing to use this situation to his advantage, and eventually told Scott an entirely fabricated story about how things had gone down. The scene where Scott confronts Stiles about it was perfectly executed. The pouring rain, the confusion, the struggle with an overload of emotions from both sides, Stiles asking Scott "just tell me what I can do to make this better."  This scene just highlight yet again what an awesome actor Dylan O'Brien is.

I managed to get through the scene without crying, but later, when the jeep broke down again and Stiles threw the incriminating wrench at the windscreen, that was when I finally cracked and shed a few tears. Yeah, that was kind of heartbreaking. And the jeep getting towed away was like a symbol of everything going wrong and falling apart.
But enough of the angst... actually, not enough of the angst, coz that's half of what we love about this show! We'll get to more angst in a minute.


The other thing that's got me really sucked in this season is the Marrish ship in Lydia and the cop,
Jordan Parrish. The writers are doing a really good job at torturing the fans with it. In the opening episode, Parrish gets injured and hallucinates that Lydia finds him, ending with an almost kiss. And then they're spending lots of time together while Lydia tries to work out what Parrish is. That whole Parrish mystery was dragged out very nicely, and I can't wait to see what becomes of it into season 5B.
And then we had the ep where Parrish is teaching Lydia how to fight, and they have a very definite moment of tension when he's got her in his arms. Some people have pointed out the issues of the age difference, and the fact that Parrish is a cop and she's a high school student. It pretty much couldn't be more technically wrong. But as someone in a relationship with an age gap, and knowing many, many other couples with similar or bigger age gaps, I don't actually see this as a problem. Okay, for propriety's sake, maybe they need to wait until Lydia turns 18 before taking the relationship anywhere. But I just think, if they were both 10 or 15 years older, no one would bat an eye at the 6 year (?? that's a guess on my part) age gap. So I'm very definitely shipping these two, and since I'm a fan of the forbidden romance, the fact that some people argue they probably shouldn't be together makes me want to see it happen even more.

But the ships in this show aren't so clean cut and clear. There are still a lot of people shipping Lydia and Stiles, and I know their little shipper hearts would have been pitter-pattering in the episode where the gang decided they needed to go to Eiken House, the local insane asylum, and Stiles insisted on going in with Lydia. While Malia and Stiles seem to be growing apart, it could be seen that Stiles is turning back to something comfortable and familiar in Lydia. I have seen rumors that there will be more fuel added to the Stydia ship when Stiles is the one to go in and get Lydia out of Eiken house in season 5B.

Meanwhile, talking about ships, am I the only one REALLY hoping that Scott's mum and Stiles' dad
would get together? Apparently there are a few around, but they're few and far between. I couldn't even find a shipper name for them. I think it could make some awesome cast moments if Scott and Stiles were staring down the barrel of potentially becoming step-brothers.
However, with the current tension between Scott and Stiles, at this point, the far-fetched prospect might come off as bad news, rather than good.

There were several hints over the season that things were not all-good with Stiles, and Theo calling Stiles on his Void-side in the final episode really packed a punch. And then Stiles literally packed a punch, laying Theo out with a ferocity we've never seen in Stiles before. While full Void-Stiles was bad-ass, I don't necessarily want to see him return to that in season 5B (nor do I think he will) but for Stiles to still be struggling with a darkness inside him will only make him and his story arc that much better going into the second half of season 5.

So the end of season 5A saw Kira leave, the pack broken up, and as a final nail in the coffin, Scott killed.
Luckily, his mom arrived in time to re-start his heart, bringing Scott literally roaring back to life. The creators have done an excellent job at both tying up a number of loose ends, and leaving enough suspense than any Teen Wolf fan will be marking off the days in the calendar and lamenting how far away the January return is.

Newsflash! I've just done some googling of Teen Wolf Season 5B and found rumors that Dylan O'Brien might be leaving the show by the end of this season. If they kill Stiles off, I can see myself being inconsolable for days. Part of me is devastated by this exit because honestly, without Stiles, the show just won't be the same. But another part of me is totally fine with it, because as I've already said multiple times, Dylan O'Brien is an awesome actor and I have absolutely no doubt we'll see him in plenty more movies and TV shows in the coming years. So, the prospects for season 5B only get more interesting!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Release Day Monday Muse - Leigh Alphin from Damage Control

Okay, so I know this is kind of cheating. For a start, I've never done a book character as a Monday Muse before. And second, you would think that since its my book and my character, writing a Monday Muse post (or any post for that matter) about him would be waaaay too easy. In reality, I think the opposite is true. I actually find it much harder to write about my own characters than those I see on TV and the movies, because I've got no perspective. Can't see the forest for the trees kind of thing. I believe the way I see my characters isn't the way other people see them.
But that's possibly a study in character and perception for another day. Today, we're here to celebrate the release of Damage Control and muse it up over Captain Leigh Alphin.
So, Leigh is the CAFF (Captain of the Fighter Force) on board the battleship Valiant Knox and his friends call him Alpha. He's somewhat of a legend, both for his skills as a fighter pilot, and the fact he's a total hard ass when it comes to his squadron and training the new recruits. He's locked down, straight-up, always calm and in control.
Leigh is pretty set in his ways and has been for a long time. But when Mia bursts into his life, he's not prepared for the things she makes him feel, especially considering he is her commanding officer and she's about fifteen years younger than him. Of course he fights it, tries to keep things locked down like he always has, but with a mole in his squadron and needing Mia's skills to find the traitor, Leigh's walls are slowly but surely worn down, until he can't resist the temptation of her any longer.
From a personal point of view, out of all the books I've written, Leigh has definitely earned himself a spot as one of my most favorite heroes. But in the same light, he wasn't always easy to work with... though, the best ones never are! It was intersting to see him battle what he knew was right and the standards he'd always lived by as they came into direct conflict with the things he felt for Mia. I love a forbidden relationship story, so I had a lot of fun writing Leigh and Mia's book in coming up with ways to throw them into each others path and overcome the factors keeping them apart so they could get their happily ever after.
Damage Control is out today, and so far the reviews on Goodreads are raving. If you like a military alpha male, action, suspense and a forbidden love affair, then check it out! Otherwise, muse it up over the eye-candy on the front cover.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Just Finished Reading... The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Many years ago I used to practically live on historical romances, I would read a couple a week. These days my reading time is sadly limited and it had been ages (I'm talking a year or two) since I've read any kind of historical romance. I actually got this e-book for free a few weeks ago, which is not unusual, I find myself either downloading free or less than $3.00 e-books every other week, except I hardly ever read them. I start a lot of them, but hardly ever finish. I just really don't like e-books. So I have no idea why I keep downloading them. Anyway, so if I do actually read an entire e-book, then that tells you right there that it must have been a pretty damn good book.
Maybe I think this book is good simply because it's been so long since I read a historical. Maybe this wasn't the most riveting, exciting or fantastic historical romance I've ever read, but there was something lovely and moving about it. Both Robert and Minnie had different kinds of emotional baggage that still affected their life. The way the past also impacted on their decisions and actions was really well done. And every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, the story went in a different direction. I would definitely like to get the rest of the books in this series, but I'll be buying and no doubt immensely enjoying the print copies

Friday, October 9, 2015

Just finished Watching... Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials


It was only a few months ago I got around to watching Maze Runner. Like when I wanted to see The Duff because I'm a Robbie Amell fan, I mostly wanted to watch Maze Runner because I'm a huge Dylan O'Brien fan. Seriously, that kid can act, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing him in some very awesome movies and TV shows for a long time to come. He reminds me a little of Heath Ledger (I mean in terms of that raw, natural, talent.) Needless to say, I hope he doesn't go down the same dark path that Heath Ledger did. I still get sad when I think of Heath Ledger, partly because he was my age, and a lot because of all the acting we'll never get to see him do.

Anyway, totally got off topic there! So I only saw Maze runner a few months ago, and while you think I might have gotten my fill of teenage dystopian movies from The Hunger Games and Divergent, Maze Runner looked different enough that I was excited to see it. I can now say that out of all the teenage dystopian franchises, Maze Runner is definitely my favorite. I don't want to say its because of the lack of angsty romance or love triangle, but that is one very distinct difference this movie has that sets its apart from the others.  However, the "love interest" concept is not totally missing. Thomas obviously cares for Teresa, and may have had feelings for her before his memory was wiped. But this isn't a major thread of the movie, and is hinted at very subtly, given just enough substance to intrigue, but not enough that it detracted from anything else going on.
Once I'd seen Maze Runner, I knew I had to see Scorch Trials at the cinema. And I'm not sorry I did!
Seeing it on the big screen made those action packed sequences and chair-gripping suspense scenes so much better. And damn it, but they left me perched on the edge of my seat, needing and wanting to know what happens so badly that I immediately went to my nearest bookstore and brought the entire series of books, prequel included. And that is not an exaggeration. I literally left the cinema and drove to the books store. My hubby was not overly impressed. Except after asking me if I REALLY needed to get ALL the books, he told me I have to tell him what happens after I'm finished... he's not much of a reader.
Anyway, because books tend to have slight (or sometimes huge) variations on the movie adaptations, I'm starting from the very beginning of the first book, instead of jumping in at the third book like I was tempted to do. But I'm also seriously craving a Maze Runner re-watch, so there's a very good chance I'll be off to a DVD or department store tomorrow to buy the Maze Runner DVD.
All in all, the Scorch Trials were an excellent follow on to an awesome movie, and it really hurts to know I'm going to have to wait another year before the Death Cure movie comes out.
The only bad thing I can say about this whole thing is that I wish it had been made into a TV series (starring Dylan O'Brien... except then I guess he wouldn't be on Teen Wold any more and that would be a HUGE problem) so that we could have enjoyed this world and these characters week after week for years to come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Atrophy Cover Reveal!

Its not an exaggeration to say I have been waiting years for this moment. Ever since I wrote Atrophy way back in 2008, I could only dream (and be continually frustrated at the usual uphill climb of trying to get a book published) of seeing this book with an actual cover and the knowledge it would soon be in the hands of readers.
The release date of December 7th is still some months away, but this book will be available for pre-order in the next week or so. When the links go live, I'll post them on my Facebook page and website as usual, but for now I am going to bask in the fabulous reality of Atrophy having a cover, and getting that much closer to unleashing it on the world. I only hope people love Rian and the crew of the Imojenna as much as I do!
So, here it is, Atrophy's cover, the final piece to seven years worth of work...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Just Finished Watching... The Duff


 

I wanted to see this movie when it was on at the cinemas, but as I find myself so short on time these days, going to the movies is definitely something that sadly doesn't happen very often any longer. And I'll admit, my desire to see this movie was partly fueled by being a fan of Robbie Amell. I loved the Tomorrow People and was totally depressed that it was cancelled. However, I've been hanging off rumor that his character, Firestorm, was going to get its own spin off from the uber-successful Arrow/The Flash franchise. In the meantime, I have to console myself with his occasional appearance on The Flash and watching The Duff... He's a good actor. Okay, okay, those dark good looks don't hurt either.

