Check out the Julia Rachel Barrett giveaway of her now out-of-print romantic suspense, Anytime Darlin', from Cerridwen Press ~ at the bottom of this guest post. Thank you for coming to AR today, Julia, and for your very kind book donation for our giveaway.
I have stories in my head…always have. It took me years to get them on paper, or rather, on computer. Just busy…you know, raising my children and working…all that good stuff.
Most of the books I write involve a real life experience – especially my works of romance/suspense, no fooling. As I told a writer friend of mine whose stories come straight from her imagination – If I haven’t done it, I can’t write it. Well, I probably can, but I don’t feel as if I’m telling the truth and I like to tell the truth. I want my characters to feel tactile, tangible, and real to readers. I write my heroines as perceptive, assertive, yet conflicted women, while my heroes are hot, tough, protective, introspective, big-hearted men. Think Kate Nelligan as Lucy in the movie, Eye of the Needle. She’s had a tough life and she falls hard for the unlikely anti-hero, German spy, Faber, played by Donald Sutherland. Once she figures him out, man, she does whatever she had to do to foil his evil plans. Lucy is definitely not TSTL.
When it comes to men, I have this huge thing for Daniel Craig, not only as a rough, imperfect, and troubled James Bond, but as a Jewish man desperate to keep his humanity alive in the movie, Defiance. While writing Captured, my first science fiction romance – and no, I’ve never been to outer space but I actually did dream the story from start to finish – I found inspiration in Daniel Craig’s character, Tuvia Bielski, a real life hero who kept his family and complete strangers alive during World War II.
Captured is the story of a young, Jewish woman who is kidnapped by an intergalactic trapper, Ekkatt. She must figure out a way to survive and come to terms with her new circumstances – circumstances that force her to view her life from an entirely new perspective. She can’t go home again and, riddled with survivor guilt, she realizes the only person she can help is herself.
Ekkatt is an unlikely hero. He’s been trapping for twenty years and never once has he engaged in conversation with a human. Humans are a subspecies in his world view, soulless apes. When Mari unexpectedly awakes from stasis, she manages to communicate with Ekkatt. He humors her and leaves her awake. During the voyage to his planet, he is rocked by the realization that everything he’s been taught is a lie. He can’t return to his life any more than Mari can. All he can do now is keep her alive.
Mari never expects to find herself in a cage in a cargo hold on a spaceship. She learns from her captors she's headed to the meat market. When they try to return her to stasis, she resists. The male in charge, Ekkatt, allows her to remain awake. Mari realizes her survival depends upon connecting with Ekkatt. She must make him see her as a sentient being or she will end up dinner.
Ekkatt has never spoken to any human. Humans are beasts. They are valued for one thing, the money they bring at auction. The Attun are vegetarians, but other species prize human flesh and Ekkatt makes good money trapping. Then the female with red hair awakens. She speaks to him and forces him to admit she has a name. Mari throws Ekkatt's entire life into question, the biggest question...can he watch her sold to the highest bidder?
The man leaned towards her with an amused look on his hard face. He was close enough. Mari grabbed him by his jumpsuit and jerked his body closer. At the same time she braced her left foot and thrust her right knee into what she hoped were his sex organs with all the force she could muster. When the air whooshed out of his lungs with a screening noise she knew she’d guessed right. As his knees began to buckle, she slammed the heel of her right hand into his nose then brought her knee up one more time into his solar plexus. He dropped to the floor as Mari jumped away. The shower room fell silent. All eyes stared at her in horror as everyone was certain she had brought death upon them. The silence didn’t last long. The petite yellow-haired creatures fled shrieking to the far door, pushing and shoving, trying to fit through at once in a chaotic mass.
“Run,” Mari shouted to no one in particular. “Run you fools.” She pointed after the little men.
The women, whether they understood her words or not, understood her meaning and did run, but it was too late. Tall figures poured in from both entrances and sent the women scurrying to the corners in fear. Mari stood above the man she’d disabled. As she watched he groaned and tried to get to his feet. His face was covered with blood.
Is that a weapon on his belt? Please God let that be a weapon.
Mari reached down and flipped open the clasp that held it to his belt, and she ripped what looked like a stun gun out of a holster.
How do you work it? How do you work the damn thing?
She squeezed the grip and the gun hummed in her hand. If she’d been a cruel woman she would have tried it out on the man she’d injured, but she didn’t want to kill anyone. She had no idea what the weapon was capable of. She suspected the thing might be like a cattle prod, designed to herd recalcitrant merchandise without killing them, but she didn’t know for sure. The one thing she knew was that she was an idiot and her actions had sealed her fate. She was a dead woman.
Well, if I’m already dead, I have nothing to fear.
Mari waited for the men to approach. She had no doubt they would subdue her and take the weapon, but she would make them work for it. She backed away from the injured man. His arms still moved, and he could reach for her ankle and probably flip her across the room if so inclined. Half a dozen men circled her. Turning as quickly as she could, Mari waved the weapon in their direction. Two men seemed wary. Mari gauged the other four. She saw astonishment in their eyes.
Gee, a cow fighting back. Imagine that.
Mari heard Ekkatt’s voice. He growled something, and the men stepped away and gave her space.
“Mari,” he said, allowing her the dignity of a name in front of all those assembled, “Give me the weapon.”
“Fuck you, Ekkatt.” She heard him snort at her words.
“Give me the weapon, Mari. These men will take it from you in any case. I am just trying to save you injury.”
“Protecting your profits?”
“No, you little fool. I am protecting you.”
Mari stood very still and looked at her kidnapper.
“Because in the two hundred years my people have ferried females of your race you are the first to act like a sentient being. Give me the weapon. Please.” Ekkatt spit out that last word.
“What about the rest of these women?”
“I can do nothing for them. Their fate is out of my hands. Yours, perhaps, is not. Your death will not alter their circumstances.”
To buy Captured, click here.
Win an e-book copy of Julia's now out-of-print title Anytime Darlin' here! To win, please:
- leave a comment for Julia on this AR Guest Post. Include your email address so we can contact you should you win.
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- giveaway ENDS in TWO WEEKS time - JAN 25th 2010.
- OPEN TO ALL -- WHERE EVER YOU RESIDE!
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Julia Rachel Barrett Guest Post & Giveaway! Reviewed by Sassy Brit on 9:43 am Rating: