Sunday, September 30, 2012

Written on

SFR News & Links For October 2012



October is exploding with science fiction romance! Check out this month’s new releases—I’m sure your TBR pile will gladly make room for more. ;)

New releases

SKIES OF STEEL (steampunk romance; The Ether Chronicles) - Zoe Archer


In the world of The Ether Chronicles, the Mechanical War rages on, and appearances are almost always deceiving . . .

The prim professor

Daphne Carlisle may be a scholar, but she’s far more comfortable out in the field than lost in a stack of books. Still, when her parents are kidnapped by a notorious warlord, she knows she’ll need more than quick thinking if she is to reach them in time. Daphne’s only hope for getting across enemy territory is an airship powered and navigated by Mikhail Denisov, a rogue Man O’ War who is as seductive as he is untrustworthy.

The jaded mercenary

Mikhail will do anything for the right price, and he’s certain he has this mission—and Daphne—figured out: a simple job and a beautiful but sheltered Englishwoman. But as they traverse the skies above the Mediterranean and Arabia, Mikhail learns the fight ahead is anything but simple, and his lovely passenger is not entirely what she seems. The only thing Mikhail is certain of is their shared desire—both unexpected and dangerous.


This cover seems a bit more polished than the one for SKIES OF FIRE. Or maybe the color scheme fits the steampunk theme better. What do you think?

BLUE NEBULA (space opera) – Diane Dooley 


Sola de la Vega is on a mission to save the galaxy, and nothing will sway her. Not even the pleas of her beloved husband, Captain Javan Rhodes, to keep herself and their unborn child safe.

Fitted with a series of technological "enhancements" entwined with her central nervous system, Sola is not fully human. Her father is the undisputed leader of Earth, and Sola is driven to put an end to his genocidal rule--before he can follow through with his plans to consolidate power over the universe into the hands of the aristocracy.

Despite Javan's fears for her safety, and coping with a difficult pregnancy, Sola's quest has become an obsession she cannot control. Compelled to choose, duty must come before her love for Javan. And when Sola joins forces with Destin Grady--her father's sworn enemy--in a plot to execute the dictator and seize power, she soon uncovers secrets from the past that have her facing a future she never could have imagined...


METALMARK (steampunk romance) - Ella Drake

Revenge may kill her...but love may kill them all. 

Prince to a dying planet, Lye the Keeper has made a deal with the devil. For the price of his blood, the Drianti Syndicate offer a seat on their council...and put the end to their decade-long occupation of his planet within his grasp. Working with the Syndicate feels like betraying everything he's worked for these last ten years, but it pales in comparison to the pain of his monthly mating imperative. 

The red-haired temptress who lands in his path holds the key to Lye's freedom--and an end to his pain--but the price is too high. Touching her would defile the royal line that ends with him. The lure to possess her, however, proves irresistible. 

Privateer Jazzelina Eval will do anything to bring down the Syndicate, anything from robbing spaceships to kidnapping a prince. Anything but settle down and give up the revenge game. Or bed a mark who's made a deal with her enemy. But once she has Lye in her hands, she can't let him go...even if the price of keeping him is war. 

WARNING: Explicit content, exploding space ships, and creepy biomechanical bugs.


GHOST PLANET (planetary romance) – Sharon Lynn Fisher


A world in peril. A bond deeper than love.

Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world - a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she'd struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.

As a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy - creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone - oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love - Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.

But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man she loves.
HEROES LOST AND FOUND (superhero/romantic UF) - Sheryl Nantus

Some will rise, others will fall…

Blaze of Glory, Book 3

Jo Tanis is still recovering from her near-death experience in Las Vegas when she receives a mysterious postcard from Harris Limox, who claims to have a promising lead on the whereabouts of the Controller. Over her boyfriend/guardian Hunter’s objections, she sets off to a sleepy Oregon town to ferret out the truth.

The Controller is more than just a disgruntled super. He’s a rogue Guardian who was presumed dead and is now armed with a slew of high-tech hardware that not only makes him physically superior to the supers—and therefore almost impossible to destroy—he’s got the ability to detonate the implants in the back of all supers’ necks.

In Oregon, Jo meets a surviving Alpha super, Kit Masters, whose wild plan to capture the Controller could put an entire town of innocents at risk. But instead of successfully talking her former idol out of his disastrous bid to regain former glory, Jo finds herself betrayed and trapped in her worst nightmare.

Fight her former teammates, or die.

Product Warnings
Super brawling, super loving and a super-hot ending!


ENDING OF ETERNITY (The Telomere Trilogy Book 3; space opera) – A.R. Norris


Luna thought her journey away from her people's world was over. Now, she's forced to join the lost daughter in her journey with Captain Noah Bonney's crew to learn why these women coexist with men. Something unbelievable to the all woman race. Adding to the confusing change in Dokkaebi directive and teachings, is the presence of the gold-eyed man that stirred something in her heart. A forbidden attraction that goes against all her teachings and her people's ways.

Damani Wassack isn't happy with the situation either. Telomere Watchers lead secluded and separate lives. Yet now, he and the other watchers must come to the surface, show all their secrets and work with outsiders. If that weren't enough, he can't get that sneer from the man-hating warrior woman out of his mind. Or her fierce dedication, strong spirit, and sense of duty and honor. The package is appealing, and completely impossible.


MY REGELENCE RAKE (Sci Regency/m/m) – J.L. Langley
 

Before you find your prince, you have to kiss your share of rakes.

Sci-Regency, Book 3

With his days occupied with duties as Captain of the Guard, and nights consumed with upholding his reputation as a rake, Lord Sebastian Hastings’s schedule is filled. There’s no extra time to be anyone’s bodyguard, but the royal family’s safety is a task he sees to personally.

Prince Colton Townsend has loved Sebastian for as long as he can remember, but he’s done pining for a man who has vowed never to remarry. So he consoles himself with the second love of his life—horses. Stable building and horse racing consume his every thought, at least until he’s stuck with Sebastian dogging his every step.

While looking over the prospects at an auction, Colton is trying to ignore his sexy, pesky bodyguard when he feels compelled to take on a bully to protect an abused horse. Sebastian is dragged into the fray, and their good deed sparks a string of nasty rumors.

There’s only one way to quell the political storm: marry. But instead of solving everything, Colton realizes his new husband is a bundle of secrets, none of which he’ll give up easily. Unless Colton makes one, last-ditch effort that could break his heart for good.
Product Warnings
Contains an obnoxious filly, a love-struck prince, a meddling king, a matchmaking duke, vicious rumors and hunky ex Special Forces soldiers.

SHIFT HAPPENS BOOK THREE: ECHO LOCATION - Frances Pauli 


Stevie Roth gave up a chance at inter-dimensional adventure and settled for a life in the ordinary world.  She's almost convinced herself she’d made the right decision too, until Weldon Marks, out-of-this-world goofball and totally delicious dufus, shows up and reminds her exactly what she left behind. When he whisks her off on a job, Stevie couldn’t be happier. Except he vanishes again just as quickly, and his unpleasant parallel pops up to stalk her instead.

Now she’s back up to her neck in the insanity, and remembering quite clearly why she left. Weldon is acting cagey, his clone won’t leave her alone, and the invisible man is leading an investigation that seems hell-bent on spoiling any chance she has at keeping the one idiot she wants in her life for good.

Her world is completely upside down, her favorite snake has gone missing, and Stevie’s pretty sure the beat up box Weldon stashed in her living room hides something seriously illegal. If it does, she’s going to strangle him. If he doesn’t get himself killed first, that is. 

Recent releases

* BOTANICAUST – Tam Linsey

(Winner of this month’s award for Best. Title. Ever. Gotta give props to a title that grabbed me!)


After genetically altered weeds devastate Earth's croplands, much of humanity turns to cannibalism to survive. Dr. Tula Macoby believes photosynthetic skin can save the human race, and her people single-mindedly embark on a mission to convert the cannibals roaming what's left of Earth. But when Levi, a peaceful stranger, refuses alteration, Tula doesn't think the only options should be conversion or death.
Levi Kraybill, a devout member of the Old Order, left his Holdout farmland to seek a cure for his terminally ill son. Genetic manipulation is a sin, but Levi will do almost anything for the life of his child. When he's captured, he's sure he's damned, and his only escape will be death.
Tula's superiors schedule Levi's euthanization, and she risks everything to set the innocent man free. Now she and Levi are outlaws with her people, and she's an abomination with his. Can they find sanctuary in a cannibal wasteland?

* D.G. Novak has a hot-off-the-press cover and blurb for her latest release, STE. CLAIRE:


The Dark Gothic Sci/Fi/Fantasy Series continues as Dallas Ste. Claire fights to free his family from the unseen evil that stalks it. With a daughter who is cursed with prophetic visions and a brother whose fate is more terrible than anyone can imagine, Dallas struggles to find the answers he needs by finally uncovering the truth about his own heritage. But as he digs deeper, he meets nothing but opposition until a darkly seductive male appears who offers information along with a deep attraction that signals danger. With no idea whether the beautiful stranger is friend or foe, Dallas must trust him to find the answers he seeks. . .at any cost. 

Rating: Contains graphic violence, sex, adult language, and same-sex relationships.

* Author Tracy Cooper Posey’s erotic romance BANNOCKBURN BINDING came out in 2011, but the hook is catchy and high concept so I figured there’s no time like the present to give it a mention! 


It’s the first book in a futuristic time travel series. The author tags it as “VAMPIRE SERIES, EROTIC MMF URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE.” In reading the blurb, I got a distinct futuristic vibe:

In the early 23rd Century, vampires learned how to travel back in time, and created a time-tsunami that threatened life as we know it, until they corrected their mistake.  They created the Chronometric Conservation Agency, which is tasked with preserving history and therefore protecting humanity’s future.  The Touring arm of the Agency offers trips back into the real past, with vampire guides, called travellers.

When Natalia (Tally) Marta, vampire and traveller, takes her client to visit the siege of Stirling Castle in 1314, she is caught and held hostage for ransom by Robert MacKenzie, a Bruce clansman.  Rob finds himself drawn to the wilful, stubborn and very different English lady he has captured and the relationship becomes an intimate, highly-charged sexual pairing.  Swiftly, Tally and Rob realize their bond is more than sexual, that the emotions stirring their hearts are true.

Christian Lee Hamilton, vampire, one of the last true southern gentlemen, and Tally’s ex-lover, knows the 1314 time marker enough to jump back and help Tally return home. His arrival at Bannockburn adds complications, for Christian finds himself drawn to Rob MacKenzie as much as Tally is.  But neither of them can stay in the past forever.  To do so means certain death.


Tracy Cooper Posey put together an in-depth details section on BANNOCKBURN BINDING which you can read here. BYZANTINE HEARTBREAK is book two. The series information page is here.

Forthcoming

From Lyrical Press comes news of A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE by Barabara Mountjoy. I’m curious about what kind of story this title promises. Maybe a near-future setting?



Sci Fi Romance - Blacklisted by Hollywood, an outcast actress shoots for the stars when she impersonates a scientist to attend a human-alien summit. But when her ruse is discovered, she finds herself in a whole new scene — prison. And there she meets a non-human man who sets her heart ablaze. You can find out what happens in Kat Cantrell's upcoming sci fi adventure, The List, when it hits shelves next year.


I love RT's "Books Before The Buzz" feature because you never know what you're going to get. While I don’t expect to see an SFR listed in it every time, when it does I get all giddy. And the random pattern of positive reinforcement keeps me coming back!

Via SF Signal comes news of the UK cover art for George Mann’s THE EXECUTIONER’S HEART, the forthcoming Newbury & Hobbes steampunk adventure tale. I’m keen to see if the subtle (extremely subtle) romance between the two main characters is developed any further in this next installment.



A serial killer is loose on the streets of London, murdering apparently random members of the gentry with violent abandon. The corpses are each found with their chest cavities cracked open and their hearts removed. Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, suspects an occult significance to the crimes and brings Newbury and Veronica in to investigate.


Announcements

The SFR Brigade recently announced plans to compile a science fiction romance anthology of all new stories. Very exciting! 


It's official!

An SFR Brigade anthology, TALES FROM THE SFR BRIGADE, is a go! The preliminary editorial staff will consist of 'Cali Hicks as the Editor-in-Chief, Paula Diane Dooley as the Developmental Editor, and Laurie Green as the Editor-at-Large.  


Read the announcement post for submission guidelines.

Authors blogging

At CONTACT – Infinite Futures, Ella Drake has a thought-provoking post about Reader expectations:


Once an author is published in Science Fiction, how much responsibility does that author have to continue in that genre and fulfill reader expectations? What genres are allowable, if one is an author of SF? Is delving into Fantasy allowed? (some have argued, no). Is suspense? Action/Adventure? If you’re James Patterson, the answer seems to be, Yes. (The Maximum Ride series is SF while his popular Alex Cross series is more thriller/suspense).

What do you think? Does an author have a responsibility to genre?


Be sure to check out the lively discussion in the comment section.

Also at CONTACT, J.L. Hilton explores the link between fact and fiction (her book STELLARNET REBEL) in Warp drive on its way to a reality near you:


For the sake of the story, though, I had to wave the plot wand and say “science happens” so Genny could get across space without being 110 years old when she arrived suffering from radiation and rickets. I never thought that we might really be able to travel light-years in the blink of an eye. Certainly not within my lifetime.

Then I read this article: “NASA Starts Work on Real Life Star Trek Warp Drive.”

On craft

Can you Wear a Dress and Shoot a Gun?” That’s the question posed by author Nina D’Aleo (THE LAST CITY) in a guest post at Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romoance. The subheading of Writing Female Sci-Fi Characters caught my eye:


 Many genres of literature have produced strong, intelligent and inspiring female characters, but only sci-fi/fantasy can lay claim to creating strong, intelligent and inspiring women who can also handle weapons, fly spacecraft and wield serious magic, all while kicking plenty of  evil butt. The creative scope of the genre allows for female characters to be able to do virtually anything, to be as strong and fast as any of their male counterparts – if not more. Which means it should be easy to write original and powerful female sci-fi/fantasy characters? Should be – but usually isn’t.


Ain't that the truth! Now I turn the mike over to you. Got any science fiction romance news or links to share?

Joyfully yours,

Heather