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Why do opposites attract in romance?

PLEASE WELCOME LYNDI’S ADVENTUROUS FRIEND, KATE HILL!!

Romance readers and writers all have our favorite tropes. Whether it’s enemies to lovers, secret babies, alien heroes, or any of the countless other tropes, there are always ones we’re drawn to. One of my favorites is opposites attract, and it’s the main focus of my science fiction romance Warrior Priest.

The opposites attract trope offers a lot of possibilities, but it usually involves the lovers having preconceived notions about each other because on the surface, they’re nothing alike. In Warrior Priest, Jade and Selena are not only from different worlds, but have completely opposing religious and political views. Two of the most taboo subjects, right?

Jade is a warrior priest from a strict religion. His vows include celibacy until after marriage and the willingness to sacrifice himself to defend the oppressed. Selena is a priestess from a religion that advocates free sexuality, a strict vegan diet, and non-violence, even in a self-defense situation. Jade and Selena meet while involved in a cultural exchange between his world, Covenant, and her world, Niedress. Covenant has advanced military technology and Niedress has advanced medical technology. They have helped each other in the past and want to form an alliance, so Jade’s and Selena’s opinions after the cultural exchange will be important to their worlds’ leaders.

When they first meet, they’re physically attracted to each other, but despite agreeing to enter the exchange with open minds, they sometimes misjudge each other. This leads first to conflict, and ultimately to understanding and acceptance.

Once the opposites in this trope get to know each other, they often learn that they have a lot in common. Jade and Selena are both willing to risk their lives to protect people, though they use different methods. After surviving obstacles, including an attack on a refugee camp where they’re staying, a crash landing on an underdeveloped planet, and working together to help a suicidal man, they learn to respect each other, even if they don’t always agree.

Writing opposites attract stories is fun, but it also makes me take a step back and think about how jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts isn’t the best way to go.

Some of my favorite opposites attract romances include Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, A Mate for the Lone Wolf by D.K. Taylor, and People Like Us by Ruby Moone. The characters in these books handle some difficult situations together, and although they appear to be opposites, beneath the surface, they share many of the same qualities.

What are some of your favorite romance tropes or opposites attract stories?

About Kate:

Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who started writing many years ago for pleasure.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, watching horror and action movies, working out, and spending time with her family and pets.

Social Links:

Website: https://kate-hill.com/

Blog: https://kate-hill.com/blog/

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16157.Kate_Hill

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Warrior Priest

by Kate Hill

Science Fiction Romance

Blurb:

What happens when a warrior priest from a strict religion meets a free-spirited priestess from a new age commune?

Jade and Selena are as different as two people can be, but to facilitate an alliance between their worlds, they engage in a cultural exchange. With their galaxy in danger from a planet that wants to conquer or destroy all others, they realize the importance of their assignment, but it is difficult for a warrior priest and a nonviolent priestess to understand each other.

Selena is both attracted and appalled by his old school masculinity, and Jade is tempted to break his vow of celibacy until marriage due to his powerful desire for her. Will this unlikely pair not only find common ground, but unconditional love?

Excerpt from Warrior Priest:

“See. I knew I could make you smile again. Even when I was a kid, I was the class clown. I haven’t lost my touch.” 

“No, you obviously haven’t.” He couldn’t ignore the leaf in her hair any longer and impulsively tugged it out, allowing his fingertips to briefly touch her ear.

This time her brow furrowed and she turned to glance at his hand. His gut tightened and he felt stupid.

 “This was stuck in your hair. That’s all.” He held out the leaf.

Apparently she could touch him, but she didn’t care for him to touch her. Why should she? It wasn’t like he was handsome—not like Ari Tobias with his perfect face. Jade had big features—wide cheekbones, a giant nose that had been made worse since it had been broken twice. The first time he had been stationed in the wilderness with limited medical care. It hadn’t healed straight. He was built well enough, but it wasn’t like he could show off his body, and that would most certainly be vanity. Still, he couldn’t help the twinge of satisfaction when he’d seen how she’d looked at him in his undershirt and also at the Ceremony of Honor.

She smiled. “Oh.”

He dropped the leaf in the water and strode toward shore. “It’s getting late and I have to be up early for the prayer ceremony tomorrow.”

“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.” Selena followed him out of the water. He tossed her the towel and turned his back to her. While she dried off, he pulled his tunic over his wet clothes.

After a moment, she said, “You can turn around now.”

He did, and she held the towel out to him. Careful not to touch her, he accepted the towel and scrubbed it over his wet hair.

Studying him with an amused smile, she folded her arms across her chest. “That didn’t help much. You don’t have hair. You have a mane.”

He wasn’t sure if that was a compliment.

Purchase Links:

Warrior Priest is on sale for $0.99 until June 30, 2022 at Smashwords and Amazon

Welcome author Vicky Burkholder!

Vicky Burkholder

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Thank you for having me. I’m in the Mid-Atlantic part of the US. Family? Yep. I have four adult kids (2 biological, 2 adopted), five grandchildren, and bunches of others—including my 95-year-old mom. As for my pet family, we always had cats (along with other species) but, unfortunately, our last one crossed the rainbow bridge a few years ago and we didn’t have the heart to replace her. She was with us for nineteen years. At this stage in our lives, we decided to enjoy others rather than our own.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

Not coffee – never learned to like it. Love the aroma, hate the taste. But you will always find me with either a mug or glass of tea (hot or iced) at my side. And all sorts of flavors. Depends on my mood. But most common are English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Mint, or Chai.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

I’d say my curiosity is more relevant than my education, though with a master’s degree in library science, I guess it does have a lot to do with books!

Tell us about your most recent publication?

My most recent is “Lost Among the Stars”, a futuristic romance. Though it’s the second in the series “Galactic Danger”, the first is only loosely connected to this one (and the next two). In this one, Amanda Ki runs a huge conglomerate. One of her major sources of income is being threatened by a saboteur who wants to take over her company. She commandeers a ship to take her to the world being threatened. The captain of the ship, Declan Chalmers, is definitely not happy about the job. His crew has been decimated by illness and the ship is not in good shape thanks to cheap work by the owners. Declan and Amanda butt heads, but when they discover the saboteur is on board, they have to work together to not only save themselves, but the rest of the crew and passengers. The ship goes out of control and all they can do is find a planet to land on until help can find them.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of discovering a whole new world that humans could live on and what we’d do with it. While writing, I did a lot of research on what makes a world livable—how far from the sun, what kind of sun, plants, animals, axis tilt… all of the stuff that goes into making it possible for you to not just live, but thrive on a new world.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

Playing with world building. Creating a whole new world—actually, a whole new solar system! And new plants and animals. And so much more. I had fun with the creating.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always wanted to write—to make up stories. I love building new worlds and characters to populate those worlds. That’s the fun part. The hard part is actually sitting down and doing the writing! LOL

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I used to belong to several. Not so many anymore, unfortunately. Just two small ones. The one I am most active with has just four of us—we call ourselves the Bootsquad—for those times when you need a kick in the butt to get your work done (or a shoulder to cry on when needed). We go on long weekend retreats three times a year for intense writing times. My favorite go to sites for writing are: Fiction University, Savvy Authors, Writers Write, and Fantasy Name Generator. I also use a lot of others, but these are my main ones.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I listen only to instrumental music – usually New Age or Environmental. I can’t listen to anything with words as I usually start singing along then and don’t concentrate on my work!

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

The Bootsquad are my crit partners. We each write in different genres (Cozy Mystery, Action Adventure, Futuristic, Dystopian) but are very familiar with the genres so we can honestly crit each other. We’ve been together for years so know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

“Lost Among the Stars” is my 25th book. The path has not always been smooth. Five publishers I published under have gone away, which is always disheartening. It also led me to self-publishing before I signed with my current publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Before I was published, I wrote policy and procedures manuals for organizations and the government (yes, it is as boring as it sounds!), and was a journalist for a local newspaper (small town). My first published book was actually the first full-length book I wrote. Up until then, I mostly wrote short stories and articles.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I am currently writing the third book in this series, “Found Among the Stars” while I wait for edits on the second “Searching Among the Stars”. Because of Covid, I am not yet making personal appearances, but hope to soon. In the meantime, you can find me on Gabby Allan’s “Pull Up a Branch” Podcast:  Vicky Burkholder Pulls Up a Branch to talk World Building! – YouTube

Tagline: How do you escape death when you are lost in space and a killer is aboard your ship?

Synopsis: Amanda Ki’s humanitarian trip to Xy-Three is fraught with assassins and saboteurs who are popping up faster than she can deal with them. Caught up in a web of intrigue, kidnapping, and terror, Mandy joins forces with the captain of the Phoenix, Declan Chalmers. Declan is tall, dark, handsome, and probably the most arrogant, dictatorial man she has ever met. He’s also one of the few people she can trust. Declan doesn’t know what to expect from the VIP who heads up a million-dollar enterprise, when she boards his ship. The tiny, exotic, and packed full of grit woman is not only drop dead gorgeous and smart, she’s also deadly when it comes to martial arts. A skill he wants on his side when the space craft is sabotaged. Thrown together, the two form a tight bond, but if they aren’t careful, they could end up dead.

Excerpt :

Declan took in the woman sitting in front of him, from the long, coal-black hair held back with a tie, to the expensive, but practical jumpsuit. She was everything Declan disliked—a bureaucrat of the worst type—stubborn, fiery, and determined. Revising his earlier thoughts, she was neither old, nor wrinkled, but Dec wasn’t sure about the coddling yet. “There’s no need to thank me. You handled the situation exceedingly well. However,” his voice changed from silky smooth to one of warning, “in the future, please don’t give my crew any orders without checking with me first.”

Miss Ki stared at him. He could see the muscles in her jaw working. Fine, so she was angry. Dec wasn’t exactly happy with the way this trip was starting out either.

“I wasn’t aware I needed your permission to do my job. These people are my responsibility.”

“And this ship and her crew are mine. While you’re on my ship, you will follow my orders. Is that clear, Ms. Ki?”

Mandy stood, bracing her hands on the desk. “Like hell I will. You may be in charge of this ship, but I am in charge of this mission. Is that clear, Captain?” Without waiting for an answer, she stalked from the room.

Book Links:

The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/vicky-burkholder

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Among-Stars-Galactic-Danger-ebook/dp/B09QJJL8ZH

Barnes & Noble: Lost Among the Stars by Vicky Burkholder | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Vicky_Burkholder

Author Information:

As her alter-ego, Vicky has multiple homes all over the universe. She looks human – for the most part – but when she starts writing about characters being able to move things or flicking fire from their fingertips, or changing the course of rivers, people tend to get a little freaked out. She found the one guy out there in the universe who loves her for who she is and they’ve been together forever and raised four wonderful (now) adults. Her career includes work as a technical writer/editor, a stringer for the local newspaper, and an editor and copy editor for various publishers. At various times in her life, she has been a teacher, a secretary, a short-order cook, a computer specialist, a DJ, and a librarian. When not editing or writing, she can be found in the kitchen creating gluten free goodies for her family.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.vicky-burkholder.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Vicky-Burkholder

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1264928.Vicky_Burkholder

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vicky-Burkholder-535739543163598/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickyburkholder

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vicky-burkholder

For Other Works by Vicky Burkholder

(Please be sure to stop by her Website to see all of her works)

Vicky Burkholder

tales that transcend the ordinary

http://burkholv.wordpress.com

http://www.sparklingbookreviews.com

The things you do when you’re broke… #MFRWHooks

When a high level government man calls your unknown mercenary ship to transport some cargo, should you worry? Or take the money and run? http://www.dfpbooks.com/dfp/sixshooter.html #sciencefictionromance #alienlove #genderfluidmenage #lovethosespacecowboys #HorizonCrossover

Valeni Pascual wants to be free to make a living hauling cargo with her spaceship and to understand the shapeshifting alien who presents sometimes as the steamy male Nik and other times as the blonde bombshell Nikki.

As a rebel insurgence builds against the oppressive government known as the Agency, Valeni and Nik/Nikki encounter a sexy Terran cowboy named Garrett Rawls. Since being pulled into this region of space by another mysterious wormhole, Garrett has looked for a way to return to Earth. After meeting Valeni and Nikki, he might have found something worth staying for.

However, dark forces may have a much bigger picture in mind for all of them. Valeni, Nik/Nikki, and Garrett are pulled into a life and death fight that lays bare all of their secrets and their desires. Will they lose everything as the battle against the Agency rages around them or can love pull them through? [A Horizon Crossover series novel]

Excerpt:

The ones that seem so easy go sour the quickest. Every time.

     Valeni Pascual’s throat tightened. Hot sweat ran down between her shoulders, and her finger itched for her trigger. Too bad her gun was behind her on the wide leather seat of her sandrunner, gleaming beautifully in the late afternoon sun. The four men standing in front of her already had theirs in hand.

     The pack leader, a thick-necked lubber called Fat Jonny, had the nerve to laugh. “C’mon, Val, don’t make this hard on yourself. And when I say hard, I mean the application of solid lead to your silky, kaff-colored skin.” His minions snickered.

     Eight crates of cargo sat in a pile a dozen meters to the right, near her sleek ship, the Tiburon. It stood silhouetted against the rocky Marriel landscape, a swath of brown and tan sands.

     If she connected with the buyer due any minute, the profit would cover six months of expenses and her late Agency dues. The deal had been a wild, desperate risk that nearly cost her landing gear in a hasty and ill-advised takeoff from the far side of the desert. No way she could afford to surrender the cargo. She had to stand fast.

     Wishing her radio was handy, not tucked in her jacket pocket next to her sandrunner on the ground, she smirked, hoping attitude alone might shield her. “Still expecting everyone else to do your work for you, Jon? Don’t you have even a shred of pride inside those layers of pork?”

     He cocked his gun, leveled it at her. “Last chance.”

     Damn again. She’d intentionally chosen this spot way out at the edge of the tarmac for its privacy. The down side? It also left her out of public view of anyone who could offer her help. She was out of options. “Fi—”

     A voice behind the men interrupted her.

     “What a bunch of fine-looking gentlemen! Are any of ’em spoken for, or can I have my pick?”

     The men turned around. A petite blonde woman wearing a thin white scarf tied around her breasts and a scandalously short skirt greeted them with a broad smile and a charged laser rifle.

     Val nearly fainted with relief. How had Nikki known? She’d been in the bowels of the ship repairing one of her many gadgets. Now, she was the cavalry.

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=306267

Ten (or more) Things I’ve Learned

Welcome guest author DARIEL RAYE!

Ask any writer, published or not quite yet, and you’ll get the same response – “If only I’d known then what I know now.” Of course, I suppose that could be said about life in general, but that’s another post or two, or maybe ten! For today, I’ll talk about ten things I’ve learned since I started writing to publish.

I started writing at a very young age, as soon as I learned to spell and write coherent sentences.  Writing stories and drawing paper dolls to go with them was one of my favorite things to do, but I never considered publishing anything until much later. I’ve learned a whole lot more than ten things, but that’s mostly because by the time I decided to actually try to sell some of my stories, I knew almost nothing about the industry. I was working as a therapist, and writing provided a pleasant escape from some of the harsh realities I faced daily.

One summer, a friend presented me with entry information for a short story competition. My job was slower during summer months, so I took that summer off and started writing. I didn’t win or even place in that contest, but by the time I finished my story, the writing bug had me under its spell, and eventually, I won a writing competition for my first shifter story, “Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable.” So, here are ten things I’ve learned about writing, the pros and cons, in no particular order…

There are millions of writers in the world of every caliber, and tens-of-thousands of them write romance. Now that could be a con, but considering that there are even more readers than writers (plus, most writers are avid readers as well), many readers devour three or more books a week, and there are 52 weeks in a year, there are still enough readers to get around to your books. In other words, you will not lose anything by supporting other authors. 

Along those lines, readers have to know about your books in order to read them, and marketing is harder and much more time consuming than writing the book in the first place. The positive side of this is that the many avenues available to authors today can make marketing fun (well, maybe not exactly fun all the time, but definitely doable) and engaging. There are a number of marketing courses specifically for authors, and some are free. I highly suggest taking one.

Once you’ve overcome the barriers and silenced the “nay-sayers” in your life and in your head, map out time and a place to write. Yes, this is the part about respecting your writing as if it’s already paying the bills. Treat it like your profession – your passion, even. One day soon, it just might replace that day job if that’s your goal, but you must be disciplined to accomplish anything lasting.

Learn to say “NO.” When it’s time to write, write. Don’t allow others to distract you with phone calls or tedious chores simply because you “work from home.” Most of us have a regular daily eight-to-twelve-hour gig before we even get the opportunity to write, so don’t allow anyone else to gobble up that hard earned time to pursue your dream. This does not mean neglect your relationships. Make time for friends and family as well. It’s all about balance.

Until writing becomes your bread and butter, schedule around it like a second job. For many of us, second jobs are like second nature, but life goes on. Plan time with friends and family, and teach family members to support you by helping as much as possible at home. Prepare two or three entrees at once on weekends so you can save some time during the week. Things might not get done just the way you would prefer, but they’ll get done. You’ve got writing to do, and those fantastic stories will never get written if you’re climbing out of the dishwasher, washing machine, or pray tell, the oven!

Find a quick, accessible ‘de-stresser’ to focus your mind before you sit down to write. One of the best for me is a hot shower. Gives mind and body time to relax, and I like to imagine the problems of the day getting washed away, leaving me refreshed and ready to move forward. A favorite song can also be a perfect ‘de-stressor.’ Over the years, I’ve developed a playlist of songs to listen to before walking into my house. The songs only last a few minutes, and in that time I can breathe, allow my thoughts to wander, and get ready to cope sensibly with whatever greets me once I walk through the door. As you know, when other people live with you, you never know what you’ll have to deal with when you get home, and it can be a battle to keep your goals and dreams from being gobbled up by unexpected drama. Here’s one of my favorites.

Now, you’ve de-stressed and you’re sitting down to write. You’ve also told your friends and family that unless they’re calling you to dinner or someone is bleeding out, you are not to be disturbed. Focus on getting the first draft completed. Tell your story freely, keeping in mind that you have the freedom to write as many drafts as necessary, picking and choosing just the right word here and there (later, after the first draft is done) until you’re ready to call in an objective expert – that is, an editor. Oh, and while you’re finding all the right words, be sure to make time for your physical health. Take regular breaks from the computer screen and move. Walking and dancing work best for me because they don’t require special equipment or space.

Let’s talk editors for a moment. You need one. They can be costly, and certainly not every editor is suitable for every writer, but the light the right editor shines on your story and your writing as a whole is priceless. Consider it paying for education, investing in your dream. No matter how wonderful an editor you are, you are too close to your own writing to do all of your own editing. That’s not to say self-editing should be overlooked, but don’t stop there. Get a good editor with glowing recommendations from at least three authors whose work meets your standards. You can find a list of over forty editors on my Musings blog along with a short post on finding the right one for you.

One more note about editing, I’ll count this as number nine because it’s just that important, and number eight was pretty long. Learn to use track changes. The feature will save you immeasurable hours once you reach the editing phase.

These ten things have barely scratched the surface, but join an author group and start building your support system. There’s always more to learn, and someone willing to share – that’s one of my favorite things about the writing community. Tell me about some of the things you’ve learned since you started on this journey?

 Organize your life, the space around you, and your computer files. These days, I keep calendars on my phone, desk, and online so I can check my schedule wherever I happen to be. I’m an avid user of the file feature in email to help keep track, and another handy tool I came across several years ago is Scrivener, a writing program that allows me to keep everything about my stories in one place. It’s been particularly helpful since I started writing series – stores all my details, and I’m a big fan of keeping everything in one place.

Every predator has a weakness.

When an ancient being, the last of his kind, meets a fiery woman sought by evil, neither one of them is prepared for the consequences.

Gateway is a shape-shifting demon hunter who finds, protects, and prepares the Chosen – human females with the ability to redeem or destroy demons. For centuries, he has followed the rules…

Establish connection
Complete genetic imprint
No personal attachments…

Until he meets his newest charge – curvy, fiery, headstrong, and angry with the world. Following the rules while fending-off demons is going to take everything he has and then some.

*Please Note – “Gateway” contains explicit love scenes, profanity, and violence. Must be 18+ Part of this story was previously published in the “A Darker Shade of Evil” anthology under the title, “The Devil Upstairs.”

Goodreads * Amazon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60118815-gateway-i

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Q379TWK

About the Author

Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. A counseling psychologist, classically trained vocalist, and pianist, she plays over 11 musical instruments, and naturally incorporates behavioral psychology into her characters. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). She is also a mom, art tinkerer, and Netflix and Amazon Prime paranormal TV series binger.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links

Website: https://darielraye.com

Blog: https://www.pendarielraye.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDarielRaye

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pendarielraye

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darielraye

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/dariel-raye

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dariel-Raye/e/B008NRCZ0K

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/806122.Dariel_Raye

Giveaway

Book Lover’s Swag Pack (US only),

$20 Amazon giftcard (WW)

-1 winner each!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/gateway-1-book-tour-and-giveaway

Intergalactic Brides!–take a listen!

Brielle and the Alien Geek

Intergalactic Brides Book 1

by Jessica Coulter Smith

Narrated by Su Hendrickson

Genre: SciFi Romance

The moment Syl sees Brielle, he realizes the sassy Earth woman is exactly what he needs in his life.

Brielle has waited faithfully for her fiancé to return from Terran Prime, only to discover she’s been engaged to a lying, cheating bastard who tosses her out on her rear the moment he’s back on Earth. Not one to go down without a fight, Brielle will do anything to ensure her survival – even sign up for a bride exchange on another world.

Syl has lived his life in his lab, always preoccupied with his experiments. But the moment he sees Brielle, he realizes that perhaps his life has been missing something after all. Wanting and having are two different things. What would an exotic-looking female like Brielle want with an alien geek like him?

**On Sale at Chirp Feb 11-15!!**

Add to Goodreads

Chirp * Audible * Apple * Nook * Google * Kobo * Scribd

Victoria and the Alien Doctor

Intergalactic Brides Book 2

Doctor. Hero. Alien.

Time is running out. Victoria Mathers has tried everything. Her daughter has a rare cancer that hasn’t responded to any of the treatments human medicine has to offer. If she can’t convince the sexy alien doctor to help her, she knows she’ll watch her child die. Victoria will do anything to save her daughter, even if it means bonding with an alien for the rest of her life.

Per Earth’s rules, Xonos isn’t allowed to treat humans, unless they’re one of the new human-alien pairs. However, looking at the small human child who is obviously suffering tears at his heart. It’s been his life’s work to save people, and he isn’t sure he can stand by and watch an innocent child die when he might be able to help.

What starts as a simple arrangement quickly turns into something more as Xonos and Victoria grow closer. It isn’t long before she realizes that she yearns for his touch and she wants so much more from him than he may be willing to give. Love was never mentioned when they struck their bargain, but now she’ll settle for nothing less.

Add to Goodreads

Chirp * Audible * Apple * Nook * Google * Kobo * Scribd

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and she firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet thriller author Jennifer Anderson!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

– My name is Jennifer Anderson. I grew up in Southern Illinois in the little town of Eldorado. I currently live in the much bigger small town of Gallatin, TN, just north of Nashville, with my husband of 27 years and an ornery cat. We have two sons, their delightful wives, and three grandchildren.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

– I drink way too much coffee. I used a Keurig for a while, but I really like to have a pot of coffee going so I can warm up my ever-present cup.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

– My degree is in advertising, and my jobs were always about writing. I worked as a copywriter, eventually landing at Nashville’s famed WSM Radio, where I transitioned into writing and producing a nationally syndicated radio show for a decade and a half. But I always dreamed of writing books. I was finally able to do that with my first novel – BUKU – which is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian thriller.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

– I am in the middle of writing my first series. BUKU is the first book, and I released the second book in the trilogy this fall. Both books are set in a world overrun by massive beasts which were developed in a lab so that their blubber could be used as clean-burning fuel. However, as often happens when man starts tinkering with nature, things go horribly wrong. A world devastated by these creatures is really just the setting of the stories though. Both BUKU and the sequel BUKU: Sun and Shadows follow a medic named Iris who is trying to save the people she loves while fighting not only buku, but the people who take advantage of the weak for their own purposes.  

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

– I had a dream – just a short, vague dream – that launched me into thinking about my main character Iris and her love interest Oso. I’ve always loved action-adventure movies and grew up reading Stephen King, so my story naturally developed into a fast-paced thriller with lots of suspense. I think what surprised me was, despite the fact that my books are about a world overrun by monsters,  many readers comment that it’s realistic. It feels like it could happen. That was a big lesson. As long as you keep the characters and their reactions and relationships and motivations real, readers will follow you practically anywhere.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

– Perhaps because it’s the newest, I really love BUKU: Sun and Shadows, the second in the trilogy. My favorite thing about is that my protagonist Iris is brought to her breaking point. The fear she experiences is all-consuming, and she has to push past it by relying on the people she feels she should be protecting, including children. It’s one thing to be strong. It’s another to be weakened, and to do what needs to be done anyway.   

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

– I love writing a scene that works so well it has me grinning or crying or pumping my fist. Everything is worth those moments. Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to figure out exactly where a story is going. So I procrastinate a lot. I mean, a lot! I am amazed by, and jealous of, writers who can write fast. However, I remember being in junior high, maybe even grade school, dreaming of writing a novel. This is a lifelong dream, so I am keeping at it!

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

– Several years ago, my pastor started a group for creative people – artists and writers and musicians. We met over lunch once a week. Sometimes we read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Sometimes we shared what we were working on. Mostly we just talked, and it was wonderful therapy for me. A lot of creative people can become blocked – scared of truly exploring what they can do – and that was definitely the case with me. I began writing my first book because of that group and will always be grateful for it. Most of the groups, FB pages, websites I use now are more about marketing and self-publishing.  

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

– Lately, I’ve been going on youtube and playing movie scores while I’m writing. It’s hard not to write dramatic scenes with the music from Game of Thrones swirling around you!

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

– I give my book to a few friends I trust to act as beta readers before my final edit, but otherwise, I rely on myself for critique. For years I wrote a radio script that was read by a broadcast duo with big personalities. I think hearing my words read by someone else taught me how to step back and truly examine what I’ve written. The flipside of that is that I am now at a point where I want to write what I want to write, how I want to write it! So no, I haven’t tried a critique group, perhaps to my detriment.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

– The most encouraging thing about the world of writing these days is that you can self-publish. You can go directly to the readers through digital platforms and never have to convince agents or publishers to take a risk on you. Of course, that also means that you are wholly responsible for all aspects of your book, including getting people to buy it. I self-publish through Amazon. So far, that’s two books and a novella. To make sure those books sell, I invested in a course on self-publishing, bought a few tools of the trade, and I spent quite a bit of money on my covers. So far, it has worked pretty well for me, though those who self-publish will tell you that the way to make money is to write a lot of books. One of these days, hopefully I’ll accomplish that.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

– I am currently working on the final book of the BUKU trilogy. I don’t have a name for it yet! After that, I am looking forward to trying my hand at a different genre, probably fantasy romance. I don’t really have any personal appearances scheduled, but you can always hit me up on Facebook or Instagram @jenniferandersonwriter.

Anything else you would like to add?

— Just that I appreciate the time and the discussion! Oh, and if you’re interested in free stories, including the prequel novella, subscribe to my newsletter at jenniferandersonwriter.comBUKU: Micah’s Story sets the stage for the trilogy, and I’d love to send it to you. You’ll also get my four best personal stories, including getting married at the Grand Ole Opry and giving a ride to William Shatner, which is a really funny story! Include social media links, bio, etc. J
www.facebook.com/JenniferAndersonwriter

www.instagram.com/jenniferandersonwriter/

jenniferandersonwriter.com
www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Anderson/e/B07FVMDRK1

Jennifer Anderson hails from Illinois — the opposite end of the state from Chicago. There, among the corn fields and coal mines, she grew up exploring new worlds through books, while dreaming of creating her own worlds. With a degree in advertising from the University of Illinois, Jennifer became a copywriter, working mostly in broadcasting. She eventually landed at famed WSM Radio in Nashville, Tennessee. From there, she moved on to write and produce the syndicated radio program “The Crook and Chase Countdown” before deciding to pursue her childhood dream of writing fiction. Jennifer lives in the Nashville area with her husband Mike, where she snuggles cats, neglects housework, and tries to find space for her vintage finds.  

A story of our times

Report from team 17-JRG, star system 49x, 700 cycle-unit mark.

The forced gene sequence mutation continues on the dominant planet species. While sub-species show random mutations in line with our objective, none have spread as quickly as intended.

Our work with the dominant species continues to be thwarted by the species itself, as they believe themselves to be intelligent and empowered. They have developed various counteragents to the insertion of the forced gene sequence mutation. These seem to be distributed in relevant proportion to the concentration of what appears to be forms of government organization. In areas where there is less political organization and less affluence (as evidenced by the availability of food, shelter and personal wealth), we are having more success, as the population cannot obtain said counteragents. We hope to have fully transformed this specific population’s gene pool within the next 100 cycle-units.

The rest will take creative solutions if we are to alter the remainder of the planet’s population in time.

In response to the creation of counteragents, we have modified our active virus for greater transmissibility, releasing the twelfth mutation in the current time period with moderate success. It has spread to most of the planet’s land masses within a very short span. We have several more possible mutations prepared and set to be released if the counteragents and other precautions enforced by the political rulers continue to block our efforts.

It is unfortunate that some deaths have occurred in the course of inoculating this world with the virus. The counteragents have succeeded in ameliorating side effects of the process, and that is to be commended. As far as we know, the mutation perseveres even in these cases. However, the loss of even a million lives to save the rest is to be a debate for the ethicists, not the scientists. For now, we must continue to change the gene pattern of every living creature that we are able to affect.

It would be so much easier if we could communicate directly with the species on this planet, to explain that we do not intend harm, but in fact, seek to protect them against the invasion force that is even now on the verge of their star system. The Vigrat seeding ship has registered on our sensors, and will not be farther than 350 cycle units away. By that time, if we succeed, all life on this planet will be infectious to the Vigrat and they will have to move past to another system to colonize. This planet can avoid what happened to our own homeworld.

But our earliest attempts to interact were met with such violent rejection that we have withdrawn our representatives. All we can do is follow our objective and continue forcing the gene mutation until every last species target has been infected. This we will do until the Vigrat are able to detect us, then we must move on.

We will, as ordered, report again in 50 cycle-units. Team 17-JRG, signing off.

Visiting around the ‘Net

Wanting to know more about my books? I’ve done interviews and blog posts all over lately. Check them out!

https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/2021/08/crossing-over-to-cold-side-of-town-by.html

https://sorchiadubois.com/novel-magic-ya-fantasy-autistic-mc/

Definitely the time to stock up for beaching the rest of the summer, or get prepared for the long, cold winter, for those who still live above the Mason-Dixon line. 🙂

SIXSHOOTER has been all round as well:

Three others are here: https://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/2021/06/saturdays-blurbs-feature-books-by-lyndi.html?fbclid=IwAR0GoCgEcuBqGIP7cr95x9lhfCkRY2THIOr8Gsp8LIUSkYxEASMfNJPBjOo

Enjoy!

Love is the ultimate adventure

Please welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Kayelle Allen!!

Thank you for letting me hang out with your readers! I’m excited to have a re-release of Alitus, Tales of the Chosen. It’s book two in the series, and happily for readers, book one is permafree. Wulf is available on all retailers.

They say cheaters never win and winners never cheat. But when you’re addictive and no one must touch you, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Alitus – Tales of the Chosen

How is this ever going to work…

Ordered by the Empress to find out if the lover of a friend is having an affair, Alitus investigates. As Minister of Imperial Intelligence, Alitus has access to every camera and remote in the empire. Which is a problem, because Wulf’s affair is with Alitus.

As a Better, an enhanced human, Alitus can touch no one — his pheromones are addictive. Isolated and under scrutiny, he keeps his affair with Wulf secret, because Wulf belongs to another, a powerful man allied with the empress. When the man asks the empress to investigate, Wulf’s relationship with Alitus could be exposed. Complicating matters, the empress reveals her immortality, and requires Alitus to prove his loyalty. Her test throws him straight into Wulf’s arms, right in front of the empress and Wulf’s lover. Hiding what he and Wulf are to each other has taken discipline and denial.

Now, it will take a miracle…

Universal Buy Link https://books2read.com/alitus-chosen

Excerpt – Alitus

Wulf let himself into the apartment and double-locked the door. Although his tenant had brought in her own furniture, the layout remained the same, and he could find his way around blindfolded. He pulled off shoes and set them aside to protect the new carpet. He’d had it installed last week, which was the least he could do, considering he’d been the one who’d ruined it. Who knew body paint could do so much damage?

It was kind of her to let him use it when she was out of town. Where else could he go?

Emptying his pockets onto an antique table in the foyer, Wulf shrugged out of his jacket and headed for the bedroom. When he opened the door, the heady scent of peaches wafted to him. Candles lit the sumptuous bedroom, illuminating the warm, inviting colors. A woman’s room, soft, appealing, strong.

At the foot of the bed stood a serving cart draped with linen. A silver bucket of ice held an open bottle of his favorite black vodka, and to one side, a single martini glass with a white chocolate truffle inside. Bottle and glass in hand, Wulf followed a trail of petals from the ornate iron bed to the open bathroom door.

There, in a tub of bubbles, lounged his blond and beautiful lover. With a faint blush, Alitus rested his head against the tub. The bathwater’s steam rose around him.

The sight made Wulf’s breath catch. Damp and curling, tendrils of Alitus’s pale hair clung to his jaw and throat. He looked innocent, but the ocean-blue gaze was far from it.

Wulf fought the carnality threatening to overwhelm him. He almost broke the fragile glass stem. “It was so hard tonight, seeing you at the palace and having to pretend you weren’t the most important person in the room.”

“Same here.” Alitus gave him a lazy smile, and trailed a wet fingertip along the edge of the tub. “When you defended me, and then looked my way, I feared every person in the room would know we were lovers.”

Wulf – Tales of the Chosen

Luc protected Wulf from harm, but endangered his own son. Now, it’s beyond protection. It’s personal…

This book is permafree on all retailers. Grab Wulf and begin your journey…

Universal Link https://books2read.com/wulf-chosen

Alitus, Tales of the Chosen

Erotic Gay Science Fiction Romance

Alitus is addictive. He can touch no one. But how long can he deny his heart?

Universal Buy Link https://books2read.com/alitus-chosen

Releasing Aug 20, 2021

Jawk, Tales of the Chosen

Erotic Gay Science Fiction Romance

Easy mission. All he has to do is seduce the most powerful and feared man in the Empire. And then betray him…

Universal Buy Link https://books2read.com/jawk-chosen

Ready for a binge read? Pick up Wulf for free, then get Alitus and pre-order Jawk. Your weekend just got hotter!

About Kayelle Allen

Meet Kayelle Allen, writer of immortal gamers and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories. She’s also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
Sign up for her newsletter and get free Sci-Fi stories, book recommendations, and become a Tarthian Empire citizen (and an immortal), among other reader exclusives. https://kayelleallen.com/immortality
Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Instagram https://instagram.com/kayelleallen
Kayelle’s Keepers http://facebook.com/groups/KayellesKeepers
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kayelle-allen
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/710889.Kayelle_Allen
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Kayelle-Allen/e/B003ZRXVN8

Meeting SATURN

 
 
 
Saturn
Planetary Anthology Series Set 11
Genre: Mixed Fantasy, SciFi, Speculative
 
with stories by
Bokerah Brumley, Karl Gallagher, Carlton Herzog, G. Scott Huggins, C.S. Johnson,
P.A. Piatt, J.F. Posthumus, James Pyles, Denton Salle, Ben Wheeler, Josh Young,
Richard Paolinelli, Arlan Andrews Sr., J.M. Anjewierden, Dana Bell, Vonnie Winslow Crist,
Karina L. Fabian, Rob Fabian, A.M. Freeman, Julie Frost
 
 
 
Saturn. The Ringed Planet. Harbinger of ideas and wonder. The planet that gave birth to the modern era of science envisioning the myriad of multi-colored rings circling the planet, one of the reasons for the invention of the telescope and the second largest in our solar system. These are the stories of Saturn, the great Titan. Tales of time, age and endings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
 
Swag pack, editor-signed signed paperback, and $25 Amazon gift card!

 

 

First of all, I was under the mistaken impression that this book was a collection of stories about the planet Saturn. It isn’t.

What it is, is a wonderful assortment of 20 science fiction and fantasy stories, SOME of which are, in fact, based on the lovely ringed planet. Others are about time travel, wizards, working in space, brain transplants… so much good stuff. You can even learn who the Chosen One is…and there isn’t a midi-chlorian in sight. Bokerah Brumley, who in addition to editing the anthology, is apparently the “peafowl wrangler,” has done a superb job giving us a little bit of everything.

The stories range in length, so there’s one for every bit of time you might have, whether waiting in the car, COVID-style, for someone at the doctor’s office, or that precious few minutes just before falling asleep. (but word to the wise– DON’T read You Will Be Uploaded at bedtime!)

As a romance writer, one of my personal favorites was The Lords of Titan, by G. Scott Huggins, which shows just how far some men will go for love. I also really admired They Also Serve by Rob and Karina Fabian. Anyone who’s been short might predict the ending of this one ahead of time. But each of the stories has its own appeal. Highly recommend!!

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