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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Posts Tagged ‘science fiction romance’

Religion as Inspiration for Writers

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 29, 2011

Keeper of the Rings, my fourth science fiction romance, was inspired by the Jewish New Year. As the shofar, a ram’s horn, is blown on this holiday to celebrate the new moon in the seventh month and the creation of the world, so is the sacred horn blown at the annual Renewal ceremony on the planet Xan in my story. But something goes wrong in my fictional tale and disrupts the harmony.

Not so the service I attended earlier today. As I sat listening to the soaring music, a sense of comfort and peace washed over me. I’d heard these same tunes every year for decades now, and they still inspire a spiritual uplifting. However, as a writer, this is where my imagination took flight several years ago.

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My backlist title, Keeper of the Rings, was originally published by Dorchester and written as Nancy Cane. Recently, I’ve revised it and converted it into digital format, so the story is still fresh in my mind. I thought back to that other Rosh Hashanah service which inspired Keeper of the Rings.

“What If” —These are the words every writer thinks. What If… I was so devoted to my religion that I became a follower, like a nun? What If… in my world, everyone worshipped the same god, Lothar, and the religion was called Sabal? What If… I’d joined the inner circle known as the Caucus to learn the truth, because I suspected the ruling priests were keeping information from the populace to maintain power? What If…everything I knew about my world turned out to be false?

Leena, my heroine, joins the religious body to clear her father’s name after he has been discredited and to discover what the priests are hiding. She learns something is dreadfully wrong at the Renewal ceremony when it’s time to blow the shofar…uh, I mean the horn:

Leena held her breath. The sound of the horn was more than a symbol for ushering in the new year. It summoned Lothar, and when he awoke, he reset the climatic cycles of Xan for another year. Without his beneficence, her world would revert to the wild, untamed fury of the past. No one ever wanted that to happen. It would mean the end to civilization as they knew it. Renewal was the pinnacle of all the seasonal holidays.

“Show us the horn,” Dikran shouted as he faced the rear.

Karayan and Eznik drew the doors apart, and a collective gasp went up from the congregation.

Emptiness yawned from within the richly lit interior.

“Dear deity,” Leena whispered. Where was the sacred horn?

Dikran had a stunned look on his face, while the other members of the Synod wore horror-stricken expressions.

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Yep, you guessed it. The horn has been stolen. Thus begins an adventure mixed with mystery as Leena, an archeologist, is assigned the task of locating the missing artifact. You can learn what happened to it along with Leena for only $2.99:

Kindle

Nook

Smashwords

Backlist Ebooks

See? You never know when inspiration will hit. To a writer, nothing is sacred.

L’Shana Tovah! Have a sweet and healthy new year.

Posted in The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Keeper of the Rings

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 12, 2011

Keeper of the Rings, my science fiction romance originally published as Nancy Cane by Dorchester, is now available for the Kindle for only $2.99!

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Here’s the story blurb:

Indiana Jones meets Star Wars!

A beautiful archaeologist and her mysterious protector search for a stolen sacred artifact.

Taurin is shrouded in black when Leena first meets him, his face shaded like the night. At first she believes him to be a simple farmer, but the man exhibits skills worthy of a warrior. With his commanding presence, he’s an obvious choice to be the lovely archaeologist’s protector on her quest for a stolen sacred artifact. Curious about his mysterious background, and increasingly tempted by his tantalizing touch, Leena prays their perilous journey will be a success. She must find the missing relic, or dangerous secrets will be revealed that may forever change her world.

A PRISM Awards Finalist!

“Prepare yourself for exotic locales, evildoers galore, and two splendid romances! Ms. Cane’s done it again!” —The Paperback Forum

“Fascinating! Nancy Cane combines the elements of science fiction and fantasy into a marvelous love story. Her books capture the imagination with their originality.” —The Literary Times

“The spellbinding action gets more terrifying and enthralling as the uniquely different plot thickens. The conclusion is stunning. Kudos to Ms. Cane!” —Rendezvous

“Intense and fast, “Keeper of the Rings” has an absorbing and complex plot that expands over and over again. And like ripples in a pond the reverberations are felt throughout the book to the very explosive climax. 4-1/2 stars.” —Affaire de Coeur

“A dark, dangerous hero and imaginative adventures make Keeper of the Rings an entertaining read.” Phoebe Conn, NY Times Bestselling Author

####

I’ve managed to add this new edition to my Website. You’ll find there a chapter excerpt and some reviews on the Romance page. So much excitement! I’ve also started posting my new cover for Shear Murder on my sites. Isn’t it fabulous?

Please remember when you visit my Amazon pages to “Like” the page, Agree with the Tags, and post reviews after you’ve read a book!

I’m so happy to bring this romantic story to you in digital format. It combines my love of Indiana Jones adventure films with Star Wars in that my heroine is an archaeologist in search of a missing artifact, while the hero—unknown to her—comes from another planet. Suspicious allies, deceitful diplomats, and booby-trapped temples abound in this exciting story.

Inspiration for this story came from a What If question: What if we were devout followers of a faith, and our beliefs were proven to be wrong? Would we be better off not knowing, clinging to our traditions and the belief system that sustains us? Or should we learn the truth? How would you react if everything you knew about your world was shown to be invalid?

In Keeper of the Rings, Taurin knows the truth, but he fears that telling Leena will make him lose her love forever.

BUY NOW on Amazon

**CONTEST ALERT

To celebrate the digital release of Keeper of the Rings, I’ll give away two free copies of the Kindle edition. A drawing will be held from all my blog commenters between July 12 to July 28. Winner announced at the end of the month.

Posted in Business of Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Diversity vs Intolerance in SFR

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 16, 2011

Blog Commenters on my sites today will be entered into a drawing for a $7 gift card to The Wild Rose Press, and commenters throughout March will be entered into a drawing for a collection of romance novels (see my Contest page). Also read my blog on “World Building: Fun with Food” at Romance Author Hotspot  and my one-page critique at Kill Zone Authors and leave a comment for more chances to win.

DIVERSITY VERSUS INTOLERANCE IN SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE

Science Fiction, and by extension, Science Fiction Romance, often deals with relevant issues in the news, thinly disguised in an otherworldly setting. Remember the old Star Trek episode with the species whose face was half white and half black? Just looking at that guy brought to mind our own prejudices here on Earth. Star Trek was so popular because it showed that different races could live and work together in harmony.

The third book in my Light-Years Trilogy, Starlight Child, deals with racial relations and intolerance. In this case, it’s two different species that are involved, humans and Yanurans. My heroes have opposing attitudes toward the Yanurans, motivated by incidents from their pasts. A child has been kidnapped, and Deke and Mara are assigned the task of searching for her on Yanura.

Deke’s Attitude:

He looked forward to investigating the underwater seaweed farms on Yanura. Mariculture was familiar to him from his home planet, so he knew what to expect. If the Yanurans were fooling anyone with their story about an age-preserving drug, he’d be able to detect the truth. And if the Yanurans had anything to do with Jallyn’s abduction, he’d find her, too. He wouldn’t let them get away with any more of their dirty tricks, not after what happened to Larikk.

His good friend and colleague, Larikk, had mysteriously disappeared on Yanura three annums ago. Deke had reason to believe foul play was involved, but the Yanurans had effectively blocked any attempts at an investigation. At the time, they were not members of the Coalition, so he couldn’t pursue the case. But now that the Yanurans were applying for admissions status, they would come under Coalition provisional law.

Mara’s Attitude:

The people on her planet were naturally psychic, but in most cases the full range of their ability didn’t develop until after puberty. Mara had manifested her innate talents much earlier. Although other Tyberian children were able to sense emotions at an early stage, it was rare for one so young to be able to travel the astral plane. Usually it took years of study for an adult to reach that level of consciousness.

Because she didn’t know how to discipline herself, Mara would jump into her friends’ viewpoints without warning. Her ability frightened her playmates, who were too young to understand. Under those circumstances, no one wanted to be her companion for long. Eventually it became too painful to make friends because she knew it would only lead to ridicule or rejection.

Her own experiences gave her the motivation to specialize in cultural relations. In her opinion, the key to accepting alien cultures was in understanding them.

Comdr. Sage didn’t seem to feel that way. If he approached the Yanurans with his biased attitude, he might destroy the progress she’d made with Fromoth Trun [the Yanuran leader]. Mara would have to convince him to view the Yanurans more objectively.

This conflict between them fuels their reactions toward each other:

“Do you think we’ll succeed?”[Mara] asked. Where his fingers gripped her shoulders, heat blazed a path along her sensitized nerves.

“Succeed? At what?” Deke drew her closer so their bodies touched.

Her will seemed to evaporate and she could barely speak. “Our mission to Yanura.”

“Our mission is obvious, although how we’re going to face down the Yanurans in this unwieldy ship is beyond me. We’ll find a way.” He bent his head toward her, clearly wishing to dispense with small talk and get on with his seduction.

