Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Gender Swap - Why I Also Write F/F

So I'm over the moon excited to announce the general release of my new female/female science fiction romance, Elusive Radiance.

I've been cautioned by other writers about "diluting my brand", since I've mostly published male/male romance to this point. I've been told that readers might not want to read about two women falling in love, that the market only has room for male/female romance readers and male/male readers.

And those warnings sadden me.

You see, I'm a bisexual. I love men. I'm currently married to one. But I love women, too. And it hurts me that again, women are seen as not good enough, not interesting enough as romantic leads, not sexy enough to carry a book alone.

Writing this story was a joy for me. As I'm in a monogamous heterosexual relationship, it was like stretching a muscle too long kept cramped. Or maybe like taking a deep breath after being corseted for a day. Or even a warm feeling in the pit of my stomach which had been shivering with cold. I felt like a part of myself could finally be acknowledged.

This story is science fiction. That will be a familiar genre for my readers. But the protagonists are women, both capable, strong, and loving women.

So if you've never picked up a female/female romance, I hope you'll give this one a try. You might just find you enjoy it. :)

Elusive Radiance
by Aidee Ladnier

Publisher: Pride Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-78651-423-3
Pages: 32
Editor: Shannon Combs
Buy links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

A young bodyguard finds her special abilities are no match for a flirtatious delegate willing to gamble everything on the galaxy trade talks. 

Assigned to guard a diplomat at the galaxy trade talks, Security Officer Anais wants to shine during her first solo mission for the Chezeray Palace Conglomerate. An Elusive with the ability to make herself invisible, Anais knows her modified genes designate her servant class, but she yearns to be more than simply a protector to the beautiful delegate.

Savea Blackmun arrives alone to the trade talks with the weight of her planet’s future resting on her slim shoulders. Flirting with her pretty bodyguard reveals Anais’ knowledge of the colony markets and Savea realizes there’s much more to her protector than meets the eye.

As their attraction grows, will the diplomat and the bodyguard reject society’s rules to give in to desire instead?

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

The mythology of the Kraken

So in honor of The Klockwerk Kraken being named a finalist for a Prism Award, I've decided to have a little Throwback Thursday of my own. This was a guest post I wrote when it first came out:

The Mythology of the Kraken
by Aidee Ladnier
In my novel, TheKlockwerk Kraken, I have a tentacled bartender—don’t laugh, a few extra arms come in handy on a busy Friday night. But the novel is actually named after the bar—The Klockwerk Kraken. It’s a place that Teo (the bartender with tentacles) has built as an homage to the mythological idea of the kraken.

And what is a kraken?

Well, in Norse mythology krakens were sea monsters that lived off the coast of Norway, Greenland, and Iceland. In fact, the word kraken is Germanic in origin and refers specifically to octopuses. The kraken of mythology was so enormous it could wrap its arms around a ship and then physically drag it under water.

The first written account of the kraken was in the 13th century, in the Icelandic saga Örvar-Oddr. It referred to the monster as Hafgufa (or sea mist). I can only imagine the terror of seeing a gigantic tentacle rising out of the mist late at night on the sea.

Of course, today we believe the kraken myth refers to the Colossal Squid which can grow to a size of 60 feet and has been known to wrestle with sperm whales. There are even accounts of colossal squid attacking ships in the modern era, however most end up badly injured by the boats’ propellers.

And recently there’s been speculation about a really large octopus that might have roamed the prehistoric seas. The bones from aquatic dinosaurs have been found in strange patterns accompanied by fossilized beaks of enormous cephalopods.

Maybe the kraken isn’t so mythological at all...

And if you haven't picked up your copy, it is available here:

The Klockwerk Kraken
by Aidee Ladnier

Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Deana Jamroz
Editor: Kris Jacen

Buy Now: MLR Press | Amazon | iBooks | All Romance eBooks | Kobo | Barnes and Noble

When the right space pilot walks into his bar, a desperate bartender uses all his wiles (and tentacles) to talk the man into business and his bed--but the spacer is still enslaved by his past and isn't sure he can deal with a two-armed lover, much less one with six. 

As the supply shipments stop coming, Teo Houdin needs all his tentacles to keep his waystation bar open. Facing a riot by thirsty miners stranded in the backwater of the galaxy, Teo helps a greenie space pilot buy a ship in return for a regular haul of liquor. But he longs for the courage to invite the enigmatic spacer to fill his lonely bed as well. 

Still smarting from his newly implanted navigational ports, Jimenez knows owning his own ship will prevent him from ever being bought and sold again. For a former slave, transporting cargo through the emptiness of space sounds like paradise, but after meeting the compassionate and sexy Teo, his heart feels empty, too. 

At the edge of the galaxy's spiral arm, can Teo convince Jimenez that the heart has its own tentacles and theirs should be entwined forever?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Special Guest Asta Idonea Writes About the Future of Technology

I'm very pleased to host Asta Idonea on my blog today. She's got a great post on the boundless possibilities of future technology. Don't forget to check out her book FIRE UP MY HEART published by Dreamspinner Press!

Writing the Technology of the Future
by Asta Idonea

Fire Up My Heart is set in the not too distant future, but one of the things I love about creating a futuristic setting is the chance to create a different world and imagine new technology.

For Fire Up My Heart, the main innovation is the wrist chip. This computer chip has replaced pretty much everything: currency, smart phone, passport, personal records etc. All is available with a scan (to make a payments or access data) or a tap (to open the in-built web browser, which pops up like a hologram in your palm).

Would I like that myself? I don’t know. Personally, I’m holding out for transporters to cut inter-continental travel down to a matter of seconds, or a technology that allows me to think-write. Whenever I imagined a scene for my next story, my brain would automatically convert it to a typed document. That would be invaluable! I so often craft great scenes in my head when I’m not in a position to get them down on paper/screen. Imagine if dialogue was recorded as you thought it, so you didn’t have to try to recreate it later.

What technological advances would you like to see in the future?

Fire Up My Heart 
Author: Asta Idonea
Released: 25 May 2016
Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Novella: MM Sci-Fi Romance
Heat Level: 2

Blurb: London bartender Fane thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a rare and expensive service Bot discarded in a dumpster, and he takes it home to get it working again. The Jo-E brings some much-needed companionship to Fane’s lonely life, but there’s something different about this Bot, as indicated by its odd behavior. Fane’s developing feelings toward Jo-E trouble him, and things go from bad to worse when a robotics engineer arrives on Fane’s doorstep, demanding the return of his property. Fane is forced to choose between a hefty reward and following his heart. Giving in to his forbidden desires might get him killed—or change his life forever.

Listen to an Audio Excerpt

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About the Author
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages. Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind! As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
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