Author Lilly Cain moves her focus from vampires to outer space in her new novel, Alien Revealed, from Carina Press. The author discusses why she made the change and what was unexpected about her newest work. And don't miss the RT BOOK REVIEWS *Web Exclusive Review* of Alien Revealed.
I loved writing the dark side of erotic paranormal romance. Darkness, blood, possible death; the shadows are a potent place for the fiery life or death romance of a vampire on the run. This was the setting of my first foray into erotic romance – Dark Harmony, the first book of the Dark Seduction series. And I loved it. Reveled in the gritty fantasies of a female vampire who’d been forced into a sexually submissive role by her sadistic maker, and those of the human dom that could be her salvation. Even their fight for freedom was filled with frightening images and physical action.
It was dark, still hours before sunrise. Cars stood in shadows lit only by the fluorescent lamps placed far apart in the yard. Only a few steps and he would be back in his car, back on the road to home. He grabbed his bag from the driver and gave a gruff thanks, his voice roughened with a tiny touch of anxiety. He’d never feared the darkness, until now. If there were vampires, were there other horrors in the night?
Only the sound of his footsteps and the scuffing of his bag as he dragged it toward the car broke the silence of the night. God, he was giving himself goose bumps. If Lena had wanted to hurt him she would have, but she was gone. Her…pack…was left behind in England, and there was no one in the parking lot except himself and perhaps a few other poor souls suffering through a red-eye return flight.
Still, his heart raced and his stride lengthened. As he neared his vehicle he yanked the keys from his pocket to press the remote unlock button without slowing his steps. For once he didn’t appreciate the darkened windows of his Ford Explorer. He threw up the back gate and tossed in his suitcase in a quick, fluid motion, and slammed the door back down again. He moved to the driver’s door without a wasted motion. In a moment he had the door open, was seated, locked the doors and was turning the key in the ignition, his hand already going to the seat belt. He would think about the fact that he had checked the back seat before he got in later. Paranoia isn’t always a bad thing.
But it was time for a change of pace with my next series. An idea had crept into the back of my mind and demanded out – an amazing alien race that wanted to contact Earth. It wasn’t dark, or gritty. It wasn’t full of sword fights or the fearsome images of fangs and blood. I admit I worried I would lose my voice without the shadows. But the idea wouldn’t let me alone, and the first story flew out from my pen with a speed that amazed me.
Reading the story over, among the mysteries of an alien and the blackness of space, I saw my voice hadn’t disappeared, it had continued to grow. My heroine was alien and both vulnerable yet strong.
She was going down. Her small observation pod hurtled toward the ground at an ever-increasing rate. Caught in the downdraft of an out-of-control human airjet, her tiny spy craft seemed as doomed as the vehicle that had crashed to the ground in front of her moments ago. Shuddering sensations raced up Alinna’s arms and along her scalp. Her L’inar nerve lines forced her skin up into narrow bands and ridges along her neck and hairline in an instinctual reaction as her concern turned quickly into fear.
Her pod was not meant for this kind of action. A tiny craft rigged to avoid human detection, it was only meant for short term surveillance. There was barely enough room on board for her long body to lie flat against the monitoring equipment. Her mission was simple—park her ship on the moon and use her pod to observe human behavior—to watch, but not interact. But I am going to interact; they’re going to have to peel my Inarrii skin right off their shiny new Starforce facilities. Sweat beaded on her forehead as Alinna fought again to regain control, wrenching the hand controls up and back until they pressed against her chest.
My hero, Major David Brown, served his country but he never forgot the people involved in any problem, despite his emotions about the situation.
At that moment, David knew he could never let her go. He wanted her nearby for a number of reasons, not the least of which was how frightened she looked. He needed those psych tests done, needed her approval for his team to accept the mission. And now, he needed to find out the truth. He couldn’t let it go. She was scared and obviously out of her depth. She might be a Starforce spy, but something was wrong. Her vulnerability hit him like a punch to the gut.
“I know the You-fo’s are pretty interested in something we found at the crash site.” David watched her closely. Her eyes flicked to the left, as they had when he’d questioned her in the medlab. She knew exactly what he was talking about. He watched the pulse at the base of her throat jump, and blinked as the tattoo on the edge of her hairline seemed to move. He swallowed hard. Focus.
This change of pace, change of romantic sub-genre has led me to a great discovery. My voice wasn’t in the scenery, or even the action, although my choice of words for those areas seems similar whether in the shadows or in outer space. My voice was in the characters. They carried me with them out of the shadows and into the stars. Who knows where they will carry me, and my readers, next?
- Lilly Cain
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