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Thursday, January 23, 2014

We've Moved!

Come check out our new FF&P Website (and update your links!)


Thursday, January 2, 2014

WHAT IF I WAS AN ALIEN? by Victoria Pinder

Picture: Awkward teenage girl with huge glasses and thin hair that never did anything. Yep, that was me. And before I was swept away in a romance, add to the geeky scene pants that went to high, comic books before they were considered trendy, plaid shirts, and a father who enjoys science fiction enough to ‘recommend’ books too. This picture was those painful memories of my teenage years, but somehow now, I look back with approving eyes. It could have been a lot worse.
   So I read books where the usually male hero goes off and has some grand adventure while saving Earth, the known universe, or time as we know it. All fun reads. But as a female, the fiction world was male geared. My gender was an anomaly. When writing science fiction as a female, not everyone wants to write the aliens need women stories. I’ve been considered an alien in my viewpoint. An alien at her heart can never be human because she’s not one of us.

   So instead of writing about hot alien men, to me part of the fun is writing an alien through female eyes. For human audiences, she has to have something so basic about her that we relate to her. There is so much internal drama that can make the heroine stand out. For me, Ariel might steal other people’s bodies, but it’s more about her journey home. How far would anyone go to get home? The journey home is also a common science fiction theme.

   And what I love about romance novels is that despite the alls, I the reader invest in a good will triumph, happy ever after story. Vampires, werewolves, elves, witches, well they are all fun magical creatures. But to me venturing into the male dominated world where the readers and writers are often men means the female author has a unique story to tell. We’re not seeing the issue of ‘the story has been told before’ because the field is vast. Female aliens who are relatable are a wide open story. Leia in Star Wars is technically an alien woman to humans. She’s relatable. In fact, my fall back outfit every Halloween is my Princess Leia wig. If you enjoy aliens and stare up at the sky with the question, ‘what if’ then aliens aren’t just for boys anymore.

Blurb for The Zoastra Affair:

A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.

The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.

Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.

The Zoastra Affair

by Victoria Pinder

Published by Soul Mate Publishing

Science Fiction Romance

Heat Level: Intimate

Length: 85000 words 

Available at:

Coming December 30th from Soul Mate Publishing.

About the Author:              

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.

During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.

When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.

Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ally Broadfield

Ally Broadfield

The Good, The Bad & The Necessary: Critique Groups -  presented by Ally Broadfield Jan 6 - Feb 2

I hope you will join my class titled

Hosted by
Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers
This Four Week class starts January 6th
For more information click HERE 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Futuristic Vehicles by Diane Burton

When I grew up in the Detroit-area, every adult I knew worked in the auto industry. They either made cars or made the parts for the cars. Maybe that’s why Detroiters love their cars. I sure do. I love the sleekness of the Corvette, but practicality (and budget) dictates a Chevy.

So when I began writing futuristic novels one of the things I had to figure out was transportation. What kind of vehicle would my heroine have? I need to consider her temperament and her job. In my science fiction romance The Pilot, my heroine is very proud and won’t take charity. As a runaway teen, she indentured herself to a mechanic to survive. After her servitude was finished, she continued to work for him until she could pay for a broken-down cargo hauler, repairing it on her own time. Her ship isn’t glamorous, but it’s functional. On the other hand, the hero came from a wealthy family. His ship is a sleek, top-of-the-line “muscle” ship.

Describing futuristic vehicles takes a bit of imagination. Sure, you can use what you’ve seen in movies or what you’ve read in other sci-fi books. But you don’t want to just copy. You want to make those vehicles your own.

Start with your setting. Does your story take place entirely in space or on land? Or a combination? What’s the culture? Is this a sophisticated society that has a long history of space mobility or one where space travel is in its infancy? If your story takes place on land, consider the same questions.

Consider function. What’s the purpose of the vehicle, besides getting from one place to another? Does the vehicle carry passengers or freight? Is it used for exploration? Or is it a military vehicle? How many people can the ship carry? Does it carry armament? Does it have Faster Than Light (FTL) drive?

My imagination only goes so far so I have to look for pictures that will give me a jumping off point. For each book, I Google stock photo sites or search on Pinterest for spaceships. Thanks to Linnea Sinclair’s yahoogroup, here are some
Once you have the particulars of your ship in mind, it helps to sketch it out. You need to be as familiar with the vehicle as the characters who ride in it. As with many things in your story, you—the author—must know more than the reader. Just as you wouldn’t “dump” the hero’s backstory in the first chapter, you don’t want to bore the reader with a detailed description of the vehicle. Use a light hand and treat the vehicle the way you would a car, motorcycle, or airplane. The reader will get the picture through the characters’ eyes and actions.

Happy travels!

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books
visit Diane’s WEBSITE


Monday, December 16, 2013

Are You Ready for 2014? by MM Pollard

editor, Black Velvet Seductions,
the MM in Workshops with MM

Do you make New Year's resolutions?

Maybe a better question is, Do you keep your New Year's resolutions?

We all have the best intentions on January 1st with our new list of resolutions, whether that list has one resolution or many. Here are some tips to fulfill your resolutions in the new year.

1. Translate vague resolutions into concrete goals with a specific time period, not the entire year.
Resolution: I'm going to write a book this year.
Goal: I'll write (insert number) words every day or week.
Month or Year is not a choice, even though either one is the more likely choice of procrastinators.
WHY? Turning your resolutions into concrete and specific goals helps you keep a handle on them. You can easily see if you are going forward or backward at the end of every day or week, depending on the time period you have used for your goal. Fall behind one day, you still have more days that week or another week to make up the words you didn't write that day.

2. Make sure that your resolutions are truly yours, not your family's for you.
Your life is yours. You have the right to choose your own goals. Even if you self-disciplined enough to achieve someone's goals for you, you won't feel self-satifaction at their completion.
More than likely, you will use every excuse that shows up to delay working on their resolutions for you.

3. Make your resolutions visible. People learn many ways: by seeing, hearing, doing. Paint a picture, write a poem or a journal, compose a song or music, make a poster -- whatever works for you. Here's the important part: put your picture, etc., where you will see it every day WHERE you will work on your goals. When you get so used to seeing your visual aid that it becomes "invisible," move it to another place in the same room.
Why? Creative people need to create -- think of that poster as a brainstorming activity. You must think about your resolutions/goals to compose that song.

You pour a part of yourself in your creation. You make an investment in time and in yourself just to make your resolutions visible before you have done one thing toward fulfilling them.
Let's say you spent hours writing that poem. If you quit, that poem becomes worthless. Do you know a poet who wants to write, who enjoys writing, worthless poems? I think not.

4. Reward yourself when you have achieved a small goal, like writing your word count goal for the week.
Why? Writing a book is a HUGE goal. Expect it to be WORK. A year is a long time to wait to reward yourself for your daily successes. Reward yourself along the way as you achieve your small goals, and you'll be more likely to fulfill your New Year's Resolutions.

In my workshop Moving from Resolutions to Results, sponsored by FFnP, students will learn to appreciate where they are in their journey as a writer; let go of shouldas, wouldas, couldas; break down goals into action statements with deadlines; manage their time; and face and defeat procrastination.
The two-week workshop begins January 6, 2014. I hope to see you in class,

MM Pollard
About MM Pollard

As an English teacher for fifteen years and, currently, as acquisitions editor and copy editor for Black Velvet Seductions, MM Pollard has helped writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing.

MM has presented workshops on Savvy Authors and Writer U. Many RWA chapters, including Colorado RW, Kiss of Death RW, Passionate Ink, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RW, Maryland RWA, and Florida RW, have also sponsored her workshops. Through her fun workshops – English class can be fun! – she is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.

MM’s Fundamentals of English – blog – mostly English-related information and a complete list of MM’s workshops

MM’s Fundamentals of Writing – monthly newsletter – sign up on her blog

Also, I hope you will join my class titled

Hosted by
Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers
This Two Week class starts January 6th
For more information click HERE

Sign-up HERE

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sci Fi Romance, Write Now! by Cathryn Cade

The market for sci fi romance is wide open, and here’s why you should join me in writing it.
Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think of myself as a sci fi fan. I was force-fed Heinlein and Bradbury in high school and while they are truly outstanding writers, I was creeped out by the subject matter they chose. Which of course, was the point--using their craft to take a critical look at human nature and society. But I didn’t want that hard edge of technology used for the subjugation of human joy and freedom. If I read sci/fantasy by choice, it was Madeline L’Engle or Watership Down.
Then years later I picked up Sweet Starfire by Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz. I’d read every one of her Amanda Quick historicals, and I was ready to follow her to new galaxies just to get more of her stellar writing. The book opened up a whole new universe! Still sweeping romance, with all the action, adventure and humor that JAK is known for. But being set on another world in the future, it also contained some fun aliens and creatures, gadgets and even paranormal features. It was romance, it was space opera as opposed to hard sci fi, and it was fun. So were the rest of her sci fi romances.
My writer’s brain began to percolate. Thus, a few years later when Samhain Publishing put out a call for shifter novellas, I was ready. If I set my shifter tale on another planet, where capture romance was not only acceptable but expected, I could shrug off pesky modern Earth mores and bust out a sexy fantasy.
That first book Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bryght was followed by the rest of the Orion Series. Hard sci fi readers hated it, complaining that the stories were ‘just romance and sex’ set on a spaceship. These reviews did not hurt sales, lol, because romance readers loved the idea of romance and sex on a spaceship. Like me, many women were ready to head for new frontiers, as long as there was some great romance between the protagonists along the way.
I went on to write in other genres, fun I would not have missed for the world. But readers continued to ask when I was going to write more Orion stories. They were not happy I had genre-jumped, and many did not follow. Reviews were stellar, sales were not.
This spring I debuted The LodeStar Series and a free paraquel novella, Heart of Stone. Set on Earth II and the planet of Frontiera, many of the Orion characters are along for the space flight. Readers have downloaded over 50K copies of the free read, and sales of the LodeStar books are brisk. Brisk enough that I’m smiling pretty much all day long, and it ain’t just because Christmas is a comin’. There is just nothing like the thrill of writing stories readers want to read.
If you are here, it’s because you’re interested in writing fantasy, paranormal, and possibly sci fi romance. Do it! The sci fi rom market is wide open. Yes, it is a small niche in the romance market, but readers are loyal and they are voracious as genetically enhanced piranhas! Hmm, sounds like something from the Cade-iverse.
And have you noticed all the help we’re getting from Hollywood? The success of the new Star Trek, Firefly, and all the Marvel superheroes show that consumers want heroes who are larger than life, who have gadgets and know how to use them! TV is following, with Almost Human and other prime time shows.
Many of the digital first pubs like Samhain, Carina Press and Entangled are actively seeking new sci fi romance. A great way to get noticed if you’re just starting out or breaking into the genre.
If you already have a fan base, why not self-publish? 70% royalties and complete control over every aspect of your book. A related free read or making the first book of a series free will capture lots of new-to-you readers.
And your sci fi rom needn’t be hard-core sci fi. Readers enjoy a wide variety, just as they do all the other sub-genre of romance. Join me and the other many romance authors heading out to space and beyond.
Just remember … it’s hot in space, red hot!
Cathryn Cade

Best-selling author of sci fi romance,
RT 4.5 Stars and Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK
Goodreads     My Website     Facebook
Cathryn’s latest release is Creed of Pleasure; the Space Miner’s Concubine, The LodeStar Series, Bk 2

Her mother's people are renowned for courage & sensuality, but can her human side go along when she must seduce a man to survive? 

    Half-Serpentian or not, in the crime-ridden streets of New Seattle, Earth II, Taara Ravel can't defend her quirky cousin and herself against an enemy they can't even see. Then a wealthy man agrees to whisk them away to safety on the new planet of Frontiera—but only for a high price.

  One the lovely blonde will have to pay with her body.

  Logan Stark wants her to seduce his younger brother Creed Forth, and bring the lonely space miner fully into life. Orphaned in New Seattle, Earth II, with only his adoptive brothers between him and the human and alien predators prowling the rough docks, Creed grew into a man with one burning desire--never to cede control of his body or emotions to any living being. Joining a sect of fighting monks, he lived a life of physical control and chastity, until the wild planet of Frontiera called to him to come and mine her treasures.

  Now Creed is trapped by old vows of celibacy & and by even older nightmares, in a life of loneliness. That is, until his eldest brother, space magnate Logan Stark sends him a living gift. She’s a concubine, skilled in the art of seduction and giving a man pleasure beyond his wildest dreams ... or is she?

   And will throwing the two together create a heat neither can resist, or will the explosion when Creed learns the truth destroy them both?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Location, Location, Location by T. L. Sumner

We often focus much of our attention on the setting of our stories and finding the right words to describe the places in which our characters exist.  But what about our personal writing space?  The location in which we write can play a very important role in our stories. 

I love my office and it’s just about the perfect writing space for me.  But lately, when I sit in my office, fingers on the keyboard ready to work on my WIP, I don’t have one ounce of creative energy.  Some nights I pass by the office with a feeling of dread.  I just don’t want to set foot in there.  Now this feeling is different from not wanting to write.  I want to write.  I just don’t want to write in That Room.  It took me a little while to figure it out why I just couldn’t get motivated.  Then it hit me – I use That Room for my day job.  Which has been extremely stressful and quite frankly no fun as of late.  My creative spirit is blocked in That Room. 
A fresh outlook is like a fresh coat of paint. It doesn't cost much, but sometimes it makes a huge difference. – Susan Gale
When you find your creative energy waning in your usual writing space, try a change of venue.  It could be another room your house.  It could be a nearby coffee shop, a library, a park, or any of a multitude of other places you can camp out for a few minutes or a few hours. 

But a change of venue does more than just help our psyche and creative energy.   Changing location gives our subconscious mind a chance to absorb new stimuli.  It can change our mood and help us find a specific voice for our work; like how writers use setting to change the mood in a story.  For those visual learners out there (and everyone else too), take a look at these photos. 

While these are all photos of libraries, each one evokes a different mood.  Can you visualize yourself in each environment and how what you might see or hear would be different in each location? 

When we venture out and about, we’ll find real life examples of body language, ways of speaking (dialogue cues) and can observe people interacting in real situations.  These details help add authenticity to our characters. 

Public places are also full of unexpected human behavior, if you look or listen closely.  I remember hearing the unmistakable click of nail clippers during a sermon at church.  Not just one snip.  It sounded like a self-manicure.  Ick!!  Now that’s something unexpected (and memorable).  The unexpected can be layered into a story, ultimately providing a richer experience for the reader. 

So get out and about, your stories, characters and readers will love you for it. Peace

Forever optimistic and easily amused, TL Sumner writes young adult romance with athletic heroines chasing their dreams on and off the playing field.  She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and their two children.  Aside from writing and a day job working in the information technology sector, she enjoys running and being the number one fan for her kids’ sporting events.  Her first novel, Forbidden Secrets won the 2012 Gateway to the Best.  You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and at TLSumner.com.