25+ SciFi and Paranormal Romance Holiday Tales

NOTE: Portions of this post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record.

The past few years have seen a fun trend in scifi and paranormal romance – the holiday themed story. I had quite a number of new books to choose from for this column, if you want to mix your holiday with romance and aliens or shifters. (Full blurbs for all books are on the ebook sellers’ pages.)

The results are always terrific when a group of the top SFR authors comes together around a theme and the “Holidate with an Alien” collection sure supplies the seasonal and the romantic thrills. In Tinzel by Ella Maven a human and an alien on a prison planet make an alliance during a snowstorm to escape and find a Happy Ever After (HEA). In Ozias by Alana Khan a human woman is asked to be a matchmaker for an alien demon but the minute they reach his home planet, he decides he only wants her. (What romance reader didn’t see that coming?) It’s a classic friends to lovers tale to read by the cozy fire on any planet. Skruj by Honey Phillips artfully takes the old Charles Dickens tale and updates it, with the human woman working for a pinchpenny alien boss to support herself and her fragile little brother. The boss needs a companion for three events and the only person willing to go with him is his employee. Rixen by Ella Blake revolves around the preparations for a big holiday festival on an alien planet and the complications between a human woman who is only visiting the world and an alien who wants permanency in his HEA. Tana Stone takes the fake relationship trope to the stars in Yool with a human female fighter pilot who gets a smuggler to act as her date for a big event and then of course complications ensue. Sleye by Ava Ross revolves around a very forbidden relationship but the human woman knows what she wants and her hunky alien crush is happy to go along. Readers love the cover of Khane by Rena Marks because of the red stripes and the plot inside is red hot as well. The socially awkward daughter of the creator of a dating app of the future needs help from her royal alien neighbor when Daddy gives her a deadline to find a boyfriend. She needs someone by the time the big holiday party her father is throwing to celebrate the launch of the new version of the app and her neighbor is only too happy to help. And to keep all other suitable males away.

AmazonKU Series Page

Author Julie K. Cohen put a new twist on holiday SFR romance that I personally had never seen before – the Hannukah themed SFR story. Whisked away By the Alien features an alien hero who has been sent to New York to learn about humans as a cultural exchange and he’s arrived in the Birnbaum kitchen in time to observe Hannukah. When the daughter of the family arrives, she notices he doesn’t believe in clothing (but will wear an apron) and doesn’t know how to cook. The miscommunication trope gets a lot of play here but overall readers seemed to enjoy the growing feelings between the couple and the satisfactory HEA ending.   AmazonKU

Cyborgs get in on the holiday action as well, with Cyborgs Save Christmas: A Gay Holiday Romance by Toshi Drake, wherein a stranded alien needs the help of a kindly human to resolve his problem. There’s found family and miscommunications and of course a lot of holiday involved.   AmazonKU

In Vinder’s Christmas (A Cyborg for Christmas Book Three) by Christine Myers and Clarissa Lake, the authors mix vibes of the Old West with scifi romance, a cyborg hero, the local girl who needs help as the female main character and of course the holidays.   AmazonKU

Nine authors came together to write the Mated at the North Pole series of M/M paranormal romances, featuring nine men who shift into reindeer to pull Santa’s sleigh. The team has been informed they need to take a mandatory vacation in order to get ready for the big night ahead and each shifter finds his own holiday adventure among the humans. As the blurb for Cupid by Aria Grace says in part: “Cupid features an alpha reindeer with a knack for matchmaking, a human omega who has no idea shifters exist, a beachfront cottage, Christmas magic, and the best kind of present ever—true love, fated mates, an adorable baby, and a guaranteed happily ever after.”  The other eight, including Rudolph will have similar romantic encounters in these LGBTQ holiday tales.

AmazonKU Series Page

Dragon Shifter Christmas by Zoe Chant offers three holiday romances. In the first story the Female Main Character hates Christmas and the dragon shifter is on a tight deadline to change her mind or he loses his inner dragon forever. No pressure at the holidays! The second tale uses the enemies to lovers trope to good effect, as does the third entry in the book, although in the latter the idea of a dragon shifter and a cat shifter trying to find their HEA is especially appealing.     AmazonKU

If time travel plus Christmas sounds good to you, there’s Christmas Village: Julia by Frankie Robinson which features a woman renovating a 200 year old Scottish mansion who encounters the ghost dwelling there. She gets drawn into his time, where the village is going all out preparing for the holidays and of course romance blossoms.     AmazonKU

Or you can visit The Enchanted Highlands book three, A Kilt for Christmas by Tricia O’Malley in which, to quote the blurb: “… a handsome American takes on a lonely Scotswoman in this stand-alone, small-town, Scottish romance. Wicked banter, a highland ghost coo (cow), and dogs dressed in kilts make this magical Christmas story the perfect happily-ever-after.”     AmazonKU

VS: I only have so much space in my columns for the RDR and quite a few more holiday books have been released since I wrote the original post for them, so let me add:

An Alien for Christmas by Margo Bond Collins –  a human journalist ends up running the Alien Bride Lottery over the holidays and hopes to find her own mate…

The three book An Otherworldly Christmas Series – How My Krynch Saved Christmas by Sandra R Neeley: mixes a throughly disillusioned human woman who doesn’t enjoy the season at all, a grouchy cat and a big green alien bounty hunter. How My Jingleballs Saved Christmas by Rena Marks:  an alien puppy who really isn’t a dog at all and the human woman who receives him as a gift. How My Alien Saved Christmas by Liz Paffel: a hot holiday party crasher is really an alien and “just might make all her holiday wishes come true”.     AmazonKU Series Page

A Tygerian Christmas (Mate of the Tyger Prince) by Shannon West: the human mate of alien royalty attempts to recreate the holidays for his family but things don’t go well. Then he’s allowed to see what his life would have been like if he hadn’t gone to this alien world.     Amazon

Horned Holidays: The First Collection by Honey Phillips: Three determined heroines, three unexpected heroes, and three sweet and steamy stories with all the warmth of the holiday season! ”     AmazonKU

Eat Your Heart Out Holiday Edition by Various: “Get comfortable by the fire and get your favourite seasonal snacks at the ready for this fun-filled selection of spicy food-themed romances from bestselling romance authors.”    Amazon      Apple Books     Kobo

All I Want for Christmas is Tentacles by Chloe Archer: An alien who’s watched a lot of human romcom flicks escapes his arranged marriage and goes to Earth where he finds just the right human guy to make his holiday dreams come true.     AmazonKU

Midlife Christmas Magic (Bearmates over Forty Book 8) by Aline Ash: a grouchy bear shifter and his son’s tutor make holiday magic.     AmazonKU

Wolf’s Christmas (Brides for Beasts:Wolves Book Five) by Kym Dillon and Candace Ayers: Those Christmas toys have to be delivered and a wolf shifter gets talked into flying the snowbound charity worker and her toys to LA. Many complications ensue!   AmazonKU

Tinsel and Tusks (Love at First Orc Book Three) by Ava Ross: another case of being snowed in with romance brewing along with the hot cocoa, this time with an orc businessman.     AmazonKU

Bah Humbug Mate (Mystic River Shifters Book Seven) by Delta James: “A new twist on a holiday story you think you know. Will a sham marriage lead to a real love story? Dash Samuels, a grumpy reindeer-shifter, is faced with an ultimatum: marry by Christmas Eve or lose his family inheritance. The holidays are his least favorite time of the year and now he needs to find a mate?”     AmazonKU

Dragons Don’t Do Happy Holidays: Christmas at the Lonely Tavern Book One by Harmony Raines: “Brooding dragon shifter Flint wants a new start. So, when he arrives in Wishing Moon Bay the plan is simple. Get in. Get out. And avoid the merriness as much as possible. However, with a dark past, and nothing to his name, getting any supplies for his journey is all but impossible-so much for the season of giving. But, as they say, when one door closes, another opens.” And just the right witch for him walks in.     AmazonKU

Kidnapped by the Krampis by Emily Shore: inbtrepid reporter determined to find out the secret of the reclusive CEO of Krampus World gets a little more than she counbter on for her holidays.     AmazonKU

Of course there are many other SFR/PNR holiday romances available, with more being released weekly but hopefully this sampling will start your season in a holy, jolly way! Happy reading!


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First Meeting: STAR CRUISE STAR SONG SciFi Rockstar Romance

I’ve decided to change up these weekly snippets and go through my backlist, sharing the first meeting between the two main characters in each book. I’m going roughly in the order of first publication. It’s always fun for me to revisit the books and I hope it will be for you too! Or if you’ve never happened to read a certain book, maybe I can entice you into giving it a try.

STAR CRUISE ROCK STAR is my second in this “love boat of the stars” series with a galaxy-famous rock star as one of the main characters. I love rock star romances and it’s been fun to write my own, set in my scifi romance world.


The excerpt – Addy is a new graduate from a highly regarded interstellar technical school,  just joining the ship’s engineering crew. She’s on her way to the shuttle when:

Addy passed a robo kiosk selling feelgoods and snacks and gasped as a man stepped out from his position slightly behind the unit, grabbing her by the arm. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said, speaking quickly, right into her ear. “I mean you no harm. I need a favor. You’re on the crew?”

She stared at him, not quite ready to scream and make a fuss yet—Addy avoided becoming the center of all eyes whenever possible. He was tall and scruffy around the edges, and had a battered leather satchel and an oddly shaped instrument case waiting in the spot where he’d been lurking. Under the beard and brown hair caught back in a messy braid, he was handsome and his eyes were breathtakingly blue. She blinked, mesmerized because she’d never seen anyone with such gorgeous eyes.

He glanced past her to the crowd milling around close to the gates and clenched his jaw. “Listen, miss, I’m a passenger—I can show you my ticket if you like—but I need help getting on board without a lot of undue attention. If you’ll walk with me and pretend to be my girlfriend for ten minutes, get me inside the crew shuttle, I’ll buy you the best dinner available on board the Nebula Zephyr tomorrow night. Deal?”

“Oh,” she said, understanding dawning. Addy studied the noisy hubbub nearby. “All of them are waiting for you?” He didn’t look like a celebrity other than when it came to his beautiful eyes. Maybe he’s a famous criminal. Either way he’s a passenger and customer service is our line’s hallmark. The principle had been drummed into her during the online orientation holo class. As an engine room specialist she hadn’t expected to have anything to do with the passengers. Flustered, she said, “I guess that’d be okay but you probably should show me your boarding pass first. I can’t let a pirate or a mobster on board.” As if she’d recognize such a person but Addy consoled herself asking for a pass was an official act and if he couldn’t produce one, she’d terminate this interaction, gorgeous eyes or not.

With a frown, as if he hadn’t meant his offer to locate the pass, he pulled her further into the tiny bit of privacy the vending machine created and rummaged in his satchel while she waited. He flashed the pass at her with a resigned expression on his face.

“Ryder McRhodes,” she read. The name had absolutely no meaning to her but the pass seemed genuine and the holo stamp flickered authentically. “All right, come with me then. I can’t guarantee the shuttle pilot will let you on board but at least we can get past the people you want to avoid.”

He kissed her cheek exuberantly. “You’re an angel.” He grabbed the satchel and the instrument case, slinging it across his back and put his other arm around her waist, drawing her close. “I owe you.”


They walked together as if they actually were a couple and Addy was acutely conscious of his muscular body close to hers. He smelled like clean fresh citrus, underlaid with a darker spice and the mere thought surprised Addy, who wasn’t used to thinking in such sensory terms. She liked the sensation of being pressed close to him and she loved not being alone. All of which was confusing. This person was a total stranger and he was taking liberties in the way he held her so shouldn’t she be outraged? Indignant?

But her body was having a completely different reaction and the unaccustomed feelings were distracting.

They’d walked past the bulk of the raucous crowd with no problem but one man split off and accosted them. “Are you Ryder McRhodes?” he asked her companion.

“Naw, man, although I’m flattered.” As he lied, the passenger laughed as if he was without a single care in the world. He hugged Addy closer and said, “Just trying to get back to my ship on time with my girl here, after a day sightseeing.” He lifted Addy’s badge, which was hanging on a lanyard around her neck and flashed it. “See? We’re crew.”

“Engineering,” she said with the conviction of truth. Although she was puzzled by the whole encounter, Addy smiled and kept walking as Ryder did and they went through the gate to the restricted crew only area with no problem.  The man heaved a huge sigh.

“And we’re golden now,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough.”

VS: Maybe Addy has been keeping her nose in the technical manuals too long…but Ryder will open her eyes to a whole new world. And she will become his unlikely muse as he prepares for a comeback…


Addy Tryndall is a fresh graduate from a highly respected engineering college in the Sectors, on her way to a plum job on the Nebula Zephyr cruise ship. She knows she’ll be on probation but she’s determined to succeed and nothing is going to distract her.

Ryder McRhodes is a has-been interstellar rock star, on his way to reunite with his fellow band members to see if the lightning of mega success will strike twice for them. He isn’t sure he wants to be in the spotlight again and he hasn’t been able to write music since the band broke up.

Addy has secrets. Ryder needs a muse to unblock the creative flow…could her tightly guarded past be the answer  to his problem?  When the two are thrown together in an attempt to avoid the interstellar paparazzi he’s intrigued. She’s wary.

And someone is sabotaging systems on the Nebula Zephyr. Addy unwittingly finds herself in the middle of the situation while juggling her increasing attraction to Ryder and her challenges on the new  job. Can she trust him with her secret? Or will he break her heart?

The danger on board comes ever closer to Addy as the cruise continues…

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16 SciFi/Fantasy/Gaming Related Cookbooks for Your Kitchen

NOTE: Portions of this post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record.

It’s time for one of my favorite annual columns – the new science fiction, fantasy and gaming related cookbooks I’ve found this past year.

I always like to start with a Star Wars cookbook and luckily there’s a new one just released: Star Wars: The Ultimate Cookbook: The Official Guide to Cooking Your Way Through the Galaxy Hardcover by Jenn Fujikawa and Marc Sumerak. As the book’s blurb states, this is meant to be quite a comprehensive culinary tour of the galaxy: “Featuring over 80 recipes from nearly every corner of the Star Wars galaxy, this cookbook includes dishes inspired by films, television shows, theme park attractions, novels, comics, video games, and beyond. Great for chefs of any skill level, these recipes offer an immersive experience for Star Wars fans who want to bring galactic adventures into their kitchen, making this book a true must-have.” The book presents the recipes as coming from the fictional Chef Strono ‘Cookie’ Tubbs, a Star Wars universe character.   Amazon

From the gaming universe comes God of War: The Official Cookbook of the Nine Realms by Insight Editions, Victoria Rosenthal and Rick Barba. The 60 recipes from from the Norse realms of Midgard, Alfheim, Jötunheim and beyond, as described y Tyr, Norse god of war, are just the beginning of what this book offers. The game is from The Santa Monica Studio and the book shares lor about characters and events, plus never before seen artwork. The food ranges from quick snacks to dinner dishes and desserts.     Amazon

Also from the world of gaming comes Exquisite Exandria: The Official Cookbook of Critical Role by Liz Marsham, Critical Role, Jesse Szewczyk, Susan Vu, Amanda Yee, Quyen Tran (Foreword) and Sam Riegel (Foreword). Sixty dishes drawn from each continent in the game, backed up with photographs and bits of lore will take the traveler from breakfast to after dinner and include delicacies from “Percival de Rolo’s Revenge Pasta, stuffed with enough garlic to ward off even the strongest vampires, to Jester’s Sweet Feast, a platter of pastries made complete with a dash of cinnamon and a covert sprinkle of the Dust of Deliciousness.” Reviews were overall positive but did note the index was confusing and not all the recipes had a corresponding illustration.     Amazon

If you’d rather have an official Dungeons & Dragons cookbook, there’s Heroes’ Feast Flavors of the Multiverse: An Official D&D Cookbook (Dungeons & Dragons) by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Michael Witwer, Sam Witwer, and Official Dungeons & Dragons Licensed. Never adventure on an empty stomach is the wise advice these experts offer and a professional chef has created 76 recipes inspired by the regional settings in the game. Examples include “otherworldly appetizers such as Talyth and Goldenstars, savory main courses such as Steak of the Deep and Eldeen Banquet, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as Elverquist and Kaeth, and desserts such as Green Ice Rime and Vada’s Vanilla Bean Buns.”   Amazon

The Unofficial Animal Crossing Cookbook by Tom Grimm has 50+ recipes inspired by the game, from Moon Cakes to Pad Krapow, as well as full color illustrations and facts and tidbits about the popular game itself. The book is for all skill levels.   Amazon

If your videogame interests go all the way back to the 1980’s then The Video Game Chef: 76 Iconic Foods from Pac-Man to Elden Ring  by Cassandra Reeder might be for you. The author provides 76 recreated recipes from various gaming worlds, including The Legend of Zelda’s Red Potion, Streets of Rage 2’s Trash Can Chicken, Resident Evil’s Jill Sandwich, Final Fantasy XV’s Kenny’s Original Recipe and Genshin Impact’s Sticky Honey Roast. The food illustrations are presented in videogame style and there are recipe notes about the games as well.   Amazon

The Witch’s Cookbook: Enchanting Recipes Inspired by Hocus Pocus, Bewitched, Harry Potter, Charmed, Wicked, Sabrina, and More! by Deanna Huey is well reviewed and the clever chapter headings reveal the magic of the 75 recipes: “Cast your best Bewitching Breakfasts and Beginnings; invoke Snacks, Starters, and Séances; captivate your coven with Enticing Entrees and Enchantments; reveal Desserts, Delights, and Divinations with a flick of your wand; and pour potions with Beldam, Brews and Beverages.” Including such dishes as Piper’s Wheat Germ Pancakes, Aunt Hilda’s Truth Cake, Nose Twitch Coq a Vin and Poor Unfortunate Soul Octopus the reader can work culinary magic in their own kitchen.     Amazon

The Disney corporation is celebrating 100 years of magical existence and of course there’s a cookbook filled with 80+ recipes inspired by the company’s animated films ranging from Steamboat Willie in 1937 to 2021’s Encanto. The book is Disney: Cooking With Magic: A Century of Recipes: Inspired by Decades of Disney’s Animated Films from Steamboat Willie to Wish by Brooke Vitale, Lisa Kingsley, and Jennifer Peterson. The recipes are divided into eras of animation and represent all skill levels, per the description. A few that caught my eye were Waltz of the Flowers Fairy Cake from Fantasia, Alponian Chowder with Extra Solaris Seed from Treasure Planet and Proposal Soup Dinner from Encanto. The book has full color photos of the completed dishes.   Amazon

The Unofficial Stranger Things Cookbook by Tom Grimm offers 60+ recipes to take the reader from breakfast to dinner and beyond in 1980’s Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside Down. The dishes encompass everything from hearty home cooking to the type of fast food which might be found at the Starcourt Mall food court. Examples are Demogorgonzola, Stranger Wings, Upside Down Burger and Dr. Alexie’s Favorite Slushie.   Amazon

If liquid refreshments are more on your mind at the moment, there’s Drinking with Wizards, Warriors and Dragons: 85 unofficial drink recipes inspired by The Lord of the Rings, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Stormlight Archive and other fantasy favorites by Thea James and Pamela Wiznitzer. There are mixolohy notes and illustrations by award winning artist Tim Foley. Each recipe includes a discussion of the drink’s origins and a brief discussion of the related book. Two drinks mentioned as examples are whisky-forward Essun’s Wrath and a gin concoction known as Nynaeve’s Secret.     Amazon

Is your sweet tooth in need of satisfaction? Here’s An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Willy Wonka: Mouthwatering Chocolates, Desserts, and Candy Creations―75 Scrumptious Recipes! by Dahlia Clearwater. Just the names of the various recipes can bring on a sugar rush – “Lightning in a Chocolate Bar, Exploding Cinnamon Candy, Cayenne Crinkles with a Kick, Super Juicy Blueberry Pie, A Gobstopping Rainbow Cake and Pure Imagination Hot Chocolate” to name a few.   Amazon

Too much sweet stuff? At the opposite end of the fantasy spectrum lies The Necromunchicon: Unspeakable Snacks & Terrifying Treats from the Lore of H. P. Lovecraft by Mike Slater. The book’s blurb invites readers to: ”Make scrumptious sacrifices to the Ancient Ones with these bloodcurdling bites for haunted housewarmings, inglorious game nights, and other grim gatherings. Returning to the slime-covered ruins of the city of R’lyeh and the tentacled deity who slumbers there would make anyone hungry.” Recipes include A-tacolypse, Carni-S’mores, and Hot Cthocolate to Maca-Runes, Necronomicorn, and There Cannoli Be One. The author notes the book “…has not been authorized, licensed, endorsed, or approved by Lovecraft Properties, LLC.”     Amazon

This column wouldn’t be complete without recipes from the world of Harry Potter. This year’s offering is Harry Potter: Official Christmas Cookbook by Elena Craig and Jody Revenson. Fifty+ recipes, full color photographs and dishes such as Treacle Tart , Bubbling Cauldron Bites and Christmas Figgy Pudding will make every holiday gathering a wizarding success.      Amazon

Coming later in November (NOV 21) is Avatar The Official Cookbook of Pandora Hardcover by DK, with 50+ recipes based on the various biomes of James Cameron’s Pandora. The book’s blurb promises the reader will “Experience the Hallelujah Mountains‘ High Camp, the secret cave encampment of the Omatikaya, the reef atolls of the Metkayina clan and sacred sites such as the Tree of Souls in a new, mouthwatering way through carefully curated recipes inspired by the peaceful Na’vi lifestyle. Feast on everything from Pandoran pancakes and Sully family shakshuka, to delicious frittatas, fish dishes, soups, salads, and stews, topped off with Na’vi deserts, sunrise cocktails, and frozen mocktails.”     Amazon

Dragonblade’s Historical Recipe Cookbook: Recipes from some of your favorite Historical Romance Authors by Various including Kathryn LeVeque hasn’t been released yet (expected NOV 20) but here’s the blurb: “Welcome to a cookbook inspired by historical recipes. Every era, and every civilization, had their own recipes based on available ingredients, regional tastes, and more. At the dawn of time, food was meant for survival, but as the ages passed, food also became an artform… or a sign of wealth… or even a message of love. Because what winsome lass wouldn’t produce something warm and filling for the man she loves?”   Amazon

A final item of special interest to me, although not science fiction or fantasy related is Titanic: The Official Cookbook: 40 Timeless Recipes for Every Occasion by Veronica Hinke. The sinking of the Titanic did inspire my award winning SF romance novel Wreck of the Nebula Dream so perhaps that’s all the link I need to include the cookbook here. Along with the recipes, which are drawn from the Edwardian era in which the doomed ship sailed, are party ideas, trivia and stills from the movie. It was a must-have, one-click item for yours truly!     Amazon

Happy reading and happy holiday feasting!

Profiles in SciFi Romance: Lea Kirk – Fly With Her

Note: This post first appeared on the AMAZING STORIES MAGAZINE blog…

Veronica Scott for AMAZING STORIES: Welcome to my periodic series of author profiles. Today I’ve chosen Lea Kirk, USA Today Best Selling author of the terrific Silver Star series and other science fiction romance tales.

VS for ASM.: What was the first scifi romance book you wrote, when, give us the 2-3 sentence logline. 

LK: Prophecy, the award-winning first book in my Prophecy series. This apocalyptic, alien invasion romance was published in 2016, and is the book of my heart.

A woman who’s lost everything, a man betrayed by his own, ​but together their destiny is greater than ever imagined.

ASM.: I still remember that one – it made quite an impression on me at the time. Which of your SFR books is the bestselling? 

LK: Fly with Me from my Silverstar Mates series is my current best seller. It was published in 2022 as book one to the already existing, 3-book series. Originally, I’d planned on slapping #4 on it, but since the story chronologically takes place before the existing three books, some friends argued successfully it should be #1. The secret is that it doesn’t matter if it’s read before or after the other books. If read first, it’s a great prequel. If read last, it should give readers some fun “Ah-ha!” moments.

By the way, I’m super proud of this book. It’s a 2023 FF&P RWA PRISM Award winner, and a North Texas Romance Writers 2022 Carolyn Readers’ Choice Award finalist.

She’s heading to Vegas. He is on his final patrol. Hang onto your hair rollers because an alien abduction is about to crash their retirement plans!

ASM.: A groundbreaking series indeed! None of us can ever pick a favorite book or character but if you had to go live in one of your own books, which would you choose and why? 

LK: This is a hard one! I think, though, that I’d choose my debut book, Prophecy, mostly because these characters have been with me since high school. It took me over thirty years to finish and publish this story, and it changed a lot during that time. For example, in the original drafts, the heroine had a younger brother and an older sister. Misplacing the original manuscript forced me to recreate the story from scratch, and guess who I completely forgot about? The older sister. The younger brother made the final cut though, and he also got his own book. I have since relocated the original, handwritten notebooks and must say the final version turned out far better!

ASM.: What was your most recent book and what was the story spark or inspiration for that story?

My most recent book is Fly with Me, but I’m going to tell you about what sparked the Silverstar Mates series instead because without this series, Fly with Me wouldn’t exist. A few years ago, the Intergalactic Dating Agency invited me to contribute three stories to their group project. At that time there were not many (any?) SFR books featuring older heroes and heroines…and I mean true “golden” heroes and heroines, not the 35+ variety. The idea to write about Earth heroines closer to my own age kinda got stuck in my head.

I also wanted to take a break from my Prophecy series and write something more light-hearted. Stories with comedic situations ranging from relatable everyday humor mixed with a little borderline, far-fetched silliness.

All of this was a step out of my comfort zone, and so worth it! Lately I’ve seen other SFR books featuring older protagonists popping up, which is exciting! I’ve received emails and reviews from other women in the 50+ age range who are thrilled to finally have stories they can relate to and enjoy. Even much younger women seem to love them, and that warms my heart. I’m so glad I wrote this series, and plan to write more!

If this series sounds intriguing, book two—Above the Storm—is free exclusively to Out of this World Romance Book Club members from October 15 through November 14, 2023. This is a good time to take it for a “test flight!”

ASM.: Which book was the most fun to write and why? The most challenging and why? 

Hands down, the most fun to write was Fly with Me. It’s about a woman who is abducted on her way to celebrate her retirement in Las Vegas with her friends. Not only does her LOL experience lead her to the worth-the-wait love of her life, but it also explores the rumors about alien cow abductions. I giggle snorted so hard as I wrote this one!

In contrast, the most challenging is my current work in progress: the fourth book in my Prophecy series, Paradox. It is exceedingly tedious to write a sci-fi, time travel romance in an existing series of three novels, three novellas, and a short story! This project is equal parts frustrating and gratifying, and if I ever try something like this again, several of my besties are under orders to talk me out of it by any means necessary!

ASM.: Which of your characters do your readers love to hate? Why?

LK: So, I’m not sure if everyone loves to hate this character, but Commander Graig Roble (pronounced Robe Lay, in case anyone wondered) from the Prophecy series has received mixed reviews. Readers either love him or hate him. I’m not saying they’re wrong to hate him, especially when his motives seem suspect, but far be it from me to make up anyone’s mind for them.

ASM.: Your own favorite tropes? Least favorite tropes? 

LK: I love alien invasions, first contact, enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, rom com, and Earth aliens (secret & known) stories.

My least favorite tropes are non con, dub con, and bully. These types of stories are too disturbing for me to read.

ASM.: Do you also write other genres? Which ones? How does writing a book in that genre compare to writing an SFR?

LK: I do have one paranormal vampire romance, Made for Her. I wrote this in 2018 as part of S. E. Smith’s Worlds of Magic, New Mexico. Still have it in the back of my mind to write a sequel. Yet, as much as I enjoy reading paranormal, fantasy, and urban fantasy romances, my first writing love is sci-fi romance. One of my biggest concerns with writing Made for Her was being called out by readers more familiar with Arthurian legends than I. SFR allows me the freedom to be more creative with fewer restrictions. Yes, the laws of physics still apply, but I can push boundaries as far as making up new cultures, worlds, species, mythologies, etc. It’s really fun!

ASM.: Do you have a ‘writing buddy’ pet? Care to share a photo?

LK: I did, once upon a time, three dogs ago. Our current dog couldn’t care less about my writing. She’s also partial to my husband’s office over mine, probably because it’s nearer to the back door. This makes it easier for her to run outside quickly to bark and bark and bark at joggers, skateboarders, other dogs, or small children passing by the back gate. Don’t let this innocent face fool you…she’s a sassy one.

ASM.: What’s next for you?

LK: My current work in progress is Paradox, Book Four of the Prophecy Series. I hadn’t planned on a fourth book. In fact, this story was supposed to be a novella, but the hero (Juan) is the slightly younger brother of the heroine in book three (Flora.) The two characters have a highly competitive relationship. He took exception to my novella plan and told me that since Flora had a novel then he darn well wanted one too.


ASM.: What’s on your To Be Read List?

LK: Oooh, I’m so glad you asked! Right now, I’m reading Divinity 36, the first book from Gail Carriger’s completed, 3-book Tinkered Starsong series. I am also eagerly awaiting the release of Gift of Gods by E. Menozzi (Mage Lore series, fantasy), and Every Time We Say Goodbye by Janet Raye Stevens (The Beryl Blue Time Cop series, time travel).

ASM.: Give us your short author bio and where you can be found on social media.

USA Today Bestselling Author Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance. She’s been making first contact, two hearts at a time, since her award-winning Prophecy series released in 2016. Her adventures continue with the tongue-in-cheek humor of the Silverstar Mates, a series that proves you’re never too old for love.

NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/gr8oPj

WEBSITE: http://www.leakirk.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeaKirk/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/leakirkauthor/

X: https://twitter.com/LeaKirkWrites

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lea-kirk

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://amazon.com/author/leakirk

GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14584538.Lea_Kirk


LINKS TO OTHER PROFILES IN SFR INTERVIEWS (listed alphabetically by authors’ first names):

Anna Hackett

Becky Black

Cara Bristol

Carol Van Natta

C J Dragon

Cynthia Sax

E G Manetti

Honey Phillips

Jennifer Estep

Kayelle Allen

Linnea Sinclair

Mel Teshco

Michelle Diener

Nalini Singh

Nancey Cummings

Pauline Baird Jones

Regine Abel

Ruby Dixon

S E Smith

Tana Stone

Tasha Black

Tiffany Roberts

Tracy Cooper-Posey

First Meeting: STAR CRUISE OUTBREAK: A #SciFi Medical Romance

I’ve decided to change up these weekly snippets and go through my backlist, sharing the first meeting between the two main characters in each book. I’m going roughly in the order of first publication. It’s always fun for me to revisit the books and I hope it will be for you too! Or if you’ve never happened to read a certain book, maybe I can entice you into giving it a try.

I did a lot of rezearch for this book, which was written pre-COVID, and the outbreak is based on several issues from norovirus, which plagues cruise ships of today, to Legionnaire’s disease and a few other things thrown in besides. I also did research on PTSD since both the main characters are war veterans. I love medical romance and it was a fun challenge to write one of my own. I’ve written several doctors as female main characters since. And of course the Nebula Zephyr cruise ship ‘stars’ in a number of my books!

The excerpt:

“There’s been a mistake,” she said, not waiting for the door to swing all the way open. “My father—” She tripped on the edge of the fringed, locally woven carpet and lost her balance.

The visitor caught her, his arms corded with impressively developed muscles, and set Emily on her feet, although he didn’t release her for a moment, looking her over. “The entire crew of the Nebula Zephyr is in your debt, Dr. Shane.” Now he let go of her arm and stepped away.

Her cheeks warm, knowing she was red with embarrassment, Emily smoothed her hair off her face and stood straighter, trying not to stare at the man sent to fetch her. Taller than she was by at least a foot, the stranger had close-cropped black hair that probably curled a little if left to its own devices and deeply blue eyes set in a tanned face. He was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a formfitting black T-shirt outlining broad, muscular shoulders. The edge of an intriguing tattoo showed below the left sleeve’s hem.

Realizing she was staring, she took the hand he was offering. His grip was firm, her own tightening in reflex. She felt the stirrings of interest along her nerves but took a deep breath to shake off the sensation. Good to know she could still be affected by an attractive man with a deep voice and a strong handshake, but now wasn’t the time or place to pursue the unexpected sensation.

“Jake Dilon, ship’s chief security officer, at your service, Dr. Shane. May I say it’s an honor to meet you, ma’am?”

He hesitated as if he wanted to say more. With a self-deprecating laugh, she said, “Don’t make too much of the experience, you might be disappointed.” She’d had a lot of experience blocking comments about her past since returning home to Harilon. It was almost second nature by now. Running on instinct, she retreated to the small office at the right of the corridor, the man following her. He moved silently. As she glanced over her shoulder, she felt compelled to warn him this berth on his ship wasn’t a done deal. “I haven’t agreed to ship out with you yet, by the way. My father had no right to speak for me and I’m still undecided.” As she sank into her father’s cushioned desk chair, she asked, “Why is this so urgent?”

He focused on her face with an unnerving intensity. Blue eyes narrowed, he paused for a moment, rocking onto his heels. “Captain Fleming was told you’d said yes.”

Surprised by his obvious dismay, she unbent a bit. “What happened to your ship’s doctor anyway?”

“You would ask the question we can’t answer.” Jake’s grin seemed genuinely rueful. “He took shore leave when we arrived at Harilon ten days ago and failed to report back. Your planetary police can’t seem to locate him, and we can’t wait any longer. Even cruise ships have deadlines to meet, and we’re carrying a lot of cargo, which means penalties if we don’t deliver on time.” He spun the old-fashioned globe on the edge of the desk. Head tilted, studying her while she was contemplating him, he said, “I’m no doctor, but I think it’s pretty light duty, ma’am. I don’t recall Dr. Meers ever complaining about being overworked.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work.” She drew in a deep breath, trying to block a flashback of stretchers full of injured soldiers. Her responsibilities in the past had been staggering and fraught with consequences. “Quite the opposite. I like to stay busy.”

“I see I’ve offended you, which wasn’t my intention.” Standing in a loose parade rest, he spoke softly.

Emily made a vague hand gesture. “It’s just—I’m not used to dealing with pampered civilians. To be honest, I’m not sure I can ingratiate myself with the paying customers.”

He laughed. “Do you think I do?’

Well, the women anyway. No effort required. Emily wanted to admire the tight T-shirt, but that would be unprofessional and inappropriate. Or so she told herself.


She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?

Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.

Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.

However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…

      Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo      Barnes & Noble      Google Play  

Audiobook:   Amazon     Apple Books

13 Recent Anthologies to Consider for Your To Be Read List

NOTE: This post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record. There are so many more anthologies out there I’d love to have mentioned but I only get so much column space in the newspaper for my monthly post!

It’s getting to be that time of year when my thoughts turn to anthologies. I love these collections of stories all gathered around one theme and one of my favorite aspects is the ability to sample new-to-me authors without making a huge investment in books I might not finish. The stories in an anthology are usually enough to tell me if I’m going to enjoy their style or not. I’ve found some of my favorite authors over the years by reading anthologies in various genres. Many anthologies are put together to benefit a worthy cause, which is an additional benefit, although some are purely for enhancing the discoverability of the authors involved, which is also a fine thing.

First up, I have a story in a fun scifi romance anthology, Supra Vellum. The whole point for us as authors was to write a spooky story for this season of the year and we had to include a scene with ominous mist or fog and at least one of the main characters in the romance had to be an ‘alien’ alien. I wrote Breaking the Alien Love Curse where the couple has to rush around finding the right ingredients to help prevent an otherworldly curse from killing them at dawn. It was fun to write and my male main character, although humanoid, has green scales and a tail. My first ever character with a tail! The story is set in my usual Sectors galactic civilization and while not connected to any of my other books, has a familiar setting. There are 31 authors in total, a list of many very recognizable SFR names and the charity is Native Justice Coalition’s LGBTQI+ and Two Spirit Program.     AmazonKU

Coming out in early October [out now] is another favorite collection, the eighth annual Pets in Space. The concept here is that each story must feature an alien pet of some kind, who has to play an important role in the plot, not merely be ornamental. Of course there is a lot of scifi romance going on (not with the pet although one year an author wrote a memorable subplot into her story for the pet with a female of his own species). There are eleven exciting stories to choose from and the charity continues to be Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that provides trained service dogs for disabled U.S. veterans and first-responders. S. E. Smith, a New Times and USA Today Best Selling author is the headliner, along with many other well known SFR names. USA Today Best Selling Author Carol Van Natta is at the helm of this project and provides a great story as well. Imagination is the limit when it comes to creating alien pets! Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo

If the paranormal world is more to your reading taste, there’s Rejected by the Immortal, with thirty authors presenting tales about vampire kings finding their fated mates and the consequences which ensue. The stories are billed as “series starter novellas.”   Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo

Enjoy forced proximity romances? The ones where there’s only one bed and the unwilling couple must share? An Autumn Embrace presents five such tales by well known authors “brimming with magic and mystery” as the blurb says. The benefitting organization is First Coast Romance Writers, an independent non-profit organization helping writers hone their craft and expand their knowledge of the publishing industry.   Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo

Castle of Shadows provides nine fresh takes on a fairy tale-like romance, as envisioned by different authors who asked themselves these questions, per the blurb: “What fairy tales lurk in the dark? Are they good or evil? Who gets their happily ever after, the heroes or the villains?”


Transform the World offered fourteen ways to change the world in a scifi hopepunk anthology. The organizer of the collection challenged authors to “come up with innovative ways the world could work better. Universal basic income, smaller communities, AI voting, and learning to live in harmony with nature are just a few of the ideas explored inside these pages.”  Who better than SF authors to tackle the challenges? Note this one isn’t in the romance genre.     Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo

Love Is In the Air is an anthology with second chance romance at the core of each story and the twenty four authors provide “…stories of second chances at love and life as our heroes and heroines embark on life changing journeys, whether changing careers or moving half way across the globe. What second chance have you been longing for? These stories just might inspire you to go out there and grab it.” The anthology benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). My mother and her identical twin died from breast cancer so this is a cause close to my heart and I applaud the effort.   AmazonKU

While we’re on the subject there was also Hopelessly Devoted: A Romance Anthology to Benefit Women’s Cancer Research, in which 23 authors came together to write stories inspired by a favorite movie musical. As the blurb says: “Grease inspired stories will have your mind rockin’ and reeling with second chances, friends to lovers, workplace romance, insta-love, shifters, and more. There’s something for everyone in this mixed sub-genre romance anthology.” I think it’s one of the most unique themes I’ve ever seen for a romance anthology. All services such as formatting were also donated to maximize the possible donation to the BCRF and also the Women’s Cancer Research Foundation. As you may recall, Olivia Newton-John, one of the stars of the movie ‘Grease’  passed away from breast cancer in 2022.     Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo

Ten authors cast Autumn Spells for their timely anthology, featuring witches and magic and romance. Proceeds will go to Together We Rise, a non-profit organization to work for improving the lives of children in foster care and supporting innovation in the field. At least one of the stories ends in a cliffhanger, thus encouraging readers to go explore more of the author’s work. Reviews were highly favorable overall.     AmazonKU

I’ll close with an unusual collection, Midnight in the Renaissance Elevator.  Here is the original spark for the anthology’s theme: “At an LGBTQ literary retreat in October of 2022, a group of authors met a particularly cantankerous elevator. Doors slamming open or closed for no apparent reason? Check. Scary noises, also for no apparent reason? Also, check. Were we concerned for our lives? Okay, listen…This cranky elevator figured heavily into conversations for the next few days, many of which included expletives in a dozen languages, but eventually, it became a (somewhat) beloved mascot. Some people actually chose it over the other elevators! The resulting mayhem is over twenty-five different author takes on the underlying story behind the elevator’s peculiar behavior. Possession? Poltergeists? Personified mechanical objects? Vampires?” Proceeds from the book go to the Trevor Project, which provides crisis support services to LGBTQ youth.   AmazonKU

A final point about anthologies – most are only available for a limited amount of time so if any of these caught your fancy, don’t delay in adding them to your e-reading device. (Most anthologies nowadays aren’t available in paperback due to the extremely large number of pages they would be in print.)

Happy reading!

VS Note: Here are a couple more new anthologies which recently released, too late for inclusion in my RDR post but I have room here on the blog:


Ready for an offbeat trek across the galaxy? 3rd Earth Girl From the Sun is an eclectic collection of sci-fi romance stories from four eclectic indie authors. There’s plenty of adventure, suspense, mystery, horror, and pure camp to go around! Are you ready to explore an abandoned research ship? Solve a mystery in a cybernetic neon-lit future? Travel halfway across the galaxy to get your horse back? Or maybe just survive a first date in a small town? Proceeds will benefit PEN America, a nonprofit organization that works to defend and celebrate free expression in the United States and worldwide through the advancement of literature and human rights.     AmazonKU


VS note: Hard cover only? Disney.

Edited by New York Times best-selling author, Elizabeth Lim, this Twisted Tale anthology features sixteen twisted short stories with new takes on fan-favorite Disney films. Swoon as Ariel and Eric meet right after the Little Mermaid saves her prince; join Tiana and Naveen on a race to get back to Maldonia; take a ride on a pirate space ship with Jim Hawkins; and uncover just what power Tinker Bell’s pixie dust holds.   Amazon


Through darkness and light the magic will find them. Witches, Wizards, Shifters, Vampires, Angels, Demons, Hybrids, matchmaking cats, and other mythical creatures lie in wait between the pages of this limited edition collection of magical paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales. Fall for the charms of swoon-worthy book boyfriends and powerful leading ladies in these fantasy worlds filled with risky adventures, unexpected twists, and epic romances.    Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo

First Meeting TWO AGAINST THE STARS Alien Empath #SciFi Romance

I’ve decided to change up these weekly snippets and go through my backlist, sharing the first meeting between the two main characters in each book. I’m going roughly in the order of first publication. It’s always fun for me to revisit the books and I hope it will be for you too! Or if you’ve never happened to read a certain book, maybe I can entice you into giving it a try.

TWO AGAINST THE STARS is the third in my alien empath series and I tried to really change things up from the earlier stories.  (All the books can be read as standalones.) Carialle manages to escape her interstellar mob ‘handler’ and hides in the slums of an alien planet. But then she’s presented with a hard choice about whether to use her empathic powers to help a Special Forces soldier in big trouble…

The excerpt: Carialle is a janitor in a shady medical clinic when a new patient is brought in, heavily sedated and restrained…she uses her powers to see if he’s truly in a persistent vegetative state as she’s been told, or if the medications are keeping him under.

Time to clean and get out. Carialle stepped away from the bed to get her supplies, and rubbed her aching lower back, trying to work out the kinks. It had been a long time since she first labored as a maid at the temple, and she wasn’t getting any younger. Smiling to herself, because she was far from being an old woman, she turned, tools in hand, and froze.

Marcus Valerian was awake and staring at her. His eyes were blue, the same blue as the flames burning inside his soul. He licked his chapped lips and strained one wrist against the padded restraints, as if reaching for her. “Where?” he whispered. “What…planet?”

“Felicia Seven.”

“Home.” He let his head fall onto the skinny pillow and closed his eyes again.

Nerves making her dizzy, she gave the room a cursory cleaning and escaped. She debated mentioning to Matikian how the soldier had awakened for a brief moment but held her tongue. Reluctance to betray the fact made silence the wiser course to follow, especially as no one ever seemed to care about the details of the patients’ health on this wing. No one expected her to report on a  patient’s physical condition.

VS: And a little more, from the first time they actually converse. This is a few nights later and she’s used her powers to awaken him briefly from the drug-induced coma:

She held a finger to her lips and scurried to check the door. Satisfied the orderly in charge was ignoring the world around him as usual, she hurried to the bedside and slid her fingers over Marcus’s hand. Leaning close, she whispered, “I’m going to help you but we have to be careful, understand?”

His pupils were huge, dilated from the drugs.  He tried to speak but no sound came out. Hastily she laid her hand across his chapped lips. “I’ll ensure you get less of the medicine but you have to convince them you’re still sedated. Can you put on an act?”

Marcus studied her face for a moment. “Yes.” Getting the single syllable out seemed to require almost more energy than he possessed.

“Good. And then we’ll see what we can do about getting you out of here.”

“Today,” he whispered against her hand. “Now.”

“Not yet—you aren’t ready. There’s time. Trust me.”

She removed her fingers and he spoke so faintly she had to shake her head and lean closer. His breath puffed against her ear as he repeated himself. “Angel.”

Laughing, she shook her head. “Far from it, but I can’t stand aside and let them do this to you. I’m going to send you under again but you’ll remember our agreement.” She released her hold on his consciousness and his eyelids drifted downward, despite his obvious struggle to stay awake.

To her astonishment, he shook his head, squared his shoulders and reopened his eyes. “Name?”


Although he clearly was desperate to say more, his head lolled to the side and he snored as the drug took him.


Two Against the Stars

Empathic priestess Carialle has escaped the evil Amarotu Combine, but she’s hardly out of danger. Not when she risks everything to rescue a drugged man from a crooked veterans’ clinic. By lulling the clinic staff to sleep, she reveals her powers. And once again, criminals are after her and her rescuer.

Marcus Valerian, a wounded Special Forces veteran, never expected to have his life threatened by the clinic that’s supposed to help ex-soldiers like him. But when he wakes from a drugged state to find a lovely woman urging him to run–he does. In his family’s remote fishing cabin, he suffers the agony of withdrawal, soothed only by her powers.

In their idyllic hideaway, the two also discover a nova-hot attraction flaring. But can they stay alive long enough for it to become more? Not if the Combine has anything to say–they are not giving up until Marcus is dead and Carialle is their weapon

Amazon    Apple Books    Barnes & Noble  Kobo       Google


Why I Wrote FAINE the New #SciFi Romance in the Badari Warriors Series

Actually the story of why I wrote FAINE begins with the previous book, NARIO. Ever since introducing both Badari Warriors in the book about their Alpha, Jamokan, I’d known I wanted to write a book for Nario and as I began working on that one, my Muse felt very strongly Faine would go on the trip to the Khagrish homeworld as well, and choose to be stranded there. So in a way I wrote NARIOFAINE as one long book, to tell the entire adventure, and broke it into two at the logical point where Faine decides to remain on the planet to attempt to rescue his hoped-for fated mate, while Nario takes the rest of the group home. I always say I’d never write a cliffhanger but I guess never say never, because Faine’s part of the story is unresolved at the end of NARIO! Of course Nario and his mate receive their HEA, however.

Faine’s not an enforcer although he is a senior soldier, so he sometimes makes unwise decisions but on the whole his adventures on the Khagrish planet show him another side to the enemy besides the cruel scientists and the sadistic guards and techs he knows from the labs and he does have to re-evaluate a few things he’s always held to be true. I strive to tell a different story in each book so Faine’s journey to rescuing Farah couldn’t be in any way like what he’d gone through when he was still with Nario and the others. I had fun imagining him navigating his way through the varying urban landscapes of a major metropolis (drawing upon various parts of the greater Los Angeles area, I freely admit) and encountering a variety of Khagrish citizens along the way.

I was recently in the local area I modeled the dining and shopping zone after and it was an odd feeling to stand there and ponder what if a Badari Warrior was hiding somewhere in the vicinity. Reality and scifi romance overlapped a bit there! (A vivid imagination is required to write the books I write.)

There were some loose ends from Nario’s book to tie up – no spoilers!

One aspect I shed more light on in this book goes all the way back to IVOKK and an incident readers had a lot of questions about at the time, so I made sure to work some answers into the story now.

When I start writing a book I typically know the beginning and the ending (always an HEA), the two main characters and probably a major scene or two. Then the rest of the story unfolds for me as I write. A few of the twists in Faine’s book surprised me but I think they make sense, given his journey and the circumstances.

In closing I’ll share with you that there’s a family joke how much I loathe Shakespeare and in this book I managed to work in a quasi-Shakespearean Khagrish reference or two, which was fun to do. Faine kind of expresses my opinion at one point…he and I would be in agreement!


Here’s an excerpt from near the beginning of FAINE:

This was all much harder than he’d ever feared. Badari were pack members, with their brothers always ready to watch their backs, the mental bonds tight and reassuring. He’d never had the desire to be a ‘lone wolf’ as the humans termed it, going off on solo missions. He knew a few men who had done the duty, like Darik, and been fine, but even then the pack bond had held firm for him.

Faine rubbed his chest and swayed ever so slightly before pushing himself further back against the crumbling wall of his shelter. There was no danger lurking nearby. Slowly he allowed himself to slide to a seated position in the deep shadows where he’d hidden, away from even the light of the moons. He had no need of a light, much less a fire, thanks to the extraordinary night sight his kind had been given by their Khagrish creators. No one was going to sneak up on him.

His inner beast was restless, uneasy, prowling and trying to make sense of their current situation.

Fair enough. He wasn’t too sure of his condition either.

From the moment Farah had surrendered herself to the Khagrish noble to spare Faine from torture, he’d had known he wasn’t going to leave the planet without her. His heart was breaking in two as she walked away to save him and the others. Faine’s beast had nearly seized control, rousing him to a blood mad fury, desperate to escape the cage and rush after her. Only Nario’s intervention and dominance had allowed the man to regain control of the beast and return to his senses.

He completed the mission to help Nario and the others escape, as any honorable soldier would do, but then he regarded himself as free to find and rescue the woman who’d come to mean so much to him in such a brief time. How could he leave his potential fated mate in danger here on the Khagrish home world, in the hands of an untrustworthy noble with lascivious eyes?

He could not. The goddess wouldn’t expect him to, although briefly he had a few resentful thoughts about why she’d chosen to gift him a mate under these circumstances and then snatched her away again. Farah had been incredibly brave to leave the cage where they’d been held and go off with the noble. He had to answer her courage with his own.

I’ll find her and I’ll free her and we’ll get home somehow, he said in his mind to the faraway goddess. If you can and will help us, I’ll be forever grateful but I’ll do it on my own if there’s no other way.

Not surprisingly the goddess didn’t answer his defiant prayer.

Rubbing his chest again where the pack bond had always rested, from the moment he first came to consciousness in the cursed lab so many years ago, Faine closed his eyes and leaned his head against the wall. The emptiness was wrong. A Badari was never without the pack bond and the reassurance it carried. The Alpha was there as well, if not in person, an integral part of the mental link. He hadn’t realized how much Nario, who was an enforcer, had been anchoring him in the absence of the pack bond until his friend was shooting into the Khagrish sky on his way home in a hijacked cargo hauler. And the remnants of the bond dissipated. Maybe his violent mood swings were due in part to the lack of the anchoring influence. Another factor to be watchful of as he went about this mission.

Thinking about Nario reminded him of the enforcer’s last gift before leaving. Going deep into his mind, Faine approached the glowing packet of power his friend had sent through the diminished pack bond. It was a warm glow, pulsing slightly, waiting to be tapped into when the right need arose. Faine was grateful for the gift but hoped Nario hadn’t made himself dangerously weak. His friend had the six week cruise home to Ushandirr to recuperate and of course once he got home their Alpha would provide power, as would the Supreme Alpha, to assist Nario in recharging his own.

Faine closed the mental search with a regretful thought. If he had to use Nario’s energy, the situation would be dire indeed.

With a rueful chuckle, he dug a snack pack out of his pocket and munched. Not much sustenance for a Badari Warrior but his people had been engineered to function for a long time on little water and scant rations.

Vowing to do better for himself tomorrow, Faine sniffed the air and was relieved not to scent smoke. After leaving the spaceport he’d gone deeper into the slum area, avoiding the still burning complex from which they’d escaped. There were active patrols in the vicinity, mopping up after the government attack and he was sure the authorities were keeping an eye out for the Badari, in case they might have survived the assault. No one appeared to be fighting the fire, allowing it to burn itself out, although there were efforts to prevent the blaze from spreading to neighboring structures. The entire area was ostensibly deserted ruins anyway but even the uncaring Khagrish authorities had no desire to allow a big portion of the city to burn to the ground all at once.

Snack finished, he drank one of the remaining nutrition rations and then pulled Prue’s gift from his other pocket. She’d left him with the Khagrish handheld she’d been hacking and promised he didn’t need more than basic proficiency to access the files she’d marked for him, to help him in his quest to find Farah. While he was no IT whiz, he had a firm grasp of the principles involved and of course was fluent in Khagrish. Shielding the screen to prevent any stray light from escaping his hidey hole, he scanned the research she’d done for him. There was a long file about the Khagrish ruling family, including Shymzynnar, the man who’d taken Farah. Faine decided to read it later, although he studied the portion about the noble’s various homes with interest. The one Prue indicated was most likely to be Farah’s destination lay several hundred miles outside the city.

Examining the maps on the screen, Faine agreed with Prue’s choice of primary target. He didn’t need any external guide to pinpoint Farah’s location. Deep in his heart a tiny, thin golden thread flickered —the nascent mate bond between the human woman and him. The link, tenuous as it was, pulled at him and he knew he could start walking now with his eyes closed and end up standing in front of her.

Unless of course he fell off a cliff, got hit by a groundcar or shot by a Khagrish.


Left stranded on an enemy planet, can Faine find and rescue the woman he believes to be his fated mate? 

Choosing to remain behind when the others in his party escape the Khagrish homeworld, Faine is determined to locate and rescue Farah, the human woman he loves. Somehow he’ll get the two of them off the planet and safely home to the Badari Warriors’world far away. Alone, feared and hated by the aliens on this alien world, cut off from his pack, Faine must traverse a city and countryside full of danger on his quest to locate Farah.

Farah Saunders was a teacher in the Sectors until she was kidnapped by pirates and sold to become a subject of lab experiments. Taken to the Khagrish home world with a small group of humans and two Badari prisoners, she was selected by a Khagrish noble to become his personal special project. Her situation is hopeless yet she can’t stop thinking of the one man who might be able to save her – Faine. She barely knew him but feels an uncanny connection to the fearless, genetically engineered soldier. What is this link tying them together?

Reunited, the two of them go on the run, hunted ruthlessly by the Khagrish authorities and the infuriated noble. Can Faine accomplish the miracle he’s hoping for and find a way for them to escape? Will Farah ever agree to become his claimed mate?

Amazon     Apple Books     Nook     KOBO     GooglePlay

Why I Wrote Breaking the Alien Love Curse

The idea of writing a science fiction romance around a Halloween theme intrigued me so I was delighted to sign on to the SUPRA VELUM anthology. There were two requirements all the authors had to meet besides a spooky theme – one of the main characters had to be “alien” and there had to be a scene with mist or fog.

I knew I wanted to set the story in my usual world of the Sectors, the interstellar civilization where many of my books take place, but it didn’t really fit into any of my ongoing series. We also had a word limitation (my story went over by about 3K). I’m usually a person with way too much plot going on for such a short book so I thought well, what if I limited myself to one twenty four hour period?

I’ve written humanoids with scales before (TRATUS in the Badari Warrior series and TALINN in the Badari Gladiators series) so I decided to make my Male Main Character an alien humanoid with scales and a tail. This is my first ever MMC with a tail and it was a good stretch for me to be sure I included the tail  properly in the action (and the bedroom love scene). I like a challenge.

The idea of breaking some kind of curse came to me pretty quickly and I had fun creating the circumstances which lead up to my two main characters falling under this curse from another planet and having to break it to survive. Figuring out the mechanics of the curse and how it could be broken called for some magic ingredients and a quest in the dead of night because of course the curse will kill them at dawn.

The characters are co-workers in an interstellar office and have been eyeing each other with a lot of interest for a while but no one has really made a move. Then this curse comes along and forces them to work together to survive.

My FMC doesn’t really believe in the curse at first, despite the effect its already having on the hero but the aunt to whom she turns for help quickly disabuses her of the idea it’s all some kind of joke. I did quite a bit of research along the way (which we authors love to do and can get lost in, believe me) on curses and the potions needed to break them.

Here’s a quick excerpt from the story, from the scene where Hagan the MMC has to explain the curse to Amellia, his human co-worker.

The excerpt:

“I apologize for disturbing your peaceful evening,” he said with a formal air. “May I come in? I’ll explain everything but I’m afraid I have bad news to impart.”

He did look a bit peaked she noticed as she retreated and he moved into the light in the living room. His usually bright green skin with the iridescent scales was faded and a few scales were missing. One popped up on his forearm and fell to the floor as she watched. “Are you all right?” she asked. “Do you need a glass of water or anything?”

“How do you feel is the more important question.” His emerald-green eyes glowed a little as he scanned her up and down.

Blushing because she was wearing her pajamas with the anime characters and the big slippers, she held her robe closely around her and mentally said goodbye to any hopes she’d ever had of dating this man, much less going to bed together. “I know I must look a mess. I have a migraine and an upset stomach.”

“Oh no.” For a moment Hagan doubled over as if he’d taken a blow to the gut and then stepped forward to grab her arm so suddenly she was flooded with adrenalin and uttered a squeak. “When?” he asked urgently. “When did this start?”

She twisted awkwardly in the direction of the chrono. “I don’t know, maybe three hours ago? What does it matter? What is going on with you tonight?”

He slid his hand down her arm and clasped her fingers. “Don’t be alarmed—I’d never hurt you. But I do have bad news to impart. May we sit?”

“Of course.” She drew him to the couch and the cat departed with a hiss, making room for them to sit.

“I had so much I wanted to say to you at the proper time,” he said, holding her hand a bit desperately. “You’re special, Amellia. I’d never met any woman like you before and I was—am—so powerfully attracted to you. I think we’re fated mates—”

“Like—like instalove?” She let out a gasp, wondering how to handle this revelation. “I mean, I find you attractive and I won’t deny I’d love to go out with you but we barely know each other outside the office.”

He nodded, his face set in serious lines. “My people believe on occasion a fated mate will be granted to a fortunate individual by the gods. I never heard of it happening with a human but I knew the instant we were introduced you were a woman I could so easily fall in love with. And while we were working together, I did. But now in my attempt to do the honorable thing, I’ve brought utter disaster upon both of us.”

“Does this discussion have to do with the box you’re holding?” She pointed at the container gripped tightly in the coils of his tail.

He set the box on her coffee table as she watched in fascination. “Did you know my people are born of eggs?”

She blushed. “I might have done a bit of research when you were assigned to the office.” Nervously she ran her hand through her hair and focused on the box, licking her lips. “To make sure I could provide you the best support.”

“Of course. Your thoroughness is an attribute I admire greatly,” he said but his involuntary assessment of her other, more physical attributes was highly appreciative. With a self-conscious cough, he averted his eyes and straightened. “When clutches are laid at high born Houses, there’s a ceremony known as egg matching, whereby certain individuals are entered into alliances by their parents—”

Amellia hadn’t seen any references to this ritual. Actually she’d stopped doing research after discovering the Zackmarune were egg layers. She’d done a little checking on whether human women could mate with a male from the alien planet, got discouraged by all the scientific mumbo jumbo and checked it out on an interstellar chat board, where she’d learned they could, and could even have children with a bit of medical intervention. None of the information helped tonight with this bizarre conversation. “Before they hatch? How do the parents know who to put with whom?”

“There are subtle markers on the eggs, which skilled priests can interpret through the use of sacred lanterns. The thing is, I was egg matched with one who became Sharshanna, a beautiful but spoiled daughter of another House.” He flicked a glance at her and smiled ruefully. “I fled my planet at adulthood and joined the Sectors military to escape our match truthfully. We’re long lived and there was plenty of time to be tail fasted. Honestly, she was such a schemer and climber, I hoped she’d manage an alliance with royalty and jilt me.”

Watching his face, Amellia was struck by the tension in his clenched jaw and the pulse beating hard at his temple. “But she didn’t?”

“Oh, she schemed and maneuvered with the best of them no doubt but hadn’t quite achieved her goals. I must explain in these modern times it’s common and quite accepted to sever the egg match once adulthood arrives. My taking the course of action carries no shame or dishonor for either of us. I think many people were probably surprised I’d waited so long to take the step. She’d certainly provided enough provocation.”

Reassurance seemed necessary so Amellia patted his hand. “I believe you.”

Hagan responded earnestly. “I wanted to be free to court you with honor.”

There was silence. Hoping to advance the conversation and get to the meat of whatever Hagan believed he needed to tell her, Amellia pointed at the box. “Is this what was delivered to the office while you were out in the field?”

“Yes.” He stirred the leaves with the tip of his tail, pulled out a coil of red vine and dropped it distastefully. “She took my actions badly.”

“How badly?”

“She’s cast a curse on us.”

Jaw dropping, Amellia couldn’t help herself and burst into laughter. “I’m sorry,” she gasped, trying to smother her amusement as Hagan blinked. “A curse? Really? And that’s what has you so worried? In this day and age I hardly think we need to give it a second thought, even if she did send you a funky old box full of rodent skulls or dead flowers or whatever. Unless she hired D’nvannae assassins too, we’re probably going to be fine.”

Hagan remained serious. “I could handle the assassins—let them try to get past me to harm you. But this curse—there’s nothing to be done. At dawn we’ll both die.”


Misty, spooky love and trouble; Tails, horns, and frightful cuddles. We spin our threads, we authors many, Of horror, sweets, ghosts, and frenzy, So you may sup on alien peen, To quench your thirst this Halloween. Wander beyond the veil into a spooky season of scifi romance tales written by some of the genre’s most influential authors and rising stars. From cute and sweet to horrific and death-defying, these tales span the breadth of autumn and Halloween vibes with everything from autumn foliage and chilly breezes to zombies and haunted trails.


8 Yeti SciFi Romances to Warm You

NOTE: This post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record…

Continuing my exploration of unusual heroes in scifi romance, this month I present to you the Yeti. Yes, the Abominable Snowman himself has now become a staple of the romance world.

We’ll start with Izzie and the Ice Beast by the always wonderful Honey Phillips. This ‘yeti’ isn’t from Earth, but he’s an alien version, on a self-imposed exile from his own planet, Hothrest. He’s found a career as a gladiator but underneath all the fur and muscles a gentle heart beats and he’s not happy. Enter Izzie, a kidnapped human woman who needs rescuing in the worst way and suddenly Baralt has purpose in his life again – save Izzie and take her away to somewhere safe. They end up back on his home planet and of course there’s a Happy Ever After ending.

Slippery When Yeti by Tana Stone brings us back to Earth, where the female main character is a wedding planner from Miami who hates hot weather. The MMC is an ice sculptor turned into a yeti by an accidental ingestion of a party potion gone wrong. She’s just taken a wedding planning job in Screaming Woods (nothing alarming about that town’s name, right?), gets lost in a snowstorm and is rescued by the yeti. Together they must ride out the storm in his isolated cabin and as any romance reader can tell you, the outcome is an HEA ending for the couple. This book is part of the multi-author Monster Between the Sheets series, which you can check out for a wide variety of inventive monster-as-love-interest reads.

Taking off from the Siberian legend of a people known as the Chuchunya (yeti by another name apparently) author Marilyn Barr gives us Spooning My Chuchunya (Snuggling Under SnowDrifts Book Two). Dr. Sydney Decker is roaming the Canadian tundra looking for a friend she wants to rescue from a dangerous cult. Sergei is a Chuchunya who can’t find a mate among his own clan because of his intimidating nature.  He has to make difficult choices between following the rigid customs of his clan or saving Sydney, who is a strong assertive woman able to handle his powerful personality. The book is a slow burn, with plenty of time to get to know the characters and enjoy the world building before the HEA arrives.

Taken by the Yeti by Adrian Blue starts with a Help Wanted ad for a cold tolerant intern with hiking experience. Only after it’s too late and she’s deep in an isolated, snowbound area does the FMC find out she’s been hired to act as bait for hunters intent on capturing a yeti. She’s trapped in a cabin to serve as the lure and the hunters set up camp close by. Yeti to the rescue (the hunters meet a bad end) and romance blooms. This is a really short story but fun and heart warming.

In Ready for Her Yeti (Alaska Yeti Series Book One) author Neva Post’s FMC takes a short term job as the winter caretaker at an isolated lodge, only to find out there’s already a yeti in residence for the winter, making himself at home. He’s got a month to make her fall in love with him and it’s a fun read. As one reviewer said, “The only problem was it ended.” But never fear, book two is in the works, Fake Dating Her Yeti, featuring a different couple.

The Bridal Hunt: Whychoose Fantasy Romance (Brides of the Hunt Book One) by Jeanette Lynn has a curvy heroine going solo on what was supposed to be a romantic trip with a boyfriend, complications ensue and then as the blurb says “something large, white, hairy and completely Abominable drops in uninvited”. She’s kidnapped to another planet/plane of existence by this snowman and becomes the eventually willing bride to a reverse harem of hunky, furry alienish yetis. The FMC is equal to the task of handling all her MMC’s and the HEA follows.

An Abominable Affair by Maddie Syn pairs a prehistoric huntress desperate to feed her family with a yeti who is willing to help, for a price. As the book blurb asks, “Can a tiny human thaw this yeti’s frozen heart?” Turns out he only wants to meet and talk under the full moon but romance blossoms and problems follow, resolving into the HEA.

Snowed in with the Yeti: An Erotic Monster Romance (Yetis in Love Book One) by Brigid Finn begins in a time after the San Andreas Fault has opened up and released monsters of various types into the world, which of course results in large numbers of human deaths and the disruption of civilization. The FMC is trudging through the Arctic, going from one survivor settlement to the next hoping to find a home, when she’s pursued by another monster and rescued by the yeti. He’s sweet, doesn’t speak much English and a perfect match for the strong willed FMC. Reviewers praised the world building and again wanted even more of the book.

As a side note, there’s quite a bit of yeti erotica out there, in which the emphasis is on the spicy bedroom scenes and not on the plot or the characters, versus romance novels like those above, which may feature those smoking scenes but as an integral part of the developing relationship between the characters. You could have the story without the intimacy, whereas in erotica the kink and the spice are the story. Finn’s book, above, straddles the line.

I’m waiting for Regine Abel, the amazing author of the “I Married A…” scifi romance series to give us her take on a yeti. She hasn’t said she’s writing such a novel but one can hope, right? She’d definitely do the topic justice.

Happy reading!