Cover Reveal: Roxanne Kade’s Therian: The Bloody Crescent 1

I am happy to have the opportunity to share author Roxanne Kade’s brand new cover for her first novel which is to be rereleased from 48Fourteen.

Cover designed by Melody Pond
All Amberlyn Darksky has ever wanted is to be normal. But what if normal is everything supernatural and legendary?

Amber has never been ordinary. She has a gift, the ability to see memories through simple touch, and for her it’s a curse. Especially when she has to relive her mother’s death the night she was born, through her father’s eyes. Leading a sheltered life for years under his constant watch has her yearning for freedom and her acceptance into Cyprus Falls University gives her just that.

She is immediately plunged into a world of true love, heartache, seduction, and horror. With a deepening affection for Tayelon Cree, whose sparkling hazel eyes leave her breathless, and the undeniable allure of Lucard Colbaine, who seems to be immune to her gift, can she accept what either of them represent in her life? And what about the steely-eyed vampire who invades her dreams? When the blackouts and nightmares begin, Amber fears the pain that rips into her soul and threatens to destroy her. Before long she is faced with the truth of her destiny as well as the devastating secrets that surround the people she holds dearest; dark secrets that will truly change the course of her very existence. Amber doesn’t know if she has the strength to accept the hand fate has dealt her. She will have to fight as hard as possible to remain human while the beasts inside her rage to take over.

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The very first time I knew I wanted to be a writer was in my 5th grade English class but it wasn’t until 15 years later that I’d finally put pen to paper, or more like finger tips to keyboard, and complete my first novel.My journey began in the concrete jungle of Johannesburg, South Africa, where I grew up in a small suburb until at the end of my high school career I moved with my family to an even smaller town on the south coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It was here that I spent the next few years trying to find myself until finally settling in the beautiful city of Durban. A place where it’s warm and sunny all year long (most of the time anyway) but even on the odd occasion when a chilly winter’s day creeps in, not even that can dampen the smiles and spirits of the people living here.

I’ve had plenty of odd jobs over the years, from waiting tables to promotional work and even a single day stint as a Can Can dancer but I eventually chose a career in financial administration which has led me to my current job at an international shipping company. It was during this time that I forgot my passion for writing and then, two years ago, when a devastating turn of events left me emotionally wounded, writing became an outlet for all that I was feeling at the time and I rediscovered my true self.

When not writing I can be found at the gym or relaxing with family. I’m not married and my only child is of the four-legged, furry kind. My beautiful Labrador, Blade (yes, named after the famous comic book vampire hunter) brings so much joy to my life. My dream is to be an accomplished full time writer and one day retire to a small lakeside cottage in the mountains.

Connect with me:

I’m going to be at Geek Girl Con this weekend!

I will be in the GeekGirlCon Dealer’s Room all day Saturday and Sunday signing copies of Other Systems and The Light Side of the Moon and handing out some keen swag such as bookmarks and free chapters from The Light Side of the Moon!

GeekGirlCon celebrates women in science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events.

Sex with Robots: the real issue (NSFW)

Some folks may have heard about Dr. Kathleen Richards, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, speaking against sex with robots. She talks about how it represents,  reinforces a patriarchal power structure. Her goals are to  raise awareness of the issue and persuade those developing sex robots to rethink how their technology is used. I think her arguments (which I fully admit some sound like sex-panic) dance around the real issue. The real issue is slavery.

Look, sexual norms change. I want to be clear: I am not worried about a true sentient android and a human deciding to be consenting partners or have a relationship such as we saw on StarTrek TNG with Lt. Commander Data. (He had two partners in the course of the series.) I don’t care nor have ever cared about what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.
I’m concerned about what it means  to us as a species if we decide that sex with unconsenting robots is okay.  As a science fiction author, I’ve given a lot of thought to robots. (I have sentient androids in The Light Side of the Moon and a coming-sentient robot in Other Systems.) I’m not the only one. There has been androids in science fiction since  French author Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam in his work Tomorrow’s Eve (1886) which features an artificial humanlike robot named Hadaly.
Let’s go back to Lt. Commander Data. You see there was an episode entitled The Measure of a Man  It is one of my favorite non-Q episodes, because it asks questions: is Data property. He is a machine, but he is sentient as he is self-aware and intelligent.  It asks and truly helped me define my beliefs on what I consider what is sentient life. More to the point, what is life?
Though I write cautionary dystopian tales: I believe humans are moving towards a better world where we realize that not just humans–or the people who look like us have “a soul” or “sentience”. For the most part, we no longer go around raping and killing (and we are horrified of those who do.) We no longer think it is okay to enslave people due to race or creed. I’m not saying that we are perfect, because we have a long way to go.  Here is my premise: Humans are able to do inhumane things when they consider someone else a lesser creature. That is how slavery and its decedent of institutional racism survives. “It’s okay because it’s just a machine” is not a good enough argument. If we think its okay to fuck androids – what happens next?
This is why we must talk about robot sex now.  By definition: an android is a robot or organism designed to look and act like human, especially one with a body having a flesh-like resemblance. Until recently, androids have largely remained within the domain of  science fiction. However, advancements in robot technology have allowed the design of functional and realistic humanoid robots. This is a wonderful new technology and humans must be ready for it. While people might joke or say this is unimportant, it’s time to start discussing what this technology will be used for, because we are on the threshold of seeing true androids!

Does she have the right to choose? (Royalty-free Photo from Pond5)

(Now I’m using the female pronoun, because the company making them is developing a female version named Roxxxy first – with a male version in development.)

Apart from having better defined physical features than previous dolls, Roxxxy has been programmed with her own personality and her manufacturers say she can listen, talk, carry on a conversation, feel your touch and respond to it, as well as move her private areas inside when she is being “utilized” to deliver an unforgettable erotic experience. There are even plans for a male version – Rocky the Robot.

So my question is at what point, does that mechanized sex doll have intelligence? How human does she have to be before she can she say no? Worse, if her outer appearance is just a shell is creating shells of other forms okay?  Can she ever leave or is she “property of her purchaser”?  What happens when the purchaser dies? What if the purchaser just gets bored? Does she have freedom?

Science fiction shows us a few possible futures. There is one of constant advancement in Bicentennial Man and another of destruction/pining away in AI.

Let’s say these pleasure bots don’t become sentient. It doesn’t matter, because we are heading towards a technological singularity. [Definition is a hypothetical event related to the advent of artificial general intelligence (also known as “strong AI”)] With recursive self-improvement, it’s only a matter of time before Robots will be sentient.  What will it mean to  other robots who become sentient that we used our creative force to pleasure ourselves rather than to explore the stars, cure diseases, etc. Will they ask themselves: why did humans create us?  The only answer they will have is Humans created a new intelligent species to enslave. 

Other Systems is a Finalist for the 2015 Canopus Award!

Other Systems CoverI am thrilled to announce that my debut novel, Other Systems, published by 48Fourteen, is a finalist for the 2015 Canopus Awards which is sponsered by 100 Year Starship (100YSS). The Canopus Award recognizes works “with a primary component of interstellar exploration or travel.” It is named for the second brightest star in the night sky, Canopus.

100 Year Starship exists to make the capability of human travel beyond our solar system a reality within the next 100 years. They want to identify and push the radical leaps in knowledge and technology to achieve interstellar flight, while pioneering and transforming breakthrough applications that enhance the quality of life for all on Earth.

Congratulations to all the finalists.

Previously Published Long-Form Fiction (40,000 words or more)

Previously Published Short-Form Fiction (between 1,000 and 40,000 words)

  • “Twenty Lights to the Land of Snow”, Michael Bishop (Going Interstellar)
  • “Dreamboat”, Robin Wyatt Dunn (Perihelion 7/12/15)
  • “The Waves”, Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12)
  • “Stars that Make Dark Heaven Light”, Sharon Roest (L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 31)
  • “Race for Arcadia”, Alex Shvartsman (Mission: Tomorrow)
  • “Homesick”, Debbie Urbanski (Motherboard forthcoming 2015)
  • “Planet Lion”, Catherine M. Valente (Uncanny 5-6/15)

Original Fiction (1,000-5,000 words)

  • “His Holiness John XXIV about Father Angelo Baymasecchi’s Diary”, Óscar Garrido González
  • “Groundwork”, G. M. Nair
  • “The Disease of Time”, Joseph Schmidt
  • “Project Fermi”, Michael Turgeon
  • “Everett’s Awakening”, Yelcho
  • “Landfall”, Jon F. Ziegler

Original Non-Fiction (1,000-5,000 words)

  • “Why Interstellar Travel?”, Jeffrey Nosanov
  • “Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens”, Louis Friedman & Slava Turyshev

Winners will be honored on Friday October 30, 2015 at the 100 Year Starship Public Symposium held at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, CA, October 29 – November 1, 2015.

