Monday, March 2, 2015

SAYING GOODBYE TO A GREAT FRIEND OF SF/R

On Friday, the Science Fiction community lost a great friend and cultural icon in the passing of Leonard Nimoy, best known to a legion of fans as Spock of Star Trek. An accomplished actor, director, photographer and poet, he achieved great fame for his portrayal of the stoic, logical, half-Vulcan character he played, a supporting role that became a giant.

As one of so many SFR authors who was inspired at a very early age by the galaxy galloping Star Trek, I felt a deeply personal loss at his passing. The tributes on the internet have been many and profound, but I'd like to share just a few that echo my thoughts or share some special tribute.









Goodbye, Leonard Nimoy. May your soul boldly go to the great beyond. You will be very missed. 

INHERIT THE STARS: I'M A SERIALIZED NOVEL, JIM, NOT A TRILOGY

We had a successful launch for INHERIT THE STARS, an award-winning Science Fiction Romance novel set 1,500 years in the future. This is my debut novel, though a novelette in the same series, FAREWELL ANDROMEDA, was released in January.

But I'd like to take a moment to clear up some confusion. INHERIT THE STARS is not a trilogy, it's a serialized novel--a novel that comes in three parts. (Just to throw even more confusion into the mix, it will be followed by an honest-to-goodness trilogy later in the series. Gah!)

The reason behind the novel being released in this way is that INHERIT THE STARS weighs in at over 113,000 words, and reading a document that large on a Kindle device is something few e-readers enjoy (says the Kindler who slogged through a 400K+ The Last Hour of Gann). By breaking the story down into three-to-six hour segments, and ending the first two parts on a pivotal cliffhanger for both the plot and the emotional journey of the characters, it makes for a more exciting and enjoyable reading experience.

But this also means the three parts are not standalone, and must be read in order to get the chronological action of the story.

Here's the cover, blurb and more information on each of the parts:



PART I: FLIGHT
To escape the merciless Ithian Alliance, Sair, a fugitive slave, makes a desperate deal with Drea Mennelsohn, captain of the prototype ship, Specter. But putting his life in the hands of a woman as mysterious as she is beguiling could turn out to be the biggest mistake of his life, especially when the price on his head begins to escalate. FLIGHT ends on a cliffhanger in both the action and emotional journey for the characters. Click to view INHERIT THE STARS PART I: FLIGHT
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PART II: THE NETWORK
The daring captain seems to want far more from Sair than just payment for his passage. Though neither can deny the sizzling chemistry and growing bond between them, Sair must soon make an agonizing decision: maintain his own longed-for freedom or become a helpless pawn in an intergalactic coup against a ruthless superpower. THE NETWORK is the longest of the three parts and also ends on a cliffhanger--a decidedly "Oh no!" moment and a major barrier to the H&H getting their HEA. Click to view INHERIT THE STARS PART II: THE NETWORK
________________________________________________


PART III: SACRIFICE
As the truth behind Sair’s place in the galaxy and Drea’s unique existence are revealed, it becomes clear that they are vital to the success of the coup. But their part in ending the Ithian Alliance may come at a terrible price for Sair: the loss of the remarkable woman he has fallen in love with-and their chance to inherit the stars. SACRIFICE is the end of the novel, but it doesn't come without a heart-pounding climax and a dark twist or two. Click to view INHERIT THE STARS PART III: SACRIFICE
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WHAT ELSE IS DIFFERENT ABOUT INHERIT THE STARS?

The story is told entirely from the hero's POV, as highlighted in the earlier blog SFR with a Twist. Because the reader is only seeing the universe through Sair's eyes, there are some real surprises in store!

The heat level is "Steamy" or mid-point between "Sweet" and "Erotica." The portal doesn't get shut on the bedroom scenes. The scenes are detailed but not explicit or "spicy"(frank) language.

The story has ties--some obvious and some much more subtle--to FAREWELL ANDROMEDA

The novelette takes place some 200 years (called “calendars” in this universe) later and carries hints about what happened in the two centuries separating the stories.

INHERIT THE STARS will also be released later in 2015 as a complete print novel.

HAPPENINGS

Tonight (March 2nd) from 8:00 - 10:00 PM Eastern Time,  author Christie Meierz will host a Facebook Release Party for her SFR novel, THE FALL! You're all invited.

I'll be participating beginning at 9:30 PM, with a giveaway as part of my time slot. The Release Party includes some other great authors like Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, Veronica Scott, Heather Massey, and Corrina Lawson, all with more fun and prizes. You can tune in by clicking this link:


PING PONG

Congratulations to Donna, who released Unchained Memory on Tuesday. I hope she'll be posting some photos of her lovely launch party later this week.

I'd say we had a pretty successful Fabulous February Triple Launch, which also featured Sharon's February 2 release of Echo 8!

In the midst of all this excitement, our blog reached 250,000 hits!

It's been fun times here on Spacefreighters Lounge!

Have a great week.

~~ * ~~



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TODAY'S THE DAY! UNCHAINED MEMORY LAUNCHES



You’ve read about the heroine, Asia Burdette.  You’ve met the hero, Ethan Roberts.  What more can I tell you?  It’s time to read the book and now you can. 


Unchained Memory launches today!


Get the book Dock Five series author Linnea Sinclair calls " . . . an exciting read full of unexpected twists and turns . . ." at Amazon.com or BN.com.

And don't forget you have a chance to win a copy of the ebook and a signed cover card for FREE simply by commenting on last Friday's post. (See my February 20 post for details.)

 
Where am I this week?

I'm all over the galaxy this week talking about Unchained Memory, and folks have been kind enough to read the book and talk about it for me, too. Check out these reviews and interviews around the ''Net this week and stop in to give them some Spacefreighter love!

      Feb 23—SciFiBloggers.com—Review by Carly Fjeld

Feb 23—Smart Girls Love SciFi—Mini-interview by Charlee Allden

       Feb 24—The Galaxy Express—Feature  interview by Heather Massey (TGE will continue    the fun tomorrow with a giveaway of THREE FREE ebook copies of Unchained Memory for lucky commenters!) 

       Feb 25—Science Fiction Romance Brigade Blog—Guest posting on the theme of “Hearth and Home SFR” 

      Feb 25—Pauline Baird Jones’ blog (Life Happens. A Lot. The Perils of Pauline)—Guest post on  “Why I Wrote Unchained Memory”

      Feb 26--SF Signal blog--Special Roundtable on the Rise of SFR with Laurie A. Green and Sharon Lynn Fisher

 
 
    

Cheers, Donna



Monday, February 23, 2015

250,000 Hits!

Spacefreighters Lounge is celebrating a milestone in the midst of our Fabulous February Triple Launch:



Oh yes, we've hit another benchmark. A quarter of a million hits! Woohoo! *fist pump*

And, of course, we couldn't have done it without YOU.

Here's a big thank you to all our readers for following along on our authorly journey adventures, Mission Success posts and blogs about writing, Science Fiction Romance and books. We appreciate you all!

After Sharon's launch of Echo 8 on February 2nd and Laurie's debut novel launch for Inherit the Stars Part I yesterday, we're still looking forward to Donna's debut novel launch of Unchained Memory tomorrow!

We're so very proud to be introducing these three new novels to the growing Science Fiction Romance genre community for 2015. 

The journey continues. Viva la SFR!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

INHERIT THE STARS Launch Day!

Credit: Boeing
And we have lift-off of a brand new SFR series!

Today marks the launch of Part I of INHERIT THE STARS--subtitled FLIGHT--an award-winning novel which was also a former finalist in the RWA Golden Heart Awards(C) under the title P2PC. This opening novel of The Inherited Stars series is being offered in three parts. INHERIT THE STARS PART I: FLIGHT is on sale at a special price of .99!

To be clear, it's not the first book in the series. That honor goes to FAREWELL ANDROMEDA, a novelette of approximately 17,000 words that launched last month. (FAREWELL ANDROMEDA takes place 200 years in the future of INHERIT THE STARS, but there are several ties, mentions and clues about what happened in those centuries between the two stories.)

But wait, what about INHERIT THE STARS PARTS II and III, you ask. How long will I have to wait to read the fast-paced middle and epic conclusion to this novel?

The answer is: not long at all! INHERIT THE STARS PART II: THE NETWORK and INHERIT THE STARS PART III: SACRIFICE will be released in one week, and meanwhile both are available for pre-order on Amazon. (Just click the titles to perform a recon mission.)

So let me answer a few burning questions about INHERIT THE STARS that you might ask as a reader.

Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR

QUESTION #1: OK, so, will I like INHERIT THE STARS?

ANSWER: That really all depends. This story takes some risks and pushes the envelope a bit on a "typical" Romance or SFR. Though the overall feel is an adventurous romance--(cue ominous music: da-da-daaaaaa!)--there is a dark side.

To decide if this novel might be your kind of read, check off the boxes on this Readers' Profile to help you decide if INHERIT THE STARS should make the jump to your TBR pile.

A reader who might lurvvvv INHERIT THE STARS is a reader who:
  • Loves adventures set in space
  • Would enjoy major roll reversal between the hero/heroine
  • Likes shiny technology worked seamlessly into the action
  • Wants to try a story told solely from the male hero's POV
  • Isn't put off by or intolerant of experiencing the dark side of humanity
  • Is fascinated by characters with twisty, tragic backstories
  • Perks up their ears at the phrase "prototype"
  • Is engrossed by angsty "love vs. duty" choices
  • Wants a story with high stakes
  • Adores military influences
  • Cheers for the rebels
  • Eats up surprises
  • Buys into character relationships that go beyond the physical sense
  • Is a card-carrying believer that "Karma is a b*tch"
  • High-fives those who relentlessly champion a cause but still have a conscience


QUESTION #2: What are some of your favorite quotes from the story?

ANSWER: Ohh, gotta be careful here. Without listing any of the spoilery stuff, I'll give three examples:

"History is never made in the quiet or the dark, Duchess."

"Your father gave you an incredible gift...You inherited the stars."

He hadn't seen a child this age since he was a child.

QUESTION #3: Does the novel have any androids, robots or cyborgs?

ANSWER: Well, yes. But maybe not the type you're thinking. It has the future equivalents, but these entities don't fit in the typical box marked "androids, robots and cyborgs" (oh my).

QUESTION #4: When does the story take place?

ANSWER: Circa 3500 or about 1,500 years from now. There's not an exact reference because no one really keeps track of Earth-based time systems anymore. Their word for years is "calendars," which are standard blocks of time based on the solar year of a now forgotten planet. (Which would, of course, be Earth.)

QUESTION #5: Do all of the novels in the series take place in this time period?

ANSWER: No. And this question is a bit of a Pandora's Box of Spoilers so I'll try to keep a lid on letting too many out.

Surprisingly, (I like surprises) only the first and last novels take place in the circa 3500 era. The other four--a single and a trilogy--happen in present day to the near future. The series gives a new take on history and what is yet to come. The novels and various short stories, novellas and novelettes (like FAREWELL ANDROMEDA) will all work together to provide clues about the overarching tale of lost knowledge and discovery, but even moreso about the men and women who forge a future in the stars.

My heroes have always been astronauts. How about you?

AND THERE'S MORE...

If you've read this far, then something about this novel has grabbed your interest. That makes me happy, so I'm going to gift via Amazon a free copy of INHERIT THE STARS PART I: FLIGHT to a random commenter below who tells me which line or lines from the Readers Profile above fits them. That's it. Easy-peasy, right? We'll pick a winner next weekend.

And don't forget that co-blogger Donna S. Frelick is launching her debut novel, UNCHAINED MEMORY in just two days! Yes, we're having two debut novels achieve orbit the same week here at Spacefreighters Lounge, following Sharon Lynn Fisher's release of the much anticipated ECHO 8 on February 2nd. That's why we named this our FABULOUS FEBRUARY TRIPLE LAUNCH.

Be sure to stop in for Donna's big day on Tuesday!

~~~ * ~~~

Friday, February 20, 2015

GOOD ALIEN, BAD ALIEN: THE VILLAINS OF UNCHAINED MEMORY



There are two distinct camps when it comes to thinking about how aliens might relate to humans should creatures from another planet ever come calling.

Many people believe civilizations advanced enough to travel the stars will have outgrown greed, violence and the various other evils to which human society is prone. This we may call the “ET” camp. In this way of thinking, aliens would be benign visitors, here to help us leave behind our lesser selves and progress to higher things.  They would bring technology to overcome disease and hunger and energy scarcity. They would show us the way to the stars. Some of those optimistic sentiments must be driving SETI, the official search for extraterrestrial intelligence, which has lately caused controversy by actively sending out a query to the galaxy.

If you check around the Internet, you’ll find slightly wackier websites devoted to this way of thinking, with testimonials from everyday folks who swear they’ve interacted with these extraterrestrial beings.  It’s all good, they say.  When the Earth is ready, the aliens will reveal themselves to the world and a whole new era will begin.

To which the members of the second camp reply, “‘To Serve Man’ is the title of a cookbook!” * For the folks in this group—let’s call it the “Starship Troopers” camp—no good can come from interaction with a civilization much more technologically advanced than ours. Just look at what happened to the Native Americans, or the tribes of Africa, or, well, any indigenous people in the world when they encountered the technologically superior Europeans. According to these thinkers—Stephen Hawking, for example—technological achievement does not necessarily mean emotional maturity.  We’re just asking for enslavement/destruction/exploitation if we seek out contact with alien cultures.

Me, I tend to think, like everything else, there are probably good aliens and bad aliens. That’s the premise behind my Interstellar Rescue series. An empire of slave-trading aliens regularly exploits Earth by abducting humans. An interstellar organization of abolitionists, both human and alien, fights the evil Grays wherever and whenever it can. That basic premise provides one overarching bunch of bad guys—much like the Klingons and the Romulans are always the bad guys in STAR TREK—and opens up lots of possibilities for storylines.

In Unchained Memory, my debut science fiction suspense novel launching February 24, the slave-trading Minertsan Consortium is certainly the underlying cause of all my heroine’s troubles.  But Asia Burdette can’t remember seeing one of the familiar little big-eyed aliens everyone calls the Grays. They remain hidden throughout the novel, acting through agents or using mindwipe techniques to ensure docile slaves. 

And, as it turns out, Asia has a whole different set of problems once the Interstellar Council for Abolition and Rescue returns her to Earth. She’s the target of black ops kidnappers, men who have proven themselves willing to kill for what they want.  But what do they want?  And who sent them? Those questions are the central mystery of Unchained Memory. The answers supply a villain the heroine and her hero, Ethan Roberts, must overcome on their way to what we hope will be a happy ever after ending.

What, you thought I would tell you who that villain was? Nope!  No spoilers! Unchained Memory launches Tuesday, February 24 on Amazon.com.

*A reference to a classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode in which supposedly benign aliens land on Earth and entice humans to visit their lovely planet.  In a typical Serlingian twist at the end of the episode, as people file happily onto an alien ship, the lead character discovers that the book the aliens all carry, “To Serve Man”, is a cookbook.



TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK—WIN BIG!

So, which camp do you fall into—ET or Starship Trooper?  Think aliens would all be nice guys, or would they like to have us for dinner? Or, more seriously, do you support SETI efforts to reach out to the galaxy, or do you think it’s the dumbest thing ever to let aliens know we’re here?  Comment, giving us your thoughts, and we’ll put your name into a random drawing for a free Kindle copy of Unchained Memory! Included with your free gift will be a signed 5½” x 8 ½” cover card suitable for display! The winner will be announced in next Friday’s blog.
 
Cheers, Donna