Romantic Times Award Nomination

I’ve been Snoopy dancing ever since I got the news a few days ago, but I couldn’t share until the list was made public.  Lady Doctor Wyre has been nominated by the Romantic Times for 2011 Best Paranormal/Fantasy/SF Erotic Romance!  The official list is here.

Seeing my name and book listed with such fabulous company is such a tremendous honor I get all choked up just thinking about it.

Now, if only I can find a way to GET to the RT convention in Chicago next year!

Review: Lady Doctor Wyre

Ashia of The Romance Reviews names Lady Doctor Wyre a TRR Top Pick!

The worldbuilding is impressive and just incredible! It was so real it felt I was there, and the author lets the reader into her world and experience it without info dumping. …  I love this book, and I’m looking forward to the next one in the series.

Thank you so much, Ashia!

Guest Blogger Giveaway: Heather Massey

I Blame Ted Danson For My Erotic Sci-Fi Romance ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE

Quite a few years ago, I watched an interview with Ted Danson, the actor best known for his stint as Sam Malone on the 1982 sitcom Cheers. The interview was on some kind of celebrity-oriented show, possibly Entertainment Tonight (back in the day when it was helmed by Mary Hart and John Tesh). Anyway, this interview is when I first learned that the actor was also an environmental advocate.

At one point during the interview, Ted Danson remarked something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “whenever we flush the toilet, it becomes somebody else’s problem.”

Well. Well. Talk about a massive guilt trip! I hopped right on that one, let me tell you. I don’t know if it was my upbringing or Ted Danson’s rebuking tone or the way he seemed to look right into the camera—right at me—but that moment was the first time I developed real insight regarding the monumental task of keeping Earth healthy.

Unfortunately, I was too naïve at the time to make a connection between my thoughts about his statement and my behavior—meaning that my behavior could change. But his words stayed with me, replaying in my mind even decades later. Naturally, this tended to occur most often when I had to use the toilet. Ugh! I kept agonizing over whatever harm I was causing the environment every time I had to pee or poop.

Eventually, I got wise about the fact that the only way to relieve my sense of unrelenting guilt was to start doing my part to help Earth. I began with easy things, like shutting off lights when leaving the room. Reusing items whenever I could. Keeping the water off while brushing my teeth. Recycling. Composting. I’m not as consistent as I could be, but I’m actively working on retraining myself and ditching maladaptive environmental habits.

Ted Danson’s words were so powerful that they had a particularly unexpected repercussion. When I decided to write my erotic sci-fi romance Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), I channeled my experience with his message into the narrative. On one level, my book is about a hawt futuristic explorer who tangles with a sexy, ruthless space pirate during his quest to find a new world. But on another level, the story explores the consequences (albeit in a very fantastical way) of pollution allowed to continue unchecked on planet Earth.

Don’t get me wrong: my story is pure unabashed entertainment all the way. I intentionally avoided pulling a “Ted Danson” during the course of the story—no preaching allowed. But, given my encounter with his interview and its subsequent impact, I couldn’t help but speculate about the relationship between flushing toilets and a dying Earth. Are we really heading toward a time when we’ll be flushing our planet away for good? I shudder to think so.

Since writing the story, I’ve been working even harder on flushing away my harmful habits. In fact, as I write this, I’m awaiting delivery of a Fiskars 6201 18-Inch 5-Blade Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower. Even though I’m hardly a lawn mower expert, I can’t wait to start using this baby. The exercise ain’t exactly gonna hurt me, either—take that, Ted Danson!

And now for a giveaway!  To help celebrate Earth Day, I’m giving away a $10.00 Red Sage gift certificate to one winner (because going digital with books is another way I’ve gone green, and I’d love for you to join me, even if it’s just for one book). To enter, leave a comment telling me one way you’ve gone green or plan to do so.

Bio:
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

Heather’s debut erotic sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.

For more information, visit her Web site at www.heathermassey.com.

Story blurb:

In the sea of stars, an epic love story is about to begin…

Earth is dying. Nick Venture, the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus, embarks on a dangerous mission to find a new planet and save humanity. This places him on a collision course with Raquel Donovan, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
Raquel lives for one purpose: revenge against a horrible demon from her past. When an attempt to hijack Nick’s starship backfires, Raquel becomes his protector in order to avoid capture by the tyrannical Space Defense Corps. Nick and Raquel are irresistibly drawn to one another despite the forbidden nature of their attraction. But the conflicted pirate’s deepest secret could tear the couple apart even as humanity’s time runs out….

Addition:  I’m going to match Heather’s giveaway!  So we’re offering TWO $10 Red Sage gift certificates!

Romance Trading Cards for Lady Doctor Wyre

A huge HUGE thank you to Su at Earthly Charms for designing these incredible character cards for my new release!  I highly recommend her for quick, lovely designs — and I can’t wait to hold these little beauties in my hands!

These are all in pdf format.

If you’d like a complete set, send your snail mail addy to joelysueburkhart AT gmail DOT com.  It might be another week or two before they’re printed and shipped, but I’ll get them out as soon as I can.  (P.S. If anyone’s going to RWA or any other con and can take some of these along for me, please let me know!)

Updated:  I will ship internationally too – as long as you don’t mind me throwing in a few extras to make the postage worthwhile!  Feel free to share them with your friends!

Giveaway: Steampunk Heart Necklace by @19moons

As soon as I saw this necklace, I knew I had to buy it for some lucky winner.

If you take a close look at the cover for LADY DOCTOR WYRE, you’ll see that she’s wearing a necklace.  That necklace is the key to keeping Sig alive.

As her creations returned to their origin, the locket seemed to catch fire between them, molten metal searing her breast. Too tiny for her human eyes to see, her assemblers crawled out of his pores and cells. All year long, she wore the locket against her skin, allowing her body heat and life energy to infuse the battery cells within, so that if he ever needed a jolt, all he had to do was reach her. She’d also programmed her assemblers to emit alarms if his life energy ever ran too low, so even if he were too injured or weakened, she’d always be able to find him.

While she would mourn his death, she had an ulterior motive for such a detail—the tiny nanobots could never be allowed to fall into enemy hands.

If you’d like to win this necklace, simply comment on this post and tell me your favorite etsy or other hand-crafted shop (preferrably online so I can shop!) or simply throw your name in the hat. 

For extra entries, you can rate or review Lady Doctor Wyre.  I’ll automatically pull in all rates/reviews from GoodReads, Amazon, or B&N (existing ARC reviews do count).  If you rate/review it anywhere else (your personal blog, etc.), please comment with the links — or drop me an email so your extra entries are counted.  Twitter counts too — just use @joelysue so I can see your tweet.  Note that I can’t easily keep track of the “new” RT feature, so the old classic style is best to ensure your tweets get you the extra entries.

This giveaway is open to anyone on the planet, even if you’ve won something before, and will remain open until April 8th.  The winner will be announced April 9th on the blog.  If the winner hasn’t responded by April 11th, I’ll draw another name.

Review: Lady Doctor Wyre

Lady Doctor Wyre releases next Tuesday, March 29th from Samhain Publishing (pre-order available)!

Susi, the Geeky Bookworm says:

An inventive setting with an enthralling adventure plot. The mix of historical, steampunk and science fiction is masterly woven together and the detailed view you get in the novel will leave you breathless.

Thank you so much, Susi!  I hope to expand more on the developing romance and the men in particular in the next novella!

RomanticTimes Reviews Lady Doctor Wyre

RT Book Reviews gives a web exclusive review of Lady Doctor Wyre – 4 1/2 stars!

