Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Review: HOPE’S FOLLY by Linnea Sinclair

Publisher: Bantam
ISBN-10: 0553592181
ISBN-13: 978-0553592184
Science Fiction Romance
February 24, 2009

Hold on to your hats. Fasten your seatbelts. If you love Science Fiction Romance or action-adventure Space Opera, Linnea Sinclair’s newest addition to the Dock 5 Universe has been released! Hurry to your local bookstore, Amazon, Barn & Noble, Borders, or your best friend’s house and grab it. You are in for a non-stop, roller coaster, fun ride. Click on the title links below for my reviews of the prior books in the series to get a feel for the Dock 5 Universe. HOPE’S FOLLY is a “stand alone” but a quick background update will enhance your reading experience.

The first book in the Dock 5 series was the 2006 RITA Award winning GABRIEL'S GHOST, in which we meet Captain Chasidah (Chaz) Bergren, Gabriel (Sully) Sullivan, and Imperial Fleet Admiral, Philip Guthrie. Philip is Chaz’s ex-husband and a real tight-a$$ed, by-the-book, kinda guy, except…

In SHADES OF DARK, the second in the Dock 5 series, the Empire has fallen to pieces, and Chaz and Sully rescue Philip immediately after he sees all of his senior officers murdered. He is forced to reassess everything that he has ever believed. He finally understands Chaz and Sully’s deep love, and can only wish them the best. In the last conflict of SHADES, Philip’s leg is shattered and he almost loses his life to “once more” save Chas, Sully and the rebel Alliance. Perhaps he isn’t quite the up-tight, by-the-book guy that I first thought…

When HOPE’S FOLLY begins, Philip has lost everything and is on the run from the imperial bad guys. He is now a rebel Admiral without a fleet. Only partially recovered, with a still healing leg, he is traveling to take command of Hope’s Folly, a decommissioned imperial cruiser/orange hauling freighter, named after the resident cat, Captain Folly! What can Philip say? The price was right, and rebels (i.e. beggars) can’t be choosy. He knows there is going to be trouble when assassins try to kill him before he ever leaves the Kirro Space Station. He knows there is going to be trouble when the gorgeous woman aiding him turns out to be the daughter of his best friend, mentor, and one of his murdered officers. He remembered Rya Bennton as the green-pea flinging brat, Rya the Rebel, whom he first taught to shoot a gun. Now she’s a statuesque beauty and security expert who gets really turned on by big guns. “Can I fondle it?” That had to be one of the funniest lines that I have read in years.

After trials, tribulations, and foiled assassination/kidnap attempts, Phil assumes command of his new flagship…err, well, sort of. Nothing is going according to plan. They are running against a deadline (the imperial bad guys are coming and killing people along the way), and everything keeps suspiciously breaking down…and smelling of oranges. Philip’s got a cat in his bed when what he really wants is his security officer. He can’t trust anyone; there’s a spy onboard; and he can’t afford distractions. He’s already screwed up one marriage, is too old for Rya, and he’s too busy to love or be loved. He has a job to do…but (sigh), she certainly is incredible. Her father would kill him if he knew what he was thinking!

Rya Bennton has had the best security training that the Empire has to offer…but they killed her father and she wants payback. She has come to Kirro Station to join the Alliance, and protects a distinguished “older/crippled” gentleman from an assassination attempt before she realizes that: 1) he isn’t “that” much older; 2) she knows him; and 3) he is the “always and forever dream hero” of her childhood.” He might not be interested in her, but she can keep him safe and be the best security officer he ever had. Besides, he has that really big gun.

Linnea does an especially good job of balancing the story from Philip’s and Rya’s Points of View. Philip and Rya are intelligent, principled, dedicated people, with terrific senses of humor. They are a perfect match for each other, and I thought their problems realistic. It’s wonderful to watch characters grow as individuals as their respect for each other develops. By the end of the book you know that what they have found will last. I particularly enjoyed Philip’s growth from being a “company man” to being a maverick doing whatever it takes, molding a totally dissimilar group of people into a team able outsmart the best that the Empire can throw at them. I liked seeing Rya learn to trust her instincts, and do what she knows to be right. I liked seeing her finally realize that she is attractive and loveable.

HOPE’S FOLLY is much lighter in tone than either GABRIEL’S GHOST, or SHADES OF DARK. Even though the majority of the book takes place in a shipyard, the layers of tension only escalate with each malfunction. There’s no doubt that they have a saboteur onboard. I couldn’t tell who it was and was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept asking myself, “Are there more than one?” Besides being a Science Fiction Romance, HOPE’S FOLLY is an excellent thriller. The stakes are raised on every page, so that I now have band-aids on my knuckles.

One additional thing that I would like to pass on to Romance fans: HOPE’S FOLLY is character driven with an excellent suspense plot. In addition to superb characterization, Linnea is a master of World Building. Many Romance readers are afraid of Science Fiction because they fear technology. Let me allay you fears. Her techno-babble is so expert and natural that you won’t even be aware of it. It’s rather like your cell phone or TV remote. So go with the flow, and enjoy.

Happy Reading,


Writing Science Fiction Romance

Real Love in a Real Future

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This and That, and a Lot of Fun

Things have been busy around my house. Spring has been and on...since the first of January. Daffodils, hyacinths and forsythia are blooming, and the weeds are sprouting. One day it’s in the 70s and another it’s in the 20s. One thing that you can count on in the Deep South is that the weather will be totally unpredictable three out of the four seasons. Summer is guaranteed hot, but we’re not there yet, thank goodness. We have four more months of off and on good weather. *G*

Most of my time, recently, has been spent working on THE HUSBAND, my work in progress, and reading and writing a review of Linnea Sinclair’s HOPE’S FOLLY, which will be released Tuesday. Wow is it good! That review will be up as quickly as possible. It all hasn’t left me much time for blogging. I want to alert you to a few items which you might find of interest.

KimberAn, of The Star Captain’s Daughter, has posted her Young Adult Science Fiction Romance novel, THE STAR CAPTAIN’S DAUGHTER is online to be read or downloaded for free. This is a book of her heart and an engaging coming of age story. Growing up is so hard to do. Check out the opening chapter at Tia Nevitt’s Fantasy Debut.

Jess, of Jess Granger’s Butterfly Blog, is continuing to post her outrageous, interactive ETHEL THE SPACE PIRATE. Due to other writing obligations, in the future, she will be posting new episodes every other week. You never know what is going to be happening to Ethel, because Jess lets her readers vote on possible future courses of action. It is out of the frying pan into the fire in each episode, and always a hoot. Go back and read all the episodes from the beginning. It’s worth it to come away with a grin on your face. While you are at it, don’t forget to vote on the peril into which Ethel will be thrown in the coming episode. It’s your choice. Kudos for a gutsy writer for tackling so many possible scenarios!

For sheer fun, and hang on to your seat laughter, drop in at
I dare you to keep a straight face on any of these. :-)
Happy Reading,
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

According to The Encyclopaedia Britannica: “Today is Valentine's Day, the feast day of St. Valentine, a priest and physician who was martyred about AD 270 in Rome, and the tradition of exchanging greetings of love on Valentine's Day is based on the legend that Valentine had signed a letter to his jailer's daughter, with whom he had fallen in love, “from your Valentine.””

We can't know for sure if Valentine actually sent that love letter, or even who he really was, because there were a number of early Christian martyrs who were linked with the name Valentine. Regardless, we know these were people of selfless, giving love, who never hurt anyone.

According to Wikipedia: "Many of the current legends that characterise Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love."

We have come to accept that hearts, roses and chocolates are absolute necessities to this holiday. We can probably think the Victorians for the first two, if not the Romans. We can assuredly thank Christopher Columbus and the American Indians for the third. However, none of those superficialities are truly important. What we need to keep in mind is the person who offers their love. Never miss any opportunity to show as well as to tell those who are precious to you how much you love them. That particular opportunity will never come again. Of course, a little chocolate never hurt either. :-)

Celebrate love all the year,

Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Raccoon Astronomy

It's been a great week for astronomy. It's been a bad week for the raccoons.
Twice this week, raccoons have sacrificed themselves upon the electrical altar of the same high-voltage transformer, throwing half of our town into darkness. Both times, this happened well after sunset, with a ziiiit-boom, and flash of light that could be seen for miles in the instant before everything went black. No house lights. No street lights. No nothing! Both times I rushed outside into the frigid night to gaze into the sky. Oh my, but it was lovely. Not for the poor raccoons, of course, but for stargazers like me it was gorgeous.
The skies were severe clear both nights. The new moon wasn't yet bright enough to interfere with viewing. High in the western sky Venus is the brightest object visible, and will remain so through March. Directly overhead, is the red eye of Taurus, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades he guards. In the southeastern sky, Orion is riding high with Sirius and Procyon, the noses of his hunting dogs, bounding at his heels.

A few bits of trivia: Sirius is the brightest star that we can see from Earth, and quite a close neighbor, only 8.6 light years distant. The Greeks gave us the term "dog days of summer" from this star. It was the rising of Sirius with the dawn, which told the ancient Egyptians that the Nile was about to flood, and that they would have abundant food for the coming year. Sirius, Procyon, and Betelgeuse in Orion's shoulder, make the Winter Triangle.

Viewing all of that clearly was wonderful. However, the great thing for me was that, for a brief while, it was dark enough to see the Milky Way. That doesn't often happen in our light polluted world. Right now, in the early evenings, it stretches from the southeast to the northwest, moving to the west as the evening progresses. If you can follow a path near to Sirius, Orion, Gemini, Auriga, Perseus, and Cassiopeia, then you are in the neighborhood of the Milky Way. I hope that you get a chance to see it. It's worth it.

Happy Viewing,

Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future