Friday, May 27, 2011

Amazon and The Vanishing Tags

I know some of you have been concerned about the missing Tags on Kindle books - and, yes, it happened universally to all Kindle editions. I sent some angry emails to Amazon and I did get a very nice reply.

Let me start by saying they did not do this on purpose. This was not an intentional corporate decision, it's a glitch.

Here's the bulk of the answer they sent:

"I have contacted our technical support team and they are currently working on the issue with Tags not appearing on the Kindle pages. I'm very sorry for any concerns this has caused and I can understand your frustrations.

They were not able to provide an exact date or time when they expect this issue to be resolved, but I will continue to monitor the situation with the technical support team until the problem is fixed. I will send you another email when I've received notification that the Tags are back on the Kindle products and have confirmed this myself. We appreciate your patience in this matter."

I'll keep you guys posted if I hear more. We'll have to see if the Tags return or if we all need to start over *groan*

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Tag Party for 5/26/11!

Bacteria Use Caffeine as Food Source. Scientists recently discovered bacteria that can survive solely by consuming caffeine.*snort* Silly scientists. Writers have been doing this for decades.

For our Tag Targets this week, we have someone who I'm pretty sure is not a bacterium - Jennifer Hart!

First time Tagging? We promise to be gentle. (No! Put that down! I said gentle!):

* Go to the Amazon buy page (I've included the links below)

* Scroll down to the Tags Customers Associate with this Product header

* Look for these tags: SFR, Scifi Romance, SF Romance, Science Fiction Romance and Paranormal Romance - please feel free to add any extra tags you feel are appropriate to the work (i.e. Space Opera, Military SF, etc.)

* Don't forget your SFR Brigade Tag!

* If the tags are already there, just click o
n them to add your 'vote'

* If not, type them int
o the 'your tags' box to add them (no need to save the page, just type and add)

* Don't forget the "Like" button at the top of the page!

For a list of past Tag Party books, come on over to the Book Launch and Tag Party Books page. Tagging is always welcome.

On to our Tag targets for this week!

Stellar Timing by Jennifer L. Hart

No Limits (Coming December 27, 2011!) by Jenna McCormick (Jennifer's other name :) )

Please, please, please (I can make with the big eyes if i need to) - the Tag Party is searching for your work, old or new. If you'd like your work featured in the weekly Tag Party, or if you just want to help me drool over the new Thor, please drop me a line at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Laurie Green's Golden Heart finalist manuscript wins the Write Stuff

One of Laurie Green's TWO 2011 Golden Heart finalist manuscripts, The Outer Planets, has won the paranormal category of the Write Stuff contest (Connecticut chapter of RWA).

Congratulations, Laurie!

Love that their contest logo has a little rocket shooting out of the top...

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Do Another Guest Blog about Steampunk

At Novel Reaction. I was asked to try to explain steampunk and why readers might want to give it a try. If you have more suggestions, please stop by and comment!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bestselling NYT Self-Pub Author Strikes Again--with a SFR!

On March 7th, I interviewed Victorine Lieske in an article titled The Author Strikes Back about her amazing success as a New York Times bestselling self-published author with a romantic suspense, NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS. Ms. Lieske has now self-published her second novel, THE OVERTAKING, and yes, it's Science Fiction Romance! She agreed to do a follow-up interview for the SFR Brigade, including a scoop on the story.

Welcome, Vicki, and many congratulations on your second release.

Q: After the stellar success of NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS, please tell us why you decided to switch subgenres and self-publish a SFR as your encore novel.

It's funny because the idea for THE OVERTAKING came to me years ago, when I was first married. I started writing it back then, and then got busy and never got more than ten pages done. But after writing NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS I dusted off that old beginning and had a peek at it. It was horrible. But the idea still intrigued me, so I threw out what I had and started over. This was before NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS took off, so I figured I could write whatever I wanted.

Q: Tell us a little about THE OVERTAKING. How did the core idea for the story come to you? Where or when does the story take place? What are the science fiction elements of the story and how does the romance and conflict develop?

The core idea for THE OVERTAKING was simply a what-if. What if we found out we weren't on Earth? What if everything around us was fake? What if our memories were altered? This idea formed in my mind almost fifteen years ago, and has taken this long to become a novel. The story takes place on a planet of peaceful people, where another race of humanoids invade and capture everyone, putting them into a created world, which is Earth as we know it. The science fiction is fairly soft in the book, you won't find long technical explanations. It's mostly a backdrop to the story. The romance develops when Danielle, a member of the overtaking race, falls in love with Shayne, who starts remembering pieces of his past life.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the story?

The story is basically about Shayne and Danielle, two members of opposing races, and how they fall in love and find out that things aren't what they appear to be. Here's my blurb: Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He’s not having a good day. And he doesn’t even know it.

When Shayne’s telepathic abilities surface, he finds out Danielle isn’t the normal teenager she appears to be. In fact, she’s not even from his world. And when he finds out her race is responsible for the overtaking of his entire planet, he sets out to uncover the truth about her.

Danielle didn’t mean to fall in love with a Maslonian boy. Her job was to observe and report. But when Shayne’s well being is at stake she goes against orders to help him, putting her own self in danger.

THE OVERTAKING is 59,000 words, 288 pages in paperback.

Q: I think the cover of THE OVERTAKING is very striking. Did you design the cover yourself or was it created by a cover artist? How did you decide what you wanted the cover to look like?

Thank you. I did design the cover myself. I do have a graphic design background, so I am fortunate to know a little something about design. And I was lucky to find a photo that I really liked on Originally I was looking for an image of a glass dome that I could alter and put a city scape inside, but after looking through many images I wasn't finding anything that would work. Then I changed my focus and started looking for pictures of Earth. An Earth in someone's hand would have worked well, but I didn't find a good image of that either, so I just looked for photos of Earth from space. The one I chose had a great ominous feeling to it, which works well with the theme of the book. After choosing the photo it was just a matter of finding the right font and placing the words. I used the same font from my first book, which looked even better on THE OVERTAKING. I think writers sometimes underestimate the power of a good, professional looking font. I highly suggest all indie authors hire a graphic designer, a good cover can make a huge difference.

Q: I understand the novel will also be available in paperback soon. Can you tell us more about that?

Yes, we submitted the files to CreateSpace over the weekend and we'll be getting our proof copy soon. Once we approve the proof copy, it will be available to purchase on Amazon and on my website, at The paperback copy is $14.95, and the Kindle/Nook copy is $2.99.

Q: What advantage did self-publishing THE OVERTAKING have for you that traditional publishing or e-publishing might not offer?

The main advantage for me is control to price the ebook low. In fact, I can undercut the big publishing houses and still make a decent profit. If I can price low, I can get sales from people looking for a good book with a tight budget. I also think $2.99 is a fair price for an ebook.

Q: What strategy are you using to promote THE OVERTAKING and is it different from your strategy for your first novel?

My strategy is going to be the same, get the novel in front of people's eyes. The best way to do this is to submit to book bloggers and get some reviews. I will also do giveaways on my facebook fan page, If I can get some buzz going, that will help with sales. That's pretty much what I did for my first book.

Q: Will THE OVERTAKING be a single title, or have you given any consideration to another book or books that take place in the same universe? If a single title, do you have any other SFRs in the works?

THE OVERTAKING is the first book of a series. Since I'm a seat-of-my-pants writer, I don't know how many more books there will be. I have ideas for two more books, but there could be more.

Q: What will your next project be?

I've already started writing the second book in THE OVERTAKING series. I'm also working on a short work, it's a YA romance about a girl whose lifetime crush asks her to help him get a date with the head cheerleader.

Thanks for taking time out to share the news and details about THE OVERTAKING with us, Vicki. Here’s hoping your debut SFR will be another smashing success.

If you have any questions or thoughts for Victorine Lieske, please comment below.

SFR Brigade PRISM Award Finalists!

The SFR Brigade congratulates its

RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter

PRISM Award Finalists!


Blaze of Glory - Sheryl Nantus


Enemy Within - Marcella Burnard

Midnight's Ghost - Sara Brookes


Wild Cards and Iron Horses - Sheryl Nantus

Way to go, Brigaders!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brigader Sarah Shade to Present Workshop at RWA

Today I’m interviewing Sarah Shade, who will present a workshop at the upcoming RWA Nationals in New York City. Some of you may remember Sarah as the winner of the Steampunk Costume contest at The Gathering FF&P Chapter event last year in Orlando. Sarah, why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself and your background.

I am Sarah Waff, w/a Sarah Shade (in all genres – I hope). I took the name Shade from my great, great grandmother, Piccolo Minnie (also the name of my dance company), who played the world’s smallest baby in the circus (even though she was a regular-sized person). Her circus father was Frank Shade.

Upon taking ownership of my dance studio in 2008, I wrote a re-imagined version of “Saint George and the Dragon” for a holiday performance. Then and there, I fell madly in love with writing but was too busy to pursue it. After the passing of another year and another holiday script, this time a unique fairytale, I knew I had to write. I began my first ever novel - a futuristic romance. I haven’t stop writing since. Currently unpublished, I write and illustrate children’s book fairytales and write young adult fantasy and science fiction romance. I am a member of RWA, FF&P (RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter), YARWA (Young Adult Chapter of RWA), SFR Brigade, LERA, and SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).

Q: Please tell us the title and time slot of your workshop and a little about the content?

My workshop is called “Experiencing Dance Across Time.” It will be held Thursday, June 30 from 8:30-9:30am. I will begin my workshop with a brief discussion on the evolution of social dance, highlighting the three specific eras and dance styles to be performed in the class. For the majority of the workshop, I will lead the participants through a re-creation of each dance. We will finish with a discussion of how to use the workshop experience as a catalyst for writing accurate and detailed dance scenes. Participants will learn the pavane (1500s), a cotillion (late 1700s) and the lindy hop (1920s). Come to dance but, more importantly, to have fun and make friends.

Q: I think I’ve seen them perform the Lindy Hop on Dancing With the Stars, but that’s about my limit of dance knowledge. What sort of background do you have in dance?

I started dancing at the age of eight (that is late for a dancer). My two sisters and I attended classes at a fantastic ballet studio in Ellicott City, MD. The owner/instructor felt strongly that students of dance had to learn more than technique. She taught us manners, the French language, dance history and historical dance. Thanks to her, we were invited to perform several period peasant and nobility dances at the MD Renaissance Festival. In my teenage years, my dance training suffered due to a newfound love of theatre. However, I continued to dance as a member of my high school dance team and in my drama department’s musical theatre performances. Following a short stint working as an actress in LA, I decided to return to school. I had no idea it would be over a decade before I left. Although I moved several times, attending multiple colleges, by the time I was done, I held three degrees from the University of New Mexico: a MFA in Choreography, a MA in Dance History and a BS in Exercise Science. Since then, I have worked as a dance professor at the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe Community College and Middle Georgia College. Currently, I am the owner and artistic director of a successful dance studio in Edgewood, NM. I have been teaching dance and fitness for over eighteen years.

Q: How did you get the idea to put this workshop together?

Thanks to my dance background, I have been lucky enough to present at some of the best dance and fitness conferences in the nation. And loved it! The minute I joined RWA, I knew I would submit a conference workshop proposal. When the 2011 call for proposals went out, I spent several days putting together a workshop on symbolism. (Both my thesis and dissertation explored universal symbolism as a connection between contemporary dance and the hero of ritual and mythology – Joseph Campbell’s hero.) About half an hour from the proposal deadline, I made a last minute decision to also submit a hands-on workshop on dance. I thought it would be nice to offset all the sitting around attendees do at the conference by offering them the chance to get up and move! Plus, there is nothing more fun and satisfying than dancing together. It’s a great way to make friends! I chose three social dances from three different time periods, each about two hundred years apart. Following RWA’s theme of romance, I included only easy-to-learn dances that focus on flirtation. My symbolism proposal took three days to put together yet I had no more than fifteen minutes to create the dance one. Guess which one RWA picked?

Q: Is it a difficult process to have a workshop accepted by RWA?

I would imagine that is a better question for the proposal committee. My answer is yes and no considering I was both accepted and rejected the first time I submitted a proposal. But the fact that they accepted my dance workshop and not my symbolism one tells me that expertise is incredibly important. I have a great dance resume but, being an unpublished writer, my writing resume kind of sucks.

Q: What are some of the unique elements of your workshop? (Is it interactive or hands-on or will attendees watch live or video demonstrations?)

We are going to dance! Amidst days of sitting and listening and thinking, we will move, let go and have fun!

Q: In what ways do you think the workshop will help writers improve their craft?

Dance has been an integral part of socialization and flirtation in every age of man from the beginning of time. Even if a writer is not interested in the specific dances or historical periods being addressed in this workshop, certain elements of dance are universal and can be applied to any setting. Workshop participants will get to personally experience how dance can bring two people together.

Q: What can attendees expect to learn?

How dance can affect and is affected by social etiquette.

Q: Do you have a web site or blog about your workshop or dance in general?

