Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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SFR News & Links For June 2013

This month, the sci-fi romance releases are hitting the ground running with stories ranging from romantic military SF to scorching erotica and everything in between!

New releases

THE PIRATE'S GRAND PLAN (re-release of A PIRATE'S PASSION; future historical) - K.S. Augustin

A Republic “future historical”

Gilthen Ahn is captain of the Darck Banks cartel, a pirate band working deep in Republic space. He has six ships under his command and, unless he finds money to pay off his substantial debts, he’ll lose everything.

Tera d’Olzon is a privileged member of Republic high society, tryiing to make a difference by thumbing her nose at everything her family stands for. Unfortunately, things haven’t quite turned out the way she anticipated and, while running from Security Forces, she is “rescued” by Gil’s cartel.

The reasonable thing for the cartel to do is to ransom her. But that won’t bring in enough money. So Gil hatches a plan….

Visit Sandal Press for more information.

HIS CLOCKWORK CANARY (steampunk romance; Victorious Glorious Darcys #2) - Beth Ciotta

History is repeating itself.

For ambitious engineer Simon Darcy, winning Queen Victoria’s competition to recover lost inventions of historical significance is a matter of pride—and redemption. After all, it was Simon’s failed monorail project that left his family destitute, and winning the tournament would surely restore the Darcys’ reputation.

Simon sets his sights high, targeting no less than the infamous time-travel device that forever changed the world by transporting scientists, engineers, and artists from the twentieth century. The Mod technology was banned and supposedly destroyed, but Simon is sure he can re-create it.

His daring plan draws the attention of Willie G., the Clockwork Canary, London’s sensationalist reporter. Simon soon discovers that Willie is a male guise for Wilhemina Goodenough, the love of his youth, who left him jilted and bitter. He questions her motives even as he falls prey to her unique charm. As the attraction between the two reignites, Simon realizes that this vixen from his past has secrets that could be the key to his future…as long as he can put their history behind him.

MAVEN (undersea setting) - S. A. Huchton

How far would you go for love?

Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she's about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren't enough, she's about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet. 

Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs... Or he may make everything worse.

Has she finally found a puzzle she can't solve?

Read an excerpt.

HERS TO COMMAND - Patricia A. Knight

For some, existence without their mate might seem like the end of their world--for the members of Verdantia’s Tetriarch, it would be.

Love triangles often create disastrous relationships, but the unlikely members of the Tetriarch face worldwide disaster without the successful bonding of their trio.The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing—a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people who were pre-chosen by the planet Herself and promised by prearranged marriage contract.

Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. His contractual bride, Princess Fleur Constante, is the beautiful future queen. She was but six years old when the contract was signed. Though young and inexperienced, she is willing to risk everything, including her own sanity, to save her planet.

Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary – Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.

The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential.

Only the tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.

CASE OF THE NAGA PEOPLE (Interstellar Intelligence Agency #2; space opera) - A.R. Norris

On a bitter wind and evil whistle, Sesay Venzor disappears in the midst of a shape shifting dinner party game. Serrano Sheriff Dane Roderick is on the case, but unfortunately, Sesay isn't the only one mysteriously disappearing. Five other shape-shifting couples across the civilized galaxy have disappeared in the same manner. After the Naga Planetary Council calls in IIA's Quantum Agency to assist in the case, Dane must face the ex-wife he walked out on seven years ago.

Evil, cold-biting wind. Dark, melodic whistle. A not-so-pure Naga planet shape shifter taken. It appears the soul-eating demon, Siwa, is stalking the Naga people once again.

Sifting through the kidnap victim's life, Quantum Agent Becka Utiv uncovers old secret religions, deity reincarnation myths, and lovers. Her only hope in finding Sesay Venzor alive is to figure out how the Siwa demon myth ties in with it all. All while trying not to let her ex-husband affect her performance and focus.

Read the excerpt.

CONSTELLATION (military SF w/ romantic elements) - A.A. Smith

In the night sky of the Planet Jarufan, there is a constellation known as the Warrior. One star in particular is sacred to the Jarufani people. It is the centerpiece of the most significant prophecy in their religion. Humans know this star as Earth’s Sun.

The United Earth Alliance and the Jarufani Commonwealth remain in a cold war and skirmishes are becoming more and more frequent.

The Planet Placido has become the main hub for criminals and spies going back and forth between UEA and Jarufani territory. It might as well be a prison for the millions of people who’ve been forgotten in the conflict and don’t have the resources to leave. 

Alondra Suarez is one of those forgotten people. The government that abandoned her long ago now needs her more than ever. Neither is ready, but both Suarez and a young pilot with the Earth Forces will have vital roles to play in this ongoing conflict.

HEART'S BOUNTY (erotic; bounty hunter; m/m; space opera) - Angelia Sparrow and Gabriel Belthir

Hunting is a young man’s game and Miho is well suited to it. He is a product of centuries of selective breeding, making him human-plus. He has a reputation for finding his quarry. But he doesn’t expect to find an older man at the Tag Board looking for work of his own.

Hevik was outlawed and banished from his homeworld, and now lives a solitary life hunting small-time criminals among the planets. A pretty boy with hair as dark as deep space makes him reconsider that lifestyle.

As the fates keep throwing them together while they pursue the same bounty, both of them discover depths about themselves, and about their lust and need for each other, that makes chasing their quarry all the more dangerous.

Inside Scoop: This highly charged male/male tale of two bounty hunters scorches across galaxies! There are scenes of m/f, f/f, threesomes and moresomes. There is also a very brief rape scene. Don’t worry, our heroes get their happy ending!

ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER PLANET (erotic; 1Night Stand/Elatia) - Jessica E. Subject

Limited by status…

Ava is a housekeeper aboard Star Spirit, a luxury cruise ship travelling between the Milky Way and the Belvarian System. Coming from a middle-class family on Earth, she is considered by passengers as nothing more than an object to be tossed away when they’re done with her.

Shunned because of his lineage…

Banned from several planets across the universe, Nate struggles to run his interstellar shipping business. But the DNA of an exterminated race runs through his blood, giving him a diluted form of their powers, and leaving him labeled as a terrorist.

Both searching for the one…

Through her 1Night Stand dating service, Madame Evangeline matches these two together for a celestial escape on the pleasure planet, Elatia.

Will Ava and Nate find what they’re looking for, or will their date be just another night on another planet?

NEVER GONNA DESERT YOU - (Sci-Fi/Dystopian; erotica; f/f) - Jessica E. Subject

Determined to find and bring back her girlfriend, Brook enlists in the next mission to the foreign planet, Airondelle. But the deception at Planet Core continues, and Brook doesn’t realize the depth of her father’s involvement until he orders her terminated. Struggling to stay alive, she quickly learns nothing is as she believed.

Will she ever find Melina? Or will Brook be stuck light years from home, alone, and with a fierce predator hunting her down?

RAYVEN'S KEEP - Kylie Wolfe

The last thing he needs is the complication of a spoiled heiress.

All Tru Creighton wants is to be taken seriously by her wealthy and powerful family. When she discovers inconsistencies in one of the family holdings, she decides to prove her worth by investigating. After she's stranded on a foreign planet with no way home and with her life in jeopardy, she puts herself in the questionable care of Nick Rayven.

Nick Rayven knows all about survival. A former soldier and refugee from a world destroyed by war, his focus is solely on carving a new place for himself and his growing business. When he finds himself stuck with Tru Creighton, his life is turned upside down by murder, drugs and an interplanetary conspiracy. To complicate matters more, her presence awakens emotions and feelings he thought long dead.

Nick's strong sense of duty prevents him from acting on the growing attraction between them, but Tru doesn't have the same qualms. She willingly follows where her heart leads-straight to the enigmatic, honorable man who is fighting to keep her safe. Will she be able to convince him they belong together?

Is this a Mundane science fiction romance?

A little birdie alerted me about RED SHOES FOR LAB BLUES by D.B. Sieders. It's an ebook title from Lyrical Press and is tagged as a contemporary romance. But the blurb sounds like something straight out of a contemporary-set SF thriller:

Can love and sex overcome logic and sabotage…

Dr. Stacey Jamison thinks she’s close to validating PharmEx’s new anti-cancer drug. Her budding independent career, her boss’s tenure, and a ton of research dollars are at stake. She just has to prove Compound Z kills cancer cells.

So far, it doesn’t.

Then along comes Dr. Henry Chan, the department’s new rising star. Henry is smart, handsome, and confident. He’s also captivated by the enigmatic Dr. Jamison, who seems oblivious to her own charms. But will Henry risk his heart when the research project is at stake?

A rival drug company, an insider with a personal grudge, and militant animal rights protestors force everyone’s plans into disarray. Can their love overcome everything being thrown at them?

I've got this title on my Kindle and look forward to checking it out.


GHOST PLANET author Sharon Lynn Fisher is a RITA award finalist for Best First Book. She'll be participating in a RITA finalist online chat and is inviting you to attend. Here's the 411 about the event courtesy of her Web site:

This year Romance Writers of America (RWA) is holding online chat sessions with all the groups of RITA finalists. GHOST PLANET's category, Best First Book, is coming up June 13.

In an effort to share the excitement about its award-nominated romance writers with fans across the world, Romance Writers of America® (RWA) has launched an 11-week series of interactive video chat events highlighting the 2013 RITA Award finalist authors. Fans will have the unique opportunity to meet one another and ask their favorite authors questions face-to-face in an intimate online environment. (Read more)

Want to register for the chat? Click here. (Limited to 1,000 participants, so don't delay!) One participant will win a set of the finalist books. Full list of finalists here

Authors blogging

Sharon Lynn Fisher (who writes "romance for geeks"!) wrote a post thanking the romance readers who took a chance on her debut book, GHOST PLANET:
But never underestimate a romance reader -- we are tenacious, and we have no problem crossing genre lines to find what we like. Some of the most heart-warming feedback I've received has come from romance readers who stumbled upon the book by accident and were pleasantly surprised. I can't tell you how many time's I've read the words, "I don't usually read sci-fi, but ..."
Author Chuck Wendig wrote a thought-provoking post about inclusiveness in stories in The Underserved Population of Readers:
Writers could do more to serve the underserved.

We’re not talking to our entire audience.

Maybe we think we are. But one of the ways, I think, we serve the underserved and speak to the unspoken is to take those conventions and expectations Kameron talks about and purposefully challenge them in the pages of our work. This is true of how we present characters who are women, or who are gay and lesbian and transgender, or African-Americans and Africans and Asian-Americans and Asians and –

– well, basically, everybody who isn’t a fairly comfortable white dude.
Go ahead and get comfortable with a cup of coffee or tea because he links to an equally insightful essay by Kameron Hurley. Seems to me like SFR is in a great position to serve the underserved.

Thanks to Jody Wallace for the link. 

Author interviews

My Bookish Ways interviewed Beth Ciotta, author of HIS CLOCKWORK CANARY. Here's a snippet:

You wear many hats in your writing: paranormal, romance, and now steampunk! What do you enjoy most about writing steampunk, and what kind of research do you do for the Glorious Victorious Darcys series?

What I enjoy most about writing this steampunk series, which also incorporates paranormal and time-traveling elements, is that it’s a playground where my imagination runs wild. It’s an incredibly freeing experience to write in self-created, fantastical and unique world. Regarding research… Although The Glorious Victorious Darcys is fueled by my vivid imagination, it’s ground in certain realities. A good amount of time is invested in researching subjects (and assorted facts within) such as: Victorian, England, American Wild West, steam-powered engines, flying machines, weaponry (19th and 20th century), social and political aspects pertaining to the 1880s and the 1960s, time travel, countries and specific locations . . . The list goes on.

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

Joyfully yours,