Release Day: The Builders

The BuildersAs promised, today is the official release day for The Builders. At 61,211 words, it’s my longest novel yet and branches me out into the niche romance market of lesbian romances. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go there, but the characters were stubbornly female and stubbornly attracted to each other.

😀

Amazingly, in the few hours it’s been available to the public, demand has been strong enough to propel it to #5 in Amazon’s “Hot New Releases in LGBT Science Fiction” list and #15 in Amazon’s top 100 paid “Best Sellers in LGBT Science Fiction” list. I’m unbelievably excited to have my book listed on the same page as one of Gail Carriger’s latest:

Amazon Hot New Releases, bestselling LGBT science fiction

Thank you to all the readers who have made this possible! I hope the story is as entertaining and thought-provoking for you to read as it was for me to research and write.

To whet your appetite, here’s the blurb:

Earth’s alien progenitors have returned. For Tara Shifflet, abuse survivor and meeting planner, that wouldn’t be as big a deal as getting home to her therapy cat, except that getting anywhere in the U.S. is dicey in the wake of public uproar about first contact. For Navenah, a short-term assignment with vague directions to find generators to save her dying race leads to frustration and misunderstanding. The two women find unexpected pleasure together, but will that solve the galactic die-off?

I’m excited to see audience response to this story, even while I work on formatting the print version.

The Builders Cover Reveal

As you will have noticed if you’ve been following me in recent months, I’ve been working on my latest novel. The final draft is done and off to the editor, so now it’s on to cover love… Gayla pulled off another great one–which was a difficult task, given an alien protagonist who was genetically engineered to wear the median skin tone of all earthlings. I have to tell you… There aren’t many options for people of color as cover models. Even fewer that are interracial between two women. So we took off in the direction of the galaxies through which they travel. I’m very proud to share this with you:

The Builders

Given where the story is in the editing process, I suspect my estimate of a July release remains reasonable. I’m really looking forward to sharing this one with everyone.

Book Review: Fluency

FluencyThis was the second of my binge reads last weekend, and actually deeply impressed me for the strong female voice of the protagonist. I had picked it up over the summer while it was on sale, thinking I might have time to treat myself to a break with a book by a Twitter buddy (@Jenthulhu, you should follow her, too, since she shares very kewl science news & geek links on a regular basis)… but… it sat in my TBR pile for longer than expected. It didn’t let me go once I started reading, though.

Given my own love of languages, the protagonist’s vocation made her immediately appealing to me on the one hand, while her self-control allowed her the appropriate distance to maintain productive professional relationships with her colleagues:

“This isn’t how it’s supposed to work, you know,” he said, with a sly smile. She resisted smiling back.

“What?”

“You’re supposed to be the damsel in distress. We’re supposed to save you.”

She snorted and pulled her hand away. “Times have changed.”

“But what does that make us? Two dudes in distress? Pathetic.”

“Two colleagues in distress. Gender doesn’t matter,” she replied and let a hint of a sad smile cross her face.

Even more welcome was the fact that this was a mature woman who was learning and growing through her experiences. (I may be slightly burned out on the YA/NA craze these days, since it seems my Harry Potter fandom has put me in the marketing cross-hairs for a whole lot of juvenile characters…) Wells finally shares some of the reason for Jane’s self-contained distance late in the story in a way that will allow her to springboard to even greater growth in future installments, too, so it was a welcome development to find a character who didn’t bore me with her own inner stagnation.

I was sucked into the adventure of exploring a derelict spaceship and learning about alien races both from the human and alien perspective. The horror of discovering additional, unexpected hazards to space travel, and the Easter Egg bonus of a Smoking Man reference did a lot to cement my geek-heart happiness with the story. In fact, it felt like there were several homages to various scifi classics woven throughout, so I smiled at regular intervals not only from the banter among the characters but also at an author having fun with tropes.

Wells even managed to wedge in some lessons on women’s experience trying to pursue professions in science that helped underline the character’s tenacity while shining a light on the continued disparities between the sexes’ ability to advance credible careers.

My one nitpick was that the ending was a rather obvious cliffhanger, asking the reader to hold on for the ride (very much in the style of Contact, “wanna go for a ride, little girl?”), but having to wait for book 2’s release. While the arc and adventure were complete for this segment of the saga, I’m seeing more series authors closing with a brand new opening, rather than a sense of quiet satisfaction that allows the reader to savor the world without that gnawing sense of missing all the MOAR that is over the horizon. It’s becoming a larger frustration each time I encounter the issue, and detracts, in this case, from a competent debut.

Regardless, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the Miles Vorkosigan stories, the X-Files, or even the Katarr stories (to plug my own publisher’s multi-author series). I am looking forward to the adventures foreshadowed for book 2 (Remanence), and am anticipating (along with what appears to be a robust fan base) its release sometime in the near future.

Release Day: A Trick of the Tail

A Trick of the TailNew story release days are always fun–especially when they hadn’t been part of the original plan for the year. So consider this my bonus present to you: A plot bunny gift that almost wrote itself and brought me back to the scifi/romance genre that’s so fun for me to explore.

🙂

In case you missed it earlier this week, here’s the blurb:

In 2078, Earth was invaded. After the Fall stories document that time.

Sienna was trying to find a refuge away from Earth that would be safe for both her and her unborn child.Then she mistook a Siamet for a Katarr.

Zaun was doing his part to build the Resistance when a nasty trick lands him in bed with Sienna.

Overcoming language and trust obstacles is the least of their worries when their survival is on the line.

Novelette with a word count of 10,200.

We’re still working on getting it cross-posted on Smashwords, etc., but Amazon jumped on their process and kicked off my day in high style.

UPDATE: Now also on Smashwords.

Book Tour: Even Villains Go to the Movies by Liana Brooks

It’s that time again: One of my online author friends has released another book. This time it’s the second in a series, the first of which, Even Villains Fall in Love, I reviewed last year.Even Villains Go to the Movies - Liana Brooks Here’s the blurb to what looks like a great follow-on tale:

When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.

Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.

Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.

Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.

But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.

To celebrate her new release, Liana has been on a virtual book tour since the 11th. I get to close out her stops with an interview that lets you in on some of her quirks.

Tights Angela is wearing in the opening scenes.1. I just got to read chapter 1, and I know you’re obsessed with socks. What socks do you imagine Angela is wearing in the opening scenes? (Pictures are welcome, too.)

In my mind Angela is a quintessential flip-flop girl, but I suppose for school she’s be wearing something more conservative, a skirt with tights perhaps. And she’s a math teacher with some youthful quirks so I imagine she’s wearing THESE tights from ASOS.

2. Does the kind socks she’s wearing change as she makes the cross-country move? (More pics…) 😉

Angela’s keeping a low profile as she’s fleeing across the country, and she’s the type who wouldn’t worry about riding the bus. But the bus is definitely a place for closed toed shoes, so Angela’s going to have her favorite socks at the ready Apple  socks, these constellation socks because she’s wishing on her lucky star, and of course her kick butt BLAMMO! Socks because she’s getting off the bus in L.A. ready to fight and rebuild her life.

3. Tour visitors are getting to see an excerpt and a blurb; I’ve gotten to see a little bit extra. What prompted your idea of a hero trying to fly under the radar in this story?

I think this is a reaction to what happened in EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE, the whole family realized how dangerous it would be if the children were exposed. Angela grew up knowing that people would want to not only use her, but kill her, and she’s also a little bit scared of her own power. Angela is terrified of what could go wrong, and so I had to put her in a situation where the right thing and the easy thing weren’t the same thing. She has to face her fears to save people she loves. Isn’t that the definition of being a hero?

4. Also, the Hollywood setting is something a little different from any other of the stories you’ve written. How much research did you have to do to get it to where you’re satisfied it represents the reality you wanted to share?

First, I need to thank the marvelous David Voderberg for answering a plethora of questions. Second, I need to apologize for twisting reality so much for the purpose of fiction. I did a great deal of research: maps, licenses, looking at how auditions worked (but not actually auditioning because there was nothing locally), looking at a lot of behind-the-scenes footage… but in the end I had to use only the highlights because the timeline of the book didn’t allow for Angela to take years to find her way onto a movie set. Her career path is not realistic, but it works for a daughter of Doctor Charm.

5. How many more books are you planning for in the Heroes and Villains universe?

I think my editor and I talked about doing seven books total, and then maybe doing the eighth book as Tabitha’s story. I actually wrote that a year ago, and people have been winning a chapter of it by changing their social media avatars to the cover of EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES, but it wasn’t good enough for my readers yet. Some books need a little more time to cook than others.

6. Who’s next on the roster to get a full-length book?

The next book has the working title of EVEN VILLAINS WANT THE TRUTH and it’s Delilah’s book. She appears briefly in EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES, you’ll see her towards the end, and she has an interesting life. You’ll like it. Promise.

7. It seems recently there is a greater appreciation for minions in fiction-land (I’m thinking of “Despicable Me” here), though for me, the first minions I’d encountered were the ones your Dr. Charm manufactured. If you were to use something like http://minionslovebananas.com/minion-maker/ what would your personal minion look like, be named, and do especially for you?

A minion named Meanwhile (Meanwhile, back at the ranch…) who could wash dishes, fold laundry, and change diapers so I had more time to write. I don’t care what it would look like, but I strongly suspect it may need eight arms to keep up with the chores.

8. This is your 6th release. Do you feel like an old pro yet?

I like the tradition where everyone goes and buys my book. Otherwise, no, I haven’t had enough serious releases to come up with a tradition. Maybe I’ll go buy myself some new socks. 🙂

10. Is there anything you hope your readers will take away from the series that might not be an obvious moral?

When you encounter a masked man, your first order of business should be to take his mask off, and always make sure your stolen motorcycle has a full tank of gas.

11. Author’s choice: What question should I have asked that I missed?

I think you hit all of the questions you needed. Great job! This was a fun interview.

 

Thanks for stopping by, Liana, and good luck on your latest release. For the rest of you… There’s a giveaway and I’m posting the links for you to be able to find Liana and all her books:

 

*Social Media*
Website – http://www.lianabrooks.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LianaBrooks
FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liana-Brooks/278779308851471
Tumblr – http://lianabrooks.tumblr.com/
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18620101-even-villains-go-to-the-movies
BookLikes – http://lianabrooks.booklikes.com/

*Buy Links*
Breathless Press – http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=15&products_id=22
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Liana-Brooks/e/B007S9DB2A/
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/liana-brooks
All Romance eBooks – http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/Search?Query=liana+brooks
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/liana-brooks/id476454626?mt=11

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