Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Plagiarism Allegations Regarding Patricia Waddell’s TRUE DECEPTION

Reports are surfacing regarding alleged plagiarism by Patricia Waddell, author of the sci-fi romances TRUE BLOOD and TRUE DECEPTION.

The book in question is TRUE DECEPTION.  I learned about this from a post at Dear Author:
Jeremy Dun has become a crusader against plagiarism.  Dun is a well known author of thriller fiction.  He was asked to blurb a book and gave a glowing one.  After the book was published, it quickly became clear that the book was heavily plagiarized.  This has led Dun to seek out other instances of plagiarism and it appears to be reaching into some of the highest echelons of publishing.  The latest alleged perpetrator is Patricia Waddell who has reportedly taken passages directly from Robert Ludlum books.

One commenter at Jeremy Dun’s site noted specific passages. There’s also speculation there that the reason TRUE DECEPTION’s allegedly plagiarized passages escaped detection for so long is because it’s a paranormal romance.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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An interview with REVELATIONS OF TOMORROW Author A.R. Norris, & Giveaway

One of the themes in A.R. NorrisREVELATIONS OF TOMORROW is the nature of ethnicity in a futuristic setting. Any time we have a conversation about ethnicity in science fiction romance is a good thing, especially since this subgenre has the potential to offer readers so much in terms of diversity.

With that in mind, I invited A.R. Norris to answer some questions about her recent release. The author has also provided a digital copy of her book, which I'll give away to one lucky passenger (details follow the interview).

To set the stage, here’s the story description:

The crew of Daring Star salvages a load capsule and finds the beaten body of Jetta McCree. Turns out Jetta's discovered her employer has developed a biochemical droplet and is contracted with terrorists to manufacture on a large scale. Captain Noah Bonney fights off corporate security forces, her ex-husband's pirate fleets, and carnivorous beasts to keep the young woman safe and transport her to the safety of the Imperial Home Port.

But the adventure brings to surface demons Noah's been suppressing and secrets from her people's history she's tried to forget. Now, she must face them if she's to reconcile with her daughter and keep the love of her life from leaving. With 450 years under her belt and nothing but eternity ahead of her, she's built a thick shell… one she's not sure she can break.

Now for my interview with A.R. Norris:

Monday, November 28, 2011

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QUEENIE'S BRIGADE Giveaway at Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

I'm honored to be a featured author at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews. I answered some fun questions and while there you can enter for a chance to win a copy of QUEENIE'S BRIGADE, my science fiction romance from Red Sage Publishing.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, November 27, 2011

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Is It Too Soon To Define The Promise of Sci-Fi Romance?

In a recent conversation I had with a science fiction romance author, we discussed the issue of branding. The conversation reminded me about an article I read in 2009 by Malle Vallik, Harlequin’s Director of Digital Content & Social Media.

In What the Heck is this Author Brand? Ms. Vallik stated something interesting in the comment section about the evolution of an author’s brand:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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A Salute To Anne McCaffrey: April 1, 1926 – November 21, 2011

 
As you probably know, SF/F giant Anne McCaffrey passed away November 21 at the age of 85.

Like many of you, I grew up reading her work, in particular the Pern novels and the Crystal Singer trilogy. I remember being very impressed with her strong, capable heroines. I’ll always carry with me the memory of Lessa from DRAGONFLIGHT. She’s a survivor, a fighter, a warrior, a lover. Characters like Lessa went a long way toward shaping my taste for heroines in both science fiction and romance.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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Interview With Ophidia Cox, Author of THE CYBERKINK SIDESHOW

If I were to tag THE CYBERKINK SIDESHOW (Lyrical Press), I’d call it a near-future erotic BDSM science fiction mystery with lots of circus freaks and a touch of romance. That sure is a mouthful, but author Ophidia Cox packs the story with mucho entertainment and other wild stuff. I had no idea where the story was going, not for one second—but for me, that’s a good thing.

Here’s the blurb:

Witness for yourself the most depraved exhibition of human sexuality ever permitted on tour.
The Cyberkink Sideshow has come to town, and not everyone is prepared to tolerate it on their home turf. After receiving reports of electronic contraband being smuggled in by the sideshow, Constable Sylvia Price goes undercover to investigate. Once part of the sideshow, she finds herself drawn in to a wild and kinky relationship with vivacious and voluptuous ringmaster, Victor Maynard. 

But as events unfold, it's apparent that someone is trying to frame Victor and the sideshow. Will Sylvia be able to solve the mystery before the show is ruined? 

WARNING: Contains BDSM, ménage, exhibitionism, anal, sounding, electrosex, and general kink.

I’ll give it to you straight up: 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

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Tagging Samhain Publishing’s CYBERSHOCK Anthology

I’ve read Samhain’s CYBERSHOCK anthology of cyberpunk romances and thought I’d tag them for you. Each story was unique enough that I thought it'd be fun to present a few of the distinctions for readers who like to pick and choose their anthology stories—especially since these are ebooks that can be purchased individually.

These are non-spoiler tags meant to impart the general flavor of each story. Here are the stories and my tags in alphabetical order by title:

GHOST IN THE MACHINE by Barbara J. Hancock

Setting: cyberpunk; post-apocalyptic; world was devastated by invasion of sentient bio-computer; a dash of biopunk; paranormal veneer in terms of language used to describe setting, characters

Heroine: Bet is on a mission to rescue brother; she’s a survivor trying to stay alive in a treacherous world; carries a cool gun--and isn't afraid to use it

Hero: Gabriel appears in the guise of an angel avatar; mysterious; ideal for readers who enjoy stories with “ordinary” heroines paired with “extraordinary” heroes.

Tone: atmospheric; eerie

Action-adventure quotient: low; focus is more on the quest

Villain: Earth is under the control of a “biomass” known as the SoulEater. Conceptually, a horrific one, but the description isn’t graphic.

Heat level: moderate

Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Jeanette Grey's Forthcoming "Unacceptable Risk Blog Tour"

UNACCEPTABLE RISK (Samhain Publishing) is a cyberpunk romance novella by Jeanette Grey that will release on December 13, 2011. To celebrate the release, the author is launching a virtual blog tour that will run from December 9 through December 23. Each stop will feature an ebook giveaway.

One of her stops will be The Galaxy Express on 12/15, when you can read my interview with her. Below is the complete schedule, so mark your calendars:


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Sharon Lee & Steve Miller Launch "Splinter Universe"


Sharon Lee & Steve Miller have launched Splinter Universe. As its name implies, the new venture offers readers a number of extras. These include slices of old stories that didn't make it into the original novel, or unfinished novels. Readers will also find new stories for their reading pleasure.

Here's more information:

Splinter Universe is a new short story feature site from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  We’ll be posting stories on an irregular basis, along with teases, character sketches and perhaps the occasional cartoon.  Some, even most, of the stories will be based in Sharon and Steve’s Liaden Universe®.  However, the authors reserve the right to post a story set elsewhere, and to introduce new characters and situations.

Right now, there are three extras available:

"Russians in My Head," a short story by Steve Miller
"The Space at Tinsori Light" by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
The original outline of "The Space at Tinsori Light"

The stories and snippets are free, but should you feel moved to further support the authors' work, information on how to do so is listed on the site.

Happy reading!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

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Pitch Your Erotic Science Fiction Romance to Red Sage Publishing

Red Sage Publishing is actively seeking erotic science fiction romance, and tomorrow you can pitch your ideas directly to editor BT Shannon. Here's the press release from Savvy Authors:
On Friday, November 18th, BT will be taking three line pitches on the Savvy Blog.

A pioneer of erotic romance, Red Sage Publishing is looking for sizzling romances and tasteful erotica. Red Sage is particularly searching for sophisticated plotlines with new twists on paranormal, sci-fi, space opera and fantasy. GLBT is also welcome.

WHEN: Nov 18, 2011 9:00 AM EST - Nov 18, 2011 11:00 PM EST

COST: FREE for ALL PREMIUM Members!
$0 for Basic Members

REGISTRATION: This event does not require registration.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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The “Female Gaze” in Science Fiction Romance


I’ve been following some of the recent discussions about the “male gaze” in SF/F, starting with Sherwood Smith’s “Women’s” and “Men’s” Fantasy article at Book View Café and continuing with Kat Howard’s Putting Women in the Story. The most recent one I read is Kate Elliott’s piece on Women and Fantasy.

From Ms. Smith’s article:

…the male gaze is still the default cultural point of view. That means, whenever men look at is important, from persons to politics to entertainment. It is important for everybody. Whatever women look at is for women, of lesser significance.

There’s a lot of relevance for science fiction romance in this discussion since SFR is a subgenre that, in part, attempts to correct the imbalance of male-dominated science fiction, both in terms of content and authorship. The subgenre strives to make the female gaze more visible and also give it a stronger voice.

The challenge, of course, is battling that “default cultural point of view.” Can science fiction romance ever break out of the niche if the books written by women authors and featuring female-centered issues are deemed of “lesser significance”?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

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An Interview With Calista Taylor, Author of VIRIDIS

I have another steampunk romance to tell you about: Calista Taylor’s self-published VIRIDIS is a romantic steampunk mystery. Here’s the blurb:

In steampunk Victorian London, where airships dot the sky and tinkerings abound, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings, an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city's poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.

Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.

One thing I love about steampunk/steampunk romance is that there’s often an opportunity to feature heroines with jobs, whether legal or risqué. VIRIDIS’ Phoebe Huges is an alchemist, complete with a sophisticated lab where she experiments with the titular elixir Viridis (and the cool steampunk tech that such a lab promises). She also runs an elite club frequented by the rich, who flock there to experience the euphoric effects of her intoxicating concoction.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

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Winner of Karalynn Lee's SLIP POINT

The random number generator has crunched the numbers, and the winner of SLIP POINT by Karalynn Lee is...

A.R. Norris!

Congratulations! To claim your prize, please email me at sfrgalaxy "at" gmail.com (Subject line: Slip Point) and I'll forward your contact information to the author.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Friday, November 11, 2011

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Forthcoming Steampunk Romance: THE IRON HEART by Leslie Dicken

Cover design by Kanaxa
Back in May 2011, Leslie Dicken (THE PRICE OF DISCOVERY) shared the news about THE IRON HEART, her forthcoming steampunk romance from Samhain Publishing. (I predict that this won’t be the last steampunk romance with “Iron” in the title, heh heh).

We now have news of a release date and cover! THE IRON HEART will go on sale February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day!). And as you can see, the lovely cover is on display right here.

Here’s the blurb, courtesy of the author’s Web site:
One woman swears to avenge the savagery of a ruthless killer loose on the streets of Lundun; if only she can stay one step ahead of an inventor who fears his greatest work, a labor of love, has turned on humanity.

Grieving the loss of her beloved cousin, Ella Wilder is determined to catch the murderer. Infuriated by the fumblings of the constable, she seeks the assistance of a handsome Noble who seems to be looking for his own answers, and who’s reluctance tells her he has something to hide. Over time, hesitant intimacy grows into fiery passion but brings them no closer to finding the madman.

As the killer reveals darker inventions that blur the boundary between man and machine, Ella fights the fear he may be after her next. Can Ella trust her heart to the man who refuses to share his secrets yet swears to protect her? Will Bennett be able to choose between keeping terrifying family secrets…or losing Ella to the iron-hearted killer who stalks the night?

Sounds intriguing! To learn more about Leslie Dicken and her work, visit her guest blog post at Steamed! titled Why I Write Steampunk.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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Two Sci-Fi Romances From Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews (who writes urban fantasy as Kate Daniels) has two science fiction romance stories out that are set in her “World of Kinsmen” series (scroll down). The first is “Silent Blade” and the second is SILVER SHARK.

News like this sometimes takes me by surprise, mainly because of the fact that since sci-fi romance is still so niche, I don't often think to check the blogs of mainstream print authors to see if they have released any books in the subgenre.

Perhaps now that will start to change with the advent of ebooks and all the advantages that digital publishing has to offer. Maybe more big-name authors will take a chance with science fiction romance, which in turn can help raise the visibility of authors who are already deep in the niche trenches.

Ilona Andrews's stories take place in a futuristic setting, although you might also find them tagged as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. (Maybe it's time to change the name of SFR to urban fantasy? Hyuk!)

Here's the lowdown:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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Forthcoming Sci-Fi Romance: CLASH by Yolanda Sfetsos


Yolanda Sfetsos (ALEX WALES: PROMISE) is the author of CLASH, a forthcoming science fiction romance from Samhain Publishing. The release date is January 24, 2012. You can read an excerpt here.

And now for the blurb:

When revenge, secrets and lust collide, there can only be chaos.

Recast, Book 2

Jenks Maine is dead, but the devastating effects forcing Recast to fight in the arena goes on. Half-Recast Ace Abu is determined to put a stop to it. All he needs is to get to the planet Fray, locate the concealed Clash Arena, and destroy it. But first he has to cross half the galaxy before the sound and smell of his partners’ nonstop lovemaking drives him mad.

By the time he parks himself on a barstool in the town of Grit, he’s more than ready for a few beers. Except the sexy singer on stage is only making him—and his inner beast—burn hotter.

Ely’Shea longs for the freedom Jenks stole from her. She’s his right-hand woman, but when the boss is away she steps out of her enforcer role and ducks into a remote bar to indulge her passion: singing onstage. The night she catches a glimpse of an alluring cowboy in the audience, he ignites a spark inside her she never thought she’d feel again.

Unable to resist temptation, they’re consumed by passion…but once the fuses are set, their deepest personal secrets could blow any chance of forever all to hell.

Product Warnings

This book contains a very lonely shapeshifter in need of some loving, a kick-ass singer leading a double life, a serious case of mutual lust, an arena filled with enslaved warriors, and so many secrets it can only end in total madness.

You can read the author's announcement post for CLASH here. To learn more about Yolanda Sfetsos and her work, check out my interview with her.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

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Character-Driven Science Fiction Discussion At SF Signal

Because science fiction romance is heavily character-driven, I thought you might be interested in checking out this week's Mind Meld at SF Signal: You Gotta Have Character: Character-Driven Science Fiction Stories With Plenty of Sense of Wonder.

Participants include Lyda Morehouse, Helen Lowe, Lynne Thomas, Judith Tarr, Daniel Abraham, and yours truly.

Happy reading!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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Could Digitally Illustrated Covers Give Sci-Fi Romance A Boost?

Cover art by Roberto Quintero
The other day, the subject of book covers came up during a conversation I was having with a fellow science fiction romance blogger. We were discussing the importance of covers as a marketing tool, specifically their role in helping to attract readers to the sci-fi romance subgenre.

Around that same time, while visiting the blog of Mrs. Giggles, I came across the cover of a book called FIRST WATCH by Peter Hansen. FIRST WATCH, which strikes me as a Lovecraftian/hentai, m/m horror romance, is one of the launch titles of the new epub Riptide Publishing.

I really like the cover of FIRST WATCH, not necessarily because of the content (which, I must confess, intrigues me) but because of the quality of the illustrated image. That cover style reminded me of another ebook cover that holds a strong appeal for me: SKY RAT by Angelia Sparrow. SKY RAT was released by Pink Petal Books.

Given the existence of these two covers, I started wondering why we aren’t seeing more digitally illustrated covers for science fiction romance books. I realize that some already exist, but from what I've seen, most are plagued by poor quality. However, the covers for SKY RAT and FIRST WATCH make me wonder if better cover artists/designers are coming onto the scene, and if so, could they be tapped for sci-fi romance ebook covers (mainstream print books are a whole other animal)?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

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Interview With SLIP POINT Author Karalynn Lee & A Giveaway

*Heroine space pirate alert*!

