Tag Archives: science fiction romance

A sneak peek at Ella and the Admiral – coming soon

235Here’s a few paragraphs from the current WIP, Ella and the Admiral.

Ella returned to the restaurant’s  reception desk in time to meet the last large group, five men and three women. While his companions chatted, one man approached her. He wore a high-collared jacket, the current fashion for male formal attire, not a uniform, but Ella would have bet a month’s pay this man was military. The way he stood, the air of authority, she supposed.

“Ibbotson,” he said. “Table for eight.”

“Of course, sir. Welcome to the Imperial.” She glanced over her shoulder to where the two attendants waited. “If you’ll come this way.” She hovered while he gathered his party, then led the way to the table. As usual, there was some discussion about where everyone would sit.

“The top end, Admiral,” Ibbotson said, gesturing at a chair.

The man he addressed laughed and shook his head. “It’s your birthday. You can do the honors for a change.”

Ella’s heart thudded. She knew that voice. She knew that man. Maybe not as well as she would have liked. Goran Chandler. She fought the heat coursing up her body. It was all in the past, ancient history. He didn’t even recognize her as the attendant helped him to his seat. Two of the women sat on either side of him, another opposite him. Ibbotson took the end seat, as directed, while the other men claimed the remaining chairs.

Mechanically, Ella introduced their two attendants, the new girl, Sara, and Timon, an older man with years of experience. One last smile. “Enjoy your evening. If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask your attendants, or me.”

She walked away, her mind racing. Goran Chandler. Ten years ago he’d been a senior commander, and captain of the frigate Antelope. She had been Lieutenant Bulich then, and he’d kicked her off his ship.

New Release coming soon…

supernovae and extrasolar planetMy latest Dryden Universe story is nearly there, folks.

When fate throws Brent Walker and Tian Axmar together, it’s strictly a business arrangement. She’s an Imperial agent with a problem to solve, he’s a space jockey with an empty bank balance and a tramp freighter for hire.

Eye-of-the-Mother-ebookSomebody’s murdering Yrmaks and Humans, and leaving a mysterious calling card. Somebody wants interspecies war. Tian hires Brent to help her investigate, delving into Yrmak customs and beliefs to understand what’s going on. It’s an increasingly dangerous game, with more than just lives at stake. Before it’s over Brent and Tian will be faced with choices which will change both of them forever.

 

 

 

 

Introducing Liza O’Connor’s new book Public Secrets

Public secret blog tour banner

Research Topic: Extradition from New Zealand.

In Public Secrets, my author heroine escapes to New Zealand to give herself a break from writing and have some fun.

While there, an assassin runs her car off the road and the woman driving burns in a fiery crash, resulting in FBI agent, Luke Gallagher, coming to New Zealand to investigate. While there are many people who want the bestselling author, Carla Simons dead, Luke suspects the murderer is the focus of her latest book she was writing. Makes sense given he could still prevent his secrets from being told, given the book is not yet finished.

So naturally I got curious how New Zealand police would take to having an FBI agent wandering about their country.

Turns out New Zealand and the FBI work well together. However, they are not pushovers. For example, in the case against Mr. Dotcom, New Zealand insisted the FBI share their proof of guilt before they would send Dotcom back to the States for trial. (Evidently having a stupid name is not sufficient enough for them to assume guilt.)

Here’s how I imagined the conversation went:

But we want to try him in the US”

Yes, but we would like to see your evidence that he has committed a crime before we send him off to your gun-toting country”

So you want to try him here?”

No. We just want to know what he’s done.”

Well, he changed his name to Dotcom.”

Yes, while it’s an unfortunate choice, it’s not criminal.”

Sufficient for extradition…”

No, it isn’t. Now either show us some real proof or take your gun and go home.”

So they coughed up a ton of evidence and the New Zealand judge finally sorted through it all and agreed the evidence warranted Dotcom to be extradited to the US to stand trial.

It would have been much easier just to be US’s minion, but they protect the rights of people who live in New Zealand.

In my story, the FBI agent Luke tries to dodge extradition issues by just having Chad send back his assistant to the U.S. (They wish to arrest him for outstanding crimes, but wish to do so on U.S. ground.) Doesn’t work out like they wished, but then what does?

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Public Secrets

Book 1 of the AI Sci-Rom Series

By

Liza O’Connor

Blurb

Carla Simon is a best-selling novelist besieged by death threats and lawsuits because her stories keep turning out to be true. She is considered an extraordinary researcher, uncovering facts unknown by field experts.

The truth is far simpler and more disturbing. Carla has a software program that “fixes” her mistakes and rewrites her novels so they are error-proof both in presentation and in content. The result is beautifully written and completely accurate stories about real people and events.

Some of those people want her silenced forever. When a woman, mistaken for Carla, turns up dead in New Zealand, she must face the hard truth about her program. But first she has to survive the assassin who has never failed to deliver on a contract.

Excerpt

I just saw Davis off on the plane,” Chad informed him.

But not yourself.”

I thought I’d stay a bit longer down here. That is assuming you have no problem with that?”

No. We’ve kicked you way down to the bottom of the list of suspects. Avoiding the press right now might be prudent,” Luke admitted. Since the DNA had come back, he didn’t know for certain who had died in that car accident, but it hadn’t been Carla Simon. The woman had used Carla’s credit card and driver’s license to rent the car, but her DNA had proved it hadn’t been Carla. Someone else might have mistaken her for the novelist and murdered her, but not Chad Tyler. He had just spent the last twelve hours with the real woman. He knew what she looked like. “I would like a number so I can contact you if necessary.”

Chad gave him his cell phone number and promised to let Luke know when he returned to the States.

Luke hung up the phone. He released a heavy sigh and frowned. If the dead woman wasn’t Carla, where the hell was the real novelist? If this was some stupid publicity stunt to sell more books, he was going to have charges filed against both her and her publisher.

The phone rang again. He was almost afraid to pick it up.

BUY LINK

AMAZON

Free with Kindle Unlimited

Coming Very Soon

Birth of Adam

The Birth of Adam 400 x 640

About Liza

Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Humorous Sci-Fi series

The Gods of Probabilities — In the Multiverses, anything can & does happen. Join the bickering Gods and the sentient beings they oversee.

Surviving Outbound — Earth is doomed, but the odds of surviving outbound isn’t much better.

Surviving Terranue — Welcome to Terranue. Prepare to be baked, pummeled, and frozen. But first you’ll have to survive the black death growing in the cliffs.

Surviving Sojourn — You know you have reason to worry when a hyper-grown one-year-old is made captain of the ship.

Humorous Singles:

Ghost Lover Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

Saving Casey — Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled teen who has burned every bridge imaginable. Her only choice is to turn this life around, but that’s much harder than she ever imagined.

Disturbing Historical:

Untamed & Unabashed The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

The Hardest Love Is to love oneself. Sam’s story.

The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)

The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.

A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?

The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.

Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.

The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

AI Series

Escapee Cover Reveal

Escapee — The African Queen in Outer Space

A science fiction romance by Edward Hoornaert, author of Alien Contact for Idiots.

escapee smaller Cover by Eerilyfair Design

Catt Sayer, an abused peasant and a fugitive from justice on her home planet, makes a meager living flying a decrepit airship that delivers supplies to scattered military bases on an isolated, inhospitable mining moon. When enemies invade the moon and destroy the bases, Catt rescues the lone survivor—Captain Hank Dukelsky, an upper-class army captain. Now Hank wants her to risk her life on an impossible quest to attack the enemy headquarters…and Catt is falling in love with both the man and his magnificently quixotic ambition.African Queen poster

Escapee is available for pre-sale, with a release date of April 19, 2016. Rediscover the thrills and romance of one of the all-time great movies, now in a science fiction setting—reserve your copy of Escapee today.

Introducing Michaela Kendrick’s “Dragon’s Honor”

DragonsHonorFinal2When I first spoke with Greta about my new release, she was intrigued by my mention of the Dragon Riders of Pern series, and she wondered how it had influenced my writing—including my current series.

This turned out to be a more difficult question than I anticipated. The Pern series will always have a special place in my heart—I still remember finding it as I pored over the shelves of books in our house. From the start, I was captivated by Lessa as the slave who could not be intimidated or broken. Fiery and commanding, she made her own destiny. I’ve always wanted to write a character who held the same strength it took to face down the dragon and bond with it, and to endure all of the trials that followed.

On the face of it, the Dragon Corps series and the Dragon Riders of Pern have little in common. One is militaristic SciFi with space marines, and the other melds fantasy elements into a story that is much more a fantasy epic than a space opera (however it may be classified). But McCaffrey is still an inspiration. One does not need to match her story structure or her genre in order to write the same sort of story: one of passion and pride, both as positives and negatives. Her villains were real, absolutely visceral. Her heroes were just as full, with the fiery natures we could empathize with even as the characters walked down the proverbial dark alleyway.

That is what I have always tried to capture in my writing. McCaffrey wrote in a fantastical world that was realistic because the characters were so relatable, both in their good and bad moments. When readers see Aryn, I want them to know how fully she is outmatched and yet cheer her on even while she walks knowingly into danger for love’s sake. When Cade’s pride leads him into yet another beating, I want the reader to flinch at the blows and yet know why he can’t bring himself to betray the woman he loves or the morals he holds so dear.

I think we read, on some level, because we want to believe that if such terrible things happen to us, we could also stand up and do the right thing. When I write, I don’t want just to show characters who rise above their circumstances, as Lessa did at the start of the book in Dragonflight, I want characters who also inspire us to be better people now, as Lessa inspired me when I was younger. I want characters like Cade and Talon, who show me the responsibility that comes with their training. I want characters like Aryn and Samara, who fight for what’s right even though they might not be the best ones to do it. I want characters like Tera, who have to confront brutal truths about people that they love. Because all of these are things we need to do in our lives, and if I can inspire even one person like Anne McCaffrey inspired me, I will be very happy, indeed.

Want to know more about Cade, Aryn, and the rest? Email Michaela at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com for a FREE review copy of Dragon’s Honor!

Dragon’s Honor

The Warlord…

From high society banquets in the ice covered skyscrapers of New Arizona, to the most far-flung outposts at the edge of human-occupied space, everyone has heard of Ymir. The Alliance’s reach is wide, and its soldiers are well trained, but there are always despots powerful enough to assert themselves, and Ymir has been one of the most notable failures of human history: a whole planet given over to a man known only as the Warlord.

The soldier…

Cade Williams was once a Dragon—the most elite fighting unit in known space. Precise, brutal, and unstoppable, they were a last resort in the lawless wastes of space colonization. But there was a price: in one horrific mission, Cade’s unit took down not only a slave trader, but an entire intergalactic carrier. Cade left and never looked back. Haunted by his past, he’s vowed never again to kill, never again to fight, and, filling jobs from dock worker to bartender, he’s managed to keep that vow. But Cade’s life is about to be turned upside down. Because when at last he runs out of options, his old friend Talon Rift appears out of nowhere. Talon, the man who ordered him to take down the carrier. Talon, who wants him to get back in the game. And when Cade won’t, Talon has a job opportunity he seems to know Cade can’t afford to pass up. Protect a woman. An innocent. Remarkably little chance of anything going wrong. And a man needs to eat.

And the trophy wife…

There are two problems: first, that Cade hates Aryn the moment he lays eyes on her; second, that he wants her like he’s never wanted anyone before in his life. Or make that three problems: Aryn’s fiancé is a weapons trafficker with a well-deserved reputation for being ruthless, and Aryn is about to get caught up in one of his schemes – one that will bring her back to the place she only just escaped…the mines of Ymir.

Where to buy:

Dragon’s Honor will be free to read in Kindle Unlimited: smile.amazon.com/dp/B017F8X7HC/

Where to find me:

Right now, I’m only on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkendrickauthor/

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bIDsBn

And people can feel free to email me at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt:

“Cade Williams?”

The words came through the haze of smoke and drunkenness like a hallucination. Cade knew that voice. He was never, ever going to be able to forget that voice, and it had to be a hallucination because there was no way in hell the owner of that voice had chased him across three systems only to walk into a dive bar on the lower streets of New Arizona. So he went back to his drink.

He picked up the glass and stared at it. It was a scotch he’d been nursing for about three hours now, and not just because “scotch” seemed to be a loose term for colored grain alcohol. When he finished his drink, he had nowhere to go. And in the ever-drifting snow of New Arizona—he’d never figured out if the name was born of ignorance or irony—he needed to stay indoors as long as possible. The cold was fierce, and whatever acid was in the water on this planet, it would burn his skin raw in less than a night.

And if he didn’t get ten thousand credits to Osiris within a week, he was a dead man. But one thing at a time. Cade shook his head and let the moment slide away from him, a tiny drift into memory and nothing more.

“Williams,” the voice said again.

That was definitely not a hallucination. Cade’s eyes traveled along the arm that had come down on one side of him. Callused fingertips, last joint of the right index finger missing, the hint of a tattoo poking out from under a blue cuff. The arm underneath the suit jacket was well muscled, leading to broad shoulders and a clean-shaven jaw, and with a sinking feeling of dread, Cade looked up at one of his worst nightmares.

“Lieutenant Rift.”

“Actually, it’s Major now.” Talon’s face was expressionless, as it almost always was. He watched as Cade’s eyes traveled over the understated suit, across the planes of the handsome face. At last, sensing the question Cade would never ask, he flipped over the hand on his resting arm. There, glimmering in the faint light, were blood-red cufflinks.

A Dragon always wore red.

Talon absorbed Cade’s bitter smile in silence.

“You look surprisingly well.” Cade looked down into his scotch and considered drinking the rest in one gulp. The pours in this bar were generous, and with the alcohol being of dubious provenance, a gulp might well kill him. Right now, that wasn’t seeming so bad. It was all coming back to him—without warning, as it always did. He’d known the moment he heard the voice that this was going to be a bad night, even worse than he’d thought—and he’d already thought it would be pretty bad. There was screaming at the corner of his mind, the flashing of the lights in the bar taking on a reddish hue, the emergency exit sign too clear a reminder.

He closed his eyes, clenching his jaw until he thought his teeth would give way. He had to keep breathing, or the memories would take him, and the world would devolve into the chaotic mess he so feared, every face reminding him of the pods, the children pounding on the glass—

He was going to be sick. His stomach heaved.

“Should I go?”

“No.” Cade’s answer surprised even him. He opened his eyes and looked down into his drink again. He could force the world back into its neat shapes if he tried hard enough. In the vacuum of space, in the long silences of a courier’s job, he’d learned to face his fear and press it away.

He could face this, too.

“Okay.” Talon sat, pulled reflexively at both cuffs, and looked over at the bartender. “What won’t kill me here?”

“Don’t try the scotch.”

“Noted.”

Michaela Kendrick Author Photo 2Bio:

Raised on the Dragon Riders of Pern, Star Wars, Star Trek, and a whole bunch of historical romances, Michaela grew up adoring the adventure of Science Fiction and the passion of a good love story. Filled with double crossing, grand romantic gestures, sarcasm, and plenty of heat, Michaela’s books are just the sort of thing she wants to read herself!

Please welcome Lea Kirk and her new novel “Prophecy”

ProphecyHello all! My name is Lea Kirk, and I am crazy-thrilled that Greta has asked me to be a guest on her blog today.

My debut book, Prophecy, is a near future sci-fi romance involving alien invaders, soul mates, and, of course, an ancient prophecy. It will be unleashed upon the unsuspecting world on January 12, 2016. Today I’m going to share with you ten things about Prophecy that next to no one knows.

  1. I began writing Prophecy in high school in the early 1980’s. I picked it up again three years ago after a fever induced dream.
  2. My hero, Gryf, was inspired by a blue-skinned, white-haired, Japanese cartoon character I watched as a kid. I can’t even remember that character’s name, or the name of the cartoon, but I think he may have been the villain.
  3. In the updated version of the story, the invaders are green-skinned aliens whose average height is 10.5 feet. In the original story, they were fifty-feet tall!
  4. My heroine’s name was originally Alexis, and she was way too chipper, even for me. She’s a lot more grounded now, and has been renamed Alexandra.
  5. I cannot find any of my spiral notebooks containing the original, handwritten manuscript. (sad face)
  6. Thirty years ago, the story was only going to be one book. Two and a half years ago, the heroine’s brother, Nick, wanted his own story told. And that’s how the Prophecy Series got started.
  7. In the original story, Nick’s name was Jason.
  8. The Prophecy Series will definitely be at least three books, and potentially as many as five books. All can be read as stand-alone books, but I recommend reading Prophecy first as an introduction to this world.
  9. There are also a variety of short stories and novelettes waiting in the wings.
  10. I suspect my husband is secretly jealous of Gryf because he intentionally mispronounces the character’s name. (Grife, Grief, etc.)

It was a pleasure being here today and sharing some little known facts about Prophecy. I hope you enjoy reading Alexandra and Gryf’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I welcome you to visit my website, Facebook, and/or Twitter.

Thank you for having me, Greta!

About Prophecy

A woman who’s lost everything, a man betrayed by his own, but together their destiny is greater than ever imagined.

One normal day turns into a nightmare when Earth is attacked. Now ER nurse Alexandra Bock is imprisoned aboard an alien slave ship with no way out. She deems all aliens untrustworthy, including the handsome blue-skinned Matiran captain who shares her cell.

One night of betrayal leaves Senior Captain Gryf Helyg a prisoner of his enemies. Because of him, Earth’s indigenous people face extinction and his home world is threatened. But his plans for escape are complicated by his inexplicable draw to the Earth woman imprisoned with him.

One ancient prophecy holds the key to free Alexandra and Gryf’s war-ravaged worlds. Can two wounded souls who have lost everything learn to trust and forgive in order to fulfill the prophecy, and find a love that will last for eternity?

Available for special pre-order price on Amazon:

Release day: January 12, 2016 on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes

Prophecy has placed in the following contests: The Molly, On the Far Side, Dixie Kane, Pages from the Heart, and The Rebecca.

About Lea Kirk

Lea KirkLea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her romances of science fiction and time travel. Her fascination with science fiction began at six years old when her dad introduced her to the original Star Trek TV series. She fell in love with the show, and was even known to run through her parents’ house wearing the tunic top of her red knit pantsuit and her white go-go boots pretending to be Lieutenant Uhura. By nine years old she knew she wanted to be a writer, and in her teens she read her first romance and was hooked.

She lives in Northern California with her wonderful hubby of twenty-five years and their five kids (aka, the nerd herd). She’s also proud of her seven times great grandson. Apparently her stories will serve as the inspiration for James T. to join Star Fleet Academy. She learned this in the 1980’s when James sought out her counsel on where to find a pair of humpback whales.

Where to find out more about Lea Kirk

www.leakirk.com
https://twitter.com/LeaKirkWrites
https://www.facebook.com/LeaKirkAuthor

Half Human, Half Machine – Cyborgs and Supertechs

cover, "releasing rage"Welcome to my worlds, folks. Today I’m hosting Cynthia Sax, who has just published her new novel, ‘Releasing Rage’. Take it away, Cynthia.

Almost every SciFi romance fan I know has a fascination with new and emerging technologies. I get a thrill when I see robots and druids (BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already stolen a piece of my heart), the latest tablets (so Star Trek!), even the innovations in coffee makers (the space-like K-cups).

So it makes sense that half human, half machine beings like cyborgs and Greta’s awesome Supertechs would capture our imaginations. These beings often have a human form but they’re tweaked, bioengineered to be faster, stronger, smarter.

In Releasing Rage, Rage, the hero, is a cyborg. He was manufactured to be a warrior. His frame is metal. Processors supplement his human brain. He can become an instant expert in mere seconds by downloading information.

Technology is a huge part of a cyborg’s identity and technology advances, as we all know, very quickly. This means cyborgs also change over time.

The early C Model cyborgs, like Rage, are large and primitive. They were manufactured and trained exclusively for battle. Time and effort wasn’t spent on language or other softer skills. Rage tends to react first and think later.

Crash, Rage’s friend, is a more advanced E Model. He’s more compact and more sophisticated, with the ability to act like his human masters. Crash is skilled at negotiating and battle strategy. His designers weren’t yet able to duplicate human eyes however (they ARE the windows to our souls). Crash’s eyes are a spooky matte black.

Gap, another friend, is a G Model, even more modern than the E Models. His eyes resemble a human’s. He acts the most human out of the three and learns the quickest. Give him a couple of solar cycles and he’ll rival the older warriors.

No matter how human cyborgs become, they will always be different from us. They’ll never lose that constant and oh-so-delicious conflict between their machine side and their human side, between logic and emotion, between following commands and following free will.

What do you love about cyborgs and Supertechs?

***

Blurb

cover, "releasing rage"Releasing Rage

Half Man. Half Machine. All Hers.

Rage, the Humanoid Alliance’s most primitive cyborg, has two goals–kill all of the humans on his battle station and escape to the Homeland. The warrior has seen the darkness in others and in himself. He believes that’s all he’s been programmed to experience.

Until he meets Joan.

Joan, the battle station’s first female engineer, has one goal–survive long enough to help the big sexy cyborg plotting to kill her. Rage might not trust her but he wants her. She sees the passion in his eyes, the caring in his battle-worn hands, the gruff emotion in his voice.

When Joan survives the unthinkable, Rage’s priorities are tested. Is there enough room in this cyborg’s heart for both love and revenge?

Buy Now:

On Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Releasing-Rage-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZOL1DRO

On Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ZOL1DRO/

On B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/releasing-rage-cynthia-sax/1122455646

 

Bio

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

Website: CynthiaSax.com

Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Facebook: facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter: @CynthiaSax

Blog: TasteOfCyn.com

 

Aurora Springer’s latest release is GRAND MASTER’S GAME

Game-cover-cleanSpaceships are not prominent in the universe of the Grand Masters. The majority of interplanetary transport is via the portal web. Travel is almost instantaneous and any discomfort experienced by spinning through the void disappears in a picosecond. An interesting effect is that it is faster to port to your friend on the opposite side of the galaxy than to phone them. Phone messages travel at the speed of light and will only be effective between adjacent planets, for example, Earth and Mars. Messages can be written on paper or keyed into a com chip and then delivered by portal through the Interplanetary Communications System. The Grand Masters have a type of miniportal in their coms for exchanging messages, but this advanced technology is not available to ordinary folk.

The last of the huge sleeper ships left Terra a millennium ago, although isolated human colonies can still be discovered in remote regions. Humans are tenacious. Space Corps employs a fleet of spacecraft and drones to explore uncharted regions of the galaxy. Even the Griffin Grand Master uses drones in his search for the ancients. When an inhabited planet is found, a portal can be installed by the technicians on the spaceships. The Space Corps scouts play a key role in repairing the portals during the crisis when portals fail at random.

Violet uses a shuttle to travel from the moon to the planet when she visits the dragon lords of Sythos. She also flies a skimmer, or small personal aircraft, when traveling from the nearest portal station to visit her mother or her tutor.

Blurb

Spin across the galaxy as Violet and her Grand Master hunt their enemies.

Cracks in the portal web threaten galactic civilization, and suspicions fall on the mysterious Grand Masters with their immense psychic powers. Once, there were twelve Grand Masters, humans and aliens, on the Council. Now there are eleven. One was killed when the young pawn, Violet, rescued her Grand Master, Athanor, from the Red Queen’s dungeon. The Red Queen fled the fight and now she lurks out of sight, regenerating her energies.

Athanor devises a risky plan to expose his enemies on the Council and force the Red Queen into the open. His strategy will employ Violet’s empathic skills as his secret weapon. Meanwhile, she wrestles with her erratic talents and doubts about their unequal partnership. In their search for revenge, they contend with the portal crisis, psychic traps and hostile aliens. In the inevitable battle of Grand Masters, Violet and Athanor each will face their worst nightmares. What is the sacrifice for victory?

Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:

Two men in gray uniforms entered the conference room, burly Sergeant Hepple followed by slim Private Ronyang.

The Sergeant’s broad face was creased in a worried frown. He brightened on seeing Violet and greeted her warmly, “Miss Hunter, our paths cross again.”

Ronyang threw her a quick smile before his olive face reverted to seriousness.

After briefly introducing the two scouts, Kondric said, “You remember Violet Hunter. Her companion, Griffin, exchanges information with Space Corps on planets outside the portal web.”

He waved a hand at the table. “Take a seat. I called you here to discuss our little problem.” Kondric took the chair at one end of the oval table, intending to preside over the meeting. The two scouts took seats near the door, while the Grand Master pulled out the chair next to Violet. He laid his arm across her shoulders with casual possessiveness and Violet was amused by his unconscious impulse in the presence of possible rivals.

He caught her flash of insight and sent, “You are my pawn. Would you prefer me to ignore you?

Of course not! I love your touch.” She suppressed a smile in deference to the glum faces of the Space Corps men.

Effortlessly exerting his superior authority, Athanor glared at the two scouts and barked. “What happened on Haven?”

Private Ronyang glanced nervously towards Kondric, who was the senior officer at the table. Kondric gave a nod of consent.

His gaze glued on the Grand Master’s grim face, Sergeant Hepple explained in a rush, “We’d parked the ship in orbit round Haven to stock up on fresh food. Our team hopped to the portal station outside the town of Muddybank. When we got the message from Major Trenet, we reconfigured the portal for bulk transport. As usual, we set a roster for guard duty. I got the evening slot. Late in the evening, red lights flared over the town and we heard explosions. Two of our men raced back from the town and reported an attack.” He paused for breath and glanced at Ronyang.

Athanor’s brows lowered in a frown. “Who attacked?” he asked.

Sergeant Hepple gestured to his left. “Private Ronyang saw what happened.” The Sergeant nodded at him to proceed with the report.

Ronyang gulped and burst into speech, “I was walking through the town when a whole bunch of giant insects dropped from the sky. They had shiny black bodies, two pairs of wings and six red eyes. The ugly critters grabbed the nearest townsfolk in their huge mandibles. Their screams were awful! Everyone else scattered, running for their lives. I did the same. In the distance, I saw a red giantess rise over the roofs of the houses. She tossed lightning at the terrified inhabitants. So, I raced back to the station to report.”

Our enemy, the Red Queen!” Violet gasped in dismay.

Outrageous!” Livid with rage, Athanor leaped to his feet and leaned his hands on the table top. His disguise slipped. He loomed as a grim figure of menace with the eerie blue fire in his eyes. “By the fires of Hades,” his voice boomed. “The Red Queen has gone too far. She has broken the Council treaties by attacking an unprotected human colony. You couldn’t bring worse news.”

Bio:

Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved her life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven romances set in weird worlds described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Aurora has published science fiction romances in two series, two novellas and short stories. Her first series, Atrapako on Eden, describes the interactions of humans on the terraformed planet of Eden with scaled aliens from the hostile planet of Vkani. She has published two books in this series: The Lady is Blue and Dragons of Vkani. Her second series is Grand Master’s Trilogy. Book 1, Grand Master’s Pawn, was published in March 2015. Book 2, Grand Master’s Game, is available for pre-order and release on July 17th. Her short story, Gifts of Jangalore, is set in the Grand Masters’ Universe. Her standalone novellas are: A Tale of Two Colonies and Captured by the Hawk.

Media links:

Blog: http://AuroraSpringerNovels.blogspot.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Springer/e/B00K2C4NL8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aurora-Springer/885945434752937

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AuroraSpringer

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101087717415198221200/posts

I’m busy #amwriting but I also talk about genre

Starfield shipThe title says it all, folks. I’m writing up a storm – or trying to. Writing is just like any other pastime – cooking, hockey, netball, swimming, tatting. If you stop doing it, the skills atrophy. But I’m around 6k into what will be a longish short story, and it’s all coming back to me. Like riding a bike.

Meanwhile, pop on over to this week’s post on Spacefreighters, where I talk about genre and what it means in science fiction romance.