Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Next Big Thing- Humans, Cyborgs, Starships!



This is a great way to find new authors and books out there. My thanks to Gina Danna for inviting me to join. Here’s mine!
1: What is the working title of your book?
Across the Stars

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I've always been intrigued by cyborgs and the idea of humans being a nearly extinct race in the future.

3: What genre does your book come under?
SFR (Sci-Fi Romance)

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Chris Hemsworth as the hero and genetically enhanced cyborg named Rorik
Teresa Palmer (if she had chestnut hair) as the quiet and survival minded Laina Roberts (one of few remaining humans in the universe)

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?   
   She was the last of her race, his sworn enemy, and the only hope for the cyborgs to survive...

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Not published yet. Still technically a Work in Progress. I hope to have my literary agent shop it around to publishing houses when it its ready.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still technically writing the first draft.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Probably closest to a combination of Linnea Sinclair and Laurann Dohner's stories.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I just had this vision of a woman on an alien ship, catching sight of the dreaded cyborgs ready to board. She knows she has to hide and survive and that they will surely kill her. I wanted to tell a story, her story, about how a person can be strong simply by opening their heart and trusting that kindness, love and understanding can sometimes bring peace.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I tried to focus the story more on an emotional journey than a scientific one, hoping to appeal to more readers. It's a story about love and how it's powerful enough to cross cultures and barriers. 

Here's an excerpt:



It was only a matter of time before her family crossed paths with a Legion. And the time did come, when she was but fourteen. Laina had never seen a cyborg before, her parents had forced her into an escape pod before the cyborgs had boarded. She had wanted to stay and fight alongside her family. Instead, she’d clung to the tiny confines of the escape pod as it shook and trembled with the force of the explosion of the transport ship. She would never forget the sight. Sparks and golden flames turned purple and rippled outward across space like waves in a cosmic pond disturbed by a stone thrown by a careless god. Laina had collapsed to her knees, shock tearing through her as sharply as any explosion could have.

It was that day the nightmares started. And the longing for a world she’d never known. Earth. Her blood remembered it, the feel of cool grass beneath her bare feet, the warmth of a healthy yellow sun, the air thick with symphony of early morning bird song. Could a person’s DNA carry memories? Laina had been born on a starship but she could feel the weight of earth deep in her soul.

The comlink by the metal door of her chamber glowed to life.

“Attention all passengers. Unidentified vessel approaching. Captain Zore orders all a board to prepare for possible invasion.”

Possible invasion? She groaned. The problem with hitching a ride on this piece of space junk was that it couldn’t outrun anything worth a damn. Laina ran to the closet and retrieved her small pack, filling it with her belongings. If she got through this encounter, she’d jump ship at the next galaxy port and get on something faster. Maybe she could talk her way onto a smuggler ship. Of course, she’d likely up her chances of being sold into slavery by throwing her lot in with obvious lawbreakers.

The comlink made a crackling noise as a foreign transmission broke through.

“This is Lieutenant Commander Rorik of the Silver Legion of the Orion. We are hereby ordering the Calliope to allow for boarding and inspection. Anyone in possession of contraband will be sanctioned. Any humans on board must be turned over to the members of the Orion crew.” The static cut off, signaling the end of the transmission.

Laina stared numbly at the comlink. The Silver Legion was here? She had to hide, had to get somewhere safe before the crew of the Calliope decided to give her up to save themselves. She zipped up her small pack, for once thankful she had only a few paperback books, a fresh change of clothes and a picture of her parents. It was a light load. As she turned to check the room one last time for anything she might have left behind, she saw a shape pass her cabin window. She drew closer, unable to look away. Through the thick glass she saw it. The Orion.

The cyborg ship was a thing of beauty. Sleek, silver, almost decadent in design, yet it held a lethal grace that reminded her that the creatures on board would kill her without a thought.
And then she saw him.

The most beautiful man she'd ever seen. Even though men weren't supposed to be beautiful, he was. Blond hair long enough to run her fingers through, blue eyes that caught hers and swallowed her whole. They were icy eyes, no emotion lingered there, nor did any trace of feeling flit across the chiseled features of his face. He wore fitted black pants that showed long, muscular legs, and a long sleeved black shirt that outlined broad shoulders and a tapered waist.

He was devastating. He was a god.

He was a cyborg.

And he was staring back at her through the floor to ceiling window of the Orion. Legs braced apart, hands clasped behind his back in a military at-rest position, he looked every inch the predator she knew he was.

His lips curled into a smile that seemed to say, "I'm coming for you little mouse."

The Orion drew nearer and when it was close enough to extend a connecting bridge, the Calliope shuddered violently as the bridge locked onto the transport ship’s bay doors.

The blond haired cyborg turned to say something to another of his crew before he left the main deck. She swallowed thickly. He’d seen her. Hiding was now crucial. But she had a sinking feeling that no matter where she hid they’d find her. If they knew she was on board, they’d tear the ship apart to get to her.

“Damn!” She ran to the door and pressed her palm on the panel to unlock her door. The light beneath her palm flared red. The door remained locked. She removed her palm and placed it back on the panel. Still red. She hit the comlink keypad to get to the captain.

“Captain Zore, this is Laina. My door won’t open, can you override the controls—”

Captain Zore, a male of the Nubra species of humanoid aliens, spoke. “Laina, I’m sorry. The Legion gave me strict orders. We carried this far at our own risk. I won’t condemn my crew to die for shielding you any further.”

Terror squeezed her heart. Even Zore, a man she’d come to respect over the last two months, was betraying her to save his crew. As much as she understood his reasoning, she couldn’t help but feel lost and wounded at being so quickly abandoned. She would be handed over the cyborgs for execution of a crime she’d not even been born to commit.

She sagged back against the locked door in defeat and tipped her head back to suck in deep breaths. Panicking wouldn’t do her any good now. Her eyes opened and she gazed up at the ceiling tiles. For the first time that day, she smiled. Running over to her bed, she leapt up on it and climbed onto the thin metal headboard. She was just tall enough to reach the low ceiling. The tile moved easily when she pushed up and in a matter of a few seconds she’d cleared a body sized hole. She summoned the strength to pull herself up. It was a confined space and impossibly dark, even darker when she slid the tile back into place. With her pack slung over her shoulders she started to crawl towards a distant light. She wasn’t a moment too soon because the heavy clang of the ship’s body told her the cyborgs had boarded.

***

Rorik led his two man team into the small tunnel that connected the Orion to the little transport ship the Calliope. He carried his phaser gun ready in one hand. The doors opened ahead allowing him to enter the ship. A humanoid male with pale blue skin, wearing a captain’s uniform, waited for him to approach.

“Captain Zore?” he asked in a clipped tone. He was not amused by this Nubra male’s attempt to transport a human female anywhere. There was an intergalactic order by the High Council to turn all humans over to the Legions. Zore was in clear violation of this order.

The captain gave a curt nod, wariness in his amber eyes, but no fear.

“Very good. I’m Lieutenant Commander Rorik. You have been detained by order of the Galactic High Council. Your vessel will be searched. You are further ordered to turn over the human female we know is aboard you ship.”

Zore’s skin flushed to dark purple. “How did you know she—”

“How I know is irrelevant. You will have her brought to me at once.” Rorik flicked a hand in a rapid gesture to his two fellow cyborgs. They spread out in the control room, inspecting everything.

“I have her locked her in chamber. We want no trouble with the High Council or with you,” Zore replied, but disapproval layered the Nubra’s tone. Rorik narrowed his eyes. Zore flinched and looked away.

Rorik turned to the two crewmembers he brought with him: Alanna, an auburn haired female and Julian, one of the many males in their legion.

“Have one of the Nubras show you to the human’s quarters and bring her to me.” Rorik slid his gun back in his holster on his shoulder and waited while Alanna and Julian walked down a hall and disappeared.

Although Rorik felt no particular emotion strongly, he was designed to feel some responses. Cyborgs were after all not machines. Contrary to what the general human populace believed, cyborgs were ninety-five percent human in origin. In truth they were humans who’d been heavily modified at the genetic coding stage and born inside tubes in laboratories. They were stronger, faster, smarter, and less burdened by emotions or weighed down by fears that had plagued humans.

It wasn’t unnatural for him to feel pleasure, he had found it often enough with females of various species across the universe. He also enjoyed the companionship of being with his fellow legion members. But all of that seemed to pale against the rush of pleasure at knowing this one particular human would be in his grasp. She was a way to find answers, to free his people of the chains that still held them after a hundred years. She might know about the mysterious Genesis Code, something he and Alaric had only just discovered existed. They had so many questions about everything. And she might be the one to talk.

Still…it wasn’t talking with her that interested him most. It was simply her that he wanted. He hadn’t a clue what he would do with a human female. He would never touch her, never use her as he did other females. Humans were beneath him, forbidden, vile. But despite his head urging him to remember the cruel tortures her race had perpetuated against him and his fellow cyborgs, he found himself fascinated. He couldn’t banish her from his mind. The stunned look of surprise on her face, her pale pink lips parted and her gray eyes wide with fear. Her chestnut brown hair fell about her shoulders in wild disarray as though she hadn’t had time to prepare herself for their arrival or for him. Why that idea pleased him even more, the idea of her tumbled and unready, and made his heart rate increase was a mystery. It had to be the thrill of success, of winning. Cyborgs had been programed to be dominant and victorious in all scenarios they faced.

I want to tag the following authors in this Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Ammy Pereira
Ella Quinn
Collette Cameron
Sandra Owens
Christina DeGennaro
Nancy Fields
Ann Chaney
Elf Ahearn
Jenna Jaxon
Louisa Cornell
Jean Gordon
Marie Higgins

10 comments:

  1. Lauren - I accept the challenge, and I'll get my blog going now! Yours is great, btw. I love reading about what you're working on next!

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    1. LOL, glad you accepted! Can't wait to see what you put up next! You know I'll love it!

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  2. LOVE the excerpt! Cant wait to read more - I love Laina's spunk! :)

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    1. Aww thanks Ammy! I like Laina's spunk too!

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  3. Don't know what happened. I commented earlier, but don't see it now. Anyway, great excerpt, Lauren. I'm not a SF reader normally, but this one...I for sure have to read.

    Thanks for tagging me, too.

    Sandra

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    1. Thank you Sandy! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. Great excerpt! I'll get something posted tomorrow!

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