Thursday, June 15, 2017

On Seas So Crimson by James Young @goddessfish @Youngblai


Thanks to Laurie for having me.  When writing my novels, I occasionally turn to musical inspiration to set moods.  I’ve found the following list of songs especially helpful when dishing out (non-fatal) heartbreak.  By no means should this be considered a descending list—but it’s certainly one that works for inspiration.  So, without further ado:
#10 Brian McKnight’s "Anytime." 
Killer Line (KL): "I swear I hear your voice, driving me insane...How I wish that you would call, to say..."

I have multiple characters who are at this stage of a breakup, i.e., the “Everything I touch reminds me of you…”.  It’s not a fun place to be, and it also makes it easy to have past poison seep into present relationships.

#9 ABBA’s "The Winner Takes It All"

KL: "So tell me does she I used to kiss you?

One thing I think most fiction doesn’t cover enough is that when you have a love triangle (sans polyamory, but that’s another discussion), someone ends up with the short end.  If everyone’s ever got to play the “a” side of a right triangle, they totally get this song.  I try to make sure my characters do as well when it applies.

#8 Alannis Morrissette "You Oughta Know"

KL: "And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back...I hope you feel it...well can you feel it?"

I can honestly say I don’t have an angry ex (yet) in any of my series.  But when I do, you better believe that this song is going to be on rotation.

#7 SheDaisy: "In Terms of Love"

KL: "I don't think about what we thought it was...oh, in terms of love"

In my Vergassy Chronicles, the Confederation Fleet doesn’t necessarily discourage relationships.  However, in a fleet that’s a relatively small, insular service things going south can lead to the need for compartmentalization.

#6 O-Town "I Showed Her."

KL: "I was trying to give us time...but I see she took that time to find somebody else"

If you have a particularly driven character, this is a perfect backdrop to someone choosing to make bad decisions about life priorities.

#5 Kerli "Love Is Dead."

KL: "I know that you think of me when you're beside her...inside her."

Kerli drops the gloves and swings even harder than Alannis above on this one.  I don’t know what would be worse—having an ex throw this line…or her being right

#4 Winger “Miles Away”

KL: "So this is love, or so you tell you're walking, out the door."

There are good ways to break up…then there are bad ways.  An over the shoulder “Dear John / Jane” as one is leaving?  That’s bad form, mate.  Very bad form.

#3 Roxette “Spending My Time”

KL: "Feeling so small...I stare at the wall...hoping that you, are missing me too..."

Part of the reason the “leave and launch” is a bad thing is it can lead to paralysis like this.  Especially if the individual has invested heavily in the relationship.  Again—limited opportunities so far for relationship trauma, but this?  This is coming.

KL: "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a sun in somebody else's sky, but why, why, why can't it be, can't it be mine?"

Sometimes relationships just run their course.  Doesn’t mean that one of the parties doesn’t wish that things had turned out differently.

#1 Lady Antebellum “Cold As Stone”

KL: " I wouldn't hurt like this, or feel so all alone…I wish I was cold as stone"

I truly think most relationships end on this note, with both sides hurt but realizing it’s time to pull the plug.  Although fiery endings make for good writing, like in real life a person who makes a habit of that will start to develop a reputation.  I mean, how many times can someone have a trainwreck before your readers will ask “Do they just pick bad tracks?  Or did they go to the Casey Jones Memorial School of Engineering?”

On Seas So Crimson
by James Young

GENRE: Alternate History


Adolf Hitler is dead.  Great Britain has fallen.  The Royal Family has fled to Canada, and the United States stands alone against the Axis.

On Seas So Crimson collects both novels of the Usurper's War into a single package.  Acts of War (Amazon Bestseller in alternate history) begins this universe with London on fire, while Collisions of the Damned (recommended by Alternate History Weekly) continues it with the desperate defense of the Dutch East Indies. 



“All hands, this is the captain speaking,” Gordon began.  “Shortly we will be passing by the Hood.  All available hands are to turn out topside to give three cheers for His Majesty.  That is all.”

Eric stepped back from the sight, his face clearly radiating his shock.  Gordon smiled as he came back up towards the front of the bridge with the officer of the deck.

“The King is going into battle?” he asked incredulously.  “Isn’t that a bit…”

“Dangerous?” Gordon finished for him.  “Yes, but much like your situation, circumstances precluded His Majesty’s transfer to another vessel.”

“What?  That doesn’t make any…”

“His Majesty was apparently aboard the Hood receiving a briefing from the First Sea Lord when the Queen Mary was torpedoed,” Gordon said, his voice cold.  “We were not expecting the German surface units to be as close as they were, and it was considered imprudent to stop the Hood with at least two confirmed submarines close about.  Is that sufficient explanation to you, or would you like to continue questioning our tactics?”

Eric could tell he was straining his host’s civility, but the enormity of what was at risk made him feel he had to say something.

“I’m no expert at surface tactics…”

“That much is obvious,” Gordon snapped.

“…but the Hood is a battlecruiser,” Eric finished in a rush.  “While I didn’t get a great look at the Germans before they shot up me and my commander, Rawles saw at least two battleships.”

“Your concern is noted, Leftenant Cobb, but I think that you will see the Hood is a bit hardier than a dive bomber.”

Okay, I’m just going to shut up now, Eric said.  I may have slept through a lot of history, but I seem to recall the last time British battlecruisers met German heavy guns it didn’t go so well. A quote about there being problems with your “bloody ships” or something similar comes to mind.  The Battle of Jutland hadn’t been that long ago, as evidenced by the Warspite still being a front-line unit.  Eric sincerely hoped Gordon’s confidence was well-placed.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life via an appointment to the United States Military Academy.  After completing his service in the Army, Mr. Young moved to Kansas to pursue his doctorate in U.S. History.

 Fiction is his first love, and he is currently the author of the Usurper’s War (alternate history), Vergassy Chronicles (space opera), and Scythefall (apocalyptic fiction) series, all of which are available via Amazon or Createspace. 

Currently living in the Midwest with his loving, kind, and beautiful spouse, Mr. Young spends his time completing his dissertation while plotting new, interesting ways to torment characters and readers alike. 

As a non-fiction author,  Mr. Young has won the 2016 United States Naval Institute’s Cyberwarfare Essay contest and the U.S. Armor Center’s Draper Award for a battle analysis of the Golan Heights.  He has also placed in the James A. Adams Cold War History contest held by the Virginia Military Institute and been published in the Journal of Military History (“The Heights of Ineptitude”).

Twitter: @Youngblai



James Young will be awarding a 9 x 12 print of the cover painting, "Death of Kongo" signed by the author and the artist Wayne Scarpaci (US ONLY GIVEAWAY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway