Spotlight: The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett Bruno (Space Opera)

The Circuit was previously reviewed by Tracing The Stars, but the book is being re-released at a new publisher (Diversion Books) with a new cover. If you haven’t picked this book up yet, now is your chance. It’s a highly recommended read.

From my original review:

The Circuit, I believe, has a little bit of something for every science fiction reader. Although there are a few hiccups, mostly with over-description, I could find no true negatives while reading this book. It offers “massive world building done right”, an exploration of human nature, the development of artificial life, politics, social conflicts and a fully fleshed-out, believable future. The characters within The Circuit are unique and three dimensional, and most have no black or white lines drawn – offering instead a gray concept of justice and injustice that all depends on how you, the reader, relate to the characters and their motivations.

For the author’s ability to allow the reader choice when it comes to deciding who is right or wrong, although I dare say that is a highly blurred line in this book, I give The Circuit five stars.

You can read my full review by clicking here.

About The Book

The Circuit Cover FinalCenturies after Earth was rendered an uninhabitable wasteland, humanity was forced from its homeworld and founded the Kepler Circuit, a string of colonies throughout the solar system. These settlements provide resources to the remnants of humankind, the most important resource being the newly discovered element—Gravitum—found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.

But a powerful religious faction known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of the Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left to challenge them, a string of attacks on the Tribunal’s freighters causes them to suspect their mortal enemies, the Ceresians, of foul play.

Tasked with solving the problem is Sage Volus: Tribunal Executor. Spy.

Sage quickly infiltrates the ranks of a roguish, Ceresian mercenary named Talon Rayne, seeking to discover the truth behind the attacks, but the longer she works amidst Talon and his squad, the more she finds her faith in the Tribunal tested.

While her quest for answers only unearths more questions, a new threat is on the rise, and it plans to bring down the Tribune once and for all.

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Keir by Pippa Jay is back! (Sci-Fi Romance Book Review)

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EEEEE!!! I’m so excited! Keir by Pippa Jay is being re-released! It was taken out of publication for a while due to publisher woes. Instead of letting that get her down, Pippa used the opportunity to breathe new life into the “Redemption” series. KEIR has been re-edited, polished up all shiny and is now available at all major book vendors!

KEIR was one of the first science fiction romances I read, and the story has stuck with me. It is part of a larger book universe, which included a YA read Pippa wrote called Gethyon. Gethyon and Keir both received high ratings from me. Now, Keir is back, and Pippa is working on a sequel!

You can get your copy of KEIR here:

             AllRomance

My original book review for KEIR:

One further comment about the world building – Pippa uses a backwards or persistent world-building technique that may throw some readers off. This means that her characters think, react and converse in full knowledge of their own histories even if the reader has not yet been introduced or is aware of these histories. These histories are explained as the story develops that shed light on a conversation that you may have read a few chapters before. This is different from the progressive world-building technique that most authors use. There is nothing at all wrong with this approach, and it can add some nice plot-twist elements, you just need to trust that even if you don’t fully understand the conversation two characters are having in one scene that it will be relevant and explained later on. Pippa does make all those scenes relevant and I didn’t find any loose strings by the end of the story.I began reading Keir with no expectations, despite having read and loved a novella from the same author. I knew that Keir was Pippa’s debut work, so I went into it with an less critical approach for that reason. What I got was a manuscript that read like it was written by a seasoned author. Pippa has a knack for painting scenes with descriptions that provide good details without floundering in it. Her characters, even the supportive cast, are strong, can stand on their own and are presented within a three-dimensional context. I think flat-characters would be eaten alive in the world that Pippa has created with Keir, which I have discovered while reading is part of the same universe for her upcoming YA sci-fi adventure release of Gethyon.

I will say that the beginning of this book had me scratching my head a little bit. The first couple of chapters read like a fantasy story more than a sci-fi book, but as the story develops you learn why. Pippa has created a book that mixes elements from fanatasy, science fiction and science fantasy. The fantasy elements come in to play because one of the planets in the book hasn’t developed science yet, and so they treat science as witch-craft and even name the heroine, Quin, as the Red Witch, and Keir as The Blue Demon. The planet reminded me of earth during the Spanish Inquisition. Once I figured this out, the story came to life. I would almost recommend a prologue or a first chapter to set this up to avoid confusion or losing readers in the first couple chapters who are wondering if they did buy a Science Fiction book.

There are sci-fi fantasy elements with Time-Travel, Psi-powers, gateways and telepathy. Though this may turn off hard-core science fiction readers, I thought it was done very well and explained within a believable context.

Now, about the romance – It is a sweet, but tormented, romance. Both of the leads have some heavy baggage, each with a richly developed history that is explained throughout the book. Their is a strong connection between them to start, but neither of them throws themselves at the other (which is refreshing). Both have real reasons for proceeding cautiously or misinterpreting the actions or intentions of the other. The intimacy scenes, though not quite as hot as I like, were extremely well written and beautiful. I think it suited both characters.

And the ending. Oh the ending. OH THE ENDING… not going to say anything else except to encourage you to see this book to the very end. You will be glad you did.

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April LitCube Unboxing

IT’S HERE! My April LitCube box has arrived. After a successful Kickstarter, this is the first month of LitCube. The theme for April’s box is “Unfortunate Fairytales“.

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STOP!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!  If you haven’t received your LitCube box yet, you may not want to spoil the surprise. Unboxing the mystery loot is half the fun! 

Ready? OPEN THE BOX!

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Okay, so that’s not much of a spoiler (lol), but it’s pretty! That is a personalized thank you card from LitCube founder Peggy Martinez.That’s for supporting the Kickstarter! And, yes readers, Corinne is what the C in C.E. Kilgore stands for. It’s pronounced Cor-inn :).

Now, MORE PICTURES!

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Unlike some subscription boxes, no money was wasted on a little booklet (*coughLootCrate*). Instead, a simple, yet effective, info card tells you all about the reader loot, including what company provided it.

Under the card was a T-Shirt!

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I LOVE the saying on this shirt, but I’m not keen on the color. It’s hard to see in my phone’s camera, but it’s a bit of a weird minty-Tinkerbell-seafoam… I don’t know, but it’s not a color I’d pick out myself. It is a good, comfortable cotton in a large size, though, and I can see this as being a good lounge-reading-writing shirt. So, yay!

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And, under the shirt were all these goodies! Details about those in a second, but first – a warning. See all those brown squiggles? Yeah, be careful when you take the t-shirt out. They kinda got everywhere. I also fail at unboxing stuff without making a mess.

20150416_145943SQUIGGLES OF DOOOOM!

*ahem* NEXT!

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Foodstuffs! I haven’t actually tried any of this yet, but there is a cookie, a brownie and Jiva Coffee Cubes! I got hazelnut (one of my favorite coffee flavors!), but the flavors may be different for other people. I’m looking forward to trying them, because I’ve heard about them. If they are good, I will be ordering more from Jiva!

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Also in the box was a “Book Geek & Proud” keychain with the Lit-Cube.com URL on it, a sticker that reads “Book Geek. It’s not just a name, it’s a way of life.”, and a printed picture with an Albert Einstein quote about fairytales. Now, I can’t remember exactly, but I think these three things were part of the Kickstarter backer rewards.

There was also a collector card for the April LitCube theme. I’m going to assume these are going to be collectable cards that will be included with each LitCube theme month box. Next month’s theme is “Young Adult Insta-Love”.

Lastly, but not least, the book! Each LitCube will include a print book that fits the month’s theme.

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UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn is a Young Adult urban fantasy tale set in modern times but with fantasy elements that remind one of the Grimm television show. Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; that is until she saves her crush’s life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight.

But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is a descendant from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its’ next fairy-tale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

It’s a bit of an oldie – self-published way back in 2011. It’s also a Freebie on Kindle… I guess I was expecting something newer, and something I couldn’t get for free elsewhere.

I haven’t read it, so that’s a plus, but it’s also young adult, which for me is another bit of a downer. I’m really not much of a young adult reader, and with next month’s theme also being obviously young adult, I have to say I’m a tad disappointed. But, only a tad. It’s still a book I haven’t read, and I like urban fantasy.

I do get that LitCube needs to appeal to a broad range, and they can’t send out adult romances or more mature reads to readers who may be Young Adult. I do hope that they will add options in the future – for Adult or Young Adult boxes. Genre boxes would be awesome, and I’d sign up for more than one genre. I haven’t subscribed to next month’s box, because it is Young Adult, and I am hopeful that June’s theme will be something different.

Overall, I am glad I supported the LitCube Kickstarter, and I hope the company continues to succeed, grow and ship out more reader goodies in the future. I look forward to seeing what June’s theme is.

If you’d like to learn more about LitCube, and get signed up for their next box – go here:
Website: http://www.lit-cube.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LitCube

#LitCube #Unboxed #readerbox

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Spotlight: Maia and the Secrets of Zagran – YA Sci-Fi

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Although I don’t read a great deal of young adult, something about MAIA and the SECRETS of ZAGRAN really caught by attention. It offers the adventure that younger audiences love, right along side beautifully written prose that will appeal to adults of all ages. It’s fun, unique, and offers a great science fiction experience that’s sure to capture young adult readers, and hopefully have them reaching for even more science fiction!

Keep reading for an excerpt and a giveaway opportunity!

But first, take a moment to drool over this cover:

BookCover_MaiaAndTheSecretsOfZagranIt’s like Sea Quest and Lisa Frank had a 1990’s love-child, and it’s awesome! This had me reaching for the book with a smile.


About the book:

Thirteen year old Maia thinks she has seen it all.

She has survived an assassination attempt, she has been threatened by the chancellor, and she has faced off with saboteurs trying to bring down a nation. She lets nothing get to her anymore-not the ominous nightmares she has been having lately, not the fear of being targeted for another soul extraction, not even the memories of her dead mother's terrifying communique.

More than ever, Maia wants the Initiative to resume. She longs to visit Zagran-the undersea capital of the Jjord. She wants to ride the underwater transport lines, learn about the Jjordic energy farms and most of all-she wants to goof off with her friends.

But, around the charming city of Zagran, evil is gathering. Maia and her friends do not know it yet, the countdown to their planned extinction has already begun.


Excerpt:

Through the darkness and the fog, Maia fell. Faster and faster, lower and lower, she plummeted into the bottomless pit until her heart went numb, until she had stopped feeling the rush. It was a murky blur of senses when she hit the surface. The water, surprisingly warm and soft as it engulfed her, spilled over the top of her head, swirling around her face and her neck, suffocating her.

Maia screamed.

She bolted upright in her bed like an uncoiled spring. The heaviness dropped away from her head forming a dappled white, black, and amber shape of Dusty the cat. Struggling with the lingering feeling of weight that crept along the fringes of her heart, Maia realized it had been a nightmare. There had been too many of them lately.

Over a week had passed since thirteen-year-old Maia had returned home to Appian after a successful run at the Alliance Initiative on Xif. Her team, Core 21, had topped the first phase. They were one of the twenty teams selected for the second phase in the undersea Jjordic capital of Zagran. Maia had intended to enjoy every moment of this brief break between the phases, and she mostly did. Except for the nights. Every night was a battle against the inevitable, and every day started in a haze of outlandish dreams from the night before. There were scores of them, but one nightmare kept coming back—the one with the fires. Time after time, Maia woke up screaming inside as the raging inferno engulfed her


About the Author:

AuthorPhoto_MaiaAndTheSecretsOfZagranG. Basu is a telecommunications engineer by profession, but she likes to call herself a dreamer. Imagination, fueled by a voracious appetite for books, has been her steady friend since childhood. She discovered her passion for writing quite by chance and there has been no stopping her since then.

Find out more about the futuristic worlds she creates, the characters that are real with their emotions and ambitions, successes and failures, at www.sgbasu.com.


GIVEAWAY!

Win a signed copy of the book by filling out this ballot form*:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For additional chances to win, be sure to visit the Goddess Fish  page and comment. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win!

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*Rafflecopter and prize giveaway is managed by Goddess Fish Promotions.

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April Fools For Love Sci-Fi Romance Giveaway!

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SFRStation.com is running a HUGE sci-fi romance reading giveaway throughout the month of April.  Check out these prizes!! 

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Each winner will have their choice of a gift card for either Nook, Kindle, All Romance or iBooks, plus they will win great eBooks from participating Sci-Fi Romance authors.

But, more on the April Fools For Love contest in a moment….


First, I’ve got a new release to tell you about and some FREE BOOKS to give away!

Amber-Cover400I’ve got a new release out, and it’s all about how love can make you do crazy things. The fact that it has some crash-landed aliens just makes it all the more fun. This short, sweet and lighthearted science fiction romance is the third book in my Celestial Seasons series.

All the books in the Celestial Seasons series deal with funny aliens and some of the wacky things they do to both hide who they are and try to find love. In book 1, Steve surprises Noelle with a real, sixteen foot Christmas tree, and is later referred to as ‘that guy with the really big tree’. In book 2, Garry gluttons himself on Rosa’s pies, risking gastrointestinal agony just so he has an excuse to go see her again. In book 3, Amber actually turns magenta as her heart falls hard for Kyle.

You can learn more about Celestial Seasons by clicking here.

<<<<<<< FREE BOOK #1 >>>>>>>

Book 1, Noelle In His Heart, is FREE and available here:
             


<<<<<<< FREE BOOK #2 >>>>>>>

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Sometimes, love can lead us to do foolish things that don’t always end well. In To Even Have Dreams, Brel is an android, and love is a new concept for him. Love leads him to make certain choices that ultimately lead him down a less than happy ending. It does have a silver lining, though. His experiences through love become the starting point for two lives that will eventually collide in a love that has the power to change the very universe.

Available FREE:

        

            AllRomance


<<<<<<< FREE BOOK #3 >>>>>>>

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Although Brel’s story isn’t a completely happy one, what it leads to is the love story of Ethan and Orynn, found in Ghost In The Machine. This book is also Free!

    

          AllRomance


Now, on to the HUGE GIVEAWAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don’t forget to stop by all the APRIL FOOLS FOR LOVE blog posts for more giveaways, great posts and a lot of fun!


This event is sponsored by the SFR STATION –
The best source for Science Fiction Romance!
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