Saturday, October 31, 2015

Merry's Multiverse Musings October

Hello again, Multiverse travellers! We’ve come to the end of a flurry of fantastic and frivolous fervor (err..yeah, I like alliteration!) for another month over at the Facebook SFR Group. It’s actually quite amazing that there’s never a shortage of things to talk about! The Goodreads SFR Group is undergoing a resurgence, with several thought-provoking topics being raised, along with updates to one of Goodreads’ very useful and fun features, Listopia. Check out the SFR Group Discussion Topics here, folks.

I’ve created a Science Fiction Romance – Cyborgs list on Amazon – not such an easy task now that their Listmania has been consigned to the Great-Features-Removed receptacle. It took a bit of googling, but I eventually found that one must now use the “Wish List” feature. I’m also working on a similar list on Goodreads – a tad glitchy, stand by! – where other readers can both vote on books and add their own favourites.

Meanwhile, here’s a roundup of October’s standout SFR sparklies.

Cover Love

Australian author (yay!), Donna Maree Hanson has recently updated the cover of her book, Rayessa and the Space Pirates, which I read and enjoyed some time ago. The next book in the series, Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures, published in May this year, continues the gorgeous, ethereal theme.

Speaking of covers, my Science Fiction Romance Pinterest board now showcases around 850 books, author websites and blogs!

New Authors

Yikes! There are so many to choose from this month!

The Spiral Path, a novella by Lisa Paitz Spindler is a few years’ old now, but having recently discovered it via Carina Press, I’m attracted by the lovers-parted-then-reunited trope. I do love a happy ending after it takes a couple of goes to get it right!

Generations Beyond, Book 1 in J.A. and P.W. Stinger’s Project: Generations series, which was published in August this year, combines a thrilling battle to uncover the truth about a hush-hush genetic engineering experiment and justice for the resulting “Generations” with the budding relationship between a man and a woman, themselves members of the “Generations”.

Another oldie, published in 2010, but one that appealed to me because it contains a hook-up between an imprisoned heroine and a pirate hero (‘nuff said!) is Marcella Burnard’s Enemy Within. Pirates are cool!

And finally – just because! – a shameless plug for my compatriot, Oz author Jenny Schwartz and her new book, Beyond Regeneration, published this month, about “old grief and new beginnings”.



Best Read

I know, I know, last month’s book was about cyborgs, but I’ve been on a(nother) binge, OK?! And, I admit, I haven’t read as much this month as I’d hoped. We all have times like that, right?

I really can’t go past the series I’m currently reading, which is Donna McDonald’s Cyborgs: Mankind Redefined. I’ve read and loved Book 1, Peyton 313 (««««« from me; review to follow) and have nearly finished Book 2, Kingston 691. Book 3, Marcus 582, completes the set.

Series Spotlight

I’m really excited about Anitra Lynn McLeod’s Fringe series. Although each book contains different characters and locations, this excerpt from the blurb of Book 1, Thief, has me grinning and eagerly awaiting its SFR yumminess:

“Contains a celibate ship captain who can t abide swearing, a kick-ass woman with a marshmallow heart, a motley crew of misfits, interstellar battles, thwarted groping, sensual seduction, and a total bastard who owns his own planet.”

Some good news about Nathalie Gray’s Femme Metal series, currently out of print. Nathalie has kindly responded to a tweet enquiring about reissuing this series with a resounding “Yes!”.

Squee Moment

As I said on Facebook, I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered Crisis on Stardust Station, by John Taloni! Not only do we get science fiction, but also cats! I think loving SFR and cats is inextricably linked, don’t you?!

LOL Moment

Well, there are two funny bone ticklers this month…and, yes, they’re both Star Wars related…again! Very popular amongst the SFR denizens and, of course, waiting with bated breath has been occurring for the release of the latest movie, The Force Awakens, on December 18th.

And now, it’s time for a rest!

Monday, October 26, 2015

SFRB Recommends 44: Gethyon by Pippa Jay #YA #sfrom #scifi #romance #novella #ebook

His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.

Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.

When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?

Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?

This coming-of-age story takes us on a journey as we watch Gethyon's initial unwitting use of his powers through to the point where he is in full control of them and able to face the Siah-dhu. At the same time, we watch Gethyon changing from an angry young man - a hangover from an early encounter with his mother - into an assured adult.

This book has the (mis)fortune of having one scene in it that.... is emblazoned across my mind still, two years after I first read it. It's the reason I recommend Gethyon. Not many scenes get under my skin that much. An excellent, quick read that gives us a glimpse of Jay's imagination - and also an array of fantastic characters who will stick around awhile.

Author site: Pippa Jay - Sci-fi and the Supernatural with a Romantic Soul

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Twitter Pitch Parties

by Bokerah Brumley

As an author, I’ve seen many videos, listened to many podcasts, attended a conference, successfully pitched face-to-face, and spent hours studying that ambiguous little thing called platform. Since I have completed the self-pub portion of my hybrid author dream, I’m interested in anything that gets my work in front of agents and the writing community at large.

At the 2015 DFW Writers Conference, I met an author that competed in a previous Twitter pitch party and earned a two book deal from the process. (Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor)

My interest was piqued. Enter: #PitchWars

The guidelines were easy to follow, the community turned out, and the wait was filled with hours of what-ifs. It was nerve-wracking. 1,500 writers were hanging out at the water cooler in the #PitchWars break room. The energy was incredible.

Yet, I wasn’t selected as a mentee.

I did win a brand new community, three critique partners, and some awesome feedback from two of the #PitchWars mentors. And I polished that novel more in the two weeks leading up to #PitchWars than I had been able to eke out on my own.

That loss was my friend.

It ignited my drive so much that I decided to enter the next Twitter Pitch Party that I could find.

Enter #PitMad.

Alas, I did not earn a favorite from any publishers or agents.

But, since then, I’ve found a new beginning for my novel, added several pivotal scenes, and learned a lot about writing hooks. I now have one in my query, one in the first 250 words of my manuscript, and one at the end of each chapter.

I’m looking forward to the next loss with a twisted sense of glee. It’s one step closer to my dream.

“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Brenda Drake manages #PitchWars and a variety of other Twitter Pitch Parties. L.L. McKinney manages #PitchSlam. And Michelle Hauck co-manages #NoQS. Spend some time at their blogs or follow them on Twitter. Other pitch and query contests abound (like #Pitch2Pub).

Author Bio:

Bokerah Brumley is an award-winning freelance writer. In her spare time, Bokerah enjoys climbing trees, photographing peacocks, and writing flash fiction. She lives with her husband, five kids, and three dogs in West Texas where she serves as the blue-haired publicity officer for the Cisco Writers Club. Find her on Twitter and Facebook. Her debut novella, Cold Water Bridegroom, now available on Amazon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Traditional Publishing Vs Self-Publishing Discussion With Cynthia Sax

by Cynthia Sax

I started my SciFi romance writing career with a large digital first publisher. Self-publishing was an option at the time but not the best choice for me.


Because I didn’t know anything about covers, writing blurbs, what SciFi romance readers are looking for (even though I was a SciFi romance reader myself), etc. I didn’t have a readership base, a street team, relationships with reviewers or bloggers.

My publisher paired me with an editor who specialized in SciFi romance. She not only taught me about reader expectations, about how to thread in the science and the world building, but she also taught me how to write blurbs, that all important back cover copy that drives sales.

My first release occurred before Amazon took over the world. My publisher still had a large number of readers buying directly from the website. Many of the SciFi romance readers bought EVERY release in the genre, including mine. I wasn’t starting from zero readers.

My publisher had established relationships with reviewers. I got reviews! Woot! And yes, many of those reviewers review my books today.

Everything was groovy for a while. Then this publisher began having financial difficulties. My beloved editor and many of the staff were let go. Royalty payments were sent later and later.

I was very lucky. My fourth SciFi romance series ended right before the publisher’s issues came to light. But it scared me. I don’t ever want to leave a series unfinished.

I wrote Releasing Rage, my cyborg SciFi romance, without knowing where I’d publish it. It is a dark, raw, emotional story. When I pitched it to my agent, she told me she couldn’t sell it.

A part of me was relieved. I wanted total control of this series. I wanted to decide how many stories I’d write in it (traditional publishers usually decide this and this decision is almost always based on the previous release’s sales). I didn’t want anyone to smooth the edges off this story.

I now had the contacts to self-publish. I knew a great cover artist, a great freelance editor, a great formatter. I also had the experience. I had written over 80 blurbs. I had a street team, the reviewer contacts, a base of readers.

Most importantly, I had the confidence. I didn’t need an editor to tell me the story was great (though she did). I knew it in my bones. I knew if I didn’t publish this story, I’d regret it.

I love self-publishing. Having control over my work is wonderful. So is the ability to see my daily sales, instead of waiting three months or more for a grouped unit and dollar amount. I can run a promotion and see immediately if it is working or not. Blurbs can be tweaked after they’ve gone live. I can insert my own key words and tags.

Would I work with a traditional publisher again? If they offered me something I couldn’t provide for myself, absolutely. Until then, I’m happy to be self-publishing.



Releasing Rage
Half Man. Half Machine. All Hers.

Rage, the Humanoid Alliance's most primitive cyborg, has two goals--kill all of the humans on his battle station and escape to the Homeland. The warrior has seen the darkness in others and in himself. He believes that's all he's been programmed to experience.

Until he meets Joan.

Joan, the battle station's first female engineer, has one goal--survive long enough to help the big sexy cyborg plotting to kill her. Rage might not trust her but he wants her. She sees the passion in his eyes, the caring in his battle-worn hands, the gruff emotion in his voice.

When Joan survives the unthinkable, Rage's priorities are tested. Is there enough room in this cyborg's heart for both love and revenge?

Buy Now:
On Amazon US:

On Amazon UK:

On ARe:

On B&N:



About Cynthia Sax
USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.
Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at




Twitter: @CynthiaSax


Disclaimer: All views expressed in this post are the views of the author and not the views of the SFR Brigade.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

SFRB Recommends 43: The Alchemist's Kiss by A.R. DeClerck #steampunk #romance #sfrom #paranormal #magical #novel #ebook

London 1869 

A dark wizard has arrived in London, at exactly the time unrest among the non-magical community is coming to a head. London is under the protection of wizard and alchemist Icarus Kane and his loyal friends Cora Mae Jenkins and Archimedes Merriweather, and together they must chase down the threat while dodging the riots and the angry poor along the way. Icarus has no use for science, but there will be no escaping it as the aether, the very heart of magic, is threatened. All of London may perish if the dark wizard gets his way, and Icarus could lose his best friend and his lover in the battle. All the world could be destroyed under the tide of the oncoming storm unless Icarus can face his own power and embrace his inner darkness.

I loved this book. It’d been a while since I read a steampunk, and this book drew me right back into the tech. Very well written with main characters and secondary characters all having great depth. The worldbuilding was excellent, and nothing felt out of place. I devoured this book in a very short space of time.

Author site: AR DeClerck - Love is a Grand Adventure

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Favorite Science Hook Up: Tesla and the AC/DC Debate

by Catherine Haustein
Enigmatic, compulsive, afraid of germs and probably sex too, Nikola Tesla is an odd choice for a scientist hook-up, but that’s who won my “who would you date?” blog questionnaire. Tesla, as many recall, was a pioneer of electricity, inventing the AC motor. Shy and detail oriented, he first worked for Thomas Edison and then for George Westinghouse, who sided with Tesla in the AC/DC debate.

Some fun facts about Tesla:

  1. He perhaps never touched a woman but he was romantic. He loved the power and beauty of water, lightning, and rain. He moved to Colorado and treasured its lightning storms as he longed to harness electricity.

  2. Yes, electricity was his first and only love, but some women did enter his life. Katherine Johnson, the wife of a friend, was his platonic lover. Pianist Marguerite Merington, Anne Morgan, a mysterious Anna and perhaps a few other women were associated with him. However, many say that he took a vow of celibacy in order to devote himself to his work. He was not a fan of woman’s rights. He thought that women were smarter then men and might take over the world and forget to be mothers. Do you really want a boyfriend like that?

  3. He once was attracted to a man, Richmond Pearson Hobson, but being a good Victorian, quickly dismissed that notion and was Hobson’s best man instead.

  4. The AC/DC battle was gruesome. Even Lord Kelvin (of absolute zero fame) didn’t support alternating current. Thomas Edison was so jangled by the idea of AC current that he collaborated with Harold Brown, employed by Edison to promote an electric pen/stenciling device, to rally public opinion against it. Under-educated Brown did all he could to scare people away from AC current, including electrocuting hapless dogs—44 in total—to demonstrate its dangers A circus elephant named Topsy who killed three handlers, was electrocuted with AC current and some cyanide carrots. Brown pushed AC current as a death penalty alternative to hanging. The first execution by electrocution was barbaric.

  5. Tesla responded to the brutal animal torture (it took many trials to kill the animals and was extremely cruel) with public displays of high-frequency AC current passing over his skin, in what could be called the first bedazzling ever.

  6. Niagara Falls was one of his first loves and greatest successes. Long taken with the force and beauty of the majestic waterfall, Tesla and Westinghouse harnessed it with generators that powered Buffalo, New York in 1895. Later, this power would build the city of Detroit.

  7. Telsa received posthumous credit for inventing the radio.

  8. If you get that date, don’t wear jewelry. He disliked jewelry not only on women but on himself. He never even wore a tiepin.

  9. Tesla might not have been much fun on a date. He didn’t eat much and was obsessed with pigeons.

The bottom line: for a fun ride, a Tesla car would get you there faster than the man. If you want a handsome and quirky companion, Tesla is your guy. Eat before hand and don’t plan a second date.

Catherine Haustein is the author of Natural Attraction, a Victorian Scifi Romance. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

Views expressed in this post are those of Catherine Haustein and don't necessarily reflect that of the SFR Brigade.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October SFR Brigade Showcase


The SFR Brigade Showcase is the chance for our Science Fiction Romance authors to showcase excerpts from their latest releases, snippets from a work-in-progress, a new cover for their book or just have fun with something silly, like a character interview!

We'll have a new showcase the first weekend of each month, and we encourage all our members to participate by posting, commenting and sharing. Some months, we'll even be doing a giveaway!



1. C.E. Kilgore  6. Melisse Aires  11. Ed Hoornaert  
2. Aurora Springer  7. Lea Kirk  12. Michelle Diener  
3. Liza O'Connor  8. Veronica Scott  13. Anna Hackett  
4. Cynthia Sax  9. Diane Dooley  
5. Pippa Jay  10. S. A. Hoag  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Merry's Multiverse Musings

Greetings from Oz, fellow Sci-Fi Romance aficionados! I have had the great pleasure of “meeting” many of the wonderful Sci-Fi Rom authors out there in the Multiverse via the dedicated and fun-filled Sci-Fi Romance Group on Facebook, which is complemented by their strong presence on Twitter. 

I’ve learned so much about the vagaries of publishing and the nitty gritty of what it’s like to live in the self-publishing world.  What an eye-opener! Best of all, though, has been an introduction to lots of new authors and their awesome books, and also the wonderful book blogs and publications that focus on our amazing – and fast-growing – shared genre passion. Welcome, then, to Merry’s Multiverse Musings, a snapshot of my monthly favourite SFR treasure.

September, 2015

 Cover Love
Jess Anastasi has not only revamped the cover for her book, Escape Velocity (Valiant Knox Book 1), but the second book in the series, Damage Control, due out on October 26th, 2015, also sports an equally sexy cover with an icy cool title font to tie the series together.

New Authors
During a cyberspace SFR reconnaissance mission, I discovered an interesting article devoted to some of the “best” SFR novels. Amongst the choices was The Astronomer, by Charmaine Pauls. Quite an intriguing and original variation on the stranger-rescues-damsel-in-distress plot device!

Space Wrangler is the start of Kate Donovan’s new series, Space Rustlers. This one appeals to my love of heroes who happen to be a tad on the wrong side of the law, but who also have “good bones” and a heart of gold.

Best Read
Cyborgs…sigh… My favourite book for September is Cara Bristol’s Stranded With the Cyborg. SFR books containing a sexy cyborg hero are pretty much auto-reads for me, and Stranded With the Cyborg is no exception.  Here’s my 5-star review

Series Spotlight

Thanks to a BookBub recommendation I was introduced to G.S. Jennsen’s Aurora Rising series, which is now available as a bundle in Aurora Rising: The Complete Collection. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this space opera romance!

E.M. Foner’s Date Night on Union Station, a recommendation from the Book Barbarian, caught my eye, which then led to the discovery of the next six books in the EarthCent Ambassador series. Oh boy, my TBR mountain is groaning with all that weight!

Squee Moment

I have yet to read Sabine Priestley’s Alien Attachments series but I’ll definitely be catching up before the release of Book 3, Liberation, in December, which sounds like a sexy and adventure-filled corker!

LOL Moment

Being a SFR devotee isn’t just about books! We have our fair share of fun and funny segments over at the Sci-Fi Romance Group and this one features my second-favourite Star Wars character, R2-D2 (C-3PO being the first!).

Download Your Free Copy of Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #8!

Cross-posting the news of the latest Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly release from The Galaxy Express:

Fans of post-apocalyptic romances, rejoice! Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #8 delivers loads of post-apoc romance action for your reading pleasure. Fans of science fiction romance, rejoice! The latest SFRQ brings a bonanza of SFR fun right to your virtual doorstep. 

Here are a few of the many features you can look forward to in the current issue:

* Guest columnist by RADIO SILENCE author Alyssa Cole – learn all about her popular Off the Grid series

* In “Romance, Sex & Survival In a Post-Apocalyptic World” (The Cosmic Lounge), I present an overview of post-apocalyptic romance, including a run-down of various titles

* Two free short stories! Enjoy “Ark Baby” by Liz Jensen and “Dolls” by T.J. Land

* A visit from a group of Australian authors of science fiction romance

* Sneak Peeks, New Releases, Reviews, and more!

Download your free copy of Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly #8!

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation