Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Running Girls: A Novelette

The Running Girls

A New Novelette Now Available


Two girls with nothing in common except the 500-Mile Summer of '89 Challenge

Buy Now

Autography Signed eBook Edition

Amazon Kindle Edition


Clara is an average student and below-average athlete. With some inspiration from her cross country coach, Clara decides to take on a summer running challenge: complete 500 miles in three months. The problem? Her parents don't want her jogging all those miles alone, but Clara doesn't want to run with the girl they suggest. Joan is weird, and something seems to be mentally wrong with her. Except none of Clara's other friends run. Will she complete the challenge, or does being stuck with Joan mean she's destined to fail?


Book Signing Hosted by St. Pete Running Company

When: Friday, 9/23/16 from 6-8 PM
Where: St. Pete Running Company
6986 22nd Ave N, St. Pete, FL 33710

I'll be signing and personalizing copies of The Running Girls through an app called Autography.

Books available in print and ebook:
Lance & Ringo Tails
Little Angel Helper
The Prometheus Saga

What is a novelette?

A novelette is longer than a short story, shorter than a novella. The Running Girls is about 12K words.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Writing About Girls Who Run

The Running Girls

Novelette Launch Date 9/17/16


What's the story about?


Here's the tagline: Two girls with nothing in common except the 500-Mile Summer of '89 Challenge.

Clara is an average student and below-average athlete. With some inspiration from her cross country coach, Clara decides to take on a summer running challenge: complete 500 miles in three months. The problem? Her parents don't want her jogging all those miles alone, but Clara doesn't want to run with the girl they suggest. Joan is weird, and something seems to be mentally wrong with her. Except none of Clara's other friends run. Will she complete the challenge, or does being stuck with Joan mean she's destined to fail?

Where did this story originate?


A couple of weeks ago, my running partner, Terry, and I had just conquered a six-mile run through Clearwater that included the Sand Key bridge. Needless to say, we felt strong and fabulous.

On the drive home, my phone rang. The bluetooth in the car told me that Janna Angell (owner of St. Pete Running Company--and my boss) was calling. Unable to sift through the backseat for my phone as I drove, I apologized to Terry and proceeded to answer with the bluetooth, informing Janna that she was on speakerphone.

During the brief chat, Janna invited me to participate in a book signing that she and Cody were hosting at the store for Dr. Brian Fullem and his new book, The Runner's Guide to Healthy Feet and Ankles.

I was so honored to be asked. But once I hung up the phone, I realized that my only available books had nothing to do with running. My novel, Sprinter, is still under consideration by an agent and is not yet published.

When I mentioned this to Terry, she suggested that I write a story for this book signing about a runner.

Brilliant! Why hadn't I thought of that?

Running Legend Alyssa Bowers



I talk about my amazing cousin, Alyssa, quite a lot on this blog. She's the one who ran a crazy Trans-Alpine race about a year ago. Eight days, about a marathon a day in the Alps. And she FINISHED! Unlike a third of the other competitors. That's just one of the reasons she's a legend.

She's also the person behind my love/hate relationship with running. She got me started back in college when I had no intention of running more than a few miles at a time.

When I started jotting down ideas for a story about a runner, I immediately thought of Alyssa and her best friend, Jenni. Back in high school, they completed a 500-mile summer running challenge. That gave me the premise for the story.

The Florida Heritage Book Festival




When: Saturday, 9/17/16 from 7 AM-5 PM
Where: Flagler College (Ringhaver Student Center)
50 Sevilla Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084


Giveaway: Come by my table and enter the drawing to win a free copy of Lance & Ringo Tails. Find out instantly if you are the winner.


The Running Girls will be released as an ebook at this event. I'll be signing and personalizing copies through an app called Autography.


Book Signing Hosted by St. Pete Running Company





When: Friday, 9/23/16 from 5-7 PM
Where: St. Pete Running Company
6986 22nd Ave N, St. Pete, FL 33710


I'll be signing and personalizing copies of The Running Girls through an app called Autography.

Books available in print and ebook:
Lance & Ringo Tails
Little Angel Helper
The Prometheus Saga


What is a novelette?


A novelette is longer than a short story, shorter than a novella. The Running Girls is about 12K words.


Return to Earth Spotlight: Tracie Roberts

The Alvarium Experiment Presents Return to Earth


What if the alien visitors that surprised Earth were actually human? Ten authors unite behind this theme in Return to Earth, a unique science fiction collection. Each story is featured as an individual $0.99 Kindle ebook.

Today, I'm spotlighting author Tracie Roberts.


Interview with Tracie Roberts


Tracie writes in multiple genres including paranormal romance, YA, and New Adult. “Social Experiment” is her first foray into science fiction and it is available for FREE today on Kindle. Follow link to download while supplies last!


Q: So, Tracie, you weren’t involved with the first Alvarium project, The Prometheus Saga. How did you happen to join this second project?

TR: I didn’t even know about the first project! But my very good friend, critique partner, and fellow Alvarium author, C.L. Roman, vouched for me with the group and I was invited to join. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with other talented writers and hope to do so again in the future.

Q: Being a romance author, did you find it difficult writing science fiction?

TR: At first I did. I struggled to find a premise to write about without the story sounding cliché. I mean, as a Star Trek and Star Wars fan myself, I couldn’t think of many sci-fi topics that hadn’t already been covered. Then, as I wrote a basic outline for my story (that ended up being WAY bigger in scope than what I published for the Alvarium Project), I realized that I could write a romance that fit the premise of humans returning to earth. “Social Experiment” is what came of following that rabbit trail. And I would like to expand the story to include the larger scale premise that I originally started with and have more of an alien presence.

Q: Do you have any news about upcoming projects you’d like to share with the readers?

TR: I do! Though my writing has slowed down some since I returned to my paying job (as an English teacher of all things), I have been working to finish the first book in my new sweet romance series, The Lantana Beach series. In Skimming the Surface, readers are introduced to sassy, strong-willed Savannah Montgomery who speaks her mind but guards her heart especially around Ty Carafello, a former NFL player turned agent who is determined to prove to Savannah that there are still some good men to be found. The story is set in a fictitious NEFL beach town that many readers will automatically recognize. 

In a few weeks, I’ll be in Orlando as a signing author at Indie Bookfest. I’m excited to meet with readers during the two-day event on October 7-8. Anyone interested can check out the IBF website here.

Q: If readers want to check out more of your work or more about you, where should they go?
TR: You can find me on Facebook as tracie.roberts13 or on Twitter @tracie_roberts. Or you can visit my blog and sign up for my newsletter for the latest on my new releases, plus some exclusive content! I look forward to seeing you there.


About the Author

Tracie Roberts is a native Floridian who laughs loudest at her own jokes, ODs quite frequently on 80s nostalgia, and eavesdrops on perfect strangers to glean story ideas. She’s been writing for all of four years but has been telling stories since she was old enough to realize she could make people believe her lies.

Find out more about Tracie’s future works at tracieroberts.com or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About Return to Earth

Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
Return to Earth stories & authors are:

"AOB" 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.
Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com

"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 www.bardwritesbooks.com

"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 www.charlesacornell.com

"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 www.kristindurfee.com

"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 www.veronicahhart.com

"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 www.johnhopewriting.com

"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 www.elleandrewspatt.com

"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 www.kenpelham.com

"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 www.tracieroberts.com

"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 www.brassragpress.com


For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website: www.alvariumexperiment.wixsite.com/returntoearth

Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment


Friday, September 9, 2016

Return to Earth Spotlight: Elle Andrews Patt

The Alvarium Experiment Presents Return to Earth


I hope you're enjoying the Return to Earth short stories and the author interviews. Today, I'm spotlighting author Elle Andrews Patt.


Interview with Elle Andrews Patt



Elle Andrews Patt writes speculative and literary fiction and is a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of award-winning writers reinventing the way readers experience short fiction. Her novelette, "Someday Loyal" is available for FREE today on Kindle. Follow link to download today!

Q: How did you become involved with the Alvarium Experiment and what was the thought process behind evolving Return To Earth as AE's second project?

EAP: My friend M.J Carlson vouched for my writing skills and introduced me as a prospect to AE co-founder Ken Pelham at the Florida Writers Association (FWA) conference just as AE was forming. The next evening, I won the First Place Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA) from FWA for Published Short Fiction for a second year in a row. Ken shot me an email containing the basic contract all AE writers agree to, the framework he and Charles A. Cornell had developed as the first project (The Prometheus Saga), the stellar list of writers who had already agreed to write with AE, and invited me to join if I liked the concept. I did and am still enjoying our collaboration. We write stand-alone stories that we publish individually, but all of which are connected in some way, by premise or recurring element, as a series of stories for readers. Readers can read them in any order they choose.

When we were ready to launch a second project, we kicked around the idea of writing within the Prometheus framework again. Either again featuring the Prometheus probe or of writing a different character/place/thing that again played a role in each author's story. As a group we decided to wait a bit longer before returning to that framework and live up to our name by experimenting further with concept, this time going from the very focused framework of Prometheus to the very open structure of writing stories that only share their premise. Eventually we narrowed down the various ideas we tossed out to each other to one: an unexpected return to earth by humans, leaving the time period, setting, and characters to writer's choice. In this way it is more of a 'traditional' anthology of short fiction, but we are continuing to break ground in the arena of collaborative indie development, editing, and marketing. By going to conceptual extremes in AE's first two projects we'll be able to analyze our success as a group and further experiment and refine our future projects to provide our readers the pleasurable benefits of fresh perspectives, interesting anthology structures, and engaging, high-concept stories.

Q: What was the inspiration for your Return To Earth story, "Someday Loyal"?

EAP: Actually, I started four different stories for this project. Three did not develop for me. The fourth one kept building and building until I had a 14,000 word novel treatment and outline instead of short fiction. I'll finish fleshing that out into a full novel. Casting about for a new idea, I sorted through my story scraps and found three paragraphs about three characters having tea while alien fireballs streaked through the sky. Charles had already developed a promo graphic that included flaming astroids falling to Earth and my brain went, ah-ha! 'Someday Loyal' grew from that little story scrap into a novelette that I am personally very pleased with. I hope your readers like it, too.

Q: Could you tell us about a difficulty you overcame as you wrote this particular story?

EAP: There were two issues I had problems with regarding "Someday Loyal". I write my stories completely first to get them down. Then I re-write by layering in story elements like weather and sound or planting an item the characters will need later. The first issue, the construction of and the 'why' behind the fireballs, kept coming back from my first reader and editors as confusing. It took me several passes to build the explanation of them in a way that readers could both recognize and remember as they continued reading. The second issue I had to re-write several times to get right regarded the climax and the 'telling of the tale', the mystery's reveal, in a way that allowed all the characters to participate, made sense, and didn't cause one character in particular to appear callous about others safety. Writing a group of characters talking together versus one character to another is actually much more difficult than it appears. I've had quite a bit of practice since it's a skill I wanted to have and have worked to develop over the years I've been writing, but it's still a challenge every time.

Q: What does your next year as a writer look like?

I have lots going on in my writing life. I'm in re-writes on a novel set on Beech Mountain. It's about a  female veteran who, after failing to save a life, searches for solace in the physical endurance of solitary running, but finds a family instead. I'm seeking representation for my paranormal murder mystery, Billie Mae, which is a 2016 RPLA Finalist in the Unpublished Mystery Novel category. I'm continually sending out short fiction submissions to paying magazine markets. I'm also working on three stories in progress, a sequel to Billie Mae, a standalone crime novel set in Daytona Beach called Blind Mice Bite, and the fourth Return To Earth story attempt gone awry, Annunaki"Someday Loyal" includes a minor character from Annunaki and is set in the same universe. When I need thinking time on one, I switch to writing on another. I'll be attending Dragon*Con and two writers' conferences during the next year. I also have family travel scheduled during which I'll be able to collect info and do research for short fiction and I've been invited on two separate ghost hunts as research for the Billie Mae sequel, which will be great fun. Within a few months, the Alvarium Experiment will be deciding on a third project, so there will be a story to write for that as well.

