Tag Archives: science fiction romance

Science Fiction and Romance: A Perfect Pairing

Science fiction romance is a perfect pairing of science fiction and romanceYears ago when I took a course in romance writing, most of the participants listed science fiction as the one genre they’d never read. Only two of us in the room were sci-fi readers, so at least I had an ally!

It may not seem like it at first glance, but science fiction and romance aren’t opposites. In fact, science fiction romance is a very active and popular genre in its own right.

If you’ve only seen sci-fi movies or TV shows, you’ve probably only seen one side. Namely space ships, battles in space, alien invasions – usually with men leading the charge. Or you’ve seen superheroes saving the day, while the love interest looks on with admiration.

Sure, that’s part of sci-fi, but it’s a big universe. Science fiction is a genre that covers so many sub-genres, that it would be impossible to list them all here.

Science fiction paired with romance isn’t rare at all. In fact, it often ends up getting folded into Paranormal, which might be why it’s sometimes hidden from view. But there are many authors out there who are creating worlds that range from dystopian to space opera to military. Love is front and center in these stories, just as it is in any romance.

Science fiction romance is a perfect pairing of science fiction and romance. Hathor Legacy: Outcast by Deborah A BaileyIn my Hathor Legacy series, I wanted the relationship between Nadira and Jonathan to be part of the story, not a sideline.

Nadira has her job to do on a world across the galaxy, but she also has to juggle love, commitment and (particularly in Hathor Legacy: Revelations) family drama.

Her love life is just as important to her as solving crimes (as she does in Hathor Legacy: Outcast and Hathor Legacy: Burn). Through the series, her relationship with Jonathan progresses right along with the other parts of the story.

Science fiction and romance actually are a perfect pairing, whether they’re set on Earth in the future or in a universe far, far away. Science fiction romance is a place where characters can explore the galaxy while they navigate their personal lives and desires.

This post originally appeared on the Sharing Links and Wisdom blog.

Book Excerpt & Giveaway: Fractal by Rachel J Mannino

Fractal by Rachel Marino

 

Title: Fractal

Author: Rachel J. Mannino

Genre: Science Fiction / Romance

Description

Fractal by Rachel ManninoAnna keeps to herself in rural North Carolina, raising her younger brother and never dreaming she might not be human. A ship descends from the sky and the handsome alien, Varick, proclaims that she is the long-lost ruler of his planet, forced to flee from their world by an experiment gone wrong. Determined to discover her heritage, she journeys with Varick to their abandoned planet.

Along the way, Varick strengthens her belief in herself as she struggles to be the leader her people need. Anna discovers that as soon as they return, the Council will force her to marry a man she’s never met, even while her heart is drawn towards Varick. A romance between the Vadana and her Protector is forbidden above all, and can only end in Varick’s death. A prophet warns Anna and Varick that they can heal their solar system, but they can’t let anything stand in their way. Their growing love for each other will either save their world, or bring about destruction.

Book Excerpt

“This is amazing.” She gestured to the room. “I’m… Wow, just…wow.”

His smile brightened. He seemed thoroughly pleased with her reaction. “I’m glad you like it. It’s my favorite place on the ship.”

“I can see why. Are we still inside the ship? It feels like we’re just floating.”

“No, we’re still inside. The ceiling above you is metal, but it’s a metal that becomes transparent when heated. It’s called cromin. That blue star behind you is giving off enough heat to make the metal disappear. That’s why the councilman confiscated this space for growing plants, since it’s often engulfed in light. On most ships this would just be dead space.”

Anna nodded as she wandered over to a bank of plants with waxy, green leaves the size of her arm. The bright-orange flowers puckered like clamshells, but they rippled beneath the petals as if something were inside. She reached out to touch it, but Varick was at her elbow. He closed his hand over hers and drew her away.

“I wouldn’t, Your Majesty. Their petals are poisonous to the touch. It would kill you within hours. We wouldn’t even grow them onboard, but boiling down their roots makes a powerful antibiotic.”

“Really? Poisonous petals?”

He imparted a gentle squeeze and let her go. “Probably best not to touch any of the plants. I don’t even know half of them myself.”

“I would like to learn about them. Do you think Councilman Meroca would teach me?” She strolled down an aisle of the labyrinth. Varick followed, watching her as she bent down for a closer look at a flower growing near the floor.

