Thursday, December 17, 2015

SFRB Recommends 48: Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard

After a stint in an alien prison, Captain Ari Rose wonders why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father's scientific expedition to finish a Ph.D. she doesn't want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. She wasn't built for it, either. But when pirates commandeer her father's ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner. 

As far as pirate leader Cullin is concerned, Ari's past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin's sights. If she hasn't been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he's convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can't afford the desire she fires within him and he'll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.

In Enemy Within, everybody's got layers of secrets and at least one angle. The major characters have complex stories and goals and have to make some difficult decisions to get those accomplished. What do the deliciously disturbing space bugs want with Ari? Who is she really loyal to, and why is that important to Cullin?
The romance is tested hard- at several points I thought it was unworkable.

This book wreacked havoc with my emotions. I felt for Ari, who gets pulled through all kinds of wringers. Cullin was a little harder for me to get a handle on, but his confusion and frustrations made sense and felt real. Add spaceships, some politics, murky alliances, fencing, and aliens, and this book packs quite a wallop. This story's been on my keeper shelf for years and inspired me try writing myself. It ends well, and the characters definitely earn it!

Author site: Marcella Burnard, Official Website

Recommendation by Lee Koven.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Using Email Subscriptions Services for Promotion #marketing

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. The subject of promotion comes up a lot among the Brigade: How to do it successfully (and without spamming), what works and what doesn't. About the only consensus is 1. It's hard work, time consuming and never-ending, and 2. Different things work for different people (and also for different books and genres). Email subscription services have been a recent topic of discussion (and more than once) so I thought I'd share my latest experience with several of the services on offer (most of which I'm using for the first time).

Please note: At point of posting not all of my promotions have run as my discount went on over two months up to the end of 2015. I'll list the services I used, cost, experience, results where I have them, and my thoughts on the service provider. Those with a * are those I'd currently recommend based on my own experience. As a side note, for most of this I listed my title as Romance or Paranormal Romance where I was limited to one genre as the book is light on the SF elements, or as Scifi/Fantasy. Some allowed me to pick Romance with Scifi as the sub-genre. Also, most favour/only accept Amazon links, so sales figures are Amazon unless stated otherwise.

1. Sweet Free Reads (came recommended) $5 - books must be free or $0.99 unless a bundle, with at least five reviews rating a minimum of 3.5* (but they count the number of reviews right across all the Amazon sites so US, UK, CA etc combined. They will also consider others on an individual basis, such as a new author). You need to schedule at least a week in advance to be sure of getting your preferred date(s) - you can pick alternatives and I urge you to use this option. I'd already used them twice for free days on a couple of KDP Select books and found it doubled my download numbers compared to just using my own social media platforms and newsletter (yeah, I've tested this one out a bit!). I've also picked up several free and 99 cent books myself via their newsletter. I like their service and system very much - they acknowledge receipt, confirm your date when they invoice you, and their newsletter usually only has two to five books per day so it's not overwhelming to subscribers. It's nicely set out and professionally run, and I fully intend to keep using them. I didn't get the same amount of boost with the 99 cents book - maybe double my average daily sales - but by this stage my promo had been running a couple of weeks and it wasn't a free book this time around. I also released my sequel on the same day, further muddying the results. So, not a ROI money-wise, but I've picked up several books to read myself via their newsletter and I'm pleased with the exposure. *

2. Book Barbarian (came recommended) $15 - focuses on scifi and fantasy. They have fairly strict criteria, including the genre limitation, books must be less than $2.99 and the discount time sensitive, good quality cover, at least 10 reviews on Amazon US 3.5* and above, and standalones or book one only unless part of their new double feature promotion. Received an invoice stating my book had been accepted and would be featured on the day requested (they don't put the actual date on the invoice so be sure to note it beforehand!). I signed up for their discounted books newsletter and their advertisers newsletter. Nicely professional, and I love the focus on SFF. There was a bit of a glitch on the day, but fortunately resolved in good time and my book went out when stated. This gave me ten times my daily average, BUT it ran in conjunction with Books that Buzz so I can't take the figure as entirely down to them. It did put my book back in the top 100 category at Amazon. However, BB will list other sales links other than Amazon, and I got a big bump via D2D (B&N and iTunes) as well - the equivalent of a month's sales in one day. So would definitely use again. *

3. Betty Book Freak (came recommended) $8 - will only accept books priced $2.99 or less, with a minimum of ten reviews on Amazon US and an overall rating of at least 3.7* (there's also a new release feature that doesn't require the reviews but must be within 90 days of release, not on pre-order). Offers a choice of three dates to be featured, but must be at least seven days notice. Acknowledged receipt (including full details of my submission with my three elected options of feature dates), then acceptance of submission (including the date I'd actually be featured) along with the invoice. I also subscribed to their newsletter. Very professional, very impressed. I only got a small bump at Amazon (this was two weeks into my promo efforts) BUT they list other retailers and I got a bump at B&N and iTunes too. *

4. Ebooklister $0 - sent a receipt of submission that requires you to confirm your email before your listing is accepted. You then get a second confirmation saying your book has been added to the Approved queue (if approved) but there's no guarantee of being featured unless you opt for their paid promotions. They do give you the option to pick four dates to be featured (though you will only get one). I signed up for their newsletter. Can't say I loved their website but their communication was good (lack of communication is a real bug bear for me). I got no actual notification I'd be featured and to date I haven't seen my book listed (but the last date I selected was the 18th December, so I'll update then).

5. Awesome Gang (came not recommended) $0  - they acknowledged receipt of submission and acceptance, and that my book would be featured on my requested date (this was slightly confusing as the form asked for a date but says if you don't put a date it'll be within one week (but you CAN'T leave it blank). So I put it as the 20th (since the discount had already started) but the confirmation put it as the 'requested feature date'. Searching their site a couple of days later showed my book listed there, but I've no idea if it went out in the newsletter as I didn't see it despite being signed up. No noticeable jump in sales in the days between making my request and finding my book listed. $10 guarantees it plus two days on the website. They go slightly overboard with their email responses and require a double confirmation of subscriptions BUT they do have an author specific email and links to other helpful info for promotion (that I've yet to investigate) including a free author interview (at least they're enthusiastic and trying to offer a big range of additional benefits). They also link to a single form that will give you promo on several sites without having to apply to each separately (great time saver but even with a discount offered this was $65. All their other options are paid). I signed up for their newsletter which is somewhat long-winded as author bios and several links are included for each book as an attempt to help pitch each title. Not sure about that as a reader. No noticeable bump.

6. Reading Deals $0 - the free option doesn't guarantee a feature (there are paid options that do) and requires a minimum of five reviews on Amazon with at least a 4* rating. You can't set a promo date, only list the start and end of the discount, but they note they will try to feature you as close to the start date as possible. They acknowledged receipt of submission which required confirmation. Nice newsletter, but they require you to set up an account on their site to adjust your genre preferences (otherwise you get a full range of genres). I don't like that, not when other sites only need your email (but the newsletter is nicely set out and concise, and I did pick up a book from the first one I received). I also signed up to the author newsletter as part of the submission process. I only got confirmation that I had a spot on the actual day I was featuring (in the newsletter and on their site) a few hours before it was due to go live (maybe because the promo had already started when I applied) but I was happy to get notified, plus an email when it went live on their site. This one resulted in five times my average daily sales and put my book in a top 100 category. *
Update: they also emailed me to say when my book was eligible to be featured again since they have a time limit on how soon they will accept you again. Nice touch.

