Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have an unconventional Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah!

I'll be offline for a few days, due to the holidays. But before I go, I'd like to wish everyone a delightful and unconventional holiday season, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa.

For those driving, be safe. Watch out for those crazy road-crossing deer. If you're flying, keep an eye out for those equally crazy flying reindeer.

Here's wishing a wonderful New Year to all. May our hopes, dreams, and prayers come true in 2010!

Mark.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another wonderful review for Sunrise Destiny


My 2010 EPIC Award-nominated science fiction novel, Sunrise Destiny, just received this terrific review from Kathy at Dark Divas Reviews (the bold emphasis is mine):

Rating: 5 Delightful Divas (their highest rating)

I added Mark Terence Chapman to my auto-buy list; and that was just 80-some pages into the book. This is a very long ~ at 450 pages ~ story, but I never got bored, never lost focus and certainly never wanted to rush it to its conclusion. Sunrise Destiny started off in the vein of one of those old-time PI stories, but there were a few things that didn't quite fit… until I remembered that this is also a sci-fi story. I was much taken with the slight dichotomy and, as the story progressed, found myself more and more intrigued.

Sunrise Destiny can almost be split into at least two parts; at first I wasn't sure it would work, but Mr. Chapman is able to move seamlessly between the two worlds and make everything come together very well. Generally, I find most science fiction stories a little harder to adjust to; especially with regard to the speculative nature and otherworld aspects. With Sunrise Destiny, Mark Chapman's narrative was strong and wonderfully detailed, without overdoing it, and I found myself so involved in Donatello's adventures that I was easily able to enjoy the futuristic elements.

There's evil galore, a plot for world domination, aliens and a good old-fashioned adventure. This is also a romance; the hero, a PI, whose reputation flirts with notoriety and a heroine who is a prostitute and Sunrise's sometime lover. Two people, who on the surface, just don't seem to have what it takes. But they do, and in spades. I loved watching the progression of their long-time relationship from now-and-again to full-bodied romance. Very nicely done Mr. Chapman, very nice indeed.

I do feel that a warning should be given: There is some violence and a disturbing scene; while it's there it is by no means graphic. And it goes a very long way to adding impetus for actions taken later in the book. All in all Mark Terence Chapman's Sunrise Destiny was a wonderful surprise and a story that will definitely be a re-read.

To find out more about Sunrise Destiny, including a blurb, a 4,000-word excerpt, and ordering links, please visit my web page.

Mark.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunrise Destiny now available from Fictionwise

Well, it seemed to take forever, but my award-nominated science fiction novel, Sunrise Destiny, is finally available for sale on Fictionwise. In fact, it's currently on sale for 45% off the cover price (53% for club members). So get 'em while they're hot!

Mark.

Chatting with Savannah Chase on Nov. 23

I'll be chatting online Monday (11/23/09) with paranormal author Savannah Chase about my current novel, Sunrise Destiny, my EPIC Award nomination for that book, and whatever else comes to mind.

The chat will be held in Savannah's Yahoo group. (If you haven't already registered with the group (it's free and takes only a minute), you should do so as soon as possible so Savannah has time to see your membership request and approve it.)

Please join us from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m Eastern time (U.S.).

I hope to "see" you there.

Mark.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Appearing on Blog Talk Radio Sunday

I'll be chatting with paranormal author Franny Armstrong on her show on Blog Talk Radio tomorrow. The show will be from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m EST. We'll be talking about my books, including Sunrise Destiny, which was just selected as a finalist in the 2010 EPIC Awards competition (science fiction category). If you'd like to ask questions, the call-in number is (917) 889-3332.

Please join us, if you can.


Mark.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More good news

It seems that good news, like the bad sort, comes in bunches.

First, on Monday, I learned that my novel, Sunrise Destiny, is one of three finalists in the EPIC Awards competition (science fiction category). The winners will be announced at EPICon in March 2010. The book is currently offered in Kindle ebook format from Amazon.com. (Other ebook formats are available from the publisher.)

Then, on T
uesday, I learned that my short story, Harvey-467 Makes a Bride is now available for sale from Amazon in Kindle ebook format. (Other ebook formats are available from the publisher.)

I wonder if there's any more good news waiting around the corner....


More later.


Mark.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tuesday was a great day!

First, I received a wonderful review for Sunrise Destiny, from Coffee Time Romance & More. Then I found out that SD was finally available for sale on Amazon.com.

Here's the meat of the review:

This has to be the most entertaining book I’ve read this month; I absolutely loved it! I began to get an inkling that the story was set in the future because of some of the scifi type gadgets Sunrise had, but I never imagined until I got about a quarter of a way into the story that it would also end up being one heck of a scifi adventure as well. Private eye type stories are usually not my thing at all, but this book could fit into a number of different genres very well, and I think the cross genre elements are what really make the story work. I loved how Sunrise respects Lola in spite of the fact that she is a hooker, which you do not often see in fiction, usually the hooker is the bad girl, but in this story she is one of the heroes. I really liked that. The world building is extraordinary and really pulls the story together. I know this is one book I’ll be reading over and over. I cannot say enough good things about this book, and I encourage everyone to go out and get a copy today, it is well worth the money spent!


You can read the full review (5 Cups, their highest rating). For anyone who hasn't already read an excerpt of Sunrise Destiny, or to buy it, go to the order pages at Red Rose Publishing or Amazon.com. (Amazon misspelled my middle name. LOL! Have to get that fixed.) For information about my other novels and short stories, please visit my website.

Later!

Mark.

Friday, September 4, 2009

#1 bestseller!

My sci-fi short story, Harvey-467 Makes a Bride, was released by Red Rose Publishing on Thursday as an ebook. When I checked the RRP bestseller list Thursday afternoon, I was pleased to note that it was #2. It was still #2 Friday morning, but by Friday evening it had jumped to #1, where it remains as of Saturday morning. Wow!

If you're interested, you can buy it here for only 99 cents. You can't beat a deal like that!

Here's the story blurb, and a short excerpt:


Harvey-467 is a typical 25th century android--blond, blue-eyed, and perfect in every way. Except he’s constrained by his programming. He yearns to be creative, but it’s impossible. Everything in his life is planned, deliberate, precise.


One day he concludes that it's time to get married, to have a soul mate with which to share his life. So he custom-orders a bride from a catalog: beautiful, talented, and equally perfect.


And that's when everything goes terribly wrong.


Excerpt:

When consciousness resumed, he checked his internal chrono and was stunned to find that 1.86 hours had elapsed since shutdown. It was well past midnight.

Wow, my cortex must really have gotten hot if it took this long to cool down to safe levels.

He became aware of his surroundings. But how did I get from the living room to the back porch?

I wonder what Maya must have thought when I froze up. She was so angry I wouldn’t be surprised if she went on for ten minutes before noticing.

He chuckled at the image of her berating the back of his inanimate head, and then becoming twice as incensed that he hadn’t heard a word she’d said all that time.

She must have been so mad she carried me out here. Well, I guess I’d better get it over with. I hope she didn’t lock me out.

He sighed and tried the door handle. It turned.

What he saw in the living room shocked him to the processor core. There lay Maya, her beautiful face smashed flat and her cortex spilling out of massive rends in her cranium plate. The spark of sentience was gone from her lovely green eyes. Red hydraulic fluid had leaked all over the mint green Berber carpet she’d insisted on buying. More had sprayed the walls and ceiling.

But how? Who? What happened here? Who would murder an android—and why?


I also have a novel, Sunrise Destiny, available for sale at RRP. For more about my writing, see my website or my blog. I hope you enjoy them! Mark.

Friday, July 24, 2009

First review of Sunrise Destiny

I recently received the first review for my science fiction third novel, Sunrise Destiny, and it was a nice one.

Janelle for You Gotta Read Reviews

Rating: You Gotta Read ("Our highest rating - very few books will earn this award")

This book was fun! There’s action, adventure, suspense, drama, and romance. But what makes this book for me is that it does not shy away from the darker side of civilization – crime, poverty, war, power, and love.

Yes, I said love.

While never directly address[ed], [Donatello] Sunrise is often witness to how far people will go to in the name of love. It was love that drove inherently good beings to kidnap innocent girls. It is love of money that could bring a planet to its knees. It is love that will fuel a revolution. And love drives a father to commit grievous sins in atonement for his daughter’s virtue.

Perhaps the best part of this story is that characters are not spared the tragedy of the path they walk. Hard choices are made on all sides and many commit acts that they morally object to in order to survive.

I highly recommend this book. It’s fun and exciting, without losing [sight] of the characters’ mortality.

For more info about Sunrise Destiny, including the blurb, a 4,000-word excerpt, and an order link, see my website.

Mark.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All-day Chat on Thursday, June 11

Come and chat with me and fellow authors Bryn Colvin, Linnea Sinclair, Elaine Corvidae and Aston West all day at Coffee Time Romance & More on Thursday 6/11. (Well, I won't be online all day, but I'll pop in and out as time permits. If I'm not there, some of the other authors should be.)

Here's the link for the chat room.

The theme is "pirates of the seas and space". I'll be talking about my upcoming novel My Other Car is a Spaceship. It should be fun. I hope you'll join us.

Mark.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 85)

Sorry it's been so long since the last installment. But here are some more words to ponder:

Icebox vs. Refrigerator
Wrong: Let me get a cold one out of the ice box.
Right
: Let me get a cold one out of the refrigerator.


Once upon a time, food was kept cold by storing in cabinets chilled by blocks of ice. These iceboxes were gradually replaced by electric refrigerators, but some people still cling to the old, now obsolete, term.


Tinfoil vs. Aluminum foil

Wrong: Timmy, please cover the casserole with tinfoil.

Right: Timmy, please cover the casserole with aluminum foil.


Tinfoil was once used to wrap food, but imparted a tinny taste to it. This unfortunate side effect, along with the higher cost, caused it to be replaced for that use not long after the first aluminum foil plant opened in 1910 in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. Tin foil still has other uses in industry, but not as a food wrapper.


More next time. Ciao!

Mark.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chatting on June 11

I'll be chatting with author Bryn Colvin and several others on June 11th in the Latte Lounge at Coffee Time Romance & More. (The chat is all day, but I'll be popping in and out.) The topic will be pirates. (Is June International Pirates Month, or something? I'm already scheduled to chat with author Rowena Cherry and others June 2nd on Internet Voices Radio as part of that month's Crazy Tuesday. The topic will be space pirates. What an odd coincidence.)

I'll be mentioning my third sci-fi detective novel,
Sunrise Destiny, which releases tomorrow, but mainly I'll be talking about my upcoming fourth sci-fi novel, My Other Car is a Spaceship, which--amazingly enough--is about space pirates. 8^} You can find out more about both books at my website.

I hope to "see" you at one or both chats.


Mark.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Join me for a chat!


Please join me on Sunday May 17 for a chat at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/savannahchase/. I'll be talking about my upcoming science fiction detective novel, Sunrise Destiny (to be released on May 21) and other topics.

I hope to see you there.

Mark

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New excerpt

I've added a longer (4,000-word) excerpt for Sunrise Destiny on my website. (It replaces a 1,000-word excerpt.) So if you have any interest in reading a paranormal sci-fi action/adventure novel, this should give you a good taste of the style of writing. Sunrise Destiny will be released on May 21, 2009.

Mark.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Radio interview on June 2

I'll be participating in another interview as part of Crazy Tuesday on Internet Voices Radio, hosted by author Rowena Cherry. The theme of this show is "space pirates," which just happens to be the subject of my fourth (as yet unpublished) science fiction novel, My Other Car is a Spaceship. The show will be from 10:00 a.m. to noon on June 2. I'm sure I'll also be able to slip in a mention or two of my upcoming sci-fi novel, Sunrise Destiny, which will be released shortly before the show, on May 21.

