Spotlight: Zombie Girl by Pippa Jay – a YA Dystopian Romance


February 25, 2015,

Grrrrr…. aaarrrrg…. brraaaaains…. Wait, what? It’s not that kind of Zombie book?

Well, of course not. Always expect the unexpected when reading a book by Pippa Jay. She has a knack for writing outside the lines, inserting unique, refreshing ideas to overdone tropes and making even this zombie-hating reader reconsider the sub-genre.

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About the Book:

ZombieGirl_DeadAwakened_600x900Imagine waking up to find the world has ended, but unfortunately you’re not alone…

For Connor Innis, awakening from a year-long coma with no memories, no ability to move, and unable to speak was bad enough. Then he learns that a bioweapon set off a zombie apocalypse—for real—while he was sleeping, and the world he can’t even remember no longer exists.

Rehabilitation might be torture, but far worse awaits him outside. All too soon, the hospital Mentor declares him fit to leave but with nothing to go home to except a city full of mindless, flesh-eating monsters. That is, until he forms a strange relationship with the one he nicknames ‘Zombie Girl’.

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened is the first part of a YA dystopian romance trilogy, releasing April, 22nd, 2015. Please add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE, or sign up HERE for Pippa’s no-spam newsletter for special previews on cover reveals, new releases, the latest giveaways and discounts, and upcoming news


Excerpt:

He woke to sensations of warmth and heaviness. The relentless thump, thump of a heartbeat and the rushing sound of someone breathing unsteadily. It took time to recognize the heartbeat as his own, to connect the breathing to air moving in and out of his own chest. How long had he been asleep?

He didn’t remember going to bed. He couldn’t open his eyes. Confusion muddled his thoughts. Wait. Why can’t I move?

Panic set his pulse racing, but a weight held him down. He choked on something pressing at the back of his throat. Nothing responded as he struggled to move. Damn, am I paralyzed? Trapped under something?

“Please try to remain calm. You are perfectly safe.”

Remain calm? What the fuck does this moron expect?

“Please try to calm yourself.”

He couldn’t place a gender to the voice, and the flat unemotional tone meant it was probably synthetic. What were they called? Mentors. That was it. An artificial entity called a Mentor. The knowledge seeped into his awareness like blood oozing through a shallow cut.

His struggles weren’t getting him anywhere except a quick trip to a heart attack. He forced himself to take slow breaths, to steady himself. Not because the voice said so, but because there was nothing else he could do. He swallowed, painfully aware of the pressure of a tube in his nose and down his throat. He tried to talk, and heard a weird gurgle instead of words.

“Please relax. Do not attempt to move or speak at this time. Once you are calm, I will explain your situation fully.”


About the Author:

487970_396457363750310_1481028755_n (640x640)After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at :

Book Review: Overload Flux by Carol Van Natta


February 16, 2015,

Overload Flux
Series: Central Galactic Concordance
By: Carol Van Natta
Sub-Genres: Suspense, Romance

Amazon
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Rating: I liked it  (?)

Review

This book offers a lot – fighting action, detective work, humans in space, humans with special abilities, a pharmaceutical conspiracy relevant to our own world, and a romance between two unique individuals. Take away the sci-fi, and you have a romantic suspense novel. But, you wouldn’t want to take the sci-fi away, because it’s well done, fun and makes for a good read.

Continue reading

Kindle Unlimited: Six Months in Review


February 12, 2015,

Following my previous post, Kindle Unlimited: Three Months in Review, I thought I’d offer some thoughts on how my views on the Kindle Unlimited program have changed (or stayed the same) as I enter my sixth month in the program.

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I think ‘disillusioned’ will be the key phrase for this post. While I think Kindle Unlimited does offer certain benefits under certain circumstances, I don’t think it’s either the best option for most authors, or being handled as well as it could be by Amazon. I do, in fact, feel a bit misled and even run under the bus by the KU program, mostly because of what it overly promised, has failed to deliver, and the dumb ideas it keeps producing instead of wiser choices available. So, going from my last post, I’m going to highlight how I will be moving forward with the program, as well as my general ideas on how it stands now, and how much better KU would be if they listened to their authors. Continue reading

Series Preview: Heart’s Compass, an apocalytpic M/M Sci-Fi Romance


February 12, 2015,

Coming March, 2015…

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Heart’s Compass, an apocalyptic M/M Romance series. Electricity is gone. Society is on its knees. The heart’s compass becomes the light in the darkness.

Pre-order the first three books in the series for 99cents each before the price goes up after release day.

Each book in the series is a stand-alone story, but is written within the same fictional setting in which the Earth has just been struck with several massive solar flares. All modern technology has been rendered inoperable. Cars, computers, city infrastructure, phones – all gone in an instant and without warning. In the days directly following the end of the modern world, people must learn to depend on each other, and on their heart’s compass, if they hope to survive.


True North

TrueNorth200Joshua has had enough of people. Especially those desperate, starving bastards who he’s certain ate his dog. When people decide to leave the university town of Lincoln, Nebraska and head south before winter sets in, Joshua heads north instead. When he lands face-first in a snowbank, he welcomes death. What he finds instead is the handsome smile of Chris, a lone goat farmer who’s trying to make the best of life without power.

Available at
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Click here to read the 1st chapter!

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Back East

TrueNorth200
Eli, an intern for Channel Seven News, finds himself on a bus full of hockey players from the New York City Gay Hockey Association. His boss thought it was a good joke to play on the new kid, but Eli has no problem with the assignment, especially when he befriends the Ice Giant’s winger, a real giant of a man, David LaMonte. When the power goes out and their bus crashes, Eli and David suffer through loss, and find comfort from one another as the world descends into chaos.

Available at
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Down South

TrueNorth200
Gabe’s a Texas rancher who’s always kept part of himself on a separate paddock from his ranch hands and the small town of Post. When your hometown’s population is barely over five-thousand, chances are high you’re the only gay man for miles, and that coming out would do more harm than good. When the power goes out, he heads into town to get answers, coming across a very lost and very far from home man named Liam – a writer for a British travel magazine. Stuck on the wrong side of the pond with no way home, Liam struggles with culture shock. Gabe struggles to save his cattle from the apocalypse, and to ignore the attractive Liam’s obvious interest in more than friendship.

Coming April, 2015.


Out West

TrueNorth200Alex has never had luck with love. Or, luck in general for that matter. It takes the end of the modern world for his luck to change. He and a small group from his apartment building seek to leave Los Angeles before it self-destructs in the growing gang violence and desperation of its citizens. When he forms a fast friendships with Mateo that quickly spirals into much more, Alex wonders when his bad luck will catch up with him.

Available at
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Click Here to Read the First Chapter!

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SFRB Showcase: Love, Aliens, and Lemon Tarts


February 5, 2015,

SFRB-ShowcaseBanner

Welcome to the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Showcase for February, 2015! The Showcase is a chance for SFR Brigade members to share their own Sci-fi Romance books, WIPs and new releases. For more posts, visit the SFR Brigade Blog.

I LOVE FEBRUARY! As a romantic, I’m a sucker for Valentines day and seeing all the red and pink decorations. For this Showcase, I have a short excerpt from my Science Fiction V-Day Romance, Made With Love, and a recipe for lemon tarts.

About The Book:

Garry-Cover-SmallAfter escaping an abusive relationship, Rosalie is baking her way to stability for her new pie business and five-year-old daughter, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. A chance meeting with Garry through her best friend, Noelle, Rosa thinks she may have found a way to make her daughter Mary’s wish for a father come true – if Rosa can put aside her bad memories and learn to trust again.

Garry is strong, stubborn and big hearted – the qualities expected of a Vragan. Crash landed on Earth, he decides to take a chance, seeking more than friendship with Rosa. He knows it will mean trusting her with his secrets as well as his heart, and he’ll gladly eat every pie and lemon tart in her shop if it means being able to spend more time with her and Mary.

Available it at:
   

Excerpt:

Ten minutes of groaning later, Garry managed to roll himself off the couch and stood to his bulky six foot height, one hand trying to console his stomach with a gentle pat. Amber was probably right and he should slow down on his pie intake. And cupcakes. And those little lemon tarts Rosa recently added to her bakery’s menu.

But stars, they were good! Running a hand through his blonde hair, he knew the tarts could have been disgusting and he’d still be lining up for them. Not that he believed Rosa was capable of making anything that didn’t taste like pure bliss.

“Garry!” Annadri’s stern voice stiffened Garrok’s spine into an immediate, habitual straight posture.

“Yes, Captain?” Garry shuffled a missed empty pie tray under the couch with his foot.

Anna huffed and crossed her arms. “Will you kindly go knock some sense into your brother before I tie him to a rocket and send him back home the long way round?”

Garry swallowed back a grin then failed to keep in a loud belch. “Sorry. What’s he done this time?”

“He’s moved from separating by color to separating by material.” She relaxed slightly, running a hand through her shoulder length hair, which had been dyed a dull brown to conceal her natural violet coloring. Pointing to three more empty pie boxes stacked on top of the side table, she smirked. “I guess Steve’s absence is hitting everyone pretty hard.”

Garry gave an innocent grin then nodded. “It just feels weird. We all served together for four years, then we crash land and get marooned together. We’ve been each other’s only family for six years here on Earth. Now, suddenly Noelle knows our secrets, and…”

“You don’t trust her?” Anna asked with a frown.

“I do!” Garry quickly corrected. “It just… It changes things, doesn’t it? If Noelle can accept Stevverax and all his oddities, then… I mean… Damn, I don’t know. I’m drunk on pie, or something.”

“Garry,” Anna switched her weight to one hip and gave a soft chortle of her three extra vocal chords in a sigh. “If you’re seeking permission to go ask Miss Rodriguez out on a date, it’s not necessary. I’m not your captain anymore.”

He frowned. “Am I that obvious?”

Anna’s vocal chords shivered out a melodious laugh. “Well, you have gained some weight in the past month.”

Garry’s eyes went wide and glanced down to his stomach. With a deflated sigh, he had to admit that he was a little softer around the middle. “She puts something in those damn pies,” he grumbled.

“I’m sure,” Anna turned to head into her office. “Pick me up some of those lemon tarts while you’re there. Oh, and don’t go until after you’ve kicked your brother in the head.”

“I thought that was your job?”

“Not the captain anymore,” she responded before closing the office door.

Lemon Tart Recipe:

1326913362073Lemons are sweet, tart and a tinge sour – all the things that you can experience when falling in love.

This recipe is from King Arthur Flour. You can use Pillsbury crust, but this recipe lets you make everything from scratch, which is great because not everyone has access to the same pre-made ingredients. I have found with this recipe that you must be sure your crust is thin enough and that you put the tarts in the lower 1/3 of your oven for even crisp.

 

Ingredients

crust

  • 6 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup King Arthur all purpose flour

filling

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (the juice of about 2 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (lemon zest) or 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

 

Instructions

1) For the crust: Mix together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.

2) Add the flour and mix gently until the dough is cohesive.

3) Shape the dough into a 1″-thick disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4) For the filling: Whisk together the lemon juice, zest or oil, and the sugar.

5) Whisk in the eggs, then the sour cream.

6) To assemble: Roll the dough on a floured surface into a circle 1/8″ thick.

7) Using a 2 ¾” biscuit cutter, cut out 24 circles, gathering the scraps and re-rolling the dough as necessary.

8) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 24-cup mini-tart pan or mini-muffin pan.

9) Transfer the dough circles to the cups of the pan, pressing into the corners and up the sides of each cup.

10) Pour the filling into each of the tart shells until it nearly reaches the rim of the cup.

11) Bake the tarts for 28 to 30 minutes in the mini-tart pan, or 18 to 20 minutes in the mini muffin pan, until the crust turns golden and the filling has set.

12) Remove the pan from the oven and let the tarts cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

13) Transfer the tarts to a rack to cool completely before serving.

Yield: 24 mini tarts.

Also, be sure to check out the rest of this month’s SFR Brigade Showcase posts!

SFRG Teaser Tuesdays: Looking for love during an apocalypse can be dangerous


February 2, 2015,

SFRG-TeaserTuesdays

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday! Brought to you by the Scifi Romance Group on Facebook.

Looking for love during an apocalypse can be dangerous….

TrueNorth200
This week, I’m giving a peek at a 99cent, M/M romance novella with a post-apocalyptic theme, now available for pre-order.

In True North, Joshua has had enough of people. Especially those desperate, starving bastards who he’s certain ate his dog. When people decide to leave the university town of Lincoln, Nebraska and head south before winter sets in, Joshua heads north instead. When he lands face-first in a snowbank, he welcomes death. What he finds instead is the handsome smile of Chris, a lone goat farmer who’s trying to make the best of life without power.

Excerpt

For the second time in a row, I awake from a dreamless sleep to something cold prodding my cheek. A memory of goats and a shotgun has me popping open my eyelids and flinching away. Two brown eyes, a cold black nose and horrible breath greet me.

“Oh, fuck,” I groggily blink at the dog. “Trying to give me a heart attack?”

“Jenny!” Chris calls from the kitchen. “You leave that boy alone.” Continue reading