Ack! Ack! Double Ack!

I’ll be over there tomorrow and lord only knows where else.  I swear I’ll only drive if I’m sober.

News and updates.  Yeah, life is still nuts.  Why do you think I’m drinking?

I’d like to thank my guests this week, Katalina Leon and Nina Pierce, for taking over my site, chatting and bringing their marvelous stories to your attention.

I’ll be holding a wonderful contest – I’ll announce the details the very minute my house guests leave.

Captured, yeah, my fave, apparently finalled in the Science Fiction Romance category in the Golden Quill contest for published authors.  I heard today while I was circling the San Francisco airport waiting for my guests to reach the curb.  Pretty dang cool!

Pushing Her Boundaries (canoe trip), got a couple great reviews recently…um, Happily Ever After Reviews and The Romance Reviews (TRR)

So I have this great recipe for whiskey cake.  Not a whiskey cake, whiskey cake.  If you want the recipe, leave me a comment and your email addy and I’ll email it to you.  It’s a very, very old family recipe.  It’s delish!

Stuck in the middle.

Science fiction and romance…can ever the twain meet?

One of my all-time favorite works of science fiction is Ringworld, by Larry Niven.  He creates a colorful cast of characters who set out on an epic journey to explore an anomaly, a ring-shaped, artificially created, giant planet containing an earth-like atmosphere and ecosphere.  The crew includes the giraffy guy…that’s how I like to remember him, and the lucky guy – because in this story, luck is genetic.  Ringworld is my husband’s very favorite work of science fiction.

So last night, hubby was reading my book, Daughters of Persephone, on his Kindle.  Since I’m stuck downstairs with the new puppy, he came down to discuss his thoughts.

“I really like it,” he said, “but I’m feeling an existential conundrum coming on.”

“Oh?” I asked.  “What sort of existential conundrum?”

“Can science fiction and erotic romance exist in the same book?”

“I don’t know,” I replied, “but they coexist in both Captured and Daughters of Persephone .”

“Yes,” he said, “but true science fiction aficionados might go into shock when they come upon an explicit sex scene while fans of erotic romance might not get the science fiction, especially the science fiction references you’ve included.”

“Well, hmmm, but that’s what I’ve written.”

“But is there a market for this?  Is there an audience?”

Good question, hubby!  I don’t have a clue.  I hope so!

Can the two genres meet in the middle?  In Dune, for example, while the romance takes a backseat to the overarching messianic theme, there is love in the book.  In George R.R. Martin’s series, A Game of Thrones, there is sex, not what I would consider erotic sex or romance, but sex nonetheless.

Science fiction romance is not Paranormal, i.e., Vampire Romance, Shifter Romance, Were Romance, Faerie Romance, time travel romance…those fall more in the realm of fantasy and are a sort of pop-culture genre right now. Science fiction is not necessarily post-apocalyptic, although it may contain post-apocalyptic elements, nor is it quite Steam Punk – which does contain elements of science fiction.  I don’t know whether science fiction romance is a separate genre, a sub-genre, a new genre, a finding its way genre…and I have no idea if there is a fan base.  From what I’ve read on the blogs, there isn’t, not really.

Here’s what pops into my head when I imagine a damn good science fiction story containing romance and sex in addition to outstanding science fiction elements – The Terminator.

Any ideas?  Yes?  No?  Regardless, I don’t plan to stop writing ‘em.

A room with a view!

For the first time in my entire life, I have a room of my own.  No, not this room, although a few years ago I did rent a flat for a week that had this exact view.  In fact, this picture is taken from a window in my flat!  Yes!

But that’s beside the point.  I went from my father’s house where I shared a room with my sister to college where I shared rooms with dorm mates to my first husband’s house to my father’s house where I shared a room with my infant son to my second husband’s house which we filled with kids and their friends.  Although my husband has an office of sorts, my office had been the kitchen table or the dining room table or the back of the couch or a chair.

After packing up my daughter’s room and injuring my back schlepping boxes and boxes and more boxes, today hubby and I put together my desk and matching desk chair, a totally cool leather armchair with matching ottoman, and a mega-amazing daybed/sofa.  OMG!  We sat up there, each sipping a Kir Royale – yay Mia – enjoying the fruits of our labors!  I have my own room with a glorious view of our backyard and its huge redwood trees and gigantic maple.  Sigh!  I’m an adult at last!  (Not really.)

Now I can slip away to my writer’s retreat and write like a real writer.  You think?

This week – still the major re-write.  Anny Cook will be guest blogging here and I think I’ve been assigned a blog meme. Gotta check it out!

Oh yeah…email me at if you want a signed hard copy of Captured.  Just checking to see if you’re paying attention.  No really, a signed copy.  love, julia

From The Romance Studio – many thanks…


Julia Rachel Barrett
Fantasy erotic romance
Available from Siren Publishing
ISBN: 1-60601-722-5
January 2010

Captured and caged in a cargo hold on a spaceship, Mari accidentally awakens to learn she and a few hundred other Earth females are headed to an extraterrestrial meat market to be sold as cattle. When her captors try to return her to stasis, she strongly resists. The male in charge, Ekkatt, begrudgingly allows her to remain awake even though she injured several of his men when she was first caught. Despite her understandable anger, Mari quickly realizes her survival depends upon connecting with Ekkatt. She must make him see her as a sentient being or she will end up dinner.

Ekkatt has never spoken to a human before. For him, all humans are beasts. They are valued for one thing only, the money they bring at auction. The Attun are vegetarians, but other species prize human flesh and Ekkatt makes good money trapping for them. Then the female with red hair awakens, speaks to him and forces him to admit she has a name. Ekkatt’s discovery of Mari’s sentience throws his entire life and its purpose into question. How can he participate in the sale of thinking, intelligent beings for food?

Julia Rachel Barrett has written an engaging novella in which she fully develops a world similar to, yet quite different from our own. Though the Attun appear technically advanced, their lives are reminiscent of Colonial life on Earth. The book also poses several interesting questions about colonizing different species together and allows its readers to reach their own conclusions.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mari and Ekkatt’s journey, and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys “other world” stories filled with three-dimensional characters living and working in a world that has a long, uneasy history with Earth. We weren’t the first intelligent beings to be created in this universe, and we probably aren’t last; the question is can we learn to live and play well with others?

Overall rating:
Sensuality rating: Very sensual

Reviewer: Kathryn
July 21, 2010


Ack!  I had a fun, smutty, Scottish-related post planned for today but instead, not…just news.

1.  My Everything, my romance-suspense with Cobblestone, got a five-star review from The Romance Studio:

2.  Beauty and the Feast, my contemporary with Resplendence, received a five-teacup review from Happily Ever After:

3.  The release of Daughters of Persephone will probably be delayed…ACK!  DOUBLE ACK!!!  I’ll be working on it all day today…@#$%^&*+=!

4.  Author Mia Watts, my not-so-secret online lover, arrives tomorrow!  Yay!  Pant…pant…pant.

5.  I tried a piece of bacon in Montana.  I liked it.  My daughter told me I can no longer officially call myself a vegetarian.  I’m a lapsed vegetarian.

6.  Siren sent me congrats yesterday on becoming a PAN-Eligible author, thanks to sales from Captured.  I’m in the news over there and if I had time, I’d do a happy dance!

7.  We get to look at the puppies early next week!!!  The breeder says there may be three long-coated babies, which we want, and one is a really big male.  Give me those really big males any day!  I do love boys and I miss mine!

8.  After reading Read React Review‘s take on Passion, by Lisa Valdez, my husband wants to know – here’s the question of the day – and if you can answer, you might just receive a copy of one of my books…How does one measure a penis?  From root to tip?  Where do you start your measurement?  LOL!  Only hubby-mine could come up with a question like that!

love, a stressed-out julia