Thursday, January 31, 2013

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The SFR Galaxy Awards Has Launched!


I'm super excited to share that the SFR Galaxy Awards have begun! Visit the official blog to learn about the many science fiction romance books up for awards. If you're learning about the awards for the first time, click here to learn more.

Some of the judges have been blogging about the event as well:

Marlene Harris of Reading Reality

Charlee Allden of Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance (here and here).

Laurie A. Green of Spacefreighters Lounge

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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Promoting Science Fiction Romance By Jessica E. Subject

Hello everyone! When I inquired about visiting The Galaxy Express back in December to talk about my newest release, Made For Her, Heather asked if I could write a post on my promotion efforts. And I agreed. It’s not a well guarded secret. I’m happy to share what I do.

For those who aren’t familiar with my stories, I write science fiction romance and contemporary romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. I have included sexy aliens and clones in my stories which are set all over the universe, some in present time and others in the future. And in each story, my characters face personal challenges as well as the struggle to find love. While my SFR titles are heavy on the romance and light on the science fiction, it still takes a great deal of effort to get my name out there. And promotion is the only way to do it.

Time

Heather asked how much time I put into promotion. To be honest, it varies. Right now, I’d say more of my time is put into promotion than usual. I just had a new release in December, and then two more this month. During release week, I managed very little writing on my wips, but I did write a lot of blog posts. It’s still writing, and still worthwhile as I’m getting my name out there.

What do I do to promo?

There are so many things I do. I’ll include all of the big things.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

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Giveaway! Cathy Pegau’s CAUGHT IN AMBER



Cathy Pegau’s CAUGHT IN AMBER comes out January 28 from Carina Press. The story is unique in that it features a heroine who’s a former drug addict. It’s also a nice change of pace if you want something character-driven and suspenseful. If you missed my chat with Diane Dooley about the book, click here (be warned, there are mild spoilers in the post).

To help celebrate the release, the author came aboard bearing a gift—a digital copy of CAUGHT IN AMBER to be given away!

To enter, leave a comment for this post. The deadline to enter is midnight PST on Thursday, Jan 31. Winner's choice PDF or ePub.

Here's the blurb:
Recently out of rehab, Sasha James is determined to keep her head down, complete her parole and never touch amber again. The chip in her neck controls her cravings for the highly addictive drug, but also tracks her every move. Not that she goes anywhere other than work and the halfway house she calls home--a far cry from her luxurious former life as lover of the mining colony's top drug dealer, Guy Christiansen.

Agent Nathan Sterling has no desire to see Sasha fall back into amber, but his sister has become Guy's latest conquest and the unexpectedly attractive Sasha is the key to getting her back. So in exchange for an introduction, he offers Sasha the one thing she can't refuse--her freedom. From the chip, her parole and even the planet if she wants. Though he would be sorry to see her go...

Torn between her growing attraction to Nathan, fear of Guy and the allure of amber, Sasha accepts. But who will save her if Guy refuses to let her go a second time?

***

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Friday, January 25, 2013

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SFR Authors Blogging



Here's a roundup of sci-fi romance authors blogging this week:

Jessica E. Subject blogs about her latest release, MADE FOR HER at Pippa Jay’s joint.

At the USA Today HEA blog, Sharon Lynn fisher (GHOST PLANET) shares five reasons why she blends science fiction and romance.

Diane Dooley blogs about Science Fiction Stuff I Am So Ready For via CONTACT – Infinite Futures.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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Newsflash! Readers “Caught in Amber”



It’s time again for a Massey/Dooley head-to-head on a book we think is worthy of attention and some critical discussion. Before you read on, be aware that spoilers will abound. You’ve been warned. 


The book: CAUGHT IN AMBER (Carina Press; January 28, 2013) by Cathy Pegau

The setting: Nevarro, a mining colony in Earth’s far future

The players: Colonial Mining Authority Agent Nathan Sterling (a spin off character from the author’s previous sci-fi romance, RULEBREAKER) and Sasha James, a recovering drug addict

The villain: Guy Christiansen, a corporate-style drug dealer and Sasha’s former lover

The premise: Sterling enlists the help of Sasha to help him rescue his young sister from the web of Guy Christiansen, a powerful drug dealer who wants Sasha back

Dooley: So those are the important details. Let’s get to work. Heather - what did you like about Caught in Amber?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE, Sci-Fi Romance Style


I have a mind blowing (well, to me, anyway) science fiction romance connection to present, but it’s one I never anticipated blogging about in a million trillion years. But first I need to provide important background information.


Japanese animation was the center of my life during my teens and twenties. That meant I notched my anime belt with VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE when it ran on television in the 1980s. As a U.S. resident, I only had access to the dubbed, butchered version of the show, but I watched VOLTRON religiously during its run in my corner of the woods. It wasn’t my favorite anime, but at the time I was itching to get my hands on any type of Japanese fare I could find.

Here’s the least you need to know:
Voltron is the eponymous super robot of an anime series that features a team of Earth humans, known as the Voltron Force. The team’s individual vehicles join together to form the giant super robot, with which they defend the galaxy from evil. Initially produced as a joint venture between World Events Productions and Toei Animation, the original TV series aired in syndication from September 10, 1984 to November 18, 1985. The program was titled Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
Better yet, here’s the show’s opening sequence:


Boy, that takes me back! In fact, a couple of weeks ago I found VOLTRON on Netflix and watched the first episode for nostalgia’s sake. Holy guacamole—that show was even more butchered than I remembered! In fact, it was pretty awful. Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Still, VOLTRON is one of those shows that I will always carry with me.

Fast forward to the present: I can’t get the VOLTRON theme out of my head. Wait, that’s not it, sorry…

Monday, January 21, 2013

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Coming Soon: The First Annual “SFR Galaxy Awards”


Icon designed by Kanaxa

A little over a year ago, author Ursula K. LeGuin wrote Literary Bests, a post on the topic of literary awards. One passage in particular caught my eye:

I wish that, instead of picking one and dumping all the rest, we celebrated our writers continually and in droves.

I wish we gave literary prizes freely, the way they used to give prizes at the Pet Show at Codornices Park in Berkeley when I was a kid. Every kid in the neighborhood brought their pet, and every pet got a prize, an ad hoc, unique prize: for Soulfulness — for Loud Meowing — for Unusual Spot Placement — for Being the Only Skink…. There was no Best of Breed (in those days there were many mongrels and few breeds), and certainly no Best of Show.

I‘d have some trust and interest in literary prizes like that. For Soulfulness — for Sitting Up and Begging Nicely — for Passion Well Expressed – for Excellent Use of Semi-Colons — for Being the Only Novel About Elderly Female Entomologists in Love…."


After absorbing her insights, a big light bulb went off in my head. I began to reflect upon a) the role of science fiction romance sites as gateways to books and b) the current lack of a general SFR award (meaning, one that isn’t dependent on RWA membership or similar restriction).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Sci-Fi Romance Re-Watch: ROMIE-O AND JULIE-8

I have incredibly fond memories of RUNAWAY ROBOTS! ROMIE-O AND JULIE-8 (1979), an animated television special from Nelvana Limited. It seemed so fresh, exciting, and different than my usual Saturday morning cartoon fare. Unfortunately, I was only able to see it once—maybe twice.

Image source: Spectacular Optical

Here’s the basic premise courtesy of IMDB:
Two rival robotics companies in the future release their latest creations at a robotics convention, claiming each to be the latest and greatest in technological advances. Mega Stellar Company's release is a robot boy named Romie-O, while Super Solar Cybernetics has released a girl robot named Julie-8. Unforeseen to each of the company's creators, is how each of the advanced robots soon falls in love with the other.
I blogged about ROMIE-O AND JULIE-8 before, but it bears repeating since I saw this purebred science fiction romance show at an early age. I was probably somewhere between ten and twelve.

The other night, while in-between blog tasks, I decided to look the show up on YouTube. I figured someone might have a snippet or a trailer I could watch. However, I found more than a snippet—some generous soul had posted a video of the entire show! (You can read a plot summary at Wikipedia).

I was shocked out of my mind, I tell you. I never thought I’d be able to see ROMIE-O AND JULIE-8 again. And it looks like the video went up not too long after my 2008 post. Go figure! Naturally, I dropped everything and re-watched it immediately. I had to make up for some seriously lost time.

As the story began to unfold, a big question loomed in my mind: would the show hold up to my hopelessly fond memories?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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For Your Reading Pleasure: Sci-Fi Romance Excerpts



My author site recently underwent a renovation. More content is on the way, but right now you can download an excerpt (multiple formats available) for IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS, my forthcoming steampunk romance from Lyrical Press!


To add to the fun, I also rounded up excerpts from a few other forthcoming releases:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

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Blogging at Babbling About Books, and More!

I contributed a post to the Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event at Babbling About Books, and More! My post on STEAMPOWERED: LESBIAN STEAMPUNK STORIES is now up and I invite you to come and join the party!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, January 10, 2013

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Linking The Science Fiction Romance Data



Image source: Fanpop

Kassia Kroszer, a well-known digital publishing consultant, wrote an article at 40kbooks called The Smartest Thing in Publishing Is to be Flexible. The following passage in particular caught my eye:

Linked data, I believe, is the next big thing. I'm sure others have their definitions, but here's mine. The connections in books, between books, between books and other media, between books and the real world. An example of the last two comes from a company called Small Demons (smalldemons.com). They are connecting the people, places, and things in books with the people, places, and things in other books and other media. It's an addictive rabbit hole... once you start exploring, you discover all kinds of new things..."

The idea of “linked data” got me thinking about the issue as it pertains to science fiction romance. I began to wonder if the books in this subgenre were effectively linked. In other words, to what extent are authors and publishers “connecting books with books.”

How might science fiction romance authors and publishers accomplish this goal? How can they make it easy for readers to find more books in this subgenre?

I think we’re heading toward a linked system of sorts, but it seems like our methods could be stronger and more effective. Toward that end, I came up with a few simple, easy-to-implement ideas:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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Can Science Fiction Romance Bring It?



Cover art by Dan Dos Santos
Two indications lately hint that science fiction romance is distinguished from paranormal romance more often than in the past. The first clue I noticed came from a November 2011 AAR blog article by Louise VanderVliet called Developing Paranormal Classifications. The post presents a breakdown of non-historical, non-contemporary romance subgenres.

If we were to take anything that wasn’t Historical or Contemporary Romance, there are a bunch of terms out there that tend to be used interchangeably and not necessarily consistently. Readers and reviewers all around the web have classified everything from witches and vamps to psi and Time Travel series as Paranormal. And I am not saying that any of them are wrong. In a sense, they are all correct. But that classification is becoming too general for everything that is out there and we are hoping that by making more distinct classifications – with examples – we can make it more “user friendly” going forward.

Ms. VanderVliet shares her thoughts about the definition of SFR:

Sci-Fi Romance: Though this and Fantasy are often lumped together, to me they are very different. While they can share elements of dashing sword fights and made up worlds, to me Sci-Fi would happen in a futuristic setting as opposed to the more medieval setting of a Fantasy Romance.

The second clue came from a recent Heroes & Heartbreakers post called Poll: What Are You Looking for in 2013 Romance? I learned about the poll after reading a tweet by CAUGHT IN AMBER author Cathy Pegau.

Note the poll includes paranormal romance, but specifies stories of the supernatural kind. In the past, such a poll might have included paranormal as a catch-all umbrella term (paranormal, fantasy, and scifi). Now that’s what I call progress!

Cathy Pegau noticed the lack of SFR in the poll and via Twitter asked H&H “What, no SFR option? : ( ”

Monday, January 7, 2013

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There's Something About "Amber"

"Amber" must be the new sci-fi romance buzz word for 2013. First up, Cathy Pegau's CAUGHT IN AMBER, which releases January 28 from Carina Press:

Recently out of rehab, Sasha James is determined to keep her head down, complete her parole and never touch amber again. The chip in her neck controls her cravings for the highly addictive drug, but also tracks her every move. Not that she goes anywhere other than work and the halfway house she calls home--a far cry from her luxurious former life as lover of the mining colony's top drug dealer, Guy Christiansen.

Agent Nathan Sterling has no desire to see Sasha fall back into amber, but his sister has become Guy's latest conquest and the unexpectedly attractive Sasha is the key to getting her back. So in exchange for an introduction, he offers Sasha the one thing she can't refuse--her freedom. From the chip, her parole and even the planet if she wants. Though he would be sorry to see her go...
Torn between her growing attraction to Nathan, fear of Guy and the allure of amber, Sasha accepts. But who will save her if Guy refuses to let her go a second time?

Then you can read Sylvia Ryan's BEING AMBER, a forthcoming erotic science fiction romance from Lyrical Press (April 2013):

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Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event at Babbling About Books, and More!

Katiebabs of Babbling About Books, and More! is featuring her second annual Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event!

Here's some information from her announcement post:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

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Blogging About Virgin Heroes At Heroes & Heartbreakers

I'm at Heroes and Heartbreakers blogging about the timeless appeal of virgin heroes in Feels Like the First Time: Virgin Heroes in Sci-Fi Romance.

Here's some more blogging fun:

At Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance, Charlee shares the news (and her shiny new blog look!) about what's in store for her blog readers. It sounds very exciting and I really appreciate everything she does on behalf of science fiction romance.

Also, CONTACT - Infinite Futures has a great new look. Check it out!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Friday, January 4, 2013

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Coffee Times Romance Launches Steampunk Romance Area

Coffee Time Romance has a brand spankin' new Steampunk Romance page--wow!


To celebrate the launch, they're hosting a month-long celebration with posts and giveaways starting 1/7/13. Check out the lineup here.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, January 3, 2013

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My First Sci-Fi Romance Score of 2013



I enjoy browsing used bookstores even though I rarely purchase print books these days. I had a chance to visit Bookbuyers in Mountain View, CA on the day before New Year’s. I’d been to the store years ago but it’s been so long the experience felt new all over again. I must say, they have a terrific selection of books. The SF/F and Romance sections are both extensive so naturally I checked them out.

I pretty much know what I’m going to encounter in the way of SFR titles but it’s fun to see what each store has in stock. I prefer to read ebooks but occasionally I want to relive the experience of buying a used book at a time when SF/F fiction was fairly new to me. When I see huge stacks of those books in a used bookstore I still feel that pull.

I’m happy to report I scored a copy of Catherine Asaro’s THE PHEONIX CODE. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while but finding it has been as difficult as hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I’d been searching for it in various libraries as well as used bookstores on both U.S. coasts to no avail. And while I greatly admire the author’s work, I can’t afford to pay $19.00 for a paperback copy at Amazon. Sure, I could have purchased it used online, but I’d rather experience the thrill of the hunt in a used bookstore. And woot! My instincts paid off.

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Industry News: Prime Books To Launch Digital Imprint Masque Books, Seeks Sci-Fi Romance




Another venue for science fiction romance is coming to the cosmic block in July 2013! Check out the exciting news from Prime Books:

Prime Books will launch a new digital imprint, Masque Books, in July 2013. Masque will publish all types of science fiction and fantasy, including sf/f romance.

Masque plans to launch with twelve titles its first month and publish six new titles a month thereafter. They are actively seeking novellas and novels. Guidelines and a submission portal can be found at masque-books.com.

“Initially,” said publisher Sean Wallace, “all titles will be digital-only, but successful digital-first titles may be turned into trade paperbacks with national distribution.”

Wallace will serve as publisher for the new imprint. Prime Books senior editor, Paula Guran, will also continue in her role with Masque. Natalie Luhrs, former senior science fiction and fantasy reviewer for RT Book Reviews, joins the Masque team as acquisitions editor.

More information can be found at the Masque site: masque-books.com or contact publisher@masque-books.com.

Did you notice how “sf/f romance” was in the first sentence? Woot!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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2013 Science Fiction Romance New Release Roundup



CYBORG SHE

Happy New Year! I’ve compiled a list of science fiction romances that will release in 2013. This list is a work in progress since I’ll be updating it throughout the year.

I divided the titles by month of release and listed them alphabetically by author. For future reference, you can go to my sidebar under “SFR New Releases” and click “2013 Releases” to reach this year’s list.

If you know about titles that belong on this list, please leave a comment or email me at sfrgalaxy “at” gmail.com.

Happy reading!