Thursday, September 27, 2018

SFRB Recommends #85: Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien.

In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began...

You can tell that the book is quite tongue-in-cheek with the heroine's name. This novel is a madcap caper that should appeal to fans of Men in Black. Kitty constantly has to come up with creative solutions to alien problems while juggling her amazing and interfering parents. Add in "Armani hunk" Jeff Martini's courtship (he decides right off that he wants to marry her), and I've no idea how Kitty is supposed to know if she's coming or going.

The action scenes are intense, bonkers, and slapstick. Despite that and the overall lighthearted feel, the book does touch on some more serious themes. The world and backstory are carefully peeled back in layers: each revelation makes sense and fits neatly into the action.

This recommendation by Lee Koven.

Book site: Gini Koch's Bookstore

Monday, September 10, 2018

Meet the Author Monday: JC Hay

Today, we're featuring author JC Hay, who is not only a long-time member of the SFR Brigade, but also an award-winning SFR writer who will be one of the eleven featured authors in the upcoming Pets in Space 3: Embrace the Passion anthology! Welcome to Meet the Author Monday, JC!

How many SFR Books have you published and what are the titles? Can you give a quick blurb on your most recent or upcoming title?

At the moment, I’ve got seven titles out and an eighth that is out of print. The bulk are split between two series: Corporate Services, my gritty, cyberpunk romance series (Dubai Double Cross, Mumbai Manhunt, and South Seas Salvation), and TriSystems: Rangers, which is military romance in space, with soldiers who are empathically bonded to their Wolves (Inouye and Grenville). There’s also Flare: Team Corona, which was part of 2017’s “Great Space Race” project, and Hearts and Minds, a stand-alone space opera romance with psychics, pirates, and space-vikings.

As for an upcoming title – one of my favorite side characters from the TriSystems: Rangers stories, Commander Penzak, is getting his own happily ever after in the anthology Pets In Space 3: Embrace the Passion. Here’s the blurb:

Loss casts a shadow you can’t outrun…

Commander Rafe Penzak is tired of jockeying a desk. With only months left before his forced retirement from the rangers, he decides to bend a few rules for one last mission: follow up on intelligence that vicious criminals have found the ranch that supplies the rangers’ umbra wolves. He’s ready to confront the reminder of his wolf’s death, but nothing in the Three Systems could prepare him for the spitfire who runs the farm.

Veterinarian Nafisi Sultana has run her wolf breeding program her way since the death of her husband. The last thing she wants is another ranger taking up space, correcting her methods, or being underfoot. But she can’t miss the pain and sorrow that haunts the greying commander, and her need to heal others pulls her into his orbit despite the agonizing memories he wakes in her.

With storms, raiders, and a renegade wolf pup driving them together, Nafisi and Rafe have to set aside their damaged past, or they’ll never be able to save something they both want more—a future.

When writing, which comes first for you – the romance or the other elements of the story?

That’s a chicken and egg question for me; with my series I know a lot of the setting elements and how they play into the various characters stories but I can’t begin to plot until I know what the wound is at the heart of the romance; the reason why they think they don’t deserve love, and the thing they’ll turn away from love in order to protect. Once I know that, the core of their romantic arc, then the rest of the story tends to fit into place around it.

Have any of your books received any special recognition? What and Where?

South Seas Salvation (the third of my cyberpunk books) is a 2107 SFR Galaxy Award Winner! I love my horribly broken, unapologetic hacker, and to see other people loved her as much as I do means the world to me.

Where’s your favorite place to write? Do you have a dedicated writer’s cave?

I have a dedicated writing space in the house – it was even featured on Authors in Space earlier this year – It’s got my dictation set up, and my lovely, clicky keyboard. That said, I also have a smaller tablet that I use when I need a change of scenery or have to jot down to the coffee shop for a while.

What are your favorite SFR movies or television series and why?

We’re really living in a feast-time for great sci-fi television, especially if you like a bit of romance sprinkled in. Killjoys is amazing, and Dutch is one of those wonderful characters that I wish I’d written. That said, my favorites are still the classics – Babylon 5 gave us John and Delenn, which made me laugh, cry, and scream in equal measure. I watched B5 when it first started airing, and it’s still one of my favorite series, years later.

Another series I really loved was Farscape, again because the romantic arc at its heart was so good. Aeryn Sun and John Crichton are probably my favorite Enemies to Lovers arc on television, and it’s part of why I love that particular trope so much.

About the Author

SFR Galaxy Award Winner JC Hay writes romantic science fiction and cyberpunk where the relationships matter as much as the tech. After all, the coolest gadgets in the world are useless without someone to share them.

In addition to Romance Writers of America, he is also a proud member of the SFR Brigade (for Science Fiction Romance), the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance chapter, and RWA’s Published Author Network.

Upcoming Release!

Pets in Space™ is back!

Join us as we unveil eleven original, never-before-published action-filled romances that will heat your blood and warm your heart! New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner, E D Walker, JC Hay, and Kyndra Hatch combine their love for Science Fiction Romance and pets to bring readers sexy, action-packed romances while helping our favorite charity.

Proud supporters of, Pets in Space™ authors have donated over $4,400 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space3 today!

Amazon   |   iBooks   |   Kobo   |   Google Play 

Here’s my Amazon author page: Author JC Hay

If you’d like a taste of my TriSystems: Rangers series before Pets in Space 3 releases, the first two books can be found at your favorite e-tailer:

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