Science fiction and romance lost two of their giants this past week. They will be greatly missed.
Leonard Nimoy - March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015
image source - @TheRealNimoy
Bertrice Small - December 9, 1937 – February 24, 2015
image source - Goodreads
And now for this month’s new releases and links:
TAIJIKU - Elizabeth Andre
Angela's past is more than a little rocky, and that rocky path has led her to finish up her juvenile detention sentence on the Yemaya, an alien underwater ship devoted to observation and research. Part of its maintenance crew, at the bottom rung of the status ladder, Angela doesn't see much excitement forthcoming.
But that was before encountering the fearsome Taijiku or meeting her crew mate Stella, leaving Angela with a completely different problem and unable to say which is the greater challenge: giant sea monsters or falling in love.
CHAOS STATION (Chaos Station #1) - Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander's military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn't real.
A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he'd thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.
Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathedâ€"or his own heart unbroken.
BARGAIN WITH THE ENEMY (The Darkon Warriors #6) - S.E. Gilchrist
From the best-selling Darkon Warriors series comes an enemy-to-lover story about a brother, a best friend, and the precious gift they leave behind.
Masquerading as her best friend is probably not the wisest decision Stephanie ever made, but she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her friends’ orphaned baby, especially from the father’s emotionless, soulless vacuum of a family. They’ll make it back to Earth, and be a loving, supportive family of two.
With his brother dead, Ivo will do anything to ensure the daughter he had with his human lover remains under his control and protection. The child, Mia, belongs here, in the Seven Galaxies, where she can be raised in the appropriate way.
But the only way to the child is through a bargain with a female deserter, a woman with no honour. Lust, however, has no reason, and when Stephanie and Ivo act on their attraction, they inadvertently set new terms. With Mia’s life in the balance, can they find a contract with a future, or will everything fall apart in negotiations?
ICY PASSAGE - Ann Gimpel
Lethal cultures, bizarre illness, and political intrigue create an unlikely backdrop for love in Antarctica, the last true frontier.
Fresh out of residency, Dr. Kayna Quan opts for a tour in Antarctica. Money is short, so she hires on as medical officer aboard a Russian research vessel headed for McMurdo Station. Primed for almost anything, she plays her paranormal ability close to the vest. Being odd man out in a world where most don’t believe in magic makes her wary and feisty.
Brynn McMichaels has been stationed on remote South Georgia Island for two years, and he’s eager for a change. When cultures of the single-celled organism, archaea, overgrow their bins in his lab and begin shifting into another form, he worries he’s losing his mind and talks with scientists at McMurdo, but they have problems of their own—bad ones. After he hears about them, Brynn agrees to help. The weather’s too uncertain to send a plane, so he hitches a ride aboard Kayna’s ship and brings his mutant culture colonies along.
TAILSPIN (serial SFR; Huntress of the Star Empire #3) - Athena Grayson
Everyone in the star system wants a piece of Micah. Treska’s used to holding onto what’s hers, but is she holding on to her bounty…or something more? With Riktorian pirates on her tail, and Micah getting into her mind—even through a neuro-collar—Treska needs every single trick she’s got in order to keep her bounty, keep her wits, and avoid becoming a pretty spray of space-dust across the frontier orbits of the star system.
INHERIT THE STARS #2: THE NETWORK - Laurie A. Green
Captain Drea Mennelsohn seems to want far more from the fugitive Sair than just payment for his passage on her ship. Though neither can deny the sizzling chemistry and growing bond between them, Sair must soon make an agonizing decision: maintain his own longed-for freedom or become a helpless pawn in an intergalactic coup against a ruthless superpower.
ABOUT THE INHERITED STARS SERIES
The year is 3500 AD—more or less. No one really keeps track anymore. Since the fall of peacekeeper planet, LaGuardia, two centuries before, much has been lost. Few remember that LaGuardia was once known as Draxis. Fewer still have knowledge that Draxis once guarded a spatial vortex—a crossrip in time and space—and passageway to a legendary world called Earth where the human species originated. Somewhere, hidden in a forgotten archive, is the written history of the known universe and the chronicles of the men and women who helped forge a future in the stars.
INHERIT THE STARS #3: SACRIFICE - Laurie A. Green
As the truth behind Sair's place in the galaxy and Drea's unique existence are revealed, it becomes clear that they are vital to the success of the coup. But their part in ending the Ithian Alliance may come at a terrible price for Sair: the loss of the remarkable woman he has fallen in love with—and their chance to inherit the stars.
THE ANDROMEDANS - Elizabeth Lang
After being kidnapped by a bounty hunter and getting mixed up with a band of rebels, Adrian and Kali are finally together. They find a quiet corner of the galaxy to live in peace and...who are we kidding...
Just when they think it's safe, the unthinkable happens. Adrian, a brilliant scientist who prides himself on the perfect mind, loses everything. Kali has to revisit something she abhors in order to save him, and this time the stakes are even higher. Not only does Adrian's life hang in the balance but the survival of two galaxies.
Just who are these Andromedans and why are they willing to go to such lengths to destroy humanity? What do they want with Adrian? And who is crazy enough to go to the Andromedan galaxy to rescue him?
PHOENIX INHERITANCE (Phoenix Institute #4) - Corrina Lawson
To save their son, they might have to sacrifice their love—and their lives.
Ex-Navy SEAL Daz Montoya and rescue dog handler Renee Black have made a career out of saving people. But when their whirlwind affair resulted in pregnancy, Daz’s verbal fumble tore their budding relationship apart.
It’s been a tough eight years for Renee, raising Charlie alone with his autism-fueled impulsiveness, but she’s managed—until now. When she has to chase him to the edge of a cliff in a snowstorm, seeing the face of their rescuer is just the rotten cherry on top of an already rough day.
In the close confines of a snowbound cabin, Renee and Daz rediscover the heat still simmering between them. But while Renee welcomes Daz’s renewed determination to help Charlie however he can, she’s reluctant to trust him with her heart.
With the Phoenix Institute’s help, Renee and Daz discover their son’s gift for animal telepathy is real. And that to save him from old enemies that would kill to control him, they must join forces—and risk losing everything they’ve ever loved.
THE FALL (Tales of Tolari Space #3) - Christie Meierz
As bitter enemies scheme against each other with the fate of Tolar in the balance, Laura Howard, made a powerful empath by the Jorann's gift, loses everything—again. Now she must recover and find her place, and herself, while fighting against the ghosts of her past and the expectations of everyone around her.
Loss after tragic loss shakes the Paran to his very soul. With his allies vying for control of the planet and his own province caught in the middle, he must risk his life as well as that of the woman he loves to take the one action he never thought he would: challenge for leadership of the ruling caste.
A MIRRORS BEGINNING: SETH AND LOGAN BROOKS (short story spinoff) - Kristina Stutts
Split from their family at a young age, the twins Seth and Logan Brooks went down very different paths. Seth became a pilot. Logan became a strongman for a Middle Eastern weapons and drug dealer.
Charlie Westlake is a man on a mission to bring together one of the top teams the universe has ever seen. A twist of fate will reunite the twins and bring them on an adventure beyond their wildest dreams.
Seth and Logan Brooks joins the ISC in this short story, a prequel to KG Stutts' Mirror series.
BY FLAME (Xenonian Origins #5) - Catrina Taylor
Sira lost her parents, gained a new ability, and then her temper destroyed the only home she's ever known. As a runway she crosses counties, boundaries, and finds herself a new way of life. In a new school, with a new mom, and training for her psionic ability, everything finally starts to go her way. With adoption on the horizon, she joins a tournament that pits her flame against others who train as hard.
In the middle of the tournament everything changes, and she is forced to do something she's never wanted to do.
Romantic SF “cinenovel”
The author wrote me about his book and indicated it involves a romance. The link embedded in his name takes you to the book’s site.
THE PLUNGE OF ICARUS - Jeff Buchanan
In the not too distant future, on the Isle of Crete in the Aegean Sea, a modern Mount Olympus has been resurrected as an Air Force superpower. The pilots here have been raised since birth to believe they are the new Greek gods, fighting a never ending war. Icarus is Olympus’ most decorated pilot. Calloused by war the young flyer has never questioned what it is he does. All of that changes one day in a revelation high above the clouds that begins to unravel the labyrinth of mysteries surrounding the war. Icarus inadvertently discovers love as he is plunged into a conscience about killing.
TGE SFR giveaway
As of the time this post went live, there’s still time for you to enter for a chance to win a digital copy of Donna S. Frelick’s UNCHAINED MEMORY! The deadline to enter is Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Complete details here.
SF Signal roundtable on SFR
I recently moderated a roundtable at SF Signal. Authors Donna S. Frelick (UNCHAINED MEMORY), Sharon Lynn Fisher (ECHO 8), and Laurie A. Green (INHERIT THE STARS) joined me for a scintillating discussion about the rise of sci-fi romance!
My latest Heroes and Heartbreakers post
At Heroes and Heartbreakers, I got my funny bone groove on with Comedic Sci-Fi Romance: Sex, Jokes, and Science in Space.
When reviewers find their ideal SFR
Author Sharon Lynn Fisher sent me an excerpt from a review of her book ECHO 8 since it highlights what readers seek in SFR:
There is a good balance of steamy romance and science to entice both sides of the reader’s brain. I love that Fisher lets relationships drive the story. Too many science fiction writers set up relationships and then ignore them in a way that is not true to life. It makes their stories less real and therefore harder to suspend my disbelief … The casual “Big Bang Theory” watcher will have enough understanding of Higgs boson particles to understand the science presented here. It’s all very approachable and I thought, intriguing. I liked the thought that there is something more than emotion that might bind two people together. It speaks to the idea of chemistry and explores the concept of attraction.
If you missed Anna Hackett’s Science Fiction Romance Author Month, she listed all the spotlights in one handy post!
At SFR Brigade, Laurel C. Kriegler recommends STARSHINE by G.S. Jennsen.
K.M. Fawcett interviewed INHERIT THE STARS author Laurie A. Green. Here’s a snippet:
Getting the word outWhat’s the novel about?INHERIT THE STARS is about one man’s attempt to escape sexual enslavement and the devastating loss of his family. To evade a galactic superpower, he strikes a deal with the female captain of a prototype starship and soon finds himself not only emotionally connected but fatefully entangled in her destiny—a course that will take him full circle to face the very evil he most fears.
What makes it different?The story takes place about 1,500 years in the future, in an area of the Milky Way Galaxy that’s rich in colonized Goldilocks planets where Earth is now a forgotten world—or perhaps intentionally erased from history. The tale is told entirely from the hero’s point of view, which is rarely seen in any genre of Romance. The heroine’s ship, Specter, offers up a number of surprises, and some of the technological aspects of the story provide a unique catalyst for the main characters’ relationship. INHERIT THE STARS also puts some fresh twists on themes of duty vs. love, man’s inhumanity to man, and the nature of fate.
At Tracing the Stars, author C.E. Kilgore wrote about the challenge of Promoting Science Fiction Romance:
She raises the idea of cross-promotion among “...readers, authors, bloggers and publishers…,” which I agree is a smart long-term strategy whenever feasible. I had exactly that strategy in mind when I re-released my steampunk romance IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS. I packed the ebook with information about steampunk romances by dozens of other authors. Of course, such a strategy will only yield results if my book generates significant sales. Despite the challenges, it’s an idea worthy of continuous discussion and exploring.As I come close to publishing my next SFR / science fiction romance novel, and a second short story, I still find myself struggling with getting a hook into market visibility for this niche genre. It seems I am not alone in this struggle. The SFR community is small (by genre standards), tight-knit and still trying to find its voice within the mainstream. While mainstream sites like Amazon and Barns&Noble have taken steps to recognize other fringe genres like Paranormal Romance and even Time-Travel Romance, Science Fiction Romance is still being lumped together with “Fantasy and Futuristic.”
Diversifying sci-fi romance
If you’re an author looking to diversify your stories, check out #RWChat’s Episode 3: Diversity in Romance. The featured guests were authors K.M. Jackson and Alisha Rai (NIGHT WHISPERS). It’s a great resource and includes lots of insights and advice.
For even more sci-fi romance news and coverage, download your free copy of Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #5. And stay tuned for issue #6, which releases at the end of this month!
Now I turn the mike over to you. Got any SFR news/links to share?