A new website/blog

Hey all!

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! Just wanted to let you know that I have created a new and improved website/blog : https://beccajfox5.wixsite.com/author

I will no longer be updating this website/blog on WordPress but I’d love to keep my subscribers so, if you have a minute, please click on the link above and subscribe to the new blog for further updates, short stories, poems, musings, and random thoughts. 🙂

Thanks for reading! See you on the other site.

Looking Back


When I was eighteen years old, facing my high school graduation, I also faced an uncertain future. I lived in California–not the nice, beachy part of California but a small rest-stop-of-a-town in the middle of the desert, right on the border between Mexico and California. The economy was terrible; people who had jobs weren’t quitting or retiring. People who didn’t have jobs were flooding the only community college in the area, making it nigh impossible for kids right out of high school to get the classes they needed. I felt a little stuck, unsure what was coming next for me. I also wanted a car (back then a car equaled freedom and not an insurance bill and endless gas payments) but my parents weren’t wealthy enough to get me one. They told me they’d pay for half but I needed a job in order to raise the other half of the payment. Thankfully, my grandparents (who lived in Phoenix, AZ) offered to house me for the summer. My uncle said he could get me a job at the corner deli where he’d gotten his first job.

I’d visited my grandparents before, for up to a week every summer. But this was different. This would be for an entire summer. I’d never been away from home, without my parents, for that long. It should’ve been scary, the prospect of moving. Instead, I felt at peace. I just knew in my heart that this was what I was supposed to do. A little voice said, “Go.” So I did.

I spent that summer working, holed up in my room writing, or attending my grandparents’ church. It was enormous compared to the church I grew up in, which had 50 regular attenders at the most. This new church had a college group, which I eagerly began to attend. With so many people who had grown up in the church together, it was hard for me (the new kid, the socially awkward introvert with terrible self-esteem) to make friends. Still, I persevered because that certainty in my heart of hearts remained. I knew God wanted me there. So, instead of going back to California after the summer was through, I stayed in Phoenix.

It was hard. Sometimes I’d come back from college group, face plant into my pillow, and cry myself to sleep because I was so discouraged and lonely. Sometimes, I’d come home from a long shift at work, lie on my back on the floor, and prop my feet up on my desk because my ankles were so swollen. Sometimes, I’d wonder what my purpose was for being there. I wondered if things were ever going to get easier.

I got progressively more involved with my church. I volunteered in the nursery. I volunteered in the mid-week children’s Bible program. I started singing in the choir. I saved my pennies and finally bought myself a car, a tiny Dodge Neon that was my pride and joy. I moved out of my grandparents’ house, into a flat above an older couple’s garage. The garage was separate from the house so I had my privacy and independence. I got a new job at Chipotle, started community college.

That was hard too. My bosses quickly learned that I was fast and efficient, so they put me in the back. I labored over a giant stove and a grill, sweating constantly, burning myself constantly, slicing and dicing and marinating and washing enormous piles of dishes and scrubbing floors. It was the most physically demanding job I’d ever had. Sometimes, I had to work nights and came home after midnight. Only to wake up early the next morning and rush off to class. I didn’t have a washer or dryer in my flat. I had to go to the laundromat once a week. I still remember doing my homework as I waited for my laundry to be done, all the while keeping my eye out for suspicious characters.

Things at church got a little better; I made a handful of friends at least. Then I met the man who would later become my husband. We dated, got engaged, and married all within a two year span. We moved into a tiny apartment. I got a new job working as a receptionist for my church. While it wasn’t physically demanding, it was mentally taxing. Dealing with all sorts of people who came through the door, looking for financial assistance, looking for counseling, looking to help organize various events, looking to sell me something; it was exhausting. But sitting for hours and hours at a desk, waiting for a phone to ring, also provided me with endless time to write. I completed multiple manuscripts while fulfilling my receptionist duties. I also had time to do homework and finished my schooling while working there. I’ll always be thankful for that time in my life.

But then I transitioned into writing and being an author almost full time, which proved to be hard as well. Despite how diligently I tried to have a social media presence and promote my books on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, despite keeping up a blog and sending out a monthly newsletter, despite writing and rewriting my books to make sure they were the best versions of themselves, I wasn’t making any money. I read articles, I consulted other authors, I used free and paid online promotional services, I made Facebook and Bookbub ads, I even did some cross promotion with other authors. Nothing. Worked. It was so incredibly frustrating! I started questioning whether it was worth it, being an author. But the voices in my heart and mind, the voices of my characters and my loved ones and my inner child, couldn’t be silenced. So I kept trying.

Three years later, we welcomed our son into the world. Becoming a mother brought on new challenges. Breastfeeding a premie proved to be impossible; he was struggling so much to gain weight so I resorted to pumping and bottle feeding. Those were scary days and endless nights as we tried to figure it all out. Thankfully, we did. One day, we weren’t just surviving anymore. We were living, having created a new routine to incorporate our little one into our lives. It was a beautiful time. Until I had to go back to work. I left my precious boy with my grandmother and a friend of the family while I worked from 8AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Friday. For a whole year I balanced work, writing, and motherhood. Little sleep, little time with my baby, little time with my husband. I longed for the day when I could be at home full time. Just when I thought I’d finally gotten used to being a working mom, we found out we were going to have another baby. And it was made very clear that I couldn’t keep working.

So when our daughter was born, I quit my job at the church. I became a full time mom, just like I’d always wanted. But that was hard too. Being stuck indoors all the time with two babies, one of which was very gassy and colic-y, was taxing on my mental health. I went through post-partum depression, started questioning my ability to be a good mother and wife, struggled with anger and hopelessness, could hardly put words on a page. Fortunately, that season–like the others–did eventually pass. God was good and provided for our financial needs until I was in a better place, mentally, and able to work again. A friend of ours told us about a remote job opportunity through the company he worked for and I prayerfully submitted an application. I was hired maybe two months later.

Baby girl still wasn’t sleeping through the night and learning my job responsibilities took time, so it was another sleepless season for me. But I was thankful for the opportunity to help provide for the family and determined to do this job well. After all, it had been an answer to prayer. It took time to grow accustomed to the new routine, to balance work with writing and book marketing, and motherhood and being a homemaker and wife. There are days when I still get overwhelmed, frustrated, and discouraged, and I start to wish things weren’t so hard.

But life has always been hard, hasn’t it? Just in different ways. And with every new set of challenges comes a new type of joy, one provided by my gracious Heavenly Father. I can look back with gratitude and celebration, look forward with confidence despite the unknown, because I know wherever I go, whatever I face, whatever I do, He will always be there.

Death’s Curses Book Blog Tour

My new adult urban fantasy novel, Death’s Curses, is going on a blog tour (hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions) from August 16 – 27th. What does this mean? It means that for the next 12 days my book is going to be highlighted on 13 different blogs. I’m including the tour schedule as well as links to each host blog because you’re going to want to tune in and enter the rafflecopter contest! A random visitor will be selected to win a bookmark, a custom made candle inspired by one of the characters in the book, and an ebook copy of the book itself (US participants only — Sorry, UK, but I’m too broke to mail anything to you!).

Why am I doing a blog tour? Well, for one, because I’m running out of creative ways to spread the word about this book without sounding like a used car salesman. But also because I’m excited to give this custom made candle away. I met this gal through Instagram and, right from the beginning, she was a joy to work with. I could tell she cared about her craft and her customers. She gave me a list of colors and scents that I could play with in order to create a candle for each main character in this book, Charlie, Esmeralda, and Jasmine. Then she sent me short Instagram reels during each step of the creation process, asking questions to be sure I was satisfied with my order. The candles came out great! Each scent is unique and portrays each character perfectly. I kept one, I gave one to my sister and coauthor, and now I’m giving the last one away to one of you!