Her anger flared. “What do you mean by ‘facing down’ the Yanurans?”

Deke’s face folded into a frown. “Our weapons array shows a minimal configuration. It concerns me because the amphibians are sure to cause trouble.”

She twisted out of his grasp. “We’re not planning a commando raid. Our visit to Yanura is a diplomatic affair.”

“That’s what the Yanurans are supposed to think, but we’re searching for a missing child. We have to be prepared for any contingencies.”

“I expect the Yanurans will be glad to cooperate with our efforts,” she said stiffly.

“Well, I don’t.” His voice rang with annoyance. “Are you so gullible that you believe those creatures? Didn’t you see the preliminary survey that was done when they first mentioned joining the Coalition? Hints of political unrest came to light, but the extent and nature weren’t known. Jallyn’s disappearance might be related to whatever problems the Yanurans are having at home.”

Mara insists on defending the Yanurans, because she’s been a victim of prejudice herself. Little does she know that Deke is right, and the Yanurans have their own problems. Two factions, the Croags and the Worts, are on the verge of civil war.

Just like in real life, all sides have to learn compromise, tolerance, and an end to personal bias in order to achieve their aims.

* * * *

This blog originally appeared July 21, 2010 at The Galaxy Express

To Purchase Starlight Child e-book: http://www.belgravehouse.com/bookstore/

For a print version, go to iUniverse

Posted in Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Silver Serenade Review/Two Lips

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 6, 2011

Silver Serenade by Nancy J. Cohen

     

Written by Merrylee, Two Lips Reviews   

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

http://bit.ly/hZtUBq

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Title: Silver Serenade
Author: Nancy J. Cohen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Futuristic, Action-Adventure, Paranormal, Cowpunk
Publication date: July 16, 2010
ISBN: 1-60154-782-X (print)
Pages: 390
Series: N/A
Reviewer: Merrylee

Heat Level:

clip_image003clip_image004 M/F – sensual sex, emphatic voyeurism, outdoor sex, some violence

   

Rating:

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Silver Malloy was no longer the frightened 12-year-old hidden away while terrorist Tyrone Bluth and his Mauraders murdered her parents and everyone else in their agronomy settlement. But it wasn’t until Bluth dealt her a second blow thirteen years later, destroying her research into a new fuel that would benefit Earth, that she’d set out to kill the dastardly felon herself. Training as an assassin for Earth Centrum’s Security Integrated Network (S.I.N.), her first mission – to put a bullet into Bluth’s black heart – has run into a formidable obstacle, one Jace Vernon, former Kurashki parsator, combat pilot…and convicted murderer.

In reality, Jace has been set up. He hasn’t murdered anyone, least of all his parents. The commission of that act – along with the kidnapping of his sister Shanna, whom he suspects has been sold into slavery – rests squarely on the shoulders of Tyrone Bluth and whoever his allies are in his own government. Jace needs Bluth alive to clear his name so he can reclaim his inheritance, including his rightful place as a member of the Parsate, Kurash’s ruling body, and find his sister. He can’t allow Silver to follow through with her assignment before Bluth can clear his name. Moreover, his enemy’s enemy must become his ally if either one of them are to see justice done, but to accomplish his goals, Jace must break through Silver’s formidable defenses to energize her closed down emotions. What he doesn’t expect are his own emotions coming into play.

When Silver’s purpose falters under Jace’s seductive persuasion, will she be able to carry out her mission as assigned? Or will her newly aroused emotions lead her in a different direction, one that could mean selling out her family and everything she’s worked for, not to mention one that could very well get them both killed?

Nancy J. Cohen began publishing mass market sci-fi romance as Nancy Cane back in the early 90’s, but of late, she’s diverted her sizable talents to “paranormal romance novels and mysteries with a touch of humor.” Now, with Silver Serenade, she’s returned in a big way to her sci-fi beginnings, and the genre of sci-fi romance is much better for it.

Silver Serenade is an exciting, action-packed space adventure with more attention-grabbing twists and turns than a West Virginia highway. I loved it! Ms. Cohen’s detailed world-building is colorful and imaginative, with just a smidgeon of cowpunk action as originated in the TV show Firefly. She also adds a helping of paranormal intrigue with a sidetrip to the enchanting, yet almost frighteningly unnatural, Selia Dar. Even her underlying political intrigue, which normally bores me to death, was fascinating.

Although she has her hidden vulnerabilities, Silver can hold her own with anybody, including Jace. She’s smart, courageous and capable. She also proves to be adaptable and sympathetic. Although somewhat of a politician, Jace has enough of the swashbuckler in him to entice any damsel with working hormones. And that includes Silver. Once they get together, the action really takes off, both in and out of bed. Their relationship is complex, emotional, and heart-warming. And then there are some truly memorable supporting characters, particularly Elusion empaths Mixy and Kira. I really enjoyed their competitive bantering over how to best serve their atrani bondmates.

The only issues keeping me from giving Silver Serenade a Recommended Read are a couple abrupt jumps in time between scenes in the last several chapters. As this is a fairly long book, it gave me the impression that Ms. Cohen was trying to cut down on its length, but frankly, it took a bit away from my enjoyment of the book. Otherwise, I wholeheartedly recommend Silver Serenade. Plus, I’m happy to see that some building blocks for several sequels have been written into the book. I think Ms. Cohen probably has additional books planned for Silver’s cousins – Dash, Remy, and Evelina. And I have to have a story for Cur, a “tall, rangy” Dorian warrior with speckled skin. His tears at Selia Dar tugged at my heartstrings, not to mention my curiosity.

Alas, whomever Ms. Cohen writes about next and wherever she wants to take me, it’s safe to say that I will go happily and enjoy every minute of it.

Posted in Business of Writing, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Researching the Futuristic Romance

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 5, 2011

Check out my guest blog over at Tina Whittle’s site, http://tinawhittle.blogspot.com/ on Researching Your Futuristic Romance. Add a comment and leave your tips!

Posted in Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Silver Serenade Review

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on January 30, 2011

The Romance Reviews Top Pick 5 Stars

Silver Serenade: Review by Bridget

Get ready for an epic adventure, as vast as the universe in which it is set! With a touching, love story, a great blend of humor, action and passion and a great cast of characters, this is a book that won’t let you go until the very last page

S.I.N. Agent Silver Malloy has devoted her life to avenging the death of her family by assassinating Tyrone Bluth, the powerful villain responsible. Her plans are foiled, however, by the sudden appearance of Jace Vernon, handsome Ace pilot, former soldier—and a man wanted for the murder of his parents and the unexplained disappearance of his sister. Ever conscious of her duty, Silver arrests Jace, determined to bring him to justice as soon as she succeeds in killing her enemy. However, Jace has been searching for Bluth, too, as he is the only man who can clear Jace’s name. With an interstellar war brewing and the threat of galactic gangs around every turn, Silver and Jace realize that the only way they can find Bluth is to work together–even though succeeding will mean betraying the one person either has ever truly cared for.

I really liked the fact that Silver and Jace were a team. Both came into the story with a very detailed history and definite sets of strengths and weaknesses. Silver is an expert agent, with a lifetime of survival skills honed after the death of her family. However, in order to protect herself, she refuses to let herself admit how deeply she has learned to care for Jace.

Jace is fierce, strong and brave, but has a nasty temper and fears that he may be capable of the violence of which he is accused. However, Silver is the answer to all of his dreams and he finds himself willing to do almost anything in order to win her love. Despite lifetimes spent alone, both characters realize they have to trust each other in order to succeed in their quests. Though the physical attraction between them is immediate, watching this aspect of their relationship develop was really touching.

The universe through which they travel is fantastically detailed. From the enormous cast of characters to the complexities of interstellar politics and diplomacy, I was amazed by the amount of thought and creativity that went into the book. My favorite element was Mixy, Jace’s servant who shares an empathetic connection to him after Jace saved his life. It is through Mixy (and his robes that change color based on Jace’s emotions) that Silver is able to see through Jace’s façade and eventually to form a connection with him, as well. While Mixy’s presence in each character’s mind takes some time to get used to, I found I really missed him by the end of the book.

This story read in many ways like a well-done serial, with our two intrepid travelers journeying from one exotic destination to the next in pursuit of their goals, encountering all kinds of different characters and adventures along the way. Because of this, it was a bit of a slower read than I was expecting, but it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of it. In fact, I enjoyed the scope of the book. It was a treat to have a book I could savor for a while and forget the three feet of snow piling up outside!

Just a note–I have a terrible habit of sneaking peaks at the end of books, which I’ve been trying to quit. For that reason, it wasn’t until nearly the end of the story that I realized there was a substantial glossary at the back of the book, which explained not only the slang used by the characters and various technical terms but also gave a short-hand guide to the meanings of the colors in Mixy’s robes that symbolize emotions. It is extraordinarily helpful, and shows just how much imagination and effort went into the creation of this world.

To Purchase Silver Serenade: http://bit.ly/cKrjWj

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Author Interviews

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on October 1, 2010

I’m interviewed at several new sites this week  if you’d like to check them out:

Coffee Time Romance: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/NancyCohen.html

Kate Hill’s Blog:  http://kate-hill.com/blog/?p=528

Vampire Books:  http://www.vampirebooks.ca/authorinterviews/nancycohen.html

Roses of Prose: http://bit.ly/9AQNzl

And every other Wednesday, I post at Kill Zone Authors.  My blog topic this week is Technology and You:  http://bit.ly/budtaX

Also, I’d like to remind you to sign up for my quarterly  email newsletter to receive breaking news about book sales, contest bonus awards, and more.  Go to http://nancyjcohen.com and fill out the opt-in form in the sidebar.

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saturday Spotlight

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 25, 2010

I am interviewed today as the Saturday Spotlight over at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com/

Please stop by and leave a comment!

Posted in Author Interviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Coffee Time Review of SS

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 3, 2010

Review of Silver Serenade from Coffee Time Romance:                                                                Silver Serenade

Assassin Silver Malloy works for Earth’s Security Integrated Network and her first assignment is a dream come true. She must eliminate the man who killed her parents in a horrific massacre when she was a child and then, in an awful twist of faith, also murdered her fiance years later. She will stop at nothing to complete her mission and kill her target.

Disgraced royal, Jace Vernon, is an escapee from Kurash in search for the man who killed his parents, kidnapped his sister, and framed him for the vicious act. With only his faithful valet he has been tracking the marauder from planet to planet, but needs to bring him in alive in order to clear his name and find his young sibling.

Silver has the mark in sight when Jace knocks the shot wide. After escaping Tyrone Bluth’s henchmen, she quickly arrests the handsome outlaw, but soon she finds herself fighting alongside her prisoner to capture their mutual adversary. Silver wants Bluth dead, and Jace needs him alive. Can they both accomplish their goals? How can they avoid the blazing chemistry they are trying so hard to ignore? Will Silver be able to let go of her past to share a future with Jace if they succeed in their undertaking?

Ms. Cohen has not only given her readers a fabulous new world, but also a fantastic new galaxy to explore. This fantasy erotic romance has a strong, sexy hero and an even stronger, sexier heroine. Silver and Jace complement one another so well and bring out the best in each other. The love scenes are not gratuitous and advance the relationship of the couple. The action is ever changing and the underlying political intrigue impressive. The detailed descriptions are breathtaking and encompass everything from clothing to customs, scenery to spaceships and alien races to arsenals. The plot has a solid pace and the novel is loaded with interesting secondary characters. I do not usually read sci-fi or fantasy, but I found myself enjoying this highly imaginative and exciting story. I was able to suspend my disbelief and genuinely accept that all these different planets and species really do exist. Fans of Nathan Fillion and Firefly are sure to enjoy this futuristic romantic fantasy.

****

I will be blogging at Coffee Time Romance on Friday regarding Secrets and Suspense

http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/ 

Prize drawing from all blog commenters on my sites for August.  Winner will have a choice of one signed book from my backlist futuristic romance or mystery collection.

Posted in Business of Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE ROMANTIC POST: SS REVIEW

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 1, 2010

Review of Silver Serenade at The Romantic Post

Earth Centrum Security Integrated Network field operative Silver Malloy is assigned to eliminate ruthless Tyrone Bluth, leader of the brutally nasty gang Tyrone’s Marauders. S.I.N.’s top assassin, Silver almost completes her mission when Kurashian Jace Vernon interferes by tackling her.

Ace pilot Jace is after Tyrone also, but unlike Silver needs his prey alive if he is to prove his innocence on his home planet where he is wanted for murder. He does not want to work with Silver who wants the beast dead, but has no choice if he is to achieve his objective as his enemy’s enemy is his ally; if he does not team with her they will get in each others’ way. She reluctantly agrees with his assessment.

This is a fun romantic science fiction thriller as the lead couple targets the same person, but disagrees with the output as each has a different outcome in mind. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jace makes the hit on Silver and never slows down as love between them complicates their already complex relationship. Sub-genre readers will enjoy this outer space tale of a lethal gang lord serving ironically as a matchmaker between two people who disagree on what to do with him as the options are life in a maximum prison or assassination.

Harriet Klausner

The Romantic Post

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