Stuff to share: Mar 2022

Hot off the press is Sarah Skye’s new steamy romance, Vibes & Feels. Falling for your enemy never felt so good.


Pia Manning’s latest steamy read is Coming Home, a small-town contemporary menage romance published by Siren-BookStrand.


The Erotic Reads for March bundle is giving away steamy books until the end of the month.


The Magical March book fair showcases indie works of paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy, fairytale and science fiction.


Jan Selbourne recently released Full Circle, an historical novel of mystery, intrigue, revenge and love.


Robecca Austin’s contemporary romance Wedded by the Billionaire is available now in selected e-book stores.


Tales of the Future is a sci-fi and fantasy freebie book bundle open until 1st April.


International best-selling author Tina Donahue recently released Privilege, a dark mafia romance.


Erotica powerhouse Lisabet Sarai recently released a new edition of her BDSM erotic romance, The Gazillionaire and the Virgin.


This book fair features short stories, novellas and anthologies for fans of easy short reads.


Sloan McBride’s Together in Darkness is available on Author’s Direct. Word on the street says the prices are better if you buy from there.


Finally, here’s a month-long fantasy, sci-fi and horror book giveaway on StoryOrigin: Flights of Fantasy.

My three pillars of writing SFR

Confidence was never my strong suit, especially when it comes to writing. Sometimes it feels like the more I learn, the less I know. So now after years of writing and who-knows-how-many classes and courses, sitting down to write a draft fills me with anxiety like you can’t imagine.

Is that normal? No idea. But one way I try to work around it is by staying focused on the most important elements of this blended genre. This weekend, I’m visiting Amber Daulton’s blog to share my approach. Here ’tis:

Stuff to share: Feb 2022

It Starts with a Kiss is on sale for 99c across a bunch of ebook retailers until the end of this month.


Vibes & Feels by Sarah Skye launches on the 22nd of this month.


The first five chapters of Sarah Smith’s The Close-Up is available on NetGalley.


There’s a fantasy, sci-fi romance and paranormal romance book fair going on at StoryOrigin.


Robecca Austin’s latest billionaire romance is currently available in Kindle Unlimited.


This red hot romance ebook sale is running until 1 March. All books going for $2.99 or less.


Book 5 in A.R. Vagnetti’s very hot paranormal romance series recently dropped. Fatal Storm is is available now.


This book sale on StoryOrigin features steamy romances with fantastic heroines.


Finally, here is Burning Love, an all-genre book fair for steamy, consensual romances.


They’d collapse on the bed and he’d kiss her

For any curious bods, I’m visiting Beyond Romance today to share a steamy (NSFW) excerpt from my latest release, It Starts with a Kiss.

Thank you to everyone who bought the book, helped out with this launch, and generally made it possible for me to get this story back out into the world 💖

It Starts with a Kiss — re-release coming soon

My sci-fi office romance novella, It Starts with a Kiss, will be re-releasing later this year.

Yep, it has taken me this long to get my act together—about seven months from when the book’s original publisher announced they’d be shutting shop. But who’s counting? 😅

No firm dates yet, but it’ll likely be around October/November time. In the meantime, add yourself to my mailing list to stay updated on this book.

The 3 hardest things about writing sci-fi romance

I’ve lost count of how many times I curse my choice of story genre. It tends to happen when I hit particular writing challenges, and end up walking away from my computer in a huff. After a little sulking on the couch, I reflect on the fact that I do love writing sci-fi romance (or romantic sci-fi). I love exploring how people and societies cope in a futuristic setting.

But there are things I definitely find difficult. I consider myself at between the “advanced beginner” and “competent” skill level when it comes to writing, with these three major bugbears that frustrate the hell out of me:

Economies and power structures

In my early days of writing fiction, I read something along the lines of how every exciting space battle is ultimately driven by economy. While love, culture, religion and politics may spark conflict, it takes economic incentive to fuel an all-out war. After all, you need something to make it worth the huge risks, the sacrifices and expense. Learning this secret blew my mind and I’ve never been able to un-see it.

It changed the way I approach my writing. For example, I couldn’t just have characters playing Cops & Bounty Hunters in Chasing Sisyphus. I need to consider the societal structures and economic forces that shaped the circumstances in which the characters find themselves.

Adria isn’t just a bounty hunter, she’s a tiny cog in a dynastic capitalist machine (ie. Basilica City) that’s beholden to an external authority (ie. the Alliance). There are wheels in motion within the city that empower and hinder the police, making it easy for bad cops to abuse their power and hard for good cops to keep the streets safe. That’s what drives Rhys’s frustration and, in many ways, gets him so caught between what he thinks he should do and what the situation calls for him to do.

Beyond my neon-washed room is a Pollock’s shitshow that may never make it into the story, but it’s all necessary for creating a richer world and a more interesting romance.

The technological landscape

Some writers and readers are offended by anachronism. Not me. I find it charming and remarkably relatable as a quirk of futuristic fiction. Looking around my home, my neighbourhood, colleagues and social circles, I see a diverse spread of technology in use. Not everyone can afford the latest hardware, and some devices are capable of surviving many generations of technological advancement.

There’s a lot of scifi out there that only shows a single era of tech as the norm. Or maybe the latest tech + whatever bleeding edge innovation (or ancient artifact) that eventually serves as the inciting incident/MacGuffin of the story. Nothing wrong with this, of course, but I wanted to base my future tech on the diversity of today’s tech.

The world I see today is full of cassette players in petrol-guzzling cars that refuse to die, Android fragmentation across millions of handsets, previous-gen iPhones struggling to keep up with iOS 14.6, tablet cases that mimic typewriters, printed publications that thrive because they’re charming, mechanical keyboards, mechanical watches, and other such affectations.

Technology influences and is influenced by policy and society. Sometimes we keep loving old toys because we are human. This what makes my world.

Culture & society

This is the part that causes me the most stress. It’s actually the least complicated aspect of world building, but one that stands to cause the most upset for contemporary readers. For me, a world that’s enjoyable to write about is colourful and multicultural. But what does culture look like hundreds of years from now when you’ve sent humans into space?

I see a lot of cultural blending where say, two cultures spawn a new intermingled culture in a space colony. My favourite example from big-name scifi is the blending you see on Mars and in the Belt in The Expanse universe, with accents and writing and language from different Earth roots all fused together.

Confession: I’m not that smart or skilled or detailed. My cultural blending for the Alliance Worlds is rudimentary at best. So I’m forever wondering whether my readers will pick up on it, or if they’ll view it like the racist cultural conflations you come to see in monoculture societies today. If a Chinese-named character demonstrates Japanese customs, how can you convey the backstory of a futuristic Sino-Japanese society? And you’d have to, somehow, wouldn’t you—so XYZ reader doesn’t mistake you for some QED rando chump who thinks that all Asians look the same.

Growing up in Southeast Asia and Australia, I’ve gotten to see cultural blending in action, and it occurs to me that this isn’t a typical experience for everyone. If you had never lived in a multicultural society, what would it take for you to recognise one when you see it? And how would you work that seamlessly into a story?

No answers, just work

If you were hoping for answers at this point, I am sorry. I have none.

These challenges plague me throughout the entire creative process, and the only way I can think of to address them is to keep learning and keep writing.

Improving one’s writing skill means increasing how fluently one can express ideas and intentions without jarring the reader out of the story. I imagine this is a worthwhile approach for any writer at every level.

Star Crossed — out now!

It’s out! It’s out! Star Crossed, an anthology of romantic science fiction, is now available from major e-book retailers.

It features my short story, O, swear not by the moon, alongside moving works of fiction by some amazing indie authors.

Here’s a little excerpt:

“And I contribute code to this place,” he adds, tossing a ball decorated with the topology of her homeworld. It materialises from nothing and spins on his finger. “Do I captivate you sufficiently?”

“The axis is off by three degrees.” Tanith swats the ball away. It disappears in a puff of gold feathers. There’s a sparkle in his eyes—they chroma-shift and she adores it.

Edited by Renée Gendron. Published by Fedowar Press.

Get your copy today 💖

Silhouette of a couple looking out over a planet surrounded by clouds on the cover of Star Crossed, an anthology of romantic science fiction from Fedowar Press.

Moon — the last edits are in!

Earlier this week, I turned in the final edit of O, swear not by the moon (let’s call it “Moon” for short bc I’m soooooo tired of typing out the full title).

It feels BLOODY GREAT to be on the other side of that WIP. Don’t get me wrong, I had a whale of a time writing it 🐳 but I’ve never created a a piece of fiction that lengthy to a deadline so tight before… Which, in all fairness, wasn’t that tight (and at 12.5k words, my piece is hardly lengthy), but with Christmas and start-of-the-year particulars hitting me at the same time, I consider completing this project a personal achievement.

“Moon” is also the first story that pushed me hard on both the science fiction and romance fronts. In all my published work to date, I’ve taken the sci-fi elements fairly casually. Yes, even though It Starts With A Kiss has that “engineers in space” thing, the science is still incidental to the characters’ respective journeys.

With “Moon”, I wanted to explore how technology empowers human connection, similar to how it enables our relationships today. We often blame the Internet and social media for weakening our in-person relationships, but I’d like to know… how robust were these relationships to begin with if they could be threatened by a tool that offers us more opportunity to connect?

We now have the ability to bypass chance. We’re no longer “stuck with” the pool of people who happened to be around us when we were born. We have the means to intentionally seek out and nurture relationships with others who might understand and know how to appreciate us. That, I feel, deserves acknowledgement.

There are other things “Moon” gave me an outlet to explore, but because they’re a bit spoilery, I won’t discuss them right now. I’d prefer for you to explore them with me through the story.

It comes out 26th April in Fedowar Press’s Star Crossed anthology of romantic science fiction.