First, if any of you are book bloggers or book reviewers, I have review copies (print and digital) of Redemption, the first in Susannah Sandlin’s paranormal romance trilogy. Please EMAIL me if you’d like to receive a copy for review.
Today I’d like to welcome author Elysa Hendricks to the blog! She’s been gracious enough to subject herself to the Preternatura interview and talk about her scifi-romance book, Star Crash. You can also learn more about Elysa and find buy links for her books–she writes across several genres–by checking out her website.
And read on to win a copy of Star Crash!
ABOUT STAR CRASH: When Planet of the Apes meets Star Trek what’s a girl to do? After recon pilot Cora Daniels crash lands on an alien planet she finds herself a prisoner of the Flock: a race of birdlike humanoids. Trapped in their zoo she discovers they intend her to mate. To breed. To be part of their human herd. She’s placed in a cage with a man – a powerful, virile man, but not just any man – Alexander. Was he her lost love, who’d disappeared so long ago? Here he was: naked, glistening, a warrior trained by the Flock to fight for their amusement. How could the brilliant man, the tender lover she remember have become this animal born to dominate and destroy? Was he a pawn of the Flock or would their flight to freedom be a long-sought reunion?
What is your favorite scene in Star Crash? I think my favorite scene has to be when Cora first sees Alexander in the alien compound. Here’s a small excerpt:
The women paid little attention to her or her guard as they moved through this human chicken coop. She noticed there weren’t any pens with grown men. If the women were hens, where was the rooster?
The next pen answered her question. Naked except for protective cups over their genitals, ten boys ranging in age from four to ten practiced ﬁghting with wooden swords. Her attention shifted from the boys to the adult male who directed their training. Though his back was to her, he appeared as naked as the boys. Forgetting the guard, she paused to watch.
Bronze skin shiny with sweat rippled over powerful muscles as the man instructed the boys in swordplay. With his dark hair and straddle-legged stance, the youngest boy looked like a miniature version of the man. Cora smiled at his clumsy attempts to imitate his elder’s ﬂuid movements.
The boy watched the man intently, but his small body, round with baby fat, refused to cooperate. He tripped and sprawled in the dust. His wooden sword slipped from his grip. The other boys’ laughter stopped abruptly at the man’s sharp command. The man knelt next to the boy, said a few quiet words then handed him back the wooden sword. The boy rubbed the tears from his cheeks with grubby ﬁsts, leaving streaks of dirt. The man’s compassion for the boy touched Cora, made these people seem less like animals. More human.
Hardest scene you’ve ever written: They’re all hard, but the opening scene in Star Crash where Cora wakes up, naked and strapped to an exam table was difficult for me. This scene is about the fear of being helpless, of having no control over your person or your life. Since I’m almost a big a control freak as Cora I struggled with this scene. How could I show my heroine’s strength when all control is stripped from her?
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile? Actually I rarely read in bed. Don’t have a TV in the bedroom either. Hubby always says the bedroom is for two things – sleeping and the other one is not watching TV or reading. However, since I received a Kindle for Christmas the top of my TBR pile is constantly changing as I add more books. The listing is alphabetical either by author or title. Right now I have over a 150 books on it. My print TBR pile isn’t actually a pile. I have bookshelves. Next on the list to be read is a non-fiction book by Malcom Gladwell, The Outliers. The next fiction book will be chosen randomly. I have a nerf gun that I shoot at the shelves and whatever book it hits is the book I’ll read next. Otherwise, I sit and spend hours flipping through the hundreds of books, reading the back blurbs, teasers and first few pages before I decide. I figure since they’re all on my TBR shelf it doesn’t really matter which one I read next.
Favorite book when you were a child: Since I have a memory like a sieve I really don’t recall which book was my favorite as a child. I do remember when I was between the ages of six and sixteen loving books about horses, and anything by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov.
Your five favorite authors: Kathleen Woodiwiss (her first five books), Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Karen Robards, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov.
Book you’ve faked reading: The Bible. Just kidding, I’ve never claimed to have read it, at least not all of it. Though there are a lot of books I’ve tried to read, but couldn’t for one reason or another, I’ve never faked having read them. If someone asks I just tell them I didn’t read it, and usually why, unless they wrote it. But I’m thinking about faking having read Fifty Shades of Grey. Though I’ve read and written sexy, sensual stories, erotica and BDSM aren’t really my cup of tea.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
I’m not much of an evangelist, but I do tell a lot of people about Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point and Jack Bickham’s Scene & Structure as well as Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, Conflict.
Book you’ve bought for the cover: Little Red and the Wolf by Alison Paige. Gorgeous cover and great story.
Book that changed your life: The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. This book is the one that inspired me to try and write my own. Of course, I thought I’d sit down and write a short contemporary romance. I figured I couldn’t possible write a historical romance. Way too much knowledge and research would be needed. When my story turned out to be about a winged telepathic alien who stows away aboard a passing space ship I decided I liked making up my own worlds for my characters to play in. That book is hidden under my bed guarded by killer dust bunnies. Eventually though I did end up writing two western historical romances as well as fantasy and sci-fi romances. I discovered that creating my own fictional worlds is as hard as researching an existing world of the past.
Favorite line from a book: I can’t say that I have a favorite line from any one book I’ve read, but I do know my favorite line to write – The End.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Having a terrible memory does have one upside – I get to read books again as if it were the first time. While I usually remember the basic story lines and characters, the details are forgotten, so I can experience the thrill of reading a great book for the first time again and again and again.
Most horrifying moment while reading a book: The most horrifying moment for me is when I’m reading a fabulous book and I get to the end. Also, any books where a child or an animal dies upset me. To this day I can’t re-read or watch Gone with the Wind unless I skip over the part where Scarlet and Rhett’s daughter dies. I just can’t handle the emotions it stirs in me.
Favorite book about books or writing: There are so many great books about and on writing I couldn’t possibly list them all, but here are a few that helped me learn the art and craft of writing.
Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham
Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Debra Dickson
Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost
Dialogue by Lewis Turco
Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, edited by Jayne Ann Krentz
I’m working on the third book in The Star Chronicles, Star Born. Star Born features a secondary character, Silky, from the second book in the series, Star Raiders. Silky appears to be a shape shifter, but she’s actually much more. She’s an energy entity who’s learned to manipulate energy into mass.
Thanks, Alysa! Want to win a copy of Star Crash? Leave a comment—tell us if you’ve read any sci-fi romance before. I’ve read dystopian romances but am not normally a space-opera reader, so I don’t think I’ve read any space-sci-fi-romances! One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Now…Go forth and comment!