The website for my dance studio, the East Mountain Dance Conservatory, can be found at It contains a ton of information about the classes we offer as well as photos and blurbs from our performances.

Hmm. Blogging about my workshop is a good idea. I may do that. Right now, however, the best place for information on my workshop is by asking me at or from the handout. It can be accessed from the conference workshop page on the RWA website or directly at

Thank you, Sarah. The dance workshop sounds like a great hands-on experience as well as a heck of a lot of fun. I really appreciate you taking time out to tell us about your upcoming RWA workshop.

If you have any questions for Sarah, you can leave a comment below or contact her at her email address above.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Corset Guest Blog

I have a guest blog gig at To Read or Not to Read called "Not Your Grandma's Corset."

"As one who was in college during the Women’s Movement when bras were burned with considerable glee (though not my own since I couldn’t afford to replace them), I tended to regard corsets as instruments of torture. And yet I recently purchased—brace for it—a corset pattern."

To read the rest of the post, click here. Hope you'll check it out!

Thursday Tag Party for 5/19/11!

Mother Earth is unhappy with us these days. Floods, storms, earthquakes, and now? Last night there was an unheard of event - a tornado IN the city of Philadelphia. Cities don't get a lot of tornadoes because of the way the buildings interfere with air currents, Philly doesn't get them, period. But here it was, trundling down the street.

The weather, it is a-changing.

This week, I have requests from our own Frances Pauli and Sara Brookes - take it away, ladies!

For our first time Tag scouts, a brief manual:

* Go to the Amazon buy page (I've included the links below)

* Scroll down to the Tags Customers Associate with this Product header

* Look for these tags: SFR, Scifi Romance, SF Romance, Science Fiction Romance and Paranormal Romance - please feel free to add any extra tags you feel are appropriate to the work (i.e. Space Opera, Military SF, etc.)

* Don't forget your SFR Brigade Tag!

* If the tags are already there, just click o
n them to add your 'vote'

* If not, type them int
o the 'your tags' box to add them (no need to save the page, just type and add)

* Don't forget the "Like" button at the top of the page!

For a list of past Tag Party books, come on over to the Book Launch and Tag Party Books page. Tagging is always welcome.

On to our Tag targets for this week!

Midnight's Shadow by Sara Brookes

Midnight's Ghost by Sara Brookes

The Dimensional Shift by Frances Pauli

As always - the Tag Party is searching for your work, old or new. If you'd like your work featured in the weekly Tag Party, or if you just want to vent about Neil Garman, please drop me a line at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Contest Alert: The 2011 Rebecca is Light on Entries!

The Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA RWA Chapter) announces the 2011 Rebecca Contest is light on entries.

Brigaders, here's your shot at an excellent chance to final in a RWA chapter sponsored contest.  The deadline is still two weeks away, so don't delay. 

The Rebecca is reporting very light entries across the board, but of special note to Brigaders and Skiffy Rommers, the Paranormal / SFR / UF Category!  There's still time to get your entry ready.
  • May 31st deadline
  • Entry fee is $25 for non-LERA members (By check, MO, or Paypal button on LERA site)
  • Up to opening 5,000 words
  • Gift Certificates for top three finalists in each category ($50, $30, $20) 
  • Published or unpublished authors welcome to enter, but entry may not be contracted for publishing prior to contest deadline
Categories and Final Judges:
Contemporary Romance -- Natalie Fischer of Laura Bradford Agency
Historical Romance -- Deb Nemeth, Acquiring Editor, Carina Press
Paranormal / SFR / UF -- Becca Stumpf, Prospect Literary Agency
Young Adult (YA) -- Angela James, Executive Editor, Carina Press*
Erotic Romance -- Laurie McLean, Larsen Pomada Literary Agency

*Have a YA SFR manuscript?  Remember, Carina Press was voted the 2010 Most SFR Friendly Digital Publisher by the Brigade.  Here's your chance!

For more information, click the following links:

The Rebecca Contest Rules

The Rebecca Entry Form

The Rebecca Announcement and LERA Web Site

Friday, May 13, 2011

Giveaways, Steampunk Romance, and More

Looking back on this week, I realized there was quite a bit happening in the SFR community. Without further ado, here are the current highlights:

I’m hosting a giveaway at The Galaxy Express to help celebrate the release of Total-E-Bound’s erotic sci-fi romance SEEING STARS (one of the stories is by SFR author KS Augustin!). Three digital copies of the anthology will be given away. The contest ends tonight at midnight, so hurry on over!