So I hope you get a chance to visit one of these blogs and enter the contest this week! If you can, please leave a comment. I’ll be visiting these host blogs too and will answer any questions you might have. I’m looking forward to the chance to talk to my readers. 🙂

As promised, here’s the tour schedule:

8/16: Westveil Publishing

8/17: Becoming Extraordinary

8/18: Romance Novel Giveaways

8/19: All the Ups and Downs

8/20: Literary Gold

8/20: FUONLYKNEW

8/23: Welcome to My World of Dreams

8/24: Dawn’s Reading Nook

8/25: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

8/25: Fabulous and Brunette

8/26: Kit ‘N Kabookle

8/26: Sadie’s Spotlight

8/27: Christine Young

I Did My Best

My child, you are so precious to me.

You were created because of a dream, one born out of the love your father and I shared. I carried you in my womb for nine months. I experienced physical sickness and pain. I worried about you so much, I ached inside. I prayed that God would protect you from all the hurt and disappointment and grief I experienced in my youth, all the while knowing deep down that pain would be a necessary teacher in your life. I watched you on the screen during every ultrasound, in awe, in humility, in shock. How could I be in charge of this little person, this precious, helpless, impressionable person? Flawed creature that I am, I knew I would make mistakes. And the very thought terrified me. Still, I determined to do my best. Because I love you, my child.

Little One, you are so fragile.

I watched your mother give birth, helpless to ease her pain, unable to shoulder even an ounce of that burden. But I held her hand and I cheered her on when she thought she had given all that she could. And, together, we welcomed you into this harsh, demanding, unforgiving world. We brought you home, rearranged our lives around you. We made a promise as we stood over your sleeping little form. We would do everything in our power to make you feel loved. We would create a safe haven for you, a home you would always want to come back to. We would give you every good thing that was in our power to give and teach you every good thing our parents taught us, maybe more. We were just children ourselves, still learning what it meant to be adults. But we wanted to do our best for you. Because we love you, Little One.

My child, be patient with me.

I know it seems like I say “no” more than I say “yes.” But it’s only because there is so much out there that can hurt you and I’m afraid. I trust God can keep you safe, but I also understand that He will allow certain things to come into your life in order to shape you. Certain things that I would do everything in my power to help you avoid. I see only what’s right in front of you while He sees it all. It’s so hard to guide you down this dark road with only the light from my very dim headlights to show us the way. It’s so hard for me to let go. Sometimes I think I’m doing well, while other times I’m so sure I’m an absolute failure as a mother. But I’m doing my best. Because I love you, my child.

Little One, listen to me.

There’s so much I want to teach you, so much I’ve learned that I’m sure will benefit you. Why do you scoff and turn away? Why do you insist on doing things by yourself? Don’t you trust me? I’m trying to help, to give you the knowledge I wish my father had given me, to ease your way through this life. I’ve looked forward to teaching you since the day you were born. Please, don’t rob me of this. I want you to become a good, smart, resourceful, person and this is the only way I know how. But I can’t help you if you don’t let me. Can’t you see I’m doing my best here? I love you, Little One.

My child, forgive me.

In my exhaustion and desperation, I’ve made poor choices. Our lives are not simple; sometimes our circumstances only serve to bring out the worst in us. And I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. You deserve someone better as a mother but you got stuck with me. Please, don’t shut me out. Every moment we spend together is priceless. I promise I’m still trying my best. I love you, my child.

Little One, understand me.

I never knew fatherhood would be this hard. I struggle to discipline you. I struggle to find common ground. I struggle to express myself in a clear and healthy manner. Only now am I realizing that my father had the same issues I’m having now. He never taught me how to overcome this because he never figured it out himself. But maybe he was just trying his best too. No matter what happens, never doubt that I love you, Little One.

My child, you are amazing.

I know it’s only by the grace of God that you flourish. You have your vices, you have your flaws, but you are also talented and smart and brave. And I’m so proud of you. Soon you’ll be venturing out on your own but I’ll be here for you whenever you need me. It’s still hard for me to let go, I’ll admit. But I’ll do my best to give you the independence you’ve always wanted. Because I love you, my child.

Little One, you’ve come so far.

You became your own person right under my nose. Stand tall but stay humble. There’s much to be thankful to God for. We had some bumps along the way; sometimes I felt like bopping you upside the head, but I’m glad I did my best for you. I love you, Little One.

Mom, Dad, I used to think you were so exasperating.

There was a certain comfort in the circle of your arms but the allure of the outside world was so very strong. I couldn’t wait to break free. But the truth is? I didn’t know what you were going through. I couldn’t understand how you felt. I could only see my side of things and I lashed out at you when I felt wronged. I can’t say how sorry I am for every angry or hurtful thing I said to you. Because I have a kid now and I’m learning that I don’t know anything about this incredibly gratifying, yet equally impossible task that is parenthood. Looking back, I can see that you were only doing your best. Thanks for that.

I love you both.

Extra extra! Read all about it

Proud to announce that The Andromeda’s Ghost has been chosen to be featured in BHC Press’s curated list of Discover These Must-Reads!

BHC Press uses Bookshop.org as their online store because of its mission to help independent booksellers. Each purchase at Bookshop benefits independent bookstores. As of today, they have donated over $11 million to local bookstores in the US. They also recently launched in the UK in November of last year and have already donated over $1 million to UK bookstores. There are plans to launch Bookshop in Canada and Australia soon, and Europe following that. Please support local bookstores by shopping at Bookshop.org.

To see the full list of these Must-Reads published through BHC Press, click here.

Edited to add: The Andromeda’s Ghost ebook has been selected to participate in Barnes & Noble’s 2.99 and Under Ebook Sale for the month of May! To celebrate this, BHC Press will mark down the ebook in all their other retailers. What does this mean? It means the ebook for The Andromeda’s Ghost will be on sale for $1.99 from Saturday, May 1st – Saturday, May 29th! If you haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, next month may be the perfect time!

This week, I heard back from Lucy Felthouse, my editor. She said she’s more than halfway done with her edits on Death’s Curses! This is the same talented lady who edited In the Dark and Asta and the Barbarians for me (published by Tirgearr Publishing) so I know she’s going to do a great job.

Once I receive the manuscript back from her, I’ll look over her edits and make necessary changes. Then it’s formatting time, where I make the manuscript look and feel like a real book. Amazon then creates a print proof for me, a physical copy of the book, that I can review. And once that’s approved, this book will finally be published! I’m aiming for the end of May/beginning of June but I’ll keep you guys posted.

ARCs are still available to anyone interested in a free ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have epub, mobi, and PDF versions ready.

Social Media Update

Just wanted to let you all know that I’ve taken a break from Twitter in order to devote more time to connecting with readers through Goodreads. I log on once a week to post on some discussion boards and answer reader questions. If anyone wants to connect, you can find me here.

Mom, I Need You

Mom, I need you

I’m a newborn babe and everything is scary

Loud sounds, strange smells, bright lights

But I know your voice

And in its soft melody I find peace.

Mom, I need you

My gums hurt, I bumped my head, I’m hungry

Can you make it all better?

Mom, I need you

I’m a toddler exploring the world around me

But I don’t know how to be careful

Won’t you teach me?

Mom, I need you

I’m starting school and I’m a bundle of nerves and excitement

You’re sure I’ll make friends? You’re sure it won’t be too hard?

Mom, I need you

The world outside our home is so harsh

Kids are mean, teachers are demanding

Won’t you remind me who I am?

Mom, I need you

I didn’t make it into the soccer team but all my friends did

How do I deal with this rejection?

Mom, I need you

I have a crush but they don’t even know I exist

What do I do?

Mom, I need you

I’m starting high school and I’m terrified

How am I going to survive these next four years?

Mom, I need you

I just had a big fight with Dad

I know he loves me and I love him too

But I’m starting to feel like a grown up and he still treats me like a kid

Will I ever be an adult in your eyes?

Mom, I need you

I just got dumped for the very first time

My heart feels like it’s slowly dying

How will I ever get over this?

Mom, I need you

My friends aren’t who I thought they were

I feel so stupid and lost and alone

How will I ever trust anyone again?

Mom, I need you

I made a mistake, a big one

I don’t want you to be disappointed in me but I don’t want to hide things from you either

Can you forgive me?

Mom, I need you

I’m graduating high school and I have no idea what I want to do next

Did you ever have this problem?

Mom, I need you

I want my own money and more responsibility

But I’ve never been on my feet for this long

And working with other people is frustrating sometimes

Why is being an adult so hard?

Mom, I need you

Exams are coming up

My professors want more from me than I think I can give

I miss being home

Can I quit college?

Mom, I need you

I’m getting married but I still feel like a kid

Can you tell me everything is going to be okay?

Mom, I need you

We had our first big fight

I don’t want to lose this person I love so much

But I don’t think I’m wrong either

How can I make things right?

Mom, I need you

I’m having a baby of my own and there are so many changes up ahead

I miss when things were simple

Can’t things go back to the way they used to be?

Mom, I need you

This baby won’t let me sleep

My body hurts, my house is a mess, I’m so utterly exhausted

And on top of that I still have to go back to work

Can you help me?

Mom, I need you

My baby is sick and I don’t know what to do

Should I take them to the hospital?

Mom, I need you

My baby seems to need me all the time

I want to rest, indulge in old hobbies, have a quiet moment with my husband

Will I ever get to do what I want?

Mom, I need you

My baby is starting school

Time’s going by too fast

How can I make it slow down?

Mom, I need you

My baby is having a hard time making friends and finding their niche

What words of wisdom and comfort can I give them?

Mom, I need you

My baby is making decisions that I don’t agree with

I want to be a good parent but I don’t want them to get hurt either

What should I do?

Mom, I need you

My baby crashed our car

It’s going to be a while before we can buy a new one

Can I borrow yours in the meantime?

Mom, I need you

My baby is all grown up and leaving the house

I’m so happy but also very sad

Is this how you felt when I was going off to college?

Mom, I need you

I’m enjoying all this free time with my husband but I also miss my baby

Isn’t this what I wanted? Why can’t I just be happy?

Mom, I still need you

The wrinkles in your face are deep and your eyes are misty

But your voice works just fine

And in it’s soft melody I still find peace.

A Promotional Opportunity for The Andromeda’s Ghost

This month I was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by Fellowship of Fools, a well-respected website that features all things science fiction. Along with other BHC Press science fiction authors, I answered several interview questions centered around the current divisive political situation and how it could potentially affect speculative fiction. I also submitted a two minute video of myself reading an excerpt from The Andromeda’s Ghost.

It was nerve-wracking, recording myself as I read, realizing that the end result would be posted online for the whole world to see. I was equally anxious as I answered each question, fearing that I would offend someone. But the whole experience was extremely cool. It left me feeling like a pro. Plus, it was an opportunity to promote The Andromeda’s Ghost, for which I was very grateful. If any of you are interested in reading the interviews or watching the excerpt readings, click here to be redirected to the Fellowship of Fools website.

Aside from our interviews and excerpt readings, there are a lot of other cool things on the Fellowship of Fools website that anyone would be interested in. You’ll find interviews with producers and actors, articles concerning popular TV shows, movies, and books, as well as teaser trailers. Check it out!

On a completely different note: am I the only one who really hates the changes that have been done to WordPress recently? It took me three tries to get this post looking the way I wanted it to. There was nothing wrong with the other format! All right, I’m getting off the soapbox now…

Writing Highlights for the Month

The major revisions for Death’s Curses are finished! It was just as challenging as I thought it would be, turning this young adult story into an adult one. My publisher said that simply changing the ages of the main characters wouldn’t be enough. The themes of the story are definitely in the adult category but the situations the main characters are in are still, technically, juvenile. Changing some of the situations while also making sure they worked with the overall plot was the main issue. But I think I managed.

After talking with my sister about some of the changes I made, we brainstormed some finer details that could be altered to make the characters sound more grown up. I’m confident that this book will meet the Adult Fiction parameters once we’re done applying these new changes. My sister is looking over my edits, then I’ll give it one more read through, and we’ll be re-submitting to BHC Press. Fingers crossed that it’ll be accepted this time. If not, my sister and I are considering self-publication. More news on that later.

BHC Press has started this new thing called Staff Picks. Staff members take turns choosing their favorite titles from the books the company has already published. They write short blurbs about them and post them on the company’s blog page. I’m proud to announce that The Andromeda’s Ghost has been highlighted twice!

Chelsea (acquisitions and lead editor) said: “Taren Platinum is the perfect protagonist without being too perfect. He has a good heart, but there’s a layer of grit just beneath the surface that’s activated by those who stand in the way of his happily-ever-after and evil-doers who prey on the innocent. Becca Fox has crafted an endearing, incredibly real-feeling cast of characters, all of which are misfits in their own way. I was taken by the relationships formed throughout The Andromeda’s Ghost, from the natural progression of those relationships to the tenderness shared among the loveable and unlikely band of characters as they work together to escape a dire situation on planet Cartiss. In short, it’s impossible not to root for Taren and company while reading The Andromeda’s Ghost–a truly entertaining start to what’s sure to be a great series. Be prepared for an expert cliffhanger, and then join me in impatiently waiting for the next book in Fox’s series!”

Lana (publishing and editing assistant) said: “This is one of my new favorites! The classic forbidden romance meets outer space and aliens in all the right ways. Even with the twist beginning (yes, it’s at the beginning for a change), I loved the story and how it unfolds. I was reminded of the TV show Firefly by Taren’s growing ragtag family. Becca Fox did an amazing job unfurling the worlds of this unique solar system–the alien species, foods, customs, environments, etc. I’m super excited to find out what happens to Taren and the gang!”

If you’d like to read their blog posts and discover new titles to read, just click on each of their names.

In other news, production on the audio book is wrapping up! According to my latest communication with my publisher, they estimate it’ll be done sometime in November or December. Stay tuned because I’ll be letting you all know the precise release date as soon as I know it!

The Arrival of Princess Lydia

On Thursday, August 13th, I came home from work and told my husband, “I have a good feeling about this weekend. This is the weekend baby Lydia will be born.”

I went to sleep Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night with anticipation. I just knew my water was going to break some time in the night, like it did with my first born. I had my overnight bag ready and Lydia’s bag was packed. The only thing we needed to do was install the car seat (which my husband neglected to do, saying that we still had “plenty of time”). As Sunday came to a close and I was still very pregnant, I was overcome with melancholy.

“What’s wrong?” my husband asked as I heaved a big sigh.

“I just really thought she was going to come this weekend,” I replied.

“The weekend’s not over yet,” he said.

At 11PM that night, I was awakened by a slow trickle that I knew wasn’t pee. Despite my excitement, I managed to sound sort of composed as I woke my husband. He leapt out of bed to get me a towel. I proceeded to waddle onto the bathroom tile and make my phone calls while he gathered his things. My grandparents came over to watch our son. My parents in California were alerted; my mom promised to head over first thing in the morning. Then it was off to the hospital.

My experience was much like the first one except that I had to wear a mask the whole time and I felt a lot more pain. The gal who put my IV in dug around for a while, looking for my vein, before she pulled the needle out and tried again. Try as they might (and, boy, did they!) the nurses couldn’t find my cervix or determine which position the baby was in. Thankfully, they were able to find an ultrasound tech who answered that question for us without shoving her whole arm up my woo-ha. Lydia was head down and ready to go but I wasn’t dilated in the slightest. So they put me on that wonderful pitocin to get things started.

The anesthesiologist, as professional and courteous as he was, stabbed the epidural needle into my spine before I was numb. I couldn’t eat anything because the epidural made me nauseous (I had a headache so I washed down some tylenol with a bit of apple juice I couldn’t even keep that down!). After twelve hours of laboring, my epidural seemed to lose its potency. I was given a control that would blink at me when it was okay for me to administer more of the epidural to myself and I was smashing the button at every opportunity. And I still felt every contraction, especially in my lower back. It was pretty miserable. Thank God, it only lasted thirty minutes or so.

Then my OB came in and pronounced me ready to push. That was the best part. All I had to do was give three good pushes and it was over. Kicking and wailing, Lydia Grace Fox made her entrance into the world.

My husband raced out of the hospital to get us some Chipotle as soon as we were left alone. We took turns holding our baby girl while feasting on our long awaited burritos. Eventually, we were moved out of the birthing suite and into a recovery room which was where we stayed for the next three days and two nights.

Feeding was rough. Like her brother before her, Lydia didn’t take to the breast very well. We had to supplement with formula until my milk came in and I could pump enough to satisfy her. (Unlike her brother, Lydia has a healthy appetite.) After countless tests, many doctor and nurse visits, a breast feeding consultation, and a discharge class, we were finally allowed to go home.

My mom stayed for the first week, cooking, cleaning, and helping care for the children so that I or my husband could sleep/eat/shower. My mother-in-law came next, racing to get here from her home in Wisconsin. She’s taken over my mom’s duties these past two weeks. She leaves tomorrow morning. Then the real work will begin. Bennett could always count on one of his grandmas to play with him when Mommy or Daddy were otherwise occupied. I could always count on one of them to run to the grocery store for me or throw in a load of laundry. My husband can help when he’s not working but for those hours when I’m alone…it’s going to be rough.

Thankfully, I do have family and friends in the city who can step in if I need a break. And I know everything will be okay once we develop a routine and once Bennett has gotten more acclimated to having a baby sister. Lydia won’t be up every three hours forever. Life will go back to normal. Until then, we’ll endure. In the midst of the sleep deprivation and constant activity, there are sweet moments. There are times when it still doesn’t feel real. I’m still just a kid myself; how can I be raising kids? It’s scary and wonderful all at the same time.

The Creation of New Sol

To get you all excited about my newest release, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about this new solar system I created.

This being my first attempt at science fiction/fantasy, I started with what I already knew: our solar system. It’s the only one we’ve discovered so far that can sustain organic life. So I created something similar. New Sol consists of a cluster of four stars–Noorah, Fos, Leggero, and Irridiate–with ten planets orbiting around them, eleven if you count the asteroid field where Osmopeth used to be. (Fun fact: I originally added this asteroid field on the off chance I needed a cool chase scene through moving asteroids but I haven’t used it yet. It’s become more of a flavor factor, a mysterious piece of New Sol’s history that I might one day explore.) Six out of the ten planets have their own moons; some have multiple moons just because I thought it would be cool. Playing with vowels and constants, saying gibberish out loud until I’d developed words that sounded “right,” I named these planets and their moons.

The two planets closest to the suns, dubbed Fotia and Huletenya, are uninhabitable. The third planet, Cartiss, is where the bulk of The Andromeda’s Ghost takes place. When I first got the idea to write this book, it was supposed to be a post-apocalyptic type story with a sci-fi twist so Cartiss needed to be “dying” in a sense. I started brainstorming as to different reasons for the planet’s condition and ended up going with terraforming gone wrong. In my novel, humanity is fairly new to this solar system, to surviving in space in general. The concept of terraforming has always sounded extremely complex to me. I imagine there would be lots of room for errors as humanity worked out the kinks. That’s when the “what if”s came into play. I asked myself, “What if tampering with the atmosphere negatively affected the wildlife on Cartiss? What if the human scientists tried to change the animals and plants so that they could survive on their new oxygenated planet? And then what would happen to these genetically modified plants and animals if the terraforming machines malfunctioned or broke down? What would happen to the people who had volunteered to colonize the planet? What would happen to the planet itself?” Answering these questions brought about more questions and I continued down the rabbit hole until the condition of Cartiss was dire enough to suit the story’s needs.

Jurthaan IV is the fourth planet away from New Sol’s main sources of light and energy. It’s the largest planet in this fictitious solar system that can naturally sustain human life so it quickly became humanity’s new home world. Next in the orbiting line is Palnach, the Mireling home world. Then we have Yuraniuu, Statine, and Zirconscope, which are just as mysterious as the asteroid field of Osmopeth. They each have their own unique type of indigenous aliens, atmospheres, and histories but they aren’t expanded upon in The Andromeda’s Ghost. In the third book of the series, we explore them a bit more as Taren and the crew travel farther into their own solar system. The last two planets are Aleediam I and II, so called because they are the same distance away from the suns, have the same orbit around the suns, and are less than two parsecs away from each other. By all logic, they should crash into each other at some point but they haven’t gotten any closer in the hundreds of years that New Sol has existed. I added this as a tribute to the mysteries of space, all of which I believe will be impossible for us to fully comprehend no matter how long we study them. (Seriously, what is dark matter?)

As for populating these planets, I started off slow. It would only stand to reason that so many planets and moons would host a dizzying number of different alien species, but due to the fact that The Andromeda’s Ghost mostly takes place on two planets, I decided to cut myself some slack and limit the types of aliens I introduced in the story. As a reader, I often find it frustrating to keep track of too many new species; this also played into the decision to stick with three or four main species, at least for the first book in the series. Besides, even with the ability to space jump, I figured most aliens would like to stay on their own planets given the different atmospheres of each planet.

I gave Cartiss three main species: the Tilia’Cun, the Danto’Sal, and the Cerotivis. I’d like to say that I came up with the ideas for these aliens all on my own but that would be a lie. I sifted through tons of concept art online to get inspired. Once I found alien types that I liked, I altered certain things about them to make them more my own. Then I took the two earthen animals I thought they resembled the most and combined the scientific names of those animals to create the alien species’ names. This is also how I created and named the interloping aliens on Cartiss, the rare ones that Taren only runs into once or twice in The Andromeda’s Ghost.

For Jurthaan IV, I stuck with one indigenous species: the Folinar. They have unvarying body types and a simple, almost primitive culture, which is why they needed humanity’s help in order to win the first war against their enemies, the Mirelings. Now, the Mirelings are the only type of alien on the planet of Palnach and they are the polar opposites of the Folinar: no two are alike physically and they strive to be as scientifically advanced as possible to gain the upper hand in any combative situation. From the beginning stages of this story’s creation, I knew these two species would be the cause of the main conflict, which is why I gave them more thought and why I made them so different from each other. 

The creation of this solar system and its inhabitants was a lot of fun. It took time and several sessions of just talking things out with my husband or my sister, fellow writer and fiction lover. In the end, I guess you could say it was a group effort. I hope you enjoy reading about New Sol as much as I enjoyed writing about it!


Interested in an excerpt? Click here.

Check out the book’s page at BHC Press for links to purchase. It’s available at all your favorite retailers!

“…interesting, some good nifty gadgets and some very interesting interplanetary politics.” — Amina Ismail Onia, NetGalley Reviewer

“I am always picking up random sci-fi novels hoping they will be great, and I am almost always disappointed. Not this time, though! I loved it. Interesting characters, just enough world building and descriptions that it didn’t bog down, and more action than I expected. I would recommend this book!” — Erika, LibraryThing Reviewer

“Fox has crafted a competent and engaging novel. If the book interests you, it should prove to be an easy and entertaining read.” — PennAdams, LibraryThing Reviewer

“Wow. Where do I start… The world building in my opinion is exceptional and details were well researched. I love the characters. I love the heart warming moments that appear at just the right time.” — Lavender Knight, Goodreads Reviewer

“…a well written, and interesting book.” — Mary’s Book Corner

“…an exciting book with various twists that I didn’t really see coming…a fun sci-fi read with suspense and action that kept me wanting to know what happened next.”
— Kristy Penner, NetGalley Reviewer

“I enjoyed this book. It has potential for a good series. Good writing, storyline, dialog and action. I recommend checking it out.” — John Piper, Goodreads Reviewer