New Releases: July 23rd, 2014

July 23, 2014

It’s Not Easy by Nic Starr

 

Ben gave up following his dreams to keep the family peace. Without best friend Spencer’s help, Ben’s life may spiral out of control.

Ben Cooper gave up on following his dreams to keep the peace in his family. Best friend Spencer Henderson has always been Ben’s rock. For Spence, who is in love with Ben, supporting Ben always came first, but as Ben starts to date their friend Suzie, Spence has to think of himself for the first time. The ramifications of one fateful night means leaving their small town may be Spence’s only option to protect his broken heart.

 

With trouble escalating at home and Spence out of reach, Ben finds it harder to cope. Without Spence’s help, Ben’s life may finally spiral out of control.

 

Length: Novella (130p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: July 23, 2014

Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-017-1)

 

 

 

 

 

The Companion by Lloyd A. Meeker

 

When Shepherd’s protégé is murdered, Marco gets the case, and their mutual attraction is too hot for either one of them to ignore.

Shepherd Bucknam hasn’t had a lover in more than a decade and doesn’t need one. As a Daka, he coaches men in the sacred art and mystery of sexual ecstasy all the time, and he loves his work. It’s his calling. In fact, he’s perfectly content—except for the terrors of his recurring nightmare and the ominous blood-red birthmarks on his neck. He’s convinced that together they foretell his early and violent death.

 

When Shepherd’s young protégé is murdered, LAPD Detective Marco Fidanza gets the case. The two men are worlds apart: Marco has fought hard for everything he’s accomplished, in sharp contrast to the apparent ease of Shepherd’s inherited wealth—but their mutual attraction is too hot for either of them to ignore.

 

Shepherd swears he’ll help find his protégé’s killer, but Marco warns him to stay out of it. When an influential politician is implicated, the police investigation grinds to a halt. Shepherd hires his own investigator. Marco calls it dangerous meddling. As their volatile relationship deepens, Shepherd discovers his nightmares might not relate to the future, but to the deadly legacy of a past life—a life he may have to revisit before he can fully live and love in this one.

 

Length: Novel (220p.) | Genre: Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: July 23, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-850-6) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-849-0)

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding Jeremy by A.M. Arthur

 

No one in Jeremy’s life ever stays. He’s taken Cole into his home and hopes he’ll stick around. Then Bethann asks Jeremy for a huge favor.

Sequel to Unearthing Cole; Discovering Me: Book Two

 

No one in Jeremy Collins’s life ever stays. His parents, sister, and wife are all dead. Now he has taken Cole Alston into his home to help him recover from years of abuse at the hands of his ex. Jeremy hopes Cole, who he loves, will stick around, but after eight years of Cole not being allowed to make his own choices, Jeremy doesn’t think he has the right to ask. As Jeremy keeps his concerns and desires to himself, his best friend Bethann calls on him for a huge favor–claim he’s the father of her baby so she isn’t ostracized in their small town for sleeping with a married man. However doing so would be tantamount to denying his relationship with Cole. Rumors fly before Jeremy can explain to Cole that he said no, and suddenly the whole town is in his business. Rather than reassure Cole, Jeremy’s explanations have the opposite effect. Something is going on in Cole’s mind that Jeremy doesn’t know about, and in order to get Cole to talk, Jeremy will need to confront his own deepest fear.

 

Length: Novella (138p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: July 23, 2014

Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-858-2)

Winner from the Gravitational Attraction Launch Party!

July 22, 2014

Hi all! Angel Martinez one last time – just popping in to announce the winner from yesterday’s launch party:

Our winner is Susan! (skadlec1)

Susan, please pick a backlist book of mine that looks good to you (make sure it’s not one of the free reads, ’cause you don’t need me to give you those) from my website:

Angel Martinez

(the front page has a quick guide to all the work sort of halfway down)

Email me with your choice, preferred file format (if I have it, I’ll send it) and where to send!

ravenesperanza@yahoo.com (my email)

or PM me on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/amartinez2

Congratulations and thank you so much to everyone who stopped by!

GravitationalAttraction_bookmarkH_DSP

New Releases: July 21st, 2014

July 21, 2014

Damaged Goods by Cooper West

 

Jesse and Templeton are from very different worlds, and find their romance threatened by Templeton’s secrets and Jesse’s bruised heart.

Professor Jesse Ford feels like a failure in both love and life. He’s moved home to live over his mother’s garage after his previous relationship ended in heartbreak and a minor academic scandal, derailing his career. Tired and disappointed, he holes up to lick his wounds and concentrate on his next book, determined to avoid anything having to do with love or romance.

 

Jesse starts to change his mind when he meets Templeton, the beautiful and engaging punk rocker working as a short order cook at their small town’s popular diner. Templeton, a talented musician, is back in town after escaping from his abusive boyfriend back in Seattle where they had tried to start a band. Encouraged by friends and family, Jesse and Templeton realize they can’t fight their mutual attraction.

 

The two men from very different worlds decide they might have a chance, but they find their tentative romance threatened by the many secrets Templeton is keeping, and Jesse’s own bruised heart. When Templeton’s dangerous ex shows up, both Templeton and Jesse have to decide whether their fledgling relationship can withstand facing the demons of their pasts.

 

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: July 21, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-634-2) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-633-5)

 

 

 

 

 

Living Again by Brynn Stein

 

Daniel broke his leg in an accident and his uncle hires a nurse. That nurse is a man, Jonah, and Daniel’s uncle tries to keep them apart.

Daniel Larson has walled himself off from any possibility of romance since his lover died violently five years ago in Afghanistan. The same bomb that ended his partner’s life took the lower part of Daniel’s left leg. The only support Daniel has, his Uncle Lawrence, is dead-set against anything homosexual, including Daniel.

 

Now, a popular language teacher at the local university, Daniel’s suffering from a car accident that broke his one good leg. His uncle, who is much better at throwing money at things than offering emotional support, provides a rented power chair and a private in-home nurse. Unbeknownst to his uncle, the nurse comes in the form of a man named Jonah Thacker.

 

Instantly attracted, Daniel and Jonah fight their mutual feelings in favor of professionalism. They become friends anyway, and Jonah shares his life with Daniel, including his handicapped son, Ethan. As Jonah and Daniel grow closer, Daniel becomes more involved in Jonah and his son’s lives, even being there for Ethan when his medical conditions worsen. But when Daniel’s uncle finds out the nurse he’s hired is male, he uses all of his resources to keep Jonah and Daniel apart.

 

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: July 21, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-848-3) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-847-6)

 

 

 

 

Gravitational Attraction by Angel Martinez

 

An amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become a weapon. It will take a group effort to save them.

2nd Edition

 

A mysterious distress call draws the crew of courier ship Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting troop vessel–empty except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and a lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced.

 

Isaac knows firsthand what it’s like to be different and an outcast, and this cements their bond. Once a promising pilot, Isaac was left with a damaged body when his brain didn’t meld with the high-tech implant needed to fly fighter ships. Turk’s brain is no better. The result of a military experiment gone wrong, his natural abilities have been augmented to a dangerous degree.

 

When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

 

1st Edition published by Silver Publishing, February 2012.

 

Length: Novel (266p.) | Genre: Science Fiction | Release Date: July 21, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-901-5) | Buy as Paperback ($16.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-900-8)

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – Thank you!

July 21, 2014

One more post from me – thank you to Dreamspinner for allowing me to hijack, er, borrow the blog all day!

Thank you to everyone, my wonderful readers and hopefully curious new readers, for joining me and reading all my silliness!

Thank you to Elizabeth for taking us on (me and my boys) to Erika, my incredible editor, and to Anne for the fabulous cover!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway – it’s the post that says “Contest” ;)

Gravitational Attraction is available in e-book and paperback at :

Dreamspinner Press

And in ebook at All Romance

(Amazon to follow soon!)

Will there be more? Oh, yes. Be patient with me – I have a lot of series work going on, but I’m getting back around to this one :)

GravitationalAttraction-alt(1)

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – Our Favorite Heroes

July 21, 2014

It’s a funny thing, SF heroes. Sure, you get the same archetypes you do with any other heroes. You get your big, grunty badass:

riddick

You get your sexy, leading man types:

mal05

You get your sexy, blue alien types:

avatar

Hey…wait a minute…I don’t get those with my Regency stories…

Okay, fine. One does get a little more variety with SF heroes. I’ve messed with the human genome several times to get what I needed for different environments and situations. Heck, as a reader, one of my all-time favorite heroes is a vertically challenged, brittle-boned hyper maniac.

Who’s your favorite SF hero?

Angel Martinez

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – Creeping Fingers of Memory

July 21, 2014

flashg

When I was little, televisions were pieces of furniture. They often came in wood and cloth consoles, reception was through antennae, and one changed the channel by (gasp!) getting up and turning the knob. There were perhaps four channels, or possibly five, depending on the signal.

 

The arrival of cable in our house was a cause of much excitement (on our part) and trepidation (on my mother’s.) Suddenly, there were several more choices. Cartoons! Movies! Really bad commercials! With this sudden invasion came Channel 17 out of Philadelphia and, on Saturdays, Wee Willy Webber’s show. For those of you not from back East, Mr. Webber was a radio personality and then TV host of several shows on many channels over the years – one of those voices that was soothing, friendly and entertaining all at once. The show in question was a Saturday Matinee sort of affair where he showed old Science Fiction and Horror movies – a little intro, sometimes a little serial short (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers) – and then the MOVIE!

 

A friend recently asked me if classic SF movies had influenced my writing. Yes and no. Obviously, I’m interested in more advanced science than 1950’s cinema, but the fact is that these movies from childhood seeped into my brain. I know that. The images, the feel, the atmosphere all stayed with me, consciously or not. Sure I loved classic horror. The Boris Karloff Frankenstein, (“It’s alive!”) Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, adored them all. But I loved the weeks best when Mr. Webber’s movies were about space and radiation, mutants and time travel.

 

Early influences are inescapable, whether we acknowledge them or not. Some of the underground scenes from my novel, Gravitational Attraction, owe a great deal to Forbidden Planet, to that sense of awe and wonder I felt at finally seeing the alien underground installation. Visions of cityscapes in Vassily the Beautiful have much to do with those early futuristic city skylines in Metropolis and The Shape of Things to Come. And my need to return to cold landscapes, in the case of Sub Zero, even Arctic? Ah, there are echoes of The Thing there, not so much the terror of it but the isolation and eerie beauty.

 

I don’t consciously channel those old movies I love so dearly, but they’re in there, the images curled around my gray matter. And it wonderful.

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – The SF Child

July 21, 2014

StarTrekWallpaper2800

Recently, I asked a group of friends to pose questions, anything at all they might want to know about my work and so on. There were some fabulous ones and some that surprised me. This is in response to the question asking if I was “into SF as a child” and what was it like growing up in a science fiction world of make believe.

 

That brought a flood of memories. I was interested in the universe at large when I was small, as most children are, but science subjects occupied a lot of shelf space in my room. My indulgent parents purchased a working microscope for me, bought books on stars and planets, on animals and weather, on anatomy and the moon landing. I was only five years old at the time of the first moon landing, but I think it sparked something in my imagination so fiercely, it never quite went away.

 

I wasn’t the only one, of course. A slew of movies and television shows built around speculation about space, both serious and silly, cropped up in my early childhood – Lost in Space, My Favorite Martian…

Star Trek.

It’s easy to make fun of the original ST, with its low budget sets, its primitive special effects, its tendency toward over-acting, (in certain cases) and its occasional disregard for the laws of physics, despite Mr. Scott’s protestations. But it was original, the characters interesting and accessible, and the themes important ones, explored in environments that removed them from the politics and strife of Earth.

 

Yes, my best friend and I played Star Trek. I admit it. She was Captain Kirk and I was Mr. Spock, because that’s how our personalities fell and because Kirk and Spock were best friends, too. Of course. The question of gender never entered our minds, nor the question or Kirk and Spock’s actual relationship. We were too young and our minds were filled with aliens, distant planets, tricorders and phasers. Sometimes we tried to have other friends join in, but they never really got it and we’d end up playing dress up or something equally distasteful to us. More often than not, it was just the two of us, transforming the landscape of shelves and boxes in our parents’ basements into alien terrain and starship corridors.

Eventually, my friend outgrew her SF phase. Me? I’m old enough to be someone’s grandmother – and I never have.

Of course I ended up writing SF. How could I not?

 

Gravitational Attraction

(Don’t forget the discount code – good until end of day tomorrow! Martinez0720 *case sensitive)

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – Who Put the Space Opera In My Peanut Butter?

July 21, 2014

I like a good Space Opera as much as the next reader. But when is a story a space op and when is it SF?

 

The term “space opera” first appeared in the late 40’s, early 50’s to refer to radio and movie short serials set in futuristic venues. The term, of course, referred to a soap opera in space, though the space opera was heavy on adventure and light on the romance. Think Flash Gordon and the original Buck Rogers serials. Later on, the term was applied to literature as well, to any adventure novel set in a space faring culture, light reading meant to excite and entertain.

 

SF, science fiction, has always been held up as the older, more serious sibling to space op. All of us who read SF know the clichés about it needing to answer a “what if” question. Not all SF is so simple, of course, but truly to be called SF, there should be an exploration of something slightly deeper than who gets to sleep with whom in the end or which military faction wins. Those of us who cut our teeth on Douglas Adams and Keith Laumer know that the “serious” part can be left by the wayside and still be SF, but the necessary core remains, either with the story exploring some aspect of human interaction with the universe or with each other.

 

So…Arthur C. Clarke? Isaac Asimov? Ursula Leguin? SF, hands down. Elizabeth Moon? Some of C. J. Cherryh? Space Opera, no doubts, no mystery. Not everyone fits into such nice boxes, of course. Lois McMaster Bujold, for example, writes stories that appear to be space opera, until you scratch the surface and see the cultural entanglements and the consequences of tech built into many of the plotlines. Relationships become as important as tech, the journey to self-awareness as vital as world building.

 

This, I believe, is where SFR comes in. As Science Fiction writers, we are free to explore the universe, our culture, and our own selves, without the constraints of a normal novel. We can reach beyond the constraints of traditional romance, unfettered by rules and convention. As Romance writers, we bring SF to a human scale, whether it is serious stuff with a purpose (I hear Carl Sagan saying ‘star stuff’ – I still miss him) or the adventure-laden fare of the space opera. The universe is limitless, both the external and the internal.

 

As you’ve probably realized, I enjoy both ends of the spectrum – but which do you prefer? SF or Space Opera? Or do you devour both with equal zeal?

For all my Science Fiction offerings – come on over to my SF page:

Angel Martinez – Science Fiction

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – A Rose Is A Rose?

July 21, 2014

Romeo opines (while pining and whining) that names shouldn’t matter. Changing the name of a rose, he insists in far more poetic language than we’ll use here, will not change the properties of the rose.

 

Fair enough. So why do we take such great and often agonized pains over picking names in fiction?

 

Someone asked recently how I choose names of characters and planets for Science Fiction pieces. The how is certainly important, but I think it’s backed by a why. Names in fiction, especially genre fiction like SF and Fantasy, give the readers immediate clues regarding the nature and origin of things. Often, this is done in a purposeful, even tongue in cheek way—exaggeration so no one could possibly mistake the sort of thing involved. Who could ever mistake the name Malificent for someone benign? Who could believe that the planet Pandora, even before we reached it, was a safe place for humans?

 

Most language cues in SF are slightly more subtle. Lois Bujold named her all-male planet Athos after the mountain and peninsula in Greece (somewhat isolated, independent, and home to an ancient monastery.) Immediately, the cultural cues are there, whether we consciously recognize them or not. Orson Card nicknamed his hero Ender to create a pun on the phrase “endgame.” (While the name means “one in a million” in Turkish, Card didn’t know that at the time.) Ender, the name, also gives the reader feelings of foreboding as we anticipate endings before we’ve even begun.

 

My naming decisions are often an odd recipe of the personal, the cultural clue, and the type indicator. Isaac Ozawa, from Gravitational Attraction, sprung from the Eurasian heritage of the Altairian Empire, has a name that immediately gives the present-day reader ancestral clues. He’s also named in honor of my son, Ian, who really likes the name Isaac and has, on more than one occasion, dubbed it “the world’s coolest name.”

 

The names in Vassily the Beautiful follow the cultural heritage of the original Russian fairytale, Vassilisa the Beautiful, on which the story is based. The horrid, amoral stepfather has the name Boris, since that still has echoes in the American mind of not-so-ethical characters. Baba Yaga’s sons have as names the Russian words for the times of day they represent in the original tale: Rassvet for dawn, Poldien for noon, and Sumerki for evening.

 

For Sub Zero, I wanted to delve into a language and people who understand cold, so I turned to Tibetan and a single Hindu place name. Dras, the town in Kargil, is one of the coldest inhabited places on Earth, hence Drass became the name for my ice planet. The Tibetan language provided the perfect sound and feel for dangpo names and words. A language full of soft consonants, the words feel right for a people unfamiliar with the concept of war.

 

Names may not change the substance of the thing, but they can certainly change the perception, and in fiction, perception is sometimes all we have.

(From the scene where Turk first speaks to Isaac)

“You have a name?” The voice rivaled the face in beauty, soft and warm, caressing his exhausted mind. “All right, we’ll start with mine. I’m Isaac Ozawa. And I guess I could just call you the Marduk Rescuee or maybe Ishmael—”

“Ishmael?” The word caught in his dry throat, barely a rasp.

“Yeah, you know, the sole survivor? And I alone survived to tell the tale? Oh, never mind. But it would be nicer to have a name.”

He swallowed against the rawness, trying for more of a voice. “Turk.”

“That’s your name? Turk?”

He nodded and watched in fascination as Isaac shook his head, dark hair fanning his cheeks.

“Of course it is. No soft sibilants or lingual sounds for you. Oh no. Nothing but hard, strong sounds. You probably have a last name that would hurt to say.”

Gravitational Attraction

GravitationalAttraction-alt(1)

Grav. Attraction Launch Party – A Bit About the GEM Drive

July 21, 2014

The GEM drive (gravito-electromagnetic drive) was, as I’ve said, a joint project. While I realize it’s not feasible using current electromagnetic theory, the assumption we started with was that science does not stand still:

In the year 2072,after five-years of seclusion and mathematical research, Dr. Umberto Mondal publishes his theory of gravito-electromagnetic unification. This theory shows that these three fundamental forces are all directly connected, analogous, and interdependent. A tech revolution swiftly follows over the next hundred years.

The monstrous forces involved did not become useful for interstellar travel until the discovery of lumanium, of course, a radical isotope of lead, devoid of any neutrons, and therefore, under Mondal’s theorems, incapable of transferring gravitational forces.

There were a lot of stops and starts along the way, along with the destruction of Earth’s Moon (oops) but eventually, GEM drives became the norm for space travel.

And now – so that you may all fall out of your chairs laughing (please do not take a sip of coffee before viewing the photo) – my exceptionally poorly drawn rendition of the Hermes preparing for GEM drive flight.

Please keep in mind that this was my quick and dirty sketch when Ian and I were discussing drive and shield placement. But, yes, I really am that terrible an artist, thank you.