Launching Romance into the stars.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two Rebels and a Regulator

I love when I get a shiny new cover and this one is no exception.

 “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 Nexian government.

A child of two worlds, Ava is bound by a heritage that won’t let her go. While living with her family on New Xiera, Ava meets Brodie Mark, a boy that will someday become the leader of the revolution, and a man who will challenge her love and loyalties in every way imaginable.

When Brodie leads an attack in the Blue District, a refugee neighborhood, slaughtering the Nexian hierarchy, his act kicks off a torrent of bloody retribution. It costs him the lives of the only family he’s ever known, and love of the woman he calls Duchess. Unable to cope with the loss, Brodie disappears into the underground, determined to make things right.

Ten years later, believing Brodie is dead, Ava moves on with her life. She meets the last man she should fall in love with, Commander Seth Reynolds. The Regulator is searching for a dangerous shipment of fissile materials, the very same shipment Ava brought to New Xiera on her ship. When he begins to stalk Ava around the planet, she turns the tables on him and soon discovers she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

Unable to resist the sexy Regulator, Ava begins a passionate affair, playing with danger and soon finds herself torn between two men, when Brodie surfaces and wants her back.
One last run across League space. One last trip for the rebels and Ava plans to retire, start a family and soak in the love of a man on the opposite side of everything she is, a man that places duty above all things—a man that would have her executed if he knew what she’s been doing.

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


Okay, time to reveal the cover. Drum roll please....

Tell me you're lovin this.
Come on, it's okay.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Got a mock up for Rebel Souls

Of course it's not finalized, so I can't show you yet.

It's one of those love hate things. I love most of it, don't like one of the pieces, and I'm waiting to see if they'll change it.

It's not horrid, it just doesn't feel like the character in the story, a younger version of him, yes, but not the Brodie you spend most of the story with in Rebel Souls. Regardless, it's a pretty cover and I can't wait to show everyone.

So, since I can't share the cover, I'll share an excerpt.

“Brodie?” she whispered.  It couldn’t be. He’d died. Had the drug conjured her memories and brought them to life? Her heart pounded against her ribs, threatening to break bone.

It had to be the air, couldn’t be real. Ava shook her head, trying to knock the illusion away. He didn’t disappear like a mirage on hot sand, but remained fixed, staring at her with the same intensity he studied everything and everyone. Her breath caught and she swallowed hard, trying to control the multitude of emotions that crashed onto her.

The message she’d received from the Underground, instructed her to come here, to meet Tagas, one of the Nexian Rebel leaders. She certainly hadn’t expected the man who sat at the table, his legs stretched out in front of him and a drink in his hand. “My gods,” she muttered.

“What?”

Ava blew out a breath, unable to speak further. She hadn’t seen him for ten years, thought he’d been killed. Even so, she’d recognize him anywhere, the power he held in his eyes, the stubborn line of his mouth, and the way he reclined, yet appeared ready to spring at any second. Apprehension settled into her guts.

He’d grown broader in the shoulders, all muscle, without an inch of fat on his frame, a more mature version of the man she’d known, and definitely not dead. She raised her hand to her chest to steady her heart. Brodie gave her a slight nod, as if to say, I’ve come back.

Yeah, she got that. She tugged the fabric off her mouth, wanting more air, and knowing she didn’t need the filter anymore. If Brodie was here, the drugs weren’t. For several moments, she absorbed his image, taking time for reality catch up to her whirling mind.

My gods, he’s alive. Even more handsome than his twenty-one year old self, Brodie commanded the room. None dared to look his way—other than her. His dreadlocks were gone, replaced with a clean military-styled cut. It gave his face sharper angles, exposing his hard bone structure. He stared at her, raised a brow and his gaze shifted to her right, his attention landing on Seth. Cold, hard, and like a snake about to strike.

Shit.

By now, word had gotten back to him about her standoff outside the wormhole with the Regulators, as well as the fight on the street. Brodie was the ultimate predator and always had eyes and ears everywhere. Her heart skipped and fear gripped her insides. “Back toward the door.” She’d seen that look before, moments before Brodie killed someone.

“Why?” Seth pulled his collar down and switched his laser from stun.

“Don’t do that in here. He’ll take it as a challenge,” Ava said the words as Brodie tossed his shot back and slammed the glass down on the hovering table next to him. Too late. He’d caught it. “You need to leave.”

“Not until I find out what you’re doing in New Xiera.”

“This is not the time to argue. Get out of here, or I won’t be responsible for what happens.”

“I’m a big boy, Captain Frost. I can take care of myself, and I’m only leaving when you do.” He grabbed her arm, and Ava yanked away. Brodie rose to his feet, murder on his face. He moved across the bar, the crowd parted before him, giving him twice the space he needed. Within seconds, he was face to face with Seth.

“Duchess,” Brodie said, not breaking the stare-down. “You’ve brought a friend.”

“Brodie, you’re alive.”

“Yes.”

Both men glared at each other. Energy seethed around them. Several patrons collected themselves and exited as quickly as possible, somehow sensing the trouble coming on.

“It’s not what you think,” she said.

“What is it I think, Duchess?” He turned his face to her, his expression unreadable.

“Seth is on leave. He escorted me here for my safety.”

“Is this true?” Brodie turned back to Seth. “I somehow doubt the Duchess needs your protection. She’s managed all these years without it.”

“I escorted her here to get her arm bandaged. She said someone at this place could take care of it.” Seth stared back, holding Brodie’s challenge, refusing to look away or back down. “Are you that someone?”

Ava swallowed hard. “Brodie….”

Brodie raised his hand to silence her and broke the showdown, dropping his gaze to Ava’s arm. He didn’t need to posture to prove he was bad. If Brodie wanted to kill Seth—he simply would. He reached out and grabbed her hand gently, raising her wound to the light. “You call this keeping her safe? She’s sliced to the bone.”

“Children.”

“I know,” Brodie said, confirming Ava’s suspicions that he’d had advance knowledge of the encounter with the children and her traveling companion. Knowing Brodie, he already had scouts on the street, digging for information on the Regulator. He’d know everything about Seth, including the color of his undergarments, before the star rose in the sky. Question was, would he play nice?

 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds

My favorite Science Fiction hero is Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. I love that he appears to have a moral compass that gets thrown out of wack by bad guys. And he gets all flustered when Inara is standing by. Is it because she is beautiful or that her talent is sexual pleasure? I'm guess both.







The reason is Nathan Fillion. He said during an interview that  his mother told him as a child, "you are a nerd, your gift is that you look normal." Well, that's putting it mildly. I fell for him as the boyfriend on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. A little dorky but oooh soo cute.

The other night I'm watching Jimmy Kimmel and here comes Nathan. He mentions that he recently moved and it was sad because at his old address his cat was in the Google Street View. *awe* Then he said he walked onto the porch of his new place and the Google camera vehicle was coming down the road. So he did the typical nerd/geek thing and thought of a pose to strike for the Street View cameras.


It's why we love him. Oh! and his ass.. for those of you who do not have the Firefly DVD set I offer you a picture from the extras. 



Happy Friday Fellow Browncoats. May the Reavers never find you and the profits be large. *Cough*

Graylin Fox

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Sci-Fi Romance recommendations

Now, I want you to know there are so many fabulous sci-fi romance stories out there. I'm only focusing on those I've read since the beginning of the year. I have so many more on my Kobo and bookshelves to read.

Anyway, here are two more that I recommend:

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

This is the second book in the Across the Universe series aimed at young adults. (I read many YA books.)

Blurb:

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months. In that time, Amy has learned to hide who she is. Elder is trying to be the leader he’s always wanted to be. But as the ship gets more and more out of control, only one thing is certain: They have to get off the ship.

My thoughts:

While this story does not start out with the same intensity as Across the Universe, it makes up for it throughout the rest of the book. A Million Suns is filled with secrets, riots, chaos, murder, and more. A great page-turner, continuing to build on the relationship between Amy and Elder, and all of the obstacles they encounter. I highly recommend both books in this series, and look forward to reading the conclusion, Shades of Earth. January 2013 seems too far away.


Last Flight of the Ark by D.L. Jackson

There is not one story by D.L. Jackson that I haven't absolutely loved! She always manages to stir my emotions.

Blurb:

Evolution never happened so fast.

Twelve hours outside of Terra II, Colonel Kaleb Titan, a molecular geneticist and commander of the Ark, faces a life or death choice that could change the fate of mankind.

The Genesis I, aka the Ark, travels with a hold full of wildlife and three crew members. When a wolf bite and genetically-altering gamma radiation transform Kaleb, he notices his senses have been heightened, his libido has gone haywire and he can’t keep his hands off his crew. Worse yet, they don't seem inclined to stop him.

When their sister ship, the Genesis II arrives early, Kaleb’s problems compound. As soon as the command crew of the Genesis II boards, one whiff tells Kaleb they’re not from Earth or who they appear to be.

When he discovers that they’ve kept the Genesis II’s crew of over two thousand alive, he begins to believe their reasons may be far more ominous than anyone could have imagined. However, he also discovers what’s holding them back. The hijackers seem to be allergic to canines.

Now they're forced to employ biological warfare against their own, but will it be enough to save humanity?

History is about to repeat and only one species will survive.

My thoughts:

Colonel Kaleb Titan has spent the past eight months on a ship with two women. But he had always kept a professional distance from them. On the way to a new planet, Terra II to set up a new colony, they pass through gamma radiation which changes his resolve and the rest of their mission.

Last Flight of the Ark is a wonderful sci-fi menage romance filled with unexpected twists and turns and hot sex. It sucked me in and held on, stirring my emotions all the way to the last page.

So, once again, I ask you, what sci-fi romance books do you recommend? Recommend your own, if you like. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ode to Farscape

As one of my commenters pointed out earlier this week, there was something about Farscape.

A snarky human, a peacekeeper (who kicks major ass and steals his heart), a Delvian, a Luxan, a Hynerian, a Nebari, a Stykera, and a half breed Sebacean/Scarran.


Now that's a crew! And the ship was sentient. Moya is a living ship and the inspiration for the ship (and story) in Deadly Beauty.

There have been post after post about the Love between Crichton (human) and Aeryn (peacekeeper). My choice for the longest lasting and most stable relationship on this show was between the Pilot and Moya.




Moya 

Pilot

Pilot connected to and flying Moya.



Pilot has multiple limbs and is actually connected to the ship. He steers the ship, translates her for the crew, and when she gets hurt, he becomes ill. Now that is Love.


Graylin

And Best Blogger Posts Were...

Graylin Fox
Arlene Webb
Heather Massey

I'm sending you a little somthing from http://www.thinkgeek.com

Thanks for participating.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Science Fiction Romance recommendations

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in, and visited during Backward Momentum's 1st Annual Valentine's Bash. It was a blast!

Now, I recently finished off two blog tours and two blog hops. The one thing I noticed is that to many readers, science fiction romance is still foreign territory. And I just happen to be on a SFR reading binge--in between edits, that is. So, for the next couple weeks (maybe longer), I thought I'd share some of the recent science fiction romance books that I've read and loved. Here are the first two:

Screw Superman (Screwing the Superhero) by Rebecca Royce


Rebecca's Sexy Superhero takes an erotic twist on the superheroes we normally see in comics and on film.

Blurb:

Wendy Warner is a bit of an oddball. Raised in an orphanage, she has found solace and friendship by watching the television show Space Adventures and participating in fan clubs related to the show. Every month, on the second and third Fridays Wendy comes to work dressed in a costume from the show that she wears to charity events. This has earned her the disdain of many of her coworkers but not from her boss, the president of the company, Draco Powers who rather likes the way the uniform tugs at all of her curves in the just the right places.

Draco Powers is a real life Superhero who told the world that, yes, Superheroes do exist, but, no, we won’t work for free or without health insurance. Some people refer to him with derision as the ‘Capitalist Superman.’ Draco is being hunted by an organization called the Organization, whose motives are unclear and yet still cause death and destruction wherever they go.

The Organization has decided that Draco’s biggest weakness is the way he cares about his employees and has picked Wendy out as their next target. To save her, Draco will have to come to terms with his real feelings for Wendy and why it is that he has so long resisted complicated relationships. That is, if he can get there in time…

My thoughts:


Draco Powers is superhero, but one who charges for his services and provides health care to other superheroes in his employ. Wendy Warner is his handler, but she can't help but see him as more than her boss.

When Draco's company, Powers Inc. is threatened by The Organization, and he and Wendy find their lives on the line, will it push them closer, into something more intimate, or keep Draco from getting close to anyone?

This is a wonderful superhero story. While Draco is a larger-than-life character, Wendy is realistic and relateable, the perfect person to balance him. I enjoyed getting to know them as well as many of the minor characters.

The storyline is common to what I expect a superhero story to embody, but with twists and turns I didn't see coming.

If you're a fan of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, or any of the other good-willed men with secret identities, you'll enjoy this twist on their stories. I look forward to reading the next in the series.


Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch


This is the fourth book in the series, and they're still rockin'.

Blurb:

Alien Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt is expecting her first baby. But the alien attacks are getting more dangerous, and now Kitty and her Alpha Centaurion husband, Jeff, have to find out who's behind the conspiracy to kill Kitty's secret agent mom and what caused Kitty's transformation into a superhuman-and they've got to do it all before the baby shower...

My thoughts:


Wow, I don't think I've ever had any book bring tears to my eyes as often as this book. It seemed to go back and forth from kick-butt action to extreme emotion. I've been Team Martini for all of the other books in the series, but this book not only made me love them even more, but the rest of the gang as well.

What I enjoyed the most though, was how much these characters grew, not only in this story, but the rest of the series as well. Unlike other series I've read, where the main character goes through the same experiences book after book, Kitty is allowed to grow up, to experience life, on top of saving the universe. Ms. Koch is not afraid to change the formula of each book, to throw new situations at her characters, and I appreciate that.

I highly recommend this book as well as the rest of the series, and can't wait for Alien Diplomacy to release this spring.

And next week, I'll have two more; a young adult novel, and a hot menage.


Have any recommendations of your own? Leave them here. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Drum Roll Please....

The grand prize winner that gets to walk away with gift certificates and Ye Goode Shoppe Chocolates is...

Debbie Gould.

Congrats on bagging the big prize. I'll be contacting you soon.

I have a special surprise for the bloggers...

I'm just waiting for the final votes from the judges and three lucky bloggers are going to be walking away with gift certificates from http://www. thinkgeek.com

Stayed tuned.

And The Winners Are...

The winner for the post, When Lovers are Light Years Apart is:  Barbara Elsborg. She wins a $15.00 Amazon Gift Certificate.

The winner for the post, Flowers for Valentine's Day by Arlene Webb:  Pippa Jay Wins e-copies of Splintered Energy and Ashes.

The winner for the post, Where are Their Sex Parts Again by Graylin Fox:  Anna

The winner for the post, Don't Break my Heart by Barbara Elsborg:  Jan (We need an email addy) an e-copy of Lucy in the Sky.

The winner for the post, Passion, Emotion with High Stakes by Laurie Green is: Jan (Still need that email addy) Your choice of Lucy in the Sky or an Amazon Gift Card.

The winner for the post, Make-Your-Own-Valentines Gifts by Jessica Subject is:  Anna. You get a copy of one of her 1NS stories and a $10.00 ARE gift certificate.

The winner for the post, Be My Valentine, by Jaleta Clegg is:  Voss Foster and you win a copy of Nexus Point.

The winner for the post, The Top Ten Reasons to Fall in Love in Outer Space by Heather Massey is:  Bryce and you win a copy of Queenie's Brigade.

The winner for the post, Valentine's Day with Acton and Lizbeth by Rebecca Royce is:  Stacia Kelly wins a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card.

The winner for the post, A Chemical Romance is:  Kaye Manro and she wins her choice of a $10.00 gift card for Amazon or a $15.00 gift card for Lyrical Press Inc.

The winner for the post, Eye F*cking and Other Non-Verbal Communication by Heidi Rubby Miller is: 1 e-copy of AMBASADORA - Kaye Manro, 1 e-copy of GREENSHIFT - Barbara Mountjoy,    1e-bundle of both books - Barbara Elsborg

The winner for the post, My Love of Sci Fi by Sara Brookes is:   Misa Buckley and she will get her choice of an e-book copy of one of her Sypricon Masters books.


Winner for the post, My Name is Misa and I'm a Speculative Romance Author is:  Anna and she wins a copy of IronHaven

Winner for the post, Communicating from a Distance is: Debbie Gould and she wins either a signed or e-copy of Blown Away.

Thanks to Readers and Bloggers

First off, I'd like to thank all those who contributed a blog to the LLL Valentine's Day bash.
To show my appreciation, and make it fun for them too, I've have four judges look at the posts. The top three posters will win a gift  certificate from http://www.thinkgeek.com
I will be annoucing who tonight and sending out their prizes.

Now for all who attended and entered the drawings. We are drawing names and the winners will be announced tonight as well, including the grand prize winner selected from all the combined blog comments.

Thanks again for participating in our first annual bash.

Dawn

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Communicating from a Distance

Science and love. I had to really think about how this affects us in our daily lives and how that translates into my science fiction romance and erotic romance.

Last year at this time, my son, a Marine, was deployed to Afghanistan. My daughter-in law had just had a baby a few months before he left. She stayed with us, for company and sanity. Many a night I'd hear her laughing as she Skyped with my son, and it brought me back to a time when I was in her position and my Skype, had been a letter home or phone call. I remember the overwhelming joy of hearing my husband's voice, or reading his words as he told me how much he missed me.

How does science affect our daily lives? Well, as you can see from my example above, It gives deployed soldiers a chance to look into their lover's faces, gaze into their eyes and engage them visually, as well as verbally, even though they're on the other side of the planet. Something I longed for twenty-two years ago.

And how wonderful that is. Our faces truly can convey so much meaning, from longing to love, anger, sadness. Even though I relied on letters and phone calls, truly advanced communication compared to someone one hundred years ago, who had to wait for the ship to come in, and perhaps then they'd hear news of their lover, it's nothing as advanced as what my daughter-in-law used to talk to my son.

It's been twenty-two years since I was the woman, on the other end of the letter of phone, longing for the day I could hold my husband and see his smiling face. I wonder, if we've advanced at the rate we have in that short span to the way it is now, how will lovers, those separated by miles, sometimes light years, communicate with one another in the future?

Will they have a three dimensional holo to dance the night away, sit with at the table while they eat, or play a virtual board game? Will they be able to whisper sweet words in their lover's mind as they sleep? Could they put on a body suit and visor, feel their lover's touch through sensors and holographic images, taking phone sex to a whole different level?

Here are two short excerpts with lovers of the future, communicating:

Rebel Souls: 

As she stared into his eyes and pressed her hand against the screen, she knew without a doubt, this was it. No going back. Her lips opened, but her throat tightened and everything she’d wanted to say, stuck on her tongue and refused to come out.

“Ava.” He raised his palm and placed it over hers. His gaze beseeched her to stop. “Don’t do…”

A punch of a button and she cut the link. No. Come and get me—tell me in person. That wedge of metal had forced a more than a rift between them. No, she couldn’t hear his rejection, his order to go home, nor would she give him the chance to say it. All or nothing. No more denial, no more crying at night and sharing a bed with a man she didn’t love beyond friendship. No more.

Collateral Lives: 

"Knock it off.”

The voice shocked her out of her dirty play, and for a second she stopped. Then she realized why it irritated him. The corner of her mouth curled into a wicked smile.  “Make me.” She went back to work, pleasuring herself.

“I’m in a tactical meeting. I don’t need to come in my pants.”

Trouble threw her head back and laughed. “And that’s incentive to make me stop?” She closed her eyes and stroked herself again. “Suck it up, princess and focus,” she threw his words back at him, knowing they’d get right under his hide.

“Persist and find out what happens.”

“You’re not that bad. I’ll take my chances.” She started to laugh again. Oh, that felt good. The bastard deserved a little of the same shit he dished out. “How does it feel?” She worked her fingers on her g-spot. “You like that?”

Silence filled her thoughts—the first she’d had since she’d woken up on the station. She stopped laughing and opened her eyes. “Avery?” Trouble screwed up her face and looked toward the latrine door and the trail of clothes that led to her... Shit. She scrambled out of the shower, slipped and slammed to the metal decking. “Fuck.” That would leave a bruise. Never mind—it would blend with the others. Trouble rolled to knees and pushed to her feet, her knee now bleeding. She snagged a towel and rushed across the decking for the door, slipped again and landed on her ass. She climbed to her feet a second time and darted for the entrance with a mild limp, hoping she’d reach it before Avery. How far away was his meeting? Certainly he wouldn’t beat her… As she skidded to a stop in front of the door and reached for the lock, the steel panel slid open.

“Crap.”

There he stood in all his glory, his chest rising and falling from hauling ass to her front door. His eyes traveled down her naked body. Trouble lifted the towel in front of her, covering her nudity. Avery reached out, grabbed the tail and yanked, leaving her completely exposed. “Next time you find the balls to challenge me—remember to lock the door. Better yet—remember to keep your door locked. There are a multitude of reasons people are on this level—none of them good.” He dropped her towel and did one more head-to-toe sweep of her body. “I need a drink.”

So, two examples. One with the ability to cut the link, the other without. Both heroines communicate from a distance, sometimes sharing not just words but touch. Thanks for stopping by our bash. Be sure to leave a comment under each of the posts to maximize your chance to win some of the great prizes.

Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey
Rebecca Royce
Pippa Jay
Heidi Ruby Miller
J.C. Cassels
Sara Brookes
Misa Buckley

My name is Misa and I’m a speculative romance author.

I blame my sister for the latter. She used to read Harlequin books and I used to borrow them, coming into contact with heaving breasts and milky thighs at a very tender age. I read Judy Bloom’s Forever. I watched Dirty Dancing and Romancing the Stone and learned to love being in love. Love is such a universal emotion, and I think that’s why I chose to combine it with my other passion – science fiction.


When I started writing, it was science fiction that I wrote. However, other other worlds fascinated me just as much; worlds closer to home and the possibilities of the supernatural. I discovered a love for the altered past in Steampunk, and alternative versions of Earth in urban fantasy. And I began to write speculative fiction, but always with a touch of romance. Okay, maybe more than a touch. Shut up.This love is down to watching Star Trek and Doctor Who as a child. I had a fascination with the stars that only science fiction could satisfy, though I watched every shuttle launch until the BBC stopped broadcasting them after the Challenger disaster. I wanted to boldly go and explore this last frontier. In lieu of that, I watched the Enterprise and the TARDIS, read about The Day of the Triffids and The War of the Worlds and journeyed with Arthur Dent.

So speculative fiction + romance = speculative romance. To date I have written a love story set at the end of time, a woman finding a second chance at life after becoming a vampire, and a disabled woman who finds love in a man from two hundred years in the future. In the WIP folder is a zombie-hunting cowboy, an angel with an attitude, and cynical Mafiosa tending a bar at the butt-end of the galaxy. And I’m having THE best time ever.


My name is Misa and I’m a speculative romance author.

Bio: Misa grew up fascinated by space and its possibilities. She wrote her first novel in 2007 for NaNoWriMo, and while she didn't finish it she was bitten by the writing bug. Her first published story, IRONHAVEN, was published in 2011 by Decadent Publishing. Her second is out July 2012 through Champagne Books.

When she's not writing (which is rarely), she can be found herding her children, chasing after her husband, or fiddling with her 1972 VW Beetle. She can be found on Twitter as MisaBuckey and the quickest way of getting her attention is to mention Cliff Simon.

Giveaway!
Leave a comment for your chance to WIN an ePUB copy of Ironhaven.



Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey
Rebecca Royce
Pippa Jay
Heidi Ruby Miller
J.C. Cassels
Sara Brookes

My love of sci-fi by Sara Brookes

I have my father to blame for my love of sci-fi. To this day I still vividly remember standing in line at the movie theatre as we waited to see The Empire Strikes Back (sorry, I’m a Star Wars snob – that whole “episode” mess is just…no). I was five. And I thought it was the coolest thing that my dad had taken me to meet Darth Vader.


When I was twelve, it was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I still remember curling up on the floor in front of the television set while he sat in his recliner as we watched the show. Mom would roll her eyes, with the only understanding that her “nerds” were watching their weekly dose of sci-fi.

Well…the love of sci-fi runs deep in my family—I’ve evidently passed along to the love without really even trying. When the new Star Trek movie was released, it was one of the most awesome experiences for me to sit in the IMAX theatre with my dad on one side of me and my then 12 year old daughter on the other side of me. She was jumping around and talking about the movie as soon as we left the theatre and it was like I’d jumped in a time machine (DeLoren, if you please) and saw myself.

So, share your love of sci-fi, in whatever form it may come.

~*~

Sara Brookes is an award-winning author who has always been fascinated by the strange, the unusual, the twisted and the lost (tortured heroes are her personal favorite). She is an action movie junkie, addicted to coffee and has been known to stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing RPG video games. Despite all this, she is a romantic at heart and is always a sucker for an excellent love story. Born and bred in Virginia, Sara still lives there with her husband and daughter. The entire family is owned by two cats, Galahad and Loki, who graciously allow the family to cater to their every desire.

Giveaway!
Sara is offering an ebook copy of one of the books in her Sypricon Masters series (winner's choice). Leave a comment for your chance to WIN!


Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey
Rebecca Royce
Pippa Jay
Heidi Ruby Miller
J.C. Cassels

When lovers are light years apart by J.C. Cassels





When I read an article which posed that question back in 1984, it inspired me to explore that very topic within the realm of Science Fiction Romance.Love is a basic human craving. You can trace it back to the beginning of time. It only goes to reason that as humans reach out to the stars and beyond, that we would take with us the simple desire to love and be loved in return. But when lovers are separated by light years, and intergalactic politics puts them on opposite sides of the battle lines, how do they resolve that basic human need?

Even in today’s society, individuals in search of a potential mate are turning to social networking, internet dating, and matchmaking services to find THE ONE. We pass through our lives in our insulated little worlds, interacting through smart phone apps and computer screens. Living together on the same planet, finding true love is still hit-and-miss, and no less a miracle. When I decided I was ready to meet someone, I posted an ad on an internet dating site. Many men answered, among them, THE ONE. When looking at his criteria, he noted that if I had lived two miles further south, we may never have met at all. I would have been more than fifty miles from him.Just because people travel far from their planet of origin, doesn’t mean they lose that simple human craving for love. Here on Earth, we take finding love for granted sometimes. It is a miracle in itself to find a true, everlasting love. In a universe in which human settlements are scattered across parsecs of space, it would be no less a miracle, but perhaps one more appreciated.


Fifty miles seems insignificant next to the light years between planetary systems, but the arbitrary distance, chosen at random, made the difference between a lifetime with THE ONE and years of loneliness. Put your lovers into space and send them to opposite ends of the galaxy and – poof! – you redefine the term “long-distance love affair.” It’s up to the writer, to facilitate the circumstances for them to meet and fall in love.
When love is true, it is unstoppable, invincible, and immortal – all the best elements for a rollicking good adventure. True love brings out the best in everyone and makes heroes of ordinary men. It only makes sense that given the right set of circumstances, even space adventurers would make fools of themselves for love.
On Valentine’s Day, everyone is allowed to be foolishly in love, and unleash their inner romantic, even geeks. So today, which happens to be this geek’s wedding anniversary. I will be celebrating by giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to one lucky person. There are three ways to enter:

1) comment on this post.

2)You may also enter for the drawing by e-mailing me with your name and e-mail address with "Love, Lasers & Lightswords" in the subject line.

3) Tweet me with the hashtag #giveaway


I will be selecting one lucky winner at random and will notify that person on February 15. Amazon gift e-gift card will be sent to the winner’s email address and is only valid for Amazon.com.

Gotta Name My Blog: http://jccassels.wordpress.com/
Look for the details on upcoming releases including THE TENNOVA JOB, the first installment in THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES.
Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey
Rebecca Royce
Pippa Jay 
Heidi Ruby Miller

Eye F*cking and Other Non-Verbal Communication by Heidi Ruby Miller

Eye F*cking and Other Non-Verbal Communication




It was an advanced cultural anthropology class on conformity and conflict revolving around sex. You know the kind—you read about all these mating rituals around the world then go and reenact them back in your dorm room with some guy who's joining the Peace Corps upon graduation.

Except in your lame imitation of a domestic Margaret Mead, you learn a little something along the way—like what's the difference between polygamy, polygyny, polyandry, and plural marriage or how gender roles form among the sexes or why most sex begins with non-verbal communication.




One of our required readings was an article from an old 1971 issue of Playboy Magazine titled "The Sounds of Silence," where Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, a husband and wife research team—how cute is that!—wrote about the significance of non-verbal communication. They explained through examples how every subtle gesture and facial expression adds necessary depth to our verbal messages and how those gestures take on a different significance depending upon culture.




Among other things, they talk about how we use preening gestures to show interest in the opposite sex. For instance, a woman might smooth her hair, show her bare wrists or part of a thigh, while a man moves his gaze over the woman's body and face repeatedly--thus the title of my post!

In fact, the Halls detail in their article how we communicate three things with our eyes: dominance vs. submission, positive vs. negative, and involvement vs. detachment. Pretty straight forward stuff when you think about it.




When I created a culture for my books set in the Ambasadora-verse, I went back to the Halls' article and all the other readings from my anthro class. I knew I wanted a society in which plural marriage was the norm because it was the only way to replenish a decimated population traveling for generations on worldships. But some of these citizens would still yearn for the taboo of monogamy, for finding their one true love--even though the concept of love is relegated to nothing more than an emotional fallacy within their world.




In this kind of sexually charged culture, where there was a caste system in place, finding genetically superior mates (I call them amours) would become the most important thing, even among these sophisticated and technologically advanced humans. So I made them a very affectionate society where every gesture signifies something, whether it's a kiss to the forehead meant as an informal greeting or honing in on a potential amour's pupil dilation to gauge attraction. Deciphering the meaning of a touch becomes an art form and flirtation reaches the level of targeted precision.




Romance writers and readers have known for a long time just how important these silent signals are to relationships, especially when a couple first meets. The body language is just as important as the dialogue. That's why we embrace those gazes, those sultry looks, and those playful trailing of fingertips across skin--they're there for a reason!

GIVEAWAY: Tell us about a book you've read which really used body language to increase sexual tension between the characters and be entered to win a copy of one of my books, Greenshift or Ambasadora, or a bundle of both. Don't forget to leave your email address disguised something like this: heidirubymiller AT gmail. The three winners will be drawn randomly. Good luck!



Heidi Ruby Miller has been putting too much sex in her Science Fiction since 2005 because the relationship is as important as the adventure.

She loves high-heeled shoes, action movies, Chanel, intense music, and video games. And she has a column called Geek Girl Underground on IMJ.

Heidi is a member of The Authors Guild, Pennwriters, SFR Brigade, Broad Universe, and SFPA. Visit her at heididrubymiller.blogspot.com.

The sexy photos came from 123RF(R)!





Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey
Rebecca Royce

A Chemical Romance by Pippa Jay


Love is one of the most common themes in creative arts. It’s considered part of the survival instinct, a drive that helps keep human beings together to ensure the continuation of the species. Perhaps that’s why it’s such a common theme, particularly in science fiction, where threats to the species can be so much bigger and catastrophic on a galactic, or even universal scale.

But how would that work for a relationship between two different species, as can happen in a science fiction romance? Would a species that might be physically compatible respond in the same way to the pheromones released by a human? What if they had the opposite effect? And if love in a human is the drive to mate and perpetuate the species, how does that work with a biologically incompatible partner? Will we ever find out for real!?Most of us are aware that love is supposedly the result of a cocktail of different chemicals surging round our bodies. That initial dizziness we feel, the racing heart, the sweaty palms and hot flushes are all down to the release of dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine. The feeling of bliss comes from the “pleasure drug” dopamine. The racing heart and excitement are due to the adrenaline-like norepinephrine. Together they produce elation, intense energy, sleeplessness, loss of appetite: all the classic symptoms of being in love. When a couple has sex, oxytocin is released during orgasm and creates an emotional bond. The more sex, the greater the bond.

So far most of my involved couples have been human (or relatively so!). But romance in science fiction where one or both of the characters isn’t human is part of what gives sfr a greater scope to explore. To pursue a whole range of ‘what ifs’ beyond the simple ‘will they/won’t they?’ get together. That’s what I love about science fiction romance, where a happily ever after may not just depend on that first kiss.

To celebrate I’m offering a random commentator (please leave an e-mail address!) the choice of either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $15 Gift Certificate from my publisher Lyrical Press Inc. Enjoy! J

Follow me on Twitter as - @pippajaygreen

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


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?



Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey
Rebecca Royce

Valentine's Day with Acton and Lizbeth by Rebecca Royce


Lizbeth fiddled with the control panel in the Maintenance Room. It never seemed to work right and after their last encounter with the Lizard People, she wasn’t exactly certain that it ever would again. How many times could one section of the ship get blown up and rebuilt before it went permanently haywire?

“Should you be doing that?”

Lizbeth jumped, bumping her head against the panel and cursing. Damn, Acton. He always snuck up on her.

He shook his head, making a tut-tut sound before pulling her into his embrace. “This is why I asked if you should be doing that?”

She shoved at his chest. “Captain, I was doing just fine until you startled me, which I think you did on purpose.”

Acton raised an eyebrow. “It’s Captain, now?”

Lizbeth flipped him her middle finger, something she knew he understood since he’d taught it to her. It might be an earth specific gesture but the meaning seemed clear in any language.

“Now, don’t be like that.” He took her hand, kissing her knuckles gently. “I’m just worrying about you and the little one.” He rubbed her belly to stress what he made.

She bit down on her lip. She couldn’t be angry with him when he acted like that. Her current pregnant state had come about thanks to his teaching her about mistletoe around the human Christmas holiday.

“I made you something?”

He pulled a cut out red piece of paper shaped like a heart and handed it to her. She stared at the paper blankly. “You had the computer cut out a heart out of a piece of red paper for me?”

Acton rolled his eyes. “I didn’t use the computer. I did it myself and it’s for you because it’s Valentine’s Day.”

“I don’t know what that is. Is it another human thing?”

“It's the day that humans stop and take time to tell each other how much they love each other.”

Lizbeth scratched her head. Human traditions confused her. “Why do they only do that once a year?”

“They do it all the time but Valentine’s Day they remember to take the time.”

She held out the card. “By cutting out pieces of paper?”

“And giving each other flowers and chocolate.”

Now that was an idea she could get behind “Chocolate?”

His grin lit up the room as he passed her a box filled with her most favorite thing in the universe—chocolate. She grabbed the present greedily and held it to her chest. “I think you’re right. I absolutely should not be fixing the maintenance unit. I absolutely should be eating these instead.”

Do you want to see more of Acton and Lizbeth and how they ended up together gallivanting through space? Check out Yes, Captain.

And Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift to one lucky commentator.

RR

http://rebeccaroyce.com/


Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg
Heather Massey

The Top Ten Reasons To Fall In Love In Outer Space by Heather Massey

Plenty of science fiction romances feature couples who fall in love during their far out space adventures. That got me to thinking—why is that? Why is space such a fertile locale for love?

As a result of my various synapses firing, I came up with The Top Ten Reasons To Fall In Love In Outer Space:

1) A Space station bar is a great place to meet your soul mate
2) Zero-g gravity
3) You can scream as loud as you want while having sex and no one will hear you.
4) Alien Lovers ‘R’ Us
5) Space is where all the cool cats hang out (bounty hunters, pirates, starship captains, etc.)

6) Extended starship journeys guarantee plenty of “us” time
7) Nothing brings a couple closer together better than a galactic war or the threat of an alien invasion
8) Falling in love on a planet is so twenty-first century
9) The views are spectacularly romantic
10) Exotic ports-of-call. After all, a couple needs either a relaxing getaway or a dangerous place to spice things up

Giveaway time!


To celebrate the idea of love matches in space, I’m giving away a digital copy of my military sci-fi romance, Queenie’s Brigade. Here’s the story blurb:

Captain Michael Drake desperately needs an army to save Earth after a crushing defeat by alien invaders. When his damaged starship docks at a remote prison colony, he discovers Earth’s last best hope—an army to replace the one he lost.


But Queenie, the feral goddess ruling the prison, has other plans for the rugged military leader. After imprisoning Drake and seizing his ship, she prepares to lead her blood-thirsty band to freedom before the invaders track them down.


Despite her intentions, Queenie secretly falls for the sexy, hotshot captain. Drake makes it plain he wants to win back Earth with her by his side. But is following her heart worth betraying her people?


***

The winner can choose from among these formats: PDF, ePub, or Mobi. The deadline to enter is midnight EST on Friday, 2/17/12.

Entering is easy: Leave a comment and tell me what appeals to you about characters falling in love in outer space!

About the author:
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

She’s also a writer of the subgenre: Her forthcoming sci-fi romance is The Watchmaker’s Lady (Clockpunk Trilogy #1), coming April 2012 from Red Sage Publishing. To learn more about her published work, visit www.heathermassey.com.

If you have science fiction romance news to share, or simply want to tell me about your kung fu fighting koala bear, email me at heather@heathermassey.com.



Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
Jaleta Clegg

Be My Valentine by Jaleta Clegg

Valentine's Day is a special one for me - it's my wedding anniversary. We rarely celebrate on that day, though, because we're mostly cheapskates and hate crowds. Our latest romantic date involved taking the dog to obedience class without our kids. Not what most people would consider romantic, not in the least. And yet, it was.

Romance really bothers me because I can't quantify it or measure it. I'm a science nerd, I want to take things apart and figure out the nuts and bolts. Romance in life and writing doesn't lend itself to logic or scientific inquiry.

What makes something romantic? Is it flowers and music and chocolate and sexy waiters with bedroom eyes serving bubbly drinks with umbrellas? Or does it have more to do with the relationship between the two lovers?

I don't write Romance, I write science fiction adventure with romantic subplots. For me, the romance is not the physical relationship between the characters, but the emotional. Nexus Point contains exactly one very short, chaste kiss. The sequel (which is in negotiation with a publisher, long story) contains a lot more kissing but less romance. The main character, Dace, has no idea what relationships are all about. She's been abused and neglected most of her life. When Tayvis, the hunky lead man in Nexus Point, takes an interest in her, she has no clue how to handle it or even what it means. A major theme of the books is the question, what is love and what does it really mean? For someone who's never experienced it, the question is a tough one to tackle.

Most romance stories deal with the initial falling-in-love stage of a relationship. It's exciting, it's sexy, it doesn't involve the day-to-day drudgery of life together. How sexy is a ratty flannel nightgown when you're seven months pregnant and feeling like something the cat chewed up, barfed out, and left on the front porch for a week? According to my husband, very sexy. That moment is real, and it's one of my precious memories. I was brushing my teeth in my decrepit flannel nightgown, feeling like a beached whale with my pregnant belly (number six, if you want to know), my hair a mess, and feeling like the cat toy, when my husband looked at me with that light in his eyes and said, "Do you know how beautiful you are?"

That, my friends, is real romance.


Giveaway!
Want to experience my kind of romance? I'm giving away one ebook copy of Nexus Point. And since life isn't romantic without chocolate somewhere, I'm giving away a bag of Dove chocolates (US only, please). Email me at jaletaclegg@gmail.com with your idea of a romantic moment and you could win! I'll pick winners randomly on Feb 21.

~Jaleta Clegg writes science fiction adventure with plenty of romance and silly horror stories without romance, although it leaks out sometimes when she's not looking. You can find links to her books and stories at www.jaletac.com


Be sure to check out previous posts from the Valentine's Day Bash for more chances to WIN!
Arlene Webb
Graylin Fox
Barbara Elsborg
Laurie A. Green
Jessica E. Subject
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