Anyway, I also have to admit that despite being a decade or so out of high school myself, I'm still a sucker for a good high school based movie if it's got a really good concept, which I  think The Duff did.
I really liked that the traditional roles/conventions of high school were somewhat different to other teen movies of the past. Though the entire movie was about a girl discovering that she was the "duff" out of her friends (designated ugly fat friend) it was interesting that the social zones of the teens weren't so classically cut out, or black and white. What I mean is that the pretty popular girls were friendly and not the "queen bees." There was one super pretty bitchy girl, destined to be a reality TV star according to herself, but instead of leading the school, mostly everyone kind of steered clear of her. Also, the school's football captain wasn't afraid to be seen talking to the "average" girl, though this might have been a slight exception to the rule as they were neighbors and grew up together.
I also liked that the entire movie wasn't building up to that perfect kiss at the end. The two main characters shared an unexpected kiss midway through the movie, which muddied the waters of their feelings very nicely. This was the ultimate teen friends-to-lovers and average-girl-gets-the-guy story, and it was done quite well. It pretty much had everything from the cringe moments when you're sinking in your seat and saying 'oh no, don't do that!" To laugh out loud quirky humor, and of course the moments that make you go "awwww!"
Maybe it's not the most brilliant or intellectual, or high-brow movie ever made, and those aren't the sorts of movies I like to watch anyway. This is the sort of movie I like to watch.
For its genre, it was pretty awesome, and will easily go down as one of my favorite high school teen movies, and no doubt it'll be one of those ones I can easily pull out and re-watch many times over.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Damage Control Available for Pre Order! (And New Escape Velocity Cover!)

So much for posting more often! Time has continued slipping by, putting me well behind on the blog front, as well as a number of other things. I should have had this post up a week ago, but its been hard to find the time.
But I'm here now with the exciting news that Damage Control (Valiant Knox #2) is now available for pre order, until its October 26 release! YAY!
And now for the exciting stuff...

In space, you can't hide from temptation...

Nick-named Captain Hardass by the new recruits, Captain Leigh Alphin is captain of the Fighter Force of the battleship Valiant Knox. He's honorable, straightforward, and hard as nails - except for the soft spot he has for a young woman he rescued off a transport that was under attack. Now that she's one of his new recruits, it's imperative he stop thinking about her in that way.
Especially now that the Knox has been secretly infiltrated by the enemy.
Mia Wolf's new commander is icy, no-BS, and completely gorgeous. His glances send heat searing through her. Neither of them can afford to make this mistake, yet desire takes hold, consuming them. For the first time, Leigh's iron sense of honor falters as his heart fights for love… and against an enemy trying to destroy everything they hold dear.

Find it at Amazon.


And while we're talking about the Valiant Knox, Escape Velocity has a shiny new cover, to match up with Damage Control:

Rebuilding his life. And rediscovering love...


Ilari, Brannon System, 2436
At first, Dr. Sacha Dalton is simply curious about the prisoner of war admitted to her med-lab...until she sees who it is. For Commander Kai Yang--the commander of the battleship Valiant Knox--has long been thought dead. Killed in action. But after almost a year and half, he's returned home. Returned to her.
Kai is recovering from his ordeal and under the watchful care of Sacha, his childhood friend and the widow of his best friend. Only now, their friendship has grown and deepened into something far deeper, and far more complicated. Yet as Kai's body recovers, his psyche remains broken. How could he ever be the man he was, and the man Sacha deserves? But an intergalactic war has a way of forcing a man to be the hero he was always meant to be...

 Find it at Amazon.



And it's all happening, because I'm very excited to announce that Atrophy will also be available for pre order in the coming weeks, until its release on Dec 7. Stay tuned, because hopefully I'll be able to reveal the Atrophy cover very soon!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Killjoys Vs Dark Matter - The SyFy Showdown

So that title made this post sound a whole lot more exciting than it'll probably end up being. But what the hey! Let's throw down SyFy's two new shows, and I'll give you my verdict.
There are already more than a few posts floating around the interwebs of people declaring one or the other better. What is very interesting, is that there's very few fans of both shows. People either really like Killjoys and don't much like Dark Matter, or love Dark Matter and think Killjoys is rubbish. This has result in some serious discussion, for example, this lengthy thread on reddit.
Thankfully, as of a few days ago, these discussions can continue for at least another year, as both shows were confirmed as going into production for season 2.
So, let's get down to the nitty gritty. What works, what doesn't, which I think is better and why.

Dark Matter:
As I said in a previous post, this show was put together by the people behind the Stargate TV series, so I was probably expecting waaay too much. I thought Dark Matter had the more interesting premise (6 people waking up on a spacehip with no idea who they are or how they got there), and more potential for edge-of-your-seat, can't-wait-until-next-week tension, but the execution was lacking.
First off, I was a little disappointed by the set, especially the ship. While it was obviously meant to be grittier, I felt like I was seeing a spaceship that could ave easily been slotted into a Stargate episode, especially the later seasons. Okay, maybe there's only so many ways you can design a spaceship, but I was expecting some kind of wow factor I never found. The crew often visited stations and planets, but it wasn't anything you wouldn't find in any other science fiction show.
The whole concept of the universe was never really explained, no real clear picture of government or social class, etc. Week to week, I felt it was lacking cohesion. One week they were all so focused on working out who they were and how they'd ended up on the ship together, but then the following week we'd get bogged down in a particular character's past coming to light or revenge plot. The only one of these stories that really interested me was when it turned out Three had the woman he loved stashed in a stasis pod because she had some incurable illness. After they woke her up for answers, she sadly died, and it added a small amount of depth to Three that the other characters didn't quite have.
And that was the other problem; the characters. There was nothing outstanding about them, and I felt like I was watching a less shiny version of the Firefly crew (and it won't take you long on google to find more than a few people have said the same thing) For instance, Two was the tough female chick, aka Zoe. Then we had Three, who was Jayne almost down to the lines and mannerisms. There was even a scene with him going on about naming his guns, and it was total deja vu of Jayne and Vera. But Jayne was so much more fun, and got way cool liners like "you are beginning to damage my calm." Let's face it, ALL of the Firefly cast got way cool lines.
Anyhoo, then there's Five, who is part Kaylee, part River. The character of One was obviously meant to be the hot guy and has the added mystery of not being who he's meant to be, and then we have the two remaining characters who kind of fill the multicultural aspect.
The only character I really got invested in, the only one who brought any chemistry to the screen and made things a little bit interesting was the android. The android kept me watching week after week when I otherwise would have given up. And easily my favorite episode was one where they found another android, who was technically a pleasure droid (or something) and the original android got jealous and tried to make herself more likable. That episode could have been way more fun, goofy and hilarious than it was, yet the potential was wasted. And I pretty much feel that describes season 1 as a whole. Wasted potential. I'm not all that interested to continue into season two.

Killjoys
Out of the two shows, I enjoyed Killjoys heaps more, and actually became invested in the characters; a team of bounty hunters. While it was better, it still wasn't epic, which is what we all really want in a sci-fi space opera. Its going to be a long time before anything reaches the heights of Stargate, Farscape, Firefly or Battlestar Galactica.
Anyway, while the Killjoys also didn't have really great execution, I thought they did a better job than Dark Matter. For a start, their spaceship was waaaay cooler, and was obviously partial to John, which annoyed Dutch and was a point of comic relief in a few tense situations. I think it was also really great that it was focused around a couple of key locations, which made it much easier to understand how the universe worked. I really liked the gritty, poor working class set of Westerly, often portrayed against the more affluent planet of Qresh and the farming planet of Leith, particularly the Leith Bazaar.
Character wise, one could argue that Killjoys aren't doing much better to escape cliches, but personally I think the cliches on Killjoys are far more interesting. We've got Dutch, a-typical sci-fi tough girl. However, its quickly revealed that Dutch was born in some kind of harem, trained as an assassin from a very young age, and is on the run from the man who trained her, who is also a psuedo-father figure, making it hard for her to simply kill him.
Her partner, John, is the typical in-love-with-the-girl-but-stuck-in-the-friends-zone. Things go a bit haywire for him when he discovers there's a kill warrant on his brother, and goes to rescue him on what amounts to a slave ship. The brother, D'Avin, is a soldier on the run, and it later comes out that he killed his own men and had his memory wiped.
As soon as D'Avin meets Dutch, its apparent a romance is on the cards. Being that I trade in romance myself, I can forgive the writers for not being subtle about this plot thread at all. D'Avin was quite obviously smitten, especially watching Dutch do her thing and kick some serious ass. Though Dutch remained more aloof, it was still clear that while she didn't see John as anything but a friend and business partner, his tall, ex-military brother was a whole different story.
Unfortunately, I felt that Luke Macfarlane took a little while to really settle into his character of D'Avin. While most of his scenes were pretty good early on, there were a few that felt a bit forced. But this was also a little true of the whole team. The cohesion just wasn't quite there at first. However, by the end of the season, they'd all hit their stride and this wasn't an issue any longer.
The romantic arc between Dutch and D'Avin is probably what really sucked me in and kept me watching, but once the season got going, there was a lot to like about this show. It reached the excitement levels that Dark Matter didn't (for me at least) like the episode where they went into a derelict ship and D'Avin was tortured into admitting that he'd killed his men, and Dutch had to take on zero atmosphere in order to get back to their ship. Or when they worked out that D'Avin had been exposed to some kind of mind-control treatment, just in time to have Dutch and D'Avin get together, only for him to go all super-soldier and beat the crap out of her, followed by stabbing his bother. Yeah, that was one heck of an episode. Killjoys is great, but still not epic. If either of them are going to become awesome, I'm thinking out of the two, Killjoys has more potential and showed more promise of growth than Dark Matter.
Either way, its great to see sci-fi space opera on our TV screens again. It was long overdue, and I'm hoping this means we'll see a new surge in popularity for the genre.



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Another Behind the Scenes Work Update

Hello September!
Here in Australia, we've made it to Spring after a particularly long, cold winter. I've been very happy to see the sun a few days in the past two weeks or so, especially (if you follow me on Facebook, you would have seen the pics) one gorgeous morning in Melbourne while I was at the Romance Writers of Australia conference.
Now that we're through August, which always seems to be the busiest month of the year for me, I'll be able to bring my blog out of semi-hiatus, dust it off and put up some of the posts I've been hoarding in the last four weeks. But before I get to that, where are things for me and my books right now? I'm so glad you asked!
Between attending festivals and conferences, I've been editing my little fingers to the bone. Almost literally. No, seriously, my fingers have been killing me lately!
The second book in the Valiant Knox series, Damage Control, will be out on the 26th of October. Keep an eye out, because there will be a cover reveal any day now!
Atrophy, the first book in a new series, will be out on the 7th of December, and hopefully a cover for that will also follow shortly.
Besides that, I am happy to say that its looking like the following two books in the Atrophy series, Quantum and Diffraction, will be out in 2016, and I'm also currently working on another super-secret project that I'm very excited about.
So lots of exciting things happening in the next few months! But for now, I have revisions to get back to.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Behind the Scenes Work Update

Once again, the blog and my social media went dark through the end of July. Seriously, the weeks are flying by at the moment! But I didn't go quiet because I was sitting on a beach somewhere or off doing other things. No, I have been hard at work!
I completed several rounds of edits on Damage Control (Valiant Knox series #2), due out on the 27th of October. After that, I did some revisions on a romantic suspense, currently titled Hard Defense (Australian Defense and Intelligence series #1) which my agent is about to send out.
Right on top of that I got edits for Atrophy, due out on the 7th of December. I've done an initial round of changes, and sent them back to my editor. There will probably be one or two more rounds back and forth before we get the story locked in and move on to copy edits.
I have to admit, I am so excited about working on Atrophy. While I love writing, and I love all my series for different reason and in different ways, Atrophy is like the pinnacle of my creativity, I suppose you could say.
I'm not really sure what it is about this story that sets itself apart for me, but the concept, and the characters -- especially the central character, Rian Sherron -- are nothing short of epic. While I'm waiting for the next round of edits to come in, I'll be making some minor alterations to Quantum (Atrophy #2) to reflect the changes I made in Atrophy. After that, I'm going to get back into writing Diffraction (Atrophy #) with a view to finish the book. While I'm in that head space and feeling inspired, I might as well go with it!
August is probably going to be another quiet blogging month. Besides all these edits and books to work on, I have the Bendigo Writers Festival on this weekend, and the Romance Writers of Australia conference two weeks later. Hopefully come September, things will quieten down a little, and I'll be back to my usual blog programming. I've got blog posts in mind I'd love to write, including some great books I've read recently and one about a new ship I'm going all fan-girl over on TV.
So I may be quiet, but its only because I'm working hard to get my next few books out.
And for anyone attending the Bendigo Writers Festival, copies of Escape Velocity will be available at the festival bookstore. I may get a chance to sign some copies after my Saturday session, but if you see me wandering around over the weekend, don't be shy about coming up and asking!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Exciting New Sci-Fi on TV

I'd like to say that sci-fi on TV is seeing a bit of a resurgence, but its possible that I'm biased because its my favorite genre! And I'm not talking soft sci-fi or shows that are really only kind of a little bit sci-fi. I'm talking hard-core ships-in-space and distant-future sci-fi, my favorite kind! There are a number of new shows that I'm very excited to watch, but in saying that, I'm also a little worried about getting attached, since statistic-wise, I'm sure ninety percent of these shows will fail to get a second season, leaving me heartbroken once again. And after Battle Creek, I just don't know if I can take it again!
Nonetheless, here are a few shows that I'm totally getting my geek on for:

Dark Matter
Based on a comic by the same name, I have some hope that out of all the new shows, Dark Matter will be the one to survive, since it was made by some of the same people who produced the very successful Stargate franchise. However, the show was only given a 13 episode run, which seems more and more the thing to do now, which, as a lover of the long 22-ish episode season, I find very disappointing.
So the premise goes that six people wake up on a damaged spaceship with no memories, absolutely no idea who they are and how they got there. From what I've gleaned, it soon becomes apparent that they might be wanted criminals or something, maybe some kind of team of assassins? I guess I could go get the comic to find out, but instead I'll wait until I can enjoy the TV series. I'm hoping that this show promises to have really great character development and a seamless cast who create awesome chemistry on the screen, like we got from Stargate. Out of all the shows, this is probably the one I'm looking forward to most.

The Expanse

This series is being touted as the show we've been waiting for since Battlestar Galactica. Based on the books by James S.A. Corey, the story is set 200 years in the future, when humans have colonized Mars and are mining the moons and asteroid belts. Tension has been simmering between various groups, and a violent war threatens to break out. This show seems to be more political and mystery-based, but most importantly, the characters seem to be more of the focus than the setting of a distant sci-fi future. This show was only given a ten episode run, though the episodes are a full hour each and the people who run Syfy have said its their most ambitious project to date -- apparently the sets are quite expansive, which gives the show a more realistic, gritty feel, as opposed to using greenscreens. I will be interested to see if this series lives up to its hype.

Killjoys
This new series looks like its going to be really fun. Also set in the distant future, the show is based on a trio of bounty hunters who take interplanetary missions, tracking and bagging deadly criminals, while remaining neutral in a war going on around them. Okay, so it sounds kind of dark when I write it like that, but from the previews, it seems like its going to be one of my favorite types of shows, where the darkness is offset by moments of quippy humor, plus I also think the cast of this show looks really great together. This show has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, and out of all of the shows, I think this will be the most likely to fail on the second season front, which probably means I'll love it the most out of all of them. This show also won points with me because of the involvement of Emily Andras who produced Orphan Black, which I really love. Once again, this show only got a ten episode run, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out ratings-wise.


Sense-8

This one is probably not so much technically sci-fi as it is more paranormal. This Netflix original production looks gritty and mind-aching, but in a totally good way. I recently finished watching Daredevil, and Netflix is certainly building a reputation for its programming, not letting a little things like weekly ratings get in its way, instead embracing the internet binge-watching movement. This show is about eight complete strangers around the globe who find themselves with a psychic connection. At first, they can only see or hear what others do, but I believe as the series moves on, they start to influence each other's decisions and actions. This show has far more cultural diversity than any of the other shows offer, which is far more realistic, especially when it comes to sci-fi. I mean this in the regard that one would assume hundreds of years into the future, the separate races and cultures of earth will be far more intermixed than they are now. This show has been flogged as the most promising series since Lost, but since I was never a Lost fan, that wasn't a selling point for me. As a Netflix produced series, it was not surprising that this show again only has a run of 12 episodes (I am starting to worry that we'll see the death of the 22 episode season, or at least get to a point where only the biggest and most popular shows get a full series run). This show also had mixed reviews, and though it looks pretty good, I'm probably not in as much of a hurry to see it.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Just Finished Reading... The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks

So June was a bit of a quiet month for my blog. After my last post on the joys of revisions, I took a little break, but then a second round of revisions came in so I was right back around to working through those and (for the most part) ignoring the internet. During that almost-week I had off, I managed to read a book, which I quite honestly don't do enough of these days.
I've got a real thing for romantic suspense at the moment, but, like with other genres, I've gotten so picky over the years that there's only a few authors I'll read. I guess its the down side to being an author and continuously trying to better my own work, its hard for me to turn off the internal editor. So unless a book really sucks me in, I find myself being super-critical of it. Not very fair on the author or myself since all I want to do is simply enjoy a good book, but that's the way it is.
Anyway, I'd heard lots of good things about Maya Banks and her KGI series, but it was a case of never getting around to reading any of her work, even though I intended to. So since I was wanting to read a good romantic suspense and find a new author to add to my small clutch of favorites, I decided I was finally going to give the KGI series a chance.
I've started and put down quite a few books lately, but only a few pages into The Darkest Hour, I knew this book would have to take a drastic turn for the worse to make me put it down. With a plot centering around a man finding out that his wife who he'd been mourning for a year was alive and being kept prisoner in South America, following her rescue and then their attempt at picking up their life while the person responsible for the wife's apparent death was still after her, and the hero keeping a secret that could destroy their relationship... well, this wasn't going to a light read.
The intensity from the very first pages was awe-inspiring, and it never let up for the entire book. The characters were rendered so well, you couldn't help but feel for them. In the case of the hero, Ethan, he'd made some mistakes that had burned him deeply, but was determined to act like everything was fine, that everything would be fine. Until it wasn't anymore and he had no choice but to deal with the fallout.
For the heroine, Rachel, though she'd literally been through hell, lived through unimaginable horror that would break most people, and while she saw herself as weak and weepy and unable to cope, there was actually a quiet strength about her that was very believable. And all of this was propped up by the formidable Kelly family, who had their own minor stories going on in the background. Maya Banks started the KGI series off with a bang, and I can only hope that the rest of the series (of which there are something like ten books) is just as good. I'll be getting my hands on the next couple shortly, and am really looking forward to seeing where things with the Kelly family takes us.
If they are as good as this first one, then I'll have found another auto-buy author to add to my small list of favorites. For people who love intense romantic suspense, I would definitely recommend The Darkest Hour. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Nine Circles of Revision

I have survived the Inferno, come through the nine circles of hell revisions relatively unscathed. What's that? Oh, yes, I always had that twitch. For the uninitiated, I have recorded my journey, so that others may face the same trials wielding the weapon of information.

1st Circle of Revisions: Limbo
Your editor has your book, you know the revisions are going to turn up in your inbox any day now. Your moods go up and down depending on your caffeine levels. You know she'll want some changes made, and some days you can believe these will be minor story arc and character tweaks that won't take too much effort. Other days, you won't be able to bring yourself to check your email in case its there, because the changes won't be changes at all, but major re-writes that will make your brain feel like you took it out and massaged it with a Cuisinart food processor.
Eventually though, you have to look and--ohmagoshohmagosh its here! Do I open it right now? But I have to pick up the kids from school. What if it makes me cry and then I have to do the school pick up with puffy eyes and I have to hide behind a pair of novelty-sized bug-eye sunglasses even though its raining and the other mothers give me that sympathetic look and speculate that my marriage must be terrible-- Whatever. I have to know. I have to read it. Why is it taking so long to download and-- OH GOD THE HORROR!

2nd Circle of Revisions: Lust, Desire and Fervor
Okay, you've read through the requested revisions and it was a bit more work than you were expecting. For a minute there you considered giving up this whole author-writing gig and becoming a crab fisherman in Alaska like on that TV show because surely that would be easier and make you more money than ripping your book apart at the seams and putting it back together. But no! You're made of stronger stuff than that. Your desire to see these characters in print, that fervor you get when you think about holding that shiny book in your hands, it drives you to extremes and it can certainly get you through these revisions. You're secretly in lust love with your hero, because he's all sexy and brooding and understanding, and you want the rest of the world to love him as well, so you'll do whatever it takes to put him out into reality, including addressing every single one of the lovely, constructive suggestions your slave-master editor has made.

3rd Circle of Revisions: Gluttony
Clearly the only answer to getting these revisions done is to do all of them right now. All twelve pages of the editorial letter. You put on your pajamas most comfortable yet stylish outfit, because let's face it, an author is always perfectly put together when they're working. No stained T-shirts, no ripped sweat pants, no slippers with holes in them, showered and hair brushed every single day. That's exactly what all authors ensure when they make the hard transit to work every day from one end of their house to the other.
You stalk to the computer like a boxer heading for the ring, ready to bring down his toughest opponent. You pump your fists, jump up and down on the spot a few times to psyche yourself up because yeah, man, we're ready to DO THIS. Make those revisions your bitch, you'll pummel those editorial notes like a boss, like Rocky dominating in the ring. ADRIAN!!!!

4th Circle of Revisions: Greed
Something happens when I start writing or editing. I get hungry. Like, hungry-hungry-hippo hungry. Like, a famished lion spotting a herd of gazelles hungry. I need braaaaaiiiins. I mean, my brain needs food. Not just any food. We're talking the heights of culinary decadence. Chocolate. It was in the bottom of the cupboard underneath a half-empty box of corn flakes that went out of date three months ago. Does that corner look like it might have been nibbled on by a mouse? Whatever, chocolate is chocolate and at a time like this, beggars can't be choosers. Tea. Yeah, I made it an hour ago and have reheated it three times already and its in that weird stage where its nowhere near hot, but also not cold and might be a little slimy. But I'm on a roll and I'm just going to keep drinking it. Now I need something crunchy. I haven't been to the supermarket in a week and any chips I buy immediately get hoovered by the little people who conspire to break my concentration with a cleverly divided timetable of perfectly choreographed interruptions specifically designed to snap the last threads of maternal patience I'm clinging onto.
Found seaweed crackers someone brought to the last party I had at my house. There's something really wrong about an ocean plant being on a cracker, but desperate times call for desperate measures and maybe if I scrape the mold off the top of the sun-dried tomato hummus also left over from the same party, I won't even notice the taste. That cloudy red wine I kept meaning to throw out will probably compliment the palate perfectly.


5th Circle of Revisions: Sullenness or Anger
So my plan to do all the revisions in one epic sitting of author-awesomeness the likes of which the world has never seen failed miserably. What the hell was I thinking? *head-desk* Almost half way through and my book now looks like a slightly literate monkey chewed on the Chicago Manual of Style and decided this made him an author and subsequently wrote the most profoundly terrible drivel the world has ever had the misfortune to read. Damn my own shortcomings that I can't even submit a book to my publisher that doesn't require revisions akin to hacking through the Amazon with a plastic spork! Damn I say!

6th Circle of Revisions: Heresy
I curse you gods of writing! That's right, you heard me. Why, WHY GOD did you afflict me with this torturous urge to write? But not only to write, but to drive myself to share my affliction with others that they might read the verbal refuse disgorging from my brain through my fingers? I will not be your puppet any longer. I can quit. I don't need this. Addicted? Never! I can give up and do something better with my life, something that will fill me with a sense of purpose. I'm going right now.
Google, you are my new god. I ask you, what can I do with my life that will complete me as a person? Join a crusade to save the whales? Get up at oh-dark-hundred tomorrow morning and go plant some trees? Book a ticket to Tibet to see the Dali Lama? ...What's that Google Alerts? Is that a new Goodreads review on one of my books? Five stars you say? DAMN YOU AND YOUR CUNNING TRICKERY!

7th Circle of Revisions: Violence
I could pick up this computer and toss it through the window. I could rip my keyboard right out of its pretentious little USB port and take it out to my driveway and reverse over it a dozen times, because clearly the tools of my trade have turned against me. But I won't stoop to your level, you evil little succubi of self-confidence. I'm taking a break. Sure, I've only got fifty pages to go, but I'm going to prove that I'm still the one in control here. So, what to do...? Outside. Outside is good. There aren't any screens outside with their little cursors blinking at me with that obviously condescending tempo heralding my impending failure. Okay, fresh air. Breathe. See? Feeling better already. Garden is looking a little straggly. Like keeping the house clean, anything beyond the four walls of my study have ceased to be of worldly import since those revisions arrived. Wait. Where are my favorite flowers? Those pretty purple ones that always make the rest of the boring garden look a little brighter. Slugs. Are those slugs? Oh, that is not even-- Where's the shovel. No, blow torch. Get me a blow torch, stat! Die you little bastards. DIE! Hubby wants to know what I'm doing. Gardening, clearly. What's that now? Deferred anger issues? Um...

8th Circle of Revisions: Fraud
Its not illegal if I employ someone else to do the last of these changes, is it? Just one problem, I can't afford to pay anyone unless they're happy to barter for half-eaten chocolate bars or stale corn flakes. Fine. So I'll just have to push through the last of these changes and for better or worse, send it to my editor. How long will it be before they realize that I'm not actually a real author, I was just pretending. That's right, I can't hold it in any longer. I have to tell the truth. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm making this crap up as I go along. I figured if I told other people I was an author, eventually it would be true. But I made the one mistake con-artists never should, I bought into my own lie. Oh god, they're going to figure it out. I'm done for. It'll go viral. I'll have to change my name and move to Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland... Yes, that is an actual place, hopefully with no internet connection where I won't have to witness the jelly-like-splatter exposure of my author-fabrication.

9th Circle of Revisions: Treachery
Almost done. Wait, really? But it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be and everything has come together into a complete picture that almost makes sense. But how can this be? Did I seriously do all that work? Addressed every single editorial note in an articulate way that might have actually made the book better? Hang on, I don't remember doing that chapter. Was it somewhere between the box of Krispy Kremes and half a bottle of vodka? Because those few hours were definitely a little blurry. Could someone else have hacked my computer and done it for me? But why? What could they possibly hope to gain from a play like that? Wow, this book isn't half bad. *near-hysterical-laugh* Send it. Send it now! Clearly there's some treacherous conspiracy going on here, something involving the government, probably. Yeah, I noticed that white van driving past my house four or five times this week. So it had a sign for a courier company on the side, but don't think I didn't notice how it slowed down every time it got near my house, never mind that intersection right out the front.
Write an accompanying email to my editor so I sound like a perfectly adjusted person who made these changes without breaking a sweat or shedding a single tear. Attach it. Send it.
Now to hide in the closet with container of double chocolate fudge ice cream.

Emerging Back Into The Real World
And we shall never speak of it again. 




Sunday, May 31, 2015

Battle Creek - Going Down in a Blaze of Glory (1x13 Sympathy for the Devil)

I should be revising/writing right now. I'm on this crazy deadline and have been typing my little fingers to the bone, but I had to come up from the fog to write this post, which I've been wanting to do ever since I watched the season finale of Battle Creek.
Admittedly, in knowing this show had been cancelled, part of me didn't want to watch the final episode because I just knew it was going to be good and make it all worse. But I was wrong. The final episode wasn't just good, it was awesome and now I can categorically say I have never been so upset by the cancellation of a show as I am about Battle Creek. Not since Firefly. In fact, since I'd already been burned by Firefly, I'm going to say this hurt even worse.
I'm not going to pretend like I have any idea how the whole TV network-ratings-money thing works, but like anyone with a computer, access to the internet, and a blog, I have an opinion.
In this age where so many consumers (especially, I would assume, in the ideal targeted 18 to 49 year old demographic) more and more people aren't watching TV when it airs on TV. With DVR technology, catch-up and on-demand episodes, illegal downloading and streaming, plus legit streaming services like Netflix, I just cannot imagine how there is any feasible way to measure any demographic at all.
Someone tell me otherwise.
So the major networks making decisions based on ratings or lack thereof (though I assume a few other things are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to cancel a show. At least I hope there is!) is like grasping at straws, making ill-informed decisions based on a only a select section of the market which probably doesn't represent the entire viewing population any longer.
Now, obviously I am biased because I loved Battle Creek and the growing bromance between Milt and Russ. But I really think CBS have made an epic mistake in cancelling Battle Creek. And I'm talking legendary, cult-fans will still be talking about it in ten years mistake, just like the whole Firefly fiasco with Fox. There is no doubt now that if Fox had given Firefly a bit more leeway, it would have became a huge hit, as that show actually gained in fans and popularity long after it had been taken off the air. If you're not a huge geek and have no idea what Firefly is, a simple trip over to google will explain everything.
But back to Battle Creek. Its been a long time since I've become so deeply invested in a show so quickly, and with the amount of fiction I consume in TV and books, I'm a tough critic. However Battle Creek had all my favorite elements, and best of all, it was character driven, which is what I really love to see.
I've already written a post about all the things so right with Battle Creek, so I won't go into it again. But I will give some thoughts on the final episode, as painful as it might be.
First off, I just have to say that I was so relieved we found out why Milt was in Battle Creek. And if you haven't see this episode and don't want to know, I'm about to drop some spoilers.
So the episode opened with Milt waking up to an alarm at what I imagine is some ungodly hour considering its still dark. Next we see him waiting to get on the elevator, and for the first time, he's looking really down. Like I'm talking in the darkest, most depressing place imaginable, which is a total reversal to his usual sunny charming self.
Someone else is already on the elevator when it arrives, and he puts on a smile, starting up some polite elevator chit-chat, but its clearly forced. Next, he's sitting in his car, still looking just short of devastated, except this time, his eyes are damp, and we even get a stray tear before he tells himself "forward, positive, embrace the day." He repeats it, but for some reason today, or maybe a lot of days, the mantra just isn't working. From the struggle that briefly crosses his expression, I assume in that moment it was either break down completely or get angry, so he lets out this furious yell before it cuts to a montage of Milt working out in the park, pushing himself and presumably his demons to the point where he's managed to work some of it out of his system. By the time he arrives back at his car, he's looking more together, more like the Milt we're used to seeing. However, when he goes to start the engine, he gets nothing but some weird clicking. Realization dawns on his features a split second before the car explodes. All this, not even three minutes into the episode.
So for half a second, I was like "OMG did they just kill Milt?!" But of course he turns up looking fine, and it comes out later that his car was fully armored, which is why he survived the explosion and gives us a clue that Milt knew something like this might eventually happen.
Milt keeps everyone at the Battle Creek police station in the dark on the fact it was his car that got blown up, and pretty much sends them on a wild goose chase because he believes the car can't be traced back to him. Meanwhile, he confides in Russ, and asks for his help in tracking the person after him.
This is all well and good until the bad guy gets the drop on them, and both Milt and Russ end up in the trunk of a car together.
Now, a lot of shows wouldn't have been able to pull off the entire middle of this episode, with the two main characters tied up next to each other with nothing to do but talk. Most shows would have skipped over a lot of this in favor of other action, but Milt and Russ are so awesome that they carry it all perfectly.
Russ reasons that what's happening now has to do with the mystery of Milt being in Battle Creek, and is completely right. Milt starts telling him the story of how it all came to be. We see flashbacks, interspersed with Russ's usual sarcasm and cutting wit.
Meanwhile, the team at Battle Creek soon realize Russ and Milt are missing, and mostly led by Font, they manage to work out that Milt was the target. They go to Milt's ex-boss for answers.
But things are looking bad for Russ and Milt, as, after Milt admits the mistakes he made in the pursuit of justice that got an innocent teenager gunned down, the car pulls to a stop and the father or the slain teen pulls Russ out of the trunk first. Milt tells Russ to run, but Russ refuses, saying that Milt is his partner and he's not going to leave him.
Just as their abductor is getting ready to kill Milt, a police car turns up with Font and a uniformed officer. They subdue the shooter, and it seems like everything is all said and done. But I totally didn't see the end coming. Milt gets the gun that the abductor had and turns it on Font. Russ (along with probably everyone watching) wants to know what the hell he's doing.
At first, Russ demands to know if Milt is going to kill the guy, but Russ knows Milt too well. He reasons that Milt is actually going to let the guy go. But Milt doesn't do either. Once the others are disarmed, he takes the magazine out of the gun, leaving only one bullet, and then returns the gun to the abductor. He says that the man has every right to kill him, and that he would kill himself if he could bring his son back.
Just when it looks like Milt might have talked the guy down and everyone takes a breath of relief, the man suddenly raises the gun and shoots Milt almost point-blank.
He goes down and Russ rushes to his side. As Russ puts pressure on the wound in his chest, he tells Milt he's going to be okay. For a second, Milt just stares up at him, trying to catch his breath, but then he grins, and the relief is catching. Milt agrees that he is going to be fine, and we know he's talking about more than just his injury, before the two of them share a tension-relieving laugh. The shot pans out and we're left with the sense, or maybe more the hope that Milt really is going to be okay, and the two of them will be best-buddies forever and Milt will start seeing Battle Creek as more of a home than somewhere the FBI sent him to be alone so he couldn't show anyone up with his perfect by-the-book play any longer.
If this is where Battle Creek ends, then at least we got to know why Milt came to Battle Creek (though other issues such as what the story with his mother is will go unanswered) and it ended on a high note, with this episode easily being one of the best. 
The show seems to have a devoted, yet unfortunately small fan base. And though the usual petition, letter writing, and network feedback campaigns have sprung up, when compared to another new show that was cancelled this year, Forever, (which I haven't watched and don't have an opinion on, apart from the fact that the promos didn't make me want to watch it) the numbers for Battle Creek just don't do enough. The petition to save Forever has something in the realms of 58,000 signatures, while the Facebook page alone has just shy of 500,000 likes.
In comparison, Battle Creek only has 35,000 likes on its Facebook page and the petition is struggling to reach 5000 signatures. There are some slight differences, however. Forever (as far as I know) had much more advertising than Battle Creek and a different (dare I say better) time-slot, but Battle Creek had superior ratings. On average, Forever came it around 5 million, while Battle Creek came in at 6.7 million, nearly two million better (although at one point earlier in the season, the average was up around 8.1 million). So where are all the fans? My guess is that Battle Creek was hitting the higher age demographic who aren't as active on social media, whereas Forever grabbed the ideal demographic of 18 to 49, who are obviously the most active on social media.
If social media is to be the decider and either of these shows caught a second chance by the network changing their minds, or the show getting picked up by Netflix, it seems Forever would be more likely to succeed.
Either way, in the current market (and though we have seen fans rescue shows like Longmire and Hannibal) as a realist I have to say that Battle Creek is probably done and dusted, no matter how brilliant it was. Of course I have a small, hopeful dream that this show will be saved, either by CBS changing their minds (unlikely) or Netflix taking it on (a little more likely, but still not good chances). In the meantime, I'm going to wait for it to come out on DVD, and when it eventually does, binge myself on every deliciously layered episode all over again.