Best Ever Sci-fi Romance Tropes

Best Ever Sci-fi Romance Tropes

Uncontrollable, book three in my Beyond Human series releases this month. The series is a mixture of contemporary sci-fi and romance and contains some of my favorite sci-fi tropes. I won’t go into details as it might give away the story, but here are a few of the sci-fi tropes I love…that may or may not appear in my Beyond Human series.

  1. Time travel. My favorite TV program growing up was Doctor Who. I wanted to be the Doctor’s assistant (actually, I wanted to be the Doctor, but I was trying to keep my dreams attainable). I’ve been obsessed with time travel ever since. And there are so many ways to travel through time, whether it’s by a time machine, like the Doctor, or a genetic mutation as in The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Or through some sort of mystic tear in the fabric of time as in Outlander by Diana Gabalden or Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series. And my particular favorite—wormholes in space.
  2. The idea of telepathy fascinates me. How the human race would be different if we couldn’t hide our motivations, our thoughts, our nefarious plotting and planning. What if there was no need for torture, if the secrets of the mind could be found as easily as looking into someone’s eyes…? Some of my recent telepathy favorites are the TV series, Sense8, which follows a group of eight people from around the world who are all linked telepathically, and In Your Eyes, a film by Joss Whedon, where two seemingly unconnected people form a telepathic bond which allows them to share each other’s experiences.
  3. Space pirates. So if Doctor Who was my favourite TV program growing up, then Firefly is my favourite as an adult. Firefly was my inspiration for my Dark Desires series. I love the idea of a close knit crew having to do some shady things just to survive. I wrote Break Out, book 1, after watching Firefly for the first time. I wanted to write a space opera with space pirates and…vampires (My editor refers to the book as vamps in space)
  4. Genetic Modification. Scary and probably happening right now. Genetically modified heroes pop up in sci-fi romance all the time. I’ve even written a few. It’s an excellent way to get a larger than life, super hero and still be believable. A great example is Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series.
  5. Alien and human love matches. Who doesn’t want to fall in love with a stunningly gorgeous (usually) larger than life (especially certain parts of their anatomy) alien. And learn their weird mating rituals and strange customs… I love Ruby Dixon’s aliens in her Ice Planet Barbarians series—they are pretty gorgeous and easy to fall in love with. But what if the Aliens are not quite so attractive?  I recently read Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith. Absolutely loved it. Her aliens looked a lot like cockroaches, and she still managed to write a totally convincing romance—that is seriously impressive.

So what are your favourite tropes in sci-fi romance?

Uncontrollable is up for pre-order now and you can get it here!

 

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

First Look at Catch Him if You Can! #romance #romcom

Hey, all! Jennifer here!

Mark your calendars!!! My next romance release, Catch Him If You Can, is coming August 13th!

Here’s a sneak peek!! 

Title: Catch Him If You Can

Author: Jennifer Shirk

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Series: Accidently Yours

Format: Digital eBook

Digital ISBN: 9781640636156

 

Synopsis:

 

Veterinarian Wade Roberts is done with love. But try convincing the elderly folk of Cape Harmony who are determined to play matchmaker. Now the young single women in town are bombarding him with baked goods and love notes, and being “taken” is the only way to stop the meddling grannies—which is why he needs a fake fiancée. Fast.

Arden Pearson loves planning weddings. Other people’s weddings, that is. After her own engagement ended in disaster, she prefers to live vicariously through her work. But when she needs to persuade a big client that she’s capable of planning the celebrity wedding of the year, she’s willing to go as far as pretending to be engaged herself to her best friend’s older brother.

Soon their ruse has everyone in town believing they make the perfect couple—including Arden. She’s always been nothing more than a kid sister to Wade, and it might take a village to convince him otherwise…

 

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

 

Pre-Order:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

 

Excerpt:

Copyright© 2018 Catch Him If You Can

Jennifer Shirk

 

“I don’t understand what difference it makes if you’re married or engaged or whatever on how you do your job,” he said.

Her shoulders slumped. “Normally, it wouldn’t make a difference, until I received that bad press a few months ago.”

“The Bahamas Bolter?”

Yes,” she grumbled. “Anyway, it’s a long story, but these particular clients were hesitant to sign until I kind of sort of blurted that I was engaged.”

Wade snorted. “Seriously? It’s not like my clients think I need to own a pet to be a good veterinarian.”

“Exactly! Thank you.” She bit her lip. “Normally, I’d dismiss clientele who thought like that. However, they are pretty big clients, Wade. Huge. Huge enough that if all goes as planned, everyone will easily forget that wedding snafu I had a few months ago. I had no choice but to tell a teensy lie. And, well, since you had wanted me to pretend to be your girlfriend earlier, I figured…”

“You figured I could be your fake fiancé.”

“Yes. Will you?”

“Uh, here’s the thing. I wanted a girlfriend,” he said, folding his arms. “I didn’t say anything about a fiancée.”

“Oh, Wade, really?” She spluttered. “What’s the difference?”

“What’s the difference? It adds a whole other element to the charade. And besides, don’t you think you’re moving a little fast in our fake relationship? I had no idea you were so pushy. Fake boyfriends don’t like to be—”

“Okay, I get it!” She huffed. “So sorry I didn’t fulfill your time requirement to be fake courted properly, but like I said, this is an actual emergency.”

He took a bite of banana bread and chewed, pretending to think it over. “I don’t know…”

Arden planted her fists on her hips with a harrumph. “What don’t you know, Wade? Whether you actually missed out on the fake wooing or how unreasonable you’re acting right now?”

“Now, now. A short temper is not something particularly attractive in a fake girlfriend slash fiancée.”

“Well, maybe when a person’s career is in jeopardy and she asks a friend for help and gets turned down flat, she wouldn’t feel the urge to punch the fake boyfriend slash fiancé in the throat.”

He wanted to grin but didn’t dare. It was rare to have the upper hand with Arden—and he found he was quite enjoying this sudden little nuance, along with her begging him for help.

 

 

About Jennifer Shirk:

 

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Montlake Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her novel, FIANCE BY FATE—a 2015 Readers’ Crown Finalist—became an Amazon #1 best seller for Series Romance. And recently, Wrong Brother, Right Match, WON the Sweet Traditional category of the 2017 Golden Quill Contest and became a #1 Amazon bestseller for Holiday Romance.

 

She resides in a beach resort in NJ, so when she’s not writing or working on her tan, she’s taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter and puppy (Sox).

 

Check out her website for News and Links: www.jennifershirk.com

 

And don’t forget to join her mailing list for a chance to win monthly giveaways and free ARCs: eepurl.com/Q6TH1

 

Connect with Jennifer:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Harleys or Horses?

Hi everyone – hope you’re all enjoying the summer.

I have a new book releasing at the end of this month. HANDLE WITH CARE is a single title contemporary romance and as you can probably guess from the title of this blog, it’s got Harleys and horses in it.

Tanner my bad boy hero, has a lifelong love affair with Harleys, whereas Emily, my good girl heroine, loves horses. They do have one thing in common though—they’ve been fantasizing about each other for years. Of course nothing would have come of it, if it hadn’t been for Emily’s meddling grandmother who decides to buy herself a Harley…

So if you had to choose one as a means of transport (say you’re being chased by an army of flesh-eating zombies and your only hope of escape is a bike or a horse) which would you choose? – Harley or horse

Let me know for a chance to win an ARC copy of HANDLE WITH CARE.

And here’s a picture of Fin, my baby – guess you know which I would choose.

 

 

 

 

 

HANDLE WITH CARE

What if all you want is the one thing you can’t have?

First grade teacher Emily Towson always does the right thing. The sensible thing. But in her dreams, she does bad, bad things with the town’s baddest boy: Tanner O’Connor. But when he sells her grandmother a Harley, fantasy is about to meet a dose of reality.

And then he goes and calls her “sensible”…

Tanner can’t believe sweet Emily is standing in his shop. Yelling and waving her hands and looking so god damn sexy he’s having trouble focusing. He’d spent two hard years in prison, with only the thought of this “good girl” to keep him sane.

He really should send her away…

Before either one thinks though, they’re naked and making memories on his tool bench with apparently the oldest condom in history. Now Tanner’s managed to knock-up the town’s “good girl” and she’s going to lose her job over some stupid “morality clause” if he doesn’t step up.

But can this bad boy teach his good girl they’re perfect for each other in time?

Available for Pre-order now:

Amazon

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Looking to the Future

I have a time travel. It’s a YA–so far. It’s set between now and World War Two. I only mention this because I titled my blog post, “Looking to the Future.” Which I’m doing, in a way. Back in January I registered for Thriller Fest XIII, the big convention every year in New York City. Did you know International Thriller Writers is free to join? I joined back in 2015 after meeting another member and being convinced it was worth it! It has been worth it. Even more worth it, though, was the friendship I made which lead me there. And that makes me think of all the connections I’ve made in this industry.

Here at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses. In my critique group, Passionate Critters. Through Romance Writer chapters, writing groups online, and social media Promotions. It’s a huge big world. And I find myself loving the connections. Friends all over the world…

Writing is a solitary struggle about 80 percent of the time. The other 20, it’s the connections. There is nothing like the camaraderie of the writing industry. From writing to publishing to marketing–there is a place for you! Someone will side with you and then commiserate with you when your career turns south for a time and then cheer you on as you kick-ass back on track.

There’s this hope that someday, I’ll get to meet all my writing friends and associates face-to-face. For now, COME ON, JULY! HURRY UP AND GET HERE!! You’re just weeks away, and I have plans…

Tell me, what are you looking forward to this summer? Do you have any conferences or workshops on your schedule? What kind of connection will you make with ‘the industry’? Will you pitch to an agent? Garner interest from an editor? Buy a drink for that coveted marketing professional?

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Wedding Date for Hire on sale now! #99cents #sweetromance

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

June is a big wedding month–in fact even I was married in June! So it kind of makes sense that my publisher–Entangled Publishing–would put so many great “wedding” romances on sale this week!

You can check out the Barnes & Noble Forever Starts Here Sale right HERE

Lots of great titles to choose, including mine: Wedding Date for Hire.

Hope you get a chance to pick me up!

Happy reading!

Jennifer

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

ITunes

Kobo

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

On Being Late… #LynnCrain #HeartShapedGlasses #PCers #OnWriting

Yes, I’m late posting this…as I’ve been a few times…but there are many more things that I’m late to in life. See, I’m a person who’s chronically late. So today, I’d thought I’d looking into reason just why that happens because as a writer, I must follow a schedule with deadlines. If I can do it there…why can’t I do it in real life?

I am not late to everything, just certain things. This can drive me crazy some days because I do have the best of intentions. Rarely am I late for an appointment entered into my phone scheduler. The reason for this is I always put appointments in at least 15 minutes early. Meaning, if the appointment is scheduled for two, I will put it in for 1:45.

This has worked well for me over the years. Yes, I subconsciously know that the appointment is later but for most, it works because I’m only 15 minutes from anywhere in the town I live in.

When I have travel to an appointment that is at least 45 minutes away, as is Santa Fe, it doesn’t work so well. I still put in the appointment time correctly, BUT I always forget to schedule the travel time. I know that one mile roughly equals one minute. I haven’t wrapped my head around the fact where I live that isn’t true because of the curvy nature of the roads I must travel to get to where I’m going. Here, twenty-five miles is going to take a minimum of about 40 minutes. Don’t ask me why science doesn’t work here as it still has me baffled too.

So, that’s me and I thought I’d do a little research as to why people in general are late. I found that some people are late because they don’t like to be early, they don’t think it polite to be early, or they like the adrenaline rush created by that last-minute dash.

There are also those who have overbooked their time as well rebel against being on time because they enjoy people waiting for them. There are those who think they are excellent multi-taskers when they aren’t as well as those who get distracted by something when they are rushing out the door. Then there are those who avoid being on time because they are struggling with getting things perfect before they go, whether that be themselves as in multiple changing of outfits, or their surroundings as in the house needs a final check because they might have forgotten to turn off their curling iron.

So, what does that really mean? It’s funny but I think I’ve been those people in the list above at least one time in my life. It doesn’t take science to tell me that it is my personality that leads to my lack of punctuality, not any external force.

Further reading showed me an alarming statistic, and I imagine this to be my overall problem at least some of the time, 40% of the time people will underestimate just how long a task will take. This is known as the planning fallacy because people have a hard time accurately judging just how long something will take to complete.

As a writer, I’ve had to learn just how long it will take me to write an article or a blog post versus a short story or novel. I try to plan accordingly. I do know that some deadlines motivate me more than others. School deadlines motivate me more now than when I was younger. I’ve spent time trying to figure that one out.

Another trait or problem mentioned above and it certainly a sign-of-the-times, we have all become multitaskers in many ways. This is known as polychroncity. Unfortunately, along with this comes a lack of awareness of what you are doing because people aren’t meant to focus on multiple things at once.

I’ve been a multitasker since I was around eleven when I first noticed that I could watch TV, listen to the radio and do my homework at the same time. This irritated my parents until they asked me one day what I was listening too, what I was watching and what homework I was doing. I answered their questions correctly and from that point, they left me alone to do what suited me. However, I do think that three things at a time are the most I can do accurately. Add another and I just get too fragmented thus not doing any of them well.

What can a person do to regain their punctuality? It’s all about figuring out how long each task takes and schedule accordingly. First, it’s all about changing the way you think and not just what to do. Also, learn to love your downtime, so that when you have extra time, you have a plan on what to do between appointments or when you’re waiting.

A few last things for those who know and have to deal with people chronically late.

Most of us in this category don’t think our time is more important than yours. Some of us have trouble managing our time due to our home life, our work life or other factors. In my case, I manage my time quite well, what I don’t do is accurately reflect how long it takes to do a task especially when it involves traveling a small distance.

If you complain about our tardiness, it will more than likely slow us down because then it becomes a control factor. Just accept that some people are late and move on. I know that personally, I will dig in my heels and stand my ground if you complain to me about my lateness.

Understand that feeling frazzled all the time for being late is no fun for the person being late. Those of us who are late get annoyed with ourselves, but we also understand it’s part of our personality and we can only change it in slow increments.

Mobile phones are our saving grace. Many of us have phones hooked to our cars and we can call when we’re on the road to let our appointments know we’re late. If we’re on public transport, we can text to let you know we’re on our way.

For the flip side, don’t judge us when we’re late because you annoy us when you’re early. So, this problem goes both ways. The easiest way again is to remember, tardiness or lack thereof is only a part of someone’s personality.

And if you do want to change your lateness, remember, the first thing is acceptance of your tardiness must happen before you can change it.

See you next month! I promise to be on time in June!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job.

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