Monday, December 21, 2015

New Release in #ScienceFiction Romance - Dragon's Honor by Michaela Kendrick

Today, I welcome fellow author Michaela Kendrick to my blog. She has a new release in one of my favorite genres, Science Fiction Romance. Michaela tells us about her latest release, Dragon's Honor, and her life as a writer.


Tell us about your latest release, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?  Dragon’s Honor tells the story of a young woman who has escaped the control of a maniacal warlord on her home planet, only to realize (much too late) that she has married the man who is supplying the warlord with weapons – and she realizes also that she won’t be able to live with herself if she sits idly by and does nothing. The book is Science Fiction Romance, which was a genre I’ve loved reading for years and have been itching to try. SFR has everything I love in a book: spaceships, cool technology, really strong leads, and (of course) an amazing love story! What was wonderful about writing this story was that I adored both of the two leads, and I could really sympathize not only with how they fell for one another, but with how their sense of honor drove them apart at the beginning of the story.


Why did you write your book (or series)? I see a lot of books now with military main characters, and I realized that my experience as part of a military family could offer a good look into characters who struggle with the experience and memories of combat. I wanted to write a book that did not glamorize combat trauma, but that also showed the hope and joy and humor that these people have in their lives. Romance novels have a very positive outlook on the abilities of people to live with and overcome their demons, and also on the role that love of all types—friendship, family, and romantic love—plays in shaping who a person is. There are as many experiences of combat as there are people in the military, so every protagonist in this series will have a different take on their time as a Dragon, and will have different weaknesses to overcome if they want to find love!

What do you like to do when you're not writing? This is a tough question, because I only transitioned to writing full-time this year. Before that, I would write early in the morning before my day job, and then all evening and on weekends. Now I’m not quite sure what to do with my free time. I’ve been knitting a bit, and also reading a lot of books!

Do you have any pets at home? We do! Our puppy, Tank, is about 10 months old and is an adorable ball of energy. He’s the first dog I’ve had and I’m learning to read his body language just like he’s learning to read mine (he already knows my “you drop that right now” face!). We’re hoping to get another dog soon so he has someone to play with while we’re both working.

 How much of your personality is in your main character? There’s a little bit of my personality in every character I write—even the villains! I think the only way to write good villains is to show a side of them that is, in a sense, far too familiar to all of us. The villains in Dragon’s Honor are a cautionary tale of what happens when you let normal feelings of alienation run away from you, particularly when you are someone who is very intelligent or successful. Meanwhile, the heroes are people who share all of our fears and self-doubt (Cade wonders, for instance, how Aryn could ever love him given the things he’s done in his time as Dragon), and also are a little bit braver than we are. I aspire to be like my heroes!

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses? It’s difficult. Writing can be a pretty time consuming and combative experience of staring down your blank page until something happens. I’ve learned that if I want to make time for the other things that are important to me (my family and my hobbies) I can’t wait for inspiration. I love it, and it makes my writing quick and enjoyable, but it’s so unpredictable that I might never finish a book. It’s important to sit down and practice quieting your mind even when you don’t really feel like writing!

What themes and ideas do you often explore in your writing? I also write under pen name Moira Katson, and though many of my books seem quite different on the face of it (hard scifi vs YA Fantasy vs Romance!), they all have one decision point in common. In every story, the characters are dealt a pretty bad hand, and it’s their inner grit and determination as well as their love of their friends, family, and partners, that helps them stand up and do the right thing—even when it’s pretty difficult to tell what the right thing is. In Dragon’s Honor, for instance, we see Aryn struggle with the idea of whether or not it’s her duty to stay in a bad marriage, and try to influence her husband to become a better man. 

And now the Book, Dragon's Honor


Blurb:

The Warlord...

From high society banquets in the ice covered skyscrapers of New Arizona, to the most far-flung outposts at the edge of human-occupied space, everyone has heard of Ymir. The Alliance's reach is wide, and its soldiers are well trained, but there are always despots powerful enough to assert themselves, and Ymir has been one of the most notable failures of human history: a whole planet given over to a man known only as the Warlord.

The soldier…

Cade Williams was once a Dragon—the most elite fighting unit in known space. Precise, brutal, and unstoppable, they were a last resort in the lawless wastes of space colonization. But there was a price: in one horrific mission, Cade’s unit took down not only a slave trader, but an entire intergalactic carrier. Cade left and never looked back. Haunted by his past, he’s vowed never again to kill, never again to fight, and, filling jobs from dock worker to bartender, he’s managed to keep that vow. But Cade’s life is about to be turned upside down. Because when at last he runs out of options, his old friend Talon Rift appears out of nowhere. Talon, the man who ordered him to take down the carrier. Talon, who wants him to get back in the game. And when Cade won’t, Talon has a job opportunity he seems to know Cade can’t afford to pass up. Protect a woman. An innocent. Remarkably little chance of anything going wrong. And a man needs to eat.

And the trophy wife…

There are two problems: first, that Cade hates Aryn the moment he lays eyes on her; second, that he wants her like he’s never wanted anyone before in his life. Or make that three problems: Aryn’s fiancĂ© is a weapons trafficker with a well-deserved reputation for being ruthless, and Aryn is about to get caught up in one of his schemes - one that will bring her back to the place she only just escaped...the mines of Ymir.

Where to buy:
Dragon’s Honor will be free to read in Kindle Unlimited: smile.amazon.com/dp/B017F8X7HC/

Excerpt:

“Cade Williams?”
The words came through the haze of smoke and drunkenness like a hallucination. Cade knew that voice. He was never, ever going to be able to forget that voice, and it had to be a hallucination because there was no way in hell the owner of that voice had chased him across three systems only to walk into a dive bar on the lower streets of New Arizona. So he went back to his drink.
He picked up the glass and stared at it. It was a scotch he’d been nursing for about three hours now, and not just because “scotch” seemed to be a loose term for colored grain alcohol. When he finished his drink, he had nowhere to go. And in the ever-drifting snow of New Arizona—he’d never figured out if the name was born of ignorance or irony—he needed to stay indoors as long as possible. The cold was fierce, and whatever acid was in the water on this planet, it would burn his skin raw in less than a night.
And if he didn’t get ten thousand credits to Osiris within a week, he was a dead man. But one thing at a time. Cade shook his head and let the moment slide away from him, a tiny drift into memory and nothing more.
“Williams,” the voice said again.
That was definitely not a hallucination. Cade’s eyes traveled along the arm that had come down on one side of him. Callused fingertips, last joint of the right index finger missing, the hint of a tattoo poking out from under a blue cuff. The arm underneath the suit jacket was well muscled, leading to broad shoulders and a clean-shaven jaw, and with a sinking feeling of dread, Cade looked up at one of his worst nightmares.
“Lieutenant Rift.”
“Actually, it’s Major now.” Talon’s face was expressionless, as it almost always was. He watched as Cade’s eyes traveled over the understated suit, across the planes of the handsome face. At last, sensing the question Cade would never ask, he flipped over the hand on his resting arm. There, glimmering in the faint light, were blood-red cufflinks.
A Dragon always wore red.
Talon absorbed Cade’s bitter smile in silence.
“You look surprisingly well.” Cade looked down into his scotch and considered drinking the rest in one gulp. The pours in this bar were generous, and with the alcohol being of dubious provenance, a gulp might well kill him. Right now, that wasn’t seeming so bad. It was all coming back to him—without warning, as it always did. He’d known the moment he heard the voice that this was going to be a bad night, even worse than he’d thought—and he’d already thought it would be pretty bad. There was screaming at the corner of his mind, the flashing of the lights in the bar taking on a reddish hue, the emergency exit sign too clear a reminder.
He closed his eyes, clenching his jaw until he thought his teeth would give way. He had to keep breathing, or the memories would take him, and the world would devolve into the chaotic mess he so feared, every face reminding him of the pods, the children pounding on the glass—
He was going to be sick. His stomach heaved.
“Should I go?”
“No.” Cade’s answer surprised even him. He opened his eyes and looked down into his drink again. He could force the world back into its neat shapes if he tried hard enough. In the vacuum of space, in the long silences of a courier’s job, he’d learned to face his fear and press it away.
He could face this, too.
“Okay.” Talon sat, pulled reflexively at both cuffs, and looked over at the bartender. “What won’t kill me here?”
“Don’t try the scotch.”
“Noted.”


If you are interested in receiving a free copy of Dragon's Honor in exchange for an honest review, please contact Michaela at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com!

Bio:

Raised on the Dragon Riders of Pern, Star Wars, Star Trek, and a whole bunch of historical romances, Michaela grew up adoring the adventure of Science Fiction and the passion of a good love story. Filled with double crossing, grand romantic gestures, sarcasm, and plenty of heat, Michaela's books are just the sort of thing she wants to read herself!

Where to find me:

Right now, I’m only on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkendrickauthor/
Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bIDsBn
And people can feel free to email me at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com

 
 

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