Giveaways, Jenn Burke, Kelly Jensen

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Skip Trace Blog Tour with Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

Skip Trace Blog Tour Banner

We’re so pleased to welcome authors Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen to The Novel Approach today on their blog tour for Skip Trace, book three in their sci-fi series Chaos Station.

Enjoy their guest post and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget to enter for the chance at some great prizes (details below).

Good luck!

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Inventors by Necessity

Part of creating a sci-fi setting is coming up with cool futuristic stuff. This is a fun thing—but also kind of a stressful one. See, I’m not a scientist. I’ve never wanted to be a scientist or an inventor. I have a rudimentary knowledge of how various things work, like car engines, the internet, computers, etc. But as a writer of sci-fi, I also need to become an inventor of things that aren’t possible…but might be. Someday.

For the Chaos Station series, which is set about 250 years in the future, Kelly and I wanted to have tech that readers could relate to. Here are a few of our inventions.

Wallets – Similar to today’s smartphones, but more—they handle credit transfers as well as communications. Wallets are made of flexible plastic so they can be folded into a user’s pocket, but then unfolded to present a large surface for holographic manipulation.

Smart fiber technology (SFT) – Most clothes have SFT, which uses nanotech to break down dirt and sweat particles to keep fabric looking nice and clean. This cuts down on the need for in-space clothes laundering.

Active tattoos – Ink for tattoos is no longer static; tattoos can be imbued with motion, lights, changing colour, etc.

Jazer – Expensive and very secure point-to-point communications that have no lag in transmission time.

One of the biggest challenges for our world is the limitations placed on people and technology because of jump-space. J-space is the quickest way to travel between two points in space (think a wrinkle in a string), but it’s a different reality and therefore has different rules. Anything that is too delicate can’t survive in j-space—for example, fruit needs a special container, or it will turn to mush.

The biggest drawback of j-space, though, is how it interferes with biotech. Humanity has the knowledge and capability to replace lost limbs with cybernetics, or to outfit people with implants that allow the user to interface directly with computers, but this tech is too delicate for j-space. Implants and cybernetic limbs will short out as soon as a ship jumps, possibly damaging more than just the limb or implant itself. This limitation has influenced the development of the Chaos Station world (and actually plays a big part in book 4!).

What are some of your favourite sci-fi inventions? Alternatively, what tech do you hope will become available in the future?

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Skip Trace Cover600Blurb: Zander Anatolius has been revived from the fatal effects of the super-soldier program, but now he has to face his estranged family and tell a story few would believe. With his lover and the crew of the Chaos at his side, Zander returns home to a media frenzy, threats from the military and pressure to join the family business.

Felix Ingesson still struggles with the horror of believing Zander dead. And no matter how strong their emotional connection is, Felix feels out of place in the glittery world of Zander’s rich family. His lover would be better off without a broken, low-class ship’s engineer holding him back.

When the crew receives word that another of Zander’s former teammates needs rescue, Felix travels with the Chaos…setting Zander free. But when Zander is arrested for treason, the men realize they need each other as much as ever—not only to survive, but to make their lives worth living.

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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Author BioBio: Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.

The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.

www.chaosstation.com

Connect with JennTwitter | Facebook | Website

Connect with KellyTwitter | Facebook | Website

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THE GIVEAWAY

Prize: The first two books in the Chaos Station series, Chaos Station and Lonely Shore, and a $10 gift card to your favorite online bookseller.

Signing up for our newsletter gives access to our free Chaos Station story, “Graduation”.

Terms: Two prizes. Rafflecopter runs from 12:00 AM EST 10/05/2015 to 12:00 AM EST 10/09/2015. Giveaway is open internationally. Gift card value is US dollars. Winners will be contacted via email. If a winner already has one or both of the books, gift card value will be increased to $15 USD.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, fellow bookish obsessed, and welcome! We have another great week in store for you this week as we wrap up our Countdown to GayRomLit 2015 and look forward to the next installment of Flashback Friday.

Here’s what’s coming up!

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Monday – Kicking off a great week, we have a cover reveal for author J. Johanis’s Dream God coming up today

And we’ll also have author Chris McHart visiting with us on the Small Steps blog tour

Tuesday – We have author Rick R. Reed dropping by today as the final—yes, the final—guest to appear on the Countdown to GayRomLit celebration tour here at TNA

We’ll also be celebrating with Queer Romance Month today, with the first of two spotlights for the month because, as they say, “Love is not a subgenre.”

Wednesday – Today author Lane Hayes stops in as she tours the web to promote her newest book in the Better Than series, Better Than Safe

We’re also helping Riptide Publishing celebrate their Four Year Anniversary, with author Reesa Herberth

Thursday – Today we’re so pleased to be taking part–along with Prism Book Alliance, Rhys Ford, Joyfully Jay, and Love Bytes Reviews–in an exclusive excerpt tour for Eric Arvin‘s latest release, The Rascal

Author Rob Damon will also be our guest on the tour for his new release with CoolDudes Publishing, Into the Team

Friday – Today we welcome the writing team of Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen on the tour for their new novel Skip Trace

And, for the next installment in our Flashback Friday segment, we’ll be bringing you our favorite Historical reads, along with the chance to win an e-copy of one of our selected titles

Saturday – And finally, to close out the week, we’ll have author Annabelle Jacobs with us today to chat about her new book Altered 3

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And that does it for the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

 

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5 Stars, Carina Press, Jenn Burke, Kelly Jensen, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Lonely Shore by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

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Title: Lonely Shore (Chaos Station: Book Two)

Author: Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 187 Pages

At a Glance: A lot of emotions packed into this book, and so worth every tear.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: All they can do is live day to day…

Felix Ingesson has returned to his duties as the Chaos’s engineer with Zander Anatolius, his ex-boyfriend-turned-broken-super-soldier, at his side. Hope means something again. But there’s nothing Felix can do to battle the alien poison flowing through Zander’s veins, or his imminent mental decline. With each passing day, the side effects of Zander’s experimental training are becoming more difficult to ignore.

When the ruthless Agrius Cartel seeks their revenge—including an ambush and an attempt to kidnap the Chaos’s crew—Zander is pushed over the edge. He can no longer hide his symptoms, nor does he want to. But hurting Felix when he’s not in control of himself is Zander’s worst nightmare—when it nearly happens, he agrees to seek help. Even if that means trusting the unknown.

As Zander places his life in alien hands, Felix appoints himself his lover’s keeper. And though he tries to be strong, he can’t ignore the fact that he might lose Zander…forever this time.

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Review: If book one in this series was intense, book two punches you in the gut on page one and keeps going until the end. I mean honestly, the authors do not let up, and even though you want the pain to stop, you need to know what happens, so you keep reading. I whimpered from page one on, and full out cried from chapter ten through sixteen, and I’m not exaggerating either.

If you haven’t read book one, Chaos Station, you really need to go back and read it. You will be completely lost if you don’t have that information, as what happens in book two is a progression of events from book one.

That said, this book follows the Chaos crew as Zed’s side effects grow increasingly unstable, and Flick attempts to both cope with the changes in his best friend and lover, and the possibility of losing him. Meanwhile, the Agrius cartel is still after them, and when a possible solution is presented for Zed’s problem, it could mean losing Qek.

Every character in this book is developed even more, which I loved. While I love Zed and Flick, Qek shines yet again. Zed and Flick made me cry often, but Qek brought her brand of humor and understanding to the pages. Getting to explore her culture more in this book and seeing her home world was a treat, even if being there is dangerous for Qek. For readers who wanted more of the Ashushk culture, this is your chance!

If you read book one, you must read this book. If you like science fiction, I highly recommend this series. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Skip Trace, which I’m sure will be another fantastic installment!

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You can buy Lonely Shore here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Carina Press, Jenn Burke, Kelly Jensen, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Chaos Station by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

Title: Chaos Station

Author:  Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

At a Glance: A fantastic start to a promising sci-fi series, with tortured heroes and awesome aliens.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: “You’re not real. Felix Ingesson is dead.”

The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander’s military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn’t real.

A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he’d thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.

Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathed—or his own heart unbroken.

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Review: This series is going to be so epic, you don’t even understand. This first novel in the Chaos Station series was an excellent adventure, and I really hope the sequels can live up to this first one.

The novel is written by two authors, Burke and Jensen, and it’s impossible to tell. The editing is well done and the writing is a cohesive whole. I’ve read books before where I could tell when another author picked up the storytelling, and it ended up being a mess. That is not the case with Chaos Station. Yes, Felix and Zander are very different characters with different speech patterns and thoughts, but that’s just the mark of good writing. I cannot tell if one author wrote from Zander’s perspective and the other from Felix’s, or if one wrote the first half of the book and the other wrote the second half, or if they truly did work together every step of the way.

That said, the characters are awesome. Both men are broken by war, and it shows. Felix (AKA Fixer or Flick, depending on who is talking to him) is a former soldier who has been damaged by the stin, the aggressive aliens humans have been in contact with. Zander (AKA Loop or Zed, depending on who is talking to him) is also a former soldier—one who has been trained in a covert program to defeat the stin, and as a result, suffers from debilitating pain whenever he goes into the ultimate fight mode. It’s like the fight or flight response on steroids without the flight response. Because of this, and the fact they’ve been out of touch and believed each other dead for years, the two are hesitant to start a relationship again, especially with each other. Both men have “off switches” that remind them of their hard past which completely shut them down during physical intimacy.

My heart. It hurt so badly.

The secondary characters were also really strong. Elias is a great captain of his ship and genuinely cares for his crew. Nessa is a tough doctor who isn’t afraid of doing what has to be done as the ship’s doctor. And Qek. I love Qek! She is one of the ashushk, the other aliens humans have been in contact with. Unlike the stin, they are a peaceful species more focused on advancing technology. She struggles to understand human idioms and constantly tries to fit them into conversations, with Felix praising her or correcting her as she goes. Her facial expressions are great as well. Instead of smiling like humans do, her face wrinkles and her eyes disappear when she is amused or pleased. I adored her. Also, adding another interesting element to the ashushk, if what I remember is correct, they are able to change their biology based on the needs of the species, so Qek is female because she chooses to be. Pretty awesome.

If you’re looking for the start of an engaging sci-fi series, look no further. You will quickly be sucked into the world of Felix, Zander, and the rest of the crew of the Chaos. And I know I cannot wait to read book two!

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You can buy Chaos Station here:

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All Romance eBooks

 

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