Q: How can readers find out more about your work?

Please visit me at elleandrewspatt.com to read my short fiction and samples of my novels. You can also follow me on Twitter: @LandrewsPatt Facebook: Elle Andrews Patt Instagram: elleandrewspatt


About the Author

Elle Andrews Patt writes literary and speculative fiction, mucks stalls, and photographs found objects. In the past she has made her living as a vet tech, a pizza maker, and a farm manager among many other ventures. She currently lives with her husband and two daughters in the breeziest part of Florida she's ever been to and is grateful for it everyday.

About Return to Earth

Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
Return to Earth stories & authors are:

"AOB" 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.
Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com

"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 www.bardwritesbooks.com

"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 www.charlesacornell.com

"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 www.kristindurfee.com

"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 www.veronicahhart.com

"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 www.johnhopewriting.com

"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 www.elleandrewspatt.com

"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 www.kenpelham.com

"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 www.tracieroberts.com

"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 www.brassragpress.com


For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website: www.alvariumexperiment.wixsite.com/returntoearth

Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Return to Earth Spotlight: Kristin Durfee

The Alvarium Experiment Presents Return to Earth


Return to Earth is a unique science fiction collection where all ten short stories are featured as individual Kindle ebooks.

Today, I'm spotlighting author Kristin Durfee.


Interview with Kristin Durfee


Kristin reads and writes in multiple genres and is a member of the Alvarium Experiment, the consortium of award-winning writers reinventing the way readers experience short fiction. Her short story, “Project Bright Star” is available on Kindle. Follow link to experience her take on the Return to Earth project.

Q: What is the Alvarium Experiment and how did you become involved with their second project, Return To Earth?

KD: The Alverium Experiment, referring to a bee hive, was developed last year by a number of award-winning authors who wanted to join together to publish an anthology. As a member of the Florida Writer’s Association, I became aware of the project through one of the authors, a fellow writing group member Ken Pelham, and was thrilled when so many of the stories from last year won awards at the FWA Royal Literary Palm award ceremony in 2015. When I heard they were doing a second installment, my brain started buzzing (no pun intended) on how I could worm my way in. Months later, much to my surprise and excitement, Ken heard me read a piece at a writer’s meeting. He approached me after and asked if I wanted to be a part of the next anthology. I tried to play it cool, but inside I was freaking out! I was so happy to be asked and gladly accepted.

Q: What was the inspiration for your Return To Earth story, “Project Bright Star”?

KD: When I first heard the prompt, I fell in love with the idea! I’d never written science fiction before—I stick mostly to fantasy—so I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with something. I sat down and decided to jot a few ideas down. I am a HUGE X-Files fan, so I think the idea of government conspiracies automatically was a good fit for me. I started to mull over how people could be returning to Earth, and if there was possibly a secret the country may be hiding that would be exposed by their arrival. PBS was born. I knew I wanted to follow both sides of the story, both a person on Earth and one returning. Lizbeth and Gladys were natural fits. They are similar in personality even though they grew up hundreds of millions of miles apart. I also liked the thought of a group growing up in a series of bubbles, both physical and mental, and what that would do to the formation of their selves and ideas.

My story was originally much longer, so I had to pair it down quite a bit to hit the 10k range, but I may expand it one day into a full-length novel. The characters have been bugging me, so you never know.

Q: So it sounds like the idea came pretty easily to you after all. Was the writing just as easy?

KD: As with all writing, it had its moments! Though I did try, much more than I do with some of my other writing, to let my characters meander into the story a bit. My biggest challenge was then reining them back in! The story wanted to be bigger than I had time for. There were a few side plots and stories that had to be cut. I also had to do a bunch of research, something I am mostly able to avoid as a fantasy writer. It was much harder since I couldn’t just make everything up! That’s one of the interesting things about science fiction, sure it is fiction, but it has to feel like it could be real. My goal was to bring that to my story. I hope I leave the reader wondering…does she know something we don’t?


Q: What does your next year as a writer look like?

KD: Crazy! But I am so blessed and wouldn’t have it any other way. Two Worlds, the second book in my YA Fantasy trilogy, Four Corners, just came out. It follows four years after the last book left off. I am working on the final installment, One Earth, and am hoping to have it to my publisher by the end of October for a late-2017 release. I also am part of another anthology called Thrill of the Hunt 2. My story, Revenge from Within, is about a vigilante killer in Seattle. It was my first time writing a thriller as well, so I have certainly flexed my creative muscles this year!
Q: How can readers find out more about your work?

KD: I try to dabble in as much social media as I can, to varying levels of success. But you can find me on my website www.kristindurfee.com on twitter @KristinDurfee, on facebook, and wattpad. I love to hear from readers, so please feel free to reach out! I’d also love if you’d consider writing a review on any work of mine that you’ve read. I am running a rafflecopter giveaway for a FREE Kindle Fire and writing a review gets you two entries! There’s a bunch of other ways to enter, too, head over to my facebook page to click the link to enter.

Thanks so much for taking the time to hear more about me and my writing, wherever in space this finds you, I hope it finds you well!

About the Author

Kristin Durfee’s debut novel, Four Corners, was published by Black Opal Books in 2015. Book Two in the Trilogy, Two Worlds, is available now through all major retailers.
Kristin grew up outside of Philadelphia where an initial struggle with reading blossomed into a love and passion for the written word. She currently resides outside of Orlando, FL, and when not enjoying the theme parks or Florida sun, she spends most of her time with her husband and their quirky dogs.

She is a member of the Florida Writers Association.

About Return to Earth

Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
Return to Earth stories & authors are:

"AOB" 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.
Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com

"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 www.bardwritesbooks.com

"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 www.charlesacornell.com

"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 www.kristindurfee.com

"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 www.veronicahhart.com

"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 www.johnhopewriting.com

"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 www.elleandrewspatt.com

"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 www.kenpelham.com

"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 www.tracieroberts.com

"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 www.brassragpress.com


For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website: www.alvariumexperiment.wixsite.com/returntoearth

Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Return to Earth Spotlight: Cheri Roman

The Alvarium Experiment Presents Return to Earth


In Return to Earth, ten authors take on the following premise: what if extraterrestrials came to Earth, and they turned out to be human?

The stories are available for $0.99 each in the Kindle Store. Today, I'm spotlighting author Cheri Roman.


Interview with Cheri Roman 



Welcome, Cheri. How did you become involved with the Alvarium Experiment and what was the thought process behind evolving 'Return To Earth' as AE's second project?

CLR: Like so many other things, it came about through networking. Bria Burton and I are both members of the FWA. We had done some manuscript trading and become familiar with each other’s writing through beta reads. I’m not certain who came up with the new premise, but I was honored when Bria invited me to participate in the second project. Then too, the premise was too intriguing to turn down, so, here we are.


Q: What was your inspiration for this particular story?

CLR: It’s funny how a group of things can come together to produce something altogether different from one’s first intention. In this case, I was struggling with my original concept, trying to focus it tightly while a number of ideas kept fluttering around in my head.
And then, I came home one day to find an empty plastic container on the counter with a note: Recycle!! Apparently my daughter had found it in the regular trash and the event had clearly frustrated her green, earth-loving heart.
Right around that same time I saw a documentary about the really serious issues we have with regards to the Earth and our use (dare I say abuse) of her natural resources. The film nearly broke my heart. And I thought, wow, wouldn’t we be in trouble if Earth were a sentient being? How long would she put up with this mess and what would she do about it?
All these things swirled together, in and around those original ideas, until it sort of distilled into Gaia Returning.


Q: Could you share with us either your process or a difficulty you overcame as you wrote Gaia Returning?

CLR: My original notion, and that’s all it was, at first -- a notion, was very close to being nothing more than the original prompt.
But there were too many threads, too many characters and ideas, all fighting with one another. My writing partners kept looking at my pages and saying, “This is a novel.” And what I really needed for the Alvarium Project was a short story.  A novella at most.  But the truth was, the story that was demanding to be told was bigger than that, bigger even than a stand-alone novel.
So when my daughter made her request, it triggered something in my head, and what I ended up with was an outline for a four novel series. It wasn’t until I got that outline down and could see where Gaia Returning would fit within it that I was able to write the novelette that eventually resulted.


Q: What does the next year for you as a writer look like?

CLR: Right now I’m working on the third book in my YA series. I really want to finish that before I go on to anything else, but the Gaia series is poking at me, demanding to be written. And then, of course, people have been asking what’s happening in the world of the Rephaim, the fantasy series I’ve been developing. So there’s always something to be done.
In an ideal world, I guess I’d finish Ghost Candidate, then do the next one in the Rephaim series, whatever that is, and then start on the Gaia series.  But then, we don’t live in an ideal world, so anything is possible.


Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

You can find me on Facebook at or on Twitter @cheri_roman. Or you can visit my blog and sign up for my newsletter for the latest on my new releases, plus some exclusive content! I look forward to seeing you there.


About the Author

C.L. Roman writes fantasy and paranormal young adult. She currently has three series in the works: Rephaim, The Witch of Forsythe High, and The Freestar Chronicles. Most days you can find her on her blog, The Brass Rag, or working on her next novel or short story. Cheri lives in the not-so-wilds of Northeast Florida with her husband and Jack E. Boy, the super Chihuahua.


About Return to Earth


Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
Return to Earth stories & authors are:

"AOB" 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.
Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com

"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 www.bardwritesbooks.com

"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 www.charlesacornell.com

"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 www.kristindurfee.com

"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 www.veronicahhart.com

"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 www.johnhopewriting.com

"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 www.elleandrewspatt.com

"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 www.kenpelham.com

"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 www.tracieroberts.com

"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 www.brassragpress.com


For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website: www.alvariumexperiment.wixsite.com/returntoearth

Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Return to Earth Spotlight: Ken Pelham

The Alvarium Experiment Presents Return to Earth


For those who enjoyed The Prometheus Saga, you'll be pleased to hear that the Alvarium Experiment authors have published another collection of short stories called Return to Earth.

The stories are currently available as individual short stories in the Kindle Store. Today, I'm spotlighting author Ken Pelham.


Interview with Ken Pelham

Ken reads and writes in multiple genres and is a member of the Alvarium Experiment, the consortium of award-winning writers reinventing the way readers experience short fiction. His short story, “Under the Whelming Tide” is available in Kindle. Follow link to download while supplies last!

Q: What was behind the Alvarium Experiment, and how did the group arrive at this second project, Return To Earth?

KP: All genres have their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve always loved short stories in general and science fiction short stories in particular, because the format lets you get quickly to the strength of science fiction. Ideas. I’d been looking around for a couple of years for a good anthology to submit work to, and it occurred to me that with all the explosive advances in online publishing and marketing, heck, I could create my own anthology. I scribbled out a page or two of concepts for how a working group could publish together yet independently around the same concept. I pitched the idea to Charles A. Cornell, a writer I’d met a couple of years before and whom I knew as an outside-the-box kind of guy. I was certain he’d say, “Um, yeah, listen, I gotta go wash my cat. Or something.” But he pounced on the idea and dubbed it “The Alvarium Experiment,” describing a hive of busy bees producing gallons of honey. We bounced ideas back and forth for a couple of weeks until we had the premise for the first project, The Prometheus Saga. We were shooting for an idea with great flexibility and unlimited possibilities, and we had one. We pitched it to writers we respected and soon had browbeaten a group of twelve into signing on. We launched that effort, each of us publishing independently on the same day in January of 2015.

After a year we started kicking around ideas for a second project. Lots of notions were floated and we debated merits of each. Elle Andrews Patt suggested an idea of aliens arriving at Earth, but, lo, the aliens are human. This idea sprouted wheels and gained traction, as it had the same wide-open horizons as the first project. We had new writers join in, and we were off and running.

Q: What was the inspiration for your Return To Earth story, “Under the Whelming Tide”?

KP: I often come up with ideas by playing the “what if?” game a lot of writers use. I had the prompt from the hive-mind group-think—a return of human beings to Earth. It’s a loaded idea and that’s the great beauty of it. Among the “what-if’s” I came up with was, “What if they’re physically different from us?” That one jumped off the page at me. Okay, so they’re physically different. Why? Because of differing evolutionary paths, of course. What makes different populations of the same species evolve differently? Different environments, of course. So if I took a group of humans off-planet and placed them into a radically different environment for untold generations, they’re going to come out much differently.

Another inspiration behind this story was undoubtedly Robert A. Heinlein’s classic short story, “Universe,” published in 1941. I read it about thirty-five years ago and still think about it. Heinlein presented the idea of a vast spaceship, so long in space that its inhabitants have evolved their own culture, lore, and mythology, oblivious even to the mere existence of anything outside their ship. They don’t even know it’s a ship; it’s their “universe.” In my story, the Aethir are aware of the cosmos around them but live generation after generation in an arrested state of intellectual growth. They have highly advanced technology at their disposal but they don’t truly understand it, as they simply inherited it from its originators.

Q: Could you tell us about a difficulty you overcame as you wrote this particular story?

KP: After noodling it awhile, I knew that the idea would require a good bit of explanation to make it believable. And explanation is the arch-enemy of fiction. So I had to come up with a scheme to present the explanation while moving the story along and avoiding the dreaded “info dump.” I hit upon the idea of a trial for heresy, in which I could dispense the info while tricking it out with a little suspense. The old courtroom drama ploy. Perry Mason in outer space.

Q: What does your next year as a writer look like?

KP: Busy, busy, busy. I’m working on a nonfiction book that kind of grew out of blog posts I wrote about suspense fiction. The book takes a fun look at the evolution of genre fiction, the cross-pollination between genres, and their places in society and literature overall. I’m also working on a short horror story for an anthology. I have a third Carson Grant thriller in the works. Soon as the nonfiction book is complete, that one will take priority. I swear.
The audiobook edition of the 2nd Carson Grant novel, Place of Fear, should be out a little later this year.
Q: How can readers find out more about your work?

KP: By all means, come set a spell at www.kenpelham.com and on Twitter, @kenpelham. On Facebook, I show up on the Alvarium Experiment page, and on my own page. Also have an author’s page at both Goodreads and Amazon.


About the Author

Ken Pelham’s debut novel, Brigands Key, won the 2009 Royal Palm Literary Award, was published in hardcover in 2012, in softcover in 2014, and in audiobook in 2015. The prequel, Place of Fear, a 2012 first-place winner of the Royal Palm, was released in 2013. His nonfiction book, Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A Writer’s Guide to Mastering Viewpoint, was named the RPLA 2015 Published Book of the Year.
Ken grew up in the small South Florida town of Immokalee, and lives with his wife, Laura, in Maitland, Florida. A member of the International Thriller Writers and the Florida Writers Association, writing keeps him off the streets and out of trouble, although he’s sometimes spotted cycling, fishing, or scuba diving, seldom simultaneously.


About Return to Earth


Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
Return to Earth stories & authors are:

"AOB" 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.
Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com

"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 www.bardwritesbooks.com

"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 www.charlesacornell.com

"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 www.kristindurfee.com

"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 www.veronicahhart.com

"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 www.johnhopewriting.com

"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 www.elleandrewspatt.com

"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 www.kenpelham.com

"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 www.tracieroberts.com

"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 www.brassragpress.com


For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website: www.alvariumexperiment.wixsite.com/returntoearth

Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment