“Rich world-building, compelling characters, complex politics and passionate intrigue in an alternate Byzantium: if you like Guy Gavriel Kay, you will love ‘Empress’. — Kari Sperring, author of “Living with Ghosts” and “The Grass King’s Concubine”
“Empress is the best kind of secondary-world fantasy: the Roman Empire-esque world is both tantalizingly familiar and exotic; with characters at once larger than life and intimately human.” — Patrice Sarath, Author of The Tales of Port Saint Frey
Historical fantasy inspired by the saga of Byzantine Emperor Justinian and the courtesan Theodora, one of the greatest love stories in world history.
In Alma Alexander’s enthralling new novel, Simonis is a woman who lived many lives before rising to the top – a helpless child in circus performances, an accomplished courtesan and spy, a heretic who sheltered men thought to be damned for what they believed. Emperor Maxentius is the man who loves her enough to drape the Imperial purple over her shoulders even though his entire culture recoils.
When he marries Simonis and gives her a new name, Callidora, he makes her a partner in the ruling of the empire.
When the Empire faces a rebellion that appears unstoppable, Maxentius and his generals are prepared to flee the raging mobs. But Callidora announces that the men can do what they want, but she will not run.
“If I must die, purple makes a good shroud.”
The men are shamed into standing their ground and the Empire survives.
She lives by those words. When she dies, Callidora is buried as she wanted to be. In the purple. As the Empress.
A hilarious and affectionate look at science-fiction conventions, a wondrous mashup of Galaxy Quest and Bimbos of the Death Sun, a fast-paced and laugh-out-loud funny treat for SF fans everywhere. ~ Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues
It’s the Friday before a science fiction convention weekend. Hundreds of fans are lined up at the registration desk. The posters for the Media Guests of Honor aren’t done, there’s a problem with the Program Booklet, the Author Guest of Honor has gone AWOL, and the coffee in the Green Room is dreadful
When ConCon member Dave Lorne realizes the whole hotel is lifting off the ground after a silver sheened man enters something on a strange tablet, he blurts out,
“Put us back!”
The silver man looks at him with a curiously cocked head and says with something like regret,
“I can’t do that, Dave.”
Moments later, programming chair Xander steps out on a balcony, sees the ocean far below, and says quietly to his companions,
“Houston, we have a problem.”
The fan-filled hotel has been kidnapped by time traveling androids and taken for a jaunt around the Moon while they search for their roots. At least something is going right.
Welcome to AbductiCon.
A hilarious and metaphysical novel of SF fandom, the convention culture, and the treasured tropes of science fiction.
More reviews of AbductiCon
" With a fine, light touch, Alma gives us inveterate Sci-Fi con-goers a snarky "what if" would happen if a con got abducted by aliens who are trying to figure us out." Kier Salmon "This is truly one of the funniest SF books I've read in years." ~ Lenora Rain-Lee Good "A highly enjoyable romp through the inner workings of an unforgettable sci fi convention...peppered with tropes and quotes that will keep the fen amused while wryly recognising each of the characters as realistic portrayals of con committee members and guests." ~ Biscutoria "It's one wild ride when four androids from the future appear at a sci-fi convention and take them all, hotel included, on a trip around the moon while they try to find their inventor/god/creator. A laugh out loud romp that asks some serious questions..." ~ Emily
Midnight at Spanish Gardens
“There is insight and reflection with a dose of inspiration in this work that will keep you thinking. It would make great read for a book club.” ~ Leslie Wright, Blogcritics
“And then there’s the ending.I found it haunting. I still think about it.” ~ M.J. Place
Five friends meet in the cafe where they had celebrated their college graduation 20 years before. They reminisce – and reveal long-held and disturbing secrets about their dysfunctional lives.
Each friend in turn is given a startling choice by an enigmatic bartender named Ariel — a chance to live a different life and later decide which life they will continue to live.
Each in turn passes through the portal and into lives beyond their dreams — or nightmares.
Four of them return to their original lives.
One does not.
Letters from the Fire
“The book is so real that I felt at times as if I was eavesdropping on their conversations and unfolding relationship. It is intensely powerful, emotional and challenging.” ~ Jan Baughman, Swans
“Whatever I say will feel trivial. I cried more than once reading it… I’ve just realized how lucky I am to live in a country that will probably never know the ravages of war. I feel deeply humbled.” ~ Zephrine
They were casual Internet friends before it all started, exchanging pleasant messages in a chat room.
Then his nation attacked hers and everything changed.
“They are arrogant and COWARDLY” she wrote in fury when the attack was launched.
“The war is justified and necessary,” he wrote in righteous indignation.
They left the newsgroup chat to begin exchanging bitter and scathing emails. As their nations fought with bombs and bullets, they waged their own war of taunts and insults.
Then a remarkable thing happened. The emails began softening. They began speaking of other things until, with baffling speed, they discovered each other’s mind and spirit — and the beginnings of love. They tentatively began talking about ‘after the war.’
This is the story of two ordinary people caught up in devastating events they had no control over and the transformation of anger and hate into an extraordinary love.
The Secrets of Jin-shei
“Combine ‘The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood’ with ‘The Joy Luck Club,’ add elements of ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,’ and you have this astonishing novel.” ~ China Books
“This evocative novel is sure to be popular with fans of Amy Tan, Gail Tsukiyama, and even Marion Zimmer Bradley,” … a perfect genre-buster… highly recommended.” ~ Library Journal
“I was loved by those who were born to love me – my mother, my children – and by those who chose to love me – my husband, and the sisters of my heart. I shared my own life with a healer, an alchemist, a sage, a soldier, a gypsy, a rebel leader, a loving ghost, and an Empress who dreamed of immortality and nearly destroyed us all. The years of sisterhood. The jin-shei years.”
The epic story of the women’s country, the world where a secret language forged women from very different backgrounds and social stations into an unbreakable bond of sisterhood. Enter an ancient world of courtly elegance and intrigue, where the hidden language that women have passed down from mother to daughter for countless generations signals a bond like no other … the bond of jin-shei.
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Embers of Heaven
A retelling of the Chinese Revolution seen through a fantasist’s dark mirror. Syai is not China, but a version of it as might exist somewhere in a parallel universe….A compelling…tale full of revolution, travel, pleasure and heartbreak that kept the pages turning far into the night…A rare treat. – Rachel A Hyde, My Shelf
Four hundred years after The Secrets of Jin-shei, the Syai Empire is on the brink of civil war. A new voice promises equality and hope for the downtrodden, but the ensuing people’s revolution brings terror and death to anyone embracing the old ways.
A child of two worlds, Amais searches for the magical bond of jin-shei, the women’s oath, in her ancestral home of Syai, unaware that her quest will bring her to the very person who may destroy her and her family. And yet, she must face him, or all hope for Syai will be lost.
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The Hidden Queen
“Powerful characters and a powerful setting help to deliver what I am thrilled to say is a great bloody book.” –Altair
But Anghara has a great destiny that reaches beyond the borders of the troubled realm she must one day rule — and a miraculous gift to be awakened in secret and fortified in a distant desert land at once beautiful, mysterious, and perilous: an awesome and frightening power called Sight.
Changer of Days
“(Alexander) presents a fully realized, magical world peopled with characters that prove easy to either love or hate, as the situation warrants. She bestows on her readers a few hours of relief from the pressures of mundane life, which is the best gift any author can offer. ~ Kim D. Headlee
Treachery greets Anghara upon her return to a realm suffering under the cruelty of the bloodthirsty tyrant Sif. In the dungeons of her enemy, she awaits an inevitable death, robbed of the gift that set her apart from all others.
Yet those who have sworn to defend her will not rest until their cherished queen is safe, including one whose noble heart belongs to her alone. For young Anghara’s remarkable destiny is greater than crowns and countries — greater even than the fearsome Old Gods who must stand down to make way for the Changer of Days.
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