Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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SFR News & Links For February 2012

Wow, if this is the science fiction romance action that February is delivering, I can't wait to see the rest of the year!

New releases (check out all the heroine-centric covers!)

PREHISTORIC CLOCK (steampunk w/ romantic elements) – Robert Appleton


Airship officer Verity Champlain is well-respected by her crew. But after a vital mission nearly goes wrong, she is having second thoughts about her career.

Lord Garrett Embrey is on the run. The Leviacrum Council, the secretive scientific body that holds sway over the Empire, executed his father and uncle and now they want him dead too.

Professor Cecil Reardon is consumed by grief. Since his wife and son died he's been obsessed with his work, and now he is on the verge of an extraordinary scientific breakthrough: his machine is about to breach time itself, to undo fate's cruel taking of his loved ones.

But the time jump doesn't go according to plan, and part of London winds up millions of years in the past. Verity and her crew—Lord Embrey, Professor Reardon and others stranded with them—must pull together to survive in a world ruled by dinosaurs...and to somehow get home.


THE IRON HEART (steampunk) – Leslie Dicken


His greatest creation could be the death of them both.

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 that 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 whose 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? 


WARS OF THE HEART (space opera) - Inari Gray

 
Someone has been tampering with Earth's Ozone Shield, and judging from the malfunction locations, Intergalactic Diplomat Katherine Morgan is convinced it's more than a mere technical glitch. Worried for the health and safety of her people, she petitions the Peace Keeping Intergalactic Council to conduct a full investigation and offer any kind of assistance Earth might need in the event of an ambush.

Unfortunately, the only assistance they can offer is in the mercy of the impetuous King of Salatiel, a man whose heart Katherine stomped on more than ten years ago.

The terms of the arrangement? Force an alliance, get Ja-el Lamar to yield at the threat of losing his kingdom. She didn't take into account how treacherous it would be, faced with everything she thought she no longer cared about, everything she left behind.

Meanwhile, Ja-el has an agenda of his own. He hates the Peace Keeping Intergalactic Council and everything it stands for. He's never trusted those in power there and he certainly won't start now. Especially not when they're sending Katherine Morgan in his direction. A woman he vowed to never see again. Whom they all know has the power to destroy him.

SYNTHETIC DREAMS (cyberpunk) – Kim Knox


Vynessa Somerton was just a girl when she learned about true evil. An encounter with the tyrannical Corporation scarred her body and exiled her to the crime-ridden S-District. Now an adult, Vyn creates glamours, worn by those who visit a virtual playground to live synthetic dreams. She's tried to stay unnoticed by the Corporation, but her latest invention has brought their agents to her door.

Paul Cross works for the Corporation, but he's been plotting their downfall since they took his brother and replaced him with an imposter. Paul has a plan to get his brother back, but he's going to need Vyn and her invention to carry it out.

Vyn agrees to help Paul, but their alliance shatters the barriers she's put up to protect herself, tempting her to give in to desire. Just as Vyn starts to trust Paul and believe he wants her, scars and all, the Corporation prepares for its final move. Can Vyn trust Paul completely, or has he been using her all along?


RICOCHET (space opera; multicultural) – Sandra Sookoo


They’re in it to win it—or die trying.

Willa Rayes, only daughter of a legendary Lingorian fighter pilot, can fly any ship in the galaxy. Better than her brothers, in fact. But does that get her any respect? Not as long as she has breasts. Winning the Nebulon Trike will not only force her family to notice her, it’ll be her declaration of independence from men in general.

Then she meets her race partner, Stratton Sinnet. Arrogant and chauvinistic, he ignites her libido like no man ever before. And threatens to send her well-planned strategy straight to hell.

A bounty hunter by trade, Sin enters the Trike for one reason: money. Somewhere among the racers his quarry is hiding, but he’s not worried. He always gets his man, and winning the race will be a nice bonus. It sure would be a hell of a lot easier, though, if he wasn’t saddled with a know-it-all navigator who’s getting on his last nerve—and under his skin.

As the checkpoints go by and the danger escalates, the fight for control, the lead—and satisfaction—approaches supernova heat. Burning away their resistance, and the tough shells that protect their one vulnerability…their hearts. 


FRACTURED (heroine vampire-in-space?) – Sandra Sookoo


Major Rick Keenan has a difficult mission: repair his broken shuttle, rescue a missing crew member and get off a near-dead planet. Angry that the U.S. is discontinuing the space program, he wants to find a discovery that will revise the government's position. Unfortunately, that discovery might just kill him, not to mention put his libido, on a quick launch sequence.

Marin is one of the last of her people. Forced to flee to the planet in her childhood, she's kept herself hidden away in darkness, safe in a castle-like fortress, only coming out when she needs to feed--from human blood. Convinced she'll never fit in, she shuns all contact, yet taking Rick hostage as a food source chips away at her perceptions even as he ignites her desire.

Though their differences threaten to tear them apart, their humanity binds them together. In a world where only the strong and determined survive, does a happily ever after stand a chance?


UNDER HER BRASS CORSET (erotic steampunk) – Brenda Williamson


Since the loss of her father, Abigail Thatch's life has been in turmoil. Her social status is in shambles, her finances depleted, and she's on the verge of losing her beloved home. But everything changes when she meets the dashing flying machine captain Jasper Blackthorn. Not only does he introduce her to a world she thought only existed in myth and legend, he awakens sensual feelings deep within her...

Jasper may be immortal, but he hasn't truly lived in years. Having secretly watched over Abigail as a favor to her notorious grandfather, he can't resist arranging a "chance" meeting with the beauty. But he has an ulterior motive: to retrieve the mystical Crystal Compass hidden in her house before it falls into the wrong hands. He never imagines he'll be tempted to love again...

When Abigail learns the truth, she and Jasper embark on a journey that will change both of their lives—and possibly the world...


Re-release

Ella Drake has re-released FIRESOTRM ON E’TERRA (previously published by Liquid Silver Books in 2009), and you can grab this erotic sci-fi romance e-novella now for just .99 cents! Buy links here.

When fire meets ice, the storm flames out of control.

Smokejumper and former refugee Wilson Dex takes the latest in a long line of risks, a mission to quell the firestorm on planet E'terra.

Equipment from his transport ship malfunctions, forcing by-the-book Commander Samantha Varde dirtside to help Dex though she suffers from landsickness.

While fighting the ill-timed and against-code heat between them, they have hours to reprogram a torpedo, fly into a tornado, and chute into a firestorm, all to save the colony before the storm flames out of control.

Free reads

Joely Sue Burkhart has two free reads of interest to sci-fi romance fans:

“Hope’s Haven” (romantic SF)
“Lady Wyre’s Regret” (serialized prequel to her erotic sci-fi romance, LADY DOCTOR WYRE)

Reader Contest

Leslie Dicken, who has a steampunk romance out this month (THE IRON HEART), has launched a contest. Details here.

Industry

Morpheus Tales magazine is seeking biopunk stories. Biopunk romance isn’t specifically mentioned, but in the announcement post, editor Sam Diamond indicated receptiveness to a variety of plots:

Morpheus Tales is looking for short works of biopunk fiction for an upcoming special. As always, try to think outside of the box. You don’t have to steer entirely clear of the genre’s main tropes (after all, not too many have been established), but we’re not going to publish a handful of stories about clone armies alongside another handful about Dr. Mephesto’s four-assed turtle and other such genetic oddities. Also, biopunk stories have for the most part taken on a dystopian tone so far, but there’s nothing saying that this has to be the case. Try utopian, try ecotopian, try whatever you like so long as it’s original and readable.

Deadline for submissions will be July 31, 2012.

Seems like a creative author of science fiction romance could come up with a way to slip in a little romance…!

Editors from Entangled Publishing will be accepting pitches at the blog of Nicola Marsh:
I'll be introducing you to each editor over the next 5 days so you can get a feel for their wish-lists.
The VALENTINE'S DAY PITCH THE BOOK OF YOUR HEART contest will start Feb 7th, run until Feb 10th, with the winners announced on Valentine's Day!

Here's what you'll need:

-a completed manuscript
-a one to three sentence pitch that wows
-title, genre, wordcount, email address

The last contest was only open to unpublished writers but I've had several emails from published writers wanting to participate, so this time the contest is open to both!
And in case you missed my recent post, Lyrical Press and Dragonfairy Press are seeking sci-fi romance.

SFR Cover Lovin’

This Friday, Entangled Publishing will feature a cover reveal for Jenna Bennett’s forthcoming military SF romance, FORTUNE’S HERO. I’ll have a link for you, so stay tuned.

You don’t say!


If you write military sci-fi romance, you might be interested in an article about Military Culture (via SF Signal) by author Myke Cole. He discusses the misconception that the American military is a monolithic culture:

Here's the truth. The military is (and arguably always has been) a *gigantic* organization. It draws liberally from all sections of society. Rich and poor of all races and creeds join up for reasons ranging from ideology to hope-for-advancement to sheer love of the work. The military isn't, and never has been a monoculture. It has proclivities and does draw more heavily from certain segments of society, but that doesn't change my overwhelming experience, which is this: I have met every different type of person in the military.

Via SFR Brigade

At SFR Brigade, Pippa Jay (KEIR) wants to know: “Have We Lost the Desire for Space Travel?”

Since the US space program was cancelled, I’ve been wondering if humanity will ever venture any further into space. As a science fiction writer I’ve imagined exploring new worlds. As a child I dreamt of being a companion in Doctor Who and exploring all of time and space - I even wrote my first complete novel based on those wishes! I’d hoped at least to see a manned mission to Mars in my lifetime.

Also at the Brigade, Sheryl Nantus announced she’s contracted HEROES LOST AND FOUND, the third book in her Blaze of Glory trilogy (Samhain Publishing). Release date TBA.

Authors blogging


In Stocking The Geek Cave, Heidi Ruby Miller lists the geeky essentials she’d need in case of a snowstorm.

On Female Action Stars

My latest post at Tor.com, “Female Action Stars: You Know You Want Them,” generated a very healthy discussion and was bookmarked on the front page for several days. While not directly related to science fiction romance, I very much had this subgenre in mind as I wrote it.

One reason I wrote the post is that I see a connection between a lack of female action heroes (i.e., single-lead protagonists) in big budget Hollywood films (think: at the level of BATMAN) and the hero-centric focus in many, many romances (and by extension, the marketing of said romances).

Sci-fi romance has a good track record of delivering kick-butt heroines, which is a significant reason why I love the subgenre, but I still would like for there to be more of them as well as a greater appreciation of their value.

Now I turn the mike over to you. Got any science fiction romance news or links to share?

Joyfully yours,

Heather