Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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SFR News and Links for March 2011

Bzzzzz…March 2011 is turning out to be science fiction romance’s busiest month!

New releases

Lady Doctor WyreLADY DOCTOR WYRE (erotic) – Joely Sue Burkhart

A dangerous technology could conquer the universe. Love could set it free.
Charlotte, Duchess of Wyre, once held the Queen’s highest confidence—and the technological secret that keeps the royal heart beating. Fearful of what atrocities that Britannia might commit with her research, Charlotte turned to the galaxy’s most infamous assassin, Lord Sigmund Regret, to stage her own death.

Even without the simplest of luxuries, seven years hiding in the Americus colony is preferable to one day in the Tower of Londinium. Until a bounty hunter’s bullet forces her to revive her research. Now the same nanobots that keep the Queen alive also run rampant in Lord Regret’s body. Making his yearly Solstice visits increasingly…intimate…and complicating her courtship with the safe and honorable Sheriff Gilead Masters.

When the Americus colony declares independence, and her humble sheriff makes a shocking confession, Charlotte has had enough. Weary of running, tired of living without tea and silks, she fires a warning shot across Britannia’s bow: cease hunting Lady Wyre, or lose the technological power the crown holds so dear.

Her next task isn’t so simple. Somehow she must keep the two men she loves alive—and prevent them from killing each other.

Warning: Ladies in positions of power, stylish spaceships, BDSM. A ménage a trois featuring a duchess on the run, a gentlemanly assassin, and a rough-and-tumble sheriff willing to gun down anyone who gets between him and his lady.

Read the excerpt.

Spice 'n' SolaceSPICE ‘N’ SOLACE (erotic) - K.C. Burn

The Galactic Alliance’s most important negotiator, Jathan One-Moon, is responsible for ensuring the yearly negotiations with the Ankylos are successful. If he fails and the Ankylos go to war, the human race will likely be exterminated. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s under pressure to marry and produce an heir. When he mistakes the brothel owner, Kazha Deinos, for his escort prior to the negotiations, the resulting evening makes Jathan realize his life is missing a man who can be a true partner to him.
Kaz never met his most important client, and Jathan’s misconception allows Kaz the freedom to give in to desires he’s never let himself indulge in before. But Kaz has a business to run, one that a rival is trying to steal, which will force him to reveal his true identity to Jay. There’s also the little issue of Jathan’s impending marriage. Kaz is not interested in being a boy on the side of Jay’s marriage, no matter how much he’s come to care for Jathan. Will Jathan and Kaz find a way to be together, or will losing the man Jathan’s grown to love be yet another price he must pay for saving the human race?

Read the excerpt.

Children of ScarabaeusCHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS (Romantic SF) – Sara Creasy

Edie Sha'nim believed she and her bodyguard lover, Finn, could find refuge from the tyranny of the Crib empire by fleeing to the Fringe worlds. But Edie's extraordinary cypherteck ability to manipulate the ecology of evolving planets makes her far too valuable to lose. Recaptured and forced to cooperate - or else she will watch Finn die - Edie is shocked to discover the Crib's new breed of cypherteck: children. She cannot stand by while the oppressors enslave the innocent, nor can she resist the lure of Scarabaeus, the first world she tried to save, when researchers discover what appears to be an evolving intelligence.

But escape - for Edie, for Finn, and for the exploited young - will require the ultimate sacrifice... and a shocking act of rebellion with universe-shattering consequences.

Read the excerpt.

More below the cut:

The FacilitatorTHE FACILITATOR (erotic cyberpunk) - Sahara Kelly

Reality is a corkscrew and humanity is the wine.
In one carefully compartmentalized section of her life, Martine TwoSeven likes stylish, sexy clothing and a meal that doesn’t come out of a mech vendor. In the other, she’s a Facilitator. She takes pride in her gift for helping souls pass with no pain, no sorrow, no fear, only pleasure. Whatever that pleasure may be.

A week after a particularly difficult case that feels “off” and goes terribly wrong, the dreams begin. Dreams inhabited by a mysterious man whose searing touch seems more real than it should. And who knows more than he should. Things that don’t add up.
When a new Facilitator arrives at Eternal Tranquility, Johann Seven steps straight out of her dreams, a solid presence in her bed—and her heart. First, he awakens her long-dormant passions. Then he reveals the unthinkable truth behind her life and her job—and her world shatters.

Before she can pick up the pieces, Martine receives her next assignment—to “facilitate” Johann. She has no choice but to obey, but when their neural pathways connect, she knows only one thing. If anyone’s going down today, it won’t be the man she loves.
Product Warnings: Contains advanced concepts about human nature, life, death, sex and reality. Sometimes more than one at a time. Read at your own risk and keep one foot on the floor at all times.

Read the excerpt.

Fire SanctuaryFIRE SANCTUARY – (re-release, ebook) Katharine Eliska Kimbrel

Life itself was a battle for survival. The last thing they needed now was war.
On the border between the Axis worlds and the Fewha Empire, Nuala was a planet on the edge of disaster. But Braan Atare's and the other founding families of this long-forgotten colony had already beaten the odds against survival for five thousand years. They had fought the deadly radiation levels of their inhospitable home, frightening mutations, and the high rate of sterility which sent each generation off-planet in search of mates to improve the endangered gene pool.

Now Braan's sister had brought Nuala two of the Axis worlds' finest warriors, Moran, her betrothed, and his comrade Lyte. Yet when Axis and Empire fleets roved the starways on missions of conquest, could Braan and his family, even with the aid of Moran and Lyte, save their planet from treachery within and the enemies from the stars?

Read the excerpt.

The Agent GambitTHE AGENT GAMBIT (omnibus; re-release) - Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Two space adventure novels in the popular Liaden Universe® series in one popularly-priced Omni-trade edition:

Agent of Change: Once a brilliant First-in-Scout, Val Con yos’Phelium was “recruited” by the shadowy Liaden Department of Interior and brainwashed into an Agent of Change—a ruthless covert operative who kills without remorse. Val Con has been playing a deep game, far from the orderly life of clan and kin. Fleeing his latest mission, he saves the life of ex-mercenary Miri Robertson, a Terran on the run from interplanetary assassins. Thrown together by circumstances, Val Con and Miri struggle to elude their enemies and stay alive without killing each other-or surrendering to the unexpected passion that flares between them. Which name – or face – will the agent choose when the game gets tough and an escape for only one of them seems possible?

Carpe Diem: On the run from interplanetary assassins and a ruthless interstellar crime cartel, covert operative Val Con yos'Phelium and former mercenary sergeant Miri Robertson formed an alliance of necessity and wound up stranded on a planet with no rescue in sight. Their on-world problems were looking manageable after they assumed new identities as musicians, that is until a local war forced them to reveal their alien combat skills – and doubt their own growing partnership of trust and love. By then the relentless hound of an agent on Val Con's trail was closing in with the very weapon Val Con and Miri most feared, and the game got very rough indeed.


Once Upon a Time in SpaceONCE UPON A TIME N SPACE (erotic; space pirate heroine!) - Heather Massey

In the sea of stars, an epic love story is about to begin...

Earth is dying. Nick Venture, the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus, embarks on a dangerous mission to find a new planet and save humanity. This places him on a collision course with Raquel Donovan, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.

Raquel lives for one purpose: revenge against a horrible demon from her past. When an attempt to hijack Nick’s starship backfires, Raquel becomes his protector in order to avoid capture by the tyrannical Space Defense Corps. Nick and Raquel are irresistibly drawn to one another despite the forbidden nature of their attraction. But the conflicted pirate’s deepest secret could tear the couple apart even as humanity’s time runs out….

Read the excerpt.

Wicked EmpressWICKED EMPRESS - (erotic) Anitra Lynn McLeod

It'll take more than one man's love to tame her wild heart.

Bithia, newly crowned empress of Diola, indulges herself with as many men as it takes to satisfy her voracious passion. Now that it's time to continue the family line, though, her advisors expect the unthinkable: for her to submit to one man from a sexually primitive planet.

Drahka disobeyed his tribe's strict sexual rules once. The shame still haunts him. He longs for a fresh start, but breaking one cardinal rule—a man gives, a woman takes—is not an option. His struggle to learn local customs is complicated by a mentor whose eyes hunger for the empress...and for him.

Viltori is exhausted. He's tried to teach Drakha that there are many ways to find pleasure, only to be met with anger, even violence. Touching the handsome primitive only sharpens his unbearable lust for Bithia, making him wonder if execution for failure wouldn't be a blessing.

When Bithia witnesses the results of Viltori's training, she realizes only these two men can fill her empty heart, inspiring her to take command of the throne at last. Except those who've held the reins thus far have a sinister reason for keeping Bithia—and her new consorts—in their place.

Warning: This erotic romance contains a lusty empress, a primitive alpha male, a dedicated acolyte with domineering tendencies, copious amounts of hot m/m and m/f/m sex, secret torments, burning desires clashing with duty, and a little bit of meddling by future gods.

Read the excerpt.

FirebugFIREBUG – (steampunk, m/m) Kate Roman

Crimean war veteran turned newspaper editor Gareth Charles finds himself embroiled in the blackest side of the new Reform government when he investigates a string of arsons in the snowbound colonial outpost of New Eddington. After saving Firewalker Thomas Cole from the latest blaze, the two men find themselves in possession of a deadly secret -- and falling in love. Fugitives from justice, they must unravel the terrifying mystery before there's no New Eddington left to save. As the firebug's evil plan comes to fruition, the two veterans realize the only things worth saving might just be each other.

The Spiral PathTHE SPIRAL PATH – (space pirate heroine!) Lisa Paitz Spindler

After defecting from the Star Union eleven years ago, Starship Captain Lara Soto is now the leader of the free Chimerans. Her only regret is the intense young officer she left behind. When Terra's S.U.S. Interlace goes missing with her brother Rafael on board, she has to push aside the pain of her betrayal and team up with her old love once again.

Commodore Mitch Yoshida has never stopped thinking about the woman who deserted him. He's also witnessed firsthand the Terran discrimination Lara foretold, from sequestering Chimerans on starships to enforcing indentured military service.
With Rafael and the Interlace crew held prisoner, Lara and Mitch must travel to a whole new dimension to secure their release. Will they be able to resist their long-denied attraction and complete their rescue mission?

Read the excerpt.

Steam and SorcerySTEAM & SORCERY - Cindy Spencer Pape

Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.

Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she’s ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess. When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery…

Read the excerpt.

Forthcoming releases

It Had To Be YuuIT HAD TO BE YUU – (comedic SFR; The Wild Rose Press) Ilene Kaye

Only space survey pilot Audra Marin's childhood playmate could manage to get himself kidnapped on a planet experiencing its worst winter ever and not even know it . When she gets him home alive, she’ll make him pay.

Only corporate heir-apparent Yuu Ra-Dezan's old playmate could stumble into the middle of his embezzlement investigation and complicate matters with her sharp tongue and hot kisses. “She’s my fiancée” seems like a harmless cover story at the time…

While his host’s artificially intelligent robots hold them at blaster-point, Yuu and Audra trip over each other to foil a plot to steal the fastest ship in the galaxy. The only piracy these two will accept is stealing each others’ hearts.

MECHMAN - (L&L Dreamspell) LJ Garland

Edited to add: MECHMAN is now available for purchase at Amazon in both print and digital.

Mechman

Raven is on a suicide mission. Jex is a biomech on a mission to save humanity. They discover their mutual passion to destroy the enemy isn’t their only desire.

A war against the Darch has raged for years, and humanity is on the verge of extinction. Scientists have created biomechs to supplement as warriors, but it’s just a temporary fix on what appears an insurmountable problem. One desperate scientist injects JXS241, a biomech warrior, with what he hopes is the solution for mankind’s survival. But the biomech is captured by the enemy.

Raven Nirvanni survives on the fringes of a shattered culture. While on a self-imposed suicide mission to annihilate an enemy destroyer, she encounters the imprisoned biomech. Deciding the fate of humanity far outweighs the destruction of a single ship, she recues him and decides to ensure he reaches his destination.

With the enemy anticipating their every move, Raven is completely taken aback when she realizes she’s falling for JXS241. But can she really love a machine? And if so, can he reciprocate?

***

You can now pre-order a copy of Lisa Paitz Spindler's THE SPIRAL PATH. Learn more at the author's site.

Star Trek/Love Boat Mashup? Where do I sign?!

Would you watch a Star Trek/Love Boat mashup? I certainly would, but unfortunately there are more than a few people on the planet left to convert. Jacqueline Lichtenberg of Alien Romances illustrates the challenges faced by science fiction romance with this anecdote:

I was in a #scifichat on twitter where we were discussing Starship Captains.

Somehow the whole "hunk" aspect of captains got glossed over so Linnea Sinclair didn't get mentioned. Because of the hard-science, adventure-hero slant to the conversation, nobody squealed when one guy noted he'd be extremely averse to a Star Trek/ Loveboat mashup.

Oh-boy.


Subsequently, Ms. Lichtenberg began a multi-part series to tackle the issue:

The central topic I've been pursuing with this blog is how to raise the regard for Romance, and particularly SF-Romance and Paranormal Romance in the eyes of the "general" public. How do we get this publishing field to garner the respect you and I know that it deserves.

Clearly, there were two groups I was interacting with, people who should automatically hold our core subject matter in high regard, don't. They won't. They don't want their minds changed.

Does that mean there's something wrong with "them?" Probably not. Something wrong with "us?" Well, apart from the usual, probably not. So where's the problem?

If we can't ask the right question, we'll never solve this problem of audience receptivity.


Read part one of Star Trek/Loveboat Mashup and Soulmates here, and the next installment here.

Hold the technobabble

A.R. Norris expounds upon unnecessary technobabble infodump in Future...Beyond the Techie Monologue (Via SFR Brigade):

I’m telling you, for me, it adds a depth of realism to the story. By describing the intricate science behind the world, the writer is wasting word count proving our need to dispend belief. All they really had to do is show how natural the characters acclimated and don't think about the technology to show the natural validity of belief in the world.


You might want to stock up on sunscreen

Kaye Manro (FORBIDDEN DESTINY) learned a few interesting factoids about our sun's solar flare activity and blogged about it in Catastrope Looming?:

...analysts warn that humanity is more dependent than ever on the high-tech equipment that can be affected by a solar storm, the stakes are higher than in the past.


Heck, yeah, there's an SFR story in there! (Btw, following Ms. Manro's post is a free excerpt from book 3 of the Forbidden series, AN ALIEN PRESENCE).

"FRINGE Shenanigans"

At Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance, Charlie laments about FRINGE Shenanigans:

The most recent episode of FRINGE, Immortality, left me disgruntled and started me thinking. Days later, it is still on my mind so here I spew another long post on FRINGE. Cue the offbeat and ominous music track…


Sex. Aliens. Sex with Aliens

KC Burn has a fun post at CONTACT - Infinite Futures titled Alien Nookie. C'mon, you know you want some:

We’re a long way from the grease paint aliens in Star Trek. There are a lot of considerations when including alien sex in a book. (The movie Galaxy Quest touched on this very subject… and although it was done in a very humorous way, it’s kinda makes my point). The trick is to make the aliens… well… alien but at the same time include enough characteristics to make them appealing, at least for romantic fiction. I understand tentacles are popular. *wink*


Blogger news

Romance blog Dirty Sexy Books is two years old! Happy Birthday!

Space Freighters Lounge has kicked off their shiny new Mission Success Writers Journal series in which bloggers there will "post once a week on our progress toward becoming successful authors, and share what we've learned with you."

Steampunk resource

From Galaxy Express passenger L., I learned about this cool steampunk resource:

Steampunkopedia

This 84-page compendium of steampunk chronology and bibliography was assembled by Polish fan Krzysztof Janicz (Piechur), and is now available (in English!) at http://efanzines.com

The specific URL for the downloadable PDF of Steampunkopedia is http://efanzines.com/SAC/index.htm


That's all from me until next time...got any SFR news/links to share?

Joyfully yours,

Heather