Saturday, January 31, 2015

3rd Annual SFR Galaxy Awards - January 31, 2015

Welcome to the 3rd Annual SFR Galaxy Awards!

Get ready to celebrate sci-fi romance because it’s time for the 3rd Annual SFR Galaxy Awards!

Today, January 31, we’re going to roll out the awards for the 2014 science fiction romance books, films, and television shows that made a lasting impression on the judges. (For complete information about the Awards, click here.)

The winners this year are wonderfully diverse, but they all share a focus on the fascinating intersection of love and technology. Each award description has a personalized touch so you can learn helpful information about the stories.

The awards will be posted throughout the day for a total of seven posts, so stay tuned!  Here is the schedule.  You can check each hours starting at 10:00 or wait till all are posted and check all at once.

10 am Charlee

11 am Donna

12 Laurie

1 Marlene

2 Jo

3 Heather

4 Anna

Stacking the Shelves -January 31, 2014

Books Stacked on My Shelves

I did request and receive four ARC’s from Netgalley this week.  One will be out in February, two in March and one in April.

Vision in Silver by Ann Bishop is the next book in the Others series.  This series is not for everyone.  If I had read the blurb before I check the first one out as an audio book at the library I probably would have put it back without listening.  Once I listened I was hooked.

I love Charles and Anna and have been looking forward to their next book for quite a while.  I immediately requested Dead Heat.  I think Patricia Briggs did a great job spinning the Alpha and Omega series off from her Mercy Thompson books.

Impulse by Dave Bara is military science fiction. I am not a fan of any war but I do love military science fiction.  Go figure.

Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove is another of his alternate histories.  I think he comes up with some very interesting stories when he starts changing how things happen.

What Else I Read in January of 2015

Most of my reading this month came from my Review Pile and most were reviewed in regular posts so my list is a little short this month.

Science Fiction:

Deadeye (The Mutant Files #1) by William C. Dietz -Deadeye kept
throwing me curves and the biggest one was right at the start.  A character I really liked did not last long and that threw me off for most of the book.  The story is OK.  The character building is a little off.  I thought the Cassandra Lee at the beginning of the book is very different from the Cassandra Lee at the end and I saw no reason for the change.  There is a problem to be solved and Cassandra and Ras Omo succeed.  There was a twist to that problem and I saw it coming.

Much of the world building and character development has been used before so while the plot was interesting it really did not have the twists to make it seem new and fresh.  A nice read and I will look for book two.  However it will not go on my re-read list.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"The office was cold, but Van had expected that. She drew her jacket closer around her body and tried not to fidget while she waited for Yical Blen."

Page 56:

"Van eased the shoes off her feet and sank into a chair in the living room. "And what do they do with Ithair who don't conform to that standard?" Her voice was edged in exhaustion.

From Restoration by K.S. Augustin. I am part of her irregulars
group and get a first look at her books. She is one of my favorite Science Fiction/Science Fiction Romance authors. Restoration hit a lot of themes that are important today. Looks like they may be important in the future too.

If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries

Historical Romance

From Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries, the deliciously sexy fourth book in the “Duke’s Men” Regency romance series—the first of which was called “a totally engaging, adventurous love story” (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick).

The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach—a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatched away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future.

 Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom staged a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.

Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy—Jane’s cousin and closest confidant—never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancĂ© to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgiveable—but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?

Dominick Manton has been part of The Duke’s Men series from the beginning.  We knew he had once been engaged to Jane Vernon but there have only been hints about what happened.  In If the Viscount Falls we finally get in inside story when Jane has to come to Dom for help.

There is a mystery to be solved and Jane and Dom have to work together.  It is fun to see these two strong characters butt heads.  Both know that they still love the other but there are things from the past and things in the present that have to be solved for them to have a future.  Dom has to learn to ask not tell and Jane has to learn to trust again.

These are two very well developed characters in an exciting and well-executed story.  If the Viscount Falls is a great ending to The Duke’s Men series.  It can stand-alone but is more fun if you have read the previous three books.

Pocket Books published If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries in 2015.

I received an ARC of If the Viscount Falls from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Master Sergeant: The Makaum War: Book One by Mel Odom

Military Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

They call it The Green Hell. A maze of tangled jungle, the planet Makaum is one of the most dangerous places in the universe. And for Terran Military Master Sergeant Frank Sage, it is now home.

The war between the Terrans and the Phrenorians rages, and both sides have their sights set on Makaum. If the planet's rich resources fall into enemy hands it could mean devastation for the Terran Army. To ensure that doesn't happen, Sage is sent to assess the Makaum troops and bring them in line with Terran Military standards. But soon after arriving at his post, he realizes the Phrenorians are not the only threat. Heading up a small but fearless unit, Sage must stop a brewing civil war with the power to unleash a galactic cataclysm unlike anything ever seen.

Master Sergeant Frank Nolan Sage is not where he wants to be.  After spending 6 years training troops he wants back in the war against the Phrenorians.  Instead he is sent to Makaum, a planet that appears to be on the sidelines of the war.  We readers are much smarter than the Master Sergeant.  We know that Makaum is going to be something much different.

World Building: Odom does a great job of building the universe where Master Sergeant is set.  From the first page that world is developed using action and dialog.  By the time I was halfway through the book I understood what and where the story was set.

Back Story:  Again that is told in the action and dialog that moves the book.  There is not that much back story required and much of it is presented early in the book.  The rest is worked into the plot as required. 

Plot:  While Master Sergeant sets up the series there is a definite danger that must be addressed.  There are numerous problems that are presented.  Some are pretty straight forward but some require Sage and his fellow soldiers to bend if not break the law.  The heart of this plot is drug running and production but it leads to the bigger problem – what the Phrenorians are planning for Makaum.

Characters:  Master Sergeant Sage is the main character that moves the story.  His development follows familiar lines for Military Science Fiction books.  His is backed up by an interesting cast of secondary characters.  While both the Master Sergeant and the secondary characters are often a stereotypes it is because that is what works in this type of novel.  It works well in Master Sergeant.

Writing: This is a well written story that uses great dialog and action that entertains the reader.  There are not any new ideas but everything is so well done that any Military Science Fiction fan will enjoy the book.  It is also a great introduction to those new to Military Science Fiction.

I enjoyed Master Sergeant.  I knew what was going to happen but really liked how the plot developed.  I look forward to more books in the series.

Harper Voyager published Master Sergeant by Mel Odom in 2015.

I received an ARC of Master Sergeant from Edelweiss in return for a honest review.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti Launch Day Blitz and Giveaway

I have been following the Sin Brothers from book one so when I was asked if I wanted to be part of the Launch Day Blitz for Blind Faith I immediately said yes.  I loved Nate's story and hope you do too.

There is a fantastic Rafflecopter giveaway which includes a grand prize of all three books in the series, plus an ARC of TOTAL SURRENDER, a “Who Shot Jory Dean?” T-shirt and a Blind Faith dog tag. To enter go to the bottom of the post.

BLIND FAITH by Rebecca Zanetti (January 27, 2015; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
A betrayal he couldn't forget . . . For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there's only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he'd never trust again.

A love she couldn't deny . . . 
The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He's just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there's an edge to him now that's as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can't refuse. But she has secrets of her own--secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .


Let’s dance.” He turned her toward the dance floor.

She balked. “No.” God. She couldn’t dance with him, couldn’t be touched by him.

“Yes.” His hold slid down to the back of her elbow, and he ushered her toward where the orchestra was playing “I Will Wait for You” by Michel Legrand. The warmth in Nate’s touch flared her nerves to life in an erotic need she’d worked hard to overcome.“Nate—”

“Shhh.”  He tightened his hold and drew her into an impressive erection.

She gasped, her face heating, her sex convulsing. Blinking, she glanced up in confusion to see if he was as affected as she was and stilled at the look in his eyes.

Furious. The man was truly furious. Even with the contacts masking his eyes, his anger shone bright.
She tried to step back and didn’t move. Yeah, she knew she’d hurt him when she’d ended their relationship, but after nearly five years, he shouldn’t still be so mad. He’d had freedom for five years, which was a hell of a lot better than she’d had. She’d had pain and fear and uncertainty. She blinked. “What is wrong with you?
His impossibly hard jaw somehow hardened even more. “Oh, we’ll discuss that shortly.” Threat lived strongly in the calm words. “For now, we’re going to finish this dance. Then you’ll take the north exit and meet me in my car so we can talk.”

“If I don’t?” she asked quietly, wings fluttering through her abdomen.

His hold tightened imperceptibly. “I know where you live, I know your daily routine in working for Senator Nash, and I know where you go when you need time alone. You can’t hide, you can’t outrun me—and you know it.”

The hairs on the back of her neck rose. “How long have you been watching me?” More importantly, why hadn’t she noticed?

“A week.  Long enough to know the two apes toward the doorway are following you, too.  What’s up with that?”  His hold tightened just enough to show his strength.

She shrugged.  “They haven’t made a move, so I’m not worrying about it.”  Not true, and by the narrowing of Nate’s eyes, he could still smell a lie a mile away.  “The commander is having me followed.”

Nate’s jaw clenched.  “Why?”

“Dunno.”  They didn’t have time to discuss it.  “You should go now.”

“No.” He spun her, easily controlling their movements.

Her leg hitched, and she stumbled against him.

He frowned. “What’s wrong?”“Nothing.” None of his damn business, that was. “What do you want to talk about?”

His gaze narrowed, and he spun her again. She tripped again. Her damn leg didn’t move that way.  She glanced toward the doorway and the two soldiers watching her.  They’d straightened to alert stances.  Damn it.

“What’s wrong with your leg?” Nate asked, brows furrowing.

Oh, they were so not going into her injuries on the dance floor. “You almost sound like you care.” She threw his words back at him, gratified when his nostrils flared in irritation.

His gaze probed deep, wandering down her neck. He blinked several times, his chest moving with a harsh intake of breath. “I like your dress,” he rumbled, his voice a low whisper.

With his tight hold, she had no doubt the tops of her breasts were visible. “Nathan, don’t—”

“Don’t what?” His gaze rose to her lips. A light of a different sort filtered through his angry eyes. She knew that look. Her body heated and her thighs softened. His erection jumped against her, and she bit down a groan.

“One kiss, Audrey.”

Her eyes widened to let in more light. “No,” she breathed. One of his hands held hers, the other pressed against her back. Thank goodness. He couldn’t grab her and kiss her, no matter how appealing the thought. “Bad idea.”

“I know.” Nate didn’t need hands. His lips met hers so quickly, she never saw him move.
His mouth covered hers with no hesitancy, no question—as if he had every right to go deep. His tongue was savage and demanding, holding nothing back and accepting no evasion. He tasted of loneliness, anger, and lust. Hard, needy, demanding lust.

The men at the door were watching.

But her body didn’t care—instantly igniting instead of pushing away.  Her heart thundered in her ears, and she fell into his heat, uncaring of whether or not he caught her. He wrapped around her, his unyielding body holding her upright. He caressed her with his tongue, and she met him thrust for thrust, fierce pleasure lighting her on fire.

She forgot where they were, who they were, everything but the desperate need he created.
He broke the kiss, blatant male hunger crossing his face. His breath panted out even as he moved them in tune with the music.

She softened against him, allowing him to lead so she didn’t collapse. Her mind whirled, and she shook her head to regain reality. “Nathan, what do you want?” The question emerged as a breathless plea she couldn’t mask.

That quickly, all hints of desire slid from his face. His chin hardened. “Want? I want to know what happened to the child you were carrying five years ago when you ripped out my heart. Where’s my baby, Audrey?”

Buy Links:

About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

Social Media Links:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teaser Tuesday - January 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 

The Teaser:

"The idea psi abilities cause a loss of control- it's actually the opposite.  If you sense you're about to trip down the stairs and break your ankle, you can take the elevator instead, right?"

From Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher.  This is a new Science Fiction Romance that will be released on February 2, 2015.  Fisher writes very good Science Fiction with the romance element added.  If you are a fan you should pre-order this one.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Musing Mondays - January 26, 2015

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Give a list of 4 books you read last year that you’d recommend to others — and why.
I am currently reading Edged Blade: Corbana Files by J.C.
Daniels.  I have been following the series for the  beginning and I am enjoying the current book.   I got Edged Blade from Netgalley.  It comes out on Feb 3rd.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beyond Galaxy’s Edge (The Phoenix Adventures #5) by Anna Hackett

Science Fiction Romance

From Goodreads:

Ambitious Patrol Captain Nissa Sander has spent three years at the galaxy’s edge keeping the law and order, and chasing scoundrel smuggler, Justyn Phoenix. But the charming rogue has always outwitted her and she’s had a hard time ignoring his hard body and handsome face. But when one of the galaxy’s most important documents—the US Constitution—is stolen, Nissa finds herself working with the very man she’s been trying to throw in her brig.

Justyn Phoenix embraces life and offers everyone a wink and a smile. He’s also in love with a spit-and-polish Patrol captain. Yep, crazy in love, and he knows she’ll never love him back. But when the opportunity arises to work alongside Nissa on a wild and crazy mission to recover the US Constitution, he can’t resist.

But nothing on this treasure hunt is as it seems. The trail leads them to fake documents, rival treasure hunters, and a millennia old mystery. As the hunt takes them beyond the galaxy’s edge, Justyn and Nissa will face the firestorm of their desire, and soon learn if they can survive long enough to save the galaxy.

Beyond Galaxy’s Edge is my favorite in the Phoenix Adventures.  I loved Justyn Phoenix.  He is the perfect hero.  Nissa Sander on the other hand needs some work before she can be his match.  That does not stop Justyn from trying to bring them together.

Beyond Galaxy’s Edge has the perfect blend of action scenes and sequel scenes.  Each time they take action that should solve the mystery they find that they have to back off and try something else.  The tension that builds trying to find the treasure and the tension that builds between Justyn and Nissa keeps the story on the razor’s edge. 

Great writing, world building and character development make this a great Science Fiction Romance novel.  While this is my favorite so far in the series the other books are also very good stories.  Start here with Beyond Galaxy’s Edge or start at the beginning of the series.  Either way you will have an enjoyable journey into space.

I received a free copy of Beyond Galaxy's Edge from the author in return for an honest review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - January 24, 2015

Books Stacked on My Shelves

I am still being very good about adding to my reading list.  This week I only added one book while getting 2 off of my TBR pile.  I have all my January review written and scheduled so I am now working on February.  The one book I got to review this week:

The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett.  It does not come out until April so I am exercising self-control and putting off reading it until closer to its release date.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"Not so long ago Emerald Flat, this very spot, was littered with painted tepees."

23% on my Kindle:

"Right, magic. When Turtle talked about magic I didn't argue , but I did not buy it either."

From Badlands Bad Boy, The Texas Brands by Maggie Shayne. This is book three in the series. I got hooked on the series when I downloaded book one free on Amazon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beneath a Trojan Moon (The Phoenix Adventures #4) by Anna Hackett

Science Fiction Romance

From Goodreads:

Fortune teller Relda Dela-Cruz is a woman with a secret. One she’ll do anything to conceal. She hides in plain sight on the market world of Souk, content with running her profitable fortune-telling business and never letting anyone too close. But when assailants attack her in pursuit of a powerful artifact, Relda collides with the city’s handsome, new marshal. A man who leaves no stone unturned and no secret covered.

War has left former Galactic Special Forces Captain Hunt Calder tired and empty, but one look at sexy Relda—with her wild curls and lush curves—brings him back to life. When she’s threatened over the mysterious Trojan Moon, Hunt will let nothing stop him from protecting her. Even Relda herself.

As they face alien attackers and killer droids, Relda can’t resist her burning attraction to Hunt. But she knows he’s the most dangerous threat of all, because he doesn’t just want her body, he wants her trust and her secret, too. A secret with the power to destroy Hunt and Relda, the city, even the planet itself.

I am hooked on The Phoenix Adventures.  Beneath a Trojan Moon is a side story novella set in the Phoenix universe.  What it does not have are any of the Phoenix men in the story.   Two of the Phoenix women do appear briefly but this is really Relda Depa-Cruz and Hunt Calder story and romance and it is a good one.

Relda and Hunt are both very appealing characters.  The action in the story is a result of Relda’s secret.  Hunt just wants to protect Relda at any cost.  All of this sets up an action filled well written romance.

Beneath a Trojan Moon is a great addition to the series.  It does stand alone but like any good series it is more fun if you read every book.

Amazon Digital Services published Beneath a Trojan Moon by Ann Hackett in 2014.

I received a free copy of Beneath a Trojan Moon from the author in return for an honest review.