Thursday, November 15, 2012

Down for the Count excerpt!

Want a taste of Down for the Count? Here's the first chapter. Hope you like!

Chapter One
Lacey Garrity—soon to be Clemson once she got down to the social security office to change it— marched up the long corridor between the reception hall and the bar, muttering to herself. It was time to throw the frigging bouquet, but her groom was MIA. After making a list of possible places he might have gone, jotted neatly on a cocktail napkin, she’d made the rounds and so far? Nada.

Pausing, she jabbed at the green call button of her cell phone and held it to her ear.

In the reception room behind her, the strains of “Twist and Shout” faded. It was only that brief absence of music that allowed her to hear the muffled, familiar melody of Marty’s ringtone coming from behind a door at the end of the hallway. Bah dum. Bah dum. Bahdum bahdum bahdum…

Relief flooded her, and she beelined toward the sound. She tugged the door open and—

“Marty?” Lacey stared down at her husband of two hours, total shock momentarily preventing her from comprehending the scene before her. The slightly muffled version of The Pink Panther theme song coming from the pants around her husband’s ankles kept time with the ring pouring from the receiver of the telephone she still had cupped to her ear.

“Lacey! I can explain,” Marty said as he frantically tried to extract himself from the woman he was screwing and yank up his pants at the same time, which was no easy feat given the restrictive confines of the filled-to-bursting storage closet. In his struggle, he knocked a mound of snowy-white linens off the shelf behind him, and they toppled onto his paramour with a thunk, shoving her torso flat into the table she was draped over.

“Shit!” she wailed, floundering until the cloths fell to the floor in a heap.

Lacey focused more intently on the woman ass up in front of Marty. Black curls arranged in an updo, a tasteful navy dress bunched around her bare thighs. Navy chiffon, to be exact. The very same chiffon she’d picked out for her bridesmaid dresses.

Shock gave way to a gut-wrenching sense of betrayal. “Becca?” Her brain thrashed around in search of a stronghold, a port in this most ludicrous of storms, and she uttered the first thing that came to mind. “But you said he had woman-hips.”

“Hi, this is Marty. Leave a message,” the oh-so-familiar voice chirped in her ear.

“Hi, Marty?” she said into the previously forgotten phone. “This is Lacey. You’re a lying piece of shit asshole.” She disconnected and hurled it against the corridor wall, where it connected with a satisfying crunch.

Marty flinched. “Honey, it’s not what it looks like.”

Why do people always say that? she wondered dully.

Becca tugged at the hem of her dress and stared at the floor, slump-shouldered and unwilling to meet Lacey’s gaze.

“What it looks like is that you’re having sex with one of my oldest friends in the linen closet of our reception hall. Unless, of course, she’s lost something in her vagina and you were gallant enough to try and fish it out for her. With your penis. If that’s the case, I suggest using a larger lure.”

A whispered “Ouch” over her shoulder clued her in to the fact that the three of them were no longer alone. Her skin prickled like she’d been dipped in rubbing alcohol, but she kept her gaze locked on Marty.

He winced, his cheeks turning a fiery shade of red. “No need to be rude, Lace.” The ensuing silence was so absolute that when he fastened his tuxedo pants, it sounded like a grizzly bear traveling down a zip line.

“Please tell me you’re not chastising me over my lack of manners right now. Because if I thought that were true, I just might get one of those stupid shrimp forks your mother insisted we have and jam it into your eye.”

He gaped at her as if he’d never seen her before and wasn’t all that thrilled with the view. Well, bully for him. She knew the feeling.

“Lacey, we were going to tell you. But things got out of hand, and then the merger…” Becca’s blue eyes pleaded with her. For what? Understanding? Forgiveness?

She was fresh out of both.

Tears pricked the backs of her lids, and she stared at two of the people she thought she could count on most. Lifting her trembling hand, she tore off her wedding and engagement rings, then set the now meaningless symbols of commitment carefully on the table.

“That’s it?” an outraged voice bellowed from over her shoulder. “You’re going to let them off that easy? Oh, no way. Not on my watch.” Her maid of honor and sister from another mister, Cat Thomas, pushed past her and peered in. Her green eyes were a bit bleary as she treated the couple in the closet to a death stare. “I should kick your prissy little ass.”

