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Listened to Lindsay Buroker Interview

Listened Lindsay Buroker on Pen Names, Podcasting, and Rapid Release (Reair) by an author from

Episode 128 / We’re headed back to the archives for a fun interview with Lindsay Buroker. Lindsay talks about the benefits and drawbacks of pen names, the advantages of podcasting for writers, and how she writes and releases books into Kindle Unlimited using the rapid release model, then goes wide…

Lean into your strengths for author strategy

Write to market, but also if you read in the genre you can probably find a way to write what you enjoy too

Readers really love characters and will follow along for them

Look for less competitive Amazon categories – watch for new openings in your genre

If you can’t write fast, may need to do more marketing

Romance Science Fiction

Read Trial and Temptation

Read Trial and Temptation (Mandrake Company, #2) by Ruby Lionsdrake

After ten years of flying freighter ships from planet to planet, Val Calendula never thought she would apply for a job as a combat pilot in a mercenary outfit. But her brother has gotten himself into financial trouble, and he’s heading to a mining prison if Val can’t pay off his debts. Mercenaries don’t always live long… but they make good money while they’re alive. A few combat bonuses, and Val could earn what she needs. The problem? She might have graduated from the military flight academy, but she hasn’t fought anything more dangerous than dust bunnies on the bridge lately. To make matters worse, the man in charge of hiring pilots was her instructor back at the academy. Commander Thatcher was almost as brilliant as he was arrogant and condescending, and he never seemed to think Val was smart enough to be there. She has no idea if she’ll be able to convince him otherwise now… or if she’ll be able to stand working with him.

When Gregor Thatcher left the military, he never expected to run into any of his former acquaintances, much less the one he admired and mooned over during his two years teaching at the academy. Back then, he never told Val Calendula he cared for her, partially because officers weren’t supposed to have relations with cadets, but mostly because he didn’t know how to speak of his feelings. He might not have any trouble grasping navigational mathematics and astrodynamics, but people are more problematic. Gregor is elated that Val has entered his life again, but he’s fairly certain she hates him. Worse, he’s responsible for deciding whether she’s qualified to be a combat pilot. How can he judge fairly when his tongue tangles and idiotic words come out of his mouth whenever she’s around?

When the captain sends Val and Gregor on a mission to pick up a military advisor and deliver him to a planet at war, Val hopes she’ll have an opportunity to prove herself capable of the piloting position. Gregor hopes he’ll have the opportunity to improve Val’s opinion of him. But when the military advisor goes missing, and they’re forced to divert to a dangerous moon base, the mission turns into a fight for survival. Val may learn too late that there’s more to Gregor than that aloof exterior… and that inside is a man she could love.

Enjoyed this though not as much as the first book in the series – this felt a little smaller in scope with less at stake but more serious, missing the goofy elements of the first and adding in sexual harassment and attempted sexual assault ☹️

The hero is coded autistic / Asperger’s, and it’s uncomfortable that no one in the future is aware that autism is a thing and just makes fun of him for the way he acts and talks? The heroine assumes he’s just an arrogant asshole until she notices that he talks the same way to everyone (how did she not notice this as his student? 🤔). Her shift from thinking he’s a dick to putting the moves on him feels abrupt, with not quite enough supporting her change in perspective.

This world feels grimmer than the first, even with a smaller body count. The attempted sexual assault is not punished, in fact things take an even worse turn, so I feel like that needed to be resolved. Then again, this is a universe where an entire planet was destroyed for daring to rebel, so pretty grim.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Mercenary Instinct

Read Mercenary Instinct (Mandrake Company, #1) by Ruby Lionsdrake

Skulking around in the ruins on a planet swarming with treasure hunters, slavers, and bounty hunters isn’t good for one’s health. But Ankari Markovich needs a few archaeological samples for her latest business venture, a venture that might prove lucrative enough to move her family off the impoverished planet where she grew up. Unfortunately, she has no sooner collected her samples than she’s captured by a band of brawny mercenaries. The captain might be handsome, but he’s intent on turning her over to some finance lord who has, for reasons unknown, put a bounty on her head, a ridiculously large one at that. If she can’t figure out a way to escape before she’s delivered to the lord’s home world, she could be forced into a life of indentured servitude—or worse.

Captain Viktor Mandrake doesn’t usually take on piddling bounty hunting gigs, but when his intelligence officer informs him of a criminal on a nearby planet, he decides it wouldn’t hurt to take a shuttle down to collect the woman. But Ankari Markovich is trouble from the start, nearly eluding his elite forces, then fighting and tricking his people left and right. He finds himself admiring her spirit, but according to her warrant, she’s a criminal. The safest thing is to keep her in the brig and ignore her until she can be handed off to the man who wants her.

But the situation grows more complicated when other bounty hunters show up, wanting to claim Ankari for themselves. Thanks to this woman, Viktor’s ship is in danger, his crew members are going missing, and he’s fighting enemies he never asked for in a jungle in the middle of a hurricane. He’s either going to strangle Ankari… or fall in love. Either scenario could get him killed.

Enjoyed this! Lots of fun elements and I loved the heroine’s attitude and daring. Not super steamy, and it took them quite a while to get together, which felt appropriate considering she was his prisoner, even though he quickly reevaluated whether he was in the right. The tension kept bumping up, with new difficulties appearing as the previous was resolved. I was tickled that they were all so into gut microfauna 😂