Also at The Galaxy Express, authors Diane Dooley (BLUE GALAXY) and Mari Zannini (APOCALYPSE RISING) are presenting a post about dastardly villains. You can also enter for a chance to win a digital copy of their new releases.

Over at SciFi Guy, I’m blogging about Pushing Boundaries in one of my favorite graphic novels, PREACHER. I invite you to leave a comment and be entered for a chance to win a copy of my erotic sci-fi romance, ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE.

Steampunk romance fans can check out the lineup for L&L Dreamspell’s forthcoming STEAMPUNK ANTHOLOGY, Vol. 1. Two of the four stories--by SFR Brigaders, no less--feature both automatons and romance!

At CONTACT – Infinite Futures, author Ella Drake blogs about links between superstition and science fiction.

Lilly Cain recently shared an excerpt from THE NAKED TRUTH, her forthcoming SFR novella with Carina Press.

At Alien Romances, author Doranna Durgin guest blogs about changes in publishing. She also describes her role in Backlist eBooks:

Backlist eBooks is a group of professional writers who've been working in Mass Market and Hardcover (many in Romance) now posting their own novels in eBook at bargain prices. Here's an Amazon store full of their work:

Have a super weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Tag Party Needs Content

Hello, Brigaders!

You may have noticed (or maybe not...) that the Tag Party has been absent the last couple of weeks.

Partly this is because I've been on the run from the Andromedan spaceport authority (look, the mooring grapples were on the fritz - it's not my fault!) but mostly it's because the Tag Party needs content. This is your party, folks. Let me know what YOU would like featured.

Back list books? New releases? Upcoming? A friend's work who's too shy to contact the Tag Party Lunatic? Send me whatever you have, with only three teensy stipulations:

1. It's up on Amazon
2. It's SFR
3. It's written by a Brigader

Any and all requests should go to - let's hear from some folks who haven't been featured before!

Thank you, end com


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interview at about Sci-Fi Romance GH Finalists

The amazing Heather Massey recently conducted an interview with Sharon Lynn Fisher and myself about having three science fiction romance manuscripts final in the Golden Heart this year.  We'd love to hear comments from our fellow Brigaders.

You can check out the interview here:

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated: Three Sci-Fi-Romances Final in the 2011 RWA Golden Heart Awards

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Brigaders Attending RWA: Please Note

It's time again to order our SFR Brigade pins, info cards and other items for the RWA Conference in New York City, and to start planning our get-together.

We need a head count so we can order enough pins (and possibly other goodies) to pass out at the conference. You can view the pins on the SFR Brigade Zazzle store here.

This is shaping up to be a very exciting conference for the SFR Brigade and SFR in general.  We have:
  • A RITA Finalist!
  • Two Golden Heart finalists (three SFR manuscripts)!
  • A workshop presenter! 
If you're planning to attend, please check in on the SFR Brigade main web site forum:

Please also help spread the word to other Brigaders you're in regular contact with.

Looking forward to seeing my fellow Brigaders there!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Promo Opportunity for Brigaders

Here's an announcement from Jennifer L. Hart on a quick and easy way to get SFR books out there for readers to find. There are currently two Brigade members on the blog and they'd love to host more.

To All Published Brigaders:

My group blog, Writers Gone Wild, is hosting Blatant Promo Weekends. Free advertising on our blog on the weekend of your choice. No clever articles to write, no witty banter, just cutting to the chase, you and your books on our blog for readers to find.

What we need from you for BPW:

1. Any covers and blurbs you want to promote. Limit five. Plus buy links.

2. A few Wild Trivia facts. Again, five should do it. Fave books/music/movies/quotes. Tidbits to gives us your author flavor.

3. Quick bio (paragraph) and website/ blog link. A picture if you want it included.

Right now we're not doing giveaways, but if you want to host one on your own blog or website, I'd be happy to include the link.

Email me at jlhart79 @ gmail. com (without the spaces) if you are interested and I'll schedule you for a date. For a taste of BPW CLICK HERE

Jess Granger interview

It's a real pleasure to have Jess Granger visiting my blog today. I discovered her as a "new" author to read through the SFRB website.

She's a fellow Berkley author who writes science fiction romance. She's worked in some unusual jobs, traveled all over the country playing the trumpet in a band and wandered all over Europe until finally settling down with wonderful husband to raise a couple of kids and a menagerie of animals.

Please drop by and welcome fellow SFRBrigader, Jess Granger!

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation