Tuesday, December 12, 2017

When Series Collide @CynthiaSax

by Cynthia Sax



Dark Warlord, the sexy SciFi Romance story I contributed to the Alien Alphas box set, spans two series – the Dark Thoughts series and the Barbarian Warlord series (to be expanded and re-released in 2018). Since the Dark Thoughts series is a spinoff of the Cyborg series, I guess you can say it involves that third series also.

Dark Warlord is a standalone story. You don’t need to read the Dark Thoughts series to enjoy it. But if you have read that series, there is a returning character you’ll likely enjoy seeing again. You’ll also get some of the casual ‘throw-away’ references in the story.

As a reader, I LOVE when two series written by the same favorite writer collide. I find out more about both worlds. I witness how the characters from the two series interact. Sometimes we get updates on favorite characters from previous stories. It gives even more fullness to the setting and storylines in both series.

In SciFi Romance, it makes sense to me that multiple series would overlap. All of the characters in my current series are living in the same wonderful universe at the same time. The Chameles from the Barbarian Warlord series are super skilled alien warriors. It is logical that the Humanoid Alliance from the Dark Thoughts series would take the genetic makeup for a Chamele warrior and genetically enhance it, making that warrior even deadlier.

From a writing point of view, crafting overlapping series is more difficult in some ways and easier in others. We have to keep track of where each series fits in the larger universe, be conscious of how actions in one series might affect other series. That can be challenging. On the other hand, when we write a scene like the Cantina scene in Star Wars, we already have a host of alien species to casually feature. I know how a Chamele (one of my alien species) looks and tends to behave because I’ve written an entire series about them. That’s an easier scene to write.

And it means more to me as a reader. If I know, for example, that two species don’t get along and are in the same closed space, I anticipate that a fight will break out. I’m waiting for it and I get a thrill when it happens.

What are two series (by any writer) you would like to see collide?  

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Alien Alphas: Twenty-Three Naughty Sci-Fi Romance Novellas

Fierce warriors. Savage barbarians. Powerful warlords.
All ready to claim their mates.

Alien Alphas is a collection of panty-melting sci-fi romances featuring dominant alien heroes, penned by New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors. This decadently naughty box set includes twenty-three ALL-NEW, stand-alone novellas full of hot alien alpha males, breathless passion, and reluctant surrender. Take an exhilarating trip beyond the stars with this limited time only bundle that’s sure to leave you turning the pages late into the night.

Featured authors: Cari Silverwood, Cynthia Sax, Renee Rose, Lee Savino, Addison Cain, Kallista Dane, Maren Smith, Ava Sinclair, Sue Lyndon, Emily Tilton, Ashe Barker, Korey Mae Johnson, Grace Goodwin, Ivy Barrett, Jane Henry, Jaye Peaches, Katie Douglas, Lili Zander, Loki Renard, Maria Monroe, Megan Michaels, Myra Danvers, Sara Fields, and Sophie Kisker

Publisher’s Note: The stories featured in this collection involve MF and MFM pairings. They include spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this box set.

Buy Links:







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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 www.CynthiaSax.com



Facebook:  facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter:  @CynthiaSax


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Watching For Trends To Write To Market by @vscotttheauthor


by Veronica Scott

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to look into the future and know what the hot trends were going to be in the scifi romance field? Especially if you were trying to write to market?

I do a New Releases report every week on my blog, and have been doing it for well over a year now, and through that lens I can kind of see the trends as they develop, if not in advance.  Because of the sheer volume of new releases I look at in three genres every week – SFR, PNR and FantasyR – and the many sources I use (including authors sending me information) I do get a feel for what may be ‘hot’ soon. Reverse harem stories for one. I’ve been seeing a gradual increase in the number of them across all genres and in fact just interviewed some RH authors for my USA Today Happy Ever After platform. Definitely a growing favorite with a lot of readers.

Dragon shifters – I saw that one coming and sure enough, every week I have more and more dragon-themed stories. There are certain authors I watch (my little trade secret) and I have no idea how they figure it out, but if one of them suddenly starts releasing novels with a purple penguin shifter hero (to be ridiculous), I’ll know that’s the next hot place to be if you’re trying to write to market. In all honesty, I think the dragon craze may have been helped by the popularity of the character Daenarys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons in the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series. Always a good idea to pay heed to what’s being presented and getting a lot of buzz in the movies and on TV.

Time travel is on a slight uptick…hello, ‘Outlander’….and probably also due to many really well done historical programs which are piquing reader interest in past times.

I’m seeing a new trend right now, of using the standard tropes from category romance – secret babies, billionaires, stepbrothers, fake fiancées and on and on – and just moving them bodily over to the SFR and PNR genres. And putting all those key words right into the title!

I hear whispers that cozy SFR will be next and when you figure that formula out, let me know because I want to write something that can have one of those adorable cozy covers! I do think the Ilona Andrews Innkeeper series could almost fall into this category. It’ll be interesting to see how ‘cozy’ gets redefined for scifi romance if it happens.

And I’m betting on the continued popularity of fairy tales and the whole “marry a prince” trope, thanks to Harry and Meghan.

I don’t write to market, as it happens. I write what I write – that’s what my Muse presents to me to put on the paper (or into the computer) and what I enjoy reading the most as well, so I’m only an observer of these specific trends. The nice thing about being independently published is that if I did want to try to jump on a hot trend, I have the flexibility to do so and get a properly edited book out in 4-6 weeks, versus the much longer timetable at a trad pub house. And once established, a popular subgenre like cyborg romances tend to remain favorites with readers for a long time and as they evolve, creative authors think of new twists and fun developments to keep the stories fresh.

What trend do you see coming? Or wish would take off with readers?

There was fortune telling of a different sort in my most recent scifi romance, The Fated Stars, with my hero Samell being an alien empath held captive and forced to deliver fake fortunes while he was actually spying. Here’s a short excerpt from the book where Samell and Larissa, my kickass space mercenary heroine, are discussing what he does. The conversation is taking place mind to mind, in a dream. Samell is speaking

“The most venerated legends of my race are about warriors and priestesses, and the noble deeds they accomplished together. Rarely, if ever, do the stories feature a priest and a female warrior, although we’ve had many famous women fighters in our history. You intrigued me, Larissa Channer, on many levels.”

“You can cut the flattery—it doesn’t work on me. Better men than you have tried.”

He surveyed her from head to toe with open admiration. “Their loss.”

“I’m gonna wake myself up in a minute, if you continue this chatter. Or touch me again without my permission, even in a dream.” She took a deep breath because despite her stern warning, she was craving his touch and wanted to run her hands freely over his body. Her attraction to him was scary in intensity, so unlike her. “Stick to the facts.”

“As you prefer. I told you the truth—I’m a prisoner and Kinterow forces me to do his bidding. I extract information from certain minds, as the controller commands. I deliver meaningless ‘fortunes’ to anyone who enters the tent, based on what my power to read emotions tells me the person most wants to hear.”

“So you’re a telepathic empath.”

“You can categorize my gifts from Thuun as you wish.”

“Why did you lie to the sheriff? Why didn’t you take the chance I gave you?” She couldn’t keep the bitterness out of her tone. “You let me take big risks for nothing.”

“I’m one of many kidnapped from my world. Kinterow threatened the lives of the others if I said anything but what he commanded to the sheriff. He says he holds many Tulavarran imprisoned.”

“Did you ever consider he could be lying?”

Samell leaned closer. “He also threatened to have you killed in the prison if I disobeyed.”

She snorted. “I’d like to have seen him try.”



The story:

Larissa Channer, a tough no-nonsense mercenary in the Sectors, is celebrating success on her last job and a big bonus, with no slightest thought of taking on another assignment anytime soon. Out for a night of carousing with her friends at a third rate carnival on a backwater planet, she walks into the tent of a fake fortune teller and finds herself confronting the most intriguing man she’s ever seen. But something’s wrong, ominous currents lie beneath the surface of their encounter and Larissa can’t leave well enough alone.

Samell, a powerful, high born empathic priest, has been kidnapped from his own primitive planet along with a number of his people, and sold to the shady operator of an interstellar carnival. Kept enslaved, pretending to be a fortune teller while forced by his captor to steal information from the minds of all who come before him, Samell despairs of every breaking free.

Until Larissa walks into his tent and he recognizes the warrior who might mean the difference between life and death.

The situation becomes dire when Larissa and Samell come to the attention of the Shemdylann pirates who kidnapped him in the first place and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the empathic alien noble, and derail the Mawreg plot against the Sectors? And will the soldier end up with her prince when all’s said and done?

Buy Links:  Amazon     Kobo     B&N     iBooks     Google




USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog

 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

 She was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”




Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When Researching Cloned Cybernetic Cats by @Vivien_Jackson



by Vivien Jackson

It’s kind of  secret and please don’t tell the dogs, but…I’m a cat person. I grew up with cats—we always had at least one cat in our family, and for many years a gray domestic shorthair named Rascal was the most reliable alarm clock in the house. Every morning at 5am, she would sit on somebody’s neck until they couldn’t breathe and were forced to wake up.

With all this cat experience and know-how stored up, it’s kind of weird that recently I found myself both felineless and urgently in need of a cat.

For research purposes, right.

One key character in my book Perfect Gravity is a cloned, cybernetically altered, talking cat named Yoink. And no matter how small they are or how innately judgmental or pushy, the tiny Chihuahua dogs currently living in my fuzzy blanket weren’t going to give me the research nuggets I needed.



The search for a feline subject matter expert yielded two candidates: Oreokitty and General Leia. Oreokitty is my mother-in-law’s cat, and for a few months she came to live with me (the cat, not my mother-in-law), so I could observe her day-to-day and learn all things cat. However, it quickly became obvious that Oreokitty not a right cat. In fact, she was once a rat, or rather, she was a feral kitten who lived underneath the house and who got barked at by dogs so often that my mother-in-law at first thought she was a rodent infestation. Once MIL realized the infestation was instead black and white and adorable, Oreokitty became a legit part of the family. Nowadays, she’s a girl who’s seen hard times and is persistently appreciative of the fact that she’s living the good life. Like, really appreciative. You can feed her anything and she will love you forever. She starts purring when a human so much as enters a room. She seeks head rubs from my cell phone. 



I needed Yoink to be somewhat less accommodating, so I hit up my critique partner for advice from her cat, General Leia, who is much closer to the character I needed for my story. General Leia is also a rescue kitty and so has some personality quirks, but it is from patient observation of her that Yoink developed a pushy demand for belly rubs and the ability to judge you constantly because you are clearly failing. At everything. She is judging you right now. And she is IN CHARGE.



To fill in the blanks left by these two real-life kitties, I did some casual online feline research as well. My favorite site for this kind of browsing is a thing called Quora. Kind of like Reddit in structure, it’s a web site where someone asks a question and then people of varying levels of expertise attempt to answer. From Quora, I learned these gems of cat behavior:



  • If your cat persistently leads you to the kitchen and meows even though the food and water bowls are full, she probably wants you to stand there and watch her eat. Quora expert Ben Wu (owner of three cats) says his parents call this phenomenon, loosely translated, “accompanying the princess while she eats.”

  • Cats can not only be innately intelligent and empathetic but can also teach themselves a lot through observation and mimicry. Quora expert Jaimes Roe says his cat Stiles “hugs us, and he pets me when I’m not feeling well. He is always watching us to figure out how to do things like get into the cabinets or turn on the faucet.”
  •  Cats live in the moment, so they don’t spend a lot of energy on missing you when you leave. After a brief re-integration period, a cat will return to a previous relationship routine even if you’ve been gone a long time. Even a really long time. (In my character Yoink’s case, ten years and three clonings have occurred since she last saw her favorite human, but it takes her only seconds to realize that Angela, in fact, her human.)

I also learned why cats like boxes (conservation of heat and protection on all sides while they sleep), why they like to sit on computers (heat again, plus there’s usually something interesting to look at, not to mention a human to annoy/laze near), and why Rascal woke us all up at stupid o’clock every morning (she was evil and … no, more likely she was hungry and we let her rule the house).

Also (not at Quora this time) I read about crazysauce CIA experiments to create Cold War-era cybernetic spy kitties. Not even kidding.

In the end, I have to imagine that Yoink, despite her quirks, isn’t the weirdest cat in the history of people being owned by cats. But she sure was fun to write and research.

 

Vivien Jackson writes fantastical, futuristic, down-home salacious kissery. A devoted Whovian Browncoat Sindarin Jedi gamer, she has a degree in English, which just means she's read gobs of stuff in that language. Her debut science-fiction romance, Wanted and Wired, was selected as an Amazon Best Romance of 2017. The follow-up, Perfect Gravity, was a Amazon Best Book of the Month. With her similarly geeky partner, children, and hairy little pets, Viv lives in Austin, Texas, and tweets a lot.






Monday, November 6, 2017

Veterans Day: Last Hurrah for Hero Dogs!

The authors of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 would like to sincerely thank all the wonderful SFR Brigade members and readers for supporting this unique SFR collection and helping the book become a USA TODAY bestseller! It has now received over 100 glowing reviews on Amazon.

But this blog isn't focused on the success of the anthology. November 11th is Veterans Day, and that's really what this post is all about. Our veterans. Those who served.

Many of the authors of Pets in Space 2 have close ties to military vets or are veterans themselves. Each will be posting this week about their involvement or connection with the military, and why this cause is so important to them. This moving, must-read tribute by Pauline Baird Jones, one of the authors and organizers, to her veteran father is just one of the heartfelt statements of why we feel compelled to support our veterans.


To honor our vets, we're donating 10% of the profits from all preorders and sales through Veterans Day to Hero Dogs. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs for US Veterans to make a difference in their lives. If you'd like to know more about what they do, please watch this video about their program narrated by veterans and staff.





This is our Last Hurrah for Hero Dogs!

We're in the final window for our Hero Dogs donation period. Last year we were able to donate over $2,000 to the organization, and this year we hope to do even more for them...but we aren't there yet. We need your help to reach our goal.

If you haven't yet purchased a copy of this collection, please consider doing so before November 11th. For the price of a cup of coffee you can help change veteran's lives.

If you've bought a copy of the anthology, thank you so much! You've already done something wonderful for this cause and we hope you loved all the stories from the twelve best selling and award winning science fiction romance authors as a bonus.

Know someone who'd also love to read it? Consider gifting a copy of the book via Amazon's gifting feature. Just look for the "Give as a Gift" button on the right side of the sales page.

An e-book or print copy could also make someone a great holiday gift this year!

Here's the universal link to find it on the bookseller site of your choice:


In closing, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank the entire science fiction romance community for helping us to help veterans. And hip, hip, hurrah for Hero Dogs!

More on Veterans, Authors and Pets:

Monday - Authors Susan Grant, Michelle Howard and Sabine Priestley (in a video) explain their connection to the military or why they signed up for Pets in Space 2. Click here.




Thursday, November 2, 2017

SFRB Recommends 77: Willing Skin by Ella Drake

Sylla Viola has never put down roots. When she's forced to abandon her life, she leaves everything behind. Nothing to miss. Nothing to regret. Not even the loss of her body. Using a DNA mod that changes her into a male half-human Scoriah, she's poised to get away from the hunter on her trail. Until she runs into the one man who can see through her disguise. 

Docked at Station Viesel, Echtei Bronson helps a lost male Scoriah. One minute in his company threatens Echtei's control. One glimpse of the woman inside and he can't keep his hands off. One heated touch and he gives in to the need to wreak havoc on anyone who touches Sylla--a woman who could never stay with a man forever tied to family and home. 

But even Echtei can't defeat what's chasing Sylla--a ruthless cyborg hunter who has shown that a Scoriah is no match for him. Echtei won’t give Sylla up without a fight. It's face the impossible or die trying, even if survival means war. 


Willing Skin asks some excellent questions about desire and bodies. The tech that Sylla uses makes her need to adjust to a body she wasn't born with. In many romantic commitments, we attest that we will love a person even though they will change through the years. In Sylla's case, she changes bodies fast. Luckily, Echthei wants her with whatever body she's got, even if she appears male to him.

I also enjoyed the family dynamics in this book. The reader gets to know Echthei's clutch-mates and understand the special not-quite-human bonds that. I hadn't read any previous books in the series, but the characters who were the heroes of other stories were vivid enough that I'll have to go back and read from the start. Bonus: hot and chilling cyborg whose workings made me say both "ooooh" and "ewwww."

 Book page- Willing Skin (with buy links and excerpt)


This recommendation by Lee Koven.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Launch Day - Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

We have Lift Off!

It's October 10th and that means the Pets are Back! And we invite you to join our mission! Read on.

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

Twelve New York Times, USA TODAY, award-winning and SFR Brigade authors have all joined forces:
  • S.E. Smith
  • M.K. Eidem
  • Susan Grant
  • Michelle Howard
  • Cara Bristol
  • Veronica Scott
  • Pauline Baird Jones
  • Laurie A. Green
  • Sabine Priestley
  • Jessica E. Subject
  • Carol Van Natta
  • Alexis Glynn Latner
We're on a mission to help out Hero-Dogs, a charity that supports our veterans, and to introduce more readers to science fiction romance!

10% of all preorders and the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.




This massive collection packs a punch for readers, featuring twelve original, never before released science fiction romance *plus pets* novellas, many of them in favorite SFR series.

PEARL’S DRAGON
A Novella in the Dragon Lords of Valdier Series
By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
An old dragon warrior unexpectedly finds love with a human mate who is as creative and clever as she is dangerous - a perfect combination when poachers attack.

A GRIM PET
A Novella in the Tornian Series
By M.K. Eidem (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
Grim’s two young daughters discover an injured raptor and their love, faith, and kindness creates far-reaching consequences no one expects.

THE PRINCE, THE PILOT, AND THE PUPPY
(“Star Puppy”)
A Novella in The Star Series
By Susan Grant (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling, and RITA Award Winning Author)
A talented starfighter pilot and a handsome prince rescue a starving puppy only to discover they are the ones that need saving.

WIRED FOR LOVE
By Michelle Howard
When a young woman is reluctantly drawn into a scarred soldier's past, they soon find themselves working against an enemy with an old grudge.

RESCUED BY THE CYBORG
A Novella in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance Series
By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
A hostage waits for death at the hands of predatory aliens when a cyborg agent disobeys orders.

STAR CRUISE: SONGBIRD
A Novella in The Sectors SF Romance Series
By Veronica Scott
A security officer aboard a spaceship finds his job complicated by his attraction to the interstellar singer he is assigned to protect and the bird he has inherited.

TIME TRAP
A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones
An unusual birthday gift creates more trouble than a USAF Engineer expects when he finds a time traveling rebel and her parrot partner in his arms.

COURTING DISASTER: STARDOG 2
A Novella in the Inherited Stars Series
By Laurie A. Green
A commander of a spaceship faces the toughest decision of his life when he vows to protect the woman and her StarDog that he is escorting through a dangerous section of space.

SENSATE
A Novella in the Alien Attachments Series
By Sabine Priestley
A scientist must decide if she can trust the man who once betrayed her if she is to help his sentient com unit gain a physical form.

GIB AND THE TIBBAR
A Novella in the Galactic Defenders Series
By Jessica E. Subject
A young woman fights to come to terms with her place in the universe with a little help from the sexy alien warrior befriended by her furry pet.

PET TRADE
A Novella in the Central Galactic Concordance Series
By Carol Van Natta
An elite forces veteran crash lands on a frontier planet with a cargo full of designer pets and must seek the help of a talented, but damaged veterinarian to help him save them.

MASCOT
A Novella in the Aeon's Legacy Series
By Alexis Glynn Latner
A space station manager and an interstellar auditor must work through their antagonism and attraction to each other while the station comes under attack. Then the station mascot enters the fray!

If you're already a fan of one or more of these series, this is your chance to catch up on the latest release. But if you're not, each story works as a stand-alone romantic adventure.

The original Pets in Space collection (no longer available) was wildly popular with readers and named one of the "Best Books of 2015: E-Originals Fiction" by LibraryJournal.com as well as winning two SFR Galaxy Awards.

This second volume promises to be even better, and offers three more stories than the original. The print version is a whopping 826 pages or almost 289,000 words!

Get your copy today at any of these vendors:

 
 

 
Plus Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 is also being offered in a PRINT VERSION!

Early reviews are looking fantastic!



The first thirty days after launch are critical to mission success!

Want to know how you can assist with the mission to get the word out to help Hero Dogs and introduce more readers to science fiction romance?

If you've already purchased your copy, just click on one of the share buttons below this post to send a transmission to readers on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or a number of other social media universes. Or you can also click the title of this blog and copy the link to your social media sites.

We thank you for joining our task force.

The Authors of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2


Thursday, September 28, 2017

SFRB Recommends 76: Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott

Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer's life. From "Getting Started,' with "Short Assignments," through "Shitty First Drafts," "Character," "Plot," "Dialogue." all the way from "False Starts" to "How Do You Know When You're Done?" Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses "Writers Block," "Writing Groups," and "Publication."
If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this book is for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eyes open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.

This book doesn't shy away from the frustration and drudgery that's part of the writing craft. It's as if you have a writer friend to bellyache and sympathize with who's got a twisted sense of humor. She'll talk you through the hard parts, when you just want to burn everything and hide in a corner.

Lamott says it's okay to be neurotic about your writing, it's okay to despair over setbacks. These happen and are normal. The advice is grounded and sometimes harsh, so may not be for everyone. I disagree with a bunch of the metaphors she makes later in the book, but I still laughed and felt reassured.

The core of the advice, though, is about how to crank out the first draft: just write it and don't worry that it's awful. This has since been popularized by Nanowrimo (Bird by Bird was published 1995). The sections on publishing are out of date, so are more interesting as a historical note.

This recommendation by Lee Koven.

Monday, August 21, 2017

SFRB Recommends 75: Relaunch Mission by Robyn Bachar #sfr

Living mission to mission on the fringes of civilized space, Captain Lindana Nyota has managed to keep her crew paid and her ship in one piece. Barely. The privateer's life of stealing Soviet supplies for the Alliance is taking its toll on everyone. Down a crew member, she now has to take on a new intel officer and hope it's someone she can trust. 

Lieutenant Gabriel Steele knew Lindy wasn't expecting him to walk out of the air lock and back into her life, but he didn't think he'd get his nose broken. As an intelligence agent for the Alliance, Gabriel has spent his career in deep cover, his sense of self crushed under layers of deceit—starting with the lies he had to tell Lindy years ago when he left her. A fresh start is all he wants, but the Alliance and his secret orders have already jeopardized that. 

When an infamous pirate and friend of Lindy and her crew is reported alive and in possession of knowledge of a powerful Soviet weapon, finding her before the enemy does is paramount. But Gabriel can't do it without regaining Lindy's trust—and hopefully rekindling what he once sacrificed in the name of duty.


Gabriel and Lindy get a second chance at love, although he has some proving to do before she'll accept it. He's got some groveling to do, and his feelings for Lindy are complicated by his current mission and several revelations about the hidden agendas of both of their bosses.

Factional politics play a big role in the story. The alternate history and future presented are well articulated and though-provoking. In this universe, the Cold War didn't end, and the space race only ramped up. Some of the technology showcases Soviet aesthetics: I was reminded of the Soviet specimens in the Museum of Flight.

Bachar keeps raising the stakes for our heroes, and the tension is punctuated and amplified by action scenes that flow well: the fights are meaty and intense. The crew of the Mombasa is fully fleshed out, with vivid characters: the rivalry between engineering and the captain's brother always entertains!

Book page: Robyn Bachar - Books

This recommendation by Lee Koven.


SFR Brigade Bases of Operation