Monday, April 15, 2013

Guest Author - Icy Snow Blackstone

Time to get introspective…

Icy Snow’s next novel’s coming out in June.  It’s a re-issue by Class Act Books of a novel formerly released by another publisher, and will be in both in Kindle and trade paperback.

That made me think about all the novels I’ve written as Icy Snow Blackstone, and that led to the following egotistical brag-fest.  After all, there just might be someone out there somewhere who actually is curious about The Compleat Icy Snow Blackstone Bibliography. Of course, there are probably just as many who couldn’t care less, but to coin an Old Southern phrase, “I’m not studying them.”  For this little bit of epistolatory edification (and can’t I use five-dollar words?) I’m concentrating on those of you with inquiring minds who really want to know.


In chronological order, those epistles are:

The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover

They’re all romances, but there’s also a variety of subgenres here.  The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover is a contemporary vampire story set in Ireland.  Gypsy Charm is paranormal, also, but a lighter version of the shapeshifting variety.  The Finer Gentleman is a futuristic romance with a dash of Regency.  Bargain with Lucifer and its sequel Brother Devil are contemporary romances of the almost-erotic, hot-and-heavy kind.  Runaway Brother is contemporary also but lighter with a few laughs included. Jericho Road is set in Georgia during the Vietnam era with plenty of Southern-style lovin’.

Seems like there’s something for everyone, doesn’t it?

This upcoming novel is called Three Moon Station. It’s what I like to term a SF Western because it takes place on another planet, a primitive place where the settlers own shuttles but use horses and wagons most of the time. They wear laser pistols on their hips, fight off rustlers, and sometimes justice is swift without calling in the Federation-appointed marshal.

Three Moon Station was inspired by a made-for-TV movie I saw in 1989. Murder on the Moon (also known as Murder by Moonlight), stared Brigitte Nielsen, Julian Sands, and Gerald McRaney, and was the tale of Soviet/US astronauts on the moon trying to solve a murder happening in their midst.  One thing striking me during the story was that back on Earth, a scientist is missing and one of the investigators says, “Why on Earth couldn’t we find him?  Because he isn’t on Earth.”  Or words to that effect.

That got me to thinking…if you were a witness to a crime and no place on Earth was safe for you, what could you do?  If you lived in a time of space travel, the answer’s  simple…you leave it.

That’s what Katy Rawls does after she witnesses a murder and is chased by hitmen because she has a vital piece of evidence.  It’s by accident, because Katy really intends to take a subway tram to the local police station but Fate and the fact that she doesn’t have her purse, sends her onto a train headed in the opposite direction, toward a shuttle bound for Tritomis-2. The train’s filled with women and Katy doesn’t find out until it’s too late that her fellow passengers are all prisoners, being sent to the pioneer planet as wives for the men living there.

She isn’t too happy about being put in stasis for four months, or the fact that the guards on the ship believe she’s a prisoner, too, a woman called Kathleen Rawls who robbed a bank, but she takes Kathleen’s place because she doesn’t want to be mowed down in a stream of laser-fire by the pursuing killers.

Here, I decided to take a bit from another movie, Westward the Women, a 1951 tale of “mail-order” brides…with a twist, of course.  Katy thinks the women are merely going to work as “domestics” in the homes of the men they leave with, so when Sarkin Trant pays for her and signs the contract given to him, she signs it, too.  Only when she arrives at his ranch does she realize he’s “bought” her to be his wife, and thereby hangs the rest of the tale…

“…an out of this world must read…so well written that it’s a bestseller contender, one that I would proudly display in my personal library.”—Long and Short Reviews

“If you like epic style romance that leaves you with warm fuzzies and a desire to revisit the characters, and who doesn’t, you’ll love 3 Moon Station.”--WRDR Review


       The lid slid upward and Katy opened her eyes, yawning and stretching. Sitting up, she swung her legs over the edge of the bunk, stifling another yawn and smiling as she saw Jessie and Cilla, fully dressed and seated on a little couch. “They changed their minds. I’m glad.”
       “What are you talking about? Cilla asked.
       “About putting us in stasis.”
       “We’ve been in stasis for four months,” the girl protested.
       Katy stared at her. Jessie nodded confirmation.
       “Jessie and I woke up about an hour ago. We thought we’d wait for you before we had breakfast.”
       “Glad you’re up.” Jessie’s voice was decidedly more friendly than it had been this morning…no, four months before.
       “We were beginning to worry,” Cilla went on. “But Officer St. Clair said some people take a little longer to come out of it than others.”
       “W-we’re really there?” Katy asked, hoping it wasn’t true. “We’re on Tritomis?”
       “We sure are.” Cilla caught Katy’s arm, pulling her to her feet. “Come on, let’s eat! I’m starved, aren’t you?”
       “Yes, I am,” she agreed, and surprised herself by giggling. “After all, I haven’t eaten anything in four months.”
       “Too bad it didn’t make me lose some of this.” Jessie slapped one full hip as she came up behind them, putting a hand on each girl’s shoulder. “Let’s go lay on the feedbags.”
       Katy’s legs were a little wobbly as she walked into the little living area. Once she stumbled slightly and Jessie caught her arm.
       “Just take it easy. Officer St. Clair explained that after four months of inactivity, our leg muscles might be a little weak. There’s an electrostimulator built into each bunk that’s supposed to prevent this but we’ll all have to watch how we walk for a few days.” She waved a hand at the little table and Katy saw that it held a tray with three plates filled with what looked like bacon and eggs and stacks of toast. Glasses of orange juice completed the picture.
       Releasing Katy, Jessie reached for a plate, handed a second to Cilla, then plopped herself down on the sofa, and proceeded to eat. Katy picked up the third plate and sat down also, balancing it on her knees as she reached for a fork.
       “So, tell me, Jessie…” She paused to lick bacon grease off her fingers. “Since we’re all in this together. What were you in for?” She hoped that was the right phrase. She’d heard it in a mystery vid one night.
       Jessie laughed. I was a cat burglar.”
       “What’s that?” Katy looked blank.
       “I robbed hotels, and relieved people who were too stupid to put their money and jewels in safes of those little valuables.” She picked up another piece of toast and smeared it liberally with jam from a small jar sitting on the table. “One night, I made the mistake of lifting a box full of jewelry from the girlfriend of some Federation bigwig. He pulled every string he could find and they caught me two hours later. I got ten years…five at hard labor.” Jessie shrugged and held up her hands, looking at her short, ragged nails. “Pounding those boulders into gravel for driveways really ruined my manicure. Then, this little opportunity presented itself, so…”
       She let the rest of the sentence trail away and took a bite of toast, chewing with relish.
       I certainly wouldn’t be so nonchalant about it if I’d been sentenced to ten years in prison, was all Katy could think. “How about you, Cilla?”
       “I’m afraid I’m not as notorious as Jessie.” The dark-haired girl studied her plate. “In fact, I’ve got a pretty routine story, I guess. I fell in with a bad crowd.” She stopped eating, pushing the eggs about her plate with her fork. “My parents are Traditional Naturals.”
       Katy looked surprised. Everyone knew about the Naturals, a cult which had settled in the Buffalo Commons, the vast abandoned grassland stretching from the border of Missouri and Iowa in an ellipse to North Dakota and Oklahoma and as far West as Montana. Practicing a way of living their ancestors in the mid-twentieth century had followed, they adhered to a harsher, more strict way of life.
       “You certainly aren’t following their ways,” Katy commented. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a Natural being arrested.”         
       “That’s because most of them don’t do anything to get arrested,” the girl answered. “I won’t make excuses for myself. I met a young man. An Outsider. Thought he was wonderful, and later found out he wasn’t. When he robbed that roadside market, I was flying the car.” She sighed. “I got seven years as an accomplice because I had no previous record. Now, I’ve got a chance to redeem myself.”
       “Yeah,” Jessie agreed sarcastically, through a mouthful of toast. “This’ll definitely make you a law-abiding citizen again.”
       “It may be wrong to say it—but I don’t care what the Federation thinks of me,” Cilla answered. “I hurt my parents terribly and my coming to Tritomis will make it up to them. It means they’ll forgive me and I can be accepted into my family again.”
       “Cilla’s been shunned for her sins,” Jessie explained.
       For a moment, all three were silent. Then, Cilla laughed. “You know, technically, we can’t really be called Transportees, since we’re all doing this voluntarily.” She wrapped a strip of bacon around a morsel of toast and stuffed it into her mouth. “All except Katy here,” she added.
       Jessie picked up a piece of crust and began to sop the remnants of egg off her plate. “Maybe she won’t be so difficult after she sees what’s waiting for us.” There was a glitter of delight in her eyes.
Something about that mischievous twinkle made Katy ask, “And just what might that be?”
       “Men,” came the startling answer, slightly muffled by a mouthful of egg and toast. “A planet full of lonely men.”
       “M-men?” Katy nearly choked on her toast.     

Watch the video trailer for Three Moon Station here

Three Moon Station, re-edited with additional material, will be released in June by Class Act Books. It will be followed by In This Kingdom by the Sea in July. The third entry in the series is The Finer Gentleman.

Icy Snow’s links:


  1. Hey, Icy! Who knew all those years ago that you would be a published author many times over! More great stories!

  2. Peggy, I love the look of your site!