I sat down (virtually) with TL Reeve for a short interview. Today is the release day for TL Reeve’s Sex, Cyborgs, and Champagne! Yes, CYBORGS and this is a menage. I don’t really have to say more than that. (grins)
Cynthia Sax: The entire premise of Sex, Cyborgs, and Champagne is awesome but what did you find especially thrilling?
TL Reeve: I think what drew me to the story was that, it was different. Sometimes, every story has the same plot. Boy meets girl (or boy) they fall in love throw in some strife and then happy ending. But, with Sex, Cyborgs, and Champagne, I could tell it from a different angle. I knew the ending before I wrote the book. Saw it and Lincoln clear as day. So, I knew filling it in would be the fun part. (FYI: Plot twist, but you have to figure it out.)
Cynthia Sax: I do love plot twists! What is your favorite line from Sex, Cyborgs, and Champagne?
TL Reeve: “As you wish, temptress.” It’s my favorite line, because throughout the story, Conner would do anything for Flora, and I think this represents their relationship quite well.
Cynthia Sax: Awww… that’s sweet. Where did you get the idea for Sex, Cyborgs, and Champagne?
TL Reeve: It’s a submission call for my publisher, and when I stared at the prompt for a minute, Lincoln (my cyborg) jumped into my mind first. I saw him at a bar, drinking, and people watching. He whispered (to me of course) I want to feel human for a night, can you help me? So, I built the story around him, but not just around him. Then when I gave him two humans. It kind of took off from there. However the ending really complements the book. (And you’ll never see it coming.)
Cynthia Sax: (grins) You’re such a tease. How does Sex, Cyborgs, and Champagne start?
TL Reeve: The story opens as a married couple Conner and Flora Mann, are ready to start their swinger cruise near the tropical islands of the planet Vega. It’s their anniversary and they’re doing the one thing Flora has always wanted to do. Be shared. As they’re standing on the small transport ship waiting to dock, you get a glimpse of how prim and proper Flora really is.
Cynthia Sax: This sounds so intriguing. Thank you for joining us today, TL Reeve!
We can help with that.
Conner Mann is on a mission. For his tenth anniversary, he wants to give his wife, Flora, a present she’ll never forget. When he sees an ad for Vega Space Vacations, he knows exactly what to do.
Flora Mann, grew up in a strict home with conservative parents. Expressing her sexual desires never came easy to her due to her prim upbringing, and because of it, she’d never been able to tell her husband what she wants most—a threesome.
Vincent Carver is the man with the plan.
Unit L-2817 or Lincoln to his friends, is ready to experience life through human eyes. As a reformed government mercenary, he’s free to finally experience everything others take for granted—including creating emotional connections. He isn’t sure what love is, but the instant attraction he feels between Conner and Flora, can’t be denied.
Their emotions run high as they contemplate their next moves. Can a cyborg assimilate to their hectic routine? Conner, Flora and Lincoln, are willing to find out. But, what if all they are left with are distant memories?
I sat down (virtually) with Veronica Scott for a short interview. Veronica Scott’s latest release, Danger in the Stars, is part of her delicious Sectors SF Romance Series!
Cynthia Sax: Where did you get the idea for Danger in the Stars?
Veronica Scott: When I was writing Star Cruise: Stowaway for the ‘Pets In Space’ anthology last year, I had the premise of an empathic alien priestess stolen from her own world and held captive by an interstellar crime syndicate to do their bidding. In that novella, the story was about the woman’s escape with the help of my ship’s crew and two pets. When I finished writing that one, I realized I had a lot more story to tell on the general theme, and so I started thinking about a sister, also held as a prisoner, but not lucky enough to escape. How would it be for her, to be in the midst of the criminal operations, trying to stay true to her own values, but forced to commit crimes? Who would help her? And then of course Conor, the hero, came into my head and said, “I will.” He’s a man of many secrets, by the way, but no spoilers from me!
Cynthia Sax: You had me at secrets. (grins) How does Danger in the Stars start?
Veronica Scott: Miriell and her mob controller have just arrived on a new planet, sent to help the mob boss there with a specific target. Miriell is ill from the cryo sleep and her handler is impatient, anxious to make a good impression on the people who hired them, so he’s rough with her. Conor is there, to oversee things for his own boss and right away Miriell is attracted to him, feels safe around him, even though she knows that’s crazy – why would a high ranking mob enforcer help her? But when she looks at him with her empathic power she sees an intriguing hint of the pure blue that signifies a warrior, hidden deep in his soul, but marking him as one to be trusted. So right from the beginning I’ve set up the conflict where she knows she can’t trust anyone in this place, yet instinctively she wants to lean on Conor. Will he help her? Can he help her? Or is he a dangerous weakness in her self-protective stance? And the story takes off from there.
Cynthia Sax: Mmm… I love warrior heroes! Tell us a little bit about the series Danger in the Stars belongs to and the order we should read the stories.
Veronica Scott: This story fits into my Sectors series, which is set in the far future, out in the galaxy. Most of the books in the Sectors SF Romance series are standalone adventures with romance and an HEA, although occasionally I write a direct sequel. I’m already thinking about a third empathic priestess, and her story, so I may write one more in this general set of plots. Never say never! I have a page on my blog where I give suggestions on what order to read the Sectors books, to the extent that it’s helpful to read any of them before reading others.
Cynthia Sax: That’s awesome. What do you love about writing in your SciFi Romance?
Veronica Scott: In science fiction literally anything can happen (and often does). So the author isn’t constrained by anything but their own imagination. And I love the idea of a hero and equally strong heroine up against the worst the galaxy can throw at them, and fighting through to that Happy Ever After ending.
Cynthia Sax: I love that too. Thank you for joining us today, Veronica Scott!
Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.
Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.
The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?
I sat down (virtually) with Nicola M. Cameron for a short interview. Nicola M. Cameron’s latest release, Degree of Resistance, is a SciFi Romance with a cyborg hero! (You know I love those! – grins)
Cynthia Sax: Where did you get the idea for Degree of Resistance?
Nicola M. Cameron: I had gone up to Ontario last October for a writer’s retreat hosted by my publisher, and stayed a few days with my fellow author and sister from another mister L.D. Blakeley. When I got to her place she started raving about this new show called Westworld. I admitted I hadn’t seen it yet. She looked at me in horror and said, “What do you mean, you haven’t seen it? You write SF romance. Sit down – I’ll cue it up.”
*Instant* love. The dialogue, the plot, the casting, the cinematography, the concept of searching for humanity in artificial intelligence, the eminently sexy Louis Herthum – I fell for it all. Later that weekend I had a chat with our PR person Sandra Bunino about the popularity of cyborg romances, and I flashed back to Westworld and thought, “Huh – there are themes here I’d really like to explore.” By the end of the weekend I had a six-book series in my head with at least two prequels and started working on Degree of Resistance while waiting at the airport for my flight home.
Cynthia Sax: What causes trouble between Ben and Evie?
Nicola M. Cameron: The biggest conflict stems from the fact that Ben asked Evie to marry him when she was nineteen, then supposedly died in a jumpship crash. Evie then spent the next twelve years raising his young daughter Ally (which meant giving up her shot at an engineering degree) before finding out that Ben was still alive and had been turned into a cyborg soldier. The two of them have a lot of guilt and anger issues to work out when they get back together; Ben is angry at himself for trusting the wrong superior and guilty that Evie had to give up her dream to raise his daughter, which he sees as his responsibility. Conversely, Evie is angry at the protectorate for screwing up both their lives and guilty that she engaged in a liaison with a rich young man named Gene while working for Gene’s aunt. There’s also the disconnect that, for Ben, the intervening twelve years never happened (cyborg soldiers have their consciousness suppressed) so he still feels the same way he did when he first proposed to Evie, but for her a lot of time has passed and she needs to figure out how she feels about Ben now as opposed to when she was nineteen. They work out some of their issues in this book, but others will crop up as the series progresses.
Cynthia Sax: Is Degree of Resistance part of a series and will you be writing more stories in this series?
Nicola M. Cameron: It’s the first in at least six books with two prequels and a bunch of side stories as they occur to me. I absolutely LOVE this world and these characters, and I want to write more about them and all the people around them, as well as the post-apocalyptic world they’re in.
Cynthia Sax: What do you love about writing in your SciFi Romance?
Nicola M. Cameron: I started off my professional writing career in 1995 as a SF writer. What I absolutely love about writing SF/fantasy romance is that I’m *still* writing science fiction and fantasy – it’s just that I now get to add in the romantic scenes that I always had to censor before.
Cynthia Sax: Thank you for joining us today, Nicola M. Cameron!
A perfect society hiding a terrible secret. An innocent man condemned to cyborg slavery. A brilliant woman determined to set him free.
Freelance tech Evie Contreras belongs to the Employee class of the Pacifica Protectorate, the “perfect society” that rose from the ruins of the West Coast. But Evie knows about Pacifica’s festering core and the secrets that keep it in power. And when she discovers that Pacifica has turned her fiancé Ben into a cyborg soldier/slave, she will risk everything to rescue him.
Saving Ben is the first step in a deadly game between Pacifica and a shadowy resistance group known as Rubicon. In return for Rubicon’s help, Evie must retrieve a hidden artificial intelligence that may hold the key to protecting Earth from a deadly new disaster.
Assuming the protectorate doesn’t find Evie first…
I sat down (virtually) with Naomi Lucas for a short interview. Naomi Lucas’ latest release, Star Navigator, is a SciFi Romance with a cyborg hero and is the third standalone book in the Stranded in the Stars series.
Cynthia Sax: What makes Atlas sexy?
Naomi Lucas: Atlas: Adjustable Thickness Length and Size. I love my character Atlas, he has a lot of snark but he’s still a badass Cyborg soldier. I consider him my Frankenstein’s monster in space. What’s great about him is that he’s this killing machine that currently doesn’t have a body, as he was shot down many years before during the Great War so now he’s just a sentient intelligence. And boy does he know how to use his voice to get a girl off! Does he get his body back? I don’t know…you’ll have to read it and find out!
Cynthia Sax: Where is Star Navigator set?
Naomi Lucas: The story is set far in the future several generations after a disastrous galactic war between an alien species the Trentians and us, the Earthians. Tensions are still high although there is a truce. This particular story is about a woman who is given a deadly mission to discover why hundreds of ships have vanished after they have left the network’s reach. She is the last attempt for the Earthian Council to figure out what is happening. Her only crew-mate is Atlas, the acerbic, deadly Cyborg and they are stuck in close quarters for a long time. They have to learn to trust each other as they face many of the deadly aspects of space. Illness, corruption, pirates, and aliens.
Cynthia Sax: What creates problems between Reina and Atlas?
Naomi Lucas: They start off not trusting each other regardless of each other’s’ reputation. Reina has dealt with harassment her whole career in the Space Fleet as being one of the only woman in her field. She has walls built around herself to protect her but she lets them break down because she finds Atlas as a being who can’t physically hurt or take advantage of her. Atlas, on the other hand, has plans of taking control of the ship, taking control of his body, and taking control of Reina. Cyborgs=Control. This is all happening between them as they make their way out to dead space and the possibility of impending death.
Cynthia Sax: Is Star Navigator a series and will you be writing more stories in this series?
Naomi Lucas: This is the third standalone book in this series. Each book is connected but can be read alone and can start from anywhere. I try to write my books in a way that if someone starts on book two, let’s say, it will make them want to read book one and three. I don’t like answering any questions that are beyond my character’s scopes. I find the answers to many of the ‘biggest’ questions take an entire story to explain. I plan on writing five books for Stranded in the Stars, with the last one featuring Larik. But I plan on writing off-shoot series for my aliens and cyborgs. Truthfully, it’s hard to say, I have so many stories in my head and outlined that I might veer off now and again and write something random.
Cynthia Sax: Thank you for joining us today, Naomi Lucas!
Reina stopped caring, and she doesn’t know why.
After years of working for the Earthian Space Fleet, spending her days in quiet anticipation as a back-up pilot, doing her work well, if indifferently, she comes face-to-face with an alien warrior who tries to bargain away her free will and make her his own. Furious and unsure whether she should fight for a life when she was just going through the motions, Reina is approached by her superiors and asked to captain the last mission into the abyss, drastically altering the course of her life.
What does a Cyborg do when he has the power of the entire network? When his actions could alter the course of the universe? And his only obstacle is a woman in desperate need of his help?
Atlas is consumed with rage.
He is the best navigator for The Earthian Council and has been working for them for decades in hopes that they will free him. But when the Council forces his hand, the now sentient intelligence must undertake a mission that could irrevocably destroy his conscious mind. A mission that could force him to transcend his half-life state in order to protect the beautiful, lost captain that he would risk a second-death to claim; and to feel under his fingertips.
I sat down (virtually) with Marteeka Karland for a short interview. This is Marteeka’s release day! Woot! Her new release, Men of Honor: Rafe, is Contemporary Military Romance with a former Navy Seal hero.
Cynthia Sax: What excites you most about Men of Honor: Rafe?
Marteeka Karland: EVERYTHING! I wrote this story at lightning speed. It just seemed to flow from my fingers! Grant it, it was a little rough (talk to my editor about that…) but there was nothing forced. I loved every single character I created. I loved the world. I loved the heroines and heroes. I’m excited to see if readers love them as much as I do. So far, my beta’s have loved it.
Cynthia Sax: What is your favorite line from Men of Honor: Rafe?
Marteeka Karland: “Let’s get a couple things straight, comedy boy. You want no part of me. You might think you do, but I guarantee you don’t. Second, Amanda is mine. I protect what’s mine.” (it’s a little Alpha man thumping his chest like an animal, but I love it. )
Cynthia Sax: Mmmm… I do love a beastly hero. How does Men of Honor: Rafe start?
Marteeka Karland: The first part of the story is actually somewhat true. Including the horrible joke from the first line (groaner!!!) I dated a guy (who now writes for the CBS show, Scorpion… which I refuse to watch now. #NotBitter) who pretty much treated me the same way the protagonist in this book treats Amanda (my heroine) in my fictional club. He leaves her to go do his shit and she’s left all by herself. The beginning of this story was all about getting a hunky, Alpha guy to sweep Amanda off her feet. Make her feel special and desirable. And it made a helluva good Carver Family book
Cynthia Sax: Is Men of Honor: Rafe part of a series and will you be writing more stories in this series?
Marteeka Karland: Yes. This is actually a spin off of my Heroes: The Carver Brothers book (available here: http://amzn.to/2lwFwlo) The Lexington brothers were so popular, I decided to make a Louisville branch of the family tree. These guys are a bit more edgy and, when they come home to Mama Carver from the first series… yeah. Not going to be pretty…
Cynthia Sax: Thank you for joining us today, Marteeka!
In the dangerous world of drugs, things can turn deadly in an instant…
Amanda Livingston is stuck in a rut with her, boyfriend, Scott Dosser. Knowing only that she’ll never be the one to satisfy him, she doesn’t suspect the true evil lurking behind his sexy smile…until it’s too late.
A battle with drug lords into human trafficking…
Former Navy Seal, Rafe Carver, was trained to not miss details and something about this couple seems…off. Instincts on high alert, Rafe digs to find the truth. Which turns out to be more than even he bargained for. Rafe will stop at nothing to keep naive Amanda alive preferably tucked safely between the sheets of his bed.
Two strong wills collide…
Rafe thought the biggest danger was the cartel, little did he envision the sultry Amanda, was as hard-headed and feisty as she was sexy. Convincing her of the dangers surrounding proves most challenging of all and there isn’t time for error or argument. Surviving each may be even more tricky than outmaneuvering the men after her.
I sat down (virtually) with Christine d’Abo for a short interview. Christine d’Abo’s upcoming release (available for pre-order NOW) is The Bond That Ties Us, an absolutely yummy SciFi Romance.
I devoured this story. The Bond That Ties Us will definitely make SciFi Romance Readers happy, especially if you love the sexy times and super hot alien males! The entire series is wonderful.
Cynthia Sax: What is super special about The Bond That Ties Us?
Christine d’Abo: There are so many things that makes this book special for me. This was THE book for me, when it came to what being an author meant to me. This was the first one that the whole writing thing clicked. I had a fun idea, strong characters, but I also learned more about craft writing this book than I’d ever had before.
Cynthia Sax: Where did you get the idea for The Bond That Ties Us?
Christine d’Abo: This will sound weird, but I’d gotten this idea from a reoccurring dream I’d been having. I kept seeing a man struggling and a woman knowing that she had to help him. He was a complete stranger to her, but she had this compulsion to help. From that thread the whole idea of the Briel people and their need to mate with only one person, grew.
Cynthia Sax: That doesn’t sound at all weird to me. For me, writing is very much like dreaming. The story comes from my brain but I don’t have any control over it.
Where is The Bond That Ties Us set?
Christine d’Abo: I set this story on a planet named Eurus. I wanted it to be far away from Earth, mostly so the society had to rely on their own people, on the others who will drift in and out of their lives. For me, it provided the opportunity to have a rich playground for these characters where anything could happen. Aliens, monsters, ghosts, anything can happen. But most importantly, these people are able to find love.
Cynthia Sax: I do love the monsters (thinks of Kralj from Dark Thoughts and smiles). What do you love about writing in SciFi Romance?
Christine d’Abo: My first love has always been science fiction. As a kid I watched every sci-fi show or movie I could get my hands on. Doctor Who, Star Trek, Space 1999…all of them. When I eventually found the world of romance and subsequently, romantic sci-fi, I knew I’d finally found my joy. Being able to write these stories, to create new worlds while having my characters also find love, is the best job in the world.
Cynthia Sax: Thank you for joining us today, Christine!
Haylie knows her life is about to change the moment she sets foot on the Eurus colony. What she didn’t count on was her instant, overwhelming sexual desire for the seven-foot-tall, sexy as hell alien ambassador. He’s in her every thought and dream, teasing and taunting her body into a sexual frenzy.
Kamran has waited his whole life to find his bonded mate. When she arrives in the form of a slender human with brilliant eyes, he can’t stop his all-consuming need to possess her. If their bond is discovered, they will be forced by Briel law to leave the colony, giving up the lives they’ve worked so hard to build. While Haylie and Kamran fight their growing desire, their colony is threatened by an unseen enemy.
When the colony comes under attack by a brutal alien force, can Haylie and Kamran keep their bond a secret and stop the invasion in time to save everyone?
I sat down (virtually) with Elizabeth A. Schechter for a short interview. Elizabeth A. Schechter’s latest release is Haven’s Fall, a Fantasy Romance featuring asexual characters.
Cynthia Sax: Why are you excited about Haven’s Fall?
Elizabeth A. Schechter: What I find exciting is that there don’t appear to be many people writing romances with asexual main characters. I checked Goodreads, and I found a list of romance novels with asexual MCs. 57 books, counting my own Counsel of the Wicked and Haven’s Fall. That’s not enough. There need to be more books with asexual characters. There need to be more romances with asexual characters, if only to dispel the misconception that asexuals either can’t or don’t experience romantic love!
It’s important to be able to find yourself inside the pages of a book. It’s important to be able to relate to characters, and to know that other people are seeing this character, and might just be able to understand you a little better. My biggest worry as a writer is whether or not I’m portraying a character properly and respectfully, because if I’m not, then I have work to do to fix it.
Cynthia Sax: So true. (nods) Where did you get the idea for Haven’s Fall?
Elizabeth A. Schechter: You know how places can be characters in a book? In the case of the Rebel Mage series, a place inspired the whole thing. I was in North Carolina, helping my sister out while she had the flu. Part of this involved taking her daughters to church. Since this was in December, that meant going to and from Sunday Mass, then to and from the rehearsals for the Christmas show, and finally to and from Faith Formation. Three trips, six times driving past the Stonewall Jackson School for Boys, a historic site located north of Charlotte. I looked it up, because I was curious, and I found out it was a reform school, and that it had a really lurid history of abusive behavior toward the boys. That history, combined with the last trip through the rain and fog, where all I could see from the road was the octagonal stone gazebo, created The School. Then Matthias walked out of the fog.
Cynthia Sax: What advice would you give new writers?
Elizabeth A. Schechter: It’s kind of cliché, but the one piece of advice that I have given writers, and that I will continue to give to new writers, is to keep writing. To not worry about how badly their first draft sucks, because first drafts are supposed to suck. That’s why they’re first drafts. It’s what you do with that draft that is important.
Cynthia Sax: That’s awesome advice. My first drafts are always challenged.
What do you love about writing Fantasy?
Elizabeth A. Schechter: The possibilities. When you write fantasy and science fiction, there are no limits. You can do anything. I’ve written about shapeshifting demigods and intelligent machines (more than once!). There have been trickster gods and BDSM vampires, BDSM super predator-warriors and gods trapped in human form. There’s about to be a blind mage, and then there’s the dystopian world of the Rebel Mage series, with its theocratic despots and the young asexual mage who everyone wants to either co-opt or kill. And eventually, there will be steampunk on the high seas, there will be more BDSM vampires, and there will be anything else I can dream up.
I have the best life— I get to drink coffee and make stuff up. Can’t get any better than that!
Cynthia Sax: Thank you for joining us today, Elizabeth A. Schechter!
Haven had been their goal since escaping the destruction of the School. Haven had promised safety, rest, an end to running and death. But things had gone badly wrong in the mountains. Tam and Linnea had to leave Matthias and Solomon behind to face the Elders, hoping to return for them once they’d found Haven. The reality does not live up to the promise. Isolated and dying, Haven fears outsiders almost more than it needs new blood. With only the griffon Dancer and the human healer Ilane for allies, Tam and Linnea fear that Haven’s rulers will prevent them from going back for their friends—then fire rains down from the sky, and things became so much worse for everyone.
I sat down (virtually) with Cara Bristol for a short interview. Her latest release is Body Talk, a compilation of sexy excerpts from multiple erotic romance subgenres!
Cynthia Sax: What makes your heroes sexy?
Cara Bristol: They care for the heroine. Even in the BDSM romances, the hero is interested in her as a person. While a character may be conflicted about the relationship, he respects her as well as desires her. I create heroes who are worthy of the heroine’s love—although there may trauma in their past that makes them believe they’re not worthy of love. That’s something they have to overcome in the story.
Cynthia Sax: Where did you get the idea for Body Talk?
Cara Bristol: I’ve been a lifelong romance reader. As a teenager I used to reread the sexy parts over and over. I thought why not produce a book that was all sexy parts? Body Talk contains full chapter excerpts of eleven of my sexiest sex scenes! My current readers can reread some of their favorite passages—and readers new to me can be introduced to a sampling of my work. All for only 99 cents (or free with Kindle Unlimited). They’ll be introduced to some of my sci-fi romance, romantic comedy, paranormal, and BDSM (light).
Cynthia Sax: Where do your stories start?
Cara Bristol: Each excerpt begins with a lead-in to a sexy scene. In some cases, the characters intend to have sex; in others, but in others, they haven’t realized it themselves yet. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. There is pursuit and seduction. Love and affection. Readers will get to know the characters, their motivations and bit of their stories. Each scene is complete; there isn’t a cliffhanger.
Cynthia Sax: What advice would you give new writers?
Cara Bristol: Don’t give up. Pace yourself. Realize that there is no sprint to success. It’s a marathon you have to run every day. Being an author is my dream job, but it is work. If you don’t love writing, you probably won’t have the discipline to see it through to success.
Cynthia Sax: Thank you, Cara Bristol, for joining us today!
Remember when your favorite paperback books used to naturally open to the scenes you’d read over and over, the ones that made you laugh, tugged your heart or got you hot and bothered? In Body Talk, USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has compiled full-chapter excerpts of the sexiest scenes from her most popular and favorite erotic romances. These story excerpts will tug at your heart, captivate your imagination, and stir your senses. You’ll visit the familiar…and escape to the unexpected in a variety of subgenres including: contemporary romance, BDSM/spanking romance, science fiction romance, romantic comedy, and even a historical romance selection.
I sat down (virtually) with J.K. Coi for a short interview. J.K. Coi’s latest release is Loving Lord Spy, an absolutely delicious WWII romance included in Once Upon a Christmas: A Wynter Family Saga, a Historical and Contemporary Holiday Romance Anthology.
Cynthia Sax: I know you were super excited about contributing to Once Upon a Christmas. What makes this anthology special?
J.K. Coi: I love this anthology for a lot of reasons. The first is because the four of us have been good friends for a long time, and we’ve been hoping for an opportunity to collaborate, but since our styles and genres are pretty different across the board, we didn’t have a chance until the idea of doing this family saga spanning different time periods came to us.
I also love the stories because they’re all so wonderfully written, full of hope and the Christmas spirit. They just feel good to read.
Cynthia Sax: Where did you get the idea for Loving Lord Spy?
J.K. Coi: I LOVE LOVE LOVE the movie An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and so when I was thinking about how to put together the novella for this anthology, it immediately came to mind maybe because of the time period I would be writing in. So I took a little bit of Cinderella, and a little bit of this movie, and came up with Loving Lord Spy.
Cynthia Sax: Where is Loving Lord Spy set?
J.K. Coi: This anthology is exciting because it tells stories of the Wynter family through a couple of different time periods. My novella takes place at the end of WWII, and I hadn’t written in this genre before. I love a challenge and I realized while writing this that I would like to write more stories in this time period.
Cynthia Sax: Having read your story, I would LOVE if you wrote more stories in that time period. It really fascinates me.
What creates problems between David and Winnie?
J.K. Coi: The conflict between David and Winnie comes from their responsibilities. They don’t have a lot of time together. They fall in love hard and fast without knowing a lot about one another, and they’ve both made commitments to the war, so until that’s over, they can’t possibly think about a future together. Then again, so much can happen between now and then… and while they’re separated, both of them learn things that challenge what they thought they knew about the other.
Cynthia Sax: Thank you for joining us today, J.K.!
The holidays are a time for family, celebration—and the Dukes of Ravenglass to fall in love. Spend the Christmas season with the Wynter family, as the Dukes of Ravenglass find their happily-ever-afters in this delightful, heartfelt collection that spans from the Regency era to the present day.
In A Price Above Rubies by Maggie Robinson, set in the Regency era, paid companion Helen Lowe doesn’t know the man she shares her first-ever dance—and first-ever kiss—is Gabriel Wynter, a reclusive, notorious duke. When Helen flees after being exposed, she leaves behind something of far greater value than a glass slipper. Can Gabriel find her, return it, and finally open his heart?
In the Victorian-era set, Never Have I Ever Fallen in Love with a Duke by Tiffany Clare, Alexander Wynter has a problem—his best friend’s younger sister grew up. When he agreed to help Emily MacCallon make her debut, he didn’t expect the beautiful, alluring woman before him—or for her to lead him on such a merry chase. Alexander knows one thing: the only man she’ll be kissing forever and ever is him.
In the World War II-set, Loving Lord Spy by J.K. Coi, Winnie Jenkins, a combat nurse, and Lord David Wynter, an injured British spy, fall in love at the worst possible time. Each of them owes a duty to their country and must go their separate ways. They promise that when the war is finally over, they’ll meet in Hyde Park on Christmas morning…but agree that if one of them doesn’t make it, the other won’t seek out the reason why. Can they keep their appointment? Or will secrets, lies, and the perils of war keep them apart?
A missed connection gets a second chance in the present-day contemporary romance, Saved by the Belle by Elyssa Patrick. Seven years ago, Kit Wynter met the woman of his dreams. Even after all this time, he’s never been able to forget the American girl who captured his heart. When Belle Sweeney answers his ad—for she, too, never forgot him—it feels like there’s something still there. Spending the holiday at Ravenglass Abbey is the perfect opportunity to figure out if this is love.
I sat down (virtually) with Jenn Nixon for a short interview. Her latest release is MIND: The Reckoning, a SciFi Romance!
Cynthia Sax: Where did you get the idea for MIND: The Reckoning?
Jenn Nixon: My brother and I were born three years and three weeks apart. We have a very strange, but close relationship. Sometimes, we actually think of the same ideas at the same time, even when we’re not together. We’ve called each other at the same time to talk about the SAME THING! We often finish each other’s thoughts too. So, I always wondered what it would be like if we were twins or psychic. Then, I wondered what we’d be like if we were half alien twins and the MIND series was born.
Cynthia Sax: What a cool bond to have with your brother! Where is MIND: The Reckoning set ?
Jenn Nixon: The MIND Series starts off in 2034, near future. This gave me the ability to add in some technology and world building, but still include many places around the country and world that people are familiar with already. I also tend to use pop culture references when my characters talk and I didn’t want someone mentioning a comic book or movie hero when they are living in 3025 or some far off time where that reference wouldn’t make sense.
Cynthia Sax: Is MIND: The Reckoning part of a series and will you be writing more stories in this series?
Jenn Nixon: Yes, Book 3 MIND: The Reckoning release this October and I’ve already finished #4 for a March 2017 release date. I’ve been brainstorming #5 and it’s already too big for just one book so some of the plot will spill over into #6!
Cynthia Sax: (grins) That sounds like my cyborg series. I think of more and more stories to tell. What advice would you give new writers?
Jenn Nixon: Read, read, read, and write, write, write. Join writer’s groups online and/or in person. Learn the rules of the craft, Showing Vs Telling, POV, Plotting, Crutch Words, etc. Pay attention to what editors and agents say to you if you get rejected. Is your plot lacking? Do you head hop? Is the pacing too slow? Are you telling us more than showing us?
Take honest, critical feed back to heart. Unless it’s a trolling reader who always leaves bad reviews, listen to what the readers say to you. For example, in my Tiva Boon books, a few readers said my plot was lacking and for the most part, they were right. Tiva is a character driven book and looking back on it now, there are many places I can go back and tighten the narrative to make the plotting better.
Cynthia Sax: What do you love about writing in SciFi Romance?
Jenn Nixon: Science Fiction has been the biggest love of my live (other than my dog). It started early with reruns of 60s shows like Batman and Star Trek TOS. I didn’t read much SciFi as a teen, I loved Mystery and Suspense books like Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark, but I still watched SciFi Movies and TV shows all the time.
My first few books were Romantic Suspense. I felt I had read enough, learned enough, and loved Mystery Suspense so much, that it was the genre I should write in. While I do love my Romantic Suspense books, I think adding SciFi into the mix elevated my writing to a whole new level. I’m able to take all the cool things I love about the future and SciFi and add it into a Mystery or Suspense story for a new take on the genre.
Thank you so much for having me!
Cynthia Sax: Thank you, Jenn Nixon, for joining us today!
Baldwin Bates has only wanted one thing since joining MIND, to take care of his friends and keep them all safe. While the Meta-Alien Investigation and Neutralization Department is busy monitoring an emergence of human psychic and alien activity, Bates takes his first solo assignment searching for a woman who claims to see the future, only to botch it up and let her get away.
After helping to destroy an alien device called the Transcender, Lexa Quinn wakes from a two-week coma a very different person than she was before. While her abilities grow stronger, her feelings for Bates begin to interfere with the MIND team’s mission, putting everyone at risk. Secrets from her past threaten the present and future, forcing Lexa to decide who she is and where she belongs.
When a powerful, ancient enemy lays claim to the Earth and brings his judgment upon the population, Bates, Lexa, and the entire MIND team must do whatever it takes to save the human race before the reckoning is complete.