Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest - Paty Jager

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is a wife, mother, grandmother; and award winning author. Paty Jager and her husband farm 350 acres. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. Paty has been a member of RWA for twelve years belonging to several online chapters as well as EPIC, Women Writing the West, and Central Oregon Writers Guild. She has five historical western romance novels, one historical paranormal, and one contemporary western published. Her second contemporary western will be published in Jan. 2011. Her first contemporary western, won the 2008 Best Contemporary Romance EPPIE.

Make sure you read all the way down to the Lynda Again section to see details for Paty's offer of a pdf copy of her novel Spirit of the Mountain.

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Shapeshifting

If someone had told me I'd write a paranormal book I would have laughed in their faces. As a child the abominable snowman on Rudolph scared me. I've never liked things that go bump in the night. But I enjoy reading books about witches, ghosts, and spirits. Not creepy stories but ones that have these netherworld entities helping. Doing good things. The use of herbs and nature by witches and medicine men has always intrigued me.

When I wrapped my mind around the crazy idea of writing a paranormal historical the first thing that came to my mind is the Native American culture and their myths and legends. Their spirits, medicine men, and the Creator.

I knew the tribe I wanted to write about and I found books filled with their myths and legends.

The Nez Perce have shapeshifters in their stories. The most notable was coyote. He usually played tricks or wreaked havoc. Slowly the idea to have shapeshifting spirits in the story formed and I started researching shapeshifters. This is the info I came up with.

Shapeshifting- When a being has the ability to alter its physical appearance.

This transformation may be purposeful or not, depending on if they changed due to a curse or a spell. Usually if they are changed buy a curse they are bound to the form.

The shifted forms powers can differ depending on the curse or spell. Some turn into a brave or strong animal to fight better and others change to deceive.

Some use shapeshifting to manipulate other beings. While others need specific items to change shapes.

Popular shapes are werewolves, vampires, gods, goddesses, demons, Fairies, witches, wizards, and human to any animal.

I used all the information I found and came up with siblings who were made spirits(shapeshifters) by the Creator for the good of the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce of the Wallowa Lake. He gave them each a specific form for roaming the territory they watched over. A wolf, an elk, and a bald eagle. But they could also shift into other animals and humans to help heal or manipulate a situation. They could also shift into their original man forms if a necessity. But they were not to reveal they were spirits. I didn't give them an item to use to shift. They merely had to think smoke and they become and shape or shift into one nearby. But they have to be in the animal form some every day. And Himiin the hero in Spirit of the Mountain was not allowed to leave the mountain or he would become smoke and never shift again. You'll have to read the book to find out why.


Blurb for Spirit of the Mountain

Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, has been fated to save her people ever since her vision quest. When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, her world is torn apart.

Himiin is the spirit of the mountain, custodian to all creatures including the Nimiipuu. As a white wolf he listens to Wren’s secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he cannot prevent her leaving the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.

When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin must leave the mountain to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke...

Excerpt

Wren’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “My gift is to save The People. The weyekin who came to me in my vision quest said this.” She wrapped her arms around herself as if staving off a cold breeze.

Himiin hated that they argued when they should relish their time together. He moved to her, drawing her against his chest, embracing her. The shape of her body molded to his. Her curves pressed against him. Holding her this way flamed the need he’d tried to suppress.

He placed a hand under her chin, raising her face to his. The sorrow in her eyes tugged at his conscience. To make her leaving any harder was wrong. But having experienced her in his arms, he was grieved to let her go. Even for the sake of their people.

Her eyelids fluttered closed. Her pulse quickened under his fingers. Shrugging off the consequences, he lowered his lips to hers. They were softer than he imagined. Her breath hitched as he touched her intimately. Parting his lips, he touched her with his tongue, wanting to see if she tasted as sweet as she smelled.

She tasted of sweet honey straight from the bosom of a bee tree.

One taste was not enough. He pulled her closer, moving his lips across hers, tasting and savoring the feel of them.

His body came to life. The sensations transcended anything he’d experienced before. How could one woman make him feel powerful and vulnerable at the same time? Why did he wish to crush her to him and never let go and yet feel compelled to treat her with the tenderness one would give the tiniest of creatures? He couldn’t continue this way.

To hold her, to touch her soft skin. He would never be able to let her go.


What's coming?

