Q&A with S.B.K. Burns & Giveaway

Series Description:
The Legends of The Goldens Series is a collection of quirky urban-fantasy romances, about vampire good guys—psychic orbweavers who create, or weave together, real universes. They can shapeshift, telepath, teleport, heal—and make love, not war, with their fangs. Instinctively they rescue both humans and vampires, even when neither is too keen on being saved.
~ Bewitching BT

Forbidden Playground (Legends of the Goldens #1)

  • By S.B.K. Burns
  • Editions: ebook
  • Published: December 9th 2013 by Soul Mate Publishing
  • Genre: Adult Sci-Fi / Paranormal / Romance
  • Part human. Part alien. Being superhuman doesn’t make them immune to love. Or to heartbreak.
    Akeelah never asks to be different. She sure doesn’t ask to be a hybrid. She doesn’t want to be a psychic orbweaver like her people—able to create new worlds with only a thought.
    She. Just. Wants. To. Be. A. Girl. More precisely, Saffron’s girl.
    Saffron’s her best friend, a hybrid like her—and hot. Being superhuman doesn’t make him immune to love. Or heartbreak. His one focus—Akeelah.
    Coming into their powers and against the wishes of their android guardians, together Akeelah and Saffron practice their psychic skills.
    Because of the dangers of orbweaving, the guardians they trust take Akeelah away, zap her memory.
    Saffron can’t live without Akeelah. All he wants is her memory restored, so she knows she’s in love with him.
    But trust is rare in a world full of deception, androids, and aliens—even when two people love each other.
    ~ Bewitching BT


    Legends of the Goldens Series Banner  450 x 169


    ” Tanzania, in the near future, on a near Earth

    Out of the watchful eyes of her android guardians, Akeelah’s spirit floated weightless in the dark.
    Come to me. Come into my world, a galaxy of stars spoke to her as they winked in and out from the black celestial sphere of her mind. Each of their pleas, more promise-filled than the last.
    There it was. The portal. The proper entrance to her jungle wilderness approached. It changed from pinpoint to circle. Taking the form of a long undulating tube, the portal into the jungle universe enveloped her, sucking her into a mist-filled clearing.
    Through the fog, green fan palms and ferns smothered her in fragrances rich with life percolating from the loam beneath. Tempted by a clearing bordered by moss-covered rock, she inhaled the aromatic air. Everywhere, space filled itself with the busyness of life. Birdsong rang out with diversity richer and more complex than found in Uhuratown, her home on the trembling slopes of Kilimanjaro.
    And here he was—Saffron—just where he said he’d be, all smiles and confidently striding toward her.
    He thinks he’s the one who got us here. Noting his false confidence, she shook her head, averting her eyes to palm fronds waving gently against the powder-blue sky.
    This orb, this universe, she’d created, would be special, if it held, if woven tightly enough. As real as my belief in it. As safe as I want it to be.
    Nearly breathless, she looked up at Saffron and inspected his perfection. When had her image of him changed from a so-so childhood friend to this overwhelming distraction?
    Saffron. Magnificent Saffron. Muscular in his creamy skin, like hers with just a tinge of metallic gold. His crystal-blue eyes, his dazzling smile framed in long white-blond ringlets, flowing over those powerfully built shoulders.
    Akeelah moved her hand over the bib of her overalls and down past her stomach, hoping to put out fires aroused by thoughts of her attractive friend.
    Her orbing had worked. They’d arrived safely, unscathed. The universe had changed. Didn’t it always? Yet, she still had the same immature body and, unfortunately, the same cravings.
    Her heart beat faster as she attempted and failed to catch her breath. Undoubtedly he’s all there too.
    He put his hand out to her, palm up. So inviting.
    Saffron smiled big at her, the smile that melted many a native girl’s heart. Yet he seemed clueless about his allure, or he’d have noticed her looking at him with the same longing.
    He grabbed her hand and pulled her through the forest. Cold and wet foliage slapped against her face. Here she was again, thoughtlessly dragged behind him as if some forgotten appendage.
    His large hand grasped hers and projected self-assurance. False assurance.
    He meant well, but Akeelah could not resonate with the discomfort. She wanted to behave maturely, with the grownup and sophisticated fortitude shown by the village girls who gathered around as he scintillated bigger than life. At such times, she felt trivial standing there beside him—her hair, a dirty blonde, her eyes, a polluted turquoise, and her skin, pale and freckled, all wrapped up in the baggy overalls of a tomboy. They were both twenty. Slow to mature, but she looked years younger.
    She wanted to suck up her distress and carry on, pretending none of it mattered. But, eventually, whether she complained or not, she would fail. Once disenchanted, she’d be unable to find the will to forcibly resonate with him, and this world would collapse without her continued support.
    Slick from the jungle wetness, Saffron’s hand lost its grip. He bounded ahead, leaving her collapsed to her knees in a shallow swamp.
    Just like him. It would be minutes before he’d realize she was no longer in tow.
    She sat there waiting for some creature to shove its ugly head through the silent fronds. Soaked to her waist, she scooted back against the trunk of a palm.
    A punk-looking kid, a kinky-haired redhead, appeared in front of her, a teenager with piercings all over his freckled face.
    “Oh, sorry, love,” he said, with a sexy, maybe-Scottish accent. “I must ’ave lost ma way.” Then the punk kid disappeared—right through her.
    She gasped as Saffron exploded from the fronds and grabbed for her hand, water dripping down his handsome face to a soaked shirt plastered against his muscled torso.
    “Come, Akeelah. I made an ocean, reefs and all. I want you to see it.”
    She tried to tell him about the redheaded interloper, the punk kid, but all Saffron did was shake his head in confusion. Smiling again, he continued his obsession with showing her his creations. She sighed, ready for another round of wet foliage and squishy swamp.
    As the rain dripped down her face, darker clouds gathered above. Probably reflecting her mood from Saffron ignoring her feelings.
    He pulled her through the jungle toward his ocean at an uninhibited pace, her attention helplessly drawn in front of her to jeans stretched tightly over his straining bottom.
    It no longer mattered how magnificent, how handsome he looked, because he didn’t know how she felt trapped in her young body, a body that wanted the same thing as those more stylish girls—him—a body that might never have him.
    This orb, this tropical forest, she’d helped Saffron conjure, wasn’t real, or put more succinctly, Akeelah could no longer force herself to believe in it. As her conviction ebbed, nimbus clouds gathered, and the world began to disintegrate. A clap of thunder robbed her of the sweet-smelling air, pulled her out of his grasp and through the jungle’s birth canal, delivering her back to Tanzania onto the scraggly-forested slopes of Mount Kili. Home.
    As silence descended, she found herself sprawled on the fallen leaves under a baobab tree.
    Tension gripped her insides. No Saffron. ”

    Dancing Dragons (Legends of the Goldens #1)

  • By S.B.K. Burns
  • Editions: ebook
  • Expected publication: by Soul Mate Publishing
  • Genre: Adult Sci-Fi / Paranormal / Romance
  • Eco warrior, Maggie Maclaurin, can somehow see through Andrew’s conjured fraternity disguise: he’s a psychic cousin to the vampires, and with those flying dragon tattoos undulating suggestively across his naked chest, positively an endangered species, definitely in need of saving.
    But when real vampires make a pact with the corrupt government to bring a little more nasty onto campus, Maggie’s chaotic human vibes keep Andrew from protecting her, make him sick, each time he comes in for a nibble from the neck of this attractive, yet headstrong young woman.
    Can Andrew forget about his self-centeredness long enough to gain Maggie’s trust, so he can save her from the vampire’s fangs, and, if he does, who will save her from his own?
    ~ Bewitching BT



    ” My blood. Andrew couldn’t stop his nose from bleeding. He couldn’t think the blood away.
    The good news—the pressure in his head lessened the farther he was from the commons and Maggie, that strawberry-blond Valkyrie. The bad news—they were caught in a dark alley between two buildings with three very tall Pseudo-vamp fraternity brothers blocking their way.
    Andrew had the strangest sensation the silhouetted figures were predators, velociraptors on alert, eyeing their prey—them—before the attack.
    Hey, wait. They’re not pseudo anything. They’re the real things. Real vamps. Vampires.
    Messing with me? Even in his present condition. A big, big mistake.
    As he closed in on the vamps, their real-live fangs deployed. Their pupils expanded until their eyeballs went black, glistening with anticipation. Although Andrew’s own fangs descended from time to time, these were much larger, not meant for mating, but for accessing human jugulars big-time.
    Still feeling weak, he turned to Nathan. “Get out of here.”
    How could his roommate, who claimed to believe in and worship vampires, be clueless of the consequences? He thought he could handle the vamps. Nathan wouldn’t rate as a memorable snack.
    His roommate hesitated, looking toward Andrew then back along his escape route, deciding whether Andrew could survive if he cut and ran.
    Andrew placed his hand behind his back so Nathan could see the conjured gun he pretended to hold. Nathan took off.
    Good boy. Andrew had a lot of explaining to do back at the dorms. How he’d smuggled the gun onto campus.
    The first vampire spoke. “We didn’t mean to scare you. I thought you guys could help us.”
    “You know, free blood,” another said. “You look quite tasty with that lovely nosebleed of yours.”
    “Please,” Andrew said, “just turn around and forget I’m here. Ignore the blood. I’m not what you think.”
    At that, all three vamps laughed heartily, maybe believing themselves at the top of the food chain.
    Andrew never had run-ins with real vampires. They were supposed to be a myth. And what was happening to him? He shouldn’t be afraid, yet it was all he could do to inhibit shaking from his lips to his toes.
    He ramped up his courage. How difficult could this be? He’d opened portals to other universes, convinced others of anything he wished, and, just as quickly, made them forget.
    The vampires approached, each with his own kind of overconfident swagger, energy fields projected from their demon-black eyes. They were attempting to mesmerize him!
    He felt nothing.
    How lame. They really had no eye talent whatsoever. Seriously, they need lessons.
    As they reached out to seize him, he closed his eyes. Were his portals still wacky from his run-in with Maggie? Did he have enough time to find a portal to the Goldens’ homeworld, before the vamps got to him?
    In the dark of his mind, the end of an oscillating tube rushed toward him. He let it suck all of them into another universe. ”


    1.If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?

    2.What would you say inspired you to write it?
    In the news: African gangs ritualistically killing albinos for their body parts.

    3.What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
    A hero who starts his character arc self-centered until he learns what it’s like to lose someone he loves. The heroine who must hide her awesome powers from her society. The antagonist is an android who wants to be human.

    4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
    I’ve come close when ending my stories, because everything at the end must fit the beginning. But, no, I don’t have what is called a writer’s block, because I do not edit with the same brain with which I write. I do not write and edit on the same day, nor do I judge anything as I’m creating it.

    5. Your all-time favorite book?
    There isn’t just one. There are many. But if I had to choose a sci-fi, it would have to be John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar. If I chose my favorite romance it would be Jade Lee’s Devil’s Bargain. [see my voicereview.org blog site for my favorites]

    6. What made you pick that one above all others?
    Stand on Zanzibar because it’s off-beat, quirky, and captures the times [and features nippy cups which are prominently worn by goo-goos, female tattoo artists in my Legends of The Goldens Series]. Devil’s Bargain because it mixes historical romance, sex, and psychological horror to perfection.

    7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
    My scientific research = 5 years. My first novel, creating and editing = 3 years.

    8.1. Would you say becoming an author has changed you?
    8.2.In what way?
    For one thing, when I see movies, I find myself analyzing them for ways the screenplay manipulates the audience. I find myself a little too critical of other people’s work. I’m always trying to edit other’s works, like I edit my own.

    9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
    No, never felt like giving up. My characters kept me going. It wasn’t about me anymore.

    10. What does your day-to-day life consist of?
    I belong to two live read and critique groups. I have four small press published critique partners I meet with once a month. I belong to Romance Writers of America and am on their board of directors. What else do you do, aside writing? I continue looking into a philosophy based on my scientific research (theunionofopposites.com).

    11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism?
    I haven’t gotten bad reviews, but then I haven’t focused on gathering reviewers. I do understand that my stuff isn’t for everyone. And I listen to what critics say in order to learn more about the craft. What would you advise other authors to that effect? Always be aware that the only way to grow as a writer is to listen to the reader. When I stop listening, then I’ll stop growing. And when I stop growing, I’ve sworn to stop writing. I haven’t gotten there yet.

    12.1. Is this title part of a series?
    Both books, Forbidden Playground and Dancing Dragons, are part of the Legends of the Goldens Series.

    12.2. Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
    The next book is a prequel that gives more of a background of the romance between a Golden, Chastity, and a vampire, Zander that figures prominently in Dancing, some of it takes place at Comic-Con, at the vampire comic booth. The next sequel will evolve into a space opera with the vampires, Goldens, the governments corrupt Survey, and the androids taking their conflicts and love interests into space.

    13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
    I’m almost finished with my steampunk, Fly Like An Eagle, which exists in a similar world as my first published novel, Entangled (that merges science and spirituality with teams going into the past to change scientific history, one by a quantum computer, the other by past life regression).
    The next novel will be featuring an emotionally challenged aerospace-plane test pilot (the hero) and a dangerous alien (female) who works in aerospace forensics. The story tentatively titled Flat Spin will highlight some typical experiences—I can talk about—of my time working in failure analysis of jet aircraft for General Dynamics, Fort Worth and Carswell AFB.

    Fun facts:

    1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
    Hard to chose, but I think I’d wish for all the lights to go out on a moonless and clear night, so that parents can take their kids out to experience the overwhelming impact of our galaxy’s light.
    2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
    I’d be exploring the flora and fauna of the island.
    3. Name your favorite fruit.
    4. Coffee or tea?
    5. Favorite season?
    Not much of a season where I live. A season in which there’s the drama of weather.
    6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
    Before dawn
    7. Favorite food for breakfast?
    Progressive Chicken Barley Soup
    8. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
    Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher
    9. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
    Not a collector.
    As a sci-fi romance person, I live mostly inside my head!
    10. Drama or comedy?
    I assume this is TV? Dexter and Big Bang Theory
    11. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
    Reality has a way of disproving itself.
    Also, Leave with the one that brung ya—Nature. Both quoted in my novels.
    12. Cats or dogs?
    Humans. Those poor other critters don’t live long enough.


    Tour Wide Giveaway

    $25 gift certificate to Amazon
    If less than ten 10 people leave a comment throughout the tour, SBK will pick one of them at random to receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate

    $50 gift certificate to Amazon
    if more than 10 leave a comment,
    SBK will pick one of them at random to receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate

    Free Series (first two novels plus comic) for exceptional posts.
    For those who SBK decides have given exceptional or well thought out comments she’ll send them the entire series (Legends of the Goldens Series: Forbidden Playground and Dancing Dragons) along with the Forbidden Playground comic–all ebooks

    Giveaway open through the end of March

    About the Author & Links:

    S.B.K. Burns Image
    Before dedicating herself to full-time writing, Susan earned two advanced engineering degrees and worked in the fields of biology, oceanography, biomedical, and aerospace engineering. That knowledge, and the experience of working with a smorgasbord of mostly men, continues to populate her science fictions, urban fantasies, steampunks, and other paranormal romances.

    Website | Voice Review | Twitter | Facebook | Union of Opposites


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