“I’m sure he would love to show you. He’s spent years trying to interest at least one person onboard, but he hasn’t had anyone take him up on his offer.”

“I will. Plants have always fascinated me. Each one is so different, but they all need sunlight, water, soil. If you happen to find the right amount, they take on a whole new life of their own.”

He guided her down another aisle. His hand was gentle, but firm. After the frenetic morning on the bridge, the atrium made for a quiet haven

“Your family has always had a way with plants.”

“My family?”

“Your mother’s house. They started the royal greenhouses centuries ago. Your ancestors are some of the most knowledgeable plant experts in history.”

She paused for a minute, staring at the spiny, brown octagonal plant on the floor in front of her. “I didn’t know that. My mother taught me about plants. There is so much about my parents I don’t even know.”

“They had to protect you. You were a refugee from a different planet. It wasn’t even legal for them to land there in the first place, let alone live there. What would the Earth-dwellers have done if you or your brother had told someone?”

She smoothed down her dress. Sparta. The mountains. The frosty townspeople. All the dirty looks and fearful glances. “We probably would’ve been taken by the government, or lynched, or worse. The rest of the people in town already disliked us because they don’t really like anyone from out of town. No, I know you’re right. I just feel like I don’t know anything about them now. How can I know nothing about my own parents?”

She peered out over the plants into the black expanse of space. Her past was just as blank. She used to know who she was and where she came from. Now she wasn’t so sure. Varick took a step closer, the warmth of his presence a comfort to her

“We’ll teach you. The councilman and I. We’ll teach you everything they couldn’t. I promise.” She took a deep breath. “Thank you. Thank you for being so kind to me.”

“Of course. I would do anything for you.”

Anna fixed her eyes on Varick’s, but there was nothing she could say in reply. No man had ever

said that to her. She trembled. Her lips parted, and her vision narrowed in on him as he leaned in closer to her. Her pulse jangled in her veins.

He withdrew a step, his green eyes wide. Letting out a breath of air in a low hiss, she flushed and spun away, trying to pretend she was lost in thought. She needed to calm her racing heart. She groped for the handrail that ran around the top of the atrium, separating the ship’s occupants from the transparent metal just beyond. Anna searched for a topic, a safe topic, anything to get her mind off the delicious moment that just passed and the terrible realization about her parents.

About the Author

Author Rachel ManninoRachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world.  She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA. Her first novel, Love or Justice, was published by Limitless Press in November 2015. Her second novel, Fractal, will be published by eTreasures publishing in September of 2016. Rachel has a BA in theatre studies and writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and she has used it every day since graduation.  She lives with her husband, author Christopher Mannino (http://www.christophermannino.com/); their son, Gavin; and their adorable dog and cat in College Park, Maryland.

 

Links

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rachel.mannino02

Author Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorrachelmannino

Twitter: @RachelMannino02

Website: http://bit.ly/RMauthor

Amazon site for Love or Justice: http://bit.ly/LoveorJustice

Amazon site for Love or Justice in paperback: http://bit.ly/LoveorJusticePaperback

Author page on Amazon: http://bit.ly/RMonAmazon

Author page on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14554114.Rachel_Mannino

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The Hathor Legacy Trilogy Available Now

The Hathor Legacy Trilogy

I’ve decided to compile the individual Hathor Legacy novels into one book (for those who want to get one ebook instead of three).

Available in ebook version only, the box set contains the three novels (click on the links to read the descriptions):

Hathor Legacy: Outcast

Hathor Legacy: Burn

Hathor Legacy: Revelations

The Hathor Legacy Trilogy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy your copy of The Hathor Legacy Trilogy Box Set here: https://books2read.com/u/b6QQBx

 

 

 

 

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Now Available: Hathor Legacy: Revelations

Hathor Legacy: RevelationsNow available on Amazon!

The third book of the Hathor Legacy series is now on sale!

Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/28UT570

 

Hathor Legacy: Revelations – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu PSI groups are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations WIP Excerpt Part 3

Hathor-Legacy-Revelations-Web-MediumHathor Legacy: Revelations – book 3 of the Hathor Legacy series will be coming in June. Here’s another brief excerpt.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

*Read more about Hathor Legacy: Outcast and Hathor Legacy: Burn*

Excerpt

In this scene Jonathan Keel finds out the price of his new-found fame as a club owner on Hathor and member of the elite executive class. 

It wasn’t surprising to see crowds in the Entertainments district, but this was the Palatine. Usually there weren’t as many people hanging out on the streets. Security patrols ensured that the tourists moved along, aided by Guardian Watchers who kept a low profile while they were observing.

Unfortunately it wasn’t until the door of his transport opened that Jon had an answer to his question. Someone screamed and the mob converged on him, about 3 of them managing to stuff themselves into the doorway just as he tried to get in. Hands grabbed his shirt and jacket, pulling so hard he felt the fabric rip.

“Stop it! Get away from me!” he yelled, but it didn’t do any good. In fact, his reaction only seemed to fuel the intensity. The more he tried to pull away, the more hands gripped him. One woman pressed her lips against his, while a man grabbed at his hair.

“Jonathan! I love you!” The woman who had kissed him continued to press her lips all over his face.

“Get off!” He grabbed the woman’s furry purple jacket, but just came away with a handful of puffs of fake fur. “Close the door!” Maybe if the transport door could close, he could get these idiots to let him go.

“Sorry, sir, the door cannot close while passengers are entering.” the computerized voice replied. “Please clear the doorway of obstructions.”

“Damn it! I can’t clear it!” he snapped just before the sleeve of his jacket separated from the rest of it.

“Jonathan! Come out!”

“Jonathan!”

“Stop pushing, he’s mine!”

He felt himself being dragged out of the vehicle as hands continued to claw at his clothes and fingernails scratched his skin. For a moment it was like floating. He had no control over his own body as he felt himself being carried. All he saw were faces grinning at him and hands grabbing, obscuring the blue sky so that he felt like he was being smothered.

“Citizens! Stand off! Citizens!” Muffled voices broke through the squeals and screams, and Jon saw shiny black helmets hovering above him. His senses were in overdrive, making his stomach churn and overwhelming him with the sensation of being buried alive under the crush of writhing bodies.

Air. He had to get air right away. The feeling of being smothered was like being closed up in a mine shaft. Panic rumbled through his body, thundering up into his chest as his heartbeat accelerated. Prepared for fight or flight, he wrenched one arm out and worked to free the other.

“Citizens!” Black garbed security officers were pulling people off him, tossing them to the side in an effort to free him.

Finally the last person was pulled away and Jon found himself kneeling on the marble sidewalk. He saw something dark red drops on the ground and realized it was blood.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations WIP Excerpt Part 2

Hathor-Legacy-Revelations-Web-MediumHathor Legacy: Revelations – book 3 of the Hathor Legacy series will be coming soon (I promise!) but in the meantime, here’s another brief excerpt.

Hathor Legacy: Revelations – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

*Read more about Hathor Legacy: Outcast and Hathor Legacy: Burn*

Excerpt

This scene happens after Nadira has received disturbing news about what happened to her father, who was reported lost while on a deep space mission. According to Mikal, the former Guardian who tried to overthrow the Guardian Elders (in book 2, Hathor Legacy: Burn), the Guardian Elders were behind her father’s disappearance.  

“Good evening, Sentry Leader Nadira. What is your desired location?” The computerized voice inquired.

“Take me home,” she replied as she settled back into her seat. Their apartment was in a tower only about 15 minutes from this one. But by the looks of the clogged traffic lanes, the trip would probably take longer. This main boulevard led through the Entertainments District, one of the busiest areas of the city.

“Tell me what happened. Why do you think they killed your parents? Where did you get that?”

The transport pulled out into the traffic lane and slowly rumbled down the boulevard. Nadira looked out over the crowd, just in case she saw Zina among them. She knew it was a waste of time, if anything Zina would be in her private transport.

“I went to see Mikal at the detention center. He told me everything. My father got to the penal colony. He wasn’t lost out there. They had him killed.”

Jon opened his mouth to reply, then sagged against the cushions. “You went to see Mikal? And you believe him? Are you serious?”

“Why would he lie?”

“Is that a real question?” Jon sighed. “He’s trying to set you up. Don’t you see? He’s a liar and a killer.”

“He found my father’s ship, Jon. That wasn’t a lie.” She couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t listen. He had his mind made up and it was pissing her off.

“I know what he did at the medi-evac, Nadira. I figured it out when Maji told me she and Azure had gone there the morning after they took me to detention. I asked her to tell me everything and she did.” He reached over and grasped her hand. “He’s not getting another chance to hurt you.”

“Jon…”

“No more. Don’t see him again and don’t believe anything he says.”

Usually when they talked like this, their communication remained verbal. But right now she felt his energy on the edge of hers. It felt like sparks off a drill, stinging her with its insistence. His anger at Mikal was still fresh, as though it had all just happened yesterday.

“I have to know the truth. Either Zina or Elder Azure is going to tell me.”

“What about Elder Dakar?” Jon asked.

“He’s sick and not receiving visitors. His sister Jen’s orders.”

Jon sighed. “All they’ve done is hurt you, but I’d trust Azure before I’d ever trust Mikal.”

She felt his resignation and his disgust. But she felt his mood wasn’t only to do with her news. “Jonathan, what is it? There’s something else bothering you. I feel it.”

“I don’t want to go into it now, ashira.” He squeezed her hand.  “The club…it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Right now, I only want to protect you…but I know that I can’t.”

Book Spotlight: Made for Her by Jessica E. Subject

Made for Her by Jessica E SubjectDescription

After terrorists murder the love of her life, Colonel Mikayla Jones trains squadron after squadron of the clones he brought to life, to take to the skies.

When she discovers a young clone of her husband in her newest class, her world spins out of control. How can she command the look-a-like when she can’t help but yearn for him to fill an ache in her heart?

Dare was created to be the best. As the first Daniel clone to leave Onatria labs, he needs to prove he is more than just a DNA copy.

To do that, he must rely on the wife of the man who donated his genes. But when she refuses to train him, Dare faces discharge and returning to the labs. Can he convince Colonel Jones to finish his training and find a way into her bed? Or will long kept secrets unhinge the entire clone project?

Please note: Made For Her was previously published with another publisher. It has been revised and expanded from the original version. This version also includes the short story, Replicated Consequences, which takes place in the same world.

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-madeforher-1974458-340.html
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BCWNIPI/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-her-jessica-e-subject/1114137524
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jessica_E_Subject_Made_For_Her?id=B-58CwAAQBAJ
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-her/id1080489280?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/made-for-her-3
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611866

Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28926615-made-for-her

Date Published: February 29, 2016
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9948431-6-6
Genre(s): Science Fiction Romance, Erotic Romance, Clone Romance, Futuristic Romance, Military Romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames – frequent love scenes that are explicit and described using graphic and direct language
Word Count: 22,061 words (Made For Her only)

Made for Her by Jessica E Subject

Reviews:
“…a brilliant plot twist that was a tear-jerker, and had me physically reeling – I really hadn’t expected it.” – Critique de Book

“The entire thing was cohesive; the characters, dialogue, and setting were natural and well paced. Very glad I went with my initial instinct I read it…Highly Recommended!” – Books, Books & More Books

“I loved this twist on the Sci-Fi clone story… This was like a Top Gun story set in the future where cloning is real and space exploration is growing and alien contact is a reality for which the government has been preparing for years.” – Tracy Riva Books & Reviews

My Review of Made for Her

In a world where people can be duplicated, what does it mean to be human? Author Jessica E Subject’s Made for Her shows what can happen when technology conflicts with human emotions. When Colonel Mikayla Jones comes face-to-face with her late husband’s clone, she’s conflicted with having to adhere to her strict military training, while managing her feelings.

I enjoyed the story and couldn’t wait to see how the no-win situation between Mikayla and Dare would be resolved.  How much would she be willing to give up for a second chance with the man she thought she’d lost? This book doesn’t disappoint and delivers a twist or two right up to the end.  A satisfying love story that keeps the action and surprises going all the way through.

-Deborah

Author Jessica E. Subject’s Bio

Jessica E. Subject is the author of science fiction romance, mostly alien romances, ranging from sweet to super hot. Sometimes she dabbles in paranormal and contemporary as well, bringing to life a wide variety of characters. In her stories, you could not only meet a sexy alien or two, but also clones and androids. You may be transported to a dystopian world where rebels are fighting to live and love, or to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.
When Jessica isn’t reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk with her giant, hairy dog her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Where to find Jessica

Website: http://jessicasubject.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/eX1Zw
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jsubject
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-E-Subject-author/205759796126370
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicasubject/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100079570422204018357/posts
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/jessicasubject
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4959083.Jessica_E_Subject
Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/jsubject

Made for Her Excerpt

Colonel Jones grabbed the remote before focusing on the three-dimensional holographic picture beside her. Another presentation for the general public, but she doubted it would work to recruit anyone. The audience was always more curious than willing to enlist.

“In 2084, as you know, Earth made first contact with the Rafkels, a peaceful species living on the planet Raf, located twenty light-years from Earth.” She pressed the button to show her spectators an image of the still-foreign planet. “While meeting this species remains years away, their message warned us of other intelligent life forms in our own galaxy.”

Mikayla rolled her eyes. The actual message had not been a warning, rather a fact, but the government insisted on changing the wording to garner more recruits and support for cloning. “Since then, world governments have combined efforts to develop a spacecraft that will take us faster and farther into space.

“If you join the military today, you will learn how to fly these vessels and train the clones for future wars. Science fiction has now become our reality.” Yeah, like that would work to recruit people. Who wrote the speech, anyway? Very few, if any, would ever make it to the SFTC, Space Flight Training Center. “It will never be your life on the line, but that of men and women created only for that purpose. Serving your country is no longer about sacrifice, but about honor.”

She cringed at the bullshit words. People still died all the time. Terrorists, like the ones who’d killed Daniel, still objected to cloning, causing destruction and death. Just last month, a popular off-base nightclub, known to be a military hang-out, had been turned to rubble in a matter of seconds after a suicide bomber with known allegiance to the Al-Tidoa group blew himself up inside the building. Many, both clone and human-born, had died.

When Mikayla switched the display to the live feed from Onatria’s main lab in Geneva, she sighed at the collective gasp. Robotic arms transferred material between Petri dishes at various stations while other, more complex equipment dissected strands of DNA.

Human-born and clones alike wore white lab coats and watched new life grow under their microscopes. And in a glass-walled clean room, casket-like clear chambers held young clones attached to a multitude of tubes. Except for the military and Onatria staff, this was the first time anyone had seen the labs. The government had grown desperate for people to enlist.

How I Self-Published My Audiobooks on Audible

Think Like an Entrepreneur by Deborah A BaileyThis a continuation of my earlier post about my self-publishing resources.

My first audiobook, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life was published in 2014.

After I published that book in 2010 I hadn’t planned on an audio version. But, after reading about the growth of audiobooks — which reached approximately 1.47 billion in 2014 – I decided to dive in.

Here are some things to keep in mind for the self-publisher:

There are other platforms for audiobooks, but I went with ACX  (Audiobook Creation Exchange) which is owned by Amazon. Using the same login/password you use to publish your books on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), you can login to ACX. Once you’re on there, you claim the books you’ve published on Amazon.

Once you claim your book, you’re guided through steps to set up your book so that you can get auditions from narrators.

Getting Started

I usually pay the voice artist up front. Those fees can run from approx. $50 per finished  hour or more, depending on the voice artist’s fee. You can indicate your budget after you claim your book and open it up for auditions. (Finished hour is exactly that. You’re paying for the hours that were recorded and completed, not for the total hours it took to create the audiobook.)

ACX automatically creates a contract that you can download. Once the voice artist accepts your offer, you’re good to go. So far I haven’t had an offer rejected, so I can’t speak to that. But it is a possibility, so keep a plan B in mind.

Usually they’ll upload an initial 15 minute recording to give you a feel for what they’ll be doing going forward. The voice artists that I’ve worked with have also produced the audiobook, so all I had to do was provide a copy of the manuscript. I gave them pronunciations of names/words (particularly ones I made up for my fiction) and shared the backstory so they’d have a context.

Recording

Listening to all of the recordings as they’re being created is, in my opinion, the best way to go. You can correct things (if necessary) and let the narrator know if they’re on the right track.

It’s easier to communicate using email (instead of ACX) and I recommend it. But when it comes to approving the recordings, indicating that you’ve paid the voice artist, etc., those things have to happen on ACX.

When you give your okay that the recordings are all as they should be, the amount due is automatically totaled (depending on the number of finished hours).

I’d rather not go through the work of recording my own books (especially after the work of writing them). So, I have no problem letting the experts do the work in this case. The only thing I have to do during the process – other than listen to the draft of the audio – is to create a new cover.

Hathor Legacy: Burn by Deborah A BaileyCovers

The sizing is different, and you’re not allowed to just change the dimensions of your book cover. For Audible, your cover has to be 2400 x 2400.

Four of my books are audios, and I was able to do the covers myself for two of them. But if you’re not comfortable using a graphics program, consider having a graphic designer do your cover.

You can use one of the templates ACX provides. However, they’re not exactly aesthetically pleasing, so I don’t recommend that option.

In a pinch you can use the record cover template on Canva, and design something there with a lot less stress. (Use Canva’s album cover template for starting point for the sizing, or use the custom design dimensions.)

I’ve used Gimp (a free download ) and Photoshop (not free, but you can get a subscription for as low as $9.99 per month). There are tutorial videos on YouTube and all over the web, if you’re feeling industrious.

Costs

Hathor Legacy: Outcast by Deborah A BaileyYou can find great voice artists at a lower rate, but it all depends. Rates aren’t necessarily tied to experience.

I’ve used experienced voice artists who were breaking into audiobook narration, so their rates were in the $50-100 per finished hour range.

One thing to note is voice artists who are members of the SAG-AFTRA union will have a set minimum rate.

Be aware of the approx. total hours your book will need to be completed and choose accordingly. Set your budget in advance and use that to filter voice artists who have higher fees than you desire to pay.

There are other options, for instance, splitting the royalties and having the producer/narrator take on the production costs. I haven’t gone that route, so I can’t  say if it has an advantage or not.

Getting Paid

You get paid monthly as long as the amount is at least $10. Otherwise, it gets rolled over to the next month.

Also be aware that unlike ebooks and paperbacks, you don’t set the price. So making your investment back depends on the net sale price. (The royalty at ACX is currently 40%.)

If your book is added to Whispersync, most likely it will be discounted if a reader wants the ebook and audiobook combo. You’ll receive royalties based on that discounted net sale price, not on the regular retail price (the price without any discounts).

Royalties are also sliced and diced depending on whether the buyer is an Audible member and if they used credits for the purchase. (Buyers who get your book on iTunes are considered “a la carte” buyers and will pay the regular retail price.)

If someone buys your audiobook, joins Audible as a member and remains current for a specific amount of time, you’ll earn a $50 bounty.

ACX provides reports you can download and there’s a lot of online documentation. I find the customer service to be pretty responsive, as well.

Free Codes

One big plus is that once your book is published, ACX provides you with 25 codes for free audiobooks. So you can use them to gift to reviews, friends, fans, etc. You will receive royalties on the regular retail price when those books are claimed–so you do get paid for them. If you want codes for the UK store, simply contact customer service and they’ll send them.

Publishing

When all the work is done, the voice artist has acknowledged payment, ACX runs a check on the audios and cover. Then about 10-14 days later (give or take a few days) the book will be published and distributed to Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

If your book ends up in a category that you don’t want it to be in, customer service will take care of that too. Unfortunately they don’t have a science fiction romance category, so if that’s what you write, you’ll have to decide where you want your audiobooks placed.

The downside is that I changed one book, but not the other. Which means right now they’re in two different categories. Does that help or hurt? I can’t say. But when the third book in the series comes out, I’ll ensure they’re all placed in the same category.

Check out my audiobooks and listen to samples on Audible: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_pd_Sci-Fi_c2_1_auth?searchAuthor=Deborah+A.+Bailey

Extras

If you’re looking for audiobook promotion, check out AudioBook Blast for some options. So far I’ve done pretty well with it for reviews.

For some additional reading and opinions from other authors (including yours truly) check out this post from Sci-Fi Romance QuarterlyThe A to SFR of Audiobooks (Part 1)

If you’ve created an audiobook and have a different experience to share, please do so in the comments. Or if you have questions, those are fine too!

 

Book Spotlight: Dragon’s Honor by Michaela Kendrick

DDragon's Honor by Michaela Kendrickescription:

The Warlord…

From high society banquets in the ice covered skyscrapers of New Arizona, to the most far-flung outposts at the edge of human-occupied space, everyone has heard of Ymir. The Alliance’s reach is wide, and its soldiers are well trained, but there are always despots powerful enough to assert themselves, and Ymir has been one of the most notable failures of human history: a whole planet given over to a man known only as the Warlord.

The soldier…

Cade Williams was once a Dragon-the most elite fighting unit in known space. Precise, brutal, and unstoppable, they were a last resort in the lawless wastes of space colonization. But there was a price: in one horrific mission, Cade’s unit took down not only a slave trader, but an entire intergalactic carrier. Cade left and never looked back.

Haunted by his past, he’s vowed never again to kill, never again to fight, and, filling jobs from dock worker to bartender, he’s managed to keep that vow. But Cade’s life is about to be turned upside down. Because when at last he runs out of options, his old friend Talon Rift appears out of nowhere. Talon, the man who ordered him to take down the carrier. Talon, who wants him to get back in the game. And when Cade won’t, Talon has a job opportunity he seems to know Cade can’t afford to pass up. Protect a woman. An innocent. Remarkably little chance of anything going wrong. And a man needs to eat.

And the trophy wife…

There are two problems: first, that Cade hates Aryn the moment he lays eyes on her; second, that he wants her like he’s never wanted anyone before in his life. Or make that three problems: Aryn’s fiancé is a weapons trafficker with a well-deserved reputation for being ruthless, and Aryn is about to get caught up in one of his schemes – one that will bring her back to the place she only just escaped…the mines of Ymir.

Where to buy:
Dragon’s Honor will be free to read in Kindle Unlimited: smile.amazon.com/dp/B017F8X7HC/

My review of Dragon’s Honor

Cade Williams is a member of the elite Dragon Corps and when he takes on an assignment to protect the wife of a powerful and dangerous man, he finds himself being tested. At first Cade is attracted and repulsed by Aryn Beranek, but in time he discovers there’s more to her (and her past) than he imagined. Aryn is hiding some important things about her former life and her reasons for marrying Ellian. As the story unfolds, facts come to light about her marriage and about her life prior to meeting Ellian. As it turns out there are secrets, lies and a lot of intrigue going on under the surface.

I liked the worldbuilding for this story, which involved war and resistance and the shades of grey that happen when people have to make difficult choices. Nothing is as it seems at first glance, and the revelations keep coming throughout the story. Everyone has an agenda, and it’s never sure who can be trusted.

Since this is the first book of the series, I’m hoping to learn more about the alliance and the other worlds involved. Cade and Aryn were both strong and intriguing characters who I hope we’ll see more of in subsequent books. (Received a review copy.)

-Deborah

Author Michaela Kendrick’s Bio:

Raised on the Dragon Riders of Pern, Star Wars, Star Trek, and a whole bunch of historical romances, Michaela grew up adoring the adventure of Science Fiction and the passion of a good love story. Filled with double crossing, grand romantic gestures, sarcasm, and plenty of heat, Michaela’s books are just the sort of thing she wants to read herself!

Where to find Michaela:

Right now, I’m only on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkendrickauthor/
Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bIDsBn
And people can feel free to email me at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt:

“Cade Williams?”

The words came through the haze of smoke and drunkenness like a hallucination. Cade knew that voice. He was never, ever going to be able to forget that voice, and it had to be a hallucination because there was no way in hell the owner of that voice had chased him across three systems only to walk into a dive bar on the lower streets of New Arizona. So he went back to his drink.

He picked up the glass and stared at it. It was a scotch he’d been nursing for about three hours now, and not just because “scotch” seemed to be a loose term for colored grain alcohol. When he finished his drink, he had nowhere to go. And in the ever-drifting snow of New Arizona—he’d never figured out if the name was born of ignorance or irony—he needed to stay indoors as long as possible. The cold was fierce, and whatever acid was in the water on this planet, it would burn his skin raw in less than a night.

And if he didn’t get ten thousand credits to Osiris within a week, he was a dead man. But one thing at a time. Cade shook his head and let the moment slide away from him, a tiny drift into memory and nothing more.

“Williams,” the voice said again.

That was definitely not a hallucination. Cade’s eyes traveled along the arm that had come down on one side of him. Callused fingertips, last joint of the right index finger missing, the hint of a tattoo poking out from under a blue cuff. The arm underneath the suit jacket was well muscled, leading to broad shoulders and a clean-shaven jaw, and with a sinking feeling of dread, Cade looked up at one of his worst nightmares.

“Lieutenant Rift.”

“Actually, it’s Major now.” Talon’s face was expressionless, as it almost always was. He watched as Cade’s eyes traveled over the understated suit, across the planes of the handsome face. At last, sensing the question Cade would never ask, he flipped over the hand on his resting arm. There, glimmering in the faint light, were blood-red cufflinks.

A Dragon always wore red.

Talon absorbed Cade’s bitter smile in silence.

“You look surprisingly well.” Cade looked down into his scotch and considered drinking the rest in one gulp. The pours in this bar were generous, and with the alcohol being of dubious provenance, a gulp might well kill him. Right now, that wasn’t seeming so bad. It was all coming back to him—without warning, as it always did. He’d known the moment he heard the voice that this was going to be a bad night, even worse than he’d thought—and he’d already thought it would be pretty bad. There was screaming at the corner of his mind, the flashing of the lights in the bar taking on a reddish hue, the emergency exit sign too clear a reminder.

He closed his eyes, clenching his jaw until he thought his teeth would give way. He had to keep breathing, or the memories would take him, and the world would devolve into the chaotic mess he so feared, every face reminding him of the pods, the children pounding on the glass—

He was going to be sick. His stomach heaved.

“Should I go?”

“No.” Cade’s answer surprised even him. He opened his eyes and looked down into his drink again. He could force the world back into its neat shapes if he tried hard enough. In the vacuum of space, in the long silences of a courier’s job, he’d learned to face his fear and press it away.

He could face this, too.

“Okay.” Talon sat, pulled reflexively at both cuffs, and looked over at the bartender. “What won’t kill me here?”

“Don’t try the scotch.”

“Noted.”

“Hathor Legacy: Revelations” WIP Excerpt

Hathor-Legacy-Revelations-Web-MediumI’d originally planned to get Hathor Legacy: Revelations – book 3 of the Hathor Legacy series – published this month. But it’s still a work in progress.

So, in the meantime, I’m sharing a brief excerpt which might (or might not) make it into the final manuscript. You’ll have to read the published novel to find out for sure! 🙂

Hathor Legacy: Revelations  – Book Three of the Hathor Legacy Series

An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

Excerpt

In this scene, Nadira discovers that Mikal, the former Guardian who tried to overthrow the Guardian Elders (in book 2, Hathor Legacy: Burn), has turned himself in after an escape from the penal colony.

“Nadira, you must come to the detention center right away. Mikal has surrendered himself.”

“What did you say?” she asked, as she dropped down on the cushioned couch facing the com console. Azure’s concerned expression was projected across the width of the living area wall.

“He returned to returned and surrendered to the security detail at the terminal. I don’t know how he got on a shuttle to Hathor, but he’s here.”

After waiting for word over the past weeks, Nadira was relieved and apprehensive. Where had he been all this time? And why had he returned? She’s have thought he’d want to stay as far away as possible after breaking out of the penal colony.

“Why do you want me to come?”

“He’s requested a meeting with the Elders,” Azure replied. “It’s his right.”

“Right? He has no rights. Not anymore.”

“The Nova City Manager disagrees. She wants this handled quickly. It’s in the company charter, Nadira. He has a right to ask for this meeting. Then he can be returned to the colony.”

Nadira couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Suddenly everyone was supposed to go out of their way to respond Mikal’s request? After what he’d done? “I’m not going.”

“You must. It is your responsibility. Lange is already on the way, and so is Petra.”

So she was to be guilted into going? Why did Azure always think about responsibility first? Nadira could see why the Elder and her mother had had their differences.

“I’ll come, but I don’t care what he has to say.”

“Neither do I. But protocol must be followed. Is Jonathan with you?” Azure asked. “I think it would be best if he didn’t come.”

“He’s not here, and I agree,” Nadira replied. “I’ll see you there.”

The screen went blank. It was a good thing he was busy at his club in the Entertainments District. Otherwise, Nadira knew she’d have a fight on her hands. No way he’d let he go alone, not to see the person who had tried to force himself into her mind twice. Though the less Jon knew about the first instance, the better.

She stared out over the expanse of Nova City, which was spread out before her in a series of high rises and spires. Unfortunately her protests about moving to an apartment in the Palatine had not been well received by either Jon or Azure. There was more security, which was what they’d both been interested in. But she would’ve preferred a house near the City Park, where she could’ve felt less like a company executive. Not to mention she’d lived in a building like this when she’d lived with her mentor, Zina.

Now she’d have to go to the Detention Center and hear what Mikal had to say. He was the one person she’d hoped never to see again, but now she had no choice.