As I come back to writing and publishing my books, I’m tying up loose ends by preparing several stories to be published and republished on my Amazon buy page. Artist and friend, Barbara Marker, has made a cover for BROKEN and will be working on new covers for FORBIDDEN PLAYGROUND and DANCING DRAGONS of the LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS series of novels (about psychic alien vampires that return to Earth to lay claim to what they believe is their planet).

Following is the cover for BROKEN HALLELUJAH, a contemporary romance between a fire chief with PTSD and his volunteer emergency physician (a Tanzanian woman, a dark-phase African albino with a mysterious past). BROKEN will be out soon.

Now That I’m On A Vacation From SFR Writing . . .

My New Adult, SFR, space opera, SPACE FOR US, got a second recommendation by finaling in the New Adult category on RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal online chapter’s OTFS (On The Far Side) contest as an unpublished work.

Sometimes I get my award-winning cover artist, Fiona Jayde, to work up a cover for me, to inspire and just in case I don’t get picked up by traditional publishers (and have to self-publish).

As a finalist, I’m asked to make corrections my judges suggest and write a two-paged, double-spaced synopsis of the MS.

Take a look at all the wonderful agents, editors, and authors that are willing to judge the finalists:

2020 On the Far Side Contest Final-Round Judges

Note: Final-round judges subject to change.
DARK PARANORMALAGENT: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
EDITOR: Carrie Lofty, Carina Press
LIGHT PARANORMALAGENT: Claire Draper, The Bent AgencyEDITOR: Amanda Barnett, The Wild Rose Press
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Kathy Lyons/Jade Lee
FANTASYAGENT: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & MediaEDITOR: Mara Delgado-Sanchez, St. Martin’s Press
URBAN FANTASYAGENT: Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, McIntosh and Otis, Inc.
EDITOR: Angela Kim, Berkley
SCIENCE FICTION/ FUTURISTICEDITOR: Lynn Raposo, HQN and Graydon HouseEDITOR: Kate Sederstrom, Bloomsbury
HISTORICAL AGENT: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency
EDITOR: Christa Désir, Sourcebooks
EROTIC AGENT: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary Agency
EDITOR: Mary Cain, City Owl Press
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Elizabeth Schechter
STEAMPUNK AGENT: Kaitlyn Johnson, Belcastro Agency
EDITOR: Evan Yeong, Harlequin
YOUNG ADULT AGENT: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLCEDITOR: Sara Schonfeld, Katherine Tegen BooksPUBLISHED AUTHOR: Maria V. Snyder
NEW ADULT AGENT: Ameerah Holliday, Serendipity Literary Agency
EDITOR: Candace Havens, Entangled Publishing

And the finalists are:

2. Announcing the 2020 OTFS Finalists!Announcing the 2020 OTFS Finalists!
Reply to GroupReply to Sender
Jul 6, 2020 10:27 PM Arianna James
Hello, fellow FF&Pers!
I am excited to announce the 2020 On the Far Side Contest Finalists! Please join me in congratulating them !

Dark Paranormal
Demon Demonologist by Janet Burnett
Guardian of the Grove by Erin Kane
Spock Under Your Skin by Kat Turner 
Light Paranormal
Blue: The Rose and Sword Book One by Emma Clive
Mirror Bound by Emma Clive
A Pinch of Magic by Diana Rivis
 Science Fiction/Futuristic
Exiles in the Shadows by Susan Haire
What They Stole by Sophia Krich-Brinton
State of Never Being by Mary Stone 
Kiss of the Shadow Queen by Ren Benton
Lady of the Ravens by Clementine Fraser
Hunted by the Wolf by Melanie McCarthy 
Urban Fantasy
Praetorian Rising by Lisa Knight
Bless Your Heart and Other Souther Curses by Heather Leonard
Key to the Lair by Heather Leonard 
The Witch of Mayfair by Clementine Fraser
Cursed Crown by Kellie Michelle Parker
The Oakleigh Bride by Michele Wyan 
Young Adult
The Absolute Novice’s Guide to Time Travel by Miranda Darrow
Piper Girl by Carla Luna
If I Let You Go by Sandi Van Lieu 
New Adult
Space for Us by Susan Burns
Bound by Blood by Kristina Castillo
Knightborn by S.E. Purdy  

Finalists listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.


Taking A Vacation From Writing

My WIP, A Broken Hallelujah (written three Novembers ago for NANOWRIMO), has too many scenes that portend what’s happening in Atlanta and all over the US.

I have several other irons in the fire (can’t write that because it’s a cliche, but it’s also true!).

I’m thinking of re-educating myself to write screenplays/scripts like I enjoyed reading in my youth (adapting my novels to the theatre audience).

To learn a little about A BROKEN HALLELUJAH, view my last post, and for visuals view my Pinterest page:

But for now I’m taking a rest.

a 4 out of 5 review for OPEN SEASON

Madison had always looked up to Greg as a role model and motivator, but she knew her feelings for him transcended those and were more personal than she would want to admit. Greg Gervaisie was the world’s number one tennis player until a limo accident incapacitated him, leaving him on the sidelines. Just like everyone else, he was struck by Madison’s beauty and her determination to rise to the top of her career as a tennis player. However, her nonchalant attitude towards him was a cause for concern.

Madison’s father, Armand, would do everything just to pacify his adorable daughter, but her staunch disapproval against his wish of marrying Berneen Gervaisie, Greg’s mother, was something he couldn’t accept. The fact that the two women he loved most couldn’t stand each other bothered him.

The plot of Open Season on Love and Death is intriguing and dwells on issues that are common in most families, especially as it relates to interpersonal relationships in romance, love and marriage, thus it will be easily relatable with most readers. Likewise, the characters are also fairly developed. The background of the book hovers around tennis sports and of course, love, romance, and sex.

Official Review from (4 out of 5 stars)


For non writers, WIPs means WORKS IN PROGRESS.

SPACE FOR US is out to beta readers (editors who read for content flow) then it will be out next year, God willing, by a New York publisher. Of course in the event no agent or editor picks up the book, it will be self-published. [MS is back from betas and going through final polish, see self-pub cover below].

short blurb: FLY ME TO THE MOON, but don’t murder me on the way! An astronaut flies an alien captive back to her parents at their moonbase in order to find out how to reanimate all the people she’s put down with her psychic powers.

A BROKEN HALLELUJAH is in the formative stages with my read and critique group. short blurb: He’s a black firechief of East County, California, originally from Atlanta. She’s an emergency physician who works with him. He doesn’t date white girls, and she’s very light-skinned. In fact, she’s a dark phase African Albino from Tanzania, but our hero doesn’t believe that story, would you?

OTHER, a YA (Young Adult) SFR (Science Fiction Romance) is in line for a final polish.  short blurb: He’s a wetware android trying to find his humanity in the midst of rescuing the inhabitants of New Gaia, a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. She’s a human teen living on New Gaia in oppressive servitude to a culture that uses nanobot makeup to force the truth out of all its members.

BAZOOKA TIME MACHINE is an Adult SFR in line for final polish. short blurb: She’s a dragon-tattoo, kick-ass gal, but not all human–a wetware android in charge of the hardware robots and the alien time machines. With all that, she’s become obsessed with a human woman, rescuing her from death over and over in time. Happens that one of the hardware robots has fallen for her and travels in his time machine to mess up her romance with the human. [as of June 2020, will be put on the backburner with the intention to morph it into a screenplay.]


Space for Us

Here’s the cover of my new SFR space opera, SPACE FOR US. No, it’s not on pre-order or published yet, I’m just excited to get my final cover out before I finish the polish. As you can see, this is the MS that has just gotten a recommendation from the San Diego Writers & Editors Guild.

Here’s information on the book:

Genre: NA/Science Fiction Romance/Space Opera
Length: 86,000 words
Author: S.B.K. Burns

The First Lady’s mind is missing.

The President sends his Aerospace-plane test pilot, Shepard Monroe, to exchange Jade, a captured human/space-alien empath, for the missing engrams of The First Lady.

Siding with The Resistance, Shep and Jade escape in a stolen spaceplane with the reluctant help of its funky AI, Gracie—with the hope of preventing an interstellar war with The Sledanis, Jade’s psychic people, who return to Earth to claim it as their own.

After Jade gets Shep in touch with his emotions, they finally come to terms with what, or who, they really are.

Now, they only exist as holograms, so they just want to be put back into their real bodies—but what if they were always only simulations?

Out for Beta reads then on to chosen agents and editors.


Finally, my romance, a tennis contemporary, OPEN SEASON, is in pre-order. It will be live on August 31, 2019.

Find it on my Amazon Author Page:

This novel is a compilation of my experience with tennis-buff dad (who was in the forefront of international invitational tennis in Philadelphia and the United States). And along with my scientific background ( and my interest in SFR, not surprisingly, it involves police forensics and elements of suspense.

Twenty-year-old Madison Weller finds herself at her first quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event. The only two irritants thwarting her run for the championship are Berneen Gervaisie, who has Madison’s father and his wealth centered in her crosshairs and her attractive son, tennis great Double-Gee Whiz, Gregoire Gervaisie, seven years her senior.

Is he the good guy his fans think he is or the self-important celebrity she suspects? Madison knows she’s playing with fire as she razzes him to his emotional limit. She’s only hoping she knows what to do with him when she gets him there.