Yes, can you believe how lucky we are? A new science fiction romance release, Karalynn Lee’s SLIP POINT (Carina Press), features a heroine who’s a space pirate. Seems like it was only a year ago that I blogged about my love of space pirates—oh, wait a minute, it was a year ago. But I have a particular soft spot for heroine space pirates, and so I was excited to learn about SLIP POINT, which releases November 7!

Author Karalynn Lee kindly agreed to an interview so we could learn more about her book. Plus, one lucky passenger will be picked at random to receive a free digital copy of her book! Details follow the interview.

First, here’s the story blurb:
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Call For Submissions: Total-E-Bound Seeks Erotic Steampunk/Steampunk Romance


I just ran across this post at All About Romance: Total-E-Bound is seeking erotic steampunk/steampunk romance submissions:

Total-E-Bound Publishing, a leading Erotic Romance Publisher, is now accepting submissions between 10,000 words and 100,000+ words in the steampunk genre:

Steamy stories set in a might-have-been world of clockwork technology. Join naughty neo-Victorians—from mad scientists to erotic automata—in their inventive adventures.

I couldn’t find the same information in the publisher’s submission guidelines, but maybe they just haven’t updated it yet.

Happy writing!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Friday, November 4, 2011

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Reading Reality Launches “Ebook Review Central”


With so many ebooks available these days, readers often face the challenge of wading through numerous sites to discover the ones that are right for them. But what if you’re a busy librarian whose time and budget are at a premium?

The answer might be closer than you think: 
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Breaking News: Joely Sue Burkhart's LADY DOCTOR WYRE Finals in the 2011 Reviewers' Choice Awards

This just in: RT Book Reviews recently posted the list of nominees from the Reviewers' Choice Best Book Awards. Among them, in the "Best Paranormal/Fantasy/Science Fiction Erotic Romance" category, is Joely Sue Burkhart for LADY DOCTOR WYRE (Samhain Publishing)!

Way to go, Ms. Burkhart!

You can read the author's announcement post here.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, November 3, 2011

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Update: Small Press/Epublishers Who Want Sci-Fi Romance

During a recent conversation with a fellow blogger, I realized my list of small press/digital publishers seeking science fiction romance was woefully out of date. In fact, some of the previous publishers on the list are either defunct or have closed their doors (RIP, Drollerie Press).

Therefore, I decided to update the list.

Currently, small press/digital publishing is where the majority of the action is at regarding SFR releases. While erotic romance still dominates many of the releases, a few publishers accept a range of heat levels while others have relaxed their requirements and now include tamer ones. That’s a great development since ebooks are destined to become the new paperback, and readers have always sought variety regarding heat level.

With the exception of Desert Breeze Publishing and possibly Echelon Press, all of the publishers listed below accept erotic romance as well as submissions in the GLBT/alternative lifestyle category. Some, like Torquere Press, Inc., focus exclusively on GLBT romances.

Below you’ll find a list of publishers whose guidelines indicate they are open to considering science fiction romance. To the best of my knowledge, you do not need an agent or need to be previously published to submit to the publishers on this list.

Please note that the following list is for resource purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any of the publishers.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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Sci-Fi Romances With People of Color?

There’s a lengthy discussion happening at Dear Author regarding, in part, the under-representation of ethnic characters in romance. After reading the post and comments, I started wondering what science fiction romance had to offer readers in terms of people of color.

Frequently, sci-fi romances feature alien heroes and heroines, which could be considered a variant on ethnicity, and there are androids such as in Catherine Asaro’s ALPHA, but what about non-alien human characters?

Off the top of my head, I came up with a short list:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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SFR News & Links For November 2011

It's a new month and the science fiction romances keep a' comin':

New releases



STARLANDER'S MYTH - Melisse Aires

A steampunk spacewestern romance in the Starlander Frontier series. 

Asteroid miner Jack Starlander stumbles upon the illegal sale of a woman and child who are gryphon shifters, used by the miners to find valuable cryst. In the ensuing shoot out, two important men die and they are forced to flee aboard his space freighter. Their journey takes them into deadly danger. Sophie is a creature from myth and she recognizes the mythic thread in Starlander's family legend. Perhaps his family legend can save them.