Friday, April 30, 2010

Win a copy of IN ENEMY HANDS (ebook)

Hi everyone! Carina Press is holding a competition. Every day in May has been assigned to one of the June launch authors and, on that day, readers have three chances of winning a copy of the author's launch book.

How can you win? Information on a particular book will be posted in three places: the Carina blog, Facebook and Twitter. Comment on/at any of them and you stand a chance to WIN a copy of that book.

IN ENEMY HANDS is slated for Sunday, 2 May. I have two blog posts waiting in the wings and some snippets and facts about the book, all of which will be sprinkled around the three intertube avenues as detailed above. Soooo, if you want to win a copy of the book (and get a chance to have it in your hot little hands even before I have seen it!), visit Carina at their blog, Facebook and Twitter page on Sunday, US EST time, for your chance.

In fact, my first blog post at the Carina blog is about SFR in general and how I think there are lots of similarities to historicals, so please do have a read and let's hope I tempt some historical readers over to the Starry Side! ;)

PS And remember, you can read the entire Prologue of IN ENEMY HANDS at my website, just so you know what you're getting into! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Join me for a chance to win an ebook!

I'm the guest author at Melodee Aaron's loop on Saturday May 1. I'll be entering names of participants into a drawing for Cybot Awakened and other ebooks!


Thursday Tag Party for 4/29/10!

Thursday is upon us Brigaders! Time to dip into the literary gravity wells and do some tagging!

(And maybe engage in some specimen procurement while you're out there :) )

A little info for any brand new Cadets about to embark on their first tagging run (don't be nervous, kid, we're right here if you need us!):

Why do we tag? To promote members' books, to help readers find the books they desire, and to help SFR grow. And, boy, are we growing!

A short how-to if you need it:

  • 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
  • If the tags are already there, just click on them to add your 'vote'
  • If not, type them into the 'your tags' box to add them (no need to save the page, just type and add)

Please feel free to visit previous Tag Party posts to tag the books we've featured in past weeks (jus
t go to "Labels" on the side bar and "Tag Party".)

And now, without further delays or smartypants comments, our list of wonderful works for today (ah, variety - so sweet...):

Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

Siren Singing by Isabo Kelly

Nexus Point by Jaleta Clegg

Irina's Quest by Leigh Barbour

Burning Up Flint by Laurann Dohner

Go on out and Tag up a storm! (*sniff* all these busy taggers make me so proud *wipes a tear*)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Incoming Transmissions...

RT is underway!!! (That's common shorthand for "Romantic Times Booklovers Convention" which is being held in Columbus, Ohio this year.)

Mission accomplished!  Brigaders @ RT take note: We managed to get the late-arriving package of SFR Brigade buttons and info cards to Jess Granger via overnight express.  She's got 'em with her for distribution, so look her up.  She'll be at the Intergalactic Bar & Grille party (along with members Linnea Sinclair and Isabo Kelly) so if you don't see her sooner, maybe you can catch her there. 

Oh, and don't forget Jess's Beyond the Shadows book launch party and big book giveaway is going on all week on her Butterfly Blog

One of our members, Nathalie Gray, is reporting to The Galaxy Express on her RT experiences.  Seems she ran into another well known Brigader at RT and had a squee-fest.  Check out her report here.

If we have any Brigade members who'd like to file reports on the happenings, please feel free to fire at will!  We'd love to hear all about your adventures at RT.

One of our members, Barbara Elsborg, has a cover (not a SFR, unfortunately) up for CoverCafe's Best Contemporary Cover of 2009.  Barbara says:  "I wouldn't ask anyone to vote for my cover if they didn't think it was the best in its category - but if you do - I'd love you to vote. If by any fluke I won, it has to be good publicity - right??"  There's also SF/F covers, Historical covers, Two-Piece covers and even Worst Covers to vote on.  (You need to vote in at least three categories for your vote to be counted.)  It's fast, fun and easy, so if you'd like to support a fellow Brigader and see all the pretty--and er, not so pretty--covers, you can vote here

SFR Brigade Library Update

Hello, Earthlings!

I'm still trying to get the library up and running. I've seen posts this week for some fantastic new books, but I'm not getting the e-mails with the stats in. I can't add your title to the library if I don't have the following information:

The title, the name it's published under, the genre, and the heat level.

If you have a link to where Brigade members can buy the book, so much the better.


Title by _________ Link (genre/ sensual - hot- erotic)

The more links I get, the more books get added to be TBR pile. :o)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Song of Scarabaeus - release day!

Hi there, and thanks Laurie for the invitation to join the SFR Brigade. I look forward to being a part of the community here.

Today marks the culmination of a ten-year journey for me - in mid-2000 I started writing the manuscript that became Song of Scarabaeus, and today is release day!

I haven't yet done anything special to mark the occasion (any ideas?), other than mail a few copies to my family in Australia.

A few days ago, Brigader Kimber asked if she was wasting her time writing SFR without a "kick-butt heroine". My answer is a resounding no! At least, my publisher Eos didn't mind that my heroine is not kick-butt (mind you, nor is she Deanna Troi). I made a very deliberate decision about that. There is a kick-butt smart-mouthed secondary character, but my heroine Edie isn't comfortable or particularly competent with weapons or with fighting, and while she is stubborn, she's not smart-mouthed.

Okay, here's the blurb (also check out my website for more info):

The best cypherteck in the galaxy, Edie can reinvent planets with little more than a thought. Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, her mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing… until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure… a world called Scarabaeus.

Incoming Transmissions...

If you enjoyed Susan Grant's award wining Star trilogy: The Star King, The Star Prince and The Star Princess (or if, like me, you missed them the first time around) they've just been re-released today with new covers and a special price--$4.99 each.  Read Susan's announcement here.

Rules for Writing SFR

Good morning, Brigaders! I'm going to make this quick because I've only had one cup of coffee so far and I don't want to sound incoherent. Since my next book, Close Contact is scheduled for release on June eight, I've been asked to do a craft or industry blog for FF&P chapter of RWA on June tenth. My topic will be Rules for Writing SFR. I have a few rules of my own, but I'm wondering what rules you, personally follow in your stories. If I use them in the blog, you'll be given credit and your book mentioned.

SFR for the Young, and the Young at Heart

Young Adult Science Fiction Romance is as rare as Tribble teeth, I swear.  But, there are a few out there.  JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS by Sylvia Engdahl was first out in 1970, but was updated and released again in 2007 because we know more about Mars now.  Here's the link to the author's website for more information-
Here's the book blurb-   "When Melinda Ashley receives a ticket to Mars as a high school graduation gift from her dad, she isn't at all eager for the trip. But he is going himself, and because she hasn't had much opportunity to get to know him in the past, she agrees to accompany him. She has little interest in the Martian colonies until, aboard the ship, she meets Alex Preston, a second-generation colonist who is going home. During her stay on Mars she finds herself more and more drawn to Alex. She also enjoys the company of his family, and begins to understand why they believe so strongly in the future they are working toward. Ultimately, after she has faced tragedy and sorrow, a terrifying experience on the Martian moon Phobos shows Melinda what is really important to her."
It seems to me you need to disguise your YA SFR as something else these days.  Publishers almost never use the SF words when they market YA Science Fiction in general.  However, if we don't include young people in SFR the future of it will only shrink. 
No Babies, No Future.
It's a simple scientific fact.
I remember reading an interview of Scott Westerfeld, who's probably the most popular YA SF author right now, and he was asked why he writes for teens.  He said something like it being great to influence the next generation of SF readers.  "'The hand that rocks the cradle...'"
There needs to be more encouragement and certainly more SFR for our younger sisters.  YA SFR isn't getting published much these days, because it's not considered a sure-sell.  But, it is out there in older releases and I think we ought to champion it as much as possible.

Regarding Assigned Days

Good morning, Brigaders.  I just wanted to clarify that the assigned posting days listed on the sidebar only applies to content posts (articles, personal commentary, writing craft,etc.)  It doesn't apply to anything timely, such as book releases, giveaways, special events or anything to do with Brigade business.  You're free to post those at any time.

But while we're on the subject, would you rather we did away with assigned days altogether?  Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Look What I Found in My Serial...

I'll give you a hint, it wasn't a toy surprise.

Almost a year ago, I dipped my toes into webfiction waters by starting a free online serial. My thinking was to offer an example of my work and to put out that free read that comes so highly recommended. I had a goofy little SFR story that had been whispering at me for awhile, and I figured it was just silly enough that I could get away with giving it away.

Little did I know.

What is it about stories that grab you by the wrists and run? This one writes itself. I'm not kidding. I'm also not complaining; I'm enjoying the heck out of the ride. But seriously, a xenobiologist, a space harlot and a thirty foot, hot pink mollusk? Who wrote that?

Oh right. Guilty.

So now we're sneaking up on a one year anniversary, I'm planning the Space Slugs online birthday party bash, and I've never been more thrilled. Since I'm new to the crew, I figured I'd give you all a heads up on just how loony I can be. Stop by for a free read, but leave you tribbles here. I think Neela might eat them.

Release Week Party Announcement!

Hi everyone,

I know I'm busting in here a day early again, but this is a big announcement. The blog party kickoff for the release of Beyond the Shadows starts today. I have a list of events and giveaways, including a ton of free books. I'm giving away copies of Beyond the Shadows all week, but also a slew of other fun SFR titles including Tsunami Blue, Touched by an Alien, and Rebels and Lovers. Go forth and check it out, and spread the word. Hope to see you at the party!


Book Giveaway at The Romance Studio

A PIRATE'S PASSION is one of the e-book giveaways at The Romance Studio for Monday, 26 April.  The TRS' Book-A-Day Giveaway page is here:

Pirate Gil Ahn is after money, not romance. And if he keeps repeating that to himself, he may even start believing it.

Gilthen Ahn is captain of the Darck Banks cartel, one of the more notorious pirate bands in Republic space. He has six ships under his command. And, unless he finds money to pay his debts, he’ll lose everything.
Poor little rich girl, Tera d’Olzon, is trying to make a difference by thumbing her nose at the despotic Republic, but things haven’t quite turned out the way she anticipated. After running from the Security Force, she is “rescued” by Gil’s cartel.

The reasonable thing for the cartel to do is to ransom her. But that won’t bring in enough money. So Gil hatches a plan….

KS "Kaz" Augustin

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tune in to Linnea Sinclair's Radio Interview on Monday

In celebration of the upcoming Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention, Linnea Sinclair will be interviewed by Linda Mooney on Other Worlds of Romance Radio Show.

Linda interviews authors of Sci-Fi, Paranormal and Fantasy. The interview will be at 11pm (Eastern Standard Time).

The call in number is: (646) 727-2932.

Note to Brigadeers: Linnea would have spent the entire day of Monday NOT staring at male cover models but TEACHING at the convention’s Aspiring Authors Program along with YA author Stacey Kade ( Please do call in and ask for a convention update—and the plans for the Intergalactic Bar & Grille party on Wednesday!

Note:  You can view Linnea's RT schedule here, but be sure to check for updates prior to the events.

Weekly Update (SitRep)

It's been another stellar week, and although we didn't hit our membership goal for the first time, at *fanfare please* 91 members, we didn't fall too short of it.  Even once we reach crew capacity, we'll still have plenty of room for passengers.  This is a big starship!  We've had lots of great content posted by members this week that generated some excellent discussions. 

New Members
Ok, this is a pretty sketchy list and I know I'm missing a few, so if that's you, please let me know and I'll correct it at once.  (And then blame it on my aide de camp.  He's been distracted laterly.)    

Aubrie Dionne
Welcome to the Brigade, Aubrie!

Frances Pauli
A SFR author and new member who has already recruited a member!

Jaletta Clegg
Has a SFR series under contract,

Tannia Franklin
Tannie just slipped in under the wire today, so welcome, Tannia!

Point Standings
This is the fun part where I get to award points based on activity and contests.  As before, if you think I've overlooked you, please drop me a line.  (And also as before, I'll blame it on my aide.)  This week we were awarding a bonus point (total of 2 points) for recruiting new members.  Two members took advantage of that. The post generating the most activity was the interview with Linnea Sinclair by Donna S. Frelick (37 comments!) coupled with Linnea's three-book giveaway. Many points to doll out there.  Here's the week's point tally: 

1 - Charlie Allden for Officer on Deck duties

1 - Donna S. Frelick for interviewing Linnea Sinclair
1 - Donna S. Frelick for post with most activity

2*-Frances Pauli for recruiting Jaleta Clegg

1 - Kanaxa for designing the icon/logo

1 - Kaye Manro for Officer on Deck duties
2* - Kaye Manro for recruiting Aubrie Dionne

1 - Kylie Griffin, contest final (Shiela)

2 - Laurie Green, contest win (Lilac City Rochester)

1 - Liana Brooks for blog tour
1 - Liana Brooks for authors page poll
1 - Lianna Brooks for authors library page creation

1 - Linnea Sinclair for post with most activity
1 - Linnea Sinclair for banner artwork
1 - Linnea Sinclair for interview/book giveaway

1 - Sandra Stixrude for book tagging party

1 - Sharon Lynn Fisher contest final (Shiela)
1 - Sharon Lynn Fisher for Officer on Deck duties

1 - Vicky Burkholder for Officer on Deck duties

Overall point standings have been updated on the sidebar.

RT Update
Our SFR Brigade buttons and cards just arrived yesterday (as luck would have it), so we're going to try to overnight them to Jess Granger tomorrow so she'll have them available at the Romantic Times Booklovers Conference.  This isn't a huge batch, I think there are about a dozen buttons and fifty cards, but hopefully those of you who are there can get a button and some cards to distribute to help get the word out to interested parties about the Brigade.  Be sure to see the post on Linnea's blog radio interview Monday night (posted earlier today) and her RT Schedule is posted on its own page (check the sidebar). 

What's Coming Up?
This is going to be a big week. With RT in session, we hope to recruit some new members. See the post regarding Linnea Sinclair's radio interview on Monday night--support her by calling in with questions and ID yourself as a member of the SFR Brigade.  There will be a link to a book giveaway of member KS Augustin's book on Monday--watch for it.  Join in our Tuesday Tour and Thursday Tag Party to help support your fellow Brigaders. 

Attention RT attendees:  If anyone would like to write reports or send in pics on the events, I'll award bonus points.

Anyone with a book release coming up in May, please let me know so we can post an announcment and/or plan a launch party. 

Thanks to everyone for another successful week!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reality, hand in hand with Imagination

NASA released some amazing photos today.

An hourglass nebula with a star in its center certainly shone down upon Tolkien. The eye of a guy who lost his ring couldnt be so bright.

Vincent Van Gogh must have been gazing upon this expanding halo of light around a distant star at the outer edge of our Milky Way

Terry Goodkind's artist copied columns of hydrogen gas, incubators for new stars, when he designed the cover for Pillars of Creation

This brightest star, Eta Carinae, survived a cloud burst 150 years ago, and inspired a character's name for a writer who never imagined it'd be this lovely.

Because there's nothing more fun than being there at the start

Know that he will succeed when all others fail you...


Centuries have passed since a desperate human expedition settled a planet far from commercial or military space routes. Through loss of tech and the need to survive on this often hostile world, the largest portion of the colonists revert to a feudal society on the eastern continent.

Of course, they do not inhabit this planet alone...

Marya - Anchorage Book 1

Marya - the sheltered healer/priestess, charged with keeping the heir alive

Roke - the perfect warrior who arrives in her hour of need

Suspicion and their beliefs divide them - together they could change their world...

Here's where the journey begins. Come join them - you may never want to come back.


Sandra Stixrude

Marya – Available NOW: a Red Rose Publishing Best Seller

Cold Facts Meet Flights of Fancy

Writer’s Habitat – for authors and their keepers

Earthbound Science

The main premise of a science fiction story is that science is in some way, shape or form going to figure into resolving a major plot point. Most of us (I include myself there) assume that requires galactic-scale science. It needn't. In the War of the Worlds, an alien invasion that no human-made power on earth could stop was nevertheless doomed from the moment the first alien ship touched down. Earthbound viruses killed the invaders when nothing else could. (Irony? Viral invaders kill the alien invaders?) It's fascinating to me that some of the most elegant solutions to complex problems aren't always huge, grandiose schemes of technology, engineering and discovery. They're humbler. Simpler. Like viruses, which are so simple, there's considerable debate as to whether they're actually alive. Or like this potential carbon-sink - something that could pull excess carbon dioxide from the warming atmosphere and lock it into the ocean - researched by scientists in Australia. Whether that carbon-sink can have a significant impact on global warming remains to be seen, but the idea itself is a lovely example of being willing to look anywhere and everywhere for a solution to what looks like an intractable issue. It's tempting, when writing on a galactic scale, to believe that big problems require bigger solutions. Sometimes they do. But occasionally, a little virus, or a single flea infected with plague, or a bit of iron-rich whale poop will solve all sorts of problems.

Marking an Anniversary

On Twitter, in addition to following my fellow Brigaders and various SFR authors and writing organizations, I also follow NASA and a group of astronauts and future astronauts.  I picked this up on my Twitter feed today.  Doesn't it seem there should have been a bit more made of this monumental anniversary in the media?  Or am I alone in thinking our space program is grossly overlooked by the major news networks?

20 years ago today, Hubble was launched into space aboard Shuttle Discovery on STS-31.
20 years later, Discovery has just completed STS-131!

and Hubble Space Telescope!

I'm at 'Dear Author' Today Too

The first page of my YA SFR is up at Dear Author today.
Of course, I can't call it SFR because I'm afraid people would run screaming into the wind.  Teenage girls aren't supposed to like anything smacking of Science Fiction, you know.  But, that's what it really is,
Near-Future Young Adult Science Fiction Romance.
Try to say that three times fast! 
(((sigh)))I'm never gonna see the inside of Barnes & Noble.  Maybe I should take up chicken farming instead.

Top 10 List of SFR

I stumbled upon this Top 10 List of SFR by member Heather Massey over on the Dear Author blog.  Great round-up of SFR reads, although I have to confess I've only read six of the top ten, though I had two others in my infamous Leaning Tower of TBR.  Guess I better pick up those other two stragglers, now.  :)

Oh, and of course I have to note that three of our SFR Brigade members--Linnea Sinclair, Jess Granger and Karin Shah are on the list!

Anyone else want to share their own list of Top 10 SFR in the comments?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pure sci-fi awesomeness

Saw these amazing sci-fi bookcovers over at (h/t Nathan Bradford) and had to share.

We Have an Icon!

Much thanks to member Kanaxa (who also designs some fabulous covers--like BLAZE OF GLORY that was recently launched) for creating our dynamic icon. 

*pulls off veil with a flourish*

Oooooh.  Ahhhhhh.  So eye-catching!

OK, so we have an icon.  What do we do with it?  Why not put it on your blog or site to show it off?

To install the icon on your blogspot, follow these steps:

1.  Right click on the image and select "Save picture as..."  Then select a name, and save it to your computer where you can easily find it again.

2.  On your blog's LAYOUT tab, select a "add a gadget."

3.  Select the Picture option from the list by clicking on it.

4.  In the box that opens, beside Link type on the site adddress:  Beside Caption type "designed by Kanaxa"

5. Beside Image click the circle for "from your computer" then click "browse" and locate the icon file where you stored it on your computer.  Select "shrink to fit" and wait for the image to load. When the image shows in the window, click "Save."

6.  You will now return to the Layout screen.  Simply drag and drop the icon where you'd like to place it in the sidebar.

7.  Click the orange "Save" button at the top of the Layout window. 

When you view your blog, the SFR Bridage Member icon should be displayed.  Click on it to open the SFR Brigade site. 

That's it!  Thanks for promoting the Brigade.   And thanks again to Kanaxa for the beautiful new icon.

Depression's Upside

I wanted to share a really fascinating, balanced article on some of the latest research on the benefits of depression. (New York Times - Depression's Upside)

It's a looooong article, but worth it. I was especially fascinated by explanations of the reasons for the link between creativity and depression.

Here's an interesting tidbit that applies specifically to writerly types . . .

And then there’s the virtue of self-loathing, which is one of the symptoms of depression. When people are stuck in the ruminative spiral, their achievements become invisible; the mind is only interested in what has gone wrong. While this condition is typically linked to withdrawal and silence -- people become unwilling to communicate -- there’s some suggestive evidence that states of unhappiness can actually improve our expressive abilities. Forgas said he has found that sadness correlates with clearer and more compelling sentences, and that negative moods “promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style.” Because we’re more critical of what we’re writing, we produce more refined prose, the sentences polished by our angst. As Roland Barthes observed, “A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

World-building to the Edge of the Page

I want to continue last week's discussion of the gap between science fiction and romance. Lois McMaster Bujold spoke eloquently on this subject at the 2008 Denvention Worldcon.

I was at this convention but, unfortunately, did not hear her speak. In the great wisdom of convention organization, a panel discussion on SFR was scheduled at the same time, and I chose the panel discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed both the panelists and the audience and was pleased to be part of the RSF movement. This gathering was science fiction people moving into romance or borrowing from romance.

Last year, Worldcon organizes in Montreal scheduled a panel discussion on cross genre at the same time as the Hugo Awards ceremony. I'm beginning to wonder if Worldcon organizers have something against romance/science-fiction cross genre. I again chose the panel discussion. Few others did, not even the panelists showed up, but several of Linnea Sinclair's fans were there. I'm struggling to remember names. I think one of them was Paula who in on the SFR Brigade.

I offered to moderate an audience discussion. What a kick! I enjoyed being on the panelist end of things and to make it more fun I was still wearing the regency era costume I'd made for the masquerade contest. Very fun discussing hard science-fiction romance cross while dressed like Elizabeth Bennet.

For those of us interested in combining romance with science fiction, I think it worthwhile to check out the text of Bujold's Denvention speech. She has some great insights into the challenges of this type of writing.

About SFR written from the romance side of things she said;

Anyway, with some of the Romance-SF crossover novels from the Romance side that I read early in my survey, I found a curious effect. The central plot delivered the emotional goods its readers wanted, but the SFnal world-building often failed to go all the way to the edge of the page. I began to wonder if one could in fact write a fantasy or SF book in which a romance plot was its central spine, but which equally delivered the world-building and other explorations so important to SF readers. Were the two genres intrinsically immiscible, or not? After all, what were romances but tales of the promulgation of human evolution through sexual selection, and what could be more skiffy than that? Especially, as now convincingly theorized by some evolutionary biologists, if human intelligence itself is a result of sexual selection.
The full text of her speech is on her blog.

I'd like to rephrase her question for romance writers: is it possible to write Romance in a way that satisfies the worldbuilding and explorations of ideas required by SF? Can Romance be written with world-building that goes "all the way to the edge of the page?"

SFR Brigade Library

Authors, we're working on getting the library up and running. The poll is HERE if you're interested in adding your vote.

We are currently looking at sorting the titles by genre (all SFR but SFR/military, SFR/comedy, ect) and by heat levels within the genres.

If you have a published SFR novel, e-book, or short story available to buy or read on the web and would like to display it on our virtual library shelf please send me an e-mail liana(dot)brooks1(at)gmail(dot)com.

Include the title, the name it's published under, the genre, and the heat level.

If you have a link that you can include, so much the better. If you don't, no worries. Right now we only want your SFR works, if you have other published pieces that are not SFR, we'll save that for an expanded library.

Interview on Blog Talk Radio!

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping I'm not stepping on any toes or tentacles because it isn't Tuesday, but this is breaking news with a short time line.

I'll be doing an interview with Blog Talk Radio tomorrow, Friday April 23 at 4:00-4:45 pm EST. I'd love to see you guys there so we can talk about SFR.

Here's the link!

Feel free to pass it around. You guys are awesome.

Thank you so much.


Thursday Tag Party for 4/22/10

It's Thursday Brigaders - time for our weekly tag fest!

Why do we tag? To help pro
mote members books, to help readers find the books they so crave and to help water the SFR community so we can watch it grow.

Here's the specs for any virgin taggers joining us today:

  • 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
  • If the tags are already there, just click on them to add your 'vote'
  • If not, type them into the 'your tags' box to add them (no need to save the page, just type and add)

Please feel free to visit previous Tag Party posts to tag the books we've featured in past weeks (jus
t go to "Labels" on the side bar and "Tag Party".)

On to the gorgeous crop for this week!

Palace of Dreams ~ Kathleen Coddington

Nebula's Music ~ Aubrie Dionne

Freya's Gift ~ Corrina Lawson

Danger on Xy-One ~ Vicky Burkholder

Blaze of Glory ~ Sheryl Nantus

So far I've managed to seek out new life forms and titles with the help of the impulse engines and our fearless Skipper. Don't leave me out here without backup, folks. If you've had a release this past year (we'll extend it out) that has not been featured, or know of a Brigader who has, email me the title and author:

Go forth and tag!
(and pick up some reading material along the way :D)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Counting Stars

Every once in awhile during a story, my characters stop and count the stars. It's a way to keep from taking the backdrop of space for granted. Think of your last road trip. Did it really pass in a blur? Or was there something, no matter how tiny, that made you catch in your breath for a second? When I need something for a space-faring hero to show a heroine or other way around, I go to Hubble Telescope site, and to the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. The Astronomy Picture of the Day isn't strictly photos of celestial phenomena as evidenced by a spectacular shot of lightning generated from volcanic ash clouds. In that photo, you're seeing something that science cannot fully explain, yet. Theory has it that static builds up in the dust, gas and heat, thereby generating the lightning, but research to verify the hypothesis is ongoing. Where am I headed with this? What's out there between the stars? Dust and gas. Suppose your spaceship passes near a dense, dark nebula that's thick with dust. A nearby star has been exhibiting an upswing in radiation emissions, exciting that dust and gas. If lightning doesn't require oxygen in order to fire, a hero and/or heroine could catch a deep space lightning storm. Or perhaps a spaceship cuts through a patch of dust and the static generated by the dust passing over the hull leads to new adventure? Do they glow and give away their position? Does the static blow their electrical grid? Or short their onboard computers? How many ways do you want your characters to survive by the skin of their teeth just after they've paused to count the stars?

Member needing our good wishes

Just a note to make folks aware that Linnea Sinclair's mother has been hospitalized, so keep her in your thoughts. Linnea will still be attending the RT convention coming up. If you're planning to attend, you might check in and see if she needs a hand.

We're thinking about you, Linnea, and please let us know if we can help in any way!

Publisher's Week Update

We're continuing with the planning phase of Publishers Week. The dates have been set as May 17 - 21 and we'd like to assign post days and times according to how many publishers respond.

We have tentative plans for spotlights for these publishing houses by these members:

Carina Press -- Heather Massey
Ellora's Cave -- Barbara Elsborg
Liquid Silver Books -- D. L. Jackson
Mundania -- Arlene Webb via Marie Dees
Red Rose Publishing -- Sandra Stixrude
Samhain -- Sheryl Nantus (Am I right about that, Sheryl?)
Shadowfire Press -- Arlene Webb is waiting on confirmation

If you're planning to include your publisher and it's not in the list above, please comment below or send me an email and I'd expand the list to include you. If you have a specific date you'd like to reserve, please let me know.

Not sure what to ask? We've added a PAGE with possible questions. Feel free to reduce or expand the list as you'd like.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And the Winners Are...

Randomizer Says:
Job Status:
Research Randomizer Results

1 Set of 3 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 37 -- Unsorted
Set #1:
37, 32, 12

And what does THAT mean?

To be fair to all parties, we let Randomizer pick the winners from the 37 comments on Linnea Sinclair's interview.  Here are the winners of Linnea Sinclair's books (or if you're at a foreign address you'll get a PDF version). If you already own the book, you can also choose an item from the Intergalactic Bar & Grille store.

In alphabetical and numberical order:

GAMES OF COMMAND goes to comment 12
[who was Linnea Sinclair, so the next commenter was] Kaye Manro

REBELS AND LOVERS goes to comment 32 - Liana Brooks

SHADES OF DARK goes to comment 37 - s7anna

Congrats all, and thanks for tuning in for the interview.  Please email me with your address asap so I can coordinate getting your prizes to you with Linnea Sinclair.

Send to: Lgreen2162 [at] AOL [dot] com (in the usual email format).

Thanks again to Linnea for sharing her insights and offering all these fabulous prizes!

SFR Brigade Library

We'd like to put up a page to showcase all the SFR work of Brigade members. While ideally we will eventually have a searchable webpage where you can enter your mood, the heat level you want, and what authors you enjoy into a search engine that can spit out suggestions, that's several light-years ahead of where I can program a blog page just now.

In the meantime, we'd like to get these bookshelves up as fast as we can.

There will be a section for New Releases (anything released in the past month), and Upcoming Releases with launch party dates listed. The rest is up to the poll. How do you want the shelves sorted?

Tuesday Blog Tour

I haz romance. And guns.... who doesn't like guns? Trip on over to Kanaxa's blog and you'll stumble down the rabbit hole to Nat's Hiding Place. Steampunk, cursed Romans, and a very promising title from Samhain Publishing: METAL REIGN.

Wait.... there are boys here?
Bart Palamaro runs Blog Schmog: Bart's Random Thoughts and has an insightful look at the Sci-Fi Military Paradigm. Why do we all write like a spaceship is an extraorbital submersible? Well, Bart has the answer. P.S. Bart isn't the only male lounging with the ladies. Every body play nice and see if we can't get the gentlemen to come out and comment.

We Could Be Heroes...... Sheryl Nantus asked the intriguing question: Why do we want to be superheroes? And what would happen if you could be one. My question is, what super hero would you be? Personally, I always thought Rogue was kind of cool, she could steal everyone else's powers. She should have been a villian, that way she could have had the boys, and a trail of dead bodies. Oh, er, Happily Ever After. Right... maybe she could just have Wolverine than?

Red Alert!!! The talented Aubrie Dionne has some questions to ask of the SFR Brigade about queries. Run on over to her blog, Flutey Words, and see if you can't give her some advice. All I can offer, Aubrie, is that if the story is great it will find a home. :o)

That's all for today's tour. Join us next week as we invade fellow Brigadiers' bases of operation looking for entertainment and education!

Click here for Linnea Sinclair interview/book giveaway

(deadline tonight!)

"Blaze of Glory" is now available!

"Blaze of Glory" is now available from Samhain Publishing!!

Saving the world is easy for a superhero—unless you’re a fraud.

Jo Tanis is a superhero, fighting evil on the city streets, using her ability to feed off electromagnetic energy and fire off charges—and it’s all just a show. The Agency captures her and others like her when their powers begin to manifest, pitting them against each other in staged, gladiatorial fights. An explosive implant on the back of her neck assures she’ll keep right on smiling for the camera and beating up the bad guys.

When Earth comes under attack, suddenly the show becomes deadly real. Unable to deal with a real alien, the “supers” are falling in droves. Millions of innocent civilians are going to die…unless Jo can cobble together a team from among the fake heroes and villains the Agency enslaved. Including Hunter, who not only promises to show her how to deactivate the implants, but seems to know more than he should about how the mysterious Agency operates.

Forcing a rag-tag bunch of former enemies to work together is the least of Jo’s problems. The trick is determining if Hunter is friend or foe—and becoming the hero everyone thought she was before the world is destroyed for real.

Warning: Contains superhero in-jokes, Canadiana and large alien craft shaped like avocados. Really.

Check out the first Chapter here!
And the book trailer here!
Buy link to Blaze of Glory here!
Amazon/Kindle link here!

Thanks to the Brigade!

REBELS AND LOVERS reviewed... Rebecca Lynn at Enduring Romance.

Non-Raunchy, No Blaster

Maybe it's just the cover art, but I've had a really tough time finding any Science Fiction Romance without a Kick-Butt Heroine or graphic nookie against every bulkhead.  Is it just the cover art?  Are you guys only writing Raunchy and Weapon-Wielding Chicks?  Or is that all publishers are accepting these days?
I'd like to know because the short story (or novella, however it turns out) has a quiet, reserved Heroine and only one Sensual love scene. She engages in a little fun holographic fighting on the side, but that's it.
Counselor Deanna Troi was my favorite Next Gen character because her strength wasn't so *obvious,* but it was very definitely there.
Am I wasting my time writing heroines who don't 'kick butt?'  Is Sexy & Gritty the only kind of SFR which sells?
P.S. I'm not against Kick-Butt Heroines or Graphic Nookie (my comfort level doesn't exceed Sensual though.)  It just *seems* like that's all there is and, possibly, all that publishers believe sells.

Officer on Deck

Hello fellow members! I'm your Officer on Deck for the day. So if there are any problems either let me know in a comment to this post or email me here. Enjoy the blog today. In addition, anyone whose first name starts with I through K, you are up if you want to post on the SFRB blog!

Kaye Manro

Special Cargo's Stock Just Went UP

Linnea Sinclair graciously donated three novels--GAMES OF COMMAND, SHADES OF DARK, and REBELES AND LOVERS--to our Special Cargo prizes for the contest winners to be awarded next March.

Thanks you, Linnea, for being such a great supporter of the SFR Brigade.

Anyone is welcome to donate to the loot. At some point in the future, we'll divvy up the treasures between the three contests.

Hi everyone from Kaz Augustin

After some great lovin' over at The Galaxy Express [], I thought I'd gird loins, come over here and say hi to all you great SFR readers.

From reading through past posts, it looks like an equal number found SFR from the SF side as from the romance side. I'm one of the SF followers myself who gradually came to the realisation that there was a lack of characterisation in a lot of SF characters. Yes, even the men, even though they were the ostensible heroes. And I wanted to see more.

The first flawed hero I remember reading was Sam Reed, the mutilated Immortal from Henry Kuttner's novel, "Fury". Just flipping through the book randomly, I came across bewitching snippets that indicated the path I would take in the future. The 1954 novel was groundbreaking, to my mind. Consider:
Rosathe smiled at him.... There was unexpected humour in her face sometimes, a rather disconcerting initelligence behind the gentian eyes.... Sam was afraid of her.
and, on the next page:
If she came to him it wouldn't be for the money. That was another thing that made her dangerous to his peace of mind.
Ah, they're playing our song! And then there was Harry Harrison with his Stainless Steel Rat series. Was there ever a feistier, more protective, more lethal woman than Angelina di Griz? Jim di Griz is drawn to her smarts and her strength and, in subsequent books, she ends up being the one pulling their collective fat out of the fire in several cliffhanger situations. A mother who keeps a weapon tucked under the blankets of her baby's pram. Who will kill to protect her own but who still lets her children grow while she watches from the sidelines. Who wouldn't want to be her? And all this from a 1970s series.

SFR has been there, bubbling under the surface, for decades now, emerging every now and then in an entertainingly subversive way. But not enough. Never enough. Now we have the chance to take it all one step further with the advent of digital technologies, readers comfortable with technology, and humans who long for tales of emotional connectedness. If there was ever a time for us to harness the prevailing winds of change, this might just be the time. Let's go see what's out there!

* Kaz Augustin is a writer who loves re-reading her old classics, regardless of whether the dusty covers give her sneezing fits. You can find her website at and she blogs approximately three times a week at

Monday, April 19, 2010

CONTEST ALERT: Laurie Green wins the first Buffy!

Laurie Green's SFR novel OUTER PLANETS has just won 1st place in the Lilac City Rochester Writers 1st & 10 contest, making her our first recipient of The Buffy! (Awarded to Brigade members who place first in any contest.)

Also worthy of note: Her entry received all perfect scores from both first-round and second-round judges. AND this was a general fiction contest with no categories, so she was up against all genres.

Nicely done, Laurie! As the founding member of SFR Brigade, it seems only fitting.

We're on a roll, folks!

Check Your Links

Brigadiers! Everyone on deck!

We're getting ready to do the Tuesday Blog Tour, where we select several fabulous posts from SFR Brigade members in the past week and post, and we need you to double check the links.

Go find your name on the right hand column under Brigade Members, click your name, and see if the link takes you to your blog. If the link is broken, please report in the comments section. Make sure you include your blog address so we can fix the link.

The Tuesday Blog tour is a great way to generate traffic to your site, and introduce new readers to your work. But it doesn't work if our facilitators can't find your blog.


Officer on Deck

Wow. So much going on here in the station today. Contests and new books and all sorts of fun and games. Pull up a stool (or whatever you sit on) to the bar, order your favorite beverage, and if you need anything, I'll be popping in and out during the day. Have fun, my fellow spacelings.

Vicky B

A Cover, A Contest, and Interviews

A few links for everyone today:

I invite you to check out the cover premiere for IN ENEMY HANDS by KS Augustin at The Galaxy Express. This science fiction romance release will be among the Carina Press launch titles.

Susan Grant is holding a contest for her Star trilogy. Click here to learn more.

Enduring Romance interviews Linnea Sinclair.

There's an interview with Gini Koch (TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN) at Pearls Cast Before A McPig.

Please tweet and/or blog about them as you can!

Congrats to our Sheila Finalists!

I've been chomping at the bit to let you all know the SFR Brigade has TWO finalists in the Sheila contest sponsored by Valley Forge Romance Writers RWA.'s the official announcement!

Sharon Lynn Fisher and Kylie Short (Kylie Griffin) each earn a point in the finals contest! Sharon finaled with SFR Shadowed (aka Ghost Planet). Kylie finaled with SFR Dark Shadows.  (Hmm, do you sense a theme here?)  But take note! Kylie also finaled with Blood Born and Circle of Shadows--two paranormal romances.  Congrats Sharon and Kylie!

The Sheila 2010 Contest Finalists!
Paranormal Final Judge: Alicia Condon, Kensington

Coordinator: Andrea Romero

Shadowed – Sharon Lynn Fisher

Bewitching the Beast – Tamara Hughes

Circle of Shadows (Book 1 of the Blood Magic series) – Kylie Short

Blood Born (Book 1 of the Light Blade series) – Kylie Short

Dark Shadows (Book 1 of the Talent series) – Kylie Short

Announcing Publishers Week

We've already started some of the planning phase of Publishers Week, but need to nail down some of the details.  The dates have been set as May 17 - 21 and we'd like to assign post days and times according to how many publishers respond. 

For Publishers Week, we'd like SFR Brigade Members to ask publishers to tell us a little about their history, key personnel, what "flavor" of SFR manuscripts they are looking for, how to hook them, what to avoid, tips for submission, etc.  A link to a list of possible questions is included below.

As it stands right now, we have tentative plans for spotlights for these publishing houses by these members:

Carina Press -- Heather Massey
Ellora's Cave -- Barbara Elsborg
Liquid Silver Books -- D. L. Jackson
Mundania -- Arlene Webb via Marie Dees
Red Rose Publishing -- Sandra Stixrude
Samhain -- Sheryl Nantus (Am I right about that, Sheryl?)
Shadowfire Press -- Arlene Webb is waiting on confirmation

I know several of you mentioned in other posts you'd like to contact your publishers so if I didn't include you, I apologize for the oversight.  Please comment below or shoot me an email and I'd expand the list above to include you.

Not sure what to ask?  We've added a PAGE with possible questions.  Feel free to adlib, reduce or expand the list as you'd like. 

If you don't have time to contact your/a publisher this time around, never fear.  We'll do another Publishers Week in the fall (after the summer conference craziness).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Linnea Sinclair Interview

If there is one author who personifies the best in SFR today, Linnea Sinclair would be the one. Winner of the RWA's RITA in 2006 for GABRIEL'S GHOST, winner of the 2008 PEARL and 2009 PRISM awards for SHADES OF DARK, nominee for too many awards to mention for her other space-based romantic adventures, Sinclair is a writer who has earned an enviable following in both the science fiction and the romance camps. She is both groundbreaker and leader in the coalescing subgenre of SFR.

Sinclair kindly agreed to take time out from preparations for her appearance at the upcoming Romantic Times BOOKLovers Convention in Columbus OH (April 26-May 1) to share some of her news and views with the SFR Brigade. SFR Brigadier Donna S. Frelick conducted the interview via email.

SFRB: The latest in your Dock Five Universe, REBELS AND LOVERS, recently hit the stands. What do fans have to look forward to with this book?

LS: REBELS is Devin Guthrie’s story. He’s Admiral Philip Guthrie’s youngest brother, and a character who’s been mentioned only obliquely in HOPE’S FOLLY. But unlike his illustrious older brother, Devin is non-military and definitely a geek. He idolizes Philip, but his path was a different one—or so he thought. Where FOLLY, and to some extent GABRIEL’S GHOST and SHADES OF DARK, had a more military SF tone, REBELS doesn’t…because Devin isn’t. I call him my ‘reluctant hero.’

REBELS is also Kaidee Griggs’ story. Fans of my books will likely find some similarities between Kaidee and Trilby Elliot from FINDERS KEEPERS in that both are independent freighter operators (though Kaidee wasn’t always…). But Kaidee is a bit more jaded than Trilby—older and wiser and not necessarily from positive experiences.

The book in some aspects is about loyalty—earned and misplaced—and about how our view of our family defines not only how we see ourselves, but how we see our possibilities. It’s also a rip-roaring, high-action space opera story with lots of chases down back corridors with bad guys shooting at good guys, some edge-of-your-seat starship flying, and great love scenes.

SFRB: You have a short story appearing in an anthology called SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH: TALES OF STAR-CROSSED LOVE, which is due out in November. This is HUGE news—an anthology of stories blending SF, fantasy and ROMANCE, edited by SF stalwarts George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Tell us about the project and what you think it means for the wider acceptance of romantic elements in science fiction.

LS: I was gobsmacked ::ka-ching to author Lynne Connolly:: when I was asked to submit a story for a Dozois-Martin anthology. I own Dozois anthologies and love Martin’s writing. They’re icons in the genre of SF. Which is why I was also excited they chose to do a cross-genre anthology that included romance. Yes, I do think it signals if not an acceptance at least a nod of legitimacy to paranormal romance and science fiction romance (the latter, of course, still lagging behind). I’ve noted on a number of SF blogs that have highlighted the upcoming anthology that more than a few readers have never heard of many of the romance or SFR authors mentioned. So this should bring some familiarity on that side of the equation. Equally, those who will be picking up the anthology because of Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverly or Marjorie Liu also get to meet the stories of Peter Beagle, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb and others more well-known in the SF aisles.

Do I foresee 100 % acceptance from both camps? No. There are and always will be SF readers who reject any kind of romantic subplot in their stories, and there are and always will be romance readers who shy from the intricacies of tech and/or the “strangeness” of alien worlds. But it’s definitely a step in the right direction for at least alerting both camps to the possibilities found in the other.

SFRB: There is always a great deal of debate within the SFR community about the “dynamic tension” between romance and science fiction in our subgenre. How do you find a balance between the two in your work? Do you feel pressure from representatives of the market, or from fans, or from anyone else, to steer your work in any particular direction, and how do you deal with that pressure?

LS: My first inclination is to say that I don’t find any kind of balance, that I write what I want to read, but then I also acknowledge that probably because I read a lot of SF that there are things permanently embedded in my brain that affect what and how I write. Once I’m through the first draft I do, yes, go over with an eye to both genres and their arcs in the story. But even if I were to write pure SF, I’m a character-driven writer not plot-driven, so the emotional component would always be in there.

My books’ balance comes somewhat from the way I work characterization and world building. To me, the two are intertwined. It goes to the old adage of people being products of their environments. When I write, I don’t think of my character’s world or environment as high-tech or science fiction-ish, I think of it as their present day, their home, their culture. I don’t approach it any differently than if I were to set the book in 1812 France or 1929 India. Interstellar travel is a reality to my characters, so I don’t have them wonder about it any more than I wonder about the streets in my city, or my car sitting in my garage. It’s there, What we would call the SF elements (to us) are parts of their world, and must be seamlessly presented as part of their world.

Now, granted, there are those SF readers who want every tech detail explained. But that feels unnatural to me. I don’t think about who invented the microwave oven when I pop my popcorn. I don’t even know who invented it, nor do I care. I care that it works and doesn’t burn my popcorn. Now, if I were also an appliance repair-person, sure, then when making popcorn I might think of how the unit works. So if I write a character who’s an appliance repair person or a starship jumpdrive technician—then yes, the tech detail belongs there. But the tendency to make everyone in an SF story a techno-whiz-kid reads falsely to me.

In the same sense, I try to make the romance arc of the story make sense to the characters and the action. Just as everyone in the universe isn’t a techno-geek, everyone in the universe isn’t always hankering to get it on. I have a problem with romance novels where—when bullets are flying—the two main characters can think of nothing but getting into each other’s pants. Sorry, but I’ve had the business end of a gun pointed at me (I’m a retired private detective) and the last thing on any (normal) person’s mind at that moment is sexual satisfaction.

Yes, there is that “life affirmation” thing humans experience after having avoided death or having dealt with death or something tragic. There are people who come home after a friend’s funeral to fall in bed and make passionate love. It’s this “reaffirmation of life” drive. But they don’t do it AT the funeral (at least, normal people and characters we can identify with don’t). Dodge the bullets, escape from the bad guy, leap safely from the speeding train…find a safe place, THEN make love.

So as to pressure from readers or fans or bloggers, sure, those are the kinds of things I get from time to time: why aren’t your characters groping each other on page four? Why haven’t you detailed the schematics of the jump drive in chapter one? The answer to both things is because that doesn’t belong at that point in the book. Both the world and the characters’ emotional reactions are organic to the plot in the way that I write, and yes, that’s my judgment call.

If I get a sincere fan mail from a reader asking those questions, then I might, yes, explain as I have here that there are actually biological reasons that nullify the human sex drive during a fight-or-flight reaction (which is why getting it on while bullets fly doesn’t work for me—the human body won’t logically cooperate). Other times, I’ll just say ‘thank you for sharing.’ However, if my editor or another author in my genre whose work I’ve read and respect comes at me with those kinds of questions, I will seriously look at the scene in question. Eight books and one novella don’t make me an expert. I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing. I still take workshops and online classes. Someday I may even learn to plot (I’m a pantser).

SFRB: The romance market has seen the repackaging and republishing of a number of older SFR titles by established writers in recent months. Sherrilyn Kenyon did it with great success with her LEAGUE series, but Jayne Ann Krentz (writing as Jayne Castle) is also trying it with three titles originally published in the ‘90’s. Are these simply smart marketing moves for the individual writers, or do they have positive implications for those of us hoping to convince an agent or editor there’s a market for SFR?

LS: I read one of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s early SFR novels eons ago—in ebook format when ebooks were on floppy disks (yeah, that long ago) and remember enjoying it. I know that’s the story on which she’s basing her current LEAGUE series, and it’s on my to-buy list (or rather, my to-download as I have a Nook). I think SFR has changed since the 1980s and 1990s, and I don’t know if a simple re-release—either of her work or Krentz’s—would be as effective as an update/rewrite of a concept from them, which I’m assuming has been done in this case.

I’m not sure what it signals on the part of the authors or the market since neither author has confided in me. I can guess that with movies like the new STAR TREK and AVATAR, that authors and marketing people are recognizing that there is a continuing interest in things SF-y. But that’s only a guess on my part. Both Kenyon and Krentz are hugely respected names, and I’m thrilled with any contribution to the genre they’d care to make. I do think their name recognition could bring in new readers, and that can only be a good thing.

SFRB: Care to predict any trends? If SFR were to take off sales-wise in the next year or two, which way(s) do you think it would go? (And steampunk or YA don’t count—that’s too easy!)

LS: Nope, no predictions. Wish I could, but I’m not privy to any inside information, other than what you’ve obviously heard: steampunk is big and the YA paranormal market shows no signs of tapering off (and a recent PW article noted its trend toward dystopianism…if that’s even a word). SF has long embraced dystopian plots, so I can see an alignment there, and steampunk has long embraced things technical, so I can see a melding there.

If SFR were to finally take off (Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!) I think it would be because of the efforts of someone like Gardner Dozois in putting together an anthology that addresses both genres. I’m convinced (because I meet them at book signings now and then) that there are SF readers out there who would love a romantic subplot to their stories and have no clue SFR exists. I do think paranormal romance readers know we exist but I’m not sure military romance readers do, and I see to some extent a natural crossover there.

The real thing that would launch SFR would be a movie that openly embraced both genres. Maybe Nora/JD Robb’s IN DEATH series as a movie or TV series. Or Susan Grant’s MOONSTRUCK or Catherine Asaro’s ALPHA. Thing is, SF movies are dang expensive to make with all the special effects. There are other books, other genres that can be translated to the screen more inexpensively. Giving an actor a set of fangs costs way less than giving him a starship and a spacestation full of wacky looking aliens.

SFRB: What are the top three things we in the SFR writer/fan community should be doing to promote and expand the market for the subgenre? (Besides reading and writing more books—again, too easy!)

LS: For readers, word of mouth. Tell your friends, your librarian, your bookstore clerk about the genre. Educate them. You might be surprised how many have no idea—especially since some of us are shelved in romance and some in SF (or like me, shelved in SF in Barnes & Noble and in romance in all other bookstore chains). Face out our books when you see them (that is, cover to the front instead of spine). For unpublished writers, study the craft, study both genres, enter contests and win (and thereby get word of mouth)—especially contests that are judged by editors and agents. For published writers, spread the word to your fans. I frequently recommmend Susan Grant’s or Jess Granger’s or Catherine Asaro’s books to my fan group. I also have a “You Might Also Wanna Read” folder on it where authors are encouraged to post teaser chapters for my fans to devour. I encourage other authors to come on my fan group and announce their book’s release or new award or great reviews. My group is fairly evenly split between SF readers and romance readers (though we’re not heavy on erotica—sorry…). I’d like to see other SFR authors doing the same—adding other authors’ SFR releases to their newsletters or teaser-chapters on their fans loops: cross-pollination. I also have links to other SFR/PNR authors on my website. Again, this helps my readers find things to read when they’re not reading my books. Keep the pipeline filled…

SFRB: What's in your WIP file? Anything new and exciting you'd like to share with us?

LS: At this exact moment, my WIP file is under a pile of shhhhhtuff for the enormous Romantic Times BOOKlover’s Convention, in which I’m teaching not only pre-con workshops Monday and Tuesday, but have a two full days of panels and parties, Wednesday and Friday. And the big book fair on Saturday. My big party, of course, is the Intergalactic Bar & Grille Reader party, where we routinely pull 200 attendees (we’d pull more, but the room we get is rarely large enough) and we give away 200 goody bags full of blinky-flashing-glow shhhhhtuff, and we have a party game where bar guests win books and T-shirts and jewelry and posters and more blinky-flashing-glow shhhhhhtuff. And have a lot of silly fun. It’s the only science fiction-based party at RT. I think this is the fourth or fifth year I’m hosting it. I’d very very much like to keep it going. This year’s barflys—along with yours truly—are Isabo Kelly, Catherine Asaro, Liddy Midnight, Janet Miller, Karin Shah, Jess Granger, Stacey Kade, Colby Hodge, and I’m hoping Leanna Renee Hieber will also come by.

SFRB: Okay, this may seem like a cliched question, but we're writers and you know we'll all be hanging on the answer: what is the best piece of writing advice you ever received? And what would you advise us as writers slogging away in the star freighter engine rooms of the SFR world?

LS: Read Dwight V Swain’s TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER. My first crit partner—a long-time HQN author and Trekker—gave me that advice. She refused to critique me until I read Swain. She was right. Swain’s writing advice is flawless, timeless, and spot-on. I judge several national writing contests and at least eighty per cent of the mistakes I see (and deduct for) in those manuscripts are easily avoided if the writer would only read (and employ) Swain’s teachings. It doesn’t matter which genre you write in. Swain’s book is the CRAFT part. It’s what gets and keeps readers hooked (and editors and agents before them, because if you don’t hook an editor or agent, you’ll never get a chance to hook a reader.)

~*~     ~*~     ~*~

The SFR Brigade wishes to thanks Linnea Sinclair for sharing her knowledge, insights and time in answering these questions, and to SFR Brigade member Donna S. Frelick for conducting her interview.

As a very special bonus, Linnea Sinclair has a huge giveaway to offer readers who comment below. She will award one each of her novels, GAMES OF COMMAND, SHADES OF DARK and her recent release, REBELS AND LOVERS to three commenters. (If the winning commenter resides in a foreign country, a PDF of the novel will be substituted). OR if like many fans, you have already read and savored all of these great novels, she is offering the selection of one product from her Intergalactic Bar & Grille CafĂ© Press store as an alternative prize. Twitter Brigade and bloggers, let's get the word out and get this party started.

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation