Tag Archives: Sharon Lynn Fisher

Book Review Giveaway: Win a Book I Reviewed in February!

Book review giveaway button 2015 March

Welcome to my monthly Book Review Giveaway! I love sharing the wonderful books I read, and what’s better than giving one of them away? One winner will be randomly selected to win one of the following books (winner’s choice). This giveaway is international, provided The Book Depository ships to your country. Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to select the edition of the book you choose. That means it might be a hardcover, or it might be a paperback. It really depends on the price. Also, the cover might be different from the one displayed in this post.

Please congratulate last month’s winners:

Anita Y. chose Shutter by Courtney Alameda
Yamila C. chose Hellhole by Gina Damico

I’ve also gone back to rating book reviews with stars. I know, this is BIG NEWS. (Just go with it.) February was a great month for reading, nothing below four stars! So, here are the books you can choose from if you win. Click on the titles to read my reviews:

Echo 8

 

five stars

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

four and a half

The Damned by Andrew Pyper

four stars

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Get In Trouble by Kelly Link

The Lost Level by Brian Keene

Covenant’s End by Ari Marmell

Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Bloggers can grab the giveaway button and add it to your sidebar for extra points:

Books, Bones & Buffy

Ready to enter? Simply use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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Blog Tour + Giveaway! Interview with Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of ECHO 8

Echo 8 web banner

I’m very happy to be hosting SF Romance author Sharon Lynn Fisher on the blog today! I’m a steadfast fan of Sharon’s, having also read her previous two books. Each one is so different from the other, but all three have a definite romance element to them, which I find to be a nice change of pace from my usual reading. Yesterday I reviewed Echo 8, and you can read it here. Check out my interview with Sharon below, and then enter to win one of THREE finished copies of Echo 8 at the end of the post! (US/Canada only. Don’t worry, my international peeps—your time is coming)

Please welcome Sharon to Books, Bones & Buffy!

Author interviewWelcome back to Books, Bones & Buffy, Sharon! And congrats on the publication of Echo 8. Back in 2012 when I first interviewed you, you mentioned that Echo 8 had been a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and at the time it was unpublished. Now it’s a published book! Can you tell us a little about the evolution of the book?

It’s great to be back, thanks, Tammy! (And you certainly have a good memory!)

Echo 8 is the book I started writing right after Ghost Planet. That was back when almost everyone who’d written a novel went the agent/traditional publisher route. I had read that the best thing to do while a book was on submission was to get busy writing the next one. In part to keep your mind off the excruciating submission process and so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. But also in case you get lucky enough to interest an agent, because they are sure to ask you what else you’re working on and you don’t want to say, “Um.”

So I wrote Echo 8 on and off during the course of a year of revising Ghost Planet and signing with an agent, and then another agent, and finally my publisher. Tor wanted to do a two-book contract, and we offered them Echo 8 and The Ophelia Prophecy. I was praying for Echo 8, because the book is special to me and my beta readers, but mainly because it was already written! But my editor chose Ophelia. After we wrapped up that contract, though, my agent went back to my editor, and this time she bought it.

Echo 8

Each book you write seems to be quite different from the last. In Ghost Planet, you imagined a world where aliens attach themselves to people in the form of a dead loved one. In the Ophelia Prophecy you explored interspecies romance between humans and insect-like creatures. Tell us a little about what we can expect in Echo 8.

Echo 8 is more down-to-earth, literally. It’s set in near-future Seattle. Its locations include an old school repurposed into a psi research facility, an antique and notorious art deco ferry, a historic neighborhood on Puget Sound, and … well, a post-apocalyptic version of Oregon wine country on a parallel Earth. (You had to know something like that was coming.)

The story centers on three main characters: Jake, a man shifted from the alternate Earth, who now has to drain energy from others to survive. Tess, the parapsychologist trying to save him. Ross, the FBI agent torn between love and duty. I confess I’m a sucker for a love triangle.

