Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spotlight: Pippa Jay

On October 8th, my friend and fellow sci-fi author, Pippa Jay, released an amazing short story called Hallow's Eve. I featured the cover reveal last month. Now, I would like to spotlight this terrific story and post my review.
Here's Pippa:
How to make a Woman
As a former analytical chemist, I'm talking pure chemistry here and not any archaic celebration of womanhood. The kind of chemistry that involves the periodic table and not biological or sexual chemistry. Part of the inspiration for Hallow's Eve came from a memory of a poem by Terry Pratchett in Wintersmith.
from Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Iron enough to make a nail,
Lime enough to paint a wall,
Water enough to drown a dog,
Sulphur enough to stop the fleas,
Potash enough to wash a shirt,
Gold enough to buy a bean,
Silver enough to coat a pin,
Lead enough to ballast a bird,
Phosphor enough to light the town,
Poison enough to kill a cow,
Strength enough to build a home,
Time enough to hold a child,
Love enough to break a heart.
I was never able to learn if this is an older poem or one he wrote himself. Regardless, it got me thinking about the actual elements that make up a human being. I was an analytical chemist before leaving to be a stay-at-home mum, so that came in useful when trying to formulate an alchemical spell for creating a person.
Firstly, I looked up the chemical composition of the average human. Then the weight of the average human female. Now, at this point I have to admit my maths is rusty. It's been eleven years since I worked in the lab, and three bouts of baby brain have seriously impaired my ability. However, I looked up a list of household equivalents for the chemicals on the list—charcoal for carbon, chalk for calcium, phosphorus from match heads etc—and calculated approximately how much of each would be needed. Vitamin tablets took the place of the numerous trace elements needed. (I may get told I'm wrong on my amounts, but I allowed for errors in the spell itself). 

carbon - charcoal,  hydrogen & oxygen - mineral water, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur.

1.Oxygen (65%)
2.Carbon (18%)
3.Hydrogen (10%)
4.Nitrogen (3%)
5.Calcium (1.5%)
6.Phosphorus (1.0%)
7.Potassium (0.35%)
8.Sulfur (0.25%)
9.Sodium (0.15%)
10.Magnesium (0.05%)
11.Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Molybdenum, Fluorine, Chlorine, Iodine, Manganese, Cobalt, Iron (0.70%)
12.There are also trace amounts of Lithium, Strontium, Aluminum, Silicon, Lead, Vanadium, Arsenic and Bromine

So there you go—these are the things that make a woman. Have you ever used something from your profession to help you write?
Thanks, Pippa!
Can one night of magic heal his heart?

Twelve months ago, Hal’s world crashed and burned, taking the love of his life with it. He’s waited all year for that one special night when the souls of the departed come home, hoping his candle will summon back one in particular to heal his broken heart. But the forbidden knowledge he’s learned could call something far worse, and put more than his own soul at risk...

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I'm a fan of Pippa Jay. Her writing is always well-paced and action packed. She leaves an impression and will have you thinking long after the story is finished. This is no exception. Hal and Eve are very well developed in a short amount of time. It poses a question: what would you do to regain a lost love? Even knowing the consequences? This was a gripping story from beginning to end. One of the few times I have re-read a book after I was finished. Highly recommend!

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), a scifi romance novella—Tethered—published by Breathless Press, a YA paranormal romance—Restless In Peaceville—published by Lycaon Press, four self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, Reboot and Hallows Eve), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.
You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Wattpad


(1 Pentagram necklace and 6 jasmine scented glitter tealights, open internationally, 1st-31st October, no cash or other alternative)
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