Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Love Across the Universe: 12 Stories of Science Fiction Romance Set on Intergalactic Shores

Includes stories by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Rhonda Jackson Joseph, A.E. Hayes, Sheri Queen, M.T. DeSantis, L.J. Longo, K.W. Taylor, Mary Rogers, Elsa M. Carruthers, Emmerite Sundberg, Serena Jayne, and Oriana Maret.


Publication: August 1st, 2017

12 Stories of Science Fiction Romance Set on Intergalactic Shore 

Summer love is summer love, no matter the planet. Climb aboard your spacecraft or time machine and travel across time and space with these thirteen tales of love on beaches in the future and among the stars.

The Greatest Gift by Rhonda Jackson Joseph
Tariq has chosen Jasmine and her family to rescue when the earth is destroyed. While her children and sister easily find their niches within their new society, based on their natural gifts and talents, Jasmine struggles to find her fit. Tariq’s patience and ability to see things within her that she doesn’t see in herself will help lead to Jasmine’s discovery of the greatest gift within herself.

About the author:
Rhonda Jackson Joseph is a Texas based writer and professor who must exorcise the demons of her imagination so they don't haunt her being. A life-long horror fan and writer of many things, she has recently discovered the joys of writing in the academic arena about two important aspects of her life: horror and black femininity. She balances her natural darkness with the light and love of romance stories.
When Rhonda isn't writing, teaching, or reading voraciously, she can usually be found wrangling one of various sprouts or sproutlings from her blended family of 11...along with one husband and two furry babies.
Rhonda can be found lurking (and occasionally even peeking out) on social media:

Red Sand by Sheri Queen
If she can only save one thing, which will it be—the red beaches of Mars or a love she can’t imagine living without?
Bria has just been fired from her job as an ecologist at Trans Life Corp, the global leader in virtual reality living, and she’s devastated that her life’s work has ended with nothing more than a pink chip severance package. She’s been deemed obsolete in a world where every aspect of life has been automated, and even relationships are carried out in virtual environments. Then Bria’s sister, Samira, enters her in a singles sweepstakes to an exclusive Mars resort to force Bria to have a little fun for once, and Bria is one of the lucky winners.
Thayne is the owner of the exclusive Mars resort and has set his sights on expanding to a remote area on the other side of the planet. He is looking for the right person to lead his new venture when he comes across Bria. She’s exactly what he needs. His success is driven by his gift for acquiring rare talent, and he always gets what he wants—until now.
Bria refuses Thayne’s job offer. She’s not interested in helping destroy another ecosystem for corporate greed, and she’s definitely not interested in any kind of romantic entanglement—virtual or real. Yet despite her better judgment, she’s drawn to his zest for life and his creative nature. But finding a way to keep their clashing values from destroying their chance at love proves harder than Bria could have thought possible.

About the author:
Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. She especially loves visiting old graveyards.

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A Dream to Build a Kiss On by Traci Douglass
A Dreamworld Short Novella
Can passion bloom between a bookish botanist and an analytical android?
Adam has served as a devoted assistant since the day he was created twenty-six years ago. His ordered world centers on logic and logistics, until a strong solar flare causes a glitch in his synthe-soul circuits and his normal routines are thrown into chaos. In a flash, his universe is filled with wild, dark desires that until now Adam has only imagined.
Jillian Lewis has spent her entire career in search of the rare, elusive Shadow Moondrop Orchid. She’s forsaken any semblance of a normal life in pursuit of her goal and now has the ultimate prize within her reach. By securing a coveted invitation to the fabled Dreamworld Resort, she has just three days in which to locate and record her once-a-century flower before it disappears again.
With the clock ticking, will they surrender to the unpredictability of love or will their chance at forever disappear like stardust on the summer wind?

About the author:
Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order.

Fluid by Emmerite Sundberg
Iyonne has despaired of ever finding the right woman for her. But when she crash-lands on a seemingly uninhabited planet, she finds her. Sissiasandra has been alone for so long, the last of her kind. She believes that she will never again know love. Until Iyonne walks onto her beach. The two fall in love instantly, but there is one big hurdle to their happy ending. Iyonne cannot live in the ocean, and Sissiasandra cannot leave the sea to walk on land. Will they overcome their separation or are they doomed to live alone forever?

About the author:
Sundberg is the friend of dragons and mother of chinchillas. She spends her time pairing people with good books. She lives in Pennsylvania with her two bunnies and five chinchillas.

You Only Love Once by Serena Jayne
Carpe diem the hell out of love.
In the year 2222, venturing outdoors is dangerous. Exposure to the searing ultraviolet rays of the sun could turn anyone into a crispy critter. The ocean is a toxic stew of chemicals and home to a horror show of mutant monsters. When a three-eyed creature skulks out of the sea to nibble on Leo, his beautiful neighbor comes to the rescue.
Since the tragic accident that resulted in Ivy’s cybernetic limb, she’s embraced the mantra “you only live once,” but her dangerous plans might be more a death wish than a desire to carpe diem the hell out of life.
Can Leo convince Ivy that nothing makes a person feel more alive than taking a chance on love?

About the author:
Serena Jayne loves experimenting with different genres and mythologies. Anti-heroes and quirky characters are her favorites to write. While her first love is paranormal fiction, the mundane world provides plenty of plot bunnies. She studies Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University and is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Breakfast on Pluto by Mary Rogers
A chance encounter with a man she could love causes Princess Kerrinda of Kerberos to make a choice – do what her people expect and need, or follow her heart. Prince Belloch may not be the one she chooses, but what happens if he is?

About the author:
Mary Rogers is a Brooklyn native now living in Southern California with her husband, her kids, and too many rescue animals. Completely addicted to romance - she decided to write it. She is inspired by her swoon-worthy hubby, her children, her spoiled pets, and the best friends in the universe. They teach her daily the meaning of love. She also appreciates the wine. 

Tristan’s Tryst by A.E. Hayes
One mysterious being. Two lovers who find her. Can this threesome handle the heat of this scorching summer?
Tristan works for the American government, but rarely speaks about his job. Why? Because his job involves intergalactic travel. Despite the fact that the year is 2041 and human beings are now capable to travel at faster-than-light speeds, Tristan’s projects are often kept secret – hidden even from his girlfriend, Cassandra.
When Tristan reveals to Cassandra that they are going to take a special trip to Delmar, a planet located in a different solar system that is mostly comprised of beaches and oceans, Cassandra is ecstatic. The planet was recently discovered by Tristan and his team, and so far, very few people have used it as a vacation spot.
Cassandra and Tristan pack their bags and safely travel to Delmar, finding themselves surrounded by beautiful beaches with white sand, sparkling turquoise waters, and a strange line of trees lining the perimeter of the particular beach they have chosen to visit.
During some intense foreplay on the deserted beach, Cassandra and Tristan are startled to hear movement coming from the trees behind them. When they stop to look, they see a beautiful female emerge. She tells them that her name is Lynx, and that she is an inhabitant of the planet. Tristan is baffled, as he was unaware that the planet allowed for immigration and human habitation. And when Lynx expresses her fondness for Tristan’s body and Cassandra’s golden “star eyes,” Tristan and Cassandra find themselves attracted to her. But should they give in to this strange, beautiful inhabitant of Delmar? And if they do – what might possibly happen to them?

About the author:
A.E. Hayes is a published author who has been writing since the age of four. She has been featured under various pseudonyms in myriad novels, anthologies, poetry collections, music magazines, and newspapers. Her memoir, “Shattered: Memoirs of an Amnesiac,” is set to be released on September 12th, 2017.

She is currently finishing her 6th fiction novel, “On Common Ground,” writing for the upcoming sci-fi romance anthology “Love Across the Universe,” (which will be released August 1st, 2017), as well as writing a paranormal sci-fi story for the upcoming graphic novel “The Eynes Anthology.”

She studied English and Writing at Hood College, where she earned her B.A., and later studied Fiction Writing at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. A.E. resides in Maryland with her husband and son, and when she isn’t writing or singing (or doing both at the same time), she spends her time drinking far too much coffee, logging miles by pacing around the living room floor in order to make her Fitbit happy, studying the violin, pretending to be a Cylon, and plotting ideas for several new projects (which usually happens during her living room pacing time).

Breathless by L. J. Longo
A soldier and a café manager find themselves trapped beneath the surface of a resort by the deadly beasts native to the planet. As they fight to survive, they discover danger is a potent aphrodisiac.
As part of a hidden military outfit protecting rich civilians as they vacation on the resort planet Pangaea, Nathan Oyola planned to keep secrets, fight aliens, and maybe tan under the rays of an artificial sun. What he did not expect was to fall for his so-called boss, the manager of the café located directly above the aliens’ nest. When the native wildlife starts behaving more aggressive and strange than usual, how will Nathan keep them secret and keep his new-found love safe.

About the author:
It’s me. I admit it. I am L.J. Longo. Don’t tell my Mom; she’ll totally freak.
I’m a queer author, a geek, a feminist, and an MFA student studying genre fiction. I think that covers all the labels; I don’t really like labels. Rules tend to get me in trouble.
I’ve published two romance novels, Evasive Love through Ellora’s Cave in 2012 and The Dishonest Lover through Evernight Publishing in 2016. My novella, Uninvited Love,appeared in the anthology Dark Captive: Manlove Edition (a best seller on Amazon). So far in 2017, readers can looked forward to The Scarf, a novella in an untitled anthology and Hiring the Tiger.

All B+ut You by Elsa M. Carruthers
In a world where looks are so important that Genetic Modification is standard procedure, how will those without Genetic Modification cope, let alone find love?

About the author:
Elsa is a speculative fiction writer, academic, and poet. She lives in California with her family. In 2011, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing and English from Seton Hill University. Since graduating, Elsa's work has been published in several anthologies, magazines, and e-zines.

Elsa is an active member of HWA, RWA, SFPA, IAFA, and the Poetry Foundation. She regularly attends writing conventions and loves meeting new people!

The Pirates and the Pacifist by Cara McKinnon
Kai doesn’t believe in violence. Sam and Dek believe the ends justify the means. Will passion be enough to bridge the gap between the pacifist sent to broker galactic peace and the space pirates hired to keep him away at all costs?
Kaikoa met Sameer and Dek—leaders of a crew of sometimes space pirates—when they abducted Kai and kept him from attending an important peace summit. But when the pirates’ payment never appeared and a gunship showed up instead, Kai, Sam, and Dek found themselves on the same side of a galactic conflict–and tumbling headlong into a reckless passion.
Now they are searching for the truth about who hired the pirates to keep Kai from the summit—and whether the enemy wants one side to win, or simply chaos in the galaxy. But when the allies find the ones who double-crossed them on a terraformed resort moon, will Dek and Sam follow their new lover’s pacifist wishes, or will the pirate code of an eye for an eye tear their fragile threesome apart?

About the author:
Cara McKinnon is the author of the Fay of Skye fantasy romance series. She is addicted to adding magic to other genres and creating fantasy hybrids. She earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, where she found her writing tribe. She lives on the East Coast of the US with her husband, two kids, and an oversized lapdog named Jake.

The Princess of Sands by M.T. DeSantis
The solar panel that powers the Sand Palace Hotel on planet Andala is failing. The hotel’s tyrannical owner will go to any length to secure a new panel, including arranging a marriage for his only daughter, Eliara Desanthar. Unable to reconcile marrying to benefit her father, Eliara sneaks aboard a ship in the castle’s landing bay, ready to make her escape.
But this ship is no ordinary vessel. It carries Prince Randroth of Belmret, who is on a diplomatic mission to Andala. When Eliara accidentally tries to hide in the prince’s chambers, Randroth vows to protect the terrified but beautiful girl, even if it means destroying relations between the two planets.
Unaware Randroth is her betrothed, Eliara returns with him to Belmret, where fun-in-the-sun, deep passion, and trapping revelations await.
And the truth might not set them free.

About the author:
M.T. DeSantis currently resides in a small city on the U.S. eastern seaboard. When not writing, she can be found practicing yoga, attempting to answer trivia questions at restaurants, or plotting her next adventure.

Renewal by Oriana Maret
She’ll brave the arms of destruction to shed the arms that betrayed.
When Kestrel discovers Mercer is alive and well, she embarks on a dangerous journey to escape the pain of his jilt. When Mercer turns the tables, Kestrel discovers the true meaning of betrayal, and the ultimate cost of love.

About the author:
Oriana Maret is a science fiction writer whose careers include the military, corporate sales and management in cancer genetic diagnostics, and nonprofit brand management. She'll earn an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2018.


We asked the Love Across the Universe authors to tell us what elements of science fiction as a genre draw them in as both readers and writers. We also asked if there was anything that repelled them.

Elsa M. Carruthers—“All B+ut You”

I love this genre because it can be a very hopeful genre that looks at possibilities.

M.T. DeSantis—“The Princess of Sands”

I enjoy science fiction stories that use unique technology (or even common technology) in interesting ways. I also have a soft spot for softer science fiction, in which the science is psychological somehow. I don’t know about things that repel me, but I’m not much for the shiny spaceships or the gunslinging battles in space. Except Star Wars, which Harrison Ford has made me a fan of.

Traci Douglass—“A Dream to Build a Kiss On”

I like softer sci-fi, where the technology is sometimes more human than the humans. I have a hard time getting into hard sci-fi, probably because I’m dyslexic and normal words are hard enough for me at times. Add in a bunch of techno-babble and I’m totally lost.

A.E. Hayes—“Tristan’s Tryst”

I am—and always have been—drawn in by the concept that there are things vastly greater than humans are. For instance, we may be able to create Artificial Intelligence, but we also know that AI can adapt and evolve. Seeing the various ways in which that plays out in literature and in movies is fascinating. I think there are so many facets of sci-fi that have yet to be explored because our minds simply cannot comprehend the complexity yet. But we’ll get there. As for what repels me—I don’t like when sci-fi is used as a plot device. I’ve seen so many movies, for instance, rely on extraterrestrial life as a way to explain that we, as humans, are destroying our own planet. That has been done to death, and it really needs to stop.

Serena Jayne—“You Only Love Once”

Like paranormal fiction, science fiction provides a great sandbox to play in. I’m a bit burned out on Star Trek. My husband is obsessed and I swear I’ve seen every episode of The Next Generation television show a half dozen times or more. So the theme song of the show makes me cringe.

L.J. Longo—“Breathless”

I love the what-if question, especially when it’s an extrapolation of our current science, politics, etc. For example, in Fahrenheit 451, when the characters are wearing seashells in their ears and the main character can’t make a connection because the people around him are always watching TV. I also love Marines in Space as a subgenre (like in Aliens and in the video game Starcraft) because you get such competent bad-asses struggling with the environment.

The only thing I’m wary of when I sit down to some new sci-fi is that it’s still a very homogenous genre and will smack up against sexist/racist ideas and characters when the writers aren’t careful.

Oriana Maret—“Renewal”

I adore exploration and possibilities rooted in scientific explanations; I love technology and its efficiency; who can resist the struggles that arise from politics on distant worlds? Imagine the worlds OUT THERE—don’t you want to explore them all?

I don’t appreciate the genre’s almost wholesale snub of traditional faith beliefs. There is religion in SF, but it’s humanistic or multi-god; there’s little to no room for the one I worship. Feels unfair, and I’m disappointed about it because I believe God created science.

Cara McKinnon—“The Pirates and the Pacifist”

I’m always interested in compelling stories with engaging characters, no matter the genre trappings, but one of the things that science fiction does well is ask questions. It doesn’t always answer them—that’s not the point. But it makes you think, and juxtaposes the vastness of the unknown with the small vulnerabilities of being human.

From a cultural perspective, though, there has been vocal pushback from some members of the community against including diversity in science fiction, and I find that attitude repellant. It’s as though we are allowed to imagine a future with faster-than-light travel and alien civilizations, but must pretend that only white, able-bodied, cisgendered, heterosexual humans live to see it. Which is ridiculous.

Sheri Queen—“Red Sand”

I’m drawn to how science fiction delves into the “what if” questions about life and how we might evolve (or devolve) in the future.

What repels me is when it’s so unbelievable that you just can’t take it seriously. I’m not talking about movies/books like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which I loved. I’m talking about poorly conceived and executed ones. I can’t come up with an example probably because those are the ones I stop watching or reading.

Mary Rogers—“Breakfast on Pluto”

My father is gone now, and like I mentioned in a different interview, he read a book a day, almost all science fiction.  I am drawn to it for him, and it makes me feel good to share that.

Emmerite Sundberg—“Fluid”

I love the what-if feeling of science fiction. Though I know many storylines can be very tragic, I like the optimistic view of what humanity can someday achieve. People would likely disagree that it is an optimistic genre, but that is what I see.

K.W. Taylor—“Reprogramming”

I’m drawn to science fiction that speaks speculatively about relatable social problems in our own world. I love futuristic speculation about societies built on political structures doomed to fail, as well as dystopian stories showing a collapse after such structures go even worse. I also love time travel, especially when that goes awry and unravels things into paradoxes.

The only thing that repels me in SF is a focus on minutely described technology at the expense of character development and plot. 

1 comment:

Traci Douglass, Author said...

Thanks so much for hosting Love Across the Universe on your blog! :)