You recently published two novellas in the Fantasies in Color Series, The Garden Rules and Raven Takes a Pearl. Is this a self-publishing venture, and can you tell us more about this series?

Yes, Fantasies in Color is a side project — a series of erotica novelettes (all BDSM so far), each based on a color. I’m indie publishing them in partnership with my literary agency. It’s tough to make it as an author these days — many experts say tougher than it ever was. I felt like I needed to diversify a little bit, and I thought it might be a fun thing to try. I write some hot scenes for my sci-fi romances, but I’ve never written straight-up smut. (Though I do acquire and edit erotica in my day job, as editorial director for SilkWords.com.) I timidly sent the first one to my agent, and she loved it and asked if I wanted their help in publishing the series.

The stories themselves are good smutty fun. As with my novels, I do employ a lot of world-building, so the speculative elements have substance. And I also focus on the heroine’s journey as well as trying to write good sex.

Besides all this (and unrelated, despite the title), I also have a novella in progress on Wattpad, RED: Love in the Time of Flesh-eaters. I think I’d classify that one as new adult sci-fi romance. It has zombies!

All three of your published novels are science fiction romance. What is it about the combination of romance and science fiction that appeals to you as a writer?

I don’t know if my typical answer to this question is all that satisfying, but here it is: It’s just what I write. By that I mean that it never occurred to me to write anything else. I’ve always written speculative stories that include a romance. It’s also what I enjoy reading. Actually I also love classics, but they fit the profile — part romance, part something else. I’ve never read much contemporary romance because they focus more exclusively on the romance. I like the balance of PRPSE.

As for the sci-fi in my romance, before my debut (Ghost Planet), I wrote mostly fantasy romance. GP was my first attempt at sci-fi, and I decided I liked it. I liked it A LOT.

Just for fun, in honor of Echo 8, pick a bookshelf in your house and count over to the EIGHTH book. What is it?

Ha ha, I have a stack of reference books on my desk. The eighth one down is Baby & Child Emergency First Aid. (Wedged between the more relevant Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality and An Introduction to Parapsychology.)  

Okay, going downstairs to check my actual bookshelf …

The Lurker at the Threshold, H.P. Lovecraft

Please tell us three things about yourself that can’t be found on your website.

I have a little section of factoids under my bio, so that makes this a toughie! Let me see …

  1. When I was in junior high, I pretended I was sick for three days so I could stay home and finish reading Watership Down. (I eventually read it seven times.)
  2. I’ve struggled with anxiety all my life, and depression for the last decade or so. (But meditation, yoga, and a supportive partner have made huge, positive changes for me in the last several years.)
  3. The “little prophecies” that Echo 8’s heroine talks about actually come from my own experience. I sometimes dream about stuff the day before it happens. It’s usually nothing important. In a recent example, I dreamed I was walking down the street and saw an alligator. Next day I had lunch at a restaurant that was in a house, and the bathroom still had a bathtub in it. When I flipped on the light I saw two plastic alligators sitting on a pile of rocks in the tub. More recently, though, I dreamed I found my daughter lying on a beach, and I picked her up and carried her into the bathroom, unresponsive, to try to hydrate her. When I woke up, I had an email from her dad saying she was very ill and he was thinking of taking her to urgent care. (She’s fine! Just a stomach bug.)

Thanks so much, Sharon, this was so much fun:-D

About the author:

Sharon FisherThree-time RWA Golden Heart finalist SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes SF/fantasy and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. A Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award finalist, Sharon Lynn Fisher writes stories for the geeky at heart—meaty mash-ups of sci-fi, suspense, and romance, with no apology for the latter. She lives where it rains nine months of the year. And she has a strange obsession with gingers (down to her freaky orange cat). Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2015). Aboutme/SharonLynnFisher | @SharonFisher | Facebook | Goodreads

Praise for the works of Sharon Lynn Fisher:

“An absorbing and exciting story full of science, sex, and intriguing plot twists.”

Publishers Weekly on Ghost Planet

“I have a winner! This is a really fun Sci-Fi romance…. Very cool setup and characters that I couldn’t put down…I loved it!”

—Felicia Day, actress, blogger, and geek, on Ghost Planet

“Futuristic romance author Fisher…wraps this venture’s tangled plot around red-hot erotic encounters…[she] makes a solid case for responsible bioengineering research and creates colorful settings from boggy Ireland to Manti-and-Moorish Granada.”

Publishers Weekly on The Ophelia Prophecy

“Fisher…returns with a sexy, irresistible take on the enemies-to-lovers trope… [her] light touch guarantees that the development of this slow-burn romance feels authentic, organic and totally satisfying.”

RT Book Reviews on The Ophelia Prophecy

Echo 8 is out TODAY from Tor Books! Courtesy of the publisher, I have THREE finished copies to give away. This giveaway is for U.S. and Canada only, and ends February 13th. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!

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When Worlds Collide: ECHO 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher – Review

Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Genre: Adult science fiction romance
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: February 3 2015
Source: ARC from publisher
Pages: 288

four stars

The nitty-gritty: A fascinating story about parallel worlds and doppelgangers, some exciting action, and of course, romance!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading all three of Sharon’s books, and each time she manages to give us readers something different.  Sharon writes an interesting mash-up of science fiction and romance, which I rarely see done these days, and her latest stand-along Echo 8 is no exception. While I have to admit this isn’t my favorite of her books (The Ophelia Prophecy gets that honor!), I did have fun reading Echo 8, which is a mind-bending story about alternate realities and parallel worlds.

Tess is a parapsychologist at the Seattle Psi Training Institute who studies “Echoes,” people who seem to have appeared suddenly from an alternate Earth. These nearly transparent beings usually die soon after they appear, but Tess has discovered that they are able to survive and grow stronger if they can steal energy from a human being. Unfortunately, humans have died during this process, and so Echoes are considered dangerous and are locked up for study. Tess is currently studying Echo 8, a man named Jake who claims to have committed suicide in his world, an event that may have triggered his transfer to our Earth. Tess willingly engages in a transfer with Jake, giving him her energy while touching him, because she is determined to save him.

But the process nearly incapacitates her, and so she is assigned a body-guard of sorts, an FBI agent named Ross who fiercely tries to keep her away from Jake. When Tess discovers a government plot to use Echoes as assassins, she knows that she can’t let Jake be subjected to such a fate, and so she breaks him out of the Institute. What follows is an exciting chase through both worlds, as Tess, Jake and Ross try to make sense of the strange parallel Earths and how they relate to each other.

For those of us who have trouble understanding the concepts of alternate realities, Sharon gives some scientific argument about why they might be possible, although I have to say some of those explanations went way over my head, LOL! In cases like this, where the science is beyond me (hey, I am mostly a right-brain person!), I don’t find it too difficult to trust the author and simply enjoy the story. Although I found the beginning a bit slow, while the author catches us up on who the Echoes are and the relationships between the three main characters, the action takes off when Tess discovers that she can jump over to the other Earth.

I loved the idea of “Echoes” and thought of them as vampires, in a way, draining energy from a person instead of blood. Things get really complicated, however, when the characters begin to meet their doppelgangers from the alternate Earth, which is basically what Echoes are. But just because a person has a double from another reality, doesn’t mean that Echo is anything like him or her! Take Ross’s Echo, for example. Ross is a sometimes gruff yet caring person, but his Echo (named Mac) was a cruel man whose only goal is to use the energy from humans to survive.

One of my favorite parts of the story was the Seattle setting, in particular an old abandoned ferry called the Kalakala, where several very creepy and atmospheric scenes took place. I just had to Google it, and discovered to my delight that the Kalakala actually exists:

Kalakala

In Echo 8, the Kalakala is a dark and dank place where Tess and Jake make some terrifying discoveries.

I did have a couple of issues with the book, mostly with the romantic aspects of the story. Now don’t get me wrong—I love a good love triangle now and then, and Sharon gives us a whopper of one in this book. Tess and Ross are attracted to each other, even though they don’t seem to like each other much. And when Jake comes along, Tess seems torn between the two men, although I couldn’t understand her attraction to Jake. The author does give us a couple of hot sex scenes between Ross and Tess, but the two got together so quickly that it felt a bit jarring. (Although one of the funniest scenes takes place during sex—but you’ll just have to read the book to find out what that is!)

I also wasn’t crazy about Tess’s character. I do love the fact that she’s the type of person who has strong beliefs and will do almost anything to further her knowledge of the Echoes. But she also tends to jump headlong into danger without thinking first. Her fierce determination to save Jake pisses off Ross to no end, and because Ross is hired to protect her, he is always berating her for being so headstrong. Ross had a couple of disturbingly sexist moments (at one point he says to Tess, “You need handlers, Tess. Deal with it.”) which gave the romance an almost “old fashioned” feel.

But I liked Ross for the most part. He and Tess have interacted before, although I was a little sketchy about those details. I’ll admit I pictured Ross in my head as Agent Booth (David Boreanaz!) from Bones.

Romance aside, what you will get from Echo 8 is a twisty plot, some very scary moments, and a lot to think about. Are parallel worlds real? How would you react if you ran into your own double? And how far would you go to follow through on your beliefs? Entertaining and full of tension, Echo 8 was a blast!

Big thanks to Tor Books for the review copy!

Find the book:

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What’s On My Plate – February 2015

On My Plate

February? You’ve got to be kidding me. I feel like I just packed up all the Christmas decorations! And yet, time marches on…February has typically been a rough month for me, as three out of four of the people in my little family have birthdays this month (including yours truly). And when I say “rough” I mean BUSY. Obviously birthdays are something to celebrate:-D My son is turning SIXTEEN!! That cannot be right. It just can’t. To those of you with small children, cling to these years, because before you know it, your kids are going to be asking about getting their driver’s license! And we’re already talking about college, so yeah. Time sucks. I want time to STOP.

In any event, on the bookish front I have a lovely month ahead of me! Here’s what’s on my plate this month:

Books for Review:

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link. I’m a big Link fan, no one writes short stories quite like her. This is her new collection, and although the publishers have packaged it to look like edgy literary stories, you can bet there is plenty of fantasy and magic realism within these pages.

Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia. This book just sounds like all kinds of amazing! Can’t wait to get to it.

The Damned by Andrew Pyper. This ghostly story sounds really good!

The Lost Level by Brian Keene. I’ve seen some great reviews on this book from Apex, and I’m looking forward to it.

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. This is the new edition of an older book that many of my blogger friends have read and loved. I’m so glad I’ll get to read and review it, and I’ll be giving some copies away as well.

Backlist Burndown/WWE Women of Genre Fiction Challenge:

Zoo City

Lisa @ Tenacious Reader has started an awesome reading event each month called Backlist Burndown. I ran out of time in January and wasn’t able to fit a backlist book in, but this month I will, for sure! First up is Zoo City by Lauren Beukes. I adored Broken Monsters and now I’m going to catch up on all her other books. I’m also counting this toward my World’s Without End Women of Genre Fiction Challenge this month.

Blog tours:

I’m part of Tor’s Echo 8 blog tour, and I’ll have my review of Echo 8 up tomorrow, and then Tuesday I’ll be interviewing Sharon and giving away copies of the book!

I was just invited to participate in another Tor event, the blog tour for V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic! Oh boy, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am:-D I don’t have all the details yet, and I don’t know my tour date either (it could be next month), but I just had to share. I know there will be a giveaway for the book during the tour, so keep your eyes peeled for more information.

Giveaways:

Share the love 2015

As I mentioned, my blog tour stop for Echo 8 is Tuesday, and Tor is giving away copies of Sharon’s latest SF Romance! I had a blast reading this book, and you will too!

After skipping my Book Review Giveaway last month, I’m now combining December and January, and I’ll have TWO winners because of it! For those of you who are new to this, I’ll be giving away the winners’ choice of any of the books I reviewed in December and January. Come back on the 15th to see what you can win! And as always, this giveaway is international.

As part of Tor’s promotion for the new edition of Kushiel’s Dart, I’ll be offering up copies to THREE winners, so check back on the 26th for my review and enter to win your own copy.

Once again, I’m participating in the Share the Love Giveaway Hop, which starts on February 6th. I’ll be “sharing the love” and highlighting some of my favorite authors or bloggers (honestly, I haven’t decided what to do yet, so you’ll just have to come back on the 6th!) I’m not even sure what I’m giving away, oh it’s all a big mystery:-D

Also, I have two giveaways that are still going on, so check the sidebar up there for your chance to win Pacific Fire by Greg van Eekhout and Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian!

That’s my February, folks! Let me know what you’re up to this month:-D

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Tammy’s Top Ten Books in My Winter 2014-15 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday new 7-14 copy

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Head on over to see other bloggers’ top ten lists! This week, we’re listing our Top Ten Winter TBR books. I think my list is a pretty damn good one, and hopefully you’ll agree! For this list, I am defining “winter” as the months of December, January and February, so my list consists of upcoming books that will be released during those months. These are listed in order of their release dates. Click on the titles to go to Goodreads!

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. Releases 12/23/14. My buddy Pabkins was kind enough to send me an ARC of this book, so I’ll be reading it next month for sure. I LOVED These Broken Stars, and I’m curious to see where the authors are going, after that crazy ending.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown. Releases 1/6/15. I’m trying to get my hands on an ARC, but no luck yet. Hey, anyone know what’s up with NetGalley teasing us by putting up titles that aren’t available to request?? (Like this one)

Ensnared by A.G. Howard. Releases 1/13/15. This is the final book in the series, and it’s one I can’t wait to read!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. Releases 1/13/15. I’ve heard really good things about this book.

Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout. Releases 1/27/15. Oh I need this book NOW!! I seriously loved California Bones, and this is the sequel.

Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig. Releases 1/27/15. This book kind of snuck up on me. It just came out of nowhere. But here it is, a new Wendig YA, with a kick-ass cover!

Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Releases 2/3/15. I’ve talked about this quite a bit lately, and I have a copy that I plan on reading very soon.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda. Releases 2/3/15. I was so happy to pick up an ARC of Shutter at Comic Con, I hear it’s super scary:-)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Releases 2/10/15. I was lucky enough to grab a copy of this book at Comic Con, so I’ll be reviewing it for sure.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. Releases 2/24/15. I loved Vicious so much, and although this isn’t related to that book at all, it seems like it has the same vibe. And that would be the V.E. Schwab vibe of amazingness!!!

That’s my list…I’d love to know if you’re looking forward to any of these. Link me up to your top ten:-)

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Over-Booked [13] – A Book Haul Post

Over booked banner

Welcome to Over-Booked, my version of the book haul post! I’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves over at Tynga’s Reviews, as well as The Sunday Post over at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. Wow, it’s been a month since my last book haul post, mostly because a) My blog was suspended! (if you haven’t heard the sad story, you can read it here) and b) I’ve been participating in Sci-Fi November, and so I haven’t really had a Saturday free to do a book haul. But today’s the day, so here is everything I’ve received in the past month:

From publishers:

OB1

Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher. I was very excited when this came in the mail. I’m a huge fan of Sharon’s and I can’t wait to read her latest stand-alone.

Dead Funny: Britain’s Best Comedians Turn to Horror edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains. I received this from the top notch small UK publisher Salt Publishing, and I’m curious to see how comedians do horror!

War Stories: New Military Science Fiction edited by Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak. I always enjoy getting a new book from Apex Books, and although war stories aren’t necessarily my favorite to read, I’m definitely up for some SF war stories.

Big thanks to Tor Books, Salt Publishing and Apex Books!

Digital ARCs:

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link. I recently featured this as a WoW pick, and I’m happy I was approved to read this short story collection by one of my favorite short story authors!

Hellhole by Gina Damico. I’ve wanted to read Damico’s Croak series for a while, but just never had the time. This book looks hysterical, and if you missed the trailer reveal I did a couple of weeks ago, check it out here. This sums up Gina’s personality to a T!

Sausage Hall by Christina James. This is another book from Salt Publishing, and a nice paperback unexpectedly showed up in the mail yesterday. I can’t wait to read this one.

Clara’s Daughter by Meike Ziervogel. Here’s another Salt title that is fairly short, but looks very powerful. Salt publishes great thrillers!

Severance by Chris Bucholz. Thanks to Apex Books, this science fiction title looks awesome! I’m trying to squeeze this one in for Sci-Fi Month, so we’ll see if I can read really fast in the next week or so!

Big thanks to Random House, HMH Books for Young Readers, Salt Publishing and Apex Books!

Purchased:

OB2

The Young Elites by Marie Lu. I bought a copy of this because I’ve read so many rave reviews. Not sure when I’ll get to it, but hopefully before the end of the year.

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville. This was an impulse buy, I had never even heard of this before, and then I saw it on some “best of the month” list somewhere. It sounds pretty good, has anyone out there read it?

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. OK, I’m going to sound like a BROKEN record, but I swear this is my next book! I got an ARC at Comic Con, then last month this was the Book Riot “Riot Read” of the month.

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber is this month’s Riot Read, and I couldn’t be happier to get a copy. I’ve heard a bunch of very good things about this book, and somewhere I read a very sad story that this would be Faber’s last book, because his wife died, and she was his writing inspiration. Cue tears!

And last but not least…San Diego Comic Con 2015 tickets!!

comic con small

With the stress of having my blog go down and trying to switch over to a self-hosted blog, I almost forgot I snagged SDCC tickets for next July! I’m so excited, even though it’s quite a long time away. Let me know if you’re going next year!

There you have it, my latest haul. Let me know if you’ve read any of these!

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Waiting on Wednesday [125] – ECHO 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher

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WOW 2014 copy

Welcome to the Sci-Fi November version of Waiting on Wednesday! Sci-Fi November is hosted by Oh, The Books! and Rinn Reads, and Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. This month I’m highlighting upcoming science fiction titles that I’m dying to read. This week my pick is by an author that definitely needs more attention:

Echo 8

Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Releases in February 2015 from Tor Books. I’ve loved both of Sharon’s previous books, Ghost Planet and The Ophelia Prophecy, and I can’t wait for this one! Here’s what Goodreads says:

Three lives. Two worlds. One chance to save them all.

As a parapsychologist working for Seattle Psi, Tess has devoted her life to studying psychic phenomena. But when doppelgangers begin appearing from a parallel world that’s been struck by an asteroid, nothing in her training will help her survive what’s to come.

After dislocating to Seattle Psi from the other Earth, Jake is confined by a special task force for study. But when he drains life energy from Tess, almost killing her, it causes a ripple effect across two worlds — and creates a bond neither of them expected.

Ross is an FBI agent ordered to protect Tess while she studies Jake. His assignment is not random — he and Tess have a history, and a connection the Bureau hopes to use to its own advantage. By the time Ross realizes his mission could be compromised, it’s already too late — he’ll have to choose between his love for Tess and his duty to protect the people of his own Earth.

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This sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I’m always up for parallel world stories, so we’ll see what Sharon does with it. Let me know what you’re waiting on this week!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Sci-Fi Books Written by Women – Since I Started Blogging

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I have two Sci-Fi related top ten posts this month, and this is the first. When Sci-Fi November rolled around, I knew I wanted to celebrate women authors in the science fiction field, because there are just too few of them. Sci-Fi is pretty much ruled by men, but the women who have made names for themselves in the genre need to be celebrated as well. Since I started blogging three years ago, I’ve read some great examples of what women can do with science fiction. I’ve reviewed most of these, and I’m linking up my reviews below if you’re interested. Keep in mind, these are just the books I’ve read in the last three years. There are marvelous examples of women in science fiction, like Octavia Butler, whom I’ve read and loved, but not since I’ve started blogging.

Adult Science Fiction:

1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. If you haven’t grown tired of me singing the praises of this book, then allow me to gush about it some more. This is the front-runner so far for my favorite book of the year—and I’ve read some damn good books! This beautifully written, sad, but hopeful story is set slightly in the future, after a killer flu rampages humanity. Read my review.

2. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke.  This is another example of a quiet and thoughtful science fiction story, where robots are commonplace. It’s also a love story, and I loved the way Clarke’s story takes place over many years of the characters’ lives. Read my review.

3. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. This is the first book in Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, and it was amazing. If you’re looking for a series written by a master storyteller, I suggest reading this one. Goodreads.

4. Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. I had so much fun with this one! Yes, it’s a romance, but Fisher has some serious world-building skills as well. Give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed. Read my review.

5. The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Wow, Sharon gets two books on my list! I think I loved this one even more than Ghost Planet. Once again, she writes a complicated love story, this time between two different races (and I mean that one of them is an alien!). Read my review.

Young Adult Science Fiction:

6. Starters by Lissa Price. Price’s future is a chilling one, where teens rent their bodies to Enders, elderly people who want to experience what it feels like to be young again. Goodreads.

7. Arclight by Josin L. McQuein. Wow, this book blew me away with its originality! Almost as much a horror story as it is science fiction, I loved the creatures called the Fade. For some reason I missed downloading McQuein’s follow-up to this book, Meridian, but I plan on catching up with it at some point. Read my review.

8. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Two teens are stranded on an uninhabited planet, after their space ship crashes. This book has everything—action, romance, and great characters. Plus it’s a fantastic survival story with unexpected depth and emotion. Not sure why I never reviewed this…I have a copy of the follow-up, This Shattered World, ready and waiting for me to read! Goodreads.

9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young. Man, I loved this book! It was beautifully written, heartbreaking (as all the best books are!) and atmospheric. I never got around to reading the two follow-up books (which seems to happen to me a lot!), but I hope to some day. Goodreads.

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I know this series is on many favorites lists, but it all started with Cinder. Meyer is a great storyteller, and her characters come to vibrant life on the page. I still haven’t read the next two books in the series, but I’m sure I will at some point. Read my review.

Do you have any favorite science fiction books written by women? I know there are a lot more out there. Sound off in the comments!

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: THE OPHELIA PROPHECY – Guest Post with Author Sharon Lynn Fisher

Ophelia Prophecy Web Banner (2)

Welcome to my stop on The Ophelia Prophecy Blog Tour presented by Tor Books! I’m pretty excited to have author Sharon Lynn Fisher visiting to talk about a topic that I know you’ve been dying to read about: Interspecies Couples. I loved this book (you can read my review here) and I was curious to hear how Sharon decided to write about a human/insect-creature romance. Plus Tor is kindly giving away a copy of The Ophelia Prophecy at the end of this post (US only), so keep reading! Without future ado, please welcome Sharon to the blog.

author guest post banner 2014 copy

Writing the Interspecies Couple

A lot of folks have been curious about my decision to focus on a human/bugman couple in my new release from Tor, THE OPHELIA PROPHECY. The funny thing is, I didn’t put all that much thought into it when I began writing. In those first couple chapters of all my books, I’m taking orders from my muse. The analytical part of my brain doesn’t really come into the process until later. In those early days working on OPHELIA, I kept my focus on the foundation of my story — at its most basic, a tale of post-apocalyptic star-crossed lovers.

And it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Humans and vampires. Humans and wolf-people. Fairies. Zombies. Artificial life forms. Operating systems. Even a lizard man. I remember how captivated I was by the relationship between Worf and Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. She was so feminine and, well, soft-looking, and Klingons were so dang alpha. So rough around the edges (though admittedly Worf had a softer side). There was something exciting and compelling about that.

troi & worf

Worf and Troi explore all the interspecies possibilities…

Despite the fact the interspecies thing had been done before, bugs were rather a horse of a different color. Once I’d committed myself to writing OPHELIA, my more pragmatic side began to question whether I really knew what I was getting into.

This book is not just science fiction, but science fiction *romance*. Granted my audience is primarily women who are interested in both genres. But I had to assume that for them, as for me, there’s a certain “ick” factor when it comes to most kinds of insects. I am fascinated by some of the species we consider to be noble (praying mantis v. house fly), but that doesn’t mean I want one crawling up my arm. I remember when I was in college a praying mantis about the size of my hand came in through an open window, and I couldn’t sleep until my boyfriend shooed it out.

And yet I’m asking my reader to be comfortable in the company of various insect/human combinations on pretty much every page of the book. Why? Partly because I trust a reader of science fiction to have an open mind, and partly because I trusted myself to frame the world and its inhabitants in a way that would not disgust (except when it’s supposed to).

I wrote about the Manti in a way that appealed to me, in hopes it would also appeal to my readers. I have a huge pile of illustrated books about fairies (that have been accumulating since I was a child), and it felt very natural and fitting to describe an insect/human transgenic race as a sort of futuristic fae. Some are winged. Some are colorful. Some are spiky. Some are all of the above.

The Ophelia Prophecy

And I made the choice early on that the hero would be more human than not; most of Pax’s insect traits are on the inside. Not so for his sister, Iris, who I also plan to write a book about. But by the end of OPHELIA, the reader has had a chance to get used to Iris and her physiology. I recently read THE LAST HOUR OF GANN, and I marveled at how Smith managed to pull off a fully reptilian alien as a romance hero. Besides being a very talented writer, I think it was due to having literally hundreds of pages to get the reader comfortable with the character.

Because really the key to writing compelling interspecies relationships is less about physical description and more about demonstrating that the quality of being “human” has very little to do with genetics.

About the Author:

Sharon Lynn Fisher Author Photo (2)A Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest. She writes books for the geeky at heart—sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance—and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2014).

Find Sharon: Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

About The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher:

Our world is no longer our own.

We engineered a race of superior fighters–the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us.

In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.

Asha and Pax—strangers and enemies—find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource—information—viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

But neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other’s secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.

The Ophelia Prophecy is the thrilling new SF romance from Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of Ghost Planet

Find The Ophelia Prophecy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound

And now for the giveaway! I have one finished paperback to give away to a US reader. Entering is simple—just leave a comment on this post. You can comment on Sharon’s guest post or tell us whether or not you’d ever consider entering into an interspecies romance…One random commenter will be selected on April 18th. Good luck!

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Book Review Giveaway: Win One of the Books I Reviewed in March!

March book review giveaway

Welcome to the March Book Review Giveaway! I posted seven reviews in March, and you can enter to win one of those books! No five-star reviews this month, but I did read three books that received four-and-a-half stars: Stolen Songbird, The Ophelia Prophecy, and Under Nameless Stars. Of these three, I’m going to have to pick Stolen Songbird as my favorite of the month.

This giveaway is International, provided The Book Depository ships to your country. You can also spread the word and get extra entries by posting the giveaway button on your site:

Books, Bones & Buffy
<div align="center"><a href="http://wp.me/p1GQyK-3qJ" title="Books, Bones & Buffy" target="_blank"><img src="http://booksbonesbuffy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/march-book-review-giveaway-e1396716977449.jpg" alt="Books, Bones & Buffy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

Here are the books I reviewed in March (click on the titles to read my reviews):

four and a halfStolen Songbirdby Danielle L. Jensen.

four and a halfUnder Nameless Starsby Christian Schoon

four and a halfThe Ophelia Prophecyby Sharon Lynn Fisher

four starsMaze by J.M. McDermott

four starsThe Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell

four starsThe Book of the Crowman by Joseph D’Lacey

three starsPanic by Lauren Oliver

Ready to enter? Simply click the Rafflecopter button below:

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