It’s Steampunk in Space for Joely Sue Burkhart’s new series. The Victorian-esq society is brilliantly crafted, multidimensional and intriguing. The futuristic aspects of this story will resonate with those who like such space tales as Whedon’s Firefly, while erotica fans will enjoy the ménage and bondage scenes. Burkhart has done an exceptional job of integrating these moments, and the heroine’s dominatrix tendencies, fully into the story. Readers will be anxious for the next installment in this universe!
Wheee, thank you so much!

Review: Lady Doctor Wyre

Caroline at Book Lovers Inc gave Lady Doctor Wyre  4.5 bookies!

Lady Doctor Wyre isn’t like anything I’ve read before.

I don’t do justice to Joely’s writting, it’s hard to describe the world she created. This book is a mix of Science-Fiction and Historical Romance. I loved that it feels like a Regency Romance, with the pretty dresses, the corsets, the silk, the rules of British society but with nanotechnology and spaceships. It felt right. It never felt ‘weird’, which is often my main problem with ‘Sci-Fi’. Joely found a way to make it work. Well it also doesn’t hurt that the smex is pretty hot. *fan self* Sig and Gilead are very different on so many levels, but in the end they are both perfect for Charlotte. She’s a strong woman and she’s not afraid of taking matters in her own hands *waggles eyebrows*.

Read the whole review here.  Thank you so much, Caroline!

Friday Snippet: Lady Wyre’s Regret

Continuing the free read prequel to Lady Doctor Wyre (first draft).  Part 1, part 2, part 3 if you need to catch up.

There were a million and one details to planning one’s own assassination and Charlotte daren’t miss a single one, else find herself locked in the Tower of Londonium for the rest of her long and miserable life.  While planting bribes all over Town to keep the Queen’s Ravens busy for months if not years attempting to track down her so-called assassin, she endured countless fittings on what would surely be the gown of the century.  My death will be a remarkable spectacle, so naturally my gown must be as memorable.

With a critical eye, she examined her reflection in the tall mirrors, twirling slowly so she might see the fall of fabric from all angles.  She’d chosen an eye-popping scarlet silk that would be scandalous in its own right.  Combined with the severely tight corset and plunging neckline, she’d catch everyone’s attention from the moment she stepped outside her door. 

The white feather accents were a touch too eccentric and ostentatious for her personal taste, but she intended to make a statement.  If red represented the Razari blood, then white would remind the queen of House Wyre’s dove.  The Queen’s Ravens might…would…tear Wyre apart, but Britannia would only see snowy pure white splattered with blood.

I’m far from innocent.  My technology made all this possible.  She forced herself to keep staring at her reflection, even though the sight made her throat burn with bile.  I have to find a way to make this right.  To stop Majel once and for all.  But how?

Something jabbed into her side hard enough she stiffened. 

“Lady Wyre, I presume?”

She recognized the man’s smooth, cultured voice and her heart beat ramped into deep-space full throttle.  Since she intended to give Britannia a solstice eclipse celebration they’d not soon forget, she’d chosen the flashiest, most well-known assassin she could find.  Lord Sigmund Regret was renowned throughout the galaxy as much for his impeccable manners and taste in clothing as for his murdering ability. 

Even more importantly, he specialized in accepting detailed requirements in his contract for how the death should occur.  Supposedly, he’d once killed a lady with her very own corset at her disgruntled lover’s request.

She stiffened her spine and stared coolly back at his reflection solidifying behind her.  If he tries to kill me with my corset, he’ll be sorely surprised.

“You’re early, sir.”

As if she’d managed to surprise him, a small smile hovered on his lips but the pressure didn’t lessen against her ribcage.  “Indeed, since this is a challenging assignment, I thought I’d best slip inside the Britannian grid early.  I’m still not sure whether we’ll be able to slip out entirely undetected.”

She arched a brow at him.  “That’s your concern, for which I’m paying you most handsomely.”

“You’re paying me to make it look like you’re dead, Your Grace.”  He matched her arrogant, high-bred tone perfectly.  “Sneaking you out of Britannia under Queen Majel’s nose is not my usual sort of job.”

“Well, it’s a very good thing you’re the best assassin for hire, then, yes?”

He chuckled, his bright blue eyes gleaming in the mirror with amusement, but his left hand casually wrapped around her throat.  He didn’t apply pressure to her windpipe, but he made it very clear he could snuff her life out before she could open her mouth to scream. 

Little does he know that screaming for help is not my forte.

“Perhaps I’m thinking the queen might pay me even more if I take care of her problem instead of helping you escape her wrath.  It would certainly make it easier for me to escape Britannia intact.”

“If escape,” she said with a deliberate curl of distaste on her lips, “is your only concern, then perhaps you shouldn’t have been so foolish as to accept my payment, which enabled my sniffer to locate your private bank account.” 

He opened his mouth, no doubt to retort that he had numerous such bank accounts, so she pushed on without giving him the chance. 

“If you’d done your research on me beforehand, then you would know that I have a penchant for being extremely nosy and plotting with deliberate forethought to ensure my desired outcome.  Of course, my sniffer has been busy backtracking to your other personal accounts as well.  I’ve already located six such accounts scattered throughout the galaxy.  If I don’t transmit the all-clear signal to my sniffer within twenty four hours, every single account you possess will suddenly be flagged for Britannian investigation.  No doubt news of Lord Regret’s cowardly failure to uphold his contract as promised will be the talk of the galaxy for years to come.”

His jaws worked, his face darkened, and his eyes glittered with malice.  “Maybe I’d simply enjoy killing you.”

She let a careless—if slightly breathy—laugh escape.  “You’re welcome to try, sir, but I think you’ll find that you chose a most unlikely entrance for your knife.”  He poked hard enough she grunted, but the blade couldn’t penetrate her corset.  “Again, even modest research would have confirmed that I also enjoy experiments and inventions, especially ones that might save my life.  I knew this event would be risky and so reinforced my corset with steel plating to protect my vital organs.”

He stepped close enough behind her that his heat penetrated the thin silk of her gown.  His breath caressed her bared neck and ear.  “Aren’t you afraid of me at all?”

“Yes, I am.”  A frisson of awareness zinged down her spine.  Danger, excitement, she wasn’t sure.  As finely dressed as any Britannian lord, this man could be her contemporary in Society.  If they’d met a few years ago, he might have been the one to convince her to surrender to matrimony.  He certainly intrigued her like no one else she’d ever known.  “But I’m more afraid of Queen Majel.  I shan’t allow her to win.  Fear makes me sharper, smarter, and all the more dangerous, Lord Regret.”

“Sigmund,” he sighed against her ear.  His grip on her throat turned to a caress, a gentle glide of fingers that made her skin tingle.  “You’re one hell of a woman, Your Grace.”

“Please call me Charlotte.”  Holding his gaze in the mirror, she gave him a slow, sensuous smile that made his brilliant eyes flare.  “I regret so many things.  Saving Queen Majel’s life.  The wretched things for which she’s allowing my research to be used.  The millions of deaths on Razar.  I don’t know how I’ll ever sleep again, worrying how many more planets will suffer the same demise.  Once I’m free of Britannia, I’ll never be the Duchess of Wyre again, which I won’t regret in the slightest.” 

“Call me Sig, and I’ll call you Charlie.”  Winking at her in the mirror, he settled his palm lower on the creamy expanse of skin bared by her gown.  “Your invention has a most regrettable design flaw.  This corset fails to protect your heart.”

She laughed and stepped out of his embrace.  “My heart needs no such protection.  Come, then, Sig, and allow me to share the plans I’ve made thus far.  I agree wholeheartedly that escape from Britannia will be the most challenging contract you’ve ever accepted.  You won’t regret taking my case, will you?”

“I’ll have no regrets with you.”