Our next featured author is KS Augustin. She has donated copy of RESTORATION to our raffle, so be sure to enter!
Van Motaff, renowned philosopher and Rahfonist, is looking ahead to Retirement, but the planetary government has other plans. Something unprecedented has happened—a young, male Rahfoni has been raised by aliens for the past thirty years—and Van has been chosen to restore him to Rahfon society.
Even though the eyes of two worlds are on her, Van thinks the job will be straightforward enough. But when her charge, Eton Abless, is injured, an irate governor interferes, demanding that the young man be neutralised as a potential political threat. Van resists and finds herself falling into a forbidden romance with her student…a romance that may mean the end of her reputation and career, and his permanent exile. As her options narrow, Van is forced to face the conclusion that the only way to save Eton may be to lose him completely.
Get it at: Sandal Press
Charlee says: Couldn’t resist mentioning this one too. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it!
I Am Ebony Strike
A long time ago, a determined young woman escaped the despair of her homeworld, turning herself into one of the galaxy’s best martial artists, Ebony Strike.
Decades later, the people of her homeworld have tracked her down. They need money and, in order to get that money, they need the old Ebony Strike back. But Ebony has moved on since that time. She is now Xin Dell, a respected government security trainer. And what her people are asking of her is insane: to participate in a corrupt official’s underground fight tournament…and win. Nothing less will do.
To Ebony, it means training a body that’s out of shape, honing disused skills, spending her own time, effort and money, for a planet she’s all but forgotten. But, faced with the alternative–the death of thousands on her world–does she have a choice?
Ebony needs to be focused and ruthless. She needs to win the tournament. Little does she know that she’ll end up losing her heart.
Get it at: Sandal Press
KS “Kaz” Augustin is an Australian author who considers herself a citizen of the world. She has several University degrees, ranging from Computer Science to international politics, is an avid reader of military history and tactics, and writes in several genres, from space opera to romance to fantasy. The one thing that remains the same through all of this is the amount of research she brings to each world, peopled by rich and varied characters. She has visited, lived and/or worked on four continents and hopes to make it all seven in the future.
Kaz is Chief Editor of online magazine, Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, and she and her husband run the small publishing house, Sandal Press. The Augustin family consists of two human offspring, a brace of eccentric cats and a Miniature Bull Terrier (aka the Sandal Press mascot, Sausage) with a bark bigger than her entire body.
Find her at: Her Website
Q. When did you realise SFR was a genre?
A. My first SFR was published more than eight years ago, so it must have been sometime before then! LOL I actually remember when realisation first hit. It was the middle of the year, winter in Melbourne, and I was freezing my arse off in our new (uninsulated) house. I was job-hunting, doing a lot of internet surfing of the job sites, and getting distracted a lot :), and came across New Concepts Publishing. When I went through their catalogue, I noticed that there were a lot of SF/Romance mash-ups listed, and I thought to myself, wow! This is a thing? I can do this! I could love doing this!
Q. What SFR book had the most impact on your reading and/or writing?
A. Only one book? Can’t do it. 🙂 I can say that Anne McCaffrey’s Pern and Crystal Singer books were a big influence. So was EE ‘Doc’ Smith’s Lensman series, but in a completely opposite way! Frank Herbert’s Dune was unusual, in that the heroine actually survives and thrives at the end of the book! Yay! I’ve never forgotten that. Friend and author, Diane Dooley, talks about the ubiquity of Dead Wife Syndrome in SF, and I have a good chuckle whenever I think of it. But, now that I’ve braindumped that much, I think the author that represents the primal goad to me is Harlan Ellison. Here’s a talented writer who has such a bitter, unrelenting and skewed view of women within an SF narrative that I have no choice but to react to it.
Q. Do your books lean more to SF or Romance?
A. To me, SFR is a genre where, if you rip out either element (SF or Romance), the story falls apart. Each time I write a story, I run it past that test, to see if it can survive. In the case of QUINTEN’S STORY, it couldn’t, and I moved the series firmly into space opera territory after the first book. In the case of RESTORATION, however, it could. A 55/45 split in favour of SF sounds about right for most of my SFR books, but you’d really need a reader to confirm. I’ve discovered that what I think about a book is completely different to what a reader thinks of the same book!
Kaz’s plea to readers…
If we define SFR as an SF/Romance mashup, then one can easily argue that SFR has been around for a long time; longer even than historial or paranormal romance. Yet those two sub-genres have managed to bust out of the ghetto in spectacular fashion, while SFR is still languishing.
Because SFR is still “in the ghetto”, readers will find that the gems aren’t being published by the big houses, but are still very much hidden in the small presses and in the hands of those authors self-pubbing their books. In full disclosure, I’m one of those, but I’m asking on behalf of other SFR authors too, the majority of whom are in the same boat. Just like the heroines and heroes we write about it, I would like readers to explore the genre more. As much as I like Linnea Sinclair’s work, for example, she hasn’t written a new SFR novel for more than five years! Meanwhile, there are many other SFR authors out there with brand spanking new releases and vibrant series who can’t seem to get the word out.
Explore! That would be my request, and plea, on behalf of the genre. And, of course, one of the best places to find new authors is via Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, the free online magazine for SFR readers. 😉 Sorry for the blatant plug, Charlee, but I couldn’t help myself.
Your question for an entry into the drawing:
What is the most out-of-your-comfort-zone book you’ve ever read?