Sunday, August 27, 2006

Building a Fictional World Part 1

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to create your own fictional world? Sort of—If I ruled the world, then…
Chocolates would be calorie-free
The dog would clean up his/ her own mess
All the traffic lights would turn to green for me
And more ☺

Most of my favorite authors in fantasy and science fiction have created their own worlds, so I decided to give it a try. My planet would be similar to Earth in topography and weather, but with a few differences, such as two moons instead of one, and native animals resembling dinosaurs. Later I added dragons.

I chose a name for my world—Traber, after the starship captain who discovered the star system and the habital third planet with no sentient population—or so he thought. Later events would prove him wrong.

By the time each of my stories open, plants and animals brought by colonists from Earth had adapted to the planet. A great famine swept the small group of colonists. During that time, their connection to their mother planet was lost, and their technology fell back to medieval times. Wars followed which split the people into several groups—each group settling on lands similar to those settled by their ancestors on Earth centuries earlier.

In Dark Passion, I introduce some of the dinosaur-like creatures, including the water-dragosaurs, called dabblers.

We first meet them and other creatures, tamed by men, in the opening:


The slavers struck without warning.
Some rose out of the sparkling waters of Conch Bay. Others, with a pack of rapto-dragosaurs at their sides, raced from where they'd hidden in the orangefruit grove. Women clutched their babies or little ones, frantic to protect them from the cruel men and slashing fangs of the leaping raptos.
Young boys and girls, who'd been digging in the sun-warmed, pink sand for oysterclams, froze or ran screaming toward their mothers. Small water-dragosaurs, known as dabblers, snapped at the slavers, biting and clawing the men and raptos who threatened their humans.
Dropping the basketful of orangefruit she'd collected for the evening feast, Alyssa Palanui, daughter of King Tristan, intercepted her preteen niece and the two boys nearest her. Quickly she drew them behind a roseberry bush. "Lani, Damon, Alan, run to Fernhaven. Warn them, and then stay there."
While precious moments ticked away, measured by shrieks of terror, Alyssa removed her lineage medallion and passed it to Lani. "Give this to their Keeper of the Flame. Now, go."
As the trio raced away, she picked up a long branch and ran toward the nearest woman fighting off an attacker.
Alyssa's heart fluttered in her throat with fear. All the men of Tamary and their neighboring village had left earlier to fish in the deep waters far to the south.
No one would come to their rescue.

If you want to read more look for Dark Passion by April Reid (my pseudonym for more sensual stories) at

If you have questions or comments, you can email me at:

Watch for Part 2 in Building a Fictional World.

Best Wishes,

Barbara Clark

Monday, August 21, 2006

Introducing Myself--Again

I write as Barbara Clark for Amber Quill Press, and as April Reid for my steamier stories at the Amber Heat division.

At, writing as Barbara Clark, I have 9 books--five of them are paranormal romances and one, Emerald Heat has secondary characters with paranormal abilities. At, writing as April Reid, I have one novel, Dark Passion and two short stories with paranormal and fantasy elements.

Later, I'll post about the joy of writing paranormal romances.

Warm Regards,


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Introducing Myself


I write for Amber Quill Press, both under my real name (Sharona Nelson) and under my erotic romance pseudonym. In 2007, AQP will publish my humorous single-mom romance, "Cover Me". It's the story of a single mom, a single man, and a health insurance plan. When we are closer to the publication date, I'll post some excerpts for you to enjoy.

Today, I'm here to ask some questions.

What's your favorite type of romance story? Historical, contemporary, paranormal, suspense, or something else?

How about main characters--do you prefer them to be in their mid-twenties? Thirties? Beyond?

Is there a particular kind of romance story that you'll never, ever read, or dislike?

I'm informally polling, mostly because I'm curious about AQP readers' likes and dislikes, because that's sometimes very different from what publishers are buying. For example, I've recently read that calling a manuscript "chick lit" is the kiss of death. Supposedly, no one's buying it. What do you think? Do you like chick lit, hate it, or couldn't care less?

Just leave a comment. If I receive enough of them, I'll blog about them. If you don't want to leave a comment on this blog, just send me an email at:
sharonanelson @ Be sure to take the spaces out.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, August 07, 2006

What's on the Horizon?

Welcome to the Amber Quill Press blog! I was wondering what everyone has in store for us in the coming months at Amber Quill Press.

My Science Fiction Romance Ravenstar's Bride is scheduled for release in September. Here's the blurb:

Princess Ra’Nara Lumina, destined for the throne of Cadeia, has fled her privileged life to escape the dark destiny that awaits her. Slated to be bred with her cruel cousin, Cleus Antioch, she can expect most of her children to die of a genetic illness borne in the genes of the royal family. To save her unborn heirs, she leaves the palace, but as long as she remains untouched by a man, she is still eligible to rule. Pursued by the ruthless Chancellor Kossa, who will do anything to see that succession of the throne is unbroken, Ra’Nara must find a man willing to claim her as his wife.

Istrian Merchant Captain Ravenstar Bren finds himself with a strange dilemma. To save the princess and the lives of her as yet unconceived offspring, he must claim her as his bride, but can he convince the proud people of his nomadic nation to accept a ‘land-born’ as the wife of their sovereign?

And a short unedited excerpt from Ravenstar's Bride by Jennifer Colgan:

Chapter One

Ra’Nara shivered and pulled her worn cloak closer around her shoulders. The rough fabric afforded little warmth, but its dark color helped keep her hidden amid the supply crates and grain sacks piled on Cadeia’s space dock. Her legs ached from crouching in the shadows all afternoon and her stomach rumbled. Relief quickly replaced her exhaustion however when she saw the familiar hooded figure of Je’Nilla approaching from the main thoroughfare of the traders’ bazaar.

“It is done, Your Grace,” Je’Nilla whispered as she ducked behind the mountain of cargo. “Please let me come with you.”

Ra’Nara took the young girl’s hand in her own and squeezed. “You can’t, Je’Nilla. If we’re captured, I will be punished, but you could be killed. You’re better off here. Go home now, and forget everything we’ve done today. Now, which ship is it?”

Je’Nilla’s dark eyes brimmed. “The Istrian vessel,” she replied. She paused to wipe at her eyes with trembling fingers. “The dock hands will create a disturbance so you can slip into the hold.”

Ra’Nara nodded. The Istrians were a proud, nomadic people, welcomed on Cadeia and countless other worlds because of their honesty in trade. They would deal with a stowaway fairly, or at least she hoped they would. She had few other choices today, since the bazaar was almost over for the season and most of the largest trade ships had left port already. The Istrians often stayed the longest and made the most profitable trades with other merchants seeking to empty their holds for the long journeys back to their home worlds.

Ra’Nara hesitated while a surly group of dockhands lumbered by, carrying huge bolts of vibrant silks through the narrow alleyway. When they’d passed, Je’Nilla thrust a small cloth pouch into her cold fingers. “Take this, Your Grace. A few dral may save you from having to barter for your passage.”

Ra’Nara clutched the bag. She felt the filigreed edges of the large Cadeian coins within, but the weight in her hand was far from reassuring. This small handful of currency wouldn’t get her very far on Cadeia. In space, it would be practically useless. She had one thing of value to barter with. If used at the proper time, her only asset might not only buy her passage to safety, it would save her from the terrible fate that awaited her on Cadeia.

“Thank you, Je’Nilla,” she said quietly. “You’ve already risked too much to help me. You must go now.”

The girl nodded and pinched the fabric of her hood closed to hide her pretty features. Though not as recognizable as Ra’Nara, Je’Nilla would have to take care not to be seen by any of the palace guards on her way home.

“Be safe, Your Grace,” she said and grasped Ra’Nara’s hands once more. “I shall pray that we meet again.”

Friday, August 04, 2006


Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to my fellow AQ authors. I look forward to reading all the great excerpts and seeing what everyone's up to.

Shannon Leigh

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Welcome to the new blog!

Welcome to the Amber Quill Press genre authors' blog!