My editor has the second book of this trilogy, Spirit of the Lake. Wewukiye, the elk spirit, and brother to Himiin, rescues a maiden from the lake and joins forces with her to prove the White man her people believe to be a friend is out to destroy them.

I also have a contemporary western, Bridled Heart, releasing January 2011.

To learn more about Paty drop by her website: http://www.patyjager.net
Her blog: http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com
Or purchase her books at the Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/paty-jager-m-19.html?zenid=405d2339917fc939065d912a527a8e08

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-- Lynda Again

Paty has offered a pdf copy of Spirit of the Mountain to one lucky Star-Crossed Romance reader who leaves a comment AND emails Paty at patyjag@gmail.com with STAR-CROSSED ROMANCE in the subject line by noon Friday Aug 27

Friday, August 20, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Eve Silver


National bestselling author Eve Silver (a.w.a. Eve Kenin) has been lauded as an author that delivers “edgy, steamy, action-packed” books. Who's to thank beside Eve? Her darkly sexy heroes and take-charge heroines. Eve's fiction has earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, plus two RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards. In 2007 she received Library Journal’s Best Genre Fiction Award! Her latest release, SINS OF THE HEART, the kick off to her soul reaper series, earned a Top Pick from RT Book.

As a wife and working mother of two sons, she still managed to find time to rein in an energetic Airedale terrier, an exuberant border collie/shepherd and an enormous rabbit.




How will your Otherkin series intrigue past readers and those looking for something new in paranormals?

Those who love dark, sexy heroes, kick butt heroines, layered worldbuilding, and tons of action and sensuality will find what they're looking for in SINS OF THE HEART, SINS OF THE SOUL and SINS OF THE FLESH. Readers will also find a new and interesting world as the Underworld presented in these stories brings in elements of Egyptian, Japanese, Greek, Norse and other mythologies from cultures around the world. The stories revolve around soul reapers, son of the Egyptian Underworld lord of chaos. They're gritty and violent and sexy, but I think there’s a lot to love about them and I hope readers will give them a try.



Where were you when the idea for the Otherkin series struck? Did the sexy heroes develop first or were the kick a** heroines more vocal for a chance to strut their stuff?

Hmm...I don't recall exactly where I was when the idea for the Otherkin books struck. I do know it wasn't just one idea. It was a series of small ideas that gelled into one. A part of the puzzle was a question I kept turning over in my mind: What if the villains were the heroes? Could I make them believable; could I create dark characters with enough good to draw readers' empathy?

Another part of the puzzle was research. I was looking at a baby-naming site and followed up on the origins of a name, which led me to a site on Egyptian mythology. I visited an exhibition of the papyrus scroll, the Book of the Dead of Amen-em-hat. Which got me thinking about Underworld mythology. Every culture has their own rich and wonderful tapestry, with fascinating similarities and differences. I began to weave these threads into a layered world.


And I admit that Roxy Tam, the amazingly strong heroine of SINS OF THE HEART jumped into my mind almost fully formed.



If you could resurrect one soul, real or imaginary, who would you choose?

I know who my characters would choose. Dagan and Alastor and Mal would resurrect their dead brother, Lokan. The bond of love and loyalty runs deep for these brothers and Lokan’s loss is a brutal wound for each of them. They’ll do anything, sacrifice anything, to bring him back. Problem is, that pits them against the women they are drawn to, because their job is to make certain the dead soul reaper stays dead.




Like juggling two personas, how difficult is it to coordinate back to back releases?

Writing back to back releases is tough. There’s very little room for error or tardiness. The schedule is incredibly tight, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to get each book right. I wanted them to take the reader on a wild thrill ride through a dark and sexy world. I wanted each book to build on the previous one, yet stand alone as well.

My writing schedule was seven days a week, anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a day. Close to each book’s deadline, I was writing up to 18 hours a day. And at the very end, just before I turned in book 3, I went a few days without sleep.

Add to the mix revisions, page proofs, promotion and the time between contract and getting these books on shelves has been an action packed ride in itself.

And it was made easier every step of the way by my incredible editor and agent, and the amazing team at Harlequin.





If you had to describe a perfect “author” day, what would it include—a beach, pajamas, field research?

How big can I dream? My perfect author day would start with a couple of emails from readers who read and loved my stories. Maybe one of them has a blog and tells others about my books. Maybe one works in a bookstore and tells me that she’s been handselling my books. Maybe one’s from a bookgroup leader looking for bookmarks. Then I’d write for a few hours and the words would flow like a river sparkling in the sun.

I’d get a call from my editor and she’d tell me my books are flying off the shelves. Then I’d head out for lunch with an author pal and when I got back, I’d write some more and the words would flow like honey from a comb. No struggle. No hair ripping. No agonizing over whether or not it was perfect. Just words flowing from my fingertips to fill the pages.

That’s my perfect “author” day. But my perfect vacation day…well, that definitely involves sun and sand and possibly a kayak.




What else do you have coming up fans need to know about, besides SINS OF THE HEART hitting shelves this month?

SINS OF THE HEART officially hit shelves on August 1. Up next, SINS OF THE SOUL. It’s Alastor and Naphré’s story and it’ll be out September 1. Then comes SINS OF THE FLESH. That’s Mal and Calliope’s story and it hits shelves October 1. The trilogy ends there, but already, readers are asking for another story set in the soul reaper world.

And they won’t be disappointed. BODY OF SIN will be released in June 2011.

If you'd like to learn more about Eve, check out her website! You can see more interviews, read excerpts, see what's on her calendar and join her newsletter group! Remember that one lucky person who posts a comment or question for Eve will win a signed copy of SINS OF THE HEART! To be eligible you must include our e-mail address in your post so we can contact you!









Monday, August 16, 2010

Review - Seduced By The Wolf by Terry Spear

Seduced by the Wolf
Terry Spear
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Available Now


When wolf biologist sees a she wolf with newborn pups in the remote Oregon woods, her immediate instinct is to help. Part of helping wolves of any kind is to lecture, teach, regular humans that wolves aren't vicious killers but need to be treated with respect. She knows this because she's a female red werewolf whose own family was slaughtered when she was a bare teenager. She knows pack rules and behaviors and, while she respects them, she doesn't want the interference of a pack or an alpha mate when she'd doing her vital work.

Leidorf Wildhaven, a rancher, as well as the new pack leader for the small red wolf pack. Besides getting his pack under control, safe and secure, he needs a mate. But not just any mate. He wants a royal red female werewolf. Then Dr Cassandra Roux arrives with her long legs and curvy body and her deep knowledge of wolves and wolf behavior. His attraction is instantaneous but she isn't a red female...or is she?

As Cassie attempts to disguise her true nature from Leidolf, she also attempts to track down the new wolf mother. The few glimpses she's had of the wolf shows that the mother wolf is in need of help. She's alone and without a pack to help defend her young while she hunts. The best way for Cassie to help is in her own fur but when she shifts, she finds other problems - hunters who want to capture or kill wolves, an associate who wants Cassie as a partner both intellectually and intimately, and a dangerously sexy red wolf pack leader who would curtail her freedom just as surely as any hunter.

Ms Spear has once again created an entirely believable and fresh take on her werewolf society. I was delighted to see Leidolf again (he had a secondary role in Legend of the White Wolf) and glad to see him as the hero in this book. Leidolf isn't just a handsome sexy shifter. He's a fair and courageous man willing to do whatever it takes to keep his pack safe...but he's torn when he discovers that Cassie is indeed a red female. Will he allow her to continue her life work? Or force her into submission as the alpha mate?

I was impressed with Cassie as well. She's a smart heroine who knows what she wants and is capable enough to get it.  Her logic in wanting to keep her freedom is strong and not just a means to create tension between the hero/heroine. With her heartbreaking background, she needs a mate and a pack but she's both of afraid of losing them and of losing her freedom to travel the country in her quest to help wolves and their relations to man.

Though there are some heavy subjects, the romance is really the top draw in the book (and in all Ms Spear's books). Hot and sexy, yet with tender and sweet moments, the relationship between Leidolf and Cassie grows until it fills the pages. But the reader is always aware that it could end in disaster. Cassie isn't the kind of woman to be forced to submission and Leidolf isn't the kind of man to let his mate wander around without protection. His protection. Will they be able to come together? To compromise? You'll won't want to stop reading until you find out.

Seduced by the Wolf is another great read from Ms Spear. You don't want to miss it.

Guest - Terry Spear

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, Terry Spear, has visited us before and we're delighted to have her again. Ms Spear, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Her publisher, Sourcebooks, is offering a giveaway to two lucky readers, so make sure you read all the way down to see how you can be one of them.

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                                       Making the Paranormal Seem Normal

When I first started writing my werewolf series, I wanted to create a world that was as realistic as possible. No monster beast-like wolves when the werewolves shapeshifted into the wolf. No werewolves who couldn’t remember their human half when they turned into the wolf. As humans, they don’t forget their wolf roots either.

So what better way to create werewolves than to make them like real wolves when they’re wolves, only they have human sensibilities along with their wolf instincts? And when they’re human, they still have their wolf instincts and inclinations?

I love fantasy, and I love true stories, so that’s what I tried to combine, the fantastical with the world as we know it.

Who couldn’t use a little magic and a lot of wolf in their lives???

Now, to create a world like that, I had to leave out all the other fantastical creatures I love so much—the fae, vampires, other kinds of shifters, and a whole realm of mythical creatures I grew up with. But that’s okay. Because I wanted to enjoy the wolf as a wolf, like I did when reading Jack London’s Call of the Wild and White Fang. But I wanted a werewolf who was a hunky kind of guy, not a mindless beast who forgot he was part human when he was in his monster wolf form.

I also wanted a society of long-lived werewolves, like vampires in my vampire stories. And I wanted them to love who they are, not that they are cursed, or that becoming the wolf is a death-defying experience. It’s natural as nature intended. They’re comfortable in both their human skin and fur coats. They are who they are.

So why do they live in secret? It’s the whole thing of the fountain-of-youth scenario. The notions scientists would be doing a lot of poking and prodding. The lab experiments. That werewolves would be treated as freaks of nature, cursed, genetic mutants, or diseased. So they remain secretive about their roots.

In each of the books, which are stand-alone titles, I try to showcase different aspects of what being werewolf means. In the case of Seduced by the Wolf (in stores this month!), both Leidolf Wildhaven and Cassie Roux are red werewolves, but she’s a wolf biologist , and he has the unusual occupation of being a rancher, taking on the wolf pack of the former pack leader. But I’ve also introduced an omega wolf, or werewolf, and his role in the pack. And why he’s an omega wolf in the first place.

In other books, Heart of the Wolf (Book 1) and Destiny of the Wolf (Book 2), the gray wolf heroes fall for a red wolf heroine. In To Tempt the Wolf (Book 3) Hunter Greymere is hooked on a human woman, who isn’t quite what she seems, and in Legend of the White Wolf (Book 4), neither Cameron Macpherson or Faith O’Malley are werewolves in the beginning, but they soon find out not all wolves are the same. In Wolf Fever (Book 6; in stores December 2010), Carol Wood is fighting with her psychic visions and with the changes brought on by being a newly turned wolf. So the paranormal aspect of the stories is that it’s really not PARA Normal at all, but PERFECTLY normal. At least for the werewolf kind!

There are more to come also. Did you know that there are hunky Highland werewolf clans, and even a Spanish conquistador made his claim to a family from Spain, who makes an appearance in Heart of the Highland Wolf, (Book 7, Spring 2011), coming in Jun 2011. And Jake Silver, brother to Darien in Destiny of the Wolf, falls for a human woman (Dreaming of the Wolf, Book 8, Fall 2011), and dream mates with her, when this cannot possibly happen.

So if you’re looking for a wolfish adventure, or have been following the series, come see what’s new when Leidolf Wildhaven, who’s been in the first four books up until now, struts his stuff in front of the little red wolf biologist in an attempt to seduce her into his life. Or is it really Cassie Roux, who is doing the seducing? Maybe a whole lot of both!

Thanks so much for having me once again, Lynda! It’s always a pleasure.

My question to readers: Have you ever read a book where the author teased you with the paranormal, but then never delivered? What do you think about werewolves being real? Want one for your very own?

Thanks for dropping by!!

Terry
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SEDUCED BY THE WOLF
BY TERRY SPEAR – IN STORES AUGUST 2010

His first priority is to protect his pack…

Werewolf pack leader Leidolf Wildhaven has just taken over a demoralized pack. With rogue wolves on the loose causing havoc and the authorities from the zoo suddenly zeroing in on the local wolf population, the last thing he needs in his territory is a do-gooder female, no matter how beautiful and enticing she is…
She’ll do anything to help wolves…

Biologist Cassie Roux has dedicated her life to protecting wolves in the wild. On a desperate mission to help a she-wolf with newborn pups, the last thing Cassie needs right now is a nosy and entirely too attractive werewolf pack leader trying to track her down…

With rogue wolves and hunters threatening at every turn, Cassie and Leidolf may find their attraction the most dangerous force of all…
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-- Lynda Again

Sourcebooks is offering a copy of Seduced By The Wolf to two lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment here AND send me an email with Seduced in the subject line and your name and address in the body. Send it to me by noon Friday when I'll have my fluffy cat, Wookie, pick the two lucky winners from the prize box. She loves that, lol.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Guest - J L Wilson

Good morning, everyone! Today's guest is J L Wilson is a Midwestern author who writes a paranormal-political series ("The New Human Intercession") as well as ‘mysteries with a touch of romance … and romance with a touch of gray.’ She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and other assorted spots (this link tells you where: http://tinyurl.com/ak8hl8 ).


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Why do we write paranormal fiction?

Well, I don't know about you, but I started on this path because I was so fed up with politics, governments, and social nonsense in the world today. I thought, 'hmm. What if people were on another planet, and they had paranormal talents, and they formed a government ...How would it be structured?' What if we had a big 'do-over' and could try to get it right this time?

That had a lot of appeal to me. I started playing around with the idea and quickly realized that even though a supposedly 'perfect' world was created -- a world where guilt & innocence is easily discovered because of telepathy, a world of solar power, and little pollution, and social equality -- there were still problems. Why?

People. Any time you get a bunch of people together, there's bound to be problems. As the story of my characters evolved, the story of the planet evolved. Why were these people there? Where did they come from? They were exiled -- and why? And what would happen if there was one big dirty secret in their past, one that people would kill to hide.

When I wrote the first book in my series (Human Touch -- released last year), I had a distinct set of heroes and villains in mind. By the time I finished the second book (Living Proof, just released), I had a different set of villains. And by the time I got to the third book (Leap of Faith, releasing next year), I had a whole different perspective on the problems these people faced.

I think this is why I love being an author. I get to take an idea that intrigues me, spin it and play with it, see where it takes me, and finally create something that others want to read. And often that 'intriguing idea' is directly based on something that annoys me and how I could 'solve it' with fiction. So that's why I write about the overthrow of governments, the death of annoying people (in my mystery stories), the need for second chances (in my reincarnation series) or how to get two totally unsuited people together (in my romantic suspense books). It is SO much fun and satisfying to address that challenge and solve it...even if it's only in fiction!

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Isbel Kensington's lack of paranormal Talent makes her unique, especially given her powerful paranormal family who run the planet Delmorna. Isbel's studies into ancient diseases uncover an old family secret which threatens the stability of the government run by Isbel's devious sister Dru.

Cyrus Durant is a cloned human and undercover cop who has to act as Isbel's Paid Male during her research holiday. He has to get close to her and determine if she's involved in Dru’s treasonous plots. Cyrus has never been this close to a woman. The experience is overwhelming, especially when he and Isbel start to form an intimate psychic bond.

As Isbel's research unearths the truth about the planet's history, she and Cyrus become targets in a deadly political struggle. In a final confrontation with her family, Isbel finds out just how deeply blood ties run -- and how easily they can be severed.





Dru Delaney, one of the planetary Leaders of Delmorna, doesn’t quite trust Jak Exo, her co-Leader. Exo is too handsome, too kind, and too intelligent for the strong-willed Dru. When he announces he’s leaving to explore the uncharted Northern continent, Dru decides to go with him to keep a closer eye on the man. But what they find on that continent is more than just a lost civilization: they find passion, duplicity, and living proof of a secret that will shake the government and their society. Now Dru has to escape with her life – and her heart – intact ...

For more information about the books, check here:
http://www.jayellwilson.com/MAINfuturistic.htm

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-- Lynda Again

Hope you've enjoyed today's guest blogger. This was a great 'what if' article explaining how we paranormal/SF authors get and work our ideas :-)

I just want to take the opportunity to remind you that if you're shopping at Mundania for Heartstone, you can still use discount code LSCOTT10 at checkout to receive a 10% discount on your total order, not just Heartstone. But hurry, this is a limited time offer. Go to hhttp://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone to take advantage of the deal!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Review - The Wild Irish Sea

The Wild Irish Sea
Loucinda McGary
Soourcebooks Casablanca
August 2010

Twins always seem to have a special connection with each other. Amber O’Neil and her brother, Parker, are no exception. What is different is the kind of connection – they’re able to hear each other’s thoughts and feelings. As children, this ability gave them nothing but grief as doctors performed various experiments on them. So they quickly learned to hide their ability, to make sure they weren’t thought of as freaks.

But when Parker returns to their native soil, Ireland, and finds disaster, his mental shout brings Amber running from California to a small coastal town in Ireland. Exhausted and drenched from a heavy squall, she searches for the one man the locals say can help her, an ex-Inspector, Kevin Hennessey.

Kevin, on a forced holiday, is gobsmacked when the soaking wet woman collapses in his arms. Even more surprising for him is the stirring of lust. With his dark and painful past, he’s avoided any closeness to another woman. But for Amber…Kevin will try to be the hero she needs instead of the poor excuse he considers himself to be.

With Kevin’s help, Amber searches for Parker, mentally and physically. She knows he isn’t dead although the authorities believe he must be. Oddly, their telepathic ability seems stronger in Ireland. Amber can pick up some of Kevin’s thoughts but some are so deep, so buried under layers of guilt and grief that she instinctively backs off to give him privacy. When they find Parker, they uncover a more dangerous enemy than the wild sea…and a deep love for each other that Kevin is convinced he doesn’t deserve. While Kevin saves them from the physical danger, Amber saves him from his painful past.

This is an extremely well written book that captures the reader from the very first word. Ms McGary has created characters that we love, that we root for and makes us feel their heartache when they fall down. She has captured the flavor of the melodic Irish accent and the feeling of a small rural community. The paranormal aspects of the story (the telepathy) lends a fine touch both to the romantic plot and to the action part of the story. Best of all, she deftly shows us the love growing between Amber and Kevin and the acceptance each has for the painful parts of their pasts.

Definitely a book you’ll want to read, The Wild Irish Sea is available now.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Review - Hero by Cheryl Brooks

HERO
The Cat Star Chronicles
Cheryl Brooks
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Weddings can be joyful...and, for some, they can be painful. That's how HERO begins as Trag is positioned beside Kyra, the woman he loves, the woman who is his brother's mate. That Kyra is madly, deeply in love with Trag's brother Tychar, the famous singer, just makes it more obvious what Trag is missing. So it's with relief that he returns to his pilot berth aboard Lerotan Kanotay's starship. At least aboard the Equalizer, he isn't face to face with what he can never have.

Aboard the space station Orleon, Micayla happens to snag the barest glimpse of a beautiful man who exudes sadness and regret. Before she can get a better look or discover who he is, he vanishes in the crowded park. But that bare glance and the comment that he resembled Micayla with his cat eyes and small fangs is enough to send Micayla and her friend, Windura, to the disreputable parts of the huge space station in search.

The search sets in motion the action part of the plot pitting Micayla against the deadly force out to kill all Zetithians. Including, now, Micayla as she and her friend overhear incriminating information and flee. Their perilous flight leads them to take refuge in the Equalizer. And it's there, that she finally meets Trag.

He's everything she thought he would be based on that one brief glimpse. Handsome, boyishly charming, and the first thing she does is hiss at him. She didn't have a clue why she was so sharp with Trag. She liked him. She was definitely interested in him. This is not a particularly good way to get a guy's attention. She knows that and if she didn't, Windura was ready to point it out.

Trag, too, is confused. Micayla is a Zetithian, the first female of his species he's run across. She's just as beautiful as he expected a female of his kind to be. She ought to be falling down happy to find him, a male Zetithian, but it's clear she isn't. As far as he can tell, she can't stand him. It isn't until they meet up with Captain Jack and her husband, Cat, that things take a more favorable turn. Trag discovers that having 'snard', the remarkable orgasm producing substance, isn't the only way to a woman's heart. Neither is having a penis constructed like a woman's best fantasy. All that remains is to deal with the danger that stalks all the Zetithians.

This latest, excellent installment in the Cat Star Chronicles is the kind of delightfully hot read we've come to expect from Ms Brooks. HERO isn't just a great erotic love story, it's also a coming of age story for Micayla and Trag. Having been raised in human society, Micayla brings to mind the young teen-aged girl who hasn't a lot of experience dealing with the opposite sex or her own deep yearnings. And Trag comes to realize that perhaps his first love wasn't as real as he imagined.

Peopled by strange and exotic races, set on fabulous planets and space stations, HERO is just exactly the kind of hot read those of us who love futuristics enjoy. This is definitely a recommended read. You'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Guest - Cheryl Brooks

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is the author of one of my favorite series, The Cat Star Chronicles. Ms Brooks has given us another wonderful erotic and exotic read. And Sourcebooks has promised a copy of HERO to two lucky readers so make sure you read all the way down to see how you can get a copy.

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Hello! I’m Cheryl Brooks, author of the Cat Star Chronicles series of sexy sci-fi romance, and I’d like to thank you for having me as a guest here at Star-Crossed Romance!

With the sixth book in the series, Hero, hitting the shelves this month, it’s safe to say that I’m still hooked on sci-fi. To promote my previous books, I’ve written guest blogs about sex with aliens, alien worlds, alien names, and all sorts of alien attributes, but what I haven’t done is talk about my heroines and why they think those alien guys are so hot.

It’s been said that my heroines fall in love with their Zetithian heroes far too easily, to which I can only say that I would fall for them even faster than my heroines do, provided, of course, I was unattached. The toughest part about writing this series is finding ways of keeping my heroines from falling hopelessly in love with them at first sight. After all, they’re tall, handsome, lovable, amazingly sexy, good in a fight, and they can purr! The fangs and long hair are just icing on the cake when compared with their sexual abilities, which, if you’ve read any of the previous books, you’ll know are considerable.

But up to now, my heroines have all been human, or at least mostly human. In Hero, we discover why the men of Zetith had to be so irresistible. The reason? The women aren’t interested unless the right man—the right Zetithian man—purrs for them. So when Micayla meets Trag, she doesn’t exactly fall at his feet; in fact, she hisses at him.

I remember my editor being all excited about the prospect of a Zetithian heroine. “Oh, she’ll be so sensuous and sexy!” she said. Well, yes and no. I reminded her that it had been mentioned a time or two that Zetithian females aren’t what you’d call boy crazy. They’re highly selective and extremely difficult to entice.

Beautiful, of course, just as the men are very handsome, but sex and romance are the last things on their minds. They are strong, intelligent, and independent, and have been taught to avoid men as much as possible—perhaps to keep the population growth in check since their children are usually born in litters of three.
Micayla, however, was orphaned at the age of two and has been reared on Earth, ignorant of her world and her species. She’s grown up with humans, but though Earth men may be easy, they don’t do a thing for her. Believing herself to be an oddity even among her own kind, she is unprepared for her reaction to Trag, and the sparks fly. Trag, who was also raised offworld, isn’t well-versed in Zetithian courtship rituals either, and their misinterpretation of each other’s behavior adds to the fun.

Creating a new species and exploring their origins, characteristics, and basic tendencies is one of the joys of writing paranormal fiction. I know of no other genre that enables an author to go beyond the confines of life as we know it and explore the unknown in limitless ways. That always intriguing, “What if...” gives the imagination a free rein, as well as the opportunity to bring the reader along for the ride. So, if you’re looking for romance, adventure, fun, and sex beyond your wildest dreams, welcome aboard my starship, where you will discover that my Zetithian guys really mean it when they promise to “give you joy unlike any you have ever known.”

HERO BY CHERYL BROOKS – IN STORES AUGUST 2010
The Cat Star Chronicles #6
He is the sexiest, most irksome man she’s ever encountered...

Micayla is the last Zetithian female left in the universe. She doesn’t know what’s normal for her species, but she knows when she sees Trag that all she wants to do is bite him…

He has searched all over the galaxy for a woman like her...

Trag has sworn he’ll never marry unless he can find a Zetithian female. But now that he’s finally found Micayla, she may be more of a challenge than even he’s able to take on...

About the Author
Cheryl Brooks is an Intensive Care Unit nurse by night and a romance writer by day. Previous books in The Cat Star Chronicles series include Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast and Fugitive. She is a member of the RWA and lives with her husband and sons in Indiana. For more information, please visit http://cherylbrooksonline.com/.

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-- Lynda Again

To be eligible for the HERO drawing, please leave a comment AND send an email to me at Lynda@lyndakscott.com by noon Friday August 6 and put HERO in the subject line. I'll have my fluffy little cat, Wookie, pull the two winning names.