She was probably talking to Becca, but it was a fitting threat for both of them, and that made the whole thing even more awful. Marty wouldn’t have even considered bending Lacey over a table, never mind one in the linen closet of a public place, but there he’d been, doing exactly that with her friend. On their wedding day.

“Cat, stay out of it,” a low male voice murmured.

Lacey closed her eyes and bit back a groan. Of all the people to have witnessed her shame, Galen Thomas would’ve been her last choice. Cat’s brother had been away for the past eight months training for a fight, and he’d just returned to Rhode Island. Lacey had been so sure he would still be at home recovering, she’d never expected him to come to the wedding.

Growing up, he had been a never-ending source of torment for Lacey, either unaware or unimpressed with the fact that she’d harbored a serious crush on him since grade school. In spite of his ribbing and her efforts to act like she couldn’t care less, over the years they’d forged an uneasy alliance for Cat’s sake. She hated him seeing her at her lowest point. Especially after he’d warned her about Marty the year before.

His muttered, “Watch yourself, squirt. He’s spineless, and spineless people don’t care who gets hurt, so long as it’s not them,” had stuck with her far longer than it should have.

Or maybe not long enough, she thought glumly and took one last look at the train wreck in front of her.

“I’m fine, Cat. Galen’s right. I need to go before any of the other guests see this.” She met Marty’s miserable gaze. “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer. Don’t try to contact me. I have nothing to say to you.”

She turned to Becca and the ache in her gut increased tenfold. For a brief moment, she wondered if it should be the other way around. Shouldn’t his betrayal hurt worse? But before she could catch hold of the thought, it burned away under the heat of white-hot anger at Becca. The third amigo. The other sidekick for the force that was Cat. The person she could call when she just wanted to vent instead of plot to take over the world. If Cat was the meat of their sandwich, Lacey and Becca were the slices of bread.

Not anymore.

Sweet, sweet Becca was now Becca the Betrayer.

“And you?” She cast around for something to say, to lash out, to make her pay, but all she could muster was, “I want my ’N-Sync T-shirt back. Then lose my number.”

Becca’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly, her pink cheeks going chalk white.

The tears were coming soon. They were building at the back of her throat like an imprisoned scream. She had to get out of there, fast. Cat took her arm and led her across the hall with a hissed, “Bastards,” over her shoulder. Galen fell into step on her other side.

“Is this a nightmare? Please tell me this is a nightmare,” Lacey murmured under her breath.

“This is no nightmare, squirt. This is the luckiest day of your life,” Galen said, his tone grim.

“Not the time, bro.” Cat popped her brother hard on the shoulder with a balled-up fist.

“It’s the truth. That guy wasn’t good enough to wipe your shoes. And your friend there is getting exactly what she deserves. A jellyfish of a man for a jellyfish of a woman. She always was weak.”

There was an uncharacteristic compliment buried in that statement, and it registered briefly through her shock, but she didn’t have a chance to dwell on it. They’d reached the main reception hall filled with her family and friends. The black cloud of dread hanging over her thickened. The wedding was supposed to have paved the way for two of the city’s most high-powered law firms to merge into one big family firm. Now that might never happen and, despite the circumstances being out of Lacey’s control, her mother was going to be furious.

She paused and ran a hand over her hair, the strains of “Mony Mony” pouring through the doors increasing her agitation tenfold. “I have to go in there, don’t I? To tell them something?” Her voice warbled and she bit her lip.

“Nope. Galen will tell them. I’ll drive you to your apartment to change your clothes, and we’ll go get smashed!” Cat held up a hand for a high five.

“Not going to happen,” Galen cut in. “You’re already smashed,” he said to his sister before turning to Lacey. “And you’re in no condition to drive. You’re still in shock, and when this hits the fan, it’s going to get ugly.”

He was right. Cat had been sipping mimosas all morning and had drunk more than her share at cocktail hour. Her flaming-red hair had escaped its confines and the makeup that had been flawless—if liberally applied—earlier in the day was now smudgy around her bleary green eyes. It would be wrong to let her get behind the wheel. Lacey had enjoyed a couple herself, but clearly not enough to dull this pain. Galen had hit the nail on the head. She was one false move from shattering into a million pieces.

Run away, her mind screamed. For once, she went with impulse over common sense.

“Cat, go tell Marty he can let the guests know why I’ve left. He’s a big, fat, stupid liar, so I’m sure he’ll come up with a plausible reason. But tell him if he makes it look like it was my fault, he’ll regret it. And make sure he tells them to take their gifts home. Oh, and try to manage my mother, okay? I hate to put you in that spot, but she is going to flip out and I can’t handle her brand of crazy right now when I haven’t even had a chance to have my own.”

“No problem. Leave The Admiral to me.”

Cat’s nickname for her mother usually brought a smile to Lacey’s face, but not today. Today, she winced at the accuracy of the name. Things hadn’t gone The Admiral’s way, and she wasn’t going to be happy with her little sailors. The question was, would she try to be understanding or would she blame it on Lacey—again?

“I owe you huge for this. I just need some time before I can face the fallout.” She turned to pin Galen with a frank stare, ready to beg if she needed to. But when she faced him fully for the first time, her heart hitched. His dark hair was tousled, and his chin bore the scruff that was ever-present unless he was prepping for a fight. True to form, he was underdressed in a sports jacket that stretched tight over his wide shoulders and jeans that had seen better days. She’d spent thousands of her waking hours picturing that face, and just as many sleeping hours dreaming of it. A pang of regret for what never was joined the other riot of emotions from this hellacious day, and when she met his brown eyes, the pity there was more than she could bear. The tears flowed freely and she swallowed the last morsel of her pride. “Can you get me the hell out of here, please?”

For a long moment, Galen held her amber gaze and didn’t respond, although his instincts were bleating up a storm. This is a baaaaad idea. His instincts were pretty fucking solid most days and had saved him a lot of pain, both in the ring and out. In fact, hadn’t he told Lacey not to marry this loser? He opened his mouth to remind her of that fact again but snapped it shut a second later when his instincts told him a move like that would earn him a high-heeled kick to the family jewels. “And go where?”

“Anywhere, blockhead,” Cat cut in with a roll of her eyes. “She has to get out of here. You two go. I’ll deal with everything here.”

Lacey gave her a weak smile. “Thanks, Cat. I’d be lost without you.”

“Tell me about it. And don’t worry. If Loverboy tries to throw you under the bus, I’ll make sure everyone hears the truth,” she assured Lacey, giving her arm a gentle pat.

Galen really didn’t want to get involved in this mess. Something had been happening over the past couple years, and he didn’t like it. The obligatory annoyance combined with grudging affection that guys typically felt toward the good longtime friends of their sisters had begun to change when it came to Lacey. She was no longer a gangly, awkward teen—and he knew it. Luckily, that was right about the time she’d saddled herself with Marty the dishrag, so it hadn’t been an issue. Hell, he’d only come because his sister’s latest boy toy had bailed, and she needed a plus one. “Listen, I—”

“Galen. Please. I can’t go back in there.” Lacey’s voice had lost the shrill gloss of panic and now sounded resigned. Beat down.

God, he was a sucker. He closed his eyes for a long moment and nodded. “Okay. I’ve got my bike, though.” He cast a dubious eye at her floor-length gown.

“We’ll make it work.” With the promise of imminent escape, she sounded stronger already. She jammed her arm through his so their elbows were locked and raised her chin. “Cat, I’ll call you later once I’m settled.”

“You threw your phone,” Galen reminded her.

“Indeed I did.” Her chin dipped a little before she rebounded like a champ. “Cat, I will e-mail you later if I can’t find a phone.”

“Cool. Love you, babe. And I promise, in a few months, after we’ve exacted our revenge, we’re going to look back at this and laugh,” Cat said.

Galen frowned and his sister shrugged. Between the two of them, they were screwing this up royally. Maybe he’d think of something good to say on the way out.

He led Lacey toward the main exit, but she tugged him toward the bar in the deserted lounge area. “One second.” She yanked her arm from his. “Excuse me, sir?” she called to the balding bartender washing glasses at an industrial-sized sink in the corner. Balancing precariously on the wooden footrest skirting the bar, she reached over the counter and plucked a bottle of champagne nestled in an ice bin. “Put this on my husband’s tab, would you? Marty Clemson, the wedding in the Rose Room.”

She didn’t wait for a response but stalked out the door with the bottle clutched in her hand.

He stared helplessly after her, then looked back to the bartender. “Can you even do that?”

The guy shrugged. “What am I going to do, chase after her? Given the look on her face, I’m going to say that seems like a bad idea.”

Galen sighed, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a fifty. “Will that cover it?”


Two seconds later, he exited the building and glanced around. Lacey had stopped at his Harley and set down the champagne. She couldn’t ride with that gown on. She’d get them both killed. They were going to have to—

He paused mid-step when Lacey reached behind her neck. What was she going to do, strip?

“Some help here?” she mumbled, grappling with the hooks down her back.

Some help here? Little Lacey Garrity wanted his help taking off her wedding dress. The shy teen his sister had forced to drink four wine coolers before she would go skinny-dipping. And even then, she’d made them all close their eyes until she was in up to her neck. This was officially the weirdest fucking day of his life. “I’m not sure exactly what the plan is, but I can tell you right now, it’s ill-advised,” he said, ignoring the baser part of him that roared to life at the thought of seeing what was under all that dress.

“Damn it,” Lacey muttered, scrabbling at the catches.

He didn’t dare smile. She might not be gangly anymore, but she was still a little awkward, in the way that a woman was when she had no true sense of her worth. But that aside, the outer packaging was right and tight. Easy enough to put it out of his mind when she was engaged to another man. Not so easy now that her relationship had disintegrated and she wanted him to help her disrobe.

“I’ll help you if you tell me what we’re hoping to accomplish. You can’t ride on the back of my bike naked. You realize that, right?”

“I have a full slip under here that comes down to my knees. It’s no more revealing than some cocktail dresses I’ve seen, so don’t worry. I won’t get us arrested.”

The emotionless resignation in her tone made him want to go back into the hall and treat Marty Clemson to the uppercut that had earned him the nickname Whalin’ Galen. One shot, right to the fucker’s nonexistent chin. But then he saw the tremble. It wasn’t much, just a little shiver of uncertainty that snaked through her and left her readable. And what he read spelled sadness. The deep, I don’t even know what to do with myself kind of pain. Damn.

At that moment, if she’d asked him to dance a jig, he’d have considered it if it meant cheering her up even a little. He stalked up behind her to push her hands out of the way. “I’ll do it. We’re going to have to take it really slow riding. If we took a spill, your legs would be a mess.”

The slender line of neck teased him, and he vowed to make quick work of it. He’d gotten through the first trillion buttons and was about halfway done when her shoulders started to shake.

He froze. “Are you crying?”

“Can you hurry?” She loosed a pathetic sniffle. “I just want to go.”

He eyed the long line of pearls dubiously. Making an executive decision, he grasped both sides in his hands and yanked. The dress split in two down to the middle of her thighs. He let it drop into a pool at her feet and she didn’t even blink when she stepped out of it.

“Thanks,” she said with a brave, watery smile.

He nodded but opted not to speak. She was right. The slip did cover her, much in the way a coat of candy-apple-red paint covered a Mustang. It didn’t so much hide the car as it enhanced exactly how badass it was. Spaghetti straps of white silk lay in stark relief against the darker, golden skin of her shoulders. Her full breasts strained at the material binding them. If he looked a little harder he’d just be able to make out the contour of her nipples—

“Why are you staring at me like that?” Her sad eyes went wide. “Is there a bug on me? Is it a spider?” She screeched the last word and began frantically swiping at her slip.

“No, you’re fine. Stop it. I was thinking what a douche bag Marty is.” It was as close to the truth as he could manage, given the circumstances.

She stopped all her fussing and stared at him. “Thanks. I appreciate that. Now get me out of here before people start coming out, would you?”

“Where to, squirt?”

“Not home.”

He waited for further instructions, but that was clearly all he was getting out of her. “Not home it is.” He yanked his helmet off the handlebar and plunked it on her head. “Tighten the chin strap.”

He took the bottle from her and stowed it in his pack, then climbed on. When she straddled the seat behind him, he had to steel himself. Her slip rode up high enough to reveal slim, toned legs encased in silk stockings. A thin, lace garter in blue and white hugged one thigh. She snuggled in close, molding her front to his back, and he said a silent little prayer.

Dear Satan. I don’t know why you’re testing me, but I don’t like it. No love, Galen.

Friday, November 2, 2012

#HERO WARS on the Brazen FB Page, Today at 11:00 a.m. EST!

Brazen heroes Dillon, Galen (my hero from Down for the Count!), Brady and Chad are fighting it out on Facebook! Join me, Laura Kaye, Jennifer L. Armentrout (writing as J. Lynn), and Cari Quinn as we see how our heroes stack up against one another.

It's going to be a great time, and readers will have a chance to get to know our heroes, what makes them tick, what makes them melt, and we'll even share some of our favorite lines. PLUS, if you enjoyed Down for the Count, and want YOUR name (or the name of your choice) written into the second book of the Dare Me series, we're running an awesome #HeroWars contest where the winners each get to name a character in one of our upcoming Entangled releases!

Log in to Rafflecopter below and see the different ways to enter. Then, come by and check out #HeroWars here! The action kicks off on 11/2 at 11:00 a.m. EST and lasts until 3:00p.m. The authors will be there to comment, respond and interact with fans of the Entangled Brazen line, so please come visit me and make Galen Thomas the winner of Hero Wars!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 5, 2012

Down for the Count Contest! (UPDATE! NEW PRIZES ADDED)

***UPDATE! We are SO close to hitting the top 100 (it's already at #300!) To sweeten the pot, I'm adding MOAR prizes! On top of the $100 gift card and the gold charm and chain, I'm also going to give very own Kindle Touch! The Kindle is only six months old, and in perfect condition. It will come with the books I've purchased over the last six months (LOTS of Entangled romances, and some thrillers as well). See below for details on how to enter.  

Down for the Count, my latest book from Entangled Publishing, is out and I'm sooo excited about this one! It's the first in a series called Dare Me in their steamy Brazen line. The concept for each of the books is that a dare is the catalyst that somehow draws the hero and heroine together.

In order to celebrate, I'm running another contest! Here's the scoop. Since Down for the Count has already broken the top 100 on Barnes and Noble on it's second day of release (ZOMG, *squee*) we have our sights on cracking the Amazon top 100 now! SO, if Down for the Count makes it onto the Amazon top 100 list by Halloween (update: As of 10/25 we're at #300!), some lucky winners will get some treats! A $100 gift card to the e-book seller of their choice AND a 14k gold boxing glove charm and chain as featured in the book. A second winner will win my Kindle Touch.

AND, if we make the top 50, a third winner will also receive a $100 gift card and a cameo in the next book of the series (OR get to name a character- good taste restrictions apply ;op)!

Here's a little about the book, and then the rules on entering the contest:

Truth or dare…

When Lacey Garrity finds her groom in flagrante delicto in the reception hall closet with her bridesmaid, she’s saved by her best friend’s older brother—childhood tormentor, crush, and boxing bad boy Galen Thomas. Galen’s solution is both exciting and dangerous. What better way to forget the mess of her life than go on her honeymoon with a hot guy who can’t promise anything beyond today?

…or TKO?

Galen had been counting on Lacey’s wedding to put her out of reach—and out of his mind—once and for all, but their steamy Puerto Rican escape is testing all his boundaries. Now that Lacey’s embracing her inner bad girl, Galen is tempted to throw in the towel and claim her for himself. But with the biggest fight of his career on the line and an important business merger threatening to derail Lacey’s resolve, their romance might be down for the count before it even begins.

Sounds fun, right?! Okay, so to enter the contest just log into the Rafflecopter widget and choose how you want to enter! You can tweet your way in, by tweeting: Get Down for the Count by @_ChristineBell to #100 on AMZ to win a $100 g.c and 14k gold charm featured in the book

OR post the book link to your FB page per the Rafflecopter guidelines.
OR post a comment to this blog or any of the stops on my upcoming tour:




Do any or all of the above and you're in, that's IT! Contest ends when the book breaks #50 on Amazon OR on October 31st.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Let ME Indulge YOU with my Wife for Hire contest!

WHOOT! It's finally here! I'm so excited for the release of Wife for Hire and to celebrate, I'm running an AWESOME contest. Comment on ANY of the stops on this week's blog tour (listed below) and one commenter from each post will win a $10 Barnes & Noble or Amazon gift card.

AND everyone who enters will also be eligible for my Let Me Indulge You contest. On September 18th, if Wife For Hire hits the top 500 on either B&N or Amazon, I will be giving away a $250 gift card to the salon or spa of one lucky winner’s choice. Every comment from my blog tour will be counted as an entry. Follow my whole blog tour? EACH comment = another entry! Extra entries will also be given for tweeting about Wife For Hire with the Amazon or B&N buy link and the hashtag #WIFEFORHIRE or posting the buy links on your Facebook page! Entries will be tracked by

a Rafflecopter giveaway Here's a list of the blogs I'll be visiting!

8/22 RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk

8/23 Seven Sassy Sisters

8/24 Entangled Indulgence blog

8/25 Laura Kaye's blog

8/26 Cari Quinn's blog

8/27 Nicola Marsh's blog

Here's a blurb of the book!

He needs a wife for three weeks…

Owen Phipps is out for revenge. His mission? To expose the man who stole his sister’s money and dignity. All he needs is a “wife” who can play along. Too bad his last best hope is an actress who tries to mace him with perfume when he offers her the role of a lifetime.

Lindy Knight is a real sap. She loves too hard, feels too deep, and often finds herself saying yes when she should be saying “Let me think about it.” She can’t believe her good fortune when Owen offers her more than enough money to hold off foreclosure until she can find a job. Three weeks at a resort, money she desperately needs, and she gets to help bring a criminal to justice? Score.

It seems easy enough until the first time a couples bonding game turns intimate, and they realize how dangerous their mutual attraction could be. Can they keep their hands to themselves long enough to find the evidence Owen needs? Or are the close quarters more temptation than they can handle?

Please check out the Entangled website here for an extended excerpt!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Gnat Just Flew Up My Nose

Seriously. That's not, like, some witty title for a post. A gnat just actually flew up my nose. And frankly, I'm not thrilled about it. Because, as of right now, I have still not pinpointed its location. So, to my (neurotic) mind, there are only three possibilities:

1. It's lodged in mucus somewhere, and will be blown out in the natural course of things. Although this is the best option, since I have been searching for it, vigorously, I don't have high hopes. (It's not picking your nose if you have a tissue wrapped around your finger, right?!?)

2. It's already buried deep within my sinus cavity where the dark, moist environment is perfect for egg laying. In three weeks I will be naturally labotomized by millions of baby gnat larvae living off my brain tissue and my children will find me rocking in the corner, drooling.

3. It's hanging around in that mysterious space between nose and throat, waiting like a ninja to drop down into my trachea, then into my lungs where it will burrow and (insert the second half of #2 here, but something with lungs).


And this, my friends, demonstrates the lengths I will go to NOT to work on my current WIP. Welcome to my world.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Author J.L. Hilton is here!!!

Carina Press author J.L. Hilton is here to let me grill her, and to talk about her new release, Stellarnet Rebel!

1.First, I LOVE stories about other worlds! What was the inspiration for Stellarnet Rebel? And are you working on anything new? If so, give us the inside scoop!

When I started writing Stellarnet Rebel, I was re-watching Babylon 5 and North and South, I was listening to a lot of Les Miserables and Irish folk music, and I was in the middle of designing and creating 60 pairs of earrings for the “Can't Stop the Serenity” charity events. (I'm a big fan of Firefly and have been involved in the fandom for years.)

I had zero plans to write a novel, certainly not a cyberpunk novel. Most of my previous writing was either non-fiction or fantasy. But one morning I woke up dreaming of the scene where Genny and Duin meet for the first time. After that, the rest of the story just seemed to exist in my head, and I rushed to type it out. That sounds kind of weird and metaphysical – but that's how it happened.

I am currently working on the sequel, Stellarnet Prince. I'm also writing two SFR novellas unrelated to the Stellarnet Series. In Stellarnet Rebel, the sex scenes are only about 3% of the entire book. They are “open door,” but not very graphic. They're more for the sake of plot and character development. But SF erotica would allow me to get much more creative in exploring what it is about aliens that we might find attractive – and imagining ways in which we might not be fully compatible. It's fun to see how love conquers all.

We LOVE Firefly at our house too!

2. Okay, so whenever I write, even when I’m really digging the manuscript as a whole, there’s always a line or two that I sort of fall in love with in an unholy way. That I look at and go “Huh. That’s pretty friggin’ good.” Can you share a couple of your favorites from Stellarnet Rebel with us?

One of the lines used in the marketing promotion is, “My love is not a pittance thrown to a beggar, nor a treasure stolen by a thief, but a tribute to a hero. Which do you choose to be?” I really like that one.

There are a lot of great lines – and a lot of places where I go, “Whoa, did I write that?” But most of my favorites would be big spoilers... So I'll have to go with the blog post Duin makes when Genny is detained for a crime she did not commit. He admits publicly that he loves her, which is very brave considering how much some humans hate him, and he pleads for help. It's at the beginning of the excerpt, below.

3.Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? And why romantic fiction?

I drew stories on little pads of paper before I could write, and I was writing by the age of 5. I won several school writing contests, and I completed a full-length, utterly terrible novel at 13. My first short story was published in Dragon Magazine by age 17. I began writing articles, interviews and book reviews for magazines at 19, then worked in newspapers for several years after college. So I didn't always want to be a writer, I've always been a writer. :)

Stellarnet Rebel is romantic, but it's not just about love between two individuals, it's about love of family, friends, home, technology, freedom, truth, justice. I like to write about these things because they're what matter.
As for why fiction... I've written a lot of non-fiction over the years – news reports, opinion pieces, columns, articles. I think fiction gets closer to the heart and soul.

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Can you give us a quick rundown of your writing process?

I guess I do a combination of pants-flying and plotting... I'm not very good at analyzing my creative process, whether it's designing jewelry or writing stories. I don't do a lot of detailed planning, but it's not as if I just throw any ol' doodads together and get beautiful jewelry – or write any ol' thing and it comes out a complex futuristic thriller. I have this weird way of seeing the gestalt of something, or sort of “feeling” the whole as I assemble the parts.

I wrote Stellarnet Rebel out of order, jumping around between beginning, middle and end. That would have been impossible to do unless I had a strong sense of what I was writing and what needed to happen in each scene. But I'm also open to change – sometimes I plan something, and the characters have other ideas.

I write out of order too, lol!

5. I really enjoy learning about and connecting with authors whose books I read and love. Can you tell us a secret about yourself? It could be something serious, or something fun, silly or quirky that will give us some insight on you as a person!

Because I've written a SF novel – specifically, a “cyberpunk thriller” according to my publisher Carina Press – people often try to discuss other SF novels with me. My dark little secret is that I don't read a lot of SF. I prefer classics and quirky stories. Some of my favorites are Les Miserables, Vanity Fair, Jane Eyre, John Dies at the End, Mogworld, and Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale (steampunk is a subgenre of SF, but it's not hard SF, right?). I also read a lot of non-fiction, history, autobiographies, etc.

6. Last one! If you were stuck on a desert island, and had to eat the same thing, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Song? Movie? Book?

So, I've died and gone to hell, is what you're saying. (HA!)

Please share an excerpt from your upcoming release!

This is one of my favorite sequences from the book. Not only because it's exciting, but because it's the point when the heroine has a paradigm shift. She goes from thinking of herself as “Genny” to thinking of herself as “J'ni,” which is the way the alien freedom-fighter Duin pronounces her name. It's the point where she is forced to leave behind her family, her country, her ex, her career, in order to escape injustice and stay with the one she loves. It's the point where she and Duin both become “Stellarnet Rebels.”

His compartment echoed with memories of her. The remains of dinner. Her new Mysteria shirt. Her shawl, black with his own dried blood. The chair where they merged. The bed where their anatomy lessons continued. Her cup from dinner, half full of water, which he placed on a shelf.

He sat down, logged into her blog and typed.

To Humanity I’ve made my arguments and my pleas, borrowing the words of your own great thinkers, in the hope that the familiarity of those speeches, and the similarities of our conditions, would move you. With Genny’s help, I have told you my story. But, today, this will be the most difficult thing I have ever said to you, because I will say it on my own, in every way.

I love Genevieve O’Riordan. And, while that love remains within me, its object has been removed, and my anguish is beyond my ability to use your language. The Air & Space Force is holding her in the military zone of Asteria Colony, on the presumption that she is guilty of destroying her own block. They call her a terrorist, this compassionate, equitable individual
whose only crime is that she believed in me and in the hope of a free Glin.

She is to be relocated to Adiri. I don’t know when.

Yesterday, she told me of her faith in humanity. I marveled at how this faith endures, in spite of humans attacking her, in spite of them destroying her block and injuring her. I wonder, today, how she feels about humanity. I wonder how I feel. I haven’t had time to give it much thought. Until now, all of my hopes had been pinned on you. This bright, brave race, which has
risen, a thousand times over, to prevail against oppression, illness, environmental disaster, even death itself. You grow plants in the air, dream massive dreams together and sail the sky ocean between worlds.

Can you not find some way to end injustice? I might understand if you cannot bring yourselves to aid an alien. But Genevieve O’Riordan is one of you. She loves you. And I am grateful that she loves me, as well. I will do what I can to free her.

Will you?


She was awakened by the sound of the door opening. When she saw who it was, she thought she was dreaming.

“Seth? Why are you here? Are they detaining you, too?”

“No, I’m escorting you to the transport ship.”

“The ship to Titan? I don’t fucking think so.” She scrambled into the corner of the bunk. “You just try to drag me out of here.”

“I will if I have to.” Seth grasped her by the shoulders, which wasn’t easy to do while she kicked him. “You don’t want to do this the hard way, Genny. They’ll drug you and carry you out on a stretcher.”

“Leave me alone. Get off me!”

“Stop it and look at me! Look.”

And then she saw it. Words tickering across his forearm, blocked from the cell cameras by Seth’s back.

Go with Seth. At Sector M, take the first stairwell up. Head to Sector W. Duin is getting you out of here.

She looked into Seth’s face, inches from her own. Not long ago, when they were like this in a bed, it had meant something so different.

“All right,” she said.

Duin is getting you out of here.

Seth took her by the arm and led her out of the block. “I emailed your parents. Left out the part about you and the alien. But I guess the whole universe knows about that, now.”

“Why?” The hallways and thoroughfares were quiet, and she saw only a few other Airmen.

“Your frog blogged it.”

Duin was able to post. It brought her a sense of relief. He was free to access the Stellarnet. J.T. and her followers would know what was going on. Maybe Duin would be taking her to Earth. INC’s main offices were in the European Union. She might seek asylum there, beyond the reach of her own government.

“That thing said you loved each other. Is that true?”

They were approaching the edge of Sector M. From there, according to the mysterious words on Seth’s bracer, she would need to go up one of the stairwells, then cross the Colony Square toward Sector W. Her heart was racing.

“Yes, it’s true,” she replied.

Seth looked ill. She tried to pull away from him, but he tightened his grip on her arm.

“This is the square,” she whispered. “Shouldn’t I go?”

“You think Imma let you go, now?”

“But your device said—”

“The colonel can suck my dick. I’m not part of his plan anymore. Your father will make sure you have a good lawyer and the charges will be dropped. Then they’ll bring you to Earth, where you belong.”

“I don’t want to go to Earth.” She twisted in Seth’s grasp as if she were an angry cat he held by the tail. She was strong—courtesy of the standard gen-mods—but he was stronger. Still, J’ni had one thing he didn’t. Intelligence mods were outlawed, but she came by her cunning naturally.

She stopped struggling and wobbled on her feet.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

Her knees buckled. Seth eased her to the floor.

“C’mon, Genny, don’t lose it.” Seth’s voice held true concern. “You’ll be fine, I promise you.”

She moaned. “I think Dr. Geber was wrong about alien diseases. I feel sick.” Rolling onto her side, she began convulsing.

“Oh, shit, no.” He recoiled.

That’s when she sprang to her feet, kicked him in the face with her booted foot and ran like fucking hell.

Yay! I just started reading my copy and am loving it so far. Thanks so much for coming by!