Monday, January 30, 2017

Moons and Rising Waters

Spacefreighters Lounge is very pleased to host this new release announcement and Rafflecopter giveaway by author Laurel Wanrow. I first met Laurel when she showed up to an RWA FF&P Chapter Steampunk Ball in the most fabulous Steampunk captain's costume I'd ever seen. That was seven years ago when we were both pre-published. Today, she's an up- and-coming SFR author, and I'm delighted to host her for her latest SFR release, Passages.

Thanks so much for being here today, Laurel!

Have you noticed the beautiful moons on Passages’ cover?

I included two moons circling the planet Aarde because that’s what you do in a science fiction novel…

No, not really.

Placing two moons in orbit came about because part of the story plot revolves around mineral hot springs. I wanted those springs to be tidal—in other words, I didn’t want the hot springs to be available to the people all of the time. Then, ‘taking the waters’ would be a special occurrence, a revered ceremony.

So how do you create a periodic hot spring? On a trip to Yellowstone National Park, watching the geysers gave me some tips. Water pooled in the mineralized basins, it gurgled and spat, sometimes spouting up above our heads.

And then…some force sucked it all back in again, leaving those pools empty.

It was like magic.

Actually, not magic, just geyser mechanics, the buildup of water under pressure, which then releases through any fissure available. I considered using this to make my hot springs tidal, but geysers seemed too active and hot for the mood I wanted to depict for this special occurrence. I needed a scientific reason. I decided on with tides.

Earth kids learn that our moon is responsible for our tides, but not everyone remembers that it happens with the help of the sun. Their combined pull, either when on opposite or the same side of earth, makes the planet bulge and shifts the surface water. To make this shift happen to bring up Aarde’s hot springs, I needed an exceptional tide—one that required a sun and two moons.

In other words, a two-moon tide.

I mentioned this conjunction of moons as an important feature in the story in the information for the cover art, but I didn’t give any direction for the size of the moons. On the first draft they appeared the same size.

My first thought was, one needed to be red. Clearly, I was thinking aesthetics, not science because my amateur astronomer husband exploded with, “You can’t do that! It’s gravitationally unstable.” Two moons of the same size so close together would never occur in space—they would collide.

He readily admitted he isn’t an expert on orbital mechanics and I could have a computer program model what I wanted, but I simply emailed my artist and asked her to shrink one. I think they came out perfect.

Excerpt (from Quinn’s point of view):

At the edge of town, we entered a floating, wispy fog. It didn’t obscure the surrounding fields, but I couldn’t make out the hills above us, the plateau where I’d sheltered Quaene. The fog thickened among the rocky outcroppings, causing the climbing path to all but disappear. Evard grasped Quaene’s arm to guide her, and a moment later Eve slipped a hand into the crook of my elbow.

My headache dissolved with the smell of lilac from her hair as we jostled together over the twisting path. The soft warmth of her body sent a wave of longing through me. It didn’t matter where we headed at this unreal hour. It didn’t matter that this show of caring came from her function directives to keep me from harm. And maybe it didn’t matter if my Eve wouldn’t talk to me. I still wanted her.

Groups of townspeople split off, hopping over full, running streams and skirting the various pools. Water filled them to the brim, unlike the first morning I’d passed this area. Nor had the water surface steamed when I drank from it.

“How did the water turn hot today?” I asked Eve.

“The moon conjunction also creates a strong tidal pull on water from deep in Aarde. The Waters rising to Zeffir come from directly over volcanic mantle plumes.”

She kept me following Evard, who followed Evangeline and PT. A few turnings led us to a pool. Someone was swimming, but through the mist I couldn’t discern their identity, let alone see to the far perimeter.

Follow the Passages Blog Tour to read more science & fantasy tidbits!
(Links are below.)


“Find someone you can trust.”

For decades, Eve and her fellow electorgs—part human, part machine—have worked on the quiet planet of Aarde, beating back toxic spores that threaten to poison the native people. When the new commander halts work right before a deadly spore release, Eve frantically plots to protect the villagers she considers friends and family.

On the run after an ambush, Quinn holds a secret that nearly got him killed. If only he knew what it was. Though the attack scrambled his memories, Quinn is sure of one thing—he can’t trust the electorgs. But they know information he desperately needs to puzzle out who wants him dead, and why.

With the fate of life on Aarde in the balance, the logic of joining forces with Eve overrides Quinn’s fears…and erupts into an attraction that could prove fatal for both of them.

Because the planet’s commander might just be Quinn himself.

Passages is on preorder & sale for .99 through February 5th.

Add Passages to your Goodreads shelf!

Author bio:

Before kids, Laurel Wanrow studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower walks and answers calls about the snake that wandered into your garage. During a stint of homeschooling, she turned her writing skills to fiction to share her love of the land, magical characters and fantastical settings.

When not living in her fantasy worlds, Laurel camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean house. Though they live on the East Coast, a cherished family cabin in the Colorado Rockies holds Laurel’s heart.

Find Laurel at:

Below are the bloggers participating in the Blog Tour for Passages. Each stop will have excerpts and tidbits about the science & fantasy, and a chance to win the tour prizes: a $10 Amazon eGC or a signed paperback of Passages. (Giveaway open to US/CAN)

(Partial list of Blog Tour hosts from January 26 through February 1)

Jan 26: Travel toa Mineral Hot Springs on Vicki Batman’s Handbags, Books, Whatever…
Jan 27: GoudrogenCrystals on Jessica E. Subject’s Happily Ever Afters Across the Universe

Jan 27: Hornworts on C. D. Hersh’s Two Hearts Creating Everlasting Love Stories

Jan 29-31: Thermophiles on The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

Jan 29: Author Interview with Mia Jo Celeste on Other World Diner

Jan 30: Moons and Rising Waters with Laurie A. Green on Spacefreighters Lounge [You are here.] 

Jan 31: Creating a Character’s Home Planet—in a Red Dwarf Star System on Pippa Jay’s Adventures in Scifi

Jan 31: What kind of a book is it? With Kira Decker on Toni Decker Books

Jan 31: Lacuna, aBit of Realism, a Bit of Magic on Author J. C. Nelson’s Urban Fantasy and More

Feb 1: Resolvingyour story problems…including knocking out a pesky spore? on Riley Moreland’s Whiskey With My Book


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Laurie!

  2. You're very welcome, Laurel. We're always glad to host you.


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