Welcome to another Poisoned Rationality Special Edition! Today we welcome Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of the recently released (and awesome) The Ophelia Prophecy and Ghost Planet!
Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters--the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us.
In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past. Some of us intend to do more than survive.
Asha and Pax—strangers and enemies—find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource—information—viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.
Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
But neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.
On book tour I always ask for post suggestions from bloggers — when you're writing two dozen, it can be maddening to come up with something original for each one. I really liked Poisoned Rationality’s suggestion for this one: "crafting Pax and Asha's bond over time to make it believable they'd trust each other with their lives."
I'll tell you right now that was one of the trickiest aspects of this book. I'd thought the couple in my first book, GHOST PLANET, were star-crossed, but they had it easy compared to Asha and Pax. Frankly, Romeo and Juliet had it easy compared to Asha and Pax.
When these two find themselves abandoned together on a beach, neither with any memory of how they got there, it takes Asha a few pages to figure out they're enemies. Enemies as in HIS kind (a genetically engineered race of human/insect beings called the Manti) released a virus that all but wiped out HER kind (the humans, who created the Manti).
Furthermore Pax believes she might be a spy, so he forces her to board his ship so he can interrogate her.
And probably I should also mention he has a genetic oversensitivity to pheromones that makes him behave very … *aggressively* toward her in the first chapter of the book.
As a writer I am mostly a pantser, though I do have a high-level summary I work from in the early stages of development. I know the general direction I'm headed, and more or less how the story will end. But the romantic arc … for me it's not something that can be planned. It has to develop organically.
As I progressed with this story, the romance began to slowly slimmer. The chemistry between them felt thick and inevitable. But as each new plot development unfolded, in the back of my mind I was fretting a bit. How would these two ever let down their guard enough to come together? Particularly when Asha kept running from him, and regularly encountered other characters more sympathetic to her plight.
The answer was little by little, beginning with the moment in chapter one when Pax realizes his body has "tuned" to Asha as his mate. His physiology drives him to make her his, but his human side fights to protect her from those subconscious drives. That becomes the foundation for a slow growing, but very powerful emotional — and yes, eventually physical — bond.
I remember one of my early readers, a science fiction fan who's in one of my yoga classes, demanding, "When are they going to have sex?" I loved this, because what it told me was she was buying the romance.
I don’t usually include reviews in my blog posts, but the one from RT Book Reviews is very special to me. Having read this post, I think you’ll understand why!
… a sexy, irresistible take on the enemies-to-lovers trope. […] the development of this slow-burn romance feels authentic, organic and totally satisfying.
Thank you Sharon for perfectly illustrating why these two worked so well! I can fully attest to the fact that from the first it seems unthinkable that they could ever get to a point where trust is granted, never mind anything else. Want to know more about what I thought? Check out my review :)
About the Author
A Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest. She writes books for the geeky at heart—sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance—and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2015).
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