Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tuesday Teaser - Sikkiyn by Chris S Hayes #scifi #romance

Excerpt from Sikkiyn, Chapter One.

“Was it possible that Johan Larsen was a telepath? Could he be deliberately leaving himself unshielded in order to catch her off guard? It seemed impossible, and yet it was the most likely explanation for his obvious conviction that she was not a danger to him.
From a distance she could sense emotion, and that would have to do for now. Access to his thoughts required skin-to-skin contact. The temptation to touch him and know had been strong, but it was too much of a risk. If Larsen could, in fact, shield himself if he chose, then she was the one in danger.
He could kill me with one blow of his fist. There is little I could do to stop him if he can block my mental attacks. They are the only advantage I have over him.
The realization should have sealed his fate, but Lara felt strangely reluctant to do what she knew had to be done. It would require some preparation. She would need to gain his trust and keep her mental defenses solid. She’d have to be free of the locked cabin as well: she’d have to link to everyone aboard, a feat impossible from inside a holding cell.
Lara clenched her jaw. Sneak attacks were the sikkiyn way. There was no reason to feel as if she were doing something dishonorable. The man was just using her as a ready source of income. He hadn’t actually meant it when he’d said she could trust him. As soon as they arrived at New Geneva he was planning to hand her over to the authorities for trial and possible execution.
It was a matter of self-preservation. Unless she left the established shipping lanes and put some distance between her and her last known location she had no hope of survival. Her brother was the best tracker she knew, and family honor required that he seek her out and kill her. Once he discovered she’d been arrested she had perhaps two weeks before he made it to Nouvelle France from their home on Ararat, and the unprecedented event of an Alaran killing a contracted employer had been the lead story on the newsfeeds for at least a week already. Once Farid picked up her trail, her fate, and the fates of everyone on board this vessel if they resisted, were sealed.” 

Captain Johan Larsen is in serious financial trouble. His ship, the Valkyrie, is decades old and falling apart. In a desperate ploy to get the funds he needs, he agrees to a risky but lucrative transport contract. His cargo: an accused assassin en route to trial, to be delivered to the other side of Confederate space, cash on delivery.  His money problems will be over once he delivers her alive to her destination—provided that the killers pursuing them don’t succeed and that his passenger doesn’t murder him herself.  And then there’s the fact that he’s stupid enough to be falling in love with her.
Okay, so maybe he’s in more than financial trouble.

Author Bio:
Chris S. Hayes is a life-long reader of classic science fiction and romance. In 2005 she decided she’d rather be both a reader and a writer, and she began writing her first novel, Sikkiyn, which was published in November 2014 by Solstice Publishing. She works as a college health physician in Lafayette, Louisiana, where she lives with her wonderful husband, a very talented teenage daughter, and a skittish cat, and is writing her second novel now, at a considerably more rapid pace than the first.


Monday, 8 February 2016

Meet the #Author Monday - AR DeClerck #scifi #romance

Please tell us a bit about yourself: Hello, all! My name is AR DeClerck. I’m an adventure romance author. I write books set in scifi, fantasy and steampunk worlds, and my characters ALWAYS get themselves into some kind of trouble. In my day-to-day life I’m a mother, wife and dialysis technician. I have two dogs and a lazy cat to sit near my feet when I write my books.

Tell us about Bound to You:
What inspired you to write this particular story?: I saw a music video by a favorite band, and I started thinking about the people in the video. How did they get to that point? What brought them all to this place? The story grew from there.

Please share a favourite snippet from your book:
Jacks leaned against the door and tried to control himself. He was a fucking mess, and this was not the way to try to power an alien machine. He needed to be focused and sure of what he was doing.
That was the problem. He wasn't sure. The minute he'd realized what the reinforced room meant, every promise he'd made to Lia went out the window. They were not doing this together, no fucking way. He'd seen the results of radiation poisoning in his classes at the IGU, and he knew that the Illaran machine must put out massive amounts to warrant such a remote, closed room.
He looked up, and saw that above the machine there were doors, like hangar doors that must open to the surface. Surely, if the energy the machine created was to destroy the wormhole, the doors opened up to allow the energy out.
He looked up and saw that Lia was pressed against the window, her palms flat on the glass as her eyes followed his every move. He tried to ignore her, but knew it was impossible. He went to her, and placed his palms on the glass, mirroring hers.
"Don't die." she mouthed to him, her voice carried away by the thick glass.
He tried to think of something reassuring to say, but found nothing, so he nodded. She was torn up, the gamut of emotions coming off her end of the bond physically painful. He winced, and rubbed his chest, and she stepped back, lessening the flow. They were learning to control the flow between them with every day that passed, and he knew that, if he tried, he could completely shut her out. He held on to that knowledge, praying he wouldn't need to use it.
He backed away and looked around the room. He was here, but he had no idea what to do next.
"I'm here." he said aloud, hoping Layl was nearby. "What now?"
A moment passed, then two, but nothing happened. He looked at Lia and raised a shoulder. She pointed, and he turned as the terminals inside the room suddenly came on. The same scrolling Illaran letters were running, and he leaned closer. They made no sense to him at all, the figures completely different than any language he'd ever seen.
"Uh, okay." he called out to Layl. "Still no idea what to do."
He could almost picture Layl's frustrated growl, as the computer nearest him stopped scrolling, and the screen froze. He leaned an elbow on the table and studied it. It was a diagram of the machine, complete with pictures showing him how to open the domed lid.
He moved to the machine, looking for the same buttons on the machine that he saw on the screen. He pressed it, and the dome slid back. He grinned and looked at Lia, who'd covered her mouth with her hand as she stared at the machine. He went back to the computer and the picture flipped, showing the person climbing bodily inside the machine as the dome slid closed over them.
"Illaran death machine for dummies." he murmured, going back to the machine. He looked up at Lia, and tried to send her reassurance through the bond.
She didn't move, but her fingers curled against the glass as he sat on the bed of the machine and swung his legs up. He laid back and as his head touched the pillowed rest the dome slid closed over him.
No fan of enclosed spaces he found that breathing was easy inside the machine, but he could smell the engine oil and grease the Illarans had used. It was as if the machine had been constructed yesterday as opposed to three thousand years ago. He wiggled his fingers and toes, hoping that Layl could turn the thing on himself.
He waited, but after a minute nothing had happened. He sighed and tried to sit up, and the dome slid back as if understanding him. He went back to the computer, waving at Lia as she paced outside of the window. She didn't wave back, but she stopped to watch him, her eyes big in her pale face. He watched as the image on the screen changed, showing the machine drawing energy from the person inside. Some writing narrated, but it made no sense. The image changed again, showing a brain scan with massive electrical impulse. He knew his own scans looked similar. He realized then that he knew what to do.
He climbed back inside the machine and lay down, the dome sliding closed over him. He closed his eyes and thought about what he wanted the machine to do. As he'd expected, the machine was in tune with his mental wiring. He felt it hum to life under his back, the vibrations deep in his muscles. Lights came on over his body, and there was a steady humming that grew louder as he waited. It was powering up, and soon it would be ready to pull the energy from his body and direct it at the wormhole, hopefully permanently closing the spacial anomaly that anchored Verhagnis to the planet.

Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:  A combination of name and personality. The looks get filled in as I’m writing the story, usually pulled from the other character’s thoughts.

Any tips for aspiring authors?: Don’t give up. Don’t give in. There is a lot of pressure in the industry to write what “readers want”, and sometimes that can skew your own creativity. It’s hard to find a niche, but following the crowd and being like “everyone else” leaves books flat and uninteresting. Forge your own path, blaze your own trails. Write for you and for your readers and your authenticity will pay off.

Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?: No. I am a firm believer that messing with the past is far too tricky a business for anyone, especially me. One wrong step and Napolean’s grandson is the King of England.

What super-power would you choose?: Healing. Definitely. Myself and others.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?: 1) happiness for my kids and family 2)no one goes hungry again 3)free sustainable energy that doesn’t destroy the planet

Coffee, tea or wine?: I’m from the Southern USA, so it’s cold sweet tea. The sweeter the better. Dark brewed!

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!): A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle. The book changed my life, opened my eyes to the magic of the world and the written word.

Favourite genre and why?: Steampunk! I love the idea that one little adjustment to historical fact can create so many possibilities. I love the adventure and the science all the what-ifs!

Favourite colour?: Green.

Upcoming news and plans for the future?: I will be releasing a 3 novel/1novella bundle as a sample for my readers, so they can get a taste of my writing style on March 1st. April 29th I will release my second magical steampunk adventure novel, The Enchanter’s Embrace. (followup to The Alchemist’s Kiss)

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

Amy’s Links:

Find all my books at www.amazon.com/author/ardeclerck


AR DeClerck is a harried madwoman with nineteen kids, one good eye and a limp. Ok, ok. She squints often, limps sometimes, and she has two kids. But the ‘harried madwoman’ part stands! She was born in North Carolina, USA but currently lives with her husband and kids in the Quad Cities. When she’s not working as a mom or dialysis technician she is writing adventure romance novels. AR believes that LOVE is the greatest adventure.

Friday, 5 February 2016

#SFRBShowcase - Double Cover Love! #scifi #romance #spaceopera

Hello, and welcome to the first SFRB Showcase of 2016. Woot! Today I'm revealing two SFR covers - yes, TWO! - one of which I've been sitting on for a couple of months. You know how hard that is, right? Fortunately I've only had the second for a couple of days, but even that was a struggle to keep secret. And I'd also appreciate any feedback on the blurbs, which I'll be posting with the covers.

So, first up is the cover for Reunion at Kasha-Asor, a side story in my time travel romance series - Redemption. This follows on directly from Keir, the first book of the series. It's different in style to the main series covers (to emphasize it's a side story), and I went for this because the first thing my husband said when he saw it was it's like a holiday poster. Since that's exactly what this was meant to be for my two MCs (in fact, it was meant to be their honeymoon), I figured that was a good sign.


Paradise isn't always what you expect it to be...

Once more back on the island of Kasha-Asor, Quin and Keir need to reconcile a question of trust: of secrets untold and their precarious situation on a planet where Quin has already been betrayed once. Can they find the idyll they seek, or will they be forced to run?

Releasing 21st May 2016 at most digital retailers.

The second is an unexpected bonus release for this year. Sadly the anthology I submitted it to fell through, so I decided to go ahead with publishing it myself. Here's the cover for my hot, stand alone space opera/SFR short, Quickshot.


Sal, a legal carrier (just about) of whatever comes her way, puts her trust in just two things: her guns. 

Keeping out from under Imperium eyes - especially those belonging to a certain Ehi Wahu - while making a living, and trying to keep a lover who can tolerate her twitchy trigger fingers, are the extent of her ambitions.

Then a kiss from a passing stranger, and a promise of the biggest score in a long time, tempt her. Devin fulfils more than one need, but he comes with more trouble than one woman can handle. And this time it'll take more than her guns to save her. She'll have to trust a man again. 

Releasing 31st March, 2016 (Amazon exclusive)

Both covers are the work of my editor, cover designer, and all round heroine Danielle Fine. Please go check out her other work at http://daniellefine.com because she totally rocks! 

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed the preview. You can find more scifi romance awesomeness by clicking HERE to go back to the home page for all the SFR Brigade Showcase links.