LUMINOUS (Book Smugglers Publishing) by A.E. Ash is a short sci-fi romance story featuring an older heroine and a fallen star hero. I'm going to provide a few non-spoiler tags so you can decide if this story is up your alley.
As the post title indicates, I'm also hosting a giveaway! You can enter to win a digital copy of LUMINOUS simply by leaving a comment for this post. The Book Smugglers have provided two copies, so there'll be two lucky winners!
To get things started, here's the cover and blurb:
Cover art by Yasmin Khudari
Entry number 3333. Vanguard Station Reckoning. All systems stable. Nothing new to report.
It’s been nine years since the war started; nine years since she has received acknowledgement or contact from anyone. Marooned alone on proto-colony planet Hestia, aging xeno-geologist Jyothi Agarwal still continues her routine transmissions in the hopes that someone, somewhere, is listening.
Then one day, out of nowhere, a brilliant light illuminates Hestia and something falls from the sky.
In the west, he wakes up in pain and alone. There is light everywhere. A new sense of weight. A broken body. Words. Knowing. And he realizes that against all odds, he is inexplicably alive.
On a planet far removed from everything, the last human and a fallen star find companionship in each other–and perhaps something more. Something beautiful, shining, lasting. Something luminous.
And now for a few tags:
* setting: a lonely scientific outpost on a distant planet
* heroine Jyothi Agarwal is an older, scientist WoC who took on a thankless job during a time of intergalactic strife (the strife is strictly a background element)
* features a nurturing, "good guy" hero—he's a total gentleman in all respects
* strong emphasis on descriptive/philosophical/contemplative prose
* story features detailed, accessible, and well-integrated worldbuilding
* explores themes like finding one's purpose in life and issues related to aging
* romance has a destined soul mates flavor and offers a female-centric fantasy of being rewarded for making an extreme sacrifice
* in terms of pacing, the romance is accelerated (it's a short story, after all), which may leave some readers wanting, but will probably work just fine for readers who don't mind filling in the blanks and/or who enjoy romantic SF
* "sweet" heat level
* given the story's low-key tone, it makes for a relaxing bedtime read
To enter for a chance to win a digital copy of A.E. Ash's LUMINOUS, simply leave a comment for this post and tell me about your favorite object that gives off light!
Two winners will be picked at random. Winner's choice of format. The deadline to enter is 12 midnight EST on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. Check back here to see if you've won!