Friday, January 31, 2014

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The 2nd Annual SFR Galaxy Awards

Hear ye, hear ye! It's January 31, and that means it's time for the 2nd Annual SFR Galaxy Awards!

This award celebrates science fiction romance in a broad, inclusive way. To refresh your memory, here's the basic philosophy behind this event:
What is the “SFR Galaxy Awards”?

The SFR Galaxy Awards is an annual, multi-award event for science fiction romance books. Launched in 2012 by bloggers Laurie A. Green of Spacefreighters Lounge and Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express, the goal of this event is to honor a variety of standout stories.

How is this award event different?
 
The theme of the SFR Galaxy Awards is inclusiveness. Instead of giving an award to a single book, this event will recognize the worth of multiple books and/or the standout elements they contain. The basic philosophy behind this approach is to help connect readers with books.
For more information, visit the "About" page.

The award posts will go live throughout the day. Here are the links (all will be active by 6 pm EST):

Round One - Anna McLain
Round Two - Heather Massey
Round Three - Marlene Harris
Round Four - Laurie A. Green
Round Five - Donna S. Frelick
Round Six - Charlee Allden

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Thursday, January 30, 2014

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Guest Blogging In Honor Of Rocco's 3rd Blogaversary, Plus Giveaway

It's Rocco the Cat's 3rd Blogoversary, yay! Rocco is the fine feline owned by author Toni LoTempio (MY SUPERHERO SISTER). I'm at his blog with a sci-fi romance giveaway. Be the first to solve the puzzle and you'll win a print copy of Sharon Lynn Fisher's GHOST PLANET! Second prize is a choice of two titles from my back list. See you there!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Hawaii Con Tickets Now On Sale


STRANGE FRAME director GB Hajim is the founder of HawaiiCon, and tickets to this SF/F convention are now on sale. He sent me the press release so I'm passing it on to you! (I also plan to blog about my STRANGE FRAME viewing experience soon, so stay tuned.)


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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Interview With ANGELI Author Jody Wallace



There are a variety of ways authors can come at sci-fi romance. I'm always interested in discovering the ways they choose. On its surface, Jody Wallace's ANGELI—out now from Entangled Publishing!—approaches SFR by way of a paranormal romance veneer. But the story handles the "paranormal" elements in a very sly manner. In fact, after you read the story even the blurb takes on a new meaning. Speaking of blurb:

He’s no angel…

Gregori’s last mission is to protect Earth from the demons threatening to take control. He doesn’t care if he survives as long as he averts the impending apocalypse—until he meets Adelita, a human refugee, whose spirit and determination give him a renewed reason to fight. And live. He’s falling for her, despite the fact he’s told her nothing but lies and there can’t possibly be a future for them.

Adelita can hardly believe the archangel Gregori, sent to defend mankind, has lost his faith and his edge. After he rescues her from a demon attack, she vows to help him recover both by any means necessary. But can she keep her own faith when she learns the truth about who and what Gregori really is?

And is that an Alex Ross inspired cover, or what?! The style is a neat twist.

ANGELI is the first in the author's new Maelstrom Chronicles. It's a post-apocalyptic, alien invasion science fiction romance with a light comedic touch. It'd make a great cross-over story for paranormal romance readers who want to give SFR a try for the first time. 

ANGELI is a fun story (I read an advanced copy, and as you'll note on the cover, that's my blurb!), and I particularly enjoyed the social commentary zingers sprinkled throughout. Nobody does 'em like Jody Wallace, so I invited the author aboard for a chat about her new series!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

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Call For Submissions: SilkWords, A "Choose Your Adventure" Type Romance Site



Through the ever-so-helpful grapevine, I learned about SilkWords, a forthcoming romance site whose purpose will be to sell, via subscription, “choose your own adventure” type romance stories:

Your romantic adventure awaits you. This site will be filled with high quality stories with choices for you to make and exciting endings to experience. Who will you meet? What will you do together? The possibilities are limitless.

Sounds pretty neat! The CYOA approach sounds like a combination of video games and intimate adventures*!

Readers can sign up to read romances in a variety of subgenres, but given the newness of this venture I sense a great opportunity for authors of science fiction romance. One reason is that SFR frequently involves action-adventure elements. Action-adventure lends itself very well to the CYOA format. Plus, Silk Words would be another way and medium to showcase sci-fi romance.

I reached out to Silk Words staff, which includes editor Sharon Lynn Fisher, for more information about the kinds of stories they're seeking. Here are the submission guidelines:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Blogging At Heroes & Heartbreakers About Alien Heroines

My latest Heroes and Heartbreakers post is about alien heroines in science fiction romance. More specifically, why don't we see more of them?
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Temporary Blog Schedule Change

For about the next 2-3 months, The Galaxy Express will run on a semi-regular schedule. A temporary, but time-consuming situation in my personal life means blogging will have to be light.

Starting the week of February 1, posts will drop down to about one per week. I still plan on writing my monthly steampunk romance column for Coffee Time Romance and will continue to work behind the scenes of the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly (the next issue will release February 28, 2014). 

I'll still have access to my email and being online, but those activities will be mostly limited to the evenings. So if I take longer than usual to respond, it's only because of my new schedule. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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Can SF/Sci-Fi Romance Stories Be Described Without Sacrificing Uniqueness?



Science fiction author Kameron Hurley (GOD'S WAR) wrote a post called Making Excuses for Science Fiction (I learned about it via a heads up from Pauline Baird Jones). Ms. Hurley discusses the "awkward" nature of disclosing her calling to "…readers who don't read science fiction and fantasy…":
But as a kid, I let it slide. I didn’t want the attention anyway. I felt incredibly embarrassed that I was writing about fake rebellions in made-up countries while my friends were studying to be architects. They were going to build real, adult things. I was going to write about trolls’ hair and dragons’ gold.

When I published my first novel 20 years later, I found myself faced with the same challenge: how do I talk about this book to people whose entire conception of science fiction and fantasy are built around Star Wars and The Hobbit? How do I convince folks that stories about the dissolution of a marriage in Montreal in 2155 are just as serious an endeavor as writing about the dis­solution of a marriage in Montreal 1955? 
When engaged in such conversations, Ms. Hurley describes how she'd frame her books in distancing ways:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

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SFR Spotlight & Giveaway: Eva Lefoy's THE TROUBLE WITH MEMORIES



A few months ago, I'd read Eva Lefoy's stories in TENTACLES: AN ANTHOLOGY. This collection features four tentacle-themed science fiction and fantasy shorts (light horror elements, non-romance). The author penned "Solar Pioneer" and "Zaural." I enjoyed them both, and was subsequently jazzed to learn she has a new science fiction romance out called THE TROUBLE WITH MEMORIES (Decadent Publishing). It's the first in her Martian Mating series.
 
You can enter for a chance to win a PDF copy of this novella-length story! Details follow the cover, blurb, and my non-spoiler tags.

Helium toads!

Lieutenant Lucy Borasco has her phase pistol ready and her ex-boyfriend in her sights. She has every intention of making him pay for choosing his career over her. But she hadn’t factored in a Martian sneak invasion, Cal’s incessant need to save the universe, or the risk of permanent damage to her complexion. Getting Cal back will cost her more than she thinks, leaving her changed forever.

Captain California Sykes’ memories are gone, his career is in ruins, and his ex-girlfriend nearly kills him with a kiss. Can he overcome the Martian invasion, save the rest of the team and win Lucy back again in the process? Or will his seat-of-the-pants plans and the canned fish rations cost him everything he holds dear, including his sanity?

Enjoy a few non-spoiler tags:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

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TALES FROM THE SFR BRIGADE Print Edition Giveaway

The team behind TALES FROM THE SFR BRIGADE is running a giveaway now until February 14, 2014. Up for grabs is a rare print edition of this unique, labor-of-love science fiction romance anthology!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tales From The SFR Brigade by J.C. Cassels

Tales From The SFR Brigade

by J.C. Cassels

Giveaway ends February 14, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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SF Signal Mind Meld, Steampunk, & Space Vampires

You'll find me at two sites today blogging about science fiction romance:

At SF Signal, I participated in this week's Mind Meld: Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2014.

My latest Coffee Time Romance steampunk column is about steampunk romances that blend technology and magic. The topic always gets my mind spinning with questions:
How does one approach such hybrid steampunk stories? Is it possible to be in the mood for both types of settings at once? If so, how does a reader reconcile a world in which power is generated simultaneously by both magic and machines?
PJ Schnyder is guest blogging at John Scalzi's Whatever as part of his ongoing "The Big Idea" feature. Here's a peek at how she's helping to spread the gospel of sci-fi romance:
My stories focus on the development of the relationship between my characters. The romance drives the plot and the decisions my hero and heroine make every step of the way. Kaitlyn and Rygard grow individually and together based on the decisions they make in Fighting Kat.

Plenty of science fiction books contain romantic elements, but there the romance is woven in to spice up the story and not intended to function as the central plot line. You could remove the romantic elements and the plot would still stand on its own.
In my books, the romance is the plot line. If you took it out, it would just be a random series of events and with no driving force behind the actions the characters carry out.
To top it off, Yolanda Sfetsos is blogging about Vampires in Space at Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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Guest Post By FIGHTING KAT Author PJ Schnyder




Y'all know how much I love Boggle, a character from PJ Schnyder's HUNTING KAT (Carina Press). It's love, I tell you. Can't get enough of the guy. Well, I learned he's going to make an appearance in the author's latest Triton Experiment novel, FIGHTING KAT!


However, I will restrain myself from squeeing anew about Boggle so I can present a guest post by PJ Schnyder as part of her "Fighting Kat Page Turning Tour." After all, her new book also includes fun stuff like a shape-shifting heroine, a soldier hero, action-adventure, a rescue mission, and, of course, an appearance by the one and only Boggle! Woo-hoo! (Look, I tried really hard, okay?!)

Here's the cover and blurb for FIGHTING KAT:


Book two of The Triton Experiment

Intergalactic mercenary Kat Darah has been ordered to keep her shape-shifting ability a secret from everyone but those closest to her, for her own safety. She’s learned how to control the feral rage…for the most part. But when Lieutenant Rygard’s military unit goes missing, she’ll use every skill she has to find her man.

Lt. Christopher Rygard has witnessed his girl shift, and he still wants her. After Kat rescues him from alien clutches, he’d like nothing more than to wrap her in his arms again, but his first duty is to his men. And half of them have been shipped off-planet to be sold as slaves.

Kat and Rygard will need to form a new team to go deep undercover, posing as gladiators and learning to fight together in order to survive. In the arena, it’s all about who is the strongest predator…

See how it all began in Hunting Kat.

***

Click here to read an excerpt of FIGHTING KAT and for details about the author's swag giveaway!

And now, a guest post from PJ Schnyder!

Worlds within Worlds and Fighting Kat

A part of the adventure in writing science fiction romance is building a universe with countless worlds. And within those worlds are characters.

People just like me.  People who use public transit because it makes sense, even if their public transit is a space ship. Who randomly stroll through the park after work because it was a long week, even if that park is contained within a dome of a lunar space station. Who can't wait to have a drink with some friends at Syn's bar on Dysnomia Station. People, being people, regardless of what solar system they live in or what planet their species came from.

And yet, they're different too. Their origins and beliefs, the environments that shaped who they are, the cultures in which they were nurtured.

Kaitlyn was raised in a very human environment, one we're familiar with in many ways. She lived with her parents, attended school, had plans for university. The incident on Triton Moon Base changed her life forever.

Rygard's past is not quite so clear...yet.

But I learned a lot about each of them when I sent them into the arenas and forced them to fight. And they learned about each other. The arenas became a crucible and they were not the same when they emerged.

Play find the PJ around the Internetz:

Twitter: @pjschnyder

Thursday, January 9, 2014

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Long Lost SFR Film: THE ANDROID AFFAIR



I got a hot tip from Galaxy Express passenger P. about a sci-fi romance film called THE ANDROID AFFAIR. Sure, it came out way back in 1995, but why let that stop us from checking out another SFR celluloid adventure?!



Here's a description courtesy of an Amazon listing:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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Blogging At Heroes & Heartbreakers About Sci-Fi Romance Covers

Science fiction romance book covers don't usually factor into my reading choices--with me it's all about genre first--but they're still an important factor for many readers. In light of that, I do worry sometimes that they might pass over stories in cases where the covers might not stand out. Or worse, stand out in a way that's confusing, wince-inducing, or just plain meh.

With this issue in mind, I blogged about More Than Meets The Eye: Book Covers in Sci-Fi Romance at Heroes & Heartbreakers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so your mile may vary regarding the covers featured in my post. No one expects perfect covers all of the time, but I still lament that SFR stories don't always get the covers which accurately represent the entertainment value behind them.

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Sunday, January 5, 2014

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Reesa Herberth's IN DISCRETION Blog Tour: Contest, Tags, and More!



Author Reesa Herberth wrote a new sci-fi romance called IN DISCRETION (Riptide Publishing), and I'm here to present you with the cover, blurb, blog tour contest details, informative links, and non-spoiler tags!

Thanson Nez thought his career as a Discretionary would take him to the stars, not strand him on a space station at the ass-end of the Empire. Thanks to his last client, he’s carrying a secret he can’t get rid of fast enough, but his oath to the guild means a swift, painful death if he shares it. Already desperate for help, he runs into yet more trouble: his ex, and an explosion that paralyzes the station moments after their uncomfortable reunion.

Kazra Ferdow, Station 43’s communications officer, is almost as blindsided by the return of his first love as he is by the sudden loss of power and life support. The station is a floating graveyard in the making, and something is turning its inhabitants into savage killers. Fighting human monsters and damaged tech, Kazra and Thanson must put aside their past long enough to  try to save everyone.

The more light they shine into dark corners, the more Thanson realizes how many people might die for the secrets locked in his head—and what he’s willing to sacrifice to make sure Kazra isn’t one of them. 
Click here to read an excerpt.

I had the pleasure of reading IN DISCRETION and would like to highlight a few elements. To discover if IN DISCRETION is up your alley, here are my tags:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

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Cover & Blurb For Ariel MacArran's STARDANCER

I heard from a Galaxy Express passenger that Ariel MacArran's STARDANCER, a space opera sci-fi romance, features the captivity and master/slave trope, but without the hyper-sexualized BDSM elements (or at least a much toned down version). I've not read it, but thought I'd bring the title to your attention. Here's the cover and blurb:


Kinara crosses into Az-kye space seeking revenge but her act of vengeance goes horribly wrong when her ship is captured. Defeated and enslaved Kinara offers herself to Aidar, the Az-kye commander, in exchange for her crew's protection. But this warrior wants much more than just her submission, he wants her to give herself completely . . .
 ***
If you've read STARDANCER, what spoiler-free tags can you supply?

Joyfully yours,

Heather

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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2014 Science Fiction Romance New Release Roundup



Welcome to 2014! May the coming year deliver a delightful mix of science fiction romance adventures to you.

I’ve compiled a list of science fiction romance books that will release in 2014. This list is a work in progress; I’ll update it throughout the year as more titles become available.

I divided the titles by month of release and listed them alphabetically by author. For future reference, go to the TGE sidebar under “SFR New Releases” and click “2014 Releases” to reach this year’s list.

If you know about titles that belong here, please leave a comment or email me (Heather): sfrgalaxy “at” gmail dot com.

Happy reading!

January