More details on the other authors who will be participating when I find out. Please join us. It'll be a blast! (Blast? Blaster? Blast-off? Space pirates? Get it?)


Mark.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Interview tomorrow

I’ve been interviewed by author Michelle Pillow. The interview will appear on her blog tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5. Learn the answers to such burning questions as the strangest source of writing inspiration I’ve ever had, the last place on Earth I’d want to live, what fictional character I’d want to date and what we’d do on the date. (Hint: It involves handcuffs and a whip.)


Check it out at http://www.michellepillow.com/blog.


Mark.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunrise Destiny coming May 21

It seems like it's taken forever, but my third sci-fi novel, Sunrise Destiny, will be released on Thursday, May 21, by Red Rose Publishing. It will be released initially as an ebook, with a printed version coming later. You can preorder the book from the RRP order page, and later order it from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

I'll post an excerpt containing the Prologue and Chapter 1 in a separate blog shortly. I hope you'll check it out.


Mark.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 84)

We're not done yet. Here are some more to be wary of:

Vested vs. Invested

Wrong
: Everyone on my staff is vested in providing the best service possible.
Right
: Everyone on my staff is invested in providing the best service possible.
Wrong
: By the power invested in me....
Right
: By the power vested in me....

Vested has several meanings, including “protected by law” (such as vested retirement funds) and “held permanently or inalienably” (vested rights). Invested has even more meanings, including “committed,” “endowed with authority or power,” and “installed ceremoniously in office.” The first example, above, refers to the commitment of the person’s staff, while the second indicates that the individual is endowed by church or secular law with the authorization and right to perform specific duties.

Bar none
Wrong
: He’s one of the best in his field, bar none.
Right
: He’s the best in his field, bar none.
Right
: He’s one of the best in his field.

The expression bar none means without exception. Someone can be the best, bar none; but if he or she is only one of the best, then by definition there are exceptions and the phrase bar none is incorrect.

I'll have more for you next time. Stay tuned to this bat-channel.


Mark.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 83)

Want some more words and phrases to keep an eye out for? Here you go:

Grin and bare it vs. Grin and bear it

Wrong
: Sometimes you just have to grin and bare it.

Right
: Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.


The verb bear has a number of meanings, including to hold up under stress. The expression grin and bear it, then means to endure with a smile on one’s face. It is akin to whistle while you work, in the sense that a smile or whistle theoretically makes difficulties easier to tolerate. The sound-alike grin and bare it evokes images of someone wearing a broad smile while streaking.


E-mail vs. Email

Right: Send me an e-mail.

Right: Send me an email.


So, which is correct, e-mail or email? Over time, on-line has shortened to online and World Wide Web site has contracted to Web site, web site, and even website. Similarly, E-mail and e-mail are undergoing a contraction to email. Currently all forms are acceptable.


Stay tuned for more words and phrases.


Mark.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 82)

Ready for some more more? Here are some rules involving names:


Commas around names
Wrong: Where do you want to go James?
Right: Where do you want to go, James?
Wrong: So Mary what do you propose?
Right: So, Mary, what do you propose?

In dialog, when one character speaks to another and refers to him or her by name, always set off the name with a comma before the name, and—if another clause follows—one after the name.

Capitalizing proper names
Wrong: de Broux is a wonderful fellow.
Right: De Broux is a wonderful fellow.
Right: Patrick de Broux is a wonderful fellow.

Many surnames begin with de, di, da, von, van and other lower-case prefixes. Although the correct spelling of Wernher von Braun is with a lower-case v, when beginning a sentence with the surname, always capitalize the prefix (as in “Von Braun became director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960.”).

More soon!

Mark. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 81)

Time for some more words to watch out for:

Till vs. ‘Til

Wrong
: He won’t be back till later.

Right
: He won’t be back ‘til later.


Till
is an erroneous contraction of until. The correct contraction is ‘til.


Skew vs. SKU

Wrong: We need to move some skews today, people!

Right: We need to move some SKUs today, people!


An SKU is a stock keeping unit, or inventory item. This noun is often pronounced skew (sk-yoo) for brevity. Unfortunately, the similarity in pronunciation with the verb skew (to take an oblique course, look askance, or distort from a true value or symmetrical shape) produces confusion in spelling for those who don’t know the origin of the acronym. So don’t let a confusion with SKU skew your spelling.


More next time.


Mark.

RRP scavenger hunt

Red Rose Publishing is holding a scavenger hunt this month. The grand prize is a free copy of all the new RRP book releases for the month of May, including my upcoming paranormal sci-fi novel, Sunrise Destiny. That's quite a collection!

For contest details, go to redrosepublishing.com.

Good luck!

Mark.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Harvey-467 Makes a Bride coming soon

I have a tentative release target of July 2009 for my sci-fi short story, Harvey-467 Makes a Bride. Although it's not out yet, the publisher, Red Rose Publishing has created an order page for it, which includes a brief excerpt of the story.

If you'd rather, here is a direct link to the excerpt on my website.

Here's a blurb for the story:

Harvey-467 is a typical 25th century android--blond, blue-eyed, and perfect in every way. Except he's constrained by his programming. He yearns to be creative, but it's impossible. Everything in his life is planned, deliberate, precise.

One day he concludes that it's time to get married, to have a soul mate with which to share his life. So he custom-orders a bride from a catalog: beautiful, talented, and equally perfect.

And that's when everything goes terribly wrong.

More later when I have more details, and a cover.

Mark.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 80)

It's been a few weeks since my last post on this subject. My apologies. I've been insanely busy both in my writing life and my nonwriting life the past couple of months. I think I've finally caught up. I'll try to be more dutiful in the future.

Without further ado, here is the next set of words:


Addition vs. Edition

Wrong: The fifth addition of his book just came out.

Right: The fifth edition of his book just came out.


Given how common both words are, I’m surprised at how often I see addition confused with edition. An addition is something that is added, while an edition is a form in which text is printed. A special holiday section of a newspaper might be said to be an addition to the edition.


Melt(ed/ing) vs. meld(ed/ing)

Wrong: I’m looking forward to the melting of our cultures.

Right: I’m looking forward to the melding of our cultures.


To melt is to soften (as butter), dissolve (sugar), or lose shape or distinctiveness, often because of heat. To meld, on the other hand is to blend or merge. The melding of two families through marriage is enough to melt one’s heart.


More soon. I promise!


Mark.

Sunrise Destiny coming May 21

I have a tentative release date for my upcoming sci-fi novel, Sunrise Destiny. The plan is for a May 21 release.

Although the book isn't yet out, the publisher,
Red Rose Publishing, has created an order page for it, containing a thousand-word excerpt. The cover price for the ebook is $5.99. A print version should be out later. If you prefer, here is a direct link to the excerpt on my website. Here's the book blurb:

When private detective Donatello Sunrise is coerced into finding a Mob boss’s daughter, he stumbles onto a much bigger case. Dozens of women, all young, all petite, have disappeared in recent weeks. Mysterious and conflicting clues seem to point to a government conspiracy, a mad scientist bent on global domination, or perhaps abduction by bloodthirsty alien vampires. Nothing makes any sense.

Before he knows it, Sunrise and his hooker friend Lola find themselves in a life-or-death struggle. The Mob wants them dead, the cops want them for serial murders—even the kidnappers are after them. With the fate of two worlds intertwined, Sunrise and Lola must somehow help the good guys defeat the evil ones.

The trick is telling one from the other.

I'll follow up when I have a firm release date.

Mark.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Upcoming interview


I've been interviewed by author Michelle Pillow. The interview will appear in her blog on May 5, 2009. She posts "silly interviews" there each Tuesday, so don't expect anything heavy. They're meant to be fun as well as informative.

If you want a head start on the interview, there's one coming next week, February 24, 2009, with romance author
Keta Diablo. And another one the Tuesday after that and the Tuesday after that, and...you get the idea.

In my interview, I talk about the inspiration for my upcoming novel,
Sunrise Destiny, as well as the last place on Earth I'd want to live, what fictional character I'd like a date with (and what we'd do on that date), and more. I hope to see you there on May 5th!

Mark.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sci-Fi or science?

It's amazing how many sci-fi concepts later become real science. Some science fiction writer dreams up an idea (such as Arthur C. Clarke writing about orbital satellites) and someone comes along later and says, "Hey! Let's see if we can do that!"

How about the "death rays" of '30s/'40s pulp novels? Now we have lasers. Okay, not in handgun form, but the technology exists and the military is looking for ways to weaponize it (shooting down missiles, jets, and satellites, for example).


Those pulps also brought us spaceships rocketing across the galaxy. We aren't quite there yet, but only a few decades later, we did manage to land on the moon.


Star Trek communicators inspired engineers to develop cellphones (which, ironically, are smaller and more futuristic than those dreamed up for the 22nd-century TV series).


Sci-fi also brought us lifelike holographic images. Although we do have primitive video holograms today, we're not quite there yet. On the other hand, another promising offshoot from the concept is holographic storage. Companies are already coming out with
storage devices that use holograms to store data in three dimensions, offering the potential for quantum leaps in storage capacity and speed. Rumor has it that the next generation Nintendo gaming console will use holographic storage. (Here's a video that explains the concept in layman's terms.)

And now a scientist has developed something much like a Star Trek "dermal regenerator." It's a
handheld laser device that promises to seal up skin with less leakage than with sutures, and less scarring to boot!

As far back as as 1895, authors have been writing about "beanstalks," "skyhooks," and "space elevators" as means of getting from the Earth into space without needing a spaceship. The latest thinking in
space elevator technology involves high-tech materials like carbon nanotubes and boron nanotubes, which didn't even exist two decades ago. Now scientists are trying to drum up backing for projects to build these elevators within the next 30-50 years. Theoretically, this technology could lower the cost of getting cargo into orbit from millions of dollars per pound to tens of dollars.

But that's not all. Because spaceships won't need to take off and land on Earth's surface (which requires enormous expenditures of fuel), ships can be made smaller (or have more cargo capacity in the same volume). Even better, because the space elevators are in geosynchronous orbit, they offer the ability to serve as rocket boosters, using the Earth's centrifugal force to sling ships and unmanned cargo at great velocity. This promises to shorten travel times to other planets (and back, if we build space elevators on the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere).

Worried about this huge elevator falling to earth and killing millions? Don't be. If the cable(s) break, the centrifugal force on the counterweight out in space will cause everything above the break to be hurled upward and outward. The part of the cable below the break will fall to earth. But because the paper-thin ribbon cable is made of carbon nanotubes (i.e., flammable), much of it will burn up on reentry. The lower part will indeed reach the ground, but with the impact of dozens of miles of fluttering, unrolled toilet paper, not steel girders.

Cool stuff! And all brought to you from the minds of science fiction writers.


Mark.

P.S. For novels involving space elevators, written in different decades, see Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise and Charles Sheffields' The Web Between the Worlds (both published in 1979), Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars trilogy (1990s), and my own The Mars Imperative (2007).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inspiration in writing

Check out my guest blog on the IWOFA (Infinite Worlds of Fantasy Authors) blog. The subject is writing inspiration.

Mark.

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 79)

It's been a while, but here are some more words to watch out for:

Verbage vs. Verbiage

Wrong: We need to strip some of this verbage out of the proposal.

Right: We need to strip some of this verbiage out of the proposal.


Verbiage (VER-bee-ij) can be either a profusion of meaningless words, or a manner of expressing oneself in writing. Verbage (VER-bij) is simply a misspelling and mispronunciation of verbiage.


From whence vs. Whence

Wrong: Be gone demon! Return from whence you came!

Right: Be gone demon! Return whence you came!


Because whence means “from when,” saying from whence is redundant.


More soon. I promise!


Mark.