Linnea Sinclair – Boldly Exploring Romance & Love

It’s the Stars In Your Eyes

I write science fiction romance novels. The science fiction part, which admittedly takes up a large part of the story, means I spend a lot of time Gabriel's Ghost96blowing up things, like, oh, starships. Space stations. A planet or two. My characters shoot super-sophisticated weapons, manipulate all kinds of high-tech gizmos, routinely go on interstellar journeys, and now and then end up in some seedy spaceport pub lifting a pint or three with a decidedly non-humanoid alien being.

None of that is as challenging or as difficult to write as the scenes where my characters deal with falling in love.

Even though we have for years been encouraged to “boldly go where no one has gone before,” it seems that the boldness required is most needed in emotional relationships. Your hyperspace fuel converter breaks down? Patch it together and when you hit the next spacedock, go buy a new one. But if your heart is broken, ah, now we’ve got problems. My characters often find that they’d rather take on a contingent of mech-organic zombies than face the fact they’ve fallen in love.

Hell and damn, this was not where she wanted the conversation to go. She only returned to assure herself of his well-being and to check current data on the tech running in his structure. Not to stare at his bare chest and indulge in foolish fantasies. And not to argue about what had to be done. “I do what I think is right for the mission and all involved, Sergeant Petrakos.”

—from THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES by Linnea Sinclair

Nothing is more difficult than love, more challenging than love, more frightening than love, more fragile than love—not military missions on strange worlds, not attacks by enemy agents, not even failing engine systems in a small shuttle in the unforgiving vacuum of deep space.

She stared at him. He’d kill himself. She knew that, knew the energy requirements of slowing and landing the shuttle would take every bit of life from him. Suddenly she realized how very wrong everyone’s appraisals were of the man called Branden Kel-Paten. He was willing to lose his life to save hers. To save even Serafino’s.

He was choosing to die. She had to make him choose to live.linnea sinclair meez1

She kissed him with a passion born of desperation, fear, and anger, taking advantage of his gasp of surprise to let her tongue probe his mouth. He leaned into her, wanting more, and she willingly gave it. Because behind her desperation and fear and anger was something else. Something that recognized how empty her life would be without his damnably annoying steadfast presence. His devotion to her—so misplaced, but so very much needed.

Damn him for making her feel this way!

—from GAMES OF COMMAND by Linnea Sinclair

But sometimes the threat comes not from the outside but inside. That’s one of the fun things about writing in the science fiction genre: neato peachy-keen cool tech, mysterious and illusive alien biologies. The tech can make your character bleed but what he is and the secrets he guards threaten from the very depths of his inside. What he is. What he can’t humanly admit to being without losing, well, being thought of as human.

My gaze flashed to his face, even though I didn’t want it to. And I saw Sully. Just Sully, now that he was close. But I didn’t know what he’d looked like, minutes before.

“What are you?” My voice broke, hoarse.

“Someone who loves you.” He sounded almost as hoarse, but his words were soft. “Someone who can’t change what he is. Someone who doesn’t want to believe those two things are incompatible.”

—from GABRIEL’S GHOST by Linnea Sinclair

If there are two points then to glean from the melding of science fiction and romance—unlikely bedfellows, admittedly—it’s that the genre celebrates the hope of romance in spite of increasing technology, and the promise that romance will exist in the future. We may well be boldly going where no one has gone before, but we definitely won’t be going there alone.

…and suddenly I love you beyond all measure is not just words but a heart, a soul bursting open, a stripping raw of all pretense. It is Sully, it is Gabriel, it is his tears on my face, his body in mine, our minds seamless. It is hopes and dreams and failures. It is apologies and a prayer for redemption. It is heaven and damnation.

All that I am is yours pales beside it.

It is everything.

It is love.

–from SHADES OF DARK by Linnea Sinclair


PJ Schnyder – Fighting Kat/Hunting Kat

Sara Creasy – Song of Scarabaeus

Catherine Asaro – Alpha

Julie E Czerneda – Trade Pact Series

Isabo Kelly – Naravan Chronicles Series

JD Robb – In Death Series

Robin D Owens – HeartMate Series

Christina Westcott – A Hero For The Empire (out Oct 2014)

And pretty much everything on the list here:


Questions for the Author:

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I spent ten+ years as a private detective, and carried a gun and a badge. I could tell you about the most daring and adventurous things I did in my lifeLinnea PI Badge but then I’d have no choice but to put you into the witness protection program.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I’m an only child so I spent a good part of the first twelve to fifteen years of my life with invisible friends and the stories I wrote about them. I’ve always written, always crafted stories in my head, always rewrote the endings of books I read or shows and movies I watched.

I majored in journalism as an undergrad only because that seemed a practical way to put my love of words to work. But my heart was always with fiction, and I was active in Star Trek fan fic for a good decade before I decided to send out the manuscripts gathering dust on my hard drive.

I sold my first book, a fantasy novel, to a small Canadian press in 1999. I snagged an agent in 2004 and subsequently had my backlist bought by Bantam and continued to write for them for several years. The highlight of my writing career to date, though, was when I received an email from author and editor Gardner Dozois asking me to contribute a short story to an anthology that he was editing along with George R. R. Martin. Yes, THAT George R. R. “Game of Thrones” Martin. Once I picked myself up off the floor, I immediately answered with a “yes.” (And I suspect I have the lovely and talented Mary Jo Putney to thank for the intro… just sayin’…)

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

The book that changed my writing life was Dwight V Swain’s TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER. It made me understand why fiction works and how fiction works, and gave me the tools I needed to put my dreams onto paper successfully.

Linnea is generously giving away one ebook copy in format of choice for THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES to a US/Canadian fan (entry below) and one ebook copy in format of choice for THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES to an International fan (enter here).  It’s Men In Black meets CSI:Miami!

He’s a Florida cop. She’s an intergalactic zombie hunter. Saving Earth is the least of their problems…

Bahia Vista homicide detective Theo Petrakos thought he’d seen it all. Then a mummified corpse and a room full of futuristic hardware sends LinneaSinclair_72DownHomeZombieGuardian Force commander Jorie Mikkalah into his life. Before the night’s through, he’s become her unofficial partner—and official prisoner—in a race to save the Earth. And that’s only the start of his troubles.

Jorie’s mission is to stop a deadly infestation of bio-mechanical organisms from using Earth as a breeding ground. If she succeeds, she could save a world and win a captaincy. But she needs Theo’s help, even if their unlikely partnership threatens to set off an intergalactic incident, and forces her to choose between a planet and a promotion—and a man who’s become far more important than she cares to admit…

4-1/2 Stars—Top Pick! From Romantic Times BOOKreviews: “Quirky, offbeat and packed with gritty action, this blistering novel explodes out of the gate and never looks back. Counting on Sinclair to provide top-notch science fiction elaborately spiced with romance and adventure is a given, but she really aces this one! A must-read, by an author who never disappoints.”


sm-Linnea Sinclair 2012-13Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA®, as well as the PRISM, PEARL, and SAPPHIRE, author Linnea Sinclair is a name synonymous with high-action, emotionally intense, character-driven science fiction romance novels. Reviewers note that Sinclair’s novels “have the wow-factor in spades.” Her books have claimed spots in the Locus Top Ten and received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly.  Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine consistently gives Sinclair’s books 4-1/2 stars (their highest rating). Starlog magazine calls Sinclair “one of the reigning queens of science fiction romance.” She’s the author of the exciting Dock Five Universe series that starts with Gabriel’s Ghost. Other Sinclair novels include PEARL award winners Finders Keepers, Games of Command, and Hope’s Folly (Dock Five book #3).

Sinclair, a former news reporter and private investigator, resides in Florida (winters) and Ohio (summers) with her husband, Robert Bernadino, and their thoroughly spoiled cats. Readers can find her perched on the third barstool from the left in her Intergalactic Bar and Grille at

Buy Linnea’s books:

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  • K J Van Houten

    I have all of your books available as ebooks — and some as audiobooks! Love them all! Hope the rest make it to audiobook, too. There just isn’t enough of this type of SFR out there so I appreciate that you included some suggestions. Can’t wait to see what you publish next!! Just know it won’t be soon enough, lol!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      KJ, My agent has offered the rest of my books to the audio book people and they weren’t interested… 🙁

      • Seriously??! Have you talked to audible?

        • Linnea Sinclair

          No but my agent has. That’s who said thanks but no thanks.

        • Linnea Sinclair

          Let me clarify–Audible has my Dock Five series to date. They declined interest in anything more or any other of my books. As of this writing. Next year, who knows?

  • Martha B

    Total aside. My sister’s name is Linnea and one brother’s name is named Sture. Both are old school Swedish names popular in the late 1800’s and a nod to our heritage. Me? I was named from my great-grandmother. Now, back to your essay/blog above. What an interesting life you’ve led. From being a private detective, to news reporting to writing. All of us follow unique paths to become the people we were meant to be.

    • Linnea Sinclair

      News reporting came first, then the PI biz, then the book writing biz. I still haven’t figured out what I’ll be when I grow up…

  • Patty Wilcox

    Thank you for the excerpts. If I like an excerpt, it makes me want to buy the book. I liked your excerpts.

  • Marcia Boswell-Carney

    I love your books. Several are on my go-to re-read when nothing else will do shelf. I already have the Down Home Zombie Blues, so you can give it to someone else. I juse wanted to say “THANKS!”

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

  • Quinn Fforde

    You are so right!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Well,thank you! 🙂

  • Lenée M. Anderson

    HI Linnea! I love your name! I’ve not read any of your books yet but maybe now I should! 😉 Good luck to you!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      HI Lenee, I sometimes hangout with author Leanna Renee Hieber. Then it gets really confusing… :->

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’m super intrigued by your excerpts as well…definitely plan on reading your books. I enjoy scifi romance and sometimes it can be hard to find the right mix. There is a plethora of fantasy/paranormal romance out there but not as much scifi so I’m glad to find another author to add to my list!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Check out The Galaxy Express noted above. You’ll get lots of leads for sci fi romance books! 🙂

      • Courtney Cogswell

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check that out 🙂

  • mariannewestrich

    I’m usually not a Sci Fi reader but your excerpts have me rethinking that decision. TThanks for broadening my reading.

    • Linnea Sinclair

      It never occurred to me NOT to read science fiction but then I often view it as just another locale. I mean, I read books set in Paris and books set in Chicago. Those locales are by no means identical but I enjoy the “local flavor” of each. Same with reading different time periods…contemporary as opposed to, oh, 1800s. Each time period, each city, even each occupation the characters pursue (ie: doctor vs cowboy) lends a unique flavor. Science fiction is the same way. You’re just going forward in time as well so the cell-phones work better. 😉

      But seriously, it’s still all about the characters. My characters feel love the same way a character in a contemporary novel does. It’s just the decor that changes… 🙂

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I am going to have to check out your books.

    • Linnea Sinclair


  • Barbara E.

    I’ve enjoyed your books so much Linnea! I’m not entering the contest because I’ve read The Down Home Zombie Blues, and I adored it. So everyone else should enter, or just go buy it, because it’s really good. 😀

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Aww, thanks!

  • Narda Seaberry

    I’m always looking for new authors to read. This sounds really good.

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Thank you!

  • Mary Dieterich

    I love reading science fiction. All the new worlds and people are fascinating, but the heart of the story is always very human!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      That’s the key–characters. It always amazed me, doing book signings, where readers would come to my table, find out what I wrote, and recoil in horror. Science fiction! I can’t relate to that, they’d say…whilst having a smart phone in one hand, a tablet in the other, tweeting, instagramming, texting… and at home all sorts of high-tech gizmos, AND GPS in car. But they’re afraid of a story set with technology. Really? 😉 It’s still characters who just happen to have some fun technology. I wonder how many readers who run in fear of SF realize that how we live “now” would be super high tech compared to 1950… Just sayin’…

  • Donna McGuigan

    Lonnnng time fan, have learned so much from you about writing! Love all of your books, Games of Command and the Gabriel series are the best! Thank you !

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Thank you, Donna!

  • Martha Lawton

    I love the Jayne Castle books too! Good books in this genre are hard to find

    • Linnea Sinclair

      That’s because it’s difficult to market SFR/RSF (Sci Fi Romance/Romantic Science Fiction). Shelve us in the SF aisles (where I was for years) and the romance readers can’t find you. Shelve us in romance and the SF readers fear to tread there. There are tons of top SFR books out there. You have to be willing to hunt both aisles.

  • Wendi Rogers

    Thank you, for the reading list. I am always looking for more science fiction romance to read. “Finders Keepers” is my favorite.

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Thanks Wendi! Rhis and Tribly are two of my faves..and, oh, Dezi! 🙂

  • Patty Vasquez

    Linnea Sinclair, I have missed you! Every chance I get, I tell people to read your books. I want to be your one of your heroines in space and each of your heroes owns a piece of my heart. Well, except for the piece that is still sort of bent by Gabriel. He has mind-melded that piece, I’m afraid. I hope he and Chaz have found their HEA. Drinks on me at the Intergalactic Bar and Grille!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Aww, Patty, thanks! ::clinks glasses::

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I didn’t realize that there was sci-fi romance novels. Guess I live in a sheltered world. (LOL) What an interesting path you followed to become a writer. I’m impressed!!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Um, yeppers, SFR and RSF have been out there for a good twenty if not more years. Check out The Galaxy Express, that I mentioned (with the link) in my blog. Whatever you need to know it there.

  • M Kuxhaus

    My secret dream job is being a private investigator. Somehow, I think the fictional ones (Archie Goodwin, Veronica Mars) have more fun than the real ones. Did you have fun?

    • Linnea Sinclair

      M, I had a blast. I could talk about my PI days for hours. Meet me in the bar. 😉 It was not only fascinating, every day different, but I felt that what I did made a difference. How I got into the biz involved a long story of me, cancer, and an intense chat with God. Suffice it to say, making a difference was (and still is) important to me.

  • Pamby50

    I have a feeling I’m going to love reading your books. Parts of your excerpts remind of the League books by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Sherri’s a great gal. No one says Holy Guacamole like she does. 😉 Please check out my full excerpts on my site. 🙂

  • Erin F

    oooooh… I think that futuristic/sci fi romance still go so well w/ romance is b/c no matter what the high tech gadgets or new worlds, the romance stays the same 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Your books sound awesome!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Erin, totally. There were lovely romance stories written in 1940 and 1950 (go watch some old Hepburn movies or Cary Grant movies). Our tech today would be super high tech to them–futuristic. But our ability to love hasn’t changed. Did love stop in Jane Austen’s time? No. So why do we assume that love won’t happen 500 years from now? Just sayin…

  • Joan Varner

    Thank you for including romance with sci-fi. It has always been a treat for me to find that combination in a book. Until now I had only found it in Jayne Castle’s books. Now I have to go look up your books.

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Check out the list on The Galaxy Express. You have a lot of fun reading ahead of you! 🙂

  • Phyllis Eide

    Hurrah for something Amazon does right – the 1.99 special. That’s how I found one of your books and have been hurtling thru the rest at a rapid clip. Hope to see you @ Worldcon next year, in my hometown of Spokane WA. Back in the 1980’s, I had a taste of the genre with LA Taylor’s “Blossom of Erda” but since then, I think the curse of bookshelving has prevented further exploration. Thanks for all the hyperlinks to information and excellent websites for reading and writing in this genre. Cheers!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      I’ve never done Worldcon, Phyllis. Hope to some day but likely not next year. WA is a looong flight from FL. 😉 I do the Romantic Times Book Conference annually though–have for over ten years. It’s in Dallas next year and I think it’s in Vegas (!!) the year after.

      • Phyllis Eide

        I think you’d enjoy, even having to endure a looong flight. Did you know CJ Cherryh lives in Spokane??? . I’m pretty sure she’ll be involved – she was one of the big ‘pro’s’ at the SpoCon this year.

  • Sharon Forbes

    Really enjoyed your post! Especially since I don’t read science fiction romance. My husband loves to watch his box sets of all the Star Trek series, and I will confess, I kind of like them too, but have never ventured into reading sci-fi. That may change though, as you have piqued my interest! Which of your books would you suggest I read to start with? Thanks, and thanks for a great post!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Sharon, I actually have a pretty good sized male readership, so your hubby might like my books too. It’s always hard to suggest books for someone since I don’t know what pushes your buttons in a positive way. I suggest you go to my site and read the blurbs and watch the book videos, then find the story line or type of character that appeals to you. 😉

  • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

    Thanks for writing this post! I haven’t run across any syfy romance novels and am definitely looking forward to reading yours. I love science fiction! And don’t get me started on Star Trek! I watched every series they came out with, movies, and even bought books, too. Thanks for bringing syfy and romance together. 🙂

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Thanks Meredith! I have my full book list and excerpts on my site (and even some book videos as teasers). Plus as I’ve been posting here, The Galaxy Express is a great resource for all things SFR!

      • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

        Thanks, I will definitely check it out. 🙂

  • Stephanie M.

    Loved your post. I grew up watching Star Trek and other sci-fi shows/movies. I enjoy them even more now. I always like comparing the futurist technology of the older shows/movies to what has become reality. I haven’t read many sci-fi books, however, I plan to read your books as well as those you recommended. Thanks. 🙂

    • Linnea Sinclair

      I grew up watching the original Trek. 🙂 Yeah, I’m that old. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  • rebecca moe

    Hmm. Depending on the stories, the witness protection program might be worth it. 😉

    Great post!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Meet me in the bar, ply me with gin and tonics… and I’ll give you a few true tales. 🙂

  • Make Kay

    Yay! I found some books I haven’t read yet to try from your recommendations. Cheers!

    • Linnea Sinclair

      Awesome! Glad to expand your reading shelf.

  • Ruth

    I have been a science fiction reader since I was a kid. I love the idea of melding my two favorite genres (sci-fi and romance). Thank you for your great post!