Our Favorite Cat Aliens are Back!

Cheryl Brooks PhotoGuest blog by Cheryl Brooks, author of Rebel

I was given these topics to choose from for my guest post here on Love Romance Passion.

  1. Interstellar homelessness
  2. Refugees and the Homeless
  3. Heroines as Bait

Since none of them look easy, I’m going to respond to all three and hope for the best. ;-)

These questions undoubtedly stem from themes present in the latest installment in my Cat Star Chronicles series, Rebel. If you’ve never read any of the series, suffice it to say that my Zetithian guys are so hot that an extremely rich and insanely jealous man, Rutger Grekkor, blew up their planet after his wife, Amelyana, took a Zetithian lover. Two, actually. After Grekkor killed the first lover, Amelyana went to Zetith in search of another.

Why would she do that? What makes Zetithians so hot? Some say it’s their feline characteristics. They have fangs, glowing vertical pupils, and they can purr. They also have pointed ears and upswept eyebrows like Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. But it’s really their sexual abilities that make them so irresistible — and addicting.

Rebel’s hero, Onca, was only a baby when Zetith was destroyed by Grekkor’s Nedwut henchmen—a rather nasty, wolf-like race of hunters who will basically do anything for a buck. Amelyana did her best to save some of the children from the holocaust. Onca was one of those she saved, which brings me to the first topic:

  1. Interstellar Homelessness.

It isn’t as simple as it sounds, flying through space with no place to call home. Lots of fictional characters have done it. Case in point, Han Solo in Star Wars. But did he ever mention where he was from? Nope. Not in the movies, anyway. I read a few of the related novels, and one of them mentions that the red stripe on the side of his pants leg is the Corellian Blood Stripe, which “wasn’t given for perfect attendance.” Therefore, one would assume that he was Corellian. But did he ever go there and visit his parents? Hmm…don’t think so. Han’s ship was his home, which is the same kind of homelessness my Zetithian refugees experienced.

Unlike the citizens of Alderaan, who “cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced,” the people of Zetith knew they were about to be obliterated, and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. After ensuring that the natives had no means of getting off the planet, Grekkor’s minions redirected an asteroid to collide with Zetith. Then Grekkor put a bounty on any offworld survivors in order to rid the galaxy of any remaining members of that species. Yeah. He was pissed at them, and he had the means to retaliate on a massive scale. Any remaining Zetithians were rendered homeless in a way that none of us can even begin to comprehend. Not only were their homes destroyed, but their entire world. And that brings us to the second topic:

  1. Refugees and the Homeless

When I first began writing the Cat Star Chronicles, I based the series on six members of a military unit who were captured near the end of the war in which Zetith was destroyed and sold into slavery. But during the course of writing those six books, I was asked to write three more. I needed more Zetithians, so I came up with the idea that a hundred or so children were rescued from Zetith. At the time, I didn’t give a great deal of thought to the logistics of such an endeavor, but just imagine two adult couples caring for a hundred kids, some of whom were only babies. Granted, many of the children were old enough to help care for the smaller ones, but they flew around in space for twenty-five years!

Where did they find food?  In Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry solved that dilemma with food replicators. But he also thought that living people could be “beamed” from one place to another. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Star Trek, but I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that a living being could be dissolved to the atomic level in one place and reformed in another, alive and kicking. Not buying it. Food replication might be more feasible, but I’m going to assume that Amelyana had to send someone down to a planet now and then on a resupplying mission. Money wouldn’t have been too much of an issue since she probably relieved her dear husband of a hefty chunk of change when she commandeered one of his starships.

And now, more than twenty-five years have passed. Grekkor’s death has set the Zetithians free and made them rich. Onca has grown up on that starship and has been educated in his own culture as well as others, including Earth’s history and traditions.

Not long before Grekkor’s death, Kimcasha Shrovenach, a Zetithian child living on the planet Rhylos with her family, was orphaned by a band of Nedwut bounty hunters. Since the age of ten, she has been living on the streets of Damenk on the planet Rhylos, hiding from unknown and unseen terrors. Her only friends are other street people, and now, some of her buddies have gone missing, which brings us to the third topic:

  1. Heroines as Bait.

With no other options, Kim uses herself as bait to discover where her friends have gone. But she isn’t captured by the Herpatronian thug who accosts her, she is rescued by Onca—and she isn’t happy about it. Poor Onca. His one and only stab at being a hero, and the damsel in distress nearly bites his head off. But wait! She’s Zetithian, a very rare and unsuspected find. Onca isn’t looking for love, but he is willing to help Kim locate her friends, as well as helping her to receive her share of the trust fund established for any surviving Zetithians. As the attraction between them grows, Onca begins to realize that he is the one who must use himself as bait, perhaps even sacrificing his own life to rescue the homeless friends of an adorably feisty young Zetithian woman he is convinced would be better off without him.

So now, the roles are reversed and the hero is the one at risk. At risk of losing his home, his wealth, his freedom, and certainly his heart.

I know which version I like best. Onca is my hero!

rebelBlurb:

He helped to find her kidnapped friends. Will he let her steal his heart?

Kimcasha has lived by her wits since she lost her family when she was eight years old. So when three of her friends vanish, she has no fear about using herself as kidnapper’s bait, until a stranger foils her plot…

After ten years of selling his services in a brothel, Onca has decided to retire. A refugee of planet Zetith, he has no family, no surname, and no woman—until he rescues a young homeless girl from a kidnapper. Onca helps Kim find her friends, but as their intense attraction deepens, he begins feeling too jaded for someone so innocent. It’s up to Kim to convince him otherwise…

Buy: Rebel (The Cat Star Chronicles)

Author Bio: Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and the current release, Rebel. She is a member of the RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

Author Website: http://www.cherylbrooksonline.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherylbrooksauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylCatMaster @CherylCatMaster
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cbcatmaster/

Giveaway: One print copy of Rebel by Cheryl Brooks. Open to US and CAN readers. Enter by leaving a comment. Ends 8/8/14.

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Author Sherry Soule’s Dream Cast

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Today bestselling author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new Upper YA / Sci-Fi romance series: the “Starlight Saga” with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014.

To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.

So without further ado here are Sherry’s top actor picks…

Lucy-Hale_Pretty_Little_Liars

For my tough heroine, Sloane Masterson, I think this lovely and brilliant actress:  Lucy Hale (just imagine her with purple hair!) would be perfect.

Tough talking, girl reporter, Sloane is not your typical heroine. She’s a feisty, disarming, and a fiercely independent seventeen-year-old. But she’s not flawlessly beautiful, or super thin, or extremely intelligent like some YA protagonists. Sloane has very real and relatable body issues and insecurities like most teen girls do. She favors the dark-side in clothes and music, loves to watch scary movies, and likes hanging out in graveyards. She uses her wits to cover her emotional scars, and if you can break through her tough exterior, you’ll have a fearless, loyal friend for life.

Luke_Mitchell_Tomorrow_People

For the part of the stoic and brooding, Hayden Lancaster, I think this dynamic actor would be great, Luke Mitchell.

At first glance, it seems that eighteen-year-old Haydenhas a detached, unemotional exterior, but what lies beneath is a kindhearted individual that will go out of their way to help another. Although he’s self-assured, he does have a tendency to emotionally distance himself from those around him, and this can make Hayden an unpredictable and confusing companion at times.

camilla belle

For Sloane’s best friend, Viola Saks, this remarkable actress would be fantastic: Camilla Belle.

Outgoing and feisty, Viola’sa fun-loving spiritgirl, who loves to read. Never lacking in optimism, Viola is frequently seen as a crusader for the rights of others and a defender of lost causes. Popularity makes no difference to her as long as she believes in the cause.

Ed Westwick

For Devin Greenspan, Editor of the school paper, I like this gifted actor best: Ed Westwick.

Devin has had a crush on Sloane for years and never gave the hope of one day hooking up with her. But when Hayden becomes her best friend, he feels threatened by the newcomer.

Paul-Wesley- The Vampire Diaries

Only one actor comes to mind that could portray Hayden’s younger brother, Zach Lancaster, and it is actor, Paul Wesley.

Zach and his brother grew up in a close-knit family where outside friends are discouraged. So when Hayden becomes good friends with Sloane, Zach tries to sabotage the friendship and strongly opposes the relationship.

Daniel Andrew Sharman Erica Hubbard

For Sloane’s good friends, Tanisha and Raymond, I like both of these talented actors: Erica Hubbard and Daniel Andrew Sharman:

Tanisha and Raymond are loyal friends that hang in Sloan’s crew. Tanisha dresses sort of Goth, and she’s really into Wicca and alternative bands. Raymond is more punk rock, and plays the role of the tortured musician to perfection.

Book_Cover_Lost_in_StarlightPlease mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!

Read the first 3 chapters on wattpad.

VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga

Is a star-crossed romance worth sacrificing your own life?

High school senior Sloane Masterson lives a quiet existence. She has awesome friends, gets excellent grades, and writes a column for the Haven Gazette. But her life goes from dullsville to bizarro when she witnesses mysterious loner Hayden Lancaster performing some freaky superhuman feats.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, and she’s not above stalking. But one look into Hayden’s remarkable eyes, and she’s crushing hard.

Even at the swoonworthy hunk’s insistence that hanging out with girls like Sloane is “off limits” by his strange family, she can’t resist him or wanting to solve the mystery.

Things get really complicated when a beautiful alien sets her sights on Hayden—and this devious girl’s not looking for a green card!

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobby extraterrestrials, and getting a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating. As their diverse worlds collide and the romantic sparks fly, Sloane must decide if Hayden’s secrets are worth risking her life to protect.

Buy: LOST IN STARLIGHT

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Official Blog: http://www.sherrysoule.blogspot.com/

Twitter @SherrySoule: http://twitter.com/SherrySoule
 

Review: A Spy to Die For (Assassins Guild, Book 2) by Kris DeLake

A Spy to Die ForReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Skylight Jones is a woman like no other. I find that she loves double cheeseburgers at a restaurant on Krell – and she likes her bacon wiggly (sounds appetizing, yum). Jack Hunter also likes the same establishment. But he likes his burger with extra bacon (this is starting to make me hungry). Too bad it doesn’t come with smell-a-vision (and hopefully you’re not a vegetarian).

Skye is a woman who’s not shy – she certainly speaks her mind. But with her type of job, relationships are not something that usually works out. But in this case, her heart’s not listening. As you read Sky’s story, you might just wish you could be in her place (for me, minus the cheeseburger).

Our author has created a story that seems to talk about trust. She also makes Jack unusual for this world – he’s tall. This left me wanting to see illustrations and thinking I might just fit in (since I’m so short). You have to love how Kris seems to have made Jack a little shy and that Skye’s the one with the bold personality.

Even though I haven’t read the first book, I think this series would transfer well to the small screen. I’ve been happy to see that more movies, or series, are coming from some of the authors I’m currently reading – someone’s finally getting smart. It would be interesting to see how Kris’ world would look.

On August 4 while in the process of reading this book, I happened to be watching CBS Sunday Morning and they were interviewing Star Trek’s George Takei. While watching the interview, I was reading a scene between Skye and Jack and immediately thought “Would James T. Kirk do that?” It also has me asking the question, and I’m sorry but I just have to get it out there, “What happens to a penis in zero gravity when the man is naked?” I’m sorry but Kris put that question in my head and I don’t think anyone at NASA will answer that one for me.

Our author also makes me wish that I would live to see when space travel is the norm and you don’t have to be a millionaire to go into space. Couldn’t find any indication if there’s going to be a third book in the series so we will just have to wait and see. If this will be your first book in the series, you may want to go back and read Assassins In Love.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Spy to Die For (Assassins Guild)

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Review: Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune, Book 1) by Jenna Bennett

Fortune's HeroReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Quinn Conlan is attached to a very creepy machine. You can see right away that he is a soldier. Automatically, I thought of Han Solo of “Star Wars” fame. Elsa Brandeis works for the enemy but is she as bad-ass as Quinn thinks she is? Elsa does not remind me of any “Star Wars” character but she is an interesting choice for Quinn.

I grew up in the age of the original “Star Trek” series and the first “Star Wars” series. Just a few paragraphs in, and I was reliving the shows/movies that I loved growing up. Then I had to think that this would fit in perfectly and I could see this as a movie. I would pay to watch this or at the very least see it on the Sci Fi Channel.

This book was listed on Amazon as romantic suspense. I get the suspense part – especially at the end – but I don’t think romance was a major part of Jenna’s story. I found it more of a science fiction action adventure. The action, not the romance, is what held my attention throughout as each chapter went by – and that is not a bad thing.

Jenna shows her readers that sometimes we may not like one another but that if something needs to be accomplished it is going to take team work. When it comes to survival, egos and attitudes have no place in this type of situation – it’s a waste of energy.

For those of you looking for the romance, you will get your sex fix – just relax and enjoy the adventure. Jenna gives you the sex but at just the right time. A good author will not rush it but puts it in just the right spot. She also reminds you how people change when confined for any length of time.

I have two words for the ending – What? No!! I was not expecting it but what a great way to have the reader wanting to read book 2. The next title in this series is titled Fortune’s Honor. But if you go to Jenna’s web site, http://jennabennett.com/Home_Page.html, she doesn’t give you any hints as to what she has in store next for readers. I can’t even tell you when it will be coming out. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong in adding this book to your shelf.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune)

Review: Haven 6 (New Dawn, Book 3) by Aubrie Dionne

haven6Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Eridani is the only woman on board The Heritage ship who hasn’t found herself a man, but she more than makes up for this lack of male interest when she is sent on a mission to perform covert operations on an alien planet, Haven 6 where she can find more info on how best to destroy them.

Review: When Eri goes on a mission to Haven 6, she never thinks she will meet anyone on the same level, let alone a man, but when she meets Striver, she falls for him. After a while he has her questioning her loyalty to those on The Heritage as she can understand his point of view on his people. He acts as leader of his people, and does a good job of keeping them from the cruelty of the outsiders who live over the wall.

Good Points:

  • The cover art captures the two characters very well as you can identify with them now that there are faces you can put to them.
  • Striver understands Eri’s plight at being ridiculed over her parents, while he doesn’t judge her on being different from her peers on The Heritage.
  • The story is told in flashbacks, but if flashbacks aren’t your thing, this might not be for you.

Bad Points:

  • It is a complicated plot that can sometimes be overcomplicated.
  • There is very little sex in this novel as it is meant for those of 16+ who are Young Adult readers.

Overview: If you liked book 3, then why not have a look at the previous two in the series. I’m sure they won’t disappoint.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Haven 6 (New Dawn)

Review: No Ordinary Love by Kate Lynd

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is written in the first person.

Caliiope is a human rebel who was previously enslaved and tortured. She’s a member of the Resistance. During that time, she met James Lawton who is a half-breed. They first met when she was captured and put on a slave ship. They now pick up where they left off from when Caliope was first enslaved.

Kate has me wanting to read how Caliope and James met for the first time. What was it that made their first time so combustible? What was it that drew them to each other?

Kate gives us a lot of sex in just a few pages. I would have loved more of the story of Caliope’s and James’ adventures in their fight of the Capturian. I actually would have liked less sex, yes I said less sex, in this story. It’s like watching bad porn; you want to turn it off. Too much sex in this story just didn’t work for me.

I actually think that I would have liked Kate’s story more if the characters were more developed. Plus, the story was dropped and we’re left wanting more. Does this mean that there will be another book about the life of Caliope and James? What does the future have in store for them? Do they defeat the Capturian?

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: No Ordinary Love

Review: Virgin by Cheryl Brooks

If you’ve heard of the Cat Star Chronicles before then you know that Zetithians, a feline big cat like alien species, are known for their males’ remarkable sexual prowess. We’ve even gone over some the *ahem* anatomy of these hunky men in The Sexual Prowess of Alien Romance Heroes. Seriously, you should check that out… hot. :D

So what happens when a male of the species is a virgin? He has no experience with the sexual prowess of the other males. How he was allowed to remain a virgin is a mystery! Dax talks about turning down some persistent women with a certain underhanded trick (that eventually lands him in some hot water with a couple of whores…), but I can’t really see him escaping the demand on him by others in his species to procreate.

The Zetithians were wiped out because of their sexual skill you see, and only now that they’ve found the man responsible and got justice are they able to rebuild in relative peace.

Ava is a half-breed. She’s part fish (Aquerei) and part human. She’s had two boyfriends and her current one, Lars, she wants to ditch something fierce, so she can return to her old boyfriend. A problem for Dax because Ava is the first woman he’s been attracted to and stirred by her scent, but he agrees to take her to where the old boyfriend is and does it scandalously cheap. (He charges everyone by what they can afford, not by how much they have on hand… very noble.)

Meanwhile there’s a subplot where a bunch of Aquerei are looking for Ava, not that she’s aware, in order to prevent a reordering of the Aquerei’s home world, which Ava is a key player (again something unknown to her.) I wonder how that works out?

I love Dax’s fumbling ineptitude in pursuing Ava. If you like virgin heroes, you will too!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Virgin

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Review: Knight’s Fork by Rowena Cherry

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Today I am reviewing Knight’s Fork by Rowena Cherry. This is my first ARC (advance review copy; official book release is September 30, 2008) and I eagerly read the whole novel in two days! Knight’s Fork is just one novel in the futuristic set series about the Great Djinn race. Knight’s Fork contains all the right stuff from a stowaway princess to a knight’s quest and the threat of death licking at their heels. This book and series would be great for any lover of alien paranormal romance or paranormal romance in general.

Watch out for the ‘Dj’ names! There’s quite a few to remember and follow! The romance novel is filled to overflowing with political intrigue and the key players are trying to play everybody else all at the same time to get their way. The main characters have to watch out for who their enemies are and who their allies are.

Cherry titles her novels after chess moves, and yes the characters do play chess and the move in question is used several times throughout the novel. Knight’s Fork in particular is about a choice between two evils – you’re going to lose something and the decision becomes which loss is acceptable?

This choice is ‘Rhett’s, a Saurian Knight, and it is between power and a female. Saurian is another alien race, but don’t let this fool you about this white knight. Back to the point – how can power or a female be a bad choice whichever you choose? A grab for power will set other leaders in a tizzy and the female is another male’s mate that’s how!

The rival male is King of another alien race, the Volnoth, and taking Electra could start a war on par with the ancient Greek war over Helen of Troy. It’s too bad for ‘Rhett that he’s tempted by Electra and not by the power offered. Far more tempting is that she wants him… for his sperm. What’s a knight to do?

This novel and series isn’t for the fainthearted that likes their romances to be mild and sweet. Urban colloquialisms for sex and emissions abound, the Great Djinn even regularly swear by Carnality! However for those who crave the contemporary slang and straightforward nature to the approach of sex Knight’s Fork is deliciously racy and erotic. The whole novel revolves around sex!

You could compare Cherry’s novel to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series about fairies because the Princess Electra seeks to get pregnant just like Meredith does. Or you could compare the novel to the Twilight Saga with ‘Rhett being a virgin, sworn to a vow of chastity, similar to Edward’s chase behavior. Whatever parallels you draw, Cherry spins a great story.

Rating: 3.5-4 Stars