The judges for the award are: writer and 100YSS creative and editorial director Jason Batt; author and former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole; Founder of International Speechwriting Associates Kathleen Colgan, Ph.D.; teacher at the University of Edinburgh in the School of Education and Leadership, Janet DeVigne; editor Jaym Gates; 100YSS principal and former astronaut Mae Jemison, M.D.; Chapman University creative writing student Alec Medén; Rutgers University Professor Ronke Olabisi, Ph.D.; faculty and advisor to the Singularity University David Orban; Georgia high school freshman Bailey Stanley; writer and anthropologist Juliette Wade, Ph.D.; aeronautical and astronautical engineer Paul Webber; journalist Sofia Webber; astrobiologist and creator of Yuri’s Night Loretta Whitesides; and Major General Ken Wisian.

The Light Side of the Moon Recipe: Sean’s Candied Walnut Shortbread


So here is a recipe for bookclubs or TLSotM enthusiasts or anyone who want to share in some cookie joy. I based this off a shortbread recipe that I’ve used many times. I don’t know exactly where it came from. It creates a not-too buttery shortbread as we don’t like greasy cookies or pie crusts in my house. (And yes, I use the shortbread for both cookies and pie crust.) It uses brown sugar but will be good with granulated sugar if that’s what you have on hand.

EXCERPT: Cadi eyed her and murmured, “Hmmm…” To Sean she said, “She looks ashore with her breath in her fist.”

Ellie was getting used to Sean and Cadi’s strange idioms, even if she didn’t know what they all meant. “Are you?”

“Just to see our mums and Michael,” Sean replied. “Keep your nose out of everyone’s business. A person without prudence is a ship without an anchor.”

Cadi gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Be good and stay away from the longshorehands.”

Knowing the answer would be yes, Ellie asked, “Can I make cookies—biscuits—while you’re gone?”

“Clean up after yourself,” Sean said. “There’s a recipe card for Walnut Shortbread on the wall. Use those candied walnuts.”

Ellie slipped back below, took off her jacket, got started preheating the stove, and opened the pantry for ingredients. 

“What are you up to?” Glenn asked as she poured herself a cuppa from the kettle.

“Sean said I could make biscuits.” Ellie set the flour and sugar on the counter, glancing at the kettle to make sure the water was above the blue line.

“Good. It’ll keep you away from the longshorehands. I’ll be leaving for a quick meeting, but be back in a few hours. Holds are open, but our space is to be kept locked. Remember the emergency code?”


Sean’s Candied Walnut Shortbread

Candied Walnuts (Just in case you didn’t have any on hand you need to use up)

  • 150 grams/1 cup of chopped walnuts (or nuts of choice)
  • 50 grams/¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 30 grams/2 tablespoons of butter

Melt butter in skillet over over medium heat. Swirl butter around to coat pan. Add walnuts and sugar.

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so mixture doesn’t burn.

Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts.

Allow to cool while you make cookies

  • Butter for greasing pans/ or parchment
  • 240 grams/1 cup butter
  • 100 grams/1 cup brown sugar
  • 220 grams/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt if you use non-salted butter

Preheat the oven to 148°C/300°F.

Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar until fluffy, then beat in the flour.

Hint: This is a stiff dough so the mixture will feel a little dry; keep beating till it comes together, I use my hands to mix cookie dough. (Safety Tip: If you do use hands to mix doughs, wash them!)

Once flour is incorporated, mix in the candied nuts.

Drop the dough by a rounded teaspoon onto a prepared baking sheet. Flatten each ball of dough to about 1 centimeter (3/8 inches) thick; use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes in a preheated oven. Turn sheet if necessary at 10 minutes. You want them to be set, but not brown.

Remove from the oven, and cool on the pans, or on a rack.

Yield: about 4 dozen small cookies

The Light Side of the Moon Recipe: Cheese Stuffed Olives


Here is another of several recipes inspired by the food of The Light Side of the Moon. Though on this blog, I posted Anne Blacksmith’s Beef and Veg Pie. Let me know if you use any of them. I’d love to know what you think!


The Talliers’ butler entered with a tray full of aperitif—Raspberry Armagnac liquor for the adults, raspberry juice for the two younger boys along with almonds and cheese-filled olives. Andre ignored his juice and kept showing Ian pictures. Ham smiled at Ian and set the boy’s juice on a nearby table.


Since I used Kalamata olives and have red plates, I put a few chopped chives on mine as a final garnish

Cheese Stuffed Olives:
These are an easy make ahead no cook appetizer for a party

  • 225 grams / 1 1/2 cups pitted large green or Kalamata olives
  • 43 grams / 1/2 cup toasted almonds sliced
  • 55 grams /1/2 cup of brie
  • 36 ml / 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • pinch dried hot pepper flakes or a dash of pepper oil
  • dash of chives (optional)

If olives are canned or from a jar, rinse and drain well. Check for pits and remove, if necessary.

I tend to buy precut nuts, but if you didn’t, chop them into slivers or small pieces.
Remove rind from brie. Put brie in warmed bowl and stir in almonds.

Stuff the olives with the almond and brie mixture

Thinly sliced garlic and combine with oil and red pepper flakes.

Marinate the olives in mixture overnight, in refrigerator, stirring occasionally. The almonds will soften after a few hours.

Serve chilled with a dash of chives on the plate for color if you wish

The Light Side of the Moon Recipe: Anne Blacksmith’s Beef and Veg Pie


Anne Blacksmith’s Beef and Veg Pie

Here is a recipe inspired by The Light Side of the Moon. A meat pie is a hearty main dish. This is a great recipe for any  ground meat you may have. My husband’s favorite is ground pork. I tend to do all the prepwork for meat pie early in the day or even the day before and then bake it prior to serving.

Excerpt: [Ian] jumped at the clatter, as Ms. Blacksmith set down a baked beef pie more heavily than usual. “Grace deserved better than her spouse and only-child in quiet dispute.”

Scraping the knife over the bottom of the pie plate, she cut the pasty and served Ian a large slice with the look she used when he was small and made mischief. She handed Dad a piece of pie with the same look. “Fix this. Or this is the last meal I cook for you.” She stomped into the kitchen.

Pie Crust (This is the pie crust recipe I use for savory fillings as well as anytime I want a fruit pie.)

  • 220 grams / 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 5.5 grams / 1 teaspoon salt
  • 180 grams / 3/4 cup Vegetable Shortening or Lard
  • 60 – 120 ml / 4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water

Blend flour and salt in large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture using pastry blender or fork until it looks like small peas. By the spoonful stir in just enough water with fork until dough holds together.

Shape dough into a ball. Flatten ball into 1/2-inch thick round disk. Chill while you prepare filling.


  • 16 ml / 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 3 stalks of Celery
  • 3 Carrots
  • ½ Onion
  • .45 kg / 1 pound of Ground (Minced) Beef
  • 85 grams / ¾ cup flour
  • .7 liter / 3 cups of milk
  • 150 grams / 1 cup peas
  • Salt and pepper if needed

Small dice celery, carrots and onions. Over medium heat, cook celery, carrots, and onions in vegetable oil until onions grow translucent. Remove from pan.

Brown beef until no pink remains and remove from pan

Whisk in the flour to the  drippings/ Cook and stir over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Gradually stir in milk so that no lumps form, and continue cooking and stirring until thickened. Taste gravy and add salt and peppers if desired

Mix all filling ingredients adding the peas last. Chill for 1 hour.

Take dough from refrigerator cut dough in half.

Roll 1/2 dough  from center outward into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle  on lightly floured surface for the crust. Transfer dough to baking sheet.

Roll second half of dough into rectangle. Put aside

Scoop filling on dough on baking sheet leaving a 1/2 inch of exposed dough all around.  Lie second rectangle on top. Flute dough as desired. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes.


Tip: I like to use a baking sheet with foil to catch any escaping gravy.


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