Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

Dara Joy/MoD: Knight of A Trillion Stars


Knight of a Trillion Stars (Matrix of Destiny)Readers tend to mark time by the books they read.  They divide their lives into “the year I explored science fiction” or “The year I discovered Cormac McCarthy”, or even “the month I spent vainly trying to get through one Proust”.  And like that.  For me, the 1990s were when I discovered sci-fi romance, and these publishers – LoveSpell/Leisure, Pinnacle, and St. Martin’s – put out some of the definitive books of their subgenre.  Put out!  Oooh, naughty!  Nyah-Nyah 

Now that I have time to re-re-re-read Dara Joy’s trilogy, I’m wondering if this trend was the harbinger of many of the books put…er…published by Ellora’s Cave and St. Martin’s.  Joy’s weren’t the only sci-fi romance books.  Johanna Lindsey wrote one or two sci-fi softcore stories, and Kathleen A. Morgan (not to be confused with the writer of Christian romances – please!) wrote really sexxie stories.  Linsey’s were straight futuristic whereas Morgan’s included shape-shifters and half-and-halfs.  This one, Heart’s Lair, was one of the Product Detailsbest of its kind along with the MoD series.  That’s Fabioon the cover, by the way.  This book was way HAWT!  It’s out of print, but you can probably pick one up for a song from a used book seller on or  You probably won’t find KoATS or Heart’s in a used bookstore, but you will find a ton of Joy’s non-MoD books like Ritual of Proof, High Energy, and High Intensity.  I’m not going to hyperlink them because they massively suck!  And blow!  It’s a shame because HI and HI have likable characters.  Seriously, don’t both with RoP.  It’s a RoP-OFF.  On second thought…

I started thinking about Mills and Gregor and I could not deny any reader access to that fabulous “almost couple”.

So to sum up, it’s an avenue worth exploring because I believe they lead us to where are are – today with Lora Leigh’s Breed stories, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Weres and the hardcore love scenes that have become de rigeur for at least one brand by every romance publisher – for example, Harlequin  Blaze.

Getting back to KoATS, the cover models are gorgeous.  If you have ever seen the 2003 WB “Tarzan” with Travis Fimmel and Sarah Wayne Callies, the cover models remind me so much of them!  It’s weird.

Here’s a video from “Tarzan” since Lorgin and Deana spent a lot of time in baths.

Divine, innit!  It was surreal to see them and then pick up the book and see models who could pass for them.

My fav part of the novel was when they were at Traed’s house.  Traed is a cousin to Lorgin and strongly resembles Gregor  from HE and HI.  I’ve been using Paul Telfer to picture Traed.  Another thing that’s so cool is that Lorgin lives in a tree house – well, a tree MANSION!  I totally want one! 

The novel is a bit long-winded, but since everything is new, I can forgive and be patient. One thing that should have been planned out better was Joy’s rationalization of everything the characters do.  After every quirk, she inserts a few lines of exposition explaining why they do that voodoo that they do so wellThe pattern gets annoying after a while.  Lorgin does something interesting.  “Oh, well, Lorgin does this and that because his Charl whatever never…always…prefers to…It is their way to…”   See? Annoying. I think the reason it annoys me NOW is because I’ve read the book so many times.  I already “know” him. 

Lorgin is also completely UN-PC!  I’m not even exaggerating.  He’s all “why doesn’t she understand? Why doesn’t she just do what  I say?”  EX-Squeeze ME?  Dude, you NEVER explained anything to her.  You never ask questions. You demand she do something, then when she argues with you, you demand to know why she argues with you? Try asking some questions sometimes.  Jeezie Kreezie!  Confused smile

Deana is cool.  She’s from Boston.  She’s a sci-fi fan.  She’s a working girl – not a career woman, though.  She has a great sense of humor – wisecracky, schticky.  However…having one and showing one are two different things. Several of her remarks which are meant to be schticky or even snide, fall short of real humor.  They – as I have stated about other characters in the same situation – approximate urban humor.  So you get the sense that she’s a wiseacre, but her comebacks don’t kill.  Oddly, you see it done more successfully in the second book, Rejar.  The hammock scene – LOL!

The love scenes? Lovely. They range from warm to HAWT!!  And really human – that is, just ‘cuz you’re having “hot pig sex” doesn’t mean you have to describe it that way. 

To sum up, you TOTALLY should read this book.  It’s available on Kindle© even.  Read the books in order: KoATS, Rejar, MTT. 

Dara Joy/Matrix of Destiny: Mine To Take

POSSIBLE SPOILERS & Adult (21+) Content~~~~~



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Back in the 90s, this was the first Dara Joy book I read.  It was enchanting, exciting, erotic.  It was FUN, truly fun!  It sounded like Joy had a great time writing it.  It made everything I read before seem so dreary.  It’s an amalgam of several types of imaginative elements: medieval, journey, science fiction, magic, and erotica. 

I’ve seen some reviews on that are negative.  That’s cool.  Juggling so many plates in one story is a lot to deal with for some readers.  I will not condemn.  I’ve been complaining so much this last year about trends that are ruining my reading that I realized I’m overdue for writing about something that sat well with me. 

You HAVE to read this book in which so many things are done well.  I would imagine it’s tough to make a journey by foot through several planes of existence.  The journey of Taj Gian and Jenise goes at a decent pace with plenty of quirks along the way.  What I don’t understand is how they had no form of conveyance.  A little old lady at the beginning of the story had a cart drawn by some animal.  It makes sense that they had to hightail it out of Ganakari, but once they left that planet, they could have got hold of something.

The valdt scene was way clever!  And the relaxed moments – like in the cave –  reminded me of what’s missing from my current crop of reading. Affection and not being pissed off all the time.  Sigh… So any-ol’hoo, another thing was was super good was the languages.  Creating a sci-fi language is WORK!  Taj Gian’s language is pleasantly logical.  And you know how in my other posts about romance novels I complain about editing?  Well, this book only had about three mistakes.  In this book by Jan Springer, I counted three in one paragraph!  Don’t even get me started on how people don’t know how to use adverbs anymore!  Oh!  The big NO-NO-NO mistake – using an exclamation point and a question mark TOGETHER! Oh, C’Mon People!  Seriously?

Confused smile

Here’s some vocab from the book:

  • zorph – a slow-moving animal
  • wee-chukchuks – tube-shaped animals with fluffy heads, lolling tongues, wide paws and wagging double tails
  • pani – bread-like comestible
  • systale – interplanetary Gatorade-like drink
  • M’yan – home of the feline people

Cool, eh?

If you can, get the book with the original cover – a David Lee Roth-lookalike with his hands in metal cuffs above his head.  Actually, I think the model is Fabio but his facial features are adjusted to not look like him.  The 90s were the Fabio era in romance novel covers.  He’s a nice guy.  Just don’t expect him to be Alexander Pope or Kurt Vonnegut and you’ll get along fine.

Not only is the original cover a very, very top cover, but it’s a step-back! Wow! Do you know how rare those are becoming?  Even more rare than covers with people on them. For reals. 

mine to take cover0001SWEET!!!!!     MTT STEP BACK0001THE INNER COVER

and a BLURB. Open-mouthed smile  A proper blurb!  How deliciously old-school.

mtt blurb0001

I’m thinking of buying a new copy of MTT just so I can preserve my first edition copy.  It’s yellowing and the spine is all lined from being opened.  The edges are a tad frayed.  It’s held up well in these last ten or so years.

This book was a revelation to me when I read it.  It was different.  It introduced me to sci-fi romantica before that sub-category had even been coined.  There had been romance, sci-fi, and erotica; two of those may have even been combined, we weren’t calling them that back then.  Back then, they were simply daring and unique.  (Back then being the 90s).  So Joy really hit on a formula that I think may have inspired Ellora’s Cave to come into being.  If you’ve ever read the Trek Mi Q’an series, you can see how much is owed to (or should be owed to) Joy – OMG I made a funny! “owed to Joy”! Roll over,  BeethovenThumbs upRolling on the floor laughing.  LOL. Somebody stop me!

MTT is actually the third of the original set of Matrix of Destiny books.  The first one was Knight of A Trillion Stars, followed by Rejar.  All three are wonderful.  KoATS was special because it was the first and everything was fresh and unique.  R. was probably the best-written, the best thought-out; the most fully realized one.  MTT, if you have not read the others sounds like a halfway point.  It may have even been an afterthought.  I don’t know.  But it sure doesn’t sound like the end.  From what I’ve read about Joy over the years, it wasn’t meant to end there.  There’s a whole yarn ball of loose threads. 

She has written a couple more stories set in the MoD world, but they are awful.  Truly awful.  She wrote  some other stories that were even worse than awful, the best of them is High Energy.  It’s weak, but it’s not abysmal like the others.  Or is it…

I think MTT is good enough to be read on its own, but the characters are so lovable that you will want to read the other two.  For sure, you have to have all three.


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Product Details(not a MoD story, but very, very GOOD!)

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