Thursday, May 31, 2012

SFR News & Links For June 2012

Thanks for coming aboard The Galaxy Express! Check out what's happening in science fiction romance this month:

New releases

UNDERCOVER ALLIANCE (erotic) - Lilly Cain

Book Three of The Confederacy Treaty Series

Sarina is scarred. Her L'inar, the curving nerve lines that enable Inarrii to experience their full sexuality, were severed in battle and she can no longer reach completion. Until she accepts a job as bodyguard to the human ambassador John Bennings, and is astonished to discover that they share a mental bond—a mirrored pathway of thoughts that will allow Sarina to climax.

When John's the target of an attack and they are forced into hiding, he's not sorry to be in close quarters with the compelling Sarina. They explore their erotic connection, and John is happy to demonstrate that humans have more sexual skills than Sarina thought.

To prove that she is whole and rejoin her Inarrii clan, Sarina needs John to bring her to climax in public in accordance with tradition. With a roomful of Inarrii and humans watching, will John be willing to perform as Sarina needs—and will their public display make John vulnerable to another attack?

COURTESAN BOOTCAMP (erotic SFR from Decadent’s Elatia series) - D.L. Jackson 

And courtesan boot camp starts now.

When Shay lands on Elatia, she knows she has one shot to be chosen as courtesan for a king and queen. Mess up, and everything she was born to be, all she’s trained her entire life to become, will be lost. The alternative is unthinkable. 

What a pampered priss.
Dayne’s first impression isn’t a good one, but he’s determined to turn the spoiled beauty into the next royal courtesan at any cost. As a Dominus, a master of all things sexual, he agrees to help a friend, his sovereign, and promises to do nothing to compromise her future.

That promise will soon cause him to question his loyalty, friendship and honor. All he knows is on the line when he falls in love with a woman who can never be his.

REBEL SOULS (erotic military SF) - D.L. Jackson

Good morning, Duchess.”

Born in the fires of revolution and baptized in the blood of those who fought for a better life, Captain Ava Frost smuggles illegal materials to a war machine that will someday free her people from an oppressive Nexian government. 

A child of two worlds, Ava is bound to her heritage. While living with her family on New Xiera, she meets Brodie Mark, a boy that will someday become the leader of the revolution, and a man who will challenge her love and loyalties in every way imaginable.

When Brodie leads an attack in the Blue District, a refugee neighborhood, slaughtering the Nexian hierarchy, his act kicks off a torrent of bloody retribution. It costs him the lives of the only family he’s ever known and love of the woman he calls Duchess. Unable to cope with the loss, Brodie disappears into the underground determined to make things right.

Ten years later, believing Brodie is dead, Ava moves on with her life. She meets the last man she should fall in love with, Commander Seth Reynolds. The Regulator is searching for a dangerous shipment of fissile materials, the very same shipment Ava brought to New Xiera on her ship. When he begins to stalk Ava around the planet, she turns the tables on him and soon discovers she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

For the extended version of the blurb, click here.

ASHER’S INVENTION (steampunk) – Coleen Kwan

Five years ago, Asher Quigley broke his engagement to Minerva Lambkin, believing she was an accomplice in a scheme to steal his prototype for a wondrous device. Minerva swore she was innocent, though the thief--and Asher's mentor--was her own father.

Now, sheer desperation has driven Minerva to Asher's door. Her father has been kidnapped by investors furious that he's never been able to make the machine work. Only Asher, now a rich and famous inventor in his own right, can replicate the device. He's also become a hard, distant stranger far different from the young idealist she once loved.

Despite their troubled past, Asher agrees to help Minerva. He still harbors his suspicions about her, but their reunion stirs emotions and desires they both thought were buried forever. Can they rebuild their fragile relationship in time to save her father and their future together?

STARFIRE (A Warriors of the Elector story) (space opera) - Imogene Nix 

Jemma Cardnew is hardnosed and bitter. Even worse, she is brittle. No way does she want anything to do with the Elector and it’s crew…including the gorgeous Raven, who intrigues her. 

Raven Fraser, engineer also has his problems. First, the Matrix is damaged leaving the Elector dangerously unprotected. The woman of his dreams is avoiding him and any possibility of a future together. Topping it all off Crick Sur Banden continues to be a thorn in the side of the Empire. 

Jemma has orders to protect the Elector and those it carries, Raven has his as well, get the systems back online. Can passion and possibly forever bloom on the eve of the greatest war that humanity will ever face against a foe with no fear?

KILTS & KRAKEN (The Gaslight Chronicles; steampunk) – Cindy Spencer Pape

Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he's swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.

Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.

As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises--from within the village itself...

Read the excerpt.

Cover reveal

The cover for my erotic clockpunk romance THE BLACKSMITH’S LOVER (July 2012, Red Sage) is now official!

Click here for a free, downloadable excerpt of this novella (multiple formats available).

Mark your calendars

June 22 is the SFR Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop! This stellar event is being organized by author Pippa Jay (KEIR). Readers will be treated to posts and awesome giveaways from 35 different authors! I’ll post the complete list of participating blogs here and you can also visit SFR Brigade for more information as the date approaches.

“They Were Looking For Chicks…To Go All The Way!”

In Why are all the women on other planets gone? Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance, Charlee reflects on a trend she’s been seeing in science fiction romance, namely the “Mars Needs Women” trope:

Judging by the prevalence of alien cultures that are short on females in Science Fiction romance, I’d say this is a pretty popular trope for the genre. It is often the motivation provided for alien abduction scenarios—another popular SFR trope—but you’ll find it all over the place.

Recently, I was reading the New World series by C.L. Scholey when I tripped upon this trope and stopped to ponder it.  Possibly because the premise (enemies poisoned all the women on an alien world) is so popular.  Scholey takes her world-building far beyond that simple premise, but this is the part that got me pondering. Why do readers (myself included) go for this particular scenario?

A.K.A. The Stock Footage Yawn Fest
Good question, especially in light of the trope’s misogynistic roots. I wonder if readers are truly going for it or if the concept is just that strong of a holdover from SF’s early days. See also the comment (#1) left by author Maria Zannini, which sheds some light on the trope via historical events.

Then again, the trope also smacks of forced seduction. Alien abduction (by a male, of course) and the subsequent seduction of a heroine would be one way to deliver that (“The alien made me have an orgasm!”). Guilt-free sex, sci-fi romance style. So in that sense, I can see why this trope is still appearing.

But given how sophisticated and diverse science fiction has become these days, can readers really suspend their disbelief anymore for such an old skool trope? Culturally, the whole "Mars needs women" thing is a complete joke. As Charlee pointed out, “The more you try to explain the trope itself, the more attention you bring to it, the thinner it seems.”

Is the forced seduction trope really worth so much to readers that plausibility doesn’t matter?

Blue skin isn’t just a science fiction thing

At Spacefreighters Lounge, Pippa Jay wants to know “Would you change the color of your skin?”

During a discussion with another author on skin colour, she happened to mention the blue people of Kentucky to me. I'd never heard of them before, so I rushed to Wikipedia to look them up. And there they were! Seriously, this isn't a joke.

They suffer from a rare genetically inherited condition called Methemoglobinemia characterized by a higher percentage of methemoglobin in the blood - an oxidised form of hemoglobin - causing tissue hypoxia. Basically, less oxygen gets to the tissues so they turn blue, just as you would if you were suffocating. Certain drugs can also cause 'acquired methemoglobinemia', and the classic 'blue-baby' syndrome is caused by nitrates ingested in tap water.

The dating game
The Mary Sue posted a tongue-in-cheek article about “…snagging a soul mate in this new-fangled digital age.” Learn how in Taking “The Rules” To The Next Level: Be Impossible.

Now I turn the mike over to you. Got any sci-fi romance news or links to share?

Joyfully yours,