Win a Copy of Chaos Station!

What’s Your Ashushk Name?

In LONELY SHORE, book two of Chaos Station, the crew of the Chaos visits Qekelough’s home planet, Ashushk Prime. We had a much more convoluted name picked out for it. Well, I did, but neither Jenn nor I could reliably spell it, and no one with a human mouth could say it. So we decided to give the planet a human designation and leave the unmentionables to the ashies. We did, however, have fun naming the other ashushk.

So, what’s your ashushk name?

Pick a letter. It can be from your name, or totally random—this is for fun, after all! Match the letter with the list and post your result in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of CHAOS STATION, book one of Chaos Station.

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Small print: Competition is open to the U.S. and internationally, and closes midnight (EST) tonight, Friday May 29. The winner will be notified by email tomorrow, Saturday May 30. The prize is one ebook copy of CHAOS STATION, format of your choice, delivered to your inbox. Good luck!

Available Now: Lonely Shore (Chaos Station, #2)

Last week, I celebrated a birthday. At my age, birthdays are a fairly low key affair. If I didn’t have a child, I’d probably skip celebrating altogether. It’s just another day. This week, I’m celebrating the release of my third book, my second novel. It’s a BIG DEAL. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach and the realization that I probably wouldn’t be very productive today. It’s much more exciting than turning *cough*, and while birthdays and other anniversaries continue to slip by unnoticed, I hope this feeling of excitement never fades. Today, I get to share something  special with my family, friends, and with readers who enjoy my stories. That’s more fun than counting candles on the cake. 😉

Co-written with Jenn Burke, LONELY SHORE is the second book in the Chaos Station series. Set two hundred years in the future, the series is a mixture of science fiction and romance. We have super soldiers, aliens, space stations, far flung colonies, criminal cartels, and the best little crew in the galaxy aboard an ugly Corvette called the Chaos. In CHAOS STATION, Zed and Felix find each other again after nine years apart. It’s six months after the end of the brutal Human-Stin war, and both men bear significant scars. In LONELY SHORE they must battle the more recent past to ensure their future together.

We have a lot planned this week to celebrate our release, including giveaways, exclusive excerpts and a new short story. I’ll update links in the calendar below daily so they point to the action.

LSCover600Lonely Shore

Book two of Chaos Station

All they can do is live day to day…

Felix Ingesson has returned to his duties as the Chaos‘s engineer with Zander Anatolius, his ex-boyfriend-turned-broken-super-soldier, at his side. Hope means something again. But there’s nothing Felix can do to battle the alien poison flowing through Zander’s veins, or his imminent mental decline. With each passing day, the side effects of Zander’s experimental training are becoming more difficult to ignore.

When the ruthless Agrius Cartel seeks their revenge—including an ambush and an attempt to kidnap the Chaos’s crew—Zander is pushed over the edge. He can no longer hide his symptoms, nor does he want to. But hurting Felix when he’s not in control of himself is Zander’s worst nightmare—when it nearly happens, he agrees to seek help. Even if that means trusting the unknown.

As Zander places his life in alien hands, Felix appoints himself his lover’s keeper. And though he tries to be strong, he can’t ignore the fact that he might lose Zander…forever this time.

Read the first chapter!

Available now at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooksCarina Press

Release Week Events

Monday

Aliens! Blog post and giveaway at The Purple Rose Tea House.

“Felix, I’m fine. I’m going to be fine.” Read an exclusive excerpt of LONELY SHORE at Stein’s Station.

“Is it normal for humans to share sexual partners?” Another exclusive excerpt at Queer Sci Fi.

Tuesday

Quotable Tuesday on Carina Press Facebook.

Sexuality in the Future on the Carina Press Blog.

Wednesday

Kiss the Guardian (Part One). A new short story, featured on Here Be Magic.

Thursday

Kiss the Guardian (Part Two). Second half of the story. 😉

Friday

Choose your Ashushk Name. Here, on this blog, choose your ashushk name and enter to win another copy of CHAOS STATION.

Still Searching. Meet Zed’s brother Brennan on Boosting the Signal.

Re-release: The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno

Last year I reviewed the exciting near future space opera, The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno. The book had all the ingredients I look for in science fiction adventure – an apocalypse, a compelling mystery, mercenaries and assassins, and artificial intelligence. All it needed was a sequel.

The re-release will hopefully fix this issue. New publisher Diversion has given Executor Rising a brand new cover, and Progeny of Vale, which will complete the story, should release this fall.

Circuit300The Circuit: Executor Rising (Published by Diversion Books)

“A hard-charging opener to a promising, if bloody, space-opera series.” – Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis: Centuries after Earth was rendered an uninhabitable wasteland, humanity was forced from its homeworld and founded the Kepler Circuit, a string of colonies throughout the solar system. These settlements provide resources to the remnants of humankind, the most important resource being the newly discovered element—Gravitum—found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.

But a powerful religious faction known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of the Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left to challenge them, a string of attacks on the Tribunal’s freighters causes them to suspect their mortal enemies, the Ceresians, of foul play.

Tasked with solving the problem is Sage Volus: Tribunal Executor. Spy.

Sage quickly infiltrates the ranks of a roguish, Ceresian mercenary named Talon Rayne, seeking to discover the truth behind the attacks, but the longer she works amidst Talon and his squad, the more she finds her faith in the Tribunal tested.

While her quest for answers only unearths more questions, a new threat is on the rise, and it plans to bring down the Tribune once and for all. Join the fight for the soul of humanity in the first installment of The Circuit Duology.

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore | Kobo

For more information visit http://diversionbooks.com/ and http://rhettbruno.com/

View my review here.

Review: Peripheral People (A Ylendrian Empire Novel)

Peripheral People (A Ylendrian Empire Novel)

The cover copy could have said nothing more than ‘psychic detectives in space’ and I’d have still picked up Peripheral People by Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore. By the end of the first chapter, I applauded my decision. In the Ylendrian Empire, two teams of detectives work together to solve crime. The physical evidence is collected by the Inspectors and the psychic evidence is examined by a Reader/Ground team. It’s not a foolproof system. A case cannot be tried on psychic evidence alone but a Reader can help narrow down a profile and offer clues for location and motivation. The Ground is integral to this process as the psychic’s anchor. The Investigators take care of the more traditional aspect of the case: the legwork.

The story begins with a routine investigation and a trip to the morgue. Senior Investigator Corwin Menivie and his partner, Nika Santivan, have a theory regarding the untimely death of a young woman. Reader/Ground team Westley Tavera and Gavin Hale are asked to determine if the physical evidence matches the psychic trail left behind by the deceased. At the morgue, Westley inadvertently reads a different body first and is quickly consumed by the victim’s last terrible hours. Reading the body of the actual victim is comically restful after that and the pronouncement of accidental death is confirmed.

The more horrible death of the first body haunts West, however, and he puts in a request to investigate the case. The rest of the team isn’t exactly thrilled by this. Gavin, because he worries for his partner’s mental health and this case promises to be deeply tricky and sticky. Corwin, because he’s not a fan of Psy Agents, for many reasons. Nika, because everyone else is being contrary. One thing they can agree on is this case will not get the attention it should, because the victim is one of those peripheral people. Homeless and most certainly missed by no one.

Another body matching the profile of the first – abuse, torture and death – makes it an official case. While Reading the second body, West falls into a psychic trap left by the killer and the team realises that not only are they looking for one sick and twisted individual, he knows they’re on his trail and seems to be playing with them.

Following the killer is not simply a matter of investigation. Spliced in between engrossing chapters of police procedural is the story of four people learning to work together. Each brings a different strength to the team and each has definite weaknesses. Two of them are hiding secrets that could be detrimental to their performance as agents and investigators. These mysteries and their resolution are as enthralling as the case itself. When Nika and Gavin give in to the physical attraction between them, this only causes more problems for the two more irascible members of the team. West can hear his partner’s sexual escapades on the psychic channel. Corwin appears just as disturbed. They indulge in a little itch scratching of their own, but it’s clear Corwin is uncomfortable with intimacy.

Put four people in a closed environment, pump in some eau de sexual tension, add in some past indiscretions and a serial killer with an over-inflated ego, and tempers will more than fray. But when another member of the team proves they’re not invulnerable to the psychic traps left for Westley, all four must pull together to solve the case. Despite personality clashes and differing procedural preferences, they need to have one another’s backs or they’ll lose more than a wanted killer.

I really enjoyed Peripheral People. The authors don’t spend so much time world building you’re left too numb to read the story. I always appreciate that. But there is enough detail thrown in along the way that readers new to the Empire won’t be lost. There is a sense of scope and history to this world I found both interesting and grounding. The characters are the definite focus, though, even beyond the mystery. The case is fascinating and gruesome and West’s trips through psychic hell are very well written. But I might not have enjoyed that aspect as much if I hadn’t liked Westley as much. He’s a wonderfully engaging character. Annoying in some aspects, conceited regarding his fantastic abilities and often too flippant, but genuinely good-hearted. Characters without flaws aren’t that interesting, anyway. Putting him against the curmudgeonly Corwin was inspired. The two are like the proverbial chalk and cheese. Corwin, himself, is a fascinating character. I’d love more of his history. The story of his past is teased out in slow drips and it’s integral to the plot. Nika and Gavin are the secondary characters here, but they often don’t feel that way. They’re as important a part of the team and story as Corwin and Westley.

The mystery/thriller aspect is also handled well. I did figure out whodunit before the end of the book, but there is enough complication toward the end that I did doubt my conclusion. The final showdown is thrillingly long and twisty and demands to be read in one straight sitting. Then, for those who like all their loose ends tied off, there is a final chapter that does just that, leaving the reader with a nice sense of satisfaction.

Peripheral People is the fourth book in the Ylendrian Empire series. It is a fully stand alone novel, however, requiring no prior knowledge of the world.

Written for SFCrowsnest.

Here’s a lot at the entire cover image by artist Simoné. It’s just gorgeous:

Read the first chapter of Lonely Shore!

Zander and Felix return May 25 in book two of Chaos Station: Lonely Shore. You can read the first chapter on our website now.

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Jenn and I are really excited to share the next chapter in the story of Zed and Flick (as we like to call them), and the first reviews have been super positive:

“Fantastic, even better than the first book.” – Angela, Fiction Vixen

“With their beat-up ship and eclectic group, comparisons with the fan favorite TV show Firefly are inevitable, but in more of the way of homage, since Burke and Jensen’s characters take center stage all on their own.” – Melanie C. Duncan, The Library Journal

If you haven’t read Chaos Station yet, there’s still time! Here’s what readers are saying about the first book in our series:

“This book was so good, riveting, and I didn’t want to put it down as I devoured it. This series is definitely on my auto-buy list.” – Smitten With Reading

“This series is going to be so epic, you don’t even understand.” – The Novel Approach

“I would recommend Chaos Station to anyone who wants some quality sci-fi and a great romance.” – Joyfully Jay

Chaos Station would make a great movie!” – Prism Book Alliance®

“I liked how this book leaves several interesting hints to be developed further…while still leaving the men in a pretty good place and together.” – Dear Author Recommended Read