Feed Your Reader: It’s Time to Meet Fate’s Vultures

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In a world gone to hell, it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad…

The world didn’t end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remained of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.

Charity uses lethal survival skills learned too early in her work as a ‘Hound, sniffing out pivotal secrets for one of the most powerful people on the west coast. Her work is deceptive, deadly, and best performed solo, which means when she has a run-in with a member of the notorious Fate’s Vultures, she has no intention of joining forces in some mockery of teamwork. The man might be sexy as hell, but she travels alone. She will accomplish her mission and she will settle a score – hopefully with the edge of her blade. But fate has other plans.

As one of Fate’s Vultures, a nomadic band of arbitrators known for their ruthless verdicts, Ruin witnesses the carnage of corruption and greed battering the remnants of humanity, and he bears the scars to prove it. Now he has a damn ‘Hound showing up in suspicious circumstances, leaving every cell of his body sceptical – and painfully aroused. The woman is trouble, and Ruin has every intention of steering clear. But when they realise they have a common enemy, Charity and Ruin will have to set aside their distrust if they want to achieve their mutual goal – justice and revenge.

Sometimes, when the world’s gone to hell, it’s better to stick with the devil you know…

Read an Excerpt here

Available now!  Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon, Google, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Booktopia

Out of This World: MA Grant

To celebrate Star Wars Day, we asked some of our science fiction authors to tell us what Star Wars means to them. Then, to support science fiction readers everywhere, we dropped the prices on their books…

MA Grant

Star Wars has always held a special place in my heart. It is one of the first movies my dad introduced me to and I instantly fell in love with the concept of the Force, the Jedi tasked to protecting its balance, and the sheer, epic scale of the universe. It was my little girl King Arthur saga on sci-fi steroids and it started a love affair that’s never ended.

As a nerdy outsider, I connected with the characters and their motivations, especially Luke’s desire to move beyond his small hometown and Leia’s refusal to be anyone but her brilliant, tactical self. As a budding writer, I was amazed by the dedication the film makers, novel writers, and fans put into collecting and sorting details. Yes, I was that kid who checked out an out-of-print Star Wars encyclopedia from the library, only to go home and use a typewriter to create my own mini-encyclopedia with targeted data I needed for my attempts at fanfiction (which, at the risk of admitting my age, wasn’t yet a thing).

My love for this series and world has never faded, and now that I’m an aunt, there’s something magical about watching my niece and nephew fall as madly in love with the story as I did. Skype calls spent reading Golden Books adaptations of the stories, character costumes sent at holidays, and discussions about which Jedi are our favourites remind me that good stories don’t just transcend genre; they transcend generational gaps and bring us closer together.


24680The Lawmen of the Republic: fierce, honourable, soldiers, men. But what happens when all that they’ve been told turns out to be lies?

The wars to establish the Republic are over. The families of the Ton have risen from the blood and ashes to claim the new aristocracy. Their prodigal son, First Lieutenant Alexander Cade, is the Lawmen Academy’s youngest and most successful graduate. However, his muddied bloodlines force his exile to the Northern Wastes, the last unclaimed territory of the Republic.

Lailian scout Natalia Volkova knows that her survival in a rebel labour camp rests entirely on her iron will and killing prowess. Her fierce quest for freedom is tempered by only one thing: conflicting memories of the young Republic lieutenant who helped liberate her camp, and then returned to the fold of her people’s oppressors. She never expects that their paths will cross again – under very different circumstances.

Cade’s honour limits his choices to one: take his band of specialised Lawmen into the Wastes, and protect it and its people. There, he meets Talia, a tough, resilient refugee who holds little respect for the Republic and its laws. But as a deathly outbreak leads to a desperate race for a cure, Talia and Cade will find themselves on uncertain ground: What is right is not always obvious, and what is honourable is not always right

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Out of this World: Nicole Murphy

To celebrate Star Wars Day, we asked some of our science fiction authors to tell us what Star Wars means to them. Then, to support science fiction readers everywhere, we dropped the prices on their books…
Nicole Murphy
I can still remember how it felt as a seven-year-old, seeing A New Hope for the first time. I walked out of the cinema feeling like my head was going to burst open, unable to hold my mind as it expanded to take in the scope of what I had just seen. I wasn’t new to SF – I was a veteran Dr Who watcher at that age – but Star Wars expanded my vision in a way nothing ever had before. The opening scene alone, with the famous sliding shot showing the size of the Imperial Star Destroyer, was the most incredible thing and then consider the scope of the Death Star alone to a seven-year-old – a space station the size of a moon that could blow up whole planets. That was just the beginning.
Since then, every Star Wars picture has continued to expand my mind (yes, even those that shall not be named) with the size of the story, the world, the characters, the stakes. And I’ve never let my mind get small. I can honestly say that Star Wars played a huge part in the person I am today and I will be forever grateful for it’s place in my life. May the Force be with you – always.

