Monday, August 15, 2016

"AOB" featured in Return to Earth

A New Alvarium Experiment Project
Today, the Alvarium Experiment launched its second project called Return to Earth. Ten accomplished and award-winning authors weave tales based on this premise: What if extraterrestrials came to Earth and they were human?
Each story is $0.99 each in the Kindle Store. Stories can be read in any order.
by Bria Burton

Aona, an Alien-Operated Bot (AOB), suffers a malfunction that could jeopardize her mission on Earth and could lead to the extinction of an entire species from another planet.


Q - What is Return to Earth? 
A - In Return to Earth, ten authors unite to interpret how humankind would react to the arrival of extraterrestrials who happen to be human. The stories range in setting from recent history to far future. This is the second project by the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors. 

Q - Where should a reader start when selecting a short story to read in Return to Earth? 
A - Each story is self-contained and can be read in any order. The reader is free to select any of the stories at random to begin their experience. The book description will explain the setting for each particular story. 

Return to Earth Stories & Authors

The Paradoxical Man by Bard Constantine. Albert Rosen is one of five explorers who vanished on a deep-sea expedition into the Bermuda Triangle. He returns to Earth centuries later, transported across space and time through a mysterious wormhole. However, Earth is not the home he remembers. Humankind has been evacuated, and the survivors lie in hibernation aboard the Locus, an orbiting space station. Rosen is forced to match wits with Deis, an artificial intelligence determined to keep humanity in stasis until he is convinced they are fit to return.
Visit Bard at

“Children of the Stars” by Charles A. Cornell. In Japan, an American medical researcher discovers the deadly secret behind an eighty-year-old woman's ageless appearance and incredible fertility, and her connection to the bizarre disappearance of the freighter the Ourang Medan in 1948.
Visit Charles at

“Project Bright Star” by Kristin Durfee. A once thought failed secret mission to colonize a distant planet, named 0X3B1, is discovered to have been successful when descendants of that mission return to Earth fifty-one years after their grandparents left, much to the surprise, and fear, of the world.
Visit Kristin at

Recovery by Veronica Helen Hart. When a virus threatens the lives of everyone on board a transfer station for intergalactic travel, it's up to Dr. Candace Bertram to retrieve the only known vaccine from Earth. The risky, untested method of transport could mean catastrophic mission failure, and grave danger for Dr. Bertram.
Visit Veronica at

Coming Home by John Hope. Finally achieving his dream of being an astronaut on the Jupiter missions, Jasper's mind is elsewhere, on the recent loss of his stepfather, Bud. But Jasper's space mission is interrupted when he is sucked into a wormhole that transports him to a different time, 30 years in the past. And now, doctors don't believe where he's from. Fortunately, his loving nurse at his side comforts him and a love builds. That is, until he realizes that his nurse's son is Jasper as a young boy.
Visit John at

“Someday Loyal” by Elle Andrews Patt. Alien invaders are lobbing fireballs at Peoria, but Grandmama is holding tea. When the military arrives in search of Mrs. Suniol, Alice is drawn into the mystery of Lake Snow, a missing husband, and securing the key to an entire civilization's survival.
Visit Elle at

“Under the Whelming Tide” by Ken Pelham. The Aethir, space-born descendants of the mythical planet Earth, are returning home at last to fulfill their destiny. But not all believe the great homecoming will be the heaven they have been promised.
Visit Ken at

“Social Experiment” by Tracie Roberts. For the past two years Dr. Olivia Tate had led a satisfying life with her alien spouse, Kya Dumont. As a scientist and cancer survivor, Liv is on a mission to discover a cure for the deadly disease. But something equally deadly has put Kya’s people, the Oo’mahn, in danger of extinction. With an order to evacuate Earth, Kya struggles between helping her people and remaining with the woman she loves, especially now that Liv has also fallen ill. Now Kya’s ship is approaching and the couple must not only find a cure for Liv and the Oo’mahn, but also devise a plan to remain together despite the objection of the aliens.
Visit Tracie at

Gaia Returning by C.L. Roman. Pirates steal things. It's what they do... When Captain Irina Demyanov’s first mate disobeys orders and steals the crown jewels of a vengeful alien race, she knows she’s out of options. Desperate to escape, Irina takes her chances on a dangerous vortex leap and lands near an unnamed, yet strangely familiar planet. The gamble may have paid off, but between hostile inhabitants and inevitable discovery by their pursuers, the pirates’ chances of survival appear slim. Can the human remnant find refuge, or will their enemies put a permanent end to the human race?
Visit C.L. at

For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website:
Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment

Monday, June 6, 2016

"On Both Sides" Featured in Local Anthology

"On Both Sides" in Writers of Pinellas Anthology

At a writers picnic back in April, I met Laura Joyce Moriarty, an author and owner of Four Roses & Brown Publishing. She was looking for stories for a new anthology featuring Pinellas County authors.

Hey, I'm a Pinellas County author. Pick me, pick me!

At the writers picnic, I was also getting great advice about my query letter from Molli Nickell!
Okay, there was a little more to it than that. Since she was accepting reprints, and I didn't have a lot of time to write a new story before the deadline, I sent a handful of my previously published works.

To my surprise, she picked "On Both Sides," the longest of the stories I sent.

All Proceeds to a Good Cause

I've been involved in multiple events with Wordier Than Thou, from their Fiction, LIVE! readings to Florida Bookstore Day to the Tampa Bay Book Fair. They do a great job of supporting local authors, providing avenues for writers to showcase their work, and encouraging reading and writing throughout the Tampa Bay area.

When Laura explained that all proceeds from the Writers of Pinellas Anthology would go directly to the Wordier Than Thou Bookstore, I was thrilled. The independent bookstore just opened recently, and I can't wait to get over there to check it out for myself.

For anyone shopping on Amazon, here is a link to the eBook and the Paperback.

For anyone interested in stopping by the Wordier Than Thou Bookstore, here is their address: 5741 75th Ave. N,  Pinellas Park, FL 33781

About the Story

When a mysterious woman vanishes during the American Revolution, young Robby Freeman searches for answers from a cryptic sharpshooter who deserted Washington's Continental Army.

"On Both Sides" originally appeared as a Single Kindle Story before being featured in The Prometheus Saga anthology in 2015.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Interview with Fantasy Author C.L. Roman

Guest Author Appearance at Gulfport Art Walk

Fantasy author C.L. Roman will be visiting the Tampa Bay area soon. I'm so excited to introduce you to this incredibly talented author.

Interview with Cheri Roman

Welcome, Cheri! Let's talk about your latest book. What's it about?

My latest book is a paranormal YA about Lila, a teenager who knew three things about herself for sure: she was human, she was ordinary and she was adopted. She was wrong on two out of the three.

On her fifteenth birthday, she simultaneously discovers a hitherto unknown ability to cast fire, and burns down her family home. Lila was adopted, but the details of her birth story have been kept from her, with good reason. Now she is being pursued by people who want to use her abilities, or her body, to benefit themselves.

It’s the second book in the Witch of Forsythe High series.

Describe your writing process. For example, do you plan out your books or are you a pantser (one who writes by the seat of their pants)?

For the most part, my process consists of putting my behind in a chair and writing, as often as possible, usually with a cup of coffee close at hand.

LOL, well, I guess it’s more than that really. Generally, I start with a synopsis these days, but I used to be a pantser. That’s how I wrote Descent (the first novel in my Rephaim series.)

But you know, books have a way of surprising you. Whether it’s a minor character who just won’t stay minor (yes, I’m talking about YOU, Aurora Fischer of the Witch of Forsythe High Series) or a story arc that turns out to be way bigger than you thought it was going to be (which is how Rephaim became a series instead of a stand-alone), it’s easy for an author to suddenly find themselves standing on the proverbial cliff having run out of road, er, ummm, plot. A synopsis gives you a kind of roadmap. For me, the story still changes a lot during the writing, but at least I know where I’m supposed to end up. And knowing where you’re headed is pretty helpful in making sure you get there.

Plus, I have a tendency to rabbit, that is, run off chasing story threads that actually turn out to be spin-offs or completely separate stories of their own. A friend introduced me to the benefits of writing a synopsis before starting the actual manuscript and it has really helped me write faster and cleaner. I still chase those rabbits, but it’s usually on a notepad next to my computer.

What factors influenced you in becoming an Indie Author?

There were a number of factors, actually. Part of it had to do with the cost/benefit of accepting a publishing contract with a traditional outfit. I tried my luck with the larger houses, but the truth is, they receive thousands of submissions every year, maybe every month, and the odds against winding up anywhere but in the slush pile are pretty steep, no matter how talented you are. If you’re writing something that doesn’t fit their formula, they aren’t going to look twice. Not their fault. They have a responsibility to play it safe, and for the most part, that’s what they do. Smaller houses make it a bit easier to get across the threshold, and they do offer some benefits, such as editing, cover art and the like. But in the end, most of what they can do for me, I can do for myself, without giving up most of my royalty check. I decided it was just more cost efficient for me to pay for whatever services I needed up front, and bet on myself.

If you were able to pick any fictional character to have lunch with, who would it be and why?

Oy, that’s a tough question, mostly because there are so MANY. Gabaldon’s Claire and Jamie Fraser, for starters. Just for the history.  Plus, I’d really like to take my chance at time travel. I always thought Verne’s Captain Nemo was an interesting guy too. But the truth is, I’d mostly just like a tour of the Nautilus. I’d say Mary Poppins, but really, that might be a bad idea, because I’d be eyeing that carpet bag the whole time, plotting ways to, umm, borrow it. Then there’s Elizabeth Bennet for her sense of humor. James Bond, because of, well, you know. Or Robin Hood – I’d want him to teach me to shoot. And I love most of Dean Koonts’ characters, especially Deucalion from the Frankenstein series. I mean, with a lifespan like that, he has to be a fascinating conversationalist.  It is just too hard to pick one. Hmmm, I’ll have to give this one some additional thought. Maybe we can have a cocktail party instead? I’ve always liked the adage, “the more the merrier.”

What's next for you?

I’m honored to have been invited to collaborate with a highly talented group of authors working together to create some great stories. The group is called the Alavarium Experiment and this is their second venture. My story is about a group of inter-galactic accidental pirates. In the process of escaping what some might call harsh justice, they happen upon what appears to be a hitherto undiscovered planet. Things are not always what they seem. The pirates are part of the last remnants of humanity, and the planet turns out to be oddly familiar.

The fun thing about this project is that it was designed to be a short story – 3500 to 10,000 words. But the prompt actually sparked an idea for a novel, which in turn sparked the idea for the story I’m working on for the project. All I can say is, serendipity is a wondrous thing and inspiration cannot be explained, it can only be enjoyed when it hits, because the rest is actual work.

Where can readers get their signed copies of your books in person?

In May I’ll be hosting a table at the Gulfport Art Walk down in St. Petersburg. I am excited to be joining you there, Bria, signing books and enjoying the day with readers. I’ll also be hosting a table at the Indie Book Festival in Orlando on October 7-9.

Meet Cheri Roman

At the Gulfport Art Walk on May 6th, Cheri will be sharing a booth with me from 6-10 PM. You can RSVP on Facebook to let us know you'll be stopping by. More info on the FB event page.

Social media links:
Twitter: @cheri_roman


Books by C.L. Roman

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Radio Interview with Joy on Paper

Radio Interview with Alvarium Experiment Authors

Another first: I'm on the radio, Mom!

As exciting, and nerve-racking, as it was to participate in a live interview in the Tampa Bay Tan Talk studio, it took me a month to listen. I was even more nervous to hear myself after the fact!

Thankfully, Charles A. Cornell and Ken Pelham joined me on the show, Joy on Paper hosted by Patzi Gil. The three of us as representatives of the Alvarium Experiment tackled the interview together, and I'm so pleased with the end result.

We revealed little known details about our author collaboration, the Alvarium Experiment, and our first short fiction collaboration, The Prometheus Saga. Each of us had equal opportunity during the hour to discuss our contribution to the Saga, what we took away from the experience, and where we plan to go next.

Anyone can listen to our interview which was originally featured February 4, 2016, on AM 1340. Visit the Joy on Paper website. Click HERE and press the Play button near the bottom of the screen.

Charles, me, Ken
Afterward, Charles, Ken, and I enjoyed an authors' luncheon (Subway!) and discussed our ideas for an upcoming Alvarium Experiment anthology that is currently in the works. Although a slight deviation from the Prometheus canon, the as-yet unnamed project is still in the sci-fi vein. We're broadening the scope of history to include future history, and even recruiting some new talent.

Needless to say, I'll be keeping the fans (I have fans! Another first!) updated.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Print Edition of Little Angel Helper Released 12/19/15 at Gulfport Art Walk

Book Signing with Award-Winning Author

Print Edition Released 12/19/15 
2015 Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist

Author Bria Burton Signing Books
Little Angel Helper ~ Print Edition Released
Lance & Ringo Tails ~ Collection of Pet Stories
The Prometheus Saga ~ Science Fiction Anthology
Saturday, December 19, 2015
6 - 10 PM
Beach Blvd S in Gulfport, FL

Shop Local
Little Angel Helper Print Edition will be officially released at this book signing. Get your signed copy at a discounted rate and purchase copies as gifts just in time for Christmas. Lance & Ringo Tails and The Prometheus Saga will also be discounted for the holidays.

Award-Winning Science Fiction Anthology
Featuring my short story, "On Both Sides" 

Fellow author John Rehg and I will be sharing a booth and signing books at this event.
Enjoy a casual stroll through quaint downtown Gulfport where multiple vendors will be lining the sidewalks with their unique array of jewelry, gift baskets, books, homemade gifts, candles, artwork, and more.

Through amazing technology, and an app called Autography, I will be signing and personalizing ebooks as well as paperbacks. Forms of payment accepted: Credit Card, Cash, Check.
Giveaway: I'll be giving away a copy of Lance & Ringo Tails in paperback. Come by my table and enter the drawing. Find out instantly if you are the winner.

Chance to win a free paperback
when you enter the drawing at my booth

 And if I don't see you at the book signing...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Book Signing Tomorrow at the Tampa Bay Book Fair

Lance & Ringo Tails paperback and ebook signing
The Prometheus Saga book signing
Little Angel Helper ebook signing
Saturday, Nov 7, 2015
2 - 8 PM

Park Station
5851 Park Blvd
Pinellas Park, FL

I'll be signing books during the Tampa Bay Book Fair on Saturday, Nov. 7th. The event includes readings, panels, and workshops. Several local authors will be there signing their books. Stop by and get a signed copy of one (or several) of my books!

Lance & Ringo Tails is available in paperback and/or ebook format. Thanks to Autography, I'll be personalizing and signing ebooks at the event.

The Prometheus Saga includes my short story, "On Both Sides." This award-winning collection of historical and science fiction is available in paperback.

Also available in ebook only is Little Angel Helper. The novella, a 2015 RPLA Finalist, is about siblings, special needs, sacrifice, and faith in things unseen. Thanks to Autography, I'll be personalizing and signing ebooks at the event.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 Royal Palm Literary Award Winner ~ Sprinter

At this year's RPLA Banquet, I listened as each category winner was announced, and the joy of writer after writer swept over the room.

As a contributor to The Prometheus Saga, I was equally thrilled for my fellow Alvarium Experiment authors who won awards, including some of the Saga stories: Jade Kerrion, Antonio Simon, Jr., Parker Francis, Ken Pelham, Daco, and Elle Andrews Patt (not pictured).

When the novella category came up, I waited as 3rd, 2nd, and 1st places were announced. Finalist Little Angel Helper was not among them, and I admit I had a brief moment of disappointment. I'm really proud of that little novella, but as in all contests, we cannot all be winners. And I quickly realized that being a 2015 RPLA Finalist is still a thrill, too.

The very last genre was Women's Fiction. As 3rd and 2nd Place were announced in the Unpublished category, my shoulders slumped and I found myself giving up hope. If anything, I thought I would get 3rd Place, maybe 2nd. With those winners announced, I allowed myself to feel disappointed all over again.

But then...

"An Olympic race. A murder. A daughter without a mother who dreams of professional running. But Riley Sprinter can't escape her past, no matter how fast she runs from it."

I know that logline! And I think I can improve the wording if I just...oh, they're calling my name!!

As I lifted my head to see that my logline was, indeed, displayed on the big screen, I knew it was true. Sprinter had won FIRST PLACE! The shock was overwhelming. I covered my mouth as I waded from the back of the room, half aware that I was gasping into my hand.

My critique group friends, Rachel and Maria, cheered for me. The Alvarium Experiment table applauded, and I crossed the stage in disbelief. By the time I got to the photo op, I was smiling so hard my face was starting to hurt. 


About Sprinter

Throughout the years, I've talked quite a lot about Sprinter on this blog. The novel is a hybrid of women's inspirational sport fiction. Riley Sprinter's mother was murdered at the Athens Marathon in 1986. The story begins fourteen years later. Riley lives in embittered isolation, but her dreams of professional running have never truly abandoned her. After assaulting a stranger at a coffee shop, she attends mandatory counseling sessions. Through the retelling of her own story--what happened leading up to her mother's death and what happened after, including her loss of faith in God--she finds a reason to pursue her dream once more.

My next step is to review the judging rubrics from the RPLA contest that I should receive shortly, do one last edit, and start submitting the novel to agents and publishers again.


The Win in Pictures

Yes, smiling so big my mouth hurt.

From Rachel's perspective:


And then there was the celebration afterward. Lots of pictures, lots of fun.

We had to take a selfie. Rachel, me, and Maria. Critique groups are the best!
Fellow Pinellas writers  and RPLA winners David Edmonds and Gino Bardi
  The Alvarium Experiment sweeps the RPLAs!
Celebrations continued with a glass of Merlot at the bar


FWA Collection #7 Revisions: Stories of Starting Over

 Features my short story, "Empty Girl"
 My dear author friend Beda who had a beautiful story in this year's collection.
We were signing buddies
They had a wonderful signing set up for us


Volunteering in Silent Auction

Rachel is an Eckerd student and Susan is the SA Chair
The St. Pete Writers Group basket, "A Date With Yourself," had a winning bid of $60
I did manage to sneak into one session: Ask the Agent Panel 


The Prometheus Saga Book Signing

Six of the twelve authors signing books together

Needless to say, it was a fabulous time. It's my seventh year in row at the conference, first year as a volunteer. I'm already excited about next year.

Back to that logline. I think I'll shorten it to something like:

A race. A murder. A daughter without a mother. Riley Sprinter can’t escape her past, no matter how fast she runs from it.