Exclusive Cover Reveal: PORTALS: Gateway to the Worlds of Science Fiction Romance

File this under super spiffy sci-fi romance news:

Coming soon to an online venue near you will be PORTALS, a four-volume collection of forty first chapters from sci-fi romance novels! Authors include Susan Grant, Sharon Lynn Fisher, Marcella Burnard, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Michelle Diener, Pippa Jay, Greta van der Rol, Donna S. Frelick, Lea Kirk, Cathryn Cade, Sabine Priestley, Jody Wallace and K.M. Fawcett.

The goal of PORTALS is to introduce readers to a wide variety of SFR openers they can conveniently sample to help them decide which stories intrigue them the most. The best part? PORTALS will be free!

PORTALS, Volume 1 has a tentative release date of 5/17/16 and subsequent volumes releasing approximately every two weeks after that. Look for them on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and most other major e-book outlets.

Each volume is grouped more or less by heat level. Volume one and four are medium hot, volume two is very hot, and volume three is mild. To learn more about the PORTALS project, read the announcement post at Spacefreighters Lounge.

Putting together a collection of sci-fi romance openers from forty different authors is an undertaking in and of itself, but creating a cover for such a large collaboration is a true feat. Fortunately, author and Sci-Fi Encounters blogger Veronica Scott was willing to tackle this monumental task on behalf of the group. She’s here to dish on the cover design process for Portals. Take it away, Veronica!

The Journey Behind the Cover: Portals

Portal-mockeup2I thoroughly enjoy the cover art process, in partnership with the wonderful Fiona Jayde, who creates my science fiction romance covers. It’s time consuming, searching through various stockphoto sites for a few candidate heroes, which is where she and I usually begin. (Yes, hard work but someone has to do it, ahem.) Often we go back and forth a few times, with Fiona patiently explaining to me why the various guys with whom I fell in love-lust-or-like really don’t work for a romance cover.

So imagine me tackling this process for what is essentially a book with thirty-nine other authors! When the Portals project was first conceived by members of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, I volunteered to come up with a cover that could be used for four volumes of differing heat levels, and which would do the best job possible of representing the content.

Fiona was up for the challenge. Like the best reality shows, we had some conditions, set by various authors who had strong feelings. No bare chested model, no matter how defined the abs. No tattoos. We had suggestions galore – use a couple, change couples on each cover, use a guy looking over his shoulder at us, have a bare chested tattooed guy on the volume with the high heat content, use silhouettes, have spaceships, don’t have spaceships…it sounds head spinning, but it was valuable input for Fiona and me.

The feedback from the authors also beautifully illustrates the sheer variety of stories available in science fiction romance. Readers can enjoy tales set in space, on Earth, on other planets, on space stations… the characters can be human, alien, different genders, same genders – the possibilities are endless. We hope that among the forty stories represented in the complete Portals collection, readers will find many combinations of setting, plot and characters to enjoy.

Eventually Fiona and I collaborated on the Portal Keeper concept, with this appealingly scruffy, slightly mysterious, but handsome sentinel inviting you to enter the “Gateway to the worlds of science fiction romance.” We felt that the concept embodied a strong brand identity to tell readers what they would find behind the cover of each volume.

I’d go through the Portal, wouldn’t you?

About the author

VeronicaScottBest Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog,  Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Married young to her high school sweetheart then widowed, Veronica has two grown daughters, one grandson and cats Keanu and Jake.

Veronica’s life has taken many twists and turns, but she always makes time to keep reading and writing. Everything is good source material for the next novel or the one after that, right? She’s been through earthquakes, tornadoes and near death experiences…Always more stories to tell, new adventures to experience—Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.”

Heather’s Latest Sci-Fi Romance Adventures

When it rains sci-fi romance, it pours! I invite you to have fun reading two of my latest posts:

Grrl Powered Steampunk! via Coffee Time Romance’s Steampunk site

Badass Women and the Nerdy Men Who Love Them via SF Signal (includes book recs with this pairing!)

Enjoy!

Blogging About DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW AT SF Signal

My latest SF Signal post is about how I went from being mildly interested in the CW superhero show DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW to becoming a full-fledged fan. Find out which episode changed my mind and why!

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Is Smarter Than It Looks

Looking for #SFR recs

I bow to the SFR hive mind on this one. 🙂 People, I’m after recs to add to my TBR pile. At the moment, I’m going through a lot of non-fiction, mostly textbooks as The Wast prepares himself for his exams. I’m in dire need of some distraction, but can’t think of what to read, so I throw myself upon your mercy.

What do you recommend?

I’d like to steer clear of any military or military-like stories. I’m a military brat myself, but have great ambivalence towards the service and am really looking for entertainment at the moment.

I’d also prefer a not-so-obviously North American background. There are N. American terms I don’t understand, and I don’t want to get involved in a story where I need to research particular terms. God knows I’m doing enough of that during our swotting time.

Strong heroines, natch, but no bullies.

No erotic scenes. I find I’m pulling away from the erotic SFR romances. Anyone else finding that?

I suppose it all adds up to a read that’s relaxing, above all.

I know, I’ve listed quite a few daunting criteria. Still, anything else left standing once the dust settles?