Monday, January 30, 2012

Pat Hauldren » *Examining Online Media

Pat Hauldren » *Examining Online Media

Begins Feb 6, deadline to register Feb 1

Learn how to build your audience online before your book is even published!

This is a great class for writers to help build their writing resume and audience.

See you there!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Have We Lost the Desire for Space Travel?

It seems like every week now scientists are discovering new alien worlds in our galaxy. Diamond planets. Exo planets. Planetary systems with binary suns like Tattoine. There’s no definite proof if any of them are inhabitable, or perhaps even already inhabited, but will we ever find out for sure?

Since the US space program was cancelled, I’ve been wondering if humanity will ever venture any further into space. As a science fiction writer I’ve imagined exploring new worlds. As a child I dreamt of being a companion in Doctor Who and exploring all of time and space - I even wrote my first complete novel based on those wishes! I’d hoped at least to see a manned mission to Mars in my lifetime.

But now it seems like that dream is over. There are no more flights into space by the US. I watched Space: 1999 as a child, but that year has come and gone without any sign of a potential MoonbaseAlpha. Will it ever happen? In regards to the Moon is it too much a case of “been there, done that”?

Of course there are commercial plans for flights into space as part of the tourism industry. Virgin Galactic for one. Perhaps a research base on the Moon is unlikely, but maybe there’ll be a hotel? A luxury lunar resort? Perhaps private enterprise will take us back into space and beyond.

I heard on the news today that Newt Gingrich is proposing to reinstate the space program and build a lunar base. Of course, I always take promises from a politician with a big dose of skepticism, especially from one yet to be in the position to keep such promises. Perhaps it’s not just a lack of funds, but a lack of desire to go back into space. I hope not. I still hope to see that mission to Mars. “To infinity, and beyond!” as Buzz Lightyear would say. 

Have we lost the drive to be a space-traveling species? What do you think?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Might Be a Way to Boost SFR Profile

So, I've been reading a couple of social media books by Kristen Lamb. One is called Are You There Blog? It's Me Writer and the other is We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media. The WANA book is a couple of years old, so the My Space info is outdated, but the basic premise feels solid to. And a lot of the info from WANA is in the blog book, at least so far.

Anyway, one of the things she suggests is for authors to get Tweet Deck (free) and use it to track specific groups on Twitter. You can create columns for them. She has a group that uses the hashtag #MyWANA to bring people together who have read her book, read her blog or take her online classes.

I was thinking, we could create a hashtag for our group and use it to keep track of blog posts, retweet information and generally boost the genre's profile. I was wondering if a) Brigaders would be interested in this (once you get it set up, only takes about 15 minutes for me "do" twitter in the morning) and b) what hashtag would be the best?

#lovesciencefictionromance is really long, so it would limit tweets, but nice thing about tweetdeck, it auto shortens URLS for you. I have columns for hastags/people and also one so I can see when people respond to something I tweeted.

#loveSFR is nice and short, but would people know what it is?




I've only been trying this out for a couple of days, but have seen my twitter follows increasing and been able to interact with new people. I look for interesting tweets to retweet and for information the group might find interesting. Yesterday I ended up something called My WANA daily for an article link I tweeted.

What's also nice about it is that no one has to be "in charge" of it. You just need to remember to use the hashtag we choose when you tweet (and people in the group also tweet interesting personal information). Lamb suggests tweeting things that are personal/universal, something FOR someone else, and then something marketing. And if you get tweet deck and use it, it will make it a lot easier for you to keep track of the hashtag group. (She did mention another twitter manager. I can look it up if people don't like tweetdeck.)

I'm still working my way through both books, but I really like her approach and she hits on something I've vaguely felt in my years of promotion: that promoting books is different from other types of marketing.

Anyway, I'd be interested in your thoughts and your ideas for a hashtag if we decide to move forward with this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hi, I have a new release today!

The second book in my SFR series RECAST is now available:
When revenge, secrets and lust collide, there can only be chaos.

Recast, Book 2

Jenks Maine is dead, but the devastating effects forcing Recast to fight in the arena goes on. Half-Recast Ace Abu is determined to put a stop to it. All he needs is to get to the planet Fray, locate the concealed Clash Arena, and destroy it. But first he has to cross half the galaxy before the sound and smell of his partners’ nonstop lovemaking drives him mad.

By the time he parks himself on a barstool in the town of Grit, he’s more than ready for a few beers. Except the sexy singer on stage is only making him—and his inner beast—burn hotter.

Ely’Shea longs for the freedom Jenks stole from her. She’s his right-hand woman, but when the boss is away she steps out of her enforcer role and ducks into a remote bar to indulge her passion: singing onstage. The night she catches a glimpse of an alluring cowboy in the audience, he ignites a spark inside her she never thought she’d feel again.

Unable to resist temptation, they’re consumed by passion…but once the fuses are set, their deepest personal secrets could blow any chance of forever all to hell.

Product Warnings: This book contains a very lonely shapeshifter in need of some loving, a kick-ass singer leading a double life, a serious case of mutual lust, an arena filled with enslaved warriors, and so many secrets it can only end in total madness.

Samhain Publishing | Kindle | NOOK Book | Diesel

I've already got two reviews:

"Several sexy scenes, an interesting plot, and strong dialog make this a fun and compelling read. Recommended for casual sf and romance lovers." –Jennifer Harris, Library Journal

"Clash offers an adventurous tale in space and another strong heroine."LovLivLife Reviews

Monday, January 23, 2012

Could A Sci-Fi Romance Critique Group Give Writers An Edge?

Back in June 2010, blogger Laurie A. Green started a discussion around the idea of a science fiction romance critique group. I was reminded of her effort when an SFR writer recently contacted me and expressed interest in joining just such a group. Upon revisiting the thread, I couldn't tell if any active ones had evolved from it.

My thought is that a critique group could certainly be an effective strategy in the effort to help more sci-fi romance authors hone their craft and thus improve chances of publication. It’s also a great way to network. But is there a need for one?

And if there is a need, how strong is the sentiment?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Heroes Lost and Found" - On the way!

I am thrilled to announce the sale of the third in the "Blaze of Glory" series to Samhain!

The last in the trilogy, "Heroes Lost and Found", picks up where "Heroes Without, Monsters Within" ends - with a new super villain on the loose Jo finds herself caught between the past and the present.

Some will rise, others will fail...

Updates to follow!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest Blogging about "Researching" Time Travel and such. Contest!

I'm over at the Book Boost, guest blogging about researching fictional science. Hope you'll drop by! Gift card on the line!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet New Member, Linda Andrews

Today we have an interview with new Brigade member, Linda Andrews. Welcome aboard, Linda!

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I think my bio says it best: Linda Andrews lives in Phoenix, Arizona with
her husband, three children and a menagerie of domesticated animals.
While she started writing a decade ago, she always used her stories to
escape the redundancy of her day job as a scientist and never thought to
actually combine her love of fiction and science. DOH! After that Homer
Simpson moment, she allowed the two halves of her brain to talk to each
other. The journeys she’s embarked on since then are dark, twisted and
occasionally violent, but never predictable.

We’d love to hear more about your book, Blue Maneuver. 

After destroying
the world in my apocalyptic novel, Redaction, I needed a break from doom
and gloom. Since I had just spent the summer watching every ancient
alien/ufo/conspiracy show on Netflix, I thought it would be funny to write
about aliens on Earth. Then to add a twist by having a heroine who not
only didn't like scifi but didn't believe that aliens existed.

Would you like to share any upcoming projects?

 I am currently writing a contracted paranormal romance centered around Valentine's day.
Then I'll be self-publishing two SFR books in a series around a human and
a cyborg.

What do you like about writing SFR? 

I love that my imagination can take me
anywhere, there are no limits. Plus I get to look things up so I can
extrapolate for the science part. Yes, I am a nerd.

What do you find challenging about it?

 Getting the words to describe the
images in my head so that readers can see through my eyes.

What is your favorite SF book or movie? 

My favorite book has to be Hope's
Folly by Linnea Sinclair, but my favorite movie is the original Time
Machine by HG Wells.

Favorite mode of fictional travel? 

Interstellar spaceship. If there was a
way for us to leave Earth to explore the universe, I'd be on it.

Here is the book blurb for Blue Maneuver:

The extraterrestrials have landed and they’re human.
Rae Hemplewhite didn’t believe in aliens until a close encounter with
out-of-this-world technology drags her into the extraterrestrial security
program. Helping alien refugees adjust to life on Earth is difficult
enough, but her first clients have a price on their heads. Plus, her new
partner seems torn between the urge to kiss her or kill her.
And that’s the good news.
The bad news: Alliances are forming in deep space. If Rae doesn’t keep her
witnesses alive long enough to transfer their top secret information to
the right faction of humanity, Earth will become a battlefield.

It is available at:


Barnes and


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Pillars of Creation Photos


This is a new composite photo of the Eagle Nebula in the constellation Serpens. See the rest of the amazing and gorgeous photos (and a video showing how this composite was derived from several space telescopes), visit the Photo Blog on

How can we not write science fiction when there's stuff like this out there in the big black?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Member, Janet Miller

We have a whole roster of new recruits this week! Our next new member to greet is, Janet Miller. Welcome, Janet, to the Brigade. 

Please tell us a little about yourself

I am Janet Miller, who also writes as Cricket Starr. Originally the Cricket Starr name was just for my erotic books but my Cerridwen titles were all made Cricket Starr back when Ellora’s Cave decided to move books from Cerridwen to an imprint of EC called blush. So some books are Cricket and are not erotic.
Yes, it is confusing. But there we are.
I’ve been writing for about a dozen years now and have 27 titles currently listed on my website of which 11 are science fiction romance. Which means it is one of my favorite genres to write in.
My day job is a software engineer and I also have a background as a medical researcher so I know a bit about science. When I was younger I loved reading Anne McCaffrey’s books like Restoree, which I know some people have argued is the first real Science Fiction Romance book.

We’d love to hear more about your book, Promises To Keep, book 1 of the Gaian series.

Promises to Keep is my first story in the Gaian series and essentially introduced the world I’d built. This also means that is it the book where I started making this world up and getting a handle on what it was and was not, and is thus the book I use for my story bible.
My tag line for Promises To Keep is “Mars Needs Women meets the Love Boat.” The Gaian men have kidnapped a group of Earth women on their way to find husbands in the Outer Colonies in order to make them their own wives. Gaian men are impotent until they find the right woman to attach to so they are highly motivated to take wives. That’s where the Mars Needs Women story line comes in.
The action takes place on “the Promise” which is the flagship of the Gaian military fleet, so that’s why I mention the Love Boat. Besides I though it sounded funny.
The planet Gaia was a colony of Earth before it staged its fight for independence, during which a lot of young women were killed when a girls school was deliberately destroyed by the Earth military. So there are all sorts of conflicts going on in the book, particularly between Doctor Sarah Johnson, who lost her best friend in the war, and the Gaian leader General Garran Doranth, who lost his wife and child when the school was destroyed. But that doesn’t stop Garran from attaching to Sarah and wooing her while masked.
I guess I won’t be spoiling anything if I say stuff does eventually get worked out. It is a romance after all. It is also pretty inexpensive since Amazon has it in Kindle format for $2.99!
There are three other published stories in the Gaian world, starting with Beloved Enemy, about a pair of fighter pilots on opposite sides of the war getting trapped on a planet together and having to work out their differences. That book was a Romantic Times Top Pick and nominee for their Reviewers Choice Award. A third book is Beloved Traveler, which is about a Gaian woman meeting the brother of the heroine in Beloved Enemy.
Then there is A Promise Made, a novella also about a pair of doctors at the beginning of the war, who meet and fall in love. That book gets its title from the fact it takes place on The Promise, just like Promises To Keep.

Would you like to share any upcoming projects ?

I’ve recently sold a new Gaian story to Samhain Publishing called Beloved Stranger. This book is the story of a young woman from the Outer Colonies who many years earlier had been kidnapped along with her sisters and taken to a Gaian prison/mining colony for an illegal marriage meet. Sonja got away but her sisters had ended up as wives. Now Sonja is back to rescue her sisters and is willing to do anything, including marrying a Gaian prisoner to find them.
Here is the blurb: Six years ago Sonja Deems had to leave her sisters behind when slavers forced them into the illegal Gaian marriage meets at the Ares Five Prison colony. Now she’s back to retrieve them and is willing to do anything, even marry one of the prisoners to get access to them. She figures she can get in and out on her own but doesn’t count on Roan Dumas being the man who attaches and marries her, a man who can scheme even better than she can but whose honor will make it difficult for her to leave him behind.
            I plan more books in the Gaian world and hope to make Samhain my home for them.

What do you like about writing SFR?

Well, I obviously love writing romance or I wouldn’t do it so much. But I also enjoy imagining what the world will be like in 50, 100, 500 years. I expect that there will still be men and women finding each other and falling in love, but on spaceships, or strange planets instead of on Earth.

What do you find challenging about it?

The most difficult part is keeping the believability. You don’t want the reader to get thrown out of the story by something that doesn’t make any sense. For example let’s suppose our hero wants to increase the light on his planet. If the author said “Let’s move the sun closer by tying a rope around it and pulling” I would not believe that was possible. You want to describe a future that is probable, not impossible, otherwise you are writing fantasy, not science fiction.

What is your favorite SF book or movie?

I have so many favorites it is hard to pick. But if you want just one, I’ll go with Wall-e. Outstanding beginning, best use of “show don’t tell” ever in an opening, and I’m a sucker for a love story with robots.

If you could have a robot that did one chore/task and only one, what would you choose?

Well, remember what I said about a love story with robots? Actually I did write a story about that, Partners, which has synthetic people who end up asteroid mining together, as well as a lot of other stuff.
Seriously I’d want a robot that washes dishes. I mean all dishes, not just what a dishwasher does but the fragile stuff you can’t put into a dishwasher.

BIO: During the weekday Janet Miller, sometimes better known as Cricket Starr, is a mild-mannered software engineer who writes code and design documents. But at night and on weekends she turns to the creation of offbeat stories about imaginary pasts, presents, and futures, where ladies become warriors, or go to the stars to find love, and a man really can save a struggling software company.
But no matter when the story happens, or where the hero or heroine is, there will always be adventure, humor, and meaning to the tale. 
Her writing has won her multiple awards, recommended reads, stars, unicorns, and hearts and even a couple of trophies that look really good on her bookshelf next to her printed books.
See more at her website:
Book summary:
In the distant future, with Earth near barren and men willing to commit to marriage almost non-existent, a group of young women leave to find husbands in the Outer Colonies. On their way they're hijacked by men from a rebel planet called Gaia.
Gaian men can only make love to a woman they match and Dr. Sarah Johnson turns out to be the match for the most hated Gaian of all, General Garran Doranth. To keep their promises, these two must look beyond what they think they know and learn to trust what they feel for each other.

Buy link for $2.99:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meet New Member, Cynthia Woolf

Please join me in welcoming Cynthia Woolf to the Brigade. She has stopped by for an interview and to share some info on her brand new release, Centauri Midnight.

Please tell us a little about yourself
I'm a Colorado native and have been writing something poetry, stories, papers, essays and eventually books, since I was a kid.  I found my local chapter of RWA in 1990 and they have been a tremendous help.  I decided to self publish my books last year and will continue to do so.  It has given me the freedom to write what I want to and not worry about fitting into a traditional publishers mold of what they think is going to be selling 1 year or more down the road when the book would actually hit the market. 
Now when I've finished a book, gotten the cover and had it edited, I upload it myself and it's available to the public the next day.  If I don't like a cover I just reload it and voila, it's changed.  The freedom is adicting.

We’d love to hear more about your book, 
My latest book is called Centauri Midnight.  It is set on the planet Gregar.  Here is the blurb:

Kitari ‘Kiti’ Dolana wants justice for her murdered brother. She’s trailed the man responsible to a distant planet where swords outmaneuver blasters.
Garrick Marcus, Spaceship Captain, is on a mission to hunt down a ruthless killer. The same man Kiti is after.
But Kiti and Garrick discover an explosive attraction that makes it hard to keep their minds on their goals.  As they try to bring down the killer, they find that love and vengeance are a volatile mix.
Would you like to share any upcoming projects (and links) 
I'm working on 3 more books that take  place on the planet Gregar which is where the majority of Centauir Midnight takes place.

What do you like about writing SFR?
I like being able to create my own world.

What do you find challenging about it?
Creating my world means keeping tract of everything, all the different words, animals, cars, weapons.  That can be difficult even with a "bible".
What is your favorite SF book or movie?
I like most sci-fi movies and have a lot of favorites.  Forbidden Planet is one of my very favorites.  Who can forget Robbie the Robot.  The original Star Wars trilogy with Luke, Leia and Han are classic.

If you could have a robot that did one chore/task and only one, what would you choose?
I'd have it clean my bathrooms.

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden.  She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend.  That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader.  Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week.  This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug.  She wrote her first story at the age of ten.  A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write.  Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates.  She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories.  In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.  Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2000, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend.  One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker.  Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing.  She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
 My back of book summary is shown above.
Barnes & Noble:
All Romance eBooks:




“Audra, please.  You’re my queen, but you’re also my friend.  You must grant me this last request.  Let me go after him.  Please you know how much this means to me.”  Tensign Kiti Dolana paced the Her Royal Highness’s beautiful sitting room.  Bile rose in her throat and threatened to strangle her.  Finally, she collapsed into a chair its soft cushions swallowing her as she sat across the small, highly polished and gleaming, coffee table from the Queen of Centauri. 
The Queen, pregnant with triplets, her beautifully distended abdomen disallowing much frivolous movement, reclined on the couch.  She sat up to pour the tea but had trouble reaching the tea pot in the middle of the coffee table.  “Kiti, would you pour our aeta?  I’m a bit like a beached whale right now.”  Audra was anything but a beached whale.  Kiti knew the colloquial term from her study of Earth. 
Her queen was radiant.  Her long, chestnut hair fell in waves to her waist, gathered on one side of her head.  Her clear silver gray eyes shone bright in her pale face.  She wore a beautiful royal purple empire-waisted dress that highlighted her pale features.  She was beautiful.  Kiti remembered a time, on their trip back to Centauri from Earth, when she’d not thought so, because she was jealous. 
That was before Audra’s marriage to Darius, when she’d still been betrothed to Anton.  Kiti had thought herself in love with Anton.  They’d been seeing each other for years, and Kiti was jealous of Audra.  Some of the things she’d said had been unkind, but Audra had seen her jealousy for what it was and forgiven her the words.  They were now best friends.  
Kiti poured the tea and continued to beseech her queen.  “Audra, you have to let me go after him.  Tybold killed my brother, Joridan.  His actions directly led to Anton being captured and tortured.  I need to see they both get justice.  They deserve it.”
“And you are sure it’s only justice you seek?” Audra softly asked.
“Damn it, Audra.”  Kiti got up and paced the room again.  Her long black hair, tied in a high tankipa tail, swung back and forth, slapping against her back with each step.  The thick, plush carpet kept her boots from clicking on the floor.  “I’m begging you to let me go with Garrick Marcus.  It’s not just revenge I need.  I need closure.  I’m the one who should deliver Tybold to the authorities.  Garrick Marcus is the best captain in the fleet and I know Darius is sending him after Tybold.  Joridan needs us both to avenge his death.  To bring his murderer back to Centauri for justice to be served.”
“Kiti, are you combat trained?  We don’t know what to expect from the Gregarians.  By this time, Tybold could have convinced them we are conquerors and he’s their only salvation.  We don’t know.  It could be a suicide mission.  I don’t want to lose my best friend.”  She went on.  “I know you’re grieving.  Joridan’s loss and Lara’s return has been very hard on you.”
“Stop.”  Kiti held up her hand.  “I know what my life has been like.  I mourn the loss of Joridan and I’m still angry about Anton’s capture and torture.  Joridan was my little brother.” she smiled at that.  “Even though he was a head taller than me, he will always be my little brother.  I still smell Joridan’s scent in his room.  Sometimes it’s so fresh it’s like he just passed by.”  Her eyes filled with tears.  “I miss the closeness that Anton and I once shared, but I do not bemoan him finding Lara.  I’m very happy he found his lifemate.  It was something he never thought to do.  After the torture both Anton and Lara suffered at the hands of the Slavariens, it’s amazing they found each other.  I wish I had a lifemate out there somewhere.
“Audra, I’m a historian and anthropologist, but first I’m Dragonera.  Of course, I am combat trained.  All Dragonera are.  We are the Royal Guard.  The best soldiers Centauri has.  For that matter, the best anywhere.”
“You’re right, but I worry anyway.  Must be my maternal instinct.”  Audra patted her abdomen.
Kitty smiled at the thought of Audra as a mother.  She would be a good one, even if she was a might over protective.  At least she was of Kiti.  Kiti could only imagine how she would be with her own babies.
“You know the people of Gregar are centuries behind us technologically.  I’m the only person who can go on this mission that knows anything about their culture.”
“I don’t know,” Audra hesitated.
“Admit it.  Garrick needs me.”
“We don’t interfere in the development of other planets’ civilizations.  You know that.”
“Tybold has already interfered.  I say we’ll be evening the odds for the tribes involved.  And it’s not as though Gregar doesn’t know we exist.  They already trade with other planets.  Just because they’re not our technological equals doesn’t mean they aren’t advanced.”
Kiti saw Audra hesitate again before she answered.  “I’ll have to confer with Darius before I can give you my answer.”
At that moment Darius came in accompanied by Garrick, Anton and Lara.  The three men were in their Dragonera uniforms as was Kiti, the only differences being the color blocking.  All wore the royal colors of amethyst and cream.  Darius and Garrick wore amethyst uniforms with cream colored sleeves, denoting their status as starship captains.  Darius’ uniform also had a cream colored stripe from the left shoulder to the waist, denoting that he was Captain of the Royal Guard.  As a general in the Royal Army, Anton’s uniform was solid amethyst.  Lara, Audra’s twin sister, still had the tanned skin from someone who’d spent too much time in the sun.  She wore the House of Danexx royal colors like everyone else did.  Hers were an amethyst jumpsuit and long cream colored duster.  Kiti’s uniform was solid cream.  Her rank as Tensign was denoted by a patch on her left arm.
 “What do you need to discuss with me?” Darius asked as he took his wife’s arm and helped her to rise from the couch.  She gave him a quick kiss.  Darius rubbed her stomach then bent and said, “Hello, my children.  Are you being nice to your mommy today?”
Kiti swore he expected an answer.
“If you don’t quit that people are going to think you’re crazy,” said Audra.
Darius laughed and kissed her abdomen.
“I am. Crazy in love with my wife.”
Lara made gagging sounds.  ‘Will you two remember that you have an audience?”
“All right.  But you and Anton are just as bad as we are,” Darius said to his soon to be twice over sister-in-law.”
“Never,” retorted Lara.  “No one is as over the moons as you two.”
“I don’t know, I’m pretty much over the moons about you,” said Anton waggling his eyebrows at her.
The banter was not aimed at Kiti.  She didn’t think the two couples even remembered they were not alone.  Kiti glanced at Garrick, who rolled his brandy colored eyes at her.   “Audra, the mission.”  She reminded her queen to hurry by tapping the comulator at her own wrist.
“Oh, yes.  Darius, Kiti has requested to be assigned to go with Garrick to Gregar, to apprehend Lord Tybold.  I told her I would discuss it with you.”
“I don’t know if she will be needed,” Darius responded.
Garrick spoke for the first time since entering the room.  “I think an anthropologist would be very useful on this particular mission.  Tensign Dolana would be a definite asset to me in bringing in Tybold.”
“Thank you, Garrick.”  Kiti was warmed by his words and agreed with him one hundred percent. 
“Very well,” said Darius.  “You will receive your orders tomorrow.  In the meantime, can we eat dinner?  I’m a starving man.”

New Members

Please join me in welcoming our latest recruits to the SFR Brigade. Click links to visit their web sites or blogs and learn more about them.

Glad to have you all aboard!

Linda Andrews

Janet Miller

Cricket Starr

Cynthia Woolf

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Coordinator for our Upcoming Events Calendar

I want to thank Brigader Pippa Jay for stepping up to assume the role of Calendar Coordinator for the calendar on our SFR Brigade web site. Please join me in thanking her for contribution our membership. We couldn't continue to thrive as a community without the support of our volunteers.

You can check out the Calendar feature HERE.

Be sure to let Pippa know your upcoming SFR release titles and dates. (Sorry, we can only list Brigade members books, but we'd be glad to sign you up!) You can include publisher, a brief blurb and a sales link that will be added in the details. Workshops, conferences, submission calls, contests and other events of interest to SFR writers and authors are also welcome.

The calendar is an excellent resource to see what's coming up at a glance. The advantage to Brigaders? The web site posts the next four upcoming events on the sidebar so the information is automatically announced just prior to the date. Members or visitors can scan the calendar and click on the items to learn more. I've also reactivated the calendar link on the blog sidebar.

For authors, consider adding your releases to the SFR Brigade calendar as one very easy step in your book promotion campaign. 

Contact Pippa Jay via the SFR Brigade web site messaging system, by email -- pippajaygreen (at) gmail (dot) com or via Twitter @pippajaygreen

Last Stop in Jenna McCormick's NO LIMITS Blog Tour

Stop by Spacefreighters Lounge today for the last stop on Jenna McCormick's NO LIMITS blog tour, celebrating the release of her SFR from Kensington in A Win For Us All.

Jenna will be giving away a copy of NO LIMITS to one random commenter.

You can also support Jenna by clicking the link above to go to Amazon and tagging NO LIMITS as Science Fiction Romance (Sci-Fi Romance, SFR, SF Romance) and SFR Brigade.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The SFR Pitch Tournament Results

Top Three Finishers in The Great 2012 SFR Pitch Tournament

TETHERED by Pippa Jay


Top Preliminary Heat by Votes -- Team #1 - 171 Total Votes!
Liana Brooks
Carmen Webster Buxton
JC Cassels
Sharon Lynn Fisher
Pippa Jay
Kaye Manro
Jenna McCormick
Sarah Shade


Winner of the Amazon e-Gift Certificate (Commenter)

Sarah J. McNeal

(Thanks to everyone for your wonderful feedback!)


A great big thank-you to everyone--voters and participants--who made The Great 2012 SFR Pitch Tournament a huge success! 

We received 453 votes with 87 comments during the initial heats, and in the final round, 242 votes with 22 comments, many with valuable information for our authors. This ensured everyone in the Tournament came away a winner!

On behalf of the SFR Brigade, I'd like to extend our sincere appreciation for the enthusiastic support shown by SFR fans and readers for this event.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 SFR Pitch Tournament FINAL ROUND!

Below are the seven finalists' pitches from all three heats of the SFR Pitch Tournament.  Please vote for your top three choices for best pitch in the poll above to determine the winners of the competition. If you leave feedback to let the authors know what you liked about their pitches, you'll be entered in the drawing for a $15 Amazon e-gift card.

Voting for final round ends Thursday, January 12, at 6 PM Pacific Time.

~~~ Pitch Tournament Final Round ~~~
(In Alphabetical Order by Title)

B Cubed Book One: Born
By Jenna McCormick
Post-Apocalyptic erotic romance

Born: Natural born humans are precious few and dwell in darkness.
Bred: Genetically engineered slaves who are the protectors of the Born.
Borg: The cybernetically enhanced enclave that split from the Born humans.

B Cubed

These three factions are all that remains of the human race after the world stopped turning. Scavenging in the darkness for what little is left, the war between them rages on though few know why. It begins with a child’s prophesy and can only end when they unite.

Or die.

From the moment he spies her silhouette cast by the bonfire, Cormack understands what it is to yearn for something he will never possess. Breds are made to provide for the natural born humans, dig their homes deep beneath the surface of the earth and to protect them from the ever-present cyborg threat. A Bred who reaches beyond his station will be recycled immediately, yet Cormack cannot get her visage out of his mind. Until he unearths a box, buried long before the earth stopped spinning.

Task Mistress Allora has no wish to brutalize the Bred worker she finds hoarding treasure, but as a servant of the colony that raised her from infancy, she is duty bound to report anything unusual to the Overlord, even if it costs the blue-eyed man his life. Yet something about the way Cormack watches her forces Allora to reevaluate her understanding of right and wrong. For this genetically engineered soldier is her only protection against the cyborgs who seek what they have discovered, a journal written by the prophetess Cassandra and a way to end the warring between the factions forever.

B Cubed Book One: Born By Jenna McCormick Now Available on:
Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and ARe PDF


Forbidden Destiny (Book Two of the Forbidden Series)
By Kaye Manro
Science Fiction Romance/Space Opera

Can their love survive light years across the stars and centuries old archaic law? For Forbidden Lovers, T’Kon and Maya the adventure continues…

It should not have happened.

Something so inconceivable it sends his inherent perceptions spiraling. To make matters worse T’Kon now faces the Asconage Council of Elders, including G’Nore his father. They strip him of his flight privileges. After all, he broke the Realm of Planets formidable rule of no interspecies mating. How could he not? Maya enamors him with a passion so deep it mislays his sense of reasoning. T’Kon contemplates a perilous time travel journey into the past. The problem is a temporal leap will cause him to lose Maya forever…

What the hell can Maya do now? T’Kon warned that hitching a ride on his hyper-space jumping ship would send ripples throughout his Galaxy. His people, the Asconageans disapprove of their relationship and now hold her in confinement away from her alien lover. The thing is T’Kon stirs unimaginable sensual heat inside her, constantly. How could she have stayed behind? Yet Maya must find a way to escape this scorching unbearable planet. What will they do when they discover the secret she harbors?

Maybe none of this should ever have happened…

Forbidden Destiny/Red Rose Publishing
Release date: May 2012


Knight Medieval - The Quantum Portal Series
By Kaye Manro
SFR/Time Travel

While research Archaeologist Alisa Vonn explores the ruins of Calimere Castle she finds a strange devise foreign to the era. When she examines it a temporal rift opens and transports her back to the 12th century, and straight into the arms of Sir Bryan, Knight of Calimere.

If that wasn’t enough, she meets Wyver, a time tampering wizard who in truth turns out to be a Time Dilatation Scientist from far into the future. He promises Alisa a one way passage back to her own time.

Yet the allure of the past and passion-filled nights spent with Bryan give her pause. If she takes Wyver up on his offer, she may never see her sexy knight again.

Coming soon...


By Pauline Baird Jones
Science fiction romance/steampunk

With all of time at risk, it’s a bad time to fall in love…unless it’s the only time…

Robert Clementyne is going on a transmogrification machine hunt. He fears finding the machine will be as difficult as pronouncing the name. How can the steam-powered device perform as advertised, and how useful can any information be, coming from a steampunk themed bowling alley/museum?

It’s pretty crazy, but he’s been there, done that, and thinks he can handle it.

And then he meets the proprietor/curator…Emily Babcock.

Emily grew up in crazy, still lives in it—hey, it’s her freaking zip code. So no worries when Robert and his team walk into her bowling alley. The first visitors ever to her museum.

But neither of them is prepared for what happens when they open the door to the past…and the future. With a side trip through Roswell…and a face-to-face meeting with an evil genius/wannabe—who is on his way to becoming evil overlord-of-everything…

Published on April 11, 2011

Available here:
AmazonBarnes & NobleAll Romance eBooks, and Fictionwise


Stellar Timing
By Jennifer L. Hart
Futuristic Romance

In the year 2059, the best part of Ellie MacIntyre's day is her morning coffee and it's all downhill from there. When a talking dog and cat enlist her aid in finding their missing brother, everything she ever knew about the universe is knocked on its keister by a six foot warrior with smoldering dark eyes.

Betrayed by those closest to him, Prince Brennigan was banished to the universal Hotel California, the penal colony called Earth. The only way to escape this fate worse than death is to befriend a portal-maker, a sorci who can open a gateway through time and space and return him to his home planet. Getting along with the magically inclined is not his forte—magic is the prevalent fungus at the root of his problems.

Now the hope for his people, and his heart, lies with Ellie. Can Ellie best an evil sorceress and win the heart of her space prince before this medieval times space opera's final curtain?

Available for purchase or free lending with Amazon Prime membership Kindle


By Pippa Jay
Space Opera/Sci-fi Romance

For Loree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something that she was trained to do - it’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone, one of many in Refuge, she’s about to learn her secluded existence - and those of all her kind - is under threat by a race that can neutralize their talents and leave them defenseless…

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the Tier-vane, or risk a conflict that could only end one way…

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a risky deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out humans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love that they share save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

Tethered is a Work in Progress


The Warlord's Comeuppance
By Gail Koger

Stealing from a warlord and giving him the one finger salute as I made my getaway was not the brightest thing I’d ever done. Okay, it was an incredibly stupid stunt.

Did I mention that this particular Coletti warlord is the most feared in the entire galaxy? That Zarek’s the ultimate predator and even the other warlords are scared spitless of him? That he never ever stops until he either captures or kills his prey?

Yeah, I have the big, bad after me and all because of one little finger. Okay and a Ditrim crystal the size of my fist. Am I worried? Of course, only an idiot doesn’t fear a very angry Coletti warlord. But, I am very good at what I do. Bad news is, so is Zarek.

Available at Whispers Publishing

Gail Koger


Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's SFR Pitch Tournament Weekend!

WELCOME! We're kicking off our Great 2012 SFR Pitch Tournament with three initial heats of eight fabulous Science Fiction Romance pitches each -- 24 pitches by 18 different authors!

Everyone is invited to read and vote for your favorite three pitches in each heat. The two pitches with the most votes in each heat will advance to the final round.

If you add a comment to tell the authors what hooked or intrigued you about their pitch, we're offering a *BONUS!* All comments containing feedback in the Pitch Tournament will be entered into a drawing for a $15 Amazon e-Gift Certificate.

The first rounds of the Pitch Tournament will end Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 6PM Pacific Time. We plan to kick off the final round on Monday, January 9th.

SFR Tournament HEAT #1
B CUBED BOOK 1: BORN by Jenna McCormick
BITERS by Sarah Shade
GHOST PLANET by Sharon Lynn Fisher
KEIR by Pippa Jay
TRIBES by Carmen Webster Buxton

SFR Tournament HEAT #2
NEXUS POINT by Jaleta Clegg
SHROUDED by Frances Pauli
STEAMROLLED by Pauline Baird Jones
STELLAR TIMING by Jennifer L. Hart

SFR Tournament HEAT #3
TETHERED by Pippa Jay
TIN CAT by Misa Buckley
LUCY IN THE SKY by Barbara Elsborg
TANGLED IN TIME by Pauline Baird Jones

(Scroll down or click the shortcuts here or on the sidebar to read and vote in each Tournament heat.)
Thank you for your votes!

SFR Pitch Tournament HEAT #3


There are eight SFR pitches in this Tournament heat (below).

Vote for up to three titles in the poll above with pitches that best capture your interest and compel you to read the story. The two pitches with the most votes will advance to the final round. In case of a tie, both will advance.

Find a story you just have to read? Sales links are included (if available) below each pitch.

The authors would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below with feedback on what elements in the pitches hooked you and you'll be entered in a drawing for an Amazon e-Gift Certificate.


By Pippa Jay
Space Opera/Sci-fi Romance

For Loree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something that she was trained to do - it’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone, one of many in Refuge, she’s about to learn her secluded existence - and those of all her kind - is under threat by a race that can neutralize their talents and leave them defenseless…

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the Tier-vane, or risk a conflict that could only end one way…

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a risky deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out humans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love that they share save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

Tethered is a Work in Progress


The Dimensional Shift
by Frances Pauli
Science Fiction with Romantic Elements

Chloe came to the Three Lakes area for the peace and quiet. She happily abandoned the world of retail management, suits and promotions to work as a hotel maid catering to the local tourists. Until Andrew Paige showed up--a suit of the worst kind, the kind that makes her knees weak.

When Andrew offers her a job at his hotel, Chloe is hell bent on resisting, but the Dimensional Shift is no ordinary hotel, and Chloe is immediately tossed into the world of inter-dimensional tourists, their odd accommodations, and a string of thefts that threaten to ruin her chances at romance.

While learning the ropes, dealing with the Shift's unusual guests, and trying to determine if the boss' interest in her is strictly professional, Chloe uncovers a plot to steal the hotel's dimensional keys. With the help of the town gossip, her alien abductee neighbor, and her new invisible best friend, Chloe confronts an inter-dimensional crime ring and a host of complications that make romancing the boss look like the least of her troubles.

Book 1 of the Shift Happens series

Published by Mundania


The Telomere Trilogy Book 1: Revelations of Tomorrow
By A. R. Norris

The crew of Daring Star salvages a load capsule and finds the beaten body of Jetta McCree. The young woman has discovered her employer developed a biochemical droplet and is contracted with terrorists to manufacture it on a large scale. Captain Noah Bonney fights off corporate security forces, her ex-husband's pirate fleets, and carnivorous beasts to keep the young woman safe and transport her to the safety of the Imperial Home Port.

But the adventure brings to surface demons Noah's been suppressing and secrets from her people's history she's tried to forget. Now, she must face them if she's to reconcile with her daughter and keep the love of her life from leaving. With 450 years under her belt and nothing but eternity ahead of her, she's built a thick shell… one she's not sure she can break.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or All Romance eBooks

More about me at my Blog


The Warlord's Comeuppance
By Gail Koger

Stealing from a warlord and giving him the one finger salute as I made my getaway was not the brightest thing I’d ever done. Okay, it was an incredibly stupid stunt.

Did I mention that this particular Coletti warlord is the most feared in the entire galaxy? That Zarek’s the ultimate predator and even the other warlords are scared spitless of him? That he never ever stops until he either captures or kills his prey?

Yeah, I have the big, bad after me and all because of one little finger. Okay and a Ditrim crystal the size of my fist. Am I worried? Of course, only an idiot doesn’t fear a very angry Coletti warlord. But, I am very good at what I do. Bad news is, so is Zarek.

Available at Whispers Publishing

Gail Koger


Tin Cat
By Misa Buckley
Urban Fantasy/Sci Fi Romance

A year after the accident that put her in a wheelchair, Amber Gerald has more or less gotten used to living with her impairment. It doesn't make a difference to running a comic book store anyway, and the customers have been the best support group she could have wished for.

When she rescues an abandoned cat, Amber has no idea that she's interfering in the mad scheme of a time travelling bank robber. Or that the man that walks into her store dressed like Blade is about to become her bodyguard.

Between being an unwitting owner of an android cat and falling for a cybernetic bounty hunter, Amber finds her life a whole new level of weird as science fiction becomes a very real factual threat.

Misa Buckley


Unacceptable Risk
By Jeanette Grey

She may learn to live for love…if vengeance doesn’t kill her first.

Plix spends her lonely, gritty life trying to solve the mysteries her father left behind. Armed with a variety of cybernetic enhancements and a talent for getting into places she shouldn’t be, she searches for clues to his murder—and who’s responsible for poisoning her city.

Waking up on a street corner with her brain wiring fried to a crisp, she figures she must have gotten close this time. There’s only one man she trusts to pull her back from the brink: a tuner who can retrieve the evidence hidden deep in the recesses of her mind. A man she dares not let too close to her heart.

When Edison downloads a secret SynDate schematic from Plix’s burnt-out circuitry, he knows with dreadful finality that nothing—not even the fiery kiss he’s been holding back for years—will stop her from pursuing her quest past the point of insanity.

All he can do, as he helps her plan her final mission, is ease her pain, watch her back…and hope one of them doesn’t pay with their lives.

Published December 13, 2011

Available Now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks or Samhain Press.

Jeanette Grey


Lucy in the Sky
By Barbara Elsborg
Erotic SF romance MF with a a bit of MM

When you wake up to find a spaceship in your backyard, what do you do? Choose from three:

Phone the police.


Go yell at the alien for wrecking your garden.

Lucy storms out of her house to confront the inept pilot and the last option turns out to be both the right and wrong choice when she finds the gorgeous hunk’s name is Three. She’s torn between fury that he’s crushed her roses and decapitated her statue of Eros, and a longing that he enliven her boring life and whisk her to the stars. Three doesn’t give her a choice when he throws her over his broad shoulders and takes her into space. Lucy soon finds herself exploring alien territory in ways she never imagined.

Three’s efforts to hide and protect her on the mother ship are stymied by his inability to keep his hands—and other body parts—off the luscious Lucy, and it looks as if her immediate fate might be a solo trip into space without a spacesuit.

Available from Ellora's Cave


Tangled in Time
By Pauline Baird Jonoes
Science ficiton romance/steampunk

Colonel Carey (from The Key and Girl Gone Nova) takes a test "flight" through the Garradian time-space portal, but an unexpected impact lands him somewhere and some when. As he attempts to get to Area 51, he crosses paths with Miss Olivia Carstairs, who could be Mary Poppins' twin sister. Or maybe her cousin.

Olivia's got a transmogrification machine powered by steam and a mouth he'd like to kiss like it was his job. Can he convince her to join forces before she shoots him with her derringer?

Published December 2010
Available from Amazon Kindle, Amazon Print, Barnes & Noble, and Fictionwise Multiformat



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