Monday, May 18, 2020

Musings on #MuseMonday by Herbert Grosshans #SciFi #aliens


Please welcome Herbert Grosshans to Discover... Love his musings. Enjoy!

The first humans on Earth surely wondered about those lights in the night sky. What were they? What about that big orb that became smaller every night and completely disappeared for a few nights, and then began to grow again? Were those lights gods or demons? They worshipped the sun because they knew without the sun there would be no life.

To this day, people look at the stars and wonder if those alien suns have planets like ours. Are there intelligent beings living on them? What are they like?

I wonder about that also. That’s why I make up stories about alien societies. I imagine planets populated by beings that may be different from us humans but still not so much different that we can’t communicate with them. I imagine humanity venturing into space and interacting with those aliens. Will we war with them or will we live in peace?

These days, I wonder if my stories even have a chance to become reality. Our planet is in turmoil. Has there ever been peace anywhere on Earth? Ever? We kill each other over religion, ideologies, territory, oil, technology, and food. The next big war will be fought over fresh water. Is there actually a future for mankind? It doesn’t look promising. Right now, the whole world is in the grip of a pandemic. How many people will die before this is over? Our world will be different after this, and that is a certainty. There are people out there who live in denial and pretend nothing has changed, but they will have to wake up to the new reality. The question is: When will the next wave of another virus hit us?

Will we ever leave this planet to explore space or are we condemned to live out our lives stuck on Earth? Perhaps we’ll go the way of the dinosaurs and be wiped out.

But in the meantime, I will continue to dream.

My featured book ‘Return to Redsky’ is a planet humans have colonized. In two stages, actually. There are settlers that arrived there a long time ago and there is the new wave of settlers. Redsky was not empty of natives. Humans and the native population get along—sort of.

And then there is the threat of an alien race humans call ‘Stardogs’. Not much is known about them, except that they are not friendly.

The main character of the story, Dan Griffin, is a man who has been accused of murder. He is sent to a prison planet, where he and other convicted criminals are used in experiments. When it is discovered that he is innocent, the damage is done. They turn him into a super-soldier.

Like on any planet colonized by humans, there are always conflicts with the natives. Dan Griffin and his team are sent to Redsky to investigate the problem and to solve it. Griffin is not welcomed in his hometown. Aside from his mission he has his own agenda.  He is determined to find out who framed him and to punish the guilty.

Excerpt Return to Redsky, Book One of the series ‘Stardogs’, by Herbert Grosshans 

I looked at the red sun in the sky, and then at the two barely visible small moons hanging low above the horizon. It felt good to be home again.
The first twenty years of my life I had spent traveling across the surface of Redsky or Shantra, as the natives called this planet.
A sudden gust of wind swept along the dirt road, swirling up the yellow dust. I walked slowly. There was no need to hurry.
Above, a Yac-bird circled, looking for prey. I heard its sharp, piercing cry, and it brought back long forgotten memories. Squinting against the fiery red sun, I tried to make out the ridge of the Golgat-mountains in the hazy distance, where I had hunted the fierce Gaar. So long ago, and seemed like only yesterday.
I had walked for nearly an hour, when the drumming of hoofs came from the forest to my left, and I was not surprised to see the small band bursting into the open. They reached me quickly. Their riding animals reared high as they formed a circle around me.
Only six surrounded me now. Short, stocky males, with long, narrow, arrogant faces. The tips of their horns were painted red. This meant they had all made their first kill.
“Terra-man,” mocked the first one, contemptuously pointing his Ginsa-staff into the sky.

Read more at my publisher’s author page:

Warning: Even though this excerpt is PG rated, the book contains violence and explicit erotica.

Return to Redsky is available from my publisher Melange Books and other outlets.

Find Herbert here: 


Friday, May 15, 2020

Creepy Crawlies to Eat by C. B. Clark #FearlessFriday #Romance


It's great having C. B. Clark back on Discover... And wow, today's Fearless Friday gave me the creepy crawlies. Read and enjoy!

Thank you for having me on your Blog today, Brenda. I’m thrilled to be back on Fearless Friday.

I enjoy traveling (at least I did, until Covid-19) and when I travel, I like to eat the local food as much as possible. I’ve tasted baked guinea pig in Peru, whale blubber (muktuk) cooked by the Inuit in the Arctic, boiled crickets in Vietnam, and fried bull testicles (criadillas) in Argentina. But when presented with a tarantula in Cambodia, I was reluctant. Many of the spiders were alive and crawling all over the sides of their containers or on people’s hands and arms.

Fried tarantula is a delicacy in Cambodia, and in spite of my fear and revulsion, I was determined to give it a try. The tarantula I was offered was deep fried (thank the Lord!), but there was no hiding the reality that it was a very large spider. After much encouragement, I tore off a leg. The crackling crunch was unsettling, and the rasp of the stiff bristles on my tongue made me gag. After I swallowed down the first leg, there were seven more to go. 

Finally, only the large, round spider abdomen remained. I popped it in my mouth and chewed. The texture was sticky and similar to peanut butter, and just as challenging to clear out of my mouth. The taste was earthy and not unpleasant, but I grabbed my water bottle and
washed down the remains. Eating that tarantula was an adventure, and part of the Cambodian lifestyle, but not an experience I care to repeat.

Reeling from loss and heartbreak, Stella King is desperate to escape painful memories. The position of nanny on an isolated ranch in British Columbia’s rugged Chilcotin Plateau seems the answer to her prayers. 

Cattle rancher, Dawson Wheeler, has worked hard to overcome grief and build a predictable world for his young daughter. The last thing he needs is the all-too-attractive Stella disrupting the smooth running of his ranch, especially now that disturbing incidents are happening on his property. 

Defending his land against those who want to gut it will be a challenge, but the biggest threat of all may be to his heart. 


The back of his neck itched. “You’re Stella King?” Of course she was. Who else would be waiting here at this time of night? Once again, he glanced at the photograph clenched in his hand—gray curls, thick glasses, sixty years old. That was the Stella King he’d hired. The itching amped up to a full-out assault.
She stood and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you, Dawson.”
He stumbled back another step, his worst fears confirmed. This gorgeous woman was the nanny he’d hired to look after Deirdre.
Her light-blue wool sweater did nothing to hide the full, rounded mounds of her breasts. Her legs looked a mile long in the white denim, skintight, designer jeans tucked into a pair of knee-high, high-heeled, black leather boots. Her perfume wafted on the evening breeze, a heady mix of spring flowers and something subtle but decidedly feminine.
He struggled to swallow, but his throat was parched, his tongue as dry as old leather against the roof of his mouth.
Silence stretched between them. An owl hooted from a nearby tree, crickets chirped in the tall grass lining the ditch, and still he didn’t move.
She frowned and dropped her hand.
“I…uh…er…I wasn’t expecting, um…” Sucking in a deep breath, he tried again. “Look, there’s been a mistake. I was expecting someone a little—” He coughed and searched for the right words. “—well, someone a little older.” He held out the crumpled photograph. “The photograph the agency sent—”
“Oh, that. They told me there’d been a mix-up. Apparently, the company sent you the wrong picture.”
Her laugh floated through the air like a melody.
“But as you can see—” She fished in her oversized, black leather purse, pulled out a rhinestone-studded, pink wallet, and flipped it open, flashing him her driver’s license. “—I am indeed Stella King, the woman you hired.”
He studied the identification, but no matter how many times he read the details, the facts didn’t change. “But, you’re too young. You—”
She cut him off again. “I’m thirty-two, Mr. Wheeler. Surely that’s old enough to be a nanny to a five-year-old.”
Dawson tunneled his fingers through his unruly mass of dark curls. “You don’t understand. The Circle 5’s a working ranch, Ms. King. There’s just me, Deirdre, and Alf, and the boys around most of the time. Sometimes weeks go by when we don’t see another person.” He paused and waited for her to understand what he was trying to tell her.

Buy Links:
Also available at

Author Bio:
Award-winning author, C.B. Clark, has written six romantic suspense novels published by The Wild Rose Press. She has worked as an archaeologist and an educator, and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

Social Media Links:

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tips and Myths #MythBusters

A quickie today, busting a few myths.

Alcohol is warming
Nothing like a shot on a cold night, right? Actually, alcohol dilates warm blood vessels near the skin, creating the impression of warmth. It can actually drop core body temp. Yikes.

Chastity Belts
Husbands would put these on their wives in days gone by to prevent them from straying while hubby was away on a long trip, right? Nope. They were not anti-adultery devices. This lovely little device was invented by prudes in the 19th century to prevent ‘dangerous’ masturbation.

Caffeine dehydrates
This one blew me away. I have seen caffeine listed in over the counter diuretics. But according to my myth-busting research, the diuretic dehydrating effect of caffeine is offset by the amount of water in a caffeinated drink.

Shaving thickens hair
Regrown hair isn’t thicker, coarser or darker. It just appears so because it’s no longer tapered.

7 years to digest
Mom always said don't swallow your gum. It'll clog you up! The truth is the chewy base of gum is indigestible and passes straight through. The remainder is absorbed.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Charmed Life...and I Still Have My Mom #MothersDay

Dedicated to Mom...

Mom now
When posed with the question for what am I thankful, the first thing that pops into my head is family. Although my maternal and paternal grandparents had rather large families, seven children on both sides, my immediate family is small. I am one of three children and each of us had one son. A few more came to us through marriage. We’re small and close.

I've always said we live a charmed life. FDW doesn't always agree when we've been faced with heartache, loss of loved ones, sickness, and financial woes. But we hang together, take comfort in each other, and come through with laughter. Laughter is a big component in our family.

My mom will turn ninety this year. 90! I grew up listening to stories of her life in the 1930s and 1940s. I lost my father not long after he turned sixty. I’m so thankful to still have Mom with me, healthy and spry for eighty-nine! Post-War Dreams is set in 1945 Phoenix,
Mom then
Arizona. I borrowed heavily from her real life adventures, sad and happy.

World War II has ended and the soldiers are coming home. After years of following her crop worker father, motherless Claire Flanagan is also coming home. If she can keep her father in one place long enough, she plans to follow her dreams to Hollywood. Until she meets Benjamin.

Benjamin Russell has been working since he was fifteen to support his mother and siblings. What he most wants in life is to own a construction business and take care of the family his father abandoned. The last thing he expects is to fall for his younger sister’s best friend.

Life, however, throws cruel twists and turns into the path of romance. And when an unrequited love seeks revenge against Claire, and Benjamin learns his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, lost dreams of a future together could be the only thing they have left.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Love and Marriage: Do they have to go together? by Carmen Webster Buxton


Please join me in welcoming Carmen Webster Buxton to Muse Monday. Love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage...or do they? Let's ask Carmen.

I like to read both historical romance and far future romance. If you think about it, romance—at least romance with a happily ever after ending—is not just about falling in love, it’s about pairing off and getting married—finding a partner for life, if you will. And one reason I like reading (and writing, when it comes to far future) stories set in the past and the future is, marriage, as practiced in these stories, is not always familiar.

Romances set among the upper classes of 18th or 19th century Great Britain, for example, often feature arranged marriages, something you would rarely see in a contemporary romance unless it was set in some exotic place where fathers still rule their daughters’ lives.  Such historical romances also describe a very restricted life for unmarried ladies. Chaperones were a fact of life. If you were a woman caught alone in a house with a man who wasn’t a close relative, your reputation was in shreds and you might be forced to choose between an unwanted marriage and being an outcast from society. I like reading about people coping with unfamiliar (to me, anyway) situations.

In far future romances, there is no limit to the differences that can exist.  Women can have harems; marriage might have been abolished; if the author creates a new species, marriage might never have existed. That’s what I did in Alien Bonds, the first book in my Wakanreo trilogy; I created a species that mated purely from biology. No one ever tries to choose a mate because if they do, it could all be blown away if mating occurs with someone else. Widows might pair off, but they didn’t call it marriage. In Tribes, a standalone science fiction romance with only human characters, I abolished marriage in favor of tribal allegiance. In this story, people pair off, but because nothing is more binding than loyalty to your tribe, no one actually gets married. If you think about it, marriage as we practice is at least partly about ensuring the continuation of the species. Marriage helps make sure children have a secure home. And if something else provides that security, who needs marriage?

The thing is, customs change but feelings don’t. I’m sure lots of people who practiced arranged marriage grew to love their spouses. But I’m also sure lots of people weren’t happy in a marriage where they might not even have met the other person before the wedding. For one thing, sex becomes a matter of duty instead of attraction, and robs it of a lot if its appeal. At least in my Wakanreo trilogy, biology takes control and attraction is there whether you want it or not. But that can be difficult to bear, too, if you don’t really want to be with that person, as Alien Vows, the second book in the trilogy, illustrates.

And if it comes to that, even people who get married after a long acquaintance sometimes choose to end the marriage. One reason I was inspired to write Alien Bonds is, my father left my mother after 28 years of marriage, after he found out that a woman he had always admired was a widow. He went to see her, and a week later packed his belongings and moved out, leaving my mother shocked and devastated. I wanted to explore what a society would be like where such a thing would never happen.

So, love and marriage are two different things, but they are two things that are often tied together. And I find that it’s when they’re not tied together that things get interesting.


She turned to survey the crowd again, looking for any sign of iridescent blue and silver. She didn’t see Arliana, but she noticed the silver-headed Wakanrean had left the Ambassador’s circle and was standing by himself in the middle of the room.
Dina wasn’t sure, but she thought he was staring at her. She took a few steps toward the stairs, and his eyes followed her so closely there was no doubt that she was the object of his scrutiny.
No, his animosity. He looked angry—furious, in fact. She had never seen a Wakanrean show so much emotion. His eyes gleamed with rage, and his nostrils flared wide. She took another step toward the stairs, and the Wakanrean began to walk rapidly toward her.
Dina fought panic. What could she have done to make him so angry? She hadn’t come close enough to any Wakanreans to offend anyone. She clasped her hands together to reassure herself that her gloves were on.
The silver-haired Wakanrean came closer still. Under his cape he wore a long, blue robe instead of the trousers and loose, tunic-style shirt favored by Wakanreans of both sexes. He was very close now. His golden facial and body fur combined with the creamy white of his crest reminded her of some Terran animal, but she couldn’t remember which one. Other than the dark blue trim on his robe and the diamond-shaped pattern that decorated his sandals, his only adornment was a piece of silver jewelry fastened at the base of his throat; she couldn’t tell if it was pinned to his robe or his chest fur.
Dina could feel herself breathing faster, her heart pounding hard. She should walk away. Why couldn’t she move her feet? She stood waiting by the mezzanine railing, as still as if she had taken root in the floor.
The Wakanrean stood in front of her. He glared down at her, his face contorted into a scowl, his amber eyes glowing with contempt.
“I beg your pardon.” Dina tried to keep the quaver out of her voice. “Do I know you?”
He was so close, she could feel the heat from his body. Either that, or the room had gotten suddenly warmer. Dina felt herself flush from head to foot.
He didn’t answer, but all at once it was as if his anger was a physical thing, an invisible mass, pushing against her. She stepped backward, stumbled, and almost fell.
She reached for the mezzanine railing behind her, and in the same instant, the Wakanrean grabbed her arm.
Dina froze, utterly baffled. The orientation had said clearly that Wakanreans would always avoid touching a Terran, and yet here was one not only touching her, but holding her firmly by the arm and helping her to stand.
The orientation had also failed to warn her that a Wakanrean’s touch was so warm it almost burned. Dina could feel a flush of heat on her arm where his hand still gripped it. She stood straighter and looked into his face. He had typical Wakanrean features—an arched nose, large round eyes, a wide mouth.
His expression changed as she watched. His anger faded to confusion. He looked almost stunned. His nostrils still flared, but from the way his eyes had opened wide, Dina knew he was surprised rather than angry.
Neither of them had taken a step since he took hold of her arm. Dina swallowed once, conscious of discreet glances and overt stares from those around them.
“I’m all right,” she said finally, wondering if she was speaking the truth. The dizziness had passed, but she still felt lightheaded. “Thank you, but you can let go now.”
He loosened his grip but didn’t release her for a few seconds. When he did, he brushed her bare arm with the back of his hand. Dina was amazed when it sent shivers of anticipation up her spine.
“This is unexpected.” His wonderfully resonant voice had a rich, warm timbre to it that made Dina’s shivers change from anticipation to yearning.
“Yes,” she said, unsure of what he meant, but afraid to give offense.
“Where do you live?”
“I have an apartment in the off-world sector,” she said, wondering why she was answering him. She fought the urge to close her eyes and just listen to that wonderful voice.
“My house is in the cliffs outside the city. Let’s go there instead.”
“All right.”
It took Dina a moment to realize that she had agreed to go home with him.

Buy link for ALIEN BONDS:

You can connect with Carmen here: