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Archive for 'Science Fiction Romance'

Cynthia Sax: Testing Truth And Timing
Saturday, September 19th, 2020

When I inserted Testing Truth into my schedule two years ago, I had quite a few concerns about this story.

My cyborg series (both the first section and the cyborg space exploration section) is quite dark. It is set during war. Beings die (they ARE Romances and I believe in Happily EVER After so core couples and more are always safe). Bad things happen.

Truth, however, is a fun-loving cyborg warrior. He deals with darkness by making jokes and causing chaos. He has known loss and torture and horror but he chooses to focus on the good, the fun, the laughs.

This means any story featuring Truth won’t be overly dark in tone. He simply won’t allow that to happen. He’ll crack a joke and the tone will become light again.

I worried, two years ago, reading buddies wouldn’t embrace this lighter story.

Then the Great Pause happened.

I know I can’t deal with super dark-toned stories at the moment. The world is dark enough.

I’ve been reading lighter stories. And I suspect many reading buddies have been doing the same.

Testing Truth is definitely a lighter story. There is still a high death count. Bad things DO happen. But Truth’s reactions to these events keep the tone light, the jokes flowing and the chaos happening. His heroine is a princess. Her entourage is…unusual. There’s even a mini-dragon in this story. (grins)

And, of course, Testing Truth IS a romance. There are sexy times and love and those delicious aww… moments I adore in romances. Romance is all about love and hope and optimism, something everyone would benefit from having more of today.

I believe Testing Truth is the perfect Cynthia Sax story for this time. It is the story I was meant to write and the story reading buddies were meant to read. I hope you enjoy it!

Question:  Have YOUR reading habits changed during the Great Pause? Are you reading shorter stories, longer stories, lighter stories, darker stories, re-reading more, reading more new-to-you writers, etc?

Testing Truth

A fun-loving cyborg gets serious about love.

Truth lives each moment as though it were his last. The cyborg warrior rushes into danger, teases beings he shouldn’t provoke, accepts every call of adventure he encounters.

When a prissy little human princess floats into the Rebel structure Truth is occupying, seeking a mercenary to assist her and her unusual entourage, he volunteers to be her warrior. She claims their assignment is dangerous, warns him he might not survive the task.

That is exactly the type of fun he has been seeking.

Princess Nanette of the planet Royaume must rescue her estranged brother from an enemy prison ship. That is her duty, and she has been trained to always place the needs of her planet and her subjects before her own. Nancy doesn’t have the freedom to indulge her passions for a certain dark-haired, gray-skinned cyborg. Not permanently and not publicly.

But she is unable to resist the warrior. Truth, with his laughing eyes, smiling lips, and rough hands, tempts her as no one else ever has. He could be her one fleeting act of rebellion before she’s matched with the powerful ruler her planet requires.

If they survive their current mission.

Their love is doomed. Their lifespans are at risk. This cyborg and his princess will need the help of every ally they have if they wish to see another sunrise.

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About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes steamy Cyborg, Alien and Contemporary Romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled monthly newsletter and visit her on the web at

Twitter:  @CynthiaSax

Landra Graf: Sci-Fi Television Shows (Contest)
Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is… Rachelle Lerner!

First up, let me say thanks to Delilah for hosting me on her site today. It’s very much appreciated.

Now, let’s get into what I really want to talk about – Sci-Fi Television Shows!

If it’s out there, I’ve probably watched it. Though, I never could get into Babylon Five. I’m not sure why. I mean, it stars Kevin Sorbo.

I’m going to discuss a few of my favs, and I hope you’ll tell me in the comments what your favorites are. Show, character, movie, trope… any of it counts.

My favorite of all time, that I’ve watched too much, is probably Star Trek Voyager. I can hear the lamentations from here in my small house, but it’s my absolute fav. I love Captain Janeway. In ways, I can argue for days on how she had to face far more challenging situations than her counterparts and was under more scrutiny. Often the male captains of Star Trek had relationships, even with co-workers. Janeway held herself to a different standard, since the only humans for possible relationships were all her subordinates.

The exploration and storylines involving Amelia Earhart, the Borg, and even the possibility of the evolution of dinosaurs provided tons of interesting episodes. Add in the overarching goal of getting back to Earth and there wasn’t a season you were rooting for the crew.

Do you like Star Trek? Who’s your favorite Captain?

Speaking of aliens, let’s talk Farscape! This show came on my radar long after it stopped airing on Syfy. I didn’t have the Syfy channel as a kid, so missed out on this gem. Then I grew up and got regular cable, catching up with the series right before the final movie aired. I love John Crichton. He’s one of the smartest humans on planet Earth, but quickly finds out he’s not the smartest species around, or the most evolved. But he always has a plan. This show was filled with memorable characters, emotional moments, constant action, and great growth. Not too mention, romance.

Crichton and all the characters grow in big ways over the series, and I appreciated this in the writing since, often, shows don’t show that kind of change. The best ones do, and I often wish for more episodes, more adventures.

Did you have a favorite episode? Mine was always the multi-episode adventure where Crichton and crew visit the planet of Sebaceans, and he accidently gets engaged to a princess.

All right…now the debate… Do I talk Dark Matter or Firefly? I’m going to go with the inspiration for my ongoing series: Firefly.

Firefly is the series of my heart. Expertly crafted with amazing characters and a fabulous story. It was super short-lived and became famous too late. Cowboys in space. That’s the pitch in a nutshell. With influences of Chinese culture throughout, implying that at some point Earth was ruled by China. Add in space travel, colonization of other planets, a civil war between the ruling government and outliers gives a great back story to a band of smugglers who come from all walks of life. Their adventures stem around trying to survive, and each story is just a small piece of survival.

Everyone loves the Captain, but my favorite is probably his right hand, Zoe. She’s the woman you don’t want to mess with. Tough, beautiful, intelligent, and knows her way around weapons. She didn’t speak often, but when she did people listened.

Did you ever watch Firefly or its companion movie, Serenity? Who was your favorite character?


I asked a lot of questions today, feel free to answer them all or just one. I’m running a giveaway. One lucky commenter will win a free ebook copy of my first book in the Bad Boys of Space series, A Talent For Trouble.

The Body Collector
Book #3, Bad Boys of Space

Alexander ‘Big Al’ Smith signed on as a government body collector, illegal black marketing of body organs was supposed to be a path to early retirement… until he got caught. Loyda Miles, government investigator, seeks the truth and she’ll blackmail Al to help her capture the culprits behind the disappearances of thousands from the Saturn ring jails. In a deadly race against time, Al and Loyda must outrun government forces and discover the mastermind behind this conspiracy if they don’t want to ‘disappear’ like all the others.

Where can you buy it?

Where you can find me?

N.J. Walters: Secondhand Finds!
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Summer of 2020 is rolling along, and I’m still waiting for the warm weather where I live. I know a lot of you have been sweltering for weeks, but I’m still wearing a sweater. It’s been a strange year in so many ways. I miss the little things—breakfast out, going to movies, sitting in a coffeeshop reading a book, and snooping around the thrift stores and yard sales.

I was shopping at thrift stores long before it became fashionable. In the early years, it was by necessity. The only way I could afford anything was if it was secondhand. But I love the variety. You can find things you can’t find anywhere else. It’s true what they say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” There is truly something for everyone.

I’m always amazed and thrilled by my finds. Here are a few of my favorites:

#1 Alex and Ani bracelets for under $10 for all three.

#2 Fun owl china mug for $3.99

#3 Sterling Silver ring for $7.99

I used to go twice a week before the covid-19 shutdown. Most of the time I walk away with nothing, but sometimes, you find something truly special. For me, it’s like beachcombing. The fun is in the hunt.

Do you have anything fun and unusual you like to do?

And if you’re looking for a book to read and enjoy sci-fi romance with a sexy assassin, you might want to check out Spear’s Search, the first book in my Assassins of Gravas series just released.

Spear’s Search
Assassins of Gravas, Book 1

Spear el Gravaso—prince of Gravas and assassin—is on a mission to find his brother. His hunt had led him to an auction of Gravasian weapons that can only belong to the missing man. He needs to secure the items, get any information he can, and kill all those involved. Nothing and no one will stop him.

Sass was taken from a harsh life on the streets as a child and trained to be an assassin by the powerful Artemis. The lives of those she loves is on the line if she fails her mission—to win the auction of Gravasian tech. Only one problem—Spear is in her way.

Their battle escalates, as does the explosive heat between them. When it comes down to it, they can fight each other and one of them will die or they can join forces. But can they trust each other?


About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
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Ava Cuvay: What’s in a World? (Contest & Excerpt)
Monday, July 13th, 2020

UPDATE: The winners are Pansy Petal, Debra Guyette, and Bn100!

I’m a workshop presenter at this year’s Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling conference, being held online due to COVID-19, and I’ll be talking about one of my favorite subjects: World-Building.

Imagine reading a story about vampires, but the author never tells you if these are creepy Nosferatu types, 80s-style heavy metal teen rebels, sword-wielding daywalkers, or sparkly high schoolers from the Pacific Northwest. What would you picture? What characteristics would you assign to them? How would you expect them to interact with other characters?

What if the story didn’t do any of what you imagined? That would be pretty disappointing—frustrating even—right? *This* is why World-Building is crucial… so a reader can immerse themselves into our stories and walk beside our characters without tripping up, taking a wrong turn, or thinking with a fair amount of annoyance, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

I say all of this because, in spite of knowing better, I initially tried to cut World-Building corners with my newest book, Tin Man. I admit, I was a little tired of having to build a world completely from scratch, like a 90k ingredient cake recipe. I wanted something more familiar—a pre-made world that I didn’t have to invent. Like a cake from a box mix.

So, I decided to write a story located here on earth, in my current hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Human beings in an earth city where I could say “tree” and not have to describe the color of the leaves… What could possibly go wrong??

Wellll, there’s the fact that my story is set about 150 years in the future, so the city will have changed, but how? And the fact that technology will definitely have changed, such as what phones look like. And the fact my story is about cybernetic individuals, so what do they look and act like? And how might society perceive toasters versus a fellow human with machine parts? And the basic fact that not everyone is as familiar with the city of Indianapolis as I am.

Sigh. I had forgotten the main reason why World-Building is so critical to a good story: Not every reader’s individual life experience and perception is the same as another’s.

A story set in Indianapolis might feel like home for one reader, but a trip to uncharted lands for another. Saying a character is a cyborg might incite positive emotions from one reader, but negative from another. Based on our individual experiences, even something as seemingly universal as McDonald’s or Amazon will bring forth a wide variety of responses. Authors must build our worlds to gently direct our reader’s responses and perceptions. Are cyborgs misunderstood humans living in fear of their own safety, or are they dangerous timebombs ready to murder innocent people at a snap?

I smacked my forehead for ignoring the main tenet of my own World-Building presentation: No matter if we authors build a world from scratch or with the help of a box mix, we HAVE to craft a believable world so readers can experience the story as we intend them to. And to experience it in such a manner they feel they have lived the story alongside our characters.

And that they know what color the leaves on the trees are. 😉

My cyborg story, Tin Man, is book one in my Silver Cyborg Series trilogy, and is currently on pre-order to go live on July 17th. Despite my initial stumble where the World-Building is concerned, I’m thrilled with how it turned out, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Below is the beginning of Chapter One to pique your interest.


What book “worlds” have been fascinating/engaging/immersive for you as a reader? Post in the comments, and on July 16th, I’ll select three winners for a Kindle version of “Tin Man.”

Excerpt from Tin Man

A slow start to the night promises a crazy ending… said no one ever. But, based on his years as a bouncer at the historic Vogue Bar and Music Venue, Adam Lehmann knew the saying was truth. This Saturday night shift was downright dull so far, and the tingle in his lower back—the part which didn’t have cybernetic sensors running through it—assured him tonight was doomed.

He didn’t yet know what or why, but something would swerve into shit creek territory, and the cops would be called.

Cops who had once been his friends and coworkers. Guys who’d had his back. Up until part of that back, his heart, his left arm, and an eye had been replaced with cybernetics. On the outside, Adam didn’t look any different than he had. But simply knowing he wasn’t entirely organic beneath the epidermis layer was enough to make him an object of fear and loathing.

The awkward shift from pal to persona non grata hadn’t been listed as a possible side effect when he’d allowed doctors to replace his shot-to-hell body parts with experimental cyborg systems. If it had, he might have let himself die on the operating table. Scratch that, he would have assumed his friendships were tight enough to withstand a few synthetic enhancements.

The joke was on him. And it wasn’t funny.

“You seem on edge, Lemon.” The automaton bartender handed him a bottle of water. Adam forced a neutral expression at the slight mispronunciation, which turned his last name into a proclamation of his derelict physical state. Adam’s glitching cyborg parts and mid-forties human body did not mesh well. A mid-life crisis of epic proportions with no hope of coming out on the other side any way but dead. Not that he would admit that to anyone.

“I seem? A bit of a subjective statement, don’t you think, Arthur?”

Arthur’s robotic Swiss army knife body rotated beneath its head, its multiple attachments a symphony of cleaning, stacking, filling, pouring, serving. Only its face held any humanoid features, and those looked like the poor schmuck who passed out first at a fraternity party. Someone had taken a black marker to the mechanized bartender, decorating it with a scraggly goatee, handlebar mustache, scars, anime eyelashes, a black eye, and the word dildo in bold caps across his forehead. Instead of paying to have the synthetic covering cleaned or replaced, The Vogue’s owner had shrugged at the vandalism and invested in costume hats to add to Arthur’s look. Tonight, it sported a red bandana skull cap and pirate’s eye-patch. Adam refused to laugh at the ridiculousness of it.

To be honest, he didn’t laugh, period. Looming demise did that to a person.


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Ava Cuvay: Old Dogs and New Tricks
Friday, May 8th, 2020

I have a confession to make, one which likely shows what a sheltered life I’ve lived:

Last year, I discovered that tentacle sex was… a thing. And as I shared my shocked wonder with my fellow author pals, their response was always a shrugged “Oh, yeah, Hentai. It’s been around for a long time.”

*blink*blink*picks jaw off floor*

So, it would seem that the Japanese tentacle erotica, which falls under the category of Hentai, essentially anything that isn’t human-heterosexual-twosome-sex in both the Japanese and English language, has been around since as early as 1814 when a Japanese artist depicted a woman having “relations” with two octopuses in his “Dream of a Fisherman’s Wife.”

Honestly, I shouldn’t have been shocked. After all, the 80s were my formative years, and the movie Better off Dead starring John Cusack was when I learned the difference between covering a love interest with testicles versus tentacles. However, my mind was blown upon the discovery of Hentai, specifically tentacle sex, for two reasons:

1) As a romance author, I thought I fully grasped the breadth and depth of what turns people on (obviously, I didn’t). And,
2) As a Sci-fi Romance author, this opened a whole new area of possibility when crafting my characters and worlds.

Turns out, an old dog can learn new tricks, and I put the knowledge in my back pocket, anticipating an opportunity to use it. That’s when Delilah’s Boys Behaving Badly Anthology call for submissions came. So I played with the concept of tentacles and had a blast doing it. You can read the result in Delilah’s upcoming anthology, currently on pre-order (links below, in case you haven’t already one-clicked).

I hope you like the story about spaceport bar owner, Lorlii Atarga and Fire Force Captain Roark Trekker!

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Excerpt from “The Siren’s Song”

While verbal sparring, especially the joking innuendos, with Roark was entertaining, she’d give a bottle of rare Carhind’n Rum to change that into a physical tussle. But how to transition to a more climactic sort of ribbing? She was hornier than a bayhar and ready to ignite with little more than a smooch of his full lips. Her sexual drought had lasted several months at this point. No one seemed interested in her, outside of her mixology skills and Twofer Tuesday specials. A little attention from a handsome man that didn’t involve anything shaken, stirred, or two fingers neat…

Lorlii swallowed hard at the thought of what Roark could do with a couple of fingers. He’d never know, but he starred in all her masturbation fantasies.

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology Pre-Order links:

About the Author

Ava Cuvay writes out of this world romance featuring sass and sex set in a galaxy far, far away. She resides in central Indiana with her own scruffy-looking nerfherder and tween kiddos. When not writing, Ava is thinking about writing. Or wine. And she’s always thinking about bacon.

Cynthia Sax: Fated To Mate Reunion Romances And Warlord Reunited
Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

I LOVE fated to mate/instalove/love at first sight stories. They are the only romances I tend to write.


Because that is the only type of romantic love I’ve ever known. I fell in love with the Dear Wonderful Hubby at first sight and over twenty-five years later, we’re still very much in love.

I knew the moment I saw him that he was the man for me and that conviction only strengthened when I learned more about him. He felt the same way about me.

Reading about couples (or more) experiencing that knowing, making that soul-deep connection with an otherwise perfect stranger thrills me. What will they have in common? How will they overcome their differences? How long will they last before they act on their physical attraction?

That is all very exciting and I tend to turn the pages quickly to find out the answers.

I also love reunion romances. The couple (or more) connects and then, for some usually heartbreaking reason, they part. Years later, they reunite and fall in love all over again. They’re older, wiser, more appreciative of what they have and they don’t make the same mistakes this time. They make different ones. (grins)

The Dear Wonderful Hubby and I have never had to part for a long time, thankfully, but merely the prospect of that happening to us makes me emotional. I feel for the heroines and heroes in that type of situation.

In Warlord Reunited, the story I’ve released today, I’ve combined both of these tropes. Berke and Ellie, my barbarian alien hero and human bounty-hunting heroine, fell in love, at first sight, solar cycles ago. They had a passionate, life-changing yet much-too-brief affair. Berke then left Ellie on a distant planet and returned to his war-torn home.

Now, Ellie has returned to Berke’s home, determined to end her suffering (literally) and kill the only male she has ever loved. Their reunion is passionate and violent and full of conflict…because they ARE fated to mate and the time apart hasn’t changed that.

Which do you prefer to read—fated to mater/instalove/love at first sight stories OR reunion romances? What are some romances that combine these two tropes?

Warlord Reunited

This barbarian warrior’s cold demeanor hides the warmest of hearts…

Solar cycles ago, Berke, a savage Chamele Warlord, found his gerel, the one being he is destined to be with for all time…except he couldn’t embrace that fate. He was fighting a series of brutal wars.

To protect his little human female, he conveyed her far from the Chamele sector. He then returned to the endless battles, concealing his pain, his anguish, his need, under a thick layer of ice.

His gerel was safe. That was all that mattered to him.

When Elle was a young bounty hunter, she bonded with an arrogant warrior on a distant planet. She was deliriously happy…for a while. Then he dumped her in a strange settlement far from his home and left, never to return.

Their parting caused her excruciating pain—both physical and emotional. She endured it, earned the esteemed role of head bounty hunter of an academy, salvaged a bit of a life from the disaster her primitive warrior had made of it.

Now, two of her bounty hunters have made the same terrible mistake. Elle is determined to rescue her friends and break their connections with their Chamele Warlords.

While she is in the sector, she plans to kill the warrior she’d once considered hers. Elle is ending her relationship with Berke…permanently.

* * *
Warlord Reunited is based on a much shorter story sharing the same title.
It is a STANDALONE Alien Barbarian SciFi Romance, featuring a warrior hero and a take-charge heroine set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.

Buy Links:
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About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at
Twitter: @CynthiaSax

Anne Kane: And it’s a wrap!
Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Christmas 2019 is over, and the New Year is finally here. 2020! A clean slate just ready for my  plans and plots. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions anymore. I used to make them, but I found that by the end of January they were already a distant memory. Now, I just try to make general goals for the year and hope I can stick to them.

My goals this year are fairly simple. I want to keep a consistent release schedule for my books.  I have two ongoing series, my Terras Five Cyborgs and my Northern Rockies Werewolves. Although both are romance, one is a sci-fi series and the other is a paranormal. My hope is that by alternating between the two, I will be able to keep both fresh and not start to recycle the same plot with different characters in each successive story. I find my muse gets bored and stale if I just stick to one universe. (I’m sure a psychologist would love to explore that idea!)

Click on picture to pre-order!

On a personal front, I want to continue to spend as much time as I can with my grandkids while they are still willing to be seen in public with me. I have a day planned to see the latest Star Wars movie with the oldest four (ages five through thirteen) this weekend. We’ll go to the afternoon show, get pizza for dinner and then they can have a sleep over. I love going to the movies with a group of kids. They aren’t embarrassed to show their enthusiasm for their favorite characters!

As five of  my grandkids live within a fifteen minutes of my home, and one of them goes to high school a mere three blocks from me, I have an revolving door policy that means they are always welcome to drop in, be it for few minutes to grab a glass of water or to stay overnight and make popcorn and watch a movie on Netflix or Disney plus. I cherish these times, and hope they always feel welcome to drop into my home unannounced. Being a grandmother is one of the best things that ever happened to me!

I am also determined to be more active. Since my day job is a desk job, and writing is also very much a sit still kind of activity, I have to find hobbies that make me move (unfortunately reading isn’t active either!) This fall I entered Merlin the Wonder Dog in an advanced agility course, and it turns out he loves it! Santa brought him a set of weave poles for Christmas so now we can practice at home. Come spring, I’m considering letting him compete in the local agility competitions.

Lexi is much younger, really just a pup (maybe a year old?) so I am working on basics with her. So far she has mastered not looking terrified all the time, and sitting on command. I spent a lot of time getting her not to cringe and crawl when anyone looked at her so I hesitate to teach her ‘down’. Right now we are working on leash manners. As in, walking while on leash as opposed to dropping to the ground and playing dead.

So that’s it for my plans for 2020! Here’s hoping it’s a wonderful year for all of us,

Happy Reading!

Anne Kane