Saturday, November 29, 2014

Alex J. Cavanaugh's CASSAFIRE: Cover, Blurb, Trailer, and More

Author Alex J. Cavanaugh alerted me that CASSAFIRE, one of the books in his Cassa space opera series might appeal to sci-fi romance readers, so I invited him aboard to share some information with us!

Based on my reading of the first few chapters (which focuses on the main protagonist and setting up the story) and my email exchange with the author, I'd characterize CASSAFIRE as romantic SF.

Below you'll find the blurb, non-spoiler tags provided by the author, a brief excerpt, and the book trailer. I don't normally feature book trailers here, but this one is professionally animated and includes the heroine, which lends it a light SFR flavor. I also think it has an effective, tight focus. (Per Mr. Cavanaugh, the software used to create the trailer included 3D Studio Max, ZBrush, and Photoshop.)

At any rate, peruse the information to discover if CASSAFIRE is up your alley!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: BENEATH A TROJAN MOON by Anna Hackett

This is one of those times when being a sci-fi romance blogger with strong opinions pays off in a sweet way. I'm here today with a cover reveal for Anna Hackett's BENEATH A TROJAN MOON (Phoenix Adventures #3.5; releases November 28, 2014). But this isn't just any cover reveal! This is the cover for a novella that the author gave birth to after my post about The "Other Woman" in Sci-Fi Romance. After reading Anna Hackett's AT STAR'S END, I became enamored of a secondary character, a fortune teller by the name of Relda:

Instead of feeling indignant on behalf of the heroine, I wanted to read a science fiction romance about this fortune teller! She came across as mysterious as well as confidant about her sexuality. She's described as "a voluptuous woman in a swirl of colored skirts" and "The beaten coins circling her bare waist tinkled." Sounds cool. And she's a businesswoman!

Lo and behold, the author wrote a story about her! Can you believe my great luck? Thank you, Ms. Hackett!

And now the cover and blurb of BENEATH A TROJAN MOON are ready for unveiling:

RAVEN TAKES A PEARL: A Steampunk Erotic Romance by Sharon Lynn Fisher

If you're in the mood for some sexy steampunk fun, check out the cover and blurb for Sharon Lynn Fisher's RAVEN TAKES A PEARL. The author was kind enough to provide a few additional tags so we could learn a bit more about the story.

Second novelette in the Fantasies in Color series by RWA RITA-nominated author Sharon Lynn Fisher ... 

Pearl knows it was Raven who stole her mama's heart -- a beautiful quartz stone given to her by Pearl's father right before he died. She sets off alone to the crow-man's keep determined to bring back the stone, but she's caught by a servant and taken to the tower. The dark-winged ruler of the keep isn't at all what she imagined, and he isn't about to let Pearl go before unlocking all her mysteries -- mysteries she never dreamed her body possessed.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

How Barbie's I CAN BE A COMPUTER ENGINEER Helps Readers Understand Sci-Fi Romance

Have you heard about the Barbie book fiasco? I CAN BE A COMPUTER ENGINEER by Susan Marenco (Random House, 2010) is a picture book about Barbie's foray into computer engineering. Unfortunately, the story fell far, far short of expectations.

Basically, Barbie is depicted as being unable to execute key tasks associated with creating a video game, and must rely on two fellow male students to complete her assignment:

"I'm only creating the design ideas," Barbie says, laughing. "I'll need Steven's and Brian's help to turn it into a real game!"

Barbie, I don't know why you're laughing. It's not funny.

Read the full rundown at Gizmodo: Barbie F*cks It Up Again.

The Internet fixes Barbie's 'I Can Be a Computer Engineer' picture book (via The Verge) is essential reading because it demonstrates what the book could have--should have--been.*

Kathleen Tuite put together a website called Feminist Hacker Barbie, which allows the public to rewrite the book. The results have been amazing.

Commenters at The Verge have pointed out the book's wonky depiction of computer hardware. I wonder if the illustrator would have taken more care had this been a book aimed at boys.

Mattel's Barbie has since issued an apology, which is good, but frankly the damage has already been done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cover Reveal: STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY By Angela Quarles

If you enjoy steampunk and new adult romances, then you might be interested in Angela Quarles' forthcoming STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY (Mint Julep & Monocle Chronicles #1; Winter 2015). The Galaxy Express is participating in the author's cover reveal event and you can also enter for a chance to win a digital copy of her time travel romance MUST LOVE BREECHES.

Enjoy the cover of STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY!
Cover design by Kim Killion
Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying? 

In an alternate Deep South in 1890, society reporter Adele de la Pointe wants to make her own way in the world, despite her family’s pressure to become a society wife. Hoping to ruin herself as a matrimonial prospect, she seizes the opportunity to cover the recent Jack the Ripper-style murders for the newspaper, but her father's dashing new intern suggests a more terrifying headline—marriage.

Dr. Phillip Rawley’s most daring exploit has been arriving at his new home in America in a hot air balloon. A tolerable sacrifice, if it means he can secure the hand of his new employer’s daughter in a marriage of convenience. But Adele works, she's spirited, and she has an armored pet monkey running her errands. Not only does she not match his notions of a proper lady, she stirs up feelings he’d rather keep in tight control.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How Accessible Is Sci-Fi Romance?

Available as an audio book!
At Spacefreighters Lounge, Laurie A. Green blogged about The Paradox of the SciFi/Romance Fandom. Her post focuses on the question of "… what does the big screen have that books and small screen don't?", but the subsequent comment discussion she and I had made me realize there's another layer to this issue: accessibility.

Does science fiction romance lack a mainstream fandom, in part, because it's not as accessible as it could be?

Here's how I arrived at that question. In the comments, Laurie stated, "As a society, we seem to have acquired collective ADD when it comes to entertainment."

Her comment gave me food for thought, and I responded with the following:

I'm uncomfortable with the idea of applying a mental health diagnosis to the state of how consumers approach entertainment. Technology has led to more entertainment choices because artists can exploit more mediums. Consumers don't have attention deficits as a result--they are simply trying out new things or migrating to new mediums (e.g., network television viewers who now watch shows via streaming).

Print books can be limiting and inaccessible for many readers (some can't hold physical books or have trouble reading the text for one reason or another. Then there are things like prohibitive prices or difficulties traveling to brick and mortar bookstores.). I'd like to see SFR expand into things like podcast stories, more audiobooks, comic books, video games and the like because it'd mean more consumers could enjoy this genre in more accessible ways. In other words, if SFR could tap into more mediums, it might find more fans.

Some SFR readers/fans will find it no matter what and regardless of medium. On the other hand, SFR may experience more growth if creators explore ways of telling the stories that extend beyond the written word. How can SFR go to where the fans are? How can this genre bridge the inaccessibility divide?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Less Than Three Press Free Online Serial (Limited-Time Offer)

Here's some sci-fi romance news that'll be easy on your wallet--but you have to act fast!

Less than Three Press is running a serial, sci-fi romance themed anthology called KEEP THE STARS RUNNING. It's edited by Samantha M. Derr and the content is updated weekly. "The Prince and the Programmer" by Cassandra Pierce is the current feature story.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

D.J. Davis' WHILE YOU WERE AWAY: An Action-Adventure Sci-Fi Romance

I read D.J. Davis' WHILE YOU WERE AWAY (Red Sage Publishing) and the story lends itself nicely to tagging, so I decided to list some non-spoiler ones for you!

But first, here's the cover and blurb:

Kev Thorsin has returned from a twenty-year war campaign across the stars, battle-weary and ready to settle down with the woman he was forced to leave behind. Amidst treachery that’s left his transport ship a floating hulk, he learns his own world has been overthrown by a corrupt regime. He’s driven to return to the only woman that’s been on his mind since the day he left.

His fiancé, Rianna Elain, is in the thick of it back home with a group of freedom fighters known as Libertas headed by the charismatic Terrill Briggs, a flirtatious yet honorable man who wants to see the people free once more and will go to great lengths to see it through. They are on the run from security forces and a noose that closes tighter each day.

In the midst of chaos, the two meet once more and their love for each other becomes a raging fire of passion hotter than the sun, an unstoppable force. Hope for their future together rekindles, along with desires long pushed aside. A plan is hatched to take to the stars, bringing the remaining members of Libertas and their families to a place where they can live in safety, far off the grid, if they can just evade evil forces and get off the rock—a task easier said than done. But will they succeed in starting a new life beyond Tetraparagon rule or will they live out their remaining days in hiding from a hand that stretches into the very black of space?


Below are my tags for this story so you can explore if it's up your alley!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Exclusive Cover Reveal: ENTANGLED By KS Augustin

Author KS Augustin has a forthcoming novel-length sci-fi romance called ENTANGLED (January 2015) and my dear passengers get the first look at the cover!

So pretty!

ENTANGLED will have a special release price of $3.00 if you purchase it at Sandal Press (the RRP $5.99 starts April 2015 at all major retailers). Here's the blurb:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Will Romance Bloom?": A STAR WARS REBELS Report by Melisse Aires

[Author Melisse Aires (HARVEST MOONS) alerted me about a budding romance in Disney's animated show STAR WARS REBELS (ABC). I invited her aboard to provide interested sci-fi romance fans with non-spoiler highlights!]

Will Romance Bloom?

In 1977, Star Wars, A New Hope, played for nineteen weeks in my little hometown of Kalispell, MT. It was a phenomenon. I saw it half a dozen times, or maybe more. During the final week the local downtown theater put tickets down to .50. Even my parents went.

I was a fan. If there had been internet, I would have been on all the sites and probably writing fanfic.

Over the years I saw the prequel trilogy and a few of The Clone Wars show, but by then I was a working mom with three kids and far less time. Now and then I would pick up a Star Wars paperback and re –immerse into the Star Wars world. I’m thrilled sequel movies are planned.

Recently I started watching the Disney tv show Star Wars Rebels, and it hit a sweet spot. I even expect romance!

Highlights for me:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

SFR News & Links For November 2014

2014 may be starting to wind down, but science fiction romance sure isn't! I invite you to partake of November's cornucopia:

New releases

CURSED (Brides of the Kindred #13) - Evangeline Anderson

This is a plus length novel--over 153,000 words long.

Commander Stavros Rii of the Kindred is a Sin Eater--thick black lines cover his back and neck causing him to feel the pain of others. It is a curse that threatens to shorten his life and makes him unable to bond with a female--not that he's ever found one he wants to bond with. Until he meets Charlie.

Charlie Sayers is an agent with the Earth Protection Bureau-- and anti Kindred agency dedicated to ridding the world of the big aliens. Charlie joined the EPB out of a sense of patriotism but she has her own reasons to hate the Kindred.

But she has bigger problems than the Kindred at the moment--the Enhanced Ones have come to Earth and they're planning to take over the planet, enslave the inhabitants and strip them of all emotion. Charlie can't have that so she agrees to go undercover with Stavros to find the Heart of Love--an artifact which can destroy their mutual enemy forever.

On their dangerous and difficult mission, Charlie learns that going undercover with your worst enemy can rapidly turn him into your best friend...or your lover. Can she hold on to her beliefs and stay true to herself, or will she lose her heart to Stavros? And even if she gives in to desire, will Stav be able to bond her to him?

Or are they Cursed to be apart forever?

For more information about Evangeline Anderson, read this interview at her site.