Friday, March 30, 2012

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ABOUT TIME: A Forthcoming Sci-Fi Romance Film

Reel Movie Nation posted an article about a forthcoming science fiction romance film starring Zooey Deschanel and Domhnall Gleeson. ABOUT TIME (2013) is described as a "quirky" story that "will be a combination of romance, science fiction, and comedy." Richard Curtis (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) will direct. (Thanks to Melisse Aires (STARLANDER'S MYTH) for the link.)

Here's the basic premise:

The film will tell the story of Tim, a time traveler who tries to use his powers for good. Actor Domhnall Gleeson, best known for his work as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, will play the lead and Deschanel will be his love interest.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Sci-Fi Romance Link Fun


I had fun visiting the following posts recently and wanted to pass the links along to you:

Reading Reality is part of a "3 Stars Rating Event Hop," which runs from March 29-30. Today she blogged about her definition of a 3-star review in The Reviewer’s Perspective. An upcoming post at her blog and others will feature quotes from authors (including yours truly) about their thoughts on the same topic.


Smart Girls Love SciFi and Paranormal Romance has an interview with Diane Dooley (MAKO’S BOUNTY) about pirates, geekery, haggis, and more. While there, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of MAKO’S BOUNTY!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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THE WATCHMAKER'S LADY Spotlight At Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews, Plus Giveaway

Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews is running a spotlight of my erotic clockpunk romance, THE WATCHMAKER'S LADY. While there you can enjoy a story excerpt as well as a character interview with Matthew and his automaton lover, Isabel!

Leave a comment and you'll be entered for a chance to win a digital copy of the novella!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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Old School Vs. New School


Back in January 2010, I blogged about how I struggled to read Johanna Lindsey’s WARRIOR’S WOMAN (1990). I had difficulty engaging with the prose style more than the content itself. A few months ago, a little birdie who follows this blog urged me to give it another try. She’s convincing like that. :P

So, I skimmed finished it. My goal this time around was to study the subtext more than the story. I am always interested in discovering where science fiction romance has gone before because I often gain insights about its evolution as well as a strong appreciation of where this subgenre is today. I still struggled with the prose in WARRIOR’S WOMAN (some of the stuff just didn’t make sense to me), but I persisted.

One dynamic in particular caused a bit of head-scratching. As a highly trained security agent, heroine Tedra De Arr is a warrior. She feels that she can only find true love with a lover/hero who can defeat her in combat. I could understand if she had wanted to find her warrior equal in a soul mate. But that wasn’t the case. She needed a man who was superior to her in that regard.

Monday, March 26, 2012

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Breaking News: RWA 2012 Golden Heart Finalists

Congratulations to Donna S. Frelick and Laurie A. Green who are finalists in the Romance Writers of America 2012 Golden Heart Awards! They placed with the following titles:

DRAXIS by Laurie A. Green (a time-travel/planetary romance story)

TROUBLE IN MIND by Donna Frelick (from her planned Interstellar Rescue series)

UNCHAINED MEMORY by Donna Frelick (from her planned Interstellar Rescue series)

Way to go, ladies! That's three science fiction romances--for the win, I hope!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, March 25, 2012

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JOHN CARTER is from Mars, And Women Are Nowhere In Sight


Via SF Signal I recently read 5 Reasons Disney’s John Carter Failed At The Box Office at Giant Freakin Robot. I'm excited about JOHN CARTER, but the film's very existence still surprises me. (I’ve not seen it yet, but plan to watch it on DVD.)

Frankly, JOHN CARTER is pretty hardcore vintage SF/F for mainstream audiences. I’m delighted it was made, but have my doubts regarding packaging it as a mainstream, PG-13 blockbuster-style film.

To confound the lukewarm reception of JOHN CARTER, both the film and its trailers demonstrate an obstacle that continues to plague science fiction romance in the cinematic realm. One part of the GFR post in particular caught my attention:

What you wouldn’t know just from watching the trailers is that John Carter is kind of romantic. Part of the reason Avatar was such a huge success is that it appealed to women as much or more than it appealed to men. That movie’s trailers weren’t shy about playing up the romance angle, crafting Cameron’s film as a tale of forbidden love. John Carter’s trailers act as though the film was constructed primarily to create pictures which might look good on a little boy’s lunchbox. There’s very little romance in them and worse, very little of the film’s strong, take charge female character Dejah Thoris. Dejah Thoris is a warrior scientist, and arguably the movie’s most important character. She’s the kind of strong woman every parent wants their daughter to turn into. That’s not in the trailer. If she was shown at all in the trailer, it was only to ask John Carter for help and then stand behind him while he defended her. Young girls should probably look up to a character like Dejah Thoris, but from the movie’s marketing, those girls probably didn’t even realize she was an important part of the movie’s story.

Kind of depressing, isn’t it? The marketing campaign for JOHN CARTER either didn’t know how to target female viewers—and viewers who enjoy sci-fi romance—for a science fiction film or, more likely, didn’t see the need to. They’ll market the film to 12 year old boys, but not to adult women who will actually pay money to see it? Okaaaayyy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Tor Cover Reveal Exclusive: GHOST PLANET by Sharon Lynn Fisher

This is exciting! I haven’t done a cover reveal for a mainstream print book in quite a while. Thanks to the generosity of author Sharon Lynn Fisher and the fine folks at Tor, I have an exclusive cover reveal of the authors forthcoming science fiction romance GHOST PLANET (December 2012)!

Feast your eyes on the sparkly new cover and blurb:


A world in peril. A bond deeper than love.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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SF Signal’s Mind Meld and a Special Announcement

This week’s Mind Meld at SF Signal covers the following topic: What’s the Value of SF/F Awards to the SF/F Community?

That topic tied in very closely with a new science fiction romance event that blogger Laurie A. Green (Spacefreighters Lounge) and I have been planning for several months now. Therefore, we decided to make our announcement ahead of schedule by merging it with my answer to the question.

Head on over to discover the details about our next science fiction romance adventure!

While there, check out the awesome and insightful answers of the other participants. I’m honored to be among a group of such intelligent women.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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The Naked Hero

[Mild spoiler ahead]

I recently finished Nina Croft’s sci-fi romance TIGER OF TALMARE. One of the significant encounters the heroine (a space pirate) has with the hero early in the story is when she has to rescue him from a damaged cryogenic pod. The hero is naked and, of course, amazingly hot. The hero is her prisoner. She’s attracted to him and subsequently engages in a detailed inventory of his alluring body.

[End mild spoiler]

That reading experience triggered memories of other science fiction romances that feature this trope, all of which occur early in the stories:

SLAVE (Cheryl Brooks): Heroine (a traveler on a quest to find her sister) first encounters the naked, exotic, chained hero at a slave auction.

BEYOND THE RAIN (Jess Granger): Heroine (a soldier) first encounters naked, exotic hero in a prison cell.

FORBIDDEN LOVE (Kaye Manro): Heroine (a scientist) studies naked, unconscious, exotic alien hero in an examination room after he’s been in a crash.

NEVER LOVE A STRANGER (Ellen Fisher) Heroine (gal-next-door type) discovers the naked time-traveling hero in her kitchen.

All of the above stories have a context for the naked hero and all of them are quite different. What they have in common is that they all give the heroines an opportunity to study the heroes’ bodies at close range. The scenes represent an objectification of the male body, and are done in such a way as to give not only the heroines control over that first sexual encounter, but also readers by virtue of a fantasy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

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METALMARK: A Forthcoming Sci-Fi Romance From Ella Drake

Squee! Another science fiction romance is in the house! Ella Drake just announced that she contracted METALMARK, a novel-length ebook, with Lyrical Press. Here's the blurb, courtesy of the author's site:

The choice—his planet’s future or his pure mate… who is anything but pure.

Lye the Keeper is prince to his dying planet. He’s made an agreement with the Drianti Syndicate. For the price of his blood, an end to the decade long occupation is within grasp. Betraying himself wounds his pride but pales against the pain of his monthly mating imperative. When a red-headed temptress lands in his path, she holds the key to Lye’s freedom and an end to the pain, but the price is too high. To touch her means to defile the royal line that ends with him. But the lure to possess is irresistible.

Privateer Jazzelina Eval robs Drianti spaceships blind in her quest for revenge. She’ll do anything to bring down the Syndicate. Including taking a job to kidnap a prince. Anything but settle down and give up the revenge game. Anything but bed a mark who made a deal with the Syndicate. But once she has Lye in her hands, no price is high enough to let him go...even if it means war.
Congratulations, Ms. Drake!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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And Now For Something Completely Different: IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS

I’m excited to share that I’ve contracted an ebook with Lyrical Press!

IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS is a category length Western steampunk romance (release date TBA).

Here’s the premise in a nutshell:

TRUE GRIT gets steampunk’d when Violet Whitcomb, an inventor’s daughter, joins forces with dangerous outlaw Logan McCoy and an automaton gunslinger to rescue her father from the clutches of an evil overlord known as the Iron Scorpion.

Think: a modern-day penny dreadful.

I’ll have an official blurb and more for you in the near future. Stay tuned! In the meantime, what I can tell you is that this story features action-adventure romance, weird west steampunk fun, and a “sweet” heat level—as in, 100% sweet!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: digital publishing means creative freedom. Not only has Lyrical Press been seeking steampunk romance for some time, but they are also open to all kinds of heat levels. Incidentally, I entered this manuscript in Lyrical’s recent advance contest, which led to a contract--all in about one month.

I’m looking forward to entertaining you with this story!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

P.S. Did I mention there’s an automaton gunslinger in the story?!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

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SFR Surprise Box Winners

The random number generator hath spoken! The winners of the SFR Surprise Box Giveaway are:

Emily

Stevetait

Congratulations! I have your emails so I'll be in touch.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Friday, March 16, 2012

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Science Fiction Romance Weekend Happenings

At CONTACT – Infinite Futures, Ella Drake has unveiled the cover for DESERT BLADE, her forthcoming post-apocalyptic science fiction romance!



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Blog Tour For Diane Dooley's MAKO'S BOUNTY

Diane Dooley is celebrating the release of MAKO'S BOUNTY, her erotic sci-fi romance 1Night Stand story from Decadent Publishing, with a blog tour! It's chock full of guest posts, interviews, and giveaways.


Here are the players:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

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Steampunk Romance Watch - March 2012

I uncovered some interesting steampunk romance gems recently:

Heroes and Heartbreakers profiled the cover and blurb for RIVETED, Meljean Brook's forthcoming steampunk romance.

At Babbling About Books, and More! Katiebabs spotlighted Kate Cross's forthcoming book, a "...a sexy Steampunk romance that will be released May 1st from Signet."

Earlier this month, Rachel Grace blogged at RT Book Reviews about her latest release, GEARED FOR PLEASURE.

Earlier this year, author Candace Havens reported that she started work on her

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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Sci-Fi Romance Surprise Box Giveaway


I have a collection of like new, gently used, and unquestionably used science fiction romance print books to give away. I’ve divided them into two sets (7 books per set) and will give them away to two of my wonderful passengers!

These books are all over the place in terms of authors, plot, publication date, heat level, and placement on the SFR-romance spectrum. It’s a very eccentric collection geared toward the adventurous science fiction romance reader (i.e., you dig surprises!) and I’d love to give them a new home since my shelves are overflowing.

To enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment for this post (contest limited to U.S. residents). The deadline to enter is 12 midnight EST on Friday, March 16, 2012. I’ll pick two winners at random.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Monday, March 12, 2012

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ISOLATION Winner

The winner of A.B. Gayle's ISOLATION is...Carrie! Congratulations!

Carrie, to claim your prize, please email me at sfrgalaxy "at" gmail.com (subject line: Isolation) and I'll forward your email to the author.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, March 11, 2012

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Veronica Scott's WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM: The Titanic…in Space

Cover design by Fiona Jayde
A little birdie sent me a link to a page describing a forthcoming, high concept science fiction romance. When it comes to Veronica Scott’s WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, think “Titanic…in space.”

Here’s the story blurb:
A reimagining of the Titanic disaster set in the far future among the stars…

Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?
Well.

Here we have about as high concept a premise for an SFR as one could imagine (I blogged about this topic in November 2010). Not just the re-imagined Titanic disaster, but also the “special forces” buzzword that’s guaranteed to put readers in mind of futuristic Navy Seals.

Friday, March 9, 2012

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RT Book Reviews On KICKING ASHE And Taking Names

Okay, so RT Book Reviews isn't really taking names, but I couldn't resist such a delicious pun! What the folks there *did* do was feature a 4 star review of Pauline Baird Jones's latest release KICKING ASHE on their Web site! They also posted a fun article about sidekicks that was inspired by a character in the author's book.

Happy reading!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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An Interview With ISOLATION Author A.B. Gayle, Plus Giveaway

A.B. Gayle’s space opera science fiction romance ISOLATION is out this week and what a celebration we have for you today! First, I’m going to provide you with some non-spoiler tags for this story. Second, the author came aboard for an interview so we can learn more about the story’s creation. Third, I’m hosting a giveaway of the book!

So without further ado, here’s my spotlight on A.B. Gayle’s ISOLATION:

Mmmm...mature hero on the cover
Publisher: Total-E-Bound

Length: novel (start of a series, but works as a stand alone)

Blurb
Book one in the Saa'ar Chronicles Series

Isolated, they are vulnerable. Working together, they might just survive.

Stranded on an alien space station at the edge of the Solar System, Dr Dana Sinclair has never felt so alone in her life.

While she and her fellow travellers wait for a spaceship to take them on the rest of their journey to the aliens’ home planet, first the remaining Saa’ar on board then her superior, the chief Medical Officer all die mysteriously.

The health and welfare of the remaining humans is now her responsibility. Will she discover the truth behind their deaths in time?

Ethan O’Reilly, a disabled war hero and second in charge of the mission may be able to help, but can she trust him?

Tags
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Blogging at Heroes & Heartbreakers

Visit Heroes and Heartbreakers for my latest post, Amazing and Bizarre Prosthetics in Steampunk Romance. I've previously blogged about the topic here, but now there are more releases featuring the prosthetic element. I hope you find a title among the selection to your liking.

Happy reading!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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Smutketeers Double Feature, Part II: Eden Bradley’s THE DREAMBOX GIRL



While reading about the Smutketeers, a multi-author blog, in the January, 2012, issue of RT Book Reviews (Click here for part one on Rachel Grace’s GEARED FOR PLEASURE), I discovered that author Eden Bradley was working on a sizzling steampunk romance called THE DREAMBOX GIRL. 

I was so taken with the title that I contacted the author to learn more information. Subsequently, the author kindly wrote a guest post so we could learn more about her interest in the world of steampunk as well as a glimpse behind the scenes of THE DREAMBOX GIRL, which is currently in progress. Read on to learn about this intriguing project:
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Smutketeers Double Feature, Part I: Rachel Grace’s GEARED FOR PLEASURE


While reading an article in RT Book Reviews (Jan, 2012) about the author group known as the Smutketeers, I discovered the news about Rachel Grace’s GEARED FOR PLEASURE, an erotic steampunk romance from Berkley Heat that’s out this month. This book is the first in the author’s Elemental Steam series.

The Smutketeers is a multi-author blog that’s been around since September, 2008. In their announcement post, they outlined the blog’s general theme:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

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Books Vs. Films in Science Fiction Romance

Round One: Fight!
I received an email late last week from a student--we'll call her S.--who is working toward an MFA in Creative Writing. Her current assignment is a project that focuses on blends of science fiction and romance.(Boo-yah!)

S. came to me with some questions and after I answered them I thought it would be worthwhile to open up the discussion for my Galaxy Express passengers. S. kindly granted me permission to share her question and my answer.

My answer became quite long and complex (and I'll be the first to admit some of my personal biases came into play), but I'm sure that one could write a whole book on the subject. Therefore, I invite you to answer the question as well or comment on some aspect of my answer. Whether you agree, disagree, or would like to contribute other information, I'm sure S. would appreciate the input.

Question: 

The appeal to cross the two genres doesn’t seem to be a popular choice. Yet in film, this same cross genre has had incredible success (Star Wars, Avatar, Wall-E, Back to the Future). Why do you think that is? What are your thoughts on the discrepancy with regards to wide audience appeal in movies versus novels, especially in these mixed genres?

Answer:

Short answer: Most people would choose a movie over a book.

Long answer:

Friday, March 2, 2012

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Ella Drake On The Early Roots Of Sci-Fi Romance In Film

At CONTACT - Infinite Futures, author Ella Drake (BRAIDED SILK) blogs about SF-romance blends during the early days of cinema. Très cool!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, March 1, 2012

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SFR News & Links For March 2012

Welcome to a new month and a new round of science fiction romance news and links! It's a veritable buffet, so dig in.

New releases


BORN TO DARKNESS (near-future thriller) - Suzanne Brockmann 

In the not-too-distant future, the Obermeyer Institute (OI) has made a revolutionary discovery: With special training, humans can tap into the brain's hidden powers (telepathy, telekinetic powers, super strength, and more). The training is strenuous, though, and it works only for those with natural potential. Tough girl Mac has that potential, and she's a devoted member of the OI. But there's one rule she can't help but bend. Her boss thinks celibacy is key to their work. Mac's learned differently--an active sexual life enhances her powers. And when she meets Shane, a sexy former Navy SEAL, the sparks are instant. But after the two spend an amazing night together, Mac finds out that Shane's a new recruit at the institute. How can she mix business and pleasure?

Read the excerpt.

MAKO'S BOUNTY (space opera) - Diane Dooley
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Cover Reveal Exclusive: MAKO’S BOUNTY by Diane Dooley


I’m excited to share the cover for MAKO’S BOUNTY, a Decadent 1-Night Stand story from BLUE GALAXY author Diane Dooley. One good thing about the 1-Night Stand series is that


It's reassuring to know that readers can expect a story along with the erotic journey. Each 1-Night Stand story centers around the concept of a one-night stand, which is arranged by the mysterious Madame Evangeline, a person who owns the exclusive online dating service. All subgenres are considered, so this imprint of Decadent's is yet another way for readers to find science fiction romance stories.
 
MAKO’S BOUNTY will release on March 13, 2012. Here’s the blurb:

For nine long months, at the behest of the evil Ravenscorp, Mako Dolan has been hunting the space pirate they call The Saint. Now she’s finally lured her prey to a one night stand with a mysterious woman—herself. But Vin Sainte is not at all what she expected. Far from being a ruthless space pirate, his main occupation seems to be rescuing nuns, adopting orphans and praying like a champ.

For nine long months Vin Sainte has been fleeing the bounty hunter from one temporary refuge to the next. Now he’s got Mako exactly where he wants her: weak from gravity sickness and ripe for conversion. Problem is he didn’t expect a foul-mouthed, hard-as-nails bounty hunter to be such a devoted daughter. His head on a platter is Ravenscorp’s price for her mother’s freedom.

They have less than twenty four hours. One will win; one will lose. Mako might be a fearsome predator, but Vin has the Lord on his side. Who will win the bounty?

***

Who, indeed?

I love the heroine-centric cover. The extra special treat is that the heroine is not only a bounty hunter, but a person of color. Sweet.

And a hero who prays “like a champ?” That’s gotta be a first.

I’m definitely intrigued. What about you?

Joyfully yours,

Heather