Message From The Author

Dara Joy

Book Title: MINE TO TAKE
Genre: Futuristic, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Author's Message

Like the rich Scalamandri fabrics she favors, Dara Joys MINE TO TAKE is yet another multi-textured installment in her Matrix of Destiny series. As with the previous two installments, Knight of a Trillion Stars and Rejar, MINE TO TAKE tells "its own individual love story so that the book stands on its own." But as a part of the series, it is "connected to others by the plots, characters, references and conundrums throughout."

"MINE TO TAKE is a study of power as seen throughout the different eyes of each of the characters, how it affects their realities and shapes their individual stories." It also is the story of Gian Ren, Guardian of the Mist, a powerful Familiar whose disappearance was remarked upon towards the end of Rejar, and Jenise, a heroine who comes from the nomadic Frensi, and finds herself caught in the center of her step-uncles web of deceit and terror to gain control of the non-Alliance world of Ganakari.

Like all of Daras Matrix books, MINE TO TAKE is yet another action-packed science fiction adventure full of intense, sensual emotion and energy. She likes to think of these books as "pulp" science-fiction, as fun to read as they are to write.

When Dara set out to write her first book, she says, "I just wrote the book that I wanted to write"—a science fiction love story. "I have always read science fiction. My mother introduced me to it when I was very young. And later, she introduced me to romance. I always believed the readership of one could cross over to the other."

But as the response to her contemporary romance High Energy has proven, Daras breadth as a writer goes beyond a single category of romance. For instance, Rejar, the second installment in the Matrix series, and Tonight or Never present her own versions of the Regency romance. And all of Daras work has left her readers clamoring for more.

It is this aspect which tickles Dara the most. "The most wonderful gift I receive from my readers is to know that they read my words and react to them the very way I intended… I feel like I have an incredible connection with my readers." Its a connection she revels in at book signings where she has an opportunity to meet her readers in person. She also marvels at the diversity of the romance genre. "Its amazing how large the readership really is and how there is room for almost everything."

Amazing, too, is the response to her books—in particular, to the Matrix of Destiny series. But although she loves the fact that she has been welcomed to "the sisterhood" of romance readers and writers with wide open arms, she also sometimes yearns for the things she did before writing overtook so much of her life, like attending the WorldCom science fiction convention, which her heroine Deana Jones attends at the beginning of Knight of a Trillion Stars.

As a science fiction fan, she couldnt help but love Teresa Wentzlers needlework designs, which often feature fantasy themes. Several of Wentzlers kits are part of the over 100 needlework kits that are "just waiting for me to get to them," Dara says.

"My mother recently passed away and I loved doing needlework pieces for her. Her favorite was one with a flower and twig design on it that at the time was sort of above my abilities and had the wording 'A Mothers Love Lasts Forever.' She often mentioned how much she treasured that particular piece, so when I dedicated MINE TO TAKE to her, I used similar wording for my dedication."

Other creative pursuits include painting and "just about any kind of decoupage," as well as quilting and fabric sculpture. "I love Scalamadris fabrics, and sometimes just go to a fabric store to drool and lose myself." This love comes through in a scene from MINE TO TAKE where she describes the multifaceted variety of fabric textures in Gians house.

Her creative pursuits also surfaced in Knight of a Trillion Stars where Deana is explaining her crochet to a baffled Lorgin—This is a granny square. You make zillions of these, then sew them all together to make an afghan. I hate the sewing part. Once, I made a giant granny square so I wouldnt have to sew anything together. Dara laughingly owns up to the experience as one of her own. "I thought I had finally discovered a better mousetrap."

With each new book release, Daras writing crosses the terrain of the romance genre and in some cases creates new pathways for readers of other genres to enter in—for instance, an increasing number of male sci-fi readers are picking up her books. "I hope that in some way I have opened a doorway for writers, and shown that your readers will follow you if they like your writing."

Having proven fairly conclusively that such a loyal following can exist, Dara has also shown that we have much to learn from each other, writer and reader alike. As Yaniff points out in MINE TO TAKE, "Remember that learning is like breathing—once we cease, we are no longer of this plane."

Write to Dara c/o Leisure Books, 276 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10001.

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