Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hailing On All Frequencies!

Welcome to the first posting of HOAF!

Thanks to everyone who sent me news and information. I look forward to receiving more as we get used to the new idea. I'm posting it a little early as some of the events mentioned are happening this weekend. Without further ado...

ROMENEL: VOYAGE INTO TWILIGHT is Book 2 in Sandra Stixrude's Anchorage Series and is scheduled to launch on 3rd June 2010 with Red Rose Publishing. Here's the buy link.

Katherine Allred’s second book in the Alien Affairs series, CLOSE CONTACT, will be released with EOS on June 8th (click here for an excerpt).


Barbara Elsborg's Quickie, SNOW PLAY, for Ellora's Cave comes out on the 15th June.

POISONED KISS is the third book in the Shadowfae Chronicles series for Aussie author, Erica Hayes. It's due for release from St.Martin's Press in September 2010.

Katherine Allred will be visiting the following blogs to celebrate the release of her new book, CLOSE CONTACT.
*June 8th - launch party at SFR Brigade with a give-away of book one (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS) and two (CLOSE CONTACT) to one commenter.
*June 10th – She’s doing a blog at FF&P called "You Don't Have to be a Rocket Scientist to Write (or Read) Science Fiction Romance".
*June 11th – She’s doing a blog for Cynthia Eden's Deadly Days of Summer, with another give-away of book one and two.
*The week of June 14th CLOSE CONTACT will be on the RT Author's Spotlight and will include a message from her and a new excerpt from the book. 

Lisa Lane will be posting on "Fun with Cliches in SFR Erotica" on Friday, May 28th at The New Sensuality blog.

Kaye Manro guest blogged on Wicked Wednesday about her book, FORBIDDEN LOVE, over at Caridad Pineiro's site this week. Click here to see her interview. FORBIDDEN LOVE was released by Red Rose Publishing on May 13th. 

Linnea Sinclair book, HOPE’S FOLLY has won the 2009 PEARL (Paranormal Excellence Awards for Romantic Literature) for Best Romantic Science Fiction & Futuristic Fantasy. Way to go, Linnea! 

Rebecca Royce has sold another book in her popular Westervelt Wolves series at Liquid Silver Books and she’s had a story accepted for the Live to Kill Anthology with Eirelander Publishing.

Kylie Griffin has taken out 2nd place in the Yellow Rose RWA Winter Rose contest (paranormal section) with her sci-fi romance ms, DARK SHADOWS.

The 13th Annual FF&P PRISM finalists have been announced! Congratulations to the following Brigaders for being among them...
Ella Drake (for her novella FIRESTORM ON E'TERRA)
Jess Granger (for her futuristic BEYOND THE RAIN)
Katherine Allred (for her futuristic CLOSE ENCOUNTERS)
Linnea Sinclair (for her futuristic HOPE'S FOLLY)

Check out the interview and book review from The Geeky Book Worm on MIDNIGHT'S GHOST written by fellow-Brigader, Sara Brookes. TGBW highly recommends Sara's latest book and the interview is engaging and informative. There's a free copy giveaway of MIDNIGHT'S GHOST for one lucky commenter. All you have to do is ask Sara a question or comment on the interview by May 30th! 

Jaleta Clegg is signing books and doing panels at ConDuit in Salt Lake City, Utah, this weekend - May 28 - 30, 2010. If you're in the area, it's a local SF/F convention. Drop by and say hi! Come help her bring legions of unsuspecting Utah fans to SFR.

Fellow brigader, Aubrie Dionne is giving away two signed copies of her Young Adult epic fantasy, THE VOICES OF IRE. All you have to do is leave a comment about your favourite fantasy character on her blog. Comments close Friday, 28th May.

Have a few minutes to spare? Ella Drake has a series of SF short stories as free reads on her website about Daphne & her space adventures.

To celebrate her new release, Sandra Stixrude is running a contest on her website. For those interested it's a "Draw Me A Harduk" contest. She's giving away a copy of ROMENEL:VOYAGE INTO TWILIGHT. For the details and rules go to her website. The contest closes June 25th.

Eirelander Publishing has an open call for submissions.
Legacy 2150
Our signature line of hard science fiction stories, they may explore any science fiction plot but should apply themselves to the guidelines of ‘hard’ science fiction. Fully developed worlds, spaceships, aliens, and fully-fleshed main characters with intriguing sci-fi plots that do not shy away from social issues, morality plays and all other aspects that make ‘hard’ sci-fi what it is should appear in the story. These are not watered down science fiction but all that made science fiction great.
  • Stories must include the elements of true hard science fiction. Detail to world building, whether a space ship or a distant planet is imperative. The plot must be attached to all intrinsic elements including the world, the characters, and the antagonist. Gadgets, gizmos and ‘alien speak’ should be well developed and have ready explanation if necessary.
  • Story length should be novelette length and up.
  • Stories for consideration can be either Mainline or Heat Line, but must follow our general submission guidelines. They can be either general fiction or romance. If romance, they may be any heat level.
  • Send a query letter in the body of an e-mail along with the entire document to submissions(at)eirelanderpublishing(dot)com . Please include a short summary of your story, your publishing credits or experience if applicable and the entire document. Please include, ‘Submission, Legacy 2150’ in the subject line.
Unto Tomorrow
What does the future hold? It’s a question we want you to answer.  These stories should have a modern day traveler who journeys to the future by way of a device. The device or mode of travel may be of the author’s creation, but should have a detailed explanation, myth or legend attached to it. The plot must uphold the ‘reason’ for the traveler’s journey whether or not they journey to the near future or distant future time.
  • Stories must have strong elements of futuristic/spec-fic fiction. They may include any plot from science fiction, fantasy, utopian/dystopian fiction, apocalyptic to post apocalyptic/new world order. These stories should include a fully developed plot with fully fleshed characters. The characters need not be likable, but must give the reader good cause to root for them. The device or vehicle may work both ways (journey to future then back to present), but it should be understood that a positive ending/HEA is preferred.
  • These stories may be any length from super-short to saga.
  • Stories for consideration can be either Mainline or Heat Line, but must follow our general submission guidelines.  They can be either general fiction or romance. If romance, they may be any heat level.
  • Send a query letter in the body of an e-mail along with the entire document to submissions(at)eirelanderpublishing(dot)com . Please include a short summary of your story, your publishing credits or experience if applicable and the entire document. Please include, ‘Submission, Unto Tomorrow’ in the subject line.
  • Novella lengths and above are considered for print publication in accordance with our ‘mission statement’.
For more information please go to their website.

Eirelander Publishing, Inc. is also looking for anyone interested writing short stories for their fictional world called The Borderlands. Information, submission guidelines and rules about using The Borderlands construct are available on their information page.

The Galaxy Express has a couple of interesting articles on the "A Brief History of SF" and "Why SF Fandom is Full of Romance Haterz" you might like to take a look at.

The RWA Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter has a post from guest blogger Cindy Carroll called "Learn a Thing or Two from the Movies" that looks at script writing, specifically the technique of showing not telling, and how it applies to writing your novel.

Ripping Ozzie Reads discusses "Dialogue, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly" with references from powerful dialogue in scenes from Firefly and The Princess Bride. Worth a look!

Jessica Faust from BookEnds LLC makes some suggestions on "Using Your Galleys" for published authors over on her blog. There are some helpful suggests as well in the comments section from her readers.

RWAmerica 30th Annual Conference 2010
July 28-31, 2010
Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
Orlando, Florida

For more details visit the RWA website.  

RWAustralia National Conference 2010
August 13-15, 2010
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Coogee Beach, Sydney, NSW
For more details visit the conference page on the RWAustralia website.

RWNew Zealand 20th Conference 2010

August 20-22, 2010
Rydges Hotel
New Zealand
For more details visit the conference page on the RWNZ website.

Happy Birthday to these members...

May 15th - Kylie Griffin

Friday, May 28, 2010

We've Got PRISM Finalists!

Stop by The Galaxy Express for the scoop, but I'll give you a little spoiler.  We've got not one, not two...but FOUR Brigaders in the PRISM finals!

Congrats to all of you!  (Pop on over to TGE to see who they are.)

Who's planning to be at the FF&P The Gathering this year for the announcement of winners?

Star Devours Planet

The hottest-known planet in our galaxy is being stretched into the shape of a football and rapidly consumed by its parent star, new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope show.

The extrasolar planet on the cosmic menu, called WASP-12b, may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured, Hubble scientists announced Thursday.

WASP-12b is so close to its sun-like star that it is superheated to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and stretched into an elongated shape by enormous tidal forces.

Because of those phenomenal forces, the planet's atmosphere has ballooned to nearly three times Jupiter's radius and is pouring material onto its parent star. WASP-12b is 40 percent more massive than Jupiter.

This effect of matter exchange between two stellar objects is commonly seen in close binary star systems, but this is the first time it has been seen so clearly for a planet. The system was observed with the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) instrument on Hubble.

"We see a huge cloud of material around the planet which is escaping and will be captured by the star. We have identified chemical elements never before seen on planets outside our own solar system," said team leader Carole Haswell of The Open University in the United Kingdom.

The distortion of the planet by the star's gravity was first predicted in a paper published in February in the journal Nature by Shu-lin Li of Peking University in Beijing. That work predicted that the gravitational tidal forces working on the planet would make its interior so hot that it greatly expands the planet's outer atmosphere.

Now Hubble has confirmed this prediction.

Can you imagine what seeing this from the bridge of a Starship would be like?

* * *

Today I'm with my friend, fellow journalist and bestselling RRP author of Love's Chance, Angela Kaye Austin. She asked me a few questions on how I go about researching and then writing my SFR stories. So I have given her a few of my views. This article -- about Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romance -- is up on Romancing the Pen. Just click on over and take a look!

Romancing the Pen ~HERE~
My SFR Website ~HERE~

See you around the Galaxy!

Kaye Manro

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Food fight at Ann Wilkes' place!

Hi SFR Brigaders. Ann Wilkes is a fellow member of Broad Universe who recently had a blog post up on why she reads more male sf writers than female. Go here to read.

As someone who writes all that mushy stuff as well as sf ... well, I couldn't let that stand, could I? :) I approached Ann and asked if she was interested in a different viewpoint and, because she's such a terrific person, she said she would love to host a contrary perspective.

So, while Ann is away in San Jose for BayCon, my post is up at her place about why romance, and human connections, are such an integral part of whatever it is we write.

I'm not sure what kind of a reaction I'm going to get, so I thought I'd drop a line here. If you have a few spare minutes, please go over and read what I have to say and, if you agree, a comment wouldn't go astray either! :)

Now, don't go jumping on Ann. She's been wonderful about hosting me there and has been incredibly supportive of what I have to say. But if you think my point has any validity, then I'd be grateful for a kind word. And thanks in advance for all your support.

Kaz Augustin

Brenda Novak Auction in its Last Days

Just want to remind everyone, there are only a few days left to bid in this auction for a wonderful cause, diabetes research.  I went and perused the categories looking for items that might be of special interest to SFR Brigaders.  Some are even bargains.  Check them out!

First of all, the Brenda Novak Mentorship Writing Competition is a very exciting offering for writers. Enter this contest to win one-on-one mentorship time with the NYT best-selling author. There are a host of notable judges and the top three entrants also win a read by agent Laurie McClean. What a dream for SFR writers!  And yes, Futuristic/SFR is a subgenre that's eligible to enter.  I just received an affirmative on that in an email from Ms. Novak herself.  Winners announced November 15th.  At $50, this is one amazing opportunity and the same as or not much more than entering a major contest, with a whole lot more bennies (in addition to helping a worthy cause).

Hardcover copy of Lois McMaster Bujold's THE SHARING KNIFE.  Current bid very low!

Hardcover copy of Allen Steele's COYOTE HORIZON.  Current bid below original price.

An autographed hardcover of Barry Eisler's FAULT LINE.  Award-winning novel of 2009.

Autographed League Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

An offering of ARCs includes HEART JOURNEY by Robin Owens (August 2010 release date).

Penguin's Fantasy and Science Fiction Sampler is an assorted of 12 books including THE DARK REACHES by Krisin Landon, CRYSTAL HEALER by SL Viehl, and WARRIOR by Angela Knight, just to name a few.

(If I've missed any Brigaders books,ARCs or offerings, be sure to post a note in comments and I'll add them.)

Authors, see the online promo items available in the Web Services Category.

Don't miss Celebrity Autographed Items to see 53 amazing offerings.  Something for everyone!  Autographed guitars by U2, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift and more.  Frame and signed record albums by Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart...  Sports memorabilia.  TV, movie and music industry items, and so much more.  (Even a framed poster signed by Buzz Aldrin for us space program groupies.) Looking to add to your collection?  A special gift for someone?  You've got to see this collection.

If you're game to ante up some big bucks in exchange for an African Safari, an Alaskan Cruise, a Mexican beach front vacation or a trip to Europe, but sure to look at the amazing offerings in the Once in a Lifetime Experiences.  There are some bargains to be found here, too.

There are also some special One Day Auctions.

There's SO much, gift baskets, artwork, trips, crystal, dolls, Coach name it.  To peruse all categories for something that appeals to you, go here

I've participated in the auction for the past two years and can tell you it's both easy and fun.

Thursday Tag Party for 5/27/10! (Tag Redux)

Decided this week to do a Tag Party Redux, since I kinda sprung the Saturday one on everybody. So - let's revisit the lovely crop we gathered from the publishers' showcase!

A brief flight manual if it's your maiden voyage:

  • 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)

Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair

Slipping the Past by D L Jackson

Dreams of Chimborazo by Leigh Barbour

Yes, Captain by Rebecca Royce

Shipwrecked by Michelle Marquis

The Mythmakers by Robert Appleton

Mechanical Rose by Nathalie Gray

And please send your suggestions (your own or one of your favs) to - happy tagging!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Continuing On...

I delayed posting today to give Laurann Dohner and her new release, Tempting Rever, the top spot for most of the day. Big congratulations on your release, Laurann!

I want to remind everyone that the Forbidden Love Blog Tour is still underway. I’ve been promoting SFR on several stops to enlighten non-SFR readers about our genre.

Today, I am guest blogging with best selling Paranormal Romance Author Caridad Pineiro and I’m talking about SFR. I also explored aspects of SFR with Cari Quinn and Linda Banche. And Nancy O’Berry has some humorous posts featuring “That Cheeky Lizard” (T’Kon, the FL hero). Check out my blog tour.


Caridad Pineiro
Cari Quinn
Linda Banche
Nancy O'Berry
Forbidden Love Buy Page
Kaye’s Website
Kaye’s Blog


Third Zorn Warriors book is out today!

Hello everyone! I wanted to post at the SFR Brigade about my book coming out today and just how grateful I am to be here. You see... when 2008 closed on New Year's Eve and turned into 2009...I thought what do I really want to do this year? I'd had the dream for a lot of years that I wanted to get a book published. I wanted to write books that people wanted to read. I was writing for fun at home in my spare time and I would beg my friends to read my books because most of them don't read. I mean... they just don't read books. Some of them don't even own computers. I had a few friends who encouraged ( okay - harassed me ) to try to get published. Life was always tossing something at me though to make me put it off. Well, as 2009 started I realized my youngest child was starting school and I saw my chance at going after the possibility of making my dream come true. I sat down and I wrote Ral's Woman.

It is the first book in the Zorn Warriors series. It wasn't even a series to begin with. It was a book that I was lucky enough to land a contract with. It needed work, I got an amazing set of editors who took a chance on me and were willing to work with me, teach me what I need to learn, and that's how it all began. Readers took a chance, bought a book from a newbie author, and they started writing in that they wanted to read more about Zorn. Now I have two Science Fiction series out. Zorn Warriors and Cyborg Seduction. AMAZING! I'm wiping at tears, honestly, because it's so far beyond anything I could have even dreamed up and trust me... I have a heck of an imagination. LOL. That's what I love about writing Science Fiction. I can create limitless possibilities. Entire worlds and the people who live on them. How fantastic is that? I'm getting to announce my third Zorn Warriors book is coming out today at Ellorascave. Here's the blurb and thank you for having me. You can click on the cover or the title link to go read the excerpt and I hope you give Zorn a chance if you haven't read one of the books in the series yet.

Book three in the Zorn Warriors series.

Brenda spent four years trapped in an unhappy marriage. She’s so desperate to start a new life somewhere safe that she’s agreed to go to another planet with a handsome alien stranger. When he’s killed, she finds herself in the home of a Zorn warrior willing to protect her until the fallen warrior’s brother arrives to claim her.

Brenda never believed in love at first sight until she gazed into the gorgeous blue eyes of Argis Rever. He’s tall, dark, sexy…the kind of guy she’s always dreamed of finding—and already bound to another human woman. She could have lived with letting the man of her dreams slip through her fingers, except he isn’t happy—the horrid woman doesn’t even want him, and will never love him.

Brenda has lost a lot in her life but she’s not willing to lose the one chance at finding happiness with a man she’s falling in love with. She’s more than ready to start tempting Rever into finding his own happiness…with her.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Thank you for having me here!!!

Laurann Dohner

Technological update

As an SFR writer I'm always on the lookout for interesting technological advances. So when I saw the title- "Man Injects Himself With Computer Virus," my mind went all sorts of places.

Here's the link to the news story if you're interested, or looking to get some inspiration for a story.

Let me know if you enjoy posts like this. If you do I'll make sure to share things as they pop up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reminder: Hailing On All Frequencies!

Hey everyone!

Just a reminder that if you have any news, blog posts, net events, interviews, new releases, a birthday just gone or coming up or other newsworthy topics to promote on Hailing On All Frequencies, then email them to me - kyliegriffin(at)clearmail(dot)com(dot)au - by Friday of each week!

Please don't forget web-links, your web address etc. as pertinent promotional information!

Your Communications Officer

Monday, May 24, 2010

FORBIDDEN LOVE Book Launch Party Winners Announced!

As promised here are the Forbidden Love Book Launch Party winners!! I delayed the announcement because of our wonderful Publishers Showcase that took place all last week. 

So here we go now!

Those who left a comment were eligible for download copies of Forbidden Love, a surprise giveaway from my Star Trek collection, and the bonus book by Orson Scott Card, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The randomly drawn winners are:

1. Arlene Webb

2. Melisse Aires

3. laughingwolf 

Please email me to see what prize you’ve won and to claim it!


I had such a great time at my launch party here on the Brigade! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented. Remember the Forbidden Love Blog Tour is still in progress. Anyone who comments on any of my tour stops will be in the running for prizes.

Visit my Website for the Blog Tour list and my Blog for everyday updates on the tour and Forbidden Love news.


Blogging at Romance That's Out of This World!

I was invited to write a blog about why I write and read science fiction romance at Romance That's Out of This World.  My post will be up all week and at the end there is a prize: a print copy of The Key. My post is called "Science Fiction - Not Just for Geeks" and talks about my journey to the science fiction side of books. I hope that other Brigaders will stop by and share why they read/write SF and SFR, and why they love the genre. And while you're there, recommend some old and new favorites. Maybe we can recruit some readers like me, who didn't know who much they'd like SFR until they tried one. :-)
Girl Gone Nova
"A spectacular ride!" Romantic Times

For most females of her acquaintance, a parasol was the final touch in a proper ensemble, but Miss Olivia Carstairs never felt completely dressed without her derringer.
From Tangled In Time, 12/2010

Hailing On All Frequencies!

One of the aims of the SFR Brigade is to promote our members. So, from next week I'm going to be looking for and compiling information from Brigade members to feature as a regular post here on the blog.

What am I looking for? Well, any and all news about you, your books, interviews, contest news, giveaways, guest blogs, articles on writing or SFR-related info...anything that might be of interest to other Brigade members.

Eg. Here's an interview promo I might submit via email to be included in this sort of post.
Kylie Griffin - Kylie has invited guest author, Joss Ware, creator of the Envy Chronicles, an exciting new, post-apocalyptic romance series, to her blog on (DATE). To learn more about Joss's books and characters, don't miss this interview! (Yes, Joss is visiting my site but the date has yet to be confirmed!)

Not only will Hailing On All Frequencies! draw interest to our own sites but it'll double as an awareness raising-promotional opportunity in the wider internet community.

So, start sending me your news (don't be shy) - the deadline is Friday of each week. I'll post a reminder. Email me at

This will give me the weekend to collate the information then early in the following week watch out for my post Hailing On All Frequencies!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lively Discussion About SFR

We have a fabulous discussion going over on the SFR Brigade web site forums under the Shout Out! thread about SFR advocacy and the challenges facing SFR writers and authors. 

Hop on over and join in with your thoughts and comments.  Oh, and be sure to click Page 2 to see all the posts.

Draw Me A Harduk

A New Contest in Honor of Romenel's June Launch:

This is a fun one, inspired by our friend Morgan and the desire to create a fan art page for my site. From bits and pieces of description in Marya, she drew a picture of a not-terribly-pleased Marya riding a harduk. Her vision (which I'll withhold during the contest so we don't influence your vision) may not match yours.

So here we go:

The prize:

An e-copy of your very own of
Romenel: Voyage Into Twilight (with that gorgeous Missy Lyon's cover)
The rules:

  • Read Marya. In order to know what a harduk is, this is a must.
  • Draw me a harduk. This could be a generic harduk, or a specific one (Windflower, Moondancer, whichever one you please.)
  • Artistic talent is not a must to win. I'll be picking a random winner from the entries. This is just for fun.
  • Please specify if you'd rather not see your artwork up on the fan art page once the contest ends.
  • email your image to me (jpeg's are nice, but I'll take anything) to
The duration:

Send me your drawings, collages, photoshopped images, etc. between now (5/22) and June 25th.

Can't wait to see what you all come up with!

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

AGENTS: Sarah LaPollah at Curtis Brown

New agent alert!

Sarah is seeking: literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction, literary horror, and young adult fiction. She loves complex characters, coming-of-age stories, and strong narrators.

How to contact: E-query: sl(at)cbltd(dot)com. Query; also, include a synopsis (for fiction), a sample chapter and brief writing history. Responds within 8 weeks.

Source: Guide to Literary Agents

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Unscheduled Tag Party

Laurie and I were sad that we would have to skip the Tag Party this week. But Laurie is brilliant and said "why not skim the publishers showcase this week for titles and do the tag party on Saturday?"

Hooray! And what a week it was! A huge thank you to all the publishers who participated, all these wonderful folks who love SF as much as we do.

I've picked out the ones I could a) find on Amazon, b) were SFR Brigade authors and c) I had not featured previously (I had one repeat last week already - how embarrassing!)
I've ignored release dates on this one, and if a book mentioned was not on Amazon, I tried to find another one for the author.

A brief flight manual if it's your maiden voyage:

  • 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)

Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair

Slipping the Past by D L Jackson

Dreams of Chimborazo by Leigh Barbour

Yes, Captain by Rebecca Royce

Shipwrecked by Michelle Marquis

The Mythmakers by Robert Appleton

Mechanical Rose by Nathalie Gray

Happy Tagging!

Building Spaceships Out of Words

Spaceships or craftsmanship--it's not just doing things well, but appropriately matching materials, tools, techniques, and purpose.

In SFR our materials are the English language and science. We sculpt our materials using tools and techniques such as point of view, plot arc, and sentence structure. I love our materials. The English language can be used to build anything: castles, spaceships, even entire planets. And, if science is employed, the results can be vivid and convincing without ever going through the expense and difficulty of building the real thing. Okay, it's impossible to build a real planet. That's the wonder of words.

But even though words are cheap, they stand in for real materials: "gold" stands in for gold, "iron" for iron, and "silk" for silk. To use the words in a craftsman-like manner we must understand the materials the words stand for. That's where science comes in. The sciences of metallurgy and chemistry tell us what gold is and what can be done with it. A solid gold spaceship makes no sense, neither does solid gold armor, because gold is not just beautiful and valuable. Science tells us gold is dense and soft. Dense means it's heavy. In order to still function, a ship or armor can only have a thin layer of gold. A solid gold ship would be too heavy to move and so is an example of poor craftsmanship. The same goes for a knight wearing gold armor. "Gold" is the wrong word because gold is the wrong material.

As SFR authors, we don't have to actually make the stuff, but only to use words in a way that makes the thing seem real, real enough to be sexy. If accurately shown, the sensuousness of silk and leather can't be matched by any other materials. Knowing what silk and leather are helps the author in exploiting the sumptuous characteristics of the materials. The story doesn't need to have a treatise on the silk industry, but just a thoughtful choice of words, an understanding that silk is not the same as satin and that "leather" doesn't mean vinyl.

Fortunately for us, we can easily research words and the materials they stand for.
A good place to start is with Wikipedia. It's not authoritative, but it can quickly sort out how things are made and out of what kind of materials.

Dictionaries are indispensable and worth spending money on. These treasure troves have hordes of words along with definitions and origins. I have a whole shelf of dictionaries: the Shorter OED, Webster's, Roget's Thesaurus, French-English, Latin-English, and a bunch of other languages. I can look this up on line but sometimes it works best to flip through those marvelous word catalogues.

I love manuals and how-to books. I shop for them at my local used bookstore. Older books are often even better than new ones for the vocabulary of how to make things. My stories have a maritime setting so I've got a whole collection of boating-related manuals including: the Navy's Blue Jackets' Manual, Chapman's Piloting, and The Complete Yachtsman.

More great references are atlases: anatomy, geography, and star charts. I frequently consult Google Earth but also use paper maps, charts, and diagrams.

And I just have to mention field guides. They are great for helping with plants and animals shown in a story. For finding such things as the best time for pirates to attack use tide tables which are often given away free, but the same information can be found online at the NOAA website along with a wealth of weather data.

Despite all the great resources, nothing works better than actually seeing and doing the things that the writing will describe: cooking the food for the fictional meal, making the clothing the heroine will wear, traveling to places similar to the fictional setting. This can be expensive and time consuming and so must be done selectively, but I believe it makes the writing stronger, more believable.

The side effect of knowing materials is both believable plots and believable sensory detail--the smell of hot steel, the roughness of basalt native to Mars, the acrid bite of plasticizer leaking into space rations.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Welcome to Skyla Dawn, represented by Marie Dees.
Would you like to share a little history concerning Mundania?

Mundania Press LLC was founded in August 2002 by Daniel Reitz Sr and Bob Sanders. Originally their purpose was to bring back into print Piers Anthony's novel Pornucopia, however they soon opened to new authors as well. Mundania Press LLC now has four imprints (Mundania, Phaze Books, Awe-Struck, and Hard Shell Word Factory) and many books in a variety of genres.

What are the most common reasons a sci-fi novel, or any novel for that matter, is rejected?

Not following the guidelines. If one of the major guidelines aren't followed, it's an auto-reject. Beyond that, one of the most common comments from our slush readers is that a book reads "like a first novel." That usually means the writing isn't polished (style, grammar, and even spelling errors), the opening is slow and full of unnecessary backstory, and the characters are one dimensional. Most writers make the same mistakes with their first novels, and it always shows.

What are the biggest mistakes new authors make?

Besides the mistakes mentioned above, most new writers submitting the first time need to research the publisher they're sending their book to. It's important to read some of the publisher's books, read the publisher's blog, follow them on Twitter, and get a sense of what they're looking for and what type of book would be a good fit.

What do you look for in a submission? In a sci-fi romance submission?

In all submissions, I look for a compelling story and flawed characters I can identify (or at least sympathize) with. A touch of humor helps too.
For any romantic subgenre, I'm fairly picky—I like to see two individual, believable characters build a relationship throughout the novel and really earn their happy ending. Too often I see romances without a strong enough conflict to sustain the book. I also see far too many romances that rely heavily on antiquated gender stereotypes, and like many of our readers, I don't find sexism or misogyny romantic.

What grabs your attention, makes you sit up and want to read more?

A strong voice. Even if the writing is a little rough around the edges, if the voice is strong and pulls me into the story from the first sentence, I'll keep reading.

How far do you read into a submission before you know if the novel is right for you?

It varies. In some instances, I know within a paragraph if it might be right for us or not. All submissions that have followed the guidelines go to slush readers, who read the first ten to twenty pages. Those that pass that round go for a full read.

There's a breakdown of our submissions process right here:

Tell me about a few of your favorite Mundania science fiction romances.

At Mundania, there's Sarah Winn's Passionate Warriors. Last year at our imprint Awe-Struck, we released Susanne Marie Knight's ForEvver, and later this year we'll release Frances Pauli's Dimensional Shift. Our erotica imprint, Phaze, also has a selection of steamy sci-fi romances.

Why e-books?

Why not? The ebook market grows every year and it's good for everyone. Fewer trees killed, lower prices for customers, and higher royalties for authors.

What is Mundania looking for now? What kinds of submissions would you like to see pop up in your e-queries? Anything you’re dying to see more of? Steampunk? Futuristic? Space Opera? Any dream novels?

All of our imprints except for Phaze are currently closed to submissions.
Mundania will be reopening next month. We're actively looking for urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk, and horror. I personally have a soft spot for zombies, so if anyone has some good zombie horror ready for submission, send it my way. In terms of romantic content in books, I'm also interested in adding more same sex romance to our catalogs as well as interracial romance.

Thank you, Mundania, and Marie Dees for your time, thoughts on sci-fi romance, and for letting us get to know you.

Publisher Showcase~Friendly Reminder

Attention all Brigaders.

This is a friendly reminder from the Officer on Deck. Please suspend all posts until Sunday May 22nd for Publisher's Week. If one should inadvertantly post ahead of schedule, I will move it to post on Sunday.
Thanks for your help in giving the publishers their spotlight.

Officer, out.

Shadowfire Press

Rejections are a given. An intense black hole will suck up chunks of time as you query repeatedly. Surviving the sting of, ‘they couldn’t even spare two minutes to say what the problem is?’ takes its toll. But once you hit the right publisher with the right slot to fill, and you’ve received those few lines stating exactly what they’d like to see added or changed, or a simple ‘come in’, then you race through the door to meet the people who make dreams come true.

It takes a certain brand of human to guide and focus the birth of thoughts and dreams, someone talented enough to pin characters, alive and squirming, onto the pages so the world can embrace them. A special link is formed between the author and the publisher, and if you’re lucky enough to have an editor who’s a perfectionist, dedicated, honest, and a compassionate friend, you’ve had an acceptance from Michael Barnette at Shadowfire Press and he’s introduced you to Helen Ravell.

Helen, welcome. Thank you for sharing your time, yourself, with us today. What are the most common reasons a sci-fi romance novel is rejected?
For Shadowfire, the most common reason we reject is if the story is just not engaging enough. Shadowfire has a strong commitment to quality plots first and foremost. Some issues of craft can be worked on, but if the plot is not there, nothing can be done. Another, related problem, especially in sci-fi, is too much world building and back story, especially at the start of the story. World building is great, but not at the expense of the plot or characterization.

What are the biggest mistakes new authors make?
Submitting a story before it has been thoroughly redrafted and polished. This can apply not only to technical aspects of language, but in Science Fiction particularly, it is easy to get into a tangle where aspects of the world are inconsistent. Another problem is making sure that the protagonist and antagonist have roughly equal power. If you want to pit your characters against each other, as you should, you don’t want the power imbalance to be so obviously out that your character wanders into Mary Sueism. The writer’s best friend is a critique reader who is NOT their best friend. You have to find someone who is prepared to say...”No, this doesn’t work, and no, you are not going to get away with it.”

What do you look for in a sci-fi submission?
Apart from that engaging plot, we want characters that we can relate to. I want to be able to feel their triumphs and tragedies, hurt when they hurt, laugh when they laugh. And in Sci-fi I want that to happen in a new world which at the same time makes me reflect on human nature as I know it. What grabs your attention, makes you sit up and want to read more?
I want to read more when the author presents me with a puzzle...why are these people here? What do they want out of life? What personal characteristics do they need to survive in this strange land? And once I have asked all this questions, I want to find out the answers with a fast paced read that grips me with all showing and no telling. Sci-fi is an action format and the text and style have to be active.

How far do you read into a submission before you know if the novel is right for you?
I can usually tell by the first three chapters but unless it is woefully badly written, I do the author the courtesy of a complete read.

Tell me about a few of your favorite SFP science fiction romances. What really stood out in these stories that made them unique?
I love Gwen Campbell’s new series beginning with As My Warrior Commands.
# # #
There is a fiery, independent woman who knows what she wants…and isn’t about to let any strutting male stop her from getting it.

Sibyls are old crones. Everybody knows that. So what's a warrior supposed to think when a beautiful young woman turns up in the middle of a siege, says she's a sibyl, predicts the downfall of a kingdom and tells him he's going there with her to prevent it? He does what any hot-blooded warrior would do. He follows the woman. She's intelligent, brave, can see the future, has an ass he can't stop staring at and she knows how to make him laugh. What he doesn't know is that the sibyls have predicted the downfall of the Kingdom of Jareb-Phar if a young sibyl enters their throne room. What they don't know is if her arrival will be coincidental or cause the kingdom's fall. The only thing the warrior does know for sure is that beneath his beautiful, young sibyl's discipline is a woman as lusty and wanton as he is.
# # #

I also like Nina Croft’s Tiger of Talmare, it’s funny and fast paced and hot.
# # #
Melissa Stark will take on just about any job as long as the price is right. But this particular job she would gladly take on for free because Captain Zachary Knight has been a thorn in her side ever since she stole his starship ten years ago.

Back then he was a genuine hero and poster boy for the army's hybrid breeding program. Now things have changed. Zach has been accused of a massacre on the planet of Talmare and is being shipped home to stand trial. But certain influential people want to make sure Zach never reaches Earth and Mel and her crew on The Revenge have been hired to intercept him and return him to Talmare.
It should have been easy money. The problem is, Zach is impossible to resist and once Mel gets her hands on him she's doesn't want to let him go. Now those same people are also after Mel.
# # #

What is SFP looking for now? What kinds of submissions would you like to see pop up in your e-queries? Anything you’re dying to see more of? Steampunk? Futuristic? Space Opera? Any dream novels?
I think Steam Punk is going to keep growing so of course we’d like to see more of that. Personally, I love the submissions that are a little off centre, where the author presents me with something unexpected but very interesting (I recommend Arlene Webb’s Rebel if you want to see something very different. The entire Shadowfire editing staff sat up and paid attention when it crossed our desk.)

Would you like to share a little history concerning SFP?
Shadowfire Press started over two years ago, when Michael Barnette and Auburnimp, saddened by the closure of another publisher, decided to start up their own publishing company. I was pleased when they asked me to be their editor and I particularly liked their dedication to presenting good stories across a wide range of genres. We have, over the two years developed a strong group of in-house authors who cover romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction and horror. We have m/f, f/f, m/m, shapeshifters, faeries and weres.
The company continues to grow with the support of our readers and our wonderful authors and we intend to be around for a very long time.

Wonderful. With the dedication to quality plot, determination to get more and more new voices out there, we’re glad the crew at SFP is committed to the business, the fun of the written word. Thank you, very much, for taking time out of your busy life, Helen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Publisher Spotlight:Lyrical Press, Inc.

This interview is with the owner and founder of Lyrical Press, Renee Rocco.

The History of Lyrical Press:
After I'd been working in various positions in the industry for years, I felt I had something positive to contribute to publishing. Applying what I'd learned and Frank's business savvy, we decided to open Lyrical Press in December 2007. We launched on May 5, 2008. Lyrical has always been digital-first, with a growing foothold in print as well.

Who are your key personnel?
First and foremost are Camila Londono, our executive editor, and Pamela Tyner, Lyrical's managing editor. Next would be the other amazing editors and cover art staff, not to mention Brian Hunter, who designed the fabulous software that formats our digital books.

What are the most common reasons a novel (especially a Science Fiction Romance novel) is rejected?
I'd have to say, writing that isn't ready for publication is the number one reason we reject a novel. Next would be a sloppy or cocky submission. If an author can't be bothered to present a professional submission, we feel they won't be bothered to be professional when it comes to working with them.

What are the biggest mistakes new authors make?
Failing to view themselves as a business, failing to believe publishing is a business, ignorance of the industry prior to submitting, and lastly, blindly signing a publishing contract without understanding the legality of it.

What do you look for in a Science Fiction Romance submission?
Broadly, anything that's well-written. More specifically, something that ventures out of the boundaries of what's been done before. In this day and age, there's not many storylines that haven't been done to death. It's all about taking something and shaping it into your own, putting a fresh spin on it.

What grabs your attention, makes you sit up and want to read more?
Solid writing and when an author truly knows his/her characters and world. If your characters and world leap right off the page, I'd say you've done your job and publishers/editor will notice!

How far do you read into a submission before you know if the novel is right for you?
Hmm, that depends. We can often tell within a chapter or two if a manuscripts is quality. I can say, however, our editing staff gives almost all submissions a fair shake by reading right on to the end in order to see if the author's writing either improves as the novel goes on, or if an author can maintain quality for the length of the work.

What are you looking for right now? What kinds of submissions would you like to see pop up in your e-queries? Anything you’re dying to see more of? Steampunk? Futuristic? Space Opera? Any dream novels?
Dream novels would be interesting, as would more Steampunk. Those are two hot genres and we'd love to see many more of them hitting our inbox!

Thank you, Renee!

Publisher Showcase - Red Rose Publishing

A single Red Rose symbolizes love, respect, honesty and integrity as do the ebooks written by the authors of Red Rose Publishing. Many talented authors from all over the world gather to entice and delight you with their words of prose.

Step into the world of Red Rose Publishing, publishing with a touch of Class!

A little history about Red Rose:

Red Rose Publishing opened its doors in 2007. Founder Wendi Felter envisioned building a company where everyone felt they had a stake in its success, a place that would welcome differences. The name? The day Wendi decided to start her own company, her husband came home with two dozen long-stemmed red roses. What could be more romantic than that?

Three years later, Red Rose has authors from all over the globe – every nook and cranny of the USA, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia – and close to 1300 titles available. In the interim, Red Rose has garnered awards such as All Romance eBooks’ Best Selling New Publisher and Romance Erotica Connection’s Interracial/Multicultural Publisher of the Year.

Key personnel:

Owner/Publisher: Wendi Felter
Head Content Editor: LaTessa Montgomery
Art Director: Shirley Burnett

Two of the biggest mistakes new authors make:

1. Not reading a publisher’s submission guidelines thoroughly – every publisher has different needs and preferred formats. The fastest way to a rejection letter is submitting without following instructions.

2. Assumin
g “the editor will take care of it.” If you want to present yourself as a professional writer, please be professional. Know how to write a concise, informative query letter. Edit your manuscript to within an inch of its life. Have knowledgeable people proof for you. The second fastest way to a rejection letter is a manuscript full of errors.

Heat Levels and Story Lengths:

Some publisher’s
will tell you how to write a romance. (Only one male/one female relationships, no second or third parties, no toys, no whipped cream, only erotic, etc.) Red Rose is not one of those publishers. Gay fiction? Ménage? Alien sex? No sex at all? Go for it. The usual no-list applies, of course (no minors, etc.) Red Rose accepts both Erotic and Mainstream fiction, so from closed-door to blistering hot is welcome.

Stories come in six lengths:
Sepals: 1 – 5K words
Petals: 5,001 – 15K
Shorts: 15,001 – 30K
Novelettes: 30,001 – 45K
Novellas: 45,001
– 60K
Novels: 60,0
01 and higher

For the full submission policy: Submissions

What’s Red Rose looking for right now?

While closed for most submissions from new authors at the moment, Red Rose is always looking for the fo

Holiday Themed
Interracial/Multicultural – what could be better for SFR?


Red Rose has a delicious variety of Science Fiction, as a sampling of some of our very own SFR Brigade members proves:


Marya: Anchorage Book 1

Know he will succeed when all others fail you…so reads the fateful letter of introduction which heralds the beginning of Marya's desperate journey.

When the Ktar chooses Marya to watch over the heir on his confirmation journey, she has no illusions about a pleasant trip. A prophecy
concerning the heir's death, ominous dreams of a mysterious city, and the certainty one of the heir's companions will betray him all weigh heavily on her.

The discovery of the assassin in their midst is only the beginning. His menace pales in comparison to the ancient evil lurking in the
mountain city. When Marya and her party are trapped and the men with her enslaved, she is forced into a battle of wills and hearts with two remaining choices: give in to the alien being who offers her power and prestige, or join forces with the same handsome assassin she sought to thwart.

Time Travel-

Dreams o
f Chimborazo

What hap
pens when you want to travel but end up in the past? Can you find happy every after or will the Land of Dixie pass you by? Evelyn Randolph lives in present-day Richmond, Virginia and has a pseudo-tumor in her brain. She begins to see Ravenel Morrissette, who is in 1864 Richmond. While Ravenel is busy trying to get the Yankees out of Virginia, Evie, a genealogist, begins to see him. He's always in a Confederate uniform so she reasons he's a Civil War re-enactor. The problem is they live in two worlds - he lives in 1864 and she lives in 2007.

Erotic Romance-

Cybot Aw

Sabralia lives a lonely but luxurious life in Emperor Sirn's Harem, her only companion is her obedient servant,
Qy, a cybot. Her life has largely been controlled by others, but when Sirn demands his Harem pleasure his Commanding Officers at a victory celebration, Sabralia makes a daring plan to hide to avoid rape by Sirn's men. The Palace is ambushed and her cybot gets her off world. The impossible has happened-Qy the gentle cybot becomes the man he once was, the warrior Kaistril. Pursued for valuable information, Sabralia is thrust into dangerous, unfamiliar situations where she must stand up to the challenges, or lose the man she loves.

Forbidden Love

They are Galaxies apart so different yet so much alike…

Dr. Maya Belle knows reptiles. While she is in the desert researching habitats, a sudden burst of sand e
ngulfs her. She can't believe what stumbles out of a massive dune.

While on a survey mission over the planet Terrain, T'Kon crashes his spacecraft near Maya's desert home. He cannot remain on this primitive warring planet for long. He must repair his craft and leave as quickly as he came.

When lust stirs between them a sultry unbidden passion hotter than the desert sands seizes them, and changes everything. Will Maya abandon her world for her alien lover? Or will T'Kon set forth without her forsaking their powerful forbidden love?

The Red Rose website is currently undergoing some construction, so please forgive our dust on some pages - we'll be all shiny and new after Memorial Day! Everything's available for you still during the revamp, though. Stop by and visit us:

Red Rose Publishing

Red Rose books, in e-formats and select titles in print, are also available at Amazon, All Romance, Fictionwise, Mobipocket/Diesel, and Bookstrand.

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation