Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SFR News & Links For October 2014

All I can say about this month's sci-fi romance releases is…wow!

New releases

STARLIGHT COWBOY (Beyond Fairytales) - Stephanie Beck

A Beyond Fairytales Adaptation of The Sun Brings it to Light

From the storybook of the stars.

A groundbreaking mission to the moons of Jupiter should have been Annalina's big ticket for advancement, but instead of captaining her own ship, she's second fiddle to Shields Albright.
Playboy, adventurer, immature.

Shields has been called it all, but really, he just wants to fly and hasn’t spent a lot of time on his social skills. Mutual attraction grows as the walls of the space ship close in, and they come to an arrangement that satisfies them both, while allowing them professional distance. The distance doesn’t last, not as they grow to understand themselves…and each other as someone who just fits.

Not all is as it should be among the stars.

Their ship is attacked, and the moons of Jupiter are not exactly untouched when they finally arrive. The little world they’ve built high above terra firma is about to smack down in the middle of a dangerous, maybe even deadly, reality. If Shields didn't attract trouble like fireflies on a bug zapper, the two might have an actual shot at true love.

Read the excerpt.

BLUE ABYSS (Time Walker Chronicles #3) - Michele Callahan

Half-blood Immortal Prince, Raiden of Itara, has been a battle commander in the war with the Triscani for over a century. But now the Itaran high Queen sends him to Earth with one purpose, to hunt down and catalog all human females with Timewalker D.N.A. for her personal army. To ensure his compliance with her vile scheme, she places an evil Remnant of her own soul in his body. Should he fail his mission, or fail to return to her, the Remnant will consume him, drive him mad, and cost him his life. But someone knows the truth, sabotages the ship, kills Raiden’s entire crew, and forces the damaged space ship to crash land in the blue abyss of the Bermuda Triangle. With no power, no crew, and dying a slow death by poison, Raiden is forced to take a desperate gamble, place himself in stasis and hope someone finds him before it’s too late.

For two years, visions of a dark prince have haunted Marina’s dreams. At times terrifying, at others sensual bliss, the nightmares have become an obsession that the Santa Fe native can’t resist. With no family and nothing left to lose, Mari has dedicated years of her life learning to dive the oceans and explore underwater caves…where the dreams insist she’ll find him. When she locates his stasis pod, she’s not prepared for the monsters who’ve taken him, the inhuman Triscani Hunters, who guard his body like a precious treasure. Death is sure, until an Archiver and a Seer from Itara pull her from the jaws of death and genetically enhance her dormant D.N.A. Mari finds out she’s not quite as human as she’d always believed. She’s a Timewalker. She has to go back and kill the monsters. And she’s in love with an alien prince who’s destined to destroy her.

THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER (Clockwork Duology #1) - Beth Cato

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

INTO DARKNESS (Night Prowler #6) - J.T. Geissinger

In New Vienna, capital of the oppressive global government formed after the Flash, three things are certain: the sun is poisonous, speaking out is dangerous, and being different will get you killed.

And Lumina Bohn is extraordinarily different.

Living in terror of discovery, Lu knows nothing of her past—but she knows she must pretend to be human to survive. When an incident at work triggers her astonishing powers, she becomes the target of an international manhunt. Only one person can save her: Magnus, the enigmatic stranger haunting her dreams.

Magnus rescues the outcasts called Aberrants from capture and torture. As Lu begins exploring her powers among her people, her feelings for Magnus intensify. He’s determined to stay emotionally distant, yet their smoldering passion soon becomes impossible to resist.

But when a shocking revelation threatens the lives of every remaining Aberrant, Lu and Magnus must risk everything, confronting their enemies in an explosive final stand to save their kind from the darkest fate of all: extinction.

WHEN STARS COLLIDE (The Darkon Warriors #5) - S.E. Gilchrist

The third full-length novel in SE Gilchrist’s best-selling erotic SF series mixes one sexy spy, a soldier looking for salvation, and an unlikely mission to save the world.

Reece, contortionist bubble dancer and part time spy, has one goal — a safe haven and independent life far from the war. But her plans go awry and her future becomes dangerously uncertain when she is falsely accused of the murders of her friend and a Darkon traitor. Now her new list of goals includes payback.

In her way is Ulrac, a banished Darkon patroller, responsible for incarcerating females for barbaric ‘treatments’ and ‘research’ on the planet Isla. He’s determined to use the capture of the spy and her intel to win the approval of his father – a hard-line Traditionalist with his own agenda – and help him overthrow the current ruler of Darkos.

But the war of the Seven Galaxies has reached a critical stage, and personal plans and goals suddenly hold very little meaning. The enemy is poised to unleash a terrible weapon and no one stands between him and total domination of all the universes.

No one – except Reece and Ulrac.

PROSPERITY (steampunk) - Alexis Hall

A breathtaking tale of passion and adventure in the untamed skies!

Prosperity, 1863: a lawless skytown where varlets, chancers, and ne’er-do-wells risk everything to chase a fortune in the clouds, and where a Gaslight guttersnipe named Piccadilly is about to cheat the wrong man. This mistake will endanger his life . . . and his heart.

Thrill! As our hero battles dreadful kraken above Prosperity. Gasp! As the miracles of clockwork engineering allow a dead man to wreak his vengeance upon the living. Marvel! At the aerial escapades of the aethership, Shadowless.

Beware! The licentious and unchristian example set by the opium-addled navigatress, Miss Grey. Disapprove Strongly! Of the utter moral iniquity of the dastardly crime prince, Milord. Swoon! At the dashing skycaptain, Byron Kae. Swoon Again! At the tormented clergyman, Ruben Crowe.

This volume (available in print, and for the first time on mechanical book-reading devices) contains the complete original text of Piccadilly’s memoirs as first serialised in All the Year Round. Some passages may prove unsettling to unmarried gentlemen of a sensitive disposition.

DESOLATION (Earth Evolution #1) - KD Jones

Maggie James was sixteen years old when the Earth self-destructed. She's spent the years since fighting to protect herself and the band of subway-dwelling misfits who took her in. Every day is a struggle to survive, and she's seen the best and the worst of humanity. Hope seems lost until a tall, gorgeous hunk of a man from another world appears out of nowhere. 

Captain Liam Estros a soldier for the Drastan Nation who has been sent to investigate a mayday call over five years old. Believing the detour a waste of time, he doesn't take the hunt for survivors seriously until he's captured and taken hostage by a small human woman. 

In a world torn asunder by ignorance and violence, some will always revel in the chaos, preying on those just trying to survive. Heroes will rise from the ashes, and hope will come from the stars. Two hearts and two species. They must both overcome terrible odds to find love in desolation. 

Warning: For Mature Adult Audiences. Contains language and actions some may deem offensive. M/F

GHOST PHOENIX (The Phoenix Institute #3; superhero) - Corrina Lawson

The cure they desperately need just rose from the ashes of evil…

Richard Plantagenet, self-exiled prince of an immortal court, is content living the uncomplicated life of a California surfer. Until his brother’s sudden death and his Queen’s wasting illness wrest him from his ocean-side solitude for one last quest.

The Queen needs a cure. To get it, Richard needs assistance from someone with a singular—and slightly illegal—talent.

As the latest of a long line of ghost-walkers, Marian Doyle can, literally, walk through walls—bringing objects with her. Her gift comes in handy for her family’s shady antiquities business, but Marian’s had it with breaking the law. She wants a life of her own choosing.
Instead, she gets Richard.

Their mission seems simple: Find the body of Gregori Rasputin and procure a small sample of his DNA. But when they discover the Mad Monk of Russia is very much alive, the prince and the phantom must form a bond to battle a man who desires to remake the world in fire.


Dorothy’s Red Shoes
There’s no place like home… Dorothy is already feeling homesick for Emerald City, and wonders if taking a job halfway around the world was a mistake. When her love life crumbles–again–will she run for home?

His Replay Girl
If he only had the nerve… Ten years ago, Quinn made the best choice of his life, and the biggest mistake. It’s true, his band, Lionheart, is one of the biggest in the world, but how much does it mean if he can’t tell the woman he loves how he feels?

His Reboot Girl
If only he had a brain… Scott woke up with his head spinning and not much else going on up there. Now he’s a suspect in a terrorist plot, and on the run. One woman insists she's the key to his past and his freedom. Too bad he doesn't remember her. 

His Rewind Girl
If he only had a heart.... Cam is as much machine as man. There are days he loathes the CyGes implants that saved his life but couldn't do the same for his family. They replaced his limbs, but now he needs someone to mend his heart.

REALM OF THE ICE QUEEN (The Airship Adventure Chronicles #4) - Lara Nance

Belle and Rett’s adventures are not over.

While Rett is involved in rebuilding the destruction caused by Dr. Krakov in the capitol city, the queen calls on Belle for a vital mission.

She sails off to Icelandia to negotiate a treaty with the eastern countries, only to find the queen of that frigid land is hiding a secret that threatens to derail the vital progress of peace.

Rett unwittingly uncovers a threat beneath Aereopolis, more dangerous than the attack of the mad scientist. This discovery sets off a chain of events that unleashes a century-old menace.

Once again, Belle and Rett must count on resourcefulness, courage, and old friends to escape peril and save the day.

IN THE VOID ("Firefly" type space opera; Tales from the Edge #2) - Sheryl Nantus

Catherine Rodgers doesn't like Mercy spaceships, or the courtesans who work on them--not after her husband left her for a Mercy woman. But after her luxurious transport ship gets blown up to prevent her from cracking the lid off a corporate scam that's left hundreds dead and a few people very rich, the only vessel around to save her is the Bonnie Belle.

Sean Harrison has worked as one of the Belle's courtesans for years, bringing happiness to countless women along the space lanes. When he's asked to look after Catherine while the Belle brings her to safety, it should be just another job. Somehow it's anything but.

Sean is captivated by Catherine's sense of justice and responsibility. And Catherine finds a softer, more emotionally intelligent man in Sean than she expected. Drawn together in darkness under the threat of death, they find the beginning of something lasting. But with pirates after the Belle and a price on Catherine's head, that beginning might be all they get. 

FUTURE PROSPECT (Love Under a New Star #1) - Lynn Rae
Surly stellar cartographer Colan is less than happy when he’s ordered to serve as a liaison with Lia, a fresh-faced bureaucrat determined to build a perfect settlement. He’s even less happy to find himself utterly attracted to her. When tensions between residents and new comers escalate into acts of terror, they’ll have to work together to end the conflict before the burgeoning community is destroyed, as well as any chance of exploring their growing mutual attraction.

A lonely starfighter captain, Datron Mann, faces intrigue, adventure, and the dubious honor of judging galactic females in a beauty contest. He even faces certain death after accepting a mission to track down dangerous weapon smugglers—all in a day's work. When a beautiful mechanic stows away on his vessel, he's simultaneously furious and enchanted. Nothing in the universe has ever made him feel as alive as this one woman. But even if he manages to subdue the criminals and make it home, he faces ultimate heartache. His beloved is dying and there's no cure for the disease ravaging her brain.

Eager to teach the vaunted captain a lesson in decorum, Former beauty queen, Charlotte Grayson, devises a scheme to embarrass the unruly captain. Unfortunately, that plan lands her in the middle of an undercover operation fighting murderous smugglers alongside the detestable man. With their lives in danger, can they find a way to work together or is heartache the eventual outcome? Smugglers bearing mind-controlling drugs and advanced weaponry are just the beginning of their problems. For one of the intrepid heroes, being killed on the mission was never an issue.
For one of them...death is the only outcome.

REGION 7 (The Travelers Series) - Moira Stanton
For Maya, a Warrior-Traveler of the Multi-verse, the assignment to save an Energy Child from death means she must face not only the mystery man who has dominated her dreams, but her own past and her refusal to trust in love. With evil stalking them at every turn, Maya and Kantu must navigate a world where the population is “ringed” to control emotion. If the Energy Child is ringed and eradicated, her world is doomed, as she alone holds the power to destroy the Guardian of the rings.

As Maya and Kantu work to save the Energy Child, they reignite a love that has spanned lifetimes and discover the time has come to trust one another so they can finally and forever change the course of that love. 

A HERO FOR THE EMPIRE (The Dragon's Bidding Saga #1; space opera, romantic SF) - Christina Westcott
Commander Kimber FitzWarren is running on borrowed time. The cybernetic augmentations that give her superhuman strength and speed have also shortened her life. The success of her next mission is imperative, not only to save her Empire, but because this operation could be her last. She and a cabal of idealistic officers are plotting to topple the corrupt Imperial government. The key to placing missing military legend Arianne Ransahov on the throne lies with the only man who can find her, mercenary Wolf Youngblood.

Having just survived one Imperial assassination attempt, Wolf is understandably on edge when Fitz shows up in his bedroom at 0-dark-30. Except she isn’t there to kill him, but to plead for his help. Help he’s reluctant to give—until another assassin pushes the issue. Pursued by Imperial forces, left with no one to depend on but each other, a passion grows between them that even their secrets can’t destroy.

But before they can explore what’s left of their future, they have to survive the mission.

Warning: Space is no place to go it alone. We recommend taking along a telepathic cat, an immortal mercenary, and a cybernetically augmented Imperial SpecOps agent. You never know what kind of trouble you’ll run into… 


As you may have heard, a very unfortunate situation has developed: Ellora's Cave Sues Dear Author:
Ellora’s Cave has filed suit in Summit County Ohio against Dear Author and me personally for the blog post here recounting the problems that others have discussed publicly about the company.  EC is seeking injunctive relief (which I presume means I stop blogging about them), monetary damages in excess of $25,000 for harming their business, and identity of commenters.
Here are links to sites providing information and/or commentary:

Ellora’s Cave Files Libel Suit Against Dear Author Blog

I contributed a few posts to Rose B. Fischer's Redefining Disability project. Look for the first one--"A Hot New World Building Tool: the Social Model of Disability"--on October 21, 2014.
Click here to read Ms. Fischer's August update. The general post schedule is here. But don't wait for my article--check out the great work she's doing already and please help spread the word! 

I know what you're thinking--there can never be enough coverage about the news that ABC is developing an adaptation of the popular K-drama MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR!

And then there's DramaFever, an online video streaming service specializing in TV series and films from Asia. DramaFever has become one of the leading distributors of international content in the United States since its 2009 launch…

…When DramaFever launched with just four employees, co-founders Suk Park and Seung Bak weren't expecting things to take off quite like they did. "When we started five years ago, we thought our audience was going to be Korean-American," Park told me over the phone. "But we couldn't have been more wrong."

Non-Asians really, really love Korean dramas

Indeed, 85 percent of DramaFever's audience, Park said, is non-Asian, with 45 percent being Caucasian and 25 percent being Latino. "All types of ethnicities," Park told me, "are seeking out foreign content" because it "speaks to them more than … traditional television."

…DramaFever carries a diverse library of content but is mostly known for its Korean dramas, more popularly known as K-dramas. K-dramas vary in story and setting, of course, but what they have in common is that each series is self-contained — meaning, one season long and telling a complete story — and usually takes as its central plot a chaste romance. In fact, a first kiss usually happens seven or eight episodes into the narrative, which usually contains around 16 to 20 episodes. "What is focused on [in K-dramas] is relationships," Park said. "Not really sex but how true lovers struggle to make romance a reality."…

…Park admits that DramaFever's content differs from what Western audiences are used to. But that might be why his service is finding such success. According to Park, Millennials — who make up DF's largest audience — think it's important to explore cultural narratives that differ from their own. As a "machine of empathy," Park thinks television is one way to open up and explore fresh narratives. "Entertainment is a gateway to culture," he says.
Here's a cute video wherein a person by the handle of Friezsnake squees about and speculates the heck out of ABC's announcement:

SFR Spaces

Two Spacefreighters Lounge bloggers-and-soon-to-be-authors wrote about their writing spaces:

Scenes from a SFR Writer's Space - Laurie A. Green

Okay, I'll play!

Here's how my SFR writing space developed. In the past, I would use my laptop to work on blog stuff in various places--the kitchen table, the couch, bedroom floor, etc. We went through several moves and were renting so establishing a dedicated space for me was challenging. Even after my husband and I bought our first house, I still floated from room to room.

For a while, one of our rooms on the ground floor went unused because we weren't sure what to do with it. A dining room doesn't work for us because our family is so small (and it's right next to the kitchen, so buying a second table seemed wasteful). After much deliberation and lots of furniture hunting, we decided to transform the room into an office for me (my husband already had his because he needed a more private space.)

Here's a shot of my desk, with a lovely view of the neighborhood outside:

I found the perfect used desk and painted it white to match the trim. When I need a break from the chair, I switch my laptop to the couch on the opposite side:

The walls are bare because it's taking us a long time to decide what to display. Anyway, it's a very comfy room and I'm extremely fortunate to have such a great work space.

If you care to post about your own SFR blogging/writing space, I'd love to see it!

Women Action Heroes

At Nerdist, Kyle Anderson shares that I'm A Man And I Want To See Female Superhero Movies.

Granted, others have made similar observations already, but it's good to keep the conversation going. Mr. Anderson's post and the discussion that followed distills the challenge facing female superhero films into two key components: general and institutionalized sexism and the lack (both actual and perceived) of merchandising profit generated by female superheroes.

I fear that even if we conquered sexism enough to create popular female superhero films, sexism would still depress sales of female superhero action figures, which in turn might lead to Hollywood studios releasing fewer such films. I can only hope future generations aren't in the same boat two hundred years from now.

At Smart Girls Love SciFi & Paranormal Romance, RK blogs about The Bionic Woman Reboot:
The Reboot starred Michelle Ryan as Jamie Sommers. This time, she’s a bartender  with a younger sister to take care of. After a car accident, her boyfriend implants her with advanced prosthetics (legs, arm, ear, eye, and nanobots that heal) and she gets recruited for an underground covert ops type of thing.

Clearly, the network wanted a different angle than the original. The original was fun, but a bit on the goofy side, and this looked to be more of an action based covert ops sort of show.

The problem was that it never quite came together.
Seems to me another reboot might be in order. The seeds of a good show are there. Maybe the first reboot was too ahead of its time.

Cyborgs, cyborgs, and more cyborgs!

For more sci-fi romance content, download your free copy of Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #4. If you like cyborg romance, this issue is right up your alley! The issue includes a guest column by GAMES OF COMMAND author Linnea Sinclair and a reprinted interview with Eve Langlais, author of the Cyborg: More Than Machines series.

Now I turn the mike over to you. Got any SFR news/links to share?

Joyfully yours,