Monday, February 28, 2011

Mission Success Inaugural Post!

Welcome to the kickoff of our Mission Success Writers Journal series.  We'll post once a week on our progress toward becoming successful authors, and share what we've learned with you.  You're invited to come along on our journey. 

Laurie's Journal

Actions we've taken as writers. Where are we? What are we doing?

We’re coming up rapidly on our blog’s 25,000th Hit Bash! We’d like to make this an epic event--translate that prizes and surprises!--so watch for upcoming announcements.

I was pretty much being left in the solar dust on my Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival (WWF) making only about half my point goal, but…the exercise helped me refocus on writing and my goals after lollygagging for a month coming off a wonderful St. Martin vacation. WWF did it’s job well. Now I need to get busy and do mine!

There's one thing I'm really looking forward to for some gourmet muse food.  Firefly is coming back to Science channel on March 6!  As if that's not great news enough, the episodes will include commentary on the technological aspects by Dr. Michio Kaku. Read more here. Love seeing his documentaries on Discovery channel (or is it History channel?)  Either way, he’s awesome and this is bound to give me all sorts of twinkle-in-my-eye ideas for my novels. There’s also some major rumblings on the web about fans buying the rights to Firefly, and the possibility of new episodes or a new movie. Dare we dream? But of course!  You can't take the sky from me. If you’re a Browncoat, be sure to check out Firefly Video Section (Shrine) on this blog's sidebar.

New authors, cool web sites, great resources, great workshops, great online sites!

New publisher! Black Opal Books opened its virtual doors in February 2011 and is currently seeking submissions. According to their web site, royalties start at 45% for both digital and print published books and “we’re accepting all romance genres, including paranormal and erotic, and also YA. In addition, we’re accepting novels and novellas that aren’t romances, but have strong romantic elements.” Their current offerings are priced at $5.99. Worth a look! [Disclaimer: We can not make recommendations concerning any publishers. As with all business pursuits, do your homework before signing a contract.]

In the Science discovery department: Our solar system may have a mysterious ninth planet! The news was all the buzz on the net since February 15th. Pluto was once considered the ninth planet, but was downgraded to a planetoid in recent years. This new ninth planet which, if it exists, is estimated to be four times the mass of Jupiter, has been named Tyche (pronounced Tie-key) and its existence could account for orbital anomalies in comets that may have caused mass extinctions in the past. If Tyche is really there, she lurks wayyy out in the Oort Cloud—which is made up of billions of comets at the very fringes of our solar system. In fact, Tyche would be so far away that the two Voyager spacecraft launched in the fall of 1977, and now traveling for almost 33 years, are not even a tenth of the distance to the Oort cloud. Our solar system is a big place! There are also other theories our Sun may have an invisible brown dwarf companion named Nemesis causing the orbital anomalies. In mythology, Nemesis and Tyche were sisters. Fitting names then, aren't they? Neither of these bodies would emit or reflect enough light to be visible on Earth, so proof of existence lies in mathematics. Scientists are awaiting more data that might prove if Tyche exists…or if it’s just a statistical fluke.

The Squeeze
Writers are sponges when it comes to soaking up writing tips and tricks. Here's where we squeeze out our sponges for the week.

The Rhubarb Replacement.  Say what?  This is a great trick I learned via word of mouth.  When you're blazing through your first draft and you stumble headfirst into something you need to research or flesh out, don't let your internal editor put the brakes on your muse stampede.  Just type Rhubarb (or some other key word that you're not likely to use in your manuscript) and continue making that keyboard smoke.  After you've kicked out a first draft in record time, use the search function to find all those "Rhubarbs" so you can take all the time you need to plump up your manuscript with additional details.  You can also give yourself cues what you need to focus on by adding a descriptor after each Rhubarb, such as: Rhubarb setting, Rhubarb weapon, Rhubarb costume, Rhubard...well, you get the idea. 

The latest buzz. Submission calls. New publishers. Industry changes. Inspirational sayings or quotes for writers. And our take on them.

I am thrilled to announce that one of my (non Spacefreighters co-blogger) critique partners, Barbara Elsborg, had a free short story pubished by Ellora’s Cave-- Saying Yes -- hit #1 on Amazon’s Kindle’s Erotica Fiction list on Valentine’s Day! (And it’s still #1 as of this writing many days later!) I truly have talented, talented IPs!

Great quote:  You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.   - Maya Angelou

Books we're reading and mini-reviews. Writers must read voraciously. Sometimes we find gems in the literary universe or sometimes certain elements of a book really speak to us (and our muses). Do we know about book giveaways? A big debut? We'll dish on those.

I’m reading ENEMY WITHIN by Marcella Burnard. A SFR, of course! It took about 50 pages before I was totally on the hook, but now I see why this book was an RT Top Pick and has garnered so many other kudos. Right now, I’m dwelling on a sightseeing opportunity in the story. So beautifully described that my head pictures are visually stunning.

Next up: Heather Massey’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE. One of the MCs is a decendant of Christopher Columbus. Earth is a scorched wasteland. What’s not to love?  Heather's SFR novel debuts this week!  Look for more about Heather--aka mission commander for The Galaxy Express--and her debut in a future post.

Events, conferences, cons as well as Facebook, Twitter and blog events.

One of my peers, mystery and paranormal mystery author Connie Shelton, is giving away Kindle e-readers in random drawings each month--11 in all!  All you need to do to be eligible is sign up for her newsletter here:  The next Great Kindle Giveaway is coming up this week!  If you have friends who love reading, please forward this information on. (I'm one of Connie's subscriber and I can tell you she doesn't swamp your inbox with repeated mailings, just once or twice a month with news and announcements.)  Connie Shelton is an bestselling author.  Some of the titles in her Charley Parker series include Vacations Can Be Murder, Honeymoons Can Be Murder, and Reunions Can Be Murder.

And this via author Gail Koger: Whispers Publishing will be celebrating their five-year anniverary--with prizes!--today, February 28th.  Click here to go to their site for the festivities.

Ping Pong
We'll comment back to our co-bloggers on things they've posted on their journals.

Since this is our first Mission Success post, there isn't yet a ping I can pong.  Looking forward to my coblogger's journal entries later this week.

--Laurie A. Green

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday Celebration!

Six Sentence Sunday is celebrating its one year anniversary in a big way!  This weekly writing exercise, where participants post six sentences from a current novel or work in progress, has grown into a very popular event with approximately 70 participating members. 

To celebrate, creator Sara Brookes has organized the participants to offer some fabulous giveaways, with a chance to win awarded to those who comment on their blogs this week.  To access the Six Sentence Sunday site with a link list of participants, just click the icon above.  To tempt you, here's a peek at the wonderful offerings.

eBook of choice from backlist - Sara Brookes

eBook copy of Healing Hearts - Taryn Kincaid

Print copy of The Doctor's Deception - Kathleen Grieve

Autographed copy of Not Without Risk - Sarah Grimm

$10 eBook Bucks from & - Jessica Subject

Choice of backlist - Rebecca Royce

Autographed copy of Damaged Cargo (see website for blurb) - Sandra Sookoo

$10 ebucks and an ecopy of When A Mullo Loves A Woman via All Romance - Joanne Kenrick

$10 Amazon Gift Card - Lisa Fox

$5 gift certificate at MuseItUp Publishing Bookstore - Marsha Moore

$5 gift certificate to MuseItUp Publishing's bookstore - Krista D Ball

eBook copy of Copy of Uniform Behaviour - Lucy Felthouse

eBook of Southern Comfort - Eve Cassidy

eBook copy of Stolen Dreams - Stacey Kennedy

eBook copy of Heart of Stone - Dee Carney

eBook copy of Blood Kin - Ashlynn Monroe

Autographed copy of 2011 EPIC Award finalist Ride the Lighting - Lex Valentine

Autographed copy of 2011 EPIC finalist, Picture This, and beaded book thong - Cate Masters

Book of choice from the Decadent Publishing Library - Ann Mayburn

eBook copy of Room 11 - Dawne Prochilo

eBook copy of Elora's Match - Liia White

eBook or paperbook copy of Rock Bound - Rochelle Weber

ebook copy of Lair of the Jaguar God - Marie Dees

Hot Spanish Nights Coffee Mug - Bianca Swan

eBook copy of Fine Print - Alanna Coca

Copy of Two is Twice as Nice by - Emily Cale

Copy of Goodbye Scrooge and Permanent Ink - Jaime Samms

eBook copy of Love&Chocolate Anthology - Charmaine Gordon

Two eBooks from Leigh Ellwood's catalog - Leigh Ellwood

eBook copy of Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts - Joleene Naylor

Choice of backlist - Gem Sivad

eBook of 2010 New Asian Writing Short Story Anthology, THE RAGE OF A NEW ANCESTOR - J C Martin

eBook copy of Eostre's Hare - Arlene Webb

eBook copies of first two Blood-Vine series books - Christa Paige

eBook copy of Montana Belle or Forget-Me-Not - Linda Morris

Come join the fun!  Six Sentence Sunday Anniversary Celebration. 
Want to learn more about how Six Sentence Sunday works?  Click here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Announcing Our New Series

Introducing our new joint writers' journal--MISSION: SUCCESS!

Two heads are better than one, but a trio is 30% more!

As co-bloggers we're each following our own path to publication and authorly success.  Along the way, we're info-magnets gathering a plethora of news, information, techniques, experiences and research sites we'd like to share with other writers and authors.  Our mission plan is to post once a week on things we've learned, sites we've visited, workshops we've attended, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, as we journey from aspiring writers to published authors.

Join us on Monday for the kickoff.  We also hope sometime next week we'll have some REALLY BIG NEWS!  Really! Big! News!  We're so excited! 

Here are some of the topics we'll discuss. Just like a personal journal, our entries could be a couple of sentences or a 1,500 word dissertation. Topics may include (in no particular order):

Actions we've taken as writers. Where are we? What are we doing? What's in the works? Are we guest blogging? Participating in other authors booksignings, interviews or book launch events? Of course we may not be able to disclose career moves in detail (we'll save our thunder for big announcements!) but it's always fun to compare notes with each other and other writers.

New authors, cool web sites, great resources, great workshops, great online sites!

The Squeeze
Writers are sponges when it comes to soaking up writing tips and tricks. Here's where we squeeze out our sponges for the week. What's deep POV? What's theme? What's one great idea we heard in the last week? To be a writer is to be enrolled in one heckuva continuing education program. We'll share things we've learned.

The latest buzz. Submission calls. New publishers. Industry changes. Inspirational sayings or quotes for writers. And our take on them.

Books we're reading and mini-reviews. Writers must read voraciously. Sometimes we find gems in the literary universe or sometimes certain elements of a book really speak to us (and our muses). Do we know about book giveaways? A big debut? We'll dish on those.

Events, conferences, cons as well as Facebook, Twitter and blog events.

Ping Pong
We'll comment back to our co-bloggers on things they've posted on their journals.

Sound good?  We hope so.  And just as a bonus, we'll offer some random giveaways and free fun stuff from time to time.

Hope to see you here.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Tale of Three Bloggers


I always think it’s fascinating how critique partners and co-bloggers happen to cross paths and form alliances that may last a lifetime. My other three IPs (Indispensable Peers), Barbara Elsborg, DL Jackson and Arlene Webb all met through the Critique Circle writers’ site. Our critique partnership initially formed out of a love of each others’ work and grew to become a true friendship where our triumphs are gleefully shared and our struggles—both writing related and life in general--are met with supportive words and helpful suggestions. I’ve yet to meet any of them face-to-face, but we’ve chatted almost daily for over four years.

When it comes to our “SFR Support Group,” there’s one saying that fits us perfectly:

Friends are like the stars.
You don’t always see them, but you always know they are there.

But sometimes, you do get the privilege of meeting your peers face-to-face. Sharon Lynn Fisher, Donna S. Frelick and myself—Laurie A. Green—all have a story to tell on how we came to be co-bloggers on Spacefreighters Lounge.

Geographically, we come from very different worlds. One hails from the lush Pacific Northwest, one from the sunny and dry Southwest, and the third from the colonial East. So how did we, three individuals with decidedly different lifestyles and environments, come to be critique partners and co-bloggers? Actually, our planes of existence intersected at one particular point in space and time—the 2009 RWA National Conference in Washington DC. The catalysts? A Golden Heart nomination, an online interview, and a tote bag. Yes, really!

Here’s the story in three parts from all three POVs.

Part I
Laurie's POV:
In late March 2009, I was looking for content for my (sadly neglected) blog and decided to post the results of the Golden Heart finalists, since I was looking forward with squeeable glee to attending my very first RWA National conference in July of that year.

At that time, I was one of the Skiffy Rommer crowd that glommed onto The Galaxy Express blog, the brainchild of Heather Massey, which was evolving into the Grand Central Spaceport of SFR enthusiasts everywhere. (Skiffy Rommer being the humorous slang term for “a writer or fan of Science Fiction Romance.”) Heather commented on my post  to say, “I wonder if that Ghost Planet for the GH is SFR?” What’s this? My favorite subgenre might be up for a win in the fairy godmother of all contests? Hold the press! Then Sharon Lynn Fisher, the author herself, commented that, yes indeed, Ghost Planet was an SFR.

I didn’t waste any time ferreting out her email address in the world wide web soup to ask if she’d consider doing an interview for Spacefreighters Lounge. She graciously agreed. She later confided that it was her first interview ever. (But it certainly wouldn’t be her last!)

We started chatting online over the next three months, and during that time Sharon also decided to make the trip to DC for RWA. It would be a first for both of us. We made tentative plans to look for each other at the first-timers Orientation. I wore a little sticker on my lapel with a planet on it that said “Skiffy Rommer.” Since Sharon had designed the badge, another of her talents, she had no trouble spotting me. I don’t know what Sharon’s first impression was (I’m sure she’ll tell you) but when this wild-haired blonde with a big smile tapped my arm, I knew it had to be her. After the orientation, we met outside in the hall to gab for hours, and ended up hanging out for most of the conference.

During a break, we happened to grab a couple of chairs in the cavernous obelisk-dominated lobby (you’d have to see it to understand that’s really an understatement), when I noticed someone sitting near us had an RWA ID and tote bag with a gorgeous image of a galaxy on it and the words Unchained Memory. Thinking she might be another of The Galaxy Express fans, I turned to her and said, “Are you a Skiffy Rommer?” When the short-haired brunette owner-of-the-galaxy-bag gave me a look that said she had no idea what I was talking about, I quickly amended, “Do you write Science Fiction Romance?”

“Yes,” she answered. I motioned to Sharon and myself and said, “So do we!” Call it karma. Skiffy Rommer found! From there we three had successive rounds of meals and drinks and learned more about each other’s work, how it was alike, how it was different, and how we’d all come to write that often unpluggable subgenre that so captured our imaginations. After RWA we continued our discussions and exchanged critiques online, and Sharon and Donna became new additions to my merry and talented band of IPs. A few months later, I emailed Sharon and Donna to ask if they’d like to be co-bloggers on my (still neglected) blog. Both accepted.

And that’s how we came to be the Three Laserteers of Spacefreighters Lounge. Sharon has since finaled for a second time in the Golden Heart, and both Sharon and Donna have won other writing competitions. There’s a saying that one of the best ways to become successful is to associate with success-bound peers. I think I hit the jackpot.

-Laurie A. Green

Part II
Donna’s POV

Yes, about that tote bag.

You see, that conference in D.C. was my first RWA National conference, my first writers’ conference of any kind. And I’m the type that needs a kick in the thrusters to avoid standing in a corner looking like Spock’s less-intelligent relative. So I devised a shrewd ploy—uh, I mean, conversation piece—that I hoped would serve as an ice-breaker. If people asked me about it, I could talk a little about my book and meet someone new at the same time. I had tee-shirts made up with a great NASA-generated graphic, my book title and a logline for my book on them and used one to make the tote.

I honestly can’t remember if anyone else noticed the bag. Because when I met Laurie and Sharon there in the hotel lobby I knew the bag had served its purpose. It was fate. Karma. Kismet. It was networking magic. At the time I had just joined RWA and knew nothing about its Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter. Laurie suggested I join and I was on it the next week. I didn’t know how many others out there were doing what I was doing, calling it science fiction romance, calling themselves “skiffy rommers”, of all things. I jumped onboard with them without a qualm.

Then, of course, there was Sharon, a real-live member of the Golden Heart sisterhood. Nominated for a science fiction romance. Jaw-droppingly impressive. (And just too damn nice to be a nominee for a major award. Twice. Aren’t those kinds of people supposed to be snooty?)

Under the influence of the magic tote bag—and some alcohol—the three of us just clicked. Once we scattered to our far-flung homes, the emails flew back and forth, making sure we stayed connected. Not long afterwards, Laurie, our never-failing font of ideas, asked us to sit in regularly at the bar in the Spacefreighters Lounge, where we hold forth on all sorts of things.

The association doesn’t end there, either. We’re friends. Critique partners, too. And I’m proud to say Sharon and I were there at the birth of Laurie’s greatest brainchild, the SFR Brigade.

So, the bag (and the tee-shirts) worked great! Now if I could only sell the dang book . . .

--Donna S. Frelick

Part III
Sharon’s POV

I'll never forget stumbling across Laurie's Spacefreighter's post that listed all the Golden Heart nominees for 2009. I read the comments on the post, where the blogger and the proprietress of The Galaxy Express had speculated about the genre of one of the entries, and suddenly it struck me, "They're talking about MY book!"

I timidly posted a reply, and that was the beginning spark of both an amazing friendship and critique partner relationship. I too was headed for my very first RWA, knowing not a soul. Funny that in that sardine-packed first-timer orientation I looked up to find Laurie standing not six feet away. Sort of like just happening to plop down next to another SFR writer in the busy hotel lobby!

We spent hours discussing our novels and our plans for them, but what I most remember is the free exchange of support, and how hard we all laughed. When we reunited at RWA 2010 in Orlando, it was like we’d never been apart. I'd never have made it through the glitzy awards ceremony without Laurie's soothing presence, or the wind-down afterward without Donna's affectionate humor.

I have not been the most active blogger among the three of us, but I feel honored to be a part of Spacefreighters, and have truly benefited from the insights and creativity of my SFR cohorts.

--Sharon Lynn Fisher

Since we're kicking off a new series next week (details tomorrow), we thought this was a great time to revisit how we all met and formed our blog partnership.  We hope you'll stop back for tomorrow's post--and we may also have some very big news for you soon, too.  *wink, wink* 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to this week's installment of Six Sentence Sunday.  Just click the link to read all the excerpts by a variety of talented writers.

More from The Outer Planets...

This is a continuation of last week's scene involving Mitch and Tija in a TLL (Trans-Level Lift).  If you'd like to read all the Six Sentence Sunday back posts, click here.


More Tija Trouble

“Is there something wrong, Mitch?”

She stared, her eyes misting and her lip quivering like she was about to cry.  It was the greatest weapon of manipulation in her arsenal.

He fought to regain control and spoke in a low, calm voice, “I’d really appreciate it if you would keep what happened between us private.”

“I am sorry.” She leaned in and captured his hand, drawing it to her breast. “Come to my quarters so we can talk.”


What happens next?  CLICK HERE to read the expanded scene.

Thanks for joining me for Six Sentence Sunday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

SFR Brigade: Firefly News!


As a devoted Firefly fan (who isn't?) the breaking news made me :).

Check out the latest Firefly buzz on SFR Brigade!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Love's in the Stars for Valentine's Day

Love is in the...vacuum?  In the tradition of Six Sentence Sunday, we're including several slightly longer snippets of "Love in the Stars" encounters for Valentine's Day. 

(But, of course, that doesn't negate planetside scenes of romance, too.)


Note: The following excepts contain elements of desire, physical attraction and/or suggestive language, but are not explicit.  Rated PG17.

Gabriel and Lana
Trouble in Mind
Science Fiction Romance
Work in progress by Donna S. Frelick

Gabriel is a half-human touch telepath; Lana is a fully human FBI agent. They're both on the trail of kidnappers who have taken a woman and her young son who holds the key to a galactic power play. It all starts with a kiss . . .

Her taste—God, he loved the way she tasted.

A subtle vibration shook him, something shared between them that sizzled like the flow of current along a circuit. Something was connected, completed in the press of their bodies, in the velvety tangle of his tongue with hers. His shields were under assault, but from her mind or his own needs, he could not tell. He could feel her heat, her need for him, her longing to surrender, beating against him like the waves of a sea storm against a sandy shore. And he was crumbling, sliding into her surging waters, wanting to open his mind and let her in. So he could feel everything about her. So she could know everything about him.

But, suddenly, almost as quickly as it had begun, it was over. Lana pulled back, reluctance and something close to fear shadowing her green eyes. She licked her lips. Took a breath. Touched his face.

“I think that’s probably enough self-indulgence for tonight, don’t you?”


Mitch and Lissa
The Outer Planets
Near Future Science Fiction Romance
Work in Progress by Laurie Green

As crewmates on a planetary research vessel, video-journalist Lissa Bruce has a secret that requires she keep her distance from Lieutenant Mitch Coe, the captain's aide de camp.  But fate may have other plans for them.

“Would you like to come in?” Mitch asked as they approached his cabin. “I could make you some lunch.”



“I wish I could,” Lissa said, fighting temptation. “But I’ve got a heavy shooting schedule and a ton of deadlines hanging over my head. Maybe another time?”

She’d already pushed her schedule by spending time in the Weightless Lab. Now she had hours of work still ahead--ten assignments to finish before her shift ended or there’d be hell to pay with Parker. Doing quality work was important to her. Not as important as reconnecting with Mitch, but she had to make compromises and find a balance in what she hoped would become a good friendship.

She saw the uneasiness flood his expression. “Sorry, I didn’t mean that to sound like a come-on.”

“It wasn’t taken as one.” She reached out to squeeze his hand. His fingers closed around hers.

“Ask you a blunt question?” he said, his tone solemn.

Uh-oh.  “Sure.”

“Are you…and Captain Storing…”

“What?” Benson. Lissa closed her eyes. “Let me guess. You heard a rumor.”

His answer came as a dry rasp. “Yeah.”

“The answer is not only no, but hell no. Nothing the least bit romantic there.”

He inclined his head, studying her face. “Okay.”

His smokey gaze moved from her eyes to her mouth. Something that looked like confusion flashed in his eyes. He lifted her chin with his fingers and she instinctively leaned forward. His mouth was gentle, in total contrast to the jolt of heat it sent spiking through her body. Her hands closed around his upper arm, squeezed, caressed.

He broke contact, then his lips found her again in another tentative brush. His hands settled on her hips; hers on his waist. She pulled him closer, slid her arms around his body.

His mouth molded to hers more fully--warm, firm and sensuous. A deep ache flared low in her belly and she arched against him, her hands sliding up his back, spiking into his hair, her lips moving against his mouth, wanting, needing, inviting more.


Greg and Elena (secondary characters)
The Outer Planets
Near Future Science Fiction Romance
Work in Progress by Laurie A. Green

Security Chief Greg Farr and Med-Tech Elena Stevens share an intense attraction they both avoid acting on, because they know the relationship is doomed to be a star-crossed romance that would end at the mission's conclusion.  But love can prove to be a stronger force of attraction than even the gravity well of Jupiter.

Elena hit the button when the door buzzer sounded, expecting Tija or Carlene had stopped by for a chat. Maybe Mitch.

But not Greg.

He stood outside her quarters, blue eyes fixed on her face and generous mouth set in a slash of determination.

She fought the impulse to throw herself into his arms. “Greg?”

He lowered his chin. “’Lena. Could I…?”

“Come in.” She eased back a step.

He took a stride forward.

She flipped the door toggle to close the seal behind him. Greg closed the distance, grasped the sides of her face in his hands and kissed away her questions. His warm lips moved on hers, soft and seeking.

She moaned, her hands curling around his forearms, then sliding up to his shoulders. Their bodies pressed close, and when his kiss deepened, she thought her heart would stop cold.

He broke the kiss to embrace her and spoke, close to her ear. “I can’t lose you like that. Can’t watch you leave at the end of the mission, never knowing…”

His mouth returned to hers, and his hands corraled her hips. He tangoed her to the kitchen, still locked in the kiss, settling on the galley stool to pull her down on his lap.
Wishing you a Valentine's Day
filled with romance and promise.
Fom Spacefreighters Lounge

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to this week's excerpt for Six Sentence Sunday.

Be sure to read all the excellent offerings by many talented writers and authors participating by clicking here: Six Sentence Sunday.

More from The Outer Planets...

There's a new twist in the Lissa and Mitch dilemma set up in earlier posts.  She's...

Trouble With a Capital Tija

Mitch stepped on to the trans-level lift, or TLL in crew shorthand, and turned to speak his destination to the mic. Before he could utter a word, Tija slipped through the entrance, punched the Close Seal button and pirouhetted to face him.

“Hi,” she said, her dark eyes bright.

He straightened and uttered a quiet, “Hi.”

“You are well?”

“Just fine, and you?” He kept his tone low, formal and—he hoped—devoid of any hint of interest. Not that her sexier-than-hell Chilean accent was easy to ignore. But he was still beating himself up over that one heaven-and-hell night in Houston.


Want to read more?  CLICK HERE to read more of this excerpt.

The Outer Planets is a Near Future Military Science Fiction Romance. It is a work in progress that will be marketed in 2011. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spacefreighters Lounge is Awarded a Stylist Blogger

Thanks to Jessica Subject of Mark of the Stars Blog for awarding Spacefreighters Lounge with a Stylist Blogger award.  We're so proud!

Ah, but just like Miss America, there are duties connected to this title. 

First, we must tell you seven things about ourselves.  OK, we're game.  Here goes:

1.  Laurie: I collect dragons, quotes and '57 Thunderbirds.  (No, not the actual cars--I wish!--just pictures and models.)

2.  Sharon:  I was awarded honorable mention for a short story contest in Cricket Magazine when I was 12.

3.  Donna:  I hold a third degree black belt in Isshinryu karate, a traditional Okinawan style, as well as black belt rank in the internal Chinese arts of tai chi, hsing i and ba gua. I have been studying karate for 18 years; internal arts for 13 years and teach both styles.

4.  Laurie: I live on a small ranch called the Rising Star.  When  people ask how it got it's name, I used to tell them it was named for Venus, which was rising over the mountains like a beacon when we first bought the land.  Truth be told, it's really named it after the diplomats' ship in the original Battlestar Galactica.  At that time in my life, I didn't want to out myself as a Sci-Fi fanatic.  Now I'm a proud, badge-toting SFR Brigader and I have no problem telling everyone (like you!) from whence came the name.

5.  Sharon:  I once placed second in a 24-hour mountain bike race (because there were only two women’s teams!)

6.  Donna:  I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small village in The Gambia, West Africa from 1976-78.  My husband and I provided admin support to other volunteers and fieldworkers in the Community Development department.

7.  Donna, Sharon and Laurie:  We all met for the first time at the 2009 RWA National Conference in Washington, DC.  Ah yes, it was a very good year.  :)

Now, we'll  pass along The Stylist Blogger Award to ten other bloggers and share the wealth.  :)  If you're here to accept a Stylish Blogger Award, please comment below.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Next Frontier for SFR?

I think for SFR to "boldy go" from niche or subgenre to its own category, it needs to first begin to be recognized as such within the romance and paranormal romance communities.  One way to begin is with a dedicate contest.  Many years ago, there was such a contest called the Sapphire Awards for published SFR novels.  It seems if such a contest existed in the past, there would certainly be support for one now.  And maybe for more than just published works.

Recently, several writing contests have been getting closer to the reality of a dedicated SFR contest by offering breakout categories from the "Paranormal Oort Cloud" that includes Science Fiction Romance.  Florida's SpacecoasT Authors of Romance (aka STAR) have split Paranormal into "General Paranormal" (paws, claws, fins and ghosts) and Futuristic/Fantasy.  (It's a start.  Now if they would only split Futuristic entirely from Fantasy it would eliminate the Vampires vs. Vulcans situation.) 

Probably one of the most SFR friendly contests is sponsored by RWA's specialty chapter Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormals.  The On The Far Side Contest has categories for Futuristic (which includes Hard SF/SF and General Futuristic) and Time Travel (including Time Travel/Steampunk and Historical with Paranormal Elements).

With the subgenre up and coming in popularity, maybe a dedicated contest is what SFR needs to showcase "the next generation" of SFR in all its many forms.

How would you envision such a contest?  Maybe we should start with a discussion of the categories.  How would you define the basic "segments" of SFR?  I have a few suggestions to get started: 


Apocalyptic Romance -- The end of the world has already come about and your characters are concerned with surviving the aftermath of a destroyed Earth (or earth/s).

Near Future Romance -- A futuristic romance set sometime within the next five to thirty years that takes place in a world very similar to today's but with technological advancements.  Near Future might involve exploration of our solar system, but not extended space travel.  Many of todays social and environmental concerns might carry forward, or be compounded or somewhat resolved, in this future. 

Science Fiction with Romantic Elements -- A story in which the romantic elements are present and important but the characters focus isn't just achieving a life-long love though it must have a satisfactory ending (ie not a tragedy).  The characters' struggle may have roots in duty, service, politics, intrigue or survival.

Space Opera/Adventure -- Space battles, pirating, command ships, excitement...and love!  Examples: Think Star Wars with a greater focus on Han & Leia's romance.

Time Travel/Steampunk  -- Time travel undertaken through technological means to any era in history, or an alternate universe, with a strong romantic plot.

SFR Erotica -- Any category of SFR when the heat level and explicitness qualifies as erotica.

What are your thoughts? Is this list too specialized? Should some of the categories be combined or do they categories cover the gamet? Have we missed anything major?

Should alien romance have its own category or should the inclusion of alien characters not be a consideration for category division?
Should SFR/Erotica not have it's own category and compete side-by-side with less explicit works?


I think we'd also need a clear-cut definition of what is and isn't SFR.  Here's one proposal.

Science Fiction Romance is a story with a basis in technology (rather than magic or magical abilities such as shapeshifting).  The romance should have equal importance in the plot with the exception of Science Fiction with Romantic Elements category, where the technology, politics or world-building may play a more important role in the story, though the romance and emotionally satisfying conclusion would still be a requirement. 

Generally, vampires, werewolves, fae, elves, demons and angels are not SFR characters, however, genetics or various alien species may have characteristics of some of these fantasy norms, provided they are presented via an acceptable scientific explanation for their existence.


Ideas and discussion are the first step in any new project, but what's next?  Would a dedicated SFR contest be more likely to begin as an offshoot from an existing contest, or evolve independently?  Do you think there's enough support within the SFR community to sponsor a SFR contest?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Back for another week of Six Sentence Sunday.  Be sure to click on the link to read all the other great six sentence snippets available this week. 

If you'd like to read my previous Six Sentence Sunday posts leading up to this one, click here.

For this week's installment of Six Sentence Sunday, I'm posting another excerpt from my Near Future SFR, The Outer Planets.  In previous weeks, we met the heroine, Lissa Bruce and got a glimpse into her thoughts as she joined the Bradley mission and came face-to-face with the man she thought she'd left behind on Earth.  With her identity and appearance changed, Mitch doesn't recognize her as the woman he loves--Jenae Bradley.

This week, we see things from Mitch's POV for the first time.

There’s something about her…

Mitch stared down at his deck boots and puzzled over the new arrival as the lift carried him back to main deck. He’d never had a woman take such an instant dislike to him. Her body language said it all -- averted eyes, a hesitation to shake his hand, her strained words.


There was that something.

An intangible feeling that resonated on some deep level. Why?


Psssst. Want to read more of this scene?  Click here.