Launching Romance into the stars.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

After two releases, I'm exhausted.

It's been a long week already with the release of Satin Sheets in Space and An Unexpected Return. I'm so tired. I've hardly written anything new, but I can't wait to get back to working on book 2 of my Mark of the Stars series. So, here's a snippet from that story:

Instead of returning to the mess hall, she entered the day room. Only one seat remained unoccupied, an ancient brown-clothed and ripped chair stuck in the back corner. The black leather couches surrounding the fifty-two inch television screen held men and women watching the Ottawa Senators play against the Toronto Maple Leafs. With everyone engaged, she managed to sneak to the back without any snide alien jokes.
Sitting down, she wanted to forget about Jeff and Dr. Allen, to just enjoy a sense of normalcy. She closed her eyes and pretended to be a part of the group, one of the fans watching the hockey game.
“This isn’t exactly a place one wants to fall asleep, you especially. I’ve seen what they do to others who have fallen asleep in here.”
She jumped in her seat. She’d only closed her eyes for two seconds. How had she not sensed his approach?
He leaned over her, his hands resting on the arms of her chair, his face only inches from her own.
“What do you want?” She couldn’t move for fear of winding up in his arms, or tasting his lips.
He smiled, making her loins quiver. “Oh, I can think of so many things…” Standing up, he reached for her hand. “How about we start with a game of air hockey?”
For a second, she considered his offer. It would be so easy to forget all the torment, pretend she was a normal human being like everyone else in the room. But she wasn’t. And he’d been sure to point that out several times in her past. His sudden change in attitude wouldn’t make her not remember.
Without his help, she stood then turned to leave.
He grabbed her wrist, halting her retreat.
Hadn’t he learned the first time? “Get your hands off of me.” Because this time I might end up in your arms with everyone now watching.
P.S. D.L. Jackson has two releases tomorrow that you should check out. Rebel Souls and My Boogie Woogie Bugle Guy will be available then from Decadent Publishing and other ebook retailers, or maybe even later today. ;)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What I'm working on this week.

I'm on vacation, and while on that vacation I tore something in my knee and now have crutches and a leg brace. Which means there will be no more house painting for the rest of my time off. I've been critting, reading and the worst, I've started a new story. Now anyone that knows me would probably yell at me for this, because they know how many I have sitting on the hard drive in various states of being completed, but it called to me. I swear, I had to start it. The dang story wouldn't leave me alone and it had a captive writer.

This is in fact what I called planet based science fiction. To take it further, I'd call it otherwold dystopian. Now, if you've read my science fiction, you know a personal favorite is planet-based science and crossing genres. My stories are not always up in space, in fact, I love taking them down to the surface of whatever world my characters are from. My soon to be released story, Rebel Souls takes place mostly on a planet.

This story is no execption, actually, the people can't leave their world, but that comes later, when their Frankenstein creation turns on them. Here's the start of my unamed WIP, and perhaps you'll get a feeling, "something wicked this way comes...."

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
It wasn’t like they were playing God. They just took what he’d designed and made it better. Iia continued to tweak the programming, working out the kinks in the hive’s micro-processor. The robotic bees each had a computer for a brain, which responded to the hive’s commands. They could run for ten hours before they had to return to the hive to reboot their drives.

The planet didn’t have a natural insect population, but that had been considered a minor hurdle, since the world had an abundance of fresh potable water and breathable air. The algae covered lakes created oxygen, combined with the vegetation they’d planted since they landed on the surface two hundred years ago.
In addition, mankind had built a engineering marvel to power their cities. The power net blanketed the planet, providing a clean, safe, and remote energy source. No fuels, no emissions. Anywhere on the surface, available power could be found. Vehicles traversed with it, ships flew across the surface using it, communications ran on it. Anything technological used it.

All these things created a hospitable world for mankind. Except for one minor problem. Something about the planet confused the bees.
The bees were unable to locate their hives and would fly around in circles confused, until they dropped dead. Over and over Earth’s scientists tried to introduce them to the world with the same result.  No matter what species of bee they brought in, they found themselves with empty hives and piles of useless carcasses. The plants wouldn’t fruit and had to be hand pollinated, preventing the ecosystem from creating enough food to support a population of living creatures and mankind. And for over fifty years, man struggled with a solution.
It took the genius of a nano-scientist to create a bee the planet would accept. From there, the efficient ento-robites went to work, creating a Garden of Eden for mankind. After it became habitable, the population on the planet exploded. Even so, the bees kept up, providing all they needed.
The bees were twice the size of a bumble bee, something necessary to house the energy pack that would harness power from the net. They were without stingers, but had over twenty-four legs to make them more efficient with their primary function, pollination. More like a flying brush, than a bee, they appeared scary, but were designed to be completely harmless and safe to other living creatures.

They had the ability to collect data and learn from that data, like when, where and what plants or trees needed pollination. They did their jobs and then some, developing hybrids and creating new species of fruit bearing plants and trees. They were even smart enough to know what plants should be cross-pollinated to get the best results.
Then a storm on Radum, Noveae’s radiant star, similar to the Earth's own Sun flared up, sending out electromagnetic pulses, resulting in the robot bee's refusal to pollinate. Not only did they stop working, many shut down before they made it back to the hives to refresh their programming. Every day, workers had to go out and collect the disabled bees and return them to their stations to reboot. Some they never located. The scientists couldn’t keep up with building new ones to replace the lost.

In the last one hundred and fifty years, nobody had seen anything like it, and the population began to panic. Ships off-world could take months to reach them, so mass evacuation was not an option, and neither was re-supply. Earth simply could not keep up with the demand for a planet the size of Noveae and they informed them under no uncertain terms, they were on their own. They didn’t have room for refugees and they didn’t have food.
The government of Noveae declared martial law. Rationing began, and a curfew went into effect, preventing people from going to the fields at night to steal food. All of this had been preplanned, in case of a natural disaster. Even with a plan in place, the people became violent, breaking into government food storage and other colonist’s homes. Killing and taking what they wanted and more than they needed. Riots were everywhere on the streets.

Anyone caught out after dark was shot. Iia shut the panel on the hive and checked the readouts. All clear. She tipped her chin to the sky and knew she only had an hour before she had to be in quarters. No exceptions, even if she was responsible for bringing the life-saving technology back online.
As the storm settled down, the bees returned to normal, with a few errors that Iia was sent in to correct. The crops would be weak this harvest season, there was nothing they could do about it, but with the bees back to work, they should be able to salvage some of the later fruiting crops to replace the stolen stores, and that should get the colonies through the difficult winter ahead, or so she hoped, if the government could stop the raiding.

Iia glanced over at a soldier guarding the field. He nodded at her and she smiled. It gave her some comfort knowing he was there. Many of the bee-keepers had been kidnapped lately, probably in hopes that they could get private hives up and running, or at least that’s why she surmised they did it. She wondered if that was why he stood over a fruitless field.
Finished with her task, she took a moment to look over her companion. Not a bad looking man. Tall, with dark hair and eyes, he wasn’t the usual kind of man she went for. She didn’t particularly like the soldiers. They hung over the planet like a threat. The colonists had always been peaceful and she’d never understood the need for armed warriors.

Until now.
If the storm had gone on much longer, the planet would have starved.
She had an important job, made lots of credit. But all that wouldn’t be worth a damn if she were dead. This wasn’t about the money anymore, it was about survival and the more viable the hives, the better chance Noveae stood. God help them if another storm flared up.

Okay, I need help naming this story. I usually have a title whenever I start, but I'm lost on this one. Any suggestions? There are multiple threats that will emerge and things will get much worse before they get better. I'm going to be flexing that evil author muscle for this story. So hit me with the suggestions, name the unamed science fiction/thriller romance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet Xia from AN UNEXPECTED RETURN by Jessica E. Subject

I'd like to welcome Xia to Backward Momentum today. She is the heroine from the upcoming release, AN UNEXPECTED RETURN.

Xia, thanks for stopping by to chat today. You've had an interesting couple of weeks involving a man named Aris. Can you tell us how the two of you met?

Xia [glances around at the audience]: Since we're all adults here, I don't have to hide anything. I'm studying to become an Adamo Mistress specializing in erotic massage. Aris happened to be my first client.

And what did you think of him the first time you met him?

Xia: Actually, I met him on the street before our appointment. I wasn't watching where I was going and walked right into him. He was charming but when I told him I was busy and couldn't show him around Havemiola, he seemed more interested in getting to his appointment with his Adamo. I didn't know that was me at the time. When I walked into his room, I was not impressed.

But he seems to have won you over.

Xia [blushes]: Yes, he was very persistant.

So, what are your plans for the future?

Xia [clasps her hands together]: Well, Aris has asked me to marry him, and I'm going to return to Tyto with him. I'm extremely nervous about it though. Our people aren't exactly friendly with each other. Aris tries to assure me that I have nothing to worry about, but I'm not so sure. We may end up right back on Elatia.

Well, I wish you both the best. And I hope your meeting with his parents goes well. Thank you, Xia! :)


Looking to experience all the universe has to offer, Prince Aristides escapes from the kingdom of Tyto and travels through space to the Emerald Planet, Elatia. He yearns to partake in the activities the planet is famous for, and fulfill all his sexual desires, but loses his heart and soul to an Adamos apprentice. Unfortunately, she is Terran, and her people are sworn enemies of those from Tyto. If he can convince Xia to give up her dreams of becoming an Adamos, and travel back to Tyto with him, will his parents accept her, or condemn them both?
Abandoned as a toddler on Elatia, and raised by Kalara, an Adamos specializing in erotic massage, Xia decides to follow in her footsteps. But she remains conflicted as to whether she wants to service clients for the rest of her life, or settle down and raise a family. When she meets Aris, he turns the tables on her, and brings her as much pleasure as she gives him.
Will they have their chance to be together, or will their families tear them away from any chance of young love?

For more information, please visit:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Have you ever watched the beginning of some of the video games the gaming population play?

While I was working of edits the other day, my son came out of his cave with his games and hooked them up in the front room. Normally I’d object, because I really don’t care for them, and I’d rather watch a show on the television than watch someone play. But, I was working on my novel and didn’t need to be distracted by watching TV, so figured it would keep my focus where it needed to be.

Regardless, I did get distracted. Have you ever watched the beginning of some of these video games? It’s like a movie. I found myself setting my laptop aside and holding my breath as the story unfolded. So, the island was taken over by zombies while the guy was passed out in his room and he wakes up to find he is only one of a handful of people still living. Omigod, I wanted more of that story.

And then I realized what I do and what the people who create these video games do, are the same thing. I’d just been hooked. As my son progressed through different stages of the game, it would play a little bit of the story, leaving me hanging until he worked to the next level.

Building a novel is much like a video game. You have a hook that draws the reader into the story, where they make it their own, creating a whole world in their head. You progress through the story, setting the characters up for the next big surprise, and at the end of that section, you leave the reader with a hanger to draw them into the next chapter.

Suddenly, video games don’t seem so boring anymore.

Watched any good ones lately?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I'm Reading - It's a MUST READ!

It's my day to post again, and I'm dealing with a sketchy internet connection. I'm trying to get this post up before it goes out again. Eek!

Anyways, I have two releases coming out at the end of this month. Satin Sheets in Space, which releases May 29 is my fourth 1Night Stand story. While it has a new heroine and heroes (Yes, I said heroes ;) ) there are characters mentioned in the story that made an appearance in my previous 1Night Stand stories. The second release is An Unexpected Return which is the second book to be released in Decadent Publishing's new science fiction romance line, Elatia.

But enough about them! I wanted to tell you about this awesome book that I'm reading. Some author friends of mine recommended the book Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout to me the last time I saw them. I'd seen the book many times, added it to my TBR list, but waited to buy it. I already had a bunch of short stories and books to read. So, knowing that I love alien stories, they said I'd love it. And I do. Seriously, I have it sitting beside me right now. I hate to put it down. The characters are fabulous, strong-willed, but not perfect, not even the hot alien. The story is completely believable and has sucked me right in.

Now, I am regretting not reading it sooner. It is YA, so not as much romance and explicitness as some of the stories I read, but it doesn't matter. This books simply rocks. And while I haven't finished the story yet, it's heading toward my favorite book ever. Definitely my favorite YA.

Here's the blurb:

Starting over sucks.When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.And then he opened his mouth.Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

So, what are you reading?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Taking unknown steps into a clandestine world...

 Hello everyone!

It’s a pleasure to be here today – thanks to DL Jackson for inviting me. Halfway through the elation of clinching a guest spot here, I got stumped on the question – what will I, a romantic suspense author, talk about on a blog that caters primarily to sci-fi?

Can you say “I raked my brain to come up with a topic?” What could I tell you, sci-fi aficionados, about what it was like for me to write a romantic suspense/ espionage thriller with a strong, kick-arse protagonist doing her best to adjust to civilian life now that she has married her childhood best friend? And, oh yes – I forgot to mention: her husband doesn’t know she used to be a clandestine assassin, and someone inside her agency, the Corpus, does not agree with her leaving the ‘service’...

You peeps write and read about space, supernovas, star ships, battles in the stars, alien races— Wait a second – to convincingly portray your alien races/worlds/societies/far-flung corners of the universe, you do a lot of world-building, innit?
Well, it turns out that I also had to extensive research to build *my* world too – that of spies, clandestine agencies, espionage tradecraft. I had to immerse myself into a culture totally unknown to me (uh, hello? I’m a desperate housewife from a tropical island – what do I know about guns and spy tradecraft and danger, biological weapons, clandestine activity, assassinations, infiltration work, evasion and deceit ? *the extra pair of shoes I got that my husband doesn’t know about does not count here!*)

I might not write about such extensive worlds that requires as much world-building as you sci-fi peeps do; I do say, hats off to ye lot for going to these lengths to give us amazing, out of this world *pun intended!* stories... but I have written about a world totally unknown to me...
I hope you’ll come take a peek at what my clandestine espionage world building looks like, in Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book 2), my latest release from Noble Romance Publishing.

And, if you’re so inclined, take a bet on the first book in that series – Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides: Book 1) is FREE this week! Grab your copy!
Thanks for having me over today, guys! Big thanks too for letting me share the news about my novel’s release with you.

From Mauritius with love,

Covers (compressed for optimum web display) – Before the morning, Walking the edge

Excerpt – Before The Morning
From the front-facing window on the second floor of the Shepherd's Close freehold, Corpus secret agent Rayne Cheltham watched the ambulance pull away from the curb.

Shivers crept up her arms, and she hugged herself tight to ward them off.
Get a grip!
She was a professional on an assignment, an elite, trained operative from a clandestine agency that handled operations for governments and international forces as a stealthy left hand. Her agency entrusted her with the most important missions—nothing should faze her.
Before today, she would've said that nothing could affect her when she had her eyes on a goal.
But she wasn't sure anymore. She'd never had her past collide with her present like a few moments ago, in the form of her childhood best friend.
Ashford Gilfoy, better known as Ash. The boy who had been there to catch her when, at six, she had slipped while climbing the chestnut tree that sat right on the border between their two houses in Hastings, two days after her family moved there from Salisbury. The boy who had taught her how to ride a bicycle without the training wheels on the long and winding, gravel-covered lane leading to her parents' mansion. The teenager who had smashed the nose of the first lad who had broken her heart, at thirteen, during recess in the schoolyard. The young man she had left seventeen years ago on a platform at London Waterloo, on the day she bid her old life goodbye.
For the first time since that day, she was back on British soil, and kismet decided Ash should cross her path.
Why then, of all times? She was a hair's breadth away from closing the contract on this mission. Seven months of intensive infiltration work and she was ready to achieve her aim—neutralize Nikolai Grigorievskiy's criminal operations before she took out the man. The Corpus always sent her for the kill, but the trick was that she had to make her target's death appear self-inflicted, at the bare minimum, or an accident, in the direst of cases. Measles, as such operations were known in their clandestine world—a planned assassination that didn't leave any indication of the cause of death. She would then have to sanitize everything—leave no evidence, no witness, nothing that could lead back to her. Unlike her other agency counterparts, she wasn't an out-and-out black ops assassin, but a different level of highly implicated agent provocateur.
In other words, a consummate actress who got to her ends by manipulating people and circumstances. All those years of drama school, at her mother’s insistence when, obviously, she'd be too tall to become a ballerina, came in handy. In fact, her portrayal of Lady Macbeth in the drama school's end of year play had caught the eye of the people who had recruited her into the Corpus. Seventeen years into the agency, fifteen of them as Kali, her operative name, a sociopath with no apparent conscience who followed her orders with diligence. Never had any one of her targets come close to figuring she was an undercover agent. Her track record was flawless—each assignment undertaken with one hundred percent success rate and a marginal body count.
Until today, when she'd almost gotten burned.
Ash had recognized her down there. For a second, she'd thought her cover was blown. Then, she'd taken a deep breath and forced herself to remain in character. Never panic, always stay in control, breathe and gather your wits—the first lesson drilled inside the mind of any secret agent. Pulling on a blank face was one of her fortes, and Ash had bought the act. He thought she was Irina, clueless twenty-year-old from the dirt-poor suburbs of Moscow who didn't speak any other language but Russian.
She'd had a few close encounters in the past, but never like that. Rayne and Kali had two separate, compartmentalized lives that ran parallel. The two should never have touched, because that would end up making a mess of her. She could keep each persona separate, as long as she could push Rayne to some dark corner of her mind. Her job taxed her, and she walked the tight line of paranoia every single second while undercover.
But if Rayne came to the front during a mission . . . .
Damn it, she wasn't a rookie agent on her first mission. Cherries, as the CIA called them. Hell, even during her first undercover operation, she'd had no qualms and no trouble achieving her aim.
Why today, when everything was smooth sailing toward a much-desired goal?
She closed her eyes and rested her forehead against the windowpane. The glass was warm against her clammy skin.
She was sweating?
That will not do. I have to take control again.
She had to forget about Ash, about Rayne, and focus on being Irina, the one who would bring down a notorious criminal. Her agency and the whole world counted on her to take out the piece of scum. She was their last hope, sent in as the trump card after good cops got killed when trying to bring Nikolai to justice.
Someone knocked on the door, and she pulled away from the window. Damn it, she still had a job to do.
Willing confidence to steel her spine on a deep breath, she turned around. She blinked a few times, called forth tears. She was supposed to be a young wife who'd just been hit by her husband, a man she'd left downstairs at the party with a leggy blonde draped all over his side.
The moisture trickled onto her cheek, and she swiped her eyes to smear the kohl and mascara.
There—she should present the desired picture of despair.
"Da?" she answered as she stepped toward the door.
The panel opened quietly. "Zdrastuyte, Gaspazha Grigorievskaya."
Hello, Mrs. Grigorievskaya. Such formality. Only one man addressed her with such deference and respect—Boris Petrov, Nikolai's right-hand man.
"Zdrastuyte, Boris Ivanovich." She replied him with the same formal greeting, using his patronymic name to further show her respect, as was customary in the Russian culture.
Boris was the least disposable target in the whole operation—the keystone. She had to bring him down, or at least create a rift between the two men. Everything would crumble afterward. Nikolai wouldn't have his main pillar of support, and would thus crash down through the pyramidal structure of his operations.
"Are you okay?" he asked as he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.
She shrugged, forced a small, tremulous smile. Russian wives, she'd learned, tolerated a lot of their husbands' outbursts. "It's nothing."
"You shouldn't listen to what Mikhail said. He is just jealous that Kolya's attention is not wholly directed onto him any longer."
"It does not bother me," she said in a small voice.
Make a move, she silently urged him. For her plan to work, Boris had to capitalize on the simmering embers of passion that flared between him and his boss' wife, and that he denied all the time. She'd already lost too much time, and had to start the measles process.
I have to take matters in my hands. There's no other way.
She trained her eyes on him. Boris was a big, burly man in his mid-forties. Anyone could imagine him knocking out a person with just a flick of his thick wrist. Toying with him was like playing with fire—she could get burnt. But she had no other choice. The time had come. Five months to gain Nikolai's trust and compliance; two months to insidiously plant the seeds of discord within the criminal's entourage. She didn't have much leeway to work at influencing outcomes anymore. No—she had to provoke.
Rayne inhaled, felt the oxygen fill her lungs and clear her brain. She forced herself into her character. What would Irina do?
She gasped, and brought her hands to cover her mouth. With rapid steps, she rushed to Boris' side. She reached out with one hand and trailed the tips of her fingers along one of his eyes, swollen nearly shut from a blow.
"You shouldn't have," she said in a soft whisper, letting tears streak down her cheeks. "Not for me."
Boris' swift intake of air was the only sound that hissed between them. He closed his eyes under her touch.
Do it, she urged.
"I am so"—she paused and sobbed—"so sorry." Her voice was small and breathless, heavy with sadness.
Boris settled a heavy, meaty palm on her hand, to keep her fingers unfurled on his cheek. "Forgive me, Irina. I couldn't let him say those ugly lies about you."
He is caving.
"Boris, please." She pleaded with him.
"I will do anything for you."
"I am a married woman."
"Why don't you leave him?"
She gasped. "I cannot. I pledged myself to him."
"But look how he treats you!"
"Borya," she said, using the nickname for Boris, "back in Russia, for every one like me, there are ten other girls, more beautiful, waiting to take my place."
"There isn't any woman more beautiful than you in all of Russia."
She smiled, making sure she displayed sadness and resolution on her features.
"You are such a sweet man." When he wasn't forcing underage girls into the cargo holds of boats docking out of most major European ports, plying them with drugs before supplying them like meat to brothels and sex perverts.
"Leave him," Boris said, the words a subtle urge.
"I can't. Where would I go?" She gently tugged her hand from under his and took a step closer to him. "I can't go back to that life, Borya."
"Irina, please—"
The sound of the door opening startled them. Nikolai stood on the threshold, his tall, dark form an intimidating silhouette in the dim doorway.
Kali threw one look at Boris, shook her head softly, and took a few steps away. The back of her knees hit the edge of the window seat. She stumbled backward into a sitting position on the upholstered ledge.
Nikolai's narrowed gaze went from Boris to her, and back to his right-hand man.
"Leave us," he said softly, the words obviously an order.
Boris nodded and exited the room.
Good—she’d sown the seeds of doubt. Her "husband" would wonder what went on between her and Boris, and Boris would try to get closer to her. She would play on this nearness between them, subtly make people wonder if something was happening behind Nikolai's back.
At that point, she would move her final chess piece—Nikolai would die at the same time as Boris. For the world, things would look like an altercation gone wrong between a spurned husband and a forbidden lover, with her caught in the crossfire. That's how she'd ensure her exit from the operation.
Yes, all the pieces of the game were falling into place. She just had to play along.
Nikolai closed the door behind Boris, the click of the latch falling into place sounding louder than it should have.
He turned toward her, pressed his shoulder against the doorframe, and pushed his hands into the pockets of his Gieves and Hawkes champagne-coloured, tailor-made linen trousers.
Her "husband" focused his steely grey eyes on her.
The stare burned into her skull. Still, she refused to look up. Not yet.
Zee Monodee
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture
Zee is an author who grew up on a fence - on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.
From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing - her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.
Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is married,mum to a tween son, & stepmum to a teenage lad.

Buy Links:

Before The Morning: An action/adventure, romantic suspense tale on the backdrop of a clandestine espionage agency - come read the story of Rayne, a spy who leaves that life in the name of love, & Ash, the man who changes her world!

FREE for this week: WALKING THE EDGE (Corpus Brides: Book 1): A romantic suspense novel, wherein an amnesiac woman is on the quest for her forgotten memory... Escape from London all the way to Marseille, France, and discover the secrets, deceit, danger, & the powerful love, she uncovers during her search! 

Contact Links:


Facebook & Goodreads: Zee Monodee

Twitter: @ZeeMonodee

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why I write

This question came up in a past interview, and I really never gave it much thought until I had an “author’s meltdown”. What’s an author’s meltdown. Well, it’s when we get frustrated with running in place, never seeming to get anywhere, or it feels that way. It’s like writer’s mid-life crisis.  I asked a friend, why am I doing this? I’ve dedicated time, energy, brain-cells and yet no amount of promotion, and hard work seems to be generating any different results.
Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So, does that mean I’m crazy? After careful deliberation, a few stiff drinks, and a pity party with my editor, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not.
Okay DL, you just said you keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results—and that is crazy. But hear me out, because instead of expecting different results, I’m hoping for them. What does that amount to? It means I have a dream, a vision for the future. Now that I resolved that I haven’t lost my mind, I can step back and look at why I’m really doing this.
I could give the standard, “Because the voices in my head told me to”, or perhaps this oldie but goodie, “I would go crazy if I couldn’t write”, but really, that’s not why, those are just symptoms of the obsession. I love to tell stories. I love to create worlds and characters, and I believe I always have.
Writing is like being a child all over again. Remember playing with your dolls or toy soldiers and building a world around them, giving them personalities, names and careers? They were real people to us. Often they had superpowers or the traits of heroes and heroines. I guess I can say I never grew up, not all the way. I still like playing in those make-believe worlds, except now, I do it a little differently, and I invite others to join me.
So what does that make me? I do it because it’s a dream—and I do it to create worlds to play in, and I’m doing it so others can see my fantasies. That makes me what, a dream-weaver? LOL Yeah that seventies song is playing in your head right now, isn’t it? We could call it dream sculpting I suppose, or a general contractor of adult play-lands. Yeah, I like that last one.
When I really thought about it, got to the meat of my obsession, I realized that sometimes adults need to play too. And sometimes we like lots of playmates. Because hey, it’s so much more fun to storm that castle with friends. And this is the reason I write, nothing complicated.
So if you write, why do you do it? Money? Success? Why do you really do it? Talk to me, because there is a little “dream weaver” in all of us.
So, I’ll leave you all with an invitation to come play in my worlds. The doors are open. Let’s storm the castle together. Better yet, let’s take a ride into space and land in the middle of a revolution. You might fall in love with an underground leader, or meet a Regulator sworn to uphold the law at all costs.
Blurb for Rebel Souls: 
"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 government.
A child of two worlds, Ava is bound to a heritage that won’t release her. While living on New Xiera, Ava meets Brodie Mark, a boy who will become a leader of the revolution, a man that will someday challenge her love and loyalties in every way imaginable.
Ten years pass, Ava crosses paths with Captain Seth Reynolds, a Regulator commander looking for a dangerous cargo of fissile materials. She falls for the enemy, endangering all the underground has struggled to achieve.
When Brodie Mark, a man she thought dead, walks back into Ava’s life, she must make a choice. The wrong one could kill her. The right choice could get her arrested and destroy a freedom in its infancy.

“No man flies three days to the edge of Nexian space without a reason.”

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm editing, so here's an excerpt...

Yesterday I was busy working on edits for both of my upcoming May releases, so my mind is like mush. Instead of coming up with an interesting post, I thought I'd just share an excerpt with you from Satin Sheets in Space, which releases May 29 from Decadent Publishing. It is a M/F/M menage which is part of their 1Night Stand line.

Her partner for the evening pulled her close as the music slowed. “Thank the gods they changed the music. I need to be closer to you.”
Gods? A different religion, perhaps? She didn’t care. Desire coursed through her from head to toe. He could touch and taste every inch, without any objection from her.
He leaned down, his warm breath grazing her neck. Her nipples perked, pressed against his hard body.
“I noticed the galaxy on your shoulder.”
She sighed with disappointment, having expected him to kiss her. “Yes, I have a tattoo.”
Would a little ink stand in their way? She tried to pull away, to brace for his dismissal, but his hold on her never faltered.
“I like it. Why did you choose the Milky Way?”
Releasing the breath she’d been holding, Danyka smiled with relief. Her cheeks ached from the joy this man brought her. “It’s a tribute to my father. We’d often lie on the back lawn and watch the stars. He taught me about the constellations in our galaxy, and many other celestial bodies throughout the universe.”
A wave of sadness washed over her. She missed those moments, and her father.
Her date brushed his thumb along her cheek, bringing her attention back to him. “And what did he teach you about the possibility of other life—out in space?”
Did she really want to ruin this evening with talk of her belief in aliens? No.
He raised his eyebrows, waiting for an answer.
Oh hell. “He told me not to assume Earth is the only planet in the universe capable of sustaining life.”
“So you believe?”
“In a matter of speaking, yes.” There, she’d said it. Now watch him run. “But I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone from another world.”
His placed gentle kisses across her neck, lighting a fire deep in her core. “I believe, too.”
And if you want to see the smokin' cover for Satin Sheets in Space, head on over to Layna Pimentel's blog where I'm revealing it there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Falling Into Science Fiction Romance by Pippa Jay

I’d never considered myself a romance writer. As a teenager, romance novels meant the shelf of Barbara Cartland paperbacks belonging to my mum. Things I read only out of desperation when there was nothing else left in the house and I’d already spent my pocket money on the last stack of books. They were mostly bodice-ripping historicals that frankly I didn’t understand. No, two years ago I was a straight scifi/fantasy writer with a preference for character-driven stories rather than loads of techy descriptions. Romance didn’t figure.

 The first indication I got that Keir might not be the scifi I’d defined it as came after my husband read the first draft and said it was good but not his kind of thing. He also declared that it was ‘mushy stuff for girls.’ (Yeah, he got slapped for that). But it wasn’t until a couple of friends had read it too that the comment ‘this is a romance’ came up.

Seriously? A romance? But I don’t write romance!

But the more I looked at it, the more I realized my own characters had pulled a fast one on me. It was a romance, and now a whole new range of possibilities opened up. Instead of submitting it as a science fiction story, I subbed it as an sfr (a sub-genre I hadn’t even been aware of despite being a fan of Anne McCaffrey) and got offered a contract. Woo hoo!

My editor wasn’t satisfied with the romance elements however. She made me strengthen that aspect of the story, and I learned a heck of a lot about romantic tension in the process. Now I don’t seem able to write any story without at least an element of romance in it, but I’m happy with that.

So I’m proud to call myself an sfr author, and to be a part of that community of writers, with thanks to those who pointed me in the right direction with my story. “To infinity and beyond (with a kiss).”

So what makes a good science fiction romance story for you? A simple ‘will they/won’t they’ storyline? A love story set against galactic conquest? Love that’s doomed to fail? Please tell me in the comments (with your contact details) and I’ll choose a random winner to receive an e-book copy of Keir. And there’s more! To celebrate the official release date on the 7th May I’m offering a special prize over on my blog here, open internationally. You can also see the full list of blogs for the Keir Book Tour for more chances to win. All prize draws will take place after midnight BST in the UK on the 14th May. Good luck!

If you can’t wait to find out if you’re a winner, all new titles at Lyrical Press Inc are 30% off for the first week after release.

Keir - a science-fiction romance available 7th May 2012 from Lyrical Press Inc:


Outcast. Cursed. Dying. Is Keir beyond redemption?

For Keirlan de Corizi--the legendary 'Blue Demon' of Adalucien--death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel the stars with a wave of her hand. 

But Quin has secrets of her own. She's spent eternity searching through space and time with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her friends' counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant exile from Quin's home world, will she risk everything to stand by him again?

Author Bio:

A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. Besides torturing her characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 18 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.


Twitter: @pippajaygreen
Keir - Beyond Redemption (book page)
Pippa Jay (profile)

 Book trailer:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

To celebrate two of my upcoming releases in June, that are science fiction romance, Rebel Souls and Courtesan Boot Camp, I'm going to be blogging about all things science fiction for my next few posts. Today I wanted to talk about some of the fun and interesting things I picked up while researching my novels.

When I research my science fiction romance novels, I always come across some interesting things you don’t think about when you’re grounded on Terra Firma. Here’s a few.

The stronger the gravity, the faster you age. So in theory, the further off a planet you are, the longer you’ll stay young. Anyone for an extended trip to the moon?

If two pieces of metal touch in space, they will permanently bond together. Wonder if that would help with the patching of a ship’s hull. Hmmm. Instant welding. Got some possibilities there.
The Earth gains 100 tons every day from falling space dust. And one has to wonder just what is in that space dust raining down on us. Another plot possibility.
Venus is the only planet in our galaxy that rotates clockwise. My husband says that’s just like a woman. Pthhhhhhhh. Hey, it seems the only planet going in the right direction, is named after a woman. Sound familiar?

If you go into space unprotected, you will last approximately 1.5 minutes without permanently damaging your body. After that, things get ugly. On a side note, holding your breath in space with kill you, as gases in your lungs expand. Also, moisture evaporates away rapidly, so you’d be more likely to get sunburned than flash frozen. The only man who suffered exposure in space and lived to talk about it, described the moisture on his tongue boiling away.
Astronauts can’t burp in space. Wonder if it’s the same for passing of “other” gas? Considering the close quarters on a shuttle, this is a blessing indeed. That’s going out to all the women who have had their men roll up car windows and lock them while they turn the vehicle’s cab into a stink bomb. (I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this atrocity. Am I?)
There are two golf balls on the moon. Not real green, but hey, I bet they got some distance on that drive.

Some asteroids have other asteroids orbiting them. I find this both scary and fascinating. Scary that there are asteroids out there big enough to have their own gravitational field, and fascinating in that they have a gravitational field and could be landed on, in theory, just like they did in the movies. Go Bruce Willis.
Okay, ready for some science and excerpts?

Courtesan Boot Camp ~
Release date June 27th, 2012

She stopped in front of the tall door and stared at it for several seconds before she found her courage. Shay cleared her throat. “Open,” she spoke in her most commanding tone. Stepping forward on instinct, she smacked face first into the hard surface, which had failed to vaporize as expected.
Shay reached up and rubbed the tip of her nose. What kind of freaking planet is this?

She poked it and cleared her throat. “Open.” The door didn’t move. Shay glanced around for a button, or something, anything to activate the mechanism that opened it. Lever? Fuck. Nothing but a round thingy. She bit her lip again. Certainly nothing as primitive as….

You have to turn the round thingy, honey. This time Milos’s voice came through by brainwave, telepathy, or whatever he was using to annoy the shit out of her.

“Stay out of my head.”

Turn the knob. Open the door. It’s not rocket science.“I know rocket science. I don’t need your instructions.”

“Of course you don’t.”

“You’re an asshole!”

“Nice language.”

Shay lifted her chin to look in the face of…dear gods. Dark hair, green eyes, strong jaw and chin. The man standing in the doorway had looks that would melt a woman where she stood. And she’d just called him an asshole, or he thought she did. Her mouth dropped open.

Outside of the Ruellan prince, he had to be the most attractive man she’d ever seen, and even then, he might even be more handsome than Tavin. He had a good four inches on her, making her five feet nine feel petite. The tall drink of Dominus wore loose-fitting pants like her martial arts instructors, and no shirt, unlike her martial arts instructors.

On his chest he bore a tattoo of a Ruellan military insignia from a spec-ops unit made up of Toric soldiers—for-hire mercenaries. The tattoo, a dragon-like creature known an avenger, whipped its tail around, moving across the surface of his skin through a nanite-infusing technology. The nanites were housed in microscopic beads that made up the ink used by the artist. They were programmed to change the color inside each bead, going from clear to any hue in the spectrum within a micro-second, creating a moving picture that could travel from head to toe on its host, if the person had been tattooed in that manner. A lengthy and painful process, Shay had only ever seen pictures of it before.

The avenger opened its mouth as though it were roaring, and slipped down his chest, across his abs in a serpent-like, undulating motion, sliding back up onto the opposite shoulder, where it wrapped its tail around his arm before freezing in place.

It was not uncommon for a Toric to be tattooed in such a manner. The general population of the mongrels had a touch of sadism, making her wonder if what Milos told her were true—that he didn’t like anyone.

Most Toric were mixed breeds, with roots on every planet in the galaxy. Full-blooded Torics were rare and most often were advisors to royalty, or like the little asshole, Milos, close to the royals.

And dear gods, abs like that really existed in more than airbrushed images in holo-mags. Her head began to spin and Shay grabbed his arm to keep from swooning.

He glanced down at her hand and back up to her face. “I hope your manners are better than I’ve seen thus far.”

She yanked her hand off. Heat flushed through her body, certainly turning her a nice cherry red. Again, an inappropriate response for a Ruellan courtesan. “Oh shit.” Followed by another—she was making a stellar impression.

The corner of his mouth twitched. Are you coming inside?

She sucked in a breath and stepped inside. Fantastic, another mind-reader. “Dayne?”

“At your service.”

Ah, tattoos that move by nanite. Wonder if it travels to other places on his body? To find out, check out the story releasing June 27th.

Rebel Souls ~
Release date June 1st, 2012

“Ava!” Uncle Theo barked above the alarms. Ozone rolled across the deck, and overhead lights blinked on and off with a buzzing pop, creating a strobe effect. “A little help here. We’ve got a League destroyer off our port bow.”

“I’m working on a plan B.” The destroyer had already fired once. The shot clipped their hull close enough to start a fire in the forward control panel. The deck erupted into chaos, and the crew scrambled to extinguish the flames before they spread through the oxygen-saturated environment.

“You better move.”

“Going as fast as I can.” A holographic dome encased her, providing a three-hundred and sixty degree view of her controls, readouts, everything she’d need to get them out of the situation they were in. Uncle Theo was right. None of it was worth a damn if she didn’t out-maneuver them, and quick. Captain Ava Frost spun her seat and hit the navigation charts. A blip on the dome indicated the Avira, her ship, had moved within range of League cannons, more than confirmed by the shot from the Regulator vessel. The next one would punch a hole in the Avira’s bow, and they’d crumple like foil if she didn’t get her ionic shields up. “I see her.”

“They’ve got backup. Two off the starboard.”

“Fantastic. They want to make it interesting.” Ava whirled the other way and brought up the schematics of their ships. “Got them. Make that four League Destroyers. We still got a buddy on the other side of that wormhole.” She eyed the screen. Too much attention for a small time smuggler. “What are they all doing here? They don’t normally patrol together.” Whatever it was couldn’t be good. From the grim expression on her uncle’s face, he’d come to the same conclusion. If they wanted to get out of this alive, they’d need to lose them.

And she’d investigate later. Ava ignored the wailing alarms and the burning in her throat and eyes. She had to focus, or they were done. Her uncle never surrendered his ship, so there wasn’t a question as to what she’d do. It was the how she hadn’t figured out.

No, the destroyer wasn’t docking with her ship, and they sure as hell weren’t boarding. The Galactic Regulators, pit bulls brought in by the United League of Planets to enforce law in League space, had locked on to their position, and it would only be a matter of moments before they made link and demands. Of all the police forces out there in the universe, they were up against the most highly trained and diverse group of law enforcement. Every world with membership in the ULP sent their top candidates to train and serve as League Regulators. Most Regulators came from military backgrounds in special operations and thrived in hostile environments, looking for trouble wherever they could find it. There would be little she could do to surprise them, but that wouldn’t stop her from trying.

Her favorite part.

So, what are some of your favorite science authors have employed in science fiction romance? From Warp drives to holo rooms and cyborgs, is there anything that comes to mind? 

Have a great weekend.