Posts Tagged ‘The Wildcat’s Victory’

World Building 3.

May 8, 2008

Please see the earlier two articles on world building before reading this one – “Changing a World” and “The Scene on Gaia – more World Building”. They can be found below on this page or under the category New Directions.

This continues my lengthy article on the worldbuilding in my Iskander series novels. While I’ve developed a detailed history for the world, the Iskanders, and a number of the characters in the series, the need to keep the stories focussed on the plot as well as maintain their pace means that there is never room to write more than a sketchy background outline in the text. While some authors are apparently so loth to leave this hard work unused that they liberally sprinkle their plots with extraneous detail I maintain that the only world building fit to be displayed is that which immediately advances the action.

Having dealt with Gaian history up until the Trigons arrived two hundred years before the Iskanders I’ll continue with their impact on later Gaian history. They arrived in the same way as did the Iskander people – a wormhole jump sent them here instead of to their intended destination. Since they were the crew of an armed star cruiser, they had no trouble securing their safety, but unlike the Iskanders they had no technologists and experts to perpetuate their level of technology. Of the 200 aboard, most were marines and specialists trained to operate the starship, and only capable of limited maintenance of its systems – not unlike the crew of a modern nuclear submarine.

The admiral aboard set himself up as the ruler of the Carthaginian Empire by shear force, using the star cruiser’s armaments. He then appointed his officers as commanders of existing Imperial Armies to secure the borders and provinces that had broken away in the upheaval. Since they had no people trained to set up factories to produce copies of their advanced weapons – nor to produce ammunition for them – the armies at first remained equipped with their 15th century weaponry. The Trigons undoubtedly used the starship’s advanced weaponry on more than one target containing a level of resistance capable of defeating their ground forces. There are several locations on Gaia where the author knows the ground radiation level and pattern of destruction indicate nuclear weapons were detonated, but so far the Iskanders have not located any.

I’ll note here my use of such statements as in the previous paragraph. I could admit that I haven’t worked out these details, and that’s true, but what I am doing is keeping my options open. At a future date and in another novel as yet unplanned, I may want to have my characters affected by a discovery – of a nuclear ground zero in this instance – but until I start that novel I don’t know where I want this to be located. When the novel scenario is fixed I’m free to pull one of these rabbits out of the hat.

At some point in the war the Trigons ran up against the Skathian empire and a larger and more costly conflict ensued. The Trigon’s local levies were no match for the Skathian nomadic cavalry and so the star cruiser, called the Sky Thunder in Skathian memory, was used to decimate threatening Skathian armies. This resulted in the Skathian power being reduced in capability by the time the star cruiser became too unservicable to fly. In the same way that a nuclear submarine must return to its home port to be taken out of the water and literally stripped apart for maintenance, the star cruiser needed a maintenance facility on a world it could not reach. The Trigon armies fought on against the weakened Skathians without their air support, and were able to fight them to a draw, settling with a treaty that established buffer states to keep their peoples and armies apart. This is the treaty that the activity of the Iskanders has placed in jeopardy, as outlined in The Wildcat’s Victory when Gisel was able to use the peril to her and Iskander’s advantage. What? That doesn’t sound very ‘Golden Rule’. They might be our ‘good’ side and our heroine, but geopolitics is a rough game.

So that brings the Gaian history forward approximately another hundred years, but I’m not finished with the Trigons yet. There’s Qeresh and the renegade Trigons, as well as the Imperial decision to freeze Gaian technology to come. I’ll cover that in the second part of the Trigon story next time.

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I Promised you the Book Tour

April 23, 2008

Well, actually, I promised to write a retrospective of the Virtual Book Tour as a service to other writers, but it seems to me that the tour’s aimed to attract the notice of readers. Does it do this, and how can one tell?

I already posted a short commentary on the topic at the beginning of April as part of the post “And the Winner Is”. That was about the dearth of comments to the posted articles, interviews,  and reviews. It seems to me that this can be taken as an indication of the attention the tour has gained from browsers who don’t necessarily have their own blogs – maybe readers rather than writers with their own promotions. I did check in to other writers’ visits who were also touring that month, but only I and a writer of a historical novel exchanged comments.

I posted announcements about the tour on several writing sites I belong to, but as far as I know the announcements garnered little response. I would have thought some other writers would have dropped by to add support but the only ones who did knew me from other online activities. Not the book tour, I know, but if I’m going to give a thumbs down to promotion on anything here it would have to be online writing groups.

The plus was definitely coming into contact with up to twenty other breathing humans who toil away on the Internet producing copy and commentary. I would never have crossed paths with any of these people if it hadn’t been for the Blog Tour. Now – I think it’s essential that I don’t just leave things at that point. I haven’t gone back to many of them, but that’s just a function of my bear-like denning personality – I must make it a point to visit them and leave a comment or two when I’m not using their blogs for my promotion. (Good point, Chris. Make sure you do it.)

I did two blog talk radio interviews and enjoyed talking with the hosts. I felt really dubious about doing these beforehand. If there is one thing I really detest its “personalities” pontificating to some host on the radio. Why should I care about someone meeting with Salvador Dali while researching a book in Tuscany? I don’t give two hoots about someone’s novel that grew out of ten years as a rag picker in Togo. (I’m making these up, by the way.) But I think my own recorded droning is less a trumpeting of supposed superiority than a sharing of the bunk and junk of getting some novels published. The recordings are still clickable on the sites, and the links are listed on this blog under book tour.

I’d like to thank Cheryl and Dorothy at “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” for their organizing, hosting and guiding. Cheryl was there just about every day checking if the blogs were up or finding out why if they were not. (With a number of participants who also had lives to intrude sometimes posts were delayed.) Dorothy was a great help getting this blog site up and running. I did think she intended to do a couple more things (eg. no banner ever arrived here) but she was involved in moving that month and so was unable to spend more time with me. This blog is a lot more useful than my two other (now neglected) ones.

The interviews were varied in focus and specifics in many places. They were sent and completed the month before the tour started, but were good at making me focus on some things in my writing life I had been doing, as well as some I’d be better off not. These were among the blog posts that were often least commented on (like none). I think one has to be dreaming if one expects a guest blog or an interview is going to send a new reader scuttling to the bottom of the post to send fan mail. The fact is – book tour or no – nobody is going to hang out on a blog to look for a new author to read. The tour is part of a process that must include satisfying the needs of others. So I have to say that the virtual book tour is not the beginning and the end of promotion, it’s a step along the way.

Now I’ve appeared on the sites, I must go back to visit every so often. If I want to be noticed on blog sites when I’m promoting a novel again, I’d better make sure that I’m better known there. If you think you might want to do a virtual tour – better start planning early enough to ensure you don’t arrive as a stranger. As for the tour paying off in sales – I will probably never know, but if my royalties next cheque are more than last I’ll probably attribute some of the return to the Book Tour.

Lisa Heselton’s Review

April 14, 2008

Hi All:

Had to post this new review from Lisa, who I only met online when she reviewed Deadly Enterprise last year. I will check later to see what sites she posts this review on — she had the DE review all over the Internet.

The Wildcat’s Victory

Written by: Christopher Hoare

Science fiction / Fiction / Time travel

Rated: Very Good (****)

Review by: Lisa Haselton

Gisel Matah is back! Still in her early 20s and now a Major, she’s still an Iskander operative to be reckoned with. Her hands are full with balancing a love life, dealing with an operative’s murder, and preparing soldiers for battle.

The Iskanders have an alliance with the Felgers, a Gaian merchant and banker family. Yet there are still areas where the trust wanes. Gisel’s engagement to Yohan Felger hasn’t helped matters. Each has to balance duty to their people with their desire to be honest with each other. The challenges they face on a daily basis test their limits. How can she fully trust Yohan, when he’s loyal to the Baron who has yet to accept her? What drew Yohan to Gisel is now the same thing he has the hardest time accepting, especially when her newest assignment has her directly reporting to her former lover.

Life on Gaia has improved and progress is being made, but with the murder of an undercover operative and a radical movement that needs tempering, Gisel is not bored. In addition, she is asked to command a cavalry to support the rear of a battle line which has recently lost its commander. She hesitates to accept, but is pulled into the role and quickly learns the challenges ahead of her. A sadistic Skathian prince uses the battlefield for his own enjoyment and strives to learn how to defeat both sides in order to obtain total control.

The story is engaging and intriguing. I liken it to an intense chess match. It’s interesting to see how actions cause reactions and know that there is a third party lingering on the sidelines about to blow all the strategies off the board. Gisel trains her young cavalry men as best she can with the limited time they have. At the climax, their lives hang on her quick thinking, negotiating skills and ability to remain calm under pressure.

Christopher Hoare’s second novel, The Wildcat’s Victory, picks up eighteen months after Deadly Enterprise. The strong female protagonist, Gisel, is solid and well-crafted. The author manages to keep the character’s voice true to a young female officer with a lot of responsibility in a male-dominated field. She comes off feminine yet also a strong warrior. The tight writing and focused attention to detail keeps the reader engaged.

I recommend reading The Wildcat’s Victory, especially if you are a strategist, chess player, or war enthusiast. The battle scenes are succinct, yet detailed enough to appreciate a commander’s skill needed for success. The pacing is quite in tune with the scenes so the reader feels part of the action, whether it’s calm or full of motion.

Title: The Wildcat’s Victory

Author: Christopher Hoare

Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-55404-539-6

Pages: 320

Price: $16.99

Review from J Kaye Book Blog

April 8, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008
THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY by Christopher Hoare
Five Stars.

THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY is the second book in Christopher Hoare’s conflict-ridden series starring Gisel Matah, a top Iskander agent. She’s a character readers will love.

DEADLY ENTERPRISE is the first installment of this three part series. Here’s the blurb on Amazon.com:

Gisel Matah is the Iskanders’ top agent, but often her commanders’ chief pain in the neck. Sometimes passionate, sometimes tough, sometimes acerbic, she’s clever and always ready to twist their intentions to meet circumstances as she sees them.

Escorting young Yohan Felger across a haunt of outlaws to an enemy city was already a daunting task, but when her commanders changed her mission to include sounding out the leaders to switch sides it became a Deadly Enterprise.

On Gaia, an alternate Earth, the crew of the lost starship Iskander find themselves working for and against the inhabitants of a different 17th Century Europe. Building themselves a place in this world by promoting social change and an Industrial Revolution, they become enemies of the Trigons – also marooned star travelers, who now rule the Empire. But an enemy can be defeated with humanity when the person in charge is a rebel at heart.

In THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY, it opens with the murder of Durden, an Iskander agent posing as a technician with Gisel tracking down the killer. From the start, the story has a Battlestar Galactica feel to it. That said, if science fiction isn’t your thing, don’t shy away from this series. The reason I say this is I don’t usually read books in that genre. In fact, I usually refuse to read them at all.

I’m not sure what attracted me to the book. It might have been the cover. Take a look. (You can click on the cover to enlarge.) Doesn’t it look different? The book is published by Double Dragon Publishing. They carry science fiction, fantasy and horror titles, which this series is a blend of both science fiction and fantasy.

Now that I think of it, I don’t usually judge a book by its cover. That’s not always a good indicator the book is worthwhile. I think it was the blurb that made my decision. Here’s what it said:

Follow Gisel Matah and the thunder of hooves as she strikes back at the Imperial armies that threaten all she has worked for. She must defy every established world power to bring justice to common peasants and workers in societies now ruled by greedy aristocrats. Her covert activities require her to protect her fledgling Radical movement from both friends and enemies.

Risking her life and her love, Gisel negotiates even greater hazards in a wide ranging adventure. Her partner, Yohan Felger, becomes a problem when the Baron has him smuggle a steam engine to the Empire. Gisel knows of the subterfuge but cannot admit it, while Yohan is almost torn apart by the need to deceive her. Faced with removing the pressure on Yohan as he moves his contraband engine, she accepts the offer of General Lord Ricart, an ex-lover, to command a cavalry unit in battle. Her reckless courage is needed to carry out missions against two Imperial armies.

The fight finds her opposed by ever increasing odds until in the final confrontation she must outwit two enemies who vie to dominate Iskander. New friends, allies, and enemies as well as all the old ones fill the pages when Gisel Matah sets out to gain “The Wildcat’s Victory”.

Sounds good, huh? I do want to add that I have the hard copy of this book. If you have an eReader, something I have vowed to get one day, you can head over to Double Dragon Publishing where you can purchase Deadly Enterprise and THE WILDCAT’S VICTORY in ebook format for only $5.99 each.

There’s a downside to this post. I won’t be raffling this book off today. The reason is Steve (the hubby) wants to read this book too. But first, he wants to read DEADLY ENTERPRISE I do too. When I post the review for DEADLY ENTERPRISE, I’ll raffle off both books.

As always with these types of combo raffles, I’ll combine the posts here with the posts for DEADLY ENTERPRISE. But first, tell me, how many of you like SciFi books? Any favorites? I am curious to know.

So until the next review,

Happy Reading!

Review from Sadie’s Storylines

April 4, 2008

A kickass female protagonist leads the charge in this alternate-earth fantasy. The Wildcat’s Victory is the second in a series (the first being Deadly Enterprise) by Christopher Hoare.

Gisel Matah is not only beautiful, she’s strong and smart as a whip.  She knows more than she’s letting on as the book opens.  Through slow reveals we learn the backstory of the novel (for those that haven’t yet read Deadly Enterprise), and see the deception behind every character as they try to protect their own interests as well as the interests of their superiors.

At first I found the book confusing, but within 10 pages I was hooked and reading more to clear up any remaining confusion I felt.  Christopher shoves you knee-deep in intrigue and action and doesn’t let you go until the last page of this spell-binding novel.

See an earth locked in a time of near-progress, hindered by sins of the past and present, a war of wits and weapons.

Get The Wildcat’s Victory and prepare to sit on the edge of your seat, using your own wits to keep up with Gisel’s.

And the Winner Is!

April 3, 2008

The draw for the free copy of “The Wildcat’s Victory” drew sixteen entrants – not including myself who appeared on almost every blog, and using only one entry from anyone else who commented on several. It turned out to be fairer that way. My own blog received most comments during the month – four, and a couple of items of spam that I disallowed as moderator. Another blog site had a couple of spam comments as well.

So . . . here we go. The lady wishes to be identified only as Fantasy Girl from http://bestfantasystories.com one of the blog owners who responded to the comment I had made. I will buy a mailing envelope tomorrow when I’m in town and put the copy in the mail. Thank you all for participating and commenting. The only disappointment I feel is that I couldn’t send copies to everyone.

While on the topic of the draw I will post my observations about the process and offer advice to anyone who wants to run a similar promotion.

Firstly, because some of the sites seemed to need a Special Forces assault team to break in to make a comment, I would recommend that one’s own blog be emphasized as an alternative to commenting on the day’s tour stop. This would also be appropriate for the blog radio sites that don’t have a visible ‘comment’ link.

I think some readers who followed the links were bashful about commenting, and perhaps the requirement to log in or to baffle the machine reader test prevented them from posting. Again point out that they can go to the author’s tour blog where, even though a comment will need approval before appearing, it will be noted and counted in the draw.

Perhaps some people thought the odds of winning were too great for them to bother. I wish the contest had drawn that many entries. If I had counted myself for all the comments I posted in the month I would have had a 50% probability of winning.

Perhaps the draw announcement should be posted at the start and the end of the interviews and guest blogs to make sure people register the information. A short instruction on each site about the draw and the options for commenting might be a good idea.

I might have posted more invitations to participate on writing and networking sites I belong to, but I really didn’t think it would be necessary. The Tour conductor posted on a few sites daily and I had my own blog announcements. I doubt if I’d receive much more response by buying spam software and blitzing the whole Internet. Perhaps that feeling was the reason I didn’t get more response – I feel embarrassed to bug people too stridently. In this world, unfortunately, one has to be obnoxious to be heard.

Announcement Soon

April 2, 2008

I need to hear back some personal information from finalists before I can announce the winner of the free copy of The Wildcat’s Victory. Hopefully, that will be tomorrow.

I looked at the EPPIE site today and see that the original information is correct and the update was wrong – or something. I give up. Twisted Tales II Volume 2, Out of Time was a finalist. They were both finalists. J. don’t for heaven’s sake split another anthology into two . . . ever.

I think this will do enough for this post – it’s only designed to keep you in suspense.

Today may or may not be the Day.

April 1, 2008

I expected to post the name of the winner of the free copy of The Wildcat’s Victory on this blog today, but we appear to be running a bit late. The guest blog on You Don’t Know Jack showed up today, and I find it’s almost impossible to get the site to accept a comment. I don’t know how long it took before the comment box appeared at the bottom of the entry – I went away and did something else. When I checked in just now I see the box is there but writing and submitting a comment results in an error message – Error establishing a Database Connection.

I have a feeling the late posting of the blog stems from the same software issues. I don’t believe the blog owner planned to post the guest blog late.

What else can I tell you about? My winner’s goodies from EPIC arrived in the mail, for participation in the Anthology Twisted Tales II in company with 16 other Double Dragon authors. Maybe it arrived today, but I hadn’t checked the box since the middle of last week until going by on my way to run the dogs this morning. When I received the package I was mystified at receiving something from a lady in Nevada whose name I was unfamiliar with. But the contents were very welcome.

Firstly it seems to clear up the confusion whether Twisted Tales II volume one or volume two had been declared winner. It would appear that both being listed as finalists, we were in a tie. I find that a pleasing way to resolve the question. In addition to the booklet entitled the 9th Annual EPPIE Awards I received two lapel buttons reading EPPIE Winner (wow, I can pin one to my jacket and one to my skin for when I’m in bed or in the bath. More likely it means I can secrete one in a safe place to retrieve whenever I misplace the first one – or vice versa.). Next is a certificate to be framed and hung on a wall congratulating me on being a finalist and a bronze medal reading EPIC 2008, Twisted Tales II Out of Time Volume 2, Christopher Hoare, on a green ribbon. Unfortunately the loop tab on the medal has broken off in transit (probably some hurried luggage handlers threw the mailbags off the plane before it landed) so I won’t be able to parade about wearing it. Just as well, I might be mistaken for a member of the Green Party and run out of town by the local Pollute and Poison Committee. (This is Alberta.)

So watch this space – I may have another blog to post later today when we have a winner for the novel – or else watch anyway until I do post one. There will also be two more book reviews to point you to in a week or so – those dead tree copies arriving late messed up the schedule here. The last review will be even later because I just mailed the reviewer a copy of Deadly Enterprise so she can review both novels in sequence.

One More Day

March 30, 2008

The draw for a free copy is near. Your last chance this weekend to log on to one of the blog stops and make a comment. I’ll post the whole tour below —

Mar 3  http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com (guest post)
Mar 4  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sydneymolare  (podcast)
Mar 5  http://buzzthebook.blogspot.com (spotlight)
Mar 6  http://rebecca2007.wordpress.com  (interview)
Mar 7  http://beyondthebooks.wordpress.com/ (interview)
Mar 10  http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/ (spotlight)
Mar 11  http://www.j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/ (review)
Mar 12  http://www.thewriterslife.blogspot.com (interview)
Mar 13  http://storycrafters.blogspot.com/ (guest post)
Mar 14  http://www.fictionscribe.com/ (interview)
Mar 17  http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-1-of-2-chris-hoare.html and http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-part-2-of-2-chris-hoare.html
Mar 18  http://www.inspiredauthor.com (interview)
Mar 19  http://www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com (spotlight)
Mar 20  http://theplotline.wordpress.com/  (spotlight)
Mar 21  http://theplotline.wordpress.com/  (character interview)
Mar 24  http://shareyourheroine.blogspot.com/ (character interview)
Mar 25  http://sadiej.findingperfect.com/ (review)
Mar 26  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin (podcast)
Mar 27  http://blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com/ (review)
Mar 28
Mar 31 – GIVEAWAY – free copy of “The Wildcat’s Victory” to one person who comments during your VBT

It has been an interesting month, that gave me the opportunity to visit lots of blogs and meet the people there. I haven’t started to put down my summary of the Virtual Book Tour as yet. In fact there are a couple of sites still to visit because the paper copies of the books were late and so only one of the four reviews made deadline. I will post announcements on this blog as the reviews become available

Just shifting gears . . . and planning an ongoing program now the tour is coming to an end. Just watch for the winner announcement on Monday.

On the Air Today.

March 26, 2008

Hi All:

Today I have another blog talk radio interview – with Denny Griffin. The time is 11:00 Pacific time, noon for me, and the link is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin

I won’t know what we’re going to talk about until I get on the air, so everything will be a surprise for me as well. I think I’ll try to remember my old Toastmaster training and watch my umms and errrs this time. It’s not as easy when the talk is unscripted.

Did you take a look at yesterday’s review on Sadie’s Storylines? http://sadiej.findingperfect.com/
It’s always a revelation when a reviewer focusses in on some aspect of the novel that I never think to accentuate. “ . . . see the deception behind every character as they try to protect their own interests as well as the interests of their superiors.” Yes, there is a lot of deception and hidden intrigue going on, but I’d never realized that just about every character is hiding something. I’ll be posting the review on this site in the future.

I’d just like to keep your attention a moment about an issue in the news. You will have all heard of the unrest in Tibet and the crack-down by the Chinese government. They blame the Dalai Lama, of course, and pretend their 1950 invasion and conquest of Tibet has nothing to do with it. China has always been more of an empire than a country, and so they are very sensitive to any events that point up the fact that their government extends over many other ethnic groups besides Han Chinese. At the very least it means that justice demands they respect the indigenous rights and beliefs of those they rule. This evenhandedness has never been extended to Tibet.

There is talk of boycotting the Beijing Olympics, and no doubt many individuals will do this, even if the IOC and individual governments will be more concerned with the almighty dollar, or almighty yuan. It is to be expected that some athletes will speak out politically when they have the spotlight and we should applaud their sense of duty. It seems to me that a more significant boycott is one we can all participate in – taking a very long look before buying all those cheap Chinese products in WalMart.

I support the Tibetan people in their struggle for religious freedom and human rights. http://www.freetibet.org/