Sunday, September 30, 2012

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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?

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Giveaway winners

The winner of Lucy Woodhull's two-book RAGNAR & JULIET prize is Jody Wallace!

The winner of Nina Croft's BREAK OUT is Erin F.!

Congratulations, winners! Pleas contact me at sfrgalaxy "at" gmail.com to claim your prizes. Subject line: winner. Please specify preferred format--PDF or ePUB.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, September 27, 2012

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Introducing the Literary Underworld: Guest Post by T.W. Fendley



[Introduction: I’ve had the opportunity to learn about a lot of cool stuff while running this blog. The latest is an endeavor called the Literary Underworld. It’s a multi-genre author collective that includes science fiction romance. But since most if not all of us read across genres, I wanted you to know about it. Plus, it’s a great way to support authors of niche and unusual stories directly. If you’ve been following The Galaxy Express for any length of time, you know I’m all about the obscure titles, the cult offerings, and the hidden gems.

The Literary Underworld members are spreading the word about their endeavors and I'm delighted to be a part of it. T.W. Fendley is here to share some information about Literary Underworld as well as the type of fiction she writes. If you’re in the market for some new reads, she comes bearing a special discount for Galaxy Express passengers. - Heather]


Thanks so much, Heather, for hosting the Literary Underworld Blog Tour. I'm T.W. Fendley, one of the newest "Underlords," so I'm happy to spread the word about how Literary Underworld connects readers directly with authors and small presses. When you buy from this co-op, authors may receive as much as three times more than they would if you bought their books from a big-box retailer. We appreciate your support and your interest in our books!

I write historical fantasy and science fiction with a Mesoamerican twist for adults and young adults. A couple of years ago, I met Literary Underworld's founder, Elizabeth Donald, at Archon, the annual St. Louis-area science fiction/fantasy convention. I made sure to contact Elizabeth after L&L Dreamspell published my debut historical fantasy, ZERO TIME, and was thrilled to join this great group of writers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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“Vampires in Space” Giveaway: Nina Croft’s BREAK OUT



Nina Croft is celebrating the print release of her sci-fi romance BREAK OUT (Entangled Publishing) with a digital giveaway of the book so you can partake of the vampire-in-space adventures found therein! This is an extended version of the original novella so one lucky passenger will get even more fangtastic fun. “Fangtastic,” get it? Ha! I couldn’t resist.

I read this story and blogged about it back in January 2012 because at the time I just so happened to be contemplating the concept of vampires in science fiction romance. Here’s the story blurb:


The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!


Click here to read an excerpt.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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Interview With Lucy Woodhull (RAGNAR AND JULIET 2: CONCUBINE BOOGALOO), Plus Giveaway



Boogaloo, boogaloo, boogaloo! It’s a fun word to say *and* write! Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’m here to share that romantic comedy author Lucy Woodhull has released RAGNAR AND JULIET 2: CONCUBINE BOOGALOO (2012, Liquid Silver Books), the sequel to her 2011 comedic sci-fi romance (see my post about the first book here.)

The cover for RAGNAR AND JULIET is one of my favorites and it was a treat to see the theme continued for book two:


Cue the LOL!  Not only that, but CONCUBINE BOOGALOO features the same couple, a rarity in SFR. So if you like that kind of continuity in your science fiction romance, along with tails, epic wacky in-law drama, and manageable hair, then this is the two-book special for you.

Here’s the story blurb:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

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Read Diane Dooley’s BLUE NEBULA If You Like…




* a sci-fi romance that follows the same couple from the previous tale (BLUE GALAXY—a rare phenomenon in this subgenre)

* a romance that explores issues of trust

* anti-heroines who face daunting missions…

Saturday, September 22, 2012

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Winner of Imogene Nix's STAR OF THE FLEET

I'm back to announce the winner of Imogene Nix's STAR OF THE FLEET. And the winner is...

Eleni Konstantine!

Congratulations! Ms. Konstantine, please write me at sfrgalaxy "at" gmail.com to claim your prize. Subject line: Star

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. Stay tuned--more giveaways coming soon!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Calling All SF Books That Pack An Emotional Punch



In a recent post, fantasy author L.B. Gale laments the lack of emotional resonance in some of the SF books she’s read (via SF Signal):


Does the genre actively bar itself from such emotional resonance?  Am I missing something?  Is it the fault of the writers, or an aesthetic choice?


My reaction to her post was that science fiction romance very much embraces emotional resonance, but based on her comment “I can’t think of a single honest and true science fiction text that works like that for me” I’m thinking she’s more interested in discovering a hard SF novel or a novel of big ideas that delivers an emotional punch

romance optional.


I guess it all depends on one’s definition of an “honest and true science fiction text,” but does anyone have any suggestions for Ms. Gale? 

KS Augustin’s IN ENEMY HANDS, Tanith Lee's SILVER METAL LOVER, Catherine Asaro's ALPHA, and Alistair Reynolds’ CENTURY RAIN come immediately to my mind. Frederik Pohl's GATEWAY is a personal favorite, but I'm not sure if would fit the bill given the lack of hard SF elements. But oh boy did that story ever sock it to me.

If you have any suggestions (any type of SF story with or without romance) let me know and I’ll drop off the list at her post.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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Sci-Fi Romance Upcoming Events



* File this news under “Most Excellent.” Author Joely Sue Burkhart (LADY DOCTOR WYRE) is reviving Coyote Con, the virtual SF/F/Horror/Romance conference! It will run October 26-28. (Thanks to author K. for the heads up). 


Here’s the lowdown:


Coyote Con celebrates the trickster.  Breaking rules.  Stealing fire.  Telling jokes.  Whether cunning or mischievous, villain or hero, the trickster is an important part of mythology and the Hero’s Journey.

Coyote Con is an online convention for writers and readers of all flavors of SFF, horror, and romance.  Yes, those do go together!  If you love stories blending mythology, fairy tales, spine-tingling horror, futuristic worlds, epic fantasy, and romance from sweet to spicy, we welcome you.  Stop by the forums and get to know us, and return in October for panels in our chatrooms on topics ranging from monsters to aliens, love to serial killers, and anything that goes bump in the night.

The inaugural Coyote Con was hosted in 2010 by Drollerie Press, a micro publisher specializing in the weird and fantastical, which has sadly since closed its doors.  Originally published with Drollerie Press in 2007, author Joely Sue Burkhart is now the proud host of Coyote Con.  If you’re an author interested in participating in a panel or writing a guest blog for the website, please contact her at joelysueburkhart AT gmail DOT com.


I will be participating in a couple of SFR-related panels (with prizes!) and I’d love to see you there!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

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Interview & Giveaway With Imogene Nix, Author of STAR OF THE FLEET



One aspect about science fiction romance that I enjoy is that the subgenre takes me to so many different worlds. Reading each story is like a virtual vacation, albeit one filled with danger, aliens, space battles, and the unknown!

Each author delivers her or his own unique SFR vacation package. Imogene Nix is one of them. She's been busy penning a sci-fi romance space opera saga called Warriorsof the Elector. I invited the author to come aboard and help me plan a trip to her world, especially since one of the short stories in the series, STAR OF THE FLEET, recently came out. Following the interview are the details for the giveaway.

Now where did I put that suitcase?! While I go searching, enjoy my interview with Imogene Nix:

The Galaxy Express: I just won an all-expenses paid vacation to your Warriors of the Elector universe. What types of clothes, gadgets, and weapons should I pack?

Imogene Nix: Congratulations!  You’re going to love your holiday, I’m sure!

Hmm…tricky question that. I mean, it’s always hard to know what to allow for. We do have a laundry facility on the Elector so you can do laundry (or there is always the auto option on most space stations), so I guess you can pack light – just not too light, if you know what I mean?

Don’t forget your ray gun and anti-matter blaster (oops sorry, wrong ship and universe I think!)

Then there are the planets that are clothing optional, if that’s your thing.

TGE: Tell me about the general history of this universe.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

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“Self-publishing and the SFR Writer”: Guest Post by KS Augustin



[Heather’s note: Self-publishing is a way to deliver a niche subgenre like science fiction romance directly to readers. That can be an advantage when traditional print publishing is a barely there option. The process affords authors control over all the aspects of publishing—but it’s certainly easier said than done.

KS Augustin is a multi-published ebook author in the SF/F genres who can attest to the challenges of self-publishing. Her journey is interesting because she published IN ENEMY HANDS with digital-first publisher Carina Press, but she released the sequel, BALANCE OF TERROR, through her own start up, Sandal Press.

I invited Ms. Augustin to come aboard and share her experiences in self-publishing. She responded with an eye-opening article that’s simultaneously cautionary and hopeful.]


Self-publishing and the SFR Writer

So you've seen all those best-selling indie authors selling books faster than a browser window refreshes, and you're thinking to yourself: wow, that sounds like a good gig! How do I get some of that gold rush of higher royalties? Here's one story.

I began Sandal Press more than a year ago, in August 2011. Why did I begin to self-publish? Like most authors, it was for a number of reasons:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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DC Delivers An Epic Fail: The Wonder Woman & Superman Romance



Bev’s Books recently featured a post about the new Superman/Wonder Woman coupling. In case you hadn’t heard, DC Comics decided to create a Superman and Wonder Woman romance, in effect creating a “…new status-quo.” This latest story development was revealed in Justice League: The New 52 (#12).

Methinks “marketing stunt” would be more appropo.


Bev identifies the connection to the romance genre when she asked, “Which brings us to the Superman/Wonder Woman cover. What story is it telling us?”

Question of the century. Go read Bev’s post—lots of food for thought.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

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An Interview With Nico Rosso, Author of NIGHT OF FIRE




I have a sizeable number of Westerns in my DVD & Blu-ray collection. Once I finish a film I delve right into the extras. Because I’m a fiend for behind-the-scenes action, that's why! So when I learned about Nico Rosso’s Western steampunk romance NIGHT OF FIRE, it goes without saying that after reading it I wanted to learn more about what went into the creation of the story.

I invited the author to come aboard and chat about his high-octane action-adventure romance. Giddyap!

Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Heather!

The Galaxy Express: Please tag NIGHT OF FIRE in six words.

Nico Rosso: Steampunk Western action adventure romance (sex).

TGE: In NIGHT OF FIRE, hero Tom Knox rides a mechanized horse. What should horse lovers know about the care and nurturing of such creatures?

NR: Like a real horse, Tom’s Sky Charger needs to be watered regularly. The water interacts with a catalyst to create the ether that makes the craft buoyant in the air. Instead of food, though, the Charger needs tetrol fuel to power the engine and drive the propeller fan. But there’s no way to give the Charger a treat. Tom even remarks that he wishes he could give his trusty ride an apple.

TGE: One reason I love steampunk romance is that it allows for a unique flexibility regarding heroines and their occupations (compared to traditional historical romances). In NIGHT OF FIRE, you subvert the Old West sheriff archetype by placing the heroine—Rosa Campos—in that role. What influenced that decision?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

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When Language Barriers Attack!



Courtesy of a fellow blogger’s heads up, I’ve been reading DISCOVERY – A FAR OUT ROMANCE (2003; Kindle edition, 2009) by T.M. Roy. The story features an interspecies romance and takes place on contemporary Earth. The neat-o title kept calling to me so I kept nudging the ebook up my TBR pile. Then one night I was completely in the mood to give it a try.

Here’s the blurb:


Naturalist Dr. Kent Xavier flees to his beloved Oregon wilderness to escape a horrendous breakup with his two (and three...) timing fiancee. The last thing he wants to see right now is anyone of the female persuasion, but the midnight rescue of a damsel in distress shoots down that game plan.

Lured by the beauty of planet Earth, Povre disobeys strict orders to remain in camp in favor of a moonlight walk. A bad step on a slope of loose rocks lands her in the very predicament she's supposed to avoid: contact with the dominant native lifeforms.

Forced together by mutual need, Kent and Povre soon find themselves on the run from alien-hunting government agents. Along the way these two scientists from very different worlds discover the most important element of all - love.


What follows are a few thoughts I had about one element in particular. It occurs early enough in the story that I’d considerate it only a very mild spoiler.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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Exclusive Steampunk Romance Cover Reveal: IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS



[In the interest of full disclosure, I, Heather Massey, run this blog and I’m also the author of IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS]


I’ve blogged many times about science fiction romance covers from a variety of angles. As a community, we’ve explored not only the obstacles facing SFR covers, but also the potential for creating quality ones that represent this subgenre effectively.

So when I had a chance to put my money where my mouth is, I decided that now was the time to act.

I contracted IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS, a Western steampunk romance, with Lyrical Press in March 2012. Once I learned that there’d be lots of lead time prior to the release date, I began thinking about how to offer readers an entertaining and visually stimulating cover that places them right in the middle of the action.

My story has strong action-adventure elements and ideally the cover would reflect that (and serve double duty as a tag for readers). Plus, I was smitten with the cover of Angelia Sparrow’s SKY RAT. I knew that style would be a great fit for Iron Guns.

Therefore, I came up with a plan and pitched the idea to my publisher.

Monday, September 3, 2012

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SFR News & Links For September 2012



Here's to finding a science fiction romance that's right for you!

New releases

ENDGAME (space opera) – Ann Aguirre


Sirantha Jax has the J-gene, which permits her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. She loves nothing more than that rush, but the star roads have to wait…
Her final mission takes her to La’heng, a planet subjugated during first contact. Since then, the La’hengrin homeworld has been occupied by foreign conquerors.

All that’s about to change.

Now, as part of a grass-roots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. Political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her; this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and everyone might not make it out alive…