21764From Escape’s fresh, exhilarating science fiction romance catalogue comes a story of corporate espionage, betrayal, sex, and bodyguards. Just another day in the colonies.

Cassandra Wiltmore is the heir to the throne of Rica, but it’s unlikely she’ll be stepping up any time soon. So she spends her days managing and building the Rican Balcite Mining Company. The company has made her family wealthy beyond imagination, but that kind of power needs careful control, and Cassandra is just the Wiltmore to control it.

When a new bid for the mining license is announced, Cassandra is determined to squash it. Then the thefts and threats begin, and every step she takes seems to be wrong. Taking on a new protector seems like an indulgence Cass can’t afford, but she equally cannot afford to be caught off-guard. If only the best man for the job wasn’t also the best-looking man she’s ever seen.

Kernan Radaton has ambition, and as protector to Cassandra Wiltmore, he’s well placed to reach all his long-held goals. If only his new all-business boss didn’t make him think of only pleasure. With the company, the heir and the family under attack, the last thing anyone needs is a distraction. But once everything is safe again, Kernan is developing new ambitions — ones that involve a lot of very personal time spent getting to know his boss on a very personal level.

 

Out of this World: Donna Maree Hanson

To celebrate Star Wars Day, we asked some of our science fiction authors to tell us what Star Wars means to them. Then, to support science fiction readers everywhere, we dropped the prices on their books…

Donna Maree Hanson

At age 17 I was already a science fiction aficionado. But seeing Star Wars: that cinema screen opening to wider proportions and the huge spaceship flying overhead sealed my fate. My heart raced, I jumped up and down and was filled with awe. Since then I have had a lifelong love of the movies and the tie in books. I was in love with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo both! I wanted to be Princess Leia.

It was Star Wars that inspired me to write. My first ever story idea was in the Star Wars universe at age 19. I didn’t write it then. I won’t write it now. The inspiration still lives inside me, however.


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Sixteen-year-old Rae Stroder lives in a hollow asteroid, a defunct refuelling station, with a brain-damaged adult, Gris, to keep her company. Low on supplies, they’ve been eking out an existence for years. Everything changes when Alwin Anton, ultra-clean, smart and handsome AllEarth Corp company auditor, arrives to find disarray. Full of suspicion, he interrogates Rae, threatening her with prosecution for theft. He uncovers the fact that she is not Rae Stroder at all, when space pirates attack.

During the attack, Rae is taken prisoner and Alwin Anton escapes in his space ship. The pirate women prepare Rae for sale on the infamous Centauri slave markets. It’s all going badly, when she is purchased by a mysterious Ridallian.

Meanwhile, the space pirates are out to kill Alwin Anton because he holds the secret to Rae’s true identity. It’s a race against time to unravel the intrigue of Rae’s past to secure her future.

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Out of this world: Kimberly P Chase

To celebrate Star Wars Day, we asked some of our science fiction authors to tell us what Star Wars means to them. Then, to support science fiction readers everywhere, we dropped the prices on their books…

Kimberly P. Chase

Star Wars was my first obsession and introduction into movie geekdom, which I’m still a proud member of today. I remember going to see Episode 1 in the theatre six times over the course of my Freshman summer.  It was the beginning of my understanding that girls could not only be princesses, but bad-ass as well. These days, I share the movies with my son in the hopes that it inspires his imagination, shows him the difference between good and evil, and most definitely that girls can be strong and a princess too!


23485.jpgTake off with this dynamic, thrillseeking, sexy New Adult science fiction series debut. Welcome to the exclusive Apollo Academy, where Aurora is about to discover that achieving her dream is only the first step towards her future.

As the heiress to Titon Technologies, eighteen-year-old Aurora Titon can have whatever she wants — clothes, expensive gadgets, anything money can buy. But all she really wants is to escape her pampered, paparazzi-infested life for the stars. Becoming the first female pilot to train as an astronaut for the exclusive Apollo Academy is exactly the chance for which she has been waiting.

Flying is everything she ever dreamed, her best friend also got into the Academy and the paparazzi are banned from campus. Everything would be perfect, except for her unreciprocated crush on a fellow student, the sexy astronaut bent on making her life hell, and the fact that someone keeps trying to kill her.

The most important education doesn’t happen in the classroom…

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Christmas Titles

If you love them, we’ve got them!

Contemporary Christmas!

We can recommend all of Rhian Cahill’s holiday titles, but her latest is super fun.

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For a man called Chris Kringle, Christmas is the most magical time of the year.  But this year, there’s something about a certain elf that’s grabbed his attention in the best of ways. 


Christmas Magic!

Like your Christmas with a bit of sparkle? Try this funny, sweet story about a ghost, 12 Daves, and true love…

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A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from bestselling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and twelve different Daves.


Country Christmas!

The small town of Swallow’s Fall will make you feel the Christmas spirit, even if they have to force it upon you…

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From the author of the internationally bestselling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story — country style.


Heart-warming Christmas

Not everyone gets to spend Christmas with their loved ones, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be special…

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What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…


Sweet Christmas

Because what’s Christmas without a special treat?

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It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…


Christmas that’s out of this world

For SFF fans – we haven’t forgotten you!

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What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart?

 

 

 

I’m lucky I grew up with Leia

by Nicole Murphy

Great role models for girls and young women is a topic that rises time and again and it’s no surprise. It’s easy for men to find role models – everywhere they look, there are politicians and business men and actors and sports stars. A plethora of choices, all laid out for you. Find one that matches, and off you go.

Girls have a far smaller pool to choose from, and sometimes it can be hard to find someone to admire and emulate. There are remarkable women out there, but the media often doesn’t give them the exposure they deserve and, unless you go looking, you might never find someone who proves you can do whatever you want.

Movies offer one of the few places where you can, from time to time, see women as clearly as men. When a woman appears that is right up there with the guys, they are instantly grabbed hold of by girls and young women desperate for someone to look up to.

Recently it’s been characters like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy, and of course the actress that plays her, Jennifer Lawrence, who is herself a fabulous woman to look up to. Jessica Jones is also proving to be one of these longed for characters. But there are also times when as a young woman, particular one who loves science fiction and fantasy, the media isn’t offering up a lot of options for you.

Which is why I consider myself really lucky that I grew up during the first Star Wars era – 1977-1983. That’s because I got to have Princess Leia as my role model.

Leia with gun

I was seven when I saw the first Star Wars film – ripe to have my first female role model. There wasn’t a lot on television. I remember Sarah Jane from Doctor Who, and Miss Jane from Mr Squiggle, but neither of them were women that spoke to my heart. Certainly all the newsreaders and most of the actors you saw were men.

Then there was Leia. Smart enough to get the plans for the Death Star off the ship before Darth Vader took her captive. Strong enough to withstand torture and not reveal the whereabouts of the rebel bases.

The moment I truly fell in love with Leia was when Luke burst into her cell to rescue her. Leia, lying on her bed, raises herself on one elbow and says in a sarcastic tone, “Aren’t you a little short to be a Stormtrooper?”

Ah, Leia. Facing probable death and still not willing to go down without showing how much she hates the Empire.

Then of course, the big strong men that rescued her get caught up, and she has to rescue them, grabbing a blaster and shooting out a vent so they can crawl into the ship innards and escape their pursuers. The fact they ended up in a rubbish compacter and almost crushed to death is NOT Leia’s fault.

For the next two films, Leia continued to be fabulous. Strong. Determined. Willing to jump in and do what had to be done. I loved watching her race the speeders around the forest of Endor, and every time she grabbed a blaster and started shooting, I almost danced with glee. This wasn’t a woman that hid out of the way when the fighting started. She was right there, side by side with the men, taking the risk because she was going to fight as hard for what they believed in as they did.

Even though Leia disappeared from the big screen in 1983, she didn’t leave us. She’s been in books. She’s been in cartoons. Best of all, it turned out Carrie Fisher (the actress who played Leia) was every bit as sensational as the woman she embodied. Smart. Funny. Strong in a way that actually makes Leia look like a pussy.

Carrie Fisher

So I not only got Leia, I got Carrie Fisher too to be my role model. The woman who taught me that even when I’m afraid, I need to just get on and do it anyway.

Today, Star Wars – The Force Awakens opens. I’m finding it hard to contain my excitement because, finally, 32 years after she was last on the big screen, Leia is back. And 32 years later, I’m ready to see my role model as the mature version, leading me into my own maturity.

Leia in Force Awakens

If Leia doesn’t grab a blaster and start shooting the crap out of some baddies, I will be having words with JJ Abrams. You better believe it. Even us old girls need to get out and fight for what we believe in.


 

Nicole writes her own feisty, strong, SF romance stories. Check out her Jorda Trilogy, which kicks off with Loving the Prince.

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From Escape’s fresh, exhilarating science fiction romance catalogue comes a story of corporate espionage, betrayal, sex, and bodyguards. Just another day in the colonies.

Feed Your Reader: November 8 Release

incapableIf you haven’t discovered Ainslie Paton yet, you’re missing out! Love can be a great healer, except when it hurts …


baseThe world’s gone to hell, and her only chance of survival is the sexy, dominant soldier determined to keep her safe …


25327Frances Housden returns with her best-selling, award-winning Chieftain series in this short novel about a young woman with a strong will and a sharp mind, and the man who has nothing to offer but his heart.

Feed Your Reader – Late October Releases

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From Lily Malone: a new Australian rural romance about a millionaire wine tycoon, the woman he betrayed and the second chance neither was looking for


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From award-winning author Kendall Talbot comes a new romantic adventure to dive into…


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In the acclaimed, best-selling The Apollo Academy, Aurora fought for her life and her chance at love. Now she’s ready to conquer the final frontier… space.

Hallowe’en Mini-Series: When I First Fell in Love with the Paranormal

By MA Grant

Discovering Elizabeth Marie Pope’s The Perilous Gard when I was in fourth grade was a dangerous business. Technically it wasn’t my book; it belonged to my older sister, who had an uncanny knack for remembering all the books in her room’s library and exactly where she had placed them. However, the allure of Fairy Folk and an intelligent heroine was too strong to resist.

Perilous Gard Cover

I stole the book from her and hid it under my mattress when I wasn’t actively reading it. I’m positive she knew what I was up to, being in high school and all. I guess she just knew that it was too good a book to deny me.

And, oh my word, was it ever the story I’d been craving! Kate Sutton was—in my nine year-old opinion—me circa 1558. She wasn’t pretty. She wasn’t good at playing the social games of the English court. But she was smart and stubborn and brave. Brave enough to face off against the Queen of the Fairy Folk to save a young man who would never in a million years fall in love with her.

Queen of Elfland

She was everything I hoped to be.

The book not only helped develop my love for novels with a romantic thread woven deep into their plots, but also my growing love for Celtic lore. My nana’s stories of my Irish great-grandma who read tea leaves to my mother when she was a little girl, the books of myths and stories I found at the library, and my family’s amused support of my obsession with old ballads spawned some of my earliest—and ugliest—attempts at stories. Every time I couldn’t get that perfect angst, that hint of the mysterious and paranormal, I would find another book and study the stories again.

The Perilous Gard reminded me that even the most fantastical and magical stories should be grounded in reality. Fantasies are so much more potent when they happen in your mundane moments. The true enchantment doesn’t lie in the goblin king’s offer of the world, but his hope that the heroine may accept it; not in the werewolf’s curse, but in his attempts to live a normal life despite it.

goblin kingalcide

And every Halloween when other people think of slasher films, haunted houses, and ghosts, I remember the ballad of Tam Lin, the Fairy Folk, the travelling dead, and that true love can defeat even the darkest of enemies.


MA Grant is fortunate to live in the rugged beauty of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. She’s believed in happy endings and true love since she was very young. She writes well-crafted, fast-paced, emotional adventures in both paranormal romance and futuristic romance.

18611Dark, moving and original, a story of family, survival, and getting on with life…

Flynn Sinclair understands pack loyalty — for years as his Alpha father’s enforcer, he has done things in the name of duty that he can’t ever forget. But the vast expanse of Alaska offers him a peace he’s never known. Alone, removed from pack life, he can focus on his research and try to forget his life before.

But duty has a way of inviting itself in, and Flynn finds himself doing two reckless things in one week: leaving the safety of Alaska to save his brother Connor’s life, and unwittingly falling in love with Evie Thompson, a woman who doesn’t deserve to be drawn into his terrifying world.

Connor carries news of their father’s descent into madness, and it looks like neither geography nor Flynn’s attempts at disengagement will put off a confrontation. Flynn had finally begun to believe that he might deserve something good in his life — something like Evie — but to move forward in the light, he must first reconcile with the dark.


24680The Lawmen of the Republic: fierce, honourable, soldiers, men. But what happens when all that they’ve been told turns out to be lies?

The wars to establish the Republic are over. The families of the Ton have risen from the blood and ashes to claim the new aristocracy. Their prodigal son, First Lieutenant Alexander Cade, is the Lawmen Academy’s youngest and most successful graduate. However, his muddied bloodlines force his exile to the Northern Wastes, the last unclaimed territory of the Republic.

Lailian scout Natalia Volkova knows that her survival in a rebel labour camp rests entirely on her iron will and killing prowess. Her fierce quest for freedom is tempered by only one thing: conflicting memories of the young Republic lieutenant who helped liberate her camp, and then returned to the fold of her people’s oppressors. She never expects that their paths will cross again – under very different circumstances.

Cade’s honour limits his choices to one: take his band of specialised Lawmen into the Wastes, and protect it and its people. There, he meets Talia, a tough, resilient refugee who holds little respect for the Republic and its laws. But as a deathly outbreak leads to a desperate race for a cure, Talia and Cade will find themselves on uncertain ground: What is right is not always obvious, and what is honourable is not always right.