Welcome to Smugglivus 2009 – Day 13!
Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2009, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2010.
Today’s Guest: Linnea Sinclair, author of Science Fiction Romance. Linnea has won RITA, Prism and PEARL awards and is one of the most important and influential authors in this growing subgenre. With amazing books such as Games of Command (reviewed here by guest reviewer AnimeJune) and Gabriel’s Ghost and its sequel, Shades of Dark (both reviewed by Ana and Thea, here and here) Linnea is one of The Book Smugglers’ favorite writers!
Recent Work: Hope’s Folly, the third book in the Dock 5 universe, reviewed here.
Without further ado, please welcome Linnea Sinclair!
Wow, 2009 has been both the best of times and the worst of times. (That might make an interesting book opener…oh. It’s been done, eh?). But Ana and Thea have asked me to reminisce, and have fortified me with a hefty mug of egg-nog-grog, so I thank them kindly for the invite (muito obrigada!) and will ramble on for a bit as part of their Smugglivus celebration.
This year saw my Shades of Dark win the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book award and the RWA FF&P Prism award—honestly, both were quite a surprise.
I’m well aware of the popularity of paranormal romance novels, but science fiction romance’s inclusion in that subgenre hasn’t always been a comfortable one. Just because one likes vampires or spellcasters doesn’t mean one will like starships and space pirates. So while I know it’s a tired cliché to state “I’m happy just to be a finalist,” gosh-golly-gee, I was. For an SFR novel to even final amidst the plethora of vampires, werewolves, spellcasters, and such is a feat. Winning is rarely expected. And my book won twice and, oh, as I put fingers to keyboard for this blog, my Hope’s Folly is a finalist for the next RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book award. And I am, gosh-golly-gee, just tickled to be a finalist. 2009 has been a good year.
2009 has also been a terrible year. Those of you who’ve been to my website or perhaps read my Games of Command know I’m a devoted slave to my cats. You also—if you’ve read Games of Command—likely know that Tank the furzel in the book was modeled after my beloved Maine Coon, Daiquiri (aka The Daq Man).
Daq was diagnosed with bladder cancer (rare in felines) in January 2009 and died in my husband’s arms as I sat by his side on Father’s Day 2009. Daq was only thirteen, and for twelve and a half years had never been ill. He was my constant companion in my office (my furry paperweight). He’s on every page of my website. His passing devastated me, paralyzed my writing for several months, and has left a huge hole in my heart.
My husband and I, of course, immediately went out and rescued two Maine Coon kitten brothers from a shelter and, a few weeks later, rescued a ten-year old Maine Coon we’d seen at the shelter when we adopted “the boys,” Chester and Brady. Ches, Brady, and James (who eerily is almost Daq’s twin) are wonderful.
But I miss Daq and I suspect I will continue to miss him for a good bit of time yet. He was beyond special. Every one of my books to date contains a dedication to him. I lost him in the middle of writing Rebels and Lovers (book #4 in the Dock Five series, due out March 2010 from Bantam.) In the final draft, I went back in and changed a few scenes and put Daq in the book (though his name is different). He’s only in one scene and then a small mention in another, but I needed to grant him immortality one more time. I need to believe that every time someone reads the words, he’s alive again—in that reality, at least.
So, yes, Rebels and Lovers will be out end of March 2010.
Rebels is the story of Devin Guthrie—the brother of Admiral Philip Guthrie, who was introduced in Gabriel’s Ghost, had a larger part in Shades of Dark, and his own story in Hope’s Folly. Devin is mentioned in Folly but readers don’t meet him until Rebels. He is not the usual Linnea Sinclair-space pirate-military hero. He’s a geek. Yep, a geek, though an extremely wealthy one. And also what I think of as a “reluctant hero.” Devin sees the hero-business as Philip’s job. In Rebels, he has to rethink not only his own self-worth but also his beliefs about loyalty and love as he’s forced to risk his life for both:
For these two renegades, falling in love is the ultimate rebellion…
It’s been two years since Devin Guthrie last saw Captain Makaiden Griggs. But time has done little to dampen his ardor for the beautiful take-charge shuttle pilot who used to fly yachts for his wealthy family. While his soul still burns for her, Kaidee isn’t the kind of woman a Guthrie is allowed to marry—especially in this time of intergalactic upheaval, with the family’s political position made precarious by Devin’s brother Philip, now in open revolt against the Empire. And when Devin’s nineteen-year-old nephew Trip goes inexplicably missing, his bodyguard murdered, this most dutiful of Guthrie sons finds every ounce of family loyalty put to the test. Only by joining forces with Kaidee can Devin complete the mission to bring Trip back alive. Only by breaking every rule can these two renegades redeem the promise of a passion they were never permitted to explore At risk? A political empire, a personal fortune and both their hearts and lives…
I hope my fans who’ve been following the Dock Five Universe books will enjoy this different kind of hero in Devin.
I also have a short story (almost novella size) coming out from Pocket in October 2010 in Star Crossed Lovers, Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin, editors. Other contributing authors include Jim Butcher, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Jo Putney, Peter S. Beagle, Robin Hobb and more! When I have definite release and cover info, I’ll pass it on to Ana and Thea for posting here.
What I’ve been reading: Well, for the first part of 2009, mostly websites on feline bladder cancer, but that’s not what you wanted to hear. Then I had deadlines (and I was late on all) for Rebels and Lovers, and my story, Courting Trouble, for the anthology. All that cleared off my desk by end of October, and an editor at EOS asked if I’d read Sara Creasy’s debut SF novel (May 2010), Song of Scarabaeus, for a quote. Well, Song is fabulous! If you like my books, if you like Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax books (Grimspace, etc.), if you read CJ Cherryh and Julie E Czerneda, you’ll love Song of Scarabaeus. Gripping, fast-paced SF action and a hint of a romantic subplot. A real page-turner and a definite keeper!
Speaking of Cherryh, that was my other reading this fall. I read Deliverer and Conspirator back to back. Ah, joy!
May your holidays be full of blessings…and books!
And Happy Smugglivus to you, Linnea!
Next on Smugglivus: Kate Noble