7. Choosy Bookworm (came recommended) $0 -  also features any book priced under $3.99. You're only sent a confirmation if they decide to feature you (however, this acceptance still doesn't guarantee you'll be featured unless using the paid options. If they then decide your book isn't a good fit for their audience, the money is refunded). You can't pick promotion dates, only a start and end date for discounts, you have to submit at least seven days before any promotion, and books are reviewed on Sundays for possible inclusion. I did get a response to signing up for their newsletter, with a bit about the owner, a list of free ebooks, and details about their read & review service (not investigated) pitched as a reader's benefit (not as an author - details are on the site if you're looking for more reviews for your work. These are offered as being in accordance with Amazon's TOS). The owner is enthusiastic and offers a range of additional features. Didn't see my book featured.

8. Read Freely (did not come recommended) $0 - nice simple form. Free but priority is given to authors who link back to their website (I didn't - I already link back to several sites and I refuse to put any more on unless they've proved of value, otherwise it starts to look really messy). Absolutely no acknowledgement that your submission has been received, let alone featured, and you can't pick a date, only list what day the discount begins and ends. I've used them once before and didn't get featured to my knowledge, but I definitely did this time (the day after Betty Book Freak) and got a small bump at Amazon, so would probably use again as they're free. Subscribed to their newsletter. *

8. Books on the Knob $0 - slightly confusing Google form, but you are directed to a Read This First section which you SHOULD READ (reviews are also an option. Likes SF, especially post-apoc and military, and reads romance. Not sure about the two combined...). No acknowledgement other than the standard Google form confirmation, although the Read This First section says you may receive an email if you're featured. You can't pick specific dates, only list when the discount begins and ends. Books are featured on the blog rather than sent out as an email. No idea if I got featured.

9. Books that Buzz $0 (Book Brag $25) - will feature any book under $5 even if it isn't a special discount or promotion (although it won't feature permafree). A simple form that allows you to request promo dates (as many as you want though you will only get one of those days), but no acknowledgement of submission receipt or confirmation of acceptance. Signed up to their newsletter (which lets you pick the genres at confirmation). This blog apparently has a dual identity as I signed up via Books that Buzz but the newsletter I got and that I was featured in was Book Brag (which costs $25 to add your book). Confused? I was. They featured me on the 1st December (unfortunately the same day as Book Barbarian so I can't judge individual performance), but I got no prior confirmation or notification (not complaining - I still got featured!). Nice newsletter that isn't overwhelming, but not limited to the genres I selected. Would use again. *

10. Read Cheaply (came recommended) $0 - the book must have a professional cover and editing, good reviews and positive acclaim, and be a full length work. It must be free or discounted by at least 50% (preferably under $2.99). Very simple form submission to assess your book's suitability with an acknowledgement that you've submitted. I received another email two days later saying my submission had been approved and confirming what day it would run. Somehow I missed the email my book was included in but got a noticeable bump following the day it was due to be featured (about double my daily average sales). Which is totally worth it when it didn't cost me anything but not if I'd had to pay for it ($15 or $25 depending on your genre). *

In conclusion - sometimes you get what you pay for. The free ones are probably worth trying if you're happy to devote the time to them and want as wide a distribution as possible (perhaps especially if you're a new author looking for exposure), and they helped boost the paid features to give a better ROI. Also, as stated above, different things work for different people and different books. Personally I'll probably stick to the handful I liked and/or gave the best results because I don't have limitless amounts of time to fill out endless forms. Like all promotion, it's something that takes time and/or money, depending how much of each you're willing to spend on it. Two thoughts - I would probably have got a bigger bump if the book was free, but I'd have been less likely to use the paid options. If you're aiming to get high on Amazon Top 100 categories, you might be best trying to set them all for the same day or close as. I wanted a slow, steady, long-winded promotion, and I wanted to see what gave the biggest bump.

For further comparisons, you can check out a blog post by Aurora Springer HERE on free promotion/email subscription sites, or one by Greta van der Rol HERE on her own experiences with some email subscription services.

With thanks to SJ Pajonas, Bokerah Brumley, and the rest of the SFR Brigade. These views and opinions are solely my own and not the responsibility of the SFR Brigade.

About the Author:

A girl who writes scifi & the supernatural. Whovian, Scaper, & Sith-In-Training. Two times SFR Galaxy Award winner, 2015 EPIC eBook Awards finalist, & RWA LERA 2015 Rebecca finalist (2nd place). Member of the SFR Brigade, EPIC, & Broad Universe. You can find me at my website or my blog, but my favourite place to hang around & chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen

About the Book:
A Science Fiction Romance Novel
Goodreads | Available from... Amazon | All Romance eBooks
Kobo | iTunes | 
B&N Smashwords
Print available from... 
Amazon | B&N | CreateSpace | The Book Depository

A demon waiting to die...
An outcast reviled for his discolored skin and rumors of black magic, Keirlan de Corizi sees no hope for redemption. Imprisoned beneath the palace that was once his home, the legendary 'Blue Demon of Adalucien' waits for death to finally free him of his curse. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise.

A woman determined to save him.
Able to cross space and time with a wave of her hand, Tarquin Secker has spent eternity on a hopeless quest. Drawn by a compulsion she can't explain, she risks her apparent immortality to save Keir, and offers him sanctuary on her home-world, Lyagnius. But Quin has secrets of her own.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes the dormant alien powers within him and earns exile from Lyagnius, Quin chooses to stand by him. Can he master his newfound abilities in time to save Quin from the darkness that seeks to possess her?

Book One of the Redemption series and part of the Travellers Universe. Previously released by Lyrical Press Inc. 7th May 2012. On sale until the end of December! Book Two can be found HERE.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

FIREFLY Twitter Viewing Event For Jess Anastasi’s ATROPHY

To help celebrate the release of Jess Anastasi’s new sci-fi romance, ATROPHY, Entangled Publishing is doing a live Twitter viewing event for the pilot episode of Firefly!

When: December 9, 2015 / 6 US PST, 9 US EST.

Where: @JessAnastasi & @entangledpub

Watch the pilot episode of FIREFLY and tweet along, or simply come and chat!

For more fun, join Entangled's ATROPHY release party on Facebook!

No one on Erebus escapes alive...

Twelve years on the prison planet Erebus makes a man long for death. The worst part for Tannin Everette is that he was framed for murder. He’s innocent. When the ship Imojenna lands for emergency repairs, Tannin risks everything to escape…only to find himself face to face with the captain’s undeniably gorgeous sister.

Zahli Sherron isn’t planning on turning Tannin in. In fact, she actually believes him. Sure, he’s sexy as every kind of sin, but he’s no criminal—so she hides him. But no one escapes from Erebus and lives to tell about it. With every day that passes, Zahli further risks the lives of the entire crew…even as she falls in love with a man she can never have for herself.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Once Upon a Cover Design (with Exclusive Cover Reveal)

My cover artist is a genius.

That was my conclusion after my designer, Danielle Fine, created the cover for the next full length novel in the Inherited Stars series, The Outer Planets.

The process of having a cover designed can be intimidating, and I knew this was going to be no easy feat for a number of reasons.

I'd like to share a little of the journey from nebulous idea to completed cover art...and end this blog with the exclusive public reveal of the cover. (Woohoo!)

Let me first explain why the cover presented a bit of a dilemma.

At their heart, the first two books in the series have some noted contrasts. Although The Outer Planets is book #2, it's set in a very different era from the introductory novel, Inherit the Stars. The series takes place over a 1,500 year history, where the first story plunges the reader into a troubled galaxy circa the year 3500 AD in a classic Space Opera Romance. The second book takes a step back to the saga's beginnings in the 2040s, just a few decades from now. It's a Near Future SFR.

The books are also different sub-genres. Book #1 falls more in the rebels vs. evil galactic empire trope--with a couple of major twists. Book #2 is a military scifi/mystery/suspense mash-up.

Add to that, the books have different POV treatments. Inherit the Stars is told solely from the hero's POV. The entire adventure is filtered through his thoughts and perspectives. The cover for this novel placed the hero as the main focal point and makes the heroine a dominant feature of the starry, starry background. It does a fantastic job of capturing the dynamics of the story.

But The Outer Planets is more of an ensemble telling. It has five separate POVs including the hero, heroine, villain, mission commander and an unknown entity with a big reveal later in the story. There's a sense of looming threat throughout the plot which results in the strong mystery/suspense element. Where the first book is more adventurous and epic, the second novel has a dark and twisty undercurrent.

To give you a better sense of the plot, here's the blurb:

What Lissa Bruce knows could kill her.

A female video reporter with an altered identity and a damning secret joins the crew of a research mission bound for Jupiter and Saturn, only to find the past she wants to escape is already onboard.

Lieutenant Mitchell Coe, the loyal aide de camp to a murdered General–Lissa’s late spouse–is the one man with the power to blow her cover…or salvage her heart. But after a series of malfunctions threatens the mission, Lissa suspects she’s not the only one aboard with a dangerous secret.

Because of the unique differences in these stories, the first two books in the series can be read in either order. That's a plus. But the downside is a reader might not realize the works are interconnected without a strong unifying visual theme. I needed a "series signature stamp" on both covers.

But how to go about it? There, I was at a loss. In attempting to express what I was looking for, I think I provided a few muddled and conflicting thoughts and ideas (some that I later realized were totally off the mark).

Would it be best to show the entire POV cast or focus only on the hero and heroine? Picture the Bradley exploratory vessel as part of the design, or only a SciFi background for the setting? Should the inside of the ship be shown, or the planets they are bound for? I needed a design that shared elements with book #1, but avoided any suggestion of it being a true sequel. (The actual sequel will come later in the series.)

To give Danielle a starting point, I filled out a detailed information form about the setting, plot, and characters, and any other elements that might be important to the design process. That helped provide the basic framework. I also included a few links to other covers I liked. (The final cover didn't end up looking like any of them, but I think it helped define my preferences.)

We settled on picturing only the hero and heroine on the cover for the complete novel (it may be serialized, which will involve designing additional covers based on the same theme).

Setting parameters for the images of these characters proved a challenge. The hero, Mitch, is 28-year-old lieutenant in the U.S. Army. That meant finding a male character image with no facial hair or scruff and a clean cut military look. (If you've ever browsed stock images for those requirements, good luck with that.) The heroine, Lissa, is a civilian serving as a video reporter in the ship's Public Information Office (PIO). As part of a Combined Joint Task Force crew, she needed to look professional though not military...and maybe show a hint of the secrets she's carrying in her expression. Also a tough order to fill.

I added a few "please no's" and "I'd likes" to the description list. Please no bare-chested hero or scantily clad heroine (not a good fit for the story), and preferably it would be great to have the characters dressed in the mission uniform--black flight suits--preferably with Mitch's rank showing. (Easy, right?) Please no dramatic, heat-of-passion clinches (ditto the above), but I'd still like a romantic connection between the H & H suggested. (I don't ask for much, do I?)

I confess. Even with the specific details, I didn't have a strong visual fix on what the finished product would look like. At all.

Lucky for me, Danielle was able to interpret exactly what I was going for. When I saw the final result, I knew she'd absolutely nailed it!

Here's the exclusive, first-time ever cover reveal of The Outer Planets.

Now I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions. 

Giveaway! Two random commenters will be chosen to receive their choice of an e-copy of The Outer Planets (debuts in late winter/early spring 2016) or an e-copy of Inherit the Stars, gifted via Amazon.


Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers.

Her extended family includes her husband, David, three dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director.

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Release - Keir's Fall (Book Two of Redemption) #giveaway #scifi #romance #spaceopera

It's been a long time coming (six years since the first words and nearly four years since book one first released) but I'm pleased to say Keir's Fall - Book Two of the Redemption series - is finally out. Woo hoo!
A Science Fiction Romance Novel
Goodreads | Webpage
Available from...
Amazon | All Romance eBooks
Kobo | iTunes | B&NSmashwords

It's been a year in paradise for Keir and Quin, but now the idyll is over. After Quin falls sick, they return to the hidden sanctuary of Lyagnius, and what she learns there will not only change their lives, but set them on a journey that could separate them forever.

When Keir falls victim to a ruthless Nercaandi Empress bent on conquering the galaxy with her cybernetic army, it will take all Quin's diminishing powers and the help of her son to find him. But what waits for her aboard the tyrant's ship will test her strength and the limits of their love, and put everything she cares about at risk. Including Keir.

With the galaxy itself about to fall, will she be able to save him?

Book Two of the Redemption series and part of the Travellers Universe.


And to celebrate I'm running a Goodreads giveaway for a print edition of book one - Keir - an award winning time travel romance. It's open internationally until the 7th January.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Keir by Pippa Jay


by Pippa Jay

Giveaway ends January 07, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
Or you can pick up the digital version for just 99 cents/Euros/pence until the end of December. Enjoy!
A Science Fiction Romance Novel
Goodreads | Available from...
Amazon | All Romance eBooks
Kobo | iTunes | 
B&N Smashwords

Print available from... 
Amazon | B&N | CreateSpace
The Book Depository

Thursday, December 3, 2015

SFRB Recommends 47: Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair #scifi #sfrom #romance

The universe isn’t what it used to be. With the new alliance between the Triad and the United Coalition, Captain Tasha “Sass” Sebastian finds herself serving under her former nemesis, bio-cybe Admiral Branden Kel-Paten—and doing her best to hide a deadly past. But when an injured mercenary falls into their ship’s hands, her efforts may be wasted …
Wanted rebel Jace Serafino has information that could expose all of Sass’s secrets, tear the fragile Alliance apart—and end Sass’s career if Kel-Paten discovers them. But the bio-cybe has something to hide as well, something once thought impossible for his kind to possess: feelings...for Sass. Soon it’s clear that their prisoner could bring down everything they once believed was worth dying for—and everything they now have to live for…

The strongest aspect of this book is its protagonists, who are classic foils to each other. Kel-Paten is collected, vulnerable, and self-sacrificing, a combination that manages to win over Sass (and many readers). Sinclair explores his cybernetics and how they affect his interactions with others in a sympathetic manner. Kel-Paten cannot admit how he feels apart or what he wants for himself to anybody else, and his struggles manifest in interesting ways. Sass has fewer hangups: she came to her position via her ability to think outside the box. Her cleverness and guile won't let their partnership during the mission be boring.

Games of Command is a long and twisty read featuring a compelling romance, political and metaphysical mysteries, and psychic teleporting cats. Any one of these would have sold the story to me, but having all three puts this book on my keeper list.

Author site:

Recommendation by Lee Koven.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why Sci-Fi Romance?

by Cathryn Cade

When people find out I’m an author, they ask what kind of stories I create.

When I say Sci Fi Romance, I receive a certain look. The listener blinks, then tips their head to one side and views me with narrowed eyes, like an art patron viewing a modern art piece and trying to figure out what the heck it’s supposed to mean.

They’re seeing a casual-classically dressed woman of a certain age with the lines of a happy outdoor life on her face and minimal jewelry, no tattoos, living in North Idaho with a DH, golden retriever, and SUV … and they’re struggling for context.

I used to attempt to explain the wonders of SFR, the incredible depth and breadth of the genre, and the many uber-talented writers. But anymore, I usually just stick with the short answer: Cowboys!

My SFR began with the ‘horse operas’ I watched as a young child, so called because the movie cowboys and gals would break into song as they rode along on their horses. In the 60’s and into the early 70’s, westerns ruled American TV.

My dad was a cowboy, mom was a cowgirl, and so were their parents. My great-grand-parents were settlers in Montana who built themselves a huge ranch and a town around it. Since these were my heroes and heroines, it seemed only natural to me that the history of the US West comprised so many of the popular TV shows.

Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Big Valley, Death Valley Days, Rin Tin Tin, The Rifleman, The Real McCoys … and the list went on. And yes, now we realize the cultural stereotypes rampant in historical productions of those days, but it was fabulous stuff for a kid to dream on.

The American West is no longer the wide-open frontier it was then, and we as Americans have realized the native cultures were treated extremely badly by many settlers (happy to say Gr-Grandad & Gr-mom were not among them) and by the early military. Such is the history of human civilization, sadly. But modern day North Americans now work together to right wrongs and celebrate native cultures, so although we now view our past through a clearer perspective, we can still enjoy the ‘High, Wide and Handsome’ possibilities of the frontier days.

And now we have a new frontier to dream in … space. My Cade-iverse is as wide and deep as my imagination, peopled by beings as wild as the cowboys, cowgirls and native tribes of my family’s past … okay, wilder—my beings have extra powers. But they all spring from the Old West.

Tyger and Dragolin shifters? Coyote, Raven and Fox are all Native American tales.

Dealing with space critters? Mountain lions + wild mustangs = catamount ponies.

Scary humanoid aliens such as Gorglons and Ingoes? Check out Pacific NorthWest Native American story-telling masks, brrr!

The LodeStar Corporation? Hudson Bay Fur Traders, the big cattle companies, the railroads

Planetary exploration with the TerraCon Expedition ? Lewis & Clark & Sacajawea

The InterGalactic Space Forces? The US Cavalry

Cyborgs? … okay, that one I can’t correlate. Cyborgs are just plain fun, so look for them in my next SFR!

Thanks for riding along with me. Join me in the Cade-iverse for some rollicking space opera … and you just may recognize a favorite historical character or two.

Start with LodeStar Series #1, STARK PLEASURE; the Space Magnate’s Mistress. FREE on all sales outlets!

Can she survive the perils of the galaxy on her wits … or will she have to use her body?

Kiri te Nawa will do anything to escape the perilous streets of New Seattle, Earth II and find the treasure for which she searches the galaxy, even become the mistress of space magnate Logan Stark. But is he her savior, or simply the man who wants to own her?

Just when she is ready to trust her heart to this powerful, magnetic man, she's kidnapped and thrown into her worst nightmare. Will he search for her, or believe she's betrayed him with an old lover?

Set in the futuristic galaxy of The Orion Series.

I’ll see you there!

Cathryn Cade

Best-selling author of sci fi romance

RT 4.5 Stars and Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK

… it’s hot in space, red hot!

And sign up for My Newsletter for a chance to win goodies!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time and Again... why time travel intrigues us

It's fitting that the day CONVERGENCE POINT released noted physicist Dr. Michio Kaku shared a video about déjà vu and the multiverse. He talks about multiverses being in phase... convergence points of time. Even science can't let go of the theory that there could be more than one reality, more than one iteration of time.

And, if there are other timelines, wouldn't the most natural thing in the world be the quest to cross between them?

Human beings are explorers. We can't look at a sea without wanting cross it. We can't see a star and not reach for it. It's not in our genes to sit still.

Part of this quest for time travel is driven by doubt. We want to believe we did the right thing, made the best choice, and here is the multiverse whispering seductively, "Come and see what would have happened if..."

We've hundreds of books, and dozens of movies all focused on this idea. WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU MADE A DIFFERENT CHOICE?

Time travel is terrifying for the exactly the same reason. What if a different choice would have been better? Sometimes we just want to pretend that our choices are meaningless - everything is fate - because it means we aren't responsible for what happened.

We were innocent bystanders. Flotsam in the stream of time. Victims of circumstance... It's a thought process that makes dealing with choices so much easier.

That's why we can't stop poking at the idea. We all want to know what would happen IF. We all want that sneak peek, or a chance to right a wrong, or the chance to "make everything right" even though no one can agree on what RIGHT is.

In CONVERGENCE POINT I play with the idea of three intersecting timelines that cross, warping each other and change their futures in the process. The main character has to struggle with what to do when she finds a killer who has traveled back in time to before he makes his first kill.

What would you do? 

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation