2/25/2012

Welcome Guest Angel Martinez


Exposition in Science Fiction. Yes, it’s an odd topic and it rhymes, but try not to get scared off yet. It’s one of the things that cause SF writers the most angst and anguish. SF, by definition, discusses things that could be, that might be, possibilities, and probabilities. Stuff that hasn’t happened yet or hasn’t been invented/discovered/fully theorized yet.

Master storytellers like Ray Bradbury were criticized for not enough exposition, not enough science, leaving too much unsaid and to the imagination, (heaven forefend!) SF geeks like their science. Kinda follows, eh? But if you go to the other end of the spectrum, we have brilliant scientific minds like Arthur C. Clark. Astounding, prophetic thinker, someone who understood the universe better than perhaps the universe itself does. As a storyteller? Often dry as dust. The reader needed constant rehydration just to get through some of the chapters, long, never ending passages of nothing but exposition.

So we walk a fine line writing SF. Don’t think about the science enough, and you have fluff, worse than space opera. It becomes stripped and empty of everything that makes it SF and you might as well make it into a contemporary romance because the spaceships are just backdrop. Think about the science too much? Lose the average reader. Fast.

So when I wrote Gravitational Attraction, it was with mixed feelings that I cut out the detailed explanations of how the GEM (gravito-electromagnetic) interstellar drive worked, as well as bits about how lumanium was discovered and certain detailed aspects of life on T’tson. Important to me in understanding the created universe? Yes. Important to the story? *scuffs foot on the carpet* Probably not.

If you’re not a writer, creating universes in your head is often called schizophrenia. So long as you keep up the appearance that you know the inner universe is pretend, no one tries to have you committed. But, ye gods, the more you build, the more real it becomes. Brave new universe, that has such aliens in’t. Which, when you get down to it, is really the point of any fiction. If writers don’t believe, what charlatans we become trying to convince the reader they should.

Gravitational Attraction
M/M Science Fiction Novel – available 2/25/12 from Silver Publishing

Blurb:

A mysterious distress call draws the crew of the Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting ship. Empty that is, except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and one lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced. Turk longs for Isaac, a desperate, hopeless ache he knows he’ll always carry with him.

But Turk harbors dangerous secrets, his brain a military experiment gone wrong. When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

Excerpt:

A terrible jolt yanked him from the dark. Shchfteru. Agonized screams. Rage coursing through every nerve. The white… blinding white… imploding suns… the terrible silence…

He had no wish to open his eyes again. There had been a face, a beautiful face, but he must have dreamt it in his madness. The silence remained. If he opened his eyes, he would see the cell again, the blood drenched walls, the gray horror of his floating tomb. No. Better to keep his eyes closed and see again those dark eyes set against flawless golden skin.

Wait. Sound. The soft sound of even breaths drawn. Not alone. Sweet spirits, I'm not alone.

His eyes flew open to find a miracle staring at him from across the room, the same lovely face from his vision. It must have been true. His body felt warmer and no longer as if he might go mad from thirst. Rescue… perhaps. But he needed to be cautious.

"Hey." The beautiful, golden-skinned man spoke, his smile reaching his raindrop-shaped eyes. "You recognize me?"

He could only stare, hesitant to believe the evidence of his senses. They had lied to him before in recent days.

"You have a name?" The voice rivaled the face in beauty, soft and warm, caressing his exhausted mind. "All right, we'll start with mine. I'm Isaac Ozawa. And I guess I could just call you the Marduk Rescuee, or maybe Ishmael—"

"Ishmael?" The word caught in his dry throat, barely a rasp.

"Yeah, you know, the sole survivor? And I alone survived to tell the tale? Oh, never mind. But it would be nicer to have a name."

He swallowed against the rawness, trying for more of a voice. "Turk."

"That's your name? Turk?"

He nodded and watched in fascination as Isaac shook his head, dark hair fanning his cheeks.

"Of course it is. No soft sibilants or lingual sounds for you. Oh, no. Nothing but hard, strong sounds. You probably have a last name that would hurt to say."

Turk drew a slow breath, trying to keep up with events. His head ached. "Always… talk so much?"

"Only when I'm nervous or pissed off."

"Which?"

"Which is it now? Oh, nervous, definitely." Isaac shifted, head cocked to one side. "Not that strange men usually make me this nervous."

"But… I do." He forced his attention away from the captivating face. Isaac was in uniform, burgundy with gold piping. He couldn't match the colors with any unit he knew. Whose hands had he fallen into? "Water?"

"Oh, shit." The beautiful smile fell. "Of course you want water. Damn. Hang on."

Turk eased his head back to the bed, waiting. Something pinned his hands and feet. In his weakened condition, he had little hope of breaking a magnetic or even a physical barrier. Isaac came back into view, water bottle in hand. A sharp, electric jolt ran down Turk's spine when an elegant, golden hand slipped behind his head to help him drink. He had no business thinking about those hands.

"Better?"

"Thank you." Why did he have to be so kind? It would make what he had to do so much harder. He closed his eyes on a sigh, gauging the remaining strength in his wasted body. "Back hurts. Need to…"

"Stupid restraints," Isaac muttered. "They should've at least left you one hand free so you could shift a little."

He chewed on a sensuously full lower lip, considering, as Turk watched in helpless fascination. Isaac's jaw clenched as he seemed to come to a decision. He reached over and pressed the pad to unlock Turk's left wrist.

The moment he regained movement, Turk lunged. He seized Isaac by the throat, applying enough pressure to constrict his airway.

"What unit? What battle group? Whom do you serve?"

Isaac's fingers scrabbled at his hand, his eyes wide and desperate. "Don't… please…"

"Who are you?"

"Not… military," Isaac choked out, his coloring edging up from pink to crimson.

"Liar," Turk growled. "Implant. Fighter pilot. Behind your ear."

"Ex-Altairian… fleet…" Isaac gasped, struggling to pull away. He was strong but not large enough to break Turk's grip. "Bad… implant. Discharged… this is… commercial ship… courier…"

His eyes rolled back and his body went limp as if someone had stolen his bones. Turk let him slide to the floor, his heart racing. With his free hand, he unlocked the rest of his restraints and rolled to peer over the edge of his bed. Isaac lay crumpled on the decking, the shadows of his thick, black lashes caressing his cheeks.

No insignia, no rank designation, a courier ship… what have I done?


Author:

Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of an author of questionable sanity, er, strike that. Of several genres. She lives in northern Delaware and though it’s a small state, has trouble finding her way out of an overlarge sweater. Angel’s work currently lives at Silver Publishing, Amber Allure, and Romance First, with some free reads available if you ask nicely.


2/24/2012

New Contest! Comment to Win Loving Eden!

And our Winner by random number draw is 
Menina! 
Congratulations, and thank you to everyone else who commented! 


Hey, if you check that handy little countdown timer to the left, 
you'll see we're just about a week away from release day on
 Loving Eden! 


Which means... it's time for someone to get a free copy!  

 Loving Eden 
by 
Lee Brazil 



Eden St. Cyr wants to let the boy who's crushing on him down easy. Drew Harris wants to protect his son from what he considers a disastrous relationship. Neither of them counted on being attracted to the other.



Eden St. Cyr has wandering feet.  He shuffles around the country from place to place and college to college, changing majors and lovers at whim. When Bailey Harris starts following him home, mooning around and showing signs of affection, Eden hatches a plan to let the kid down lightly before he leaves for the next semester, the next college, and the next lover.

Drew Harris is stunned at the changes in his son.  His responsible dependable, cheerful boy has become a moody despondent, irresponsible teenager. Drew knows exactly who to blame, too.  When Eden doesn’t' return his phone calls, he's forced to be a little more devious in his plans to get the bad influence out of his son's life.

An unexpected attraction derails both men from their plans, but when Bailey walks in at the least appropriate time, can things be put right?


 If it sounds like something you'd like to read, then leave me a comment here telling me! 

Don't forget to leave an email address where I can reach you if your name is selected by random draw! 
Check back to this post on March 1 to see who won! 






2/19/2012

Welcome guest, Belinda McBride



Crawling Into Bed With
Belinda McBride
And a Good Book

Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?
Mine are cotton. High thread count with stripes. I have to have those shadow stripes so I know what direction to put the sheets on when I’m making the bed…

What are you wearing?
A silk nighty that I picked up in Hong Kong. Really. Its teal blue with hand-painted lotus flowers.

What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
York Peppermint Patties. Love the cool sensation!

If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?
Whoops! No nightstand there, but I have a table with rose scented body butter, my notebook and a pen. Scented candles in the window. (I know what you’re getting at…those things are kept in a satchel that I keep hidden from my nosy family.)

Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?
My top half rolls up in the covers but I can’t sleep with my feet under the covers.

Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
Go for it! I’m friendly…you’ll warm up quickly.

What are we reading?
            Tonight we’re reading ‘An Uncommon Whore 2: When I Fall.

When I Fall (Uncommon Whore 2) by Belinda McBride
loose id Publishing
LGBT Space Opera/Futuristic

Helios and Griffin find themselves tested to their physical and emotional limits. Not knowing who to trust, they can only turn to each other. But when one falls, will his lover be there to catch him?

As king, Helios Dayspring is desperate to secure the future of his people and their new homeworld. His lost memories are slowly returning, bringing with them danger and betrayal.
As the king’s consort, Griffin Hawke wrestles with growing isolation from his lover. When Helios’s secrets begin to come to light, Griffin finds that he barely recognizes him anymore. And Griffin is haunted by his own secrets, nightmares that bring torture and death in his sleep.
Surrounded by enemies and allies, seductive aliens and dangerous operatives, Helios and Griffin find themselves tested to their physical and moral limits. Not knowing who to trust, they can only turn to each other.
Will you be there to catch me when I fall?


Excerpt:
That day he decided to flirt.
I stood against the far wall of the newly built council chamber, where I could observe all entrances and exits as well as the councillors themselves. I also had an unimpeded view of the public gallery where Helios’s sister, Deirdre, was seated, my daughters to her left and Helios’s son, Alexander, to her right. I suspected that the children were numb with boredom, yet when I looked up, I saw that Lauren’s eyes were bright with curiosity, while Maia wore a pensive expression. Alexander was playing a handheld game. When he caught me looking at him, he smiled and winked. He was paying attention.
I glanced back at Helios. His cool gray eyes took on a sultry cast, his gaze dropping slightly down the length of my body. His index finger rested over his upper lip, reminding me of what that mouth was capable of.
I inhaled, willing back my immediate response. My face went warm; my groin went hot. Gritting my teeth, I fought to keep my expression neutral. A trace of a smile on that lovely face told me he hadn’t been fooled.
Obviously I could no longer fulfill my old duty as Helios’s bodyguard, yet I retained my former rank of captain of the Royal Guard and needed to focus on my job. Scanning the room, I took note of any who might have observed my brief distraction. We still had some trust issues with our esteemed council. There were those who used our unconventional relationship to undermine Helios’s rule. Helios wasn’t flirting out of boredom. He was playing a game that might reveal a traitor.
Never underestimate a man who’d learned to survive by using his wits and his beauty in equal measure.
Councillor Evan Pratt was droning on about a delayed shipment of agricultural supplies, and while most would detect only mild boredom in our king’s expression, his attention was sharply focused. This was council business, and as usual, they had to take the issue and worry it to death. There was no such thing as a quick solution when a problem was thrown before a roomful of men and women who were insecure in their personal power.
I glanced at him again, and as always, my breath caught. Today he was formally garbed. Generally he preferred the flowing white robes of the temple priests. To his amusement, they were not dissimilar to the filmy garments he’d worn as a slave. He enjoyed the feel of the loose fabric on his skin. The yards of linen also hid the blades that he was in the habit of carrying. Fortunately the robes of the Sun Temple did not require that he hide his face. When I’d first found him on Warlan, he’d worn a veil.
The council had pressured him into presenting a more royal appearance for his kingly duties, so once a week, he dutifully appeared in the public chambers attired as the council saw fit. His rigidly tailored coat was jet-black. It buttoned high to the collar under his chin and dropped to the floor. The sides were open to his hips, revealing loose trousers of deep, rich maroon. The fabric of the coat was heavy silk brocade; the rising sun that was the crest of our people was embroidered across his shoulders. The wide cuffs were decoratively stitched in the same gold the crest was embroidered with. At his side hung the golden kilij, the sword he’d earned as a Sun Priest. Now he was both priest and king and entitled to both symbols of office.
His fiery hip-length hair was elaborately arranged in tiny braids and clubbed tightly at his neck. He was otherwise unadorned, save for a wide blue sapphire bracelet around his right wrist. It matched the one I wore. Once we were formally married, the bracelets would be switched to the left arm and permanently set in place. For now, I was recognized as the consort of the king, a less official position than captain of the guard. The wedding would not be scheduled until the official palace complex was complete. The delay was a council ploy to stall the big event, but neither of us seemed in too much of a hurry.
I still wore my first marriage bracelet on my left wrist. It was humble, the metal an alloy and the stone a simple clear yellow citrine rather than precious sapphire. I carried Suzan’s battered bracelet in a pocket in my utility vest. It had shattered, and every day I reminded myself to take it to a craftsman for repair. Every day I found an excuse to avoid that errand. The broken bracelet was a constant reminder that she was gone from my life forever. It felt good there close to my heart.
Helios was an uncommonly beautiful man, and that beauty was enhanced by the gentle humor in his expression. With his smooth skin and lined eyes, he was nearly too lovely to be a man. He cultivated that illusion not out of vanity, but out of a desire to mislead. No casual observer would believe that under the silken, pampered surface lay a dangerous warrior with a brilliant mind. Few of the councillors at the table woke early enough in the day to witness Helios during his private training. Nor did they realize that he used these contentious sessions to ferret out suspicious behavior. We knew that Markus had not worked alone in his betrayal of our king.
The argument began to rise in pitch and intensity. Across the room, Carlotta Berne gave me a brief smile. She had as little tolerance for bureaucracy as I. Odd, given that she herself was a displaced queen. Before I was able to respond, she was surveying the room, studying the councillors. Several feet to her right stood her old companion Caius, who served as the king’s bodyguard this day. He caught me looking, nodded, and returned his focus to his job. Caius was the king’s last line of defense, and as far as I could see, he took his job seriously. He’d come to us with a small group of Talisian refugees. They’d been mostly women and children, living nomadically, surviving on odd jobs and the money that Carlotta funneled to them from her work as a mercenary. She’d been their queen and breadwinner, but Caius had been their shepherd and protector.
I took a moment to examine his heavy features. He was unremarkable in appearance, with short sandy hair that lay flat to his head, and pale blue eyes. He was tall and coarse, yet when he moved, was oddly graceful. In spite of Carlotta’s implicit trust in the man, something struck me wrong about him. His face lacked expression. His rare smiles never reached his eyes. He must have occasionally felt anger, but the telltale signs were never there. He was as blank and mysterious as a mask. Perhaps Caius carried more scars than those that twisted down his neck to his chest. He caught my gaze once again and looked away, seemingly unconcerned.
I didn’t like that. Most of the guards would have reacted to my scrutiny with discomfort.
“Councillors. Please.” Helios finally broke into the rapidly accelerating argument. Some of those on the council appreciated his presence; they cherished the return of a strong leader. Others resented the sudden curb on their power, though until he’d returned, they’d been living at the hard edge of survival.
Helios waited until there was silence at the table before continuing. “I understand that the shipment of seedlings has been delayed due to the freighter being held by officials at Niye. We know that Niye is lamentably corrupt. We do not know when the ship will be released or if our shipment will be viable when it arrives. Sadly this is a situation we have no control over. There is nothing we can do to change what has happened. We can, however, control our reaction to the delay.”
Classic Helios. Patience had been a hard-earned lesson for him. His temper had once been as fiery as his hair, and tolerance had not been his virtue.


Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955